The Walrus & the Warwolf (Trade Paperback)

****( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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by Hugh Cook, with an introduction by China Miéville

A boy of sixteen, swordsmith’s apprentice Drake Douay loves nothing more than booze, loose women, and causing endless amounts of trouble. Yet when he’s sentenced to death by the merciless ogre king of his homeland, Drake has no choice but to sign on with two warring and ragtag gangs of pirates. Thus begins a life of adventure, treachery, and debauchery as Drake sails a strange world of high magic and forgotten technology, driven ever onward by his unrequited lust for the red-skinned priestess Zanya. Yet even the monstrous, insectile Swarms of the south are nothing compared to the trouble Drake finds when he returns home to discover that his former master has become the head of a new religion. And killing Drake is its first commandment...

Never before published in a North American edition, The Walrus & the Warwolf blends fierce sword and sorcery with vivid world building to create a classic of modern fantasy. This edition also comes complete with never-before-seen illustrations and an insightful introduction by award-winning fantasy author China Miéville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar).

Read China Miéville's introduction to the book in its entirety here.

464-page softcover trade paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-214-2

Due to a printing error, three pages are missing from the book, and are available here (40 KB zip/PDF) as a free PDF.

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****( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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Thank You

*****

Thank for Eric Mona for making sure this was published. This book turned me onto Hugh Cooks writing, and my literary life was enriched for it.

This is sword and sorcery at its grittiest, and the writing and plot are superb. I second the notion that fans of the Dying Earth will enjoy this; I read this and Cugel's Saga each for the first time, back to back, and thoroughly enjoyed Cook's bizarre and intriguing world and writing. I'm now in the process of reading the rest of the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness and have yet to be disappointed! If only Planet Stories had a production schedule that would allow them to reprint all of the books in this under-appreciated series....


it is great

*****

if you love cudgel the clever, you'll like drake the teenage pirate. in other words if you loved dying earth stories you'll find the walrus and the warwolf utterly delightful.

dialogues are brisk and fun, wit is crackling dry, action is great and let's hope paizo continues with some 80's love. i hope that invasion from down bellow (cook was a kiwi) continues with some oz goodness. like for example keith taylor's bard series.


Wishing it were wonderful!

***( )( )

What can I say about this book? It is difficult for me to sum it up. I started a subscription to Planet Stories based on what I read about it. I had really high hopes for it, that being said, perhaps my hopes were set a bit too high. This book is not a great book, as far as books go, I'm waffling on even calling it a good book. It's not to say that there weren't some really great parts of the book, but over all it was lacking and left me wishing it could have been better.

Part of the problem is it didn't have a real overall story format, as least not what I was expecting. I went in to it thinking it wasn't going to be a heroic Bildungsroman story, which in the end I actually think it turned out to be in some respects. I didn't expect the wandering personal journal that it felt like though. The story skips around from one adventure to another, sometimes unrelated, with seemingly no real point. While it does fit the chaotic life of a bunch of pirates, at times the adventures drag on and I found myself bored by them. These slow parts were difficult to read. Just about the time it would get almost unbearable, something interesting would happen and I would fly through a couple chapters. Overall I found this a difficult book to read, not because it is written at a high reading level, but because of the boring parts. I found myself wanting to finish it none the less. I think the story could have been told just as well with 100 fewer pages. I don’t want to have to read about being held captive again for quite some time.

Now for the good stuff, there were parts of the book I really enjoyed, in particular I loved the part about Drake's Goulash. It's not often that something I read will have me laughing out loud, but I couldn't stop laughing reading that section. With all his flaws, he is a likable character. His remembrance of those who died is also surprising and shows his humanity. I also really like Jon Arabin, Walrus Mike, and even a couple of the other minor characters. I did end up feeling a certain kinship with them after finishing the story, and mourned the losses the characters experience. At times the repartee and interaction between the characters is very engrossing. I can easily imagine pirates would really act, interact, and react to the things going on around them the way the characters in the book do. The unique monsters were also a nice change of pace. This is not the place to find Tolkienesque monsters.

