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Messages - Minesril

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I think Martin uses sex very well.  Even though his books seem to feature it every chapter or so, it always makes sense.  There's a scene in 'Clash of Kings' which describes a gang rape scene in such explicit, horrifying detail that I actually feel a bit sick every time I read it.  Is it necessary?  Absolutely, yes.  Not just as a way to make the reader hate Gregor Clegane even more, but also, to give Arya motivation to make a choice that is not entirely sensible.

Brett however does not use sex well, ever.  He has not one, but TWO instances of women throwing themselves at the first man she sees after being raped.  In one case, a gang rape, and the other, by her father.  This is an absolutely shocking representation of women.  Does he know us?  At all?

And then we've got that god-awful scene where Mary-Sue has to 'examine' someone to ascertain whether she's a virgin.  Not only is this completely wrong (there is no way to tell), it also stinks of simply being a bit of titillating girl-on-girl moment for the fan BOYS.

Someone mentioned that since he's writing a medieval society, the treatment of women is OK.  I don't agree with this.  Since when does a fantasy society have to represent a medieval one?  It's not our world.  It's a made-up world where societal values can be whatever the writer wants.  This doesn't have to be a world where women are second class citizens and the darker-skinned desert dwellers have to be fundamentalists.

In fact, I would argue that Brett has given every indication that this ISN'T a medieval world.  It's a world which was once very advanced (perhaps around the Industrial Age) but has fallen back into the dark ages due to the limitations posed by the demons.

His treatment of women and Muslims is so bad, that I would probably have stopped reading about halfway through the first book, were he not such a damn good world builder.  And pretty good at writing male characters.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What is Pottermore?
« on: June 25, 2011, 08:42:25 AM »
I'm not sure I completely understand.  I love the idea of bonus material, but she's already released rather a lot of that on her own website.  I would have preferred the book-form encyclopaedia she's mentioned in the past.  On the other hand, it's probably a good idea it's in this format.  If she released another book about Harry Potter, all the grumpy sods who refuse to pick up a HP book 'because it's popular' would only complain that she wants more money.

Ah well, I've registered my email address and will find out what it's all about in October!

It was really unbelievable when that dude came back from the dead in The Bible.   Totally didn't get how that aided the plot.  

Hound...  Be nice.  :)

I love it when people casually insult my faith in order to get a cheap laugh.  It really does give me a warm, glowing feeling to know there are such understanding, open-minded people in the world.

One of my favorite George R.R. Martin quotes: "The worst mistake that Tolkien ever made was bringing Gandalf back from the dead. You know what? Fuck Gandalf."

Haha - I referred to that a bit earlier too and I agree. That's one of the three great flaws in Lord of the Rings for me.
1. How did Gandulf come back?
2. Why did the Ringwraiths not kill Frodo once they'd stabbed him?
3. Why not give Tom the damned ring!!!???

1) He wasn't really dead.  The characters just thought he was.  That seems to be the case most often in this scenario.  He certainly had a spiritual experience though, understandable after winning a fight against something so evil.

2) Aragorn turned up to whip their arse.

3) Tom would not have understood the importance of it.  They discussed this in the Council of Elrond.

If you're going to slate Lord of the Rings, and I can do exactly this at some length, at least do it where the writing/plot really is bad!

I would be tentative about saying which is 'required reading' because the genre is so huge.  Different things appeal to different people.  I would never recommend Lord of the Rings to people.  In fact, my opinion has actually been 'don't bother' in the past.

A colleague of mine doesn't really 'get' fantasy, and I got the impression that it was the 'sword and sorcery' side that put him off.  So I recommended Scott Lynch, and he loved it.  This was followed quickly by Abercrombie, with similar results.  Perhaps since the 'darker' fantasy does seem to be prominent these days, perhaps these are the required reading, as two of the leading writers of this type?  But again I wouldn't want to say this, because lots of people do still prefer the heroics as in ...Rings.

Each to their own, basically.  I almost say that I object to the idea of 'having' to read something to be called a fantasy fan.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Photos of your to be read pile
« on: June 19, 2011, 08:59:39 AM »
When you can buy books from your place of work at a 30% discount, you tend not to have a 'to read' pile.  Just a list in your head.  And I will never buy a Kindle.  What happens when you drop it in the bath??

A traditional middle Earth world in the modern day era. Elves driving Priuses, orcs being racially profiled when flying, dragons living in natures reserves, dwarves on the doll cos the mines have been shut, wizards having to toe the line with health and safety

heh. Awesome. I'd read that! Or maybe I should get started on writing it...

I actually would love to write that.  I've had this image in my mind for ages of a busy, rainy bus scene, and there's an elf in a suit carrying a briefcase, and a halfling, fed up with not being able to find a seat, decides she's small enough to jump up in the luggage compartment!  Once there she sits there smirking at everyone! 

Not sure how you'd manage magic in this scenario, though.  What's to stop the magic users taking over??

