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Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky

****½ (based on 18 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky

Add Print Edition: $9.99

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by Tim Pratt

Once an alchemical researcher with the dark scholars of the Technic League, Alaeron fled their arcane order when his conscience got the better of him, taking with him a few strange devices of unknown function. Now in hiding in a distant city, he’s happy to use his skills creating minor potions and wonders—at least until the back-alley rescue of an adventurer named Jaya lands him in trouble with a powerful crime lord. In order to keep their heads, Alaeron and Jaya must travel across wide seas and steaming jungles in search of a wrecked flying city and the magical artifacts that can buy their freedom. Yet the Technic League hasn’t forgotten Alaeron’s betrayal, and an assassin armed with alien weaponry is hot on their trail...

From Hugo Award–winner Tim Pratt comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

384-page mass market paperback

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-418-4

Download a free sample chapter by clicking here! (49 KB zip/PDF)

City of the Fallen Sky is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional are a free download (270 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

Product Availability


Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

PDF/ePub: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF/ePub.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO8508


See Also:



Product Discussion (54)
1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Announced! Cover image is a mockup.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You got Tim Pratt to write a Pathfinder Tales novel!!! Sold!!!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This sounds pretty different.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Numerian Super Science and a lost fallen Shory city? Sold!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
You got Tim Pratt to write a Pathfinder Tales novel!!! Sold!!!

I know, right? I live in anticipation of the Tim Pratt short stories that show up on Escape Pod and Podcastle. I still can't listen to Restless in my Hand without tearing up.

To the geniuses behind Paizo fiction contracts: Anything that Tim Pratt writes, I will pay for. Nice job.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This sounds THE AWESOMEST!


Ooo, sounds awesome.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've updated the image and description to match the finished product.

(By the way, I really, really liked this book...)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I haven't been drawn to the fiction line, but this looks great. Plus I want to support exploration of science fantasy in Golarion.

I'll be buying this one for sure.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Definitely looking forward to this one!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My god. This sounds amazing. You had me at the first sentence.


Wow! Nice cover! That thing is HIDEOUS!!

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Is it May yet?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Aaron aka Itchy wrote:
Wow! Nice cover! That thing is HIDEOUS!!

Looks like a leukodaemon!


Liz Courts wrote:
Aaron aka Itchy wrote:
Wow! Nice cover! That thing is HIDEOUS!!
Looks like a leukodaemon!

And an alchemist wishing he was home in his laboratary!

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Do I remember reading that PF Tales were going to start coming out more often??

I would support such a move!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Time Bandit wrote:

Do I remember reading that PF Tales were going to start coming out more often??

I would support such a move!!

We're heading to a generally bimonthly schedule... although a delay at the printer is going to cause the next three volumes to come out in three consecutive months, so it's going to *look* monthly for a few months.


Did you know this book is being sold *used* at up to $261.41?

Check out Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1601254180/ref=dp_olp_used?

Check out BookFinder.com

Searching for books where:
Author is Tim Pratt
Title is Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky
Book is written in English

(Alibris has the highest price; the book is alleged to have been published a year ago, ISBN 1601254180)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Pawns Subscriber

Seven chapter in and loving it. I don't have much time for reading lately and my Pathfinder Tales novels have been piling up unread (Except for Death's Heretic which was awesome).
I decided to try to read the first chapter to see if anything grabbed me and it DID! Can't put it down now.
This is the first I've read or even heard of this author, but man he must be popular cuz the writing style is amazing.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

D.M.T. wrote:

Seven chapter in and loving it. I don't have much time for reading lately and my Pathfinder Tales novels have been piling up unread (Except for Death's Heretic which was awesome).

I decided to try to read the first chapter to see if anything grabbed me and it DID! Can't put it down now.
This is the first I've read or even heard of this author, but man he must be popular cuz the writing style is amazing.

