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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Wherein I shed tears for humanity (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Wherein I shed tears for humanity
happymann
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So, about two or three years ago I was looking for birthday gift ideas for my wife who is a voracious reader. I looked at various posts here on this forum for good ideas since at least we share interest in one author. Several of the suggestions were books we had previously read and/or owned.

Then came the suggestion of GRRM's ASoIaF.

I felt like I could do no wrong with that choice since it was so strongly lauded as the "Greatest Thing Ever!"(TM) So I bought the four books that were out at the time and we both read all four. Then we sat down and discussed them. We concluded that these books were the worst sort of drivel and got them out of our house not quick enough. We feel that they ruin the fantasy genre and that GRRM is comparable to Stephenie Meyer in that he writes what he loves (sex, violence, etc.) instead of a good story and when things get tough he takes the easy way out (just kill off his characters).

I have heard all sorts of arguments from friends, family, and co-workers on how wrong I am and how great these books are. But I'm just sick of getting raped by GRRM and I was gravely disappointed in this forum for recommending him so energetically. Where were the forum posts recommending authors like Rothfuss and Sanderson, I wondered...

Another thread here is discussing The Wheel of Time series and the general tone in there seems to be that GRRM's ASoIaF is "The Best Thing Ever"(TM) and you will be gravely disappointed in anything else, especially Robert Jordan.

Part of me wants to scream at the people who love GRRM to "STOP RUINING MY FAVORITE GENRE!" but I probably won't get very far with that.

So, I guess where I'm going with this post is that this has been on my mind a lot over the past few years and I feel so betrayed by the world. Is there ANYONE else that feels the same way I do, or am I too much of a prude and just need to lighten up, or am I missing something fundamental in regards to GRRM that will finally make me embrace him as the God he supposedly is?

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El JT de Spang
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Are you asking why your subjective preference as a human being is different than those of anyone else? Because you're a different person. I'm an artist, and I sure don't expect everyone to like my music. That doesn't mean it's objectively bad, just like having people who love it doesn't make it objectively good. If you don't like GRRM or ASoIAF, best bet is to spend time finding artists you do like rather than trying to argue whether or not you're 'right' to not like his work.
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ak
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I read a story by GRRM long ago that I'll never forget, called Sandkings. That story haunted my imagination for ages, and not in a good way. I have different standards for what I read than many people, I think. I want it not only to be fascinating, a page turner, etc. but also to leave a good taste in my mouth, or good feeling in my gut, at the same time. I want to come away feeling augmented by that story, rather than diminished. It's hard to explain and I fully believe it's different for everyone, that what is wholesome for me could be poison for someone else and vice versa. But that sense caused me to avoid GRRM entirely. I've not read any of his later work.

People I do love include Octavia Butler (OEB), Lois McMaster Bujold (LMB), and greatest of all, Ursula K. Le Guin (UKL). I've read all their works multiple times, to the extent I can.

People I've liked well in the past include Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Tolkien (of course), Niven, Poul Anderson, Cherryh.

General fiction authors I love (not science fiction/fantasy): Dostoyevsky, Faulkner, Nevil Shute, Mark Salzman, John Steinbeck, Thornton Wilder, Kazantzakis, Fielding, Austen.

Non fiction faves: Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Feynman, Freeman Dyson, George Gamow, Asimov, Hofstadter, Penrose.

Feel free to have your own tastes. Just because everyone likes it doesn't mean you have to. Read what *you* like. Don't worry about others' tastes, except to get ideas for new people to try.

I fully endorse your right not to like GRRM, and I share it.

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stilesbn
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I've found that my tastes don't align very well with most people in this thread, but I've also found that my tastes don't align very well with most people in life. Which I think is completely normal. I enjoyed WoT more than most people here but I also agree with most people's assessment that it got reeeeaaally slow in the middle.

I just started reading ASoLAF and while it hasn't blown me away yet it is not bad so far. I didn't start reading it at a recommendation from this board though. The one series I did start reading that someone from this board mentioned was the Uplift series by David Brin. I read the first book and decided it wasn't worth it to keep on reading.

