July 27th, 2010, 10:48 PM #16
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Landskrona, Sweden
A very rusty Journeyman. I really haven´t read nearly as much in the last five years as I would have liked, but before, say, 2003 I read everything I got my hands on that somewhat resembled fantasy. I´ve started down that path again and also just began writing my own book.
July 28th, 2010, 12:23 AM #17
I don't think I fit into any of those....
I am not a diehard fantasy reader and will read pretty much anything but love fantasy above most books, I have never liked Pratchett or Tolkien but have read the Harry Potter books and liked them because they were kind of easy to read I guess.
I just pick a book and give it a go but will always finish it whether I like it or not, I can't stop reading part way through as it drives me crazy no matter how naff it is.
But I hardly ever finish series/sagas/trilogies, I forget authors names and book titles so easily. And with always being skint, 3 kids always wanting more and the fact that I never read a book twice, I do not tend to buy them, I go to the library once a week and take out as many as I am allowed.
My love of fantasy comes from fairy tales- my favourite film was and still is Sleeping Beauty and I grew up reading. Once I completed all of the teenage books in my library and a lot of the classics (Animal farm is the only book I have re-read!), at about 11 yrs old I picked up a Storm Constantine book and was hooked.
So not sure what I woul be but I don't seem to fit anywhere!
Sorry twaffling again
July 28th, 2010, 02:02 AM #18
Journeyman fantasy reader. I've read hundreds of books/series. I follow many author blogs like Rothfuss, Sanderson, and GRRM.
Apprentice Sci Fi reader. I've read all the dune books father and son. Kevin j Anderson seven sun books. Orson Scott Card books. Some random books like Anathem by Neal Stephenson. A few others.
I am a novice Horror reader. Ive read all the Anne Rice vampire books.
July 28th, 2010, 05:15 AM #19
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
I'm a novice, apprentice and journeyman at the same time. I'm new to fantasy AND I've read hundreds of fantasy books, although I must admit not all of them were high fantasy but I have read works from over 50 high fantasy authors.
July 28th, 2010, 07:36 AM #20
I suppose that, from a reader standpoint, I fall somewhere in the neighborhood of "Master". While I'm not a blogger or aspiring author, I certainly have read plenty of books (well more than 2,000, from more than 650 authors). For more years than I'd care to confess, I've tried to read both widely and deeply from the best that science fiction & fantasy has to offer. While there are certainly gaps in my reading (the more you read, the more your to-read list grows), I'm moderately satisfied with progress to date. I've read most of the major award winners, the majority of the nominees, around forty genre history and criticism books, most of the SF classics (both the older list and the updated list - fascinating approach to this), and plenty of interesting "peripheral" authors. I've even read Hugo Gernsback, L. Ron Hubbard, and other genre reprobates.
I must confess that I don't really have the stomach for phat fantasy and that I increasingly incline towards the literary end of the spectrum (as well as the surreal and the outré). Even so, I'm not averse to some good YA or a bit of guilty pleasure. I have pretty high standards, irredeemably set at an early age by the consumption of almost the entirety of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series (I still have one unread - aging, like fine wine).
As for Clute, I sometimes think that (based on both readings and personal observations) the emperor is, at best, clad in gossamer. He'll go round and round and I can hardly make out what he's trying to say. Sometimes, I'm tempted to think that he's not really trying to say anything - it's simply obfuscation at high boil. I've often thought his "Excessive Candor" column was remarkable for its lack of candor - it was often difficult to tell whether or not he actually liked a work. Perhaps this is a bit strong, but the contrast between the Clute's ambages and, say, the warm and lucid expressions of Michael Dirda (genre-friendly Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism) is remarkable.
Anyhow, my attitude towards genre is somewhere along the lines of: "Eleventy-one years is far too short a time to read such excellent and admirable authors. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
July 28th, 2010, 07:54 AM #21
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
The difference I tried to define between Journeyman and Scholar is that both may be equally avid readers, but a Scholar actually wants to know about the field and enjoys meta-discussions about fantasy or sf. In a sense, knowing who wrote a given book isn't that important to a Journeyman, or only enough to know what to read (or avoid) in the future. A Scholar, on the other hand, is also interested in knowing about the author because of how they fit into the context of the field as a whole.
And I would say that the "esoteric, abstract, literary-jargon" is a separate stream from actual knowledge of the field, an off-shoot if you will.
In the analogy I use above, a Journeyman may enjoy the field as one among many while for a Scholar it is a focus of study that goes beyond entertainment. So, in a sense, there is a jump between Journeyman and Scholar of commitment. For the former, sf/fantasy is one interest among many, whereas for the Scholar it is a true passion and central to their lives. This may also divide the folks that want to take their interest into the professional domain in some way, whether through blogging, review writing, story writing, etc.
July 28th, 2010, 09:30 AM #22
I would put myself in the "Journeyman" category, and happily so. I have no desire to improve my standing. I would worry that I would start "analyzing" the books too much if I tried to be smarter about them or the genre.
I used to date a girl who found it impossible to listen to music anymore simply for pleasure; she was a music major and found it too hard to turn off the analytical part of her mind that was being trained by all her studies. I would not want that to happen to me when it comes to books.
July 28th, 2010, 10:22 AM #23
In my designations I tried to make clear that the "tiers" have less to do with number of books read and more to do with understanding and knowledge of the field as a whole. A Journeyman may have read many more books than a Scholar but not have the interest or investment in understanding the "meta-picture." This isn't a judgment as a Scholar is not "better" than a Journeyman, but the difference is the degree of investment and orientation to the field. To a Scholar it is more than just a favorite past-time or hobby, it is a field of study and, possibly, artistic activity or work.
