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abyssus abyssum invocat
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The call is coming from inside the house!!!!

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  1. Bestest opening scenes

    26 July 2019 - 02:22 PM

    Following up on the below exchange in the WoT tv series thread...

    View PostAbyss, on 26 July 2019 - 01:58 PM, said:

    View PostBrujah, on 26 July 2019 - 01:18 PM, said:

    The WoT series, as I've always said, has one of the best opening scenes to start a fantasy series. The best probably belonging to C.S. Friedman's The Coldfire Trilogy.

    That's an interesting contrast.
    WoT's is certainly bigger in scope and sheer epic: dude goes nuts, kills people, chats w evil dude, kills himself.... COLDFIRE is more subtle and lacks the obvious antagonist, and while what Gerald's done is clear, the reasons only become clear(ish) much later in the first book and later books.

    For sheer bestest opening in any series... huh, y'know, i'm going to start a new thread...

    ...but first some threadRULES....

    Be clear what book or series you're SPOILING
    and use the SPOILER BLOCKS as needed...

    My go to for opening scenes is a bit of a cheat, because GARDENS OF THE MOON uses multiple scenes...


    Interestingly, in MT


    Sanderson's WAY OF KINGS


    Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER.... because

    [spoiler] “The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.” [/spoiler] pure fantasy candy in twelve words. You learn almost nothing about the book from that line but you (or at least I) wanted to keep reading.

    Jemisin's BROKEN EARTH opens with a one two punch... including one of the most viscerally disturbing scenes i have read in ages.


    More when i think of them.
    What have you got?


    28 May 2019 - 03:26 PM

    ...this..... THIS....!

    ...i don't even understand what they're saying, i don't need to... OHMYGOD SOMEONE ACTUALLY DID THIS!!!!!!!

  3. Kellanved's Reach Abyssmal reading thread...

    27 February 2019 - 03:21 PM

    Ok, you all know the drill... my thread, to where my read is at. Want to discuss something later or other, start your own thread or wait.
    Also, nachos. I love nachos. But they have to be spicy. And have meat on them. None of this cheese and veg nonsense...

    Prologue - Ch 3ish.

    Ahh, Li Heng. Again. I hope this is going somewhere interesting. I kind of feel like Li Heng as a storyline has been played out between RCG and LAMENT. Sure it's a kick to see Silk and Lis again, but that scene felt a little too shallow settuppy. 'A storm is coming mwahaahahaaa wheeze fuck i'm an old witch heeeee'.

    Hee, Surly and Dancer 'ambushing' Kel ... funny. Kel turning the ambush into a strategy session and blowing Surly's mind.... hysterical.

    I suspect Kel's whole 'looking older' thing is just a ploy for respect, but i'd like to read the explanation the character gives.

    You can already see the division between Kel/Dancer's goals and Surly's starting to develop. It's interesting that ICE is going with it this early in the wider ME storyline. I like how Kel n Dancer are doing little side quests and its pissing Surly off.

    Orjin.... i'm getting a Greymane vibe, but i don't actually think that's him. I like his little inner circle of mercs. Obvious, maybe too obvious, where the 'hey where did the Talian reserves go, not in the forest, surely' thing was going. Seems like a good siege story in the making.

    Gregar and Haraj... i was thiking Gregar as pre-CGuard Blues... the warren and early sword skills seem right, but one of the actual Guard who rescued them from the Gris soldiers seemed more like Blues.

    Hi Tayschrenn! Hi Calot! Hi Hairlock!'re a dick... Hi Nightchill! ...oh shit... Nightchill and Tays chat was actually very interesting. So much subtext there on both parts. Stil thinking the Chained God is the taint in the Cult of D'rek. I like Tays' interaction with Surly too... more respectful, reflects their relationship when GotM starts.

    Nedurian prompting Dassem to start training soldiers... interesting. But the real interesting bit there was Hood cultists starting to worship Shadow as well.

    ...wait... Talian Iron Legion breaks the Purge forces in Orjin's segment.... Nedurian mentions the Iron Legion was broken by the Untans... oh, i see, Nedurian was Talian 'Old Guard'...

    SO fun to be back in this world.
  4. Rejoice! A byss to the Heart!

    04 December 2018 - 07:44 PM

    Well, that was different.

    And amazing.

    And... kind of challenging.

    I'm going all out spoilers here so if you haven't read it be warned SPOILERS



    I could be wrong, but i've always had the impression that not many Malazfans have read THE DEVIL DELIVERED. Which is unfortunate because it's a great book, SE predicts a whole series of internet related tech/social changes years before they happen, and it shows SE can write strong sf.

    But we got the MBF, and it blew the lid off most of our concepts of fantasy lit.

    Even then there are concepts that are tilted a little more sf and f... you know the ones, and they're great.

    But WILFUL CHILD, fun as it is, is not sf in the sense of taking 'science' and using it to write 'fiction' in the way that, say Robert Sawyer or Peter Watts does, or your average fervent Heinlein or Azimov reader might think of. It showcases SE's humour, love for Star Trek, and ability to write the near complete opposite of the MBF, but it doesn't show what he can do with science fiction the way DEVIL does. I suspect that if THE DARK had happened, we might have gotten that too.

    REJOICE!, on the other hand, does. Very much so.

