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post #401 of 479

I just snagged both Six-Gun Tarot and The Red Knight off Amazon with a gift certificate I had left from Christmas. I'm not sure when I'll get to them, though. Abercrombie's Red Country and the second Lock Lamora books are already ahead in the queue.

post #402 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louris View Post

I just snagged both Six-Gun Tarot and The Red Knight off Amazon with a gift certificate I had left from Christmas. I'm not sure when I'll get to them, though. Abercrombie's Red Country and the second Lock Lamora books are already ahead in the queue.

Red Seas is awesome. Part high seas adventure, part Ocean's 11 casino heist. Pleased as punch the third book, The Republic of Thieves, is finally coming out this Summer. It's refreshing that Lynch has a real reason for the delay (extreme mental problems)

 

I dunno, I tend to say I don't read Fantasy, but I've found fantasy novels that read like fantasy for the non-fantasy reader (I.E. as far from Tolkien as possible) often with a noirish bent lately, like Lynch, Abercrombie and now Miles Cameron's The Red Knight which is really just a Men on a Mission story that owes a lot to Seven Samurai and other movies like that, but with knights. Try as I might, I cannot read Martin and I think even the "good" Wheel of Time books by Jordan are awful.

 

The Red Knight and The Six-Gun Tarot are really delightful surprises. I like Tarot a little better because I like westerns, angels, demons, and were-creatures as well as guns better, but The Red Knight is pretty great reading.  Tarot actually reads like an ancestor of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural could show up pretty seamlessly.

post #403 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

I went to a book signing for him last Saturday, then to a showing of The Penelopiad where I got a program signed by Margaret Atwood.  Good day for signatures.
 


Nice guy? Interesting signing?

post #404 of 479

Well, we're lucky to have a few solid comic shops and genre bookstores here.  Cameron always does signings for his books at this one store which handles fantasy/sci-fi exclusively, and some of his armour and gear is still hanging in the window.

 

http://www.traitorson.com/the-red-knight-book-launch-in-toronto/
 

Nice guy, yeah, although a stranger might walk the other way if they met in a dark alley.

post #405 of 479

Interesting essay on the book. This caught my eye about the setting:

 

"I won’t say ‘Medieval European’ because Byzantine Greece, Islamic North and East Africa, Seljuk Turkey, as well as Iroquoian and Algonquin North America will all play their contributing roles. "

 

Islamic North? Awesome.
 

post #406 of 479

I read a lot of fantasy, but I don't read a lot of high fantasy.

 

It wasn't good when guys like Robert Jordon wrote it, and I still don't like it when authors like Martin write it. I won't deny that there's books I enjoy that fall into that category, but on a whole it just completely disinterests me.

 

 

I like swords, I like adventure, but I've found myself finding looking backwards instead of forwards more often that not.

post #407 of 479

I should add that part of this is just how shitty huge chunks of fantasy can be towards women. Like it's actually hard for me to find a fantasy book on the market that's not at some point going to feature a woman being raped, it's deeply off-putting even in series I like.

post #408 of 479

You have, unfortunately, people aping those writers you named just as in crime you now have people inspired by guys like Crais and Parker, who themselves were acolytes of Chandler and MacDonald.  Good intentions, poor results.  With each generation you reach a point of diminshing returns in terms of talent and skill earlier and earlier. 
 

post #409 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

I should add that part of this is just how shitty huge chunks of fantasy can be towards women. Like it's actually hard for me to find a fantasy book on the market that's not at some point going to feature a woman being raped, it's deeply off-putting even in series I like.

 

That is actually a major theme of The Penelopiad.

post #410 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

Is Six Gun Tarot a graphic novel? It sure looks and sounds like one. If it's the old fashioned no pictures type of book, consider me curious.


Real novel.

post #411 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

I read a lot of fantasy, but I don't read a lot of high fantasy.

 

It wasn't good when guys like Robert Jordon wrote it, and I still don't like it when authors like Martin write it. I won't deny that there's books I enjoy that fall into that category, but on a whole it just completely disinterests me.

 

 

I like swords, I like adventure, but I've found myself finding looking backwards instead of forwards more often that not.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

I should add that part of this is just how shitty huge chunks of fantasy can be towards women. Like it's actually hard for me to find a fantasy book on the market that's not at some point going to feature a woman being raped, it's deeply off-putting even in series I like.

