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Spermy Smurf
Jul 2, 2004


His 3 books about dancer and kellevand are fanfiction. So bad. An hour of reading each.

The orb, scepter, throne and the Jakarta stuff wasn't bad. I enjoyed reading about the swordsdudes and explodey bugmen.

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denimgorilla
Jan 24, 2008

Like an arrow, I was only passing through.

Jaxyon posted:

Not really.

He's simply not as good a writer. The most recent trilogy was readable, but the main appeal is getting to read about characters that aren't really covered in the main MBotF series.

Iron Bars is better in his cameo in MT than he is with an entire book.

Iron Bars never showed up in another book and you can’t tell me otherwise.

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


From the Novels of the Malazan Empire:
Night of Knives is okay;
Return of the Crimson Guard is about 500 pages too long;
Stonewielder has some good bits and some utterly forgettable bits;
Orb Sceptre Throne is a decent novel but a poo poo conclusion to the plot threads set up in Toll The Hounds;
Blood and Bone is one of the better ones, but completely fails to land any of the conclusions to arcs;
Assail is entertaining enough, but is massively disappointing given how hyped-up the continent is up to this point.

The Path to Ascendancy books are better. Books 1 & 2 are generally very good (for Esselmont, anyway), but the third book seems rushed even by his usual standards.

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

Just finished Dust of Dreams last night.

What I really appreciated was that the Nahruk showing up at the end doesn't really fit into the conflict that everyone was preparing for in Kolanse so much as it's a threat everyone was a little bit aware of but ignoring only for it to arrive at the worst possible time.

I assumed at the start when the K'Chain destriant was kind of ruminating over the matron being insane it was just your standard Malazan 'everything is bad for everyone' worldbuilding, I didn't expect the matron's plan to actually work and end up saving the world. It was a nice touch! I'm still not entirely sure what the deal was with Rutt, Held, etc. Were they also ghosts like Feather Witch/etc? Was it happening concurrent to everything? Will this be answered in the next book
?

Spermy Smurf
Jul 2, 2004


The machine Icarium built went off. Rutt, held, and the hair-loogey guy all got caught in it.

Its explained later but I had to be told cuz dumbness.

they are ghosts in incarums mind now. I think. I am pretty dumb. disregard this probably.

Infinite Karma
Oct 23, 2004
Good as dead







Wolfsheim posted:

Just finished Dust of Dreams last night.

What I really appreciated was that the Nahruk showing up at the end doesn't really fit into the conflict that everyone was preparing for in Kolanse so much as it's a threat everyone was a little bit aware of but ignoring only for it to arrive at the worst possible time.

I assumed at the start when the K'Chain destriant was kind of ruminating over the matron being insane it was just your standard Malazan 'everything is bad for everyone' worldbuilding, I didn't expect the matron's plan to actually work and end up saving the world. It was a nice touch! I'm still not entirely sure what the deal was with Rutt, Held, etc. Were they also ghosts like Feather Witch/etc? Was it happening concurrent to everything? Will this be answered in the next book
?
This will all be answered in the next book, DoD is basically a two-part novel with The Crippled God in terms of plot structure.

As far as the Snake, they're not ghosts when you watch their journey, just people doing something unimaginable, but my read was that their journey is analogous to the Bridgeburners in Raraku, the Chain of Dogs, and the Bonehunters in Y'Ghatan ,with the horrible march through a magically invested hellscape turning them all into something more-than-mortal.

After Icarium's machine, yeah, something weird happened to them.


edit:actually, I think I take that back about Icarium's machine? I believe they left and survived before the machine went off.

Infinite Karma fucked around with this message at 23:43 on Jan 24, 2021

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


The Snake is a mirror to the Bonehunters, but - spoiler for The Crippled God; seriously, don't read this until you've finished the last book - they're more than that, because they eat the locusts/shards, which are the D'ivers that make up the Forkrul Assail god. Badalle seems to take on some of its power, at the very least.

Also, it's equal parts world-building (the references to the Forkrul Assail set them up as the baddies before we really see them in The Crippled God) and reinforcement of the series' themes, with the Bonehunters empathising/caring for them, even at the expense of their own health (when they give up their water).

Icarium's machine creates a bunch of new warrens, including the one where Grub gets chased by a T-rex. It also makes Icarium go mad and see ghosts - probably because it interacts with Chaos in some way, and Icarium touching Chaos always has an impact on his mental health (I think it's Gothos who points out that Icarium is basically a walking Chaos wound).