Mr. Miéville says that Drake doesn't learn from his mistakes or mature, but I think he does both by quite a bit by the end of the story. The book covers about 5 years of his life from 16 to sometime in his early 20s, and while you definitely see some of the 'nothing can harm me' attitude and stupidity of a teenage boy, he has grown up by the end of the story. It makes it quite ironic and poignant when Drake makes comments about some new shipmates near the end of the story.

Some may be turned off by the vulgar callousness of the pirates, or incest (which is quite mild and doesn’t go into any details on), or even a rape scene (which holds nothing on the Thomas Covenant rape scene in the book Lord Foul’s Bane). If you can’t handle these kinds of things, this book definitely is not for you.

The author does not hold punches characters die unexpectedly, cities are destroyed, valuable gear is lost and destroyed, and nothing is sacred. Ultimately I liked the book, but it is not one I’m likely to read again, or even recommend to others without a strong warning about the above points I make. I would definitely have a hard time making room in my reading list for other books in the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness series. If I could give it 3 1/2 stars I would, so I gotta give it a 3 as it doesn't deserve a 4 in my opinion.


Foiled Again

****( )

I’ve noticed a tendency among book reviewers (and movie reviewers and game reviewers…) to make sweeping judgments on their subjects. There’s little taking into account differing tastes between individuals. If the reviewer didn’t like the book, then by Gum, no one should like that book.

That said, I’ll start by saying that I found this book very unsettling. It hit on many sensitive spots: what some today might call ‘puritan values’ spots. I’m a religiously and family minded person and I honestly was not comfortable with a lot of subject matter in this book. A few times, I was tempted to do with it what I’ve only done on three other occasions before and put it down for good.

In the end, I’m glad that I didn’t.

In The Walrus and the Warwolf: Book three in A Chronicle of an Age of Darkness, Hugh Cook manages to use a superb literary foil to hold a mirror to our society and say what all it’s doing wrong. He does this by showing you a person, Drake Douay, who holds in high regard many twisted and corrupt values. In his society incest is not only ok, it’s considered a means of moving ahead in the world. Drinking and gambling are forms of religious worship. Destruction of property is worse than destruction of life.

The book follows Drake through a series of seemingly unrelated adventures, but like a twisted sort of medieval morality play, each adventure carries with it a subtle message: one that I can’t help but notice most readers seem to miss because of how fun these adventures are. I know China Meiville didn’t get it. He as much says so in his introduction. Just like it so often is in real life, each adventure has a consequence that is easy to overlook. Over time these add up, and while Drake never seems aware of the changes, he does change. Events do impact him. In the end we are given the moral of our reverse morality play.

In the end, I felt my ‘puritan values’ made more sense, without pointing a finger of judgment on anyone that might not share them. There are a lot of books worse than this one on recommended lists for English literature classes. Cook deals with questions about virtue, loyalty, honesty, fidelity, family, government, leadership, and love. We see Drake as he goes through an epic amount of the human experience in a short time. No play of Shakespeare covers as much in a single shot (no, I’m not saying it’s better than Shakespeare.) For literary value there’s alliteration, foil, satire, irony, and just darn good writing. (Yes, DGW is a real literary term, just like I’m a real book reviewer.)

So, um, Tokoz? Why the four stars?

This book isn’t for everyone. If my second paragraph actually makes you hesitate rather than ask, “But does it have pr0n?” then it might not be for you. People with a highly developed ‘moral compass’ might find the book disorienting and even nauseating. Another type of person that might want to avoid this book is someone that reads for escapism. If you don’t stop and think about it being a mirror to today, it might not bother you, but then again, you might not be ready to look at the reflection that Hugh Cook has ‘cooked’ up.

Enjoy it first and learn something second. Learn something first and enjoy it second. Enjoy it and don’t bother learning anything at all. The rest of the population will still find something they can sink their teeth into.

And skip the introduction. I honestly haven’t read much by Mr. Mieville, but the three f-bombs, the numerous spoilers and his erroneous conclusions about Bildungsroman (Bing is your friend here) in regards to this book, leave me wondering if he’d read it recently and if he had, if he’d read all of it recently. (His definition is fine. He’s just misses the fact that it does happen in Drake’s case.)