Glad you're liking it, DMT! Tim Pratt actually won a Hugo a few years back (which is one of the most prestigious awards science fiction and fantasy has), so we were really lucky to be able to bring him on board for Pathfinder Tales. I was really pleased with the way he captured the feel of Golarion, including some rather tricky regions!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps Subscriber

DMT,

If you like Tim Pratt, he has an urban fantasy series published under the name T.A. Pratt, and he's a prolific short story author. Many of his short stories are available for free as audio at Podcastle and The Drabblecast, which is where I first discovered him.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was great. One of my favorites in the line, and well-timed for getting a feel for Numeria for the Inner Sea Bestiary.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just got this 20 minutes ago, and can't wait to read it.

I haven't been this excited about a novel since I could read.


Gah, this'll (probably, you never know with international shipping) arrive this week and I've still not finished Song of the Serpent. Damn you Hitler and women of la Résistance.


I just finished it. I LOVED this book. The characters were intriguing, funny, and well developed. Their banter had me laughing out loud in places. Especially the part with the crossbows vs. longbows and using wands. Well done. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Pratt's work.

Silver Crusade

Hews up Tales People, more of Alaeron in this week's Web Fiction!

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Tim Pratt won a Hugo for a sci-fi short story, which is better than I could do.

However, he does not appear to understand that alchemy is something other than modern science. This novel is littered with anachronistic language which undermines the story. Tim's writing is often cumbersome and disrupts his expression of ideas.

As such, this is simply, mechanically, the worst piece of writing I have seen from Paizo: far below that of Gross, Cunningham, Jones or Sutter.

Example:

Zernebeth grunted. “Adhesive?” she said.
“Ah, right.” Alaeron reached into his coat, his fingers finding the right vial by the markings incised on the lid, and passed over a substance of his own devising. You might call it “glue,” but only in the same way you might call a broadsword a potato peeler. Zernebeth carefully tipped over the vial, dropping a blob of the pale pink adhesive onto the floor, then pressing the end of a climbing rope into the substance before it could dry. They waited a few seconds, then she tugged on the rope experimentally—the adhesive held it fast. The rope was stuck there permanently, probably—the glue was the strongest Alaeron could make, and it would hold the weight of a war mammoth.

1. Adhesive became a noun in the Victorian era, it feels modern and awkward. It damages verisimlitude for alchemy, an inherently magical process (explicitly so, in the Pathfinder rules, but also in the history and tradition of alchemy in the real world).

2. Potato Peelers are also Victorian, they superseded the paring knife. A paring knife was the traditional tool for vegetable peeling, trimming and slicing. Potato peelers are anachronistic to the setting and break suspension of disbelief, a paring knife was a simple and vastly superior alternative.

3. 'Carefully tipped'... Tipping a substance is not a careful activity, there are a lot of alternative verbs which would be vastly superior to tipped here: 'carefully tipped' is a dissonant phrase.

4. 'Zernebeth carefully tipped over the vial, dropping a blob of the pale pink adhesive onto the floor, then pressing the end of a climbing rope into the substance before it could dry.' This is horrible syntax: the use of pressing implies that the action of 'carefully tipped' creates the pressing, just as it creates dropping. It should be: 'Zernebeth carefully tipped over the vial, dropping a blob of the pale pink adhesive onto the floor, then pressed the end of a climbing rope into the substance before it could dry.'

5. 'The rope was stuck there permanently, probably—the glue was the strongest Alaeron could make, and it would hold the weight of a war mammoth.' Finally we get an analogy which is relevant to the setting with our War Mammoth, huzzar! Unfortunately the writing is again quite difficult: does he actually know how to use an m-dash? Is he allergic to the colon? It is also very awkward, he is using a conditional to modify an absolute, when he should be pairing them to make an emphatic conditional. This is a superior sentence after a few seconds thought:
'The rope was stuck there, probably permanently: the glue was the strongest Alaeron could make and it would hold the weight of a war mammoth.'

I could do much, much more... and this is just the page I opened it on! This is poor and I don't know why it was published, Sutter himself would not produce a paragraph like that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

Tim Pratt won a Hugo for a sci-fi short story, which is better than I could do.