BigHead
Jul 25, 2003
Huh?

Nap Ghost

kingturnip posted:

The Snake is a mirror to the Bonehunters, but - spoiler for The Crippled God; seriously, don't read this until you've finished the last book - they're more than that, because they eat the locusts/shards, which are the D'ivers that make up the Forkrul Assail god. Badalle seems to take on some of its power, at the very least.

Also, it's equal parts world-building (the references to the Forkrul Assail set them up as the baddies before we really see them in The Crippled God) and reinforcement of the series' themes, with the Bonehunters empathising/caring for them, even at the expense of their own health (when they give up their water).

Icarium's machine creates a bunch of new warrens, including the one where Grub gets chased by a T-rex. It also makes Icarium go mad and see ghosts - probably because it interacts with Chaos in some way, and Icarium touching Chaos always has an impact on his mental health (I think it's Gothos who points out that Icarium is basically a walking Chaos wound).

Ditto, don't read this until finished:
My memory is that the snake was clearly laid out as the Worn of Autumn protecting the kids. Snake = worm. That's about when it was revealed the Worm killed all her followers except what's his name because all the rest of the followers wanted her to join the dark side. Hence the worm showing up at the conclusion to protect the last of the bonehunters who were standing over TCG. The worm was with them when the kids were with them. Though maybe the "eating the locust God" thing makes sense now that I think of it.

OneSizeFitsAll
Sep 13, 2010

Du bist mein Sofa


On the snake:

One thing I wasn't clear about : was there a particular reason the Forkrul Assail were harrying them, beyond their general "judge/kill all humans" MO?

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Weren't they escaped slaves?

Infinite Karma
Oct 23, 2004
Good as dead







anilEhilated posted:

Weren't they escaped slaves?
They were. Also I didn't connect the eating the d'ivers god with giving them fragments of its power. I assumed that they were also "watered", meaning descendants of Forkrul and humans, which is where they get their powers and also why the Forkrul want them back so badly.

Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.







Soiled Meat

A great post from Erikson on Youtube. Erikson always posts positive things about this youtube channel on his Facebook page.

quote:

Erikson here. Well, you pretty much nailed it. For years I've stated that Toll the Hounds is the series' cipher. That, of course, could be interpreted as meaning that Kruppe is the narrator of the series, but that would be wrong. Rather, Toll the Hounds is a condensed form of the whole, in a fractal sense. As you point out, Kruppe cannot narrate all of Toll the Hounds. For major aspects he simply wasn't there, not part of those side-plots. In those sections, the narrative style that is present in the rest of the series returns. What makes TtH the series cipher is what's going on in it structurally, in narrative terms. Kruppe employing the third person when addressing himself is intended to highlight the distinction between person and story-teller, between character and narrator, and accordingly, the narrative voice slips back and forth between the self-aware storyteller and the not-fully-aware character playing a role in the story. Generally, it consciously blurs the distinction at those moments where emotions are at their most charged; when, in effect, it's time for the heart to speak rather than the head. So, if you think of TtH as a fractal representation of the entire series, then you have to look at when and where in the series will you find those moments of charged, heightened emotions, and to then consider them as thematic and deliberate evocations by the series' narrator (Kaminsod), who, within the Malazan world, is broken, helpless and suffering. One could even say that the Crippled God is our stand-in (certainly MY stand-in), also foreign, also a stranger in a strange world, who is ultimately driven to feel (see with the heart). The scene of the joke on the hill was one exchange that I sat on for years, frantically writing towards (Tavore on the battlefield was another one). In that brief exchange ('Who are we fighting for?/Everyone/No wonder we're losing'), yes, there's the humour, but there's also the futility, and the defiance, that to my mind, is found at the very core of humanity. It's ironic, utterly self-deprecating and therefore profoundly humble. It is this humility that awakens Kaminsod's heart. I recall how carefully I assembled that exchange, and then Kaminsod's response. For example, I needed the dialogue to come from no-one in particular. We don't know who speaks. That, to me, was crucial, because here, at this point, the speaker is everyone,, yet no-one we knew (even though we know every character on that hill, which makes the unknowable aspect impossible). Conversely, Kaminsod knows none of them. Last point I wanted to comment on: your point about condensed history playing a role. You are right, which is why so many readers tear their hair out trying to devise a proper timeline. Simply put: you can't. It doesn't mesh. It was never meant to mesh. In the same way that the siege of Troy didn't last ten years , I took the ten years (or twenty or whatever) and crunched it down. This notion of history being bound to a proper, rational timeline, a sequence of dates with events attached to them, is an illusion. But we're stuck with it (check out the screw-up in the accepted timeline for Dynastic Egypt). The Iliad will forever fascinate me for being a tale of two ages told by a single voice. That fascination hovered in the back of my mind throughout the writing of tMBotF. Well, I could go on, but I won't. I tip my hat to you, Niflrog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0qjIDcZK-I

