Three Seas Forum

the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

The Title posted 07 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by banditski, Candidate

Quote: "Fade":3g0sqgdu
WSS may have more appeal at the public unfamiliar with the book.[/quote:3g0sqgdu]

true, but nothing else (so far) in pon tries to appeal to the lowest common denominator. why start with the title of the third book??

i think it would do better to title the book appropriately for the target audience... i mean, the only thing more useless than selling a book to someone who won't like it is to not get a sale of a book because it appears too simple/pulpy to someone who is looking for something more substantial.

besides, it's the third (and final??) book in the series. most people will have made up their mind about whether they like the books before they get around to buying the third one. if they're still around, then it's because they like the heavier reading found in pon, and a heavier title would appeal more to them. view post


Warrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* posted 07 February 2004 in The Warrior ProphetWarrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* by Wil, Head Moderator

Done. view post


The Title posted 07 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Mithfânion, Didact

Good points Bandit. view post


The Title posted 07 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Mithfânion, Didact

forum error. view post


How did you get here? posted 07 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionHow did you get here? by Voland, Candidate

Saw it menitoned at asoiaf, Malazan Empire and sffworld, so I decided to check in <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by DrBloodmoney1, Commoner

... saw this yet. Congratulations!!

DrB

[url=http&#58;//www&#46;locusmag&#46;com/2004/Issues/02RecommendedReading&#46;html:2ngrlr8x]Locus[/url:2ngrlr8x] view post


Woh! posted 07 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionWoh! by Elfstone4Evenstar, Commoner

it was scary at first so thought i would post about it.

just to show you i am an attentive member <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

A couple of days back - thank you Dr.B! Totally unexpected, particularly since the only real negative review I received for TDTCB was from Locus (back last August). Second thoughts, perhaps? Or maybe a second read. I've always thought t myself that I wrote TDTCB to be read twice... view post


How did you get here? posted 07 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionHow did you get here? by banditski, Candidate

yeah, i saw it on ran's asoiaf board under other authors/bakker view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

Alternatively, this book has had a lot of buzz on certain Fantasy forums. In case Locus actually gave it a bad review a few months ago, they may have yielded to the overwhelming amount of positive reviews by many readers, and listed it here. If they had wanted to fully endorse the book they could have listed it in the "Best Fantasy" category as well.

Not that I want to dampen any enthusiasm btw <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

When the galleys of TDTCB first came out, Penguin made a mistake and double shipped the box they were supposed to give me, so, hat in hand, I went on a web safari searching for interested reviewers, several of whom emailed me back to say they 'don't do High Fantasy,' or even worse, that if I sent them TDTCB that I should brace myself because they hated the subgenre. Despite my oh-so witty 'don't judge a book by its genre' reply, this pretty much convinced me (as the insecure author I still am) that I was going to be murdered when it came to reviews because of some kind of Jordan or Goodkind backlash. I just assumed this was the case with Locus. I'm glad to be mistaken! and I wouldn't be suprised if the MB 'buzz' played a hand.

It's strange the way the dialectic of popularity and scarcity plays itself out in all the different media. Radio, film, television, literature: you see the formation of the same kinds of cliques - from mainstream mania to iconoclastic chic. I'm amazed, for instance, by how many people suddenly seem to have a hate on for tLotR. I've heard everything from the standard 'PC checklist' complaints to the 'trials and tribulations of a band of lawn ornaments.' Outright dismissals always make me suspicious... view post


Woh! posted 08 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionWoh! by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Well, its a good thing we're here to help you work through it. view post


We're on Google!!! posted 08 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionWe're on Google!!! by Wil, Head Moderator

Hey everbody, we're on Google!! We come in number nine after a search of The Darkness That Comes Before, one above Scott's site... view post


Curious if you... posted 08 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

I'm amazed, for instance, by how many people suddenly seem to have a hate on for tLotR.

It's the popularity, as you say. Some people seem to have an automatically negative response to things that quickly become popular. As an Orthodox Tolkienite ( <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> ) I can't say I'm too pleased with all the LoTR marketing and publicizing either, all coming forth from the dreaded New Line Hype Machine (LoTR dolls, cups, spoons, plates, action figures, medallions and perhaps worst of all, fake The One Rings), but I don't see why I should dislike the original for it.

But that happens often. Something becomes big with the masses and there are always people who will want to distinguish themselves by immediately assuming their contrarian opinions. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the sudden LoTR-naysayers hadn't even read the book (though I can see why they would dislike the films after having seen them). view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I think the films should be taken separately from the books as tributes to the books. They should not be mistaken for replacements for the books or even good summaries, but as an artistic work inspired by the books and with a merit apart from their connection. view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by DrBloodmoney1, Commoner

That was me before btw.

I agree with Locus maybe being influenced by the amount of support for TDTCB on the MB's. That's certainly where I heard about it. On the small number of boards that I visit, there are a handful of very well-read fantasy fans whose opinion I trust very much. A few of them have very similar tastes to me. One of them is Fitz (Rob) a moderator over at SFF world. He's who I heard about it first from, so he gets the credit.

