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Re: Religion in Fantasy I'm not the least bit religious, but as long as a book isn't preaching about why I should have religion in my life, I don't have issues with. Religion is often in the center of conflicts and societies in history, it makes sense that it would feature heavily in epic fantasy. It is a very important component of how people function, what motivates them. As long as the author approaches religion in the same way as they should approach characters it should be fine. Avoid blatant stereo-types (or creating stereotypes within the fictional world), make it realistic, don't preach to the reader. Religion provides so many possibilities for conflict! Both personal and on a larger scale, there is so much room to build your world, your characters and the story.
September 03, 2013, 04:32:05 PM
Re: How low brow is fantasy?
The UK's highest award for literature is the Man-Booker Prize. It considers literary fiction only, but not fantasy fiction. It considers fantasy to be 'low brow' genre fiction and generally not worthy.

OK, I could be wrong here, but I would imagine that most fiction, regardless of genre, would not be eligible. That most books published, they would consider "low brow". I looked at past winners, and there are some that have fantasy elements, so I don't think that it is against the genre, just that there are so few novels in general that would meet their criteria for the award. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It's their award, they can use what ever they want to determine which books to make their long/short lists.

As to how fantasy is perceived ... I really wouldn't know. Maybe someone else will have an opinion. The only place I talk books at all is online, in fact most people I know probably don't even realize I read, much less what I read. And for reviews, well, anytime someone reads something out of their personal preference, a review is going to be harsher. It's hard to praise a book that is fundamentally nothing you want to read. Hand me Nicholas Sparks, and I'll hand back one hell of a harsh review. But that doesn't mean that people that look for that sort of thing wouldn't enjoy it. Just worry about the people who enjoy SFF, anything beyond that seems pointless.

September 29, 2013, 07:44:31 PM
Re: Romance/Relationship in Fantasy That's a tough call. I definitely like it when its done a certain way. But I don't like characters mooning or obsessing over each other. I want it to be ill fated and with lots of turmoil. Make my romancers suffer in the process of finding their way to one another. And once again, don't obsess about it in the process. So, definitely sub-plot. I also can't stand when romance comes on suddenly and redirects the characters motives. I want them to stay true to their original task, goals, motivations and only change if there are lessons learned in the process, not because they have suddenly fallen deeply and truly in love from a fluttering glance across the room. *gag*
December 18, 2013, 07:01:24 PM
Re: Romance/Relationship in Fantasy
Back at the original question....hmm, at the moment, I'm just all for healthy, perfectly consensual relationships with no abuse or rape-y overtones.


So you really do want your fantasy to be fantasy and to divorce all associations with reality, huh?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Would you care to rephrase that so I actually understand what you are saying? Because I'm reading one thing, and I'm sure you didn't mean it.

I don't think he means what I thinks he means- That it should have aspects of realism and that abandoning romantic elements is unrealistic, or that an appreciation of the genre, devoid of that element,  is just an escape from reality?

If that's the case. I disagree. Romance is that extra ingredient, that is not loved by everyone, but loved my most people. You may even love it, but just need to take a break from it for a while(Like the extra cheese on the whopper =3), because of the effects it has on the plot and characterization of a novel.

'Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.'

Figured I would jump on the bandwagon and share what I think Dan D Jones meant.

I thought is was a joke ... that the statement

healthy, perfectly consensual relationships

is a fantasy aspiration in the real world. I don't think he meant it literally as in they are not possible (obviously they are), but more that bad and unhealthy relationships absolutely exist in real life and to create a world without that would take the makings of a fantasy world. I think it was just a joke that to expect all relationships to meet some ideal escapes from the realm of realism.

But ..... I don't know for sure. Dan will have to speak for himself.

The way I have read this conversation, Fellshot wants more healthy examples of relationships within novels to provide positive examples, and Dan made a joke that that only exists in a fantasy world.

