Idle Musings (SIM 10)

8 Jun

It’s been one of those weeks. <grin>

Basically, I had hoped to complete Past Tense – Book 10 of Schooled In Magic – last week, but a couple of points in the novel needed to be rewritten and a handful more needed to be tightened up before I send the manuscript in to the publisher. I’ve noticed that even-numbered SIM manuscripts require more editing than the odd-numbered manuscripts, so I’ll probably be indulging in the usual weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth before going to work and tightening up the manuscript still further.

But on the other hand, the whole affair has reminded me – again – of why I need beta-readers.

It’s actually been an interesting experiment. Writing two books that are linked together so closely, as I noted at the end of Infinite Regress – meant that I was restricted in several ways, none of which were easy to surmount. I got several comments that suggested that Emily had regressed, when instead there are a number of limits on her ability to act. And I got other comments about choices Emily made, some of which prompted me to do the first set of rewrites.

Obviously, as a character, Emily has grown and developed over the years since Schooled In Magic was first published. And yes, she has come a very long way since she entered the Nameless World – she’s a lot stronger, a lot more capable, than she was when she started. But at the same time, I don’t want to push her forward too fast. I don’t think it’s realistic for her to become Superwoman within 4-5 years in real time (particularly as Superwoman is a villain <evil grin>). And yet this has caused issues as a number of readers have urged that yes, she should move forward faster.

It’s always a problem writing a character with flaws. Plenty of readers will argue that those flaws are unrealistic, or that the character is holding the Idiot Ball at a certain point because those flaws blind them to reality. (And then there’s the opposite character, the Mary Sue.) But then, us – the readers – exist outside of the context of the book.

Matters aren’t helped, if I am forced to be honest, by my decision to tell almost the entire story from Emily’s point of view. There’s no way to show how (most) people react to her. And there’s a point, in Past Tense, where she gets something flat-out wrong, but it isn’t spelled out because that would destroy suspension of disbelief. I’ve hinted at it a lot, but some of the responses I got suggested that I didn’t hint at it enough.

Anyway, enough of me whining.

I’m hoping to start Fear God and Dread Naught on Saturday, Malaysian time. (I’d forgotten just how hot Malaysia is.) And here is a sneak preview of the cover.

fear god and dread naught cover


86 Responses to “Idle Musings (SIM 10)”

  1. Cameron June 8, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    Perhaps write a load of short stories from other points of view?

    On the subject of Emily’s character, I remember you noting a while back that she is actually on the autistic spectrum. With this in mind, a lot of her thought processes and jumping to rather literal conclusions seem fairly spot on.

    • chrishanger June 8, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

      Yes, she is


      • Jack Hudler June 9, 2016 at 3:49 am #

        You know I was going to ask if you had written Emily’s character as a High Functioning Autistic. Being one myself, I couldn’t help but see the similarities. Thought most Aspies believe everyone else is on the spectrum, they just don’t know it yet :).

    • Kyle Louthan June 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      Hey, Really enjoyed Infinite Regress. And Up front if your looking for more beta readers I am all for it.

      More to my main thoughts here.

      So after reading this book, I am finding her abilities kind of spastic in what she can and can not do. Through out the book several characters, including herself commented on how her power expansion was causing her problems, Everything from difficulty assessing how much power to bring fourth, to intimidating other students when attempting to learn ritual magic.

      Yet on the other hand she was able to meld with the source code for white Hall and make extremely tiny correction that would require a very precise amount of power, not to mention precise commands as syntax is extremely important in both coding and from what you have hinted at runes. Both of which seem to work along the same concept.

      This would seem to indicate that she does in deed possess the ability for incredible control over her now expanded power. She also does a few thing in the book that drained her down to mere embers of her magic. Last time she did this her power expanded. Did this happen again or was it the extreme circumstances that brought fourth the growth? Or is it more like there is chance that draining your self to that degree can facilitate power growth/possible insanity. Either way not super clear on what the prerequisite are. Maybe that is even the point no one knows.

      I also find that her emotional growth seems to be coming along nicely, True Traumatic events do not go away over night if ever at least not completely. Yet she is learning to trust albeit slowly.

