More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Mythbhavd » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:57 am

I have a question about the nature of imaging. Is it possible for an imager to hold an image while another tries to image something away or to change something. For example, had Vhillar realized that Rhenn would image the poisoned wine away, could he have fought to keep it in the cup?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:26 am

He could have put shields around the wine, if he'd been quick enough... and strong enough to hold them against Rhenn. He couldn't have, if you will, put the wine in stasis.


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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Mythbhavd » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:28 pm

The last is what had me curious. I figured shields would work, but I didn't know if one could hold something in stasis or hold it's image against someone else who was trying to image it away.
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Lucent » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:19 pm

Mythbhavd wrote:The last is what had me curious. I figured shields would work, but I didn't know if one could hold something in stasis or hold it's image against someone else who was trying to image it away.


Wow, although not sought I'm gonna jump in here. An Imager's ability to effect the world must be dependent on the Imager's ability to effect the world is dependant on many factors including the Imager's ability. Rhenn while yet still inexperienced was what he is....

If Vhillar had attempted to image over a Mater'de Image or
Can you smell that?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Mythbhavd » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:55 pm

Do you still fly?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:50 pm

Only as a passenger these days. Once I left the Navy, I tried piloting civilian aircraft, but it was expensive, and I'm afraid that military aircraft spoiled me. I'd also had enough of the military that I didn't want to remain in the reserves.

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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby IndomitableEm » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:22 pm

Mr. Modesitt,

Quick question about Heritage of Cyador. I know it has been hinted in a couple of forum posts, but I don't recall anyone asking outright. Do you see Lerial's story as finished, or do you think you'll return to him in a future Recluce book?

Thanks in advance, and I completely understand if you can't or don't want to answer this particular question. :)
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby CodeBlower » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:45 pm

I realize I'm not truly qualified to respond to your question but, based on how he has answered me and others in the past, I think you'll get something along the lines of:
I'm done with the story in its current form. That does not mean that I won't come back to it in the future.
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:04 pm

Although Lerial's story is not "done," since he's not dead, it's highly improbable that I'll be writing another book about him, at least not any time soon. He's conquered all domestic and foreign enemies, and he cannot be Duke of Afrit, nor would he wish to be. So, while he'll be very, very occupied, for a very long time, it's not the kind of "occupation" that makes the best of novels.

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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby IndomitableEm » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:37 pm

I can totally understand that. :)

Another question popped up, as I'm currently rereading the entire Imager Portfolio before I begin Madness in Solidar.

In Rhenn's books, it's hinted that everything you image has to come from somewhere, but we pretty much never get concrete examples (except for a few moments like
Spoiler: show
when Rhenn disables Johanyr and Diazt, pulling the chemicals from their own bodies
). In contrast, in Quaeryt's books, we get very real examples most of the time, such as him
Spoiler: show
buying apricots and carrying them with him when he kills the patroller in Nacliano, then disposing of them when the poison he used was extracted from them
. Is there a reason why we get a stronger focus on the mechanics of imaging in Quaeryt's books? I'm thinking it's because of the difference in outlook that a Scholar would have, versus the outlook a portraturist would have; Quaeryt would be more focused on the smaller components whereas Rhenn would be more focused on the big picture. Would love to hear your thoughts.

~M
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:53 am

You're right. Quaeryr's not only a scholar, but he's had to question almost everything in his life, from the time he was very young.


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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Wed May 06, 2015 5:17 pm

LEM, was reading your blog on Editors on your site and saw you made a slight dig towards GRRM. While I agree with your comment I also find it applies to the spirit of your overall viewpoints on editing. I stopped reading GOT books during Storm of Swords, not because I found his treatment of characters we invest in distasteful (ok, maybe a little), a little shock and awe is fine. However, the digression and continuous addition of subplots and characters bogged down the story to such an extent, I no longer wanted to keep track or continue. I enjoy the HBO version much more, but still recognize the flaws, IMO, related in trying to manage all the threads and provide some momentum.

