Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Europe v 3.11

me was wondering: "It's nice to see that there are upgrades, add-ons, plugins, etc [Europe v3.11, perhaps?]. in the half-continent. Are these upgrades limited to internal organs only? Are there pugnators out there who figure an extra eye/arm/thorny-bark-like-skin-in-sensitive-areas/claw/magic-big-toe in addition to their modified innards might improve their trade [and fees]?."

You have hit the nail on the head about the "upgrades", (actually called scirrhitus) I do have a list of rare but existing outwardly editions to a person's self - not so much extra limbs but claws (actylls), thorns on back (which might even shoot out of the person- I forget their name off the top of my head and am not sure they quite fit the H-c "vibe"), different kind of teeth for a bit o' combat biting - known as sagital (sharp) or trenchant (blunt) maws, toughened skin, weird snapping jaws a bit like Aliens TM (called labiachus - though I am not so sure about this one, either), foul spit, and some other stuff. I have been thinking this might be a bit more in the Half-Continents future rather than right now in Rossamünd's time (HIR 1601) - we shall have to wait and see.

Interestingly enough I was just talking to Will and Mandii last night about how the Europe of Book 2 and 3 is a v 2.01 fulgar - she went and had her organs checked after vaoriating (spasming) in Book 1 and while the transmogrifer is there having a gander, she has the funds to have him do some major improvements... She gets to "kick butt" (as they say...) in Book 3... or was that too much of a spoiler?!

edwarrd asked: "With the spoors, is it something that a lahzar has to have, or is it something they choose to have to promote what they are? Also, can they have variations of the spoors?"

Some lahzars will chose to hide their nature, yes, or not make it obvious and so go without spoors or have them places not easily spotted. Others like to mark themselves with more than the usual signs, so that faces and bodies will be patterned with all manner of markings. As with our world such spooring is considered a step into the wilder side of society.

Just adding a bit more to anna's enquiries about literary traditions, I wrote this recently to a friend: The longest standing literary tradition is plays and folk songs... (I am thinking epic poems of the Attics and Tutelarchs would be included in this too) Novels - as Threnody reads - are a more modern innovation and are yet to be seen as a "literary tradition" as such.

48 comments:

me said...

Wow, talking about lazhars & such folk being socially unacceptable - snapping teeth, foul spit &/or claws would certainly put you on the outer at an Imperial cocktail function (or H-c equivalent).

Thanks for the speedy response to my musings. That certainly does make for some tantalising & frightening imaginings in regards to those pushing the limits of scirrhitus (bring on Europe v2.01, I sat!). Some of those "modifications" you mention make gudgeons seem positively cuddly.

And the line between monster & human only gets muddier...

Noelle said...

I think we need a semi-regular dose of spoilers to hold us all over until book 3's release date...

portals said...

Mr. Cornish,
Does Europe still like to suck on rock salt?

D.M. Cornish said...

She sure does! Just writing about that today. "A fulgars life is thirst," she says to Rossamund. "To dilute my blood is to dilute my power..."

Ben Bryddia said...

I missed commenting last post at all! Please, nobody brand me a traitor or anything. I'm back now whether you like it or not! *wink*
Mr. Cornish.
Was the calendar with the unusual dandicomb in Book 2 a dexter?

And, if we're going to see Europe causing serious mayhem, does that mean we might see some lovely therimostering near the climax? Always good to go out with a bang, I say.

Considering your little world usually tries to be consistent, I don't think some of those 'upgrades' would really work. They remind me a little too much of a certain species in Star Wars known as the Yuuzhan Vong, who have every kind of organic weapon imaginable. Alchemy and chemistry I can take, but excessive biotech does get a bit hard to believe and thus loses this reader's empathy.

On the subject of literature, I must wonder if Half-continent has developed some analogue to opera music.
Are the more ancient, superstitious pieces of poems and yarns purposefully forgotten with all notions of the supernatural?
-Ben.

Pearlius said...

No more spoilers please, Mr Cornish! One was enough to set the raging, crazy little girl inside me in frenzy. Not a good thing, I assure you.

When I read the title, "Europe 3.11" I imagined her as a robot that just recently had an upgrade.