      One thing that has me banging my head against the wall is her lack of use with the batteries she has designed thus far. Maybe she is still charging them, again maybe not, its not stated. But as for her own safety I would think that she would be storing as much energy as she can in to at least a 1-3 different batteries on a regular basis. This way she would always have at least one trump card on her and if things really hit the fan she could grab the other two for even more backup. I would also assume that she would keep at least one on her at all times. Due to the enemies that seem to face her on regular basis and considering the power she can contain and the fact the she has already created a valve of sorts its one of her true trump cards should something bad go down.

      Now in this last book there was almost no need for them, but they might have come in handy a few times. Yet no mention of them came up.

      I am also concerned with this blood magic control that seems to be happening again. How did they get her blood again? And if someone is messing with her why did Frieda not see it when they did the soul ritual? Its possible up to that point no one was actually controlling her. There might be something written in to wards from when she went back in time and they were simply following her own directives but i find that to be unlikely and even over the top convenient.

      I also find my self at odds with her going back in time. So far your stories with Emily have been awesome, I like how she has flaws and that she is not perfect or all powerful that is wonderful.

      However, Time Travel is almost always used as a sort of cop out in what ever medium uses it. Generally one of two thing happening. One: the character inadvertently changes the past which in turn changes well known characters. Most common some are killed off. They turn out to have never existed in the first place or their personality changed drastically even becoming hostile or they no longer know the main character. Second It is used in a way to highlight a single set of actions that can not be altered, no matter how much we may want them to be. I hope that you are able to avoid that trap.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

        We find out about the “Blood Magic” in Past Tense. [Wink]

      • Gazza June 9, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

        To charge the battery takes a blood magic ritual that may not be forbidden it is frowned upon. With Emily on probation 1 error, slip up or even the appearance of one is all it would take to get expelled . There is also the chance that if someone sees her charging her battery they will know that it is possible to be done. Emily has a fear that people may leak this to the nercos making them even more powerful then they are now. There are other spells that Emily has stop using as she deemed them far to powerful. The nuke spell is the only one that others have seen her use.(not just the Black Hole Spell) Know that something can be done is 90% of what you need, the last 10% is just working out how to do it.

    • Clyde June 9, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      Don’t suppose you could put book 10 as a pre order on Amazon? 😀

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 9, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

        I wish Chris could but he’s said there’s more editing to do and who knows when the editing will be complete.

      • chrishanger June 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

        No – it needs to be finalised first, sadly.


    • Cepha June 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

      Just started stalking one of my favorite authors…
      But anyway,the revelation that Emily is in the autistic spectrum… u oh, i always seem to jump to the same conclusions, only i tend to bang my head on a wall or my bed post, because emilys thought processes alway are way to slow for me. Does this mean i am in the autistic spectrum too?

      • chrishanger June 16, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

        Could be . I would hesitate to offer an opinion.


  2. Don Miller June 9, 2016 at 12:48 am #

    I would be interested in being a Beta reader for you.

  3. Gazza June 9, 2016 at 1:01 am #

    I am willing to beta read for you if you are still looking, with all the hops and what evers needed to be done

  4. G June 9, 2016 at 1:45 am #

    I know several autistic children–so long as the condition isn’t too severe, they do still develop better (not perfect, but better) interpersonal skills over time…they also as they move into their twenties usually recognize their weaknesses and begin to develop mechanisms to better cope/deal with people and problems…most autistic people I know, though, highly value close relationships and homes and go to extremes not to leave them–which would make me question how easily Emily leaves Zangaria and Alassa and Imaquah behind…it would also be interesting if we had a prologue from the perspective of factions on the White Council or outside Kings/powerful sorcerers taking note of and discussing Emily…powerful people not from Whitehall, Zangaria, or Mountaintop…

    • chrishanger June 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

      That’s true – that’s partly what happened to me .


    • Jack Hudler June 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

      As an HFA, let me try an address Emily’s willingness to leave Zangaria, Alassa, and Imaquah behind (as I felt it). This is form of escapism; it’s the desire to get away from a physiologically or emotionally noisy environment. Think of it as social suicide, where you’re not trying to harm yourself. You just want to get away from everyone or those who are causing the noisy distractions, so you can get back to what interests you.

