Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Side-Thoughts, or the Great Somnambulist Discovers Diesel

Happy Awesome Tuesday everybody.  It’s a great, grey and gloomy day, filled with rain and a hint of actual November temperature and gusts of wind.  I’m supremely exhausted.  I spent around 5 hours yesterday after work decorating for Christmas and cleaning up the house and stayed up until midnight or later reading STAR WARS: Deathtroopers.  Keisha stayed up until 5:30 doing school-work, so she’s probably even more exhausted.

NPR has collected and published a piece on the 50 Most Important Recordings of the Decade.  You can find the article, along with an 89 minute discussion on the results, here.  The full results are posted alphabetically below.

01. John Adams: On The Transmigration Of Souls
02. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
03. The Arcade Fire: Funeral
04. The Bad Plus: These Are The Vistas
05. Beyonce: Dangerously In Love
06. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
07. Bright Eyes: I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
08. Burial: Untrue
09. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: S/T
10. Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway
11. Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head
12. Danger Mouse: The Grey Album
13. Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism
14. The Decemberists: The Crane Wife
15. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP
16. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
17. Osvaldo Golijov: La Pasión Segun San Marcos (Saint Mark's Passion)
18. Green Day: American Idiot
19. Iron And Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
20. Jay-Z: The Blueprint
21. Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
22. Juanes: Fijate Bien
23. LCD Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver
24. Lil’ Wayne: Tha Carter III
25. Little Brother: The Listening
26. M.I.A.: Kala
27. Yo-Yo Ma: Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet
28. Mastodon: Leviathan
29. Jason Moran: Black Stars
30. OutKast: Stankonia
31. Brad Paisley: 5th Gear
32. Panda Bear: Person Pitch
33. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising Sand
34. The Postal Service: Give Up
35. Radiohead: In Rainbows
36. Radiohead: Kid A
37. Shakira: Fijación Oral, Vol. 1
38. Sigur Ros: ( )
39. Britney Spears: In The Zone
40. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
41. The Strokes: Is This It
42. The Swell Season: Once Soundtrack
43. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: In The Heart Of The Moon
44. TV On The Radio: Return To Cookie Mountain
45. Various: Garden State Soundtrack
46. Various: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
47. Kanye West: The College Dropout
48. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells
49. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
50. Amy Winehouse: Back To Black

I like this list.  There are some that I disagree with, but many I find quite good.  I haven’t listened to the discussion yet, so maybe after that I’ll understand a bit more why certain albums were chosen.

Don’t you hate that feeling of having read an amazing book or watched an awesome movie and you don’t have anyone to talk about it with?  If you’ve not read Abercrombie’s First Law series, skip the next paragraph.  SPOILER ALERT!  LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS THOUGHTS BELOW.  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Dave, since you’re to my knowledge the only one that’s read the full series, I really liked the ending of the novel.  It leaves the doors open for further adventures of the beloved heroes, but I’m not sure if Abercrombie plans to write any more dealing with these protagonists.  I liked how he left Logen’s fate up for interpretation, but I’m sure he made it.  I really would like to see resolution between Bayaz and the rest of the Magi.  I would like to see Bayaz taken down.  I was pleased with Jezal becoming King, though I’ve been expecting it since the end of book 1.  I want to know more about Ferro and what she does with herself.  I guess Abercrombie was driving the point that people don’t/rarely change, and this was a rather bleak outcome, but still enjoyable.  I felt Glokta wanted to change (Why do I do this?) but not enough to do anything about it.  I felt Logen really wanted to become a better man, but his desire to live superseded that.  (I want to learn more about the Bloody-Nine, too.  Does Logen go berserk and the Bloody-Nine take over, or is it somehow related to the Other Side?)  I think Jezal managed to change quite a bit, but not fully.  He was still a scared, weak man in the end, but I would be terrified of Bayaz’ fury, too.  All in all, a supremely fantastic tale.

