July 22, 2019, 07:42:21 PM

Author Topic: Your 2016 Bests  (Read 5013 times)

Offline Lanko

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2016, 04:32:41 PM »
Hahaha, I wrote that exactly because I saw it in Mark's blog and also found it an extremely silly reason.

And since Mark was here, I couldn't resist  ;D

I win  8)
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Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2016, 04:36:59 PM »

Quote
They descended through shale foothills, which he said reminded him of a field of shattered blackboards, through cypress trees, which she said looked like open parasols, and finally they came upon the arid basin.

also, keep in mind, this is just my feeling from the first page or so, but, man, after reading that, my eyes rolled so hard i'm pretty sure i could see my own ass.


Before I get into this I hands up straight off acknowledge that I can in no way talk someone into liking writing they don't like any more than I can talk them into liking olive or sprouts if they don't like the taste.

But.

Let me tell you why my eyes don't roll at that line.

It is not a line of description. It's far more than that. Perhaps it takes a writer's eye, and perhaps that makes Bancroft a writers' writer ... but I'm sure his appeal is wider than that.

That line is a report on how our two main characters described the scenery to each other. So it serves in a purely informative sense, but more than that it illuminates the person/s doing the describing (seeing) which is what all great description does. Description is not the mechanical delivery of colour, texture etc, it should simultaneously be casting light on the observer (the character) - what they notice, how they see it, how it echoes in them, are all powerful and vital elements. A writer always tries to get any line to do as much work as it can, to deliver as much bang for its word count as possible. So good description cuts two ways.

Here we have content and form. The description selects similes that reference and illuminate the pair. Senlin is a teacher, hence shattered blackboards. Mayra is a woman of certain standing in a small town in a faux Victorian age and hence parasols. Moreover it illuminates the relationship between them and their characters. Nobody talks like that, and hence they are engaging in simile as an intellectual exercise, a game between two bookish people comfortable enough with each other to pursue such ends.

And when you can easily write two paragraphs about one line ... well, there's a lot going on underneath the hood! 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 04:39:50 PM by Mark Lawrence »

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2016, 05:05:40 PM »

Quote
They descended through shale foothills, which he said reminded him of a field of shattered blackboards, through cypress trees, which she said looked like open parasols, and finally they came upon the arid basin.

also, keep in mind, this is just my feeling from the first page or so, but, man, after reading that, my eyes rolled so hard i'm pretty sure i could see my own ass.


Before I get into this I hands up straight off acknowledge that I can in no way talk someone into liking writing they don't like any more than I can talk them into liking olive or sprouts if they don't like the taste.

But.

Let me tell you why my eyes don't roll at that line.

It is not a line of description. It's far more than that. Perhaps it takes a writer's eye, and perhaps that makes Bancroft a writers' writer ... but I'm sure his appeal is wider than that.

That line is a report on how our two main characters described the scenery to each other. So it serves in a purely informative sense, but more than that it illuminates the person/s doing the describing (seeing) which is what all great description does. Description is not the mechanical delivery of colour, texture etc, it should simultaneously be casting light on the observer (the character) - what they notice, how they see it, how it echoes in them, are all powerful and vital elements. A writer always tries to get any line to do as much work as it can, to deliver as much bang for its word count as possible. So good description cuts two ways.

Here we have content and form. The description selects similes that reference and illuminate the pair. Senlin is a teacher, hence shattered blackboards. Mayra is a woman of certain standing in a small town in a faux Victorian age and hence parasols. Moreover it illuminates the relationship between them and their characters. Nobody talks like that, and hence they are engaging in simile as an intellectual exercise, a game between two bookish people comfortable enough with each other to pursue such ends.

And when you can easily write two paragraphs about one line ... well, there's a lot going on underneath the hood!

oh, for sure.  i don't disagree with anything you've just said.  i haven't made it far enough in the book to know the characters well enough to recognize the 'two bookish people' moniker, but i was totally with you on the purpose in illuminating their personalities.

i feel like you're successfully describing my point #1 above with the terse and effective "a writer's writer".

my eyeroll is completely corollary to that.  it comes from the weighty, self-importance ladled over the line.  it's the ridiculous image, in my head, of the author licking his chops at successfully assembling those words into that particular order, while sprinkling in plenty of deep-and-credible meaning into some kind of hidden, salivation-inducing thought.

it's that attribution of authorial intent that's wrecking me.  worse, mine's a totally dumb reaction, i know.  i fully acknowledge that.

so, like i said, i will need to duct tape that goofy hipster part of my brain to a remote corner of my skull so i can relax and enjoy the book as wonderful art outside of my comfort zone.

Offline Revan

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2016, 07:33:49 PM »
1) Lies of Locke Lamorra
2) Babylon's Ashes
3) Didn't read any debut
4) Whichever gets released from Winds of Winder (small change), new Gentlemen Bastards (good chance), Doors of Stone (no chance) and Oathbreaker (done). Followed by the last Fitz book.

