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Fantasy fiction 101

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 07:41 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:


The Colour of Magic- Terry Prachett
A Voyage to Acturus - David Lindsay
The Once & future King - T H White

Please advise if any of these are "boys fantasy" (as described by k. I doubt if I'd go for those, either.)


Lindsay's and White's are not. I can't comment on Prachett's because after I read one of his books (could have been The Colour of Magic) I had no desire to read others.

I'm not a big fan of the fantasy-humor sub-genre.

(One exception - The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea written by Fletcher Pratt and L Sprague de Camp.)

I think what you may mean by "boys fantasy" is the sub-genre commonly known as Sword & Sorcery.

The best example of the sub-genre, in my opinion, is Robert E. Howard's Conan series. (Don't judge it by the movies), and if someone new to fantasy is on this thread and cares to explore S&S further, I can recommend:

Michael Moorcock - Particularly the Elric series
Fritz Leiber - The Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series (which has just the right amount or humor baked in).

I suppose that if you are so repelled by "boy's fantasy" that you might find refuge in "girl's fantasy," examples would be

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea series. The Lefthand of Darkness, previously recommended, is sci-fi, not fantasy.

Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley: The Avalon series.

Patricia A. McKillip: The Riddle Master and Beasts of Eld

Naomi Novak: The Temeraire series

Some desribe these authors as writers of feminist fantasy, but with the possible exception of Bradley (and I think she is more pagan than feminist), I disagree.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 07:43 pm
@msolga,
http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Arcturus-Bison-Frontiers-Imagination/dp/0803280041
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 07:48 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

Well no one ever really killed others with gold.

Copper on the other hand allows you to make some killing tools.


And it has a remakable capacity for killing microbes.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 07:55 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Well, i've never read anything by Terry Pratchet, so i might try him out. However, if he and Douglas Adams are similar, i'd probably soon lose interest. Adams is an appallingly boring writer, and in my never humble opinion, lacks imagination. Adams is all whipped cream and no pie.


You need only know that he has penned a character "Cohen the Barbarian."

If you find that amusing, you'll probably like him.

There are humor writers who use fantasy as their framework - Pratchett, and there are fantasy writers who are able to run humerous threads into their work - Lieber.

I loved National Lampoon, but I have no use for Pratchett.

Obviously there are many people who like what he writes and he's very successful and wealthy. Good on him. It's a matter of taste.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 08:02 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

I like the Wheel of Time, but the guy really needed an editor. The amount of trivial BS is incredible. Similar but better is the Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. Only remotely related to the TV series that they made from it.


Although incredibly derivitive, Jordan's first couple of books were imaginative and enjoyable. I plodded on for a few more books just to find out what would happen, but it quickly became clear that there was no end in sight. Jordan had found a money machine that he had no intention of shutting down. No problem...there are far worse ways to make a living, but I had enough.

My brother-in-law, years later, is still reading each new book because he bound and determined to find out what the hell happens.

Jordan is dead though and I doubt that when he died, he knew what happens.

When I think of Wheel of Time, I think of Lost.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 02:33 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
I think what you may mean by "boys fantasy" is the sub-genre commonly known as Sword & Sorcery.


Ah, so there's proper name for it, Finn?
I doubt Sword & Sorcery would be my cup of team, exactly.

Quote:
I suppose that if you are so repelled by "boy's fantasy" that you might find refuge in "girl's fantasy," examples would be ....


It is not so much being "repelled", it's just that I doubt I could get into it. It sounds a rather alien zone, hard to relate too ...

I'm curious, do any of you favour "girls fantasy" or "boys' fantasy"?
(I'm thinking most of you are "gender-neutral" when it comes to Sci Fi & Fantasy, but I could be wrong, for all I know.)
Are there "demarcation zones" between the two?
"Feminist fantasy" sounds quite political.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 03:16 am
I've never heard of "boys" or "girls" fantasy. I enjoy roll playing games on the computer, but my experience is that most sword and sorcery fiction is badly written, and not very entertaining. I have already mentioned the forgotten realms S&S novels, but largely i don't think the genre is very well written. Then again, i don't think most Sci Fi is well written, nor most mystery writing either. Someone would have to explain to me what "girls" fantasy is. Is that the same as romance novels?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 03:23 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Someone would have to explain to me what "girls" fantasy is. Is that the same as romance novels?


