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.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

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#1 2013-11-25 11:39:13

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

While discussing tangentially-related things with Magpie, I noticed another recurring theme (or icon) in Tad's works: The Feather.

The Feather plays a major role in Otherland, where it occurs repeatedly in many of the simulations; I think its first appearance is in the WWII simulation; the cover of River of Blue Fire features The Feather prominently, Paul Jonas grasping at it futilely as he is swallowed by the river. The Feather appears again and again, and is associated with Avialle, the weird bird-woman thing. That part (how she was a bird, but also a human) was never fully explained.

The Feather also appears in The Dirty Streets of Heaven, although it's mostly invisible. Here, just as in Otherland, The Feather is mysterious, and what it is used for is not exactly clear.

Finally, The Feather appears in Memory Sorrow and Thorn, as part of the iconography of the League: the quill and scroll of the Scrollbearers. Again, this feather icon is shrouded in mystery. The League is secret, with few knowing of its existence. And there's that weird bird that pops up in Simon's dream, its eyes full of knowledge... And, again, a weird bird-woman thing happens.

The Feather may play a part in other Tad-stories, but I can't think of any off-hand. Maybe Tailchaser's Song.


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

 

#2 2013-11-25 13:46:52

Olaf
Mantis
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-07-16
Posts: 4907
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Never noticed that before. Well-spotted. Have no idea what it might mean though.


Scrollbearer

Writing books, especially long books, is a careful balance between laziness and masochism.
Tad Williams

 

#3 2013-11-25 15:58:31

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32660
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Have we ever tried to find a meaning to the recurring themes? I notice that they are there, but I have no idea what they mean.

Also, Olaf, did you see that you have a PM?


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#4 2013-11-25 16:16:07

Olaf
Mantis
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-07-16
Posts: 4907
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Have seen the PM just now.

Well, themes usually mean something because they keep turning up, but the feather really is more of a motif than a theme and in Tad`s fiction often connected with mysteries and secrets. There is probably more to that (much more I am sure) but it is late and I need to go to bed.


Scrollbearer

Writing books, especially long books, is a careful balance between laziness and masochism.
Tad Williams

 

#5 2013-11-25 17:03:36

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Olaf wrote:

Never noticed that before. Well-spotted. Have no idea what it might mean though.

Magpie wrote:

Have we ever tried to find a meaning to the recurring themes? I notice that they are there, but I have no idea what they mean.

Well, obviously, it means There is a FALSE MESSENGER (Falsssse! Faaaaallllsssse!!!) and we must go deeper into the dream. The dream is an electronic river of information that will sweep us from place to place, on a vast road of dreams. Even after death, we will remain as electronic clones of ourselves, or as whispered threats in the depths of the mountain, or as angels without memories, which we will need to go deeper (much deeper!) to explore. Then we will journey as cats or vampires, as we encounter mirror-worlds and crippled princes. We'll encounter our own pasts as we long for an alien past we never actually knew.

...

Okay, I have nothing. I suggest we check Moorcock's works for further answers. Tad's always said Moorcock, Tolkien, and Zelazny were huge influences, and we know the Aditu/Simon trip to Jao e-Tinukai'i was influenced by Zelazny, and that much of MS&T was a response to Tolkien's LOTR. So that leaves Moorcock.


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

 

#6 2013-11-25 23:23:40

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32660
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

Olaf wrote:

Never noticed that before. Well-spotted. Have no idea what it might mean though.

Magpie wrote:

Have we ever tried to find a meaning to the recurring themes? I notice that they are there, but I have no idea what they mean.

Well, obviously, it means There is a FALSE MESSENGER (Falsssse! Faaaaallllsssse!!!) and we must go deeper into the dream. The dream is an electronic river of information that will sweep us from place to place, on a vast road of dreams. Even after death, we will remain as electronic clones of ourselves, or as whispered threats in the depths of the mountain, or as angels without memories, which we will need to go deeper (much deeper!) to explore. Then we will journey as cats or vampires, as we encounter mirror-worlds and crippled princes. We'll encounter our own pasts as we long for an alien past we never actually knew.

Hehehe!
I love starting the day with a laugh.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#7 2013-11-26 02:37:38

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13270

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

*facepalm*

How could we overlook the feather all those years?


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#8 2013-11-26 08:32:31

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Magpie wrote:

Hehehe!
I love starting the day with a laugh.

*bows*


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

 

#9 2013-11-26 08:36:17

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

ylvs wrote:

*facepalm*

How could we overlook the feather all those years?

Well, until DSOH, The Feather was only present in MS&T and Otherland. So until its appearance (and the explanation of its significance at the end of DSOH), all we had was the Otherworldly Feather in Otherland and the Quill of the League in MS&T. I think we can forgive ourselves for the oversight. But it's clear now that The Feather is A THING.


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

 

#10 2013-11-26 09:44:14

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32660
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

And in MST, the feather/quill in MST isn't exactly prominent. Firs would never have noticed if I hadn't quoted "It's a feather" at him.

So... if we look at the bird/woman connection in MST and Otherland... should we take that as a hint that Kephas is female? Which... [b]spoilers for Happy Hour in Hell[/i] HHiH suggests s/he is, but honestly, I won't trust that to be true until I've seen actual proof in book 3.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#11 2013-11-26 09:57:49

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Magpie wrote:

And in MST, the feather/quill in MST isn't exactly prominent. Firs would never have noticed if I hadn't quoted "It's a feather" at him.

Exactly. And then the word "feather" triggered my memories of The Feather in DSOH and The Feather in Otherland.

So... if we look at the bird/woman connection in MST and Otherland... should we take that as a hint that Kephas is female? Which... spoilers for Happy Hour in Hell HHiH suggests s/he is, but honestly, I won't trust that to be true until I've seen actual proof in book 3.

Ooh, good observation, Magpie!


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

 

#12 2013-11-28 17:07:04

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32660
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Maybe we should have a thread somewhere just for collecting all those recurring thingies in all of Tad's books. I just can't decide what subforum we should put it in, if it's about all books.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#13 2013-11-28 23:06:47

Jeremy_Erman
Pilgrim
From: California
Registered: 2012-06-24
Posts: 262

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

I was going to say that the feather isn't a big theme in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn the way it is in Otherland or Bobby Dollar...then I remembered that the hugely important tower is called  Green ANGEL Tower, and that the word angel actually means...MESSENGER.

Oy. So much complexity. That Dog is one smart man:)

 

#14 2013-11-28 23:52:48

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: Another recurring theme in Tad-books *DSOH Spoilers*

Jeremy_Erman wrote:

I was going to say that the feather isn't a big theme in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn the way it is in Otherland or Bobby Dollar

Good point. It's not that recurring thing that appears over and over, as it is in Otherland or even Bobby Dollar. It's more subtle.

...then I remembered that the hugely important tower is called  Green ANGEL Tower, and that the word angel actually means...MESSENGER.

Oy. So much complexity. That Dog is one smart man:)

Ooh! Angels! "An angel touched me, an angel touched me..."


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

 

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