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jneer
Aug 30, 2006

Mush Mushi!

On Steelheart and Epics - I was disappointed to learn that Epics are lovely individuals because it's literally a side effect of their powers. It would be much more interesting to find out that the powers had no effect on their morals beyond the inherent corrupting force that comes with having absolute power and no reason to be accountable.

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wellwhoopdedooo
Nov 23, 2007

Pound Trooper!

jneer posted:

On Steelheart and Epics - I was disappointed to learn that Epics are lovely individuals because it's literally a side effect of their powers. It would be much more interesting to find out that the powers had no effect on their morals beyond the inherent corrupting force that comes with having absolute power and no reason to be accountable.

The way I like to look at is that it's not a side-effect of the power at all--it's a side effect of a person being given that kind of power.

I've thought about this a bunch, and it's actually funny that Sanderson's inspiration for this was road-rage; my personal theory for a long time has been that road-rage comes from people's (a) inability to deal with something we can destroy getting in our way, (b) tendency to think of our cars as an extension of our bodies when driving, and (c) inability to conceive of a 3,500-pound person made of metal even though that's how we're basically seeing ourselves on the road.

When somebody cuts you off on the road, you try to apply your theory of mind to the person driving the car, why did they do that, what are they going to do next, which backfires, because now you're thinking of them as a person, and your lizard brain says that people get squished by cars and they are a person and you are a car and gently caress THIS THING. I COULD CRUSH THIS PUNY HUMAN, HOW DARE IT gently caress WITH ME? The result of squashing that instinct? Road-rage. At least that's my theory.

With super powers? You'd see yourself as a god. Somebody does something you don't like? Squish that ant. You're a 3,500-pound lizard person that can eat souls and poo poo lightning.

wellwhoopdedooo fucked around with this message at 13:43 on Oct 20, 2013

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


Except, that's pretty clearly not what's happening. Having the powers doesn't make you a colossal dick, as neatly evidenced by Conflux and Prof, not to mention Firefight, nor does using those powers, as evidence by Prof's 'hypertech' devices. Being an Epic and using your own Epic powers causes a change in your personality

jneer
Aug 30, 2006

Mush Mushi!

thespaceinvader posted:

Except, that's pretty clearly not what's happening. Having the powers doesn't make you a colossal dick, as neatly evidenced by Conflux and Prof, not to mention Firefight, nor does using those powers, as evidence by Prof's 'hypertech' devices. Being an Epic and using your own Epic powers causes a change in your personality

Not sure which one of us you're responding to, but Sanderson seems to imply with not much subtlety that using the powers makes you a dick, which is why Tia coaches Prof whenever he uses his power and tries to keep him in check and David begs Megan not to use her powers for a few days so she'll become herself again. When Megan uses her illusions in the elevator shaft, David describes her looking as if she was going to murder him, just a few moments after a friendly conversation. The mood swings don't seem consistent with someone in their right mind, even someone on a power-trip.

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


Basically, I was countering the argument that the power=dick thing is pure human psychology (i.e. absolute power corrupts absolutely because people are natively dicks, they just have too many limits to exercise it) - that's pretty clearly not the case. The powers make the Epics evil when the Epics use them, but not when Gifted to non-Epics (apparently).

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





thespaceinvader posted:

Basically, I was countering the argument that the power=dick thing is pure human psychology (i.e. absolute power corrupts absolutely because people are natively dicks, they just have too many limits to exercise it) - that's pretty clearly not the case. The powers make the Epics evil when the Epics use them, but not when Gifted to non-Epics (apparently).

It's apparently a concentration thing - gifting all to one person *does* make them evil.

Thalamas
Dec 5, 2003

Sup?

I thought Steelheart's weakness was that the weapon needed to be passed through the body of another Epic. Dad shoots Deathpoint and it passes through and scratches Steelheart. Thought in the final fight someone would put a bullet/Prof would put a sword in Nightwielder and it would pass through and kill Steelheart or something. Boy, was I wrong.

Also, I enjoy Sanderson's sense of humor - even Shallan. Then again, I have a terrible sense of humor.

OneTwentySix
Nov 5, 2007

fun
FUN
FUN




What I don't get is why Firefight doesn't just kill everyone after infiltrating the group, rather than playing along with them (and killing that one Epic at the start). Use her powers to take the form of a member of the group, murder each person in their sleep if possible, but put the blame on the other person if somehow she gets caught. I mean, she can make illusions AND she can't die. Those are two pretty incredibly powerful abilities. I don't see what she (or Steelheart) get out of the long con.

