Birthday Friday

Reading: I am reading Deadhouse Gates but two hundred pages in and I’m just not sure if Erickson is for me, too much world-building and not enough character. I’ve picked up the new Del Rey Elric collection and might switch to that.

Planning: Y’know, I was thinking about getting some friends together for a birthday shindig but I think it’ll be a nice quiet evening with the lady-friend for me.

Wearing: Still in my morning sweatpants.

Writing: Still tinkering with the last third of the Shock: story from me and Pete and Janaki’s game and school stuff for the next few weeks.

And you?

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72 thoughts on “Birthday Friday

  1. I seem to remember feeling the same way through the first half of Deadhouse Gates – Erickson does spend a lot of pages on world-building, but the characters do get more interesting right around the midpoint of the book, as I recall. Overall, the series starts out heavy on the world-building, and gets more and more character-driven as it goes.

    My main problem with his writing is that he’ll introduce things in passing and then two books later they turn out to be major plot points, by which time I’ve forgotten all about them.

    Also, happy birthday!

    • Dense world, thin characters

      I’m just not sure if I am in for a long haul of a fantasy series like this. I dunno.

      I’ve read 200 pages in very little time, so there is definitely something compelling there. I get that but the characters feel paper thin to me.

      • Re: Dense world, thin characters

        Yeah, he’s better at grand vistas and plot points (slow though they are to resolve) and not so strong with characterization, although that’s especially an issue with the Bridgeburners. Some of the other characters he introduces have a lot more meat to them, and the Bridgeburners become less central to the plot as you get farther in.

        Mappo and Icarium (who I think were introduced in Deadhouse Gates) are two of my favorites, although they neatly illustrate one of the issues with his writing: there’s some really interesting stuff going on with them, but he takes a frustratingly long time to reveal it – he still hasn’t completely gotten there in book 6, although you know enough by then to make it interesting, at least.

        He has a lot of characters that feel like their depth is in the secrets they hide, but he does seem to miss the point that the secrets are only interesting if the reader finds out what they are – I get the feeling that a lot of the major characters started out as PCs in his gaming group. Anomander Rake especially feels that way to me.

        I’ve found that I like the world enough to keep going with it, but I will admit that I’ve been stuck right in the middle of book 6 for a couple of weeks now, and haven’t been in the mood to get back to it.

      • Re: Dense world, thin characters

        Yeah, he’s better at grand vistas and plot points (slow though they are to resolve) and not so strong with characterization, although that’s especially an issue with the Bridgeburners. Some of the other characters he introduces have a lot more meat to them, and the Bridgeburners become less central to the plot as you get farther in.

        Mappo and Icarium (who I think were introduced in Deadhouse Gates) are two of my favorites, although they neatly illustrate one of the issues with his writing: there’s some really interesting stuff going on with them, but he takes a frustratingly long time to reveal it – he still hasn’t completely gotten there in book 6, although you know enough by then to make it interesting, at least.

        He has a lot of characters that feel like their depth is in the secrets they hide, but he does seem to miss the point that the secrets are only interesting if the reader finds out what they are – I get the feeling that a lot of the major characters started out as PCs in his gaming group. Anomander Rake especially feels that way to me.

        I’ve found that I like the world enough to keep going with it, but I will admit that I’ve been stuck right in the middle of book 6 for a couple of weeks now, and haven’t been in the mood to get back to it.

    • Dense world, thin characters

      I’m just not sure if I am in for a long haul of a fantasy series like this. I dunno.

      I’ve read 200 pages in very little time, so there is definitely something compelling there. I get that but the characters feel paper thin to me.

  2. I seem to remember feeling the same way through the first half of Deadhouse Gates – Erickson does spend a lot of pages on world-building, but the characters do get more interesting right around the midpoint of the book, as I recall. Overall, the series starts out heavy on the world-building, and gets more and more character-driven as it goes.

    My main problem with his writing is that he’ll introduce things in passing and then two books later they turn out to be major plot points, by which time I’ve forgotten all about them.

    Also, happy birthday!

  3. I seem to remember feeling the same way through the first half of Deadhouse Gates – Erickson does spend a lot of pages on world-building, but the characters do get more interesting right around the midpoint of the book, as I recall. Overall, the series starts out heavy on the world-building, and gets more and more character-driven as it goes.