I trust the opinions of them much more so than I would the critics, even at Locus.

I find it appalling that the literati have so much prejudice against fantasy. Especially when there is so much to be found in it besides Tolkien-clones, Jordan, and Goodkind.

As for the LOTR controversy: I have five very well-worn sets of LOTR on my shelves for more or less my whole life. I find a certain justification in the mass-approval. Now if only every person who saw the films and liked them decided to read the books. Then went and picked up another fantasy book. Then we'd be getting somewhere.

DrB view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

What do you guys think of the way the Penguin edition 'blurs' Tolkien? You know, with the script on the covers, the maps (which my editor asked me to make 'Tolkienesque'), even the over-the-top blurb on the back, suggesting that TCTCB 'out-Tolkiens Tolkien' (as if such a thing were possible). It's something I'm still uncomfortable with, even though I don't think it necessarily counts as 'deceptive advertising.' view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

As I must have said before, I think the design is just tres cool. I simply don't exaggerate when I say that in terms of feel and design this is the best Fantasy book I own (and I own many). The script in particular is very nice. I have two editions of the LoTR, one of them is my favorite of all the many editions and has the Gandalf cover (of him arriving at Hobbiton, drawn by Howe), but even that doesn't rival TDTCB.

Having said that, I dislike quotes like the one you mentioned (out-Tolkiening Tolkien being pretty poor). I realize the boasting is all part of the marketing and books need to have some blurbs, but perhaps it's better not to reference to other authors and instead comment on the book's genre strengths. view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by banditski, Candidate

yeah, i agree... it's one thing for a bunch of schmucks like us here to compare darkness to lotr, but it's quite another for the publisher to do it. i would think that it is just setting the reader up to look for faults with it - ie. reasons why it doesn't out-tolkien tolkien.

you can easily say many great things about darkness. i think it's a little cheesy to try to suck people in with such a loaded statement as that.

and to say "me too" again, i love the cover and the feel of the book. i have little to no trouble with the 'elvin script' on the cover. paying homage (if that is indeed the intent) is a far cry from a direct comparison.

all this being said, i think the book is strong enough by itself that i wouldn't think that a blurb like that will make *or* break the book. i just think it's a bit cheap and unnecessary. of course in this time of lotr mania, i suppose it's hard to resist...

*after* writing this, i decided to read what exactly was on the book. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> i see that the quote in question isn't from penguin, but from a third party. i guess this lessens the cheese a little, but i'd still say it's not needed. of course, i know nothing about publishing books, so.... view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

If only there was a clear way to distinguish an homage from a knock-off. It's just one of many distinctions that marketers are making meaningless.

But that's the rub, I guess. Without revealing my bias, I recently polled my pop culture class asking them which cover they preferred, the S&amp;S or the Penguin one. To my surprise, they favoured the S&amp;S cover by an easy 2-1 margin - pretty much the opposite of what I expected! (There won't be too many people passing that course... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> )

I guess there's a good reason why they don't give authors much say when it comes to covers. We don't know squat when it comes to the 'buying public.' view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Is there anywhere we can see the S&amp;S cover? view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Wil, Head Moderator

I think it's the one on amazon.co.uk, but I may be wrong view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by LooseCannon, Peralogue

I find it interesting that so many chose the S&amp;S cover yet the clear choice from all the people I've seen online is the Penguin cover.

Anyway, the first thing I usually do when I'm looking at a book in a store is to see if there is a map of the world. The moment I saw yours I thought 'hey, this looks like the map of Middle Earth from Tolkien's work'. But I thought that in a good way <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->. It comes across as familar by the way it is drawn and also, to me, made Earwa more credible because I was comparing it to such an amazingly realized world.

Funny how you mentioned the Tolkien quote on the back there, I didn't even notice that. I remember when I first picked up Jordan's Eye of the World off a library shelf about ten years ago I read that blurb on the front about Jordan being the next Tolkien. It seems like every new, promising fantasy book these days gets that same Tolkien comparison placed on the cover. I have to admit that it is a good marketing tool as it made me interested in Jordan's series which I knew nothing about at the time. However, the Steven Erikson quote is what made me buy your book. And he didn't let me down I might add <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by banditski, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Sovin Nai&quot;:q1r9qot8
Is there anywhere we can see the S&amp;S cover?[/quote:q1r9qot8]

yeah, right [url=http&#58;//images-eu&#46;amazon&#46;com/images/P/0743256689&#46;02&#46;LZZZZZZZ&#46;jpg:q1r9qot8]here[/url:q1r9qot8].

and the canadian one is way better, but the british one is pretty okay too. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think that's because Overlook (my US publisher) is a class act.