However, he does not appear to understand that alchemy is something other than modern science. This novel is littered with anachronistic language which undermines the story. Tim's writing is often cumbersome and disrupts his expression of ideas.

As such, this is simply, mechanically, the worst piece of writing I have seen from Paizo: far below that of Gross, Cunningham, Jones or Sutter.

** spoiler omitted **...

Except that Golarion has printing presses and guns. So potato peelers aren't out of the question. Also Alaeron's understanding of Alchemy is as a scientific practice, others would treat it as a purely magical practice. He acknowledges that all of his extracts would only work on himself, being "attuned to Alaeron's specific magical field." Honestly this is how I treat alchemists in my games, and how I play them. Scientists with an aspect of magic.

I don't think anachronisms are fair, Golarion isn't medieval Earth, it's probably closer to Renaissance tech in some places (and Victorian in other aspects).

That said, I thought the book was too ambitious for the length of the journey. Parts felt rushed, the characters either should have started closer to Kho or a different lost city closer to Andoran should have been chosen the portion of the book in the city had no time to breathe and so an opportunity was missed to explore the city of Kho.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

Tim Pratt won a Hugo for a sci-fi short story, which is better than I could do.

However, he does not appear to understand that alchemy is something other than modern science. This novel is littered with anachronistic language which undermines the story. Tim's writing is often cumbersome and disrupts his expression of ideas.

As such, this is simply, mechanically, the worst piece of writing I have seen from Paizo: far below that of Gross, Cunningham, Jones or Sutter.

** spoiler omitted **...

Except that Golarion has printing presses and guns. So potato peelers aren't out of the question. Also Alaeron's understanding of Alchemy is as a scientific practice, others would treat it as a purely magical practice. He acknowledges that all of his extracts would only work on himself, being "attuned to Alaeron's specific magical field." Honestly this is how I treat alchemists in my games, and how I play them. Scientists with an aspect of magic.

I don't think anachronisms are fair, Golarion isn't medieval Earth, it's probably closer to Renaissance tech in some places (and Victorian in other aspects).

That said, I thought the book was too ambitious for the length of the journey. Parts felt rushed, the characters either should have started closer to Kho or a different lost city closer to Andoran should have been chosen the portion of the book in the city had no time to breathe and so an opportunity was missed to explore the city of Kho.

The printing press pre-dates the potato peeler by about 400 years, guns were functional around the 16th century.

I don't really buy any of Golarion as Victorian... but even if we accept the anachronisms, point 3-5 still stand.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps Subscriber

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

I can honestly say that nothing about Pratt's grammar jumped out at me when I was reading it. For me, the novel was a rollicking good time. If you disagree on that point based on your objections to Pratt's use of the English language, then perhaps he's not for you.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

I rather liked Pratt's prose. Anachronisms for language like "adhesive?" Beats reading a book written in Middle English. As for the potato peeler, an anachronism has to be a little more blatant to shake me :)

From the PRD:
One ounce of this adhesive covers 1 square foot of surface, bonding virtually any two substances together in a permanent union.

Silver Crusade

Pratt's writing so far has been wonderful. Nitpicking supposed anachronisms is fun for some I suppose, but it read well to me.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Typos happen, and I take full responsibility for "pressing" as opposed to "pressed."

As I've said before (including in the Gamemastery Guide), calling out anachronisms in Golarion can be tricky, due to the simple fact that Golarion is *not* Earth. Unless there's a specific technology that it's building on and thus determines the sequence of events, the date a particular invention or convention came into use is often as much the result of luck than of anything else. Just because X came before Y on Earth doesn't mean it did so on Golarion--and it's worth noting that different cultures often develop different technologies at vastly different times. (For instance, Asia had gunpowder long before Europe, and it wasn't until European crusaders reached the Holy Land that they were introduced to the concept of "hospitals," etc.) Heck, many types of technology have risen in our own world, been lost, and then arisen again centuries later.