 

I'm not a big fan of the big epic high fantasy either. I love the Discworld books, and enjoy a lot of other stuff that fits in the fantasy genre overall (Cherie Priest, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, A. Lee Martinez), but I only seem to really enjoy high fantasy when people are essentially mocking it.

 

And I'd like to add none of those have rape (unless I'm forgetting something, but I don't think I am), but it's depressing that that should even be a thing I have to add.

post #412 of 479

Yeah, and again I like series in that genre. I mean I'll gladly go to the bat for Malazan flaws and all, but so much of it bugs the utter shit out of me.

 

I'm not even opposed to grim works in the genre, K.J. Parker's probably one of my favorite authors and her work is a few shades darker than almost any of her contemporaries. But for some reason her work feels vital and hits harder than most of the "gritty" authors that tend to influence others.

post #413 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

Red Seas is awesome. Part high seas adventure, part Ocean's 11 casino heist. Pleased as punch the third book, The Republic of Thieves, is finally coming out this Summer. It's refreshing that Lynch has a real reason for the delay (extreme mental problems)

 

Unless you know something I don't I wouldn't hold your breath. His release dates for Republic of Thieves have changed just as much as Martin's last book did.

post #414 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecallahan View Post

 

Unless you know something I don't I wouldn't hold your breath. His release dates for Republic of Thieves have changed just as much as Martin's last book did.


I don't, it's just this date has been set for awhile, so I have hope.

post #415 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

Red Seas is awesome. Part high seas adventure, part Ocean's 11 casino heist. Pleased as punch the third book, The Republic of Thieves, is finally coming out this Summer. It's refreshing that Lynch has a real reason for the delay (extreme mental problems).

 

I liked Locke Lamora fine but didn't love it. I'm mostly sticking with it because I live near Lynch and like to support the locals. It's the only reason I bought the last Bon Iver album, too :)

 

The story itself was a fun read and his prose is just fine, but he really hasn't gotten a handle on writing actual characters yet. Really charming bastard and slightly less charming bastard who likes pie aren't personalities. That flaw becomes even more apparent when read side by side with Abercrombie. Still, I like the setting and feel of high adventure, and the first book made for a breezy, enjoyable read.

post #416 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

I should add that part of this is just how shitty huge chunks of fantasy can be towards women. Like it's actually hard for me to find a fantasy book on the market that's not at some point going to feature a woman being raped, it's deeply off-putting even in series I like.

 

While there is undoubtedly a strong whiff of misogyny wafting up from plenty of fantasy, to be fair I think just as often it winds up just being an unavoidable byproduct of the setting, especially if you're a writer going for some semblance of realism. I have a lot of complaints about George RR Martin, for example, but I don't the how he handles how shitty people can be regarding things like murder or rape is one of them. Quite the opposite; he does a good job acknowledging the harsh reality of a world with little or no enforceable law without wallowing in it.

 

That it isn't necessarily misogynistic doesn't make it any less off-putting, however.

post #417 of 479

Which always brings me back to one of my favorite essays online from Daniel Abraham.

 

http://aidanmoher.com/blog/2012/04/articles/concerning-historical-authenticity-in-fantasy-or-truth-forgives-you-nothing-by-daniel-abraham/

 

 

But regardless I find most of the sexualized violence in the vast majority of fantasy to be far more offensive than effective. Most of it's used to stir a sense of hatred or a sense of pity in the victim while usually serving as short-hand for any childish attempt for the writer to show the horrors of war.

 

I hate the broad majority of it in fantasy and I'm completely with various feminist critics in the genre who tend to show strong dislike in it.

 

Granted name one of the bigger fantasies out there right now and I'm probably rarely a fan of them or have some rather severe issues with the work.

post #418 of 479
Great read, Lauren. Gonna show that to folks for sure.
post #419 of 479

But this always reminds me of seeing Catherynne M. Valente at a convention and watching her tear into a bunch of authors who can talk a lot about how they've "rooted their works in history" but seemingly don't have an actual idea about how women have actually lived at various times.

 

 

 

Basically I just love Catherynne M. Valente a lot.

post #420 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Great read, Lauren. Gonna show that to folks for sure.