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ak
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stilesbn, also think Uplift is not worth the read. I think Brin is a terrible writer. But I read all the books because Marek liked them, so I kept waiting for that thing he liked about them to grab me. Sadly, it never did. Oh well. You never know. Even though we've been good friends for many years, our tastes are different. He also likes the shadow books by OSC, and I only got as far as Shadow Puppets which I bought then never could bring myself to read. To each his own. [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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Since you asked: you're too much of a prude.
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Elison R. Salazar
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(Show spoilers below, be warned)

I've started on the books to bridge the gap between now and later; I think they're pretty good so far; I'm actually shocked at how little sex there is in the books compared to the show, so I'm not sure what you mean.

I find the criticism weird, how is it not a good story? There's believable complex characters, political machinations and intrigue, a degree of mundane realism to it, which adds to the feel of uniqueness.

How does it ruin the genre? It's a deconstruction so yeah its going to do horrible things to your expectations because that's what makes a good story sometimes; taking it all apart and rebuilding it so its better.

Ned is your typical fantasy hero at first glance, the Honorable and skilled Ned Start, we expected him to win, or struggle for a while and then win. But we know what happens is not what happens because if you look at it realistically honorable people like ned are rigid, inflexible, incapable of fending off the vipers.

From the show. "Rheagar fought honorably, Rheagar fought nobly, Rheagar died." The only people who survive in GOT do so because they are thieving, cunning liars and manipulators or get by mysteriously thanks to blind luck.

"Taking the easy way out" really seems just wrong in the context that he planned this all out.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I felt like I could do no wrong with that choice since it was so strongly lauded as the "Greatest Thing Ever!"(TM) So I bought the four books that were out at the time and we both read all four. Then we sat down and discussed them. We concluded that these books were the worst sort of drivel and got them out of our house not quick enough. We feel that they ruin the fantasy genre and that GRRM is comparable to Stephenie Meyer in that he writes what he loves (sex, violence, etc.) instead of a good story and when things get tough he takes the easy way out (just kill off his characters).
Since you've offered your opinion so emphatically: this is a pack of nonsense, you're too much of a prude, and you've translated your dislike for terrible things happening to liked characters into 'it's drivel'. Oh, and it's not the fantasy genre.
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happymann
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
(Show spoilers below, be warned)

How does it ruin the genre? It's a deconstruction so yeah its going to do horrible things to your expectations because that's what makes a good story sometimes; taking it all apart and rebuilding it so its better.

I feel it's a little stronger on the "taking it all apart" than the "rebuilding it so its better".
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Rakeesh
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Again, you're missing the part where it's not a fantasy genre story. There are fantasy elements, but it draws more from historical influences where, let's face it, terrible things happen.

None of that means you should like it, by the way. It just renders your criticism silly is all.

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SenojRetep
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I quit reading the books after the third, for many of the same reasons as happymann. I found the books very readable and entertaining and excellent at capturing my attention. But there was, relative to what I'm comfortable with, an enormous amount of sex and violence and violent sex and a relative dearth of anything resembling happiness, joy, or uplift. Relationships are almost exclusively abusive, treacherous, obsessive, and cruel.

Furthermore, while I agree the characters are complex, I never found them complex in a human way. Rather, they're complex in an algorithmic way, a calculated complexity that serves mostly to elucidate interesting questions of strategic balance rather than answering interesting questions about humanity. And I also found the storyline tedious, although that's fairly endemic in the fantasy genre.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Again, you're missing the part where it's not a fantasy genre story. There are fantasy elements, but it draws more from historical influences where, let's face it, terrible things happen.

None of that means you should like it, by the way. It just renders your criticism silly is all.

The dragons aren't all that historical. Neither are the demons coming over the wall, or any of the other mystical elements. I get the sort of European battle-of-powers historical influences (or maybe it's more Central Asian crossroads of empires), but I think arguing the books aren't squarely within the fantasy genre just because their conception is influenced by real historical events is pretty tenuous.
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scifibum
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I endorse JT's response.

