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  1. I might be able to help you out. I'm a hobbyist knifemaker, and you can see my version of Tam's heronmark sword in the Welcome area. Looks like something worth doing some research on for sure. I'd forgotten all about marriage knives.
  2. It does make a lot more sense, although I'm still a little unclear on why, without knowing anything about what Sanderson intends to do with everything that presumably surrounds Jasnah's survival, you think it's the same plot twist as with Szeth. It seems obvious to me that they're not. The mechanic of their survival is almost certainly different, the details and motivations are different, etc. In fact, everything about it is different except timing, and all we can really do with respect to timing is make assumptions and presumptions. Plucking out a little detail such as timing of revelation and assuming that's the be-all and end-all about what constitutes its nature as a plot twist seems awfully presumptuous to me. YMMV. I agree it's pretty obvious Wit is Hoid, although it's less obvious how he's going to influence Roshar and this story in particular. I do enjoy all of the questions, and the project as a whole seems quite complex. There's a lot to keep track of.
  3. Well, being annoyed at one character doesn't preclude being annoyed at another. As for the Heralds, they appear to be immortal, but aren't major players. And I prefer RJ's use of resurrection - it requires Shai'tan's intervention, there are limits, and the possibility of it is mentioned in the first book. It's also used very sparingly (four times in fourteen books). Sanderson uses it three times in this book alone, via different methods each time (Surgebinding, fabrial and unknown-but-appears-to-be-a-case-of-alive-all-along). Note that as it's a Surgebinding power, two orders of Radiants should be able to do it (Edgedancers and Truthwatchers - and we have a character from each order who is going to be a major character later on, in Lift and Renarin). I suppose you could even count Syl as another case, so Brandon has already matched RJ's total in just one book. I'm not sure what that adds to the series, besides a headache if he wants to kill anyone. Sanderson is not RJ, and show casing RJ's limited use of resurection does absolutely nothing for your arguement so i wander what the point was for you bringing it up. Errmmm...he didn't. It was a rebuttal. I was assuming she was talking to me, not Mr. Ares.
  4. And therein lies the rub, as it were. In this most recent post, you talk mostly about it "feeling" rushed, and other concepts in the realm of personal preference that I am absolutely willing to grant you. Sure, you may have felt that it seemed wrong somehow. I tend to think it's not the most internally consistent argument (especially considering that WoK ended with a similar revelation about the survival of another relatively minor character--Talanel), but if it rubbed you wrong, that's fine. It didn't rub me wrong. I felt the writing on the wall was sufficiently clear for the reader to guess what's going to happen, and I personally prefer to be able to guess a plot twist before I'm told. I don't like being beaten over the head with something. My main beef here is in the focus upon saying that there must not be any reason beyond keeping the reader in suspense, which can itself be a perfectly good reason for the timing, etc, and the truth is, there may well be plenty of other reasons to boot, AND it's also well within the pattern demonstrated by the rest of the series thus far to withhold that information. There are any numbers of other revelations that were revealed at specific points that I haven't heard anyone complain about. Singling out this one as a flaw seems to lack consistency. And THAT's exactly the point. I don't see anyone mad about any of the other resurrections which were handled in very similar fashion, and I don't see complaints about resurrections handled even more poorly in other works of fiction relevant to this forum. To single this ONE particular instance out as a flaw therefore seems disingenuous. It is VERY relevant and to my point. Resurrection may well be a popular theme in fiction these days, and that is precisely why I find it silly to say anything beyond "I didn't like this particular instance," even though its presentation is consistent with the rest of the plot, and I have yet to see what I take to be a compelling argument that the reader SHOULD know the information, beyond staving off the occasional person's irritation because they got fooled. Sure, it's obvious you're intended to think she's dead. But it also doesn't stretch credulity to think that she might not, in fact, be dead. In my estimation, the pieces to the puzzle were all there, and it's hardly surprising to consider that a character will be brought back, particularly if that character happens to be a Radiant, with well-demonstrated ability to survive things a normal person wouldn't. I'd be very surprised if Sadeas is still alive, but Jasnah? It seemed more unlikely that her story would just get ended so abruptly, particularly given the prologue, and thus, it struck ME as obvious that she'd be coming back considering how rushed and stressed Shallan was. Am I saying that everyone should have known? Of course not. But I do think the clues were there to begin with, and being mad at Sanderson for how HE chooses to tell his story, especially if you aren't going to be consistent about complaining about all the rest of the similar situations, is disingenuous, and utterly reliant on one-sided speculation. If we're mad about her survival, again, why her and not Kaladin, Shallan, Talanel, or Szeth? And you're implying that it's not actually her survival that's the issue. It's that Sanderson chose not to tell you overtly immediately. What would that have added to the plot? Why is it necessary for us to know that she's survived before we actually DO find out? I think there's several clear reasons NOT to tell the reader, but I'm really not seeing why we NEED to know earlier. And without answering those questions, aren't we really just saying "nuh uh, I didn't like it?" The fact of her survival, from what I can see, doesn't do anything for the advancement of the plot, while the belief that she's dead DOES. Letting the reader know that she's still alive earlier would have set up some rather radically different expectations on the part of the reader, and we cannot know how that would have panned out. More, we don't know HOW Sanderson plans to integrate that backstory into the plot. I think, based on the evidence we've seen so far from other characters, that it should be obvious that we WILL see that story, and that it WILL have some effect on driving the plot, magic system, etc later on in the tale, where introducing it earlier would likely just have left a gap that's far too large between the revelation of her survival, and the advancement of the plot it's intended to drive. Until we know how Sanderson will use that information, I contend it is premature, as WELL as inconsistent, to make this sort of accusation. More, if we found out she was alive earlier, that would have robbed the situation of its emotional content, again, weakening the presentation of Shallan's motivations. Far better to use the timing and descriptions to set up the desired emotional atmosphere than to rob it of all effect by immediately defusing it. And if it had been done differently, we would have HAD to immediately tell Jasnah's side (which would have turned her into a POV character, and we would have known from the section title that she didn't die), and thus would have lost the entirety of the POINT of her presumed death. And, I think it's clear that the story til now didn't need any inquiries into the methodology of her survival (something we very likely would have to explain to counter the details Shallan saw), and those revelations would have distracted us from the revelations about Shallan's back story. Again, there are plenty of compelling reasons to keep things as they are. What are the compelling reasons to change things, and face the challenges I've just mentioned, especially not knowing how her survival will drive future aspects of the plot?