And really, when you've got folks who can talk to gods, turn immortal, or make wishes come true, don't you think they could have invented the potato peeler a bit earlier than us? I mean, what's a 20 Intelligence for, if not that?

However, that's all just my opinion, and taste in fiction is always a deeply personal thing. I'm sorry that you were disappointed, Geraint, and I hope that the other books in the line are more to your liking!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

(After making that last post, I'm now imagining an elven chef in a kitchen somewhere, paring potatoes the same way he has every day for the last 800 years, thinking "There's got to be a better way....")


James Sutter wrote:
(After making that last post, I'm now imagining an elven chef in a kitchen somewhere, paring potatoes the same way he has every day for the last 800 years, thinking "There's got to be a better way....")

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.

Sczarni

I bought a copy of the book last week and finished it over the weekend. It was a jolly good rollicking tale. The nemesis was just a little bit over the top but was used well to keep things challenging for the protagonists.

It was a good change of pace to see the hero not get everything he wanted and for a very good reason revealed at the end. I especially grew to like Skiver even though he never failed to stay true to his own nature. Hopefully they show up in future novels.

Looking forward to more great reads from this novel line.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

It's funny. Until Captain Paradox's comment, I hadn't really thought about an interesting parallel.

I'll just say that it was very recently that I read City of the Fallen Sky, and just this past weekend I saw Prometheus. I have to say there's some interesting parallels between each work's nemesis :)

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I completely appreciate that other people have different tastes and expectations, and I'm glad that many other people enjoyed this novel. I just wanted to share my frustration, in part because I know that this is the best way to get my feedback across to the editor of the line.

Thankyou, James, for the eloquent response; although my experience from observing my grandmother (who can peel potatoes, apples and turnips with a knife, cut consistent,fine pieces of bread, bone a chicken etc. whilst chatting away and, seemingly, barely looking at the object in her hands) would suggest that the ancient chef would either be thinking: "Where's that lazy sous-chef got to now?" or planning next week's menu.

I'm not really sure it is fair to accuse me of nitpicking: I don't have the time, inclination or character to go through every line of the book and pick away at the things which I found frustrating. I simply wanted to use an example to illustrate the misgivings I felt whilst reading the novel. So, for the record, I take no pleasure in nitpicking supposed anachronisms. I also take no pleasure in someone who disagrees with my opinion choosing to descend to the level of a personal attack when they could simply engage in a free and fair sharing of opinions.

I'm even more unsure why Russ took my post and then carried it so very far away from what I had typed. I never intended to advocate writing Pathfinder Tales in Middle English; not that I have any inherent distaste for Middle English, Chaucer was able to use it to produce powerful and imaginative prose, I am simply more comfortable reading Modern English novels. I wonder, Ross, how did you come to connect my post to Middle English?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Just to back up GeraintElberion here.

While I did enjoy the book, I did 'notice' the things he was referring to; the choice of vocabulary felt slightly off for the Pathfinder universe. I still enjoyed the book, but it's like someone tapping you on the shoulder while you're immersed in a book - it takes you a moment to immerse yourself once again.

This is not unique to City of the Fallen Sky. There was a little of this in Death's Heretic as well, a book which I enjoyed a great deal; as I recall some of the curses and discourse seemed kind of incongruous.

In any event, I view City of the Fallen Sky as neither the strongest nor the weakest of the Pathfinder Tales books, and even the weakest of them isn't bad. In my judgement, there's a handful of the books I'd recommend to someone interested in the series, and the remainder I'd leave for them to read once they were interested.

I think that Prince of Wolves, Plague of Shadows, The Worldwound Gambit and Death's Heretic are the four strongest books, all good, solid reads. I haven't yet found a book in the series that I think will become a classic in the fantasy genre, but the potential is definitely there.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

For the record, I think the folks who are bothered by the language have a legitimate complaint. Everyone has a different set point for the way they want fantasy characters (and narrators) to talk. Some folks want it to be in line with a given historical period (or at least nodding to it). Others want it to be more like Tolkien--what I think of as "high fantasy standard." And still others want the language to be as modern as possible.

