August 03, 2020, 06:09:18 PM

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Re: What is Weird Fantasy? Weird Fiction originated before Tolkien. H.P. Lovecraft was one of the first writers of Weird Fiction. Lovecraft would probably be the best example of Weird Fic.

China Mieville would be classified as New Weird. The genre of New Weird began in the 90s. It's really not that different from what Lovecraft was doing in the 30s. Mielville has stated that his goal with his writing is to move fantasy away from the tropes and cliches of Tolkien-esque fantasy. Jeff VanderMeer, who considers himself apart of the New Weird genre, classifies it as, "a type of urban, secondary-world fiction that subverts the romanticized ideas about place found in traditional fantasy, largely by choosing realistic, complex real-world models as the jumping off point for creation of settings that may combine elements of both science fiction and fantasy."

Another person classified New Weird as, "People buy New Weird because they want cutting edge speculative fiction with a literary slant. It’s kind of like slipstream with a side of weirdness."

Personally, I think both definitions are pretty confusing. ha.

July 19, 2011, 04:09:36 AM
Re: Name My Space Station! (No really) Spacey McSpaceface.

Come on! No one thought of this one?

I wish Station was one syllable so that it would work better, but alas...

February 28, 2017, 07:45:52 PM
Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels You're never going to avoid all these words entirely. There are so many words that have meanings tied to our world. If I saw China as a proper noun, it would bother me, but reading it in that instance wouldn't pull me out of the story at all.
April 07, 2017, 07:05:17 AM
Re: Words from our planet in fantasy novels Ryan's got it for me. You gonna find a new name for sandwiches as there was no Earl of Sandwich? Or rename magic and mages because your world had no ancient Persian religion? Rename the element Mercury and never use all derivatives (ditto jovial, martial, etc.etc.)?

Sometimes I tell myself its fair game because if you were to translate a work from one language to another, you'd translate one word to another with a totally different and unsuitable etymology because the reader would understand it best.

But mostly I just don't care. Sooner or later, no matter how alien the world, it has to be described in earth terms and there's just too many earth terms that are related to earth concepts to avoid all of them.

April 07, 2017, 08:00:27 AM
Re: Sublime words in writing People don't always need to look up a big word. Take "discombobulate" as an example. The root is "bobulate" which is obviously an admonishment to Bob that he is late.

Combobulate means much the same, but with "com[e]" as an intensifier. Come, Bob, you late.

"Dis" can have a variety of meaning. Opposite of "dat" is one. A slang version of "disrespect." But here we have the older meaning, where as a prefix it flips the meaning of the word. So, Bob isn't late at all, or won't be if he would only go. Bob naturally represents all of humanity, so "to discombobulate" means to urge someone to go. It may be rather an ornate word, but it's really quite compact.

See? Easy!

November 27, 2018, 05:00:38 AM
Re: Torture/Cruelty
PS: I especially hate it when it comes to animals.

This is something I've never understood. Not that I approve of animal cruelty; I just don't get why a lot of people can tolerate a character who does awful things to innocent human beings, but then turn on him the moment he kicks a dog.

March 25, 2019, 03:59:16 PM
Re: "Level" of Diversity in books I think the whole discussion (in general, not here) is missing the point. What the world needs is not diversity in books, but a diversity of books. I can kind of understand how Americans might have the impression that a highly mixed society is normal, but it's really a very special exception.
When you have a work set in today's US and there seem to be exclusively white people, there is of course something a bit fishy, and there are valid grounds to talk about erasure of other groups of the population. But when we talk about works set in the old world or in fantasy worlds, that complaint has no grounds. What we can find unsatisfactory is that the market is dominated by white Europeans writing based on their own cultural heritage and that it's difficult for writers of other background to get published and get exposure. Asian writers writing fantasy based on Asian cuture and black writers writing fantasy based on African culture is great. (And of course Southn American writers writing based on South American culture.) And it is commendable to make efforts to get those works to the attention of customers. That's the kind of diversity we need. Not black vikings. (Though I absolutely have no complaint about a story of black man who ends up living with a Viking community. That sounds like a great adventure.)

October 26, 2019, 08:41:01 AM
Re: never Heard of this award before The intentions seem good, but the approach appears to not help at all.

There are good arguments to promote that writers should not rely on cheap exploitation because they are lazy. Serious issues should be reserved to make serious points. I can fully get behind it.

But this award doesn't do anything to further that cause. All it does is to be a generic best book award that excludes a (presumably substantial) number of contenders regardless of context. The absence of something is not award-worthy. If you want to praise a work for something, it needs to be for something that it does well, not for something that is not included.

November 01, 2019, 06:21:55 PM
Re: About ambiguous comments How is it cheating? What is the cheater gaining?

How is it harmful to the author?

I still don't understand why you just don't ignore the gnats. Sure they can annoy a person, but that's no reason to try to rouse the neighborhood on a gnat elimination campaign.

December 15, 2019, 05:45:05 PM
Re: Characters with a mind of their own
I have never understood people who say they can't control their characters.

Interesting. I have never understood people who say they can control their characters  ;D

My characters speak to me, and if I try to make them do something they don't want they can shout. I almost allowed one of my protagonists to live in one of my stories; within seconds she was standing in front of me berating me. Of course, I understand that I really experienced something from the unconscious part of my mind—really it was me speaking to me, but it felt real enough. But I knew she was right, and I promptly killed her.

No, I never had an imaginary friend as a child, although, probably like many of us, I had a very active imagination.

January 05, 2020, 07:26:31 AM