    My main problem with his writing is that he’ll introduce things in passing and then two books later they turn out to be major plot points, by which time I’ve forgotten all about them.

    Also, happy birthday!

  4. I seem to remember feeling the same way through the first half of Deadhouse Gates – Erickson does spend a lot of pages on world-building, but the characters do get more interesting right around the midpoint of the book, as I recall. Overall, the series starts out heavy on the world-building, and gets more and more character-driven as it goes.

    My main problem with his writing is that he’ll introduce things in passing and then two books later they turn out to be major plot points, by which time I’ve forgotten all about them.

    Also, happy birthday!

  5. I think I’m stuck at almost the same point you are with Erikson. I read the first book, and took Deadhouse Gates out at the library, but gave it up after the first paragraph. I just couldn’t handle the thought of another thousand-page slog for some vague assurance that “it’ll get better…eventually.”

    I may take another shot at it this summer.

  6. I think I’m stuck at almost the same point you are with Erikson. I read the first book, and took Deadhouse Gates out at the library, but gave it up after the first paragraph. I just couldn’t handle the thought of another thousand-page slog for some vague assurance that “it’ll get better…eventually.”

    I may take another shot at it this summer.

  7. I think I’m stuck at almost the same point you are with Erikson. I read the first book, and took Deadhouse Gates out at the library, but gave it up after the first paragraph. I just couldn’t handle the thought of another thousand-page slog for some vague assurance that “it’ll get better…eventually.”

    I may take another shot at it this summer.

  8. I think I’m stuck at almost the same point you are with Erikson. I read the first book, and took Deadhouse Gates out at the library, but gave it up after the first paragraph. I just couldn’t handle the thought of another thousand-page slog for some vague assurance that “it’ll get better…eventually.”

    I may take another shot at it this summer.

  9. Reading: Not much right now. A little research for a game idea, that’s it.

    Planning: Got a class on Sunday on assessing physical stuff, how to train and not get hurt, etc.

    Wearing: Shorts & T.

    Writing: Fiddling with TSOY to play a Skype game.

  10. Reading: Not much right now. A little research for a game idea, that’s it.

    Planning: Got a class on Sunday on assessing physical stuff, how to train and not get hurt, etc.

    Wearing: Shorts & T.

    Writing: Fiddling with TSOY to play a Skype game.

  11. Reading: Not much right now. A little research for a game idea, that’s it.

    Planning: Got a class on Sunday on assessing physical stuff, how to train and not get hurt, etc.

    Wearing: Shorts & T.

    Writing: Fiddling with TSOY to play a Skype game.

  12. Reading: Not much right now. A little research for a game idea, that’s it.

    Planning: Got a class on Sunday on assessing physical stuff, how to train and not get hurt, etc.

    Wearing: Shorts & T.

    Writing: Fiddling with TSOY to play a Skype game.

  13. Dense world, thin characters

    I’m just not sure if I am in for a long haul of a fantasy series like this. I dunno.

    I’ve read 200 pages in very little time, so there is definitely something compelling there. I get that but the characters feel paper thin to me.

  14. Dense world, thin characters

    I’m just not sure if I am in for a long haul of a fantasy series like this. I dunno.

    I’ve read 200 pages in very little time, so there is definitely something compelling there. I get that but the characters feel paper thin to me.

  15. Reading: Sung in Blood, Glen Cook’s fantasy Doc Savage pastiche, with frequent detours to the S7S .pdf and Arcane Power.

    Planning: A week full of homework, plus an S7S version of Alatriste.

    Wearing: Nice jeans, lavender button-down shirt, charcoal grey sportcoat. Going out to a fancy lunch, so some fanciness is required even on a Friday.

    Writing: The annotated bibliography due Sunday. If I get through the annotations on a third of the resources, I can start looking at articles for the issue brief due in a week’s time.

  16. Reading: Sung in Blood, Glen Cook’s fantasy Doc Savage pastiche, with frequent detours to the S7S .pdf and Arcane Power.

    Planning: A week full of homework, plus an S7S version of Alatriste.

    Wearing: Nice jeans, lavender button-down shirt, charcoal grey sportcoat. Going out to a fancy lunch, so some fanciness is required even on a Friday.

    Writing: The annotated bibliography due Sunday. If I get through the annotations on a third of the resources, I can start looking at articles for the issue brief due in a week’s time.

