January 23, 2018, 12:22:13 AM

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Re: Did anyone else find Dragon Prince (Melanie Rawn) disturbing? I guess I think about the books I read too much. It's just that if I like a book, I start to think of myself or people I know 'living in the book', and I go back and forth over the plot. Sometimes I find that I like the book a lot more for the extra thought, and sometimes a lot less. I think I was bothered already as I was finishing the book, but it didn't really kick in until a little while later. It's good to see that I am not alone in thinking something is off. If there are many books like this, where the characters commit heinous crimes without the author even seeming to notice, it would be quite sad.
Other than this, and the way the characters are so aggressive, I enjoyed the book.

November 09, 2017, 12:25:34 AM
Re: Is your reality fantasy? I'm not sure. My idea of reality, especially at its 'edges' is so blurred, and changes so often, I could hardly say what someone else would think of. I believe in so many different (sometimes contradictory) things on so many different levels that if I were somehow to look at my concept of reality and put it to paper, most people would just call it really bad worldbuilding.
I believe in prejudices I have picked from others, including ones I have gotten from books. I believe in magic and demons - but at the same time I believe I will never meet these in my lifetime. I believe people will behave in ways that I know they don't, as they surprise me all the time without really surprising me, but the belief lingers. I also don't fully believe in things like electron spin and suchlike, as I struggle to understand them, but I don't disbelieve in them either. Because of this, I have an easier time believing many fantasy worlds than I do believing in the one I live in. A fantasy world is a thing that can be looked at objectively, a picture in someone's mind is not. (Discworld may violate this, as the its rules are constantly changing, but even there, at a given point in the series, the rule are fixed.) I guess the only thing I can say is that there are many levels of belief, and while you believe the light will go on when you turn the switch, and get upset when it doesn't work that way, if your mind is a little fuzzy one day, you might be just as upset when the werelight you attempt to summon fails to appear. You can't really take a picture of someone's beliefs and present them on paper, as there are many layers of them, and they all exist independently and of each other and are constantly changing.

November 13, 2017, 08:50:36 PM
Re: Reading a book series out of sequence If the series is bad enough, it doesn't matter what order you read them in :)
The Harry Potter series can be read out of order, with the exception of the last two or three books, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings is almost always read out of order (not by me, though), The Rirya series by Michael J. Sullivan I think was written out of order, the Redwall series by Brian Jacques can be read in any order you feel like, and I am sure there are many others. Some people don't mind spoilers, and so it doesn't really matter for them what order they read series n, but I will say that if you are reading a series out of order, you won't be able to dismiss a not very good book thrown in the middle as you probably would if you were reading the series straight through. Let's face it, when you read the series the second time, chances are you're not going to do it in order, and you're not going to care about spoilers then.

November 13, 2017, 10:26:56 PM
Re: Reading a book series out of sequence
I feel like it is a fairly recent thing that books only make sense read in sequence. When I was younger I never read anything in sequence but based on what was available in the library or was bought for me. I read Lord of the Rings before the Hobbit, Discworld based on which cover appealed to me, the Willard Price adventure series based on where I wanted to go that day ... and David Gemmil you could read any order you wanted...
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas is a trilogy clearly designed to be read in order and it was written in the 1840's and 1850's. I don't think it is a new thing, but it has definitely become more popular recently, to the point in which few standalones are being written anymore, which I think is a shame, as not everyone wants to read a 2000+ page novel, which is what most trilogies and smaller series are.

November 14, 2017, 10:35:01 PM
Re: Naming a country conundrum Why not a take off on Avalon's furst name?
Toyota >>>> Oyota >>>Tyoa  :o ;)

November 15, 2017, 10:37:32 PM
Re: Best Chapter-after-the-prologue you've ever read Not sure if  it qualifies as Fantasy, but Bone People, by Keri Hulme wins for me. It opens with prose that is almost poetry, followed by a nice, slow introduction to our three characters. I really liked the main character personally before the book even started telling me her story. If the book hadn't gone completely downhill about halfway through, I think it would have been my favorite book. (No, Ii don't have one - it's just that this one could have been it). Anyway, here is the end of a few pages of prologues:
"She had debated, in the frivolity of the beginning, whether to build a hole in the ground or a tower; a hole, because she was fond of hobbits, or a tower - well a tower for many reasons, but chiefly because she liked spiral stairways.
          As time went on, and she thought over the pros and cons of each, the idea of a tower became increasingly exciting...."
You are introduced to her inner thoughts and personality, and get some foreshadowing about her tower that will become important as the story goes on. Than you see her drunk, then taking in a runaway kid, meeting his adoptive father... instead of feeding you suspense and violence, hoping to get you hooked, the author gets you to know and like the characters and care about them. With me anyway, liking a character is more likely to pull me in than a quick rush of adrenaline from a touch of violence - I can always get violence elsewhere.
        Now for a book that I have read more recently, Victor Hugo's 93 opens with a young widow joining an infantry battalion with her three little kids, a lord coldly executing a man for negligence as soon as he finishes tying down a rogue cannon destroying their ship, and finally sacrificing the ship and all her men for himself, talking his way out of the vengeance of the executed man's brother - a whirlwind that promises an epic, complex plot from a master of prose.
       Both of these tell me why I am going to like the book I am about to read, and subtly hint at what is going to happen later. I won't say that I'm not drawn in by a violent opening, followed by a coming-of-age story with a wise old man thrown in for good measure, like Eragon, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or many other stories, but an opening like that doesn't tell me why or if I will like the book to come.

November 19, 2017, 10:05:01 PM
Re: [Nov 2017] - Water - Discussion Thread Are illustrations allowed?
I'm really thinking of joining.

November 20, 2017, 09:59:57 PM
Re: Is the trope of evil monstrous humanoids problematic? About the original topic, I still find it disturbing, not because the Author intends for it  to be such, but because the audience sees new people as the orcs, goblins and monsters they read about in books. A solid proof of this are the many books that where written to influence their readers and were very successful. (1984, Gulliver's Travels and The hunchback of Notre Dame are good examples)
We need to be able to abandon tribal attitudes for the defense of humanity if we are to better this world, and feeding fans tribalist stories can't be helping. Here is a song that shows how Lincoln, the American President during the American Civil War understood this idea and communicated it to the people, after he won, even if the lesser leaders who followed him failed to teach his philosophy.
This is also why WWII happened, The Treaty of Versailles rendered the League of Nations and Washington treaty useless because the tribalism was reinforced rather than crushed. Throw in a couple of evil silvertongues, some historical literature that was feeding a tribal need long dead, and the nation of the smartest, most cultured people in the world was turned into one of the nastiest monsters the world has ever seen.
Joe Brooks, a British sailor who risked death and/or court martial to save enemy sailors in the aftermath of the destruction of the superbattleship Brismarck is the kind of hero we need - he fought when he was needed, but wasn't going to watch someone die when he could do something about it. Here's a link.

About the death of Fantasy, I think it will occur after the heat death of the universe, as Fantasy is the oldest genre (Gilgamesh predates umm... everything?), and the heat death of the universe is no longer current scientific theory :)

Finally, the subject of deceitful cats is one that I think will never be answered. Anything they do can be read as a combination of Pavlovian reactions (anything that leads to pleasure is remembered and repeated), intelligence and failure to understand human thought. In fact it is very hard to prove that people other than yourself are thinking beings, let alone what goes on in the minds in cats (google "brains in vats").

November 27, 2017, 01:21:17 AM
Re: Cover Artist? Me! I'll do some cover art for you for free, and won't be insulted if you don't use it. Just send me a PM, and let me post a thread about it :)
December 10, 2017, 03:32:24 AM