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  1. #1701
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    I dunno, Martin's work has largely started to feel like the vast majority of Marvel's "adult" comics (the MAX imprint) in that it feels like he is just running off a checklist. And the problem, much like with modern horror films, is that it just desensitizes the reader.

    In a lot of ways, I view Martin as doing for "dark fantasy" what Frank Miller did for comics. The series he is most known for (Song of Ice and Fire/Dark Knight Returns) did a lot of interesting stuff (that, admittedly, had already been done in a lot of ways) and did a damned fine job of it. But it was also VERY flawed and went off the deep end in some ways. But what is most important is that it opened the doors and allowed MUCH better writers to do similar stuff, but better/different.
    Ick MAX. It is just add blood and sex and stuff to normal comics. Nothing really deeper going on.

    I'm not sure about that. Miller, despite all his insane libertarian flaws, was saying something a bit deeper than usual with Batman. He made batman a far more psychological character with depth that didn't quite exist before. Though I agree better writers have gone on to do far more interesting stuff with Bats.

  2. #1702
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Ick MAX. It is just add blood and sex and stuff to normal comics. Nothing really deeper going on.

    I'm not sure about that. Miller, despite all his insane libertarian flaws, was saying something a bit deeper than usual with Batman. He made batman a far more psychological character with depth that didn't quite exist before. Though I agree better writers have gone on to do far more interesting stuff with Bats.
    To be fair, Ennis's Punisher books and Aaron's PunisherMax (after a VERY uneven start that made me stop reading it for about two years) did good with the format. But most were just horrid and made me feel ashamed to admit I like comics (and I keep my Empowered trade paperbacks on my bookshelf, so clearly it takes a lot to make me ashamed to openly enjoy comics...).

    And I don't deny Miller did some amazing stuff, same with Martin. Hell, I think the early Jamie Lannister's POV chapters are one of the best "heel-face turns" in fantasy.
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  3. #1703
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I always enjoyed Jamie and Tyrion chapters as the characters are fun but never really felt either character exactly had much depth to them.

    As for Miller I'm increasingly suspicious of him as the only thing of his I actually liked was Dark Knight Returns and Year One. But reading them again knowing what a nutjob he is now I seem to always read more from it than when I was a kid.

  4. #1704
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Then it is a good thing the only thing the deserty land seemed to exist for was to keep Dany off somewhere while Martin was doing interesting things and now to group her up with the fan favorite.
    Or to mirror the entire progression of Dany's character in a single chapter. But fuck it, let's ignore that and say Martin did it for convenience or to pander to fans.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And maybe the long-term effects will, but they have no sign of doing it thus far and, to me at least, largely feel like "Hmm, I want to keep her off to the side a bit longer. Take away the army!"
    What? Spoilers... She let Yunkai survive, short term she didn't have to fight, and hoped that a lasting peace could be achieved. Long term, they're coming for war. Short term, she agreed to marry Hizdar if 90 days of peace could be achieved. Long term, she's tied herself to Meereen, she's lost the advantages of being un-wed would bring when she returns to Westeros, she's made herself an outsider to the 1 place she might have been able to call home. She got involved in the whole Slaver's Bay kerfuffle in the first place... Short term, she got to free slaves and become the Mhysa. Long term, she's tied herself to the region, she's taken on responsibilities, she's trying to rule a region that will never accept her, and she's missed out on allies to the West.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Apparently I don't. I think he has done a very interesting take on it, but I would far from call it a subversion. But that is kind of the issue with anything that is meant to "subtly subvert tropes": How much of that is just fans wanting to think it is better?
    You really don't see the subversion of tropes, AND standard Fantasy wish fulfilment that's occurring and has occurred? It's kind of the main thrust of the series... Spoilers, natch...

    Ned's the main character, right? So he should be strong and powerful and has plot armour and will surely come out on top and... nope. He has no power, and what little he does, he doesn't know how to use. He's a schmuck, pulled in by LF and the rest, and played like a... something that gets played. The idea that the lead character 'wins' is completely shattered. He does what he thinks is right, the decent, honourable thing, he sticks to his moral code and his honour and that really doesn't work out. He tried to be strong and good, and it availed him naught.

    Ned dies. But it's OK readers! Robb has an army, and right on his side, and he's a brilliant commander in the field, and surely he'll get justice and... nope.

    Sansa wants that Courtly dream, the Romance, to marry her fair prince and live happily ever after. Instead, she gets the reality of Courtly life... her prince is a monster, the Court is all about politics and intrigue and the Game of Thrones, and she's been pulled into it as a pawn, and looks likely to become a major player as Littlefinger 2.0. She'll get what she wants, to be a Lady of the Court, but it won't be what she was expecting.

    Arya wants to be a badass killer, to get vengeance, to become a warrior. She's getting the chance, with the Faceless men... but to achieve it all she'll have to give up everything that is Arya, all her motivations, her identity. She'll get what she wants, but it's going to cost her the very things that have motivated her.