  17. Reading: Sung in Blood, Glen Cook’s fantasy Doc Savage pastiche, with frequent detours to the S7S .pdf and Arcane Power.

    Planning: A week full of homework, plus an S7S version of Alatriste.

    Wearing: Nice jeans, lavender button-down shirt, charcoal grey sportcoat. Going out to a fancy lunch, so some fanciness is required even on a Friday.

    Writing: The annotated bibliography due Sunday. If I get through the annotations on a third of the resources, I can start looking at articles for the issue brief due in a week’s time.

  18. Reading: Sung in Blood, Glen Cook’s fantasy Doc Savage pastiche, with frequent detours to the S7S .pdf and Arcane Power.

    Planning: A week full of homework, plus an S7S version of Alatriste.

    Wearing: Nice jeans, lavender button-down shirt, charcoal grey sportcoat. Going out to a fancy lunch, so some fanciness is required even on a Friday.

    Writing: The annotated bibliography due Sunday. If I get through the annotations on a third of the resources, I can start looking at articles for the issue brief due in a week’s time.

  19. Re: 200 in

    I reread the entire Black Company instead.

    Now I’m concentrating on finishing up schoolwork, then I’ll play around with Swords & Wizardry for the summer, and probably reread Lankhmar for the first week or two.

  20. Re: 200 in

    I reread the entire Black Company instead.

    Now I’m concentrating on finishing up schoolwork, then I’ll play around with Swords & Wizardry for the summer, and probably reread Lankhmar for the first week or two.

  21. Re: Dense world, thin characters

    Yeah, he’s better at grand vistas and plot points (slow though they are to resolve) and not so strong with characterization, although that’s especially an issue with the Bridgeburners. Some of the other characters he introduces have a lot more meat to them, and the Bridgeburners become less central to the plot as you get farther in.

    Mappo and Icarium (who I think were introduced in Deadhouse Gates) are two of my favorites, although they neatly illustrate one of the issues with his writing: there’s some really interesting stuff going on with them, but he takes a frustratingly long time to reveal it – he still hasn’t completely gotten there in book 6, although you know enough by then to make it interesting, at least.

    He has a lot of characters that feel like their depth is in the secrets they hide, but he does seem to miss the point that the secrets are only interesting if the reader finds out what they are – I get the feeling that a lot of the major characters started out as PCs in his gaming group. Anomander Rake especially feels that way to me.

    I’ve found that I like the world enough to keep going with it, but I will admit that I’ve been stuck right in the middle of book 6 for a couple of weeks now, and haven’t been in the mood to get back to it.

  22. Re: Dense world, thin characters

    Yeah, he’s better at grand vistas and plot points (slow though they are to resolve) and not so strong with characterization, although that’s especially an issue with the Bridgeburners. Some of the other characters he introduces have a lot more meat to them, and the Bridgeburners become less central to the plot as you get farther in.

    Mappo and Icarium (who I think were introduced in Deadhouse Gates) are two of my favorites, although they neatly illustrate one of the issues with his writing: there’s some really interesting stuff going on with them, but he takes a frustratingly long time to reveal it – he still hasn’t completely gotten there in book 6, although you know enough by then to make it interesting, at least.

    He has a lot of characters that feel like their depth is in the secrets they hide, but he does seem to miss the point that the secrets are only interesting if the reader finds out what they are – I get the feeling that a lot of the major characters started out as PCs in his gaming group. Anomander Rake especially feels that way to me.

    I’ve found that I like the world enough to keep going with it, but I will admit that I’ve been stuck right in the middle of book 6 for a couple of weeks now, and haven’t been in the mood to get back to it.

  23. Reading: Scion – Hero. Also just finished volume 3 of “Justice”.

    Planning: Some work on the property this weekend, also resting this weekend. Oh, and finishing my booksale section tonight.

    Wearing: Blue on Blue weirdly subtle hawaiin shirt. Slacks.

    Writing: Not much this week, admittedly. I jotted down a to-do list!

  24. Reading: Scion – Hero. Also just finished volume 3 of “Justice”.

    Planning: Some work on the property this weekend, also resting this weekend. Oh, and finishing my booksale section tonight.

    Wearing: Blue on Blue weirdly subtle hawaiin shirt. Slacks.

