Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Luckers... Official on Brandon


Recommended Posts

I wrote this originally as a reply to a minor comment made by Peter Ahlstrom. As I wrote it, it came to respect everything I feel and think in regards to Brandon's work on the Wheel.

 

I am aware that my position on the Wheel has created antagonism. I acknowledge that the antagonism I have created has not been beneficial toward the experience ot the end of the Wheel.

 

This.... I don't know what this does. Here it is anyway. I have not changed it in the slightest in choosing the create a thread rather than simply have it be a reply.

 

 

As far as I know, quality control is and has been the only point of the beta read.

 

Things still slip through—and will always slip through when you have a finite number of people working in a finite time. Heck, Felix Pax caught two errors (or one error repeated twice) in The Great Hunt just this year that Maria got fixed in the next reprint. Readers can assign fault wherever they like; repeating that everyone worked very hard on this is just whipping a dead horse.

 

 

 

It's funny that they don't seem to have that perception.

 

And look Peter, yes mistakes will always occur in a series of this size, especially with the original writer dead. I'll go further; RJ himself was not devoid of hiding his ass when it came to mistakes--as far as I know he only ever admitted one mistake in the history of the series, and sidled on another with talk about how 'if he seemed to say that, then he was sorry' [there was also the admittance of the failed experiment of the flashback in Eotw]. This is despite a great many mistakes, especially during the early books. I can construct a list--with the relevent retconns--if you wish to have it at hand to provide people who get angry at Brandon for his mistakes.

 

You've stated in the past that you know I don't like you or Brandon deflecting blame. And it is true, I don't. I think Brandon from the very beginning disavowed responsibility for the issues that he found hard--and then disavowed effort. The timeline, the prose, the continuity errors... and at every point when these have been raised, Brandon--or you--have been there to point out the other influences at hand. Brandon said to me directly in Melbourne in regards to the poor quality of TofM that 'what you have to understand is that the betas had approved of it'

 

I have read the first draft of Towers of Midnight. I have read the google spreadsheet of the betas responses. I know most of the beta's personally.

 

They are my friends.

 

You want to point out Harriet's mistakes? Dumb ideas? Blunt appeals to humour like Mat's TofM letter or the nature of Fain in his current existence? Fine. I don't like it so long as you don't treat Brandon's failings with the same sharpness, but whatever. You want to show RJ's numerous mistakes and I'll even help. I loved the man--he saved my life in a great many ways--most of which I know were not his intention and would likely have made him uncomfortable--and the world he created was that of a genuis, but I have no problem with fair assessment, even as it shows the negatives as well as the positives (or, as many miss with me, the positives as well as the negatives when it comes to Brandon's work).

 

But the betas? Their involvement was superficial. I have NO doubt they did good. They know their stuff, and they would have provided everything they had--but the glance was superficial. I know it almost didn't happen, and I'm guessing the only reason it did was the perceptions of the fandom's response to the news that it had not. 

 

By the same note, I also know that Brandon was the one who championed me for a position as an early reader, alongside Terez--and that Harriet shot it down. I know VERY WELL that Brandon wanted this to be perfect--that he cared about the Wheel imensely and expended insane degrees of effort to that effect. I just wish he had chosen to try and tackle the areas beyond his experience rather than bringing in surrogates, myself included. I have no problem with people providing the knowledge or skills they have, but in the end he was the writer. The Captain of the vessel. Harriet may have been the owner of the ship, and thus had both the right and the responsibility to check on its cargo--but it is still for the Captain to see it brought on board, placed and tied properly, the course of the ship carefully charted. The owner may fiddle with the specifics--that's their right--but it is still the Captain, not the owner, who is responsible for the ship, and if it founders--as TofM did--that is upon the Captain.

 

Singular placements can be condemned. The owners oversight shown as flawed, and the subsequent accrimations applied to them. It still does not absolve the Captain of his duty--not duty to succeed, or be perfect (my work on RJ should show that I do not expect that of the very greatest). It is for him to view the cargo, for him to see it stowed, each in its proper place and proper way. RJ's notes may have provided the maps of the waters Brandon needed to sail, but it was Brandon to decide the exact course from point to point (as he himself has stated time and again explaining his work on the Wheel).

