Proofs of reversed trolling, manipulation and abuse of moderation

In the last couple of weeks I joined an heated discussion on Martin’s board about the Hulk Vs The Thing Martin Vs Erikson endless debate.

I always try to prove what I say and explain my point of view the best I can. My final purpose is that if we have to disagree we’ll disagree on some concrete opinions and not on misunderstanding or manipulation of opinions to win an argument. In fact, and even in this case, I participate in the discussion not to “prevail”, but because I find it interesting and enriching in a way. Confrontation.

Problem is when your opinion clashes with the one of a moderator, whose opinion in this particular case is completely biased and unreliable (axe to grind). I actually read and appreciate his blog a lot. Just not about Erikson.

This was the last exchange put in context.

Iron Tusk:
i’ve only read gardens of the moon, but the impression i got from the book is that erikson writes like an anthropologist rather than an author. does that make any sense? regardless, i found gardens of the moon to be an extremely dry read and i highly doubt i’ll continue on with the series.

that said, i thought the book was filled with wonderful ideas that were simply poorly executed (IMO) and i can see why this series is very popular, it’s simply not for me.

End of disk one:
If your main problem was the writing, anyone will tell you that the writing in the first book is much different than in the rest of the series. It was written about 15 years before the rest.

Werthead (the moderator):
GotM was written about 8 years before DHG, but yes, a fair bit before.

Personally I always thought GotM was quite representative of the writing in the other MBF books (and superior to the last two, perhaps the last four, books), the only difference with the others is that you get used to it by the time you reach them.

I won’t get again in the discussion but your revisionism is becoming just unbelievable.

Again, it’s all a matter of taste and preference, but saying that the writing in the first book is the same of the writing of the other books is plain wrong.

I’m not saying plotting, characters, ideas and so on. Just the writing. If you think the writing is the same then I can’t even believe anymore that you are being honest here.

I started reading Deadhouse Gates a day after the end of Gardens of the Moon and the difference was immense.

(about me saying it’s false that the writing of the first book is the same of the other books) Possibly. In many ways, it is superior.

(about my comment on his revisionism) Sorry, I’m being lectured to on my opinions on this series by someone who hasn’t read the damn thing?

We’ll talk again when you know what the hell you are blathering about.

My reply to the last two lines Werthead wrote:
This again.

We were discussing the difference in the writing between the first and the second book. I read those. There’s significant progress between the books that may or may not be appreciated. But it is there and it is undeniable.

Werthead’s assertion was that the writing in GotM is superior to the last two (and perhaps four) books of the series, not DH or MoI.

My reply to kuenjato, that was deleted for “trolling”:
Nope, you have to put that in context. Someone said that he didn’t like the writing of the first book. Someone else replied that many years passed between the books and that Erikson improved as a writer. Then Werthead chimed in to say that it is true that years passed (but less) but that there wasn’t any improvement in the writing, actually it got worse.

In fact he said that there wasn’t any improvement and that “the only difference” is that us readers became used to it. This is just false.

I didn’t notice a significant improvement between the first and the second book because I suddenly “got used” to the writing in the few days that passed before I started reading the second. I noticed it because it is there and it is undeniable even by those who do not like the way Erikson writes.

This part of a long forum thread where for everything thing that was said Werth came to say the opposite just for fun. Constantly and without any motivation. Even on those points that both Erikson’s fans and haters agree.

That’s what I call trolling. Coming to a discussion and say “no” to everything, without bothering to motivate anything. Then when someone opposes you, you tell him “you aren’t qualified to speak” (because I only read four books), and then finally deleting my posts because his axe to grind was just becoming too obvious and his position indefensible.

About the actual debate, it’s a proven fact that Erikson improves as a writer as the series goes on. Again, it doesn’t mean that one who dislikes the first book will then obligatorily like the second, but everything is done much better and there have been many readers who said that they only started to like Erikson after the second book or the third, so this is often brought up when someone asks for suggestions like in this case. Opinions, sure. But denying progress in the writing is about denying something everyone else noticed and agreed upon. It’s the most frequent comment you can read everywhere, in reviews or across different forums that don’t have a particular bias.

For example, this is from Q23 (that is not a dedicated author’s forum, and so less prone to bias), and it’s not me writing it:

I’d also say that his writing generally improves as the series continues on; the biggest jump is indeed between Gardens of the Moon and the rest, but you can still kind of see it happening from book to book following.

Just one of many.

There can only be a discussion if we speak the same language. If one just wants to disrupt everything that is being said, disagreeing just to hinder the discussion, then I’ll call that trolling.

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I’m writing off Jumpgate

A gaming interlude to give closure to the few hopes I had.

Today they were bragging that they reached whatever number of applications to beta they reached. The fact that the game should have been already out and they still haven’t invited anyone to that beta appears secondary.

