February 17, 2020, 09:06:29 AM

Author Topic: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?  (Read 10639 times)

Offline BrandonMarkham

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2011, 05:52:59 AM »

 @Zziz: Only using Goodkind as an example, though I will never read him myself. :D As for Brandon Sanderson...after reading a little part of The Way of Kings...I'm a bit reluctant to read his works.

Then I feel sorry for you, because you're shortchanging yourself. You're asking for more intelligence in fantasy, then you say you're reluctant to read Sanderson, who creates the most comprehensive magic systems and their applications in the whole genre. I'm beginning to think the problem is not the genre...

EDIT: I realize this sounds douchey, though that isn't my intent. It's just that Sanderson is one of the most intelligent people I've had the pleasure of reading. I've met him three times and discussed writing with him at length. This is a man with substance to his words. If you're looking for intelligence, substance, commentary...whatever...read Way of Kings, and read everything else he has written.
...I have my reasons for stopping at Sanderson. The first book of his I've read was Elantris, which I liked it. But since TWoK, personally, I felt betrayed. Why? I won't say it here.

What do you mean since TWoK? There hasn't been anything since the Way of Kings. Before TWoK was his Mistborn trilogy (one of the best trilogies I've ever read), and after that was Warbreaker.
Since I read TWoK, I mean.

But you said yourself that you only read a little bit of TWoK. How can one come to such profound conclusions from only a small bit- especially regarding a tome of such size!
Okay, I'll spill it. I stopped reading when he introduced the Parshmen and the Parshendi. The race disturbed me.

Offline Overlord

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2011, 08:39:15 AM »
I don't think I've really had a novel that has 'made me think' quite yet... Some have made me think 'Wow that would be horrible' or 'I can't imagine that our planet used to be sort of like that' but none has really stopped me in my tracks and made me think much further than that yet.
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2011, 09:02:12 AM »
Okay, I'll spill it. I stopped reading when he introduced the Parshmen and the Parshendi. The race disturbed me.

That is totally fair. The race politics of TWoK are profoundly disturbing. It gets worse, too.

Offline pornokitsch

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2011, 09:03:25 AM »
Goodkind also made me think that the universe is a cruel and torturous place. Does that count?

Oops, let me clarify this.

Reading Goodkind made me think the universe is a cruel and torturous place. Not because of any philosophy in his book, but because of the book's pure, unadulterated suck.

Offline Zziz

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2011, 04:32:13 PM »
Quote from: BrandonMarkham
Okay, I'll spill it. I stopped reading when he introduced the Parshmen and the Parshendi. The race disturbed me.

That's all fine and well. As pornokitsch identified below, Sanderson becomes a bit more visceral with the race politics in TWoK, but its still pretty modest. Sanderson is a practicing LDS member, afterall.

What I don't understand is how you can stop reading a novel simply when introduced to a new race? If you stopped when the Parshmen and Parshendi were introduced then all you knew about them were that they possessed red and black mottled skin, some of them were servile, others were warriors who had armor that grew on their very bodies. You race politics haven't even manifested themselves in the story.

You used a strange statement: that you felt betrayed by Sanderson. Why? Sanderson wasn't thinking of you when he created the race, nor did he intend it to have any bearing on your life. It was his own creation, and was certainly not a betrayal to anyone. This is fantasy, remember. Everything is created, built from scratch. That seems to be a critical element of the genre that you are hesitant to accept.

Offline BrandonMarkham

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2011, 05:02:09 PM »
I don't think I've really had a novel that has 'made me think' quite yet... Some have made me think 'Wow that would be horrible' or 'I can't imagine that our planet used to be sort of like that' but none has really stopped me in my tracks and made me think much further than that yet.
That's thinking too Overlord. The fact that a Fantasy novel has made you think about our world is thinking as well. If you look at a major theme in A Song of Ice and Fire...or hey, just about anything written by GRRM, and if you know history (particularly from your elders), you will begin to wonder, "What happened to this world? Why can't we go back back to the old ways?"
 Sorry for taking your  input this far, but hey, you made a good comment.

Offline BrandonMarkham

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2011, 05:06:29 PM »
Goodkind also made me think that the universe is a cruel and torturous place. Does that count?

Oops, let me clarify this.

Reading Goodkind made me think the universe is a cruel and torturous place. Not because of any philosophy in his book, but because of the book's pure, unadulterated suck.
*snicker* I only used Goodkind as an example. I had so many people tell me how good he is, but when I started reading it, I realized that this was just another big, long, useless Epic. But this changed peoples lives though, so I'll give Goodkind SOME props.

Offline BrandonMarkham

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2011, 05:23:23 PM »
 You know, I've heard that R. Scott Baker's "Prince of Nothing" series was pretty phisophical. I've read the prologue only-great prose. I'm dying to get my hands on this book.
 Another book I'm hearing that will be challenging would be Mark Lawrence's "Prince of Thorns"(via this site).

Offline Dan D Jones

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2011, 08:16:59 PM »
Almost every book I've ever read has made me think.  That's in part because if a book doesn't make me think, I usually put it down.

I don't believe that a book has to be a polemic to make me think.  It need not proselytize in order to have an underlying theme or to raise questions.  (And some of the books which have made me think the most don't provide any answers.  They only ask questions.)

