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Chris Commoner | joined 14 June 2004 | 8 posts


Erikson? posted 26 March 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionErikson? by Chris, Commoner

Actually the 5th one's been out for a while. Its called Midnight Tides. There's 10 planned in all. The remaining volumes are;
The Bonehunters
Reaper's Gale
Toll the Hounds
Dust of Dreams
The Crippled God

There were also a couple short stories in the series, Blood Follows and The Healthy Dead. He also writes under the name Steven Lundin. view post


Wraeththu series by Storm Constantine posted 02 July 2005 in Literature DiscussionWraeththu series by Storm Constantine by Chris, Commoner

I haven't read the Wreaththu series but I did read her Chronicles of Magravandias series and quite liked it. Not a very popular author though. The few people I found who had read her stuff seemed to regret the experience. view post


Someplace to be Flying, Charles de Lint posted 22 January 2006 in Literature DiscussionSomeplace to be Flying, Charles de Lint by Chris, Commoner

I never know whether to envy new De Lint fans or feel sorry for them. On one hand you've got some great reads in front of you, but when it comes to it I've got 20+ books of his and honestly don't know if that covers half of his output. Seems like no sooner do I catch up with his older stuff, than they re-issue yet older books that he put out under a pseudonym or which were out of print.

While his Newford stories are my favorite of his writings, Memory and Dream and the Onion Girl topping the list, along with some of the Jilly short stories, I really enjoy his crime noir stuff as well; the Samuel Key books and early Ottawa based stories like Mulengro, Yarrow, Greenmantle...

While I love all his books, IMHO he does get formulamatic at times. The characters are his main focus, and too often he seems to use the same arc to introduce them to us; walking-wounded, arsty-type going through an emotional crisis is flung into a supernatural crisis and both problems are simultaneously brought to a head during the story. But if you're like me you get so attatched to the characters that this minor flaw is easy to overlook. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


State of Canadian literary culture posted 06 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; AState of Canadian literary culture by Chris, Commoner

Ran posted this on the asoiaf board (not sure if its the same Ran that posts) but I'm absconding it <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

[url=http&#58;//www&#46;canada&#46;com/nationalpost/news/story&#46;html?id=6a4b26a2-c3c7-4834-ad95-8e40faf2a5f1&amp;k=27509&amp;p=1:1ae98q5f]This article[/url:1ae98q5f] states something that I know Scott has strong beliefs about; that being fantastic literature having a hard time being taken seriously by the establishment.


RM Vaughan, Weekend Post
Published: Saturday, January 28, 2006

A literary agent of my acquaintance (OK, OK, my literary agent) told me a revealing story about how Canadian literary culture is perceived outside of Canada. While at a European book fair, he was approached by a Finnish publisher who, like any good Finn, was already loaded by 4 p.m.

"A Canadian!" the publisher bellowed. "Tell me, please, why all your books are about middle-class ladies who don't have any problems?"


Now I know in a recent Steven Erikson interview he stated quite strongly that he needed to move England just to get his stuff published. He doesn't seem too enamoured of Canadian publishers. But Scott, I was wondering if you think the situation is especially bad up here or if the view of fantasy still being a juevinile pasttime is still a world wide perception. I remember the moaning by the literary bigwigs in England when The Lord of the Rings was threatening to be named the top English novel so there's obviously some prejudice against the genre there.

On a side note, I find it somewhat bothersome that someone complaining about the snobbishness of Can Lit in relation to fantasy doesn't even bother to mention some of the home grown greats. Not that I don't love The Song of Ice and Fire series and don't blame him for using it as an example, but it would have been nice if he'd of at least mentioned the trouble Prince of Nothing and Malazan Book of the Fallen had had getting published in the first place. view post


What book or book series reminds you most of PON posted 06 February 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat book or book series reminds you most of PON by Chris, Commoner

Quote: &quot;Nauticus&quot;:md7z08o5
Really?

Some of the city names have the homage to Lord of the Rings, but I see no comparison between Aragorn and Kellhus, [/quote:md7z08o5]

I don't know that the comparison between these two characters is all that off base. Both are the last heirs to an ancient royal house of a great kingdom in the north that is now lightly populated and no longer a kingdom. Both have a touch of kinship with an immortal race that gives the line added years of life. Both were reared in a closed environment by an elite society. Even the names of their groups are similar; Dunedain vs Dunyain. And both have great destinies including restoring their ancient line to its preeminet status over mankind. The obvious differences come with how they leave their respective homes. They both leave at roughly the same point in life but Aragon is driven to seek his destiny as a result of falling in love with someone above his station, a destiny that he sees as a duty and desperately wants to be able to live up to, whereas Kellhus is summoned to his and uses his attributes as a means to manipulate everyone and anyone in a quest for power that he has no compunctions about taking. Of course Aragon lives for a long time amongst the people he comes to rule, often taking low level postions to learn about life while Kellhus takes the Short Path, feeling he knows all he will ever need about people by reading them. view post