Don't take my opinion as anything more than my interpretation. They will both have to clarify and speak for themselves. :)

December 19, 2013, 09:04:29 PM
New layout/organization of the Book Club Section OK, I set this up last week and have decided I think I like it. Just a heads up for those of you that visit the area frequently or infrequently, here's a run down of my idea with the changes:

The Science Fiction book club is no longer an on going thing, so I wanted to remove that section to prevent confusion. With trying to move it into this area, the board was getting a bit busy with all of the book clubs that are no longer active, it required scrolling to get to current topics (like nominations/voting).

So … here it is. I have decided to keep about 3 months worth directly on this section. It will be the current and upcoming book clubs. I will also have a board directly off of this board with all of the book club reads from this year (after they are moved off of this main page). This will give all of the book clubs from the current year listed on this screen. After the year is done, the entire board for the year will be moved to the Book Club Archives.

Because I worry this will make it harder to see all of the books we have already done, I have created a spread sheet to keep track. There's not a good spreadsheet within the forum, so I am doing it in Google Docs, and just providing the link: Fantasy Faction Book Club Index The first tab lists all of the books, and then there are tabs for each genre.

My explanation probably sounds more confusing/complicated than it is. Or maybe it was obvious and needed no explanation. But just incase, there it is. I think moving forward, this should be a good layout and will keep the current book clubs from getting cluttered.

Let me know if you have any feedback, if it's good/bad/whatever. :)

December 30, 2013, 10:04:19 PM
Re: Deadhouse Gates (Malazan book of the fallen II) OK, this looks to be our first (hopefully) successful attempt at getting a read along going. I created a child board for everyone to use as they see fit.  ;D
January 29, 2014, 04:39:15 PM
[APR 2015] - Terry Pratchett Memorial Read - VOTING is closed! I thought it might be nice to offer up an organized read of one of Terry Pratchett's books. He obviously had a huge impact on the genre and will be greatly missed. This could be a nice way for fans to come together and enjoy revisiting a favorite, and an opportunity to introduce some new readers to his works.

We can either do this alongside a book club read, or I can dedicate a month to it (maybe slide the Kitschie's month to June to give people more time incase they need to order/import the book selected for it).

So, who is interested? And any preference for timing?

March 15, 2015, 01:48:14 PM
Re: Terry Pratchett Memorial Read
I've started rereading Small Gods, but am definitely down with a read of any other discworld.

Would we vote on which book we read?

I was thinking we could do nominations/voting just like book club. Maybe people could include a bit why they think their choice would be a great memorial read or why they selected the book they did. I also wanted to see if people might be interested in doing this alongside a book club, so it could be held much quicker (April?). If not, I can slide The Kitschies month to June and hold this in May.

March 15, 2015, 02:07:02 PM
Re: [MAY 2015] Kitschies Month - Nominations are open! MORE THAN THIS - Red Tentacle Finalist 2013
Patrick Ness
A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he is here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust and completely abandoned.

What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this.

THE SAMARITAN (This was released last year as The Heart Does Not Grow Back) - Golden Tentacle Finalist 2011
Fred Venturini
Blank Slate Press
“Dale Sampson is a nobody. A small town geek who lives in the shadow of his best friend, the high school baseball star, it takes him years to even gather the courage to actually talk to a girl. It doesn’t go well. Then, just when he thinks there’s a glimmer of hope for his love life, he loses everything.When Dale runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, he finds his calling – he will become a samaritan.”

A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING - Red Tentacle Winner 2013
Ruth Ozeki

Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery.

In a small cafe in Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyberbullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place – and voice – through a diary she hopes will find a reader and friend who finally understands her.

Weaving across continents and decades, and exploring the relationship between reader and writer, fact and fiction, A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home.

March 15, 2015, 02:16:50 PM
Re: Terry Pratchett Memorial Read
And suggest we do Pterry month in May and Kitschies in June. But just my humble opinion.

Done. :)

March 15, 2015, 03:59:04 PM