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Forum: The Left Hand of Darkness by LeGuin
Frostblade
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Everyone knows that if I ever reply to a thread, it'll be generally late. Not this late, but it's not entirely my fault this time, I swear!

It really isn't. I don't really have access to new books these days, except the batch of ones my father generally brings home every two or three weeks from a library. One day The Left Hand of Darkness was among them, and I was quite thrilled as I remembered immediately that it was agreed upon as the first book to read by a club here on Fighunter... Some... Time ago.

Either way, generally I wait and leave the ones I'm the most interested in for the last, but this time my curiosity won the match and I started to read it first. In a matter of a few days I finished it, too.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The edition I was reading had afterwords from various people praising the author and the novel itself. Most of them basically went on and on about how great was the idea of the Gethenians' kemmer and such; and while it was interesting, I think they were stressing it overly, considering that similar - if not identical - phenomena are not exactly unknown to Earth, either, even if not in an actual society. The implications of that are of course worth some thinking about, I'm not trying to devalue the writer's achievement there.

What I liked less about the thing is that only one of the afterwords even bothered to mention other aspects of the novel, respectively Handdara and Yomesh, and with them some other things I'm going to mention later. Even then they were subjects of critical remarks - for bringing mysticism into science-fiction!

Those parts made the book as brilliant as it was, at least to me. They made it entirely. Generally the plot and the characters incited more than they usually do in other stories I read. For one, I mourned Estraven, almost on a personal level.

But now it's time for some quotes!

Quote:
The unknown, the unproven, that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action.


This eerily coincides with something I encountered earlier somewhere else, but that'd be off-topic.

Quote:
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.


Because isn't it?

One of the most persistent gripes I've ever had with most fantasy and science-fiction literature is the way darkness is treated. As someone who's always found the night soothing and relaxing, who saw serenity and beauty in darkness rather than some sort of eerie malevolence, I could never understand why darkness would necessarily need to stand as a symbol for some irredeemable evil.

Needless to say, I was quite delighted.

Quote:
Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.


And so on, I'm sure you know what I mean. Finally someone did it justice, or at least I felt so. Even though judging from the date this novel actually predates most of the more modern representations of the topic, it was refreshing to read some more enlightened views on darkness.

All in all, it was great, thanks for the recommendation and sorry for the slight delay!
Forum: Figgy Book Club suggestions?
Frostblade
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Off the top of my head I could recommend an author - Stanisław Lem - but I couldn't choose a single title, so I'm going to list several ones. I really don't intend to spoil anything in any case. Genre-wise they're science-fiction. Probably not of the more abundant kind, though.

Eden was the first one I ever read from him. It's contemplative, and a very good read, even if sometimes it borders on disturbing.

The Invincible is dealing with a rather interesting concept. Yes, I know it's vague. I can't go much further without spoiling.

If you'd prefer a collection of short stories with very sharp switches between childishly silly and ruthlessly serious, then the Cyberiad might be your choice.
Aspect: Voukras
Frostblade
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Welcome for all those who carry the Voukras disease. Main symptoms include: uncontrollable laughter, a desire to commit Voukras, and major Voukrassing about the eyes and mouth. Caution is suggested to all those who catch it. Voukras can be deadly if not taken care of properly. Enjoy the Voukras!
Blog: Ugh
Frostblade
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Uh, Psuedo, I don't want to be ... err, a troublemaker or anything, and I am sorry if I have been. But if the trolling really bothers you, and the vast majority of it originates from this site, and you are detached from this site ... then isn't it best for you to announce a closure, permanent or temporary, of the site? You are right. It is your site, it is your "home" ... and you have the right to evict us all. I mean, many of us will be sad, but I do understand it's not what it used to be anymore ... if you do choose to close it, could you provide some warning? I would be grateful, yes, and I am sorry we have been such a pain to you. Many of us are grateful for this site and we're sorry some trolls slipped through, but it is beyond the majority's control. Again, in the end it is your choice ... and I am sorry if it's too much of a burden on you.
Forum: So... That fh.savagewolf.org site?
Frostblade
4