    The core concept, aliens do something to Earth so there is no more violence, is intriguing. It sort of opens up the obvious line of thought that someone will find a way around it and that will be the/a core conflict in the story.
    Except no one ever does. No one even spends large chunks of the book trying to. Humanity doesn't beat the anti-violence tech because they can't and anyways that's not the point of the story. The point is 'what happens then', and as SE writes it, what happens then is fascinating.

    We follow a series of characters, a fairly large cast, as their lives change because of the removal of violence, followed by the removal of scarcity, hunger, disease, etc. It's an interesting treatise on human nature and to SE's credit he keeps each voice different and each situation distinct. The wife-abuser is nothing like the arms dealer is nothing like the African warlord. The industrialists' secretary has a distinct 'voice' from the Prime Minister's assistant, and the UN Secretary-General is awesome and a character i wish i could read more about. The key character sf author Samantha August has her own utterly engaging manner as well. It's a wealth of distinct characters dealing with a world altering situation, and it makes for an engaging read.

    I wondered whether i would be bothered by the lack of jeopardy... no one is ever in danger. There is no risk, or even the suggestion of it, that any character is going to die or even get hurt, at any point past the first chapters. Even when the Chinese astronauts are raiding the Greys base, there isn't really a sense of 'risk' (that said... that scene when they find the survivors was brutal (in a good way) ). I was not bothered. It took a mental adjustment for me, but SE keeps the pace of the story brisk, and even when characters are deep in a philosophical discussion about humanity, the nature of conflict, a future without hunger, they don't meander needlessly. You can actually believe the characters are having the conversation they're having. No random philosopher-grunt-soldiers here, these are intelligent people (mostly).

    The core conflict... whether humanity can pull its collective shit together, embrace the new reality, and become more than a bunch of apes trashing their poor abused planet, is interesting. There is never a point in the book where i felt the answer would be anything but 'yes'... again, no real sense of jeopardy. Conflict, yes, but not 'the good guys could lose'. Even so, i found the whole notion very engaging. It's a very optimistic book, that calls out the darker elements of the world now and suggests the world could rise above it, while acknowledging that without a benevolent omniscient AI to do the initial heavy lifting, the goal is hard to reach, maybe impossible, but not quite.

    Some scenes stand out... the aforementioned Chinese mission, author Robert Sawyer giving the PM a hard time, Samantha's descent in her Klingon Bird of Prey (and damn that was funny and i enjoyed the rationale for it), pretty much every time the US President is making an idiot of himself. I like the notion that despite the aliens' entire pacifictic approach, they really do want humanity to more or less wipe out the parisitic Greys once they get spaceborne.
    I liked the lingering mysteries about Mars, the long term project for Venus and how various characters - the organic farmer - reacted to that.

    The earbook narrator is excellent. She keeps the pacing solid, the voices distinct, lets her tone move from wry humour to serious to introspective effectively.

    Overall, this is a different, enjoyable book, and i hope SE gives us more sf. On some level i really want him to write 'The Bridgeburners in Space', but on another i hope he keeps writing books that keep asking hard questions .

    Great book, worth the read.
  5. wtf audible? ...not much rejoicing....

    20 November 2018 - 08:00 PM

    Can anyone get this from audible?
    I see it on some other earbook sites, but and .ca don't acknowledge that it exists, and tells me

    "This title is not available for you.Sorry, this title is no longer available.
    Please try using the search feature as another version of this work may be available.
    If you think we've made a mistake, please contact Audible Customer Care at 1-888-283-5051."

    Kobo seems to think it comes out in December.


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    11 Aug 2019 - 09:32
    Thanks for getting me to 1000. *sniff* lots of pollen around here ...
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    31 Jan 2019 - 15:19
    Unbound Worlds now redirects to the PRH website, so that Top 100 fantasy link no longer works. Here's a very similar one though:
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    31 May 2016 - 03:21
    Because some mobile browsers don't resize and it makes the thread unreadable.
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    30 May 2016 - 18:50
    Just out of curiosity, why is it necessary to spoiler big pics on this forum? They go off the page and don't cause the text to unwrap, and they get resized in mobile browsers. I don't mind doing it; just asking.
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    27 Dec 2013 - 12:11
    Merry Nonsensicus!
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    20 Sep 2013 - 13:20
    And yet you cannot tear your eyes away from it.
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    Mrs Savagely Wishy Washy 

    20 Sep 2013 - 12:23
    There is a word to describe that pic, I just found one in the depths of my convulsing brain. It's DISTURBING but in a funny way.
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    10 Apr 2013 - 17:44
    If you're keeping score, I think my conversation (in a WoT thread, I think) with that one noob-troll about how to get banned from Malazan is worth a few. (i.e. "I recommend telling Malaclypse he's a douchebag.")
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    18 Dec 2012 - 19:27
    When the new order rises, lazy posters will be among the first to be purged.
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    18 Dec 2012 - 19:18
    Good call with the spoilers tags. I didn't want to add them because it makes it extra work to read posts :D
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    21 Nov 2012 - 17:31
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    15 Nov 2012 - 20:08
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    14 Jun 2012 - 17:04
    That's CAThulhu.
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    The dancing game 

    14 Jun 2012 - 16:54
    ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!!
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    30 Mar 2012 - 16:46
    Thanks for setting me up in PEN!
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