 

I can't say it does much for me. It's not a rebuttal of terrible behavior in fantasy so much as it's a rebuttal of a terrible rationalization for terrible behavior in fantasy. 

 

Again, I don't disagree that a lot of authors write dumb things for dumb reasons, and I don't disagree that even if the things they write aren't dumb and the reasons aren't dumb it can still be not enjoyable to read about, but I also can't escape the fact that people are awful to one another if left unchecked by law (or religion or fear or magic, etc.).


Edited by Louris - 1/27/13 at 7:23am
post #421 of 479

I think most of the GRIMDARK fantasy writers do an AWFUL job with this though. I'm not dismissing these authors because the frequent sexual violence is hard to read about, I'm dismissing these authors because none of them handle an extremely problematic subject with any skill. 

 

 

But that's GRIMDARK in the shell of a nut. It's still stupid cod-medieval settings* but they've cranked everything up a bit. There's nothing truly complex going on behind the facade other than some typical "war is hell/Feudalism is bad/religion is evil" sophomoric philosophizing.

 

Oh and rape! Lots of rape! To the point where it's hard to even find books I like where rape ISN'T featured at some point!

 

 

And barely any of it actually registers. Like I can still remember how painful certain parts of the Birthgrave happened to be, but that's because Tanith Lee* had a deep understanding of how absolutely horrible it is. Most of these authors just seemingly include it because "That happened right?" as if this somehow makes the silly little worlds more believable.

 

 

 

 

 

*And I say cod-medieval settings because that's what most of these worlds are. They aren't REALLY attempting to simulate an actual medieval environment, just a veneer with half of the complexities pulled away.

 

 

*Admittedly I kind of think female writers have a better handle on this stuff anyway.

post #422 of 479

And to be clear! I really like a lot of dark fantasy! I even like a lot of fantasy set in Medieval-environments. I'm certainly not against critiquing the authors I do admire either.* And I really don't want to come across as some "Urgghh popular" type.

 

 

I just find a lot of mainstream fantasy to have some severely problematic elements that can be deeply wince inducing for somebody like me who takes the genre seriously as a whole.

 

 

 

*I can probably bitch all night about early Michael Moorcock's tendency to write passive female characters, Jack Vance's frequent "creepy old man syndrome," and some really shady as shit moments in Fritz Leiber's writing.

post #423 of 479

Faeries have shown up in The Red Knight! But the creatures and monsters are more Arthurian legend in nature than anything, so that's cool. Miles Cameron has a degree is midieval history too, so that's cool, and he's made me aware of Chivalric Martial Arts!
 


Edited by Cameron Hughes - 1/27/13 at 2:16pm
post #424 of 479

I actually like the Red Knight so far.

post #425 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

I actually like the Red Knight so far.

Glad you like it in this wave of criticism of fantasy.

 

I didn't think it'd be my thing, but dude can write and show his research. I just wish I had the UK version.

post #426 of 479

Well the Red Knight helps by actually being set in the real MIDDLE-AGES and having a fairly complex overview of what's an incredibly complex time.

 

 

Also he understands mythology in a way that's more basic than "I think I read some stuff about Joseph Campbell" which helps.

post #427 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

Well the Red Knight helps by actually being set in the real MIDDLE-AGES and having a fairly complex overview of what's an incredibly complex time.

 

 

Also he understands mythology in a way that's more basic than "I think I read some stuff about Joseph Campbell" which helps.

See what I mean about it having a Men on a Mission vibe?

post #428 of 479

 Good interview with Miles Cameron http://alturl.com/32m67

 

 I was told a lot of fantasy writers have a history degree, I didn't know so many fantasy writers and their cousin had a Midieval and other assorted history degrees, but Miles Cameron seems to understand it and use it a little better, the way Tolkien understood history and culture and mythology, but readable and without any of the singing (I told a friend years ago that a proper adaptation would sound like a musical at times). A lot of fantasy novels just don't seem to understand the complexities of the time and are very superficial about it and do things like rape and pointless violence just because they think it should be there, like they're re-creating their (badly written) D&D campaigns from their High School and college days.

 

 Really, I like it just for being Seven Samurai with knights.

post #429 of 479

And I just realized I'm repeating myself, sorry. I just really like this book.
 

post #430 of 479

No no! The book's really good! And part of it is Miles Cameron bringing complexity all up in the house.