THE END OF THE SPOILER SECTION.  I always get a hesitant pause when posting something like that, but I trust that you’ll obey the spoiler alerts.  If anybody feels like commenting on my comments from Last Argument, then please put a spoiler tag on your comment if you do so.

My NaNoWriMo progress hit a large standstill this past weekend, and will likely do the same thing again this weekend.  Still, I hope to continue to make a large chunk of the progress, but I don’t know if I’ll make the 50000 mark.  I found out yesterday that I am going to be going to a training course Thursday to try and get certified to become an Erosion Control Inspector.  I don’t really have much knowledge in this field and the training course recommends a prerequisite, but it’s not required.  So, I guess I’ll wing it and hope for the best.

Finally, John from Grasping For The Wind has created an interesting post on the worst endings in Sci-Fi and Fantasy.  You can find it here.  A few weeks back he also did a collection of best endings in SFF, which is available here.  I submitted for the best endings, but didn’t get around to it for the worst.  I probably would have nominated The Dark Tower series for worst endings, but that’s just me…

Remember, don’t count your chickens before they’ve grown razor sharp talons.


David Wagner said...


I was so wrung out after powering through Book 2 and 3 nonstop in about 4 days that when I got to Logen jumping to his doom, I was a little bummed. I wished JA had made it clear one way or the other if he lived or died... as time has passed, I'm good with the ending now, but at the time, I was a little bummed that it was so vague.

Bayaz sure turned out to be one bad-a**. I actually loved his character, and the way he morphed from empathetic old wizard that you pulled for, into a monster, really. Master manipulator. Poor Jezal.

It took me a while to warm up to Jezal, but after his face got smashed with the mace, he improved on me, lol. Did you think Bayaz was lucky that Jezal survived that, or was it all part of Bayaz's plan? That journey through the dead city was one of my favorite parts of the whole series.

I also loved the battle scene on the hillside in the trees and mist, when Fenris fought Logen's crew and killed off their leader (his name escapes me... something with 'Trees' in it, right?) Fenris was an awesome baddie. The last stand battle in the mountain ravine was great as well.

King Jezal makes a cool cameo in Best Served Cold, by the way.

Glokta... I was happy for him that West's sister turned out to be so cool to him. When they married, I thought it was a great touch. I kept hoping for some way that Bayaz could heal him, at least in part. I felt so bad for him throughout the series, all broken and spent like that. He had such a good head on his shoulders. It's a shame he was so surrounded by betrayal. Well, comes with the occupation, I guess...

Ferro started off great for me, but by the end, I was kind of tired of her. I loved that part in book one when she and Logen were fighting off the guards, when The Bloody Nine makes his first appearance.

Anyway, I loved the way things were in constant flux... the bad guys suddenly weren't as bad as you thought, the good guys suddenly weren't as good... it was just a great ride. I wish the language wasn't so colorful, and really, the sex scenes were unnecessary to me as well, and between the language and adult stuff, has prevented me from recommending the series to many at church that I think would enjoy it. They'll miss out on the great story, I suppose, over stuff that could have been left out without harm, IMHO.

Anyway, loved the series. I'll definitely read it again someday. I loved Logen and his crew. Good stuff.

Abercrombie's next book (called The Heroes) promises to see the return of many characters from the First Law Series. I hope Logen is among them.

logankstewart said...

I like long comments, David, especially when they're about the Lord or books.

1. I like to think that Logen lived from his jumping out the window. If he managed to survive a fall from a cliff with a Shanka and into a river, surely he can do it again.

2. I think Bayaz got lucky that Jezal survived the attack. But it brings up a point, what if West had not killed Prince Ladisla in Angland and he survived? How would've that panned out for the Magi's plans?

3. Yeah, I wanted so much for Glokta to "heal" or something, but that's not realistic. I was glad for him and Ardee, too.

4. The language doesn't bother me as much as the few sex scenes do. I could've done without them, too. That's part of the reason I'm scared about HBO doing GRRM's Game of Thrones. Being HBO, I'm sure it'll be rather explicit.

Thanks for commenting!