      As an example; sometimes when I’m in a highly noisy and emotional environment. I suddenly get this overwhelming desire to get the hell out of there. This may sound like a panic attack, but it’s not, I’ve become totally oversaturated with conflicting aural and visual stimuli.

      In Emily’s case (IMO) she felt confined didn’t want the burden and distractions caused by her Barony in Zangaria. Were Emily prone to thoughts of harming herself, then I suspect physical suicide would have been her way out; however, we wouldn’t have any books to read. So Chris had the character make the Socal statement of, up yours, and teleported out of castle taking down all the wards with it, releasing Cockatrice, and then home to Dragons Den. Yep, that some statement.

      Believe me I envy Emily’s character, there are times when I wish I could do just that. But I have children, and I want to be near them and see them and watch them grow up. Once they are on their own (assuming I live that long), I plan to find a cabin in the mountains spend the rest of my life in blessed quietness.

      Question for Chris is; did I get her character plight correct?

      • chrishanger June 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

        Partly, yes. (There’s a few other factors too.)


    • Jacqueline Harris June 11, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      Fact is Emily never felt like Zangia was home. Nothing good ever happened there and she had a lot of responsibility. She feels more at home byherself in the house the grandmaster gave her then her castle in Zangria. As far as Allasa and imaiqe. Well she is still keeps contact but she is exiled from zangria. She wants to keep studying she loves whitehall. Was she supposed to not go back to school?

  5. Jack Hudler June 9, 2016 at 3:51 am #

    Also if you need a beta reader. I’ll be more than happy to do it.
    I’ve done this for a few others.

  6. Jerry June 9, 2016 at 4:04 am #

    Love the title of Vanguard 2.

  7. Lodrik June 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    I wonder from time to time if Shade surrived (in whatever form), but the demon recognized Emily as his mistress so that cant be?

    And did that statue from Infinite Regress vanish as time paradox cause Emily saw it and changed the past (in the coming book) so the statue would not be build (like *And dont make a statue of me after i go back to the future!*)

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

      Chuckle Chuckle

      Wait and See! [Very Big Grin]

    • chrishanger June 10, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

      No. Shadye is an ex-Shadye


      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

        Nasty Image

        Dead Shayde is in the hands of a Demon and the first thing the Demon does is make Shayde sane.

        IE Dead Shayde get to remember himself “ruining” his own plans because of his insanity. 👿

  8. lizkimberLiz June 9, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    Wow, I’m so pleased to hear that book 10 doesnt sound so far away! Im sure plenty of us would happily beta read for you.

    I thought Emily had matured and so was slightly less implusive in 9. Which keeping an eye on younger people can bring you to do, a responsibility in someone elses life needs to be thought of and is often given more thought than actions for your own.

    Eagerly waiting for number 10!

  9. Darkpoint June 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    On the one hand, Emily’s slow growing is sometimes a bit frustrating especially if it looked like she had overcome one of her flaws and then it seems like she reverted back into old behavior. For instance, in Infinite Regress the scene where she had the big fight with Caleb. In my opinion she had very good reasons to be angry at him, yet she apologized to him like everything was her fault. This reminded me of the earlier books where she didn’t stand up for herself. This is similar how she let herself being treated by the new Grandmaster. Of course, she cannot oppose him too much, but it just looked like she was too meek and accepting.

    But on the other hand, I really dislike the books where the MC started as the “typical” smith or farmer with no knowledge about fighting. One book later then he is a self-confident master swordsman, defeating his enemy’s easily and along the way the MC learned how to track, wield magic or how to speak one or two new languages, too.

    So, maybe it is indeed better if she keeps her flaws a bit longer (but not for too long, please).

    Regarding your concern to write the story only from Emily’s PoV:
    I honestly think that was a good decision. I like to see the story evolve through Emily’s eyes and not knowing what everyone else is thinking and thus I hope you stay with Emily as the only PoV.

    Furthermore, multiple PoVs have their own problems (in your Royal Sorceress Series I don’t like the constantly changing PoVs: book 1: Gwen & Jack, book 2: only Gwen (I think), book 3: Gwen & Olivia, book 4: Gwen & Raechel).

  10. masgramondou June 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    Add me to the list of people eagerly awaiting book 10. I have to say that the whole SIM series is one that I have enjoyed rereading, so now I need to back and reread the last 2 or 3 to see if I agree with the critics or not. Such a sacrifice.