It's part of why I like Worm so much more than Steelheart. Wildbow is a master of taking a power that looks semi-useless and looking at it from every possible angle and finding a really powerful strength behind it. Instead of just giving a bunch of random comic book powers and strengths like in Steelheart, someone tends to be really good in one area and you get to see how someone with that particular strength would try to find every possible utility behind that strength because it's all they have. The Undersiders all look like they have really weak powers (Skitter controls bugs, Grue can project darkness, Regent can make people trip, Bitch can make dogs bigger and able to take more damage, and Tattletale is good at figuring things out) but they quickly establish themselves as big league players, taking out opponents that on paper seem much more of a big deal by finding their real weaknesses and exploiting them (and these weaknesses don't include "I can only be killed by someone wearing an argyle sweater" or so on like in Steelheart.)

I guess what I'm saying is that if you liked Steelheart, go read Worm. It starts out a bit weaker (but still pretty great) with a girl being bullied at school while coming into her powers and just grows into this massive universe with extremely well fleshed out characters with realistic motives and goals. There's almost no power creep, even though the stakes continuously keep getting higher. It could definitely benefit from being polished (it's a first draft, basically), but it's honestly a lot better than a ton of published books, and would be among the best if it went through the whole revision process that it would need in order to get published. It's about 1.5 million words, though, so it'll keep you busy for a while.

http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/1-1/

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


One thing I wonder: what if all Epics are actually Gifters, they're just mostly too selfish to actually try?

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

OneTwentySix posted:

What I don't get is why Firefight doesn't just kill everyone after infiltrating the group, rather than playing along with them (and killing that one Epic at the start). Use her powers to take the form of a member of the group, murder each person in their sleep if possible, but put the blame on the other person if somehow she gets caught. I mean, she can make illusions AND she can't die. Those are two pretty incredibly powerful abilities. I don't see what she (or Steelheart) get out of the long con.

Steelheart didn't really fear the Reckoners he mostly just wanted to redirect them. Megan's initial job was probably to kill Fortuity to prove herself to the group (Steelheart wouldn't care too much about sacrificing one mid-level minion), then try to redirect and aid the group's efforts in killing Epics who were Steelheart's rivals. It's actually a decent manipulate your enemies to attack your other enemies gambit. The reason she just didn't kill the team initially was because that wasn't her job. The reason she didn't kill the team when they focused their efforts on hunting Steelheart isn't exactly complicated either. She had stopped using her powers, and as a result her empathy was coming back, and she didn't want to outright murder the people she had befriended.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


I thought the implication was pretty strong that Megan/Firefight, while not using her powers and allowing herself to be human, fell pretty quickly for David and her heart wasn't really in the double-agent thing through most of the story.

She did help Nightwielder in his efforts to kill David in the climactic battle, but even then, while she was using her powers, it didn't seem like she was really giving it the proverbial 110%.

And I don't think her role from Steelheart's perspective was much more complicated than just keeping tabs on what the Reckoners are up to. As the above post says, so long as none of them are a direct threat to Steelheart it serves his purposes just fine for them to be going around killing other Epics. Had she reported back that the Reckoners know for sure what his weakness is and are working on figuring out how to exploit it, he probably would have personally gone down there and killed them all immediately.

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at 19:46 on Oct 20, 2013

jneer
Aug 30, 2006

Mush Mushi!

Thalamas posted:

I thought Steelheart's weakness was that the weapon needed to be passed through the body of another Epic. Dad shoots Deathpoint and it passes through and scratches Steelheart. Thought in the final fight someone would put a bullet/Prof would put a sword in Nightwielder and it would pass through and kill Steelheart or something. Boy, was I wrong.

Also, I enjoy Sanderson's sense of humor - even Shallan. Then again, I have a terrible sense of humor.


I thought Shallan was obnoxious and unfunny in the worst way in the beginning, but then, I think that was the point. As the book progressed you can notice that she holds her tongue more and more in social situations and grows up in general.

It's not like Sanderson is incapable of writing genuinely witty dialogue - the Lightsong character in Warbreaker had some great one-liners.

Xachariah
Jul 26, 2004



I'm utterly convinced that Shallan herself just believes she is witty and everyone else is just mostly humouring her because she is noble born and pretty or whatever. We only see from her point of view and she is a mighty proud of herself.

Gamesguy
Sep 7, 2010



Man I regret reading that Legion excerpt when we probably won't get a sequel for a year or more.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Gamesguy posted:

Man I regret reading that Legion excerpt when we probably won't get a sequel for a year or more.

What are you talking about? I'm sure he has another long flight coming up soon enough.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?









College Slice

With the macguffin from the first one and the implied one in this one and the globetrotting it really seems like Legion is his take on the scifi/conspiracy theory/etc. TV shows like X-Files and Fringe, etc. I dig it.

