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An Example of Good Writing

 
 
Reply Sat 18 May, 2019 09:29 pm
This is a few words from a fantasy/science fiction novel. It's one of a series of novels about people who have the ability to travel through alternate universes by an act of will. Basically, they imagine a place they'd like to be and then go to it. To travel through the alternate universes, they have to be in motion - most often on horseback. As they travel, they gradually manipulate the environment until they get to the alternate universe they have imagined. The protagonist and his friend are riding for a week or two to reach a particular universe he calls Avalon, which I think is actually the name of the province or city there that he goes to. This is a description of one day of travel on horseback heading toward Avalon:

"Riding, riding, through the wild, weird ways that led to Avalon, we went, Ganelon and I, down alleys of dream and of nightmare, beneath the brass bark of the sun and the hot, white isles of night, till these were gold and diamond chips and the moon swam like a swan. Day belled forth the green of spring, we crossed a mighty river and the mountains before as were frosted by night. I unleashed an arrow of my desire into the midnight and it took fire overhead, burned its way like a meteor into the north. The only dragon we encountered was lame and limped away quickly to hide, singeing daisies as it panted and wheezed. Migrations of bright birds arrowed our destination, and crystalline voices from lakes echoed our words as we passed. I sang as we rode, and after a time, Ganelon joined me. We had been traveling for over a week, and the land and the sky and the breezes told me we were near to Avalon now. We camped in a wood near a lake as the sun slid behind stone and the day died down and ceased."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 811 • Replies: 10
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izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 May, 2019 11:14 pm
@Brandon9000,
Is it Roger Zelazny?

I read the Amber books back in college.

Avalon is another name for Glastonbury.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/587948b52e69cf16d274de32/t/5b858c69032be44743e130eb/1535478914595/The+Welcome+to+Glastonbury+Sign
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 12:24 am
@izzythepush,
Shouldn't the paragraph start with "It was a dark and stormy night"?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 01:03 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
Is it Roger Zelazny?

I read the Amber books back in college.

Avalon is another name for Glastonbury.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/587948b52e69cf16d274de32/t/5b858c69032be44743e130eb/1535478914595/The+Welcome+to+Glastonbury+Sign

Yes. That quote is from "The Guns of Avalon."
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 06:24 am
@Brandon9000,
I thought as much, I remember the name Gamelon.

Have you read them all or have you just got to the second book because I don't want to give anything away?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 05:01 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
I thought as much, I remember the name Gamelon.

Have you read them all or have you just got to the second book because I don't want to give anything away?

Long, long ago, I read the first 6 or 7, and I have re-read the first 4 or 5 many times since, but I felt that the quality was beginning to go very much down hill and never read the last ones. I feel that the first four books are among the greatest writings in the English language. I realize what an extreme claim that is, but it has long been my opinion. I also loved "Lord of Light" and "Doorways in the Sand."
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 06:52 pm
@Brandon9000,
I think he's a decent enough writer but I don't rate him as highly as that.

I read the first six and some of his short stories.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 09:19 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
I think he's a decent enough writer but I don't rate him as highly as that.

I read the first six and some of his short stories.

Then let me make some recommendations. "Doorways in the Sand" takes place about a generation in the future, soon after mankind has made contact with aliens. It's very amusing.

"Lord of Light" is also excellent. When the story begins, you seem to be in ancient India, except that the whole world is India and the Hindu gods are frighteningly real. What you eventually realize, although you are never told it explicitly, is that it's not the ancient world, it's the distant future on an interstellar colony settles by a ship from India. The action begins generations after the ship has landed. Apparently, the passengers were sent in suspended animation and at some point during the trip, the crew decided that since they did all of the work they should have a higher status, so they use technology to rule the passengers, or rather the descendants of the passengers, as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. It's kind of like the movie "The Sixth Sense" in that there is the apparent story, from which you have to figure out the actual story. It's told almost as though an ancient fairy tale, but the reader soon becomes adept at figuring out what's really happening. They have something called reincarnation, but it's actually done with machines.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 May, 2019 09:33 pm
@Brandon9000,
As far as SF goes I don't think you can beat Phillip K Dick.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2019 08:25 pm
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:
Shouldn't the paragraph start with "It was a dark and stormy night"?

Because all sci-fi/fantasy starts with that sentence?
0 Replies
 
Modar
 
  0  
Reply Sat 13 Jul, 2019 03:55 pm
And what exactly you can not? What is the problem? Just creatively can not approach and there is no inspiration or a problem in the structure itself?
0 Replies
 
 

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