  11. MAD-ness June 9, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

    Since the story is a first person POV it is difficult to demonstrate accurately both how Emily is perceived and how her skill and power are progressing relative to other powerful wizards.

    One way of demonstrating these things is through her interaction with others. On the positive side (characters who understand and respect Emily enough not to have a negative bias when judging her) the two who help the most in this respect are Lady Barb and, more recently, Caleb.

    I think that having a couple more characters (perhaps a strong senior wizard and a prominent 5th or 6th year student) deciding to accept Emily would allow you to highlight some of her strengths and her positive growth without getting too exposition-y.

    It would also help balance what can border on becoming repetitive and somewhat illogical blind opposition amongst so many of her detractors.

    Even if people don’t personally like Emily there has to be a point in a world full of competitive, power hungry and selfish wizards that a few individuals decide that allying themselves with Emily is either a great method of raising their own status or a great method of attacking their rivals.

  12. Jacqueline Harris June 11, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    I think us readers are picky. We want are cake and we want to eat it too. We want Emily to stop apologizing for things that aren’t her fault. We want her to not have to take crap from people like Gordian. And we want her so strong that people like Nanette can’t even touch her. And yet were would the story be? So I totally get the balance between weaknesses and Mary sue. I love her weaknesses I find them very relaitable.
    I like the fact that she is starting to want close intimacy or relationships with both Freida and Calab. I feel like despite her loyalty to Allasa and Imaque I always felt like she was friends on her own terms. She has had to work to get close to Calab and Frieda has wormed her way into her heart.

    One thing I felt sad about in IR was Emily felt very isolated from the school. Maybe that’s just her perspective partially? The Grandmaster said she had more friends then she knew. I feel like Emily is still in her own little world and I am wondering if she will every break out of that. I am not expecting her to become an extrovert but still.. It would be nice if she could have a wider circle to talk too.
    One thing about the school is they work you so hard that you never actually have a standardized level while it’s good for learning, it’s hard to see were she is at in comparison to her age group. The same with her power we don’t have anything to compare it too so we don’t know what she is capable off.

    I am really excited for the time travel I hope she becomes whitehalls apprentice if there was one thing I think Emily lackes is a master someone more brilliant then her. Lady Barb was good and taught her to fight and helped her emotionally but lady Barb was also very hands off as well. Lady Barb mostly taught her advanced general skills. Basic defenses and curse breaking Void has given her some life advice but that’s it. Other then work experience she hasn’t had a one on one personal master. She has many tutors sir miles and Mistress Daniella but no actual master. And who is brilliant enough to bring out her potential?

    • Darkpoint June 11, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Void could be a good Master for her. He is eccentric but Emily is that herself and I think he accepts her more than most people (even Lady Barb). His magical skills are without question and he has a lot of life experience. But I don’t think Chris will choose him as a Master and this means probably only another Lone Power (Fatty from LLW or a female Lone Power?).

      • Jacqueline Harris June 12, 2016 at 5:17 am #

        yea void could be good but Void fells like he shouldn’t be her master. I think void is one of those ruthless the end justify the means types. I don’t think he is a bad guy but I am generally surprised at his restraint of not wanting to ‘mold’ her so to speak. Maybe he’s a better guy then people think. I think if he would have been her master at first then Emily would be relent on him but maybe now that she is older she can have a teacher and still stand on her own.

  13. Katharina I. June 12, 2016 at 3:21 am #

    Ever since the statue of Emily showed up I’ve been wondering if perhaps the statue was actually her in some sort of stasis spell that her future version used to get back to the present, and that her coming into contact with it was what woke the future version of herself up. This makes sense to me because it explains how the statue disappeared and leaves the possibility that it was actually herself who enchanted her (which would explain where the person controlling her got her blood- if it was actually blood magic controlling her) and pushed her into the nexus in order to complete/start the series of events that lead/end with Emily getting sent back in time. (Time travel is so awesomely confusing!)

    Does anyone think that there is any credibility to this theory? Chris?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 12, 2016 at 3:35 am #

      Tum, te, tum, te, tum . . . . 😉

    • Michael June 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      Ya, I think he was hinting pretty heavily at time travel. Frankly surprised it didn’t occur to Emily at all.

