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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Retrophobia in SF/F

In which I respond to a John C. Wright essay on what he terms retrophobia and how it has crippled the third generation of fantasy writers:
This theory of literary retrophobia explains why so many mediocre writers like Terry Brooks, JK Rowling, and John Scalzi, and even genuinely entertaining writers such as Charles Stross, exhibit such a powerful inclination for rewriting the works of earlier, more original writers, not only mimicking their styles, but downright strip-mining their works for ideas, settings, and even basic plots.

For example, I enjoyed The Sword of Shannara when I was in high school, for example.  Yes, it was a mediocre imitation of Tolkien, but it had its moments and it was a preferable alternative to re-reading The Silmarillion for the third time.  But after struggling through The Elfstones of Shannara and only making it about a chapter into the third book in the series, I gave it up.  I tried again about twenty years later and didn't even make it that far.

The reason, I belatedly realized, was that without the benefit of working from Tolkien's template, Brooks simply didn't know how to write a fantasy tale capable of holding the reader's interest.  He's not a bad writer; his Demon books weren't bad.  But he simply didn't have any of the deep roots in history or myth that the great genre writers of the past did, and the shallowness crippled the quality of his storytelling.
Read the rest at Alpha Game.  It's not related to intersexual relations, but that's where this got started, so that's why I posted it there.

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74 Comments:

Anonymous Red Comet December 13, 2012 6:44 PM  

Whenever I find myself in the local Barnes and Noble I always make a point to walk over to the new release sci-fi/fantasy aisle for a good laugh. Almost every book's back cover summary is either ridiculous or an unimaginative derivative of something more famous like Twilight or Warhammer 40k (themselves pretty derivative).

And cover art has gone to shit. The only books with decent art are translations of Japanese sci-fi novels and this one newer edition of A Princess of Mars I saw featuring a classic Dave Cockrum piece from the 70's John Carter comic book series.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 6:45 PM  

Again, it comes off entirely as envy on Vox Days' part.

What a shame.

Anonymous Feh December 13, 2012 6:59 PM  

How does despising the past explain Scalzi and Stross, who are writing about the present and the future?

Anonymous Feh December 13, 2012 7:01 PM  

it comes off entirely as envy on Vox Days' part.

Um, what? He envies authors who write derivative works because they are incapable of genuine creativity? Yeah, that sounds right.

Anonymous VD December 13, 2012 7:24 PM  

How does despising the past explain Scalzi and Stross, who are writing about the present and the future?

Because most works about the present and future rely heavily on themes from the past, from history. Star Wars is a story taken from Japanese history, for example. He who despises the past cannot utilize its lessons. Instead of painting with a vast and deep palette, they're coloring with crayons.

And on some level, they know it. That is why their ambitions are so low that they are content to write what, at best, are clever spins on the previous generation's light entertainment.

Anonymous VD December 13, 2012 7:27 PM  

Again, it comes off entirely as envy on Vox Days' part.

Envy of whom? And why would I envy them?

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 7:46 PM  

@Vox Day

It comes off as envy of others greater success.

Sorry, it just does.

That said, your point about "despising the past" means not being able to utilize it's lessons is a good one. Though I doubt there's any "despising" going on, as that would take some fairly sophisticated reasoning. Rather, it's likely simply an unfortunate lack of affinity for the past and also a matter of one believing they are capable of generating compelling ideas without the benefit of the remarkable stories and personal quests that are detailed throughout history.

Anonymous VD December 13, 2012 8:05 PM  

It comes off as envy of others greater success.

You didn't answer the question. Whose? Rowling's? Scalzi's? Price's? Stephenson's? Do you honestly believe I envy Katie Price's literary career? If not, do you honestly believe I envy John Scalzi's?

Do you really think that anyone who would write a book called Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy is envious of someone writing their fourth autobiography about their breast implants or a Star Trek derivative, no matter how many they sold?

I admire Stephenson. I admire Eco. I don't envy them. I know perfectly well I can't do what they do. There are a very small number of people I envy in some way, but I can assure you that absolutely none of them are authors in the SF/F genre.

Anonymous Rantor December 13, 2012 8:05 PM  

@ Tad,

its called ignorance of the past, not "lack of affinity"

Auugh

Anonymous VD December 13, 2012 8:07 PM  

Though I doubt there's any "despising" going on, as that would take some fairly sophisticated reasoning.

