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  1. #1
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    There's someone out there called Keris Kaylen...

    I think I'm a real kid at times. I just got a real rush from finding out that someone has used, as their online nickname, the name of the main character in my first published book "Havenstar" ...

    Love you, whoever you are.

    So I have a question: have you ever read a sff book which contained a character you really identified with? How much does your enjoyment of a book have to do with being able to identify with at least one of the characters? Does it annoy you when the whole cast of characters is just a bunch of nasties?

  2. #2
    It's a difficult question. I usually have trouble enjoying a book if I can't relate to any of the characters. On the other hand some of my favourite stories have protagonists who I found baffling at the beginning but came to understand over the course of the book.

    I'm not sure if identification itself is important to me though. It's sometimes uncomfortable to read about a character too much like me because it reminds me painfully of my own failings (not a bad thing, but not enjoyable either). What's really important is that I understand at least one of the characters enough to care about what happens to them.

    I guess I'm rambling on so to answer specifically I can't think of any sff book which contained a character I strongly identified with. A boring answer I guess but true. The closest I've come is probably Meliara out of Crown/Court Duel, mainly because she is so blind as to what's going on around her.

    As an aside I read Havenstar a few days ago (good book in fact the reason I found this messageboard). So to use its characters as an example I liked and felt like I somewhat understood Keris (despite that we're nothing much alike), I respected Davron but didn't really understand him, possibly because I knew I wouldn't have the strength to get through a single day in his position. And Meldor I found almost totally uncomprehensible. So this is a case where I didn't really identify with any of the characters but still enjoyed the book.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this insight, Avoidant! (An intriguing online name, btw...conjures up all sorts of things )

    Glad you sought me out online anyway. I keep hoping that Havenstar readers do find me under my new name (wasn't my choice to change it!) and find out that I didn't just stop writing or fall off the face of the earth.

  4. #4
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    Red from Roadside Picnic... because sometimes my life get's so bizarre and money is so hard to make and my little monkies are so odd and vodka looks so appealing...

    I do like to see at least one person I know in a book. I get a bit annoyed if the main character is someone I have no empathy for, no matter how badly behaved they are.

  5. #5
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    Don't know that book, Sheepie, but I reckon I agree with you otherwise...lol, you sound as if that family of yours gets on top of you sometimes. Never mind, they do get older. Of course, what doesn't mean more manageable!

  6. #6
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    It's a first encounter book. The aliens land on earth, chuck out their rubbish, disregard humans like annoying ants at a picnic and leave again. The humans are left to pick over the rubbish in the landing zone and eek out a living trying to harvest alien tech from a highly polluted zone that is guarded by the government. The pollution causes Red's daughter to be born with fur, hence the nickname, Monkey.

    I've always loved the old Russian sf. I think it is all the undertones of poverty and blackmarket dealing I relate to, but this story I also love because the humans are not even worthy of contact and because of Red's wholescale adoration of Monkey despite her differences. One of my son's is different but equally adorable, and I wonder whether I should be more like Red and less worried about what society expects from this unusual child.

    But then, we live here, and not in "the zone" and I suppose teaching him what society is all about is good for both of us. I have a little trouble taking it seriously as well.

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