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HBO's Game of Thrones

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So, basically, A Song of Ice and Fire is the new Lord of the Rings.... except you're free to call it bad writing.

 

(Seriously, why is LOTR considered like this godly creation of a writer? WHY!? I hated the book when I read it)


Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Just as an example my partner, a lady who hasn't read the books nor has ever seen any fantasy beyond the Lord of the Rings movies was mesmerized by this show.

As a counter-example, my husband, who hasn't read the books but has seen lots of sci-fi & fantasy films/tv shows, was pretty "meh" about this series. He watched it because I was...he didn't dislike it, it just didn't engage him that much.

 

Much a matter of personal preferences, like food and music. Hard to set up objective criteria for excellence.

Yup...but that's why forum discussion is such a lively activity. :)


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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So, basically, A Song of Ice and Fire is the new Lord of the Rings.... except you're free to call it bad writing.

 

(Seriously, why is LOTR considered like this godly creation of a writer? WHY!? I hated the book when I read it)

I guess it's about time to switch that up, even though it's been slowly happening for a while now. The new wave of fantasy is very welcome indeed.

 

Also won't hurt the next two books if George is heralded as the next Tolkin and millions of fans are waiting outside his house with pitchforks when he decides to troll everyone again with his blogposts...

Edited by Purkake

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A Song of Ice and Fire really is so popular because it's a soap-opera with swords. It's a dark & gritty version of the light-hearted Wheel of Time.

 

Writers like Michael Moor**** & Glen Cook have been around for ages, trying to deconstruct common fantasy tropes, but nobody ever really gave a fudge about their books. Even Erikson is not all that popular, all things considered.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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I don't know why people keep bringing up ASoIaF and WoT together. They are nothing alike, save for both being part of the fantasy genre and having an extensive world.

Edited by Purkake

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I don't know why people keep bringing up ASoIaF and WoT together. They are nothing alike, save for both being part of the fantasy genre and having an extensive world.

Both books feature verbose writing style, focus on in-depth characterisation and endless chapters delving into the mind of characters you wish would die in a fire?


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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That's every other book written and the last part is strictly subjective. Also ASoIaF does a lot more third-person viewpoints of some of the more "main" characters without actually going into their heads, like Catelyn's for Robb, for example.

 

ASoIaF might as well be magical realism save for a few very specific bits, while WoT is quite obviously epic fantasy with a bit of a twist.

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I don't see the point really in singling out GRRM as a particularly bad writer.

 

Let's be honest, fantasy is the the haven for the bad writer, everyone from Eddings to Brooks to that clod who writes the sword of truth novels to Dennis Mckiernan and Ray Feist and Mercedes Lackey etc and so forth.

 

Are there good writers in fantasy, both in the sense of writing interesting engaging texts while also coming up with interesting and unusual stories? Sure. But for whatever reason, they dont seem to be the ones that sell a lot of copies.

 

I don't particularly like GRRM's work, but he's still a better writer than most of those working in a comparable genre.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

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Much a matter of personal preferences, like food and music. Hard to set up objective criteria for excellence.

 

Indeed.

 

Of course, I also liked the Wildcard books, and still do even now. They were proper 'dime store', IIRC.

 

GRR Martin edited and wrote many Wildcard books.

Edited by Walsingham

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I and definitely not a fan of the fantasy genre in any particular way. I find 99% cliched and repetitive, I means seriously, has Goodkind, Feist, Sanderson, et al ever had an original thought? But I have really enjoyed Martins ASoIaF series. It is not deep or serious work by any means, but I've always found it entertaining. It's the literary equivalent of eating a candy bar. Sometimes you just want a candy bar.

Edited by Guard Dog

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I think one of the big things in song of ice and fires ally that it actually went through and mostly explained wtf was going on and kept the most central characters fairly central and easy to keep track of (in the first book). One of the things that's holding me back about erikson is just the fact that there's a cast of characters that's long enough to make a dress from, and half the Bridgeburners get barely any screen time to set in the readers heads. I admit, the first book of the Song was fantastic, if a bit in need of an editor, but it feels like things have just gone straight downhill from there.

 

As to Erikson and Cook, Cook I think is making a bit of a come back with his "Instrumentalities of the Night" books (which is sort of what Song of Ice and Fire WOULD be if it didn't require 3 pages to describe somebody eating, and 5 to describe their random sexual encounters), and I'm slowly getting into Erikson personally, but he seems to have a pretty good following.