Their PvP system is incredibly original:
What loot reward systems are in place for PvP in JGE?

Hermann Peterscheck:
Loot rewards will be sold to you by special vendors which require you to have a certain amount of renown to gain access to. Additionally you get XP and credits for kills, contribution to kills and other objectives which you can complete as part of PVP.

They also can’t be arsed to write a design doc. I guess it’s too soon to have one:
What experience reward systems are in place for PvP in JGE?

Hermann Peterscheck:
Currently you get XP, Credits and Renown for all PVP kills. Depending on how well you do and your contribution determines how much of each you get. In the case of battlespace, winning the round will give bonuses. In the case of open world PVP, the winning nation gains control over that part of space which has consequences and benefits we have not specified.

Good luck with your next game Netdevil.

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Started with House of Chains

Even if I’m still not done with Martin, I’m too eager to start House of Chains, so I did.

Ahh, so glad. The beginning of the book shows already the typical Erikson approach. The writing seems slightly different than usual and even the style of narration seems chasing a more traditional approach (and it’s coherent with what Erikson said about the beginning of this book and the “sustained” POV). But there’s again the satisfaction of what makes this series so good. It’s an attempt to do a traditional narration, while not losing the unique flavor of the series.

In the first two pages of the first chapter there’s enough facts and hinted ideas that would normally fill 50 pages. It’s rich, and you soak in there. Then the POV quickly swaps, one page here, one page there. It once again demonstrates how Erikson doesn’t fear to spoil all the ideas and show all the sides of the plot that would normally be left hidden and unsaid. He never reveals completely everything, but he does way more than other writers would do and I still think that he wastes like that too many ideas. With every POV change we discover how partial was the previous and how the characters are at the same time so sure of themselves and yet so helpless and oblivious of truth. The reader gets to know more, and then has to put the pieces together.

That’s the masterful trick. Knowledge leads to trust. In the same way the characters are convinced of their truths, while shown as naive to the reader, so the reader is lead to perpetuate the same mistake.

This without considering the prologue, that is almost as strong as the one of the second book (that was exceptional). If this is what I get from the book considered the weakest link in the series, I’m happy.

(There’s also a roughness of prose that I especially notice since I read some pages of Martin and then some of Erikson. But it is more due to an economy of writing than a lack of skill, and Martin is much more flowing and verbose. Much more.)

Erikson needs a break, so goes to work

From the forums, an interesting message:

Hello everyone. I am writing this from a Blenz Cafe in North Vancouver. Tomorrow, early in the afternoon, I board a plane bound for Beijing, and then on to Ulan Bator. Why am I going to Mongolia? The thing with archaeology is one can never quite get it out of one’s blood. I am joining a US/Russian/Japanese/Mongolian expedition, for a five week dig. With luck, I’ll get a chance to do some riding once there, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Now, before anyone panics regarding the timing of this, rest assured I do this in the best interests of the entire series in mind. Before I settle into writing the tenth and last novel, I need a period of time in which to take stock, review all that has gone before in the previous nine novels, and charge up the batteries. Five weeks in a primitive camp on the Asian steppes may not seem an ideal place in which to recharge, but for me it’s the perfect place. I return to the UK on the 21st of August, hopefully in time to do some promotion for Dust of Dreams.

Today I wandered the Malazan site for a time, reading many of your comments. Always nice to see such lively debate on countless topics. Thank you all for investing so much in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I suspect that in the months to come, plenty will be hitting the fan with Dust of Dreams (if Bill and Hazel’s responses are anything to go by), and I will look in from time to time (though I found, with Toll the Hounds, that I would be wise to wait a month or two after launch. If precedent is anything to go by, responses mellow and opinions often reverse following the initial rush to comment: if I had taken to heart the predominantly negative reactions to Toll the Hounds in the days following its release, I might have been depressed for days. Curiously, this pattern seems pretty consistent, if I look back on the reactions to House of Chains, Midnight Tides, etc. As much as I meekly advise patience with my readers, so I must with myself). In any case, fare well for now.

Steven Erikson

Canada to the rescue (or The Stack of Doom)

So it was true, the Canadian market saves us from the continuous swapping of format of Erikson’s books and I now have book 1 to 8 all in the same mass market format.

I received today my order from with both Toll the Hounds and Return of the Crimson Guard, with the hope that two books left will stick with the format at least in Canada.

Absolutely nothing changes between the canadian, smaller version and the new bigger UK mass market. They have a different ISBN code and price in canadian dollars.

My precioussss…

(the first picture is Toll the Hounds in UK hardcover, UK mass mrket (paperback) and the new, shiny, beautifully fat canadian mass market)

I know quality is horrid, but it was done with an ancient webcam and it really can’t get better than that. I’ll see if I can steal a camera from a friend these days… I like book porn.