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Other authors you enjoy posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Mithfânion, Didact

I've read you like Tolkien, and Martin as well, but are there are other authors, both in and outside of the genre that you're really fond off? If so, could you say why?

Alternatively, are there also authors within and outside Fantasy that you've been really disappointed with, or would you rather not go into that? view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Your question interests me because it points to a tension that's nagged me since I began posting on this (VERY WONDERFUL) board. Because it would be bad form for me to trash other writers, I'm sure most would expect me to soft sell my negative opinions, and perhaps I should. But the fact is I try very hard to live my life according to the credo of openness.

For instance, the most recent book I completed was The Da Vinci Code - I needed to see what all the hullabaloo was about I guess. Within the first few pages I was laughing because Brown commits one of the oldest no-nos in fiction writing: he has his protagonist fortuitously encounter his reflection so that we can find out he resembles Harrison Ford. Now I can go on and on critiquing this book: according to any number of yardsticks it simply stinks to high heaven. But for some reason it struck a powerful chord with very, very many readers. The easy, FLATTERING thing to do would be to dismiss all those readers (as some version of the 'unwashed masses') - they simply wouldn't know a good book if it hit them. The difficult thing is to step back and try to understand not only WHY so many like it, but HOW there could be such a divide between my standards and those of the masses. This is what I try to do, and as a result I always try to offer qualified opinions of other people's work.

So on to Brown's obvious epic fantasy analogues, Jordan and Goodkind. I feel like an anthropologist when I read their works, always trying to bracket my own criteria in an attempt to see what other's see in it. I do this whenever I read or watch 'unreflective works,' which is to say, works interested in meeting expectations rather than exploring them, and I try to understand them according to their own internal standards, no matter how miserably they fall short my own standards - which are far from god-given.

So, who am I presently smitten by: Gene Wolfe, Caitlin Sweet, JRRT, and Sharon Kay Penman (for the effortless ease of her prose - I would give a limb...). Who am I presently disappointed with: Brown and Goodkind.

How's that for wishing my wash! Sometimes I think philosophy is simply the art of decisive waffling... view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Mithfânion, Didact

The mention of Caitlin Sweet is interesting. From the beginning I've seen some booksites couple that book to TDTCB, and having read a synopsis and some reviews I have no idea why. A friend of mine who reads a truly astonishing amount of Fantasy books per year listed her book in his 2003 top 10, which aroused my curiosity even more. Still, there appears to be no sign yet of a UK or US release.

I think you touch on a very interesting aspect, that of certain author''s most peculiar popularity. As puzzling as their blatant success can be (Jordan and Goodkind are good examples, Eddings and Brooks are of similar stock), the interesting thing for me is to make a small attempt at understanding why this could possibly so. For instance, while both Jordan and Goodkind receive regular trashings at many internet forums and columns, both these authors are incredibly popular here in the Netherlands, and people actually think very highly of the books as well as huge sales figures (as opposed to the rest of the online community, where, despite the fact J&G's books sell equally well, there is a lot of criticism on their writing).

Personally I've read Eye of the World and it instinctively rubbed me the wrong way. Very very poor. I've not tried Goodkind, but he's always listed with Brooks and Eddings who are both authors of the sanitized and juvenile Fantasy variety. Anyway, in the end I always conclude that they most be catering to the lowest common denominator and therefore appeal to so many, whereas I simply don't go for that kind of story/level.

Wolfe, I've got The Book of New Sun on my shelf, looking forward to that one. I've read The Sunne in Splendour by Penman, which was excellent and often said to be her best work, along with her Wales trilogy.

Any thoughts on fellow Canadians Kay and Erikson? Any Sci-fi? I don't quite know why but I could see you veer off into Space opera one day. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 12 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think Caitlin is simply brilliant, though she writes what I would call 'fabular' fantasy. I really think her work transcends genre - it's literature. She also happens to be good friend of mine (she's from Toronto), but I knew her work (through the OWW) before I knew her, and my opinion then was the same. She's been having difficulty getting international interest primarily because of the 'literariness' of her work. It's only a matter of time, though.

Wolfe is, well, Wolfe. If you're into fiction that gives you that 'intellectual buzz' you'll likely think him messianic (some do!). TBNS has carved out a monumental place in my imagination. My only complaint is that he seems a little too taken with those tropes we discussed earlier - for my tastes, anyway.

Erikson - what can I say? He's my hero! Gritty, sprawling, extravagant tales set in a world as deep as THE world - sounds pretty damn familiar! I still haven't had time to get past DG, though. I hope someday to armwrestle him for the 'biggest alternate reality' championship...

