Monday, December 15, 2008

(Intentionally left blank)

It is about time I answer Pearlius' question: "About how old is Europe? She looks either a very tired young woman or a good looking old woman."

I have always thought of the Branden Rose as about 29, as we currently know her, more in the line of a tired, world-weary young(ish) woman who has seen and done about as much as there is to see and do in the Half-Continent. I have to admit I think I overdid the careworn-ness of her portrait in Lamplighter, just a touch too haggard perhaps - ah well, live and learn.

Pearlius was also wondering: "...does Europe have any heroic, awesome scar that she can show off?"

I reckon she would have the scars, yes, but would be unlikely to show away with them... not her style I am thinking. (Perhaps if you asked nicely..?)

I have been over to the Monster-Blood Cult on FaceBook started by Patrick Brooks. I have not said hello yet (on account that I do not have a Bookface account :) but perhaps folks from our neck of the woods could engage in a little cross pollination (or something) between here and there.

Finally, we have a new poll... check it! (said with cool street voice) You may have to plunder the Explicarium of both books to refresh you memories - wow, that is almost like homework - what am I thinking!


Snooze said...

I believe Europe's picture is fine. I imagine that doing such operations on the body, and using those new organs would indeed wear the body out conciderably.

As for asking Europe about scars... I don't think I would be brave enough. She would be a very intimidating person I believe... lol
Also with the new poll, I clicked on Postman and it came up as lamplighter... so either I wasn't the first person, or something's going on... lol

reologi: the study of facial expressions in the HC

Femina said...

Seriously - 29? I had her pegged as late 30s/early 40s... not because of the illustrations but because of the way she speaks. Sort of world-weariness-tinged-with-cynicism that comes from having seen and done a lot. Hmmmm... 29. I need to readjust my brain now.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, first time i've posted a comment. I discovered your books completely by accident about a month ago and was very impressed by their quality. Mr Cornish, I honestly think they are some of the best books i have read since Tolkien, and I have read many, many books over the years. My thanks for creating such a fantastic world and story for us avid readers.
For Susan, dont worry, the poll is fine. I had the honour of being the first person to vote in the new poll.

Frivult- (n) a showy, needless piece of frippery, such as a ribbon or piece of lace, worn by pretentious members of the middle classes in order to make themselves seem more classy than they really are.

smudgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
portals said...

I voted physician. Now 40% of voters (me and someone else) have voted for physician.
I think that age suits Europe.
Stive- twenty-twenty surgery

smudgeon said...

I kind of had my mark set around late 20's-early 30s with Europe. Of course, one should never ask a lady her age - particularly one packing more volts than a Duracell bunny...

Atorse (adj) - to be laying on your back across a round object (such as an ottoman or pouffe) with your head & legs touching the floor simultaneously, usually whilst bored or drunk: "He lay atorse the dormant alsatian whilst watching the final of 'Race Around the World'"

D.M. Cornish said...

Sorry femina did not mean to disconcernt you - I think it is fair to say tat her age is some what indeterminate, 29 was what I figured when I first conceived her but I am more than willing for people's notions to fluctuate. I think it could be said that her maturity of speech comes from all the grim things she has done in her time, things that make her old beyond her years. Yeah? Nah?

I think me that atorse should become a word in real use!

What are people's thoughts on me using some of these Varificon words? Should they be a resource open to us all to use as we wish as long s we credit each other? I do not want to be a theif or some kind of poacher... some of you offerings are just too good.

D.M. Cornish said...

Welcome Magos Kasen! and thank you so much for your encouraging words.

... and sorry about the technical error Susan, not very nice... stinnking technology. Reologi (or reology just to polish it a little) should also become part of the common lexicon.

Anonymous said...

Im sure no one would have a problem with you using the words, Master Cornish. I agree that some of them are very good and would be useful additions to the english language, maybe if enough people use them they will enter common speech.
On that note,
Tuluense (tul-wense)- 1.a vile-tasting, foul concoction or draught that is in fact very healthful and beneficial for the drinker. An unpleasant medicine.
2.more generally, any unpleasant tasting drink.

noelle said...

There's a lovely Australian actress named Claudia Black who I sometimes think could play Europe.

I think she's older now, possibly in her forties? But she sort of has that sharpish haggard look that could be attributed to Europe. Just a thought :)

And about the "Varificon": YES! How great would it be have a small dictionary of terms we could refer to for those times when you just can't find the right words?

Querm: The act of saying something embarrassing or tasteless and then realizing once the words are out of your mouth how embarrassing and tasteless they are, so when the person to whom the words were directed happens not to have heard you and asks what you said, you either reply with something that SOUNDS like what you said but is more tasteful, or you simply say "what?" with a confused expression.

Example: "You're wearing such an ugly shirt today," remarked Susan.
"What?" said Mark.
"What?" quermed Susan.

noelle said...

Mr. Cornish, maybe you should get a Facebook!

Anonymous said...

I like the word "querm" noelle; I regretfully do that much too much. And I like the idea of a real Varificon. Pocket-sized, of course, so you can keep it in your pocket (obviously) and whip it out like a superhero when you need the right word for a situation.

mationin - the daughter of the matron of a school who stands to inherit the position after her mother; usually the girl is in her late teens and goes to the said school, but is rejected because of her future "career," if it can be called such

smudgeon said...

If it feels good to use the Varificon words, I say go for it. A few words from "The Meaning of Liff" long ago cemented themselved in my vocabulary ("skoonspruit", "lublin" and "corriedoo" spring to mind instantly), and I'm sure Douglas Adams doesn't mind in the least...

I think it'd be swell to see a wiktionary style Varificon start up, curated by the MBT community as a gift to the world.

I have a dream...

Snooze said...

lol... I agree a dictionary of varificon words would be excellent! Possibly a tag-along book to the MBT series...? Or a section on the MBT sight?

Mind you, I feel sorry for the person who is actually going to scrounge through all the words we've created so far! There has to be tonnes!

As for querm, I admit that I querm just about every day. I tend to speak and then think, but luckily my mother has bad hearing, so she never notices that my second sentence isn't like the original one at all!

as for verificon words:
moutchum: (moot- chum) The name refferred to a person who wears too many hats. Either one who is never seen without a hat, or a person who wears multiply hats at any one time.

portals said...

