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Author Topic: Overused  (Read 4328 times)

Online Eclipse

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Re: Overused
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2016, 03:24:11 PM »
Are orcs really overused I've not read a fantasy book in months with an orc.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Overused
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2016, 03:36:08 PM »
Well you could read Orcs by Stan Nichols but I don't recommend it. I seem to recall he celebrated nothing orcish and wrote about green skinned humans in effect.

Offline Peat

Re: Overused
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2016, 03:46:59 PM »
Are orcs really overused I've not read a fantasy book in months with an orc.

I'm actually struggling to think of a fantasy book that does have orcs, actually. One Pratchett book, LotR, the Warhammer universes... even Shannara and Midkemia don't have Orcs (Trolls and Goblins respectively, but not Orcs). Plenty of them in games, but in books?

In fact, on the non-human races thing in general, I'd say I read most fantasy these days with only humans than featuring non-human. I'd suggest that if anything, human-only fantasy is the overused concept here.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Overused
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2016, 04:14:43 PM »
Speaking of which have they made a Warhammer movie?
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Offline magisensei

Re: Overused
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2016, 09:19:21 PM »
Besides elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins and dragons - I am going to add vampires and werewolves as race.  If you read urban fantasy and some fantasy - vampires and werewolves are way overused especially in urban fantasy.  Vampires are either sophisticated powerful creatures that for some odd reason still want to date someone a few hundred years too young for them or just mindless blood sucking creatures (seen less often); werewolves live in packs oddly always with a dominant alpha male - although wolves in nature are not like that - and they are usually rugged and fierce with a touch of the wildness (ie bad boy) about them and want to date their food (as humans would be food for wolves). 

In fantasy: if you want an ethereal nature loving powerful long lived race create something like an elf; you want a miner who is good with tools and likes to drink - use a dwarf; looking for evil creatures - use orcs and goblins; need a mysterious and enigmatic creature make a dragon; but if you want more human like races that are different but at the same time the same - then you make vampires and were wolves. 

Thats why it is interesting to read new takes on these creatures - like the handsome but evil-ish (as their culture is more about rising in class and status) goblin (yes still with green-gray skin and pointed ears) but certainly not the goblins of rpg fantasy games; or the orc that comes from an orc empire who is well read and articulate but still a warrior of some kind.   

Offline Takoren

Re: Overused
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2016, 01:36:06 AM »
That said, please don't confuse me with one of those "Tolkien invented fantasy!" people. I even wrote a long blog post just today about how Tolkien is often given credit for things he did not invent, and also really can't be said to be the greatest author in the genre anymore, if he ever really could.

Pretty bold statement given just how monumentally influential he is so long after his work was published. Only Howard can claim a similar cachet.
I agree. And I said in the post that there's no arguing Tolkien's influence. But I also argued that taken purely on its own merits, and stripped of the legacy built up around it and the influence on the genre, LOTR isn't perfect and in fact parts of it have not aged well.
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Overused
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2016, 02:40:35 AM »
That said, please don't confuse me with one of those "Tolkien invented fantasy!" people. I even wrote a long blog post just today about how Tolkien is often given credit for things he did not invent, and also really can't be said to be the greatest author in the genre anymore, if he ever really could.

Pretty bold statement given just how monumentally influential he is so long after his work was published. Only Howard can claim a similar cachet.
I agree. And I said in the post that there's no arguing Tolkien's influence. But I also argued that taken purely on its own merits, and stripped of the legacy built up around it and the influence on the genre, LOTR isn't perfect and in fact parts of it have not aged well.

I feel the same way about LOTR. I like the story but find the style a little off-putting. I can't deny its influence on fantasy, though. Without it, the fantasy genre as it exists today would not be the same. Personally, I think a lot of recent fantasy is far superior to LOTR. Few will ever match the depth of Tolkien's worldbuilding, but today's fantasy makes up for it with much more complex characters and better-paced plots.

Offline Takoren

Re: Overused
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2016, 04:49:16 AM »
That said, please don't confuse me with one of those "Tolkien invented fantasy!" people. I even wrote a long blog post just today about how Tolkien is often given credit for things he did not invent, and also really can't be said to be the greatest author in the genre anymore, if he ever really could.

Pretty bold statement given just how monumentally influential he is so long after his work was published. Only Howard can claim a similar cachet.
I agree. And I said in the post that there's no arguing Tolkien's influence. But I also argued that taken purely on its own merits, and stripped of the legacy built up around it and the influence on the genre, LOTR isn't perfect and in fact parts of it have not aged well.

I feel the same way about LOTR. I like the story but find the style a little off-putting. I can't deny its influence on fantasy, though. Without it, the fantasy genre as it exists today would not be the same. Personally, I think a lot of recent fantasy is far superior to LOTR. Few will ever match the depth of Tolkien's worldbuilding, but today's fantasy makes up for it with much more complex characters and better-paced plots.
You should go have a read of my post. You might agree with much of what I said. armiesoftheundying.blogspot.com is my blog, and it's pretty new so you'll see it right away.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 04:54:43 AM by Takoren »
"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 Peat

Re: Overused
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2016, 08:39:40 AM »
That said, please don't confuse me with one of those "Tolkien invented fantasy!" people. I even wrote a long blog post just today about how Tolkien is often given credit for things he did not invent, and also really can't be said to be the greatest author in the genre anymore, if he ever really could.