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


He gets his own joke wrong



[edit]
I just checked.
I got the joke wrong.

kingturnip fucked around with this message at 16:48 on Feb 12, 2021

Eediot Jedi
Dec 25, 2007

This is where I begin to speculate what being a
man of my word costs me



kingturnip posted:

He gets his own joke wrong



[edit]
I just checked.
I got the joke wrong.



That would have been meta as hell of him though. You can't even trust your own memory why would you trust the narrator's?

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

I'm still slowly making my way through the The Crippled God and I'm still not sold on the Forkrul Assail showing up in the eleventh hour to actually be The Big Threat, and it was weird to throw in a reference to the Empress dying which I assume happened in one of the spinoff books, but right in the middle there's a section where Fiddler is marching and faintly recalls the very beginning of the very first book in the series and then actually speculates on the saga being the Malazan Book of the Fallen and it might've been a little mawkish but goddamn I love this big, complicated, meandering, wonderful mess of a series

dishwasherlove
Nov 26, 2007

The ultimate fusion of man and machine.



There are a few threads that you'll pick up on a reread about the penultimate adverseries in much earlier books. Yes it is unfortunate that some character threads end up being tied off by Esslemont, but there are so many characters and such is life.

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Wolfsheim posted:

I'm still slowly making my way through the The Crippled God and I'm still not sold on the Forkrul Assail showing up in the eleventh hour to actually be The Big Threat, and it was weird to throw in a reference to the Empress dying which I assume happened in one of the spinoff books, but right in the middle there's a section where Fiddler is marching and faintly recalls the very beginning of the very first book in the series and then actually speculates on the saga being the Malazan Book of the Fallen and it might've been a little mawkish but goddamn I love this big, complicated, meandering, wonderful mess of a series
Yeah, that refers to a major plot point in - I think - Return of the Crimson Guard.

As for the big baddies being first nah'ruk and then assail - those are kinda telegraphed throughout the first 8 books. It's just honestly easy to forget they happened, because characters mention it in the middle of some other stuff, and it doesn't look like a cohesive whole until a second read-through. This is basically how the series works, though, love it or hate it.

Like, it would have also been weird for nah'ruk not to show up after so many skykeep spottings, etc. Or for assail not to show up when everyone always talks about how much they suck and how they pop up here and there through the series.

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

dwarf74 posted:

Yeah, that refers to a major plot point in - I think - Return of the Crimson Guard.

As for the big baddies being first nah'ruk and then assail - those are kinda telegraphed throughout the first 8 books. It's just honestly easy to forget they happened, because characters mention it in the middle of some other stuff, and it doesn't look like a cohesive whole until a second read-through. This is basically how the series works, though, love it or hate it.

Like, it would have also been weird for nah'ruk not to show up after so many skykeep spottings, etc. Or for assail not to show up when everyone always talks about how much they suck and how they pop up here and there through the series.


I get it with the Nahruk, they've been banging around forever. But I always just kinda saw the Forkruk Assail as this random alien race that mostly stayed out of things, similar to the three wizard kings from that island that are referenced a few times, or Tanno spiritwalkers, or etc. The only one I remember offhand is the one that Karsa freed didn't seem overly malevolent?

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Wolfsheim posted:

I get it with the Nahruk, they've been banging around forever. But I always just kinda saw the Forkruk Assail as this random alien race that mostly stayed out of things, similar to the three wizard kings from that island that are referenced a few times, or Tanno spiritwalkers, or etc. The only one I remember offhand is the one that Karsa freed didn't seem overly malevolent?
Uh that one killed one of his friends and broke the other one's brain.

Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.







Soiled Meat

Did we ever learn who put her under the rock?

SansPants
Mar 31, 2007


Canuckistan posted:

Did we ever learn who put her under the rock?

If I remember right it was the T'lan Imass. Isn't there a huge ramp of bones from the ones who died in the battle?

OneSizeFitsAll
Sep 13, 2010

Du bist mein Sofa


dwarf74 posted:

Uh that one killed one of his friends and broke the other one's brain.