Mr Cornish, I think that you should use the verificons. You ca tell people that it's good for the brain, to learn lots of random, strange words. You could also say 'I speak English, AND Verificonese.'

I checked the Claudia Black thing. She may be good for Europe.

A question for everyone.
Who are your top 5 favourite characters of all time from anywhere (books, movies, whatever)?

Fronsu- a little cart, used to transport random little trinkets from place to place.

Anonymous said...


Just a message to say hello, and that I enjoy the series very much. MBT's world and the writing style are really one of a kind. I love seeing books that have amazing writing and amazing illustration together.

Europe's voice and personality feels to me a lot older than 29, I thought maybe 32-34.

Anonymous said...

Europes age doesn't surpise me that much, she seems to be a reasonably young woman, though perhaps more careworn since Licurious' death.
BTW Master Cornish, what is the average life expectancy in the HC?

My five favourite characters (that I can call to mind) are:
1. Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey, a great character from a great series, made into a great movie with a great actor (Russell Crowe). What more could there be to like?
2. Matrim Cauthon, from the Wheel of Time.
3. Logan Tom, from Genesis of Shannara.
4. Licurious, from MBT of course, because he was such a cool character all round. A pity he died.
5. Europe/Branden Rose, again from MBT. I'm really looking forward to reading more about her in Factotum.

Pidsk- (n) a narrow bladed, rather nasty, dagger with a hooked blade. Their size varies from a mere 10cm to a much a 30cm.

noelle said...

It's way too hard to narrow down all my favorite characters, so I'm just going to say...

Every character that Johnny Depp has ever portrayed.

And Lex Luthor from Smallville.

And Europe.

Other characters include Doctor Who, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Tonks from HP, Carmen Sandiego, Jango Fett, Legolas...the list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

only 5. hmm

>John Childermass from Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel
>Sabriel from Garth Nix's book of the same name
>I am torn between putting Terry Pratchett's Samuel Vimes, Sybil Ramkin, Death, or Carrot Ironfoundersson here; we'll go with Carrot
>Dustfinger from Cornelia Funke's Inkheart books
>Wolf from King/Straub's The Talisman
>Expendable side characters, minor bad guys, and tricksters everywhere

ok, so that's not 5

does anyone else have the problem of their favorite character in a book or movie always dying?

a verificon is a wonderful idea. now, if we could all agree on how to spell it, that would be something :)

gludent: a state of obesity brought on by only eating potatoes

noelle said...

"does anyone else have the problem of their favorite character in a book or movie always dying?"

*raises hand* Sometimes multiple times.

Anonymous said...

It's the Energizer bunny, not the Duracell Bunny. Punctillios (like spelling) do matter.

Vericonese would be an obscure dialect of English, not a seperate language.

Monday: Only on occasion do my favorite characters in books die. My innate empathy level is prety low, so I don't attach to characters very easily. Mara Jade's death in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice was the only character death I can remember getting really worked up over.

Mr. Cornish.
Will any Verificon words appear in Factotum? That would make a truly amusing 'in joke'.
As for Europe's age, I think that correlates with how she looks and speaks.

Rexcloz: 1. A king whose eccentric aparel constantly increases in tackiness, but refuses to hear advice from royal tailors. Such kings often set the fashions of the realm (mandatory, naturally. Their nobles have a great deal of trouble procuring new clothing every few months. In such kingdoms, tailors can be VERY rich men.
2. A nuatical captain or military officer who is overly dandified.

portals said...

Ben Bryddia
we could make verficonese a language if wewere able to some create a structure to it.

smudgeon said...

Thankyou Ben, but the Duracell bunny is just as real as the Energizer Bunny (and the Easter Bunny, for that matter), thanks.

I suggest if spelling is important you may want to correct "punctilio" (it's only got one "l").

RottenPocket said...

I'm still the only lonely Surgeon.... Ahh well, more business for me!

Offiri: Nickname for Teratological Obituaries of the H-C. [A list of all mighty monsters that have been bested, or 'offed' already by whichever hunter]

portals said...

E N Reinmuth-
I'll diagnose, you chop.

My five favourite characters, not in order... love answering my own questions.
1. Dr. Gregory House, from 'House'.
2. Odysseus, from 'The Illiad and the Odyssey'
3. Lord Cutler Beckett, from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.
4. Licurius (High five Magos Kasen)
5. Dan Evans, from 3:10 to Yuma.

Anonymous said...

(returns Portal's high five) Licurius alerted me to the fact of Rossamund's unusualness when he commented on his smell. He was just a very cool character, nice and sinister.

And, because i've made another post I'll list another 5 characters that I have since thought of. In no order-
Truhls Rokh from the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara.
Boromir from The Lord of the Rings.
Sand dan Glokta from The First Law.
Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield from Ice Station, Area 7 and Scarecrow.
Any character that Russell Crowe has played (such as in Gladiator, American Gangster, 3:10 to Yuma etc.).

Limanic- (n) a highly caustic and volatile liquid (a potive, in HC parlance) often used in dissolving stone from around harder, more valuable substances.

RottenPocket said...

Muhah, a partner in crime! We will make uber Gudgeons of you all!

And have the little 'Fronsu' trailing behind carrying various tools of the trade...

Top five favourite characters:
1) Scorpius - Farscape (hee hee, can't help but feel awe)
2) Asmodei - James Reese's Books (Angry attractive man)
3) General Skekses - The Dark Crystal (Anger managment problems)
4) Surgeon Swill! (dig the office with forbidden books and stretched skins)
5) Judge Claud Frollo - The Hunchback of Notre Dame (poor guy, all he wanted was some run down Gypsy lovin')

All male, all evil...

Word 'Randesse' :

When a High Class person doesn't know how to say 'Spontaneity' and plays on the word 'Random'.

Anonymous said...

o who else voted for Lenterman? we rock

walizz: bees. very large bees. very large bees with huge stingers that could go right through your arm.

portals said...

E N Reinmuth-
We'll have to cover the Fronsu so that people won't see enourmous knifes and gouging tools and my big book of fake diagnostics.

clesso- A type of jester/clown/jongleur that perforns stunts and tricks with wild animals and bottles of loomblaze.

