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Vent about the Book You're Reading

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Devor, May 11, 2018.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I'm fine with classes in role-playing games, but in fiction it puts me off. Not fatally. The author can still win me over, but it puts me in a "oh, one of those" frame of mind. It's a bit like an author having a character who is a lawyer and expects the reader simply to buy into the stereotype with no actual character development. Or politician or dockworker or what-have-you. Assassin irks me because nobody ever had a job like that. There were the Assassins during the Middle Ages, and they were something very specific (pace Assassin's Creed). There have always been plenty of political assassinations, but that doesn't imply the killers did nothing but that for a living.

    Since I'm venting, thieves guilds bother me as well. I'm okay so long as I don't think about it. At all. Once in a while an author can manage that, but it's rare. It's not how guilds work, for one thing, and it's not how thieves work. Thieves form gangs, not guilds, and that's really what gets under my skin. A guild is not necessary. Not for a plot, not for worldbuilding. It is (far too often) merely a conscious or unconscious call back to D&D with the expectation the reader will form the same mental image as does the author.

    All that said, I fully enjoyed the Dragonlance books back in the day. So there you go.
     
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  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    In external commentary, the author did confirm what is fairly obvious to an experienced AD&D player: a portion of the series was 'gamed first and written later.' I suspect a much larger portion was 'gamed first' than what he admitted to. Worth noting: there are additional books besides the ten, written by a friend (and fellow gamer) of the author. Collectively, the theme takes after Glen Cooks 'Dread Empire' and 'Black Company' series (especially the latter).
     
  3. I knew there were a lot of books like that, but I didn't know this in particular was one of them
     
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    As of late, I have read a few books in what is termed the 'lit-rpg' category - tales that are literally set inside game worlds, complete with character stats.

    'Dungeon Lord' physically put the MC - an ordinary gamer nerd from earth into what is normally the bad guy role in games - boss of a dungeon filled with monsters and traps. The ease with which he agreed to the Faustian bargain that put him in that position was disturbing, but he did turn the role on end and try to be heroic. Emphasis on the 'try' - a 'good' Dungeon Lord is pretty much an impossible concept for the side of light here.

    In 'Succubus,' the MC is a game tester undergoing a full immersion process which goes wrong. He's testing the 'Warlock' character, though he's much more ethical than a typical warlock. I found his attitude towards bloodshed and mayhem disturbing, though. As to the title character, yes, she's hot, definitely has a mind and goals of her own, and performs an assortment of sex acts I can't recount here because DotA's tender brain is not of legal age. (I stopped reading when the third book went full lesbian porno.)
     
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    As somebody who was into AD&D way, way back...

    That always bugged me as well. In my writing, rogues have gangs, many of which don't last that long.

    Assassins? I couldn't figure a way to make it work except, maybe in a short term cult or terrorism sense. I could see thieves agreeing to the occasional murder for higher, or an especially ruthless aristocrat or merchant prince type keeping an assassin-like character or two on the payroll - but those people would also have other tasks.

    I did have Solaria deploy assassination teams during the Traag War: Traag's big strength was demons, and demons required sorcerers to conjure them, hence Solaria sent out lots of 'mixed squads' -- petty wizards, elite troopers, rogues, and whatnot on search and destroy missions. They died in droves - but also killed a lot of demon callers.
     
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Books I read back in time.. Dragonlance, I had no issue with that stuff, but now? Yikes. But I am finicky as all the hells as a reader these days, I don't have time to spend on reading in general, let alone stuff that puts a bad taste in my mouth right off.

    Thieve's Guild... it all depends. Real world... wouldn't that just be political parties? But in fantasy, it would all depend on how it's pulled off... but a technical "guild" by definition? Yeah, that's an issue along with simply the flavor the name gives.

    Spilling coffee on Gardens of the Moon is something I might do on purpose if I bought a copy. I have sample pages on my iPad... so, no way I'm spilling coffee on it there. I can't make it far enough into Erickson's writing/story telling to find an interesting character, but I tried a couple times. I've surrendered on both it and Name of the Wind, no way I can read them.

    But that doesn't make them special, it just makes them two of the more famous fantasy books that I can't read.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  7. I feel like I'm being punished by the universe. But the bald, naked reality is that it is I who does the punishing. I punish myself every time I visit the library.

    It's not a dull punishment, to say the least. I am continually stunned by how bad books can be. I can't believe it.

    So I just read Mistress of Dragons, by Margaret Weis, and I wish someone would come to my house with a large rock and kindly put me in a coma.

    I'm not even sure what there is to say of the merits of a book that is full of weird, annoying sexist shit and then has two main characters, one a lesbian in a loving relationship, the other a married man with children, fall in love with each other and then have sex because another character put a sex potion in their water with the intent to breed them. THEN has the MC brutally raped by an antagonist in a horribly graphic scene. THEN has her impregnated and die moments after giving birth.