Vahlaeity said...

Have missed posting for a while. 'Tis great to come here and get my H-C fix :)

A question... the organs that are placed in a lahzar - are they the person's own organs that have been removed and modified in some way, another human's organs? animal organs or (heaven forbid) monster organs... ?

I found myself developing a morbid curiosty about the practices carried out by the sinister Surgeons.This is probably because we are given little info about them (treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen.)

Nathan said...

MBT would translate into a videogame/rpg very well.

D.M. Cornish said...

I sure hope so...

portals said...

Is anyone having trouble finding reading material while waiting for Factotum?

Noelle said...

*raises hand*

Ben Bryddia said...

Currently reading: Republic Commando: Order 66 by Karen Traviss

The Swallows of Kabul

Planned reads: Doomwyte by Brian Jaques.

Beowulf (epic poem only, thank you very much)

Varrious morbid works such as Animal Farm, Jonathan Livingston Seagul, etc. for liturature class.
If I get borred at any time I have another course of venerated tomes to plough through, including Dante and Tolstoy.
To answer your question, Portals, 'no, I'm pretty much set where books are concerned.' Buried in them practically. And, as Mr. Cornish said, we can always take a swing at his extensive list of enjoyable works.

Perhaps you cannot find a diverting read because you are so concerned about old Rossamund. The conern is meritted.
-Ben.

portals said...

Ok cool,
I am reading Howl's Moving Castle, and I plan on reading Red Tears, Seven Years in Tibet, maybe that ridiculous new Eragon book, Foundling and Lamplighter again and maybe some other stuff

Anna said...

I liked the old version on Howl´s moving castle.

i was the other week in a bookstore writing down booktitles to check out later on but now i´ve misplaced the note..anyway it was about 4 or 5 fantasy-books but I wasn´t sure if they were good or not.

found it..anyone knows anything about Scott Lynch, joseph Delaney, L.E. Modesitt Jr (? my writing is hopeless).

Carlita said...

Thanks Ben for bringing up Doomwyte. I didn't even know that there was a new Redwall book out until you mentioned it; now I have yet another book on my "books to read...eventually" list. ^^

Redwolf said...

The new eragon book is enjoyable and i may pick up moving castle and read it

I'm also going to be reading Necropolis city of the dead soon and im looking forward to getting starclimber

E N Reinmuth said...

The final in the James Reese trilogy has been lent to me by a friend, and has been tickling my imagination as a half-hearted attempt at distracting me from the itching wait until Factotum.

I raise another question though- If the cruor of a monster stains the skin of a man, and not that of it's kind, then what about man cruor to monster? There are quite a few reversible chemicals that do this I just can't remember them all to well. There was one where the gold mineral turned the other green if it was a larger amount and the other to gold thereafter, but as i said, I don't remember all to well.

Zakk said...

I've been reading the Laws of Magic books by Australian Michael Pryor. Definitely worth a look.

D.M., what other australian authors would you reccomend to a 13 year old?

And that map reminds me of South West Australia (quite vaguely) I worked out that if that were so, I'd live in the middle of nowhere!

monday said...

jonathan strange and mr norrel [susanna clarke]; king rat [china mieville]; guards! guards! [or anything else by terry pratchett]; neverwhere [arrgh never thought i'd recommend neil gaiman]; sabriel [garth nix]; i am the messenger [marcus zusak]; the sphinx [short story by edgar allen poe]; black house [stephen king]; great expectations [charles dickens]; orthodoxy [GK chesterton]; medieval folklore [dictionary-type book edited by carl lindahl, john lindow, + john mcnamara--this is very cool, sort of a real-life explicarium]; ethel the aardvark goes quantity surveying [edmund wells].

jus some friendly suggestions. i hope they don't start any fights.

monday said...

o. and carter beats the devil [glen david gold]

portals said...

Mr. Cornish,
What are some of the major cities in the H/C famous for?
Which cities are mining cities, famous for their theatre, famous for being good cooks, suff like that.

R Montallnutt said...

