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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
Do you participate in Bookclub? I'd love to hear Why? or Why not? I am looking for general feedback on the book club. What's working? What's not working? Some of what I would like to know, is if we should continue themes. I think this helped increase interest and participation for a period of time, but now am not so sure.

If you have any ideas/suggestions/opinions on anything that could be done better/different or that you would like to see continue, this is the place to voice them. If there is anything you want to say, but don't want to say publicly, feel free to send me (or another mod) a PM. This is a group activity, and I want the book club to be run in a way that makes people enjoy it and continue participation. I think in order for that to happen, its important to occasionally step back and determine if it is working how it is, or if its time to try something a little different.

While we have some existing members that have been involved for literally years (yay! :D), other members come and go, and lately it seems like maybe there have been fewer 'new' people joining in. In addition to hearing from the regulars (who I really hope will speak up), I would love to hear from anyone that *hasn't* been participating, but thinks they might be interested, if there is anything that would make you more likely to join in. Or anyone who used to participate that have stopped, was there anything in particular that made you lose interest? I know much of it can just be real life, sometimes its easier than others to fit in book club reads, but if there is anything here that impacts your desire to join in (or not), I would really love to hear it.


June 08, 2014, 10:58:24 PM
Re: Do you participate in Bookclub? I'd love to hear Why? or Why not?
I'd feel odd nominating and then not participating if it didn't win. It would feel wrong, somehow.

It is perfectly acceptable (and common) to not participate if a book you didn't nominate or vote for won.

My theory for nominating/voting/participation is that if a book that you had some hand in helping win (either by nominating it or voting for it), then you should participate. Otherwise, you can choose to join in if the winning book looks interesting, and if not, we hope to see you back for the next round of nominations/voting.

June 10, 2014, 09:07:31 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