 

All of which bring's us back to the Beta's. I know the work they did. It was in no way minimal. But it was superficial. That was not a failure of effort on their parts, but the definitions within which they were allowed to serve. They were not--as one stated to me--quality control. Their mandate was that purpose, and they served it--but it was neither the reason for their existence nor the use to which they were put.

 

This is of course the point where you come in high-minded. Diplomatic to the over-wrought fan with the axe to grind. Concise in showing the ways in which areas that I have not seen have coincided with points of particular fanrage to all define a darker image than exists--one framed not in the study of what the writer has produced, but in which the fan desired to be produced.

 

No doubt you are right about a great many of those points. I'd be a bit of an ass if I weren't open to critical analysis or criticism after this rant. Hell. I am an ass. Here I am calling out the guy who worked INSANE hours [and yes, they were insane] to bring us the end of our beloved series--a thing which--especially from an author other than the original working with incomplete notes covering 50% [by Brandon's statement] of what needed to occur--brought with it all the chance of huge ramifications such as an ass such a Luckers taking an emotional dislike to how he handled that precious series, picking up an axe, grinding it to a fine point, and laying about with abandon.

 

But, again, we have drifted. The Beta's. Please don't implicate them in whatever failures have occurred, or may occur. I know several of them both disagree and feel embaressed about the position I have taken over Brandon's work. I have fought with some of them, and have lost respect in their eyes, and indeed lost in some cases a closeness I both once enjoyed and cherished, and now lack. Much--most--of this has been due to my own personal issues. You and Brandon know of what I speak, because I don't think I could have acted toward you as I have without showing you the truth of that. You may share it if you wish. I have my own cowardice, or I would simply do it myself.

 

Brandon--you brought us the ending of a series that was otherwise would never have had--you did not do so cavalierly or without effort. Insane effort. I have ALWAYS honoured you for this. Just as I have never judged you for not being James Rigney. You said to me in our most recent email that you were not the author for me--that, right there, is the same type of cowardice as my own. You are--not in the sense of pleasing me. [removed] I'm just [removed] with a sense of entitlement--in the sense that you should be the author for me if your telling the story and I'm reading it--all of which is utterly on your terms. If you stopped hiding from it--stopped saying 'no, I can't do that', 'no, I'm not RJ', for that matter 'no, I can't be better than RJ'.  You have the skill, I've seen it, and you sure as hell talk about it with great wisdom on your podcast--you just need to step the hell back--take a breather, and reconsider. EXPAND ON WHAT YOU KNOW.

 

 

But don't touch my friends.

Edited by Luckers
PG-13
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 296
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Did you really need to make a separate thread for this meandering diatribe?  Wasn't the criticism thread a better place for this?

 

Probably. Nevertheless I thought it time to face the crap I've made--can anyone honestly say that the current situation is ideal for dealing with the aMoL release?

 

So lets sort our crap out, here and now. Doesn't have to just be me--but if it is, okay. No one can say I haven't led things in creating this unpleasantness.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
language
Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that it is for the best to leave no illusions on the stances members take on the whole Brandon issue. So I'll agree and say lets sort it out here and now, so as not to further take away from the experience of the final book of the Wheel we will ever get. So everyone can know where everyone stands and we can focus on savouring aMoL. 

 

I'll not participate in any further debate over Brandon's work (unless something is specifically directed at me) until aMoL has come out. I'll just state my opinion here, and leave it at that. 

 

I do not feel I have a qualified enough opinion to comment on any of the behind the scenes issues but I'll put my opinion on criticism here. 