I doubt it, Setanta. Smile
I wish someone in the know would explain, though!
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 05:40 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
I think what you may mean by "boys fantasy" is the sub-genre commonly known as Sword & Sorcery.


Ah, so there's proper name for it, Finn?
I doubt Sword & Sorcery would be my cup of team, exactly.

Quote:
I suppose that if you are so repelled by "boy's fantasy" that you might find refuge in "girl's fantasy," examples would be ....


It is not so much being "repelled", it's just that I doubt I could get into it. It sounds a rather alien zone, hard to relate too ...

I'm curious, do any of you favour "girls fantasy" or "boys' fantasy"?
(I'm thinking most of you are "gender-neutral" when it comes to Sci Fi & Fantasy, but I could be wrong, for all I know.)
Are there "demarcation zones" between the two?
"Feminist fantasy" sounds quite political.


I think sword and sorcery stories go back to the beginning of the iron age, because Iron and ironworking have a strong association with magic, and that taking of the sword from stone, or from under the stone referes to the magical extraction of Iron from Iron Ore which gave to those who possessed the skill a great advantages...It is good luck to sleep with a piece of iron under your bed, even luckier if that piece is a sword.... Horse shoes are not lucky because they are turned up, but because are found, and iron, which was rare up into modern times... It is like the Iron Dream, by Spinrad, the Adoph Hitler Classic.... You need the touch for iron... Most people did not have it...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 05:43 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
Someone would have to explain to me what "girls" fantasy is. Is that the same as romance novels?


I doubt it, Setanta. Smile
I wish someone in the know would explain, though!

If you could explain it Setanta would not get it... Go talk to your towel and see if it talks back... Setanta is a towel mad at every one with a mind that works because his doesn't...
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 05:58 am
@Fido,
Now, now, Fido ....
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 06:30 am
@msolga,
If you are looking for something like chick-lit (although accessible to everyone), there is a whole sub-genre that has popped up with strong female leads and generally told from a female point of view - the vampire novel. The lead is typically a strong minded human, sometimes with a supernatural power, forced to deftly handle vampires, werewolves, etc. My favorite is Kim Harrison's Hollows series about a witch private detective with a living vampire roommate (all the titles are spoofs of Clint Eastwood movies), but you can find several active series including one by Carrie Vaughn about a werewolf who runs a nightly call in show offering advice to needy supernaturals and Laurell Hamilton's series about a woman who raises the dead for a living. The True Blood tv show is based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 08:20 pm
I was a tomboy growing up and still am in many ways. I loved playing Morrowind which consisted of bashing in the heads of animals and humanoids, but there was more to it than just that. But, like MsO, I just don't relate to certain characters or plot lines.

The boy-fantasy of which I spoke focuses more on warfare - sort of cowboy-tough stuff (or RPG games like Halo). A good example of girl fantasy, in my mind, are books like Earth-Sea, Dragons of Pern, Discworld, etc which focus more on clever dialogue, cooperative efforts, etc (RPG games like ... WOW, maybe) .

Does that make any sense?
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 08:31 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Someone would have to explain to me what "girls" fantasy is. Is that the same as romance novels?


I'd call Marion Zimmer Bradley a classic of ''girls' fantasy''.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Oct, 2010 09:48 pm
@littlek,
I don't think I'd divide them along the lines of boy/girl interests, though. Certainly I've read LeGuin, McCaffrey, Pratchett, etc.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2010 03:58 am
In Bradley's The Mists of Avalon there is certainly enough to bore and offend a misogynist--but there is also enough red, red blood to please Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
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littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2010 04:22 pm
You all are the ones who wanted clarification of the terms girl vs boy fiction. I was just trying to separate it a little as a way to explain. Like I said, I myself don't fall into either neat category.
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GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2010 04:25 pm
They don't have transgender fantasy?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2010 04:43 pm
@ehBeth,
Yep.

Then there's what I'd call the "Dragons as horses" genre -- they have a lot in common with regular girls-and-their-horses books, but it's dragons instead. Anne McCaffrey is an example there.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Oct, 2010 04:49 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
Elizabeth Moon typically writes pretty good space opera with strong women characters, but if her fantasy series Paksenarrion about a farm girl who runs away from a life of marriage and farming to pursue her dreams of being a hero from legend is pretty solid fantasy.

This series would appeal to women and still has the swords and sorcery aspect.
0 Replies
 
 

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