True. Recall that he said "phobia". It is a fear of the past. Fear of past ideas. Fear of past standards. That's why when they encounter it, it inevitably makes them cry, want to puke, or indicate other signals of mammalian alarm.

Anonymous Feh December 13, 2012 8:17 PM  

Ultimately it is fear of the truth that makes it necessary to create a false past.

Anonymous Godfrey December 13, 2012 8:22 PM  

Contemporary literature is a bore. There are very few good storytellers. It’s just another sign of the casual boring shallow times in which we live.

Anonymous Matthew December 13, 2012 8:34 PM  

I love John C. Wright's SF and fantasy novels, but he's a huuuge white knight of a Delta. I've been hoping he'd discover Vox and have a hissy fit over the Game stuff. Color me pleased that it's happening this way.

Wright's blog was actually my introduction to Game, by way of a [disparaging] commentary on a RooshV post.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 8:39 PM  

@Vox Day

I did say who: Writers of greater success. And your Elf book doesn't come off as someone who is envious. This post does.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 8:41 PM  

@Rantor

One need not be ignorant of the past in order to feel no affinity with it. Perhaps a better word is "Appreciation".

Anonymous Matthew December 13, 2012 8:41 PM  

Tad, "Writers of greater success" is borderline tautological, given the context.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 8:46 PM  

@Matthew

OK.

Anonymous Stickwick December 13, 2012 8:46 PM  

And cover art has gone to shit.

Blech, yes. If I want a dead-tree version of an older sci-fi novel, I always get the oldest version I can find from a used bookstore just for the cover.

Anyway, retrophobia would explain why I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters of The Sword of Shannara, and why the fantasy genre in general leaves me cold. Tolkien -- and to a lesser degree R. E. Howard -- forever ruined the genre for me*. Mid-century sci-fi is just about the only fiction I can stand.

* One notable exception: John Gardner's superb Grendel, which I guess, strictly speaking, is derivative. Then again, no surprise, as the man was a scholar in medieval literature.

Anonymous zen0 December 13, 2012 8:49 PM  

Shutup, Tad.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 8:50 PM  

@Zeno

No.

Anonymous Matthew December 13, 2012 9:02 PM  

You can actually *hear* the gina tingles. I stand amazed.

Anonymous Matthew December 13, 2012 9:05 PM  

Tad, I don't think you understood me.

Do you think Vox envies Margaret Mitchell?

Blogger Rantor December 13, 2012 9:14 PM  

@Tad

If you have no affinity/appreciation for the past you don't study it and thus you would tend to be ignorant. If you reject God and divine morality, you are left with nihilism or utilitarianism and not the Divine Right of Kings. You try to put that worldview, say nihilism on a model of a past society and it is not as full and vibrant as the historian who understands their belief system knows it to be.

Anonymous VD December 13, 2012 9:14 PM  

Don't crosspost, Will. You know the rules.

Anonymous Syfy fan December 13, 2012 9:16 PM  

"That's why when they encounter it, it inevitably makes them cry, want to puke, or indicate other signals of mammalian alarm."

*hand clap*

Anonymous Walter Sobchack December 13, 2012 9:17 PM  

Shutup, Tad

Blogger Nate December 13, 2012 9:20 PM  

If 3G gets to claim only Glenn Cook... then its fine. I've said it before and I'll repeat it. Black Company is one of the finest series ever.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 9:23 PM  

@Rantor:

What would bringing an atheist worldview to a study of Western History look like or result in, besides being "not as full and vibrant". I'm not sure what you are getting at?

Anonymous Porky? December 13, 2012 9:58 PM  

Tad: "Again, it comes off entirely as envy on Vox Days' part.

What a shame."


Interesting. Exactly what I was thinking about Tad and his constant ankle-biting.




Anonymous Anonymaus December 13, 2012 10:11 PM  

This is at least three un-Scalzi-provoked
comments about Scalzi. Just FYI

I maintain you think about him more than he thinks about you.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo December 13, 2012 10:15 PM  

Off-topic, but you have to see this howler, Vox.

