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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: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Submission Thread Here's my attempt - Loose fingers and looser morals (1273 words) :)

Spoiler for Hiden:
He knew he had to stop. He was good at what he did, damn it, he was the best. But that was precisely why it was going to get him killed. Ross walked alone despite the festivities. It was past midnight, the debauchery around him told him so. The dirty cobbled streets were a mess of celebrations, empty bottles and fallen drunks. He smiled with satisfaction as he walked. It had been a bumper harvest for Torr. They had gone all out.

For a charming gentlemanly pickpocket such as himself, tonight had been a very busy and fruitful evening. He had robbed until all his pockets, even the hidden ones in his long coat, had been filled. Ross had robbed until he could squander no more. Even his hat was stuffed with jewels. He should have stopped hours ago but there was need within. If he was caught now he’d hang before sunrise.

He calculated what he had pilfered that night. Was it 20 or 23 gold rings that jangled on his person? Not to mention the various gold and silver pocket watches that gleamed even in the dark. He grinned upon remembering just how many wallets he had snuck away. And of course the precious gemstones and the jewellery he’d slipped from ladies necks.

Ross lit a cigarette already missing Torr’s generous taverns he’d spent his evening in. He would not need to work for many years if he chose, he knew too well it wasn’t financial gain that bound him to trickery and theft. He knew he would come back for Yule. He was careful, he never went on these rampages in his home town where his lucky lady dwelled, a day’s ride away.

He sighed, the night was done. He was all alone in Torr. At least his children, all sired with different women would be ecstatic with what his hoard would bring. It was not easy being an honest womaniser for after the deed came babes, and they could be expensive. Still he loved them, a few even showed promise in their father’s line of work. He would train them when he found himself less busy.

“Clear off!” Growled an inebriated angry landlord.

A buxom young woman was thrown roughly from the packed out tavern and fell heavily on Ross almost knocking him over. She was blind drunk. Ross smiled.

“Oh excuse me Sir,” She slurred, her face was pretty but that was not where he looked. As I said, he did already have a woman. She, unfortunately was far away and even if she were near she would no doubt be fast asleep and Ross was not ready to sleep away this pleasant night.

“It’s no trouble at all being bothered by such a beautiful maiden as you,” he grinned as he slowly raised his hat to her careful not to let out his newly acquired jewels. She took his arm and smiled before stumbling to the floor unapologetically. Her curls fell around her face and she looked up helpless with big green eyes.

Perfect, he thought.

“I insist on making sure you get home safely and without trouble to yourself.”  This would be too easy he thought, she would be an easy mark to charm, already filled to the brim with rum and laughter.

“Why thank you kind sir. You’re a true gent, and there’s not many of you around. I think I may have drunk too much tonight.” She rubbed her head and allowed him to pull her up.

“Haven’t we all?” He grinned placing his arm tightly around her shoulders and guiding her not to where she lived but to an out of the way backstreet inn he knew where no questions would be asked.

“It’s a very special night tonight.” She purred and to his great relief did not seem to notice that the inn was not her home. Fortunately it was not until the door to his room was locked and she was sprawled upon his bed that she realised she was in his room and not hers.

“Oh I see,” She murmured quietly as she stroked the sheets, “Order some blackberry wine won’t you, it’s my favourite.”

Ross did as he was asked and poured her a generous amount, “You must have some too, I insist upon it,” she said.

“It’s not to my taste, but if you do insist…” He raised his eyebrow as he poured for himself. She beckoned him to lie beside her. How could he resist?

“You must always drink blackberry wine at Lammas,” She explained, he noted she smelt of delicate sandalwood and flowers.

“Lammas?” He couldn’t believe his luck, the wine was expensive but strong, and he wanted her as drunk as possible.

“Lammas is the old name for the harvest festival,” She took out a corn dolly from her ample cleavage and handed it to him. “Now it is the Goddess who presides, the Great Lord has been cut down with the corn where he withers and dies.” By now Ross was only half listening, it turned out she was a lunatic, but what a chest she owned.

“Oh dear,” He uttered as he topped up her glass.

“But don’t worry,” She exclaimed, “He will be reborn from the reap of the harvest.” She kissed his cheek, “You can keep that dolly until spring.”

Ross concluded that this woman was quite mad and only vaguely listened when she began to tell him about a magical picnic she had attended earlier in the day. She was very beautiful but soon he grew bored with talking and began to yawn. He was more tired than he realised…

Scarlett saw him fall asleep but carried on with her rambling until she was sure the powder she’d slipped in his drink had taken its full effect. She sat up and jumped off the bed, sobriety and sanity suddenly restored. Quietly she cleared her throat and finished the last of her drink. She looked for the cork and resealed the half full bottle for later.

Looking back at her new friend she saw with pleasure the bulge in his trousers and with a small dagger concealed upon her she slit his pockets and marvelled at what came tumbling out. She held out her bag and filled it with gold, rubies, watches and chains that were hidden upon him. She even took back her beloved corn dolly.

Under the soft lamp light he slept peacefully with even breath she was glad to note. Scarlett stroked his soft face and kissed him upon his cheek, she was truly sorry to go for he was a marvel to look upon.

“You’ve been had Sweetheart.”

The innkeeper asked no questions as she made her way downstairs to the bar, he did not comment on her sudden restoration to a sober switched on woman fully in command.

She took out a few penny coins from her bag and slid them across the bar towards the inn keeper.

“These coins are to pay for that poor man’s room for the night,” She turned to leave but sighed wistfully and dug once again and took out a few more, “And this is for a hearty breakfast for him tomorrow.”