 

I will say this, GRRM has a better grasp of politics than Eddings (Oh hey! I just got back from 2 years exile and out manuvered a career politician! How bout that!) or Terry Goodkind (who just ignores politics in favor of magical plot device that makes subjects love Ter- I mean Richard).


Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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I think the examination of the source material, in the context of the TV series, is misleading.

 

As a product, GoT stands and falls on the piece as viewed by the non-reader of the books (i.e. people like me and the many fans of the series who haven't picked up GRRM's opus).

 

Source material is just that: source material, it's like good beef stock used as the base for a stew. The writer on a movie set is a curious irrelevance, I've heard it a million times. In this case GRRM was involved, and he happily seemed to understand the compromises and reality behind turning a successful, dense novel into an accessible, entertaining screenplay.

 

Cheers

MC


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As to Erikson and Cook, Cook I think is making a bit of a come back with his "Instrumentalities of the Night" books (which is sort of what Song of Ice and Fire WOULD be if it didn't require 3 pages to describe somebody eating, and 5 to describe their random sexual encounters), and I'm slowly getting into Erikson personally, but he seems to have a pretty good following.

 

 

I've read three books, by Erickson, and haven't finished any of them. He seems to be trying to work fantasy in a more interesting way than most fantasy authors, but I find his narratives just lack any forward momentum to keep me going. Possibly its because of the large numbers of characters, possibly he's just not very good at engaging stories. ANd he's still nowwhere near a good enough writer just to keep me reading for the sake of the writing.

 

I find Cook's early work pretty dull, but Instrumentalities of the Night seems a big step up (or forward) for him. It's the only multi-voulme fantasy series that I've found at all interesting in the last 5 years or so.

 

Sadly most high fantasy of this sort is incredibly bland, mostly just wish-fulfillment fiction of the worst sort. It was OK when I was 15, but I've found it mostly unreadable for a long time.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

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Mmm, so many snide venom-dripping remarks(not that I disagree). Maybe we should have a separate thread for which books you hate(I have a few as well). The book hate seems so much sharper than the regular dull game hate around these parts :lol:

Edited by Purkake

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Mmm, so many snide venom-dripping remarks(not that I disagree). Maybe we should have a separate thread for which books you hate(I have a few as well). The book hate seems so much sharper than the regular dull game hate around these parts :lol:

 

lol.

 

Mine really wasn't meant as bookhate, per se. But more just as comparison to GRRM's contemporaries, by which measure, I think he's a pretty good writer.

 

And I don't even like his stuff paritcularly. Although if I had no choice I would probably read it over others.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

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i find Martin's writing infinitely better than the majority of fantasy novels i've read

 

i hate leaving a series unfinished once i start, but the Ea Cycle by David Zindell was possibly the worst piece of rubbish i've even encountered. i'd rather read all of Salvatore's Drizzt books and Goodkind's Sword of Truth series again rather than finish Zindell's garbage


when your mind works against you - fight back with substance abuse!

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Hey, I read all of Salvatore's Drizzt garbage. Granted that was when they first came out in the late 80s and I wasn't that demanding.


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Hey, I read all of Salvatore's Drizzt garbage. Granted that was when they first came out in the late 80s and I wasn't that demanding.

 

 

I read half of one way back. Even as a teenager, I thought it was crap.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

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Hey, I read all of Salvatore's Drizzt garbage. Granted that was when they first came out in the late 80s and I wasn't that demanding.

 

i've read... four of them i think :ermm:

 

they were bad, but Zindell's was much, much worse


when your mind works against you - fight back with substance abuse!

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Hey, I read all of Salvatore's Drizzt garbage. Granted that was when they first came out in the late 80s and I wasn't that demanding.

I could be suffering from time displacement, but IIRC the first 3 books (halfling's gem etc.) weren't that dire. The latter books were some of the worst tripe TSR/WotC released, and considering some of the Dragonlance prequels, that's saying something.

 

That said, I learned English from those DL/FR books, so they'll always have a special place in my heart. :ermm:


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Mmm, so many snide venom-dripping remarks(not that I disagree). Maybe we should have a separate thread for which books you hate(I have a few as well). The book hate seems so much sharper than the regular dull game hate around these parts :ermm:

 

lol.

 

Mine really wasn't meant as bookhate, per se. But more just as comparison to GRRM's contemporaries, by which measure, I think he's a pretty good writer.

 

And I don't even like his stuff paritcularly. Although if I had no choice I would probably read it over others.

It was mostly Calax, but some constructive hate is fun every now and then.

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Seems like the only argument in favour of Martin's work is that you should lower your expectations immensely before reading his books. Damning with faint praise, I'd say.


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