Some off-site commentary here. The author of the piece is shocked, shocked, that men are asking her what women have to do to get special treatment.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo December 13, 2012 10:16 PM  

Sorry. Here's the off-site commentary.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo December 13, 2012 10:19 PM  

Actually, it may be relevant to what we're discussing. The way I understand it, chivalry as practiced in medieval times was not extended to all women, just noble ones. It seems that the author doesn't know this, and neither do any of the others talking about being chivalrous.

Anonymous zen0 December 13, 2012 10:20 PM  

This is at least three un-Scalzi-provoked
comments about Scalzi. Just FYI

I maintain you think about him more than he thinks about you.


I think you think more about what Vox thinks about Scalzi than what he thinks about you. Probably even more than Scalzi thinks about you, unless you are Scalzi Incognito, which would mean that you think more about trying to stop Vox thinking about you more than you think about writing something that isn't mediocre and derivative.

Its just too obvious to ignore.

Anonymous Anonymaus December 13, 2012 10:23 PM  

Zeno, that may be true, but is irrelvant to Vox's claims.

And no, I've not read a single John Scalzi book or ever commented on his blog. But you'll just have to trust me on that.

Anonymous Anonymaus December 13, 2012 10:25 PM  

In any case, Tad is right and Vox is really showing his ass in all of this, unless you are ilk, in which case Vox cannot ever show his ass. Because you are all sycophants...

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 13, 2012 10:28 PM  

"Contemporary literature is a bore. There are very few good storytellers."

Mostly I don't read genre fiction, but occasionally something gets dropped in my lap by mistake and I wind up reading it. So, via one of those interesting accidents, I thought Joe Hill's "Twentieth Century Ghosts", his collection of horror short stories, was extraordinarily good. As in, really good storytelling, with verve and crisp technique. Not only are the stories very original, inventive, and surprising, but the prose is good. I gave up on SF/F as a kid once I noticed that except for Tolkien, the prose was usually really bad, and that the two or three conceptual ideas in a book were way more interesting than the stories themselves, which were mostly the same.

But if you're in search of good storytelling, check out "Twentieth Century Ghosts". It has a surprisingly broad emotional and conceptual and stylistic range.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 13, 2012 10:35 PM  

Speaking of good storytelling with a fantasy-flavored twist (but only a taste), any Tanizaki fans around these parts? Or Akutagawa? (I like Tanizaki better, but Akutagawa has my respect.) Not contemporary to be sure, but always more up-to-date than the up-to-date...

Anonymous Overlord Lebowski December 13, 2012 10:36 PM  

Look, Walter... just, take it easy, man. Tad's a pacifist; he's emotionally delicate... You don't need to, you know, wave a f*cking gun around to get his attention.

Anonymous kh123 December 13, 2012 10:44 PM  

"And cover art has gone to shit."

Second that, along with comment on Japanese art being a higher standard. My guess is that digital coloring instead of time immersed in traditional painting has ruined the palette of quite a few artists in the advertising industry. That and expectations of how much can be turned around when.

Anonymous one armed man in the grassy knoll December 13, 2012 10:50 PM  

VD. What do you make of the Elder Scroll series?

Anonymous zen0 December 13, 2012 11:13 PM  

@ Anonymaus

I am not Ilk, for I am zen0.

You know this post was just an ad for the full post at Alpha Game, right?

Are you just commenting on this post, or the one at Alpha Game?

Either way, I was referring to your use of imputing motives as argument. You and Tad must be ilk of your own. Kind of like little mascots of a logic powered by the degeneration of brain matter caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum .

You do know that imputing motive is unparliamentary, and an evasion of addressing argumentative points honorably, right?

Blogger rcocean December 13, 2012 11:23 PM  

Shut up Tad, you ignorant slut.

Anonymous Tad December 13, 2012 11:31 PM  

@rocean

No.

What else you got?

Anonymous Jack Amok December 13, 2012 11:57 PM  

One quibble with retrophobia, I don't think these people are afraid of the past, they merely dislike (perhaps despise) it. I'm a bit tired of the use of -phobia as an antonym for -philia. It's bowing to the gay rights community's attempt to delegitimze dislike of a flamboyant gay lifestyle as not a perfectly reasonable value judgement, but an irrational fear. But disliking something isn't the same as fearing it. I'm not afraid of broccoli, I just don't like it.

Of course, it's interesting to contemplate the idea that folks like Scalzi actually are afraid of an earlier time where they would have been judged on their accomplishments instead of their posturing.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 14, 2012 12:22 AM  

"... doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you ..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=221mohEolWc

Anonymous Unending Improvement December 14, 2012 12:48 AM  

"VD. What do you make of the Elder Scroll series?"