Just the latter of those two. Bairoth gets killed later when he and Karsa are captured.

SansPants posted:

If I remember right it was the T'lan Imass. Isn't there a huge ramp of bones from the ones who died in the battle?

It was them, along with Icarium. Which has some nice symmetry in TCG when she in turn imprisons him (though I don't think she overpowers him, just finds him unconscious).

Wolfsheim posted:

I'm still slowly making my way through the The Crippled God and I'm still not sold on the Forkrul Assail showing up in the eleventh hour to actually be The Big Threat, and it was weird to throw in a reference to the Empress dying which I assume happened in one of the spinoff books,

I'm fine with the former, for reasons other posters have already mentioned, but I also found the latter kind of strange, even though I had read RotCG (just was very apparent to me that it wasn't dealt with at all in the main series).

OneSizeFitsAll fucked around with this message at 22:53 on Feb 18, 2021

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

dwarf74 posted:

Uh that one killed one of his friends and broke the other one's brain.

Self defense!

Fuzzy Mammal
Aug 15, 2001



Lipstick Apathy

fb posted:

The 2-Volume Edition of
The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Do I have your attention? Thought so. So I had this idea. It fuzzed its way into my brain years ago now, on a low simmer. It was kind of a pipe dream and I knew that, but it wouldn’t go away. Basically, my thought was: wouldn’t it be cool to have a single volume containing all ten novels of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. As a very limited production. Something with a thick leather-bound cover, maybe an iconic symbol embossed on the front and on the spine. And inside, on teeny-tiny font in two or even three columns, the entire text, printed on the kind of paper they use for holy books, with illuminated book and chapter headings, and a bunch of other added bells and whistles including never-before seen hand-drawn maps, old notes, and gilded edges to the pages.
Trapped in Covid isolation, I stirred the idea back to life, and put out a few feelers to local book-binding companies. The response was unanimous. Impossible to do. My electronic version of all ten novels in a single Word document, when converted to small font and each page split into two columns of text, topped out at over 3000 pages (if I recall). There’s no technology out there that can handle that (even converting the text to two columns made my powerbook sweat a bit).
I think it was in a conversation with A.P. Canavan about this idea, that he suggested I contact Subterranean Press. As a specialty publisher, maybe they had access to binders who like a challenge. So I sent them a rough description of my idea and they were intrigued (and Sub Press definitely loves a challenge).
They bounced the idea off two binders in quick succession. One thing was immediately obvious. One volume wouldn’t work. But two could.
But we hit a roadblock and it was a major one. Printing alone would be costly. Using colour and then plates would be even costlier. Leather binding and all the rest, costlier still. Add in slip-casing and the production budget just keeps on climbing.
Now, I’m aware that individual Sub Press editions of the series sometimes go for a chunk of money on e-bay, and full-sets are sometimes offered for almost obscene amounts. Those readers who have bought all ten books have spent over a grand in total (or is it more? I’ve not checked the list prices). But neither me nor Sub Press make anything off those e-bay transactions.
So, the upshot is, Subterranean Press had to step back. The idea had been for a 500 run. Five hundred two-volume sets. I’d probably receive ten sets as comps, of which more than half would go to close friends and the like). But for this to work for Sub Press, the list price would have to be at least a grand. That’s one thousand USD. Being a cautious and reasonable publisher, there’s no way the company could foot the bill for a product that might prove too expensive to find a market. And I can’t argue with that at all.
But I wasn’t quite ready to surrender. So, on my own back as it were, and in no way implying any promises from Subterranean Press, I thought I’d test the waters and just put it out there, which is what this post is.
For this to happen, it’s clear that it would have to be a pre-order, pay-in-advance prospect. From somewhere between one thousand and fifteen hundred US for a slip-cased, 2-volume, leather-bound version of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, containing full colour illustrations as well as original previously unpublished maps and other odds and ends.
Are there 490 fans of the series out there prepared to buy into such a thing? I’d need to have a firm answer in the positive before I’d bother the people at Subterranean Press again.
As one last note. This is kind of explains the whole business with the iconic image idea, doesn’t it? Which is why one of my original mock-ups used the Extrude feature on Photoshop, and why monochrome (barring the line of blood) was necessary. That said, that sword and hand image would not have any words added for the book cover or the spine. In fact, me putting in the word ‘MALAZ’ may have been a red herring. Is it all making more sense now?
The challenge facing me now is, somehow coming up with a reliable list of confirmed potential buyers. I’d need that in pretty clear terms before I bother Sub Press again. This post will, I hope, give me a rough estimate of levels of genuine interest and commitment (even assuming that half of those wanting to buy the set will eventually bow out, because, cripes, we’re talking a chunk of money here).
In my mind, I pretty much expect the interest to be insufficient. I’m not aware of any new books, even a two-volume set, costing what these would cost. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, cry havoc and let loose…
SE

Eediot Jedi
Dec 25, 2007

This is where I begin to speculate what being a
man of my word costs me



use K'kstarter idiot

dishwasherlove
Nov 26, 2007

The ultimate fusion of man and machine.



