Until the End of the Page
By Dwip October 31, 2004, 6:14 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

We’re having title issues today. Can you tell?

So we’re going to take a break from BFV mapping for a second, and talk about books. Because, really, there’s only so many files with things like

GeometryTemplate.create StandardMesh EuroCarpet2_m1
GeometryTemplate.file EuroCarpet2_m1
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 0 0
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 1 10
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 2 20
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 3 30
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 4 60
GeometryTemplate.setLodDistance 5 100
ObjectTemplate.create SimpleObject EuroCarpet2_m1
ObjectTemplate.geometry EuroCarpet2_m1
ObjectTemplate.setHasCollisionPhysics 0

that you can take at one time, you know? I mean, there’s only so many times you can see the debug exe not find the template EuroCarpet2_m1 before you go mad gibbering crazy, you know?

What? Knife? I’m not holding a knife.

*hides knife*

Anyway. Books. We’ll start with the latest Guy Gavriel Kay offering, Last Light of the Sun.

Now, Kay has this thing going, where his books are pretty much quasi-historical fiction, taking historical places and people, fictionalizing them, and adding some random fantastic elements. Now, given previous rants on the subject, you might figure that I’d be annoyed at that. But no. But no. It can some days, such as the Sarantine Mosaic, which was close enough to a story I knew very very well to be annoying. But usually no. And there’s a pretty simple reason for this.

Kay can create characters, do plot, all of that, but lots of people can do that. The reason we’re reading Kay in the first place is because the man can string words together into sentences in such a way as to evoke deep emotion almost effortlessly, and in such a way that it becomes about the closest prose writing gets to poetry.

Seriously. Read Tigana sometime, and you’ll understand what I’m getting at. The skill is such that I’d bet Kay could write a book about the beauty and grandeur of tapeworms, and I would go home singing the praises of tapeworms, and longing for the lost glories of the tapeworm kingdoms of old.

And…oh, the book, you say? The book. Well, it’s about Vikings. And Anglo-Saxon England. They’re not called that, but that’s what it’s about. And people do cool things, and cool stuff happens, and it’s all very good, and it makes me want to go play some Viking Invasion.

Seriously, folks. If you’ve never read GGK, you are directed to drop whatever pathetic trash you’re now reading, and run, do not walk, to the nearest bookstore. Do so now.

Why the hell are you still here?

Well, ok. Since you’re still reading, I guess I’ll talk about Island in the Sea of Time, sequels, and Dies the Fire, too. Because, you know, I keep talking about ISOT as if its some sort of cultural icon everybody’s read, when I know full well I’m the only one of my readers who has a clue what I’m talking about, unless SM Stirling reads this, in which case you’re awesome, and when’s the next book coming out?

Anyway. Island in the Sea of Time and the two sequels (Against the Tide of Years and On the Oceans of Eternity) are based on a pretty screwy premise – the island of Nantucket somehow gets transported through time from 1998 AD to 1200 BC. That having been done, the whole device is abandoned, and it gets down to doing highly interesting (from my historian’s perspective) stuff. Because, well, swashbuckling Coast Guardsmen with Civil War tech running around in the Bronze Age is pretty cool, when you get right down to it. Yeah, the black lesbian Coast Guard commodore is pretty strange, but whatever. The whole idea is so awesome, I’m inclined to run with it.

Dies the Fire is the other side of the coin – what happens back up in the 20th century after Nantucket gets up and walks off the planet. The plot device here is even screwier, and when they start talking about guns and IC engines not working you just sort of have to shrug and go along with it. But, and this is a big but, the idea of Oregon getting turned into some kind of fucked up Postmanesque quasi-Medieval anarchy with longbows and guys with chainmail is pretty damn cool.

And that’s how it is. And if you don’t like that sort of thing, well, I’d be pretty wary the next time I saw any squirrels, ok?


Books, Computer Games - Battlefield Series Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post
Comments on Until the End of the Page
avatar Comment by Whir #1
October 31, 2004 at 6:42 pm

Your squirrels do not frighten me.

However, I should get around to finishing some more of the vampire chronicles books, or the next two Dune books. Or any of the Xanth books I’ve missed. Or. Or. Or.

Jerk.

avatar Comment by Tim #2
November 2, 2004 at 4:48 pm

Have you read the series of books by some dude that put a white supremist South African military squad back into the Civil War to help the South win so in modern times they would have an ally in apartheid(if that’s the right word, me and spekling don’t get along well, he used to beat me up and take my book order money)? Then he goes on to change the rest of the big wars (trench warfare with gas between the north and south in WWI because the South goes with Germany)? Then it gets stupid because aliens attack at the end of WWII.

Sorry, I’ll go now.

avatar Comment by Dwip #3
November 2, 2004 at 5:55 pm

Guns of the South is the name of the first one with the time travelling South Africans. And considering the premise, it was pretty good. Heard nothing good about anything else Turtledove’s written, though, so I’ve not bothered to pick them up.

avatar Comment by S.M. Stirling #4
November 13, 2004 at 4:07 pm

Glad you enjoyed the books, and I think the longbows in Oregon are pretty cool, too. In fact, Pacific yew is an extremely good raw material for bowyers.