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Neverness: Zindell is to Sci-Fi as SRD is to Fantasy
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danlo
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason, when I start writing my first fantasy, I see myself as totally immersed in it. I fear I won't be able to read anything else (except the sports pages and comics). Confused Cool
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For some reason, when I start writing my first fantasy, I see myself as totally immersed in it. I fear I won't be able to read anything else (except the sports pages and comics).


If I did that, I'd never read anything for a decade!

Writing books is hard. I keep coming up with ideas to make it better. I had my first chapter posted in the Hall of Gifts, but then removed it because I did a major revision of it (again, sigh).
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not saying it was intended as a prologue WayFriend, just that I think it works better as one. As an introduction to Requiem.

I would have enjoyed it anyway, (except for the dense mathematical stuff), (And the Time-Keeper was indeed great), but if it had ended there I would have been disappointed. Instead, I went straight on to Broken God, which to me seemed like the real story.

Without Neverness, that wouldn't have had the "history" that backed it. Without Requiem though, Neverness would have seemed a little hollow.

Maybe it's time for a re-read, but I just got the feeling that nothing much seemed to happen, except in terms of setting the scene for the following trilogy.

(Aah Danlo...the Warrior Poets and their rings...awesome. Very Happy )

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed re-reading Neverness several times before I even knew about a sequel. Such is taste.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a beautiful replacement copy of The Wild at Page One too for 3 bucks today. After a year and a half to don't think my sister will never give it back... Cool

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
Such is taste.


For which there is no accounting? Wink

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just ordered another copy of Neverness from amazon. (Note to self: Stop loaning books to people!!) The "Thanks, Eric! Your order is being processed..." page includes a list of books "Recommended for You:" First on the list is V for Vendetta, which I've owned for many years. Second is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League International.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's hiralious! Razz
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could have been worse....could have been "The Manly Art of Breastfeeding" by the Le Lecher League.....
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I finished the book. My final thoughts:

I'm hooked, I have to keep reading. I want to see what else is on Zindell's mind. While I think his first effort is flawed in purely technical ways, I do like what he was trying to accomplish. I agree with many of his ideas and his "mythology," if you can call it that. Specifically, I like the idea that Spoiler:
consciousness underlies all reality, that we are the universe coming to life and coming to consciousness, that we are "god" being slowly born, that we might have genetic memories (I believe I've tapped into these on certain, "enhanced" occasions myself), and that there is a conservation of information that transcends entropic decay.
I'm right there with him in terms of philosophy and speculative science. I think he could have made use of Bell's Theorem (physical reality is nonlocal) to drive some of his points home, but it's not really necessary.

I also like that characters finally started showing some emotion by the end, started acting like real people. Soli's reactions to Mallory in the very last chapters was touching, as was Mallory's reaction to Spoiler:
his son
. The Timekeeper's role was interesting. Reminded me of Asimov . . .

I'm glad I read this book, despite how hard I've been on it. I'll be ordering the rest soon. How many more books are in this series?
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three more.
Broken God
The Wild
War in Heaven

And you might want to make some posts at danlo's place - Ahira's Hangar:
p210.ezboard.com/bahirashangar

Spoiler:
And my second explanation for these guys all agreeing so easily to the idea of going to the Alaloi is that their leader, the Timekeeper, wanted them to waste their time on that, rather than look for the real "oldest DNA."

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist, thanks for the info.

Perhaps some version of your explanation might make sense, but the way you've stated it isn't convincing. Spoiler:
Timekeeper's motivations should have no effect on the motivations of others. Afterall, he didn't really do anything to convince them--unless you want to suggest reverse psychology. He acted like he wasn't going to let them go at first. Now, he did insist that they all go as a family, but that alone shouldn't convince Mallory and co. that the idea is any better; rather, it should multiply the doubt because now you have more people being affected and more people to doubt the efficacy of the quest.

But it does make sense now that the Timekeeper, at the very least, would grant them permission to go.
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alas, as stated above, I don't currently have a copy on hand, and couldn't look up the specifics of it. I didn't remember the initial refusal. Perhaps we can allow for the possibility that much of the conversation took place off-screen?
Mr. Green
Yeah, I know, that's stretching. I guess my basic feeling is that these people were not the best and brightest of the future. They were simply good at piloting. And, since piloting exposed them to these particular questions, information, and ideas, they were the ones who got to make the decisions about these questions, information, and ideas. I guess a really crazy analogy would be allowing Derek Jeter to decide how to deal with the beings in a new dimension if he found a magic bat that opened the portal to that dimension if swung by a hitter of at least his ability. (I'm trying to think of a better analogy! Laughing)