      Don’t forget, in the first book right after killing Shadye she sees a man in a robe. Perhaps a time travelling historian?

      Also the demons are hinted to live in a dimension outside of time or something.

      Of course time travel would have all sorts of paradoxes to explain away.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

        Note: Chris has said that the “man in a robe with the book” is the personification of Destiny. 🙂

        Mild spoiler, IMO Emily is really going to hate anybody who calls her “A Child Of Destiny” after the next book. 👿

  14. Gazza June 12, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    As I was reading Hard Knocks I had to wonder if Emily was going to keep her white hair?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 12, 2016 at 11:59 pm #


      Chris has said that paintings in the Nameless World are not accurate.

      The woman in that painting may not have had white hair.

      • Gazza June 13, 2016 at 1:34 am #

        LOL Ya. Was more a poke at the painters then at Emily changing her hair color. Emily hated almost all the painting of her in whitehall

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 13, 2016 at 1:37 am #

        LOL! That’s OK. 😀

      • chrishanger June 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

        They’re basically artists impressions . Emily never sat for any portraits. (Which is basically what happened a lot in the days before cameras.)


  15. Michael Misenheimer June 15, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Just a few random thoughts……..

    The statue was there, it was suppose to be there, it vanished because Em showed up. En is there in the “present” and hey, no scar on her face….yet….Statue go poof.

    The Library is her personal library from the past. This is why her magical signature is all over it. The books disappeared (perhaps into a pocket dimension?) in response to Em being there, the spell/enchantment activated after she left the room. This was because, Em in the past knew that the prof was gonna loose his grits and should not be allowed access to these books.

    Suspect it was the demon that shoved her into the nexus. Why? something she has to do in the past, and her being in the past is THE reason that there is a huge hole in their history and knowledge. They had to arrange a “big forget” to cover her presence, why? look, it’s already happened and they can’t change that.

    Random new thought….why is the demon doing things that will seem to be good? Well, suspect that whatever is coming that Em needs to be prepared for is going to be bad for the demons as well, so really they are just helping themselves….

    Suspect statue is there in memory of…….suspect that Em will be in the past for a long time and believe that she is stuck there….the way in which she likes to study and speed at which she learns…..she’s gonna be massively more powerful when she returns (we’re talking Lone Power and maybe more……

    Suspect that Em is Lady Emily Whitehall beloved wife of Lord and Master Whitehall.

    and yeah, when she returns, having at that moment lost her husband and children who are now dead 700 years in the past…..anyone that says child of destiny to her is quite likely to receive a power bolt where the sun don’t shine.

    • William Ameling June 16, 2016 at 1:08 am #

      That is a new (extreme) idea to me, Emily as lady Whitehall (I think it would take her a LONG time adjusting to a different man than Caleb as a marriage partner). I was expecting her to learn a lot from him possibly/probably as an apprentice either in the past or in the present if Lord Whitehall comes forward. Since the statue (frozen Emily returning from the past) looks exactly like her original/present self, except for the scar, I think she did not spend a long time in the past, possibly months but not years. I think that it was Emily from the past who was controlling her (present self) to bring her to the Nexus point and then shoving her into it. It would certainly be a lot easier for her to control herself than for someone else to do it. I also doubt that she stayed in the past long enough for an apprenticeship, besides the fact that still has to finish 5th and 6th years at the school before she will be ready to start an apprenticeship.

      I think that the new story arc needs a replacement for Lady Barb (who has left the school) and the original Grand Master (now dead) and I think that Lord Whitehall coming the past to the present would work well as a replacement for both. He would also cause a major change in the present political/magical power structure of the Nameless World which the war against the Necromancers needs. A Child of Destiny does not have to do everything herself, she just has to cause the needed changes and she is too young and junior to take an important place in the political/magical structure governing the Nameless World, Lord Whitehall could.

      • Michael Misenheimer June 16, 2016 at 1:48 am #

        yeah and this is why I hate time travel. If she was controlling herself it then begs the question, how did she get there (in the past) in the first place? The idea of Lord Whitehall coming forward to take over the castle and the school is intriguing,

        However, that was a goodly sized collection of books and it would have taken some time to collect them. I still get the feeling that she does spend a fair amount of time in the past. Also, why is the statue there if not in honor of her? If Whitehall comes forward I don’t think there would be a reason for it.

