Aphorism of the Day: Suicide is the one thing that anyone can do that everyone will take seriously. This is why, as lonely as it is, self-destruction is so profoundly social.
A new Atrocity Tale is up.
I had a lot of fun with this one, reaching back, as it does, to a pivotal moment in Far Antiquity. So much so, that it’s got me thinking about the way serial fantasy demands so much more of readers than any genre short of experimental avante garde stuff. Writing “The False Sun” felt… I dunno, thick, semantically dense in a way that my return to philosophical concerns can’t hope to. A fantasy world is a reality where Soul and World are coextensive. Our world (or even worse, the world of the Blind Brain Theory) is one where the Soul has shrunk to a delusional ember, and ‘profundity’ is little more than bell cruelly tied to a lap-dog’s tale.
But the very reason I enjoyed writing “The False Sun” so much is also the reason I need to issue a SEVERE SPOILER ALERT. The Second Apocalypse is big, so big that the narrative and thematic dimensions only come into collective focus here and there. “The False Sun” is a story about the origins of the Consult, and so brings together the historical and metaphysical dimensions of the greater saga in a decisive way. Nothing is spoiled in terms of plot, but in terms of setting, this story cuts against the way the details of the World have been rationed over the course of the series. Drawing the curtain back on Golgotterath is something I’ve reserved for The Unholy Consult.
Thus the spoiler alert: Reading “The False Sun” will have a profound impact on your reading of The Unholy Consult, and if you are as jealous of your narrative surprises as I am, you might want to set this story on the back-burner.
Otherwise, dig in. There’s several things that I’m not certain about, and as always I appreciate any kind of feedback that can help me put these or other qualms to bed.
These are the kind of things that make life worth living! Or at least the kind of things that make the internet worth checking out. Much love to the Bakker multiverse!
The Second Apocalypse is big, so big that the narrative and thematic dimensions only come into collective focus here and there.
As a reader with still a lot of reading ahead to do I still need to ask: when do you think the same feel will crystallize for the reader (of the whole instead of the parts)?
I mean, at some point you surely want that the reader gets the scale and significance of the thing you’re doing in its entirety. So when is this move being made, in The Unholy Consult or in the duology/trilogy that supposedly closes the whole thing?
The Judging Eye and White-Luck Warrior changed the scope of the novels tremendously for me.
Basically, when I had finished reading “The Thousand-Fold Thought” the existence of the gods and Damnation were still ambiguous. In the following two books, it becomes explicit and a major driving point of the narrative.
Despite following Scott’s work and philosophy closely though, many things remain ambiguous for me. I haven’t reread all the books back to back though, and (as I’m sure you are aware) SHIT’S DENSE BRO.
I suggest you hold off on reading this Atrocity Tale until after you’ve finished The Judging Eye at least.
Basically, when I had finished reading “The Thousand-Fold Thought” the existence of the gods and Damnation were still ambiguous.
Yeah, I got that impression too! That there were no gods, just magic (I’m not sure what I make of the whole twig thing near the start of TDTCB and near the end of TTT, though). Then when they suddenly turn up it’s almost pornographic in it’s explicitness!
I like how the spoilers alert here basically schisms the ingroup into the haves and the have-legs-crossed! 🙂 And is “lap-dog’s tale” a deep and meaningful word play, or simply dyslexia? Heh! Or is dyslexia itself meep and deaningful in its lack of word worship? >:)
You don’t ask authors where they intend to place their climax, Abe! That’s like asking a proctologist who his favourite patient is!
awesome. Part of me wants to wait until TUC, but that lil voice was pretty easy to squash. I’ll read it tonight and leave some feedback.
This might be a little out there, but as I’m studying a foreign language, we worked on the different aspects of verbs: perfective and imperfective. Because this relates to either the completion of the verb’s action, or focusing on its ongoing action, I thought of both the title ‘aspect emperor’, and the Dunyian philosophy of mastering that which comes before to control that which follows. Does the “Aspect” in Kellhus’ title refer to more than just the aspect or appearance of a face? Or do I just need to take a break from class and chill out?
I think there had been at least one aspect emperor before Kellhus. Don’t know if that helps any.
‘Aspect’ refers to Inri Sejenus’s reinterpretation of the Gods as ‘aspects’ of the God.
