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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A new blog and some book reviews

Zero Sum inaugurates his new blog with a review of A THRONE OF BONES:
This book is monumental. The sheer size of the hardback version is simply staggering. On the cover, there is an intricate array of bronzed scrollwork surrounding a skull. Its quality, finish, and attention to detail are readily apparent. It sits on my bookshelf and carries a commanding presence that is only rivaled by Webster in mass, and very few in quality. Each chapter has a header using the skull and some artwork, it's a nice touch.

But you don't buy the book for its cover, so onto the details. The book uses multiple points of view throughout the book highlighting and interlocking web of storylines.... The book to me was initially very complex, between the characters, terrain, alliances, politics and military strategy.
I should probably mention that the second print run of the hardcover does not feature the skull from the cover as a chapter heading, but replaces it with new artwork by the cover artist featuring a pair of wyverns with their tails intertwined.  The dustjacket is also now gloss rather than matte, and the errata from the first run has been corrected.

Didact's Reach reviewed the novel and actually found it superior to Martin's series.  I wouldn't go that far myself, but it's certainly encouraging to know that it at least merits the comparison.
I've read every one of the books in A Song of Ice and Fire, and this beats the pants off all of them. Even A Storm of Swords. Seriously. It's that good.

This book works because it doesn't pretend to be more than it is- an epic historical fantasy novel. The utterly depressing and frankly pointless moral nihilism of ASOIAF is nowhere to be found; in its place is a powerful and uplifting vision of faith and republican virtue, challenged as it is on every side by civil war, dark magic, and loss of faith. The frankly ludicrous "realistic" sex scenes in ASOIAF are thankfully nowhere to be found here; in fact, the sex is kept largely out of sight, which I think is a good thing, as it reduces the number of distractions significantly. It doesn't try to do anything other than tell a truly epic story. And if you're an avid reader of historical fiction and non-fiction, of the Ross Leckie/Robert Harris variety, then you're in for a real treat.

ATOB is set in the same intriguing fictional world of Selenoth as SE, a world that fuses the best traditions of the ancient Roman Republic with many of the ideas of the Christian Church as embodied by the Holy Roman Empire. The world is both strange and familiar, and as a literary device, I have to say, this is damned effective. I've read my share of Roman history too, so I really appreciated the little details that Vox put into the book. For instance, the scene in which Valerius Corvus observes the "coronation" (if that is the correct word) of the new Holy Father is exactly what I would expect from the martial and spiritual traditions of a Roman Republic, where god-kings were cast aside in favour of Republican rule, combined with the clear separation of Church and State that is a founding principle of Christian theology. The battle scenes are particularly effective displays of Vox's thorough command of military history; he switches almost effortlessly between individual perspectives of the horror of battle to large-scale tactical views of the conflicts, without losing coherence or purpose.
This thread at r/Fantasy is more than a little amusing.  I'm really enjoying "A Throne of Bones." Best not to read about the author first. It's a delight to see the always-open minds of the fantasy-reading rabbits at work. I particularly enjoyed this remark: "I just googled the guy and I already hate him." But I quite appreciate reluctant praise from those who dislike or even despise me, as it is arguably the most meaningful.

Allusions of Grandeur also reviewed the book, but you may want to think twice about reading the review as it does contain a spoiler or two despite the reviewer's apparent desire to avoid them.
A Throne of Bones is a long, remarkably dense work of fiction.  That it is well-written and compelling helps to hide this fact, especially when you read this in the Kindle format, for once you start reading, it is very difficult to stop.  As such, the sheer entertainment value coupled with Vox’s need to constantly propel the plot forward at a rather fast clip (much like what you would expect from the TV show 24), makes this book seem shorter than it is.

I will not attempt to summarize the plot, as a) I don’t want to reveal spoilers and b) doing so would almost be a novel unto itself.  Nonetheless, the plot of this book revolves primarily around war, and most of the subplots revolve around this as well.

