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A Poll on Literary Genre Interests


Archmonarch

Which Genre Do You Prefer?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Genre Do You Prefer?

    • General (Includes Basic SFF principles)
      2
    • Adventure
      2
    • Alternate History
      5
    • Contemporary
      0
    • Franchise (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.)
      4
    • Graphic Novels
      1
    • Historical
      1
    • High Tech (Future or otherwise)
      1
    • Other (Specify Below)
      3


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Just trying to get a feel for the various fan bases. I am aware many of these often overlap, but they are the principle subgenres. Any not included here I am either unaware of (unlikely) or they fall into one or more of the above categories. For instance, Space Opera could be General or High Tech. If you find yourself debating over which option to choose, decide upon which one you feel best suits the subgenre, and then post it below.

And I find it kind of funny

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The dreams in which I'm dying

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Alternate history...

 

 

Cornwell's Arthur-trilogy springs to mind. As well as Shogun-books.

 

Space operas rock too. I'd also read good steampunk and anachronistic fantasy, if I found some.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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To be honest, thats the reason I started this poll. I am currently writing a novel which I decided would be set in either a fantasy steampunk universe or an historical fantasy steampunk universe. The difference being, the first would be steampunk with magic and such, the second would be steampunk with magic and historical figures (scientists whose ideas/inventions proved to be true, etc.).

 

I was wondering which would garner more interest.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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I'd say the first one. But I'd prefer the latter one. Just to see how well you succeed.

 

Edit: Damn you. I was going to to write one too. >_<

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Well, my basic premise is as follows: The Industrial Revolution is a fairly recent arrival, but technology has progressed fairly quickly, leading to the Age of Steam. Excepting the main god, his servants, and various elemental spirits (which I call kami), magic is fairly unknown, being reduced to secretive survivors of an earlier anti-magic crusade. Three groups collectively known as The Remnant remain in the hilterlands of human civilization: the Bar Shai (elemental mages modeled after early Middle Eastern civilization), the Ellarun (humans who meld with animal spirits (mono) to gain shapeshifting abilities, probably modelled after Celts or Norse), and the Kamijin (a race born with two souls. There are three variants: those born as the children of other kamijin or between kami and humans who are born with both a human and a kami soul, those who share their body with a kami spirit which acted to either save their lives or gain a physical form from a dying human, and objects which are infused with the soul of a kami). The kamijin (basically means "god people" or "people of the gods") are modelled after shintoist principles).

 

Im trying to do a multifaceted view on many issues, such as: familiarity vs. innovation, magic vs. technology, human interests vs. piety, nature vs. humanity, etc.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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I love well-done books/movies/games about time travel, a la Journeyman Project 2 and 3, Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, Jack Finney's two novels...

 

The problem with much fantasy/sci-fi is believability; there are way too many examples where a director/writer puts more emphasis on tech and setting than he does on the story and characters. Ask any of them what it's about, and they'll say 'it's about this guy (or girl) who...' Exactly. That's where reality comes in, because people and their basic values haven't changed much over hundreds of years; immersion depends on the audience identifying with or being able to relate to your characters and/or their situation. If you can pull that off, I'll read it, even if I dislike steam-punk as much as I do anything 'historical'. (All of the above deal with history). >_<

 

Good wishes for your project.

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My premise: The world is very much like pre-renessance France with budding steamworks budding here and there. The story itself would have centered around a rather desolate corner of the world on the outbacks of the human kingdom. A caravan route to the very mechanized cities of the northern reaches, would be continuously raided by a infamous bandit. One who had gained some well-earned fame from letting the farmers use the route freely and having a blast at looting the engineer carriages and steam-wagons of the fat merchants on their way to the metropolies. An anachronistic Robin of Locksley so to speak. Well, the elementalist guild of High Fire was entrusted with the mission to get rid of this pester seeding crime and rebellion among the noble peasants. The tales of his deeds and feats must be idle banter. They're PEASANTS after all. Elementalists don't want to offend the ones with the money and give in. They send a cohort of experts consisting of scientists and 'enforcers' to find the offender and bring him to justice.

 

Little they know that the 'offender' has gathered a vast inventory of gadgets and instruments from looting the steam carriages and is nowadays well above the level of a poor robber. Not to mention being the only one knowing how to reach the proverbial "King Solomon's Mines" of the elementalists. The sunken city. Abyss. Long story short: The elemntalist used to be the power. The countryside hasn't always been desolate. Nor has the Wail Island always been a separate landmass from the coast. The mystics used to have a Mecca of their own. A sign of spiritual and technical growth which beckoned minds from the farthest reaches of the known world. Then there was the usal cataclysm and the place sunk underwater and underground. Finders keepers.