I'm not VD, but I find the ES series to be very deep and certainly complex, but considering their audience, their portrayal of medieval-style societies leave a LOT to be desired.

Blogger rcocean December 14, 2012 1:18 AM  

Tad, you ignorant dink. You give the label "attention whore" a bad name.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 3:03 AM  

This is at least three un-Scalzi-provoked comments about Scalzi.

It's remarkable that you think this is a post about Scalzi. Do you really find it hard to understand that if one is drawing a connection between retrophobia and the derivative nature of current SF/F writers, as Wright has done, the writer who is one of the most retrophobic and derivative authors in the genre would be a relevant example?

Of course I think he has become a joke as a writer, in more ways than one. But this particular issue is much larger than him, he merely happens to be a very clear example of the problem. Can you even name a more openly retrophobic or more derivative male SF/F author?

Blogger Kyle In Japan December 14, 2012 4:25 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Kyle In Japan December 14, 2012 4:27 AM  

"Speaking of good storytelling with a fantasy-flavored twist (but only a taste), any Tanizaki fans around these parts? Or Akutagawa?"

Me (huge surprise there.)

Well, if it's any consolation, the fantasy series I'm writing has objective right and wrong, characters who learn Game, non-evil religion, and eschews hackneyed stereotypes like chain-mail bikinis, anachronistic cultural values, and whiny protagonists. I'll send you a free ebook when it's finished, Vox. Perhaps you'll like it.

Also, I finished A Throne Of Bones today, which I greatly enjoyed, and posted my excessively-long review on Amazon.

Anonymous Peter Garstig December 14, 2012 5:29 AM  

Great article by Wright and nice insight how the progressive movement leaves its marks in the arts.

I especially liked his explanation about the unbelievable and believable in Fantasy/SF. I sometimes think about this very topic when reading ATOB. I'll include it in my review, once I'm finished.

By the way: I see Stephenson's ReamDe as a kind of backlash for Stephenson himself. I'll be curious about his next work, but this book is a first indication for me that he's over the zenith. Not to be mistaken: he still eats most writers for breakfast.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 5:38 AM  

I finished A Throne Of Bones today, which I greatly enjoyed, and posted my excessively-long review on Amazon.

I saw it this morning and I'm pleased to see you think so highly of the potential of the series. I am cautiously optimistic that Book Two will be superior to Book One. Long and substantive reviews are the best, so long as they don't go too far in the spoiler department.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 5:39 AM  

this book is a first indication for me that he's over the zenith. Not to be mistaken: he still eats most writers for breakfast.

I think the Mongoliad is the more ominous sign. I know he didn't write it himself, but the first one was just a crashing bore. It wasn't incompetent and the writing wasn't bad, but it was tedious from start to finish.

Anonymous Anonymaus December 14, 2012 6:35 AM  

Can you even name a more openly retrophobic or more derivative male SF/F author?

I've not read any of his work, but I'm not sure you should be critical of someone being derivative?

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 6:44 AM  

I've not read any of his work, but I'm not sure you should be critical of someone being derivative?

You're not? From whose work does mine derive? Which novel do you have in mind?

Anonymous Anonymaus December 14, 2012 7:10 AM  

Structurally, Gibbon for one, which makes the novel completely uninteresting and therefore unreadable in my opinion. Martin and Tolkien are also obvious. But the first third of A Throne of Bones taken with your comments here and at Black Gate reads to me like a son with father issues, the more ostentatious of a show you make of distancing yourself from the novels you've criticized, the more obvious it is that you are mimicking these better authors (I'm thinking specifically Bakker and Abercrombie)

I have an amazon review in the works. I was hesitant at first since I lost interest and didn't finish (plus the whole "if you can't say something nice" thing...), but having given you and Amazon my $5 I think I'm entitled...

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 7:24 AM  

I have an amazon review in the works. I was hesitant at first since I lost interest and didn't finish (plus the whole "if you can't say something nice" thing...), but having given you and Amazon my $5 I think I'm entitled...

Of course you are. If you didn't like it, then you didn't like it and that's perfectly fine. But I shall be absolutely fascinated to see how you explain that the book is simultaneously derivative of Gibbon, Tolkien, Martin, Bakker, and Abercrombie. That sounds like a remarkable feat.

