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Messages - Peat

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1
General Discussion / Re: How informative are you about other posters?
« on: December 07, 2019, 08:50:35 PM »
I have been informed that it is legally inadvisable for me to reveal how much I know about other posters here.

 :-X

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General Discussion / Re: How likely it is that Mrs. JMack will...
« on: December 07, 2019, 08:48:44 PM »
What kind of cookies?

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General Discussion / Re: Congratulations Cupiscent
« on: December 07, 2019, 08:47:07 PM »
Once I get to Gentleman Bastard I plan to retreat into inscrutable silence and maintain my rank forever.

You won’t be able to help yourself. you will have no choice but to post in my topics 😛  your arch enemy will strike with

why are today’s  fantasy Australian authors not as good as there used to be

Look at the 80’s compared to the 2010’s way more popular Australian authors in the 80’s  hehe.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Even now you can’t help posting , my topics are designed to lure you all in to post hahah !!

I volunteer to let cupiscent use my account as a sockpuppet so she can still reply to such things without ceasing to be a Gentleman Bastard.  ;)

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 07, 2019, 08:45:54 PM »
I was going to finish The Bone Ships by RJ Barker today but after I missed a train today, I popped into a Red Cross and found The Story of the Stone by Barry Hughart so I brought it and will probably be mainlining it. The fact Hughart only wrote 3 books is probable proof of objectively evil entities in the universe. My favourite line from it so far:

"You have a hole in your heart. All young people do. It's there to catch the wonderful things of the world, and later on it gets filled up by broken things".

Started Godblind

Stopped reading Godblind at 33% in ,not my cup of tea  sorry.

Good lords, it's been a while since we've agreed on a book.

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I would say that Shannara is like Wheel of Time
In parts I agree, except that Wheel of Time is like Shannara, because it came first.

I dunno fam, I'd consider it a fair rule of thumb that when one work far exceeds the other for fame, the less famous one is like the more famous one, even when it comes first. Nobody says that LotR is like the Worm Ouroboros, its the Worm Ouroboros is like LotR.

But yeah, they've got a lot in common. I would say this is a situation where their differences are more important, because it's the things they've got different that draw me most to WoT - the continuous cast that are given tons of page space, a magic system that influences the world in numerous and real feeling ways, more of an emphasis on politics, and I'd say more of a moral/hard-edged dimension to it.
We discussed something similar in trigger warnings thread sometime ago.

Problem with tags is that it's not standardized. And even in a standard tag like "coming of age" we age everything from WoT to Broken Empire to Harry Potter. Even GoT will qualify. All completely different books. I don't think this is sufficient for a proper recommendation.

And honestly I've never searched a book by tags. Which site you use for this?

So you look for multiple tags to narrow it down.



Also, now that I've just seen WoT described as medieval, I feel the need to rant about how every keeps calling worlds cribbed off the renaissance as medieval. But won't this time ;)

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I go with the vibe and feel. So for example, I might recommend Gormenghast for someone who likes Tolkien, or RJ Barker for someone that enjoyed Robin Hobb's Liveship trilogy, or China Mieville for someone that reads Neil Gaiman, or Ben Aaronson, or Clive Barker. Keepin' it social rather than algorithmic :)

Man those recs would have gone really badly for me :P


The most important rule of recs should be to figure out what the other person actually wants.

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As I see it, the issue is that instead of china you can use the perfectly acceptable world porcelain instead. Everyone will know exactly what you mean. Similarly, you can call an ottoman a footstool. No effort or inconvenience at all.

Can people say damn when there is no divine punishment or drink port when there is no Portugal? Not really, but these are not as immediately obvious to readers, and there's no a completely equivalent generic term. In such cases, I really don't bother as a reader. (Though I do as a writer.)

If we're calling an ottoman a footstool, we can call port a fortified wine (and probably with more accuracy).

For me though, the damn thing is actually worth caring about and would grate on me. Swearing is culture specific; the wrong swearing would probably start pointing me to actual holes in the worldbuilding whether the author hasn't thought things through. China and port? Meh. Damn? Care. I GIVE A DAMN, DAMNIT.

I felt that throwing out in Kings of the Wyld when I read the line What happens in some_place, stays in some_place.

I agree that there should be a balance but the writer should avoid real world names and references as much as possible in an epic world.

Kings of the Wyld is heavily, heavily referential of Rock n' roll and all that though. Remove all of those references and there's really not a whole lot left.

Still, that was the only line that let me feel out of the story :)

Fair enough and each to their own, but I don't think any modernism could have let me feel out of Kings of the Wyld as to me that was the whole point of it  ;)

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I was playing around the other day with the idea of assigning genre by where books fell on 4 spectrums of level of fantasy, scale, type of conflict, and level of morality. So I guess they could be additional measuring sticks. (Incidentally, The First Law wouldn't fall that far away from WoT except on level of morality).

But really once you've got 7 measurement metrics, all of which are subjective both in terms of how the person scoring rates them and how the person picking up books thinks of them, you've reached the point at which you're expecting to get it wrong. My dayjob is managing people doing a boring data version of this and this level of subjective metric use is when we expect snafus.

And that's without the tag system - which I think is important - or something measuring prose type, POV type, tense (recommend me something with present tense and I will hate you for the next month) etc.etc. Of course, the etc.etc. is hard, because you'll never quite know what people really value.

As such, a set of measurements would be hard to pull off imo.

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I felt that throwing out in Kings of the Wyld when I read the line What happens in some_place, stays in some_place.

I agree that there should be a balance but the writer should avoid real world names and references as much as possible in an epic world.