As everyone can probably tell, I fall into the latter camp. While I want to avoid things that feel like in-world anachronisms (Golarion characters wouldn't use "stop on a dime," because what's a dime?), I prefer them to speak with more modern cadences and terms, as for me it actually *helps* me ignore the words and get immersed in the story. Also, a lot of words that feel "too modern" to people aren't necessarily new. The curse word "sh*t," for instance, has been around since before the Roman Empire. If we feel like it doesn't belong in fantasy, I think it's because of the mores of the 1940s and 50s--not the mores of the actual period we're emulating. The past, in my experience, was often astonishingly crude. (But as noted, even if it *were* a more recent term, I might not care as long as there was no reason it *couldn't* have evolved in Golarion.)

All of which comes down to the fact that, while there's no right answer, there is my answer, which naturally flavors Pathfinder Tales. Which isn't to say that there won't be books featuring all different types of language--if Ed Greenwood wants to write in more traditional fantasy prose, or Howard Andrew Jones wants to channel the pulp era, I'm not going to force them to change--but I definitely lean toward the more modern stuff.

Thanks for the notes, everyone! This sort of stylistic discussion is really, really useful in helping determine the future of the line.


As long as we won't see characters start analysing each others' personalities using the language of modern self-help books...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For what it's worth, James, your taste seems to fall right in line with mine. Probably speaks to how much I absolutely loved Death's Heretic. So, as far as I'm concerned, just keep doing what you're doing.

On topic, I greatly enjoyed City of the Fallen Sky, and would definitely place it in the top tier of the line thus far. I hope to have a review up soon.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

GeraintElberion wrote:
I wonder, Ross, how did you come to connect my post to Middle English?

Because you picked on the use of the word "adhesive". I'd argue MUCH of the language used in the book didn't exist in ~1450, hence using Middle English for maximum linguistic accuracy. Or possibly Taldan.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I increasingly think that Prince of Wolves is my favourite book in the line, simply because it is so charming. Gross' writing has a wit and lightness that is a real pleasure.
Alongside Gross, I really enjoyed Sutter, Jones and Laws: I'm really glad that Laws and Gross are writing new books.
I'm really excited about Merciel, her webfiction was very good and Nidal is an awesome place to let her loose on.
Overall, the line is great and I'm glad to have this pile of fantasy romps on my bookshelf.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Russ Taylor wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
I wonder, Ross, how did you come to connect my post to Middle English?
Because you picked on the use of the word "adhesive". I'd argue MUCH of the language used in the book didn't exist in ~1450, hence using Middle English for maximum linguistic accuracy. Or possibly Taldan.

Ah, so you didn't actually read my post, where I referred to the age of the word adhesive. No?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

GeraintElberion wrote:
Ah, so you didn't actually read my post, where I referred to the age of the word adhesive. No?

I did read your post, which appeared to include a level of upset about using a word before it was coined.

I'll spell it out for you: If you're going to pick on "adhesive" as being too modern a word for medieval fiction, why not be annoyed that the book's not written in Middle English too? It's already written in a language that didn't exist in the form it does now, so the whole book's a walking anachronism if you worry about the date well-established words were first coined.

You write a novel in the language of the audience, not the language of the characters, else we'd be reading Golarion books written in Taldan. What I was trying to convey is that objecting to the age of a word that predates any of the readers is among the most ridiculous nitpicks I've ever seen someone come up with for a novel.

Since I rather enjoyed that novel and would love to see that sort of writing style and word choice again in the line, I responded to your critique with my own commentary.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the word choice wasn't jarring for you, I'm expressing my own preference that the editors and writers not worry about period too much, and focus on creating engaging stories.

Cheliax Contributor

Kajehase wrote:
As long as we won't see characters start analysing each others' personalities using the language of modern self-help books...