I’m going to wait, and read this after I’ve devoured The Unholy Consult. Thanks for the spoiler warning. 🙂
For me, the jury on whether or not the gods are real is still out. I’m under the impression that they’re real only so far as belief manifests them in the Outside, just like Damnation is real but manifested as a product of belief. I read somewhere that the Inchoroi wrote the Tusk (not sure if Bakker said it or not so I don’t know how true that is). That the Inchoroi are Damned is certain–that they want to save themselves through the destruction of all believing things (kind of why they made a No-God) is what they’re motivated by. That begs the question as to why they’d write the Tusk–I can come up with several answers but none of which I’m certain would be correct, assuming they did write it or at least influence its writing by posing as gods.
I’m going to hold off on reading this latest story until AFTER I’ve read the UNHOLY CONSULT. By-the-way, I am so digging that title.
If we’re thinking of the same interview, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Inchoroi who wrote the tusk but… another group. As for not reading the story yet, you’re like that one amazing kid who can be handed a jar of cookies, told to not eat any, and actually not eat any. I admire your perseverance.
They didn’t write the Tusk.
They made a tiny teensy little change. Telling men to invade the lands of Nonmen.
Yeah, I think they wrote in it the nonmen were harbouring WMDs, wasn’t it…though maybe I’m mixing that up with some other story I read once…
That was bloody fascinating.
I was especially fascinated by the more detailed description of the Inchoroi, although I’m still having trouble mentally envisioning their bodies aside from the wings and oyster-shaped head.
life is a question about ones sense of humour, whether its the dead laughing about life, or the life of laughing at the dead.
so close bakker, you will find a really black sense of humour soon. seriously black.
The number of straight-up lunatics who comment on this blog is fascinating. You really strike a chord with the crazies Scott.
I think it’s a good thing… until they start writing crap like the above.
You really need to lay off the Heraclitus.
“life is a question about ones sense of dicks, whether its the dead laughing about dicks, or the life of laughing at the dicks.”
I think that’s what glubber meant to say, but it’s still retarded.
Jorge and Callan, thanks for the correction. Frank–thanks for the compliment… I think.
First off I’d like to apologize for what people may see as a useless post. But hey, forums tend to accumulate them, so I figured one mark wouldn’t stand out against many. (sorry had to slip an allusion in there.)
I’m still on the fence on whether or not to read this newest installment. I crave clarity but I feel as though the clarity will somehow diminish the brilliance of your story. I suppose I will busy myself with re-reading the entire series until I decide, which I would like to say is something I’ve never bothered to do with any other.
Unrelated, I stumbled upon this site not 3 days ago and I am continually astounded at your writing, Scott, as well as your humor and cadence towards everything. Maybe I’m just simple minded but everything you write seems to have a great profundity I have never quite seen elsewhere.
Thanks, Wilshire. Remember though, the world is only as deep as the eye. You wouldn’t happen to be in the SUNY Buffalo Comp Lit program by any chance would you?
SUNY. Yes. Buffalo, yes again. I’m pretty curious as to how you managed to come up with that. Would you mind walking me through that line of thought? A semester or two ago I actually did finish up the last of my English classes (taught by professor Neil Schmitz if that means anything to you), but Comp Lit wouldn’t be where you would find. My major is in Chemical engineering, and I’m on the swim team there as well.
Still though, I’m extremely curious as to how SUNY Buffalo came to mind.
Turns out the email address, which I forgot I have written down and not shown, is the .edu, which would have narrowed down your guess I suppose. I was just so surprised at your guess that I forgot to look for the obvious answer to my own question. Oh well, I remain impressed.
Have you seen all the discussion this has generated over at Westeros.org? Bakker threads are like 4 of the top 5 over in the literature sub-forum. Must kind of feel like Mission Accomplished, at least on a small scale.
Yeah, probably contributing to and starting such posts elsewhere is a good way of ‘paying for’ such stories. Word of mouth is powerful. Actually with this story, it doesn’t seem spoiler-riffic to me and while I like revelations, you kind of have to already be into the idea of an erratic to dig it. This one I think is better for a straight recommendation. Which is easier to do than recommending a book because to get any traction with the other person, they have to buy a whole book rather than click a link and read.
Or would it be awful to recommend it because it does contain mega spoilers? Ah, such hard moral choices this world puts forth…
I’ll definitely take a looksee. Makes me feel, er, Fifth-columnish…
Great Story! Very intriguing. I dont know if this is the right place to say but I have made a few pieces of art about your work. Here is the link if anyone would like to see http://jackmcdonaghart.wordpress.com/
Those are amazing!!!
