Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
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#1 2004-02-01 00:26:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

The Centre of Pestilence

Push hard to open the creaky iron fence. There are not many of the cobblestones left on the path that leads to the old mansion, hidden behind thick layers of dried and long-dead weeds and ivy. The door stands ajar. You can enter. But carefully now, the floor is tricky and dusty. The once proud tiles are broken. You might want to wear a surgery mask or start coughing from the air. What's that smell? There is not much light. The windows are dirty, and the ground is constantly shaking, and what's that rustling in the corner. Ah! You don't want to know. A cold breeze passes you, makes your hair stand on end. From here you must go alone. I cannot go with you. Just fill in the form at the reception in front of you, on the huge and dark wooden desk. Now, off you go, but beware, you have entered The Centre of Pestilence.

This is a deep and old place, there is not much hope you will ever leave it - unchanged. Many before you have left their traces here, dark and blue, hopeless and shaking, they are still here, somehow. But that's what this place was built for, your most desperate thoughts.

But...deep down in the basement somewhere is a door. Something's hidden behind it, something (or someone) that might save you. Only, few have found it so far. If you do...say password and knock (3 times) before you enter.

For further inquiries about the Centre please contact the warden (Taiwan, "Centre of Pestilence, of SARS and bird flu, earthquakes and taiphoons, bad hair days, smouldering heat, icy cold, air pollution and horrible smells", PO Box).

[ February 13, 2004: Message edited by: Jadelin ]

 

#2 2004-02-01 00:33:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Oh, of course...if desired, the warden will supply you with his most enjoyable, nauseatic smells. Here are his personal and current top ten:

1. The rubber tire factory smell. (This cannot be topped)
2. The stinky tofu smell.
3. The Bethel nut smell.
4. The exhaust fumes smell.
5. The poisened river smell.
6. The garbage dump smell (sometimes undistinguishable from no. 2)
7. The garbage fire smell (illegal, but who cares)
8. The fish market smell.
9. The toxic ocean smell.
10. The everybody-uses-air-freshener-to-cover-smell-1-9-smell.

[ February 13, 2004: Message edited by: Jadelin ]

 

#3 2004-02-02 19:50:00

Susan Queen of the Univ
Pilgrim
From: Connecticut
Registered: 2001-06-02
Posts: 4220

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

how about the 'oops! i forgot to clean the litterbox smell!'

or the 'oh so THAT's where mustard comes from' smell from a diaper.


"I maked these."  -Gall Bladder

 

#4 2004-02-02 19:56:00

Binky
Pilgrim
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2001-06-13
Posts: 4353

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

The "I'm having hot canned tuna in an enclosed workspace" smell was a specialty of my former colleague.

 

#5 2004-02-02 23:53:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Funny, I just remembered the "forgotton-potatoes-smell" my sister and I once discovered in our kitchen. We were literally sniffing from one cupboard to another until we found an old, long forgotten sack of potatoes. They were "alive". Oh, and once, because we didn't know the smell of gas (in Germany we use mainly electricity) me and two other Germans living in Taiwan nearly suffocated in our house, because of a leaky gas bottle. The neighbours were on the street and already in uproar until we finally found out it was coming from our house. We grabbed our rabbits (!) and escaped to the street in pyjamas. We went back once to dress though and then had to abandon the house for the whole day to let air in. But the gas smell in the bathroom stayed for months. The gas bottle was on the balcony of one of the Chinese girls in the house. Her room was already full of that stuff and we could only raise her after lots of knocking. We maybe saved her life. Since then I remember the smell of gas (unwillingly, as I do with many of the smells here in Taiwan). But there are nice ones, too. Some trees smell like perfume in a certain time of the year (so lovely).

 

#6 2004-02-04 19:50:00

Susan Queen of the Univ
Pilgrim
From: Connecticut
Registered: 2001-06-02
Posts: 4220

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

and then there's the 'skunk that died in my basement' smell.  we couldn't even get down there to find the darn thing for WEEKS!! it smelled so bad it literally burned your eyes. we just sealed off the basement and waited it out.  had to use a laudramat for a while. 
P.  U.


