The Outcast Dead

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The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:09 am

Right, I'm about 70 pages in. I've a few comments/things I want to note/raise for discussion:

- The Iron Warrior in the mural's literal defacing, early on, is noted as unfortunate. That's an in-reference, right, cause no-one knows about them yet?
- No mention of what's afoot on Mars
- Senior Astropaths seem to know nout of the details of the Astronomicon
- Soul binding's referred to as "impossibly complex rewiring of their neural pathways" or words to that effect. The 'soul sight'/psyniscience of Astropaths seems curiously...imperceptive.
- the city's eldest Astropath's content to play on a board crafted by Fulgrim (the known rebel) without especial note
- (almost) everyone's talking to one another as if they know they're in the opening of a novel. :/
- none of the lead Astropaths seem aware of any 'trouble' in the Emp's palace (e.g. Magnus' message and the War in the Webway).

The unambition in the depiction of psychic sight is making me a tad worried about the book.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby TenGhosts » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:26 pm

Iron Warriors weren't at the best of times particuley liked.
Why would any astropath have an inclin about how the astronomicon works.
The Emperor could be shielding the planet from what's going on in the battle of the webway, plus Magnus's being of light appearance did take out a hell of a lot of psykers.
Mars uprising was possibly suppressed by the imperium. Imaging if that news broke out at that time ontop of just finding out about Horus, all hell would've broken loose.
Fulgrim was loyal when he made the regicide board, so why should he get rid, Fulgrim fries anyone?
It's all speculation and to be honest, some of the books are wholly out of sequence but hey, they're still all enjoyable to read.

There's more revealing stuff later on in the book that'll probably get you going some more. :)
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:37 pm

Xisor wrote:- The Iron Warrior in the mural's literal defacing, early on, is noted as unfortunate. That's an in-reference, right, cause no-one knows about them yet?


Hmm, I'll have to check back on this.

Xisor wrote:- No mention of what's afoot on Mars


Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the Martian civil war take place after the events of Istvaan V?

Xisor wrote:- Senior Astropaths seem to know nout of the details of the Astronomicon


They are Astropaths. Not Navigators. And you will see some veiled references to the Astronomicon later on.

Xisor wrote:- Soul binding's referred to as "impossibly complex rewiring of their neural pathways" or words to that effect. The 'soul sight'/psyniscience of Astropaths seems curiously...imperceptive.


It could be a simple division of responsibilities and what not. Their soul sight might be diverted away.

Xisor wrote:- the city's eldest Astropath's content to play on a board crafted by Fulgrim (the known rebel) without especial note

Fulgrim is only a rebel at the moment. He is not a heretic. Rebellion is also an alien concept to the Imperium at this point in time. More so on Terra itself.

Xisor wrote:- (almost) everyone's talking to one another as if they know they're in the opening of a novel. :/


/shrug Didn't notice that but TBH it wouldn't even bother me at all.

Xisor wrote:- none of the lead Astropaths seem aware of any 'trouble' in the Emp's palace (e.g. Magnus' message and the War in the Webway).


Read on. Seriously. Or if you can't wait, then go to warseer and read my spoilers there.

Xisor wrote:The unambition in the depiction of psychic sight is making me a tad worried about the book.


Hmm. You have yet to get to the juicy parts.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Isstvan V happens before the start of the War in the Webway. Le sigh.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:21 pm

Xisor wrote:Isstvan V happens before the start of the War in the Webway. Le sigh.


And what does the Webway war have to do with the Martian civil war again?
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:06 pm

shadowhawk2008 wrote:
Xisor wrote:Isstvan V happens before the start of the War in the Webway. Le sigh.


And what does the Webway war have to do with the Martian civil war again?


Except for surely involving a fair number of tech-adepts and a type of device which makes prominent appearance in both wars, not much.

That said:

Isstvan V is the dropsite massacre. (~Page 110. Revealed to Terra shortly afterwards.)
The Martian Civil War is mentioned around then (forces deployed at the Tharsis quadrangle, along with Clade agents being deployed/foiled).
The War in the Webway (Magnus' message) doesn't begin 'til significantly later in the book. (And McNeill's wording [too flowery? not to be taken literally?] suggests no-one in the room knows what lies beyond the giant golden doors when Magnus' message arrives: despite the webway having been tentatively explored at length according to HH:CV when Magnus' message arrives and ruins everything.)