I know he sells, but doesn't he have any oversight? The guy can write a great scene, character or dialog, but he's all over the place. Is he the 800lb. gorilla? Similarly, Robert Jordan, RIP, started an epic that crushed itself under it's own weight. I was enthralled by the first 3-4, but then recognized there was never going to be any satisfying resolution that I could follow.

Is it that if they sell enough, nobody dares to get them back on track?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Wed May 06, 2015 5:44 pm

In regard to your question, I'd say that it depends on the author. I've heard comments about various authors, some of whom at the height of their fame, became uneditable, and others who did not. Since Jordan's editor was and is strong-willed and a very experienced editor -- and his wife -- I strongly doubt that he was uneditable, but that there was an editorial decision made not to change what had become a very profitable series. Also, I do know that it essentially took Brandon Sanderson three books to tie all the loose ends together and end the Wheel of Time,and I got the impression he had not intended originally to write three books [but that is my impression only; I don't know for certain].

I can't speak to George R.R. Martin, since I only know him in passing and have no idea who his editor might be.

I do listen to my editor and his assistants. Sometimes they suggest cuts, and sometimes expansions. Most of the suggested cuts and additions I make in some fashion or another.


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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Thu May 07, 2015 11:35 am

Very interesting about RJ and BS. It's a pleasure getting a glimpse into your world. You creative guys work extremely hard to provide entertainment while we sit back and enjoy at leisure. I have bones to pick with authors that are obviously very creative and talented, when they don't deliver, at least to me, a satisfying journey. You've never disappointed. Kudos...
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby AWaywardSon » Fri May 22, 2015 7:26 am

Mr. Modesitt,

I just read through 11 years worth of posts in this thread, and I don't think that there's been an occasion where your military service has been expanded upon. I'm genuinely curious, because throughout The Saga and The Corean Chronicles (and apparently many of your SF novels) you introduce great military leaders and conflicts, and portray them in a way that screams, "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt." I read that you served in the Navy as a SAR helicopter pilot, but what years were you in the service?
Spoiler: show
In your short story with Cassius, you introduce him as a sailor during the Vietnam conflict. Did you have any personal dealings with that time or conflict? Or was that just for the added racial perspective, given the boil-over from the Civil Rights movement? Just don't tell me that you were hit with the draft... I'll feel both stupid and guilty for asking.


Did you go to school before you went into the Navy? I am not familiar with Navy ranking structure, so I don't know right off the bat if you have to be brass to fly choppers or if you can be a non-com. (Does the Navy have an equivalent for the Warrant Officer?) What was the reason for you leaving the service? I could take a guess that you may have been tired with the politics of the military, especially given our REMF-indulgent culture, or was it perhaps the conflict in which you served? But if politics was the motivation... How did you possible come to decide on DC? My timeline may be off, so do please correct me if I'm swinging wide. Lastly, do you think that your time in the service impacted the way in which you perceive our world in a negative or positive way?

Lord knows I've asked more than is appropriate, so I beg forgiveness in that regard. However, I would like to thank you for your service, both in the Navy and in literature. I'm young enough to not yet fully understand the hidden undercurrents of wisdom in your books, but old enough to know it's there!
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Fri May 22, 2015 12:34 pm

I've never made a secret of my military service, but also never expanded on it. I joined the Naval Reserves as an enlisted man while a sophomore in college, went to drills during the college year, did officer training during the summers, and was commissioned as a very green ensign [O-1, same rank as an Army second lieutenant] on graduation in 1965. First served as an amphibious boat officer with brief non-combat service in Vietnam before volunteering for flight training and getting accepted. Spent the remaining years after training as a helicopter pilot, first as a utility pilot at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, and then as a carrier-based search and rescue pilot. I served in SEASIA, but never flew in-country, only off carriers. I was released from active duty as a full lieutenant in 1970 when the Navy began releasing pilots early who declined to go career. My reasons for deciding not to remain in service were simple. I wasn't the best pilot who ever lived; somewhere between thirty and fifty percent of the Naval aviators who got their wings at the same time as I did were already dead; I had a wife and three children at the time; and I didn't love flying enough to bet my life on my only slightly better than average piloting abilities.

