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  1. #31
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    *applauds heartily*

    I look forward to reading the rest of the series and anything else you send our way. And thank you again for joining us this month. Do come visit us here sometimes and join in. It has been great having you join the conversation. Erf.

  2. #32
    Registered User lemming's Avatar
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    My editor told me when he first saw the book many years ago, "if it's going to be a war book, it's got to have more war in it."
    Ugh... I'm so sorry this happened. I liked the zor but I put the book down after 50 pages as a result of what your editor said. Which makes me, I suppose, "not the target audience." I came here to see what the discussion had been like and was very pleasantly surprised to see you posting here! Thanks for coming--sorry I was not one of those who enjoyed the book. I'm starting to think I might in fact like the sequels better, but then again, if there's much more political intrigue maybe I wouldn't. A little war is okay, a little intrigue is okay, but I'm afraid that when those things are the focus I tend to get bored.

    After the 50 pages, I did skim ahead until I got to some zor scenes, so I can join others on saying they're Pretty Good Aliens. They reminded me slightly of the garuda in Perdido Street Station--not entirely, but slightly. Anyway, thanks again for joining in the discussion--I think it was even more interesting for me than it would have been if I were an avid fan. I have a new perspective on your work now, even if I'm not all that likely to keep reading it. Best of luck to you with completing the series.

  3. #33
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    Originally posted by lemming


    Ugh... I'm so sorry this happened. I liked the zor but I put the book down after 50 pages as a result of what your editor said.
    . . .
    A little war is okay, a little intrigue is okay, but I'm afraid that when those things are the focus I tend to get bored.
    Not sure what you're looking for, then. No unicorns or fairy tales here.

    Sorry you're disappointed enough to put the book down - maybe you should keep reading instead.

    After the 50 pages, I did skim ahead until I got to some zor scenes, so I can join others on saying they're Pretty Good Aliens. They reminded me slightly of the garuda in Perdido Street Station--not entirely, but slightly.
    Sorry that I haven't read Mieville yet, so I can't comment on this.

    Anyway, thanks again for joining in the discussion--I think it was even more interesting for me than it would have been if I were an avid fan. I have a new perspective on your work now, even if I'm not all that likely to keep reading it. Best of luck to you with completing the series.
    It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to participate in the discussion. As for you continuing to read the series - I hope you do, but tastes vary. I think you might like book 2 (and book 3, when it arrives) more than the first book, but it has both war and intrigue; sorry, but that's the story being told. Some of the subsequent story deals with the zor (and other alien races); people wanted to see more of zor culture, and I gave it to them.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Walter.

  4. #34
    Registered User lemming's Avatar
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    Not sure what you're looking for, then. No unicorns or fairy tales here.
    Okay, I probably deserved that. I'll give you a clue on what I look for though, and why military SF doesn't often do it for me: there's hardly ever any interesting character development or explanation of cool technical stuff during a fight scene. For the most part, that's the nature of fight scenes, so please don't take that as a comment on The Dark Wing, because it's really not. I get bored during fight scenes in movies, too. In books, I usually prefer to skip most of the geometry of who's where shooting at whom and go straight to the aftermath: who's affected and why, and how the outcome affects the plot. Obviously that's just me, but you kind of asked, and that's the short version of the answer.

    I do look forward to learning more about the zor culture sometime. I'm much more likely to be curious about it now that I've talked to you... funny how that happens.

  5. #35
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    Originally posted by lemming


    Okay, I probably deserved that. I'll give you a clue on what I look for though, and why military SF doesn't often do it for me: there's hardly ever any interesting character development or explanation of cool technical stuff during a fight scene.


    I think you should pick up the book and read from page 50. You might be surprised. This is marketed as military SF, but I'd like to think that it transcends the genre.

    I do look forward to learning more about the zor culture sometime. I'm much more likely to be curious about it now that I've talked to you... funny how that happens.
    I'd be interested in hearing what you think - but I can't compel you to read the book. What it's not is a book exclusively devoted to throw-weight and tonnage; what it is involves intrigue and plotting, but it does include character development (and there's some "cool technical stuff" as well) :-).

    Walter.

  6. #36
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    lemming: I will second Walter's suggestion that you continue past the 50 page mark in this one. Aside from the beginning and one or two other very brief spots in the book, there really is a lot more going on than just explosions in the void.

    I agree with you that the publisher gets some negative marks for having Walter change the opening of the book into the action opening it is now versus the interview format it was before. I have to say that I almost wish it didn't fall into the "war book" category. I found the battle scenes to be some of my least favorite. Fortunately for me, there was so much more that made up for that many times over.

    Do read on. I agree that you may be pleasantly surprised.


