June 19, 2019, 10:11:39 AM

Author Topic: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?  (Read 608 times)

Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2019, 12:43:34 PM »
Possibly down to the types of book I read, but I notice it way more in Sci-Fi than in Fantasy. Though that could be because a lot of the SF I read is way more liberal than I am. As an example, I almost DNF'd Elizabeth Bear's new book when it called me a bigot within the first chapter.

As a general rule, I'm fine with having open themes. A lot of the Military SF I read is openly quite preachy about duty and honour, but it informs the story rather than getting in the way of it.

I must also admit, since I did my degree in creative Writing, I tend to notice things like this a whole lot more than I used to.

Offline Peat

Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2019, 01:11:15 PM »

I must also admit, since I did my degree in creative Writing, I tend to notice things like this a whole lot more than I used to.

Once you start to see it, it becomes impossible not to see.

I mean, would I consider GRR Martin to be preaching that most people are bellends, that nobles are usually bigger bellends, and that principles must be flexible to keep those bellends in their place? Kinda yeah; he never stops to make a big explicit grandstanding monologue, but the characters and choices puts into the story time and time again hammer the message home. It is easier to ignore the latter, but when you subconsciously go looking for it, they're both as noticeable imo.
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Offline Bender

Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2019, 01:41:41 PM »

As a general rule, I'm fine with having open themes. A lot of the Military SF I read is openly quite preachy about duty and honour, but it informs the story rather than getting in the way of it.

I thought preachiness had religious overtones. Do we consider Duty and Honor as preaching? Surely those are basic characteristics of any old fashioned protagonists.

Take Sandersons Stormlight Archives, pretty much every page involving Kaladin or Dalinar has something on duty and Honor. It's a bit repetitive, but I don't get the feeling of being preached to.

On the other hand, one of posters in another forum had hesitations on reading Red Sister trilogy due to Convent, Nun setting as he feared it may be preachy. I didn't find that too preachy either.
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2019, 03:26:25 PM »

As a general rule, I'm fine with having open themes. A lot of the Military SF I read is openly quite preachy about duty and honour, but it informs the story rather than getting in the way of it.

I thought preachiness had religious overtones. Do we consider Duty and Honor as preaching? Surely those are basic characteristics of any old fashioned protagonists.

Take Sandersons Stormlight Archives, pretty much every page involving Kaladin or Dalinar has something on duty and Honor. It's a bit repetitive, but I don't get the feeling of being preached to.

On the other hand, one of posters in another forum had hesitations on reading Red Sister trilogy due to Convent, Nun setting as he feared it may be preachy. I didn't find that too preachy either.


I see 'preachy' as any overt attempt by the author to tell the reader how to live their lives. Unless it's a massive monologue, I can allow characters to discuss things. it's only when the narrative itself id saying 'this is the way' that I find it preachy. Of course that line does blur in 1st person narration.

Preachy for me definitely goes beyond just religion though. I'd also include political messages like Peter F Hamilton tends to do, Ben Aaronovitch's anti-anything that isn't London, and maybe even Steven Erikson's rants against literary criticism in Crack'd Pot Trail. BAll of those are very much the author using books as a mouthpiece for his own views.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2019, 03:51:12 AM »
I do recall trying to read the Puppy-insert short fiction in the Hugo ballot a few years back and just about passing out from the weight of the "here is the point, let me tell you about the point, this entire thing is a Metaphor for the Point".

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2019, 08:06:38 AM »
Crank’d Pot was the book I was thinking about when I made this topic.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2019, 02:12:14 PM »
Crank’d Pot was the book I was thinking about when I made this topic.
Crack'd Pot Trail? I dnf'ed it. Not sure I'll pick it up again. How is the second half?
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2019, 05:34:01 PM »
Crank’d Pot was the book I was thinking about when I made this topic.
Crack'd Pot Trail? I dnf'ed it. Not sure I'll pick it up again. How is the second half?

Exactly the same as the first half. Seriously, absolutely nothing happens in that book. I try to avoid being negative about books even when I don't like them, but Crack'd Pot Trail is just a hundred-odd pages of Erikson ranting against literary criticism.

Offline Peat

Re: Do you notice preaching in fantasy books?
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2019, 06:03:58 PM »
Willful Child by Erikson also felt very much like it was a "This is why everyone who's ever liked classic space opera stuff is wrong and horrible" book going from the opening pages, and I'm not even a huge fan of the stuff.
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