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Thread: Am I Actually A Fantasy Fan?
August 29th, 2008, 10:37 PM #16
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I'll give you that
August 30th, 2008, 04:24 AM #17
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Who cares? Not everything you read has to be a classic. Do I think Conan wandering around stealing stuff, killing giant apes and shagging everything else is great literature? No, but I still love it.
You can tell bad fantasy novels from good one; the bad ones have helpful warning labels Terry Brooks, Mercedes Lackey, Michael Scott Rohan etc.
Last edited by Ironhill; August 30th, 2008 at 04:27 AM.
August 30th, 2008, 09:16 AM #18
In other words, tastes are not the same and your mileage may vary. Hang out in the Forum some more, and you'll soon see we're a divisive lot.
A Song of Ice and Fire is one of my favorite series. I consider it, with the occasional nitpicky bit, beautifully written and George Martin to be mostly brilliant at characterization, and masterful at epic scope. Millions of people love it and millions of people hate it. So there you go. If you think that an interpretation of the War of the Roses in a magical imaginary world where seasons last for decades sounds interesting, read ahead. If it's not that exciting sounding for you, you don't have to read it just because people talk about it.
August 30th, 2008, 10:24 AM #19
The relative details of the two stories are pretty different so far, agreed, and we know that Kvothe doesn't spend a lot of the time at the magical academy whilst Potter is there for most of the duration.
August 30th, 2008, 11:55 AM #20
Firstly I have to say that I didn't read Rothfuss, yet.
Anyway, if the only thing they have together and that differs them from other fantasy novels is the magical school, one could even through Earthsea in - yes I know that there is all the worl between Earthsea and the Potter series.
Just wanting to say, that only because there both attending a magical school, that doesn't make Rothfuss Potter for grown ups - would be like to say: "Every book, where the hero starts as a simple farm boy is alike" and that would include like 100ths of novels.
August 30th, 2008, 09:24 PM #21Who cares? Not everything you read has to be a classic. Do I think Conan wandering around stealing stuff, killing giant apes and shagging everything else is great literature? No, but I still love it.
August 31st, 2008, 11:31 AM #22
For one person, Rothfuss may be Potter for grown-ups, for others, the connection isn't made.
My recommendation would be to be as open as possible at first, until you find a little more about what styles and types of stories you like and don't like. But mostly, it's going to come down to individual authors and how you react to their characters and writing.
One thread here that may be helpful is the "If you like that, you may like this" thread, which is in the archives, pops up from time to time, and I believe can also be accessed through the Sticky Recommendation thread.
September 1st, 2008, 05:30 PM #23
I have only been reading fantasy for about six years or so now but I would say I am a fantasy fan. I don't read fantasy exclusively, but it has been the main choice now for a few years. And being somewhat of a "newb" there are authors out there that people hate, but I really liked the books. I liked the Sword of Truth series, and yes I got a little tired of it by the end, but still enjoyed it over all. Eddings is also another favorite. I read Abercrombie's books and enjoyed them also. Tried Bakker and Erikson and couldn't get into them, but will try them again later and see why everyone loves them so much. Love Martin and like so many others am waiting for ADWD. Right now I am reading Brooks and so many people complain about his books, but I am really enjoying them. Mostly I like what most people call urban fantasy. Dresden is a no brainer and so is Harrison.
What all this comes down to is that I like a broad range of fantasy styles. As I think most readers do. I read other things, romance and historical being two favorites, but fantasy has become a love of mine. I wasn't young when I started so that may be why I like so many different styles, but I do consider myself a fantasy fan. People that don't read fantasy think those of us do are a bunch of geeks, but in the end I don't care what they think. I consider myself one and will spend my free time reading what I enjoy.
September 2nd, 2008, 08:02 AM #24
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I don't understand why people say "Fantasy Fan" like it's a bad thing. The only thing I read is fantasy. I persoanlly work 45+ hours a week, have a wife expecting our first child, a dog and enjoy doing other things. I don't have all the time in the world to read and there are more than enough "Good" fantasy books to keep my time occupied. People ask me if I have read a certain book and I always ask them if it takes place in our world, if they say yes, then I say no I haven't and no I will not.
I work in a book store and people always want to talk to me about authors and when I tell them that I only read fantasy, but can recommend quite a few authors over there, they look at me like I'm weird. But these are the same people who rush in to buy James Patterson, who basically puts out the same book every month and they love it and can't get enough and think he is a literary genius. I have no problem with this, people can read what they want. My problem is they think their reading material is superior to mine and that's just not the case.
As far as "Good" fantasy goes, there are many good authors out there putting out really good books.
Lawrence watt evans
David Anthony Durham
Carwyn and Fahnestock
And these authors are reletively new (within the last couple of years)
Also you have some the older authors like Martin, Hobb, Dave Duncun, CS Friedman, Lynn Flewelling and many others putting out good books.
As far as "Good" goes, it's matter of one's own taste. I have talked to customers who think Terry Goodkind is the greatest thing since sliced bread and others who would like to personally break both his hands so he can never write again. I have customers who would walk 100 miles to get their hands on the latest RA Salavatore book and others who would not read them if you gave it to them for free. It's all in what you like.
I am a Fantasy Fan and I am proud of it. I don't like when people look down on us or think they are better because they read "Classics" or just regular fiction. As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your Jane Austin, Bronte, joyce or whatever else you consider to be superior to fantasy. I'll stick with what I like and if people don't like that too bad.
So my advice to you is come out of that closet, stand tall and announce to the world that you are fantasy fan and do it with it pride. Then go out and start enjoying the many great fantasy books that are out there.
September 2nd, 2008, 04:43 PM #25
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Hmm, not liking fantasy, what a dilemma.....
I would recommend the Pellinor series, by Alison Croggon. They're definitely fantasy, but written incredibly poetically (no surprise, the author is a full-time poet) and the characters are extremely believable. With fantasy, it's often difficult to get a good main character who isn't completely perfect at everything, or bad at everything but still managing to save the day (often with lots of outside help). A typical mary-sue, in other words. Alison's protagonist is a girl called Maerad, who struggles with herself and her powers and manages to act totally human and normal at the same time. Her teacher, Cadvan, is also an amazing character, very believable, with real flaws and strengths. The third book in the series, The Crow, follows the story of a different character, Maerad's brother, Hem, and his struggles are perhaps even more real than Maerad's, and the book overall is extraordinarily deep, and gets to you on a very profound level. The fourth and last book, which just came out, switches points of view between Maerad and Hem until the climax.
Though the plot of the books isn't very unusual or great in itself- the typical villain trying to take over the world and the hero who is destined to defeat him- it is written in such a way that makes Pellinor really stand out among fantasy books. The beautiful descriptions and places in the world of Edil-Amarandh take your breath away, and the characters appeal to you in a way that makes you feel as if you are really in their world. You see yourself in them, and identify with them, and can't help but care deeply about what happens to them.
I found that I couldn't put the books down once I started them. They were simply the best books I have ever read of the fantasy genre, and possibly, or probably, of any other as well.
Try them; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
September 3rd, 2008, 01:54 PM #26
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- May 2007
Funny how people dismiss fantasy as a one-dimensional genre. There is something for everyone, if you take the time to look. Another point that I think many, many people miss is that fantasy was the very first genre. If you don't believe me think of The Illiad and The Odyssey, The Epic of Gilgamesh. I know, the literary purists will call these tales mythology, but they all share the common elements of fantasy. So don't give up just because some tales are not to your liking. I find that stories I liked 20 years ago, I find too simplistic today - so tastes change with time and wisdom
September 3rd, 2008, 06:42 PM #27
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- Aug 2007
I think most of us here on this forum are snobs, of some sort. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I might put Card up on a pedestal, but alot of people here probably think his books are moralizing pieces of crap. I myself put down alot of other authors as being crappy, but that's what's so fun about being a fan. I know, or at least I think I know, what is good or bad.
I'm gonna post some fantasy (some are like sf/f hybrids) titles and authors which are AWESOME and anyone with good taste should read:
Card - Ender's Game, Speaker of the Dead, Treason, Worthing Saga, Song Master(?not sure of exact title)
LeGuin - Wizard of Earthsea, Dispossessed, The Word for World is Forest, Lathe of Heaven and alot of her other short stories and novellas.
Wolverton - On my way to paradise, Serpent Catch duology (But I really dislike the new YA stuff he puts out under his pseudonym David Farland)
Stover - Heroes Die series (good storytelling)
Adams - Watership Down (best worldbuilding by any auther, even Tolkien)
Bach - Johnathon Livingston Seagull (I loved it even though I'm an atheist)
The books above affected me greatly. They gave me multiple epiphanies. Sometimes in one night.
Books and authors that alot of other snobs think are awesome, but not me (cause I have better taste. I think they're just ok):
GRRM - SoIaF, the hedge knight stuff
Gene Wolfe - Long Sun, Short Sun series, the Knight series
Jordan - wheel of time(first three or four books were good, then I felt like he was taking advantage of my addictive, OCD need to finish the story)
Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series (good, but it dragged at times)
Robin Hobb - Farseer series (again good, but it dragged at times)
For some reason snobs, me included, say old fantasy are classics. To maximize your snob points, always recommend books that were published before 1950. The older the date, the more snob points you get.
Lord Dunsany - King of elflands daughter
Tolkien - Lord of the rings, Hobbit
Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast series
Best Fantasy author ever? LeGuin, hands down. (This is the truth, no snobbery intended)
I am also a music and film snob.
Last edited by fk1523; September 3rd, 2008 at 06:50 PM.
September 4th, 2008, 09:26 AM #28
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- Aug 2008
Back on Rothfuss for a sec, I think its been ruined for me by all the hype or something because I found it slightly underwhelming for a series 15 years in the works (i think thats right). Simultaneously I was reading the first Earthsea novel which I found a far superior read for a similar concept, so that may have been another factor.
But anyhow on to what I didn't like:
I felt that a lot of the events/world building was too heavily influenced by Rothfuss's life. Of course its blindingly obvious that the university is a parallel, but I'm not going to be as petty and obvious as that, in fact when it comes down to it I couldn't pinpoint it unless I went back and read it again and marked where it struck me. I never became emersed in the book because I kept reading sentences and thinking that it sounded like he came straight out of a chemistry/psychology lecture and started writing a slightly altered version for the book, perhaps not altered enough for me.
I think there might have been something about the four doors of the mind and faculty to cope with pain-this stuff did not sound like something you would say if you were recounting your life story, but meh, its more that it reminds me of my own university too much and the stuff we learn.
I think for first person, unless it is semi autobiographical, there is a need to separate yourself slightly from the character. But in his defense none of this would matter if I didn't already know a lot about him... so hmm, still not sure how I feel, maybe if I read it again....
Oh, also couldn't stand the witty banter between his parents and their shameless public displays of affection. It only needed to be done once and I'd have registered that they are happily married. *shudders*
September 4th, 2008, 11:32 AM #29
But you read it and Earthsea, so you're a fantasy fan.
Maybe you can see a lot of Rothfuss in his novel, if you know the guy, but given that he was not a barbarian tribesperson raised in a gypsy wagon and taught magic by an old wizard before monsters slaughtered his parents, I think we could probably give him a break on the semi-biographical front. That he nailed the university experience -- wouldn't that be a bit of a plus, not a minus? But maybe it didn't seem to fit the story for you?
The other stuff -- it does seem to vary, depending on how into a particular story you are, doesn't it. I had similar trouble with banter in Anansai Boys from Neil Gaiman. Not that I was upset that novel was more comic than American Gods -- I expected it and I like his humor -- but some of the material just didn't engage me.
Rothfuss seems to be one of those polarizing authors, though. I'm curious what reaction I'll have toward it.
September 4th, 2008, 08:19 PM #30
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- Aug 2008
My bad, I thought I was posting in the "things you hate to see in fantasy" thread for some reason
I am a silly.