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Re: Lord of the Rings... Ealy Grimdark? ;-)
Not sure if we're restricting ourselves to fantasy (although what can be more fantasy than talking animals?), But Bambi? Totally grimdark! Killing his mother right in the beginning of the story, that's worthy of the grimmest of writers >:(

Totally Grimdark.

He now, this is a book site, so shouldn't we stick to the book Bambi as opposed to the horrendous Americanized Disney version of the story? There are no forest fires in the original Bambi. Mind you, the original story is obviously a lot more grim dark, but that might be because the life of a deer and companions in a 19th century Austrian forest (or was it German?) is not exactly flowers and butterflies ;)

April 24, 2015, 10:00:10 AM
Re: Phrases that only exist in (poorly written) fiction
It's a little like when a character in a slasher movie says 'I'll be right back' and you know that person will be the next one picked off by the killer. The first Scream movie subverted that over used phrase and concept quite nicely.

At one time one my regular players in a D&D game was a security guard in RL. When I actually had the guard just do a cursory check after just some minor rucket (the type a cat could make in an area with street cats) he commented it was the first time ever that he had a DM that had the guards react exactly as guards in RL would act. In other words, at least in his experience, you must also be alert not to pay too much attention to odd sounds and movement. They happen all the time in RL, 99 out of 100 times it is nothing*, and just because in novels and movies we only observe it because it is something, does not mean you should react with our outside knowledge ;)

(Of course, who knows, it might always be the supernatural moving around in the shadows and Urban fantasy might be in the right ;))

May 06, 2015, 11:55:19 AM
Re: Favorite RPG World I love Planescape both for its potential in many different stories and in how it incoperates how various believes and philosophies impact the setting. Second favorite is Eberron. I love the magic/industrial age fibe and the fact that there are several big thins going on making it easy to run several campaigns.
June 22, 2015, 12:20:32 PM
Re: Self Published Books - Do you read them? Since I have got my Kindle I have read a lot self-published books, certainly more than those released by the big publishers. Not entirely sure why, price might be one thing, although Amazon tends to direct you to stuff based on what you read earlier, which probably is another reason. At the moment I also prefer on general the lighter kind of stories with happy endings (without the hero being a mary sue or a purple snowflake and there appears to be a fine line between too easy and too grim) and from only one point of view. Most of the officially published work I have seen seems to be rather grim, the Game of Thrones effect perhaps? ;)

The quality of self-published work is on average lower, but I have come across more than enough novels that were worth the price. It probably helps that I am not overly critical of grammar or even minor inconsistencies. Still, taking a close look at the reviews, and doing some preview reading is always good when dealing with Indie stuff ;)

August 12, 2015, 09:54:36 AM
Re: Fantasy Names / pronounciation
This is something I always think about first: Does any name I create have an ambigous pronounciation? For a book it really doesn't amke much of a difference, but I try to always use spellings that can have only one possible pronounciation in English.

Huh? Considering English is one of the worse languages I know in regards to spelling and pronunciation, I find it a bit hard to see how you would do this unless you stick to modern names. In fact, even in case of modern names there are multiple ways to pronounce it. Mind you, names are always horrible because they often come from different languages or stick to old spelling (especially surnames).

As for the 'ch', in Dutch it is always pronounced the same way, like the ch in loch although a bit harsher. It is one of those spelling rules in Dutch that make it hard on people trying to learn the language since usually we use the 'g' for the same sound ;)

October 12, 2015, 10:25:21 AM
Re: Fantasy Names / pronounciation Maybe all those fantasy names with ' in them have a clicking sound in their language as some of the languages in southern Africa have? ;)
October 15, 2015, 09:20:19 AM
Re: Why do Swords Always Feature in Fantasy? It is good to remember that the famous samurai from Westernized fiction and all that ritualized combat is from an era in Japanese history during which there simply was no war (about 250 years of relative peace). During the time the first Westerners arrived in Japan (see Shogun), they were unified under the shogun and until the Americans arrived in 1850 there was no real war. I don't know the details of this era, but if fiction has any basis on truth samurai only fought with rebelling peasants and in duels with one another. Of course, you get to see impractical weapons and ritualized fighting. They didn't even have to deal with firearms ;)
November 03, 2015, 09:22:26 AM
Re: Why do Swords Always Feature in Fantasy?
. They didn't even have to deal with firearms

 1543 the Portuguese started selling the Japanese guns (or trading them for slaves) in gob smacking numbers. By the 17th century there were more handguns in Japan than were in the armories of most countries in Europe.
Chances are they were actually selling barrels and locks and local craftmen were assembling them to locally crafted stocks.

Yep, and when they kicked out the Portuguese and everything foreign in the mid-17th century they more or less did away with them. They certainly stopped developing firearms until the beginning of the 19th century. Traditional weapons were more than enough to deal with rebelling farmers, minor bandits or when dealing with minor personal squabbles.

(P.S. checking the wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_of_Japan, I find it funny when they talk about 'gewehr' firearms, which is just the Dutch word for riffle ;) )

November 04, 2015, 12:24:59 PM
Re: How Many Fantasy Fans also Read Historical Fiction? When I was a teenager I read a lot of historical fiction. I am not entirely sure why I stopped doing so... My parents are fans of the genre, which means I occasionally pick one up when visiting their place and seeing an interesting title/blurb. Curious why nobody mentioned Umberto Eco. I mean, In the Name of the Rose is a classic after all and he did wrote a couple of other interesting novels.
November 09, 2015, 10:29:04 AM
Re: How Many Fantasy Fans also Read Historical Fiction?
When I was a teenager I read a lot of historical fiction. I am not entirely sure why I stopped doing so

I think history is something that people get more interested in as they get older. No idea why, so perhaps you may revisit it at sometime.

I saw the film Name of the Rose but haven't read the book. Certainly witchcraft puts Historical Fiction firmly back in the Fantasy realm. Strange that people of the time didn't see it that way

I still have a strong interest in history, but it focuses on non-fiction. I tend to read several history books per year ;)

November 10, 2015, 10:23:18 AM