What makes this book both an entertaining and fascinating read is that Vox draws on his rather tremendous depth of knowledge and literary theory to create a world that is quite imaginative and “realistic,” which is in turn populated with characters that are interesting, sympathetic, and multi-dimensional.... a good portion of the plot conflicts are moral conflicts, which make the conflicts meaningful.  The characters are not random actors that exist simply as plot devices.  Rather, they are characters with their own beliefs, motivations and moral codes.  Whether you agree with any given character’s motivations or not, you cannot deny that any given character’s motivations are what make the story so compelling.  In fact, the constant moral conflict found with Marcus Valerius is what makes him such a compelling character.  Watching him struggle with him adjusting his theological studies to the real world of war causes you to sympathize with him.

Labels:

81 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick February 13, 2013 1:12 PM  

Any chance you will offer a signed copy of the hardcover?

Blogger Positive Dennis February 13, 2013 1:18 PM  

Multi-dimensional is a good way to describe the characters. I wish I had used that word in my review. Audun, I hope I remember the name correctly, was particularly interesting. An evil man, yet not without his virtues.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 1:20 PM  

Wow.

That is some truly impressive rabbiting on that Reddit thread.

The angst from wanting to read a book that sounds compelling but fearing that giving the author $5 will reward evil un rabbity thoughts is just mind boggling.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 1:22 PM  

Also, apparently you are the Chik-Fil-A of fantasy. I think that needs to go on the back page of the third edition, if there will be one.

Anonymous Stickwick February 13, 2013 1:22 PM  

It'd be interesting to know if people react to China Miéville the same way they react to you. The guy's ideology could reasonably be described as extreme and even reprehensible, but how many people profess to hate the guy because of that or refuse to read his books?

Anonymous fish February 13, 2013 1:24 PM  

Well screw it! I'm buying a copy...that was a glowing review!

Anonymous Imatiger February 13, 2013 1:33 PM  

Yes yes, but where are the reviews that point out the failures of the book?

Anonymous WaterBoy February 13, 2013 1:49 PM  

Stickwick: "The guy's ideology could reasonably be described as extreme and even reprehensible, but how many people profess to hate the guy because of that or refuse to read his books?"

Interesting...I've seen Vox praise him as a writer numerous times here, yet not once did he ever reference the guy's political ideology at all in that context, that I can recall.

Funny, that.

Anonymous VD February 13, 2013 1:58 PM  

Yes yes, but where are the reviews that point out the failures of the book?

There aren't any failures, only flaws. And if you actually read the reviews, you'd see that they note them as well.

Anonymous Susan February 13, 2013 1:58 PM  

I do so buy a book because of its cover! For me anyway, it is a good indicator of an author who cares about what is inside the cover. And it has to look good on my shelf or sidetable by my chair.

A Magic Broken and Throne of Bones are magnificent covers. If there is an award for a bookcover's art, someone definitely needs to be nominated and win. Your two books are the only ones I would consider reading if I was into SciFi or Fantasy.

Anonymous Ferd February 13, 2013 2:00 PM  

"I just googled the guy and I already hate him."

We definitely need to label "liberals" as "Illiberals".

The group disgusts me with their narrow long eared mammalian views.

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 2:06 PM  

inmagine if conservatives refused to purchase products from people who's world view they detested...

anyone remember the Dixie Chicks?

Anonymous Imatiger February 13, 2013 2:12 PM  

"Admit failure and attempt to understand it, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future."

Who said that again?

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 2:16 PM  

Bully for you. Sounds like a variant on "The whole Chik-fila thing is complicated by just how delicious the chicken is."

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 2:17 PM  

Yes yes, but where are the reviews that point out the failures of the book?

Oh, I found a failure. Just haven't written the review yet.

Blogger JDC February 13, 2013 2:18 PM  

Failure is not getting the book published. Failure is getting the book published and selling zip. Failure is getting the book published and it is a piece of s**t. If you read it, you will agree it is none of these. Please tell me you're not going to offer up a review and/or opinion w/o reading it?

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 2:25 PM  

You'll have to wait for the review, but I'll give you a hint: if you are driving around a new Reventon, but the USB port for the mp3 player is broken, the music system is experiencing a failure, but the car is still fairly nifty.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 2:25 PM  

Bully for you. Sounds like a variant on "The whole Chik-fila thing is complicated by just how delicious the chicken is."

Hating gays never tasted so good

Anonymous WaterBoy February 13, 2013 2:26 PM  

Methinks there are differing definitions of "failure" in play, here.