    There's even the little ones... Lyanna, captured by the 'monstrous' Rhaegar, Damsel in the tower, a whole war started to rescue her (or was it?). But, Brandon and his father die, Ned arrives too late, and Rhaegar wasn't a monster in the first place.

    Or, the Bear and the Maiden Fair and ALL of the references and nods to it, and the demolishing of the "Beauty = Good, Ugly = Bad" trope.


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    TB touched on it with his Deadpool review. It was a pretty crappy game with LOTS of flaws that poked fun at the conventions of the genre and TB assumed it was a parody meant to poke fun at it, but, at the end of the day, it was still just a shitty game with lots of blatant tropes.
    So... What? You're comparing ASoIaF to Deadpool? I think we're done.
    Last edited by Unaco; 24-09-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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  5. #1705
    Activated Node CWalker's Avatar
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    Finally finished DwD a day or two ago, after delaying reading it for literal months. The "major" twist didn't affect me nearly as much as my brother hoped it would (he's laughed at my reaction to every big event thus far) but even so, goddamn the last few chapters set up the next book magnificently IMO. Looking forward to it's eventual release 15 years from now!

  6. #1706
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    I finished it recently too and am gorging on theories. Enjoyed despite it and Feast being slower than ASoS, though I agree with Unaco it's very much the start of part 2. Martin is not just a typical writer, definitely not defined by tropes so I'm not sure what Gundato's getting at.

    Anyone got any favourite theories? I'm a fan of the Blackfyre one myself. There's just such a depth beneath what is being written. And I'm surprised people say Jaime doesn't have depth.
    Last edited by Sketch; 28-09-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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  7. #1707
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Been reading Steelheart. So far, I really like it. Reminds me a lot of Elantris in that it is largely about studying the underlying magic system and what not. Don't get me wrong, I love a little girl in a ghillie suit flying across a continent or a guy with a spear holding off an entire army. But there is something to the cold and methodical way that the Epics are studied and targeted.

    Also, as of finding out why Meghan disliked David, I am pretty sure I know Steelheart's weakness: He loses his powers if people believe in him/praise him for what he does, and Steelheart really IS the good guy that David's father thought he was, he just has no choice but to play the monster if he wants to have the power to protect Newcago. Also, pretty sure David is an Epic from the way he wasn't spotted in the elevator shaft.

    And, as always, it is fun to keep an eye open for Hoid.
    Last edited by gundato; 30-09-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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  8. #1708
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Unaco you're a big fan of Malazan right? I'm starting it now and I am enjoying it despite it being reasonably hard to follow in places. Any tips on how to get through it? I struggle with where things are the most, I have no point of reference in my head yet.
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  9. #1709
    Network Hub Koobazaur's Avatar
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    I recently started on World War Z and I can't put it down, it's quite awesome. I think I like it so much because it reminds me a lot of the academic case studies from my Ethnic Conflict studies, it's just like that but... with zombies! Stuff like how it afffected the Israel and Palestine relations for instance, quite interesting and believable. Well researched, too.
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  10. #1710
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Yeah it's a fun read. I love some of the stories, the escape from Japan one is just fantastic.
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  11. #1711
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Heh. Finished Steelheart. Thoughts below:
    I was way off, although I also don't think the full details are known just yet as it still seems strange that Steelheart would go out of his way to fake his atrocities when he was clearly perfectly capable of committing them. And his power being dependent on people fearing him doesn't explain why he made Newcago a comparatively decent place to live, which makes me suspect a Lord Ruler-esque "He wasn't ALL bad" in later books.
    Also, I now suspect the reason for Nightwielder was to block out the rays of the sun/Calamity as a way to limit the number of Epics (it is conceivable that the radiation from the shard referred to as Calamity needs to be combined with sunlight to unlock Epic powers).
    Either way, looking forward to Firefight in a year or so. And Hoid was either Diamond or wasn't in this book (it is a trilogy, he has time). If he was, then this would mark his most active role that isn't The Way of Kings (which is really the super-book that seems to tie the whole Cosmere together anyway).

    [edit]And apparently it isn't in The Cosmere. Which explains a lot. Probably for the best since Vin and Wax and (I suspect by the end of book 2) Kaladin could EASILY drop pretty much any Epic, which makes this magic system not disturbingly overpowered.[/edit]
    Last edited by gundato; 30-09-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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  12. #1712
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Reading In Cold Blood by Joe Abercrombie and have to say its pretty entertaining with the usual blacker anti-heroes if you call them heroes that have entertaining personalities and tics. It pretty much reads like a series of heist movies one more complicated then the other and getting more and more bloody as it goes along. Looking forward to continue reading the rest of the new books.

  13. #1713
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Reading In Cold Blood by Joe Abercrombie and have to say its pretty entertaining with the usual blacker anti-heroes if you call them heroes that have entertaining personalities and tics. It pretty much reads like a series of heist movies one more complicated then the other and getting more and more bloody as it goes along. Looking forward to continue reading the rest of the new books.
    I assume you mean "Best Served Cold". The story about revenge, right?

