February 11, 2011
As a writer, even if an amature, I'll admit that you have a way with your writing that presents a most interesting concept, even if I do not personally agree with it. I presume that you do not want someone blindly agreeing with your idea, but instead, examine it, devour what is good about it, and leave what cannot be digested - it is what a Gnoll would do.
What can be digested, digest the hell out of it, and leave the offal and continue to hunt, looking ever for the prey that you can catch, and always being hungry for the thrill of the hunt, and the wonderful taste of that meat.
What you presented in this book is not nessisarily a literal 'go back to basics', but more: "Do not be satisified with the status quo, for tomorrow will bring something that will kill a lazy hunter". More than this, I read Meat to mean something worthy of catching. Small ideas are good, and setting traps for our prey works, but if we do not exercise our ability to hunt down our prey, we will forget there was any reason to, and simply mindlessly graze on ideas that do not require exertion.
This, this I agree with.
Meat is a concept; the large ideas, the achievable goals that challenge us, but are not completely beyond our reach, the worrying about Now, and letting tomorrow worry about itself; to train the young to be the hunters of ideas, of joy, of learning the thrill of the chase, and tracking down something, even if we have to spend days. The hungrier we get, the more the taste of its flesh will sate us, and the more strength we shall have to catch the next idea, to teach our young, and to find and fuck a worthy mate. Meat is more than flesh, it is the concept, that we may be omnivores of flesh, but our minds are predatory. We may graze a moment on lighter things, but we are starving for the raw idea of hunting, of not being easilly satisified by the low, rotten fruit, but the ones higher, that are still ready for our teeth to sink into, that require us to climb higher.
This, I like. It is something I will have to take to myself, and my attitude. It made me realize I am starving, because I keep hunting, and never finding the prey, or it always eludes me. I have not been hungry enough to catch what I have wanted, and now, like a cub, I run out and look to sink my teeth into its jugular, even if it kills me.
This, I believe, is the entire concept of the book. Be the predator, not the prey, tell the larger lions to fuck off, because they may be large, but they are lazy on their largeness.
Thank you for the book.
I do not agree to everything, but I agree to the concept. It was delicious, and the taste of fresh blood sated me.
Also, someone who actually understands that Hyenas are the most badass animal in africa really makes me smile. The fact they have incredible pain tollerance, an over-arcing pack structure that's more than 'Bein' fed, fuckin' bitches', and are just more awesome looking that Lions just makes me giddy. Thank you for trying to show how /awesome/ a hyena really is.
February 22, 2010
Welcome! Good to see another hyaenid here.
TGC speaks to the reader on multiple levels, which you've grasped: recall the quote "Learning and solving problems is just hunting with your mind, hunting for knowledge." I am not disappointed if a reader isn't prepared to accept all of them at first.
There is a further analogy here. Continually surfing the Internet (or, worse, the television) is like grazing: continual ingestion of tiny mouthfuls of wide-ranging but low-value knowledge. To deepen our understanding we must hunt for prey, risking incomprehension, disappointment, and failure as we pursue the high-value meat of knowledge in books or through intensive training.
I agree that spotted hyenas are admirable. No one puts hyenas on posters for wildlife fundraising drives, and no one travels to Africa on safari to see hyenas. They're smaller and slower than lions. Most people hate them, think they're ugly, believe them to be cowardly scavengers, and kill them when they can. Yet somehow there are always hyenas, even in places where lions can't survive. And since TGC is the first book to be written about gnolls, I knew I had a responsibility to define them. I took that responsibility very seriously.
At the end of the day, TGC is a biography of Gryka. Everything else is just my attempt to come to terms with what she taught me. I'm glad I was able to communicate some of that to you, and that you find it valuable.
PS: Where did you hear about the book?
February 11, 2011
I heard about the book from a friend of mine, from an online group that deals with roleplaying games, both playing and creating them. While I do not often play, I am a lover of creation, in all of its forms. One such creation is taht I've been playing with gnolls as seen as they are - a tough, durable, strong species, who may not be gentle and beautiful, but have a wisdom and honor all their own.
It may not be an honor in the traditional sense, but it is a way to survive.
Yeah. I'd rather see a Hyena than a lion. Lions are lazy bastards.
February 22, 2010
Gnolls are like spotted hyenas: they're not beautiful in the traditional sense, but they are perfectly suited to what they do, and are absolutely efficient at doing it...as opposed to male lions, who spend most of their time sleeping, fighting each other, and making the lionesses do all the work.
One might ask how such an arrangement came about, and I think it's because of spotted hyenas: hyenas will gang up and kill lionesses if they outnumber them enough (about 4:1), but they'll almost never go after a male lion that weighs 3-4 times what they do and can sprint faster than they can. Male lions basically exist to defend kills against spotted hyenas!
The males are selfish and eat first, the mothers and cubs often starve, and male lions kill all the cubs whenever they take over a pride. My guess is that it's just marginally better than the hyenas eating everything.
Anyway, keep writing: that's how you get better at it. And help spread TGC as best as you can: I think we can both agree that the world needs more gnolls. (The Facebook page might help you.)
PS: How can anyone possibly hate this?
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