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Ashimbabbar on Several Species of Bizarre Racial Theories Gathered Together In a Mythos and Grooving With a Pict
at 16:39 on 04-07-2015 - link
re Sowers of Thunder, it is a case of 'creative license' I suppose - Howard loved his pagan Mongols so he put them where he could.
To have Baibars a near-pagan is not only ridiculous - mamluks were shipped as boys to Egypt and trained both in arms and in the muslim faith - but it clashes with the end sentence and the message, such as it is (sigh), that Howard wished to impart. Similarly, the Khwarezmians were emphatically NOT heathens - they were what remained of the army of the Khwarezmian empire that had been the greatest power by far in the Middle East until they mistakenly picked a fight with Genghis Khan. Such survivors as did not get forcibly incorporated into the Mongol army turned to large-scale plunder as a way of life… so no heathens with shamans, sorry.
( I don't suppose it's MORE aburd than have his Dane character swear repeatedly by Odin… but it concerns far more people )
Actually there is a "good Muslim" in a supporting part, sheykh Suleyman. Howard might have developped emir Al Mansur of Homs who historically would appear to have been the most capable leader in the Latin+Syrian force - his advice had been to stay in their fortified camp and wait until the enemy was starved out, and THEN attack; when the rest of the Syrian Muslim force was routed, he and the army of Homs cut their way through the khwarizmians - that's 2.000 men against 6 to 10.000 depending on accounts. A grand total of 192 made it out alive…
Well, I suppose Howard could have only one awesome badass in his story and he had to be a Christian too.
( also, historically the Grand Master of the Teutonics rabbited away without regard for his men or the rest of the army: he stood out because of his rank but I don't suppose he was the only knight who did )
Robinson L on Going Bullshit
at 20:36 on 30-06-2015 - link
So, my sister ptolemaeus recently read another Libba Bray book, Beauty Queens, because, apparently, it's supposed to be an answer to Lord of the Flies.
She ... did not like it. It sounds like the satire was about on par with that of Going Bovine - she said if Bray had just come out and written her points, it probably would have been less heavy-handed.
She also described the book as incredibly tokenistic: among the titular Beauty Queens you have the lesbian one, the deaf one, the Indian one, etc., and all clearly written by an author who is not and does not understand how to write any of those things.
- Shim on Kickstopper: The God-Machine is Coming Down and We're Gonna Have a Party at 15:52 on 29-06-2015 - link That does look pretty awesome actually.
- Arthur B on Kickstopper: The God-Machine is Coming Down and We're Gonna Have a Party at 10:20 on 23-06-2015 - link Incidentally, so as to not pick on Onyx Path, I have to say I'm really exciting about their upcoming fantasy RPG Pugmire - set in a world where humans have become extinct and dogs have taken over, serving a religion which deifies their old human owners and turns their commands into holy law. (So, for instance, the First Commandment is Be A Good Dog, and there's much debate and soul-searching to be had about what it means to be a truly Good Dog...) It sounds absolutely adorable.
Arthur B on Clotheslines and Cautionary Tales
at 17:29 on 21-06-2015 - link
Hilariously, as well as helming their own Juggalo Championship Wrestling promotion as a sideline, the Insane Clown Posse did stints in both WWF and WCW in the 1990s.
The fact that there's an entire Wikipedia article entitled "Professional wrestling career of Insane Clown Posse" feels like one of those cosmic absurdities that are also cosmic inevitabilities.
As far as the NWO plot being impossible to follow, take pity for those of us in the UK whose only access to WCW was watching the internationally-syndicated highlights show that was on Channel 5 back in the day, which chopped things about so much that you could pretty much forget about following a plotline. Reynolds and Alvarez are pretty firm on the point that the NWO should have been kept a much smaller faction, if it even expanded beyond Hogan, Hall and Nash - not only did each new recruit make membership of the faction less special, but the faster people were recruited the faster the storyline became impossible for anyone to follow unless you watched all the content WCW put out.
And then you hit the stage where WCW's writing flat-out contradicted itself so much that nobody outside of WCW could keep track of what was going on - because nobody inside WCW was keeping track either.
James D on Clotheslines and Cautionary Tales
at 16:24 on 21-06-2015 - link
I actually grew up watching wrestling right during this period, and at the time my friends and I vastly preferred WCW to WWF. WCW had more of the flavor of old WWF wrestling - WWF in the late 90s tried to be "dark", with characters like the Undertaker and Kane and whatnot, but to me came across more like the Insane Clown Posse (and, in fact, there was a lot of crossover between those two fandoms).
WCW on the other hand had more of the flamboyance and fun that I loved about wrestling. When the NWO thing happened, everyone was talking about it, but it quickly became completely impossible to follow - most of us only followed wrestling casually, and couldn't afford the Pay-Per-Views, so it seemed like suddenly there were all these splinter groups forming and reforming to the point where following the membership of these groups and who they were feuding with and who they even were was just totally mystifying.
- https://ronanwills.wordpress.com/ on Clotheslines and Cautionary Tales at 18:36 on 20-06-2015 - link I've never watched a single episode of wrestling, but I've picked up an ancillary interest in hearing about it from listening to Giantbomb's podcasts. This book sounds like it will scratch that itch particularly well.
Robinson L on Kickstopper: The God-Machine is Coming Down and We're Gonna Have a Party
at 20:30 on 18-06-2015 - link
@Shimmin & Melanie: That's fair, it wouldn't be the first time I became overly fixated on an unfortunate word choice.
I'll grant you the inherent creepiness - that may have been behind what I was thinking when I said that the scenario practically begs for a dark subversion. Though now that I think about it, it sounds like a potentially rich scenario for character drama and conflict, for precisely the reasons you highlight: the manipulative aspect and the threat of starvation if one fails to consume enough positive emotions regularly. Hmm, I may have to write that story, someday.
(I actually haven't seen Friendship is Magic. I'm glad it's been successful and people like it - I just don't watch much TV, and it doesn't come across as a must-see show for me personally.)