My time in the Navy absolutely changed and shaped my views of the world, in all respects. As for why I ended up working in politics in Washington, D.C., that was also rather simple. I knew a lot about economics and politics, and I wasn't about to turn down a good-paying job in D.C., when I had a family to support and I couldn't make it as a full-time writer back then.
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby CodeBlower » Sun May 24, 2015 12:03 am

Thank you for what you did, what you do, and the answers to "why" -- may I be as wise and deliberate in my choices ..
"Budge up, yeh great lump." -- Hagrid, HP:SS
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The gelding is what the gelding is, unlike people who change in response to their perceptions of events that may benefit or threaten their power. -- Lorn, Chapter LXXXII, Magi'i of Cyador
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:31 pm

I have a question about armor in relation to the Imager books and Rahl's and Lerial's campaigns in the Recluse saga. Firearms made armor obsolete, but Q, R and L and their armies all are equipped and uniformed in 18th - 19th century uniforms and caps instead of leather, chain and helmets. It doesn't lessen my enjoyment or take me out of the story, but if I were facing serious bodily damage from swords, axes, lances, crossbows and arrows, I'd want serious protection and a cap might keep the rain off, but not much else. Curious as to why you've chosen this course?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:34 am

For the same reason as they did. Money. Armor is expensive, and when it isn't all that effective, there's little reason to use it especially when it can slow you down.

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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:27 am

Was reading your blog on books/numbers vs. good/bad...an item peaked my curiosity. You mentioned being No. 1 in Finland for a flash. I wondered, being published in many languages and maintaining your quality and tone, must be a challenge. Have you received feedback on the translations from readers who have read your work translated in their native language and also English (assuming they are fluent in both) ? Have you experienced a "hot mess" translation..lol?
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:49 pm

I can't say that I've had any readers come up with specific linguistic problems with translations. One pair of American/Russian speakers did tell me that the last book of mine translated into Russian had been done poorly. They had liked the earlier translations, but not that one. Interestingly enough, the poorly translated one was the last of my books to appear in Russian.

While there certainly may have been other translation mix-ups, I'm not aware of them.


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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 pm

I'd think with your careful approach to world building and language it would be a challenge in some languages where grammar and adjectives have no relation to English's semi-rules. I've read interviews with Glen Cook whose Black Company series has a dedicated following in Russia, that he translates well. Probably because of his style, minimally descriptive, but very direct with wry and darkly humorous dialog. His later works, even in that series, have gotten more complex. I wonder how they did? Anyway, thanks for the reply.
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby lmodesitt » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:26 pm

When I initially heard that a Russian publisher was translating some of my work, I had doubts about it, but I wasn't about to protest. I had the feeling that the way in which I handle language might not translate all that well, and certainly not well if the translator were not excellent. When I saw the Russian translation of The Towers of the Sunset, I had a feeling I'd been correct. The middle of the book was filled with very colorful fantasy illustrations -- none of which had any relation to the story.


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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:19 pm

Haha...sounds right. While you generally build a fantasy outline that's easy to follow, without your nuance for character introspection and relationships, I doubt anything but the action would have the same feel. It might be good or great depending on the interpretation...or...a fantasy action novel bearing little resemblance to your style and concepts...always wondered about that.
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Re: More Questions from an L.E. Modesitt Fan

Postby Ron Temple » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:40 am

Blog: Overriding Plotlines...just a comment, not a question. You do provide overriding plotlines with each era of a given series. I totally agree with your take as well. Nothing stays static and the speed of communication/technology makes change almost chaotic. I would rather follow your style that tells discrete stories in a long and inter-related timeline, than any series that lasts 7 - 20 books of bloated subplots that ultimately end somewhere that could be predicted in the first book. Generally, I know where you're going to end up...protagonist victorious...not always, but generally. Personally, I find this satisfying, that's why I buy your books.
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