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Based on the fact that this topic has over 1.5 million views, everyone's answer should be "What have you been reading recently?"

The topic is dead! Long live the topic!   —Alorael, who will throw in The Ringmaster's Daughter, a relatively normal and therefore still quite unusual novel by Jostein Gaarder. Unlike Sophie's Wor

It was in one of the introductions for a book. Part of the problem was he had a few children and was trying to save for their future educations.   The figure I've seen is that a basic paper back

Originally Posted By: Trenton Uchiha, rebel servile.
Has anyone read the great books of rick riordan, he writes great books about mythology, I'm not sure,but I think he wrote the lightning thief. He wrote the red pyramid witch was a favorite of mine.


Yes, he wrote the lightning thief. I have to admit I read those, didn't really find out about the books until I was too old to read books that small, but I gave them a second chance because the movie looked interesting. They're not bad.

- Archmagus Micael
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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote:
Nynaeve gave an exasperated shake of her head. "Men! They always say to send for them if you need them, but when you do need one, you need him right then."
Quote:
Hurin: You know, you could always send for me before you need me, so that I'll be there when you need me...

Nynaeve: Plan ahead? Us? Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to be very busy in this book.

Elayne: Yeah! We're going to walk into not one, but two traps this time!


It's been a while since my last review (and last general post on the series), but here's my review for Book Three. I'm already halfway through Book Four, for what it's worth. Anyway, Ramble On!

Click to reveal.. (Book Three)

Like most WoT books, it opens with a prologue, which are still short and to the point, for now. We get introduced to Pedron Niall, and see his response to the Whitecloak's crushing defeat in the previous book. Niall's one of those misguided antagonists that litter the series. He's the leader of Randland's version of the Knights Templar, a despicable group. He was the mastermind behind the Whitecloak war in the last generation. On the other hand, he sincerely believes that the Dragon prophecies are lies and yet correctly predicts that the end of the Age is coming. His efforts are focused on uniting the south-west corner of the known world into one nation, because he believes the Age will end in conventional warfare, with a second Trolloc War.

Elaida is much the same way, at the beginning of the series. An antagonist, but a well-intentioned one. She Foretold that someone from House Trakand would save the world, and in great irony attaches herself to the wrong line of House Trakand. It's a shame how later on in the series she's reduced to just being power hungry and generally insane.

I suppose the insanity could be attributed to Padan Fain, our Gollum-Wormtongue composite character. We see him briefly here advising Niall, pressuring him into invading Hobbiton. In the grand scheme of things, Fain isn't that obvious of a threat. After being a major villain in the first two books, he's only going to appear in one scene each book. Despite instigating a couple of wars, the main protagonists can never pin him down, and he's never enough of a threat to track down and kill.

And let's be clear: we're talking about a two thousand year old spirit that has possessed someone who sold his soul to the Devil, a murderer and rapist, someone whose very presence infects those around him with paranoia, fear, and hatred. And he's a minor threat in these books.

Anyway, that's the prologue. On with the rest of the story!

I mentioned that Book Two is a 'vacation book', because Moiraine is absent from most of it. This is another 'vacation book', and it's more shocking because the titular character runs off for the majority of the book. I like how every character in the series (and the reader) is lead to believe that Rand will go insane due to the Taint, and yet what actually happens is conventional insanity. Well, severe and traumatic stress, at any rate. It's to be expected: it isn't enough for Rand to know that he's go insane and rot to death, or that he's the reincarnation of the most reviled figure in the past three thousand years, or that he's got the fate of the world resting on his shoulders, or that he's constantly hounded by assassins; he also has to put up with the main villains visiting him in his dreams and playing with his mind as well. It's just as well we don't get POV chapters from Rand for most of this book, they wouldn't add anything new, and it's more interesting seeing him from other people's view.