Best Planet Stories volume yet!

*****

Swordsmith's apprentice Drake Douay is sentenced to death by drowning for vandalism and destruction of property. As Drake is swimming back to shore, he chances upon Zanya, a red skinned, red haired beauty, and decides he'll do anything to get into her knickers. Can two ships of pirates, revolution, and all manner of disgusting monsters stop Drake from being reunited with Zanya and giving her the rogering of a lifetime?

Drake Douay is a lying, cowardly, slimy, drunken fornicator. And I love him! This is one of the easier books I've ever had to rate.

The Walrus & the Warwolf isn't your typical fantasy. Drake Douay is no Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins, that's for sure. Drake's a follower of the Demon God Hagon and worships accordingly: drinking and fornicating. His sister is a temple whore so he gets a good rate. Yes, incest is played for laughs in this story. Not only is Drake a scoundrel, he remains true to his lying cowardly self for the entirety of the book. The lies just keep coming and Drake gets into bigger and bigger trouble.

The Walrus and The Warwolf are the names of two pirate ships and the nicknames of the captains that sail upon them. The captains are well rounded and hilarious. Some of the pirate dialogue was so rough that it almost offended me. You have to love a story where one of the milder insults used by the characters is "octopus rapist." The supporting cast is also full of gems, like King Tor, and Muck, a man who's syphilis caused him to start his own flame-worshipping religion.

The world of TW&TW is one of fantasy and little understood technology of a lost age. While some of it is serious, like teleportation gates and a flying ship, I laughed hard when one of the pirates smashed a Rubik's Cube in disgust.

The story is equal parts pulp fantasy and humor. The tone is full of dry wit and reminds me of Michael Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time at times, as well as Glorianna, also by the esteemed Mr. Moorcock.

This was the easiest five I ever stuck on a book. If you like fantasy, British humor, pirates, or really offensive language, this is for you. If you don't, buy it anyway. God knows you don't have enough books with the word Walrus in the title...


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Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't wait for this book to come back into print. Living in the States, it was difficult (as in, nearly impossible) to get Cook's stuff when it went through its first print run. His first novel was split into two smaller books for the American market, and I don't even remember if The Walrus & the Warwolf made it to the bookstores over here. I got my copy during a trip to England.

I should have picked up the rest of the bloody series when I was there.

My copy of The Walrus & the Warwolf made a journey to China in the backpack of a friend. He spent 6 months there, and he said he read it over and over. We would quote passages back and forth to each other in college.

Courage, said Drake to Drake.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Hooray! Another Hugh Cook fan!

The first third of The Walrus and the Warwolf was published by Roc in 1991, but subsequent volumes never appeared.

I too managed to buy the book on a trip to the UK, but I managed to fill in the whole set over subsequent trips taken by myself and friends.

I am really hoping people dig this book. Those who love it tend to LOVE it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I managed to buy all of them (many at second hank book shops) except for The Wishstone and The Wonderworkers, which I have never seen for sale. Fortunately, my local library used to have it, so I have read it a few times.


I've not read any of Hugh Cook's stuff, but I have read about it (the series this is from sounds incredible). The fact you have China Mieville doing the introduction is simply awesome. I love his stuff. I'm really excited for this one.


Im a Hugh COOK freak and fellow NZer and have had a bit of a correspondence with him over the years.
I converted Walrus and Warwolf to D and D as as epic adventure.
With the stats of all the main characters-
Ish ulpin, Drake , the Walrus and of course Andranavory and Whale Mike.
I could convert that adventure to Pathfinder and send it out to persons if people were interested .
Ive read all the books several times and am thinking of converting all of them into some sort of epic adventure path...
If only I could figure out how to work the magic system...
your thoughts...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Great news! I have read all 10 novels (a friend of mine let me read them, a high honor indeed, as he was prone to be very "concious" about the condition of the books) and I can say, this one is up there with the best of them.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

*Drops Acid*

Alright, I'm ready to read it!