Committing a typo is also a failure, while writing an entire book of drivel is a failure of an entirely different flavor. Consider the degrees of difference in what your intended meaning is, Imatiger.

Anonymous Imatiger February 13, 2013 2:29 PM  

I haven't read the book. I have no idea if it has failures, although since it was made by a person, I suspect it has at least one.

My point is, after the wonderful essay on failure that Vox wrote recently, I think it would be most interesting to hear about what failed in the writing process. It might be enlightening for other aspiring writers.

Anonymous sb- February 13, 2013 2:32 PM  

Vox you're more than deserving of the praise. It truly is a tremendous read. And I would second the notion that you have surpassed Martin, although I'm still recovering from the bitterness and disappointment of A Dance with Dragons.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 13, 2013 2:34 PM  

inmagine if conservatives refused to purchase products from people who's world view they detested...

anyone remember the Dixie Chicks?


Weren't those the two racist girls who resembled the Olsen Twins?

(Just kidding, I do vaguely remember them)

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 2:41 PM  

Oh, read the book, Imatiger. You'll be hard pressed to find an example of failure. Even one or two of the flaws that were in it actually augmented what was there (my favorite was what seemed to be an unintentional narrator commentary on a politician's oratory as well as the editor's own lack of interest in dwelling on him).

The only reason I could find the one failure is because I've read his other books, so he (likely unwittingly) set a natural expectation in my mind, particularly in one of the early chapters. That expectation was never met - I believe the book would have been better had it been, but from the author's perspective, it isn't a question of him attempting something and failing, but simply failing to include something that he quite demonstrably could have included.

So not exactly an indictment of skill or execution from which he can learn in the future. Mostly me just being a prickly bitch and whining for more muchness.

Blogger Markku February 13, 2013 2:50 PM  

From Stephen J at Amazon.com:

In today's 'Net-enabled world of creator-audience connection, it's both harder and easier to review stories than it used to be; hearing more from the author lets you understand the story better, but makes it harder for the story to stand or fall on its own. Frequent readers of the author's blog, or his articles at www.blackgate.com, know that A THRONE OF BONES was in fact written as a direct response both to the specific flaws of Martin's latest "Song of Ice and Fire" novel, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, and to certain trends in the fantasy genre generally. Thus, in addition to asking "Is this a good novel in its own right?" you find yourself also asking, "Is it successful as the strong counterpoint response the author intended?"

Well, the answers have to be: A) Yes, with caveats; and B) Sadly, not as much as it could have been.

On its own merits the book is, despite its size, a fast-paced read full of well-choreographed battles, complex intrigue and vivid scenery. By adopting Martin's device of many short chapters named for the protagonist whose POV they narrate, Day leaps back and forth throughout the world of Selenoth, from the Imperial city of Amorr -- heart of the Empire and the Immaculine Church -- to the far northern Wolf Isles, the mage-heavy kingdom of Savondir, and the wilds of Amorr's provinces and allies. Day's prose is workmanlike but serviceable, with a deft ability to avoid cliched turns of phrase, and his characters (several of whom we have met before, in the stories "Summa Elvetica" and "A Magic Broken") are well-drawn for the most part, though Theuderic de Merovech suffers for having an elven lover far more interesting than he is. The plot bears a superficial resemblance to Martin's Westeros saga -- a catastrophic political struggle between noble families is set off by a suspicious and unexpected death, which bids fair to wreck civilization even as an ancient supernatural threat is rising both within and beyond the borders -- but is given its own distinct shape by the detail of Day's pseudo-Roman/Amorran culture (including a ground-level look at daily legionary life), and his willingness to make sharp left turns and to thwart or kill likeable characters at unexpected points. THRONE's biggest flaws as a novel are, to some extent, products of these narrative choices: our viewpoint characters and their respective plot-threads are so distinctly separated, and their situations so prone to unexpected change, that the story lacks some of the overall thematic unity and rhythm other slower-paced "Book 1"s manage. Ironically, in attempting to avoid the drawn-out meandering that seems to have taken over Martin's "Ice and Fire" series, THRONE may have committed the opposite error, moving its plot *too* fast by introducing new and interesting dramatic situations and then sharply moving on from them just as the reader was really getting into them. (continued...)