My point? Outcast Dead is all over the place and, though picking up well after halfway in, still seems a bit of a mess. (Also the formatting appears to be really off.)


That said, I have a sneaking suspicion the linearity of the book isn't to be taken...linearly. E.g. Page 110 takes place in the future, after the escapades with the Outcast Dead & Zai.

I'd also revise my comment about characters speaking like they're in the opening of a novel. Characters are speaking in a terrible manner. Only the present-tense and some of the inter-Outcast conversations are really carrying themselves.

I'm beginning to wonder if my copy isn't akin to Imperial Armour 3: the wrong/not-final version sent to the printer.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:57 am

Having finished the book.

The big things, aside from the Isstvan V/Prospero idiocy, stem from the following:

- The highly obvious "The Emperor's death is pre-ordained". Again, like in Mechanicum and Fulgrim McNeill's shown a distinct lack of subtly in alluding to interesting things. Gah. urgh.

- The Wolves will be unleashed. AGAIN.

- What prison cell could hold Horus Lupercal?

- What was the message the Salamanders tried to send? Was it important? Was it even the Salamanders?

- The early vision of 'an orchid on a barren ground' and so forth. I don't recall the details of it, but, frankly, I'm not sure it's worth recalling them.


Yes, it did pick up in the end. However, it didn't get any better, particularly, merely it got...quicker. I feel icky even saying this but... Athava and Kai Zulane are the two biggest Mary Sues I've encountered which, for McNeill, is saying something.

Athava's main failing? He's not super-specialised. Yet, compared to every other character in the book (up to and including Dorn and the Emperor) he has near total awareness and control over almost every situation. His only 'weakness' arises when he, being an Unstoppable Force meets Kartono the Immoveable Rock. Sorry, Pariarh. That's basically it. There's the odd 'misjudgement' of World Eaters ("I thought World Eaters would KILLMAIMBURN, but it turns out they know brotherhood too, who knew?!")

Kai? He's the best Astropath. His failing is 'he's too afraid of not being the best anymore'. (Okay, it's more elaborate than that, but the self-doubt re:Argo isn't compelling, interesting, engaging or sufficient to carry the story.) Of course, how could we forget, he can see perfectly well so has no need to rely on his usually as-good-as-sight, often better-than-sight psychic sense(s), even though "no augmetic could ever replicate the awesomeness of the human eye", to paraphrase.

There's no elaboration on the Crusade Host, an irritating point but, mercifully, one which doesn't hugely impact the story. The top tier of the Astra Telepathica is populated by three senior figures (Choirmaster, Gre & S-Woman) and no-one else; none of them (save Athena, the maimed-yet-beautiful-inside*) know two jots about the Astronomicon, everything on Earth happens inside the Palace: if you're not inside the Palace you might as well be underhive Necromunda 10k years too late.

What else?

The only notable reference to the identa-premise Battle for the Abyss is having Talgore casually beat Skraal. No mention of the ENTIRE MOON THAT BLEW UP.

Luna Wolf? Nothing exciting happened with the Sons of Horus then? Qruze symbolically reverting to be a Luna Wolf wasn't worth much then?

Well, at least Babu Dhakal's really important role in the store was well explored.

Or perhaps the Emperor's role in reality was explored? Nope.
Or maybe there was insight given into how, after-200-ears-of-relentless-Iteration, human citizens would still casually refer to cathedrals, daemons, god-like beings and so forth without further comment?

Really, I understand the responses given so far...I agree/anticipate most of them. But this was disasterous on many fronts. Poor/uninteresting/MarySue use of of the Outcast Dead themselves.

The central redeeming feature was Captain Japan & Mr Freaky his Pariah sidekick. And possibly Mulder & Scully the neuroloceutors.

Also Thunder Warriors have nout to worry about navigator eyes. (Though it did strike me: what was GM actually trying to do with Babar? Proto-Primarch or might-simple Thunder Warrior slant on Fabulous Billy?)