Probably unreadable and only useful for displaying by fanatics as a holy relic. Pretty on brand for the series.

Canuckistan
Jan 14, 2004

I'm the greatest thing since World War III.







Soiled Meat

Will only buy if it includes potsherds. Lots of potsherds.

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


Fund it with the profits from a prestige HBO show about Kallor

I saw a photo of a grey haired old man in chainmail with a giant broadsword from some production or another and now I can't stop wanting a Kallor show.

pile of brown fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Feb 25, 2021

Eediot Jedi
Dec 25, 2007

This is where I begin to speculate what being a
man of my word costs me



It's like Hercules/Xena but every episode is the fall of another kingdom.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



pile of brown posted:

Fund it with the profits from a prestige HBO show about Kallor

I saw a photo of a grey haired old man in chainmail with a giant broadsword from some production or another and now I can't stop wanting a Kallor show.

I was talking to a mate of mine about Defiance the other day, and the guy who plays Datak Tarr, Tony Curran would make a great Kallor. He's another despicable/tragic cockroach that you keep rooting for while you're wanting him to get his comeuppance.

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006

We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.


I suggested he do it in one volume the size of a Gutenberg bible and have it fully illuminated and he replied that was actually his first idea.

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


I'm reading House of Chains for the first time and I'm having a bit of difficulty. In the past the various perspectives and plots seemed to compliment each other, informing one another and leading to a climax where they all intercepted. I'm halfway through and I feel like that really isn't happening, which means all the plots feel harder to keep track of. Is this a problem with House of Chains, or am I just not seeing the connective tissue?

pile of brown
Dec 31, 2004


Convergence

denimgorilla
Jan 24, 2008

Like an arrow, I was only passing through.

Hiro Protagonist posted:

I'm reading House of Chains for the first time and I'm having a bit of difficulty. In the past the various perspectives and plots seemed to compliment each other, informing one another and leading to a climax where they all intercepted. I'm halfway through and I feel like that really isn't happening, which means all the plots feel harder to keep track of. Is this a problem with House of Chains, or am I just not seeing the connective tissue?

House of Chains suffers a bit initially because it introduces some new characters and arcs, it even put me off a bit at first. However, the plots do converge and the book taken as a whole is excellent and adds quite a bit of depth to the world.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



I feel like HoC actually has the most satisfying convergence in the series. The main drive of the plot is pretty straightforward, but its nice to see all the different characters reacting to it in different ways. And all the little side bits do link up nicely. I massively prefer it to MoI, which is the one it most closely resembles.

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


Okay, fair enough, I was just feeling a bit lost and wondered if I wasn't seeing the through line. As long as it's there, I should be good.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Hiro Protagonist posted:

Okay, fair enough, I was just feeling a bit lost and wondered if I wasn't seeing the through line. As long as it's there, I should be good.

It's there, and like alot of the other books, the themes and title work on several levels.

A lot of people are living in a house of chains in the book and then there's a literal House of Chains, also in the book.

But Karsa's character arc is most of what that book is, and all of those storylines converge on that.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Speaking of Karsa...

Spermy Smurf
Jul 2, 2004


You really got my hopes up there.

November 9th is when it comes out.

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Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

I just finished TCG, and now a new series is coming out

I...liked it. I don't know if the series' end ever approaches anything as truly great as the run of books 2-5 but it wraps up well enough. It's funny how overall happy an ending everybody gets based on how miserable the journey is sometimes but it's fine, I like them all and I like that it ends the same way it began (in Malaz City with a Bridgeburner chilling and a weather vane creaking) and I like that the future sword raptors and now-not-undead cavemen shamans carved out a semi-peaceful existence and all of that. It's strange how incidental to the plot Icarium ended up being, and how Cutter/Apsalar are just entirely absent from it outside of a page. Also, I assume Silverfox's situation is relevant to the ICE series?

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