Blogger Markku February 13, 2013 2:50 PM  

As a standard-bearer for the traditional themes of high epic fantasy, however, THRONE falls a little short. It does avoid the recent tendency of many fantasies to obsess on the grimness, horror and brutality inherent to most fantasylands, without glossing over the inevitability or the pain of war; it also neatly dodges the false dichotomy that fantasy heroes can be either smart or decent but not both, dispenses completely with the pruriently explicit sex scenes of all too many stories, and includes an analog-Catholic Church that (in a very pleasant change for this Catholic reviewer) actually boasts some brains and decency among its clergy. But Day's elves, dwarves and dragons, unfortunately, have nowhere near the tragic sense of wonder, grandeur, or nobility of the Eldar, the Khazad or the Uruloki, nor does Day have the knack of writers like Tolkien, Lewis or Guy Gavriel Kay for conveying what Tolkien called the *Numinous*, the otherworldly beauties or time-abysses of the setting. Even Day's ultimate supernatural baddies come across as distinctly prosaic sorts, compared to the eldritch unnatural horror of Tolkien's Nazgul, Martin's Others, or Rothfuss's Chandrian. There is very little *romance* to Selenoth, in the classic sense: the stoic, businesslike pragmatism of the Amorran people seems to infuse most of the novel, and if the respect that stoicism includes for honor and duty is a welcome change, its avoidance of the Numinous is only somewhat preferable to the active deconstruction writers like Bakker, Erikson or Abercrombie sometimes seem to be attempting.

Ultimately, THRONE is definitely worth the read, although any but hard-core old-school epic fantasy fans may find the e-book a better price for their enjoyment. It should also be remembered that this is only the first of the series, and many of the criticisms noted above may well be addressed in subsequent books, which this reviewer, at least, fully intends to go on with. Nonetheless, while for personal enjoyment I would give it 4 stars, for objective quality I have to rate it as 3 -- better than average, but short of great.

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 2:54 PM  

We're now going to argue over what failure means...

brilliant.

Anonymous David February 13, 2013 2:56 PM  

Is Wardog's Coin the next major novel in the series...or is it an intermediate short story similar to A Magic Broken?

Just curious what will be my next Selennoth fix.

Anonymous VD February 13, 2013 3:02 PM  

Is Wardog's Coin the next major novel in the series...or is it an intermediate short story similar to A Magic Broken?

Short story. The next major novel will be Book Two: A Smash of Things. I'm actually working on both right now.

Anonymous VD February 13, 2013 3:06 PM  

My point is, after the wonderful essay on failure that Vox wrote recently, I think it would be most interesting to hear about what failed in the writing process. It might be enlightening for other aspiring writers.

Fair enough, but I'd have to focus on SE. I'm not saying ATOB is perfect. But considering the size of the novel and the time in which it was written, I'm absolutely delighted with the result.

But if you want an example of a stupid flaw, here is one. I had 6,000 men digging a two-stadia tunnel in about 36 hours. I forgot that it's one thing to move that much dirt when you're digging massive trenches, another when it's a tunnel. I reduced it to a half-stadia, which is at least remotely plausible, if still bordering on the superhuman.

I should have thrown in some dwarf auxiliaries while I was at it....

Blogger IM2L844 February 13, 2013 3:11 PM  

That is some truly impressive rabbiting on that Reddit thread.

A stampeding heard of Crusader Rabbits isn't much more than a nuisance, but the incessant squee certainly is annoying.

Blogger Giraffe February 13, 2013 3:15 PM  

I had 6,000 men digging a two-stadia tunnel in about 36 hours. I forgot that it's one thing to move that much dirt when you're digging massive trenches, another when it's a tunnel. I reduced it to a half-stadia, which is at least remotely plausible, if still bordering on the superhuman.

That was actually my biggest gripe about the book. It's fantasy, but still has to be realistic, if that makes any sense.

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 3:37 PM  

Heh. I forgot what a stadia was, so I blew right on past!

Blogger JDC February 13, 2013 3:39 PM  

Possible spoiler alert - I'm not sure, but if you don't want any do what you normally do with my posts and just skip to Nate face palming.