This is book four of the Age of Darkness series. Is it a stand-alone, or do you need to have read the first three.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

You absolutely do not need to read any of the other books to get the full experience from this one.

The way Cook's Chronicles series works is that each book is stand-alone, but usually one of the books shares a specific scene with another book in the series, and a few characters pop up more than once. It's more of an Easter egg sort of thing.

For example, in The Walrus & the Warwolf, the main character Drake joins a pirate crew. Shortly after joining the crew, he meets another young man named Forester, a stow-away on the boat. They have a brief conversation and then the boat is attacked by a monster. Forester is thrown overboard, and is never heard from again. The whole scene lasts about 5 pages.

It turns out, "Forester" is really the main character in the SECOND book, which includes the same scene from HIS point of view (where Drake is the stranger). You wouldn't even notice if you hadn't read the second book, and if you had, you'd find it was a neat surprise.

You do NOT need to know any of the other books to get the full experience from this one.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I’d second Erik’s comments. This book is very much a stand-alone story (though I’d encourage you to try to track down the others in the series, to learn the stories of various characters who turn up as supporting cast in this one), and not having read the first three books should not curtail your enjoyment of this one.

I think when I first read the series the order was something like 2, 1, 6, 3, 4, 7, 5, 8, 9, 10.


Saw all the books in a second hand bookstore today.
6 $ Australian each. Book store is in Narrabeen on Sydneys Northen beaches...

If anyone is near...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Oh, I absolutely love these books! I'm on my third set thanks to ebay! (Never got the first set back when a 'friend' emigrated. Second set too heavy to carry when I emigrated.)

Absolutely wonderful - every single one!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Here's a little diddy from Pathfinder Chronicler

The walrus and the Warwolf Video


Who is the cover artist? That picture is amazing.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
artemis_segundo wrote:


Who is the cover artist? That picture is amazing.

Kieran Yanner.


I remember discovering Cook on a trip to the UK back in the 80's. I picked up all the books I could find...but over the last thirty years managed to lose The Walrus & the Warwolf.

Now I need to convince the wife that we have the shelf space for this tome.

CJ

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Erik,

Any chance Dreamhaven will have copies by Memorial Day weekend?

Contributor

Oliver von Spreckelsen wrote:
artemis_segundo wrote:


Who is the cover artist? That picture is amazing.
Kieran Yanner.

Yup! It's still Kieran, who's done all the covers since Ship of Ishtar. The dude's got a lot of range!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

thelesuit wrote:

I remember discovering Cook on a trip to the UK back in the 80's. I picked up all the books I could find...but over the last thirty years managed to lose The Walrus & the Warwolf.

Now I need to convince the wife that we have the shelf space for this tome.

CJ

It should be just under an inch-and-a-quarter thick.


The paragraph "Never before published in a North American edition ..." appears twice in the product description. (The only difference is one lists some books China Miéville wrote.)

Also, what happened to the Planet Stories logo?

Contributor

Wolf Munroe wrote:

The paragraph "Never before published in a North American edition ..." appears twice in the product description. (The only difference is one lists some books China Miéville wrote.)

Also, what happened to the Planet Stories logo?

Fixed!

The Planet Stories logo is still on the back cover and the table of contents/title page, but we decided it would be good to give more front cover space to art, especially since we're getting such awesome images! I can't wait for everyone to see some of the covers we have coming up....

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Murkmoldiev wrote:

Im a Hugh COOK freak and fellow NZer and have had a bit of a correspondence with him over the years.

I converted Walrus and Warwolf to D and D as as epic adventure.
With the stats of all the main characters-
Ish ulpin, Drake , the Walrus and of course Andranavory and Whale Mike.
I could convert that adventure to Pathfinder and send it out to persons if people were interested .
Ive read all the books several times and am thinking of converting all of them into some sort of epic adventure path...
If only I could figure out how to work the magic system...
your thoughts...

I'd be interested!

Yeah, the magic system is hard, I've thought about it from several different angles.