 

I'll take a quote from the "Thisguy" Thread which sums up my position: 

 

 

 

 

 

Suttree, on 04 Dec 2012 - 08:52, said:snapback.png

 

yoniy0, on 04 Dec 2012 - 08:23, said:snapback.png

 What I did see, were PS Peter, if you're still reading, nothing I say is meant to invalidate the appreciation most of us feel for your hard work, yours and Brandon's, Maria's and Alan's, and of course Harriet's. You have my thanks for making it part of your life, all of you. But, at the same time, I'm dissatisfied with parts of what I know of Brandon's process, and much of the little I know of Harriet's discretion. This basic right--to shape my own judgements and voice them--I don't relinquish. I hope I never do so in a disrespectful manner, as that is never my intention.

 Very well said Yoniy0, that is what it comes down to mostly for myself as well. You know how long and hard I defended the "extra time" which makes it all the more dissapointing.

 

 

Indeed, I believe all of his reasonable critics did. As for Yoniy0's statement, again, most of the reasonable critics have the same feeling. Having certain problems with portions of three 800 page books doesn't make one ungrateful or unappreciative of the efforts that have been put in. In fact, it surprises me that this has to be said at all. The fact that we are still reading and caring about the work displays it. Those that are ungrateful and unappreciative have long since stopped reading and posting about it.

 

 

PS: I won't speak for yoniy0 and Suttree on this, I only speak for my post itself, but I put it in there for context. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but I feel bad for you Luckers.  I mean, you spend so much of your free time hating on an imaginary fantasy world that DOES NOT exist.  Yeah, there's errors.  Who cares??????  I'm mega obsessed with Wheel of Time, too.  However, I don't let these mistakes bother me.  Look how upset you get over this.  You spend sooooooo much time hatin'.  I feel bad for you, I hope you enjoy the last book as much as the rest of us do.  :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but I feel bad for you Luckers.  I mean, you spend so much of your free time hating on an imaginary fantasy world that DOES NOT exist.  Yeah, there's errors.  Who cares??????  I'm mega obsessed with Wheel of Time, too.  However, I don't let these mistakes bother me.  Look how upset you get over this.  You spend sooooooo much time hatin'.  I feel bad for you, I hope you enjoy the last book as much as the rest of us do.  :(

Someone seriously registered an account just to say this? Leaving aside all of the inherent flaws in their post along with more ridiculous claims of "hating". :rolleyes: Why you would think they have never read any of the critique elsewhere or what Luckers actually said here. That can't be the case if they actually took the time to register and post correct?

 

Edit: As an aside the quote Barid posted sums up my opinion pre-AMoL. That is all I wish to say for now...

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, they did, Sutt. Registered an account just to take a drive-by cheap shot. But. Beyond that, what always kills me is this shock and offense people take at the WOT being discussed so intricately .... on a WOT DISCUSSION BOARD - LOL!!!

 

 

That is what this place is FOR.

 

 

And no. This place is not for WOT Discussion for ONLY those who see perfection in the work. People say they are tired of seeing criticism over and over again. How about respecting MY right that I'm tired of seeing PRAISE over and over again?? (I'm not, really, of course - just trying to illustrate how absurd even implied censorship is and how it is a knife that cuts both ways.)

 

 

I for one am glad to read Lucker 's thoughts. That is what this place is for. And I am glad they got their own thread. This isn't some random deal. This is the LAST BOOK and things are magnified.

 

 

As they should be.

 

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm sorry, but I feel bad for you Luckers.  I mean, you spend so much of your free time hating on an imaginary fantasy world that DOES NOT exist.  Yeah, there's errors.  Who cares??????  I'm mega obsessed with Wheel of Time, too.  However, I don't let these mistakes bother me.  Look how upset you get over this.  You spend sooooooo much time hatin'.  I feel bad for you, I hope you enjoy the last book as much as the rest of us do.  :(

Someone seriously registered an account just to say this? Leaving aside all of the inherent flaws in their post along with more ridiculous claims of "hating". :rolleyes: Why you would think they have never read any of the critique elsewhere or what Luckers actually said here. That can't be the case if they actually took the time to register and post correct?

 

Edit: As an aside the quote Barid posted sums up my opinion pre-AMoL. That is all I wish to say for now...

 

 

 

Yeah, they did, Sutt. Registered an account just to take a drive-by cheap shot. But. Beyond that, what always kills me is this shock and offense people take at the WOT being discussed so intricately .... on a WOT DISCUSSION BOARD - LOL!!!