After Rand runs off, he's followed by a few other main characters. This is the first book we really see cracks in Moiraine's facade -- she's no longer Gandalf at this point. Perrin accompanies her, and we get some nice and enjoyable chapters from him. Enjoy it while it lasts, readers. This is the last book we get to see Perrin as a bachelor. Faile shows up partway through. She's not annoying in this book, but then, she's not all that developed yet. However, there's this dream sequence at the end where Perrin is freeing a captive Faile while hundreds of falcons are swooping down on him and ripping him to shreds. I thought that was a fantastic metaphor for their relationship.

The Supergirls return to Tar Valon, where they get chewed out by Siuan for being stupid and falling into a trap set by the Black Ajah!. Yay! Then, because she can tell that the Supergirls are so good at falling into traps, she tells them to hunt down the Black Ajah by themselves. Wait, what? Oh, there's this whole thing about how Siuan can count the number of Aes Sedai she knows are not Black Ajah on the fingers of one hand. Okay, fair enough. You could do something drastic, like summon all the Aes Sedai together, point out that you can't lie, then say that the Black Ajah exists and that you aren't one. But hey, that would never work.

Sometimes, you've just gotta rip that scab right off.

Not much more happens at Tar Valon, except that the rest of the Supergirls are raised to Accepted, the magic equivalent of graduate students. Not much more to say here, but I do want to take the opportunity to start a new counter:

Number of rituals where women get naked: 1

Let's just see how high that thing goes.

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but I've got to say this every book: Nynaeve is not as annoying as I remembered (I can promise you this changes by Book Four). It's odd how Nynaeve is the competent, in control member of the party while it's Egwene who's the immature brat. She'll be hardly recognizable in the next few books. And Elayne... is really just here to round out the party for this book. With Nynaeve and Egwene being at each other's throats, there needed to be a mediator for this book, and Elayne needs to go to Tear in this book for the events of Book Four. The character does start to get used more in the later half of the series, but right now she's criminally underutilized. It's a shame really, because the character could have been developed more.

The Supergirls go off to Tear. They get captured on the way, and are rescued by a group of Aiel, who started to appear sporadically in Book Two. They are very grateful for the rescue. Then they are captured in Tear, and are rescued by Mat. And they are very not grateful for the rescue. To the author's credit, they do eventually apologize for this. In Book Seven. As you can tell, I didn't like the Supergirls that much in Book Three. Let's talk about someone I did like instead.

In the first two books, Mat acted more as a plot device than a character. In Book One he was insane due to Acute Cursed Dagger Possession, in Book Two he was dying due to Acute Cursed Dagger Withdrawal. He wasn't stupid, per se, just pretty impulsive. To be blunt, not too many people liked him. Then Book Three rolls around, Mat finally gets Healed, and we get his first POV chapter. And there was much rejoicing.

Why is Mat such a fan favourite? For me, it's because he's a straight-up implementation of the Trickster archetype. Another reason is that he never gets politically involved the way most other characters do. While other characters are struggling with nobles and angsting over their problems, Mat's still having bar fights. He's one of the few non-magical main characters, which means he approaches problems and fights differently. I think this is why I like female characters like Min more than her magical peers. Min's a philosopher with knives; most other female protagonists are The Most Powerful Channeler Of This Generation #52. And as it turns out, Mat's social ineptitude is rather humourous when it's from his point of view. There are other theories put forward why he's popular: Leigh Butler writes that Mat's the only 'American' hero of the series (this is a post on Book Four; scroll down to the Chapter 24 commentary).

One thing that surprised me was that Mat's doing the whole ancestral memory thing even here. I thought that, and the Old Tongue fluency, only appeared after the events of Book Four. Anyway, we see Mat join up with the other main Trickster of the series, Thom. I think Mat and Thom are my favourite pairing in the series: they play well off each other, and every chapter where they both appear in is entertaining. Mat and Thom also go to Tear, by way of Camelyn.