What book or book series reminds you most of PON posted 08 February 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat book or book series reminds you most of PON by Chris, Commoner

Well hopefully you won't find many too direct comparisons to other series, that would indicate a lack of originality. If you wanted to compare Lord of the Rings to other series you could do a point by point match up with Sword of Shannara, but this isn't a good thing. Sometimes differences serve to enhance some fundamental similarities. What path not taken in his past would have led Aragorn to become more like some of his less savory forebearers, indulge in a little hobbit shish kebob and bestride the world like a colussus? How will a few decades living amongst the world-born change and temper Kellhus? view post


State of Canadian literary culture posted 08 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; AState of Canadian literary culture by Chris, Commoner

Quote: &quot;Nasrudin's Shadow&quot;:20fk7cpm

It is possible that Canada's literary stagnation is largely due to its seemingly overwhelming urge to establish, and protect, an identity for itself. Literary movements in Canada happen much more slowly because we tend towards reinforcement rather than progression. Despite the fact that it is no longer really relevant, we are still very much defined by the "garrison" mentality--we are socialists, community-builders, protectors of our neighbours. We seek to strengthen what already exists before all else. In the realm of art and literature, this is manifested in predictable ways.[/quote:20fk7cpm]

I think there is much to be said for this idea. Its hard to find a national identity when our biggest claim to international fame seems to be that we're not Americans. The lackluster state of Canadian television and movies are another testament to this. Sarah Polley, who was always steadfast in her goal to stay Canadian-based, not too long ago questioned her choice to remain here given how poor the fare is.

Makes me wonder how many dozens of Prince of Nothings and Fionavar Tapestrys are sitting in desks across the Prairies and Maritimes. The few Canuck writers who have made a splash seem to have some serious careers as backups if the writing thing doesn't pan out; De Lint was/is a musician. Kay a lawyer, Erikson an anthropologist, Caitin Sweet a teacher and of course Scott gave up the megacash and groupies available in being a professional philosopher to try his hand <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


State of Canadian literary culture posted 01 March 2006 in Author Q &amp; AState of Canadian literary culture by Chris, Commoner

This, [url=http&#58;//www&#46;sfwriter&#46;com/egcanadi&#46;htm:1sxr8krm]click here[/url:1sxr8krm], was an interesting article by Robert Sawyer about the SF scene here:

In Canadian science fiction, there are two solitudes — two distinct camps of writers — but, unlike many things in this country, the distinction is not principally linguistic. Rather, the barrier is between those whose work appears exclusively, or almost so, in domestic Canadian markets, and those whose work appears with similar exclusivity in American markets.

The membrane between the two solitudes is semi-permeable. Those who write principally for American markets have no trouble making the occasional sale in Canada, but those whose work has appeared primarily in Canadian publications rarely, if ever, cross over to international publication. That the crossover only works in one direction is attributed variously to differences in the relative standards of the two marketplaces (Canada has no domestic short-fiction markets that meet the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's minimum requirement for professional payment), or to some ineffable Canadian "voice" that is not received well internationally.

This latter position is hard to justify, since the SF by Canadian authors published in American venues often bears the traditional hallmarks of Canadian literature. The principal Can-Lit theme (as outlined by Margaret Atwood in her non-fiction book Survival, 1972) is the relationship of society to its landscape: the Canadian psyche is indelibly stamped by living in a vast, sparsely populated, inhospitable land that will kill you if you simply stand still. Canadian SF novels such as Donald Kingsbury's Courtship Rite (1982), Teresa Plowright's Dreams of an Unseen Planet (1986), Andrew Weiner's Station Gehenna (1987), Robert J. Sawyer's Far-Seer (1992), and Scott Mackay's Outpost (1998) all embody this theme.


Seems to suggest that writers who try to establish themselves in Canada first run the risk of writing stuff that will only appeal to Canadians or at least being pigeon-holed as only being able to write that way. But then he goes on to say that established mainstream writers can write in stories in the genre without losing any 'credibility';

The Canadian literary establishment does not perceive genre barriers the same way Americans do, so it is not unusual for a mainstream Canadian author to try his or her hand at SF, often with great success. Bestselling writers who have done so include Margaret Atwood (whose feminist The Handmaid's Tale (1985) was a finalist for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award, and who also wrote the SF novel Oryx and Crake (2003)), Hugh MacLennan (the post-nuclear-holocaust Voices in Time, 1980), Brian Moore (Catholics, 1972), and Charles Templeton (World of One, 1988).

Strange that he says there is not a large genre barrier then go on to note "Only occasionally will a mainstream English-Canadian publisher take a foray into SF." view post


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