  16. Michael Misenheimer June 16, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    Also, Mr. Chris, did I mention that I would love to be a Beta reader? I have always wanted to try that. Although I might be a tad older than your normal readers…..approaching 60, quickly!

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2016 at 2:16 am #


      Just a youngster! (62 on the 17th). 😉

      • Michael Misenheimer June 16, 2016 at 2:25 am #

        So, a game of one up? Hmph! Fine I’m 57 on the 11th next month. Ok, try this…..My son (30) and I read many of the same books, In fact, I introduced him to SIM. We have greatly enjoyed this series. We have read Niall Teasdales Anaka Jansen and Thaumatolgy series together. We then sit and discuss the stories and try to see where the author is taking the characters next. Most of the Random thoughts above were the result of our latest discussion. We also play some of the same games on PS3 and PS4, am I not one lucky son of a magus or what?

      • chrishanger June 16, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

        You’re making me feel young here – 34.

        Actually, I met one of my heroes last year. He said he thought I’d be older


    • chrishanger June 16, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

      Drop me an email and I’ll add you to the list.


      • Michael Misenheimer June 17, 2016 at 3:07 am #

        um,….grrr…ah…..Gah! I guess I’m about to become a horrible fan? I have no address for you….Just woke up…..cognitive abilities non functional….response not expected….pleased beyond, well crud, where do I send it Mr. Chris?

      • Michael Misenheimer June 17, 2016 at 3:16 am #

        sorry got more than a little excited.

      • Gazza June 17, 2016 at 10:05 am #

        E-mail sent
        Good to see that I am not alone as one of the older group of people that enjoy SiM.

  17. William Ameling June 16, 2016 at 5:02 am #

    The “statue” of her, is her in a frozen state returning from the past, and it was placed where it was to make sure that it was left alone and make it back to the present without interference. It is an interesting idea that that white haired (did the passage through the Nexus change her hair white?) young and old looking woman next to the supposed Lord Whitehall in the painting at Mountaintop from “School of Hard Knocks” is Emily. We will have to see if it is true. Possibly she learned some interesting and useful magic about demons while in the past. Since the Demon Masters were shown as carrying a book (their “Book of Pacts”) under their arms, it makes me wonder about the man she saw after the death of Shadye, who was also carrying a book under his arm. The books do not have to be hers, rather they have magical knowledge/spells from the time of Lord Whitehall (and probably belonged to him), that are being brought forward to help in the present irrespective of whether Lord Whitehall also comes forward.

    • Michael Misenheimer June 16, 2016 at 5:05 am #

      According to an earlier post, Mr. Chris has previously identified that man as “The personification of Destiny”.

    • Jacqueline Harris June 16, 2016 at 5:12 am #

      But there were actually two people. She see a monk and a boy so who was the boy?

      • Michael Misenheimer June 16, 2016 at 5:15 am #

        Hah! Really good question. I have no idea and no conjectures. My mind has never spawned anything for the boy.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

        Chris has said that the young man was the person later revealed as the Mimic.

      • chrishanger June 16, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

        Travis – technically, Mimic!Travis.


  18. William Ameling June 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    If he is “the personification of destiny” he still also could be a Demon Master, which could help explain how and why the demon brought Emily to Shadye back in SIM. It might also help explain how Void found out about Emily in time to rescue her before Shadye sacrificed her.

    Actually, he was carrying a large book, not necessarily under his arm (a minor distinction that may not matter).

    Another point, if it was truly an “Infinite Regression”, the same Emily that returned from the past would also be the one who got sent back into the past, i.e. an infinite loop that she could not escape from. As it is she only goes around the loop once and then continues on into the future, she is/was not trapped in an infinite loop any more than you are trapped by your past.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      The “personification of Destiny” was often described as holding a book containing the destiny of people.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

      • William Ameling June 17, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        I can think of one place where Emily could change things in the past, besides showing Lord Whitehall how to control the Nexus point, without messing up the known present world: the 3rd (unknown to the present Nameless World) continent that she sees on the map of the world earlier in IR. Perhaps she could make changes there or send things forward to help in the future/present of the Nameless World on that 3rd continent. It will be interesting to see if the 3rd continent comes into the story line of the SIM series. Surely the Faerie knew about the 3rd continent, and there might be survivors of them there, and/or surviving parts of Lord Whitehall’s time and civilization there. Even if she made no changes there while in the past, she and the rest of the present in the Nameless World now know about it, so it could have an (big) impact on the war between the Necromancers and the Allied Lands; another affect of the Child of Destiny.