This is the book where many of the Forsaken reenter the world and start to take over it. Before we've just seen Ishy and Lanfear, and the two redshirts in Book One. Neither Ishy nor Lanfear are the governing type, but now we begin to see the second iteration of Forsaken pop up, ones that take over a nation and control it (the third iteration is, of course, the Tea Party Forsaken). We also see what I call the Fisher King effect. Rahvin causes people in Camelyn to be more manipulative. Sammael incites hatred in Illian. Be'lal causes despair in Tear. We can only assume there are a lot of orgies going on in Arad Doman. Anyway, as a rereader, it was a fun diversion trying to guess which Forsaken was responsible for each action in the book.

I found it interesting on the reread how much Sammael is hyped up to be the next target. By the beginning of Book Four, the reader is lead to expect that Sammael will dealt with next, and yet he manages to stick around for a lot longer.

And Be'lal is the ultimate anti-climax boss. To the book's credit, Be'lal's defeat isn't the climax of the book: Ishy's defeat is. I suppose Be'lal's swift defeat was to showcase the power of balefire, which first appears in this book. If I recall correctly, the downsides of balefire (y'know, the risk of destroying reality) isn't clearly stated until Book Five. So it seems odd to the new reader to see Moiraine use it twice in this Book, and then not use it in life threatening situations later on.

Quite a lot of new elements are introduced in this book. In addition to balefire, there are the Darkhounds (who don't appear all that much in the series, perhaps because they're supposed to be difficult to control) and the Grey Men (one actually appeared without explanation in Book Two). And, of course, T'A'R is revealed in this book (again, T'A'R was in previous books, but never fully explained). I think one of the early signs that the series was slowing down was when Jordan stopped introducing new elements to his world in the books, and instead just revisit existing elements. Definitely not the only factor, but still...

I mentioned in the last review that the first three books form an unofficial trilogy, which I dub the 'Acceptance' trilogy. In the course of the trilogy, the main character moves from his farmboy origins to the leader of a nation, and fully accepts his role. Another major difference between these three books and later ones is that Rand is mostly responding to threats in the first three. At the end of the third book, he kills Ishy, the main puppetmaster of the series. From now one, it's Rand who takes the initiative. From here on it, things start getting more political.

It's late (rather, early), and I'm tired, so that's all for now.

VITAL STATISTICS:
Achievements for Team Light: Capture of two of the thirteen 'original' Black Ajah; capture of the Stone of Tear, the most powerful fortress in the world, with the aid of the Aiel; retrieval of Callandor, the third most powerful artifact known; control over the nation of Tear.

Forsaken Count: Be'lal (balefired by Moiraine) and Ishy (killed by Rand). Total of three dead (for now) and one erased.

Seals Count: One intact. Total of three destroyed, one intact.
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Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
Click to reveal..
One thing that surprised me was that Mat's doing the whole ancestral memory thing even here. I thought that, and the Old Tongue fluency, only appeared after the events of Book Four.
That surprises me as well. I reread the series 2 years ago and didn't catch that one.
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Since last I posted, I've been reading some Allen Ginsberg, specifically The Fall of America and Planet News. I'm hoping to get to The Howl, but since the school year's started, I've been busier, and I still have to finish my rereading of Kerouac's On The Road. I dig the Beat Generation.

 

As for actual coursework, besides a smattering of excerpts from historically relevant literature, the main attraction is the foray into existentialism from Camus' The Stranger. Camus, as always, is good, though I still prefer his non-fiction work. I could read the Myth of Sisyphus any day.

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Originally Posted By: Master1
Finally, after finished both Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray in about three days, I was able to start reading The Wise Man's Fear.

So far, I'm really enjoying it. Rothfuss has done some great bits of humor, and I really enjoy his writing.
Coincidentally, I'm reading that right now as well.
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Originally Posted By: Space Between
Finished all of the Black Company books, which were pretty decent. Definitely stretched on longer than it should have, though. Now reading The Windup Girl because I saw it on here somewhere.
This is getting truly bizarre. I'm planning to read that series next.
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I read The Wise Man's Fear a while back, after reading a rave review here, and it was indeed very good. The Black Company series was also really good for the first few books, but I agree it went on too long. I didn't like Lord of the Flies, either. I read it as part of an English class where every single thing we read was miserably depressing, to the point where Heart of Darkness was the bright spot. I later learned that the teacher, who had put together the curriculum for the new course herself, had just gone through a nasty divorce. She eventually met someone new and cheered up, but for our year it was too late.