"I maked these."  -Gall Bladder

 

#7 2004-02-04 19:52:00

Binky
Pilgrim
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2001-06-13
Posts: 4353

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

If someone had lit a match, suffocation would have been the least of your worries. 

Nice smell - the first drops of rain on a warm pavement.  Apparently caused by harmless bacteria that live on pavements and get washed away by rain, but it's still nice.

 

#8 2004-02-04 20:17:00

Sam
Pilgrim
From: colorado
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 1232

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Bad smells of my life:

-The beer brewing smell.
-The smell of my cleats the day after a long game in the rain.
-The dischange from infected canine anal glands (No, this is not a fancy way to say "dog poo." I work at a vet clinic.  We get to smell a lot of animal droppings.  Anal glands are so much worse...)
-My roommate's refrigerator after she unplugged it beofre leaving the dorms for the holidays, apparently forgetting that she should have a) opened the door, and b) actually removed the food.     
-The incubator in the mircobiology lab while the whole class is growing stuff.


"When a ball dreams, it dreams it's a frisbee..." -- Stancil Johnson

 

#9 2004-02-05 01:02:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

As you requested...

And to add to the list of bad smells:
The smell of a cocoa storage shed burning down.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#10 2004-02-05 03:12:00

Kuno
Pilgrim
From: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Registered: 2003-04-01
Posts: 2686

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Worst smells, eh?

What about the combined smell of tomato plants and sweat. (Its terrible, but I never met a dead skunk.)


There's a beginning, two middles, and an end. - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#11 2004-02-05 08:43:00

Calesta
Pilgrim
From: Calgary
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 13355

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

An old egg that has been left in the fridge with a slight crack for god knows how long, and then when you try to throw it out it breaks because its stuck to the egg tray thingy.  I had a roommate in college that was a disgusting pig - it was in her section of the fridge & she left the apartment without cleaning it out.

 

#12 2004-02-05 08:55:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Eww!

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#13 2004-02-05 10:15:00

Jendaiya
Pilgrim
From: Canada
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 21847
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

My husband's nickname for me is Pestilence. With good reason. I'm always ill with often unusual conditions that prove to be contagious in odd ways.

Yay me.

*puts on bio-suit*


Beauty will save the world.

~Prince Myshkin,

The Idiot, by Dostoevsky

 

#14 2004-02-05 21:07:00

Susan Queen of the Univ
Pilgrim
From: Connecticut
Registered: 2001-06-02
Posts: 4220

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

pestilence? what an odd term of endearment. ;)


"I maked these."  -Gall Bladder

 

#15 2004-02-06 00:39:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Have you read Good Omens? You've been replaced by Pollution. Although with all these diseases you hear of nowadays, I'm not so certain anymore. Maybe there are simply five riders now.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#16 2004-02-13 02:26:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

News from the Centre of Pestilence: The latest media star here is a woman who left her 5-year-old daughter in a shopping center because she was 'naughty'. Now this horrible woman is all over the media, playing a star, is invited to TV-shows and even reading the news (though people objected to this at least). In other countries she would be sitting in jail now...maybe.

 

#17 2004-02-13 03:03:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

That sure is the kind of news that belongs here.

yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#18 2004-02-18 01:00:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Living in a Centre of Pestilence, every day is a challenge. But sometimes I think I cannot get out of here uncorrupted. I have never been a violent person, though I am famous for my 'fits' and I can become very aggressive and angry at time, but never ever have I hit somebody in my life. But driving in this place makes me think of killing people. I don't mean just ordinary killing, no, mutilating, hacking to pieces, blowing away with a machine gun. I get really scared that this place gives me these thoughts. But when I talked to other foreigners about driving in Taiwan, they said, they feel the same. The sad thing is, many people here do not only think like this, they live out their phantasies. A common urban legend ever since I came here for the first time over ten years ago is that when you get in an accident on the road, beware, if you are not dead a car might back over you to finish you. As it is cheaper to pay for a funeral here than for a disabled person for life. I have heard so many variations of this story so far, it must be true.

