Malazan Empire: ICE confuses the timeline even more - Malazan Empire

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ICE confuses the timeline even more How? HOW? (spoilers, duh)

#1 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

So now it's one year since the events of TOLL THE HOUNDS and apparently TOLL THE HOUNDS took place one year after MEMORIES OF ICE.

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO

Ahem.

Anyway, when TOLL THE HOUNDS came out, we were told that - somehow - 6 years had passed between MoI and TTH. Yet Karsa had teenage daughters. Although his impregnatory rampage in HoC took place maybe two years before MoI if we're very generous. Anyway, 6 years seemed way, way too long but it was difficult to handwave it away since one of the main POV characters in the book was a young boy born just after the events of MoI. Fans seemed to deal with this issue by ignoring it as best they could.

Now Esslemont - acknowledged by Erikson as generally having a better handle than him on the timeline - has retconned TTH's dating in OSB, but seems to have way overcompensated. Based on common sense and travelling times, TTH would work at 2 or maybe 3 at the most years after MoI. Saying it's now a year after MoI seems way too short for everything that happened in the interim.

I'm only 100 pages into the book, so I hold out hope that the massive discrepency will be explained as some kind of crazy Warren shenanigans before the end of the book.
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#2 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:25 PM

I'd suggest reconciling yourself with the timeline. There have been issues, are currently issues, and forever will be issues with the books. It's a part of the tale, as Erikson has said, and he has no desire to fix the issues. They don't bother him. He is aware that many readers get frustrated over this, but you can't please everyone, I guess.

When I read Malazan, I don't pay too much attention to the dates. Rather than specifically thinking, "This happened one year after this," I think of things in terms of, "This happened a little time/a long time before this, this happened during this time, this happened a little bit/a long time after this time."

I know that doesn't work for everyone. I'm sure, if you're really interested in exact dates, this stuff can be quite a turnoff.
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#3 User is offline   Apt 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:46 PM

I think what is happening is obvious. Harlo Jr. is a time aspected dragon and he is feeding on the Malazan Timeline.
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#4 User is offline   Salt-Man Z 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:53 PM

Obviously when Kaminsod sent Karsa back to Genabackis, he sent him back in time as well.

Otherwise, somehow in that single year, The Host sails from Genabackis to 7C, the Bonehunters are forged, then sail from 7C to Quon Tali to Lether, where they hide out for a while before marching on and invading Letheras, nevermind all the other stuff that happened in between?
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#5 User is offline   Vengeance 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:59 PM

View PostSalt-Man Z, on 19 January 2012 - 10:53 PM, said:

Obviously when Kaminsod sent Karsa back to Genabackis, he sent him back in time as well.

Otherwise, somehow in that single year, The Host sails from Genabackis to 7C, the Bonehunters are forged, then sail from 7C to Quon Tali to Lether, where they hide out for a while before marching on and invading Letheras, nevermind all the other stuff that happened in between?


Well if you consider the fact that Letheras was under a massive Ice spell that didn't allow the dead to go to hoods realm I would think that it would be possible for Time to have stopped there. Thus time flowed normally give or take the travels through warrens and the effect that it had on how time flowed so yeah I could totally see how Karsa has teenage daughters and how Gesler actually died the year before Rake was killed. Makes total sense to me. :whistle:
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#6 User is offline   L'oric 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:13 PM

View PostWerthead, on 19 January 2012 - 10:12 PM, said:

So now it's one year since the events of TOLL THE HOUNDS and apparently TOLL THE HOUNDS took place one year after MEMORIES OF ICE.

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO




The Timeline is not important to Erikson so why should it be important to us? In telling a science fiction/fantasy story it is generally considered better to have as much realism as possible and having a credible timeline helps add to the feeling of "this is true" to a world. I can't say it doesn't bother me because it does but I have to go with the unexplained things have happened to make all these tales true
(to the timeline) and that somehow the timeline works out.

Now even though it bugs me that things don't seem to quite fit with things like Harllo, and Karsa's daughters, or even something I haven't thought about like Mok's breakdown I force myself to tell myself to concentrate on the storytelling. Facts in the Malazan world are never Facts. They are almost always interpretations of facts. Dates and the like are just one more set of facts that have somehow gotten lost in the interpretation of the story.

My two sincere cents.
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#7 User is offline   Abalieno 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:51 PM

Erikson's own stance is legitimate as long the timeline issues are best-effort mistakes, and NOT about stopping giving it any thought at all.

Otherwise just do without the whole conceit of a Malazan world, write stand-alone and make them setting independent. Want to write complex, interlinked stories? Then take up the challenge best you can.

As I said, I accept it as long the writer has put an effort in it. But going without advance readers and not giving a fuck is just not tolerable.

I'm not saying that this IS the case here. But both Erikson and Elssemont, as long they plan to write this stuff, should take measures to REDUCE these problems. At least from now on. If they don't give a fuck then they deserve all the backlash that may come with it.

What's the problem here essentially? That Harllo is six instead somewhere around two, and that Karsa's daughters are 10+ instead of four? Where and how was the age of these daughters described?
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#8 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:19 AM

Perhaps they're fucking with us.
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#9 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:25 AM

I would almost prefer that to them just ignoring it completely. we'll see how i feel after i read OST.
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#10 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:13 AM

I think, the problem is as always, that there is good editing of the books, but there is not editing between the books.
Basically when ICE/SE and their editors concentrate on the latest book that is been currently written, I conjecture that they rarely if never go back to previous books to see how everything is actually flowing together timeline wise. And to be fair, with the amount of books in the series, its harder for them to do this, so the problem will only get bigger over time.