Anonymous said...

portals + E N Reinmuth-
you need a tedefi [or two] : a large circular bolt of strong cloth with a string sewn into the hem, which can be pulled tight and gathered around fragile, unattractive, or undesireable mounds of stuff--typically used for excess luggage, firewood, dormant rose-bushes, piles of severed heads, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

After going away and thinking about it, my 5 favourite characters are:

Sabriel from Abhorsen trilogy (yay)
Sebastipole...One of my friends described him as a quiet hero, very true!
Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, an amazing and beautiful series
Totoro from My Neighbour Totoro
Zuko and Iroh from Avatar (yes, they are two characters, but they're so wonderfully entertaining together)

Snooze said...

man... i hate the bad guys XD lol
But sometimes they are pretty kewl...
as for my favourite characters, well I have too many, so ill just name them all and sorta put them into groups:

(in no particular order)
1- Ben Tennison/ Naruto/Kakashi/Hinata/Pervy Sage/Ryuuzaki from "Ben ten", and anime series' "Naruto" and "Death note"
2- Rossamund/Europe/Sebastipole/ Fouracres/Numption from the wonderful MBT
3- Maximum ride + flock from series "Maximum Ride" (James Patterson)
4- Moe/Dustfinger from Inkheart series (Cornelia Funke)
5-arg running out of numbers! Hmm... Torak/Renn/Wolf from "Chronicles of ancient darkness" (Michelle Paver)
uh... there are too many! well I also like Rose from "North Child." Amy from "Heartland," Mathew from "Power of five" well Ima stop there... I could go on forever... *drool*

Yeah, and all of them are the good guys, and the main characters... lol... I'm pretty fickle when it comes to characters. My favourites are always changing, and appearing...
(I really have to stop with the massive comments)
Subaro: A name given to a person who likes Subaru's

RottenPocket said...


This time of year I wouldn't want any children coming up to me and asking for a present.... especially if my clothing had turned an odd shade of red....

[for some reason word verifications are looking like actual words and not scrambled letters...]

Promated: .... The unofficial rise in status of Friendship? From Rookie to mate etc.

Anonymous said...

Us MBT fans seem to be a well read bunch.

I was looking at the poll and was interested to see that fabulist and physician seem to be very popular, something I would not have predicted (though they do seem to be the safest jobs on offer). Does anyone want to share why they chose their particular option?
I chose lamplighter, as it seemed the most militant and disciplined profession (and it's just such a cool job). My preference would have been to be a pediteer however, preferably a haubardier. I like the idea of fighting the monsters with fusil and fodicar, pistol and pike.
Anyone else want to share their reasons?

Angouseu- (n) a thin, watery fish soup that also includes eggs, potato and celery. A very posh, though not particularly pleasant dish that is mostly eaten by the wealthy.

noelle said...

Well, my chosen "common" profession would probably be punctographist, but that wasn't on the list, and the one thing I like doing more than drawing is telling and hearing stories. I'd like to have clicked vinegaroon, since that seems like an exciting romantic type of life, but if we're being completely honest here I'd most likely end up as something nice and safe like enrica d'arma.

Orkan: an overcoat made of thick rubber that squeaks loudly with the slightest movement.

pearl said...

Wow-- I haven't checked the blog for about two days, and there's already like, what, 35 comments?

Thank you, Mr Cornish, for answering my question. I thought that late-thirties to early-thirties seemed to suit Europe. I was right, haha.

On the favorite character subject, I really can't name only five- I have so many! But from MBT, Europe and Licurius are very cool. I liked Gosling too, for some unexplainable reason.
Hades from the Disney movie 'Hercules' was good, too.
Irina Spalko from the recent Indiana Jones. (I like Cate Blanchett.)
Artemis from the 'Artimes Fowl' series (mind you, I've only read one book.) I usually don't particularly have... positive feelings for the main character of a series (I don't dislike, just neutral), but Artimes was evil. It's different when the main character is evil.

Oh and Voldemort. I can't not like a man with a missing nose. I'm a queer child. Leave me be.

Ingsmse (ING-sim-see): A tub used to contain the concoction of discarded, unused, or faulty potives.

RottenPocket said...

There are now THREE Surgeons! [I cleared out the temp files and I saw that I could vote again, so call me a Schizophrenic Surgeon :D]

Uuuh reasons? Well I've pretty much developed a personal belief that the world is overpopulated and Hospitalization doesn't help the issue [Thus the Neutral soon hobby to be career in Art], so my interest in being a physician is pretty low. However :D as my mixed perception on Untermen would make me void of most occupations listed, the Surgeon seems fitting for the sheer creature creation mimicry of the Black Habilst to the Concept artist.

Plus, someone needs to be the bad guy.

'Boot' only said 'boooot!' like one of the Kungfounded characters, the one from Switzerland or something...

Anonymous said...

dishiliu: a very cruel name for a girl.

there doesn't seem to be much activity on the MBT facebook page, unfortunately

people say they like the good guys, and they pretend to like the good guys, and they think that they like the good guys, but in reality a little part of them shrieks in dismay when the bad guy loses, i think.

pearl said...

Ah, and on the matter of occupation, I chose surgeon.

There's this ongoing joke IRL about me being a butcher(butchress?), and I like chopping meat. And sewing it back together. And the entire process of surgery is ... interesting? Ok, maybe I wouldn't be a proper surgeon.. just an apprentice until I grow our of my sick fetishes.

Miligh: A very very high wall built for the sole purpose of stopping the sunlight hitting places where it isn't wanted.

You can tell I'm running out of ideas.

noelle said...

"people say they like the good guys, and they pretend to like the good guys, and they think that they like the good guys, but in reality a little part of them shrieks in dismay when the bad guy loses, i think."

Depends on the bad guy. Depends on the good guy, too. I root for the villain quite a lot and sometimes I almost can't believe that there are people who AREN'T rooting for my villain. But the truth is, the villain has to have some kind of redeeming quality to make him/her interesting enough to root for. Really, villains that are "evil embodied" just aren't interesting; they have to have SOME kind of inner conflict or at least a misled belief that what they're doing is right (nothing's creepier than a villain who can almost talk you into agreeing with them). Really, the only place you should see "evil embodied" villains are in Disney movies, because in them the definition between good and evil is always so clear-cut. I prefer a "good bad guy" or a "bad good guy" to either a "good guy" or a "bad guy."

