Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Reading Thing and a Writing Thing

...Neither of which are a review.  But, they're the two things that have been distracting me from finishing The Games We Play (along with the whole weekend-full-of-symposiums thing), which I tentatively hope to have ready by Friday.

The first distraction has been Steven R. Donaldson's The Last Dark, the fourth and final book in The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.  I love the Thomas Covenant books, and it caused me almost physical pain to not go buy a copy as soon as it went on sale, but I knew I was getting a copy for Christmas and have been sitting on my hands.  I'm nearly finished with the book, and it's completely exceeded my expectations.  Donaldson has an undeniably turgid style, and The Last Chronicles have been particularly dense, both in terms of prose and event; there were times during book three where I began to bog down, despite my inherent interest in the series.

But The Last Dark has been utterly amazing, piling on climax after climax to the point where I can hardly bear to put the book down.  Unless the last few chapters are a complete throwaway, I am totally satisfied with the way this saga is concluding.  Anyone who enjoyed the first two Chronicles but found the more recent books less gripping, take heart: it pays off.

On the writing front, my time's been eaten up trying to put something together for AugieDog's Luna story contest, which I was going blow off just like 90% of the contests I hear about, but then I got an idea, and now I want to write it, and... pegh.  It may come to nothing, and it may not be ready by the end of the month regardless, but at least I'm trying.  And in any event, I figured a little more exposure for the event would be a good thing.  Go give it a shot, people who are more prolific than I am!


  1. I have a vague idea, but I don't think I'm going to have the time and focus to produce my story for Augie's shindig. Having a hard enough time making myself edit TBWCW, and that's tiny!

    I just finished The Blade Itself after a long hiatus. Anyone one of you that likes worldbuilding would do well to take a look at it, because Abercrombie pulls off interesting worldbuilding where Tolkien utterly failed for me--the whole worlds gels into one living, breathing entity via some GRR Martin style character hopping. Sadly, I think you really have to like worldbuilding, as the entire first book is just setting up the world and the group that's going to go off and do some shit a-la the fellowship of the ring. On the downside, the characters aren't particularly likeable and the pace is fairly lacklustre over the course of a 200k+ word book. I almost quit after the first quarter because it didn't tie anything together (unlike the first Game of Thrones, which started with one thread and bloomed), but I still enjoyed it way more than I ever did with Lord of the Rings.

    I'm pretty sure PP, Chris, and Norse would enjoy it.


    1. Now I have to read this, if only to find out whether that was a backhanded insult. <.<

    2. The First Law books get much better as they go along. I love the third one. Abrecrombie did a really good job, in my opinion. He sets up a bread and butter fantasy book and then tears it to shreds.

    3. This is something I will need to investigate.

    4. Chris, if you read them, be sure to make it through all three. When I started them, I nearly quit in book one because it was pretty remarkably plain. I didn't really like any of the characters beside Glokta, and he's more of a morbid fascination than someone I'm rooting for. However, the characters become more interesting and complicated as the series goes on. Abrecrombie purposefully sets up blandness at the beginning.

    5. I actually got given the books by the guy who lent the first to me. If you weren't busy doing that other country thing, I'd send it to you. (Although I'd be happy to investigate whether it would be cheaper than buying one)


  2. >That feel when you have the perfect story for the contest that you've been thinking about for ages now but it's probably too long to finish in time
    Still, maybe I'd be able to make a barebones version and hope it wins on concept alone...

  3. Dat Luna Figurine...

    Word of the Day: Turgid.

  4. I've already had:

    Bad Horse ask if I'd consider extending the submission period, and I'm certainly not against the idea if it turns out enough folks need it.