Re tunnel scene - I kept waiting for reports that at least 5-10 soldiers died in an unfortunate cave-in. At least Vox didn't have a certain young commander trying to jump a barbed wire fence with his elven girl-friend's powered scooter with a bumper sticker that read - "Tap that Elven Arse"

Why not however?

Anonymous ZhukovG February 13, 2013 3:41 PM  

I found TOB to be a highly enjoyable book. The characters, their actions and motivations were completely believable. The good guys aren't perfect and the bad guys are understandable if still reprehensible.

By contrast I got about 2/3 of the way through Game of Thrones and lost interest. The whole 'Evil must Triumph, because Good is Stupid', vibe got tiresome fast.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 3:48 PM  

The next major novel will be Book Two: A Smash of Things.

What happened to A Rash of Rings?

Anonymous the bandit February 13, 2013 3:55 PM  

That was actually my biggest gripe about the book.

The incredible length/speed of the tunnel excavation was one of my roommate's chief complaints, too.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 3:58 PM  

Ditto on the tunnel thing. Also puzzled by the lack of Amorran heavy cavalry given their stirrups technology. And their fondness for crossbows.

Blogger Markku February 13, 2013 4:08 PM  

It needs to be A Flash of Blings.

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 4:08 PM  

Maybe the next one can have shorter sex scenes. A Flash of Flings?

Anonymous Tom February 13, 2013 4:24 PM  

I can't tell if Vox is avoiding this question or if I just keep showing up late to threads about the book. I'll try again.

@VD - Is there only one creator God of Selenoth? If there is, does that God consider it evil for beings he created to worship other beings He created? Were all the "races" of creatures even created by said creator God?

And I TOTALLY agree about the uber-villians. It is difficult to create something Lovecraftian, but they don't even seem properly scary. Perhaps they aren't suposed to be, and they aren't even uber-villians. That's a thought I hadn't considered. That would be disappointingly nuanced for me as a reader though. Too much like super intelligent aliens that just don't care about humanity. Not caring about humanity is sooo much less compelling than wanting to eat us.

Blogger Giraffe February 13, 2013 4:27 PM  

Maybe the next one can have shorter sex scenes. A Flash of Flings?

Followed by A Rash that Stings

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 4:32 PM  

Then one about the necessary hush-money: That Cash with Wings

Anonymous VD February 13, 2013 4:39 PM  

I can't tell if Vox is avoiding this question or if I just keep showing up late to threads about the book. I'll try again.

I'm avoiding the theology question.

I TOTALLY agree about the uber-villians. It is difficult to create something Lovecraftian, but they don't even seem properly scary.

How many has the reader met? Forget uber, are you even sure they are villains?

Blogger Giraffe February 13, 2013 4:44 PM  

Then, A Beast in Maternity Clothes

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 4:45 PM  

"How many has the reader met? Forget uber, are you even sure they are villains?"

I fear I am apathetic to them. I like the bizarrely verbose one... the others? meh. That's not to say I'm not thoroughly enjoying the story.

Anonymous Stephen J. February 13, 2013 4:50 PM  

"Forget uber, are you even sure they are villains?"

Ah, well now that's an entirely different and more interesting question. They certainly seem to be the *antagonists*, or at least some of them are, in that it's their actions bringing about the situations and consequences our various protagonists are reacting to. And they are certainly willing to see thousands, maybe millions die in order to achieve their goals, which for my money puts them well into -- to quote Harry Dresden talking about telepathic magic -- "dark, dark, dark gray" territory, if perhaps arguably not absolute black.

That does not mean there isn't something else even *more* vast, dark and destructive behind them, but that's why I'm not evaluating the series based on only one book yet.

Anonymous Alauda February 13, 2013 4:50 PM  

The prose is amazingly dull.

Anonymous dh February 13, 2013 4:50 PM  

By contrast I got about 2/3 of the way through Game of Thrones and lost interest. The whole 'Evil must Triumph, because Good is Stupid', vibe got tiresome fast.

This a great comment, perhaps one of the sharpest I've ever read on the topic. Random chance dictates that eventually good will win at least once or twice out of many occasions. I know that all good works of fiction don't have to end happily, but honestly, it wouldn't kill Martin to have good win just occasionally.

