"I will preface my tale," Trull Sengar was saying as he roasted the skinned hare, "with an admittedly cautionary observation."

"Tell me this observation," Monok Ochem said.

"I shall, Bonecaster. It concerns nature… and the exigency of maintaining a balance."

Had he possessed a soul, Onrack would have felt it grow cold as ice. As it was, the warrior slowly turned in the wake of Trull Sengar's words.

"Pressures and forces are ever in opposition," the Edur was saying as he rotated the spitted hare over the flames. "And the striving is ever towards a balance. This is beyond the gods, of course - it is the current of existence - but no, beyond even that, for existence itself is opposed by oblivion. It is a struggle that encompasses all, that defines every island in the Abyss. Or so I now believe. Life is answered by death. Dark by light. Overwhelming success by catastrophic failure. Horrific curse by breathtaking blessing. It seems the inclination of all people to lose sight of that truth, particularly when blinded by triumph upon triumph. See before me, if you will, this small fire. A modest victory… but if I feed it, my own eager delight is answered, until this entire plain is aflame, then the forest, then the world itself. Thus, an assertion of wisdom here… in the quenching of these flames once this meat is cooked. After all, igniting this entire world will also kill everything in it, if not in flames then in subsequent starvation. Do you see my point, Monok Ochem?"

"I do not, Trull Sengar. This prefaces nothing."

Onrack spoke. "You are wrong, Monok Ochem. It prefaces… everything.''


the bad map

I can't believe this. I've been reading one of the best fantasy series I've read in a long time, The Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker. The third book, The Thousandfold Thought, brings the trilogy to a close in ways you never see coming. The only problem was, there were a great many printing errors in my copy of the book. Many letters overlapped randomly throughout the book, which I thought was especially strange, considering books are desinged by computers now, not old typeface blocks that can slip out of position.

But the most grievous error was one of the maps in the book, The Western Three Seas, the route of the holy war. In the first two books it was finely done, very detaild and highly readable. But somehow, now its been pixellated as if it wasn't truly the map that was printed, but just a thumbnail enlarged to fill the whole area. Take a look for yourselves:


GOOD MAP from Book 2

Is it worth complaining to the publisher? I just want a good copy.


site feed is up

The feedburning of kingmanor has begun. Links in the sidebar.


Tim Warner hates the world

...and now you can hear him live. I recorded my friend Tim's comedy set at the New York Comedy Club last thursday, and he posted it for all to enjoy. If you're at all unsure of what his brand of comedy is, one look at this picture and you'll get it. Now if he only wrote more for his blog, he may get some actual traffic for his site soon.



Last night at about 2am I was a bit hungry, so I left my place and wandered down 6th avenue looking for something still open. After a few blocks I came across one of the many old dudes selling used books on the cheap.

I quickly started scanning the books to see if there was anything that caught my eye. After reading so much sci-fi and fantasy, its easy to know what to look for. But there wasn't much there. In fact I didn't recognize many of the authors at all. My eyes then found a book called Warriors of the Dragon Gold with cover art drawn much like a medieval tapestry. Soon after I spied a book from the Vorkosigan Saga that I haven't read yet. My stomach was beginning to get the better of me, so I paid the man $4 for both and left in search of pizza.

So back home as I'm munching on some pepperoni I noticed (as you would have if you clicked the link) that Amazon.com only lists the hardcover version (ok I know the paperback is there just spelled wrong, but I need some dramatic freedom here).


So I search by the ISBN on the back of the book.

Zero results.

I look at the Vorkosigan book and notice the cover is not the same as the one on Amazon's page.

Then I see it, the price listed not in $ but in £.

The books are from jolly old England.

I have no idea how these two books came across the atlantic to find its way onto a table on the side of the road at 2am. I fully intend to ask the old bookseller next time I'm down there and post an update.


king fahd is still dead

Can I be the first one on the blogosphere to make that stupid comment? If only he were as popular as the Generalissimo then somebody might care enough to find this post.

I have no idea what the political implications of King Fahd's death will be for the Saudis, the region, or US relations. Updates later from with links to those who might know.


ender says shut up

I've only read two of the ender books, the original and the war in southeast asia. I know I should have read the series in order and I will eventually, but that's not the point. I dont' know I like Orson Scott Card more as a novelist or a columnist. His latest one is right on the mark.

Too many people in the "American" media have lost any concept of loyalty to their country -- if they even consider it their country, rather than just their residence.

Yeah, that's right, I'm playing the "patriotism" card. But not the way you think.
Reat it all.