 

 

That is what this place is FOR.

 

 

And no. This place is not for WOT Discussion for ONLY those who see perfection in the work. People say they are tired of seeing criticism over and over again. How about respecting MY right that I'm tired of seeing PRAISE over and over again?? (I'm not, really, of course - just trying to illustrate how absurd even implied censorship is and how it is a knife that cuts both ways.)

 

 

I for one am glad to read Lucker 's thoughts. That is what this place is for. And I am glad they got their own thread. This isn't some random deal. This is the LAST BOOK and things are magnified.

 

 

As they should be.

 

 

 

Fish

 

So Luckers opens a thread to finally face the mess he has made, and Barid agreed, but then you two turn it straight back into the snarky defensive cabal mentality that has caused the problem in the first place?

 

This thread is already dead to its purpose

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I'm sorry, but I feel bad for you Luckers.  I mean, you spend so much of your free time hating on an imaginary fantasy world that DOES NOT exist.  Yeah, there's errors.  Who cares??????  I'm mega obsessed with Wheel of Time, too.  However, I don't let these mistakes bother me.  Look how upset you get over this.  You spend sooooooo much time hatin'.  I feel bad for you, I hope you enjoy the last book as much as the rest of us do.  :(

Someone seriously registered an account just to say this? Leaving aside all of the inherent flaws in their post along with more ridiculous claims of "hating". :rolleyes: Why you would think they have never read any of the critique elsewhere or what Luckers actually said here. That can't be the case if they actually took the time to register and post correct?

 

Edit: As an aside the quote Barid posted sums up my opinion pre-AMoL. That is all I wish to say for now...

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, they did, Sutt. Registered an account just to take a drive-by cheap shot. But. Beyond that, what always kills me is this shock and offense people take at the WOT being discussed so intricately .... on a WOT DISCUSSION BOARD - LOL!!!

 

 

That is what this place is FOR.

 

 

And no. This place is not for WOT Discussion for ONLY those who see perfection in the work. People say they are tired of seeing criticism over and over again. How about respecting MY right that I'm tired of seeing PRAISE over and over again?? (I'm not, really, of course - just trying to illustrate how absurd even implied censorship is and how it is a knife that cuts both ways.)

 

 

I for one am glad to read Lucker 's thoughts. That is what this place is for. And I am glad they got their own thread. This isn't some random deal. This is the LAST BOOK and things are magnified.

 

 

As they should be.

 

 

 

Fish

 

So Luckers opens a thread to finally face the mess he has made, and Barid agreed, but then you two turn it straight back into the snarky defensive cabal mentality that has caused the problem in the first place?

 

This thread is already dead to its purpose

 

 

 

I understand and honestly try to respect others opinions but in this instance, I 100% agree with you Drekka.

Link to post
Share on other sites

uhhhh...HUH??? !!!

 

oookAAAAAAAAAAY - LOL!!!

 

 

Fish

 

(Edited AGAIN on accounta I didn't want to totally destroy the two above posts as I happen to like one of the posters and see no need...)

Edited by The Fisher King
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted this earlier in "This Guy's" thread and will repeat here:

Brandon or any other writer's attempt to finish the books was "patchwork" at best. RJ's profile is unique compared to Brandon or any other likely fill-in. The style will never be the same; and the grasp of the characters and plot will not be the same. As a result, there is basis and justification for criticism. It will be part of WoT legacy, RJ vs BS. And it will be the material for so much discussion later on.

 

There is plenty of time for literary and fan criticism after AMoL is published in printed and electronic format. But for the few weeks before it comes out, it is just nice to live the anticipation and gear up for the monumental release and conclusion of one of the greatest fantasy sagas of all time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't like doing this, and i respect you allot luckers, but wtf is this about, even mentioning it makes you look bad if it is true, and if iti is not true it makes you look even worse.