At first it was interesting - ahh, Ned Stark loses his head! But then, after not just Ned but eventually almost entire family meet their ends - well, it just seems odd that the Starks ever rose to power to begin with.

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 4:54 PM  

"well, it just seems odd that the Starks ever rose to power to begin with."

Precisely.

It infuriated me to the point where I simply stopped reading.

Anonymous Azimus February 13, 2013 4:54 PM  

Josh February 13, 2013 3:48 PM The next major novel will be Book Two: A Smash of Things.

What happened to A Rash of Rings?


Dear me I hope both of them are working titles... both of them sound like the titles of pre-reader children's books...

Blogger JDC February 13, 2013 4:57 PM  

Wasn't Corvus himself a bit confused theologically speaking, upon his conversation with the Ambassador? Didn't he think out loud about the possibility of the immaculate walking around? I got the impression that those were details that would be addressed later once the villians make themselves known (if they ever do).

Anonymous Daniel February 13, 2013 5:04 PM  

Wow. Alauda, that's got to be the most startling dullness ever in the history of the world, for you to be amazed by it.

dh
well, it just seems odd that the Starks ever rose to power to begin with.

This is it precisely. Stark character, revealed over time is that they had power because the author needed a patsy. It was a terrible shock to me when I began to realize that they were a house of stupids doomed to fail in faux tragedy. A shock because I was caught up in the story, then I realized I was reading for soap opera, not meaning. Certainly not glory, joy, triumph or true tragedy. I made it to Dance, hoping something would turn around.

The series should be called A Downfall of Dunces.

I'd like to say this is retroactive embitterment due to the embarrassment that was RiverDance without Dragons. But I actually think it finally sunk in during a particular scene in Storm of Swords.

After that, Feast, I did not like nearly as much as the first 3 but kept my mouth shut, hoping that Dance was going to really turn things around. It did. It got a lot worse.

Blogger Giraffe February 13, 2013 5:07 PM  

Precisely.

It infuriated me to the point where I simply stopped reading.


Yes. Every character that I liked was dead except Jon and Arya, all the ones I hated he was trying to make you warm up to. Who knows what Jon was up to, Arya went off and joined a nunnery, Dannerys is a sex sideshow with aspirations of becoming relevant somewhere, at a certain point you just have to say wtf.

Anonymous Josh February 13, 2013 5:09 PM  

I'm halfway through book 3, should I give up? If not, what's a good stopping point?

Blogger Giraffe February 13, 2013 5:11 PM  

I'm halfway through book 3, should I give up? If not, what's a good stopping point?

I quit at four, and their seems to be consensus that after that the bridge is out. Whether you want to keep going that far depends on how much time you want to invest in a story that turns to crap and will likely never be finished.

Anonymous cheddarman February 13, 2013 5:14 PM  

I want to see the Northern Viking/Germanic peoples get converted by Michaelene power evagelism, baptized in the cold waters of their North Sea, filled with old fashioned Holy Ghost Power, and spill rivers of wolf-man blood while being lead by a warrior king, and take back what is theirs...


call me simple, but that would be my ideal story

sincerely

cheddarman

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 5:28 PM  

Cheddarman

I would take it... and be happy.

Anonymous Elmer Fudd (the weal one) February 13, 2013 5:31 PM  

Vox, you should really change it to wead, "Starring Vox Day, AWCA, Superintelligence, and Wabbit Hunter Extwaordinaire

Anonymous bob k. mando February 13, 2013 7:29 PM  

rabbits gonna rabbit:
http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/are-these-sports-illustrated-photos-offensive---164134203.html

Anonymous Mudz February 13, 2013 7:39 PM  

I don't understand, or I should say I don't appreciate, why people make a fuss out of authors like it matters? If you read someone's book, have the damn decency to let them receive the benefit for their work. After all, you get to hate them for free, and for zero effort.

I might think Ayn Rand is unpleasantly anti-Christian, but I still loved 'Atlas Shrugged' and would never begrudge her a cent for her work.

90% of my library is most likely written by atheists, possibly highly unlikeable ones, yet I manage to restrain myself from bubbling over with rage.

You know what I think's funny? I've started reading 'A Game of Thrones' and I'm actually quite enjoying it. I like the dwarf. And I also saw an episode of the TV version.

