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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 Feb 02, 2003 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

due to the rash of new interest in the Neverness Series in the ASOIAF threads, I just had the urge to bump! Faint Shocked

Last edited by danlo on Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I don't have to start a thread, I'll just bump this one. I'm curious about how many have now read the Neverness books. And, of course, there's nothing I want to push on everyone harder! Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow danlo. I M so glad U stopped posting like this b4 I got here. It has 2b the most annoying style 4 ne1 2 read. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ur-bane wrote:
Wow danlo. I M so glad U stopped posting like this b4 I got here. It has 2b the most annoying style 4 ne1 2 read. Wink


Laughing Laughing

I noticed it at the Hanger!
Anyway, i think i am going to bite the bullet and buy Neverness.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Sorry--I corrected most of it in this topic--I tought it was kewl and Sci-Fi-ish at the time--now I'm quiet embarrassed by it.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I forgot all about danlo's old way of posting! LOL

Lucimay, did you find us? Very Happy

And ALL RIGHT Q!!! Go for it!

Let's see if we can get a list.
READ ALL 4 BOOKS:
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READ AT LEAST Neverness
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Who else goes on either list?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 3/4 way thru Neverness Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ain't no way you're getting me to add more books to my to-read pile at this stage. Talk to me in a year or so and I might consider it. Wink
(Yeah, I will look at these books, but only once my the number of books I'm already looking at gets thinned down - I really have far too much reading on my hands to add any more.)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lucimay, did you find us?
Smile


yes i found you!


syl recommended Neverness to me ages ago and i still haven't made time to read it! i will pick it up soon, tho.

now how many of you besides Syl and Murrin have read Bakker? The Darkness That Comes Before and The Warrior Prophet. The Thousandfold Thought is due out at the first of the year, Jan or Feb i think.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Murrin, you'd be well advised to ignore your to-read pile, and get right to Neverness. Mr. Green


(All this reminds me, I have to go bump the Gates of Fire thread. heh)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read Neverness and The Broken God. Awesome stuff...got sucked in right away. If anything, enjoyed Broken God more...love the examination of the Fraveshi system, because it's something that I tend to agree with on the whole.

Can't wait to (somehow) get my hands on the rest of them. And I certainly think that they're already due a re-read...especially Broken God. The first was pretty straightforward I think, that one though invited more thought.

Question/thought:

Spoiler:
Didn't Danlo realise that by killing the snow worm he was acting more in accord with ahimsa (is that the right word?) than if he'd left it to suffer?


--A
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the first three books, I think. I know I've read the first two.

Neverness was very good, and I've read it many times. It didn't sustain my interest further down the road. (Which is why I cannot even remember if I read book 3 or not.)

There's a bit of Stranger in a Strange Land in Neverness; a bit of The Dosadi Experiment; a bit of Radix. But there was enough invention that it is unique.

Fall far!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It took me a long, long time to track down a copy of Neverness (thanks for nothing, Amazon), but I got one from eBay a while back and I'm about six chapters in now.

I've quickly warmed to the characters and the Neverness universe is rich and highly original. There have already been several people/places/concepts briefly mentioned that have made me think "I wanna find out more about that!"

Unfortunately, based on what I've read so far, Zindell's writing style grates on me a bit. My biggest gripe is the superfluous punctuation. Zindell uses way too many commas, resulting in overly long sentences and unneccesary words. I've also noticed occasional bits of iffy grammar and one line that actually struck me as vaguely misogynistic. The result is a read which periodically becomes choppy and awkward, rather than flowing effortlessly from line to line. This is a shame, as Zindell can also forge some truly beautiful prose. I found an excellent example of both the strengths and weaknesses of the writing in Neverness in chapter 3, The Timekeeper's Tower:

Quote:
He was wary of something, perhaps of giving me the book. As he paced he rubbed the muscles of his right leg and limped, slightly. He seemed at once viscious and kind, lonely, and bitter at his loneliness. Here was a man, I thought, who had never known a single day's (or night's) peace, an old, old man who had been wounded in love and cut in wars and burnt by dreams turned to ashes in his hands. He possessed a tremendous vitality, and his zest and love of life had finally led him to that paradox of human existence. He loved the air he breathed and the beating of his heart so fully and well that he had let his natural hatred of death ruin his living of life.


Upon reading this I was immediately struck by the eloquence with which Zindell had described the Timekeeper. I thought that Mallory's assessment of the Timekeeper's esential flaws was particularly profound. I still can't help feeling that the piece is hamstrung by the faults I mentioned earlier. If some of the commas were taken out, sentences split up and a few words taken out (especially those bracketed ones), I'm sure that the impact of the piece would be even greater.