That said, while a Scholar need not have read widely, it is not so with a Master--it is a convergence of a wide (and deep) reading and study of the field.
The key is balancing the analytical and aesthetic aspects of the brain so that they don't cancel or drown each other out, but accent each other, unite to form something larger and more wonder-full. Fantasy readers do this all them time when they are both trying to figure out the world and "what is going on" but also enjoying the characters, action, and individual moments.
But being a Scholar or even Master or Sage has less to do with analyzing books than participating with them in a different way, through one or both of two modalities: studying the history and field as a whole, and/or writing within the field in some form or fashion. Being a Scholar of fantasy only requires an interest in the field as a whole and a desire to learn more.
July 28th, 2010, 12:03 PM #24
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
I'd put myself in the Journeyman category. While I'm at it I thought I'd post my own version of the Gollancz Masterworks list, bolded are read.
I - Dune - Frank Herbert
II - The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
III - The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
IV - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
V - A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
VI - Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
VII - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
VIII - Ringworld - Larry Niven
IX - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
X - The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
1 - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
2 - I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
3 - Cities in Flight - James Blish
4 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
5 - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
6 - Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany
7 - Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
8 - The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
9 - Gateway - Frederik Pohl
10 - The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
11 - Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
12 - Earth Abides - George R. Stewart
13 - Martian Time-Slip - Philip K. Dick
14 - The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
15 - Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
16 - The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin
17 - The Drowned World - J. G. Ballard
18 - The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
19 - Emphyrio - Jack Vance
20 - A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
21 - Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
22 - Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock
23 - The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
24 - The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
25 - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
26 - Ubik - Philip K. Dick
27 - Timescape - Gregory Benford
28 - More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
29 - Man Plus - Frederik Pohl
30 - A Case of Conscience - James Blish
31 - The Centauri Device - M. John Harrison
32 - Dr. Bloodmoney - Philip K. Dick
33 - Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss
34 - The Fountains of Paradise - Arthur C. Clarke
35 - Pavane - Keith Roberts
36 - Now Wait for Last Year - Philip K. Dick
37 - Nova - Samuel R. Delany
38 - The First Men in the Moon - H. G. Wells
39 - The City and the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
40 - Blood Music - Greg Bear
41 - Jem - Frederik Pohl
42 - Bring the Jubilee - Ward Moore
43 - VALIS - Philip K. Dick
44 - The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
45 - The Complete Roderick - John Sladek
46 - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
47 - The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells
48 - Grass - Sheri S. Tepper
49 - A Fall of Moondust - Arthur C. Clarke
50 - Eon - Greg Bear
51 - The Shrinking Man - Richard Matheson
52 - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K. Dick
53 - The Dancers at the End of Time - Michael Moorcock
54 - The Space Merchants - Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth
55 - Time Out of Joint - Philip K. Dick
56 - Downward to the Earth - Robert Silverberg
57 - The Simulacra - Philip K. Dick
58 - The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick
59 - Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
60 - Ringworld - Larry Niven
61 - The Child Garden - Geoff Ryman
62 - Mission of Gravity - Hal Clement
63 - A Maze of Death - Philip K. Dick
64 - Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
65 - Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
66 - Life During Wartime - Lucius Shepard
67 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm
68 - Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
69 - Dark Benediction - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
70 - Mockingbird - Walter Tevis
71 - Dune - Frank Herbert
72 - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
73 - The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
74 - Inverted World - Christopher Priest
75 - Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
76 - The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells
77 - Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
78 - The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
79 - Dhalgren - Samuel Delany (July 2010)
80 - Helliconia - Brian Aldiss (August 2010)
81 - Food of the Gods - H.G. Wells (Sept. 2010)
82 - The Body Snatchers - Jack Finney (Oct. 2010)
83 - The Female Man - Joanna Russ (Nov. 2010)
84 - Arslan - M.J. Engh (Dec. 2010)
I guess I need to read more Phillip K. Dick.
July 28th, 2010, 12:34 PM #25
I have an interest in SF&F at the level of Scholar, a knowledge somewhere between Journeyman and Scholar, and the number of books I have read would place me between Apprentice and Journeyman.
July 28th, 2010, 01:36 PM #26
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
I agree with Alchemist that there is a mind-set that can lead a reader to be scholarly even when s/he hasn't read that much. Conversely, minus that mind-set (intellectual bent? point of view?), someone who reads omnivorously in the field may never go beyond journeyman.
July 28th, 2010, 02:40 PM #27
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Hah, what fun! I'm a journeyman and will never be anything but a journeyman. I read fantasy all the time and love what I enjoy, but I lack the attention to detail and memory to ever approach scholar.
I appreciate the never-ending recommendations by all of those in the upper tiers on this forum.
July 28th, 2010, 05:18 PM #28
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Hi guys. Say I am around or close to a Journeyman... What sources would you recommend for me to start my way to gathering the knowledge to become a Scholar and beyond? If someone could suggest either good web sites or books, that would be appreciated.
For example, in the description for Scholar, it states "You find yourself buying books on genre history and criticism." What would some of these be?
July 28th, 2010, 06:32 PM #29
Scholar in fantasy.
In SF, I'm probably closer to apprentice than journyman.
As for Clute. yeah, I'm familiar with him. And he may be quite brilliant, but he doesn't speak to me at all.
July 28th, 2010, 07:08 PM #30
I'd say I'm a Journeyman heading towards Scholar.