The innkeeper raised his eyebrows glad that she had not killed her mark, “That’s very generous of you Scarlett.”

“Well I do believe when he wakes up tomorrow he’ll be feeling very sorry for himself,” From her bodice she pulled out a magnificent gentleman’s gold ring and placed in the inn keeper’s hand.

“You’ve done me proud, sweet daughter of mine” He grinned.



March 05, 2015, 07:17:28 PM
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Submission Thread Sorry, Kid. (538 words)

Spoiler for Sorry, Kid.:
“Sorry, kid. I don’t do charity.”

The kid sighed and stared at the floor, a forlorn look on his face.

“Come on, don’t look like that. This life… it’s not one big adventure. It’s not what you’d think. I’m always on the run. Can’t stay in one place too long—it gets messy real fast. No friends, no connections, nothing really. It’s not for everyone.”

The kid scratched at the floor, refusing to meet the man’s eyes.

“Sure, if you can bear the downsides it’s a good life. The thrill of the con. The rush you get when the law is chasing you down. The satisfaction when it all goes to plan.” The man shook his head. “But it’s not something you should wish for. You’re young, free, you can go ahead and take whatever path you want. I’m telling you, kid, you shouldn’t come with me. You shouldn’t choose the life of the outlaw. Not if you can help it.”

The kid glanced up at the man through his eyelashes.

“You should stay here. Live the life of luxury. Sure, it’ll probably kill you some day, but why not enjoy it while it lasts?” The man leaned on the wall and looked around, taking in the scenery.

A vast mountain range rose on the horizon, its majesty half-hidden in the haze of distance. The farmhouse stood on a small hill, a high point near the edge of a plateau. The plain spread out before them, reaching almost as far as the eye could see—a patchwork of farms, forests, and grasslands, punctuated here and there by lakes and the occasional river. The summer breeze made the forests shiver as deer weaved in and out of the tree line. Goats and sheep flocked in the fields, and birds wheeled high above.

“You won’t find another place like this if you walk for a hundred years.” The man sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m almost tempted to settle down here myself. It’s one hell of a view.”

The kid sat down and sighed again.

“I still have to go. It’s not the place for me.” He hesitated. “Don’t feel bad about it, okay kid? It’s not that I don’t like you. I just… can’t take hangers-on. It’s for the best. You’d tire of the road, always being on your guard, never knowing where your next meal would come from. Wondering when you’re gonna slip up and get caught.”

The kid looked up at him, eyes reproachful.

“You’re just not gonna give up, are you?” A wry smile passed across the man’s face. “Look, the biggest problem is that you’d just get in the way. You can’t help. I’d have to train you. And that’d take months. It’d take time, which is a luxury I don’t have enough of as it is.”

The kid moved forwards and took hold of the man’s sleeve.

The man glared and tugged his arm away from the kid. “Fine. I won’t stop you. But don’t go around telling anyone that I’m your pal, or we’re gonna have some problems. Got it?”

He stalked off, shaking his head in disbelief. The goat watched him leave, scratched an itch, and sauntered towards the open gate.

March 05, 2015, 08:24:37 PM
Re: 4-Word Reviews

How is plot logical?

Or :
Why touch it, d**head?!
Run to the side
Srsly who cares anymore
Glad I pirated it
Prometheus, your trailer lied
White blorb wants hantai
Take in my tentacles
Why nothing makes sense
D**khead snake wants cuddles
Black goo spiced cocktail
Absolutely loved 'run to the side'. I remember sitting there in the cinema, both Lejays17 and I screaming at the screen,  'run to the side!'

March 16, 2015, 11:30:35 PM
Re: Miscellaneous Musings Except the Americans named fries French because they thought Belgians were French.
March 19, 2015, 10:14:21 AM
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding Claim the pun. Own the pun. Be one with the pun.
March 19, 2015, 10:15:47 AM
Re: How much did you write today? I just leave this here...  :D

Spoiler for Hiden:

March 21, 2015, 06:52:06 PM
Re: How to get every stuck plot unstuck
I'm writing a short featuring the character I've used in my Rogue story and I'm stuck just after he appears, pointing a gun at the main character.
This advice just fails short to help hahaha

I say just keep following the advice until you've created an endless loop of gun toting newcomers.  :)

Or, you know, three gunmen caught in a revolving door.

March 23, 2015, 12:20:55 AM
Re: Peter Jackson to film new Middle Earth film I believed it :-[
But I wasn't interested, hehe

April 01, 2015, 12:20:55 PM
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding I promised earlier in this thread that I would link here some information on traveling speeds. (One thing I hate about forums is when someone writes that they are going to post some solution/information/reply later and then never do, so I'll be damned if I become such a person. :) )

So here it is: ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World
It's an online map application that models the Roman transportation/communication network based on research of historical documents and sites. It gives average traveling speeds, sustainable for days or even weeks, for multiple different transport types / modes of travel. It even tells you how much it would have cost to travel from one place to another in the Roman Empire.

Examples of traveling speeds (rest can be found in the Building-part of the About-section):
-Ox carts,12 km/day
-Foot travelers or armies on the march, 30km/day
-Routine travel on horseback, 56km/day
-Armies on rapid short-term marches without baggage, 60km/day
-Continuous horse relays, 250km/day (ceiling for terrestrial information transfer)

The model has it shortcomings (most of which are brought up on the website) and it is an ongoing project, but I think it's still quite a good resource as it is. Or at least it's somewhat fun to play with for a while. :P

April 08, 2015, 09:00:55 AM