* Excellent. Really, wonderful. "I'm a maimed woman, but I'm still beautiful. Actually, not only am I still beautiful, but I'm a fugly maimed women and, psychically, magnificently beautiful."
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Viking Phil » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:31 am

What surprised me was the shocking amount of errors in the book.
Here instead of hear, for example. This in place of is.
I'm not being big-headed but I tend to notice things like that. I don't think I've ever read a BL book with so many.
I fail to see how a novel can go to print like that.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:37 pm

Also good points, VP. I'm far from the world's most competent typist and also was amazed by it. As noted, I wondered if we'd had the not-final-proofread-and-corrected edition sent to the printers by mistake, just like Imperial Armour 3!
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Gaius Marius » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:44 pm

I haven't read this yet, but the Wolves being sent out after the dropsite massacre has already occured makes zero sense, considering in Prospero Burns the Tzeentchian daemon/Horus showing up surprised the shit out of everyone due to the fact that they didn't know Horus had even been freaking wounded yet. In fact I'm pretty sure that the daemon was talking and waving that one sword around as if Horus being wounded was happening at that moment, even though that had happened before the Wolves showed up on Prospero (indeed long enough that Magnus' message to the emp arrived and the wolves were able to gather and what not). Which means that now it looks like the wolves attacked prospero for Magnus sending a message before he sent the message about something that had already happened while the thing he sent the message about was happening.

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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:00 am

From Graham.

There's a world of difference between convincing someone to do something and them actually going ahead and doing it. Though I think what we intended with Horus and Russ was more a edging him towards the point where he would be more murderously inclined.


So its not quite a slipup in the timeline, but a concept that went ahead incomplete and wasn't clear to begin with.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Ballistichimp » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:48 am

Well I enjoyed it.

:mrgreen:
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:53 am

Ballistichimp wrote:Well I enjoyed it.

:mrgreen:


Yeah, same here. The timeline thing didn't bother me. TBH, I didn't even notice it. :P The plot seems to work so much better this way.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Ballistichimp » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:17 am

The timeline thing didn't bother me.


Same here. When confronted by anything timeline related (particularly with travel and communication) my head rationalises it as 'the warp' and is content with the explanation.

In my mind there is no reason at all why two astropathic messages sent at the same time should arrive at the same time. In fact there is no reason at all why a message that was sent a year before another one should arrive first, particularly when the warp is all riled up. They should count themselves lucky the messages arrived at all!
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Liliedhe » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:22 am

Besides, Magnus crashing the party at a time when it is last year's news makes his hubris all the more obvious and ironic.

Also, if you are at war against someone who controls all your communications and the roads you have to use - expect such things. And expect to lose. 8-)
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby TenGhosts » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:41 am

Ballistichimp wrote:
The timeline thing didn't bother me.


Same here. When confronted by anything timeline related (particularly with travel and communication) my head rationalises it as 'the warp' and is content with the explanation.

In my mind there is no reason at all why two astropathic messages sent at the same time should arrive at the same time. In fact there is no reason at all why a message that was sent a year before another one should arrive first, particularly when the warp is all riled up. They should count themselves lucky the messages arrived at all!


That's exactly the thing that get most people riled up, that there isn't an official timeline per se. I also really enjoyed reading Outcast Dead, it made a nice change of pace from the other books in the series, and explored other elements of the lore of 30k.

If only like George Lucas has, a timeline of important events for the writers to utilise. Fortunately unlike Star Wars, at least we don't have Jar Jar. :)
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:45 am

Hey, I like Jar Jar.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Ballistichimp » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:03 pm

I guess somebody had to ;)

Image

Back on topic ...

I also really liked Babu Dhakal and his buddy Thunder Warrior (Ghota?). Their shady ending makes me look forward to what their ultimate part in story might be.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:05 pm

Those two were definitely surprise twists to the whole plot. I am really hoping that there is a some sort of sequel to TOD which features these two and expands upon their ending.
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Re: The Outcast Dead

Postby Xisor » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:06 pm

I can't help but think you're all missing my point: (I get 'the warp did it' explains the timeline. 'The warp did it' doesn't explain the following)

Why bother sending Russ to Prospero at all, when: You (on Terra). Know. There's. Been. A. Massacre. At. Isstvan. V?

The whole reason the Emperor's absent from properly dealing with Horus rebellion in the first place was (previously" that he couldn't leave the Throne room lest daemons pour across Terra. That idea's wholly missed.

The Russ/Horus thing is immaterial next to that.

Edit: Babar and Ghota felt like good ideas with nowhere to sit. They weren't integral to the novel and weren't well explored. Neat idea, certainly, but rubbish account of it, I trust someone else'll pick 'em up down the line though. They weren't twists. They just... were.
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