February 24, 2020, 11:51:30 PM

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Messages - Peat

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1
What would you want it to look like?

Got curious about this idea because most Fantasy TV talk seems to revolve around "What series do you want adapted", "Who would you cast as X" etc.etc. And I feel like that's kind of a shame as there's a ton of stuff you could do with a brand new page.

So if there was a brand new Fantasy TV show, what would you like it to look like? What storylines and territory would you want it to cover? Any writers you'd want associated with such a project? Etc.etc.

Me, I think

a) The genre doesn't have much Portal Fiction at the moment and the difference between our world and a secondary is something the screen can really give an extra dimension.
b) I'd love to see some Fantasy shot in some of the more out-there locales around - jungle, desert, what not.
c) I'd love to see some genre-bending shown off to a wider scale - most of the series getting made are pretty standard trad fantasy, and I love trad fantasy, but why not show some fantasy with more of a mystery or war bent?

What does everybody else think?

2
Open For Submissions / Re: Silk and Steel anthology
« on: Today at 12:58:28 AM »
Submitted as well.

3
Also it already been a book club read. Daughter of the Empire.

Rotating authors  genders because I don’t want to end up with mostly male authors been picked  each month for book club. I also didn’t want to be unfair to male writers either.

We can get rid of that rule if you like, or I just could go back to picking the books for the book club if nominations are going to be too much trouble.

I mean, I get why you're doing it and I think in an ideal world that's roughly how it goes, just maybe every now and again some flexibility might get people more enthused. There do seem to be more women working in this sort of space (I'd totally vote Tanith Lee's Night's Master) so maybe this would be that time.

I guess my proposal would be that we keep to the rules but with a new rule that if enough people are saying "But pleeeeease can we do this", then rules are made to be broken and balance is restored next month.

Also is GGK's Lions of Al-Rassan secondary world enough/are we considering Islamic Spain as Middle East?

4
Erik and Roo from the Riftwar Saga

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from Discworld

Hmm. Will have to think more.

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General Discussion / Re: I'm getting published in Romania
« on: February 23, 2020, 10:27:06 PM »
Huge congrats!

6
As I just proved over here, I can name you a dozen female-authored Middle-Eastern-flavoured fantasies, but I can't think of any male-authored ones (that I would recommend) other than the Saladin Ahmed and Mike Carey options already listed here.

I also would have called Daughter of the Empire more eastern-Asian than Middle-Eastern? It always felt very Confucian / Imperial Chinese-and-related-systems to me. But it's been a long time since I read it.

The Daughter of the Empire is definitely very Eastern Asian.



I have to say, I'm not sue a strict M/F alternating does us any favours here.

7
Eclipse asked me to add some noms but honestly, I'd probably second Prince of Cats - I have it, I like Daniel's writing, and I've been meaning to read it for a while.

That said, it'd be remiss of me not to mention Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon as a potential option and there's also Bradley P. Beaulieu's Twelve Kings in Sharakhai. Arab/Islamic culture is not well served by Fantasy today.

8
I was wondering if Mark Lawrence released Prince of Thorns today would it sell?

Probably yes. Maybe not quite as well for being one of a herd rather than mould breaking, but it would sell. Grimdark continues to sell and there continues to be new Grimdark. Maybe it has less of a grip on the market than it once did but I think it's still got a substantial one and that's not going anywhere. Don't measure a genre by those who dislike it, measure by those who love it.

9
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Reading SFF is escapism
« on: February 21, 2020, 01:02:01 PM »
Yes, there is a significant escapist element in SFF, although pinning down the details of that and mapping it vs the number of works are fly head on at major social issues is probably more than falls under the gamut of a single psychological study. The Handmaid's Tale is SFF. There's studies linking being a Harry Potter fan with having notably more liberal political views than the norm. Etc.etc.

The article writer themselves who sought to make this even more contentious deserves nothing more than silent contempt.

10
Writers' Corner / Re: What makes a good story if its not the plot?
« on: February 14, 2020, 09:09:38 PM »
But you agree that it's entirely possible to make an action-filled movie on the same premise, only incredibly dull? I know I've watched films with awesomely coordinated stunts, cool CGI, and well-paced action, but that ultimately didn't engage me at all. Likewise, I've seen films with mediocre action scenes that engaged me.

So what makes the difference? There's certainly something else there, in my opinion. If not engagement with the characters or curiosity in what will happen next, then what?