GGK is another hero of mine. But again, my problem is that I'm so horribly under read. I read FT back when it first came out, and I've read the first of the Sarantium Books, but Hegel and those damned Pittsburgh Idealists keep getting in the way.... view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 12 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by delavagus, Commoner

Don't forget good ol' George RR, though I assume you've mentioned him in other threads. I view him -- have we talked about this before? -- as a bridge (constructed primarily of salvaged pieces from historical fiction) between 'mainstream' fantasy and 'literary' fantasy. He's perhaps the greatest boon for writers like you and me, since he's drawing from the bottomless well called Jordan/Goodkind readers, while in the process -- we hope -- converting them to the cause of 'serious' fantasy fiction.

I've read almost all of Penman's non-historical-mystery books now. I'm halfway through TIME & CHANCE, her latest, about Henry II and Thomas Becket. The Wales trilogy will always hold a special spot in my heart, but overall I sense no diminishing of quality in her work. CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS was a helluva ride, and so far T&C is a nice complement: its focus on (relatively) few characters is a relief after the sprawl of the civil war between Stephen and Maude.

Chances are I won't be reading anything non-school-related until summer (except for my Blue Heaven work, of course). Yesterday, I tried reading Leibniz's essay On Body and Force Against the Cartesians (or something), and I had no fricken idea what he was talking about. I'd re-read the same sentence three or four times and think, "I understand each individual word, yet all together..." Damn Germans. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 12 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

GRRM is king, no doubt about it. Whether he's built that bridge or not remains to be seen!

Leibniz is the very model of clarity when it comes to the Germans. Wait till you sink your dentures in Hegel. He and Spinoza are just so alien because in the great battle of who-would-define-modern-thinking, Descartes won...

You gotta think like a Scholastic. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by delavagus, Commoner

For some reason I heard your last line to the tune of "Walk Like An Egyptian."

Other bits of Leibniz I've read make more sense than this fricken essay. Try this on: "I believe that the nature of body does not consist in extension alone; in unraveling the notion of extension, I noticed that it is relative to something which must be spread out [extendi], and that it signifies a diffusion or repetition of a certain nature. For every repetition (or collection of things of the same kind) is either discrete, as, for example, in things that are counted, where the parts of the aggregate are distinguished, or continuous, where the parts are indeterminate [indeterminata] and one can obtain parts in an infinite number of ways." Come again? Later in the paragraph: "Since extension is a continuous and simulataneous repetition (just as duration is a successive repetition), it follows that whenever the same nature is diffused through many things at the same time, as, for example, malleability or specific gravity or yellowness is in gold, whiteness is in milk, and resistance or impenetratability is generally in body, extension is said to have place. However, it must be confessed that the continuous diffusion of color, weight, malleability, and similar things that are homogeneous only in apperance is merely apparent [diffusion], and cannot be found in the smallest part [of bodies]."

The problem isn't that I'm incapable of wrapping my mind around any individual sentence (although it can be tough), it's that every single sentence is like that, layering translucent upon translucent until the whole thing is rendered opaque.

(This is way off topic, huh? School's making me even more boring than I was before...) view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Oi vey... Let me dust off my Leibniz cells and see if I can't remember what the hell's going on here. Take the following with a grain of salt... or maybe a mine (since I'm reading out of context).

It strikes me as a standard deducing-the-structure-of-reality-from-rational-principles-alone schtick. The first passage refers to the standard dilemma (which is being argued to this day) of whether space is discrete or continuous. The problem, the second passage seems to suggest, is that although space SEEMS continuous in every day items, closer examination reveals that this isn't always the case. The suggestion is, and I'm just guessing here since it's only implied, is that this might be the case with EMPTY space as well (as indeed many modern physicists argue).

Make sense?

BTW: you were a bore before; now you're just a dreadful bore (which is a mite better than being an intolerable bore like me!) view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q & AOther authors you enjoy by Fade, Commoner

Is this a contest about who's the embodiment of boredom? <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:7zspinuq
Because it would be bad form for me to trash other writers, I'm sure most would expect me to soft sell my negative opinions, and perhaps I should.[/quote:7zspinuq] As author you have to be careful what you say. Before you know it, you will get some serious bashing. I noticed that authors only say what they like in books and what they read. I suppose that is some sort of courtship to fellow writers.

GRR Martin king? I don't think I know any writer I would bow for and crown her or him for best work. GRR Martin is definite good. He's one of the few writers who to me have a enjoyable writing style. Eddings and Brooks tend to lapse in similar concepts a little too often. Eddings God theme's should know a end and Brooks has written too many books where a quest is too much of a central plot. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The problem is that we get together on a fairly regular basis. I could find myself on a panel with say, Goodkind, at the next Worldcon or something.

That said, I personally could care less whether other authors hated my books or not. I'm not writing for everybody, so why should I get upset when someone else dislikes my books? As a newbie, I'm still going through that phase where my family members are tiptoeing around the 'book issue,' either because they found it unreadable (for people who don't read, I can only imagine what it must be like), or because it simply wasn't their cup o' tea. Maybe it's because I've spent the last eight years having my writing torn to shreds as a philosophy grad student, but it doesn't bother me a whit.