Wizards should probably just be wizards, but do you give each order its on prestige class? Or just one 'Wizard of the Confederation' base class or prestige class, with variants for each order? Is each order a group of specialist wizards? And if so are they by the book specialists or do you create new specialty groups? Orders like Arl and Xluzu are probably easy enough (evokers and necromancers) but what about an order like Nin (who would probably need spells from the druid list)? How do you treat things like the Sleeping Secrets?

Sorcerers / Wonderworkers could probably just be sorcerers, or they could be something like Binders from the 3.5 Tome of Magic.

Clerics maybe either get no spells if they worship a major god, or can cast spells in / near their temple if they worship a demon or minor god ... but this doesn’t make cleric a very feasible adventuring class.

Probably scrap paladins, use a non-spell casting ranger variant, not sure about bards and druids ...


I feel pretty meh about getting a book with a missing page and I feel pretty icky that a good number of people will only find out after they have bought the book.

With this and other recent printing hiccups, I am a bit concerned about this continuing with other products. If a page of the APG is missing, will it just be called good enough and sold anyway? If the covers of the Bestiary 2 are curved such that it can't lie flat, will it still be sold at full price?

I wouldn't have really thought that these would happen, but it is a bit worrying that the a printer can make this mistakes and still leave them to be passed on toward the customers


Blazej: Did I miss something? What missing page?

I'm just about finished with The Wizards and the Warriors and was getting excited for this to come.

EDIT: I found it. :-(

Contributor

Trust me, nobody's more disappointed about this than us. (The only thing worse than getting a book with a missing page is getting several thousand books with a missing page...)

I believe that at this point, it's too late to do much more than the PDF - things are already out to the bookstores, etc. - but we're definitely exploring our options and seeing what's still feasible!

Thanks for understanding, and sorry for the inconvenience... you can bet that we're taking steps to make sure it never, ever happens again.


Wow. I was actually signing onto this thread to beg you guys to publish the rest of the series, but hearing about the missing page makes me really sad.

I was really excited about getting this book as part of my subscription and reading it as soon as possible. I feel like I can't start the book now.

I fully support Paizo for publishing these books but I can't help but feel gypped. I hope the COMPLETE book gets published soon.


I don't suppose there is any chance that these could be reprinted, and people could exchange the misprinted copies for complete ones?

The Exchange

65 pages in. Need more of this guy. Alot more.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I just found out about the missing pages. Page 189 cleared up some confusion for me, I reread that section several times and couldn't figure out what was happening. I am more than halfway through right now (They are traversing the Penvash Peninsula). I don't know if I would have stuck with it after the first 50 pages if I wasn't reading all of the Planet Stories books cover to cover.

I am now a little more interested in other books in Hugh Cook's repertoire. Although a check at Amazon only reveals 4 of his other titles and two at $30-50.


Kata. the ..... wrote:

I just found out about the missing pages. Page 189 cleared up some confusion for me, I reread that section several times and couldn't figure out what was happening. I am more than halfway through right now (They are traversing the Penvash Peninsula). I don't know if I would have stuck with it after the first 50 pages if I wasn't reading all of the Planet Stories books cover to cover.

I am now a little more interested in other books in Hugh Cook's repertoire. Although a check at Amazon only reveals 4 of his other titles and two at $30-50.

Don't just check Amazon, check you friendly local used bookstore. I scored several volumes for cheap.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

So, just to mention the elephant in the room ...

I'm assuming this was an error on the Paizo side, since there's been no mention of going after the publisher? Or is the publisher one of those "publish at your own risk, ye scurvy varmits" kind of places?

Edit: I ask because, well, while I'm very supportive of Paizo and very understanding that errors happen - this means that now I've got two subscription items with serious defects - the Adventurer's Armory and this book, and there's been no mention of any sort of compensation for all the people who paid full price expecting a NON-defective item.

Contributor

gbonehead wrote:

So, just to mention the elephant in the room ...

I'm assuming this was an error on the Paizo side, since there's been no mention of going after the publisher? Or is the publisher one of those "publish at your own risk, ye scurvy varmits" kind of places?