I'm not advocating some high-brow version of storytelling where only 'sophisticated' stories are good. I think first and foremost that it's a question of whether it's there or not. And if it isn't, the film or book will feel flat and empty, even if you dig the action scenes or the metaphors.

Agreed that there's something else there; of course there is. It can be comedy, sheer proposterousness, tugging on emotional heart strings... it can be the characters too. I'm just saying it's not always a good story that starts with a good question.

11
Writers' Corner / Re: What makes a good story if its not the plot?
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:57:07 PM »
Is it really a question though if the answer is completely beyond doubt and only exists to give a loose excuse a bunch of action scenes?

Not really, which is part of what makes it a dull story. And even action scenes are way more engaging if you're emotionally invested in the outcome.

However, the story question and emotional engagement are separate. You can have a good story question but find you don't care about the answer -- because you don't care about the people.

And in the opposite case, if you have no idea what direction you're going (no question to point the way), you can't guess what's going to happen next, which also makes you disengage -- even if you care about the people.

(And yes, there are good stories that show the ending first, which means you might know the answer, but remember, the plot isn't story -- it doesn't matter what happens, it matters how the characters react to it and change, on an emotional level).

That is a very YMMV thing - or at least, the part linking emotional engagement to interest in the story. Death Race 2000 is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. It's awesome. You could not make it better if you tried. The actual story is weak as all hell, and the only real question is "just what cocktail of drugs were they on when making this", but as a piece of entertainment it reigns supreme.

Book wise, I find David Eddings to be like that. The shape of his stories are very predictable after a bit. But I still find them really entertaining. A lot of Conan pastiches fit this mold too.

I'm not saying every story works like this. Or that great stories do. But there is a definite corner case where you don't have to rely on the question and hook.

12
Writers' Corner / Re: What makes a good story if its not the plot?
« on: February 14, 2020, 02:36:55 AM »

I think the most important part is that a story makes its readers look for an answer, which means early on it needs to pose a question of some sort (though not necessarily verbatim). And I think emotional change coupled with the search for that answer (and finding it) is central.


While I mostly agree with this, I don't think its hard to find exceptions to the rule, as there's a fairly lucrative market for stories where the question gets no deeper than what explodes next/who bangs who next. Great stories have a question, but its possible to get a long way with a story that's not great.

I think a question is a prerequisite for a story, but it doesn't guarantee a great story. It just triggers certain neurological functions that make us want to look for the answer, or any clue that points us in its direction (curiosity and pattern recognition).

So the question doesn't need to be deep. Whodunnits is a genre where the genre itself is the question; even before picking a specific book, the reader knows that the whole premise is finding out who did it. Whether the writer delivers the clues skillfully and at a good pace, presents believable characters, or writes pretty prose is a whole other matter -- just wanting to find out who the murderer will be enough for a lot of people.

So it's part of the structure of the story, but it's not the whole package (either of storytelling or writing).

Is it really a question though if the answer is completely beyond doubt and only exists to give a loose excuse a bunch of action scenes?

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Writers' Corner / Re: What makes a good story if its not the plot?
« on: February 13, 2020, 11:06:15 AM »

I think the most important part is that a story makes its readers look for an answer, which means early on it needs to pose a question of some sort (though not necessarily verbatim). And I think emotional change coupled with the search for that answer (and finding it) is central.


While I mostly agree with this, I don't think its hard to find exceptions to the rule, as there's a fairly lucrative market for stories where the question gets no deeper than what explodes next/who bangs who next. Great stories have a question, but its possible to get a long way with a story that's not great.

14
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What is sword and sorcery to you?
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:56:25 AM »
The original Conan stories are what I think of when I read the phrase. I've been meaning to read some Elric books as well, as they're supposed to embody it.

I'd have said Elric is part embodiment, part deliberate parody and inversion.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What is sword and sorcery to you?
« on: February 13, 2020, 01:16:17 AM »
For me, it means the works of Howard/Ashton Smith/Leiber and what you find in them - high adventure, personal stakes, a high level of amorality, heroes who fight on their own (or maybe with one other), and 'ordinary' men & women pitched up against supernatural forces such as sorcerers, godlings, strange beasts and so on. It's very rare for the hero of an early S&S to be a sorcerer themselves - magic users are mostly the enemy.

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