When I first read MBT it became my favourite Scholastic published book bar one - Chris Wooding's "The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray" (many cool demony monsters and scary bits set in alt London). I also really liked William Nicholson's "The Wind Singer", Anna Fienberg's "The Witch in the Lake", Phillip Reeve's excellent "Mortal Engines" series and the wonderful Cornelia Funke's "Inkheart" and "The Thief Lord" - and if you get through all of these I suppoose you could always try some "adult" authors (these are all YA and brilliant!).
Be ye Froody

Ben Bryddia said...

Scratch RC: Order 66. The moral relativism and repetition of ideas got to me around page 150 so I skimmed the epilogue and sent it back where it came from. I almost never quit a book like that.

Carlita.
Your welcome. Jacques is also publishing another Castaways of the Flying Dutchman if rumor holds true. Have you read Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales?

On a different note, Mr. Cornish, a friend of mine said he thought Lamplighter was a tad dark and I do agree that the mood was slightly more depressing than Foundling's. Please don't make Factotum horribly depressing, as that would be a bad note to finish on.
-Ben.

Emperor said...

Hi I am nearing the end of Lamplighter and definitley enjoying it! Though everyone who'd already read it seemed to know loads more about the hc then the books reveal. So I search Monster Blood Tatoo and found this! The post has definitely made me not want to meet a lazhar in a dark alley. And now I know you wouldn't necessarily know that they were lazhars!

Also, people just stop reading books? I've never done that even when I was reading this truly horrible book about WWII I hated it but I still finished it! Oh and nathan I must disagree with your point I do not believe MBT would make a good videogame. Though I would go and see a MBT movie. And Portals if your looking for a good read (or seven) I would recommend the Ranger's Apprentice series by another Aussie author John Flanagan.

Carlita said...

No, I didn't know that Ben, but that would be exciting if it were true. Because of the gap betweeen Jacques' books, I've read all the Redwall books up to Doomwyte, but I don't remember if I read Voyages of Slaves. And no, I haven't read Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales, but I did read The Ribbajack, which I thought was well-done. Now I'll have to go on a Jacques-marathon before MBT 3 comes out.

To all: By the way, I would recommend the Alex Rider series. Lots of action and suspense, though it is more of a children's book.

Noelle said...

Douglas Adams's books, especially the five-book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" and the Dirk Gently series, are fantastic and amazingly weird. Much better than the movie, by the way.

D.M. Cornish said...

Ahh, such book reading goodness from you all - in an age of DVDs and computer games it is deeply heartening to meet so many readers!

Dear ben, you may assure your friend tat there will definitely be lighter moments in Book 3 - one of my dilemmas is that the Half-Continent is a dark place, especially if one gets mixe up in the machinations of the black habilists, dun dun dunnnnn...

I am discovering that achieving a balance between bleakness and hope in a story is a genuine challenge... I am also finding out just how full on the H-c is, dun dun dunnnn.... ok, enough of that.

R Montallnutt said...

I think darkness only becomes a problem when it is relentless or unresolved (I still have scary visions courtesy of China Mieville)- as long as the hero can be a light then the darkness serves to help them stand out and so makes for a stronger drama. So bring on the black habilists (perhaps one of them may have a penchant for petunias and a pet sloth named Barnaby?).
Hmmm - brain go bye bye now...

D.M. Cornish said...

Oh, and hello emperor, glad you found your way here. Perhaps I need to "advertise" better?

D.M. Cornish said...

Hmm... petunias...

R Montallnutt said...

Psychic Petunias that can strip a man of his mind and cast him screaming into the nether world with his what nots ablaze...
(um - does the G-c have a nether world - or does it already co exist in a single plane with the "real world"?)

Emperor said...

Mr Cornish I guess you could advertise a bit more maybe have at the start or end of the books have a little notice saying: Have any quiries about the Half-Continent? Want to talk to D.M Cornish himself! Then head over to monsterbloodtattoo.blogspot.com !

I just have one question when first writing MBT what age group were you aiming for?

portals said...

Mr Cornish,
I was wondering why there are places on the map called 'Useless' and 'Termagaunt'. I have heard the name Termagaunt used before, so I was wondering where you got it from.
Secondly, how should I advertise MBT to people I know? I've got some people to read it, and they all seemed to like it, but i need to find out how to advertise on a massive scale. I think I could send emails to everyone in the adress book, or spam other blog sites and tell people about it. What do you think I should do?
Emperor-
Thank you for the advice, I have already read that series, although the 7th one is somewhere in my 'to be read' pile. If you liked those though, then you may like the dragonlance series. They are written by different authors, so it has some consistency problems, but on the whole they were quite good.

monday said...

DM-I think you do quite well with keeping the darkness in yr books constantly-present-but-not-all-there-is-to-it. [is there a word for that? threwd-ish?]to me at least it is pretty clear that you are a christian, even if you hadn't said so.
ocourse, 'bleak' is my middle name, so there are doubtless other opinions, but i ask you to keep it gloomy.

'interestingly, the thought that went through the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh, no; not again!'

ditto R Montallnut: is there a nether world or hell or niflheim or hades or what have you in H-c lore?

monday said...

aha! aha! aha! i just now opened to the first page of Infernal Devices [K. W. Jeter] and what is staring me in the face but the word Factotum!

...sorry...excitement got the better of me

R Montallnutt said...

...Many people have speculated that if we knew exactlt why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know alot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

Anna said...

As I´ve stated before: I like "dark" books, just as long as there is an happy ending. (Perhaps that´s why I like Vampire-movies=the darkness in them).

D.M. Cornish said...

What about books with unhappy endings...?.......

Emperor said...

monday- Woah! I bet you didn't expect that coming.

Portals- Well my school has an email system maybe I could spend a day (or two) in the holidays just going through the adress book emailing "Read Monster Blood Tattoo! I know where you go to school..."

anna- Just a question. Why do you like dark books with happy endings? Do you like to read dark things but you just want your final impression of them to be happy?

portals said...

I like most endings, but i love endings that have massive twists. A failed attempt at a twist can result in unbelievable badness though.
Emperor- You cannot fool me. Adam's Song is much better than Welcome to the Jungle. I did promise you though ...

Anna said...

Preferably no unhappy ending in a book, if I´m going to read it. Or else I have to re-write the ending in my head.

Emperor:_ think it because I want a bit of hope for the main persons in the book. I´m a bit romantic, sadly. Now, how´s that mixing with dark storytelling? I don´t actually knows.
A light to the path, perhaps?

I´m still very disappointed with Meredith Ann Pierce books about Ariel (don´t know the english title) which I read when I was younger. don´t think i´ve read them since then.

Noelle said...

Mr Cornish, you aren't implying that MBT will have an unhappy ending, are you...?

I don't mind an unhappy ending myself. In certain works, like Shakespearean tragedies or Sweeney Todd, it's almost a relief to have all the characters die after all the screwing-up they've been doing.

Carlita said...

Anna, I know exactly how you feel. I read Pierce's book about 7 years ago and still remember my anger about the end of the last book. I've been thinking about reading them again, though, just to get a new perspective.

D.M. Cornish said...

So Anna (and Carlita too), what happens at the end of the Meredith Ann Pierce books?

Anna said...

I hope Carlita can decribe it better in english, but in short Ariel takes off (dies?) from the person who needs/loves her (the transformed villain).
The end still bothers me after about 20 years.

Carlita said...

Yes, Anna did a great job summarizing the story. Warning--Long spoiler coming up: I just want to add that Ariel was attempting to break a spell on her husband (the transformed villian, as Anna says) for all three books and when he finally loves her, this pearl of information is broken. So then Ariel leaves her husband and goes to collect all the information again. In a nutshell, it was annoying to read a series where the main plot was getting Ariel and her husband to love each other and at the very end, she essentially leaves him when this goal is accomplished and doesn't even spend any time with him when he does love her.(Sorry it's rather wordy, but the books' ending is so terribly irritating and no one I know has heard of the books before, so I'm releasing my pent-up anger here.)

Anna said...

Amen! And to think the end bothers me after almost 20 years...!
Please Mr Cornish, write a somewhat "happy" ending.

D.M. Cornish said...

Thank you very much to the both of you!