That, or you simply don't understand what "derivative" means in the literary sense.

I am also extremely curious to learn how you think I am mimicking Bakker. Abercrombie is obvious, although you must have gotten pretty far along to have come across that. But where am I imitating or even paying trivial homage to Bakker in any way, shape, or form? I have absolutely no idea what you could possibly have in mind.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 7:34 AM  

Structurally, Gibbon for one, which makes the novel completely uninteresting and therefore unreadable in my opinion

If you're down on Gibbon, then it should be no surprise that you didn't think much of the novel. You're not alone in finding him unreadable and uninteresting. As I've mentioned previously in other contexts, I am with Asimov, Churchill, and Waugh on the matter.

Blogger Ryan Anderson December 14, 2012 7:37 AM  

Where'd you get I'm down on Gibbon? It's the unoriginal use that spoils your novel.

I am with Asimov, Churchill, and Waugh on the matter.

I've read and enjoyed the three of them, so I don't think the comparison holds, but I get why you'd want/need to think that.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 8:07 AM  

I've read and enjoyed the three of them, so I don't think the comparison holds, but I get why you'd want/need to think that.

I'm not making any comparison of my work to any of their works, so obviously I don't want or need to think anything of the kind. To be honest, your review appears likely to be about as serious as the lady upset with the vulgarity. I'll be absolutely fascinated to hear how I am using Gibbons in an unoriginal manner given that his work began with the Antonines....

And you still haven't answered the question of how I am mimicking R. Scott Bakker.

Anonymous RedJack December 14, 2012 8:21 AM  

Vox:

If anything, you book is following the outline of later Roman history provided by Bury. Which since this is supposed to a fantasy novel following a type of later Roman Empire with magic and such, it should.

I am about 20% into the book have been checking off various characters as composites of real people from the period. Makes my wife think I am nuts, but is honestly quite enjoyable.

Anonymous VD December 14, 2012 8:59 AM  

I am about 20% into the book have been checking off various characters as composites of real people from the period. Makes my wife think I am nuts, but is honestly quite enjoyable.

I didn't crack open Gibbon once, but I did take many of the Roman names from the Cambridge Medieval History Bury edited. I wasn't necessarily concerned with anything but the historically legitimate name and a reasonable occupational harmony, however.

Anonymous RedJack December 14, 2012 11:15 AM  

I suspected as much. It isn't that you lifted the story directly the CMH, but if you are writing a fantasy story set in a late Classical early Medieval age, it would make sense to use something as a basis. Much as the old Battletech series used the Mongol and Hunnish invasions of Europe as the basis for much of the story arc. If you familiar with the history, the story was very much the same. Including some of the plot twists. Now when I was younger I didn't pick up on it, but after I reread the series a few years ago it was obvious. Didn’t make the stories bad, but it did help you understand where the arc was going well before the author even got there.


To be honest that will not help your sales. Most people have no conception of history, let alone that period of history. I am enjoying the book, as I enjoyed SE, because I love that period of history. Porting it to a fantasy world plays well to my tastes. Unfortunately, as many have commented on in Black Gate and other places, the biases and tastes of the authors and the public at large are reflected in the current generation of SciFi. Having a more "historically accurate" world will turn off some of the already shrinking market. To enjoy The Throne of Bones, you need to have a basic understanding of the “world” you created. Most people today do not have that, and would be offended by it.

Blogger Bogey December 14, 2012 1:09 PM  

It's not lost on me that the biggest retrophobe of them all is also the the current president of the SFWA.

Sadly, retrophobia will drive a grown, heterosexual man to do pathetic stuff like this:
http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/pose-off-with-john-scalzi/

"It's so painful to do these poses", no shit Pillsbury Doughboy.


....and you're welcome for the good laugh.

Blogger James Higham December 14, 2012 2:11 PM  

Long and substantive reviews are the best, so long as they don't go too far in the spoiler department.

Depends on the plot, no?

Anonymous Susan December 14, 2012 6:47 PM  

Hey Tad

VD is the only author I have ever heard of who gets paid NOT to write a book! Put that in your bong and smoke it with your pinot. He has a smokin' hot wife, great kids and a life that others can only dream of in Italia. Why on earth would he waste time envying any other author? They probably envy him!