  5. Given the described circumstances, it didn't, and still doesn't, strike me as odd that she survived. It was a "long, thin, knife," not a sword, although we are told that she's bleeding prior to being "made sure of." There are a number of different explanations for her survival beyond just the use of Stormlight, of course. She might have been in Shadesmar, or it's even possible she could have figured out how to Soulcast something into a simulacrum of her body, or even Soulcast her body itself. I suspect the use of Stormlight is the most likely, as ALL of our Radiants have been able to use it to survive things they shouldn't be able to (even having a limb cut by an Honorblade). More, even in real life and without the benefit of Stormlight powers, people and animals have survived stabbing wounds in surprising fashion. Here's a few examples: http://www.oddee.com/item_98009.aspx As for it being noticeable, consider how long it took the rest of the bridge crew to notice Kaladin using Stormlight, or even Kaladin himself. More, we only see a glow when they use a whole lot, and even just pulling a trickle while there are witnesses, particularly during such a chaotic setting, might be sufficient to keep Jasnah alive without anyone noticing. Shallan only gets a very brief view, and since she is understandably distressed, and the lighting isn't that good anyways, it hardly is difficult to presume that she might have missed the use of Stormlight, especially given that Radiants can use Stormlight without glowing, unless they pull in too much beyond what they are using it for. The Surge they share is Transformation (Soulcasting). Lightweaving, the Surge Shallan uses to create illusions, is the one Jasnah doesn't have (she has Transportation instead). Fair points. But we DO see other characters die from their own perspectives (Ym, for instance). And Szeth didn't die either. As for Sadeas, he's not had any development as being a Radiant, so that's a fundamentally different situation. It's still certainly possible he could be saved by a Herald, but in both cases, what's more telling for me is that the Shardblades appear than any injuries they suffer. And even then, one of those two doesn't actually die. So it shouldn't be THAT surprising that Jasnah survived. To be fair, we don't actually know that the information is held back "for no good reason." Clearly, it's being done at least partially to perpetuate the assumption that Jasnah is dead (and really, I don't see why the READER needs to know that she's alive). In FACT, because the story is heavily driven by Shallan's perception that Jasnah IS, in fact, dead, it wouldn't make sense for us to know something she doesn't, since that would indubitably lead us to question her perspective, and would detract from our understanding of her motivations. Jasnah herself does nothing to drive the tale to the point of her survival except insofar as we are intended to think she's dead, and thus seeing her perspective is unnecessary. So, even if that were the only reason we don't see her, it would still be a reasonably good one, in my estimation. But we don't actually know what Sanderson plans. For instance, we could have known for much longer that Shallan had a Blade, or about her mother, etc. We could have learned about Kaladin's back story early as well. And if we're not concerned about having to wait for her story or his, why should we be concerned about waiting for Jasnah's, which would only distract us from the rest of the story, and which may contain important revelations that guide other aspects of the story at appropriate times, eh? The ASSUMPTION that the only reason we have to wait to find out about her survival is to perpetuate the perspective that she's dead is just that, an assumption. But it's not a fair one. We've already seen countless examples of how Sanderson withholds parts of a character's story because it will be more important a revelation later. If we're not going to complain about the multitude of those examples, it's hardly reasonable to complain about it in this instance, when we don't actually know if there is more to her survival than just a simple plot gimmick. And I find it hard to believe that Jasnah's survival, and the mechanism whereby she survives, would be that unimportant. There's surely going to be more to the story, which means that there likely IS more reason. As you say, the POV characters aren't always the important parts. It seems likely to me that we'll see more from Jasnah, and the revelation of her survival will drive the plot in different ways, rather than distracting from it, as would have happened with an earlier reveal in this book. And that's hardly the only flaw here. Jasnah, by and large is NOT actually a POV character. Story is told from her perspective in only one part of the series: the prologue of WoR. The rest of her story is told mainly from Shallan's perspective, not from Jasnah's. And even in that prologue, unlike even some of the more currently minor characters, she's nowhere listed at the section start page as a POV character, as is done for all other POV characters. I think you're right that the other more minor characters are seeds for future plot, and I'm certainly not really concerned about them. Again, I do believe these books need to be taken in context of the package as a whole, and that means a fair and balanced perspective should take into account possible reasons for what we perceive as flaws, especially in context of how Sanderson has handled other situations, be it Jasnah's survival or any others. For that matter, Jasnah's survival is similar to Nalan's, just writ smaller. Why are other Heralds besides Talanel still alive? Why wait so long to hear about them? I really don't see why it's worth getting annoyed by Jasnah with all of these other characters to also be annoyed about. And at least it seems to play a role in the development of the story. I'm certainly happier about Sanderson's use of resurrection of these characters than I was with Jordan repeatedly resurrecting Forsaken who had been killed. I'm still unclear on what that added to the story, aside from a sense of futility. But that's just me.
