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Author Topic: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!  (Read 3355 times)

Offline Yora

Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« on: January 28, 2015, 09:29:53 AM »
Is it just me, or have the recent years just been drowning in assassin protagonists?

Is this the "Northern Barbarian" of the 21st century?
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Offline JMack

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 11:09:21 AM »
I've noticed it too.  When you think about the huge number of Hollywood movie assassins its not much of a surprise. 

Is the equivalent of the Conan-style northern barbarian?  Yes and no.  In the sense everyone is doing it, sure.  In the sense that death and mayhem surround them, sure.  But Conan and his ilk strike me as a sort of film noir and existential thing.  Not sure if that's what the hero assassin is all about.  I do know that I'm uncomfortable with what I see as a first person shooter approach to death in the movies, and I equate assassin heroes with this mindset, rightly or wrongly.
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Offline Overlord

Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 12:57:30 PM »
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Offline Ben

Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 07:55:30 PM »
I don't find it that bad. Maybe we are reading different books, but I haven't found the invasion of the assassins to be that repetitive at this point.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 10:35:17 PM »
Assassins and thieves are popular, always have been. Wasn't one of Conan's many talents assassination?
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Yora

Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 11:04:54 PM »
Hmm.... ...no. Usually he would sneak into places just to steal stuff and end up having an accidental run-in with the very dangerous owner.
In a few cases he breaks into the homes of people who have betrayed them to murder them in revenge, but that's because they would be too cowardly to come out without their guards to face him alone.

Which is why I find this assassin thing kind of weird. Contract killers are serial killers who let someone else pick a target for them and excusse their murders to themselves as just being a job. There are lovable scoundrels who have no intention to harm other than self defence, and there are great villains to cheer on. But a contract killer as a positive character who has a somewhat unpleasant job but really is one of the good guys?
That doesn't seem mentally healthy to me.

I know there's one series about a seriously messed up boy who leads a band of murderers, but I believe he is meant to be an absolutely horrible person. But when I run into them, assassins seem to be considered as simply tragic scoundrels with a somewhat mispent youth, which their new friends are not bothered about.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 01:40:17 AM »
I have a whole shelf on my GoodReads called "Ninjas get chicks" that I use for assassins, thieves and other hooded urban badasses (I'm oftentimes bundling "elite military unit" type characters in there as well, on a case by case basis). I feel like I go through spates of reading books that revolve around these types of characters - I've got seven listed in the August-October period last year - which is probably more coincidence than market design. That said, the number of books on that shelf (37) is only a fraction of my overall "world fantasy" shelf (136).

I've always wondered if the proliferation of hooded covers is combination how badass it looks, and cover artists going, "YES, I never have to try and match a drawn face to the author's description EVER AGAIN!" \o/

Offline Elfy

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 02:08:52 AM »
I have a whole shelf on my GoodReads called "Ninjas get chicks" that I use for assassins, thieves and other hooded urban badasses (I'm oftentimes bundling "elite military unit" type characters in there as well, on a case by case basis). I feel like I go through spates of reading books that revolve around these types of characters - I've got seven listed in the August-October period last year - which is probably more coincidence than market design. That said, the number of books on that shelf (37) is only a fraction of my overall "world fantasy" shelf (136).

I've always wondered if the proliferation of hooded covers is combination how badass it looks, and cover artists going, "YES, I never have to try and match a drawn face to the author's description EVER AGAIN!" \o/
I hope the hooded person thing is starting to go out of vogue for covers now, it's the quickest way to get me to not pick up a book.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Ben

Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 03:02:21 AM »

I hope the hooded person thing is starting to go out of vogue for covers now, it's the quickest way to get me to not pick up a book.

I skimmed the link that Overlord post, but hasn't the hooded person been a staple of fantasy novels since forever?

Offline Elfy

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 04:25:04 AM »

I hope the hooded person thing is starting to go out of vogue for covers now, it's the quickest way to get me to not pick up a book.

I skimmed the link that Overlord post, but hasn't the hooded person been a staple of fantasy novels since forever?
There have been plenty of hooded characters in the past, but they weren't featuring on the cover of every second fantasy book until more recently.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline JMack

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 02:35:18 AM »
My cover art from a 1975 high school SFF fanzine.  I was ahead of my time on this whole hooded man thing.   8)

« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 05:28:10 PM by Jmacyk »
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Offline DavidZampa

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Re: Assassins! Assassins everywhere!
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 05:34:49 AM »
The hooded character will always be a thing to some degree or other. It does a good job of communicating, "You bought the Night Angel books? Here, try EVERY OTHER FANTASY NOVEL ON THE MARKET FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS". I don't mind them so much when they make some sort of sense. Like when the character is standing outside (preferably holding a weapon) and stuff is falling down around their head (Debris by Jo Anderton), but I think it's getting a little stupid when the character is indoors, lounging on their throne with their hood up (See: Darkened Blade by Kelly McCullough). At that point they might as well be wearing Matrix-style sunglasses.
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