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Is it me, or did everyone's English class read Lord of the Flies? I read that last year too, but I decided to smuggle one of the books and finish at home just to get it over with. Brought it back the next day, and it was like it never happened. Then we had to make stories like Edgar Allan Poe, which I didn't like. Now I'm reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

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On a Mac, hit option-E and then a letter to ádd sómé áccént márks.

 

I've never read Lord of the Flies for school. I read it on my own years ago and it left very little impression.

 

—Alorael, who likes to think of The Black Company as a trilogy with one sequel. There's a follow-up series, but it's not really the same thing. It's also not as good.

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Quote:
Is it me, or did everyone's English class read Lord of the Flies?


I read Slaughterhouse V instead.

Of The Black Company books, The Silver Spike was my favorite. The ones after never got bad, but they were lacking a lot. The theme of things being worse when you're old and grey applied to the series itself as much as its characters.
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Originally Posted By: Flame Fiend
Is it me, or did everyone's English class read Lord of the Flies?


We were set to, but we read a novel about India, Nectar in the Sieve, instead, and just watched the movie. I had read the book prior, so I knew we weren't missing out on anything spectacularly worth while.
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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Both movie versions were terrible. Also, I admit I'm surprised to see the book getting such a bad reception here.


I liked Lord of the Flies, mainly because I liked the author. He had some incredibly insightful quote that I can't seem to find anywhere that went something like "I wrote [Lord of the Flies] at the time everyone was so busy thanking God they weren't a Nazi that they didn't see every one of us could have been one."

Great stuff.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote:
"This is madness!" Rhuarc strode up beside Rand, staring out at the still silent gathering.
Quote:
"Madness?" Couladin looked back at Sevanna, who nodded. "This! Is! Alcair Dal!" And he kicked Rhuarc over the edge.

Right on the heels of my review of The Dragon Reborn, here is my review of Book Four, The Shadow Rising.
Click to reveal.. (Book Four)

The series starts a major change beginning with this book. With the previous three books, every event would be moving towards one central climax (Rush to the Eye! Find the Horn! Get the Sword!). While the multitude of different POVs started with Book Two, the first three books still had every main character in the same place for the final climaxes. Now, the party splits up, and each group has its own plot thread and climax. Is this method effective? I thought it was, for this book at least. A common complaint is that latter books try to juggle too many storylines, but for now the technique works fine.

Another major difference is the theme. As I mentioned in my previous post, a major theme of the first three books was Rand's acceptance of himself. Now, a major theme is Rand establishing his independence and dominance. In this book he's distancing himself from Moiraine, the Gandalf figure, and leaves the treacherous Tairians for the Aiel instead. By Book Six, he's conquered two more nations, escaped from the Aes Sedai's kidnapping attempt, and set up his own society of magic users in opposition to them. Of course, it's not so simple a division as that, since other characters have their own arcs as well, but you get the idea. The big difference is that while Rand was reactive in the first three books, he starts being proactive in the later books. It's what separates him from most other characters in the series, and from many other fantasy works. Usually, fantasy literature has the convention that evil is proactive, and good only reactive, and this series breaks that convention.

The book starts off in Tear, and the pace is relatively slow, at least compared to the pace the rest of the book has. This reread, I've noticed that each character has a different style of leadership, and Rand's is horrible, at least in this stage of the series. We get our introduction to the "bubbles of evil" in this book. But aside from the first ones (which are nice because they are thematically tied to the characters invovled), they don't really feel all that threatening and scary, at least until Book Eleven and beyond when things really get weird.