Theli
Jan 23, 2002

SORRY ABOUT MY TAINT


Fun Shoe

Just finished Steelheart and The Rithmatist. I liked Rithmatist a lot more, but mostly because I had just gotten caught up on Worm before starting Steelheart.

Now I have, what, four Sanderson books awaiting upcoming sequels? Five? All I wanted was Words of Radiance but his side projects are almost as fun, even if I can blow through them in a day or two.

mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



Everyone's talking about Steelheart already.. which I'll read next, but I just finished Rithmatist and
Why don't they just go to Nebrask with some sort of plane (or zeppelin or whatever they have in the steampunk/gearpunk world of theirs, surely they have something other than that train-thing) and pour acid everywhere? 2D-monsters couldn't defend it right? What about huge acid-cannons and stuff like that, they have rifles so there has been human wars to draw inspiration from, why do they fight fair? Usually Sanderson explains stuff like this so did I miss something?
Can't wait for Rithmatist 2 though.. and I'm not even YA fan.

mallamp fucked around with this message at 11:09 on Oct 22, 2013

stramit
Dec 9, 2004
Ask me about making games instead of gains.

I just read "The Emperors Soul" after reading "Steelheart".... And whilst I would not say I disliked "Steelheart", if feels really weak in comparison. I'm hoping that the with "Words of Radiance" Sanderson will continue to improve as an author. If you have not read TES you can read it in a couple of hours and it's a nice self contained story. Cool magic too :)

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Strumpy posted:

I just read "The Emperors Soul" after reading "Steelheart".... And whilst I would not say I disliked "Steelheart", if feels really weak in comparison. I'm hoping that the with "Words of Radiance" Sanderson will continue to improve as an author. If you have not read TES you can read it in a couple of hours and it's a nice self contained story. Cool magic too :)

I did the opposite and read Steelheart shortly after The Emperor's Soul, which might explain why Steelheart felt a whole lot weaker to me.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!







The Emperor's Soul is easily the best thing he's ever written. Even Way of Kings--which is drat good--pales in comparison.

Steelheart is entirely average for him, and is nowhere near the same league as The Emperor's Soul.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Yeah, exactly. He seems to do really well with novellas; I love Legion as well, though it still wasn't quite as good as The Emperor's Soul.

That being said, I'm still the most psyched for Words of Radiance.

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


Firstborn was pretty bitching too When he works hard on cutting down wordcounts, he really does improve.

Benson Cunningham
Dec 9, 2006

Chief of J.U.N.K.E.R. H.Q.


ConfusedUs posted:

The Emperor's Soul is easily the best thing he's ever written. Even Way of Kings--which is drat good--pales in comparison.

Steelheart is entirely average for him, and is nowhere near the same league as The Emperor's Soul.

To be fair, Steelheart is a children's book. I feel like it does what it sets out to do and not much more.

Edit: I mean young adult, whatever.

bowmore
Oct 6, 2008





Lipstick Apathy

Yeah I think people are unfairly comparing a YA novel to an adult novel.

omnibobb
Dec 3, 2005
Title text'd

So, uh, all this talk about Sandersons bad jokes and nobody noticed that the main character lived on Ditko Road (or place or whatever)?

Wolpertinger
Feb 16, 2011


mallamp posted:

Everyone's talking about Steelheart already.. which I'll read next, but I just finished Rithmatist and
Why don't they just go to Nebrask with some sort of plane (or zeppelin or whatever they have in the steampunk/gearpunk world of theirs, surely they have something other than that train-thing) and pour acid everywhere? 2D-monsters couldn't defend it right? What about huge acid-cannons and stuff like that, they have rifles so there has been human wars to draw inspiration from, why do they fight fair? Usually Sanderson explains stuff like this so did I miss something?
Can't wait for Rithmatist 2 though.. and I'm not even YA fan.

It's probably because they don't have enough industrial-strength acid to drown tens/hundreds of thousands of miles of wilderness in acid, especially considering that many of the evil chalk figures apparently hang out in caves/underground

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


That much industrial strength acid would also pretty much render a rather huge area unusable, not to mention the resultant fumes. So even if they could make enough acid they wouldn't do it except as a scorched earth policy.

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


So, apparantly one of the steelhunt excerpts is from Words of Radiance. What's the best way for me to get that excerpt? If it matters, I'm currently in Ireland and I don't have PM's enabled.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Walh Hara posted:

So, apparantly one of the steelhunt excerpts is from Words of Radiance. What's the best way for me to get that excerpt? If it matters, I'm currently in Ireland and I don't have PM's enabled.

If you have a reddit I can send it there.