 

By the same note, I also know that Brandon was the one who championed me for a position as an early reader, alongside Terez--and that Harriet shot it down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So Luckers opens a thread to finally face the mess he has made, and Barid agreed, but then you two turn it straight back into the snarky defensive cabal mentality that has caused the problem in the first place?

 

This thread is already dead to its purpose

Seriously what are you on about Drekka? You have been taking shots at the people critiquing for quite some time now and I'm frankly sick of it. That person totally mis-characterized Luckers post, registered solely to attack him and you blame Fish and I for calling him out. I find it ironic that you would do so especially given I agreed with Barid in my post and you have been making it a habit to falsely represent critique as "hate" yourself. Don't insult our intelligence by posing as some impartial observer that is trying to be rational. Barid, myself and others have been trying very hard to bring the thisguy thread back under control to avoid this. Don't try and throw us under the bus as if we are the problem when you have multiple people registering for the first time solely to take shots.

 

In relation to Luckers I want to be very clear. He has done a huge amount for the community and now he is taking the difficult step of sticking up for what he believes in. This has nothing to do with a "fantasy world" and everything to do with real life relationships and issues. He should be commended for being among the first to address the problems in a realistic way. I can only wonder how things would have turned out had everyone in general done a more thorough critique originally instead of glossing over the faults during the initial glow of fan gratification because we were just "getting the ending". Further Luckers should be commended for putting his neck out there in doing what he feels is right. The calls of "hate" show how skewed society has become in relation to dissenting opinion. People seem to take the critique as a personnel affront for some odd reason. The thisguy thread after a ton of behind the scenes discussions and work has finally become a positive place for learning and growth. DM should be a place where all opinions are welcomed and discussed openly. I very much look forward to discussing AMoL with all of you. Luckers you did not create this mess, you merely pulled back the curtain. Much like the Aiel, some can not handle what they saw.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who has lurked for much of the back-and-forth with Luckers and Peter I have found many of the 'inside baseball' discussion utterly fascinating, with some of it leaving me shaking my head.

 

I think we can all see that Luckers cares a lot about the series (perhaps even to an unhealthy degree) but he does have many valid points.  I also think it's tough for Peter to be able to respond to a lot of the feedback/questions/criticism raised at Dragonmount because he is not Brandon and he does not represent Harriet/TOR.  He can't speak for them.

 

What that has led to is more of a one-sided discussion at points.  Other times, other Dragonmount members feel the need to fill in the gap and defend/support Harriet/TOR/Brandon in the absence of the principals themselves. 

 

I agree that Drekka has a good point here. Luckers is here to hash it out, let him defend himself. .

 

IMO, Brandon is a very talented writer who's weaknesses were exposed when writing another author's characters.  I also think Harriet is a traditionalist and very protective of Jordan's legacy, which in some ways has led to the detriment of the last three books. 

 

My own feeling is that Brandon was feeling burnt out of WoT and the back-and-forth with TOR/Harriet by this last book.  I think in some ways, he was ready to be over with the series.  Even so, I still believe he will have put his best effort to writing it.  I can assign no blame to Brandon for any of the 'inside baseball' anecdotes or stories that have emerged because I could not imagine having to do what he had been tasked with and I do not have nearly the full picture.  Even still, your eyebrow is raised by some of the things we've heard here.

 

Fans critiquing the final product is part of being a fan however, and it is part of what we do, even absent complete information.

Edited by unlabled
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's great that this forum exist if only because BIG fans can express themselves in many ways, and particularly the way Luckers used with the OP. I'm a little out of the loop here 'cause I tend to read things the way I want to rather than the way they've been written, but I think Dragonmount is one place where we should all be able to express what we think and discuss it. I don't see much point in getting too personal with one another simply because we all came here wanting to continue our enjoyement of WOT.

Just my two euros

Edited by elendildemeldorf
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So Luckers opens a thread to finally face the mess he has made, and Barid agreed, but then you two turn it straight back into the snarky defensive cabal mentality that has caused the problem in the first place?