As soon as I read that, I started thinking of ways to include an alienist character in a Count Jeggare story.


Dave Gross wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
As long as we won't see characters start analysing each others' personalities using the language of modern self-help books...

As soon as I read that, I started thinking of ways to include an alienist character in a Count Jeggare story.

In that case I'd better show up in the dedication! ;)

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Russ Taylor wrote:

I did read your post, which appeared to include a level of upset about using a word before it was coined.

I'll spell it out for you: If you're going to pick on "adhesive" as being too modern a word for medieval fiction, why not be annoyed that the book's not written in Middle English too? It's already written in a language that didn't exist in the form it does now, so the whole book's a walking anachronism if you worry about the date well-established words were first coined.

So, rather than accept that I have different tastes to you, you seek to belittle my tastes by setting up a false caricature of my opinions using reductio ad absurdum.

I'm not sure when I offended you so much that you would choose to do that. It makes me quite sad.

Russ Taylor wrote:

You write a novel in the language of the audience, not the language of the characters

I definitely do not agree with this. The language of the audience, totally up-to-date Modern English, especially in the mouths of characters, would be totally inappropriate for pretty-much every fantasy novel I have read: Can you really imagine Denna joking about Kvothe and Simmon's bromance before joining them at a kegger? That would be the language the audience expects of high-living university students...

To be honest, I don't think that's what you're trying to express (perhaps I am wrong) but if you are going to begin with false dichotomies (the only choice is between either modern language I find anachronistic or Middle English) produced by reductio ad absurdum (if I don't like Victorian references which feel particularly jarring to my ear then I must be demanding novels in Middle English) then you end up sending your own ideas down the same path.

There was a really interesting discussion about this begun by F. Wesley Schneider in which I expressed my ideas in a positive 'this is what I want' way, rather than the more negative 'this is what I don't like' way I did earlier. Perhaps that would express my view more effectively: "Your job (thankfully, not mine) is to find analogies that feel timeless."

I would recommend that thread to anyone interested in Pathfinder, Golarion or fantasy writing in general, lots of really interesting thoughts.

Russ Taylor wrote:
, else we'd be reading Golarion books written in Taldan. What I was trying to convey is that objecting to the age of a word that predates any of the readers is among the most ridiculous nitpicks I've ever seen someone come up with for a novel.

I really find this hard to believe. 'Aeroplane' is a Victorian word (1873) and I imagine that would damage most people's immersion in a fantasy world like Golarion.

Later on the alchemist character describes himself as a 'Scientist', even if that is not jarring to you, I hope you can see how the idea of a character using a pre-enlightenment, magical-thinking concept like alchemy describing himself with a post-enlightenment, Victorian term like 'scientist' might be jarring for other readers without them being 'ridiculous'.

I'm not saying you have to agree with me, I'm just suggesting that you should be fair and reasonable with my point of view, rather than seeking to ridicule it.

Perhaps I recognise the age of words like potato-peeler and adhesive more readily than some people, so they are more likely to leap to the forefront of my mind when I see them used anachronistically.

Russ Taylor wrote:
Since I rather enjoyed that novel and would love to see that sort of writing style and word choice again in the line, I responded to your critique with my own commentary.

Which is great, I just don't see the reason for the use of reductio ad absurdum and false dichotomy to create a kind of calumny which ridicules my opinion.

If you wanted to say: "I disagree, I found the language refreshing and immediate, it really helped me to appreciate the characters." or something like that then you could have made a counter-proposal without the ridicule. This is normally such a pleasant board.

Russ Taylor wrote:
To be clear, I'm not saying that the word choice wasn't jarring for you, I'm expressing my own preference that the editors and writers not worry about period too much, and focus on creating engaging stories.

Now, that's what I'm talking about!


That stuff might be anachronistic in a historical medieval tale on earth. But, it seems that Golarion has potato peelers. I mean, there are crashed spaceships....

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9. Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness
10. Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City

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