"What are you reading?" thread.

Dave

Staff member
The sheer amount of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary (& quinary & senary & septenary & octonary & nonary &...) characters that just disappeared between Jordan & Sanderson is rather telling. And what I can't STAND is that I see George R.R. Martin not only fallING but already having fallEN into the same trap.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
The sheer amount of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary (& quinary & senary & septenary & octonary & nonary &...) characters that just disappeared between Jordan & Sanderson is rather telling. And what I can't STAND is that I see George R.R. Martin not only fallING but already having fallEN into the same trap.
Not to mention the innumerable crutches Jordan used.

We used to have a drinking game, when I was reading Jordan to Pauline.

We would take a drink every time:

Rand/Mat/Perrin wished that Rand/Mat/Perrin was here, because he would know what to do/how to deal with women.
Nynaeve tugged her braid.
Any female character "sniffed" or "folded her arms beneath her breasts" or "smoothed her skirts."
Rand decides he must become "harder."
A Red Ajah turns out to be a darkfriend.
Min has a vision she doesn't understand.
Deus Ex Ta'veren.
"The wheel weaves as the wheel wills."
A description of clothing and/or food goes on for more than half a page.

I forget what else.

But to be fair, we also had a drinking game for Riftwar, although the only two drinking cues I can remember from it are Prince Arutha's face darkening, and Feist starting off a new chapter by saying "The (noun) (verbed). (new paragraph)"
 

Dave

Staff member
The Red Ajah is Jordan's Slytherin. They were all horrible people but we were told that SOME of them are good...and then only gave a few exceptions where they were.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
I just started re-reading The Wheel of Time. Because I'm sick and need to feel even worse.

I'm on book #5 right now so I'm about to get into the 900+ page per book slog that is books 6-11. Or whatever book Jordan finally was crushed to death under the weight of his own words and St. Sanderson took over, glory be to his name.
Sanderson made huge difference to the series, which led to me being even more blindsided when the surprise racism arrived in the form of the Sharan race.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
In Wheel of Time or his own stuff?
In the Wheel of Time. During the final battle the Sharans show up to fight for evil. They're the only human country that's only mentioned as evil, they're dark skinned, their magic users are crazy and "move like apes". It's a real tonal shift for how any other human group is treated in the rest of the entire series. They seem kinda like an homage the Southrons in LotR, only it comes across not just vaguely-maybe racist, but kinda "you're going to have to explain how this isn't blatantly portraying all black people as evil savages".
 

Dave

Staff member
It's not and there are already a LOT of explanations out there as to why.

Sometimes it's not racism as much as projection.
 
Okay I am seriously in the middle of book #13 and this is the first I've heard of the Sharans. This is some David Eddings bullshit right here.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
Okay I am seriously in the middle of book #13 and this is the first I've heard of the Sharans. This is some David Eddings bullshit right here.
You've heard of the country, Shara, many times. It's what's on the other side of the Aiel Waste. It's this mysterious place that doesn't allow outsiders in, except for select merchants. It's shrouded in mystery right up until the last battle when the country joins the Dark One. Even if it isn't racist, it's bit of shit writing (that stands out because so much else is good) because it's at odds with how the entire rest of the world works. Rather than people being a mix of good and bad, this country just gets a "nope, we're on the side of evil" with no apparent rhyme or reason. The fact that this entirely evil country is described as dark skinned, curly haired, with lots of tattoos and other tribal imagery... Well, that's at least a bad decision, even if it wasn't meant to be offensive.
 
Ohhhh, the China analog. I'd legitimately forgotten what it was called.

I call it the China analog because much of what the Aiel say about Shara was very similar to stories about China from Marco Polo and other early legends.

And yeah, that's a lot of unfortunate implications. It's definitely attempting a Tolkein-esque Easterlings / Far Harad thing going on but they're not even described enough in LOTR to be so overtly racist. In the Peter Jackson movies the Haradrim and Easterlings seem to not be any particular ethnicity, having elements of Indian, Arabic, Byzantine, African, and some Asian cultures; some are brown or olive, others white, others dark.
 
11/22/1963

So good! I haven't read any of King's books since Cell. I am really enjoying it. About 3/4 through and can't wait to find out what happens.
 
I want to get serious. This book.



This book has amped up my kitchen game to a place it never was before. This is the best cookbook ever.
 
I think I was a bit more patient with The Wheel of Time than most people.
I was fine with it up until book 10 while most of my friends were dropping off around book 6.
 
David and Leigh Eddings, you mean.