The book is actually more decent-minded (so far) than the TV series (so far). At least the elfy dragon girl isn't getting raped, and the King didn't once reminisce about big tits. Although, there is no comparing seeing an asshole kid getting slapped around by a midget. That was freaking awesome.

Anonymous Tom February 13, 2013 7:47 PM  

I have one fear about these books. I worry that Vox will make something important hinge on one of his less common beliefs, like the Immaculate being some kind of created being. Then I'll end up hating the whole thing and feeling like that world isn't Christian anymore.

It would be like I'd been reading a book I thought was Christian and then getting to a part where Jesus starts talking to his spirit brother, Satan and his mom the Celestial Mother. Drat! Mormons!

That's one of the things that was so amazing about C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. He constructed a consistently Christian science fiction/fantasy version of the world that actually brought me into a deeper understanding of Christianity. It wasn't just window dressing, it was the foundation of the house.

Blogger Markku February 13, 2013 7:54 PM  

Dear me I hope both of them are working titles... both of them sound like the titles of pre-reader children's books...

To get the joke, look at the names of the first two books in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Anonymous cheddarman February 13, 2013 8:13 PM  

I would also like to see a series called "Nate's own Highlanders."

Not exactly sure about the specifics, but there are whole worlds of possibility to work with in those three words.



sincerely

cheddarman

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 9:25 PM  

This is OT as all hell but I just have to... Bad Joke Wednesday after all...

well here goes...

So... the Pope is being a good Catholic... and pulling out.

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 9:28 PM  

Cheddarman... My problem is.. I can never convince myself that my story isn't ripping something off.

Like right now I am fiddling with something that I drempt... but I just cannot shake the feeling that I've read it before. I mean I know there is almost nothing that is truly original... but I am having a really hard time meeting the standard of originality I would require of myself.

Anonymous daddynichol February 13, 2013 9:37 PM  

Nate:

You could start your book with, "A rabbi, a preacher, a priest and I walked into a bar..."

The rest is up to you.

BTW, your joke was funny. I ought to to know, I'm Catholic. Thanks for the laugh.

Blogger Nate February 13, 2013 9:42 PM  

"BTW, your joke was funny. I ought to to know, I'm Catholic. Thanks for the laugh."

Well.. I mean I know it doesn't quite work for you guys. Pulling out is as bad as a condom right if I understand the doctrine correctly. But its still good for a chuckle.

Blogger Didact February 13, 2013 10:06 PM  

Thank you sir for the hat-tip there. I genuinely enjoyed A Throne of Bones, as I wrote in my review, and I am most definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Anonymous Tad February 13, 2013 10:49 PM  

@Vox Day

I particularly enjoyed this remark: "I just googled the guy and I already hate him." But I quite appreciate reluctant praise from those who dislike or even despise me, as it is arguably the most meaningful.

The number of books at our disposal to buy and read, in any genre, are more than we could ever get through in our lifetime. We have to choice but to perform triage in determining which books we commit our valuable time.

It is entirely reasonable to assess the background of the author as part of that triage. There are any number of people who have written books and whom I believe to be scum of the earth based on what I know about them. Why would I want patronize them with my cash?

The person who chooses not to read your works because they may think you are cruel or dimwitted or scum of the earth hurt themselves in no way. They only impact your sales.

Anonymous Tad February 13, 2013 10:54 PM  

@Josh

The angst from wanting to read a book that sounds compelling but fearing that giving the author $5 will reward evil un rabbity thoughts is just mind boggling.

This is hardly mind boggling. People regularly make judgements on who or what to patronize based on reasons of morals and ethics.

Take Mel Gibson. Here is a man so clearly and pathetically and irrationally anti-semitic that a number of people have simply decided to no longer patronize the films he is in or produce. It's no different than many on the Right who do a similar thing with, say, Jane Fonda or Alec Baldwin.

It's not as though these peoples' live will be damaged for not having seen the new Gibson, Fonda or Baldwin film and neither will they be harmed by not reading the newest Vox Day book.

Anonymous 445supermag February 14, 2013 12:23 AM  

Is there only one creator God of Selenoth?

Yes, and his initials are VD.

