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  #8641  
Old 11-14-2013, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
I've liked reading Joe Abercrombie's stuff so far. The First Law trilogy is excessively dark and may not necessarily escape the standard fantasy trappings, but Best Served Cold was fun because, by using fantasy as a backdrop to tell a revenge story, it didn't get bogged down in many fantasy cliches. I'm looking forward to catching up on the other one-off sequels (which I wish more people would do. Fantasy one-offs, mixed genres, different stories, etc.)
I just finished Best Served Cold as well. I was a bit thrown off because I thought it was going to be a standalone thing, but it's really more like the fourth book in the trilogy. Also, I think it's somehow more violent than the first three. I really enjoyed it though, and I'm looking forward to reading the next two.

Currently I'm reading Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is wonderful, I can read anything he's written all day.

Also, I just picked up NW by Zadie Smith and Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.
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  #8642  
Old 11-14-2013, 04:47 PM
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I just finished Best Served Cold as well. I was a bit thrown off because I thought it was going to be a standalone thing, but it's really more like the fourth book in the trilogy. Also, I think it's somehow more violent than the first three. I really enjoyed it though, and I'm looking forward to reading the next two.

Currently I'm reading Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is wonderful, I can read anything he's written all day.
MMMM, I dunno. It's about different characters (mostly) and has a different plot (entirely). It touches on and is influenced by the underlying power struggle that's dominating the entire world as established in the trilogy, but I wouldn't call it a continuation, necessarily. And yeah, it's more violent, but less dark... less spiritually violent, I guess.

I really need to read Love in the Time of Cholera. I really liked 100 years of Solitude and want to get back to Marquez.




As for fantasy and escapism, no one but you is making a big deal out of it being escapist. All literature has elements of escapism, and all fiction includes elements that aren't real. Most Horror could easily be termed fantasy. A lot of sci-fi is just fantasy about spaceships instead of dragons (lord knows it's not based on science). The problem with Fantasy that we're talking about is that it gets bogged down in genre conventions and usually doesn't try to do anything interesting besides be fantasy. The genre is too comfortable being too little besides escapism.
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  #8643  
Old 11-14-2013, 06:07 PM
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Dude when I said fantasy was inherently escapist you acted like I slapped your mother. So what you're telling me now is that stories are fiction? Like for real? Who knew?

Maybe authors are too complacent in fantasy but I still maintain that this has to do with the difficulties in the genre itself. Its much easier to extrapolate current day problems in Sci Fi, hell most of the big authors in the genre don't even feel the need for a future setting anymore. Crime fiction practically demands cross polination with the social realism novel thanks to folks like Lehane, Pelecanos, et all. And while horror deals with the supernatural its usually in reflection of unconscience fears and anxieties. Even when fantasy is explicitly allegorical like with her "What if skinheads had magic powers and wore masks"those elements take a back seat to "Wizard School!"

I would be eager to know some of the fantasy titles you think aren't escapist at heart.

Last edited by Evil Dead Junkie; 11-14-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:20 PM
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I'm not trying to focus on the escapism. I never was. What I took issue with was more the way you conflated "inherent escapism" with cheeseburgerism and tossed an entire genre into one little box of "escapist worldbuilding to be read on a lark" based on the apparent lack of effort in its writers (or publishers). I wasn't even saying Fantasy isn't that, I was saying that's the very complaint that started this all and simply acknowledging it doesn't answer it.

Basically I (and Loki) said we wanted more from Fantasy as a genre and you came back with "I don't look for a lot in Fantasy." Well, thanks for that.
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  #8645  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:31 PM
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Given that I was addressing Behemoth's complaints about Sanderson as a writer, not yours I'm alright with that.

As to Loki I made a list of titles that I thought did qualify as Steak alikes. What more you want would have to be categorized under Iboan'tknow.
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  #8646  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:07 PM
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provides nutrition.
Theoretically, yes.
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  #8647  
Old 11-15-2013, 03:02 PM
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I'm reading The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron. Just finished the first story, and damn, that was good.
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  #8648  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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That is a man who is very very good at what he does.

I reread The Postman Always Rings Twice, it's humbling to read a book that's less than 120 pages (can't be more than 30,000 words) that changed the face of a genre forever, and basically invented the template for Noir. All without using a word over two syllables.
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  #8649  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:41 PM
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That is a man who is very very good at what he does.

I reread The Postman Always Rings Twice, it's humbling to read a book that's less than 120 pages (can't be more than 30,000 words) that changed the face of a genre forever, and basically invented the template for Noir. All without using a word over two syllables.
I counted about five words that had more than two syllables in the first page of the book.
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  #8650  
Old 11-15-2013, 09:40 PM
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Pedantic Man Away!

All while using language that is bog fucking simple.
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  #8651  
Old 11-15-2013, 09:42 PM
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Pedantic Man Away!