Anonymous The CronoLink December 14, 2012 11:49 PM  

Again, people, why are you feeding the troll?

Blogger Ryan Anderson December 15, 2012 8:53 AM  

I didn't get far enough to notice any intentional derivativness on your part. I wasn't talking about anything intentional on your part.

Anonymous VD December 16, 2012 8:37 AM  

I didn't get far enough to notice any intentional derivativness on your part. I wasn't talking about anything intentional on your part.

And I wasn't asking about anything intentional on my part. I am pointing out that there is nothing of Bakker in ATOB in any way, shape, or form. And you, my passive-aggressive little friend, are being very, very evasive, mostly because you know perfectly well that you're full of it.

The thing is, we know it now too. You thought it would be safe to sling Gibbon around because of all the Rome talk... but you don't know Gibbon or Roman history well enough to realize that Gibbon only dealt with part of it. Nor can you hide behind the "structural claim". I'll bet you can't even tell us what the structure of Gibbon's work is.

Anonymous Anonymouse December 17, 2012 8:50 PM  

Vox, I’m not being evasive, it’s that I really don’t care to go back through the book. If I had a hard copy, it might be a different story, but the kindle doesn’t lend itself to casual review… You also may be off the hook on the Amazon review for the same reason.

And, there actually was something that struck me as Bakkerish, I think in the prose regarding troops on a ridgeline or something, early on. I don’t recall. But I did say before that it seemed more a result of you, probably unconsciously, trying to be unlike him. Or perhaps it’s the result of me being invested in the anti-nihilism discussion and being a fan of Bakker and then reading him into the text. But I don’t think that is the case, so I stand by my comment, but don’t care enough to defend it…

Also Gibbons was a tongue in cheek reference to your apparent inability to create an original world. I recall seeing a comment here or at Black Gate where you said one should just name a place Vheniss instead of T’rathriol Cunrios or some such if it’s “just supposed to be” Venice. But in the books that get it right, the worlds are not “just supposed to be” some place from the real world, they’re their own worlds. And I think this is ultimately where you get it wrong in your push for “historical accuracy” and accusations of “retrophobia”. I think it also speaks to an uncreative laziness on your part and I, at least, found it to spoil the AToB at a foundational level. Bakker’s Three Seas is not “just supposed to be” the Mediterranean, and Abercrombie’s Union is not “just supposed to be” Germany (or Napoleonic France, or… or…or…). Unlike Amorr, they are not merely analogues for historical places, but rather the author uses historical places as nothing more than a springboard… There are layers and layers of creativity on top of those world that I found missing from your work and that is why they’re infinitely more interesting than “Amorr”, which is really “just supposed to be Rome…”

Anonymous VD December 17, 2012 9:17 PM  

Or perhaps it’s the result of me being invested in the anti-nihilism discussion and being a fan of Bakker and then reading him into the text.

I expect that investment explains your entire attitude towards the book. Which is fine. Feel what you like. But your incessant passive-aggressive attempt to dismiss everything about it only makes you look foolish. It's quite clear that you want to dislike it and denigrate it, which is fine. But stop trying to pretend that has anything to do with the text per se as you get caught out and exposed every time you try to express another negative aspect that exists primarily in your imagination.

You think the "creativity" involved in ineptly concocting thinly disguised analogues is more interesting than history. That's your prerogative. I totally disagree. I will bet more than two-thirds of those who read all three series will find Selenoth a more interesting world than either Bakker's or Abercrombie's. Especially considering that I'm only one book in....

Anonymous Anonymoose December 17, 2012 10:13 PM  

OK, you ascribe non-existent motives and then put words in my mouth. Fair enough, das ist genug...

I will bet more than two-thirds of those who read all three series will find Selenoth a more interesting world than either Bakker's or Abercrombie's.

I think we both know why this metric is not worthwhile.

Anonymous VD December 18, 2012 4:29 AM  

OK, you ascribe non-existent motives and then put words in my mouth.

It is amusing to see you say that... considering that you've accused me of things I very clearly have not done. Perhaps your opinion is correct despite your admitted bias. Or perhaps it is not.

I think we both know why this metric is not worthwhile.

Which, of course, is why your opinion on the matter is equally irrelevant. A democracy of one is no more definitive of reality, especially one operating on admittedly incomplete information.

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