However - happymann, I think you've identified reasons why it is not to your taste, rather than reasons why the series is "drivel". Drivel is silly nonsense. I don't think there's much reason to think that the books amount to silly nonsense.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
The dragons aren't all that historical. Neither are the demons coming over the wall, or any of the other mystical elements. I get the sort of European battle-of-powers historical influences (or maybe it's more Central Asian crossroads of empires), but I think arguing the books aren't squarely within the fantasy genre just because their conception is influenced by real historical events is pretty tenuous.
So any story that includes elements of a genre is therefore in that genre, period? Much more of the story by far, so far, is more a fictional feudal drama influenced by some real world events rather than fantastical elements. If the much less common mention of demons and dragons is enough to put it into fantasy, well...you see my point.
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scifibum
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The overarching sense of the books is that the fantastical elements are going to overshadow the rest of it, though. Also I think it's definitely "in the genre", and stands as an example that genre isn't as limiting as some people would like to pretend.
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Aros
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I've found that the most fervent supporters of GRRM are not stereotypical fantasy fans.

I think that both Goodkind and GRRM are very poor examples of (1) taste and (2) fantasy. I'll take Rothfuss, Jordan, Sanderson, Brooks, and Gaiman any day.

I barely made it through the second book in ASoIaF. The show, on the other hand, is much better.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The dragons aren't all that historical. Neither are the demons coming over the wall, or any of the other mystical elements. I get the sort of European battle-of-powers historical influences (or maybe it's more Central Asian crossroads of empires), but I think arguing the books aren't squarely within the fantasy genre just because their conception is influenced by real historical events is pretty tenuous.
So any story that includes elements of a genre is therefore in that genre, period? Much more of the story by far, so far, is more a fictional feudal drama influenced by some real world events rather than fantastical elements. If the much less common mention of demons and dragons is enough to put it into fantasy, well...you see my point.
I'm pretty comfortable saying any book set in a world with dragons, demons, and deathless, beheaded queens is fantasy, regardless of its plot elements. I can also see why you feel that, since the plot is primarily driven by military/political intrigue, rather than by the fantastical elements (which serve mostly as context and framing for the intrigue), that it isn't. However you choose to categorize it, though, I personally found the Fire & Ice books to be entertaining but unedifying, and I prefer my escapist literature to be both.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The dragons aren't all that historical. Neither are the demons coming over the wall, or any of the other mystical elements. I get the sort of European battle-of-powers historical influences (or maybe it's more Central Asian crossroads of empires), but I think arguing the books aren't squarely within the fantasy genre just because their conception is influenced by real historical events is pretty tenuous.
So any story that includes elements of a genre is therefore in that genre, period? Much more of the story by far, so far, is more a fictional feudal drama influenced by some real world events rather than fantastical elements. If the much less common mention of demons and dragons is enough to put it into fantasy, well...you see my point.
Dresden Files is fantasy. The characters investigate a crime on a porn set.

Fantasy is a pretty big freaking genre.

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by happymann:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
(Show spoilers below, be warned)

How does it ruin the genre? It's a deconstruction so yeah its going to do horrible things to your expectations because that's what makes a good story sometimes; taking it all apart and rebuilding it so its better.

I feel it's a little stronger on the "taking it all apart" than the "rebuilding it so its better".
The story isn't done yet.

The reconstruction is probably to come in the final two books.

The books are "Low" Fantasy, magic exists, so yes its fantasy; just not High Fantasy.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Quick note to the OP (I'll read and post to the whole thread later) I agree. GRRM is overrated. He paints himself into a corner and then burns down the house...again and again. And his basic message is "life sucks...and I'll prove it". I liked his books at first, but I have grown more and more sour to them.
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umberhulk
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They're books about good characters with evil in them, and evil character with good in them. I like that every chapter feels like an independent short story, despite the fact that they're not. The books have incredibly fun, exotic geography, and incredibly fun characters. It's fun to live they're misery, and their catharsis through their internal monologue. They make you feel what it would be like to grow up in this world and idolize a bunch of dorky, almost mythical members of knighthood, and dream of a life by the sword, because this world doesn't have videogames and basketball. These books are about savoring the good times--before they get stripped away.