Oh, and I like it when the villain dies in a very dramatic way (without humiliation, as always seems to happen in Disney movies). Cutler Beckett's death in "Pirates" and the villains' death in "Hellboy" are brought to mind.

Prersh: to lazily make one's way through a large amount of something until it is entirely gone. example: "John absently prershed his way through an entire box of doughnuts while watching TV."

RottenPocket said...

Inner conflict? Man, Scorpius has it down to the T.

He's a mad Scarren/Sebatian half breed whose mother was used as a breeding experiment and died in the process, so he was raised by Dino wenches in platform boots (dig Scarren chicks, can't you tell?), so he escapes and finds out and ends up working for the Sebatians and tortures people in the Aurora chair and has an elegant 'I'm so much cooler than you' voice and dresses in a crazy leather Coolant suit... How can you not love this guy? I just finished watching the end of season four of Farscape and he gets a girlfriend... So very happy for him right now...

There's more to him than this but he's one of the best Villains in fictional history.

As for the Disney film theory, iunno, Judge Claud Frollo was just a religiously fearful guy who had the hots for a gypsy... plus he was a French Medieval Judge.

Same with Silver from Treasure Planet, he was just a rebel doing what he always does. I could go on, but to stop my babble I'll just say that hey, the Lion King was based on Hamlet. Disney movies are a lot denser when you watch them at my age.

My Word verifications are just pathetic lately, I mean 'bulsilyz' , a silly bull convention?

Ahh that's better after previewing:
'Avionsgi', the Schizophrenic Black Habilist, she will cut you up.

Snooze said...

I agree with E N Reinmuth on the surgeon matter, and hospitilisation... But most people are pretty touchy on that subject so you heard nothing...

As for why I chose postman, It's because I like adventure and (If I'm not in a dreadfully lazy mood) I do enjoy walking. I find the concept of outwitting monsters to escape them exciting, and by following a particular route you would make many friends both human, and beast.

With evil characters, I tend to follow the stereotypical image given, and evil guys just piss me off, cuz I get so attached to the good guy that I don't want anything bad to happen to them.
The only time I have liked the bad guy is in Looney tunes, and Tom and Jerry. Because Tweetie and Jerry used to pee me off, and I just wanted them to be eaten by the cats! ARG!
Thinking of some books I've read, hmm... in Inkheart, the evil dude was like black mailing the good character and it would piss me off! Because I just wanted the main characters to be happy.
In Naruto,(yeah I'm going into manga now.. lol) I get scared that something bad is going to happen to Naruto, so I hate the evil guys cuz they pose a threat.
In Death note I hated the evil dude, because he wanted to be like a God of the new world, and he wouldn't get caught. It just anoyed me! Even though he was apparently hot. But what would I know? XD
Anyway, that's my oppinion on evil guys... as usual it's way too long so sorry about that.

gonso: A large, thick, curved and double bladed sword with a bamboo handle. Can be used to slice off limbs with the curved side, and to pierce large holes within the skin using the pointy side. Hard to explain.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean over-population? The United States alone could grow enough to feed the world, if the government wasn't paying people NOT to farm.

Why did I pick clerk? Well, I like the idea of a non-active, non-military occupation. It seems like a nice, simple job one could happily grow old with.

Villains: Yes, bad guys should have some conflict and some admirable characteristics, that makes them less cartoonish and, in a way, more villainous. If they are believable humans, then their atrocities are all the more horrific, because we would have the potential to do the same.

Heroes and heroines should also battle with their own evil tendencies, but should not lose to them in the end or be less a hero at the end. One of the things I hated about Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3 was how Will and Elizabeth became just as treacherously relativistic as Jack and Beckett. Heroes are what they are because they do the right thing in the end and repent of their previous evil deeds. Redemption story arcs are my favorite kind.

Is such a 'scream' a threnody for the villainous parts of the villain or the ones our hearts perceive as good?
If I have some sympathies for the villain it's because he has some admirable skills, sense of humor, or sympathetic traits. For instance, one has to sympathize with how Boba Fett's family life went.
If I hate the villain then I whoop in exultation when they lose. The more final and poetically just, the better.

As for favorite characters, don't lynch me, but there are no MBT characters even near the list.
1.Wesley from The Princess Bride.

2. Grand Admiral Thrawn from Timothy Zahn's Star Wars novels. (Yes, a bad guy, I admit it)

3. Luthian from Tolkien's Silmarilion. (Awesome book of artificial mythology)

4.Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars franchise. (Not just the films or games, but the saga as a whole.

5. Artemis Fowl from the series of the same name. (Personally, I didn't likethe Time Paradox, but that's just me.)

meterke: (Met TEER ke) the property of certain clothing to attract all manner of burs and thorns when one is traveling in the woods. Discerning salesmen will advertise meterke-free sweaters.

RottenPocket said...

Unfortunately there are people who want a career where they do nothing but make money, which is something to say when a country as large as the U.S. ends up pulling the Global Economy down with it.

Even here, our Prime Minister stated that we should spend the $1000 christmas bonus this year to keep everything moving, but there is so many people and not many who hold the country above their own family and they are going to keep that money and save it.

As to population, our cities aren't as decomposable as those past. Ever seen that poster image of the world at night, with every light on earth on, covering the ground? Believe it or not, we exist about as much as a virus does, but have tried mass self-sufficiency to make up for the scars already marked on this world and frankly it wouldn't be enough to make up for it. Man if the Deer Caves in Borneo are destroyed within my lifetime I'm going on a rampage...

I do however (on a bright note for those who doubt this) believe in equal rights. If one set of beings has access to hospitals in places where there's nothing to worry about then why can't places infested with Cholera? A perfectly treatable and preventable infection? If anyone is to survive I wish them to be nice people with nothing to do with technology, and had to do a lot to survive. The world's just to big pop' wise to be managed anymore as different countries.

Hell, on the note of Villains, Mugabe is a very evil evil person. I doubt he can be redeemed. I doubt many think of him as an admiral person. So if you really want to picture a Villain that you really really hate, just look at real life.

'Ismiu': A spliced creature, between an Iz (The Maxx) and an Emu. Now that's one Zeusodon you don't want to mess with.