Edit: I ask because, well, while I'm very supportive of Paizo and very understanding that errors happen - this means that now I've got two subscription items with serious defects - the Adventurer's Armory and this book, and there's been no mention of any sort of compensation for all the people who paid full price expecting a NON-defective item.

Shh! The elephant is shy! He hates being mentioned.

...seriously, though, the honest answer is that sometimes bad things happen to good publishers. In some cases, it's clearly the fault of the printer, and you can go after them for recompense, as you mentioned. Just as often, though, it's technology to blame, and when things go wrong in the aether between publisher and printer... well, that gets messy. The long and short of it is that we found out about the problem after the book had already been shipped, and we aren't in a financial position to reprint thousands of books.

All of that said, it's of course important to us to keep our customers happy, and especially our subscribers! If you want to contact customer.service@paizo.com, they'll get things smoothed over for you. But it's my hope that, given how awesome Walrus is, folks will understand about the problem and decide to download the missing pages so that they can finish the story. And you can bet that we've already taken steps to help make sure that these sorts of errors never, ever happen again.

As Sean's fond of pointing out... even birth control isn't 100% guaranteed. :-\


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It sounds like several of you have read many to all of the other 9 (wow 60 were planned, wow!). I will soon acquire the first two at reasonable prices (for a lot less than the $30-50 you see on Amazon). I sort of like Arabin lol Arabin now, but really wouldn't want 9 more of his journeys. It sounds like other books stay with other characters that are briefly seen in the other books. So, I suspect if I acquire all 9 others I will meet Plovey and maybe that lonely guy they met when traveling through the Doors.

Is there an order to read (or acquire) them? I tend to prefer publishing chronology. Assuming I have any control over acquisition.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For the most part you can probably read them in any order. I’ll give some more detail below spoilers for the sensitive:

Spoiler:
Books 1 through 5 are set (mainly) on and immediately around the continent of Argan, and deal with a lot of the same characters (that is, a minor character in one book might be a major character in one of the other books).

It’s been a while since I’ve read The Walrus and The Warwolf, so I’m a bit hazy on which minor characters pop up and which other books they feature in. Book 1 focuses on (amongst other characters) Miphon and Morgan Hearst, who I think both show up towards the end of Book 4. Book 2 focuses on ‘Forester’, who Drake meets briefly aboard the Warwolf. I can’t remember if the major character(s) from Book 3 (particularly Yen Olass) show up in Book 4. Book 5 concentrates on ‘Watashi’ (is he in Book 4?) and yes, Plovey gets a look in in this book as well.

Books 6 and 7 are set some time before books 1 to 5 (as far as I can tell), and in a completely different location (the island nation of Untunchilamon, an ocean away from Argan). You should probably read these two in order (6 then 7), as they deal with the same characters in the same location, and events of book 6 influence events of book 7. A few minor characters from the first 5 books do show up in these ones – Zozimus, Hostaja Sken Pitilikin, Guest Gulkan, and Log Jaris I think from memory.

Books 8 and 9 are set on two different continents again, and are fairly disconnected from the previous books. The Werewolf and the Wormlord is set in Yestron (Wen Endex to be precise) and deals somewhat with the nature of Doors. One of the major characters from Books 6 and 7 puts in a fairly minor appearance in this book (and it is set after the events of those two books). The Worshippers and the Way is set on a southern continent (name escapes me, starts with P and Dalar Ken Halvar is the capital – Drake briefly goes there through a door). It is fairly unconnected to the other books but picks up on some themes explored in books 6 and 7.

Book 10 is the story of Guest Gulkan (who shows up at one point or another in almost all of the previous books – I think he might be the lonely guy through the Doors that you mentioned), I’d probably read this one last if you can, but it’s not really essential.

