30 Days of Balance #24: The Timeline Doesn’t Matter

Short post today. Cover a-transpirin’.

The running phrase around an old Malazan Book of the Fallen forum I spent a lot of time on was “the timeline doesn’t matter.” It came about as a result of numerous threads wondering how story lines wove together, sometimes critical of supposed gaffes, other times desperately trying to pull together loose ends. Malazan hops around a lot. Keeping track is a job better suited to a computer. Somewhere in this mighty jumble it may have been possible to find an error in chronology, or math, within the ten epic tomes – but the mantra was loud and firm: forget about it.

For one, you’ll churn your noodle. For two, it was deemed rude to question the author when he so clearly has thought of a thousand-fold details. There was a point where having so much depicted with accuracy that the act of questioning went from nit-picking to insult. Erikson had earned any holes you could find. Odds were it was you who was missing the link regardless.

As stated earlier in the 30 Days of Balance, I have an ugly document for time lines. Most authors have not earned the benefit of the doubt as Erikson has and thus have to be extra particular. An obvious hole or even one that can be weaseled out through careful scrutiny is enough to sink my ship in the eyes of the gatekeepers. As such, for Purge of Ashes, the timeline does matter – and very much so. I promise not to hop around much in the next book *wink, wink*

Drat, did I type myself winking?

JM

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