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2016, 03:31:17 PM »
Finally, here are my replies:

1. What was your favorite book that you read in 2016 (released in any year)?
Argh! It's like choosing your favourite child (I think!). I'll have to cheat (a lot!) and tell you my top 3, in alphabetical order:

Daniel Abraham - the Long Price Quarter series
John Gwynne - the Faithful and the Fallen series (well, books 2 to 4, as I read 1 in 2015)
Mark Lawrence - The Wheel of Osheim

(I could also add N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, and Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles series)

2. What was your favorite book that you read that was released in 2016?
Again, a top 3:

John Gwynne - Wrath
N.K. Jemisin - The Fifth Season
Mark Lawrence - The Wheel of Osheim

3. What was your favorite 2016 debut?
Aliette de Bodard - The House of Shattered Wings

4. What book are you looking forward to the most in 2017?
By now you should know I can't just answer with one name ;)

Mark Lawrence - The Red Sister
Jen Williams - The Ninth Rain
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Offline DrNefario

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2016, 04:18:12 PM »
Weren't The Fifth Season and House of Shattered Wings both 2015 books? They both won awards which are for books published the previous year.

That said, it might make more sense to talk about 2015. I don't have a lot to say about 2016 yet.

Let me see:

1. I still don't really know what my favourite book if the year was, but let's go with The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman.

2. I have read a total of four books published in 2016 (I think) - one's non genre, one's a collection, one's a novel, and one's a novella set in the same world as the novel. I guess I'll have go go for the novel, really. It was The Path of Flames by Phil Tucker.

3. I believe Phil Tucker has written other stuff before now, so I've got nothing.

4. I haven't really thought about it. I don't think I'm sufficiently up-to-date with anything to be that bothered. I think Ian McDonald's next Luna book might be due out in 2017, and I'd like to see where that goes.

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2016, 05:49:30 PM »
Weren't The Fifth Season and House of Shattered Wings both 2015 books? They both won awards which are for books published the previous year.
You're right about Fifth Season, but I'm pretty sure House is a 2016 book.
*checks Aliette's site*
Drats, you're right about that one too.
Ooops :-\
Then I don't have any debuts from 2016.
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Offline Hedin

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2016, 07:37:45 PM »
Finally, here are my replies:

Are you sure?  I mean you still have ~28 hours, who knows what you could finish by then.   8)

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2016, 09:48:53 PM »
Finally, here are my replies:

Are you sure?  I mean you still have ~28 hours, who knows what you could finish by then.   8)
;D
I'm reading Witches Abroad, and even though I might finish it still this year, and as much as I'm enjoying it, it doesn't fall into any of your categories, hehe
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Offline Adrian_Selby

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2016, 08:53:54 AM »
1. What was your favorite book that you read in 2016 (released in any year)? Against The Day - Thomas Pynchon
2. What was your favorite book that you read that was released in 2016? Hunters and Collectors - Matt Suddain
3. What was your favorite 2016 debut? - That one with the red cover and the white robed guy sat on a rock
4. What book are you looking forward to the most in 2017? - Will Hilary Mantel finish Wolf Hall?

Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2016, 12:21:48 PM »
4. What book are you looking forward to the most in 2017? - Will Hilary Mantel finish Wolf Hall?

I live in hope!

Offline DrNefario

Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2016, 03:01:50 PM »
Weren't The Fifth Season and House of Shattered Wings both 2015 books? They both won awards which are for books published the previous year.
You're right about Fifth Season, but I'm pretty sure House is a 2016 book.
*checks Aliette's site*
Drats, you're right about that one too.
Ooops :-\
Then I don't have any debuts from 2016.
I'm not sure I'd call it a debut, either. Her Obsidian & Blood Aztec fantasy trilogy has been around for a while.

Apart from that, though, yes, it was a good book and the second one is something to look forward to in 2017.

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2016, 03:05:19 PM »
Weren't The Fifth Season and House of Shattered Wings both 2015 books? They both won awards which are for books published the previous year.
You're right about Fifth Season, but I'm pretty sure House is a 2016 book.
*checks Aliette's site*
Drats, you're right about that one too.
Ooops :-\
Then I don't have any debuts from 2016.
I'm not sure I'd call it a debut, either. Her Obsidian & Blood Aztec fantasy trilogy has been around for a while.

Apart from that, though, yes, it was a good book and the second one is something to look forward to in 2017.
Argh! I don't get one right :( Thanks for fixing my brain 8)
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2017, 05:42:21 AM »
I knew I should have waited! After listing The Dragon Lords: Fools Gold by Jon Hollins as my favourite debut, I read Daniel Godfrey's New Pompeii and that pipped Hollins' effort.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Your 2016 Bests
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2017, 06:48:41 PM »
1.  I really enjoyed Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Just so much fun!
2. Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq by Sarah Glidden. Really shows how insightful andhard hitting graphic novels can be.
3. The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner- out there but very clever and thoughtful sci fi
4. Has to be the last ever Fitz book.   :'(
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