Maybe you're too much of a prude, but maybe I'm too much of a deranged asshole to like some of you're favorite books. But that's okay! Lets go chill out, play some blackjack and daydream about Mistborn.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Dresden Files is fantasy. The characters investigate a crime on a porn set.

Fantasy is a pretty big freaking genre.

Not having read that series, I can't comment. What I can say though is that it seems very strange to me to say 'any story with fantasy elements is classified as fantasy', because we don't do that with many if any other kinds of stories. We don't say of a drama that has some humor that it's a comedy, and we don't say of a war movie that portrays a soldier praying that it's a religious movie, and we don't say that a police procedural that includes characters romantically involved that it's a romance.
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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Dresden Files is fantasy. The characters investigate a crime on a porn set.

Fantasy is a pretty big freaking genre.

Not having read that series, I can't comment. What I can say though is that it seems very strange to me to say 'any story with fantasy elements is classified as fantasy', because we don't do that with many if any other kinds of stories. We don't say of a drama that has some humor that it's a comedy, and we don't say of a war movie that portrays a soldier praying that it's a religious movie, and we don't say that a police procedural that includes characters romantically involved that it's a romance.
While everything in the paragraph is a genre some of them describe, or measure different things.
Like "YA", "fantasy", and "mystery, are all genres but if you describe one work as all three, none of them contradict eachother.

ASOIAF is a unique case. The fantasy looms over everything, and the reader is aware that the turmoil in the kingdom will have concequences over how well equiped Westeros is when those elements will begin to bear in on them (Westeros).

And you can't ignore that it is titled ASOIAF, which kind of indicates an authoral implication that the Reed religion has fortold the events that we're reading about.

Calling it a fantasy is an oversimplification. But calling it anything, also is.

[ June 20, 2013, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
I felt like I could do no wrong with that choice since it was so strongly lauded as the "Greatest Thing Ever!"(TM) So I bought the four books that were out at the time and we both read all four. Then we sat down and discussed them. We concluded that these books were the worst sort of drivel and got them out of our house not quick enough. We feel that they ruin the fantasy genre and that GRRM is comparable to Stephenie Meyer in that he writes what he loves (sex, violence, etc.) instead of a good story and when things get tough he takes the easy way out (just kill off his characters).
A book that revitalized the fantasy genre in some ways is described as having "ruined the fantasy genre"

GRRM's approach to the lethality of the world is that it is the "easy way out" to kill characters as opposed to doing what is actually the easiest way out — to cloak most important characters in a bubble of tropish immunity.

I don't even really care about the books enough to keep reading them but all of this is wrong enough to be a sheer curiosity!

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
[QB] Dresden Files is fantasy. The characters investigate a crime on a porn set.

[Channeling Jim Butcher]Once! In a series of more than a dozen books! Exactly once does Harry even mention porn! He doesn't even get laid! And yet what do people remember? Is it the freaking necromantically-raised tyrannosaur? Not a bit! Is it the magical war between the factions of the Sidhe that is causing global warming? It is to laugh! Is it Harry investigating his own death from the afterlife? Hah! But you set one dang investigation in a porn set, and you're that porn guy for the rest of your career.

You have fun; I'mma go write some Pokemon/Roman Empire crossover fanfic.[/Channeling]

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Is it the freaking necromantically-raised tyrannosaur?

****Small Dresden Files Spoiler*****
I think that scene where Bob takes over Sue (that was the T-Rex's name right?) might be my favorite scene ever.

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advice for robots
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I'm in awe of GRRM. Reading ASOIAF is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but the payoff is worth it. Those are some of the best fantasy books I've ever read. So many of the characters you think would be crucial to the continuation of the story die, and we're left with a handful of leftovers who manage to tell a fascinating tale by themselves. Not many authors could do it.

I also like Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, Lynch, and many others.