Anonymous Unending Improvement February 14, 2013 12:25 AM  

I think you can count the number of right-wing individuals on one hand who actually refuse to watch anything by Alec Baldwin.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 14, 2013 12:42 AM  

Stickwick February 13, 2013 1:22 PM
It'd be interesting to know if people react to China Miéville the same way they react to you.



c'mon.

the man has registered his party affiliation as Communist.

saying that you even *intend* to hold a marxist of any stripe to any standard of ethics or morality is thoughcrime.




VD February 13, 2013 3:02 PM
Short story. The next major novel will be Book Two: A Smash of Things.


*jaw on floor*

a SMASH of THINGS? damnit, that is hilarious. i am literally laughing out loud right now. are you fricking serious?

jeezus, i'm going to have to start buying this series just because you are so effectively lampooning Martin's titles.




Nate February 13, 2013 9:42 PM
Pulling out is as bad as a condom right if I understand the doctrine correctly.



doctrine, schmoctrine.

the 'rhythm method' has been pushed by Catholics and Catholic doctors for a hundred years now. i went to a Catholic school for 7th-8th grade and they taught that to the class.

and anyways, the Catholics still say that only married couples should be practicing it.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 14, 2013 12:45 AM  

Unending Improvement February 14, 2013 12:25 AM
I think you can count the number of right-wing individuals on one hand who actually refuse to watch anything by Alec Baldwin.



i don't watch anything by Alec Baldwin. but that's because he's a minimal talent hack. i haven't been interested in him since The Shadow. which, after having watched it, we gave the best actor nomination to the CGI knife.

and that's MID-90S cgi.

Alec is a retard at all levels.

Anonymous Mudz February 14, 2013 3:24 AM  

@ Tad

This is hardly mind boggling. People regularly make judgements on who or what to patronize based on reasons of morals and ethics.

Yes. The very people being discussed. Which is not us.

Anonymous Mudz February 14, 2013 3:27 AM  

Maybe the difference is that there's a huge amount of non-Christian media works around, so that a Christian grows up forced to be reconciled with this. Whereas a non-Christian could go all his formative years without ever being threatened by an errant halo.

Blogger Markku February 14, 2013 5:39 AM  

What do you call a man who practices contraception with the rhythm method?

A father.

Anonymous Tad February 14, 2013 11:31 AM  

@Mudz

@ Tad

This is hardly mind boggling. People regularly make judgements on who or what to patronize based on reasons of morals and ethics.

Yes. The very people being discussed. Which is not us.


It just goes to show that some folks are more willing to take action and make decisions based on their principles than others.

Anonymous VD February 14, 2013 12:42 PM  

It just goes to show that some folks are more willing to take action and make decisions based on their principles than others.

Tad, you appear to be saying that Christians should not engage in economic activity with atheists and homosexuals or support them in any way. Is this your position?

The clear implication is that I should not permit you to comment here, because you do not support my Christian and libertarian principles. Is that correct?

Anonymous WaterBoy February 14, 2013 1:14 PM  

Mudz: "Yes. The very people being discussed. Which is not us."

For varying values of "us", of course. "Us" includes conservative Christians and gun owners, too.

For example, the American Family Association led a nine-year-long boycott, from 1996 to 2005, against the Disney corporation for what it called a "decline in moral and family values", and was joined by the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family, Assemblies of God, and other Christian organizations.

This was after the Catholic League originally called for a boycott of Disney over the movie "Priest", in 1995.

The AFA and FotF also teamed up for a boycott against Procter and Gamble for supporting gay rights.

And so on.

That's what was so funny about the Chik-Fil-A flap -- the hypocrites on both sides denouncing the same position their side took in the Disney and P&G deals.

There are currently gun rights advocates who are calling for boycotts against companies and organizations which favor gun control.

It's not all as one-sided as you seem to think.

Anonymous Mudz February 14, 2013 7:32 PM  

True. It was a broad generalisation of like and non-like minded. I don't really think in terms of the American Left and Right, conservative and liberal. I would not consider any of those boycotters as 'like' me, for example.

And Tim Hawkins ensured that I'll always love Chik-Fil-A. Even though I've never once eaten there. I don't even know if we have one in this country. :D

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