Anonymous said...

woa...i was mainly commenting on the fact that fictional villains tend to be more carefully and interestingly thought-out than fictional heroes, but this discussion is great too

Ben--nah I just scream.
[actually it's not so much redeeming qualities or sympathy-drawing traits for me, but the simple fact that another fascinating character has been smitten by the Big Red Rubber Stamp Marked !Disposable! which happens all too often.
IMHO, always-killing-off-the-bad-guy suggests that Good and Evil are simple and predictable things.
or maybe i'm just bitter because {as aforesaid} the best characters always die.
or i could be a softie.
I haven't truly hated a character, villain or otherwise, since Eragon {wherein I loathed everyone}.]

I agree w/you all about the world being a mess. and that's all i'm going to say.

luvia: the glint of moonlight shining through glass onto dark liquid

Anonymous said...

Some very interesting comments from people. On the subject of politics i will say that, although I do NOT believe in global warming, and generally scowl at all "greens" and other enviromentalists, I do agree with Reinmuth about overpopulation.

I wont say anything else on the subject because I already know no one will agree with my politics (I'm an extreme Monarchist and want to bring back the feudal system)

When it come to villains and heroes, i tend to sympathize with the villain, if only because they tend to lose. In some books and movies i actually hope the villains win (although I know they wont) because I support their cause or beliefs more than those of the hero. I agree that emotional and moral dilemmas make for more intersting characters, but not in every story. Some times I like my heroes to be noble and perfect and heroic more than I want them to be realistic, such as Aragorn.

Saupint- (a) a state or expression of general displeasure with things, combined with a particular distaste for one particular thing. Similar to maudlin, unhappy and sour. Eg."You're looking particularly saupint this morning." or "Cheer up, don't look so saupint."

portals said...

I don't often hate characters either, but Eragon and co. are an exception.

I don't really believe in equality that much ... but I don't think that some are born better that others. I think people should have to earn rights and priveliges. So I don't really like the feudal system, but I think that people should get more rights based on how hard they work.

Snooze said...

I've been through the topic of global problems in my head, and argued with myself that much that I'm not even gonna say a thing, because I know I'll either say something very sadistic-sounding, or I'll create a huge argument.

So just a pointer, don't let us ponder on this subject too much, or our little community may very well break apart. I've had this problem amoungst friends at school, this topic always ends in large arguments as everyone has a strong opinion, and although it is a good one, someone else always has to oppose it.

(Sorry if that sounded really bossy)

arkstess: A position given to oneself, that makes you believe you have power over your peers. You see yourself as much higher up than people who are actually just as good as yourself.

noelle said...

I don't believe in global warming per se - I think it's more of a warming trend - but honestly, what harm can come of cleaning up our resources? If it will clean up pollution and make us more energy-efficient, why NOT go 'green?'

That's all I'm saying on the matter.

As for Eragon: worst cast of characters ever. They were all stock characters borrowed from different sources, and executed in really annoying, whiny ways. Hero or villain, everyone hates a whiner.

Chings: little buttoned flaps that attach the heel of a shoe to the front part, for no other reason than that it's fashionable.

RottenPocket said...

Haha, whoa, there be a lot of "and I wont say any more on the matter"s.

Trust me to start a discussion with high chances it'll end in disaster. No intent with all honesty, but it is a habit.

MK- I don't know, I've been studying writing and filmmaking lately for a project and a story doesn't go as far as it could when people sympathize for a character. I'm not sure whether or not you mix this up with Empathy, because a character that you can empathize with on the other hand, is a product of good writing and story telling. A villain in particular comes off as a tad bit pathetic in such cases and loses all image as a Villain at all, and just becomes a 'Boss' or the average bad guy. For the Waif archetype, I guess Sympathy would fit, but that's really it.

Amen to Noelle- "Hero or villain, everyone hates a whiner."

Did anyone else feel great negativity when they first saw the Eragon film where he teaches Saphire to fly, and she grows into an adult instantly?
...They don't make dragon films as well as they should...

Trepuga: "Trepuga Sanatorium for the Ailed Minds"

A facility found to the east, somewhere in Dusterstochen. Many feel unease about this rarely heard of Hospital, as few patients ever go to and even fewer return from within its walls, supposedly grain for their mill, if you will. More to the rumour, Surgeons are said to have Asylum there if ever law labels them corrupt. Its proximity to both the Ichormeer and the town of Sinster provokes more dark rumors about this mysterious establishment.

Haha, finally, a decent word to play on.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I'm not against environmentalism itself, just the majority of people that support it and the senseless checks and restictions that they try to place upon society, and which inevitably make various goods and services more expensive while doing little in the way of preserving the environment.

I was going to write a long diatribe on various other political points but I wont, as Susan is completely correct when she says this is not a good topic to discuss here.

Continuing the theme of favourite characters, who (or what) is peoles favourite villain?

My vote would go to Darth Vader. There have been lots of vilains over the years, but few are as recognisable or as bad as him.

And people, leave the Inheritance Cycle amone. It might be one of the most unoriginal pieces I have ever read, but it's not as bad as some. Having said that, yes it does have pretty much every fantasy cliche and stereotype there is, and it pales in comparison to true writing genius, such as that shown by Tolkien or our own Master Cornish.

[I was about to post when I saw that Reinmuth had made a post, so I will add my comments here rather than add a new post.
Your right Reinmuth, I did say sympathise when empathise is closer to my meaning. However I can still feel sympathy for a character in certain circumstances without that character, particularly villain, becoming pathetic.

And yes, the movie Eragon is an abhorrent piece. The worst movie I have ever seen (I dont go to the movies that often). Turned a poor book into an even worse movie, when i had hoped they would perhaps improve it.]

Surbonqu- (n) a coat of leather or padded cloth tat is worn between two breastplates. By spreading the armour into several layers it becomes more effective at stopping projectiles, and allows the amount of metal in the breastplates to be reduced.

Anonymous said...

'Hero or villain, everyone hates a whiner'

alright, we'll be nice.

i do realize it is unhealthy for the story when the villain draws too much sympathy or empathy from the reader/watcher. there usually have to be clear-cut conflict between side a and side b--not so much side b and itself.
still. I feel bad.