        Has there been any other discussion about the 3rd continent? Perhaps, the Faerie have managed to conceal it from the rest of the world for a LONG time as their hiding place and/or last stronghold?

        This could also be part of a “new story arc” in the SIM series, besides the major changes to Emily’s schooling and social life (all of her friends who are not there anymore) at Whitehall.

  19. William Ameling June 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    Has anyone ever wondered why it is “Child” of Destiny rather than Man or Woman of Destiny? Child implies someone who is not fully grown (yet), as well as a relationship to “Destiny”.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      I think it’s “Child” because Child can refer to either a Son or a Daughter.

      Plus, there’s the problem of translation.

      The Nameless World’s word that is translated as “Child” could also be translated as “Offspring”.

      IE The word doesn’t refer to the age of the person. [Wink]

      • William Ameling June 17, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

        I notice that you do not say anything about the 3rd continent. I think that there has to be a reason that we only learn about it now. If there is any place on the Nameless World where the Faerie could be surviving in strength it has to be on the 3rd continent.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 17, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

        Well, I have some thoughts about that third continent but can’t talk about them until Past Tense has been published. 😉

      • chrishanger June 18, 2016 at 1:25 am #

        We will see …


      • Michael Misenheimer June 17, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

        and?………what’s the word on when it will be published?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

        Chris has said he hopes for it to be published July 1st.

        Hope he makes it. 😀

      • Michael Misenheimer June 17, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

        You know, I am suffering serious withdrawal symptoms here, This is making me wish that Chris would give us the first chapter. Not going to happen I’m sure…..just wishful thinking. Probably have to go back and read the entire series again.

        Pretty sure that I agree now with an earlier poster that the statue is actually Emily. Someone refresh my memory here though as I can’t seem to recall. Turing someone into a statue, do they experience the passage of time? or are they suspended? Her familiar as I recall does not, but also doesn’t the librarian turn noisy student into statues for an hour as punishment? Doesn’t seem like much of a punishment if they don’t remember it. Or are there different types of spells for this. If she has been standing there, aware, for around 700 years she might be insane. I don’t really see Chris doing that to Emily. I just can’t recall enough of these thing, too many other books story lines running through my head.

        Comments please, get me straightened out here.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 18, 2016 at 12:11 am #

        In an earlier book, Emily is turned to stone and it took several days before she was restored.

        She was aware of what had happened to her while she was turned to stone.

        Fortunately, people kept talking to her so she remained sane.

        So if the statue was Emily, the danger of her being aware of her status exists.

        Now, I believe that it’s safe to say that Chris doesn’t want an insane Emily.

      • chrishanger June 18, 2016 at 1:25 am #

        The first chapter or so of PT is a walking spoiler for IR, so I’ve been reluctant to post it. But I will once the first set of edits are up.


  20. William Ameling June 18, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    I think that in previous books there has been a mention (including an alternate history version of Emily at the end of one of the previous books in the SIM series.) of the Stoned Philosophers and a severe form of punishment for criminal magical acts where magicians were turned into stone PERMANENTLY and AWAKE as well. Obviously, I do not expect her to be insane, but she might have had some awareness of time’s passage, particularly through the agency of the Nexus Point and/or the Warden (which was destroyed by the Mimic). She might also have had some indirect influence on the old Whitehall Grand Master through the Nexus Point and/or the Warden while she was frozen.

    There is also the question of how did the Nameless World forget about the existence of the 3rd continent. I suspect some powerful and “Subtle” magic has to be involved, probably from the Faerie themselves, but there might be a role for Lord Whitehall and the version of Emily in the past.

