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Messages - Minesril

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Maybe if I'd read other fantasy first, I wouldn't love Eddings so much, but I didn't and I do. He's so very, very by the numbers, which is usually something I hate, but in this case there's the exception because he introduced me to fantasy. He's also pretty good at chaacterisation; I'm re-reading the books at the moment and it's like coming back to old friends. Then Belgarath and Polgara are great too - it's lovely in Belgarath when over seven thousand years he's manipulating these families so the 'right' people are born to fulfil the prophecy (usually hate prophecy too unless it's self fulfilling - again Eddings is my exception!). And then the end of Polgara just makes me sob.

Changing the angle of this entirely, it's also a good thing to read so you understand what Abercrombie is almost parodying so utterly brilliantly!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Dystopian style books
« on: January 19, 2012, 10:57:41 AM »
The 'Gone' series by Michael Grant.  The basic plot is that everyone over the age of fifteen disappears leaving the kids to fend for themselves.  A modern lord of the flies, if you will.  It's got some of the most tragic, gruesome, brilliant writing I've ever seen.  Seriously: several scenes have left me in tears cos they were so tragic, yet also repulsed by the sickening nature.

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Lord of the Rings
« on: January 08, 2012, 04:30:14 PM »
Yep the changes to Faramir irritate me every time I see Two Towers.  I also get annoyed by Gandalf's complete personality transplant in Fellowship.

However, I really like Arwen replacing Glorfindel - I think it definitely makes sense to show her relationship with Aragorn.  Also the chase to rivendell is one of the best bits about the film!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Mums and Fantasy
« on: January 08, 2012, 11:39:46 AM »
Both my parents read lord of the rings, but that's about it.

Funny story: for months after I moved out of their house my mum kept telling me that I'd left all my Eddings behind.  I checked my library, saw all 12 books of the Belgariad/Mallorian, and insisted that I had all of them, thanks.  She was convinced I had not.  Finally I went home and checked out the situation.  'Oh,' I said.  'Sparhawk.  Forgot about him.  Yeah, they can go to the charity shop...'. It's not good for a fantasy author when readers forget about an entire series.

Favourite: Polgara the Sorceress.  Probably.  I'm reading Septimus Heap at the moment, and I absolutely love Marcia Overstrand...

Hated: I don't really hate many characters.  It takes a very clever author to cause a character to get under my skin to such an extent.  I'll say Molly Weasley; horrible women, and very subtly...

Mr Monday.  I actually felt a bit guilty about this one as it was something I should have liked - children's fantasy is my favourite sort of fantasy.  But I could not get into it, although I tried very hard indeed.

Sci-Fi, Horror, YA & Urban Fantasy Books / Re: What is YA?
« on: September 15, 2011, 07:28:46 AM »
There's three main genres:

The 'coming of age' story, usually set over one summer holiday
Paranormal romance
Dystopia/post apocalyptic.

Unless anyone can think of any others.

Writers' Corner / English to English Translations
« on: September 13, 2011, 07:26:26 AM »
I find it astonishing that the American market is patronised in this way - as though they simply can't figure things out for themselves.  It's like when foreign films are re-made in English because (apparently) they can't read subtitles.  Regarding books, surely part of the fun of reading about a different culture is working out what things mean!

If, aged ten years old, I was able to work out what Judy Blume was saying (funny how US books aren't 'British-ised', not even children's books) I'm certain that adult Americans can work out Neil Gaiman, for example.

Recommendations from other authors usually make me give a frustrated sigh, since they're usually authors who are represented by the same publishing house, so it's really selling the publisher, not the author.  But I guess most readers wouldn't notice this.

As a bookseller a LOT of books pass through my hands, but what I choose to read is a mix of good covers, popular books which I think I should read so I know my market sufficiently, and what looks good from the blurb.  I read books on my lunchbreak so I don't have to buy them.  Whether I buy it or not depends on whether my lunchbreak is sufficiently long enough to read the book: i.e. is it so good that I have to own it and read it at every waking moment?

Oh, and I generally buy books from my favourite authors as soon as they come out.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Cheesiest Fantasy Sex Scene
« on: August 24, 2011, 07:01:12 AM »
I'm not sure if this counts towards the cheesy sex scene topic but anything where one character goes "oh look BOOBS" and thus a relationship is begun. Terribly forced flirting is agonizing to read. :P

'Be attentive to my words.'
'I am being attentive to your words.'
'No, you're being attentive to my breasts.'

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Top 5 Graphic Novels
« on: August 24, 2011, 06:58:32 AM »
I don't really read graphic novels, but 'The Arrival' by Shaun Tan is pretty amazing.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Cheesiest Fantasy Sex Scene
« on: August 23, 2011, 07:25:04 AM »
That might be even cheesier than the scene in 'Desert Spear' when Rojer has a, ah, highly entertaining bath.

I think authors should seriously think about what they're doing in these cases.  Would I behave in this manner?  Would anybody I know?  No?  So neither should my characters.  Otherwise readers will just assume that you've never actually, y'know, had sex.

Even worse are the big chain stores that sell at or under cost price to bring in customers and outcompete opposition. No-one believes you when you tell them that but it's true. They can sell under cost because you might buy a shirt or something at the same time which does make them a profit. :/

They don't sell under cost price.  They order in hundreds more of the book than independents can afford, or lack the space to store, which means they get nice big publisher discounts.  Big stores can just about afford to sell a book at half price - independents, no way.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Painted Man / The Warded Man
« on: August 13, 2011, 08:45:39 AM »
I don't think Martin is writing about a medieval society.  He's not even re-writing the War of the Roses, even if that was where his original spark came from (various families fighting for the throne).  What he is doing first and foremost is describing a world at civil war.  The atrocities he describes are all horrors of war, not a historical society.

Brett however has taken a society which exists now and has created something which is painted with the exact same brush - or rather, the picture which the Daily Mail throws at the ignorant.  He has created a muslim society which has all of the perceived 'bad' points and none of the good.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: From what perspective?
« on: August 13, 2011, 08:36:23 AM »
I like third person, but it takes a talented author to pull it off.  All too often they change perspective every page (sometimes every other sentence) which really irritates me.  George RR Martin has pretty much nailed it - the best way to do third person is to have a different chapter for a different person.  You can do this for first person too.  It's the best way for the author - and indeed reader - to not become confused.

First person works sometimes for me, and pretty much all of the young adult stuff I've been reading lately does it.  Of course they're usually in the present tense as well, which opens up an entirely different can of worms...

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