This books has the Supergirls split up, with Nynaeve and Elayne going to Tanicho, and Egwene going to the Waste. But before they leave Tear, we get the oh so critical scene where Egwene tells Rand she no longer loves him, and Elayne announces her undying love of him. It has all the romance and spontenaity of the Changing of the Guard. I have problems with most of the romance subplots in the series, but probably the most with Rand and Elayne (Perrin and Faile just deserve each other). Before this moment, the only screen time they shared was for about ten minutes in Book One. Now she sweeps in, catches him on the rebound, spends about a week with him snogging in the halls, and then leaves for the next several books. And the next time we see the two together... I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I really want to stress that I don't mind flaws in a character. The whole "naive princess" angle is fine on Elayne. But the "love at first sight" angle is just stupid.

As for Nynaeve, this is the first book where I noticed her being crabby and domineering for the sake of being crabby and domineering, rather than her being so as a response to something. It's not fun reading the way some of the other flawed characters are fun reading; for instance, a chapter from oblivious Mat's POV is better than a chapter from grumpy Nynaeve's POV. But to be fair, she isn't nearly as insufferable as I remember her being. She does receive more characterization that I remember from my last read. So yeah, I think I've been unfairly predisposed towards her. Some facets of her character are poorly conceived and written, but overall she's okay. Maybe she gets worse later on, but I'll cut her some slack for now.

We get introduced to a sympathetic Seanchan character in the Nynaeve and Elayne arc, which fleshes out the culture nicely. Most cultures in the series are introduced as very one-dimensional at the beginning, and it's only when the characters become more than outsiders looking in do we get to see new depths and reevaluate our position. The Seanchan are an interesting society because of the conflicts within them. On the one hand, they eventually succeed in bringing peace and order in the western countries when the protagonists have failed. On the other hand, they do so by being ruthlessly efficient fascists who enslave magic users and treat them like animals.

We also get introduced to Moggy in the same arc. The realization that the major villains of the series are still human is done rather well. She also ends up being a reoccuring nemesis for Nynaeve, which is also nice.

When you think about it, a lot gets accomplished in the Tanicho arc. The heroines flush out the Black Ajah, help restore order to an entire country, dispose of an artifact that could enslave the central character of the series, recover one of the seven main MacGuffins of the series, and discover that they can go toe to toe with one of the most powerful figures in legend and still win. And yet, I could barely remember the arc going into the book. After rereading it, I think I know why: everything accomplished by the heroines is undone almost right away. The Black Ajah get away, Tanicho is eventually invaded by the Seanchan, the male a'dam is handed over to the Seanchan instead of thrown away, the seal is damaged in Shipping and Handling, and Moggy gets away. Now that I think about it, a lot of the quests that Nynaeve and Elayne accomplish only have temporary results. A shame, really.

The other main side arc in this book is the Perrin and Faile one, and boy does this one get off on a rocky start. And before anyone says that Faile's the one responsible for their inane bickering, I want to point out that Perrin is just as much an immature jerk as she is. It take the butchering of Perrin's entire extended family for these two to shut up.

Aside from that, the whole Two Rivers arc was very good. There are a lot of parallels to the Scouring of the Shire, but I think the whole "return home" trope works better here than it does in LotR. In LotR, it comes at the very end, and is more of an Aesop than an actual part of the story. In this series, the arc actually reintroduces the 'hobbits' back into the action, and they play a big role in events later on. Also, it really helps develop character: Rand is willing to turn his back on the people he grew up with, even in their time of need, whereas Perrin is incapable of doing so.

We also see Padan Fain again, and are introduced to Slayer, but both these characters stick to the shadows for most the series, so we don't see much of them.

The main arc has the rest of the characters head off to the Waste. We see the Aiel society get fleshed out. It's all very Dune-esque, perhaps an intentional homage? We see Egwene start her training with the Aiel, and her character gets developed some more. I found her an interesting contrast to most other characters in the series: instead of "saving the world" being her main purpose, she's very driven by selfish ambition and a thirst for knowledge at this point of the series. After our initial introduction to the Aiel, Rand and Mat head off for Rhuidean. Moiraine and Rand's Love Interest #2 go as well, but of course, women do things slightly differently.

Number of rituals where women get naked: 2

The chapters where Rand and Mat are in Rhuidean are my favourite of the book, and probably my favourite of the entire series. Rand gets to see the entire progression of Aiel history backwards through his ancestors' eyes. It's exposition done right; instead of a giant fact dump, we get a collection of highly personal short stories that reveal a lot. At the same time, we see Mat "cross the veil" and bargain with Unseelie-esque beings, and he acquires the abilities and items that help define him for the rest of the series. I think this is where Robert Jordan was at his strongest: inventing detailed cultures and high fantasy locations.

Quote:
GM: Okay, so have you two levelled up after your solo quests? Excellent. The two of you meet up in the centre square of Rhuidean.

Randall: Holy crap, look at the items you picked up! How come I didn't get anything like that?

GM: You got that sword last session, quit complaining.

Randall: So what ability did you choose for this level?

Matthew: Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes. It's pretty sweet.

Randall: Oh yeah. I wanted to get that one too, but the GM made me pick up Leadership first.

Matthew: Nice tats, though.


I'd have to say this one's my favourite of the series, though Book Two comes close. Other books have some great moments in them (Books Six, Nine, and Twelve have some of my favourite scenes), but overall I think Book Four does it best.

VITAL STATISTICS:
Achievements for Team Light: Defense of the Two Rivers and Tarabon, capture of a male Forsaken, retrieval of the two most powerful artifacts known, control over all but one of the Aiel clans.

Forsaken count: None, total of three dead (for now), one erased.

Seals count: Two intact. Total of three destroyed, three intact.

One final note: this book's about a thousand pages long. The afternoon I finished it, I had to do some babysitting. Once my nephews and niece were in bed, I started rereading Of Mice and Men. And finished it right then and there. Felt really weird.
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Right now I'm reading Éminence by Jean-Vincent Blanchard. It's a history/biography of Cardinal Richelieu and the rise of France as a nation state (at least that's what it says on the cover). I haven't gotten very far in, but it's quite well-done so far, and the subject matter is fascinating.

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I've finished the Emperor of Maladies. Of note, when I began it I had one relative who had had cancer, and she recovered. When I finished it I had lost one relative, and there's another who's still in the uncertain prognosis phase.

 

The book was put down for a while in the middle there.

 

—Alorael, who has to say it's very well written. He finds many lay science books iffy, but this one was excellent, in part because so much of it is history, not biology.

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I recently finished Maia, a fantasy epic by Richard Adams, author of the famous Watership Down (his debut novel). Maia takes place in the same world as does Adams' second novel, Shardik. I have now read them both. Next up, once I get around to it, will be the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear (by Arthur Conan Doyle, of course).

 

Oh, and howdy, for those few that will remember me. I was consumed with nostalgia today and burned through acres of threads over at Aran's priceless Pied Piper archive. Reliving those heady days of the General Moderator elections of 2005 was a true thrill. And, as such, I show my scruffy face here for the first time in at least two or three years. How fare the boards, without the needle/ferrets on hand to preserve order?

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Originally Posted By: Stugri-La
Oh, and howdy, for those few that will remember me. I was consumed with nostalgia today and burned through acres of threads over at Aran's priceless Pied Piper archive. Reliving those heady days of the General Moderator elections of 2005 was a true thrill. And, as such, I show my scruffy face here for the first time in at least two or three years. How fare the boards, without the needle/ferrets on hand to preserve order?


holiest of molies look who it is

things have been going well here for the past uh several years. relatively little drama. most of the desp crowd is gone but i still keep in touch with the rest of the Gang of Four. also i'm thuryl and i'm a woman now, i guess that's probably worth knowing
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:{D That it assuredly is, Thuryl! I have in fact been around to visit in lurker form, though not more than once every few months, doing little more than cursorily glancing over posts and considering whether to make an appearance. Until now, I rarely felt sufficiently motivated even to log in. I suppose that the marked impression of Deja vu that strikes me when I see the names 'Lilith' and 'Thuryl' associated indicates that I gleaned this information in my lurking rounds.