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Darth_Mauve
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I believe that ASOIAF is at a crossroads. It is laden heavy with foreshadowing and foreboding that something significant is going to happen. The promise underneath the series is that all the murder and failure and war and pain will lead to appropriate endings.

If they don't. If its just a series of murders and betrayals and pettiness, then GRRM will have failed and everything Happyman says will be proven true.

Or, if there is a series of endings for the characters that are appropriate, and by appropriate I have no clue what that will be, but after reading the last page will come to the conclusion that it could be nothing other than what happened, then all the praise that has been heaped upon him will be justified.

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Lyrhawn
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For anyone complaining about the historical vs. fantasy nature of dragons and zombies coming over walls...I give you Visigoths and Woads.

When Max Brooks wrote World War Z, the whole thing was an allegory for the breakdown of society through a force of nature, like a virus or something similar. It wasn't principally about zombies, and Brooks himself wouldn't even really call it a zombie novel.

Likewise, the fantasy elements have direct analogs in history. I'm not saying that's necessarily different than fantasy elements as symbols in other stories, but saying this is a direct line to history but leaving out the fantasy stuff as an outlier is silly.

Also, for fantasy, this probably has the lightest touch of anything I've ever seen. Remarkably little time is actually spent, especially in the first books, about magical elements. Magical elements can serve as major plot turns, but the story itself never seems to revolve around them, but the characters, which is a solid book in my world.

And I agree with Darth about the payoff. He's created a pretty huge burden that he might never be able to bring to satisfying conclusion. It's, for me, the most anticipated ending since Harry Potter. But, I'm optimistic. I thought Dance was a bit of a letdown, it ended up being more about setup than payoff, but I think Winds is going to be the second coming of Storm.

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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
For anyone complaining about the historical vs. fantasy nature of dragons and zombies coming over walls...I give you Visigoths and Woads.

When Max Brooks wrote World War Z, the whole thing was an allegory for the breakdown of society through a force of nature, like a virus or something similar. It wasn't principally about zombies, and Brooks himself wouldn't even really call it a zombie novel.

Likewise, the fantasy elements have direct analogs in history. I'm not saying that's necessarily different than fantasy elements as symbols in other stories, but saying this is a direct line to history but leaving out the fantasy stuff as an outlier is silly.

Also, for fantasy, this probably has the lightest touch of anything I've ever seen. Remarkably little time is actually spent, especially in the first books, about magical elements. Magical elements can serve as major plot turns, but the story itself never seems to revolve around them, but the characters, which is a solid book in my world.

And I agree with Darth about the payoff. He's created a pretty huge burden that he might never be able to bring to satisfying conclusion. It's, for me, the most anticipated ending since Harry Potter. But, I'm optimistic. I thought Dance was a bit of a letdown, it ended up being more about setup than payoff, but I think Winds is going to be the second coming of Storm.

There are Kushiel books that have less fantasy elements. The fantasy in GoT still basically serves as the sword of damocles being hung over every characters' head, unbeknownst to most of them.

And yeah, I'll throw myself in the payoff camp as well.

[ June 21, 2013, 01:20 AM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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Dan_Frank
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Umberhulk: Yeah, the Kushiel books are much more historifantasy than ASOIAF. Both are still fantasy, though. Rakeesh, I sorta get your drift, but I think you're maybe pushing it too far? Fantasy is a big tent.

On topic of the OP though... It's fascinating to see the vitriolic reactions to GRRM. Backlash? I dunno.

I guess I'm one of the people Happyman is not so happy with. I do love GRRM. But... it's possible to love GRRM, even to think that so far he's pretty much written the best fantasy epic ever (because he has!)... and also to love Sanderson, and Butcher, and Bujold, and Lynch. And Rothfuss, though I think he's a smidge overrated.

Not Jordan, though. Why would anyone inflict Jordan on themselves? Ugh.

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Lyrhawn
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I've tried so hard to read Jordan's books, I've tried a half dozen times, because I feel obligated to, but I can't get past the first 100 pages.