 

So, enter our 'heroes'. A would-be elementalist technic who just happens to make business-acquintances with the bandit. The bandit being very happy about this. For Wail Island needs someone with guts and someone with an intuitive knowledge of how High Fire tech works. And someone who doesn't soil their pants when they find out what has become of the elementalists trapped under tons of hazardous chemicals and high-tech magical paraphelia. A mind entirely devoid of morality helps too.

 

I was going to make it a swords and sorcery-short story with a light, almost greymouseresque fighting fantasy-feel. No epic stuff of prophecies. The story would have continued with the not-so-victorious heroes entering the capital of intrigue itself. City of Eyes. Secrets societies, assassins, roof-top fighting and daring jumps. I had an idea of using a very batman-like wings coupled with the hot-air-exhaust system of the city and making the heroes fly oce or twice. Knights of the Word, sigil-golems, secret entrances, sapient buildings....aahhh...

 

But I have no time for that.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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The elemntalist used to be the power. The countryside hasn't always been desolate. Nor has the Wail Island always been a separate landmass from the coast. The mystics used to have a Mecca of their own. A sign of spiritual and technical growth which beckoned minds from the farthest reaches of the known world. Then there was the usal cataclysm and the place sunk underwater and underground. Finders keepers.

 

Secrets societies, assassins, roof-top fighting and daring jumps.

 

These two parts sound somewhat similar to my own imaginings.

 

Originally, humans had three spiritual aspects fused into one soul: the mono (animal or beast soul), the human soul, and the kami (ethereal soul). In this time, there were no Bar Shai, Ellarun, or Kamijin. Such a division of parts would have seemed monstrous to the people of that time.

 

Anyway, civilization flourished, etc, etc. Then eventually, one mage discovered a way to, how should I say this, "transcend," to intiate apotheosis (the process by which a human becomes a god or god-like being.) When this discovery became known, greed entered the hearts of the populace and they plotted to steal the secret for themselves. Wars erupted everywhere, and much was destroyed or lost in the aftermath. However, no one succeeded in gaining the method, as the founder had, inadvertently used it on himself while discovering it. Thus, with the power of a god (though not the omniscience or omnivigilance), none could openly oppose him.

 

The discoverer's greatest friend eventually persuaded him to share the secret with him, so that they could rule together. Once he had attained the mantle of godhood, the friend, instead, used his power to fight his erstwhile companion, who had been consumed by pride and power. The friend sought to save the people from the conqueror. Yet, new to his abilities, the friend failed and was defeated, presumably killed. Thus, the original god ruled over all and shaped the world in his image. However, in the process of banishing his rival, the god accidentally sundered the souls of his people into four parts. Most are now simply human, some are what comes to be called Bar Shai, humans with the ability to tap into aspects of the world-soul through leylines, others are the Ellarun who retain their connection to the mono, and finally the Kamijin. The majority of the severed soul parts form into spirit creatures, such as mystical animals, kami, etc.

 

Fast forward several thousand years. A youth named Galael Delune, the son of a blacksmith, travels to town with his father to deliver goods for the upcoming festival. There, he meets a friend who draws Gale away and tells him of an unusual change coming over him. Gale recognizes the symptoms, as he possesses the same abilities. However, Gale has been trained by his father in their use, though so far with little practical success, i.e. he has great potential but cannot seem to use his power. Gale promises to ask his father (without telling of his own abilities), as Ferris Delune is viewed as both a great craftsman and wise counsel.

 

When the Delunes return to the town the next day for the festival, Gale discovers his friend has been murdered. Determined to find the perpetrator and cause, he investigates and eventually learns he must leave the town, the only home he has ever known. Along with a friendly traveler who says she can help and her two companions, Gale leaves the town for the nearest large city.

 

Here he discovers the wonder of technology. His village had been so rural that they had known neither of magic nor the Industrial Revolution.

 

Well to make a long story short, he is enamored by the steamtech, and researches it as he continues to invesigate. Eventually, the group is led to the site of the Alma Mundi, the soul of the world, the spring from which all life flows. By this time, a member of his group, already jealous of Gale, has been corrupted by a messenger from god, who promises him power in return for Gale's death. In attempting to kill Gale, this companion accidentally pushes him into the Alma Mundi which awakens Gale's abilities. And then he is introduced to the world of magic, coming to Bar Shai headquarters at the very end.

 

The second book would detail his training, and introduction into a secret society called the Exalted, dedicated to overthrowing the god. At the end, he is discovered and must flee to find a new teacher.