SE's Darkness trilogy will be fine, but expect problems from the Toblakai trilogy.

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 20 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

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#11 User is offline   Gust Hubb 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:09 PM

I think, though, the idea that not everything is purposeful or explainable because of author carelessness not because it is mysterious, magical or otherwise is the hard pill for me to swallow. I mean it's like having one of the characters switch genders each book, or changing personalities halfway through because the author was tired of a swashbuckler and wanted a sophisticate instead (random examples, not related to the series). A story has to be cohesive unless it is designed as more of a mess like a James Joyce work. If the story isn't cohesive, the cleverness, sympathetic characters, and out of RL experience fantasy novels bring is lost to an extent, depending on how flagrant such inconsistencies are.

I mean, I like to think of it like movies or tv shows. Dense convoluted movies or shows already have a limited fan base, but when they are convoluted with blatant plot holes and careless plotlines (cough...LOST...cough, cough, BSG) they, to me, become more frustrating than enjoyable. I invest in books and media. I don't like my investment to be sloppy.
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#12 User is offline   End of Disc One 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:09 PM

I don't excuse SE/ICE for being careless, I simply advise readers to not worry about the timeline. You'll enjoy the books more if you don't.
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#13 User is offline   L'oric 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:17 PM

View PostGust Hubb, on 20 January 2012 - 12:09 PM, said:


I don't like my investment to be sloppy.



I do not think ICE and SE are being sloppy. SE wanted Harlo to be 5 or 6 because it worked for their story. He wanted Karsa's kids to be teens. Adulthood for TTT's was 80 in HOC so maybe they look like teens to a human...and I think they are seen through Samar Dev's point of view.

I get the point that they should want their work to make the timeline functional if not perfect, but I put the idea of making the story they want to tell as more important.

I too will reserve judgement until I have read the book. I am kicking myself over buying the Nook and not waiting a few more months and buying the kindle Fire. American publishing sucks when it comes to this series.

Sincerely

This post has been edited by L'oric: 20 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

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#14 User is online   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

I didn't see anything dating MOI with respect to TTH, only comment I noticed affecting the timeline was that OST was set roughly 1 year after TTH, and that it was before TCG. I have it occuring at roughly the same time as stonewielder and dust of dreams. Where abouts is the quote relating to MOI wert?

If we have this book being 1 year after TTH I didn't notice anything particularly jarring with regards to the timeline (aside from the various issues introduced by RG and TTH)
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#15 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:15 PM

Ya, thinking about it, I'm about 150 pages in and I don't think there has been an actual timeframe for how long ago in years the events of MoI were. Just vague impressions. Maybe I missed it. Wert where is this stated?

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 20 January 2012 - 02:16 PM

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#16 User is offline   Asharak 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

Hopefully this is an error that can be ignored, its pretty anoying though. Did Esslemont not read TTH?


I feel the need to repost part of my comment on another thread about why TTH cant be 1 year after MOI:


TTH is set after RG, and there is more than a year of the Bonehunters traveling from Malaz Island to Leather in between TBH and RG. Also Paran said in TBH that he had been living in Darujhistan for seven months(after MOI) before he started to plan his voyage to Seven Cities (and the planning and voyage could have taken a long time). I would also argue that the storylines of TBH and RG both take place over at time of at least 6 months each, and TTHs story lasted a couple of months if nothing else.
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#17 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:11 PM

Everything up to TtH worked out pretty well timeline-wise except for the RG prologue (which wasn't very important anyways) but TtH was the one that threw it all in the water b/w retired MoI characters, Black Coral, Harllo Jr and Karsa's kids. If you are willing to discount a couple of those things (especially Harllo and Karsa's kids) to put TtH about 3 years after MoI it works pretty well with everything else and lines up very well with the links between TtH and the HoC > tBH > RG > DoD > TCG line as well as with RotCG.

As long as OST links itself solely to TtH without having anything really out of whack (ie one plot thread seeming to be 5 years after TtH and another seeming to be 1 year after TtH) then it should do okay. Any links to much earlier books like MoI that don't line up will just have to be discounted.

Really I'm more worried that the linkage from RotCG, TtH and SW to OST will be inequal and confounding. Haven't got the book yet, but I'm optimistic I'll be able to find a way to make it all work! Can't be as bad as the GotM-DG-MoI paradoxes, can it?

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling (maybe she should change her name to Sinn).
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#18 User is offline   kcf 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:20 PM

You know, we've known there are issues with the timeline for a while. In the end, they really have no imnpact on the actual story itself. Suspending a bit of belief in a few minor character ages is simply not a big deal. I think it's long past time that we get over timeline and just get back to enjoying the books.
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#19 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:59 PM

View PostImperial Historian, on 20 January 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

I didn't see anything dating MOI with respect to TTH, only comment I noticed affecting the timeline was that OST was set roughly 1 year after TTH, and that it was before TCG. I have it occuring at roughly the same time as stonewielder and dust of dreams. Where abouts is the quote relating to MOI wert?


Moon's Spawn crashed into the Rivan Sea '2 years ago' in the text. IIRC, the Spawn was last seen in MoI careening off southwards on a crash-landing course, so it presumably crashed shortly afterwards.
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#20 User is offline   Asharak 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

Maybe Hege woke up and took it for a ride for a few years :-)


Sigh, this is the only timeline issue in the series that is clearly wrong. TTH being 6 years after MOI is a strech, but that a least dident break with any of the other books.
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