It took me two tries with ASOIAF, and on the second try I zipped through three books in two weeks.

It took me three tries with LOTR, admittedly, which I can't fathom given how much I love it now.

I don't think GRRM has written the best fantasy epic ever, but I think his world creation is on par with the best that world creation has to offer. It remains to be seen where it will end up in the great pantheon of epics, because we've yet to see how it finishes, and that's too crucial an element to leave out of evaluating it.

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Dan_Frank
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Even if the final books suck (which seems sort of ridiculous to suspect to me... but then I liked AFFC and ADWD way more than you, so...) that doesn't invalidate the ones that have already been written.

Sure, the end remains to be seen. But I can't think of any other fantasy epic that has a beginning or a middle (or a world) that is better than ASOIAF. Some certainly come very close.

And I'll give you a pass on Tolkien. [Wink]

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Stone_Wolf_
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IF the end is amazing, I'll change my tune about fat ship captain grandpa...but that's a big if!
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advice for robots
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I want to have read all of Jordan's books just so I can read the books Sanderson wrote. But I fear I never will.
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kmbboots
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I enjoyed Mistborn until I was clubbed over the head with the ending.

Of course, ASoFaI is fantasy. If you like less dark fantasy that is similarly evocative of history, I would recommend Guy Gavriel Kay. Beautifully lyrical writing as well.

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Olivet 2.0
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I took a running go at A Game of Thrones, like, three times. It didn't grab me, and I never finished it. [Dont Know] Books are like people -- you're probably not going to fall madly in love with them all.

I think I was mostly frustrated by the fact that Ned was too stupid to live, and was either going to be spared in some unbelievable way, or was not dying fast enough to suit me. And probably that the characters were not people I enjoyed spending time with enough to stay awake. That's all subjective.

OSC once said something I really liked, that the writer's enemy is not other writers, but the nap.

When the naps win, they win.

That said, I believe the comparison to Stephanie Meyer is out of bounds. I have no interest in reading her books, either, but GRRM writes really well. Just because the stories don't interest me doesn't mean they aren't well-crafted. Objectively, the style is much better than it is in some stories I've like more. I'm told Meyer's books have some basic stylistic and grammatical issues. Though, to be fair, both GRRM and Meyer have defeated the nap for many, many readers who are not me.

I certainly wouldn't judge people for differences in taste. (Within reason. I suppose if I knew someone who chose to immerse themselves torture porn books/films/movies and plastered their living space with their own gore-spattered artwork, I would probably be judge-y enough not to ask them to babysit, say.)

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think I was mostly frustrated by the fact that Ned was too stupid to live, and was either going to be spared in some unbelievable way, or was not dying fast enough to suit me.
*choke*
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Olivet 2.0
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Tell me you didn't see it coming a mile off. [Razz] "I'll be honorable and tell my enemies what I'm going to do." Oh My Fragrant Gardenias, was he not paying attention? How could he have possibly thought that would end well? Oh, god. I wanted to smack him with a rolled up newspaper.

That said, I liked him a lot better when he had Sean Bean's face. But in the book I read part of, the only POV characters whom I cared about were Bran and Jon Snow. And Arya. I basically didn't care if the rest of them lived or died, and wasn't patient enough to wait for the author to kill them off.

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scifibum
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I just really can't wait to see where Arya ends up.
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umberhulk
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This series will end with Rickon sitting on the Iron Throne.

(haven't read all of dance)

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Olivet 2.0:
Tell me you didn't see it coming a mile off. [Razz] "I'll be honorable and tell my enemies what I'm going to do." Oh My Fragrant Gardenias, was he not paying attention? How could he have possibly thought that would end well? Oh, god. I wanted to smack him with a rolled up newspaper.

That said, I liked him a lot better when he had Sean Bean's face. But in the book I read part of, the only POV characters whom I cared about were Bran and Jon Snow. And Arya. I basically didn't care if the rest of them lived or died, and wasn't patient enough to wait for the author to kill them off.

