K.J. Parker

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Vladimir, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. grey_tinman

    grey_tinman Registered User

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    I think KJ Parker is an excellent author based soley upon my experience reading the Engineer trilogy. I would highly recommend them. I can't wait to read The Company.

    I don't believe any of the trilogies are related.

    You might want to do a forum search for "KJ Parker." There are already a couple threads out there discussing his/her books.
     
  2. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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  3. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I finished The Company by KJ Parker today and I am mixed about it.

    The premise - Lord of the Flies meets Robinson Crusoe sort of - intrigued me and when I browsed through it at a BN I was hooked and could not put it down.

    It stays a page turner to the end but it left me sort of "why did I bother reading this???" by its ultimate pointlessness

    The author can write and the book could have been great, but somehow it goes awry and I would not recommend it, or at least not that much.

    The main character the ret. general Teuche Kunessin is just not powerful enough a character to take over the book and the rest of the cast is a by the numbers military buddy group, secrets, warts and all, while the women remain so underdeveloped and undifferentiated in-between that it begs the question of why bring them into the mix at all.

    Outside of a pseudo-Earth cca 18th century there are no fantastic elements at all. I guess the only reason the author needed the alt-Earth is to make our heroes the crack team of "linebreakers", the super-squad that could and did decide wars by making a hole in the enemy heavy infantry line with ruthlessness and guile and surviving for many battles, when the average "linebreaker" survival rate was 2 battles

    Lots of good things in the book, both in the war moments and in the Robinson Crusoe abandoned island colonization ones, but the book just does not gel together. Hard to say what's missing, but it's one of those books that compel you to read them and then you sort of regret it...
     
  4. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    Quasi-necro, but was thinking of starting some Parker. So, can previous readers opine as to Parker's best work/series?
     
  5. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton Registered User

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    If you read and liked Abercrombie you'll probably also like Parker. Her novels are as dark as it gets with lots of pitch black humour strewn in. Many of her characters are fatalists, not very likeable, and yet you can't help to care, maybe even come to love them. I'd start with Shadow, it's probably her most accessible work.
     
  6. BlackVoid

    BlackVoid Registered User

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    I just have to let this out. I just read Devices and Desires. I really liked it about 3/4 way through, but after that it is DREADFUL. Its total contrievance and does not make sense.
    I like Abercrombie, he never makes the same mistakes like Parker. With Parker major plot events do not make any sense. Parker must be a SHE, because she is totally ignorant of even the basics of warfare. That would not be such a bad thing, except the main plot of the novel is WAR.


    Spoilers:

    A whole army is coming through a mountain pass and the Eremians attack just once? With inferior forces? They would never reach the city in real life, it is impossible. Any such army would be easily blocked and defeated. War is about logistics, supplying a force of 30000 through such a pass is impossible. And it never occurs to the Eramians to harass the supply lines?

    In a siege situation, the main gate would be blocked by tons of stones piled up behind it. That is what they do in the book AFTER the gate has been broken through. Then came 36 men and they manage to clear it away in a matter of minutes???? And then the army outside comes pouring in? HOW??? Are there no guards at the gates? Are there no guards on the walls? INSANELY STUPID.

    There is a tunnel beneath the city that goes outside and it is NOT DEFENDED? No guards? LOL.

    There is a mezzentine among the Eremians and he is ALLOWED TO talk the head of the defeated enemy army? ALONE?


    I am sorry but the above are so stupid blunders, that it practically kills the plot. Above is white on white, I hope it works.
     
  7. BlackVoid

    BlackVoid Registered User

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    On top of the above, the main character is pure disgusting.
     
  8. Cranky Hamster

    Cranky Hamster Registered User

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    Because as everyone knows, being born with a penis also endows you with innate and flawless knowledge of strategy and tactics, whereas the lack thereof means that you will forever be clueless about Boy Stuff like warfare no matter what. :rolleyes:

    You might have some good points, but putting that phenomenal bit of dumbness at the beginning kind of makes it impossible to take anything else seriously.
     