  6. Just reread WoK and finished WoR for the first time last night. A few thoughts: I had no issues with Jasnah's return. I was never fooled, however. The author had already introduced on several occasions that potential Radiants have uncanny survival abilities, and had also pointed out conclusively that Jasnah was a Radiant. Then there was the rather jarring way her "death" was written, and the fact that we never see her die; we only see Shallan's perceptions. More, all that Shallan herself sees is Jasnah getting stabbed, and we also find out that both Jasnah and Shallan are capable of creating very realistic illusions. In either case, it seemed obvious to me that her "death" needed to be taken with a substantial amount of skepticism, and her "resurrection" is thus well-established and unsurprising. Honestly, I hesitate to call it a resurrection, because, unlike RJ balefiring a character, and the reader watching him die (and being told he's got no special powers to resurrect), we never see her die, and we ARE told she's a Radiant, who have proven on repeated occasions to be able to heal anything short of a spinal break with Stormlight. If you didn't see that one coming, I tend to think as much can be blamed on the reader as on the author. More, while I agree that IF Sanderson wanted the reader to know she was alive earlier, he could have shown us a scene on Shadesmar, etc, (probably right after Shallan saw her "die"), I don't think it is necessary or a flaw in the tale. But then, by this point he's already thoroughly established his story mechanic, which involves a lot of jumping back and forth in the timeline. In the last book, we saw that with Kaladin. In this one, with Shallan. I get the impression that a lot of you are going into this book wanting everything revealed to you in a linear fashion, but that's not how this entire series operates. The plot mechanic is very much one of peeling back the onion. Nothing is given for free. I also think that the comments about jarring plot reveals are missing something important. Everything that advances the plot, as well as our understanding of the characters, the world, and the magic system, is doled out, and in a story told in this fashion, if we keep it all to "smoothly paced revelations," the story suffers. Life doesn't progress smoothly at a uniform pace. Why should we expect the book to? A lot of these so-called jarring revelations happen in places that need to have the revelation happen in that way to set the emotional theme of that segment, and convey the feelings of the characters in question. Ditto a lot of the more terse language. I found a lot of examples in which the language, by design or not, tied in very well with the character of what was happening in the book. Since we're already talking about Jasnah's "death," you'll notice that his prose is very terse and abrupt. There's nothing by way of warning, and the whole scene feels a little rushed and shocking: exactly as Shallan herself feels about what's happening to her. You might consider it unpolished, and certainly Sanderson doesn't have the literary turn of phrase of some other authors, but it's all too easy to miss the effect that the variations in his language and presentation have with respect to the emotional content of the characters. There can be a lot more nuance to what some might take as poor phrasing or sloppy revelations than might be immediately obvious. Now, I'm not saying that's the case everywhere. Nobody is perfect, after all. But that's still a very common device used by Sanderson. For instance, take page 377, in which Kaladin is falling from the window with Szeth. More "sloppy" prose. Most of the sentences on this page are very short, even fragmentary. "Kaladin fell with the rain." "He has spheres." "He hit hard. No preparation, no getting his feet beneath him." Now consider how you might feel falling from a cliff to your death. Would YOU be thinking in lengthy, complete sentences? Or would you have your mind filled with terse revelations about things, fragmentary thoughts, etc? Once Kaladin lands and his thoughts clear, we're back to normal prose: "It cleared a moment later, and he found himself lying on the rocks at the base of the rise that led to the king's palace, a gentle rain sprinkling him." Etc. After the shock of falling, the prose, like Kaladin's thoughts, returns to normal, during their conversation, and then switches to short sentences and fragmentary prose again while Kaladin is panicking about his hand, before healing it. As a side note, you'll also notice, interestingly enough, that the more 'refined' characters (lighteyes, mainly), are a lot less prone to think and speak in short sentences or fragments. Even Elkohar, when shaken, still uses complete sentences most of the time. Sanderson uses variations in language to set the scene, establish mood, develop character and culture, etc. Yes, there's a lot of variation. Yes, the pacing can change quite a bit. You'll also notice the pace towards the end as we get closer to the countdown ending, is much faster than at the beginning--just as you'd expect from a person running out of time. I obviously can't say whether these traits are by design or just by unconscious talent. But I don't think they're the mark of an unpolished or unskilled author either. A lot of these things many of you take to be mistakes, I see larger purpose in, that fits in well with the overall context. That's why I feel a story needs to be taken as a whole, and the broad product considered, rather than focusing in on minor details and potentially missing their context. Szeth, on the other hand, I'm a little more ambivalent about. I don't feel I've got enough information to know whether to be satisfied or dissatisfied with his resurrection (let alone with the apparent return of the other Heralds). The way the story is revealed, a bit at a time, I figure I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. This