    • William Ameling June 18, 2016 at 2:11 am #

      Making humans in what becomes the Allied Lands forget about the 3rd continent might be to protect the humans from the forces that might be unleashed by the Faerie if humans bothered them, which could be a reason for Lord Whitehall and Emily to have been involved in covering up the existence of the 3rd continent in the past. Apparently, according to previous books in SIM, any ships that try to sail that far never come back.. Or it could be the Faerie protecting themselves.

      • William Ameling June 18, 2016 at 3:44 am #

        Another interesting question: Could any party of people(magicians) that did not include Emily have opened the locked and warded doors below the school? They may have set so that only Emily could open up the passages below the school as a way of preventing premature exploration and interference.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 18, 2016 at 4:09 am #

        Did you used to shake Christmas Packages (like I did) to guess what was inside? 😉

  21. William Ameling June 18, 2016 at 7:21 am #

    No, but I have been a book worm who loved science fiction since about 3rd-4th grade and I do not have many opportunities to talk about the books I have read. Fantasy started in 7th-8th grade with Lord of the Rings. I was born in Jan 1953. I am also a math science, particularly physics and astronomy, nerd. I made it up to 3rd year graduate school level in physics, but no PhD, with a BS in astronomy, MS in physics. I would have loved to be a Physics professor but I fell short of that.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

      I do not have many opportunities to talk about the books I have read

      Same here. 😀

      • William Ameling June 18, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

        If Emily had any sense of the passage of time while she was frozen, I think it was limited to the Nexus Point and to keeping others from prematurely opening up the closed tunnels under Whitehall, for which she could draw upon the Nexus Point for power to keep the wards up.

      • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

        I do have a forum .


  22. G July 11, 2016 at 7:06 am #

    In the middle ages, Kings and aristocrats used their power to make the world run to benefit them…and most of the armies defending the allied lands still belong to them…why would they tolerate the White Council decreeing that they and their children can’t take 5th or 6th year classes at Whitehall unless they renounce their estates and swear an oath to the allied lands?? They should want some members of their bloodlines being powerful sorcerers, loyal to them…or can they get similar training at Stronghold or somewhere else??

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard July 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

      I suspect that it is rare for a potentially powerful sorcerer to be born into a Royal or Noble Family.

      Thus it doesn’t happen enough times for the majority of such families to object to that rule.

      Of course, if the majority don’t have sorcerer children, they’d support the Magic Schools if one of their own objects to that rule.

      After all, few Kings or Nobles would want one of their rivals to have such a powerful resource. 😉

      • G July 12, 2016 at 3:08 am #

        But given the allied lands need for well-trained sorcerers, why have the restriction at all?? The flip side of the question also applies–why over the centuries haven’t powerful sorcerers become Kings and nobles??? Not sure how these rules/history make sense, yet they seem to drive much of the series…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard July 12, 2016 at 3:42 am #

        Remember, the Major Schools want their finest students to Defend The Allied Lands as a whole, not just a single Kingdom or Noble Holding.

        A King or Noble has a strong responsibility toward their Kingdom or Noble Holding.

        To hold true to their oaths toward their domains can conflict with oaths to defend the Allied Lands as a whole.

        A third son of a King could likely take the Oath to Defend the Allied Lands because he wasn’t that important to his father’s Kingdom.

        As for powerful sorcerers becoming Kings or Nobles from what we’ve seen the Magical Families aren’t interested in ruling over non-magicians so aren’t likely to do so.

        Of course, if they had taken this Major Oath, they would like have the problem of conflicts between their responsibility toward their new Kingdom and their responsibility toward the Allied Lands as a whole.

        Now prior to Major Schools requiring this Oath (before the breakup of the Empire), there could have been powerful sorcerers as rulers but I suspect that their descendents have been privately taught.

      • chrishanger July 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

        There’s a lot of detail i will probably go into at some point . But it will need to be worked into the story.


    • chrishanger July 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

      Basically, there are ways you can get most of the training without swearing the oaths – private tuition, for example. It generally applies to the schools.


  23. G July 12, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    I would still expect some powerful sorcerers to emerge from some noble family as heirs over the last 300 years since the founding of the Allied Lands…to not fully train them (5th and 6th year and apprenticeship) to help defend a desperate and slowly losing allied lands seems silly…imagine if I wrote a novel based on medieval Europe where male heirs of noble families weren’t fully trained as knights because they hadn’t sworn oaths to the Holy Roman Empire…

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