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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:59 pm 
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As long as it's "recognised", any weapon goes. But it's the person who is challenged, not the person who challenges, who picks the weapons. And the person who challenges generally goes first if it's a ranged weapon.

The short version of one of my fencing instructor's stories:

A man was challenged to a duel but couldn't use a sword or pistol. After consulting with a friend, he chose what can best be described as siege catapult stones weighing several tons. The man who challenged him couldn't pick up his stone, therefore he had to concede the duel and the man who picked the weapons won by default.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Wow Jo that is well thought out !
Would make an interesting piece of flash fiction :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:09 pm 
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It actually happened. I just can't remember names and dates :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Journeymouse wrote:
As long as it's "recognised", any weapon goes.


No, the only weapons allowed in a writerly duel should be words. Incisive astringent criticism of each other’s works: the loser is the one who cries first.
:twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Fine by me, Tony. I'll use my Compact Oxford English Dictionary. It's 42cm high and weighs 7kg in its sharp-cornered slipcase.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:16 pm 
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It's the 'Uncompact' OED you have to worry about... :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:22 pm 
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A duel of dictionaries at dawn sounds more civilised than using pistols. And alliteration kills!
:wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:47 am 
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Seems a bit harsh on Mark Billingham, I've read and enjoyed all his books but he's a world away from Christopher Priest's writing. However not really his fault that someone saw fit to pair them on a panel. This kind of genre bashing doesn't really do sci-fi and fantasy any favours.

As for his thoughts on the Clarke award, I, like Pete, read very little sci-fi as so little of it grabs me and suggests any originality. I loved Un Lun Dun but have failed to finish any of China's books since. Kraken in particular seemed to crash and burn about a hundred pages in. Saying that I would love to see what he would do with a horror novel as some of his shorts are fantastic.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:17 am 
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I've been looking at some of the responses from other writers, and while Stross wins hands down with his cute puppy dog avatar, I quite like this from Cat Valente:-

http://yuki-onna.livejournal.com/674762.html

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:44 am 
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I would pick several of Chris' choices over some of the official ones but that can probably be put down to having similar tastes.

The problem with a jury is that it necessarily results in comprise; I work with a couple of the jurors and know them to be people of the utmost taste and integrity. I also think Chris is willfully misinterpreting Embassytown to fit his theme.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:34 am 
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Just having a quick look at The Guardian's take on the CP discussion I noticed that where commentators mentioned whether or not they liked Mieville's work about 15 of them didn't against about 8 that did (up until now)
Someone said
Quote:
he's right about Mieville who, it has always seemed to me, is wearing the emperor's new clothes
which is something I've wondered about too.
His early stuff was great but the last couple of books just bored the pants off me (I'm typing this pants-less even now...) and quite a few people have mentioned the same thing (not about pants), could being SF's new 'golden child' automatically influence people into believing everything he writes 'has' to be good? I wonder...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Makes me wonder if all the praise makes it easier to get lazy. In this particular case I've no idea because his books are in my 'to read' pile. In fact, Embassytown is at the top, interestingly enough.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:07 pm 
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I'd be really interested to know how you got on with it Ray. It's one of the rare books I've left partially read because I found it so slow and over-written. Let me know when you've read it please :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:18 pm 
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As Ian Sales has noted elsewhere, there is little in Embassytown that couldn't have been found in a sf novel from forty years ago. But it still remains a very good novel. The bland aspects that Chris sees are deliberately inserted to to highlight the exploration of semantics and are a reflection of the way we now live in the West.

It's also a first-person narrative, which you would be unaware of from his comments if you haven't first read the novel, so there should be little surprise that there are quirks in the voice. That's called characterisation.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:28 pm 
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Quote:
Ray wrote:-
Makes me wonder if all the praise makes it easier to get lazy.


I think that's a possibility, but also we need to bear in mind the context of any reading - you'll come to "Embassytown" with different expectations from Bob, who's read his previous books. And what might be characterised as laziness could be the exact opposite - an attempt by the author to write outside of his comfort zone.

I've enjoyed, but not been blown away by, the few Mieville stories I've read. "Perdido Street Station" is loitering somewhere in one of the TBR piles.

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