 

 

The European middle ages is an utterly fascinating period in history, and I mostly find fantasy attempting to tackle a sort of medieval inspired world to be super dull and simplistic.

post #431 of 479

I'm starting Red Knight next. I'm not in the mood for Lynch at the moment and I need a break from Abercrombie. I've just accepted that he's the Lena Dunham of fantasy; someone who writes amazing, well rounded, deep characters who are for the most part detestable assholes. Like watching Girls I'll keep reading the First Law books because I appreciate the craftsmanship despite the fact that the characters are unpleasant.

post #432 of 479

So I wound up not reading Red Knight yet but instead Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. I've had a friend bugging me to read it for awhile, and I decided to just do it so she'll quit asking.

 

It's not good.

 

First of all, there's a odd work-for-hire vibe about the whole thing that I can't quite put my finger on. A quick look at Ms. Priests's wikipedia bibliography shows what feels a bit like trend-chasing. People like southern gothic supernatural? Here's a series! Sexy vampires? I can do that! Zombies are big, and so is steampunk? I'll throw some goggles on a motherfucker and come up with the flimsiest explanation ever to make the dead walk!

 

I can ignore the meta-ness of all of that, however. What I can't get past is just how shitty the story is handled. It's especially bizarre since she's actually a decent writer, prose-wise. Unbelievable characters doing entirely plot-oriented things, characters introduced, built up as important and forgotten, etc. The entire plot is put into motion because the mother and son main characters aren't great at talking. That's the entire motivation for the story; an inability to have a two minute conversation. If either of the two protagonists acted like normal, believable people for the time it takes to make a sandwich there wouldn't have been a book to write, and that's a pretty huge problem. And there's something simliar like every ten pages where the entire novel would come to a close if the author didn't make people act like idiots to throw obstacles in the way.

 

I could go on and on, but I've already spent way too much time on a book that doesn't deserve much more than "don't read this".

post #433 of 479

I'm about half way through Red Knight now, and liking it a lot. But boy does Cameron like to talk about what people are wearing. A lot. Like, really a lot. Like "someone made a bet that he could work in a reference to hose every page" a lot.

 

Distracting descriptions of the gear everyone is wearing every time they step in front of the camera aside I'm loving it so far.

post #434 of 479

Third Scott Lynch book is behind schedule (shocking I know). He did say he's editing it though so it looks to be completed at least.

 

 

Quote:
The Republic of Thieves.


(I am so sorry. I simply couldn't resist. In the immortal words of my grandfather: "If you can't laugh at yourself, you're an asshole.")

Cheers,

SL

P.S. It ain't the finishing that's the issue, it's the editing and the miserable damned anxiety attacks.

P.P.S. I'm working on both as you read this.

P.P.P.S. None of this is the fault of my editors or publishers. They have been patient and steadfastly helpful during a long difficult period of my life.

P.P.P.P.S. That's a lot of Ps.

P.P.P.P.P.S. That's more P than I have used in any piece of writing since the barrel of horse urine in The Lies of Locke Lamora.
post #435 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecallahan View Post

Third Scott Lynch book is behind schedule (shocking I know). He did say he's editing it though so it looks to be completed at least.

 

 

At least it's a real and serious mental issue and not "FOOTBALL IS ON!" like Martin.

post #436 of 479

Very true. Though in Martin's defense I'm going with the opinion of him writing himself into a corner and just finally had to say fuck it and release something.

post #437 of 479

Martin was always worthless.

post #438 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

Martin was always worthless.

 

Martin is flawed, but he's far from worthless. For starters he does an amazing job changing your feelings/thoughts/beliefs about a character based on whose POV from which you view that character. 

post #439 of 479

Ehhhh...I'm not a fan of MOST of Martin's characters. But furthermore I don't really like a lot of that pseudo-medieval multi-volume fantasy. I certainly like it less when it's given a surface layer of grime.

 

I think at this point Steven Erikson is the only one of those EPIC fantasy authors I actively enjoy at this point.

post #440 of 479

When I read Martin - and I haven't read his Song of Ice and Fire for years, I still enjoy his sci-fi and short stories however - all I can think is, if Michael Corleone was teleported across space and time to Westeros in some horrible, tear-jerking cross-genre novel, he'd be running the whole show in five minutes. 
 