 

Good to hear that the boards are carrying on without major incident. Indeed, I visited desp earlier today and found it entirely defunct except for an exquisite illustration, apparently in commemoration of its eight-year anniversary. I am glad indeed to learn that the boys are well.

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Why, thank you, Sylae. It is gratifying indeed to be considered an oldbie. Having disappeared for so long, I feared that I had been rendered an utter afterthought. I am rather proud of my hat, though my whiskers are an even greater point of pride!

 

Edit: I should add that I remain male, though as feckless and ineffectual as ever.

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Originally Posted By: Stugri-La
Why, thank you, Sylae. It is gratifying indeed to be considered an oldbie.


I remember when posters like you roamed the boards. Stuggie... Whew.

I've been on these boards for too long.

On topic: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. It sounds exactly as it was made out to be by this thread.
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I remember you as well, Tyranicus. Having consulted the archives this, or rather, yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my posting tailed off during the fall of '05. I guess I lost interest shortly after I failed in my bid to become a moderator of General in the election in the summer of '05. If I had stuck around, I might have been offered the position once Thuryl resigned the next year, as I had finished second in the voting.

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I shall ever remember the gentleness of your manners and the wild originality of your countenance.

 

Okay, maybe not exactly that. But I retain some impression that you were one of the interesting people who could also write well. Nice if you could stay around for a while.

 

Otherwise, Invisible Cities is great. Like other Calvino works, it's all based on a gimmick that could easily become insufferable, but instead of waving the cleverness in your face all the time, he plays it quietly, and the thing ends up being good for entirely different reasons than the basic idea.

 

Favorite line, probably a bit garbled in recollection: "Sometimes you can hear a door slam."

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Originally Posted By: Stugri-La
I recently finished Maia, a fantasy epic by Richard Adams, author of the famous Watership Down (his debut novel). Maia takes place in the same world as does Adams' second novel, Shardik. I have now read them both. Next up, once I get around to it, will be the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear (by Arthur Conan Doyle, of course).

Oh, and howdy, for those few that will remember me. I was consumed with nostalgia today and burned through acres of threads over at Aran's priceless Pied Piper archive. Reliving those heady days of the General Moderator elections of 2005 was a true thrill. And, as such, I show my scruffy face here for the first time in at least two or three years. How fare the boards, without the needle/ferrets on hand to preserve order?


Hey Stughalf! You've been away so long that when I recently saw you on Facebook I realized I'd forgotten what your name was on Spiderweb!
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Ah, SoT, I remember you well also. Like Nikki, you joined the forums around the same time as I. And you always struck me as a fine writer and interesting contributor as well!

 

Hello there, Aran! Yes, I, too have seen you around facebook, and looked at your profile yesterday. I'm glad to have refreshed your memory of my identity around here grin You have done a fine job in maintaining the archive, dude. It brought me no small amount of enjoyment yesterday.

 

You are well-remembered as well, Nico. Honestly, I don't believe I ever found you annoying in the least! But I understand your sentiments; when I was last an active member here I had just turned 21, and though I seem to have carried myself fairly well, a good deal has changed for me since. New experiences bring alterations great and small to our attitudes and ideologies, and I'm no exception.

 

I don't wish to get all autobiographical here right away, but if I do end up staying on for some time I'm sure that the events of the past six years will begin to reveal themselves.

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I've picked up the beginning of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Gardens of the Moon. WoT-like in size, but with apparently no reception, good or bad, and actually complete.

 

—Alorael, who also remembers Stughalf. Welcome back! Spiderweb never takes its claws out of you no matter how far you run.

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I see you are still alive and at it, Alorael, and 'tis a sight that warms me to the cockles of my ferrety heart! It strikes me that we never did quite settle the little matter of the ferret army's planned assault of your Alaskan stronghold.

 

My thanks for the welcome back. Indeed, the wave of nostalgia I experienced yesterday, and which carried me here, must have stemmed from the gash in my psyche which the claws of Spidweb opened long ago.

 

I can't say how long I will manage to stick around this time, as I will have to get serious about finding my next job soon. But I do plan on being fairly active while I still can.

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