So my instinct is to not self-censor myself at all. But then again, it is a political world out there...

Of all the criticisms I've received, I have to admit the one that made me see red was Carolyn Cushman's review in Locus back last August. Her complaints regarding the complexity of TDTCB, I can understand. Victoria Strauss made the same complaints in her SFSite review and I still think her review is the one that most closely approaches my estimation of the book. What bugged me was her complaints against the 'cliched female types' I used and the implication of sexism. I couldn't understand this because ALL the characters, male and female, are cliched types (because that was my point: to explore the existing conventions), and because in the revision of TDTCB I actually considered going through the manuscript to remove all the overtly feminist moments, thinking I was being too preachy and heavyhanded!

I just think it's obvious that either she didn't read very carefully, or she pigeonholed me as a certain 'type' (the irony!) from the beginning, and read TDTCB through the lense of that bias.

But I could be wrong: Isn't it obvious that an unsanitized fantasy world would also be a sexist fantasy world (which is far cry from a sexist story, or even worse, author)? If fantasy is a return to ancient contexts in the attempt to rehearse/remember all those positive things modern life has rendered irrelevant or problematic (such as heroism, moral certainty, purposiveness, and so on), shouldn't we also explore all the NEGATIVES of those contexts as well?

Personally, politically correct fantasy worlds strike me as silly. My credo is to confront the bad with the good without flinching, and to explore the bad through the distortions they inflict on my characters.

Isn't this obviously what I'm doing? I'm too close to the books to tell up from down anymore. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 13 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

It didn't come across to me as sexist, but it did show women in roles they would most likely be in living in a male dominated older society. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 17 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Kellais, Commoner

@ Cu'jara - Your last post is just brilliant <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> I really had to lmao! You're soooo right!!
Personally I don't give a damn about the "official" critics. Come on, they have to find something to criticize. Or else they wouldn't have a job, right <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> I inform myself via amazon for example. They have a topic "customers who bought this book bought also..." Normally you can't go wrong with that. And then there are such places like this here! A Lot of good recommendations...I wouldn't have heard about your book if I haven't read SE's latest interview at that time....but back to the topic of your last post... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->
If you had left out all the "showing a woman in bla bla situation" then you would have probably got a bashing from a male reviewer saying that "Mr. Bakker seems to be a feminist himself". I think you get my meaning <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->
If it's worth something, I REALLY love your writing...keep it up that way and you will have found a permanent reader...

Have to go...

Kellais view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 18 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thank you, Kellais! I really think you'll enjoy TWP... Or at least I hope <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 03 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by WolfBrotherRelic, Commoner

Hi guys, first time posting here.

I just wanted to say that i have been a long time George RR Martin fan. He rescued me from the Wheel of Time series and for that i am eternally grateful. I swear my vision was growing dark and my heart was slowly...fading...

During the gap between a Storm of Swords and his yet unreleased A Feast For Crows i turned elsewhere to get my fantasy fix. Living in America i went to my nearest Barnes and Noble and was a tad surprised that the face of fantasy...had not changed. Same crap on the shelves that was there 5 years prior.

I became desperate. Thankfully i have a canadian friend who is up to date on the fantasy going on in his country and he streered me towards Erikson.

Wow, neat...very cool...but there is somethign missing, i thought.

After i devoured the 4 books i was again left without any fantasy to read (i need fantasy damnit! there is only so much "Other" that i can take). And then...bam...my friend starts ranting and raving about TDTCB. I pick it up (actually i order it from amazon.ca) and i have to say...i now have a second favorite fantasy author, and his name is Scott Bakker.

Your writing rules Ser. Please keep it up and please continue to feed my addiction. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 03 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Malarion, Candidate

Going on what was said a little earlier, I find myself in full agreement. It bugs me when fantasy writers dry to drive modern ideals down my throat (masses of female soldiers in the army etc, modern democracy). The fact people have called your work sexist is irritating. Your story is set in a ancient society. In our world, visably powerful women were rare. Why do reviewers forget that time and time again. Maybe they should be reading SciFi or some other shit. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 03 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by LooseCannon, Peralogue

I agree, Mal. I hate to go off on a tangent but this is what angered me about the new movie the Passion of the Christ. Besides all the other controversy the one thing that really irritated me was that people are calling this film too violent. It is like they expect the film not only to be politically correct by today's standards but also to sanitize it for today's sensitive market. How can you learn about history when modern ideals are inserted to appeal to today's audience. It isn't right I tell you! view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I still have to see the bloody thing (and I mean that literally - apparently, the screen Jesus bleeds enough to drain five men). I'm pretty cynical about all the 'controversy,' though. Smells like marketing to me... view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

Loose- I don't think its fair to call the movie a film about history. If it happened, which seems likely, it was all so long ago that I think it is really the telling of a story witha point. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 June 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by casterlyrock, Commoner

I'm new to the forum and your books, I just bought TDTCB June 1st and haven't found the time to read it. I'm finishing up Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and hope to start Erickson's Garden's of the Moon and from there read Chine Mieville's Perdido Street Station. Then I will start TDTCB <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> .