Sovereign Court

In the face of all the glory being heaped on Cook's The Walrus and the Warwolf, I feel compelled to add an opposing opinion. Simply put, I'm finding it really hard to understand the love for this book and I've put it down for Many Wade Wellman. The narrative is like reading a sociopath's stream of consciousness acid dream. I'll give Cook a little credit as a writer for being able to make a story seem completely disjointed even when it is not. Unfortunately, I found nothing remotely compelling about any character or their story. Finally, when it came down to make sport of rape, I just couldn't continue. I can understand appreciating the novelty of the narrative but, really, this just isn't a book for me and it won't be going on my shelf.


Elf_NFB wrote:
In the face of all the glory being heaped on Cook's The Walrus and the Warwolf, I feel compelled to add an opposing opinion. Simply put, I'm finding it really hard to understand the love for this book and I've put it down for Many Wade Wellman. The narrative is like reading a sociopath's stream of consciousness acid dream. I'll give Cook a little credit as a writer for being able to make a story seem completely disjointed even when it is not. Unfortunately, I found nothing remotely compelling about any character or their story. Finally, when it came down to make sport of rape, I just couldn't continue. I can understand appreciating the novelty of the narrative but, really, this just isn't a book for me and it won't be going on my shelf.

Yep, I really did not enjoy this book a great deal either. The characters were cartoons, the plot rambling. The dialogue was occasionally funny, but too often missed the mark completely. The book just ...ended... all at once, either 25 pages too soon or 200 pages too late, depending.

In addition, I dont think I really found any of the characters at all likeable, save perhaps Jon Arabin. Faced with all that, when a few sentences/paragrapsh/pages went missing around the last 2-3 illustrations, I was not terribly worried that I was missing anything.

One last thing - is it just me, or does Drake shrug off a bodkin in the testicles with no lasting ill effect, or complaint? I would have thought that might have had a bit of an impact on Drake, but its like it must have been in a dream because it happens, and is then ignored.

So, two stars for me. This stuff is not really why I subscribed to Planet Stories.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mothman wrote:
For the most part you can probably read them in any order. I’ll give some more detail below spoilers for the sensitive: ** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks Mothman, that was the information I was really looking for. Elf_NFB and jmidd, I understand what you are saying. I never really cared for Drake throughout the book, but I did enjoy some aspects of it.

And I hope most of the other first 4 (mentioned by Mothman in his spoilers) are not as psychopathic as Drake.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kata. the ..... wrote:
Mothman wrote:
For the most part you can probably read them in any order. I’ll give some more detail below spoilers for the sensitive: ** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks Mothman, that was the information I was really looking for. Elf_NFB and jmidd, I understand what you are saying. I never really cared for Drake throughout the book, but I did enjoy some aspects of it.

And I hope most of the other first 4 (mentioned by Mothman in his spoilers) are not as psychopathic as Drake.

Of course, this is not the first time I have been forced to read a book due to Paizo. Erik Mona "tricked" me into reading Clark Ashton Smith's first collection of short stories. And then the Second ...

Thank you Erik.


Kata. the ..... wrote:


Of course, this is not the first time I have been forced to read a book due to Paizo. Erik Mona "tricked" me into reading Clark Ashton Smith's first collection of short stories. And then the Second ...

Thank you Erik.

James Malizewski tricked me into it, and now I am waiting for The Last Enchantment later this year.

Also, back to W&W - after Virgil Finaly art in Ship of Ishtar, dont bother if you cant get good art.

Contributor

jmidd wrote:

So, two stars for me. This stuff is not really why I subscribed to Planet Stories.

It's definitely not for everyone's tastes, and something of an experiment on our part, but rest assured that the current schedule should be much more toward your tastes if you like the more classic-feeling Planet Stories books!


Hmm. I'm into the second Hugh Cook book in the series, and so far, it's grabbing me even more than the first one did.


Just finished Cook's The Questing Hero (volume 2.1 of the American reckoning). From the back cover:

"WELL-CRAFTED...THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE.
I happily recommend it to everyone who enjoys
the wonderment of magical worlds where only
pure fantasy roams."
--Gary Gygax

EDIT: For this one, I kind of wish I had a Hierarch of G'n Super-Naturalism.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

So far I am totally in love with this book. Its so awesome that Paizo is getting this reprinted, with an into by China Mieville no less! However, I have just got to page 189, immediately noticed that there was some missing text. Where can I download the pdf's?