I enjoy Erikson very much, but I haven't read the more recently released Esslemont-authored novels.  Hear good things, though.

post #441 of 479

Did Martin do the Armageddon Rag? Because that's probably the only thing I really honestly like from him.

post #442 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenOrtega View Post

Did Martin do the Armageddon Rag? Because that's probably the only thing I really honestly like from him.

 

 

He did! And that is a really good novel. He also wrote "Sandkings", a really good short story collection, and "Fevre Dream" , a Vampire's in 19th century Mississippi that's so good I like it, and I got sick of Vampires after Anne Rice ran Lestat into the ground (heh).

 

I think the Publishing industry started pressuring authors to publish these monstrous series in 1980's. You had guys like Brian Aldiss, who published some brilliant short novels in the 1960's and 70's, start publishing Trilogies (though i recommend his Helliconia Trilogy as a good SF/Fantasy Hybrid).

post #443 of 479

I grabbed Red Knight cause of this thread. I haven't read a non-Game of Thrones fantasy book in a long time, so fairly excited.

post #444 of 479

Has anyone checked out Gaebrel's Gamble by Zackery Arbela? It seems similar to my current favorite adventure series The Ketty Jay books by Christopher Wooding. I was directed toward it by a mention in an Amazon review of Wooding's Retribution Falls. Also curious about Michael Swanwick's Dancing with Bears, which sounds like The Sting in a fantasy/sci-fi world.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Gaebrels-Gamble-Nine-Suns-Volume/dp/1470003902/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1362542299&sr=1-5

 

Edit: Whoops, too good to be true, it's self-published by CreateSpace. I'm a snob about books not from a real publisher.

post #445 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

I grabbed Red Knight cause of this thread. I haven't read a non-Game of Thrones fantasy book in a long time, so fairly excited.

It's good, and it has a lot of things I hate, like wordiness and overly-flowery language and is way too long, but I had a really good time time with it. Thing is, the characters and world are interesting and I wanted to learn more as I went on. Miles Cameron clearly knew what he was talking about and told it well, when it could have so easily been terrible, like a bad history class with fantasy stuff.

 

Lauren liked it, and she's more versed in fantasy than I am.

post #446 of 479

Dancing with Bears is a very strange read. It's really great though because Swanwick is one of the better writers in the genre.

post #447 of 479

Just finished The Magicians by Lev Grossman, which is very clearly an attempt to blend the navel-gazing literary novel with populist fantasy series, to the point of parodizing both. It's so odd in that regard that I'm having a hard time processing it, but from the perspective of a fantasy fan, it's wonderful to read something that's tonally and thematically so far removed from the usual fantasy stuff. That is to say, most fantasy novels, no matter how original they are in other ways, are setting out with a set of assumptions about genre storytelling; Grossman's operating with different intentions, while results in a wildly different structure and focus than your standard fantasy novel. He's not afraid to devote a huge chunk of the book to the aimless lives of early 21st-century kids in Manhattan, with little in the way of plot or conventional stakes other than "will these kids sort their lives out?"

 

The downside is that, whether it's metacommentary or not, the characters really are a squad of hipster douchebags who need to be slapped at a few points (though I thought Grossman was pretty good at pulling us back into the genre stuff just as they were on the verge of becoming unbearable). It also means some of the fantasy stuff comes off as rather thin and unatmospheric, though that's partly the point, especially in the third act. But there's an early encounter with a metaphysical evil that's nicely skin-crawling and set up expectations that the rest of the book doesn't quite match.

 

Worth reading just for something different, though if you turned to fantasy to avoid the kind of stuff that the Lit Squad tends to obsess over you may want to avoid. Also very interested to read the sequel, since it seems like at least some of the characters may have grown the fuck up by the end.
 

post #448 of 479

Outside of singing the praises for James Enge(who is an underrated writer) I don't really care that much for Lev Grossman.

post #449 of 479

Yeah, I finished the book but I wanted to punch the main character in the face. Repeatedly until I couldn't feel my and anymore, there's rarely been a main character I flat out hate as much as that asshole and that's saying something though Kvothe might be close. I refuse to buy or read the sequel/s to either of those books and unless those writers release a book in a few years where people say it's a masterpiece I might buy another book of theirs but I doubt it.

post #450 of 479

Urgghhh..I REALLY don't like Patrick Rothfuss as a writer.

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