All while using language that is bog fucking simple.
Couldn't you have have said "words that are bog fuck small?" I got a headache reading that sentence.
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  #8652  
Old 11-16-2013, 12:39 AM
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If you really wanted to be clever you'd say something like "it only uses simple words. I am impressed with how simple the words are." Y'know, simply!
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  #8653  
Old 11-16-2013, 05:46 AM
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If you want to be clever and succinct, use the phrase "deceptively simple." Critics love using this one.
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  #8654  
Old 11-16-2013, 06:40 AM
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Verily I doth disdain thine usage of that most lavender of diction
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  #8655  
Old 11-16-2013, 11:12 AM
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Currently I'm reading Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is wonderful, I can read anything he's written all day.
I've been working on my Spanish partly by picking my way through this for the better part of two months. Not necessarily a great choice for "My First Spanish Reader! " Almost a quarter of the time I look up a word I don't know in Spanish it translates into a word I don't know in English either

But it is a really wonderful book to lose yourself in. Its sense of place and character is so strong that I can take a break for a week and come back without any loss of immersion. And these people always surprise me. They're always more complicated than I gave them credit for.
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  #8656  
Old 11-16-2013, 06:54 PM
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I'm currently about fifty pages into The Gun Seller, which may be the first book I've read that reads almost exactly the way the author talks in real life. The author being Hugh Laurie, which makes it appropriate.
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  #8657  
Old 11-16-2013, 08:56 PM
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I'm currently about fifty pages into The Gun Seller, which may be the first book I've read that reads almost exactly the way the author talks in real life. The author being Hugh Laurie, which makes it appropriate.
I read that a few years ago and quite enjoyed it.

Also: Marquez is amazing.
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  #8658  
Old 11-16-2013, 10:24 PM
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Black No More could be a front-runner for most brilliant satire of all time.
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  #8659  
Old 11-17-2013, 05:59 AM
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It's not for everyone, but I don't think anyone would accuse The Malazan Book of the Fallen of being cheeseburgers. It's a billion pages long though, and getting longer.
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  #8660  
Old 11-17-2013, 06:28 AM
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I ran out of books so I'm re-reading the Farseer trilogy. It's still great.
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  #8661  
Old 11-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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It's not for everyone, but I don't think anyone would accuse The Malazan Book of the Fallen of being cheeseburgers.
"The problem with the Silmarillion is that Tolkien didn't go far enough in developing his world. Nor did he start it in media res."

I've read the first couple of Malazan books but they're so dense that when I finish one I don't feel like reading the next one immediately, and now I've forgotten the details of the ones I've read so I feel like I should reread those. But maybe I'll just read the summaries on a wiki and pick up the third one.
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  #8662  
Old 11-17-2013, 12:35 PM
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"Friday" by Heinlein. Ought to come with a trigger warning. The protagonist gets raped on page 9 and the sexual dynamics only get more disturbing from there.

(Yes, a lot of off-beat stuff happens in "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Time Enough For Love" and all that, but I've not yet run across rape in a Heinlein before. It need hardly be said that he does not treat the topic with any degree of political correctness.)

It also takes place in a version of the 80s that has lasted for fifty years and has Heinlein convinced that no good can come of this wretched planet and the only hope for humanity is in space. Which is great since there is, of course, space travel to whisk the heroine off to so that she can become a Happy Frontier Babysitter like the endings of all the other novels in this era. Heigh-ho.

The idea of accounting for Heinlein's inability to write a convincing female character is covered to some extent by the Artificial Person plot twist, although the racism subplot is not especially convincing. And New Zealand is described with the air of a man who is looking everything up in books.

The frustrating thing is that there's good bits - he hasn't lost his knack of writing decent adventure prose - and there's some good ideas that go nowhere, like the prospect of a Heinlein character actually have to go to work for a while instead of having magical sky-money (this fails to happen, magic happens at all the crucial moments). Or the subplot about the protagonist being trained to become a pattern-recogniser who's capable of psychohistorical analysis by understanding historical trends, that gets cut short because he'd run out of ideas for that concept and moves on to something else. Or the one about assassination, for that matter. For that matter, there's a whole big planet-spanning conspiracy built up that I would quite like to know the ending of and don't because the protagonist is no longer interested in it, because it's not happening on the frontier so who cares.

I did enjoy him slagging off Margaret Thatcher, though. Also the Asimov call-out.


It's a lot like "The Puppet-Masters", come to think of it. Same basic shape. But more late-era Heinlein and all that implies.
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  #8663  
Old 11-17-2013, 02:12 PM
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Giving Middlesex another read because I loved it but remember goddamn nothing about it. Turns out I remembered so little that I didn't realize that it's about immigrant life in my current geographical location.
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  #8664  
Old 11-17-2013, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrenaline View Post
It's not for everyone, but I don't think anyone would accuse The Malazan Book of the Fallen of being cheeseburgers. It's a billion pages long though, and getting longer.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is the world's biggest cheeseburger - it's got a radius of a mile but it's only six inches tall.

Quote:
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I ran out of books so I'm re-reading the Farseer trilogy. It's still great.
The Farseer Trilogy is a cheeseburger ordered from a fancy restaurant - it's technically superior to a fastfood cheeseburger but has nothing that really sets it apart. It gets more boring with each bite and you fall asleep halfway through.

This is a fun game.
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  #8665  
Old 11-17-2013, 03:20 PM
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You people are why nobody reads anymore.
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  #8666  
Old 11-17-2013, 03:27 PM
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ITT: Yes Behemoth you can haz Cheeseburger.
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  #8667  
Old 11-17-2013, 04:03 PM
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Behemoth's cheeseburgers are great, do more.

I've heard about book of the fallen a bunch but I don't really know what it is.

Quote:
The Malazan world was co-created by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont in the early 1980s as a backdrop to their GURPS roleplaying campaign.
Oh.
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  #8668  
Old 11-17-2013, 04:05 PM
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A good burger is good food. This whole thing is confusing the shit out of me.
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  #8669  
Old 11-17-2013, 09:07 PM
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It's just code for "why aren't my escapist fantasy novels as well written as my fucking boring litsnob books?"
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  #8670  
Old 11-17-2013, 09:55 PM
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It's just code for "why aren't my escapist fantasy novels as well written as my fucking boring litsnob books?"
You're reading the wrong fuckin' books, mate.
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