I think most people didn't see it coming because everyone assumed he was the main character and you don't kill off your main character. I was sure he was going down, but I thought he'd either end up at the Wall or some other fall from grace that left him alive.

Hell, people were shocked when the Red Wedding happened, and the writing was way more on the wall for that then with Ned.

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Foust
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quote:
"I'll be honorable and tell my enemies what I'm going to do." Oh My Fragrant Gardenias, was he not paying attention? How could he have possibly thought that would end well? Oh, god. I wanted to smack him with a rolled up newspaper.]
Are you sure this isn't hindsight?

Why do people always forget that Ned had very good reason to believe that all the gold cloaks were on his side? He had authority from the king, and all the guards to back him up. He had every reason to believe that Cersei was completely isolated.

I guess the main reason I didn't predict his death was because i thought he had trope immunity. When he died, I actually just shrugged my shoulders and assumed it was a trick.

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Olivet 2.0
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I'm sure it isn't hindsight, because I posted about it here, twelve years ago, saying, "I really hope Eddard Stark dies" because it seemed so implausible for him to live. This was followed by the admission that I really didn't care whether or not most of the characters lived or died, and reading about them was becoming tiresome, so I hoped they would die soon.

Then Tom Davidson posted " [Wink] Keep reading" and I realized that meant he would die, and thus I was happy to stop reading.

So, YES. I am absolutely 100% sure.

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Olivet 2.0
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Happy to stop reading in the sense that I was glad there would eventually be one less character whose POV I didn't enjoy reading. But since I only really enjoyed 3 out of the bunch, I figured it just wasn't worth it to me to keep falling the frak asleep in the middle of someone else's chapter, then have to start over again because I wasn't sure where I was when I drifted off.

Good god, reading that book was like being Penelope, picking out her needlework every night. I'm not ashamed of it, and I don't think less of people who enjoyed those books, but they are not for me.

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vineyarddawg
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I fully endorse and am happy with the idea that some people like GRRM's work and some people hate it. That's the nature of things.

With that said, however, have you thought about how GRRM-like the Formic War books are?

---- SPOILER ALERT ----
I'm just about to start Earth Afire, so I can't speak to that book, but Earth Unaware was certainly somewhat GRRM-like. Tons of violence, a few forays into sexual fantasy, and all the characters you like except for one or two people die at the end. (And Lem Jukes is still alive.) The only thing that keeps it from being as fatalistic a worldview as GRRM's Westeros is because you know how it eventually ends.

I don't think the ASOIAF saga is nearly as good as the Enderverse saga, for multiple reasons. For me, at least, it's still very compelling, though book 5 was almost enough to put me off even buying book 6 (if it ever comes out). I've lost the ability to emotionally connect with GRRM's characters, because I know as soon as I start to really get emotionally invested in someone, they're probably going to die.

As I said, though, it's not as though GRRM has the monopoly on sex and violence.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
have you thought about how GRRM-like the Formic War books are?
*blink* No. I can sincerely say that I never have.
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Wingracer
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I see both sides of the argument.

Many years ago I was wandering around a B&N looking for something to read on an upcoming flight but having no luck. Finally an associate stopped me and recommended Game of Thrones. I wasn't really into fantasy at the time but she was adamant about it being great so I bought it. Well I only got a few chapters in on the flight before boredom forced me to put it down and just stare out the window for the rest of the flight. Man my neck hurt by the time we landed.

It was a month later before I decided to give it another shot and this time, something finally grabbed me. I can't remember what it was (probably something Tyrion said) but I was hooked and hooked hard. I loved the series all the way up through the third book. Unfortunately everything since then has been pretty much drivel. The problem with killing off all the characters anyone cares about is what's left in the book to care about? I mean Tyrion is still around but he hasn't really done anything since.

I will get the next book if it ever comes out but if it doesn't give me a reason to care about this world again, I think I will be done with the series.

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Dan_Frank
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It honestly confuses me when people say GRRM kills off all the characters people care about. He's only killed a handful of major characters.
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TomDavidson
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Those people may find it harder to care about characters?
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