project is certainly challenging, with a LOT of disparate details to keep in mind and make contiguous from one book to the next. There was a lot to like in this book. I really appreciated the chance to see the culture of the Parshendi/Voidbringers, and to delve more deeply into the nature of the spren. I loved the characterization, particularly with Shallan trying to discover herself, and the shift in Szeth's character from fatalistic to totally manic and crazed as he discovers that he may not, in fact, be Truthless. And I was very interested to learn more about the Shards. Part of what keeps me interested in this series is the fact that there's always new questions to consider. I, for one, really like a book series that raises plenty of questions, provided it resolves most of them by the end (as the movie Prometheus did NOT do). Others may find it annoying, but I tend to think that's just a matter of preference. It's a question of style, not of skill, in my mind, and this style of writing is a lot harder to do well than the usual linear tale that we get from the average author. Remember, this is an epic, not a trilogy or stand-alone, and should not be treated as such. Only time will tell whether Sanderson can keep it going. I'm a little ambivalent about some of the interludes. Those feel a little rushed and the characters lack emotional content thus far. We learn a little from them, but I'm honestly not sure why they need to be in the book at all, particularly the ones who get killed randomly, or just don't appear again later (like the fisherpeople in the previous book). There may be method to the madness, but again, I'm having to adopt a "let's wait and see" attitude about them, since I do feel that some of those just disrupt the flow. I liked the Eshonai interludes, and didn't mind Vahel and Talanel, but so far I'm having a tough time seeing how Lift, Rysn, and Vstim are going to come into play.
  7. We'll consider this one ended. The point of the thread was to remove a discussion of literary criticism from another thread which was getting hijacked, and hopefully have a civil discussion in this one. That seems not to be possible here, and I'm frustrated that I'm being told I'm not being civil for merely stating facts about the content of another person's posts. Please lock this thread.
  8. False yet again. And yet again, despite requests, this post remains utterly unresponsive to the first point. You provide no examples, and address the argument not at all. Let's look through. Post #10. This portion of the post is entirely about the side point from the previous one about qualifications, and is utterly off-topic. It touches NOT AT ALL on my point about the subjective nature of literary criticism, which to date is the point of the thread. No, I didn't. Apparently you missed that I didn't respond to that point at all, I only said that I didn't identify with Feist's characters. The sentence I responded to had a someone in it, but not a some. You've basically invented a point to respond to. Actually, they have different literal meanings. A clock isn't time, it's a device for measuring the passage of time - it being broken doesn't mean that time has stopped passing, or even seemed to, it means the device you use to measure the passing of time seems to have stopped. This is by the by, really, but I had to point out, as a literal minded person, that your figure of speech didn't work. You would be no more or less entitled. Your opinion is judged on its own merits, not on the merits of the person giving it. The same is true of all of us. Thus, while I know nothing about you, there is nothing I need to know. The rest of this is another inaccurate statement, conveniently covered by editing from the mods, another off-topic "attack" on a figure of speech having literally nothing to do with the topic, and a rather rude statement that you need to know nothing about me, despite NO attempt by you to touch on the topic at hand. Mods, this is a statement of FACT about this post. I do not believe that it constitutes any more of a personal attack than the quoted post. Your next post, #17: I respond to the points I want to respond to. And as a way of arguing, it's valid to undermine the little things. You use these little points to support your argument, after all, so if I take away all the support of your argument, then where does that leave your argument? What point of yours have I missed? Well, I didn't address your claim that people are stating opinions as facts. I shall do so now: they're not. It's largely redundant to qualify every opinion as such when generally it's quite clear. By the same token, I wouldn't expect anyone to qualify every fact they state as such either. As for opinions in general, the link I provided in the last thread addressed that point quite eloquently. Given that, saying anything more seemed largely redundant at that stage. Just because you're sharing an opinion, doesn't mean that's enough. Yes, you can tell us what you like and what you don't like, but if we - any of us here - are trying to have a discussion, then we don't really get very far if someone says that something is good but is unable to offer a reason why. Even if all literary criticism is opinion, and there are no objective standards of quality, even if we accept that, so what? Why not justify your opinion, so we can actually have a discussion? Even if I cannot "prove" that Brandon is a bad author and you cannot "prove" that he is good, by explaining what you like about him I might gain a deeper appreciation of his work, or just a deeper appreciation of your viewpoint. I provide justifications when they are needed. If you wish me to expand on a point, just ask, and I'll see what I can do. Here we see your SOLE contribution to the topic at hand. A reference to a link in the previous topic (https://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978), which is entirely about justifying one's opinion, and