As Scott’s Most Dedicated Fanboy (self-appointed title) I supplicate you to make more.
Seriously, it’s about time someone made some good fanart. I assume the first is a Nonman (an erratic, if I had to guess from his demeanor) and the second, The Horns. My only suggestion is that the scale seems a bit off, they should be a lot bigger… I mean it took weeks/months for the crater The Ark left to cool back from molten lava into rock.
Can we get an Achamian? There’s a decent sketch online (http://ministryofpants.blogspot.com/2007/01/drusas-achamian-and-cnaiur-urs-skiotha.html) but it’s not even inked.
If you want to challenge yourself, I suggest trying a skin-spy. Getting the cranio-facial anatomy to look right while simultaneously accommodating the ‘digits’ sounds tough.
Awesome! I love black and white artwork. For some reason, I feel like it goes very well with the world of Earwa
Very cool, Jack. I agree… Black and white somehow seems appropriate.
Very interesting, thanks for the spoiler alert. I really like savour my surprises so I will wait to read this until after the next book. Which looks like it may be sometime this summer? Too bad, just finished The White-luck Warrior last night and I was hoping to dig into the next book.
Keep up the great work Mr. Bakker, or R as your friends call you I’m sure, I’ve enjoyed all of your books so far, and now I enjoy reading this blog. Actually it’s this blog that’s been making me glance over at that unfinished copy of Being and Time and wondering if I shouldn’t just bite the bullet and attempt to read it again. Ack now that I look at the bookshelf there are a few more unfinished books I need to tackle.
Just wanted to say thanks for the books.
p.s. Whenever I read the word Golgotterath I cannot help thinking of Norwegian black-metal bands. If there isn’t a band with that name there should be.
I always thought he was playing on “Golgotha”, you know, where they killed Jesus.
Jorge, actually I had never heard the term Golgotha before you mentioned it. Now that I know what it is, it seems reasonable to think that he might have been playing on that. Or Gorgoroth from the Lord of the Rings…which happens to be the name of a Norwegian Black Metal band.
Actually I don’t really think that, I just Googled it, and I thought it was a funny coincidence.
I’ve always thought that Golgotterath is the ultimate name for a Main Evil Stronghold…the perfect synthesis between Golgotha e Gorgoroth
Thank you, Mark. Unfinished books are what bookshelves are for. A place for words to watch and wait. What’s an unfinished e-book? Something that never existed…
Not to mention how sophisticated a oak bookshelf filled with thick literature looks! As for Golgotterath, the name always struck a nice cord in my mind. Not only is it so evidently fitting within the religious context, but it also makes me think of that ..how The Second Apocalypse evokes the same sense of otherworldly magic and how it can encompass your thoughts and animate the storyline with vivid scenes in your mind, much like that magic feeling many had when they read Tolkien’s works. Only this actually feels stronger, less censured. More addictive. Better. I suppose it is considered a literary anathema to say that, but..meh.
The False Sun was of course, like always, a great joy to read! I would like to comment it beyond that; I have often experianced your writing style as enigmatic but also quite a task to comprehend at first glance, especially for someone who considers english their secondary language. I do not find this negative because the english language interest me greatly and much of your writing have taught me new words and definitely some new similes. With the False Sun I felt that much of the reading flowed, perhaps it is I that have accomodated to your style better, but this one seems hewn off and less dense (density-wise!). Could be a erratic opinion! Subjective and crude as it is.
Also, a few posts above mentioned fan art. I might not have that, but I do know a man that gave Cnaiur urs Skiotha a face to me; Sebastien Chabal. Have a look on Google.
A few posts above mentioned fan art, and I thought I could post the link to the mant hat gave Cnaiur a face to me;
And now me too! Holy throwback, batman.
On an entirely different and derailing kind of topic..if I say, wanted to send you a piece of fan-fic to do what you will with it (seeing that some have even been permitted to be posted here)..where should it be sent? I assume that you judge which pieces of fan-fic that will and will not be uploaded here.
Just post the thing the way you want it formatted on the FAN FIC page, and I’ll create a page, then simply copy and paste.
Talk about an author asking readers to stay away from a story fro their own good. Mr Bakker you’re too good for your own good! Anyway I am a HUGE fan of the Prince of Nothing Trilogy and will be reading the new trilogy soon, I think, though I had been holding out for the Unholy Consult to come out before I started; don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up my patience though…