Even if a book has neither overt nor subtle social commentary, a book with strong characters and a well done character arc will inspire me to think about the human condition.  Obviously, some books are much stronger at this than others.  Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever sets up a deeply flawed protagonist who is transported to an alternate reality.  One of the fundamental themes of the book is the question of whether the Land is real.  That's the source of the Unbeliever reference in the title.  All of the events in the series - the evil of Lord Foul, the struggles of the heroes to oppose and defeat him - can be seen as an allegory of the struggle that's going on in Covenant's own mind.  Are those events real, or is it Covenant's subconscious wrestling with the issues while he lays unconscious?  He's is a leper, and the problem of defeating evil in the land parallels his own struggle to deal with the implications and requirements of his disease.  Take another step back and the problem of dealing with leprosy becomes a metaphor for dealing with the everyday problems that afflict us all.  How could reading such a book not make you think?

A book does not have to cause me to sit it down and stare off into space for an hour while pondering deep, philosophical thoughts for it to make me think. The suffering of Frodo as he attempts to return the One Ring to Mordor for destruction, the struggles of Garion to put his childhood behind him and assume the responsibility of leadership, Ged's eventual recognition and acceptance of the shadow as part himself - all of these say something about what it means to be human.  Certainly, Eddings doesn't say anything particularly profound or original about the process of coming of age, but part of the reason that the story resonates is because it is built upon simple truths that we can recognize and see within ourselves.   

Offline Zziz

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2011, 11:19:11 PM »
Almost every book I've ever read has made me think.  That's in part because if a book doesn't make me think, I usually put it down.

I don't believe that a book has to be a polemic to make me think.  It need not proselytize in order to have an underlying theme or to raise questions.  (And some of the books which have made me think the most don't provide any answers.  They only ask questions.)

Even if a book has neither overt nor subtle social commentary, a book with strong characters and a well done character arc will inspire me to think about the human condition.  Obviously, some books are much stronger at this than others.  Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever sets up a deeply flawed protagonist who is transported to an alternate reality.  One of the fundamental themes of the book is the question of whether the Land is real.  That's the source of the Unbeliever reference in the title.  All of the events in the series - the evil of Lord Foul, the struggles of the heroes to oppose and defeat him - can be seen as an allegory of the struggle that's going on in Covenant's own mind.  Are those events real, or is it Covenant's subconscious wrestling with the issues while he lays unconscious?  He's is a leper, and the problem of defeating evil in the land parallels his own struggle to deal with the implications and requirements of his disease.  Take another step back and the problem of dealing with leprosy becomes a metaphor for dealing with the everyday problems that afflict us all.  How could reading such a book not make you think?

A book does not have to cause me to sit it down and stare off into space for an hour while pondering deep, philosophical thoughts for it to make me think. The suffering of Frodo as he attempts to return the One Ring to Mordor for destruction, the struggles of Garion to put his childhood behind him and assume the responsibility of leadership, Ged's eventual recognition and acceptance of the shadow as part himself - all of these say something about what it means to be human.  Certainly, Eddings doesn't say anything particularly profound or original about the process of coming of age, but part of the reason that the story resonates is because it is built upon simple truths that we can recognize and see within ourselves.   

Hammer, meet nail. Well said, man!

Offline missoularedhead

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2011, 11:21:40 PM »
I was about to say much the same.  There's no need whatsoever for every single book I read to make my mind explode.  But I'll damned sure enjoy the popcorn and candy!
"Well behaved women rarely make history" ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Offline Zziz

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2011, 11:51:00 PM »
Write About Something That Has No Fashion

I get very impatient about plays and books with induced political themes. They last at the most five, ten, fifteen years. Emily Dickinson poems are about solitude and the corridors of the mind. They last forever. I don’t know whether I will last or not last. All I know is that I want to write about something that has no fashion and that does not pander to any period or to a journalistic point of view. I want to write about something that would apply to any time because it’s a state of the soul.

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Online Eclipse

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Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2015, 07:52:10 PM »
I came across this topic while searching for Sergei Lukyanenko

I think he does the battle between the light and dark quite well when his not writing love scenes
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2015, 10:25:03 PM »
Coming in late but...
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. There's some profound things said in there.
Riyria Revelations. Probably the quote that hit me the hardest. Sometimes, the worst thing about dreams, is achieving them.
Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson: Really puts race into perspective. People are judged by the shade of their eyes. Really puts the whole skin thing into perspective.
Light Bringer Saga by Brent Weeks: It made me think a lot about the corruption of our government. One quote from there went something along the lines of, "Just because something is corrupt doesn't mean you tear the whole thing down." Also was something I read where I really can't tell you who the bad guys are. Every side has a good point.
Other books have hit me enough to be posted on my twitter, but those are the thoughts that have remained with me for a while. I can't specifically say what from The First Law, but it made me view life through different eyes.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What Fantasy Novel has made you Think?
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2018, 02:41:54 PM »
(@Eclipse is taking a break... :'( )

The Broken Earth trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin - racism and difference, using people and mercy.

The Chaos walking trilogy, by Patrick Ness - the evil in people, and although very different from the previous in terms of plot and characters, the general ideas end up being quite similar

The Broken Empire trilogy, by Mark Lawrence - my personality, differences to other people, what's the problem with them, how could we do things together...
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