In the marketing discussions I've been privy to, the emphasis has been on marketing PoN as 'upscale,' as something that readily identifies itself as genre fiction with a literary bent. I think my marketing argument (which is that there's many, many readers out there (people like me!) who love the 'epic form,' but have become disenchanted with the sanitized, almost Y&amp;A content of some fantasies) has had some impact on the choices that have been made so far. Epic fantasy need not be something many readers 'outgrow.'

But then I always overestimate the impact of my arguments! Makes me feel rational... view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

In the marketing discussions I've been privy to, the emphasis has been on marketing PoN as 'upscale,' as something that readily identifies itself as genre fiction with a literary bent.

A correct assessment from the publisher I think.

I also agree that much of Epic Fantasy's ridicule comes from the sanitized content which makes even hardcore fans of Epic High Fantasy squirm and stutter. Authors who are able to step away from the extremely formulaic story and are able to provide a grittier story while still maintaining fantastic elements and a vast sense of wonder have the future imo (so as not the make the story simply bleak). I don't think Tolkienesque Fantasy needs to be abandoned (as New Weird writers like Mieville, Vandermeer, Ford, Cockayne etc do), but it needs to change. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I agree entirely, though I took quite a thrashing for suggesting as much on a Talkback forum some time ago - by none other than M. John Harrison, no less!

Some seem to think that novelty and artistic merit consists in overturning conventions. The problem is that such moves tend to only be interesting once. I'm much more intrigued by the notion of making old machines do new things, to put preexisting conventions through their paces to see what they can do, and more importantly, what they mean. This is especially true of those conventions (like epic fantasy) that arise out of unreflective culture. Think of the popularity of the genre! It's obviously touching something very deep. And yet for so many literati, the question 'Why do people read that drivel?' is rhetorical, the implication being that people are morons (in comparison to themselves)...

This is probably a horrible over-generalization, but fantasy, it seems to me, is presently caught between two different Orthodoxies, one which defines itself by it's continuity with the past, another which defines itself by its dismissive opposition to the past (all the while claiming to be open and heterodox). Outright dismissal of the old is too easy - and far too flattering - to be trusted. It smacks of fashion.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just feeling defensive. No one wants to be a moron. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

I agree entirely, though I took quite a thrashing for suggesting as much on a Talkback forum some time ago - by none other than M. John Harrison, no less!

An M. John Harrison btw, whose dreary Urban Fantasy/New Weird books I find utterly uncompelling.

I'll just say that I am not at all surprised you would find yourself at odds with him. He is one of the prime writers of the New Weird style and that category dismisses quite a lot which you yourself seem to like. These are precisely the people who are entertaining themselves with being different, changing for the sake of change. It is no surprise to me that writers such as Harrison and China Mieville are dismissive of Tolkienesque Fantasy, it is precisely what they are trying to get away from. Ever heard Mieville go off on Tolkien? He really can't stand him, there are two or three "essays" of his on Tolkien, here's a snippet I dug up through Google:

"Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious - you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike - his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés - elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings - have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader..............Tolkien’s worldview was resolutely rural, petty bourgeois, conservative, anti-modernist, misanthropically Christian and anti-intellectual."

Of course, his political views are diametrically opposed to Tolkiens, which has everything to do with it.

Personally I really dislike the Urban Fantasy stuff they write. Why? Because it endeavours to be grotesque, to be bizarre, and everything is so horribly blurry, instead of inspiring a sense of true etherealness. The world feels dreamish, sometimes even having different blurry planes about which nothing at all is explained, perhaps even entered by whimsical magic mirrors and portals. It's translucent. I like decent worldbuilding with proper detailed and vast history, a world which takes me back to a different time. Also magic never works for me in Urban Fantasy. And I have yet to read a more overwritten book than Mervyn Peake's ghastly Gormenghast.

Anyway, I think that it is correct to say that Fantasy has arrived at something of a crossroads, perhaps it's even passed and made it's decision. There are those who will continue writing Tolkien clones, there are those who will try to re-invent Epich High Fantasy within the established context and there are those who will veer off into entirely different directions. view post


Curious if you... posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

See. This is where I hang my head in shame. I haven't even read any Urban Fantasy... I came out of years and years of full-on school where all I read was primary texts into full-on teaching and writing. I'm horribly under-read (in both senses!). One of the things I've been trying to understand is the lay of the land.

Tolkien-trashing, though, I'll never understand. CM's list seems to apply to lots of literature it would be obviously absurd to dismiss. Certainly Tolkien is a throwback in many ways, but that's the very thing that makes him so damn interesting - and almost mesmerizing to some (which is probably partly what troubles CM). Look at Middle-earth: it's a condensation of the fantasy world so many live in, and a photographic negative of our times, a shadow existence for all those values (good and bad) that industrial life has rendered irrelevant. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 11 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Priest, Candidate

Scott, is there anything you can tell us about the book? Obviously you've already stated your dislike for spoilers, but still, any thoughts on the focus of the book? Any hints as to what we'll be seeing?

If I may ask one specific question, any chance of seeing that ancient Nonman city that you mentioned? view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown