20th Century Boys – the movie

20th Century Boys is a 22+2 volumes long manga series by Naoki Urasawa that is rather popular in Japan.

In a way it can be considered the japanese version of Stephen King’s IT (as the recent “Kappa No Coo” animated movie is the japanese version of E.T.). The narrative proceeds in parallel following a group of friends as kids and then when they grow up, all done through flashbacks and glimpses and then a whole lot of retro-connections and new revelations that make you go back and reread to try to figure out something new. There aren’t all that many works of fiction with an elaborate mythology with payback on the long run, all the while trying to unveil mysteries and tie together the multiple plot threads. Lost, Battlestar Galactica, X-files, Erikson’s Malazan series, Akira, Evangelion, Donnie Darko, these are examples of mythologies that have a certain ambition and development in common, and all of them are flawed in a way or another.

The manga was great because it creates so many speculations. The more volumes you read, the more crazy theories come up and Urasawa keeps you constantly on the brink of some huge revelation that never comes but also never completely disappoint. It’s the kind of manga that you read frenetically to reach the last page, then are left wanting more. This movie is one of the most faithful transpositions of fiction I’ve seen, but it kinda fails to be good as its own thing, and it’s also not so good even when linked to the manga. It tells nothing more.

However, it’s full of awesome and makes you go quickly through the manga. Where it fails is in feeling authentic. Even the manga has some naive parts but they seem to work better as one of Urasawa’s skills is about playing these common, naive themes and make them look serious and dramatic. The movie, in being a movie and not for some flaws of transposition, appears more “stiff” and fake-ish. The acting is nowhere realistic and instead of drama you have the effect of a comedy, so when there are dramatic scenes that would require some involvement you are left watching with a big disconnection with what is going on.

The movie doesn’t seem to miss any step, though. The plot is all there, nothing is out of place and the cast, especially the kids, seems coming alive out of the drawn page. But again it doesn’t work to its full potential because all the time is used to follow the plot and not enough to develop characters and have the spectator care for them. I have no idea what is going to think of this movie one who didn’t read the manga. Even after twenty-two 200-pages long volumes I still mistake a character for another, or completely forget someone. The risk is that this movie would be extremely hard to follow, or maybe the opposite, it would be more easy to like because you can focus on a simplified exposition and so recollect only what’s really relevant.

Despite the flaws with realism, stiff acting and lack of serious character development, it’s an interesting movie that tries to keep an impossible balance between looking “serious” and making a caricature of everything. In the end it’s what makes it awesome. It plays with wonder and many of the typical japanese unrealistic situations common in the mangas. The manga version does all of this much better, this movie is the most faithful transposition possible, especially the iconography. Some scenes seem done as movie first, and then drawn in the manga.

Even if almost two hours and half long, this isn’t all. Just the first of a trilogy :)

You may notice that the end song in the movie is the same I posted about three years ago.

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Game design bloggers?

Huff, I didn’t want to enter this debate, but since everyone seems to agree with her, I’ll have to disagree:

Why do I ask? Mostly because I know a lot of talented game designers in the industry that most people have never heard of in their life. They don’t read blogs, they don’t read design theory novels, they don’t analyze the psychological reasons why people interact how they do. They simply know how to make good games, and don’t use theories behind it.

This sounds as realistic as someone playing wonderfully an instrument without having ever studied music.

Made worse by the fact that game design isn’t art, it is science. Sure, there are artistic aspects, but I quite believe that the practical ones are more relevant. If things work there’s a reason. Maybe some designer can have an innate talent and get things right from the start, or without knowing exactly the motivations. But those motivations exist and if you want to succeed more than once it’s a good practice to start looking at the causes. I believe that an analytical mind is more useful than a creative one, in this field.

The circulation of ideas, from my point of view, helps immensely as long you know what to do with it. Or we would be stuck remaking pac-man (that for many actual designers isn’t far from truth).

But *real* game designers? They’ll hardly write or read anything. They are too scared that out there everyone knows better then them. Being deaf and blind is the only way they have to stay sane. As long they don’t lose their job.

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Jumpgate: flight model and the myth of choice

In February I said I was going to hope the new Jumpgate was a good game. I’m still hoping, but the more I read about the game the more I got my hopes crushed.

I could summarize what’s wrong in a quote of the producer from the last dev chat, it explains what’s wrong at the core:

Hermann: When you look at game development it’s my preference to always please everybody.

And pleasing everybody is the shortest route to please no one and make a forgettable game that enters and then exits the market within a few months, without anyone remembering it.

The “concept” that I identify with my hopes about Jumpgate is about a game with space combat, with intuitive controls and big battle with awesome dogfighting, following the tradition of X-Wing, Freespace, Wing Commander and so on. Add some warring factions and territorial control and it would become a dream of a game.

Without going through the usual missteps (game is based on experience and levelling up, PvP only exists in instanced battlegrounds), it’s the controls to be the biggest issue. Especially in the perspective of a PvP game.

As with the quote above, the devs think of pleasing everyone. Jumpgate classic had an horrid flight control. You know, the kind where the direction where your ship points IS NOT the direction where you are going. The kind where the whole game is about not blowing up when you’re trying to dock. It’s all there. Or “Newtonian physics”. I tried it in Jumpgate, it was not fun. I tried it in all those 2D top-down asteroids clone, it wasn’t fun. It’s not that it’s hard to master, but then it gets better. Nope, it’s just not fun.

Now, this new Jumpgate will have a different flight model. Ships will fly in the direction they are pointed to. You turn and the ship changes direction. But they are also trying to please everyone. So you can switch freely between one flight model and the other. It’s your choice.

Isn’t everyone happy?

No, I’m not. It’s not my fucking choice. I want dogfighting gameplay, ok? Dogfighting gameplay means that there is maneuverings. You trying to stay on the tail of your target, anticipate his moves while trying to dodge the bullets of others. This is dogfighting gameplay. I want this. Now think that I’m chasing my target, right in the center of my bulls eye. I’m about to fire when my target does a 180 spin and starts firing right at me while his ship is flying in the other direction. WHERE THE FUCK IS MY CHOICE NOW? HUH?

There isn’t any damned choice. If you allow a different flight model to exist, then it will have an effect on MY gameplay. If ships spin around freely then there isn’t any dogfighting, it’s a wholly different game. And, FOR SURE, you aren’t pleasing me.

So, as a game designer, it is your choice whether to make a game in a way or another. It isn’t written anywhere that one flight model has the right to exist, while the other hasn’t. But “giving players the choice” is a fucking joke. Is about not taking responsibility of what you are doing and destroy gameplay in every way possible.

I guess this sums up why Netdevil never made a decent game: they are unable to make choices.

The best answer was this one though:

DK_FR: Is the game going to be released in June or later?

Mike: Possibly.

Are you deaf or drunk? Possibly.

I also wanted to add this passage, because they seem to drown into really simple design quirks:

Hermann: The original game had multi-faction squads and right now we’re planning that won’t be the case. A controversial issue. The reason is that it starts to interfere with core problems. For example, if you’re in a multi-nation squad, say there are five Quantar and five Solrains, and you’re out in an open PvP scenario in the same squad capturing a beacon, do the Solrains kill the Quantars? And how do you communicate that difference to people? That also goes for instanced PvP, when you join a squad of people you plan on playing with them a lot. But if there’s any implied negative relationship between the groups then it conflicts directly against that.

It’s a core issue which can get really big as more people are added to the game. If you have a game that is separated along any kind of a line, they tend to isolate players. We don’t want to isolate people completely, but there are these natural points where it just becomes easier to separate people in some way and enforce that with gameplay rules, rather than confusing that by letting people mix as much as they want. Then having to fight the gameplay problems that come from that.

They have a problem with multi-faction groups. They want these groups to exist, so that the factions don’t isolate players, so they can group freely together. But then this can be confusing.

So, since they can’t decide for anything even here, they give up on the system and just removed multi-faction groups. They preferred isolation to confusion.

Excuse me, but why are things confusing as you say? In PvE no one cares. You shoot mobs, so you don’t care to recognize if another player is in an enemy faction or not. Besides, either you are enemy or aren’t. No?

This is a PvP problem. PvP is also only instanced. Think about it for longer than two seconds? Good, problem solved. American’s Army made everyone believe the other faction was “terrorist”, no matter of the side you were on. So will Jumpgate game designers manage, in an instanced room, to flag an enemy group as “enemy”? This must be a really hard task. In Eve-Online they use red cross for dangerous targets. In Quake they make one side “red” and the other “blue”. It seems to work quite well and it doesn’t matter if on the same faction there are giant eyes, demons or other weird things. You look at the dominant color and that’s it. You shoot.

Will Netdevil daring game designers succeed in reinventing the wheel? A controversial question.

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The Naked God: a sexy book

I’ve yet to go past page 20 of Reality Dysfunction (because I read at least a few pages of every book I buy) but decided that I had to buy the third volume.

The risk is that they run out of copies. On amazon.co.uk (the only place where you would want to buy Hamilton, as the American versions are horrendous, when they aren’t split) there’s only one copy left in total. Volumes 1 and 2 in the trilogy are unavailable in hardcover. Only this one was and it’s the most representative. It’s one of the biggest hardcover ever produced, in my wordcount it stands at 470k words for 1160 pages, 40 lines per page. 1.61 kg of weight. Longer than the whole Lord of the Rings, longer than any fantasy epic I know.

For the value of what’s inside, this is considered, the three volumes together, as one of the best space operas if not the very best. The first two volumes are rated somewhat better and this third one is criticized because it ends too neatly and with a big deus ex machina. Still it looks a worthwhile read and there are good chances that Hamilton will return to this universe when his current project is over.

The complete wrap around cover is one of the best I’ve seen. Elegant, sexy book.

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Want to study Kabbalah?

Yep, that’s what was the chart below from.

It’s a while I’ve been reading about hermetism, then last week I watch the second episode of Fullmetal Alchemist and at some point they show an image of the tree of life (1, 2, 3). I decided that I wanted to know the meaning of it. Not just a general sense about what it is about, but all the symbols and writings on it. So, starting from the wikipedia, I went looking for all kinds of infos I could find, but as always on the internet, it’s easy to get lost.

The first intent was to look into bookshops to find the most complete and deep book about Kabbalah I could find. I’m not interested on the “practical” rituals and meditations that are popular nowadays, nor the most religious aspects. I wanted to read about the myths, the symbols, their meaning. I wanted to recognize words and symbol, know what they mean.

The problem is that on amazon and other book shops the majority of the material seems composed of short books (150-200 pages) that deal with some specific aspects. I wanted instead some kind of full guide that I could use as a reference every time I read about something, something exhaustive. I even tried asking on the forums to see if someone could give me hints, and discovered that it is quite popular. Many recommend books by Gershom Scholem (such as “Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism”) but I was worried that these academic works only gave historical notions but nothing really about the Kaballah itself, its meaning and mythology.

So I started looking for less orthodox books, like the tradition of the Golden Dawn. It seems that western occultism is a messy mixture of Kabbalah (the spiritual aspects) and Medieval traditions (the magical and ritualistic aspects). If you want to look for “authenticity” then the Golden Dawn is the worst starting point as possible. They put everything together and then interpret and transform things their own way. Too much made-up stuff and not enough with some kind of value. But for me they could be useful, I was just looking for the mythology and the Golden Dawn filtered all the deep religious aspects only to save the mystical and mythical ones. Problem is that only 1/5 of the books I could find was about “theory”, with the rest filled with weird magical rites and celebrations, magic formulas etc… Since I’m not going to try to evoke Cthulhu all those pages wasted on rituals were useless to me. I’m interested in the meaning of them, and what they are based on, not to know a list of instructions to do this and that.

Thanks to the internet I could delve into the books and make a better choice before I purchase something. From the occultist side I found a huge torrent that has a majority of the texts I was looking for (Israel Regardie, Waite, Eliphas Levi, Crowley and a bunch of other books on the Kabbalah). Without wasting money now I can see if there’s something in there that isn’t bullshit and is worth purchasing.

But it’s from the more authentic side that I found the most interesting material. To begin with I was looking at this textbook. It seemed big enough to be complete, then I discovered that the whole book was available through that “google preview” button. Not just a few pages, all 800+ of them. If you quickly scroll to the last pages and then move up, you can find a number of insane charts like the one I copied below. That was some interesting and fascinating stuff. The more cryptic, the more curious and intrigued I am. The same way I wanted to understand the tree of life, now I wanted to understand those charts.

Later I discover that the book is published by an association in Israel. Through their site their WHOLE literary production is available for free. Included the whole 800+ pages textbook with the crazy diagram available as a pdf download. Hooray! That is more material that I could ever hope to find. And it’s not all. This association gives free online courses. There are free downloads of the videos of the lesson in Hebrew, that are then translated in different languages, along all the material that you are supposed to use, like other books and manuals. Moreover, all the 10.000 video lessons they gave up to this point are archived and available again as free download.

The new course started yesterday and you could skip registering just by knowing the right link.

I have all I need (and more), now I only have to find the time :)

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I’ve already summarized my position on internet piracy. It hasn’t changed now.

The Piratebay trial is a joke. The industry wants a show, something to make example of. Politics and law should NEVER mix. Politics defines the law, but then the law must have a practical use, not a political one. It should be objective and impartial. Prosecuting someone because law was violated is one thing, another is prosecuting one because of his political ideas, or to make an example, or to publicize an action.

The Piratebay trial has ENTIRELY different purposes than those exposed during the trial. Already for this reason it should be halted. Closing the tracker is secondary to the feedback across the media, secondary to the real intent behind the trial: it’s a political and cultural war.

The hypocrisy of this fight starts from semantics. Pirates are “thiefs”, and copying is “stealing”. The moment you hear, in every context, an argument that is dramatized beyond its real scope is the moment you should understand that the argument is being manipulated. When you are on the right side you don’t need to spin words and present things under an untrue light. Whenever hypocrisy shows, it reveals a personal interest. And that interest surpasses ANY desire for truth. You take whatever is convenient to you. Lies, truths. What matters isn’t truth, but convenience.

On these sole premises it’s enough for me to judge this trial as dishonest and unfounded. There are no facts, no truths. Just twisted semantics, speculations and convenient arguments. If lies are the foundation of your claims, then those claims don’t deserve to be heard. Even less in trial.

The facts: I read that the main cause of the sentence was that the guys were operating the site for a profit. During the trial the prosecutors tossed around fancy figures about how much those guys earned. I do not care. It’s a trial, either you have proofs, or you don’t. Numbers have to be exact, proven numbers. Opinions don’t matter. If you want a sentence based on those arguments then tell the police to figure it out. Even if it’s money from donations it should be money that must leave a track.

Main point: since this whole argument is already a “shade of gray” kinda thing. Then whether they make money or not is, imo, a good starting point where to draw a line.

IF (case 1) it’s the money the center of the argument then. 1) you track that money, then give it all back to RIAA. 2) if you can’t track the money anymore, then you sentence the piratebay guys to operate the site “publicly”, meaning that donations will be monitored by the police, so that they can control that nothing is being earned. Problem solved. Real criminal organization don’t operate for free. They operate for an interest. Money is the best point where to draw a line between what’s legal and what isn’t. As with drugs, it’s (practically) better to monitor than to forbid.

Sounds fancy? Yes, because it’s another sign that the motivations are elsewhere and that this whole thing is a farce.

IF (case 2) instead the center of the argument is about the service itself. Then you stop the service. You have probably noticed how the RIAA, ESA and other organizations are so cheerful about the event. Yet the Piratebay is operating as always. Why they are happy if the service is sill there and pirates are still sharing illegally as they always did? Because, again, the real intent is secondary to closing the service. The real intent is to win a political battle. The real intent is to sue people for their ideas. Because they challenged the establishment, and so needs to be punished. Made an example of. If the service is the problem, you stop the service first and foremost. You don’t need to put in jail anyone as the guys brought to the trial aren’t guilty of ANYTHING. The existence of the system is. The system is what they should deal with. The act of creating the system is not a violation of the law, the use of the system is. And the existence of the system favors the breaking the law. So you stop the system, but there is NO ONE who is responsible of violating the law.

If not, it’s because it’s a political trial and want to prosecute people because of what they think and represent. It’s not the existence of the system, but it’s political message. During the trial was asked why they don’t sue Google, as Google also indexes illegal material. The answer was that Google “cooperates”. Hence the Piratebay is to sue because they don’t have the right attitude, because they challenge openly the industry. For their ideas.