    Walter: Which makes me wonder, Walter. *conspiratorial wisper* Is there any way that any of your closest friends here in the discussion could get our paws on the old interview-style prologue? I would be very interested in reading that. If not, I understand all of that publishing secrecy rubbish that everybody seems so keen on. /*conspiratorial wisper*


    Walter, yet again: On another note, there was one other small issue that I had with the book(and this may very well pertain to only myself and the way I process info): There are a lot of long descriptive paragraphs during conversations where a lot of information is exchanged. The charachters go back and forth without much by way of "so-and-so said" and "such-and-so replied" or even a "Mr. sausageface leaned forward abruptly," etc. Once a charachter is developed enough that I can tell who is talking from the subject matter and the characters patricular personality markers, I have no problem with these large paragraphs and how they are set up.

    Where I would run into some problems would be when a pile of new characters were introduced and immediately they would all start talking. The scene in which Sergei meets all of his new captains. As i recall, you go through all of the captains with a brief description of each, then with no reminders of who is who, they get into a fair sized discussion. I end up sometimes having to go back counting paragraphs to figure out who is talking at a given moment. I had a similar experience with the zor high council meeting.

    It's not something that made me enjoy the book any less, but more something that made my reading process a little more work intensive for equal payoff. It could have been a function of my reading the book late at night for the most part when my attention is less than what I would want it to be.

    I guess the short form of it is I could have used more in-conversation hints as to who was talking at particular moments in the conversations to help me understand them more smoothly and grasp who was saying what, when.



    Erf.

  7. #37
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    Originally posted by Erfael
    lWhich makes me wonder, Walter. *conspiratorial wisper* Is there any way that any of your closest friends here in the discussion could get our paws on the old interview-style prologue? I would be very interested in reading that.
    Erf.
    Actually, there is no such prologue. In the paperback edition, the beginning of the book as originally written begins on page 46 with the words "Sergei Torrijos . . . " and the scene between Sergei and Ted McMasters. Everything before that was added after the first draft was completed.

    Walter.

  8. #38
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    OH!! I misunderstood something you said earlier. I thought I understood that there was a Q&A session between McMasters and Sergei to explain what happened in the prologue, perhaps done up as some sort of testimony transcript or something. I get it now. And I was thinking such bad things about whoever made you change it. I feel better now. Erf.

  9. #39
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Posting time, unfortunately has been a bit limited lately, but I'll pop back in a few days.

    Walter: CONGRATULATIONS on the great news about the next two books, really looking forward to the next books in the series.

    To all, I'm really pleased with how well this month's discussion has progressed, great questions and answers and really cool to hear from the proverbial horse's mouth about the books.

  10. #40
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    Originally posted by Fitz
    Posting time, unfortunately has been a bit limited lately, but I'll pop back in a few days.

    Walter: CONGRATULATIONS on the great news about the next two books, really looking forward to the next books in the series.

    To all, I'm really pleased with how well this month's discussion has progressed, great questions and answers and really cool to hear from the proverbial horse's mouth about the books.
    The horse enjoyed it too :-) To all - Feel free to drop me a line about the books or my writing as the spirit moves you.

    Regards

    Walter.

  11. #41
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    In addition to Fitz's comments on how well the discussion went this month, I would also like to mention that this is the first month in our long, long history that we have had more posts in our discussion than those silly folks over in the Fantasy club with their faeries and elves. Let's keep it up people.


    I have really enjoyed this month's discussion. Thanks everyone, especially Walter (have I done this part once already?)


    Erf.

  12. #42
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    Originally posted by Erfael
    In addition to Fitz's comments on how well the discussion went this month, I would also like to mention that this is the first month in our long, long history that we have had more posts in our discussion than those silly folks over in the Fantasy club with their faeries and elves. Let's keep it up people.


    I have really enjoyed this month's discussion. Thanks everyone, especially Walter (have I done this part once already?)


    Erf.
    Yes, you have - what's next month's book?

    Walter.

  13. #43
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Next month's science fiction book will be Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed.

    In fantasy, Lian Hearn's Across the Nightengale Floor.

    Erf.

  14. #44
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    Originally posted by Erfael
    Next month's science fiction book will be Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed.

    In fantasy, Lian Hearn's Across the Nightengale Floor.

    Erf.
    The Dispossessed is a classic, one of my favorites. I'll be here.

    Walter.

  15. #45
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I like your approach to the history of the novels. Something that I've been finding myself admiring lately in novels/writers is how well the novel is structured. I really like how you are doing the whole "8" aspect for these novels in fitting with the zor culture.
    So four books in total. Tor must have been impressed with the sales.


    Erf, you know its not ALL fairies and elves.

    lemming, I'll be honest, when I first saw the book, it didn't really catch me, either. I felt how you did, that it may be too militaristic sf. However, after reading up on the book on the 'net, I was really intrigued by the premise and the praise the book received.

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