Gygaxian
May 29, 2013


So has anyone read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan? It's an industrial age fantasy written by one of Sanderson's former students, and I think it's pretty good. It definitely has a Sanderson influence (weird magic systems, inability to write humor, etc), but it's written well for the author's first published book. I especially like the tagline:

quote:

The age of kings is dead... And I have killed it.

I've had it for a few months, but I'm re-reading it and getting impressed again.

Piell
Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer



Young Orc

Gygaxian posted:

So has anyone read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan? It's an industrial age fantasy written by one of Sanderson's former students, and I think it's pretty good. It definitely has a Sanderson influence (weird magic systems, inability to write humor, etc), but it's written well for the author's first published book. I especially like the tagline:


I've had it for a few months, but I'm re-reading it and getting impressed again.

I thought it was pretty good, and I did feel a lot of Sanderson's influence with the solidity of how the different magic systems worked.

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


Tunicate posted:

If you have a reddit I can send it there.

Made a reddit account, username is just "Walh".

Thanks in advance!

Xachariah
Jul 26, 2004



Tunicate posted:

If you have a reddit I can send it there.

Can I have it too? I have PM's.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Xachariah posted:

Can I have it too? I have PM's.

Sent.

Interesting, in a few weeks it looks like Sanderson is doing some event with Paolini and Dashner in NY. Seems like a bizarre combination of authors.

They also did a twitter chat

quote:

Mr Rippers ‏@Enchantedbooks 45m

@BrandSanderson Would you ever collaborate with another author, on writing a book? @paolini #fantasychat @randomhousekids
Expand
Brandon Sanderson ‏@BrandSanderson 42m

@Enchantedbooks @paolini Collaboration is TOUGH. I tried it once (excluding the Wot) on a book, and it didn't turn out well. #fantasychat
Expand
Brandon Sanderson ‏@BrandSanderson 27m

Fun story. Twice now, I've gotten on a plane and unexpectedly found @paolini in a seat near me. We sat together instea

Wait a second! They were on TWO plane rides and no collaboration has manifested? Unacceptable!

Tunicate fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Oct 25, 2013

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



Gygaxian posted:

So has anyone read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan? It's an industrial age fantasy written by one of Sanderson's former students, and I think it's pretty good. It definitely has a Sanderson influence (weird magic systems, inability to write humor, etc), but it's written well for the author's first published book. I especially like the tagline:


I've had it for a few months, but I'm re-reading it and getting impressed again.

I got it a few months ago and I enjoyed it. I think it has a bit of first-in-a-series-itis in that it needs to establish the setting and the characters so I have high hopes for book 2 which should be out early next year.

The tagline is what sold me on it too. It has a lot of fresh takes on some standard fantasy stuff, and it's an 17th/18th century technological setting without being outright steampunk. The stuff with the gods coming back and one of them being an army cook was a cool idea. The protagonists are world-weary, experienced people instead of 20somethings, which is also a nice change of pace, and I liked the relationship between Tamas, his son, and how they were ultimately dealing with Tamas's wife's assassination (not well).

Narmi
Feb 26, 2008


Gygaxian posted:

So has anyone read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan? It's an industrial age fantasy written by one of Sanderson's former students, and I think it's pretty good. It definitely has a Sanderson influence (weird magic systems, inability to write humor, etc), but it's written well for the author's first published book. I especially like the tagline:


I've had it for a few months, but I'm re-reading it and getting impressed again.

I read it after seeing it get good reviews, and really enjoyed it. The sequel, The Crimson Campaign comes out in February, a month before Words of Radiance (though the ebooks will probably take a bit longer to come out), so those two are at the top of my list to read in 2014.

What I find really interesting is the way that the magic system is incorporated with technology. Unlike Alloy of Law, which Ive seen it compared to a few times, where allomancers co-exist and have found new ways to take advantage of new technology, powder mages are a direct result of technological progress and wouldn't be half as useful (or even exit) pre-Industrial Revolution. it's a pretty cool take on the "magic in a world of science" theme.

Also, having a magic system where you can get addicted to gunpowder, and suffer from withdrawal as well, was interesting. Having a main character who keeps getting nosebleeds because he snorts the stuff to forget about his cheating ex-fiancee was an a neat thing to come up with too.

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


Tunicate posted:



Wait a second! They were on TWO plane rides and no collaboration has manifested? Unacceptable!

You'd want it to? I'm not sure I want Mistborn|Eragon.

Superstring
Jul 22, 2007

I thought I was going insane for a second.



Aren't Eragon and it's sequels supposed to be kinda bad?

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computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Superstring posted:

Aren't Eragon and it's sequels supposed to be kinda bad?

Eragon and the first sequel are very heavily based on the first two Star Wars films, I never read the other two.

You can also tell that he wouldn't have been published if not for his parents.

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