is unresponsive to the point about literary criticism. And more, you criticize me for not providing justification for my opinions, and yet provide none for your own. You address the notion that literary criticism is, at its core, dependent upon personal preference NOT AT ALL here, and provide NO justification for the little you DID say that is theoretically on topic. Then you say that YOU don't need to provide justification while criticizing the fact that I haven't justified my opinion (FALSE, since I've to date provided far more justification on the two points I've presented in this thread than you). Pot calling the kettle black much? And again, I certainly hope that's not considered a personal attack, since, as I hope is evident, all I've done with that post is point out the inherent inconsistency in that you have spent the entire thread calling me out for not justifying my opinions, and that you claim that you don't have to do me the same courtesy. If a statement of FACT is a personal attack, I suspect I will not be able to post further on this forum. But, as I've already said, while I know nothing about you, I still know enough, because who you are is unimportant to this. It doesn't matter if you're my best friend, or Brandon Sanderson, or the Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, not even a little. Now, if you were Brandon you would know things about your writing process and the choices you made that I, as an end-user, don't, and you would likewise know more about your series, your books, the Cosmere, and so on. But, if none of the things about which you have specific knowledge are under discussion, that fact that you know things I don't wouldn't be relevant. I feel that there are problems with the end product of AMoL. Knowing why Brandon made the choices he did, knowing more about the constraints he was under, might give me a better appreciation of how hard he had to work to get it as good as it was, and show me that he had no option but to produce a flawed end product, but it wouldn't change the fact that I feel the end product was flawed. And if I know less than nothing about the justifications you have for your opinions, that's your fault. It would be for you to provide those justifications, if you felt they were relevant. Here we see you again saying that you don't care who you are talking to. Again, a peripheral point, which ignores the main one, and also jumps in on a portion of the conversation in which you were not involved, taking things out of context. And in fact, you ignore the post I made in the previous thread in which I say that I too was unhappy with Brandon Sanderson's work in AMOL. So you're attacking me for an opinion I have yet to make, and from the substance of this post, one that you evidently agree with, at least as far as the poor quality of AMOL goes. And my point was, why? Why does it matter? What relevance does it have? By the same token, I could say I wouldn't take seriously any criticism that came from someone who wore odd socks. OK, I can do that, but it's still a very strange reason to dismiss them. A Hugo says nothing about talent. Same with any award. It's still possible to appreciate the recognition behind the award without thinking it says anything about quality, though. Brandon's a popular author. People keep buying his books. Those people who voted for him, how many of them voted because they'd read all the works in the category and thought his was the best? How many had read some but not all? How many had read just his? How many hadn't even read that, but voted for him because he's a great guy? I'm not saying Brandon doesn't deserve awards, I'm just saying that awards, by their nature, are less about quality and more about recognition. I'd say your depth is lacking. You explain what your stance is, but not why you hold it. You offer very little to stand on. And when I ask questions, you don't answer most of them. You dodge the point. I've written long points asking you to justify your position, and you haven't. On the other hand, you haven't asked me to justify mine, but I've offered some justifications anyway. And, as I've said, if you want to know more just ask. Pick up on an apparent flaw. Address one of my points. My arguments will become clearer over the course of the discussion, if you do that. Yes, as was my response. I did point out that my response was by the by. I made no personal attacks. Not by any reasonable definition of "personal attacks", anyway. But the missing part of my post was not about Feist's philosophy, nor was the word "some", which I apparently overlooked, included in the missing quote. This is easily verified by looking where the removed section in my post is, and comparing those chunks of text in your own posts. As I say, I have not made any personal attacks yet, and I don't intend to. ETA: You've still not explained why the qualifications of the speaker matter. When an opinion is offered with nothing to back it up, then either it is the sort of opinion that needs no back up, or back up should be provided. "I enjoy Brandon's books" would be an example of the former - it says nothing about their quality, only that you happened to enjoy them, regardless of what that quality might be. It stands on its own strength regardless of the speaker. "I don't think Brandon is very good", with nothing further to back it up, would be an example of the latter - it doesn't stand on its own, and the person saying it still doesn't matter. Regardless of their qualifications, a discussion about either opinion wouldn't work, because the meat of the discussion is absent. Both opinions have their uses - if someone was asking for book recommendations, knowing who some one likes and who they've already read is helpful - knowing why they liked a given author can help to further refine selections, but isn't necessary. Opinions of the latter sort serve as a starting point - but without justifications afterwards, there