Pretty bold statement given just how monumentally influential he is so long after his work was published. Only Howard can claim a similar cachet.
I agree. And I said in the post that there's no arguing Tolkien's influence. But I also argued that taken purely on its own merits, and stripped of the legacy built up around it and the influence on the genre, LOTR isn't perfect and in fact parts of it have not aged well.

I wasn't talking about legacy/influence on the genre, I was talking about influence on the reader. Tolkien is still read, still relevant. Apologies for not making that clearer.

For me, a huge amount of what makes greatness is the ability to transcend eras and maintain popularity. So far, only Tolkien and Howard can be said to have done that. Will today's authors do that? We don't know one way or the other at the moment, but I think it fair to say a great many will not, just as a great many of yesterday's well-respected fantasy authors haven't lasted either.

It's hard to build objective frameworks for this sort of thing, but by any I can think of, Tolkien is at the very least in the running. No, he's not perfect (but who is) and yes, he is dated (but who isn't after 60 years), but he's still very much up there. Completely off-topic of course and imo of course.

Offline JMack

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Re: Overused
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2016, 11:43:06 AM »
@Peat = correct in every way.
JRRT forever.

I actually think the movies will age more than the books.
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Offline Takoren

Re: Overused
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2016, 02:59:22 PM »
@Peat = correct in every way.
JRRT forever.

I actually think the movies will age more than the books.
I agree, and trust me when I say that I am in no way interested in diminishing Tolkien's place in history. He's earned that. And LOTR is a great book. I guess I just don't feel like its place in history is enough to call it the greatest fantasy book ever written from now until the end of time, and I do think that Tolkien is often given credit for things that didn't originate with him. I've heard people call him the "first fantasy writer", which he objectively is not, or act as though he invented elves (well, at least the way he uses them), when in fact that was Dunsany. I myself was guilty once of thinking these things.

I also do not ascribe to the idea that one can measure the quality of a work by how influential or revered it is. While LOTR is a great work, there are areas where it falls short. I don't count it as heresy to suggest that as wonderful as it is, it isn't perfect. This is one area my father and I disagree on; he's an ardent Tolkienite who will never admit the book has even the tiniest flaw. I think this is because he doesn't see it as a book. He sees it as a unique sort of creation that transcends the bonds of mere literature and is more of a religious experience. I guess, try as hard as I may, I still see it as a book. A great one, one that has a part of my soul and always will, but still, it's a book.
"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 JMack

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Re: Overused
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2016, 03:36:58 PM »
@Peat = correct in every way.
JRRT forever.

I actually think the movies will age more than the books.
I agree, and trust me when I say that I am in no way interested in diminishing Tolkien's place in history. He's earned that. And LOTR is a great book. I guess I just don't feel like its place in history is enough to call it the greatest fantasy book ever written from now until the end of time, and I do think that Tolkien is often given credit for things that didn't originate with him. I've heard people call him the "first fantasy writer", which he objectively is not, or act as though he invented elves (well, at least the way he uses them), when in fact that was Dunsany. I myself was guilty once of thinking these things.

I also do not ascribe to the idea that one can measure the quality of a work by how influential or revered it is. While LOTR is a great work, there are areas where it falls short. I don't count it as heresy to suggest that as wonderful as it is, it isn't perfect. This is one area my father and I disagree on; he's an ardent Tolkienite who will never admit the book has even the tiniest flaw. I think this is because he doesn't see it as a book. He sees it as a unique sort of creation that transcends the bonds of mere literature and is more of a religious experience. I guess, try as hard as I may, I still see it as a book. A great one, one that has a part of my soul and always will, but still, it's a book.

And I agree here as well. It's "my" greatest fantasy novel because of where it intersected and influenced my life. I can easily understand the case for a number of others as "greatest", including among others ASOIAF, WOT, Gentlemen Bastards, etc.

Meanwhile, for those who just don't enjoy LOTR, I can also appreciate it's not to everyone;s taste. But I am filled with deepest, deepest sympathy for your loss. "You're depraved on account of you're deprived." Just sayin'  ;) ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Overused
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2016, 03:45:41 PM »
I actually think the movies will age more than the books.
I'm not sure I agree with this. I for one couldn't get into his style of writing, but absolutely love the movies. I have watched them at least once a year ever since they were shown to me as a little kid. There are just some movies that, despite their inferior quality to later productions, still survive. I think this counts.

I feel like writing style affects a person's ability to read, whereas movie quality can be ignored if it needs to. As long as the plot and characters and world ring true, people will always watch old movies. Reading takes more effort, and not many have the patience to deal with the 3 page descriptions of trees and the complex writing style.

Offline Nora

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Re: Overused
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2016, 03:51:12 PM »
Ultament, how much of the movie can you see? Mostly hearing and descriptions, or some images? Because trust me, some things are still amazing for the movies, but some other things really are ageing badly. Not just CGI, but also transitions. I still love the movies, but I agree that it won't weather time as well as the books.
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Overused
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2016, 08:43:00 PM »
It's all hearing and descriptions, and for now the audio quality is holding up nicely.

I wouldn't think the graphics would completely kill it though. What about the black and white movies that are still popular? Or the 1980s movies?