Anyways, I was wondering what your opinion was (if you have one) on Stphenson or Mieville. Especially China Mieville, who seems to be causing a stir in the genre. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 June 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Replay, Auditor

Neal Stephenson wrote Snow Crash didnt he? If so its the only book of his ive read. Wasn't bad though, but think it could have been better if it wasnt all written in the present tense (it works well in some places, but a whole book of it can begin to give you a headache).

As for Mieville, i think hes more style of substance than anything else. Its a shame as well, as he certainly has some talent. The worlds/places he creates are extremely well done, and he seems to have a good imagination. Having to sit through 200 pages of description is too much though - hes even worse than Jordan in that respect. Plus, even though he writes his characters well, he doesnt flesh them out enough or make them all that interesting. It just always feels like he writes only to try and show off his literary skills, and that everything else is secondary. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 June 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

After finishing PSS, I finally understand what all the hullabaloo about Mieville is... It really is an extraordinary book, though I think it shares many of the same weaknesses as TDTCB.

I started Cryptonomicon some time ago, but somehow it slipped through the cracks of my hectic schedule. I seem to remember thinking it was pretty much mainstream - I'm trying to concentrate on catching up on the 'genre greats' - university put me about a decade behind.

I have Snow Crash on the MUST READ shelf, but I'm trying to catch up on my Erikson (DG was my last). I started MOI, then decided to go back to GOTM. Damn, that man knows his yarn! view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 07 June 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by LooseCannon, Peralogue

I think with The Scar Mieville really brought his writing to a new level. PSS was great but there were some moments that dragged in it. With The Scar I could not put it down. The transition from the festering, sleazy city to the wide open ocean was amazing. If there was ever a book I would want to read on a beach or cruiseship that would be it. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 16 June 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Miles Teg, Commoner

I enjoyed the Scar as well, but believe that Perdido Street Station had the better plot.

Has anyone here read Nick Sagan's IDLEWILD? It came out earlier this year. It caught my eye with the cool cover and the blurb by Neil Gaiman. Excellent Speculative Fiction book, with a great and likeable Anti-Protagonist who goes by the moniker of Halloween. It expands on the idea of Virtual Reality and Human Evolution via Genetic Engineering . It's comparable to TDTCB with it's philosophic undertones. I bought it in Hardcover after reading it in one sitting approximately four hours at Barnes and Nobles.

--Bryan N. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 16 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Scott, just thought I'd thank you for managing to bring two talented authors to my attention. I just read and finished Sweet's novel and loved it. Probably will write a review of it sometime in the next day or two. Also, I happened to be searching through the PoN site the other day and saw a link to Karin Lowachee's page. I'm about halfway finished with Warchild and am thoroughly impressed with how she tells a story.

Hopefully, these aren't two authors to whom you'd inscribe an autographed copy with "May you always write unpublishable drivel. Eat my dust, hack!" <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> Hearing about that made me laugh the other day. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 16 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm sure Jack is mighty proud about that, Larry <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 17 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hopefully, these aren't two authors to whom you'd inscribe an autographed copy with "May you always write unpublishable drivel. Eat my dust, hack!" Hearing about that made me laugh the other day.


Me too! That was actually what he asked me to write. I tried to think of something even more cheeky just to freak him out, but nothing I came up with was half so funny.

Hack indeed. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 17 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

I know, because he posted about it! As for freaking Jack out, I somehow doubt it, unless you were to come on to him or something like that. Then again, he'd likely take it as a compliment <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 22 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by drosdelnoch, Subdidact

Interesting series of posts. Have to say that the authors mentioned have been a damn fine read for me, wondering how many others have managed to try Paul Kearney as his Mark of Ran novel was highly entertaining.

My question at the moment is :
Having come across other authors premises for their novels, have thier been any that you've been looking forward to and when theyve landed and you start to read them, then thought why the hell was I that excited about this novel? If so who' novel and why the disappointment? view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 23 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Yann Martel's The Life of Pi... Truth be told, I think I picked it up simply so I wouldn't feel like an idiot when everyone started talking about it. Now I still feel like an idiot - only minus 20 bucks. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 07 June 2005 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by casterlyrock, Commoner

What about Thomas Pynchon? I came across a great hard-covered edition of his Mason &amp; Dixon for $6, and knowing that he wrote Gravity's Rainbow and V, bought it.

Just wondering what you think of him. view post


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