Kings of the Wyld is heavily, heavily referential of Rock n' roll and all that though. Remove all of those references and there's really not a whole lot left.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Name dropping popular authors
« on: December 04, 2019, 08:43:10 PM »
Without wishing to downplay your collective ire, am I the only one who simply skips over all those things without really noticing?

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:53:59 PM »
Just finished The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg, which is a pretty whacked out road trip about 4 80s American college boys who learn about a cult that claims to teach people how to live forever, but the catch is - 4 people apply, 2 live forever, providing 1 of the others is murdered and the other commits suicide. It's engrossing to read because of how deep inside their voices he goes but the actual story itself is very simple; felt somewhat nonplussed at the end but looking back, it's cool.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Books women like vs books men like
« on: November 25, 2019, 12:17:25 AM »
Just because a product is aimed at a certain demographic doesn't mean only that demographic will enjoy it. The fact that lots of women do enjoy trad fantasy doesn't alter the fact it's been marketed in the belief that men will make up the majority of those reading it for a long, long time.

But if we're talking books that are written by their authors in the belief that pretty much only one gender will read them... well, I think that to start with most authors don't think that way. But some end up going that way by accident. Generally those tend to end up appealing to women only, because the whole "most things have been marketed for men historically" thing means things have to be really uber-masculine before they fall out of what women will read. But these things do exist. Just google John Norman Gor to find out.

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The Mists of Avalon is one that stuck out to me.

I was too young to really pick up on it when I read it but with retrospect, yeah, there's a very loud message here.
I was also quite young when I read it, and thinking back, I can't really tell what it's preaching... is it the christianity thing? But isn't that the basis of all arthurian legends?

Like you said in a previous post, I think it only bothers me if it's preaching something I don't agree with, which tends a bit towards hypocrisy, doesn't it?

For me, it's less the anti-Christianity (although that is present) and more the very heavy pro-feminism slant. At the time I was just "Oh hey, this book has a lot of female characters, ooh next page", but looking back, it is very  heavily pro-feminist. And hey, why not?

And on the anti-Christianity part - I think it's more anti-organised religion as Christianity has become, than anti-Christianity's message. Well, I definitely think that now that I've looked at the book's wiki page and seen this:

"About the time I began work on the Morgan le Fay story that later became Mists, a religious search of many years culminated in my accepting ordination in one of the Gnostic Catholic churches as a priest. Since the appearance of the novel, many women have consulted me about this, feeling that the awareness of the Goddess has expanded their own religious consciousness, and ask me if it can be reconciled with Christianity. I do feel very strongly, not only that it can, but that it must... So when women today insist on speaking of Goddess rather than God, they are simply rejecting the old man with the white beard, who commanded the Hebrews to commit genocide on the Philistines and required his worshippers daily to thank God that He had not made them women... And, I suppose, a little, the purpose of the book was to express my dismay at the way in which religion lets itself become the slave of politics and the state. (Malory's problem ... that God may not be on the side of the right, but that organized religion always professes itself to be on the side of the bigger guns.) ... I think the neo-pagan movement offers a very viable alternative for people, especially for women, who have been turned off by the abuses of Judeo-Christian organized religions."

I know preachiness is supposed to be a criticism but this is making me really want to read Mists...

Well this is it, isn't it? People complain about preachiness, but one man's preachiness is another's interesting viewpoint. The louder the preaching, the more interesting more people find it.

People say they hate it, and I don't disbelieve them, but the sales register has a different story to tell.


I was also quite young when I read it, and thinking back, I can't really tell what it's preaching... is it the christianity thing? But isn't that the basis of all arthurian legends?

Like you said in a previous post, I think it only bothers me if it's preaching something I don't agree with, which tends a bit towards hypocrisy, doesn't it?

Tangent, but the earliest Arthurian tales had him clashing heavily with Christian saints, and there's a fairly sound theory that Arthur started as a Celtic forest god. Of course, the legends that everyone knows are heavily Christian, but there's enough material out there to take an anti-Christian slant on Arthur.


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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Books women like vs books men like
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:04:18 PM »
You can absolutely classify books and even whole genres and sub-genres as being woman - or male - targeted without being sexist. Its just an objective assessment of what the marketing folks are doing.

Now, the reasons why they get put there - or calling them girly, or dismissing them as "oh that's a woman book" - at the very least creep towards sexism and are in some cases dancing merrily across the border. Not always. Depends slightly on where you put "I'm just falling in line with reality and I can't help if reality is sexist" for one thing. Is an agent being sexist if they advise a female to use a male pen name to write Fantasy/male to use a female pen name to write Romance, or just sensible? But it's getting into the territory.

As for books targeted at men... frankly, most of them when you include all the books ever written. Even today, most 'trad' fantasy books written will have a male or gender-neutral name on the cover and a male protagonist and will be about things that are culturally seen as male in the western world. Well. Most 'trad' fantasy books for adults. YA is very much orientated towards the female market.

As for what makes a book likely to be assigned as "market to girls" or "market to boys"... other than the gender of the author, its basically where it falls on the "touchy feely" vs "smashy testes" spectrum.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:20:55 PM »
Some people don't care too much about surprises. Me, generally I'm not that fussed about surprises in stories. Sometimes I'll try to keep life spoiler free, sometimes I deliberately seek them out - I'm not always patient. And I'd always prefer a party I knew about to a surprise party, because I'll already have filled out the time people want me to have a surprise party in with non-social activities.

I've also got to say that while I'm frequently picky about books, I don't find book reviews really help me as the main thing I'm picky on is the prose and nothing beats reading it. A look at first chapter and the blurb is pretty much all I need 9 times out of 10.

Also, interesting on cupiscent saying she doesn't summarise books when she reviews. I never did, before feeling like everyone else did so I should do. But I really think its better to talk about what sort of book it is, not what the story is... but excitement over the story seems to gain more attention.

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