IF (case 3) the argument is the copy of material, that is forbidden by the law. Then the Piratebay guys ARE INNOCENT. Clean. No proofs were brought at the trial that those individuals shared themselves illegal material. They provided a service. They aren’t directly responsible of anything and cannot be processed for these motivations.

There aren’t ANY other arguments that are coherent. The problem is either money, the service itself, or the material being distributed. Yet the industry sole concern is to hit the individuals. Fine them for fancy amounts of money and put them in jail. Why? Because it’s a political and cultural problem, whose real impact is entirely symbolic. The problem is, politics shouldn’t enter a trial. This can’t be allowed and it’s THIS to set a worrying precedent. That you can be sued for what you think or for what you represent. For your political ideas. Or for your intentions. For behaving outside the norm they’ve set. Because you threat the establishment and they can’t allow it.

Absolutely nothing of what happens here is new. With every counterculture that grows to a menacing point the result is that individuals are hit for their political ideas. If no proofs exist, they are invented. You hit innocents if you have to. What matters is the result.

But while history demonstrates that countercultures never survive for long, it also demonstrates that there’s no victory. This industry is dead. What we have now is a “shock wave” that started with the internet. Sharing. The circulation of ideas. If I could go in a shop, take an apple and copy it, and then go back home with my copy, it wouldn’t be called “stealing”, it would be called a miracle. The truth is that the cultural importance of the internet is way bigger than its negative impact on the industry and innocents involved (people losing jobs): growing pains.

“Intellectual property” is a fraud invented to protect the status quo. This industry doesn’t anticipate trends or evolution, it stops them. The premise and original intent is: things have to stay the same. They threat that we’ll have a world with no musicians, no writers, no artists. It’s childishly naive. They want us to believe that this world and our future needs them. That this industry, the way it exists now, is indispensable. They want us to believe that we can’t live without them. It’s not. It’s dead weight. It proved that it cannot adapt, that it cannot favor the development of culture, that the singular economical interests come first and foremost.

Well, we don’t need any of that. This is a cultural battle that is way more important than its specific aspects. If the industry can’t adapt or transform, then it has to go. It’s garbage. And I can assure that we won’t lose anything of what’s important in there. We’ll have musicians, writers and artists. Better musicians, better writers and better artists because the culture circulates a lot more and is able to reach a lot more people. This is progress: knowledge as a human right, and not as a privilege.

If this industry has still money to waste to found RIAA, ESA and others, then it means there is no crisis. A crisis leads to cut what is superfluous. This is no crisis. They are one step from saying that the economical crisis is caused by pirates. But we know that the pyramid is reversed. Crisis fall from the top. Those guys up there are those responsible. They are the cause, we pay – as always.

This is a cultural battle: they are trying to convince us we’re guilty. They give us their own sins. They make mistakes, they blame us.

My practical response to all this is small and simple: I stop giving them money. I stop buying games, music, DVDs, going to see big movies productions. It doesn’t mean “more piracy”, it means “I can do without you”. I’ll buy more book and supports what I think is worth of my money. I’ll pay for what is a good service and not for what is a desperate defense of an obsolete system.

Boycott the rest. The sooner they go, the better for everyone. With or without Piratebay, show them they have no future.

Stop pirating, and stop giving them money.

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Now, can you possibly guess what is this about? Hint: it was (only partially) triggered by watching an episode of Fullmetal Alchemist. Three days of flippant internet surfing lead to that.

And no, it’s not an alien periodic table of elements.

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Lost last episode (Dead is dead)

Last week episode was dreadful. One of the worst in the whole series. Not only it had a bad plot, but even a subpar execution.

It may be a coincidence but as soon Locke returns we get an episode that is one of the best.

It clarifies the relationship between Ben and Widmore (but it only confirms what could have been inferred from the last few episodes), closes some redundant, dead-end mysteries born anew this season (why Ben was beaten up), and has some brilliant situations and pure-genius dialogues. It was also awesome to see Ben scared shitlessly for the very first time. By John Locke.

A return to form. Or maybe just a return to the only two characters who still have something to say and that haven’t become a joke (but Sawyer is to save too).

Problem is: they only nudged to a corner the real elephant in the room. What’s this smoke monster is really about, what Dharma was up to, who’s Jacob and so on…

Books at my door – April

Weird order this one, I’d say.