--Patrick
*checks the covers of the books I was referring to* Just says David Eddings on them, so what the fuck ever, dude. David and Leigh Eddings. Fine. Good. Happy?


 
A Mountain Walks, which is a collection of Lovecraftian stories by better writers than Lovecraft.

As with most short story collections, it's a mixed bag. I feel like the Eastern Plaguelands zone in WoW was inspired by "House of the Worm." I'm nearing halfway through the collection. Right now my favorite story has been "The Last Feast of Harlequin," Lovecraft plus clowns. "The Black Brat of Dunwich" was an interesting alternate POV of "The Dunwich Horror" that both twists the original story while mending some of its plot holes.
 
*checks the covers of the books I was referring to* Just says David Eddings on them, so what the fuck ever, dude. David and Leigh Eddings. Fine. Good. Happy?
About the time Belgarath the Sorcerer came out, Leigh's name started being added to the books, and David made a big deal about the fact that Leigh had been secretly contributing all along, and after that, Leigh's name started being plastered all over everything as if he was guilty about not including her earlier.

--Patrick
 
I could be wrong, but I think he was just accusing D&L of making something up halfway through because they needed something to fill in a plot hole.

--Patrick
I've read The Rivan Codex. There was as much background material as published books.
 
I've read The Rivan Codex. There was as much background material as published books.
Same. The only Eddings' books I haven't read are High Hunt and The Losers. The Codex is full of info, but that didn't keep the stories from apparently pulling things out of thin air sometimes. I feel like the Codex was likely revised multiple times during the novels' creation.

--Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I'd forgotten how much a slog the Kelewan parts of Magician:Master were. We, I mean, they're not "Wheel of Time" levels of tediousness, but it's millenia worth of origin story for an alien world when all I really care about reading is how the riftwar is going back on midkemia. "Ooh look I made an alien culture blending Japanese and Aztec tropes, now you get to READ ABOUT ITS ORIGIN FOR A HUNDRED PAGES while I tantalize you with third hand scraps of information about how the war is not going well!"
 
In the last novel of the Tamuli, Eddings' literally pulls out giant alien mooks who at first seem invincible and then almost immediately become cannon fodder, a eldritch abomination from space that had never been mentioned before (Klael) who is suddenly the driving force behind everything behind the entire Sparhawk series, and relationships between established characters that had simply never been mentioned before.

That's what I was referencing. The same sort of thing happens in the Belgariad as well. And you know, having a Codex that says "no it was all planned" means fuck-all when the work itself gives no indication.
 
I thought that was Zalasta.
He was for most of the books, but in the last book he summons Klael and realizes that rather than controlling Klael, he's the pawn and that all of the conflicts were setting the stage for the confrontation between Bhellom (using Sparhawk as champion) and Klael.
 
Finished A Memory of Light and, as such, The Wheel of Time series.

WOW. What a finish.

Honestly the Sharans weren't as bad as I expected. Apparently in the story "A River of Souls" we see Demandred fulfilling *their* prophecies and becoming their Bao The Wyld, their messiah figure who would fight at the Last Battle. That's why so many Sharans were willing to follow him. They weren't all darkfriends, as we'd call them, but more like the Shaido Aiel - they were following a different savior, wrongly as it turns out.

The Forsaken in this one were much more dangerous than their previous appearances - between Graendel and Demandred, they almost won - but it was their personal flaws as well as failing to understand their opponents that undid them, which is good storytelling.

After 20 years of this series, I was kind of expecting there was no way it'd have a satisfactory conclusion, but it absolutely did.
 

Dave

Staff member
But it wouldn't have had Sanderson not taken over. I'm convinced of it.
 
Yeah, I agree. He absolutely revitalized the saga.
I think he dropped the ball somewhat in Towers of Midnight due to his undying love for Perrin, but it was still good.
 
I think he dropped the ball somewhat in Towers of Midnight due to his undying love for Perrin, but it was still good.
As I also love Perrin, I can acknowledge that you have a point, but still really enjoyed it.
 
I just finished The Three Body Problem from the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.

It was a pretty good read and i'll be going straight into the second part "The Dark Forest"
 

Dave

Staff member
I'm currently rereading "The Expanse" series. I love the show based on the books but they really change some of the characters and not always for the better.
 
I'm currently rereading "The Expanse" series. I love the show based on the books but they really change some of the characters and not always for the better.
I've enjoyed the series so far, Nemesis Games is that last that I've currently read, since the newest is still only available in hardcover, and I found it to be the weakest so far. I like the characters, like the world that they've built, and enjoy the story they're telling, but that last book just felt like it was spinning wheels waiting on something else.
 
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