    Be warned that the next one (The Heroes) is REALLY FUCKING DARK, even by Abercrombie's standards, but Red Country is actually quite good and is much more reminiscent of the original trilogy.
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  14. #1714
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    Just picked up An Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen. From what I could make of the preface, it's gonna be a hard read.

  15. #1715
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    Unaco you're a big fan of Malazan right? I'm starting it now and I am enjoying it despite it being reasonably hard to follow in places. Any tips on how to get through it? I struggle with where things are the most, I have no point of reference in my head yet.
    I've read the first one, maybe I could help you out. Anything specific you want clarified?

  16. #1716
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I assume you mean "Best Served Cold". The story about revenge, right?
    Yeah have no idea how i got In Cold Blood...

    Be warned that the next one (The Heroes) is REALLY FUCKING DARK, even by Abercrombie's standards, but Red Country is actually quite good and is much more reminiscent of the original trilogy.
    There was moments in this book that I have to say went in a lot darker tone especially [spoilers] the torture scene of Shivers getting his eye burned out [/spoilers] so hearing The Heroes is even darker then that makes me fear reading it but I probably will since I do like his work and probably the best character writer in fantasy except for George RR Martin.

  17. #1717
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Yeah have no idea how i got In Cold Blood...



    There was moments in this book that I have to say went in a lot darker tone especially [spoilers] the torture scene of Shivers getting his eye burned out [/spoilers] so hearing The Heroes is even darker then that makes me fear reading it but I probably will since I do like his work and probably the best character writer in fantasy except for George RR Martin.
    While Abercrombie actually shies away from rape, I definitely think he went a bit overboard with the violence and despair on The Heroes. It definitely depicts that battle as "realistic", which is one of the major points of the story*, but it may have gone a bit overboard in the "hopelessly grimdark" atmosphere.
    One of the best parts of the original trilogy was watching West and Ninefingers be brutally beaten down by the nonstop violence and vengeance while still coming out "human" (well, maybe not so much for Ninefingers...). Too many characters in The Heroes seemed to have existed just to be murdered or emotionally destroyed.

    Hell, I would probably say that Red Country is "lighter and softer" than all of the previous books in the series. Which is pretty fucked up and weird, considering it is about a girl and her stepfather coming home to find their entire household murdered and her young siblings kidnapped.

    ...
    I am now REALLY looking forward to Abercrombie's young adult books.




    *: Unlike my complaints with Martin which boil down to "Get rid of the rapey violence and it is just another fantasy story, admittedly an interesting one"
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  18. #1718
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Still going through Children of Fire. So far so good, decently paced even though it's skipping many years, but I don't really mind. He's given himself 3 books to tell these stories and since the first few chapters are about the individual birth of the "children" in question, I don't really fancy reading seven tome sized books about their childhood and teen years.

    My only issue so fair is through my own fault I'm reading it sporadically and as a result almost every time I come back to it I have to wonder "who is this guy again? Whats this part he's referring to?"
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  19. #1719
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I've read the first one, maybe I could help you out. Anything specific you want clarified?
    I'll read some more tonight and get back to you, cheers. I just find I'm constantly checking the map and not really sure of the significance of where they are in the empire. Hopefully it's just because they're not significant and the main meat of the story hasn't started yet. It's just a very big world.
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  20. #1720
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    I just find I'm constantly checking the map and not really sure of the significance of where they are in the empire. Hopefully it's just because they're not significant and the main meat of the story hasn't started yet. It's just a very big world.
    Don't worry too much about that... The Book of the Fallen is really more about Malazans than it is about the Malazan Empire. The people that made and make up the Empire, rather than the monolithic entity. A quick introduction is that, at the time of Gardens of the Moon, the Empire is Malaz Island (where it all started), the continent of Quon Tali (this is where Itko Khan is, and where the incident at the start takes place, where we meet Paran and Adjunct Lorn. Also where the Capital, Unta, is located) and the Isles around it, the sub continent of Seven Cities, 10 of the 12 Free Cities in the continent North Genabackis (Pale and Darujhistan are still free), and there is an uncertain campaign being conducted in a place called Korel (referred to at times as Stratem or Fist).

    Genabackis is still an active campaign for the Malazans... the 12 major cities formed an alliance, joined with the locals and some others that wish to oppose the Empire. In relation to the rest of the Empire, it's to the East of Quon and 7Cities. For Gardens... you really only need to focus on the land between Pale and Darujhistan, but knowing where the other places that are mentioned (Blackdog forest, the Rhivi plains, where Caladan Brood is doing his thing) are located doesn't hurt. It's really all set in Darujhistan though.

    Later books will, slowly, build up a more full picture of the Empire. The series largely takes place on the frontiers of the Empire, rather than in the Heartland though.
    Last edited by Unaco; 30-09-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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