is no discussion. In neither case does knowing the qualifications of the person stating their opinion give something to analyse - it's just meaningless fluff. As I have backed up my opinion, and as my qualifications would not be relevant to the discussion regardless of whether I had or not, I will therefore refrain from offering a straight answer to your question. Of course, as your opinion hasn't been backed up, then I would ask, what are your qualifications?... Or, I would if it was even the slightest bit relevant. As it isn't, I would instead ask that you provide a justification for your view. And now we have more stuff about qualifications, flawed attacks about an argument I haven't even made yet, stuff about the Hugo, and more stuff about qualifications. Again, nothing in here is actually on topic. And then we get to the two more recent posts which I have already responded to in detail. To date, your ONLY on-topic contribution is this: Yup. All you say is "so what." And I've explained thoroughly, and in great depth, exactly why I think it's important, in every post I've made. You have responded to none of those points. The links that *I* provided, which you have not yet responded to, answer your question here eloquently. And with regards to Sanderson, and I'll make the point again because it's important: you don't even know what my opinion IS about Sanderson. It seems to me rather premature for you to be complaining about justifications. The only things I believe that I've said about Sanderson to date are that I disliked AMOL, and thought The Last Battle was too rushed, and lost a lot of its emotional content as a result, and that I find that disappointing because I think that Sanderson is a superb author, especially with regards to world-building. Most of that seems to be quite in line with the massively long thread that Suttree linked. Which again makes me think that you are missing quite a bit in my posts. And I'll ask you the same question. To what end? Your main beef in this thread has been to criticize me for not "justifying my opinions," when in fact I've thoroughly justified the two opinions I have actually presented. The other points I haven't even stated my position on, so your entire contribution, such as it is, to this thread, revolves around opinions that haven't been stated, and thus, for the purposes of this thread, don't exist. If you're mainly interested in my opinions about Sanderson, you could either wait until I've stated them, PM me, or otherwise stay out of the conversation, rather than taking it off-topic, as has been the case thus far. I have stated, and justified several times, exactly why I think the first points need to be resolved. If you missed those justifications, go back and reread as I just did with yours. I think it should be clear just from this exchange exactly why it is important to resolve the first points before jumping on. Without understanding those points and why I've made them, you will NOT be able to understand my stance on Sanderson, and with 4 points floating around, there will be even further room for confusion. Look how far off-topic you've gotten with only TWO points in the mix! I don't think that asking to finish one discussion before we move into the next is unreasonable. I set this thread up in an organized fashion in the order mentioned for precisely that reason. So I'll say again. Can we stay on topic, or should we consider this discussion over? I see no point in continuing an entirely tangential discussion with you. -edit- @InfiLuminous, to be fair, he said that he and Suttree were both nominees, not that he won. I do think that we're dealing with a rather different degree of worth here between being nominated for a debating award on an internet forum, and WINNING arguably the most prestigious award in science fiction/fantasy. And the entire point of bringing up the Hugo in the first place (which went entirely unaddressed) is that, as long as we're going to make ranking claims based upon subjective preference, why should the unsubstantiated opinions of some random guy on the internet trump the rather more prestigious award of the Hugo? One of these things is not like the other. I made no claims whatsoever about either being absolute truth. But EVEN IF I take the point that there's truth to be found in literary criticism seriously, that still supports my point, since presumably the Hugo is more based on that truth than a lone opinion from a stranger on the internet. I don't, in fact, take that point seriously, for reasons already stated (again rendering all of Mr. Ares' points on that regard irrelevant to my own point), but even if I DID, it would weaken the claim that Sanderson is a middle-tier author. So many flaws with the argument, but in all fairness, claiming to have won the debating award when he did not, in fact, is not one of them.
  9. Sorry, I was away from the internet on vacation for a week. Jak, feel free to shoot me a PM and we can discuss whatever you'd like. Tom, thanks very much for the post. I'm a hobbyist maker, and don't really want to turn it into a business. I just want to make what I want, and not worry overmuch about customers or commissions. If I think about going official, I'll certainly contact the folks at Bandersnatch. Thanks much for the suggestion! I appreciate the suggestions. I did grind in a fair amount of distal taper before grinding in the bevels, and the balance and point of percussion are right about where I want them to be. Up until after I sent this blade off for heat treat, I didn't have the tooling for milling out guard slots, so this represents my first foray into taking steps for a more traditional construction method. I try to change one thing at a time when I'm learning new stuff, so I don't miss as many lessons. Thanks for the good words, Daruya. I definitely appreciate them. Once I get to finished product, I'll throw up some more pics, and maybe do a cutting video too.