 

#19 2004-02-18 01:06:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

So you'd better play dead if you get hit.

Yesterday someone (in a car) bumped into Ivo's car (it was parked and he wasn't in it). The damage was only a scratch on the side of the bumper, but even so it's pretty costly to have it repaired. And the person who did it left a note with his phone number. It gives me such a good feeling to know there are still honest people in the world.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#20 2004-02-24 07:34:00

Jadelin
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 1002

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

I seem to be the only one on the board who feels like she is living (or feeling) like being in a Centre of Pestilence. Everyone else lives in a clean, healthy, happy, nice, unshaken (there was another earthquake this morning and last week), reasonable environment (relationship), so I keep talking to myself here. Except for Sahi who keeps encouraging me. Thanks.

So. News from the Centre: I tried to watch TV tonight, but it seems to be Splatter-night. "Deep Rising" on AXN and "Resident Evil" on E-Movies, both seem to be uncut *retch*. Well, I am not a fan of censorship, but once I saw Aliens III here in the afternoon on "Mother's Day". So much about Asian sensitivity. They cut out everything that has to do with sexuality here (aside: in "Billie Elliot" the innocent homosexual feelings of the friend of Billie were completely erased from the whole film on TV and now our students here are going to make a play out of the script, when I asked them if they had included the homosexual and social issues in the story, they denied, they want to make a happy play about dancing, sigh). I am gonna read a book tonight. Eeow *glance to the side to the TV* the monster is just eating a person and vomiting it out again. Eow.

 

#21 2004-02-24 07:55:00

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44998
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

That is weird indeed.

And I'm living in a centre of pestilence too, but only from time to time (i.e. when the wind is from the wrong direction). It can be smelling awfull here of either cocoa (the unburnt stuff) or from dung. But the latter is mostly during the summer.

Yalahii.


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

Scrollbearer
First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#22 2014-03-30 13:18:38

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23413
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Resurrecting this thread.

I spent the last several months living in pestilence while driving to/from work. The route to work has been under construction, and there isn't a convenient way around it. So I had to drive very, very slowly every morning, while smelling the noxious fumes from the tar, and listening to the loud noises from the construction... Ugh!

Thank Dog, it appears the construction is finally over.


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#23 2014-03-30 14:28:59

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7618
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Did you bring this back just for me? I've been laid low by an awful lower respiratory infection since Tuesday night.  Woo! :-P


Irreverent Father Auros, High Priest of the Church of Erotic Pantheism
the Aurosphere -- Me, myself, and I.
Strange Horizons -- Your weekly source for speculative fiction.
The Resistance wants YOU to defend humanity from Alien Mind Control!

 

#24 2014-03-30 14:41:08

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23413
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

That doesn't sound at all nice.

*send healing vibes Auros' way*


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#25 2014-03-31 00:13:49

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7618
Website

Re: The Centre of Pestilence

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

That doesn't sound at all nice.

*send healing vibes Auros' way*

Thanks.  You are correct: It isn't at all nice.  Plymouth gave up on getting any sleep in the same room as me, b/c I cough too much.  I've also been totally zonked; the most energetic thing I've done this weekend is watch a movie-fied version of Starcraft II part 1 and 2.  (Gave up on ever getting around to playing it, just watched a playthrough, skimming across the battles to get the plot.)  Decided that perhaps my lungs are infested with very small zerglings.


Irreverent Father Auros, High Priest of the Church of Erotic Pantheism
the Aurosphere -- Me, myself, and I.
Strange Horizons -- Your weekly source for speculative fiction.
The Resistance wants YOU to defend humanity from Alien Mind Control!

 

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