Toll the Hounds – Steven Erikson – 1270 pages
A month ago I mail Transworld to inform them there was a mistake about the format on the page of the mass market (paperback in UK) edition of the book. I got no reply. Then the book is available on amazon.co.uk, I make my order, and a day later I read on the forums that they arbitrarily switched (AGAIN) the format to a larger one. DAMMIT! Now I have seven books in one format and one in another. Hardcovers are out of print and there isn’t one way to get this series complete in one format. They already changed the graphic of the mass market (and I got all books in the new version to have something even) now they change the damned format. There’s also absolutely no change in the way the book is set up. One could assume that they embiggen it because this is a huge book (392k words) but they just upscaled the previous format. Margins are bigger and text is bigger, the format is exactly the same, just upscaled. The decision to use a new format may also be related to the fact that when they published the hardcover they didn’t publish a trade paperback as always. So now they publish something somewhere in the middle.

It’s interesting to notice that all these three books are in the same format, also using a similar soft cover. The edition is definitely better done than classic mass market. Better paper, better cover, better binding. It looks much more solid. They are also selling it at just one pound higher, so I doubt it’s more convenient for them. But the text now is slightly too big and they could have definitely used better the space available and cut some pages.

Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson – 920 pages
Looks like a twin to Toll the Hounds, but here they used the space available. The text is tiny and fills the page (415k words in 900 pages). I decided to buy this version because I have already Quicksilver in the same style. This isn’t fantasy but it’s still epic in its own way. It also works as a “prequel” to the Baroque cycle, so I decided that I’d better start here. This book is also one of the most praised of Stephenson, and along with the full Baroque cycle will likely remain his most ambitious effort. I doubt Stephenson has equals on his field. He’s just totally insane and I crave for insane things and excessively ambitious works.

On the back cover there’s some praise talk that is quite bold:
“Mixes history and fiction in the way that Don DeLillo did in Underworld. Stephenson’s book is more successful than DeLillo’s, and much funnier.”

He is also known for having a beautiful, intelligent prose. I’ll quote the beginning of one of the first chapter as an example, even if I don’t know how representative it is, but quite a fancy introduction.

Let’s set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating
organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each
other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means
which hardly need to be belabored. Most of them failed, and their genetic legacy was erased from the
universe forever, but a few found some way to survive and to propagate. After about three billion years
of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was
born, in Murdo, South Dakota, to Blanche, the wife of a Congregational preacher named Bunyan
Waterhouse. Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous
badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line
of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo–which, given the
number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of
all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.

David Copperfield – Charles Dickens – 970 pages
This should be Dickens real pageturner, so I bought it. I’m still about 170 pages into Bleak House and there are parts I like and parts that I have to struggle through. Some characters and some of the writing is pure genius. Something unparalleled still today. But I also got the impression that I understood most of the essence of the book and so it gets really redundant at times and the language is rather hard and requires to be untangled in a way that makes reading it not exactly an easy and fun task. With phrases nestled one into the other, that you start and don’t know where they end, like complex mathematical expressions. So I struggle and I go forward, knowing that if I stop I’ll never try again (as I have now both Copperfield and Great Expectations that are easier reads, without counting the multitude of other books in the reading pile). The book is still splendidly convoluted and masterly organized. It’s not Erikson but there’s plenty of foreshadowing even here and it’s interesting to notice that all descriptions aren’t just descriptions but metaphors of what is to come. It’s fascinating.

In the meantime I read, as I said, Bleak House (170 pages of 1000), A Game of Thrones (170 pages of 800), The Colour in the Steel (70 pages from the end) and Viriconium, but just 40-50 pages of the first novel in the book. While House of Chains (Erikson) and Reality Dysfunction (Hamilton) are sooooo tempting.

Speaking of Hamilton. I updated/recounted the wordcount of a bunch of epics (now with Hamilton and Stephenson). Hamilton’s third in the trilogy (The Naked God) is INSANE. 470k, one of the biggest books published in mass market. But I don’t want that, I want the hardcover. It’s miraculously still available. It’s huge, it has a beautiful cover. I crave it. Don’t think about buying it because there are very few copies left. And it has to be mine. My preeeecious.