    Writing: Not much this week, admittedly. I jotted down a to-do list!

  25. Reading: Scion – Hero. Also just finished volume 3 of “Justice”.

    Planning: Some work on the property this weekend, also resting this weekend. Oh, and finishing my booksale section tonight.

    Wearing: Blue on Blue weirdly subtle hawaiin shirt. Slacks.

    Writing: Not much this week, admittedly. I jotted down a to-do list!

  26. Reading: Scion – Hero. Also just finished volume 3 of “Justice”.

    Planning: Some work on the property this weekend, also resting this weekend. Oh, and finishing my booksale section tonight.

    Wearing: Blue on Blue weirdly subtle hawaiin shirt. Slacks.

    Writing: Not much this week, admittedly. I jotted down a to-do list!

  27. I’ve heard Erickson’s like that, and I find myself impatient with “Well, you have to accept that the first X hundred pages / first book is set up and then it’ll get really cool!” No, I don’t.

    Reading: Various CoC scenarios, from the really good to the “Okay, I know this is a monograph, which is Chaosium-speak for ‘We’re not bothering with editing or proofing’, but gad, the writing sucks!”

    Planning: Dim sum and Dresden Files tomorrow. Not sure about Sunday yet. Seeing CT scan people to check for kidney stones and trying to get an appointment for a uterine ultrasound, just in case. I’m tired of getting pain like someone’s trying to pull off my legs by unscrewing them at the waist. Job hunting, of course. Continuing to fight the forces of entropy and clutter in the apartment!

    Wearing: Flash Girls t-shirt, jeans, loafers.

    Writing: Bits of zine, play by email moves, plotting notes for same.

  28. I’ve heard Erickson’s like that, and I find myself impatient with “Well, you have to accept that the first X hundred pages / first book is set up and then it’ll get really cool!” No, I don’t.

    Reading: Various CoC scenarios, from the really good to the “Okay, I know this is a monograph, which is Chaosium-speak for ‘We’re not bothering with editing or proofing’, but gad, the writing sucks!”

    Planning: Dim sum and Dresden Files tomorrow. Not sure about Sunday yet. Seeing CT scan people to check for kidney stones and trying to get an appointment for a uterine ultrasound, just in case. I’m tired of getting pain like someone’s trying to pull off my legs by unscrewing them at the waist. Job hunting, of course. Continuing to fight the forces of entropy and clutter in the apartment!

    Wearing: Flash Girls t-shirt, jeans, loafers.

    Writing: Bits of zine, play by email moves, plotting notes for same.

  29. I’ve heard Erickson’s like that, and I find myself impatient with “Well, you have to accept that the first X hundred pages / first book is set up and then it’ll get really cool!” No, I don’t.

    Reading: Various CoC scenarios, from the really good to the “Okay, I know this is a monograph, which is Chaosium-speak for ‘We’re not bothering with editing or proofing’, but gad, the writing sucks!”

    Planning: Dim sum and Dresden Files tomorrow. Not sure about Sunday yet. Seeing CT scan people to check for kidney stones and trying to get an appointment for a uterine ultrasound, just in case. I’m tired of getting pain like someone’s trying to pull off my legs by unscrewing them at the waist. Job hunting, of course. Continuing to fight the forces of entropy and clutter in the apartment!

    Wearing: Flash Girls t-shirt, jeans, loafers.

    Writing: Bits of zine, play by email moves, plotting notes for same.

  30. I’ve heard Erickson’s like that, and I find myself impatient with “Well, you have to accept that the first X hundred pages / first book is set up and then it’ll get really cool!” No, I don’t.

    Reading: Various CoC scenarios, from the really good to the “Okay, I know this is a monograph, which is Chaosium-speak for ‘We’re not bothering with editing or proofing’, but gad, the writing sucks!”

    Planning: Dim sum and Dresden Files tomorrow. Not sure about Sunday yet. Seeing CT scan people to check for kidney stones and trying to get an appointment for a uterine ultrasound, just in case. I’m tired of getting pain like someone’s trying to pull off my legs by unscrewing them at the waist. Job hunting, of course. Continuing to fight the forces of entropy and clutter in the apartment!

    Wearing: Flash Girls t-shirt, jeans, loafers.

    Writing: Bits of zine, play by email moves, plotting notes for same.

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