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Sadly, at this point, it might be best for us all to shift to a new website ... Psuedo doesn't seem happy with this site anymore. Sorry.
Blog: Weeding
Frostblade
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Well ... I respect your decision, really, I just wish we knew what their offenses were, so in case they make alts we know if they are them, or what level it would take for us to get banned ... I don't know. I only know one or two of them were in the wrong, the rest surprised me ...
Userpage: Frostblade
Frostblade
2

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Well... I'm glad you liked them, at least. Thank you for the comment.
Userpage: Frostblade
Frostblade
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I want to see if I get notifications posting on a wall. Consider this a happy test of faith.
Userpage: β Mania
Frostblade
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I give you a big, wet, sopping kiss in front of all the Figs -- for you came last in the race to ban me. Scint is giving me away as she smirks, pushing me into your arms. The Figs are clapping, laughing -- and we are both crying. But we will get through this, you and I -- WE WILL TRIUMPH!
Forum: Sleep.
Frostblade
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Interesting topic you brought up here. I thought I'd answer some of your questions.

1. What time do you go to bed?
It varies wildly. The people of the chatroom might attest to the fact that often I tend to do this too late. If I have something (classes or exam) the other day, I tend to go around midnight or a bit before.

2. Do you read or anything before going to bed?
I tend to. Either a novel or just a random little something that I find first. Not always, though, if I stay too much in front of the computer, then I don't (though I read quite a lot on the computer, so I don't know how much it counts).

3. When lying in bed, what do you think to cause you to fall asleep, like counting sheep?
I just think about random things, what happened that day, what I'm planning and such. And let my mind wander; it works wonders. Soon thoughts become dreams and from then on it's pretty straightforward and quick.

4. Before going to bed, do you do anything physical to tire yourself out, like exercise or something.
No. Unless petting cats counts as exercise. (If they are nearby, that is.)

5. Do you do... That before you go to bed? If you don't know what this means, then you should probably not read other people's answers to this.
No.

6. Do you have a partner (or similar) to cuddle and hug as you sleep. Or even just to be there. Whatever. Pillows and such could also count, I guess. Because that's all you should see women as. Of course.
Well, there's a pillow I have. Otherwise, I'm not sure. I'm not aware of it, that's for sure, but that's all I can say.

7. When you wake up (or a little after it), do you feel "refreshed". Not just that your energy is refuelled, do you feel motivated and such?
It depends on when I wake up. If it's before eight or nine in the morning, then my answer is a definite no. Usually I need at least half an hour to get myself together at least partially. Unless I'm late for the bus, in which case I can be ready in literally minutes. Funny, isn't it? Anyway, if I wake up after eight or nine then generally I'm very refreshed and even if I tend to stay in bed for a little while, it's more because I can than because I need to. And yes, interestingly, the amount of sleep I had is irrelevant (unless it's very, very little). The time when I wake up matters. I don't know why.

8. Do you nap during the day!?
Not really. It happens if I slept very little and woke up early, and it's not on purpose. I just fall asleep.

9. How long do you sleep?
It varies. Like I said earlier, the amount of sleep is usually not of vital importance, it can range from like six hours to twelve (though that only happens if I'm really tired).

10. Do you remember your dreams, if so, how easily?
This varies, too! Sometimes I only remember that right after waking up I remembered a dream, and nothing more. Sometimes I remember the general 'plot' or such. Sometimes almost every single detail.

11. Do you eat/drink before going to bed, if so, what?
No.

12. When do you wake up, and how? Alarm clock or what?
Again, this varies. I wake up when I have to, when I don't have to, then when I like. When I have to wake up, it's usually around 6:15 or 7:45 or somewhere around that. If I don't have to wake up, it's usually later than I like.
As for alarm clocks? Yes and no. I set an alarm clock, but I never wake up to it. Somehow I seem to wake up on my own ten or twenty minutes before it'd go off, and if I look at the time it's enough for me not to fall asleep again. And once I set the clock to seven, accidentally, when I knew I'd need to wake up at six and I still woke up at six on my own. I don't know why it happens, but I can't complain. It's very handy.

13. Do you like, and look forward to sleeping?
I like sleeping. I don't really look forward to it in particular, but I like it, yes.