 

The third book would entail the research of the developing nations into recapitulation and eugenics. Recapitulation is a late 19th century theory put forward by Ernst Haeckel that proposed "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." Basically, as embryos develop they pass through the forms of their ancestors. The practical application would involve stopping wholly or partially development at these stages such that superhumans could be born: people with the strength of apes, the agility of a cat, the gills of a fish, etc. The only power source that could be discovered sufficient enough to sustain such research was Anima Mundi. However, the scientists, unaware of magic and believing Anima Mundi to simply be a natural power source, did not take into consideration the planet's sentience. Thus, in the process of creating such individuals, the nations recreated a new race, determined to halt the expansion of humanity as it damaged the environment.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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I'd read that. Do try and finish it.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Im working on it. And that is only a brief description, the reality is much more convoluted. For example, if you want to discover a secret from the first book, read the spoiler after this admittedly long and ultimately necessary explanation.

 

There are two categories of Bar Shai: those born to the power and those who can be taught to access it. The first are infinitely more powerful, but the latter are infinitely more common.

 

The magic system used by the Bar Shai is divided into 10 elements. 4 are the normal hermetic elements: earth, air, fire and water. Each of these also combine to form 4 dual elements: lightning (fire and air), mist (air and water), clay (water and earth), and metal (earth and fire). Then above all of these are two more: Spirit and Void. Void takes after the Eastern mystic definition, being the element that contains everything.

 

To make things more complicated, each element is associated with a particular application. Air is Manipulation. Water is Transformation. Earth is Reinforcement. Fire is Emission. Spirit is Materialization. Void is Specialty. Basically, those of each element are gifted with a certain special ability within their category. For example, an Air Mage might be able to control dreams, or use the wind to carry messages. A Water Mage might be able to change another, physically or mentally. An Earth Mage might be able to increase his or her strength or to awaken hidden abilities in others. A Fire Mage might be able to shoot flame or some such.

 

Those in dual elements can access both equally. A Mist Shaper might be able to control or influence the weather. A Clay Shaper might be able to create artifical life. Metal Shapers are almost universally skilled smiths, and can control the properties of their creations to some degree. A Lightning Shaper might be able to power a device through electricity (even though in this world electricity is the equivalent of fusion energy today: theoretical and dangerous).

 

Spirit Adepts and Void Disciples are the exceptions. All Spirit Adepts have the same basic ability: to materialize an item of their choice. They may make any additions to the item or give it special abilities, but once the item is chosen it may not be changed unless the Spirit Adept progresses from one level of mastery to another. Void Disciples have absolutely no set abilities; the only common thread is that they do not neatly fit into any other category.

 

The hierarchy is as follows: all 8 terrestrial elements (earth, air, fire, water and any combinations) are at the bottom level, with the dual elements being slightly more prestigious than one alone. Then at the top is Spirit. Originally, Void was the preeminent element, but as the void disciples were the majority of the rival god's supporters, they are now considered abominations and killed immediately after being found. The majority of Bar Shai do not even realize this element exists.

 

 

The village in which Gale was raised is actually a Bar Shai settlement. They bribe or threaten others so as to avoid any incursion of technology into their testing grounds. They do this so as to mold the minds of their future students whenver possible and to root out any gifted in void. Thus, his friend was reported by his parents, whom he had told, to the Bar Shai and a specialized assassin was sent to kill him.

 

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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One thing to remember. Even if you have well-laid mythology, pantheon and magical hierarchy; the focus must be on characters and story, otherwise you're just making a history/science book of your world. On that note; I'd prefer if you kept most of the Bar Shai magic system as background fluff. Something to refer to, something to maybe add as a footnote or an extra at the end of the novel. Like what was done with the Death Gate books(if you've read them). Optional reading.

 

I can't help but to see some obvious influences, but you've taken time to perfect, which is always applaudable.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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One thing to remember. Even if you have well-laid mythology, pantheon and magical hierarchy; the focus must be on characters and story, otherwise you're just making a history/science book of your world. On that note; I'd prefer if you kept most of the Bar Shai magic system as background fluff. Something to refer to, something to maybe add as a footnote or an extra at the end of the novel. Like what was done with the Death Gate books(if you've read them). Optional reading.

 

I can't help but to see some obvious influences, but you've taken time to perfect, which is always applaudable.

 

Such was my plan. The magic system wouldnt become even a minor factor until the second book, and at that point, it would be summarized to some degree as part of Gale's lessons. I would also include a full appendix detailing such after the book. I agree with you that the focus should be on characters and story. I just find it easier to do that if Im not always asking myself, "How does ____ work?" or "What should I do here?"

 

 

Also, if you wouldnt mind, could you list the influences you noticed? Im sure Im aware of some of them, but readers often pick up things unrealized by the author.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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I'm kinda all over the map. I'm not a LotR fan (I know I'm a heretic) mainly because it isn't realistic about why most people fight. I'm a big fan of Glen Cook, he did the Black Company series that served as the basis for the series Myth (alas Bunjie went to the dark side and haloed us into oblivion...). I also like the Three Kingdom books, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms (some of it, mainly the "main storyline" stuff.) I've got more comics than most would expect, Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, Manga, WOD, Battletech, and most of the Starwars that takes place before the NJO. Never really been a fan of Trek...

