Long before Arthur C Clarke coined the phrase “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” before Howard Taylor riffed on that claim to assert that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun,” and probably even before Mark Twain wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, people, and especially writers, have been fascinated by this idea of an equivalency between science and magic.
Of the three Mistborn books, this one is the most intellectually and philosophically interesting.
If you haven’t already ready Mistborn: The Final Empire, then I suggest that you read that book before reading this review for its sequel, since I’m not sure that I can completely avoid spoilers for the first book in my review for the second.
Even before I went on a spate of re-reads this year, I was planning on re-reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. A new book is scheduled to come out in the fall, the last in the second Mistborn era, and I wanted to make sure that I was fresh on the whole story to maximize my enjoyment when I read it.
When I noticed recently that he had officially finished the comic, I decided to give it another try, and this time I got through it. I got through all of it, one comic at a time, twenty years’ worth of them. It is epic scale storytelling in a short, web comic format.
As you hopefully saw in our recent weekly writing update, I finally finished the first draft of Verdon's Tragedy, a side story set in the Fo'Fonas world. Even if revisions go smoothly, I don't expect a release date sooner than December 2022, but I want to share some thoughts about the story and the writing now.
I made an exception this past week for a pair of short stories (they could almost be called flash fiction) that Brandon Sanderson recommends for studying dialogue. Since the stories were fine examples of both storytelling and writing craft, I decided to share a review for them, along with a review for Sanderson’s contribution to this technical style.
My recent reading of Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy set me to thinking about pacing in a more rigorous way than I have before.
There are two main ways to read The Dragonbone Chair and its sequels in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, and they are not mutually exclusive: this can be thought of as a historical fantasy story with sorcerous elements, or as a Tolkien-style fantasy with strong historical elements.
I wish that the human brain was a better tool for diagnosing itself, because I would be very interested to know how much of my distaste for this book arose from the writing style, rather than the contents. To be honest, the writing sounded juvenile. It is my hope that the author adopted this style in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, rather than it being an actual reflection of their intellectual capacity, but I found it quite off-putting, and rather undermining to those parts of the book that are valid. While I realize that an inaccurate understanding of electromagnetism does not preclude wisdom in the area of fiction writing, making a blatantly invalid analogy does make me question how well the rest of the book was thought through before being published. And that was just the most obvious example; the whole tone of the book conveyed a similar impression.