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I have no idea where to put this, and "other genres" seems appropriate.

 

No; I'm not looking to tear it apart or ask questions about it.  I just wanted to say that I spent this afternoon reading it.  Yeah; I'm probably the last guy to buy it (that's just the way it tends to go for me  :lol:  ), but I read it today-- the PDF, anyway.  I intend to read it again when the printed book shows up.

 

First: it took me far to long to make the connection between the Bill Keyes listed on the cover and our own Bill Keyes.   That was humorously embarrassing.  :lol:

 

Second:  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was well-written, with an easy, comfortable writing style that read quickly and lightly.  I want more!  :)    I have to say that overall, it's not my thing-- well, Steampunk is something I've enjoyed for quite some time, but the over-all tone built into the offered setting is a bit 'dark' for my tastes, or rather, to be more accurate-- a bit dark for what I like in Steampunk.  I suppose I'm a Verne at heart. ;)

 

Still, I can't say enough good things about this book, over all.  Even though it tends to be a bit dark by default, it's not overtly depressing or dehumanizing, and is filled, particularly near the end, where the suggestions start coming hard and fast-- with suggestions on lightening things up.  I wasn't too keen on the baked-in presence of magic, but again-- lots of suggestions on ignoring that, and they worked well.  Oddly, I didn't mind magic as it relates to the talents of Savants.  It seemed almost appropriate there.

 

One thing I would liked to have seen was a bit more information on the "ancient evil beasties."  No; I don't need write-ups for a piece of background, particularly one that is expressly described as not taking direct action in the setting, ever.  But I would like to know just _why_ they are interested in humans and technology-- at least, more than the vague mentions that they are in fact interested-- and why this interest waxes and wanes across generations.  To a lesser extent, I would like to know the effects on humans of this waxing and waning.  I suppose to sum it up: is this something unique to the setting?  Is it important to the history or the future adventures of the game?  Or was this an afterthought to bring this wordbook in line with the much-unloved universal timeline dropped on us in 5e and not yet abandoned?

 

Still, that's rather minor, as if I chose to run with this book, I could always invent what I needed and ignore what I didn't.  And I confess that it _is_ helpful that the provided introductory adventure leaps directly to the machinations of these great evil beings and their attempt to use Savants to open a dimensional gateway.  But that also seems pretty close to direct intervention.  Still, it does provide an idea of the motives the evil and how they influence the world.  I'd just like something a bit more concrete.

 

 

However, if you haven't checked it out, I can't recommend it enough, if only for pleasure reading.  It's just really well-done, and should be considered a high-water mark for third-party products.  

 

(What I really wish, though, was that the HERO version got the same cover as the Savage Worlds version.  :(   )

 

 

 

 

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I've started running a "Victoriana" campaign, and Widening Gyre is of of my minor sources.  It's a good book.

I'd love to see a Victorian Hero or Steampunk Hero the size of Pulp Hero, but that won't happen.  In my campaign I'm combining pieces from Cowboy Hero, Horror Hero, Widening Gyre, GURPS Steampunk, Victoriana, Castle Falkenstein, and several others just to get the pieces of all the things happening in a magictech world of 1866. Lots of stuff!  And since mine is based in the San Francisco, not London, there are different assumptions about the goings on.

But I digress. Bill Keyes did a great job with his Widening Gyre. 

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On 8/17/2019 at 11:36 PM, Duke Bushido said:

First: it took me far to long to make the connection between the Bill Keyes listed on the cover and our own Bill Keyes.   That was humorously embarrassing.  :lol:

 

I never developed the habit of paying attention to author names when I was younger. At the time, the internet didn't exist and I didn't exactly live in a hotbed of authors so I never really expected to ever see or speak to an author.

 

With no ingrained habits of paying particular attention to authors' names...well, these days now that I have documentation from doctors and the government that my short term memory isn't reliable enough to use for official/legal purposes, it's a shock to me on the rare occasions that I do make such connections.

 

I've had a number of conversations with an author about what he wrote without realizing that I'd been talking to the author. So I'm sure it's happened on any number of occasions when I never realized at all that I was speaking to the author. :)

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On 9/2/2019 at 4:39 PM, archer said:

've had a number of conversations with an author about what he wrote without realizing that I'd been talking to the author. So I'm sure it's happened on any number of occasions when I never realized at all that I was speaking to the author.