  10. Well, evidently there are interested parties that would like me to respond to this further. I didn't really feel that this last post really merited a response from me, since it seemed to me to add nothing further to the topic in question. I started this post to specifically cover a few points, and haven't yet bothered to get much past the first two, since there's been little to no response to the first one. If you're wondering why I haven't justified my opinions on the other points, it is because I feel that there has been no discussion on the first one worth the name, aside from a few excellent points made by Suttree. I'm not going to move onto the other points until and unless that point actually gets discussed to everyone's satisfaction. In fact, I haven't even presented more than the first point, and some peripheral discussion about the second one. So no. I did not respond to your points because I felt they were off-topic and lacked substance. In the most recent post, you provided literally NO examples, or any further explanation or substance. You had said that if I wanted further substantiation, to ask. I did, and yet you declined, yet again, to respond to the FIRST point, despite clarification of such, and a request to do so. I believe that tangential, unsubstantiated attacks on peripheral points do not a debate make. Now, I want to be clear I don't mean that to be an insult. You are more than welcome to respond to whatever you want, and I don't mean to criticize what points you've made. I mean merely to explain to you why I'm not discussing the other points I mentioned in my OP, since you brought it up, and to clarify for the record that I will NOT respond to anything more until and unless I feel that we are clear on each prior point. Each builds off of the others, so until I am convinced we all understand each other on each point, I do not intend to proceed further. If we actually WANT to continue, that is. With regards to your debating award, I haven't been here long enough to know how much a debating award on a relatively quiet internet forum means. So I'll just say, congratulations on that front. On to business. With respect to the one point that you made that I think was marginally on-topic (that is, with respect to the writer's qualifications), I suspect you and I are operating from a disconnect. You seem to be taking me to mean that the aforementioned is fact or absolute truth, when in fact it's just my personal opinion. Fact is, we all have different standards for what we'll take to apply more than a grain of truth to a dissenting opinion, if we do even that much. In my experience, many people are so utterly and ridiculously convinced of their own certitude that they are unable to recognize elements of truth in an opinion that doesn't match their own in all respects. I personally dislike those sorts of people. That type of attitude, to me, speaks loudly of lack of moral and mental flexibility. Now, I'm certainly not intending that description to refer to anyone on this forum, or in this thread. It's just an observation about the occasional people I've encountered on forums of various sorts. It is an example of WHY I made that particular statement. And as such, when I make a particular claim, it's generally just going to be my opinion. I think we all know a number of sayings about opinions. I will be clear: I do NOT mean to say that it is a necessary condition for a person to be an author to be able to make valid criticisms of an author. I DO mean to say that, if you are a total stranger, I will be a lot more likely to take you seriously if you have demonstrated mastery of the craft, art, etc, that you are critiquing. That means no more than a single example of what I personally would take to incline me to a more positive attitude to the opinion of a stranger than I normally grant them. I'm a cynic by experience when it comes to forums and opinions in general. Very few people really take the time to think through their beliefs with any kind of consistency, and those that have, are usually so convinced of their rectitude that they are utterly unable to see truth in another's opinions. As such, I take most opinions, particularly unsubstantiated ones like the one that spawned this whole thing, with a grain of salt. So yes. We can agree that a person does not need to be a great author to make valid points about a work of literature. That was never my intent to say. But nothing I've seen thus far inclines me to take the opinions offered about Sanderson with more than that customary grain of salt. I've explained in great depth exactly why I believe that. I have argued that rankings are by nature based on opinions and subjective preference, and as such, aren't representative of any more than subjective truth. And to date, I think that only Suttree has given me any kind of debate on that topic. I appreciate his willingness to debate the topic at hand and I suspect we'll just end up agreeing to disagree. But again, that entire point comes down to a single example of what I personally would take to be a viable demonstration of mastery. I believe a relevant term would be "expert testimony." I certainly don't mean to imply that such is the ONLY thing I would take, or the ONLY thing that is necessary. I believe I've said that before, but may be mistaken, and don't care enough because I take that to be an utterly minor point. That being said, I don't believe that it's not an unreasonable point to make. No, it doesn't have any kind of absolute truth to it, but, in my estimation, neither does most anything else. Experience and mastery of a topic, for many people, do incline others to take their opinions more seriously. And LACK of mastery also is telling. The internet is especially problematic because we never know anything about our fellow posters. Anyone can say, or claim, anything on the internet. Truth rarely enters into it. Everyone has opinions, and I, for one, and more than willing to let people have their own opinions without attempting to force my own preferences or opinions upon them. I consider that arrogant and rude, and do not personally wish to engage in such. I find it interesting that you take my requests for courtesy to be discourtesy. I have not ONCE tried to tell you or anyone else that you are not entitled to your own opinions, and in fact have done the exact opposite. With respect to that, all I have done is ask for you to respect my right to my own opinion, which I take to be, not only a matter of common courtesy, but also part of the forum rules: "4. Remember that Reasonable People Can Disagree. There are certain things that are black and white, of course: bigotry won’t be tolerated, favoritism is wrong, American football is better than soccer. But most disputes don’t fall within these realms of incontrovertible truth; more often, there are shades of gray, and reasonable people acting in good faith can and will take different positions even when looking at the same set of facts. As a general rule, people who come into a discussion of issues with this in mind tend to be able to find a mutually agreeable resolution much more often than people who don’t." With regards to the courtesy and personal attacks issue, perhaps you don't mean for your posts to come off as discourteous or combative. I assure you that they come off that way to me, particularly in context of accusing me of discourtesy, without any examples at all, in response to a simple request to follow the forum rule I reposted. I will say for myself that I certainly don't intend to be rude. I don't think this post is rude either, as I mean it SOLELY as an example of something I have personally taken offense to, and I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt with regards to your intent. I could, of course, be wrong, because I only know how I intend it. Perhaps, if you don't mean to be discourteous, you might go back through your posts and consider why I might feel that way? I would have provided an example, as I did previously, but evidently providing examples of things I personally took offense to counts as a personal attack, and I don't want it edited out again. If you feel that anything I have said is discourteous or a personal attack, please send me the relevant text in a PM, and I would be happy to review them so that I can avoid offending your sensibilities in future, and I would be happy to apologize. I do absolutely agree that taking an author on his own merits doesn't excuse the "bad" elements of their writing. However, the very term "bad" isn't absolute. What you personally take to be bad, another person might actually appreciate. I might, for instance, be utterly bored by an author's propensity to describe clothing in immense detail, and consider it a distraction from the story. And yet another person might think that the aforementioned descriptions provide great visuals and enhance her ability to visualize the story. I don't think either of us is wrong to make those claims, because we approach the story from very different backgrounds and perspectives, and those same details mean very different things to each of us. I think the forum rule I mentioned earlier said it well: "reasonable people acting in good faith can and will take different positions even when looking at the same set of facts." I extend this further to suggest that, especially when it comes to what they personally find meaningful, they may well be RIGHT to do so. And I believe that is where you and I may part company. You take the things you don't like to be examples of bad writing in a very absolute sense, and I'm less convinced of that. Certainly you will be able to find some examples that you and I will agree with. But that could also be explained by a similarity in our particular preferences relative to that quality as easily as we could make an expression of absolute truth. And this point is precisely why I don't move on to the next points. Because until this one gets hashed out, the discussion will run the risk of getting too convoluted for anyone to know what anyone else is talking about, and that would be a waste of my time, if nothing else. Where we may be able to speak more profitably is in context of generally shared preferences and perspectives. That's about as far as I personally consider truth to extend. I personally don't care to consider what I read in more than just what I like and don't like, and what I think others will like and dislike based upon the preferences they've expressed to me. I think anything else is ultimately meaningless, and means that I may miss something important about the reading experience. You may feel differently, and that's okay. From my view, it just means that you get more out of the act of critiquing a work than I do. It doesn't, however, make you right in any absolute sense. And, if you read the link I posted earlier, you'd see some distinct examples of why I believe it's important to do so. But again, what I've said thus far indicates merely my own personal views. I suspect a large portion of our disagreement stems from the possibility that you may have been misconstruing what I'm saying as fact or absolute truth. I am not.
  11. I suspected it was Rahvin's. Because on the Darkhound occasion (I think he was sleeping with a Darkfriend Maiden around then too, wasn't he?), he never actually dies, whereas when Rahvin kills him, he actually does die. Balefire is such weird stuff...
  12. That definitely could have something to do with it, and I'm glad it wasn't just me. I was one who bought it in hardcover on the day it was released, and then waited for KoD. And taken as a two-volume set, they're really quite good. But then again, the wait made KoD pretty special to me, so I'm hesitant to complain too much. Books can be like lovers. The first time will always be special, and if it's a really good book, you'll want to come back over and over again for the comfort of losing yourself in their embrace. But it will never be quite the same experience. I really liked TGS, but the last two weren't really up to par for me, particularly the final book.
  13. I had always had the thought in my head that, since Rand has both himself and Lews Therin in his head, that one of those would have to die, and the other would live, as a fulfillment of the prophecies. It's certainly fascinating to think of the all the possibilities that arise from the cyclic nature of the Wheel.
  14. But they aren't removed from the pattern, their thread merely burns backwards a bit. Think about touching a shoe string with a lighter. Balefire is not the final death...their soul will still be reborn. Ah, good analogy. So I guess then I'm leaning towards ending up with a weird memory that you may have balefired yourself.
  15. I figured the problem with balefire in general is that it rips threads from the pattern, by creating contradictions--people would continue on with memories of the balefired person, but the actions they remember wouldn't have happened. From this we can deduce some possible answers to the questions. In the first case, supposing you balefired the person who taught you the weave, since canon has established that memories of the person persist post balefiring, particularly in the person wielding the balefire, there wouldn't be any further contradictions beyond the usual issues with balefire. That one doesn't seem like a big issue. The second one is trickier. I suspect one of four things would happen. First, the Pattern might unravel entirely, destroying the world. That would earn you a Darwin Award for sure, if the world wasn't destroyed thanks to the unraveling of the Pattern. The second likelihood comes from the way that balefire is described as working--you cease to exist, and all of your effects up to that point would also not happen. This gives rise to the other three possibilities: In two cases, you would rewind until the point at which you balefired yourself. The question then involves what would happen after that point. If it rewinds you until the point right BEFORE you release the balefire, you could get stuck in a Groundhog Day type loop, forever doomed to balefire yourself repeatedly until you end up destroying the Pattern. Or, you could just end up with the vague memory of having done something really stupid, shortly before making the attempt. Also, you'll unravel the Pattern a little more. Lastly, since balefire is supposed to rip you from the Pattern, like snipping a thread, you would merely cease to exist. I think, based on the descriptions, that this possibility or the first are the most likely. Of course, if we follow the pattern and thread analogy further, we might consider that you might be stuck in the loop of time defined by how powerful your balefire was, outside the Pattern, forever doomed to repeatedly balefire yourself in an otherwise empty part of space and time. After all, what happens to people who get balefired, really? They're removed from the Pattern, yes, but when you snip a piece of thread out of a tapestry, it still exists somewhere, just not in the tapestry.
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