As this is Zindell's first book, I'm hopeful that the writing will become more streamlined as the series progresses. At the moment, from my perspective, it's the only thing that can be improved about Neverness.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you're enjoying it, Nav! Very Happy I didn't have the problem you do with his writing. But I read J.F. Cooper and Gopi Krishna before Zindell, and he's positively terse in comparison. Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, us Americans like the commas (and I, obviously, have no problems with the occasional parenthetical statement).
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Praise of The Broken God

On the winter world of Icefall, young Danlo has grown up among a tribe of humans genetically altered to lead a primitive existence. When his tribe is ravaged by a plague, he is forced to give up this simple, spiritual life to journey across the frozen wastes to the fabled city of Neverness, the teeming center of a vast galactic civilization. Here, a great destiny beckons Danlo -- to pilot a ship to the heart of the galaxy and battle a deadly bloom of light that is consuming worlds and suns as it races toward his planet. But first he must confront the legend of his true father, a bold adventurer who is worshipped as a god -- and the terrible allure of becoming a god himself.

"From David Zindell, a master of imaginative fiction, comes a monumental epic of galactic grandeur and the human mind, a sweeping tale of a dying future world menaced by dreams of divinity and by the implacable advance of cosmic destruction."

The Broken God -- hmm -- where does one start when setting out to describe an epic tale of such magnitude. Well, I guess I could tell you what I liked.

I liked the vastness of it all. The very essence of the novel seems to be draped atop the infinite possibilities of the human spirit. Zindell creates a world -- a very believable world -- where humanity thrives. A world where the very essence of humanity is built upon the spirituality that I believe is present in all of us. All at once it is a world not so unlike our own, but at the same time unique and mysterious.

"An exceptional feat of both world creation and storytelling: grand in scope, vivid in evocation, inventive in its sure-handed marshaling of far future detail and genuinely moving as a human document. . . . I applaud his accomplishment."
-- Michael Bishop

I wanted to write something about this novel to share with whoever wanted to read it for a few reasons. First, I wanted to give something back to the book which not only opened my eyes to the world, but also helped me open my eyes and see myself more clearly. But I also wanted to plug it -- yes, plug it! This is an awesome book. It is deep in philosophical thought, rich in metaphor, gloriously full of imagination, and strong in humanity.

The story takes place sometime in the distant future on the planet of Icefall -- as the name implies -- an icy world which is sort of a reserve for a race of people who have altered their DNA structure to become a species of primitive humans adapted to live in the harsh climate.

We meet Danlo wi Soli Ringess, an adopted member of this tribe, aparently left with the tribe by his human parents a decade previous. As the story begins the tribe has become ill and are dyingof a mysterious plague to which only Danlo and another elder human member of the tribe seem to be immune. The result being: eventually Danlo is left in the wild on his own and faces the decision of leaving his empty home to look for the city of Neverness, the only "civilization" on the planet.

Neverness is, in the truest sense, a cultural center for the civilized universe. Upon his arrival, Danlo is taken in by a philosophical alien who furthers the boy's journey into spiritual fullness -- a journey which is shared in detail with the reader.

The story continues as we follow Danlo's thirst for knowledge of the spirituality of the universe, and climaxes at the point where we understand that he has indeed created his own.

"Science Fiction as it ought to be: challenging, imaginative, thought-provoking -- and well written. Zindell has placed himself at the forefront of literary SF."

--Times Literary Supplement, London

The power of ahimsa is not just the readiness to die. It is the willingness to live. To live utterly without fear - this is a fearsome thing
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished Neverness now. The punctuation is still, to me, suspect but overall it didn't detract from what is probably the most original piece of science fiction i've ever read. I can't say I fully understand the manifold and how exactly it is travelled through, but the alternatives are to either have a contrived exposition (usually a hallmark of lazy writing) or to have SRD-style 'Ancillary Documentation' which would've been out of place here. Sometimes it's nice to be left to figure things out for yourself, even if (as in this case) it's beyond you.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nav wrote:
either have a contrived exposition (usually a hallmark of lazy writing) or to have SRD-style 'Ancillary Documentation' which would've been out of place here. Sometimes it's nice to be left to figure things out for yourself, even if (as in this case) it's beyond you.


The biggest problem facing sci-fi writers, methinks. And I'm having a difficult time with that now myself!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, writing a transition from event A to B is often harder than writing the actual events. Not sure if there's a perfect way to approach an exposition, but I like the philosophy used in movies of "waste not a frame." Look at an exposition as a chance to show character development/background details/tension. Stuff it with something that increases the emotonal impact of the real events. A similiar quote (and I paraphrase) is that the "preparation before a battle is just as important as the battle itself."
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nav wrote:
...probably the most original piece of science fiction i've ever read.
That's what I'm talkin' about!! Very Happy And it's just the beginning! Three amazing books to go! heh

Nav wrote:
I can't say I fully understand the manifold and how exactly it is travelled through.
I suppose that if it could be fully understood, it would be science, not science fiction. But I know what you mean. Some give a more detailed account of their "science." Of course, in those cases, people like me pick at it, saying, "Now wait a minute. That couldn't be right, or..." Zindell's way works very well for me. It just hints at something in such a way that I can get a glimpse of it, and feel that I almost understand it. It sort of feels like some kind of intuition.
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