April 09, 2020, 02:03:26 AM

Author Topic: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?  (Read 3771 times)

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2017, 07:40:42 AM »
I personally prefer to create my world from a blank slate myself, although with some basis in history (like how the elderscroll series base the Imperial of the Romans and etc.) On the other hand, as a person that likes reading history during past times myself, I do not really historical fiction books that had added in too much of their own creative elements. Books like Bernard Cornwell's series and Simon Scarrow's the roman legionnaries series are superb, but there were some books I came across and talks about dinosaurs and magic being used in the Napoleonic Wars. To be frank, those stories just sound ludicrous and silly, even disrespectful to the true element of history in a way. Just reading the synopsis of those books had my hand trembling trying not to throw it into the dustbin.

History are the elements of our past, the composition of our culture, and the reason why we came to be as we are today. If done badly, or with too much of excessive elements conjured by the author added into it, historical fictions could easily become one of those ludicrous, nonsensical stories that better fits the children's section than the adult's. They would just lead readers down the route of, "Well, the author could just come up with anything, could he?", and put the book down as DNF. In my opinion, it is much less of a crime to fail in the construction of your own fantasy world, rathan than come up with a less than perfect story based on true history. If someone based their story on true historical basis and events, they would need to be extremely meticulous and perfect in the research and details of the story, or they'll just be setting themselves up for criticisms. Loads of it...

Offline David Plantinga

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2017, 03:32:50 PM »
World building can be laborious but you spare yourself much pedantic nitpicking.  I used to read IMDB forums and it was astounding how many viewers carped about Michael Hirst's work, pointing out tiny, pointless errors: chronology of minor incidents, first cousins mistaken for second cousins, minutiae of sets and costumes.  In the real world, the number of facts is infinite while for any construct the number of facts is finite.  No author, no matter how meticulous can be entirely free from mistakes and oversights.

Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2017, 10:16:28 AM »
Better to debate pros and cons of each than just simply say one is better than the other.
“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” ~ William S. Boroughs

Offline Takoren

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2017, 01:03:09 AM »
I would think an archaeologist would be the perfect person to create an amazing, layered, consistent world as layered and believable as our own. The best built worlds are created by writers who are historians, anthropologists or archaeologists, at least of the armchair variety. They've done their homework already; they know how worlds are formed.

As a reader I absolutely prefer built worlds. I like the inventiveness , the discovering a world where I don't know how things work yet, and the learning about it through interesting characters and story.
"The battle's won easy and the war's won cheap
My lords seem to trust me but I'm just 18
So I'll hang their hides from the bannisters
When I take my revenge on the Lannisters
Got engaged to a Frey so I could win a free pass
Can't get with Talisa but damn dat ass
Hey, hey, I wanna be Robb Stark..."

Offline Rostum

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2017, 05:27:19 PM »
Quote
I would think an archaeologist would be the perfect person to create an amazing, layered, consistent world as layered and believable as our own. The best built worlds are created by writers who are historians, anthropologists or archaeologists, at least of the armchair variety. They've done their homework already; they know how worlds are formed.

From Experience they are very good at the data and the academic side and not so good at the practical, a historical interpreter or re-enactor may well come up with a more likely version of how something could have been used and may work out what is missing from the assembly. The two together might be a better bet.

Online Peat

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2017, 11:14:00 PM »

As a reader I absolutely prefer built worlds. I like the inventiveness , the discovering a world where I don't know how things work yet, and the learning about it through interesting characters and story.

See, I more often get that feeling with historical books! Weird how it works.
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline abatch

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2017, 09:40:19 PM »
Better? I haven't read the entire thread, so I don't want to be redundant, but that's like asking if apples are better than oranges: to my mind, they're two different things.

Offline Ashur-is-King

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 09:06:01 AM »
This is really interesting, because I love both history and secondary world fantasy. My preference is to write in a secondary world, but that's because I *love* world-building. I've spent a great deal of time on the world-building in my own work-in-progress, and I've drawn from my love of the study of real-world geography, history, and political and social systems.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 10:19:05 AM »
Real world historic fantasy needs much research.
Imaginary world historic fantasy backgound can be crystalised by playing Civilisation a lot, as can "future" speculative fiction. Why? Because things depend on things and some things make others inevitable.

Valves (tubes)  depended on development of mercury based vacuum pump, diamond dies (for tungsten or nickel filaments) and mathematics.
Transistors and ICs were "held up" for nearly 50 years due to lag in materials science. Bell Labs beat more serious researchers because their Germanium was new stock and purer.

Maxwell's Victorian equations made special relativity inevitable. Einstein would have had General relativity within a year rather than 10 years later if he'd paid attention to mathematics at university, it needed non-Euclidian geometry.

Decent "speculative" fiction might need a good science/engineering/mathematics background.

However "speculative fiction" is a very broad term and might even use "historic fantasy" as a vehicle.
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Offline FrankDavid

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 09:47:26 PM »
I think if you try to create a fantasy using the real world, you would find those critics who would say it was unbelievable because it was set in this world.

World building is difficult but it allows you to create the world you see your story being set in. I mean I have to say, map creation would be much easier if you used a real world setting. Other than that, world creating is exciting.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Is historic fantasy better than speculative?
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2017, 01:33:22 PM »
I think if you try to create a fantasy using the real world, you would find those critics who would say it was unbelievable because it was set in this world.
However it might be very popular. It often is.

Decent "worldbuilding"  has two issues:
1) It's very time consuming to do, though it can be fun.
2) It's  not much fun for someone else to read. It has to be dribbled in, background, very little exposition and no infodump.
So I only invest much time for a series.
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