    The end. Fun!

    Merits. If the book had anything else going for it, I could discuss that, but the writing has all the grace of a combine harvester. The first 20 pages are straight infodumping. I can barely recall having ever read something so clumsily written. The first 50 pages I was wondering how it got past an editor. The worldbuilding had me believe we were in some lazy duplicate of "feudal" England until we get one (1) mention of The Middle East. Wut. I liked one character and then he TRIED TO BREED THE MAIN CHARACTERS.

    I have read so many rape scenes this year. I can hardly even be shocked anymore.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Very sad to hear, DotA. I won't finish books like that. Authors should respect their characters. They aren't merely props to be dragged through the mud so we can be shocked.
     
  9. The really gross stuff happened really close to the end and I didn't care much for leaving a book unfinished with 50 pages left. And at that point I kinda wanted to see how bad it could possibly get. Sometimes spite is all that keeps me going, so it helps to have really terrible books to think about when feelings like maybe-I-should-forgo-writing-today.
     
  10. Gardens of the Moon was pretty awesome tho. idk if i posted about finishing it but, a genuine book hangover was a relief to feel. Didn't earn a full 5 stars, but I liked the complexity and the characters and the world building. It just reminded me of why i love fantasy.

    I feel like i'd have to read it at least twice to understand all the subplots tho. There were like 10 pov's. Some i didn't care much for.

    thoughts on the characters:
    first of all, steven erickson cannot name shit. His children are probably named something like F'g'uhhh, Fuzzy Mo and Curtainrod.
    lorn: boring but not too bad. 3/5
    tattersail: must protect 4/5
    capt paran: pretty solid protag character 4/5
    kruppe: really impressed with how this guy did a complete 180 from bumbling fool to powerful magic user and master spy, also #relatable 5/5
    crone: BIRB 5/5
    crokus younghand: cannot talk to girls 2/5
    rallick nom: not to be confused with his cousin omnomnom. honestly my eyes glazed over during all his sections 1/5
    anomander rake: turns into a dragon 5/5
    whiskeyjack: somehow sounds better than vodka greg. what was this guy tho. set up to be a protagonist on the back cover then barely exists. 1/5
    kalam: wizard 3/5
    quick ben: ?????? 2/5
    sorry/apsalar: possessed by homicidal maniac god for most of the book so no way to tell.
    everyone else i forgot about: ?????
     
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  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >first of all, steven erickson cannot name shit. His children are probably named something like F'g'uhhh, Fuzzy Mo and Curtainrod.

    I am very glad I was not drinking anything when I read this line.
     
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  12. Who names a character Sorry?
     
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Who names a character General Grievous?
    Or Draco Malfoy, for that matter? Bad Faith? Seriously?
    *shrug*
     
  14. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Glen Cook's naming habits in 'Black Company' - a major inspiration for 'Garden's of the Moon' would probably drive DotA insane.

    Dominant female character is named 'Lady.'
    Her chief female foe is 'Darling.'
    The protagonist is 'Croaker,' a military physician.
    The Companies wizards are 'One Eye,' 'Goblin,' and 'Silent.'

    The power of nicknames.

    As to the ones you mentioned...well, 'Quick Ben' does become more prominent later on. Apsalar makes a predictable Erikson choice, but does get a BF.
     
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  15. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I just want to grab William Meikle by the lapels and shake him while shouting "It's ok to write that Carnacki is just scared or frightened. He doesn't have to constantly "take a funk"! And for the love of William Hope Hodgson stop making Carnacki say "bally"!"
     
  16. All the Sith names in Star Wars are pretty unforgivable. As for Harry Potter, I feel the quirkiness of the naming fit with the world and mood.
     
  17. im sorry what
     
  18. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >the quirkiness of the naming fit with the world and mood.
    A good example why one should never rely on feedback from a single reader. DotA is charmed by quirkiness whereas I abandoned HP in the first volume because the naming to me was clumsy.

    You just never know who is going to connect and who is going to be put off. What would be wrong for both of us would be if Rowling were inconsistent in her naming, for that can only mean the author either didn't care or didn't notice.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I read the first Hunger Games. I thought the premise/setup was ridiculous, but I made it to the end. Didn't read the rest.

    Potter, I like.

    The Malazan Books (and indeed the Black Company books they bear some influence of) are great.

    I can't rant about a book I'm currently reading, but I've tried Temeraire a handful of times and I can't figure how an author makes such a cool concept so boring. On the other hand, I quite liked Uprooted.
     
  20. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Coming soon to DotA's library: 'the big book of Malazan baby names'
     
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