Wednesday, July 9, 2014

[Rogues] Garth Nix: "A Cargo of Ivories" & Martin's finger

It's the hottest and sunniest day so far this year up in the far north, but I found time to read another short from the Rogues anthology. I've passed the halfway mark, and so far I am very happy with the anthology, with mostly good stories so far. A Cargo of Ivories, which at first sounded like some Blood Diamonds-type of story, turned out to be one of the good ones. Entertaining, fun, adventurous, entirely in the spirit of Steven Erikson's Bauchelain & Korbal Broach short stories in the sense that the author gives us the impression of a huge world with few words; the way the plot unfolds (although far from as complex as Erikson's stories tend to be - this one has far fewer characters, but they are every bit as quirky as Erikson's - there's even a puppet, reminding me of Hairlock from Gardens of the Moon) - and even the naming conventions have a Malazan smell to them. Which means that I of course liked it, with a pretty clear-cut simple plot, fun banter, some silliness and an exciting race to the finish line when the two main characters confront a very powerful being aboard a sinking ship while being bombarded from a coastal fort.

Elsewise, I'm still reading Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns, trying to savor every moment of it as it is my first read and it is definitely going straight into my favorite fantasy novel list (not sure where I rank it as of yet). This Lawrence-fellow sure can write in an engaging style, and he definitely masters first person style, and I know he's got a new book out these days and that one is supposed to be pretty rocking too (if not as overly cynical/dark/grim as the tale of Jorg of Ancrath). Ah, but I will still have to read the sequel to Prince, which is Emperor of Thorns, and that one I'm going to buy as a ebook. Reading real books has become such a hassle now that I'm spoiled with ebooks. I guess I'm not the only one with that first world problem.

Tonight, though, I am putting geekery aside to watch the Netherlands hopefully beat Argentina, while regretting having forgotten to put on some sun lotion or cream or whatever you call that stuff that helps you from getting fried on a hot summer day.

Oh, there's a George R.R. Martin newsbite today, I almost forgot. In this video interview he tells people who are afraid he's going to die before finishing the series to fuck off and shows 'em the finger. Now I absolutely agree that Martin should feel offended - however, I do believe a number of people are afraid they will die before getting to read the end of the saga we all know and love™ and that's a different matter. In fact, both Is Winter Coming? and Tower of the Hand (very recently) have lost huge fans of the series and it is sad that they never got to know if Arya would indeed be found frozen with a needle in her hand, or whether Bran will be able to change the course of history.
It seems as if Martin is taking the message - "Don't die on us before you have finished the story" - personally when people really are giving him a great compliment, in that the series has become such an important obsession for so many people. It is the way it is phrased that is the problem. And people will still clamor that Martin's health and age might just end the series abruptly, only you cannot phrase this is in any manner that isn't offensive.
All this being said, I actually defended Feast and Dance at TOR's website where people are discussing Martin's "fuck y'all". Seems I am coming around. Good times.

But still no winds.
We want it so bad, Mr. Martin.


  1. And if Martin actually passes away, do you think someone should or could finish the story with knowledge and notes that Martin left?

  2. I'm not sure if anyone could, but somebody certainly should :) There are a few authors I'd like to see finish the tale - certainly some of the authors in the "Rogues" anthology seem to have a similar voice, such as Daniel Abraham and Matthew Hughes. However I do believe that if Martin passes away, the only ending we'll get is HBO's.

    1. The information is certainly there though, I hope to see ( and it think we will) Martin finish his work, but if the worst happens I really want to at least be able to read the whole story in a book for, I don't really care if I get spoiled by the show. I think it is good enough to get the story first on the show, but I haven't been reading it from the start, so that probably helps.

  3. Probably want to try King after Prince, then move on to Emperor :)

    1. *Jaw drops to the ground, shatters*
      Well hello there, fantastic writer. It seems I was a bit confused when I posted this - I am of course reading King of Thorns, and will follow it up with Emperor - and the next one you have out already! :-) You have an amazing sense of character and humor!
      Thank you for reading!