...which comes to Who Is Your Favorite Villain?
Loki. [most modern stories portray him in the same way he has always been, so i am being vague and all-inclusive here] He was the best

tursub: a message-in-a-bottle-type item; a piece of shaped, waterproofed leather that the marroon-ee can write on or scratch words on, fold into a sphere, and set floating on the ocean. they are very sturdy and have been known to survive for years, sometimes long after their sender has died

noelle said...

Favorite villain?...ugh. It's actually a lot harder than I thought it'd be to make a list of favorite characters/villains. I mean, I don't usually think of them as a list...there are just certain books and movies that I enjoy more (or entirely) because of a certain character.

Pirates of the Caribbean has some nice villains. I liked Davey Jones, Barbossa, Cutler Beckett, etc. Jango Fett, Boba Fett, and Zam Wesell from Star Wars (gotta love the bounty hunters). Lex Luthor, although I think I mentioned that already. Warren Peace from Sky High.

...looking at my paltry little list, I'm realizing that none of them are proper villains at all. Some are more good than bad, they're just on the wrong side of things. Funny, I've always thought of myself as a villain-lover, but I can't think of a single truly 'evil' villain that could qualify as a favorite villain. How odd!

Rersesse: an awkward party with people you don't like. Usually includes attempts at pathetic "icebreaker" games which generally fail while people wander off in boredom and embarrassment.

RottenPocket said...

Scorpius to the max.

Hey, isn't there like four different Lokis in various religion?

Ficipypi: (oh god) A bogle who gets into much trouble with the eekers.

portals said...

Favourite villain? Well ... Grotius Swill was pretty cool, but so was Cutler Beckett ... and Boba Fett, Lucius Malfoy and if Licurius counts the he's my favourite.

Anonymous said...

E N Reinmuth--
you could say that there were several Loki's; he was a norse fire/chaos/trickster god [well sort of; that gets complicated] and had lots of parallels in other old religions : crow, coyote, anansi, etc.
he has been much mangled by the video game, comic book, movie, and *sad to say* writing worlds. i like his original self, from the older myths

at this rate we may make 80 comments :D

grems: a nerve disease restricted to the feet, which makes the victim feel as if he or she is walking on cold spaghetti

Anonymous said...

ok. i just contradicted myself. MOST modern stories DO NOT portray Loki as his typical self. ignore earlier comment. *ahem*

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you chose Loki, Monday, as when I gave my answer I almost chose Loki as well. Your right about modern portrayals being not very accurate.
Norse mythology is pretty good stuff. And the myths and legends are a lot more interesting than the Greek and Egyptian stories.

sceddi- (v) to row in an erratic fashion. Eg. "he sceddied across the late in the small boat."

noelle said...

Oh, I did like Bellatrix Lestrange. I'd have liked her a lot more if she didn't keep killing my favorite characters. Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett don't really qualify as villains since they're more or less the protagonists, but, I mean, they bake people into pies...they make my list.

Dopticco: a fresco or mural that is badly painted and tacky, like one you might find in a pediatrician's waiting room or a Greek theme restaurant.

portals said...

Ok, I think we all need to comment like mad so we can fulfil my long term blog goal of reaching 80 comments.

Oh no...
tatatiat- A type of dancing in which the dancers seek to make as much noise as possible. Somewhat similar to tap dancing.

Snooze said...

Hmm... Finding my favourite villian is hard, as I hate them all! But if you think of it back-to-front. The villian I love to hate the most would be either the 'soul eaters' from Chronicles of ancient darkness, or the Queen Goblin thing from North Child.
The soul eaters are like a bunch of evil people, (and I havn't read the book in that long I've actually forgotten the main plot) but they do bad stuff to the main character and it gives you the chills sometimes when you read about them.
The other evil character the Queen Goblin thing (yeah I'm bad with names) is really selfish, and like turns some small child into a polar bear (for reasons that are too hard to explain) so that she can keep him, and then she traps him and uses memory blanking stuff so that he won't remember his previous life, and she forces him to be her king. (but luckily a friend comes and saves the day! YAY!)

yes, unintentionally this post has almost reached 80 comments... lol

thiplorp: A concoction made from brewing thistles with pine cones. It causes a numbing effect on the body, but can also make the drinker have great hallucinations of pixies and dragons. Is expensive to make, and is used on rich people to numb the body during surgery, although the patients must be strapped down so they do not struggle from the hallucinations.

RottenPocket said...

Soul Eaters eh? Sounds interesting.

I've really got to start building up a library of my own. I'm still trying to work up the money for H.P. Lovecraft's entire collection. I think I might have mentioned it before, but I kind of stop reading a book if it doesn't interest me, but for the things I aspire to I really ought to widen my reading experience.

So, that said, anybody have some really gritty and awesome, mature fantasy/sci-fi/fiction they think I ought to read? Key emphasis on 'mature', so basically anything other than Twilight.

Anonymous said...

Monday, Magos.
You like Norse mythology? Yes! The Poetic Edda rocks.

E N Reinmuth.
Ever read the AEneid? Yes it plagerizes Homer terribly but it is a fun read when properly translated.

paphin: a child, usually a naturaly cute one, shanghaid by arcane mages who cannot find a willing apprentice. Paphins often develop anger-management issues in conjunction with their devestating powers.
Joy-filled Christmas and merry holidays, fellow commentors!

noelle said...

My own personal library is very sad...I don't have any complete series, just bits and pieces. I own the first and last book of the Lemony Snicket series, the last book of the Lonely City chronicles, some Tamora Pierce books which I keep getting for Christmas (my mom thinks I like them), Eragon...altogether, a pretty "bleh" book collection. It's because I rarely, if ever, buy books, even books that I like.

However, MBT one & two are right in the middle, and that redeems the rest of my sad little bookshelf :)

Vereg: a gooey, fragrant lump of wax that is stuck behind a person's ear and acts as perfume. Usually for males.

Anonymous said...

Reinmuth, if you're looking for a dark fantasy series read The First Law, by Joe Abercrombie. Very dark and pretty violent (one of the main characters is a torturer), but very well written.

Ben Bryddia, yes the Poetic Edda is very interesting. I particularly like the Lokasenna, quite funny, though not very serious.