Never mind! I found them.


Does anyone else think something COMPLETELY inappropriate every time he sees this dude's name on the Paizo index page?

Contributor

I picked the book up at Paizocon and finally finished reading it a few days ago. I definitely enjoyed it, despite the fact that it's definitely unconventional. The introduction by China Mieville definitely helped prepare me for the book's tone, which was a good thing, even if it did spoiler some of the major plot points.

My final rating is four and a half stars out of five. It might very well be one of the best fantasy novels I've read and I'm considering trying to track down the other ones in the series.


Loopy wrote:
Does anyone else think something COMPLETELY inappropriate every time he sees this dude's name on the Paizo index page?

Yes - disturbing is it not?

HC is one of my favourite authors, I am wondering if the Wizards and the Warriors would have been a better introduction to Hugh Cook as it is slightly more "traditional" in its story than the The Walrus and the Warwolf.

The Walrus & the Warwolf is the best book in the series so I can see why you want people to have his best work. Its a hard choice.


jmidd wrote:
Elf_NFB wrote:
In the face of all the glory being heaped on Cook's The Walrus and the Warwolf, I feel compelled to add an opposing opinion. Simply put, I'm finding it really hard to understand the love for this book and I've put it down for Many Wade Wellman. The narrative is like reading a sociopath's stream of consciousness acid dream. I'll give Cook a little credit as a writer for being able to make a story seem completely disjointed even when it is not. Unfortunately, I found nothing remotely compelling about any character or their story. Finally, when it came down to make sport of rape, I just couldn't continue. I can understand appreciating the novelty of the narrative but, really, this just isn't a book for me and it won't be going on my shelf.
So, two stars for me. This stuff is not really why I subscribed to Planet Stories.

Elf_NFB, jmidd,

I am a bit behind in my reading, but considering indeed the praise this "not really Planet Stories" book has gathered on this thread, I shall side with you.

My problem is not really that I dislike the book, it just reads like cheap fantasy to me. It is sort of enjoyable at times with the risqué but not overtly vulgar references. I also enjoy reading a book with words properly written in British English and British slang.

That being said, this is not what "Planet Stories" should be about.

Have you already run out of 1940-1970s forgotten materials?
I thought the line was to be more like digging for forgotten jewels of a distant past, some kind of reading list or guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy (or mix of the two) from the olden days.

Please do not get into the "this is a classic" argument, because what is "classic" to one can read as utter rubbish to many. It is all a matter of taste.

From the late Hugh Cook's own admission, this book series was a commercial failure at the time, and from what I have gathered he did not really create a new genre either.
The only apparent reason for this book to be in the "Planet Stories" line is that it was out of print, or never in print, in the USA. Well, I live in England, so allow me to be selfish.

Now, books like "Who Fears the Devil", "Robots Have No Tails", "Black God's Kiss", and many more have indeed their place in the "Planet Stories" line as I understand it.

Again the "Walrus and the Warwolf" is not that dire, it just does not seem to belong here.

Dark Archive

"If you want me to talk," said Drake, "first find me a human being for me to talk to."

I have enjoyed many laugh out loud moments as I progress through this book.

Drake is truly a real piece of work.


Lord Slaavik wrote:


Please do not get into the "this is a classic" argument, because what is "classic" to one can read as utter rubbish to many. It is all a matter of taste.

There you have the rub.... some people are going to love it (me) some people are going to find it ok (you) and some are going to hate it (Elf_NFB)... So does your sense of taste or Elf's sense of taste invalidate it as a book loved by others I think not.

There are books that both of you cherish that I would not give 2 seconds of my time. If a book I didn't know came out and I purchased it based on reviews from here and then found it was not to my taste, I would be disappointed that I did not like it. I would also understand that others would enjoy it and not have it on the list.

The book came out in the late 80's I remember reading them in my last years of High school - how far back in time do you think paizo should explore?

I don't understand your reference to British slang Cook was from New Zealand?

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