Anyway, I've picked apart a few plots in my day, so I don't begrudge anyone else doing so. For me, it seems, as long as something could come about from a physical standpoint (That is, a story's laws of physics), the non-physical factors that cause the event aren't terribly important - providing the result is to my liking. IOW, the ends justifies the means. I've made maaaaaaaany posts in the TC forum questioning the likelihood of this or that character getting into such-and-such a situation. But I really don't care, because once they were in that situation, we get the best stories I've ever read.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that the main reason the Timekeeper sent them Spoiler:
was to have the "family" not only united in an exercise but to get familiar with each other. There is the obvious rift between Mallory-Moira-Soli, the obvious angst directly between Mallory and Soli. The suspicions Justine harbors. Bardo serves as a buffer and Katherine is not only invaluable to all of them but provides, somewhat of a solace to Mallory, for a time. As a scryer she can not only find threads from the past to mend but words that attempt to give the group some hope of working together in the future, or at least of defining themselves in the future. Given this she is, sort of, the Timekeeper's tool. Soli is there to sharpen and hone Mallory and Bardo. I believe that the Timekeeper sees awesome potential in Mallory and Bardo...but you're right, they're not the best and the brightest. I don't think the Academy can afford to have pilots with debilitating traits from the past at this point: like Mallory's alpha male attitude or Bardo's gluttony or even Soli's arrogance. I think it's more of a sociological development program, to prepare everybody in question for things to come. I don't know if it worked all that well... Wink
Of course it's much more complex than that: I realize what I just said sounds generic.

Take Soli for example, like Mallory, I believe the Timekeeper has a vested interest in him. He is, after all, an exemplar to all pilots, an example to the pilot's art but, perhaps, not an example to the necessary "character" of a Lord Pilot. In his way the Timekeeper truly cares about him, he has not only ventured further than any other known pilot, but suffered more loneliness and time distortion. The Timekeeper knows Soli has to seriously settle down "come back to Earth/Icefall", as it were. But Soli is incredibly driven and needs alot of busy work at the same time. The Timekeeper is probably also well aware of the ice-cold relationship Soli had with his hyper-exacting father, Alexsandar, on Darkmoon, and is trying to help him connect, perhaps too late, with his humanity.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still working on "The Broken God". I'm 500 pages in after 3 weeks. I like it, but emotional intensity in the story seems to come in bursts (or waves). The story and characters (Bardo, Hanuman, Danlo) are great, especially Hanuman, but the constant jumping between the story and the history/explanations is frustrating. I wish Zindell had've done something like what Donaldson did with his Ancillary Documentation in the Gap Series.

Definitely a good step up from Neverness. Smile
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danlo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The series was written before the Gap, so, prehaps (in that way) it's a product of it's time. It is essential-as you will see... Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other surprise was the 5 year jump in the middle of the book. There's plenty of time taken describing how Hanu and Danlo become Novices, and the story seemed set to (almost) go into a Harry Potter style (I know it was written before HP, just using it as a well known comparison) story of Danlo's schooling years. I was disappointed when this part of Danlo's life was glossed over and the story went in a different direction. A minor disappointment though. Smile

The Broken God is very good. When Zindell cranks up the emotional intensity - Chapter 19 Dolls for example - that is when (to me) his writing most resembles SRD. Zindell has a wonderful ability to be poetic about science and mathematics and consciousness, and to describe intelligent people discussing these subjects. It definitely feels like the kind of book I'll need to read again to truly "get" it.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolls and The Fire Sermons are two of the best parts of the book. Spoiler:
Actually some articles have been written posing that Rowling stole certain devices from Zindell: The Academy, as you just pointed out, Perilous Hall, Danlo's lightning bolt scar, abandoned child, Snowy Owl (Ahira) etc... Then on the other hand the similarities between Requiem and Dune...
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finished 'The Broken God' (TBG) a couple of days ago, in both joy and sadness. Joy in having read such a good book, sadness in that wherever Zindell takes (took) the rest of this series, I doubt he can top TBG.

I agree with Avatar, 'Neverness' feels like an entre, and TBG feels like the main course.

In TBG Zindell gets dirty and personal, and takes his vision a big step forward. Its all there, personal quests, personal emotions - loss, ambition, desire, lust, envy, hatred - and the grander ideals of philosophy and the future destiny of humanity.

The better parts of TBG do remind me of SRD's ability to have both an intensely personal story and also have larger themes woven into the story without diluting it.

The writing! It is consistently better than in Neverness, and I was quite often swept away by the narrative and the poetic nature of Zindell's prose.

Will give it a few weeks to sink in before tackling "The Wild".

A great recommendation, thanks Danlo! Smile
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danlo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While a little more complex (as to everything that's going on) The Wild is the most "colorful" book of the series. Colors and descriptions fly out of the pages-a great summertime read! Glad you liked TBG! Big Grin
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