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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I'd say I saw at least Death Gate, FR, DL and maybe Gemmel's fighting fantasy works. The Bar Shai reminded me of Jordan and perhaps even Moorc0ck to some extent. The trouble is; everyone copies from each other so the most prominent ifnluences could be from anywhere on modern fantasy. Especially high fantasy.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Guest Fishboot

Original fantasy world, please. Alternate history is lame because it always ends up being, or at least seeming, like a facile commentary on history, which I think a writer isn't really fit to judge. New worlds are more fun to obsess over, anyway.

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I'd say I saw at least Death Gate, FR, DL and maybe Gemmel's fighting fantasy works. The Bar Shai reminded me of Jordan and perhaps even Moorc0ck to some extent. The trouble is; everyone copies from each other so the most prominent ifnluences could be from anywhere on modern fantasy. Especially high fantasy.

 

Huh...of those, the only one I have read to any extent is Jordan, but I hope my plotting turns out better than his. Ive read some Gemmel but not enough to recognize any influence. Ive never really gotten into Forgotten Realms or Dragon Lance, except in very limited doses. And I remember trying to read the first book of the Death Gate saga once, but I dont think I finished.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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Errare huma...and all that jazz. I guess it's just means that no one can come up with anything original anymore. Someone bound to be made your grand idea before. A pity really.

 

Anything else you want to post about your work?

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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One of the advantages/disadvantages of being old is, that it has been a bit of each, depending on what period in life.

 

My first love was encyclopedias (yes, I'm that weird), followed by LotR when I grew up to be a teenager. Later followed by stuff like Dragonlance and belgian comics. Later it was true junkfood like Stephen King and David Eddings, a bit sci-fi (Weiss&Hickman) and more moody stuff like Stephen Donaldson. Eventually you get fed up with all his angst filled writing and go back to easier to digest stuff. Today, I mostly read web pages (and the odd fora) :cat:"

 

Edit: And btw. David Gemmel is awesome :devil:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I'd say i read all kinds of science fiction and fantasy. Space-opera is entertaining but so is social science fiction, military and hard sci-fi.

 

For social-sci-fic my favorites run along the goal of what if scenarios of human societies, for example Ursula Le Guin, dispossed, left hand of darkness, Nancy Kress beggars in spain, C. J. Cherryh Cyteen and the like.

 

for space-opera, there is lots of choices, but the undisputed queen of the sub-genre is Lois M. Bujold with the Barrayar series, but there are more, like Elizabeth Moon, the much different John C. Wright and (only in small doses) Peter F. Hamilton.

 

I could go on with fantasy favorites (not Jordan/Eddings/Goodkind), but since i'm elocution impared i will not.

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"(not Jordan/Eddings/Goodkind)"

 

Taste.

kirottu said:
I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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My favourite book is an Alternative history book called For Want of a Nail. One of the best things about it is that it actually is a history book of the alternative world. It reads exactly like a university-level history textbook of the American Revolution right up until the Battle of Saratoga, where without skipping a beat it details how Burgoyne won the battle, and from that point on it continues to read as a university level history textbook, but one in which the Rebellion is defeated (which leads to an initially semi-independent Confederation of North America, including Louisiana and all of British North America, while the hardcore revolutionaries flee to Texas, eventually creating the United States of Mexico). It even has a review by a Professor of History at Mexico University (as to ease tensions between the countries, all history textbooks written by an academic from either country on events involving the CNA or USM are reviewed by a counterpart from the other country) who lays into the book claiming that it is unfairly biased against the USM and shows the CNA in a far too positive light.

 

In fact, I prefer the very dry timelines of events that amateur alternative historians produce over the novels the professional writer make. One of my favourites is For All Time, in which FDR dies sooner than he did in our timeline, and it is Henry Wallace, not Harry Truman who takes over as President, leading to a much more powerful Soviet Union. Another is Empty America, where the migrations across the Bering land bridge fail or never happen, leaving a completely empty continent when the Europeans discover it.

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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Anything else you want to post about your work?

 

Anything else you wanted to know?

 

Also, Serious Callers Only, I agree with you about Jordan/Eddings/Goodkind. I suppose it is my curse to be forever linked with the first, as we live in the same town.

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

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It's important to note the difference between Alternate History and Historical Fiction. Alternate history takes a real event or time period, and changes it with something dramatic Historical fiction is usually an actual historical event, but veiwed through the eyes of a fictional character, or even just taking liberties with with a real person and making up dialogue and thought.

 

Where is the Parody category? Mikhael Bulgakov is my favorite writer...Ever.

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