 

This thread is already dead to its purpose

Seriously what the fuck are you on about Drekka? You have been taking shots at the people critiquing for quite some time now and I'm frankly sick of it. That poster totally mis-characterized Luckers post(which you border on doing as well), registered solely to attack him and you blame Fish and I for calling him out. I find it ironic that you would do so epecially given I agreed with Barid in my post and you have been making it a mission to falsely represent critique as "hate" yourself. Don't insult our intelligence by  posing as some impartial observer that is trying to be rational. Barid, myself and others have both been trying very hard to bring the thisguy thread back under control to avoid this. Don't try and throw us under the buss as if we are the problem.

 

oooooooh he said a nasty word, maybe you should boot him. (no you won't, you won't even warn him most likely.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

i don't like doing this, and i respect you allot luckers, but wtf is this about

 

By the same note, I also know that Brandon was the one who championed me for a position as an early reader, alongside Terez--and that Harriet shot it down.

 

Brandon did want Terez and Luckers as gamma readers. I would use much different phrasing from "Harriet shot it down" to describe why it ultimately didn't happen. It's complicated and I don't believe I'm at liberty to go into it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

oooooooh he said a nasty word, maybe you should boot him. (no you won't, you won't even warn him most likely.)

Realized my mistake and edited accordingly. Why would someone possibly get booted for swearing once however, and you my friend(whoever you are that felt the need to join solely to incite) are the real problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But, again, we have drifted. The Beta's. Please don't implicate them in whatever failures have occurred, or may occur. I know several of them both disagree and feel embaressed about the position I have taken over Brandon's work. I have fought with some of them, and have lost respect in their eyes, and indeed lost in some cases a closeness I both once enjoyed and cherished, and now lack. Much--most--of this has been due to my own personal issues. You and Brandon know of what I speak, because I don't think I could have acted toward you as I have without showing you the truth of that. You may share it if you wish. I have my own cowardice, or I would simply do it myself.

You need some better friends.

 

-----

 

Actually I find the inside baseball stuff rather annoying, but hey, I'm the one that put my hand into the blender. Thank god these guys don't do an important job that people's lives depend on, like many of us do for a fraction of the income they enjoy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"You need some better friends."

 

Cybertrolloc - beautifully put.

 

I appreciate the cathartic aspect of Luckers making this post...but...if he has actually had some "real life" friendships damaged bcsuse of his stance on the quality of the POST-KOD books in the Wheel of Time series ...all I can say is:

 

WOW.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King
Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason I can't use the quote button on Peter's post. I'm assuming it has something to do with the weirdness DM is experiencing in general right now.

 

Brandon did want Terez and Luckers as gamma readers. I would use much different phrasing from "Harriet shot it down" to describe why it ultimately didn't happen. It's complicated and I don't believe I'm at liberty to go into it.

 

I wasn't ever given a reason, but I just wanted to say that the 'complicated' reasons why it didn't happen should probably be as obvious as the reasons why Brandon wanted us. I was not particularly surprised that it didn't happen, and in the end not too disappointed either. From what I have learned about the beta process—which was 99% from Luckers, since my only close-ish friend among the beta readers is what Luckers likes to call a 'steel trap'—I don't think it would have made much difference. There could have been some improvement on continuity, certainly—the more knowledgeable fans you can consult on continuity, the better your continuity will be (and while Maria served that role for RJ, it was sort of accidental; he did not seek her out for that role)—but there probably wouldn't have been any difference whatsoever on things like characterization.

 

I could go into a long post here about this and that and the other but I don't really think this is the place for it. There are certainly things I wish had gone differently—for example, a concerted effort early on to find the most knowledgeable fans and use them as a sounding board could have made a big difference—but in the end I think RJ would have wanted us to recognize that he left Harriet with an impossible job. I don't believe the impossibility of it was ever a good reason not to make certain efforts, but what's done is done. The book is printed, and it won't change aside from the inevitable continuity retcons. We will have the end of the story. It won't be perfect, but it's over now, and I have nothing left but appreciation for the amazing amount of stress that Harriet and Brandon have endured to make it happen. And grateful that I got the chance to be friends with Luckers in the process. Because I'm pretty sure that would never have happened otherwise. :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...