Hmmm, my library. I need a bigger house to put it in. Off the top of my head, 1-12 of the Wheel of Time, some Patrick O'Brien, Terry Brooks, Mathew Reilly. Pretty varied basically, not to many comlete series, just bits and pieces of many.

Lardsoat (what a great word)- (n) a purveyor of different lards. Either an itinerant wanderer who carries his products with his and who sources his goods locally or a professional shop owner who sets up his buisness in a city or town.

And to all my co-religionists who shall be celebrating Christmas in a few days, God bless and fare well.

Anonymous said...

ahh i love the AEneid...even if a lot of good characters died

E N Reimuth: if yr going for depressing, try reading K J Parker's Engineer Trilogy. i only read the first and second books because i had no money to buy them all and i got, well, depressed.
or there's Stephen King's Dark Tower series
or if you haven't read Terry Pratchet yet, go and do so now

i was just looking at my meager library the other day. most of it is used, paperback, fantasy, or presumtuously Literary
speaking of which, who here has read the Mabinogion?

& God Bless you too, Magos :)

merst: the awkward way you can never seem to find a place to put your hands while waiting for a train/bus/plane, in the presence of someone you like, entertaining relatives, and suchlike

RottenPocket said...

I just hobbled over to my Bookshelf and found that it is actually quite full :D

Although a majority is taken up of old sketchbooks and about 25 art books, paintbrushes, boxes and so on.

I have three books here that weren't very popular and I bought for five bucks at a newsagents :D

1) The Seer and the Sword - Victoria Hanley.
Basically an extended, maturer bed time story, but it interested me.
2) Monument - Ian Graham
Hard to describe. Great synopsis, could have done so much better, but impressive how it contains no actual hero or villain.
3) Dirty Magic - Carol Hughes
Not that different from MBT, although it's machines that attack people instead of monsters, it's really short, and the made up words don't have any explanations...

All three would make a really good short film if I had the means.

Plus there's this series I bought a number of but never found the missing volumes, and never read, but the covers were pretty. Ever heard of Everworld by K.A. Applegate? I think I bought these when I was around 12 yrs old, and by the blurb it seems like a darker, modern day Narnia...

Thanks for the suggestions, I now have a list.

And just to promote further discussion to reach 80 comments, did anyone notice that in 'Master & Commander', the French jump up and yell out 'Acheron!', but would have made an interesting situation when the roles reversed and the English jumped up instead, yelling 'Surprise!' .

...I thought it was funny....

Anonymous said...

Hmm, now I've got the picture of Russell Crowe jumping up, waving a sword and yelling "Surprise" stuck in my head.
A great movie, Master and Commander.

Graye, the- (n) a regional dialect term for twilight, shadow or more generally the unknown.

noelle said...

I've probably recommended them before, but Douglas Adams has written some great books. They're definitely not juvenile. There's the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" and then the Dirk Gently series, both of which are fantastic.

(in Tiny Tim voice) God bless us, every one!

Tesodi: a mysterious powder that can be sprinkled into any liquid and will make it fizz out of control. Usually used as a practical joke but it also has more malevolent uses as well.

Snooze said...

Hmm.. My library is only one small 3-shelf book shelf, but it is becoming quite full. I have the MBT series, the seventh tower series, chessnt hill series (don't laugh if u know what im talking about), and the Maximum ride series up to date, but all my other books are all random. Forinstance I have the 2nd inkheart book, the 2nd LO-Elion, 1st,2nd,18th,19th,20th +2 of Heartland, and other random books. As well as Eragon... which at the time of buying it I enjoyed it, but i was very young and i still havnt reviewed it lately to actually see if all the bad claims are true.

Apart from that, my parents have a massive pile of books (about 5 middle sized bookcases) which contain all sorts of things from cook books to atlases...

I love to buy my books though because I enjoy reading them more than once, and my library in town is very small and you often have to wait months for them to order in books that they don't have. The only problem is that most books cost a lot of money to buy, and money isn't something I have a lot of unfortunately. And buying also helps me keep track of what series I'm reading. Otherwise I forget the name and never finish the series. lol
As for the movie 'Master and Commander'... I havn't seen it XD. So I can't reminisence any favourite parts. (And I bet I spelt reminisence wrong lol)

Anonymous said...

reminise...reminisnce...reminice...reminisce...don't know that there is a right way, actually

junth: a carnivorous lilac

Anonymous said...

Anna is back on track. Finally got home from Africa. It was hot.
wish you all a Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, did you enjoy your trip?

I read Twilight yesterday afternoon and thought I might post some of my thoughts about it. It wasn't as bad as I feared, actually. Despite enjoying a similar success it was much better written than Harry Potter or Eragon, more mature and with a more intense fell to it. Unfortunately there were a few things I didn't like, I felt the dialogue was a tad repetitive (though not bad, it just someimes felt they were having the same conversation again), I thought that Bella's responses were somethimes a tad unrealistic (surely finding out the guy you loveis a vampire would elicit a more imaginative response than "I dont care"). My biggest problem was simply with the vampires themselves. I dont have a problem with the author being original and creative, but it felt a bit as though she was changing the classical vampire mythology to make writing about them easier, so that she didn't have them turning into puffs of dust at a stray sunbeam.
All in all, not half as bad as I feared, and a pleasant way to waste an afternoon. 7/10.

Nodscorc- (n) an imbecile or idiot. Often used as an insult eg. "you're such a nodscorc."

Sorry for the long post.

Woohoo, only 7 more posts untilwe reach 80, come on people, we're almost there.

portals said...

I finished twilight today. It was OK. Nothing special. Now I'm onto Castle in the Air, which will be followed by The Messenger.
73/74 comments ...

RottenPocket said...

Ergh, I think the monotonous dialogue was just irritating as the not so vampyric vampyres. As a Fantasy, I think it's disappointing, but story wise it's just an Americanized, girly-manga that isn't manga. You know, with the whole dark outcast with roguishly good looks and some mysterious inhuman origin, but the girl is overpowered by her love for this random who technically is her stalker and she becomes the target of the other dark roguishly handsome peoples etc. etc.