  9. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Agreed. I haven't read Devices and Desires but I've read The Fencer Trilogy and her grasp of military strategy and tactics there seems quite sound. Being a woman gives you no more or no less an ability to write about military matters than a man.
     
  10. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    E.g. Elizabeth Moon
     
  11. BlackVoid

    BlackVoid Registered User

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    I stand corrected. Still, events in Devices and Desires are downright silly.

    Male authors are also guilty of writing about war without having a clue. It is quite said actually, a bit more research would result in plausible events.
     
  12. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    It all depends on what breaks your suspension of disbelief - I have no problem with KJ Parker's work since you can explain away easily the events above away (incompetence, treason...) - for me more problematic is the whole geopolitical structure which I can nitpick a lot, but so what, it's fantasy...
    If I start nitpicking it's a sign to stop reading that particular work...

    Personally I have much more trouble suspending disbelief for zombies, vampires, magic wands and such and KJ Parker's work is mercifully short of such
     
  13. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Apparently, K.J. Parker may very well be a pseudonym cooked up by Tom Holt or a male author. Which at first disappointed me, as Parker was lauded as part of New Weird, and I was happy to have a woman prominently in there so we didn't get tiresome comments that women couldn't possibly write New Weird. But now, with people swearing Parker must be female because they can tell by the style, etc., it's kind of funny, whether the author is actually female or male.

    I will say I have frequently raised eyebrows at the military tactics in many stories, including ones written by ex-military personnel, but I haven't read Parker yet, so couldn't comment.
     
  14. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    Ahem. K.J. Bishop. Ahem.
     
  15. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I would not classify KJ Parker as New Weird - her novels (the her is from "her" French publishers mode of reference - I heard of the Tom Holt hypothesis and if true it would mean an author with an extraordinary amount of output and more credits to him btw...) have some sff elements (group telepathy in Scavenger, prophetic dreams, some sort of "fabric of reality" manipulation in Fencer..) but are mostly pseudo-historical fiction with Byzantine themes more than anything else...

    In style I would say that IM Banks is the closest sff author to "her" though as KJ Parker put in an interview, she likes IM Banks authorial skills but is at opposite ends from his philosophical and political views...


    As mentioned above, as new weird KJ Bishop is the one female author of great note
     
  16. ChrisW

    ChrisW Banned

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    I tink Eventine was umm gently pointing out a mistake by the great KatG. I tink she may have confused the two names.
     
  17. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Actually, the female New Weird comments never really happened because after Mieville, the flag-flyer for the whole movement is Steph Swainston, a notably female author ;)

    Agreed that must have been a mistake, KJ Parker predates the New Weird movement by some years and the books of hers I've read are not New Weird in nature.

    I actually asked several people who do know who KJ Parker is what the situation is, and all they could say is that there are NDAs involved, which I have to admit is weird. With Parker established as a very successful author 12 years and 11 novels into a successful career, her true identity being known at this point would not appear to change her popularity. If she's really a 'he', I can see that perhaps pissing some people off, however.
     
  18. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    LOL, oops. Just forget I brought it up. And yes, Swainston is also very prominent.
     
  19. algernoninc

    algernoninc It never entered my mind

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    browsing through the fantasticfiction site, i see the new K J Parker - "the Foldin Knife" is slotted for February 2010. Can anybody confirm this? Any early review, impressions?
    I'm reading the Scavenger series now, and when I finish i will have read all the books published under this name, so I'm interested in the new one.
     
  20. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Parker's next book has been confirmed as being The Hammer (though I'm seeing the variant title Hammerfall being listed in some places) and is another stand-alone due in February 2011, involving an uneasy peace on an island between colonists and the natives.

    Just to totally confuse things, the Orbit Autumn Catalogue lists Parker as 'him' once again :confused: