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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    Holy bat-sh*t, I was under the impression that this book was all about elves, dwarves, magic etc etc. Sounds a lot different to what I had expected. That said, from the enthusiasm and comments made by most of you, I am looking forward to diving into the books.

    Just have to finish one I am reading at the moment on Alexander the Great

    PS - And I don't think it fair that Namel is being called a troll. I mean, can anyone have an opinion that goes against the grain here without being called a troll? My first post was about how bad Erikson was as a writer and I got flamed left, right and center. It's just like movies - I loved District 9 and my wife hated it. A lot of the time I have to watch silly love comedies with her and in my mind all I am thinking is, "Please, for the love of God, ****ing end"...
    Yeah, that was uncalled for, as it was in your damn funny post about Eriksson. But I'm kinda getting used to it in the online SFF community. People are really touchy about their favourite books. I once got banned from a forum for making a somewhat hilarious post speculating that one of the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire is a robot from the future. You gotta keep your opinions and jests on the straight and narrow, my friend.

    Enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire. It's the best fantasy series out there.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    Holy bat-sh*t, I was under the impression that this book was all about elves, dwarves, magic etc

    The vast majority of the popular and critically successful books in the last decade have largely been missing the usual fantasy tropes. Fantasy does not equate to D&D clones / Dragons / Noble Elven folk / Drunken rowdy Dwarven folk . Of course that fantasy is still out there for those who seek it.

    Political intrigue and shades of grey are what seem to be popular with fantasy fans at the moment , with Martin being the king of intrigue and a master of characterisation . You should read A Game of Thrones , its really an excellent novel.

    And if you feel like reading something a little different, try Fevre Dream, a vampire novel by Martin written in the days before they sparkled

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    Holy bat-sh*t, I was under the impression that this book was all about elves, dwarves, magic etc etc. Sounds a lot different to what I had expected. That said, from the enthusiasm and comments made by most of you, I am looking forward to diving into the books.

    Just have to finish one I am reading at the moment on Alexander the Great

    PS - And I don't think it fair that Namel is being called a troll. I mean, can anyone have an opinion that goes against the grain here without being called a troll? My first post was about how bad Erikson was as a writer and I got flamed left, right and center. It's just like movies - I loved District 9 and my wife hated it. A lot of the time I have to watch silly love comedies with her and in my mind all I am thinking is, "Please, for the love of God, ****ing end"...
    I think you'll probably love Martin although, like you said, it's very different from what you originally expected.

    As for being a "troll", well, I don't think you are... but you must understand, there ARE trolls out there, and many have visited these forums in the past. Especially when a member's first post starts a whole new thread, and is devoted purely to saying how bad the author is, well... people will start thinking you may be a troll (e.g. just trying to get an angry reaction out of people). Criticism is fine, but this forum has rules against all-out attacks against either members or authors. Sometimes the line between criticism and attack is somewhat blurry.

    It's not that you can't go against the grain (there is plenty of debate on sffworld, and people are quite divided over certain authors). But your comments weren't wholly original, either. There have been plenty of lengthy threads on here, devoted to discussing and debating Erikson's various strengths and weaknesses. All your criticisms are quite common and have been mentioned before. I agree with many of them. But I guess people are probably somewhat tired of hearing them, especially in a new thread by a new member who seems to be bringing it all back up again.

    Don't be offended. Welcome to the forums!
    Last edited by Evil Agent; March 18th, 2010 at 02:25 PM.

  4. #34
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rulkez View Post
    The vast majority of the popular and critically successful books in the last decade have largely been missing the usual fantasy tropes. Fantasy does not equate to D&D clones / Dragons / Noble Elven folk / Drunken rowdy Dwarven folk . Of course that fantasy is still out there for those who seek it.

    Political intrigue and shades of grey are what seem to be popular with fantasy fans at the moment , with Martin being the king of intrigue and a master of characterisation . You should read A Game of Thrones , its really an excellent novel.

    And if you feel like reading something a little different, try Fevre Dream, a vampire novel by Martin written in the days before they sparkled
    Bull shat (or bat, if you prefer) -- the vast majority of popular and critically successful books in the last decade are filled with dragons, elves, wizards, vampires and all the rest of it. It's just that you like some of those ones, so you tell yourselves they don't count because those authors did it right, and then crap all over a bunch of authors you've never even read for doing the exact same thing that your heroes are doing.

    Whether a book has elves and dragons has got nothing to do with whether you're going to find it good or not for 95% of readers. And if fantasy fans could stop sounding completely contradictory by claiming that it does and then showing that quite clearly it doesn't, maybe we could have some decent discussions of the literature instead of my cliche isn't as big as your cliche shoutfests, and maybe we could stop having fans say, "wow, I thought it was an awful book because it had elves so I didn't read it!" We are long past these stupid, hypocritical creative restrictions that aren't really restrictions.

    George Martin: zombies, dragons, magic-users, prophecies, young protagonists coming of age (orphans,) thieves, warriors, warrior maiden, nobles and kings, wolf companions, barbarian nomads, dark towers, etc., etc. He is not an exception; he is exceptional. Embrace the damn elves et al and stop insisting that they don't exist in novels where they clearly do.

    And please stop saying also that shades of gray are a recent thing that nobody liked before, or bestselling authors such as Gene Wolfe, Guy Gavriel Kay, Tim Powers, Michael Moorcock, Ursula LeGuin, Sheri Tepper, Glen Cook, Stephen Donaldson, Stephen King, and dozens more will come and kick your butts, you amnesiac posers.

    And no, that was not trolling, it was satire. But it's also true. And Fevre Dream is a good SF book.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solicitous View Post
    IMHO as a stand alone book [A Feast for Crows] was rather disappointing...
    The characterization alone is a major step back from the previous novels and about what I’d expect from a Disney cartoon. There’s almost no conflict as the majority of character spend their time watching others do something. As a standalone book, A Feast for Crows would never have been published. It wasn't 'disappointing,' it was bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    I mean, can anyone have an opinion that goes against the grain here without being called a troll?
    Yes, but only if you're KatG. People are scared of her.
    Last edited by hippokrene; March 18th, 2010 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #36
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    Remember that when you dared to write a negative post about Erikson, someone immedately called you a troll.
    Which is odd because I'm a reasonable fan of Erikson's. It's just that I am prepared to call out the significant problems in the series, and some appreciators of Erikson freak out and consider anyone who doesn't think the sun shines out of Erikson's posterior a troll.

    In Namel's case, he was making factually untrue statements (that none of the storylines begun in Book 1 are complete by Book 4) and combining them with the, "Author is about to drop dead for some unspecified reason," spiel, which is pretty standard trolling statements.

    I don't recall Turbolung saying that the storylines in GotM are never resolved or addressed again, or saying that Erikson is about to drop dead, that I recall anyway

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    The characterization alone is a major step back from the previous novels and about what I’d expect from a Disney cartoon.
    An R-rated (or even X-rated) Disney cartoon, perhaps. I didn't know those existed.

  8. #38
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    As I said somewhere else, I'm not a big supporter of AGOT, but I like the series overall. Here's my viewpoint:

    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    In another controversial thread, many of you suggested reading for me. I appreciate this very much. I took the list you all gave me to some second hand book stores and stumbles across the entire series of A Song of Ice and Fire. And even better, for some reason, they were all new! I couldn't help it and bought them all at less than half price.

    What should I expect? Any good? Bad? Writing style? Strong/weak story? Is it with elves and dwarves, or, his own peoples?

    Thanks,

    TL
    Writing is very good BUT.... in my opinion Martin features in A GAME OF THRONES some really dumb and hateable characters which I didn't like to follow around. And not to forget that the whole plot gets started with a really dumb move from one of the dumb characters (only my opinion). Maybe these characters have to be like this, because -after all- there are enough dumb people in real live - the thing is only, I don't want to read about them usually.
    I couldn't believe how anybody (in the book) could believe this naive theory this one character had. It's a really lame daily soap kind of idea...just to get the plot moving (in my eyes). I expected more. I pretty much liked how Martin stayed for the most time very 'real' and suddenly ventured out into fantasy territory. It's so surprising that at you are really amazed when you read it. He's using magic and the fantastic as icing of the cake and I like this.

    Furthermore I felt it was too bloated. Cut some 300 pages and it is a tight book. In my opinion there was a lot of meandering. You get bombarded too, like in Eriksons books, with a lot of characters, but you stay longer with the main ones, which makes it easier to swallow (the only downturn to that was, that I didn't want to like to follow most of them, as I said above). I sighed deep whenever I've read certain names on the beginning page of a new chapter. I sighed often.

    I only really liked the storyline which played far far away, because it was imaginative and interesting to read. In fact the only thing that kept me reading (besides that it was the only book I had with me on my vacation).

    When I finished AGOT I thought the writing was compelling, but I didn't much care for one of the characters. There were too many and not enough likable characters. But as I turned it down, some questions kept nagging me and I bought the second book some weeks later and loved it.

    So I'd say it's a rocky ride, but you can make it. Martin can write and the following books will honor you for staying through the first one.

    The third book is for pretty much 800 pages a high point. Never read anything like that. Incredible! And he only wrote it in 2 or 3 years I guess.

    To be blunt, I couldn't understand why people loved AsoIaF so very much after reading A GAME OF THRONES, because besides the very good features, there I found a lot of minor problems which overshadowed the good things, but I got it after beginning the second book, which was from the get go enjoyable. It helped that he sticked with all the interesting characters he hadn' given enough time in the first book and put the dumb ones in interesting situations. It was sort of a good come back in my eyes.

    So I recommend it somewhat, but you've been (mildly) warned.
    Last edited by kosmoface; March 18th, 2010 at 10:25 PM.

  9. #39
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Yeah, okay, here's the deal. If someone has a very strong opinion about a work -- such as Hippokrene's opinion of Feast of Crows with which I totally disagree -- that's fine. If, however, the person expresses the opinion in terms that deliberately suggest or outright claim that others who disagree are idiots and other personal insults, or starts making personal insults about the author and not the work (not a bad reminder to participants in Martin discussions,) then that person can be considered trolling by the staff, deliberately trying to provoke a nasty response, not just expressing a strong opinion. Usually you get a warning first, sometimes a few warnings dispensed to everyone if there's a flame war going on. If you keep up attacking other members after such warnings -- which is not the same as disagreeing vigorously with other members about works of fiction -- then you're in danger of a first Strike, which if the behavior is continued, can lead to you being banned from the forums.

    If you think someone is being trollish, the correct response is not to yell back at them that they are being a troll and participate in a flame war, which seems to be something people keep forgetting lately. The correct response is to report what you consider trolling to the staff and let them handle it. The correct response is also to listen to staff, including when they warn people to desist from sniping at each other in a thread, because if you don't stop, regardless of who started it, we'll probably have to close the thread.

    The correct response is also to listen to staff when they tell you that a member is not being a troll. In both the Erikson case and this thread, nobody was being a troll. (Being factually wrong, Werthead, is not trolling; if it were, every member here would be a troll at some point.) If you don't like the way someone describes their experience of a work, make your argument as calmly as possible. We do allow ribbing among members who are familiar with each other and/or who are clearly showing no malice in their posts. We also allow a great deal of latitude for new members who don't know the ropes yet, and for heated responses to sensitive subjects like polarizing, big name authors like Martin.

    If you have a problem with one of the staff -- including me -- and feel that staff member is being a troll or unfair, etc., you can go to other staff about it, though I would ask that you first let me know if you have a beef with me, because I'll apologize. Your complaint will be considered and discussed, but if the staff and owner of the site don't agree with you, you'll have to accept that if you want to continue in the discussions here.

    All of this we do in order for people to have friendly, lively discussions even about something like George Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. We are annoyingly interfering and we are going to stay that way because the owner of the site likes it that way, and the members overall prefer it. All of this is in the guidelines which apparently nobody ever reads. So here it is again, and I think we can consider the troll issue put to bed, and you can continue to talk about the series. (Thanks kosmoface!)

    And finally, if my ribbing above did offend anyone, especially Rulkez, I do sincerely apologize. My scold was meant to be affectionate and I do not really consider any of you posers.
    Last edited by KatG; March 18th, 2010 at 10:12 PM.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by turbolung View Post
    Holy bat-sh*t, I was under the impression that this book was all about elves, dwarves, magic etc etc. Sounds a lot different to what I had expected. That said, from the enthusiasm and comments made by most of you, I am looking forward to diving into the books.

    Just have to finish one I am reading at the moment on Alexander the Great

    PS - And I don't think it fair that Namel is being called a troll. I mean, can anyone have an opinion that goes against the grain here without being called a troll? My first post was about how bad Erikson was as a writer and I got flamed left, right and center. It's just like movies - I loved District 9 and my wife hated it. A lot of the time I have to watch silly love comedies with her and in my mind all I am thinking is, "Please, for the love of God, ****ing end"...
    I don't think it was so much that you said you hated Erikson, at least for me, tons of people don't like Erikson and I can understand why. It was more your holier then though contempt for fantasy books in general, which I found rather insulting. So... that's why I would have considered you a troll in the Erikson thread.

    As for ASOIAF, I usually avoid these threads because I have been holding out for the series to end before starting it, and no this isn't a recent decision, I decided it back in the 90's when it first came out and I was sick of the long wait between WOT books. However, sounds like if I stick to the first three I may be fine, so GRRM here I come.

  11. #41
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    However, sounds like if I stick to the first three I may be fine, so GRRM here I come.
    I think that's a good decision.

  12. #42
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    Thus, I win the thread.

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