General Discussion / Re: What music do you like?
« on: May 19, 2011, 07:41:22 AM »
you must listen to the pogues then :) and if you liek nightwish you have to listen to within temptation ... now tell NO ONE on pain of death :P  but her voice and some songs bring me damn close to tears ice queen and mostly perfect harmony that song is hauntingly beautiful.

Similarly, listen to Leaves Eyes.  Gorgeous voice.  Also they seem to actually do something different with each album, too.

Anyone heard Tarja Turamun's solo post-nightwish music?

Also there's his massive tendency to have nature win over nurture.  So there's one single Murgo who acts, speaks and thinks like an Alorn...Oh, because he really is an Alorn.  Despite never having set a foot out of Murgos.  Right.

I think Scott Lynch does a great job characterising.  Sometimes it feels like the story is put on hold while he has some in-depth character development.  Not that this is in any way a bad thing.  But, for example, I think some writers would have glossed over Locke's depression and recovery in 'Red Seas'.

This is something JK Rowling does as well, and it makes for some very realistic storytelling.  When Harry has what is often ignorantly referred to his 'adolescent phase' in 'Phoenix' many readers found this difficult to deal with and is again something that some writers might have glossed over.  But I think it's more realistic to show someone who has had a very traumatic experience and is, at the age of 15, trying to deal with this as best he can.

In conclusion I guess I like writers that are not afraid to show exactly what their characters would be thinking and feeling in any given circumstance, regardless of how the readers will react.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Your next 5 books....
« on: May 07, 2011, 08:44:40 AM »
At the moment I'm reading the proof of the debut novel of a new author which is out in October.  It's teenage romance with zombies.  I'm finding it a bit difficult.
I'm also reading 'Me against you', which is also a teenage novel, but this one's really good.  It's about the siblings of the victim and defendant of a crime who meet and develop feelings for each other.  Interesting set up, and it's amazing how just one character can make you feel outraged and sympathetic at the same time.

Not sure what the next five will be, but only one will be fantasy- 'Among Thieves', which my husband has just finished and highly recommends.  Any other book I read this month will be teenage fiction!  (Don't look at me like that.  I want to be better at my job.)

I slightly disagree about the order of reading. Yes, there are some boring parts of the Bible, but reading it from front to back is rather important to gain an incredible overview. To skip certain parts, such as the books concerned with the laws, does the reader an injustice because the reader will then lack a basic understanding of even the historic events. I am not a theologian by any means, and I certainly agree that those books can be boring.

Absolutely true.  I was talking about the first ever reading, though.  It's very easy to get bogged down and lose interest.

Incidentally, my copy of King James is about 4 inches wide, 6 inches high and just under an inch thick!  Which makes 'Wise man's fear' look like a block of skyscrapers.

Ooh: if you do get to Revelations, listen to Symphany X's 'Paradise Lost' album.  I know it's Milton not St John, but you get the point...

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: First Person?
« on: May 06, 2011, 07:02:13 AM »
I can't suggest any other fantasy first person apart from 'Polgara' and 'Belgarath'.  I can suggest lots of non-fantasy books, though.  I quite like it when books written in the first person take a different character each chapter and tell it from their point of view before moving onto the next character.

Just a suggestion: have you ever kept a private journal?  If you can remember how you tapped into your own emotions etc, that might help you to do the same with your characters.

First, tell me what interrailing is.

Secondly, do not read the bible from cover to cover.  You'll get bored and lose the plot very quickly, and I'm not just talking about the storyline.  Instead pick out books which tell the story, and don't preach about how people should live their lives.  I'd start with the first books.  Creationalism, the garden, the ark etc is of course something only fundamentalists believe in literally, but they're interesting from a poetical standpoint, and I think they do have some drop of truth.  Skip the books concerning law.  Move on to the history.  If you're going to read the gospels, I'd read the prophecies first. 

When you get to the gospels, I'd start with the synoptics because it's really fun to see these different writers all reporting the same thing - just slightly differently, or exactly the same, according to where they got their information, and when it came from the same place.  Remember most of the books in the bible are written by different people, so there are going to be inconsistancies, contradictions etc.  I think that actually increases the validity.

Don't miss out John, though.  I (and some other Christians) genuinely believe it's a first person, I-was-there narrative.  Anyway, it's brilliantly written.

I'd read Acts (written by the same person who wrote Luke), but skip the letters.  Then it's the last book, which is great for a fantasy fan and has, at chapter 21, probably the most moving passage I've ever read.

If you want something fantasy though, my husband has just finished 'Among Thieves' and says it's like Locke Lamora but from a first-person narrative.  :)

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Books you wish had sequels
« on: May 01, 2011, 10:58:27 AM »
I guess it would be nice had CS Lewis written more about when Peter et al were kings and queens in Narnia...I love 'the horse and his boy'!

The bit in Locke Lamora.  With the glass.  And the bag.  Made me feel a bit queasy.  :o

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