There's been ongoing discussion of what a Vampyr should be like since they were first invented in lore. On the turning to dust theory I reckon that it should only happen if the said Vampyr is very old. Any younger Vampyr ought to just revert back to the remains of what they would be in it's grave, were it not undead. Kinda like Dorian Grey's portrait as it was in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - how he aged and turned to dust, just think it paused at how old the guy really was. I think I'm rambling now. Ta ta...

Redstro - the retaliation of someone called a Nodscorc eg:
"You're such a Nodscorc."
"Well look who's talking, Redstro"

(it works in my head)

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts on Vampiric Disintergration. My problem with the Twilight vampires was not that they were different from the norm (originality is one of the most important aspects of good writing), just that the author seemed to be cutting corners by removing the Vampiric elements that are hard to work into a story, such as the reaction to sunlight etc.

Readdlac- (n) a shocking insult that is guaranteed to escalate any argument into a fight. Something no well-born person should say.
Eg. "Watch who you're calling a redstro, you !@#$%^& readdlac."

Only 4 to go.

noelle said...

Yep, that was one of my issues with the series: how the vampires were without flaw. Not only were the super strong/fast/beautiful, they had special powers like prophesy, mind reading, etc. weaknesses whatsoever. And they're good at everything they do.


Of course, traditional vampires have more than their fair share of weaknesses, what with the wooden stake/sunlight/silver/holy water/crucifix/garlic thing...

Plipbel: an instrument that is played by dripping water into a tin bucket.

RottenPocket said...

Yes, but the thing is, Vampyres have to have those weaknesses, and earn the powers of mind reading through eternity, or else they lose their value of being a demon. Meyer's Vamps aren't damned as they are by definition. To me it's like taking a Rabbit and putting a saddle on it, calling it a Horse.

If it were a good thing to be original, then why did she call them Vampires? That's the one bad move that stands out to me in particular.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought it interesting that the stake should be considered one of the most effectinve Vampire killing weapons. The original Vlad Dracula was a medieval hero who used to impale his enemies on stakes (20,000 in one go once).

Really, had she not called the vampires (at least, thats what Bella refers to them as, I dont recall them using the term to describe themselves) she would have been criticised for trying to create something very similar to a vampire without calling it one, they werent different enough to warrant a different name, but they were too different to be "true" vampires. Hopefully that made sense.

Bacrowle- (n) an axe-like weapon, with a head similar to voulge or glaive but with a much shorter haft, usually only two or three feet long.

only one posts to go.

Anonymous said...

Yes, i really enjoyed my trip. All the wonderful sunlight and the heat, mmmmmmmm. But now i´m freezing again, sigh.

Anonymous said...

We made it, eighty comments. Very nice.

Merry Christmas to all, God Bless all, especially the wonderful Master Cornish.

supedis- (n) thick wooden blocks than can be securely strapped to boots. Designed to make life a little more pleasant for the poor infantrymen who slog their way through the mud, at least their feet will stay dry.
In the heat of battle disarmed soldiers have been known to wield them by their staps to form a crude form of flail,though they will do little to hurt armoured men.

RottenPocket said...

But that's exactly it. The concept of the non-humans in the Twilight series is just weak. Although I guess one person's rubbish is another's treasure, but I find it somewhat disturbing being surrounded by all the hype on hot, soft-hearted teenage 'Vampires', and have the unseelie sensation of being surrounded by Necrophiliacs.

I guess it just really bugs me how an author took a respected Mythos and turned it around into a loose teenage fantasy that is the obsession of so many.

If she had done another fallen angels romance then I wouldn't have cared, because they would have fit in with the whole mysterious inhuman stalker story Basis, but for one who loves the Fantasy world and all the creatures in it, the Vampire name is forever stained.

I know it sounds dramatic, but the issue is just nagging in such a way, it's like Queen Elizabeth on her way to Shakespeare's play and someone fires a spit-ball at her forehead, and the culprit isn't caught or punished or anything.

That said, Merry Christmas all. I'd high five you all on the 80 but, Virtuality vs. Physicality and all that Jazz.

portals said...

I agree with you all.
Twilight was not original and was very, VERY repetitive.
I am very sad by how vampires are portryed now. They could be so cool! but people like Staphanie Meyer and the loser Daren Shan have ruined them.

over 80 comments. Does this mean we're all jedi? :)

portals said...

Oops. Stephanie, not Staphanie, sorry.

Snooze said...

Yay! we unintentially made it to 80 comments! lol... funny when we actually wanted to reach 80, no one could find anything to talk about, but as soon as the pressure was off, all these subjects started up.

I'm hoping I remember the words nodscorc, redstro and readdlac... they could come in very handy.

And as for Twilight... I've had a big think about it, and really I think it is a good story. The problem is that it IS a romance story, and a lot of fantasy likers are pulled in because of the vampires and werewolves, and so they expect real vampires, and cool werewolves, but are upset when they find 'vegetarian' vampires and such.
It's when people who like romance books read the story, which has a twist of fantasy, and they see themselves in Bella's position, and think how awesome it would be. Like if Edward was a deranged vampire intent on killing people, he wouldn't make for a very good boyfriend. I think the big point is that Bella is able to have a boyfriend who is capable of protecting her so easily... and I hint on the word PROTECT... so in other words she doesn't worry about him ripping her head off, or him turning to dust every time she turns around XD...
and re-reading that now, I realise that my sentence structure really does suck! So if that made no sense, I'm really sorry. But mainly I'm just trying to make a point that to succeed as a love story, having actual scary vampires as the main character wouldn't work because vampires eat people, yet she still had to chose some sort of fantasy creature for Bella to fall in love with, otherwise it would ruin the whole ultra-human protector boyfriend image...

yeah im reeeaally sorry for the long post, but this is the only place i get to babble! and my verificon is retarted so I'll leave it out.

Snooze said...

dang that post was waaay too long... hehe... sorry for that.
anyway... Before I forget


Hopes you all get lots of presents/food/whatever it is you do at Christmas!
hmm.. theoretically it is Christmas in an hour... I should wake my parents just to annoy them... muhahahahaha... or not.
lol have fun! :D

Anonymous said...

yay! Anna'a back! :)

i'm not diving into a twilight discussion. sorry. i can get nasty

Portals--do you mean I Am the Messenger by [forgive me] that guy whose name ends in Z? [good book]

Merry Christmas

asertion: false and unconvincing asertion