To be fair, my belief in the death of the author, and my disappointment at finding out awful things about a lot of authors whose books had been fun up until I heard about the author's behaviour, means that whenever I do get into a discussion with somebody about an aspect of a book (or film, or whatever), and I find out that they wrote it (or directed it, or whatever), I still won't feel any more inclined to agree with their opinion about the "canon" is supposed to be.

 

Just because George Lucas thinks that Greedo shot at Han, doesn't mean I have to agree, even if there is a special edition.

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4 hours ago, PsiJudge McCabe said:

To be fair, my belief in the death of the author,

 

Can we get a little bit of clarification?  Because as it's presented, it seems like writing a book is part one of a very grisly ritual pact....   :lol:

 

 

4 hours ago, PsiJudge McCabe said:

and my disappointment at finding out awful things about a lot of authors whose books had been fun up until I heard about the author's behaviour,

 

I don't even understand this.  Ni; forgive me-- I understand quite clearly what you wrote.  The behavior you describe is something I have never been able to understand.  So you really liked a book, but then you decided you don't like the guy who wrote it, so now you hate the book! 

 

(the exemplary "you," of course, and not you or anyone else in particular.  I should have been more clear on that). 

 

Not only does it come off a bit asinine and self-deceptive, I have always viewed it as demonstrating a character weakness and an inability to accept who you are, as well as an intellectual inability to separate things properly. 

 

But that's just me, I suppose: last of the curmudgeons in a world where activism has gone from righteous ideals to the bully stick with which all who don't conform are beaten about the brows. 

 

Let's just pick an author who I don't believe has ever managed to offend anyone.  I'm going to assume that youre familiar with John DeChancie.  I am only assuming that because of the range of his writings: he has dabbled in several genres.  Personally, I find most of his stuff falls in the range of "okay" to "not bad.". He is by no means my favorite author, and a small portion of his work has disappointed me.  Most of it, though, I can read and enjoy well enough. 

 

He wrote a sci-fi trilogy, though, that I absolutely adored. It has been called both the Skyway Trilogy and the Starrigger Trilogy.   I enjoy those books so much that I make it a point to reread the first two at least every five years since they were first published.  I try to reread the last one every twenty ("try" being the operative word: it want very good, and actually reads exact like what it is: a long slow plod through all the loose ends that need wrapping up.) 

 

Now suppose I learned that DeChancie was wife-beating crackhead who routinely tortured stray children and brutalized dogs. 

 

Well, obviously I would be very disappointed in the man.  I don't think I would go so far as to do the trendy thing and go online and yell "me too!" on every "I hate DeChancie" thread that popped up, no matter how much people today seem to think that's the only acceptable response to something you don't like.  I'm not saying I wouldn't, but its not really "me." 

 

At any rate, I would certainly not start hating the books.  They were already written.  I have already enjoyed them-- repeatedly, at this point.  As this new knowledge in absolutely no way changes anything about the books in any way whatsoever, I expect I would continue to enjoy them (for the record, they aren't great treatises on the world that may someday be; they are not rife with cutting edge understanding of various fields of science-- they are nothing but pure, unbridled fun, and I love them for it.  Well, except the last one.  That one's just a slog under the best of circumstances.) 

 

But I know so many people who would do just that:  "oh my God!  I can't read that again!  It was written by a horrible person!" 

 

The fact of the matter is that we are _all_ horrible people.  No matter what we do, there is going to be a percentage--alaeger-than-you-think percentage--of people who are going to be absolutely disgusted with you.  Grow up and move on. 

 

Being unable to distinguish one from the other is baffling to me. 

 

 

4 hours ago, PsiJudge McCabe said:

means that whenever I do get into a discussion with somebody about an aspect of a book (or film, or whatever), and I find out that they wrote it (or directed it, or whatever), I still won't feel any more inclined to agree with their opinion about the "canon" is supposed to be

 

I completely agree. 

 

But don't get me started on canon.  ;)

 

 

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