September 28, 2020, 03:24:11 AM

Author Topic: Words from our planet in fantasy novels  (Read 2308 times)

Online Bender

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 07:51:04 PM »
Was reading Sword of Kaigen. It's basically samurai era Japan in a different planet with magic. Same customs, names etc... Found it a bit jarring, but perhaps think of it as alternate reality Earth.
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Offline Peat

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2019, 12:06:15 AM »
I felt that throwing out in Kings of the Wyld when I read the line What happens in some_place, stays in some_place.

I agree that there should be a balance but the writer should avoid real world names and references as much as possible in an epic world.

Kings of the Wyld is heavily, heavily referential of Rock n' roll and all that though. Remove all of those references and there's really not a whole lot left.
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Offline isos81

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2019, 06:34:37 AM »
I felt that throwing out in Kings of the Wyld when I read the line What happens in some_place, stays in some_place.

I agree that there should be a balance but the writer should avoid real world names and references as much as possible in an epic world.

Kings of the Wyld is heavily, heavily referential of Rock n' roll and all that though. Remove all of those references and there's really not a whole lot left.

Still, that was the only line that let me feel out of the story :)
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline cupiscent

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2019, 07:20:15 AM »
It's a tricky one. Can I use Latin roots in a non-Earth world? (What do I call a volcano in a world that doesn't have Vulcan?) But I also get thrown out of fantasy worlds that have characters using "OK". And the line is going to be in different places for different people. I guess it's just a "try your best and see" situation.

Offline eclipse

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Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2019, 07:22:15 AM »
Suppose it doesn’t help that readers have different preferences as well.

One word might throw out one reader but not another reader.
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Offline bdcharles

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2019, 10:23:37 AM »
I'm reading The Thousand names at the minute, I'm pretty sure it's not  set on earth, yet it mentions China. Sentence from book below.

"Complete with chairs, napkins and cutlery. Even plates-Marcus hadn't seen real china since he arrived in  Khandar"

Do you think the author should have made a new name Instead of China ? For me it pulled me out the story when the word China was mentioned.

Hmm, there's a difference though between China the country and china the material though. I would say this stands up and it wouldn't pull me out. After all, I, an earthbound reader, know of china the material so it keeps it relatable. I can think of it as having been translated for an Earth readership. If the writer had said porcelain that would also be okay but if they felt they had to shoehorn a new word in there to keep it "other" that would probably pull me out more. If the book also tried to convince me that somehow China as a country existed in this other world I would wonder what they're playing at.

But I do quite like those moments of commonality, where some elvish-type race uses something we humans know. Obviously too much is too much and if they're doing such mundanities as going to the grocery shop that would pull me out. Equally, if they are constantly silflaying the hraka and I have to constantly think and care about what that is I will lose interest as well. It's a balance imo.
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Offline Yora

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2019, 11:47:30 AM »
As I see it, the issue is that instead of china you can use the perfectly acceptable world porcelain instead. Everyone will know exactly what you mean. Similarly, you can call an ottoman a footstool. No effort or inconvenience at all.

Can people say damn when there is no divine punishment or drink port when there is no Portugal? Not really, but these are not as immediately obvious to readers, and there's no a completely equivalent generic term. In such cases, I really don't bother as a reader. (Though I do as a writer.)
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Offline Peat

Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2019, 07:03:14 PM »
As I see it, the issue is that instead of china you can use the perfectly acceptable world porcelain instead. Everyone will know exactly what you mean. Similarly, you can call an ottoman a footstool. No effort or inconvenience at all.

Can people say damn when there is no divine punishment or drink port when there is no Portugal? Not really, but these are not as immediately obvious to readers, and there's no a completely equivalent generic term. In such cases, I really don't bother as a reader. (Though I do as a writer.)

If we're calling an ottoman a footstool, we can call port a fortified wine (and probably with more accuracy).

For me though, the damn thing is actually worth caring about and would grate on me. Swearing is culture specific; the wrong swearing would probably start pointing me to actual holes in the worldbuilding whether the author hasn't thought things through. China and port? Meh. Damn? Care. I GIVE A DAMN, DAMNIT.

I felt that throwing out in Kings of the Wyld when I read the line What happens in some_place, stays in some_place.

I agree that there should be a balance but the writer should avoid real world names and references as much as possible in an epic world.

Kings of the Wyld is heavily, heavily referential of Rock n' roll and all that though. Remove all of those references and there's really not a whole lot left.

Still, that was the only line that let me feel out of the story :)

Fair enough and each to their own, but I don't think any modernism could have let me feel out of Kings of the Wyld as to me that was the whole point of it  ;)
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2019, 01:47:22 PM »
When i was reading A Little Hatred, i was thrown off by someone saying an event happened 'last Monday'. I can't think of a series that has its own names for days of the week, but seeing Earth days used felt slightly off.
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