Aminar

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1 hour ago, Alfa said:

she made fantasy "socially accepted"  far more than it ever was before

Interesting point. I'd never thought of that.

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An excellent point, and I'll accept that HP could be classed as a milestone in the status of fantasy. To be fair, you didn't say that HP was a literary milestone, which I think the others are. Also, to be clear, I absolutely love HP, those books have a special place in my heart, since I read them to my daughter from the ages of about 7 to 10 - even though she certainly didn't need me to read them to her!

I think it begs the question as to whether Robert Jordan can be considered to have a similar status (in the modern era) to Tolkien and Lewis in their day. Hard to say if he will be as enduring, or whether GRRM's shock and awe will drown out the more thoughtful and considered voice of RJ.

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47 minutes ago, krystalynn03 said:

Interesting point. I'd never thought of that.

I'm not sure about the socially acceptable point. She certainly did engage more than one generation, which led of course to (certainly in the UK) both children's and adult's editions of the book being published. Somehow I never realy considered HP as fantasy in the same way as something like Middle Earth or Wheel of Time. I mean, do you consider BFG or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fantasy? They are fantastical, but I struggle to put Roald Dahl in the same bracket as Tolkien and Lewis, or even Stephen Donaldson, David Eddings or my personal favourite, David Gemmell.

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So what exactly doesn't qualify a boy going to a wizard school, learning to become a wizard, and defeating an evil that's loomed over his people for decades as fantasy? The fact that it's not secondary-world fantasy? Does Gaiman's work not count as fantasy? Does the majority of the urban fantasy genre not count as fantasy?

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14 minutes ago, Robinski said:

I'm not sure about the socially acceptable point. She certainly did engage more than one generation, which led of course to (certainly in the UK) both children's and adult's editions of the book being published. Somehow I never realy considered HP as fantasy in the same way as something like Middle Earth or Wheel of Time. I mean, do you consider BFG or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fantasy? They are fantastical, but I struggle to put Roald Dahl in the same bracket as Tolkien and Lewis, or even Stephen Donaldson, David Eddings or my personal favourite, David Gemmell.

With the definition of fantasy as "being impossible under any circumstances given all we know about our universe" to distinct from fantastical stories as "being pretty unlikely but possible given all we know about the universe" and science fiction as "being possible, even if not very likely, given all we know about the universe, just not at this point in space and time" HP lands well on the side of fantasy.
I guess it falls widely out of the usual range of "core fantasy" fantasy like LotR, WoT, Cosmere [okay, that examples are all epic fantasy, there must be also some good urban fantasy/low fantasy and other genres, I'm just not very familiar with them] etc. and more on the side of the "fantasy-fairy-tale-combination" like Narnia, even if it ends more on the side of urban fantasy.

Edit: please stop me before I classify everything in a multidimensional tensor of genres and sub-genres.

Edited by Alfa
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Harry Potter has faced this delegitimization in genre basically as long as it's existed for three big reasons, really:

a) It's written for children and later moves into YA. Things written for children are far easier to write off as being less important or of lesser quality as works of both art and craft, Art is somewhat subjective, but I will note that in terms of craft it's really hard to put together something that grabs children in this manner. YA too struggles with people dismissing its validity.

b ) It's written by a woman. Joanna Russ went over this one pretty well, I think. This invalidation is rarely anymore a result of conscious 'well i'm gonna delegitimize a woman today', but it doesn't have to be conscious in order to have real, measurable effects.

c) It's popular. It's popular in ways that Martin (the only really comparable fantasy author re: mainstream appeal in this moment) could only dream of and is so thoroughly embedded into the public consciousness that even people who aren't 'fans' are familiar with details that in other circumstances would be considered minute. And that popularity serves quite frequently as a way of dismissing potential value-- I think we're all familiar with the ways geekery generally gets annoyed when 'their' things become 'mainstream'.

There's plenty of reasons not to like Harry Potter (I'm very very much not a fan) but its place in the genre? I don't think it can legitimately be denied.

Edited by neongrey
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20 hours ago, Robinski said:

I think it begs the question as to whether Robert Jordan can be considered to have a similar status (in the modern era) to Tolkien and Lewis in their day. Hard to say if he will be as enduring, or whether GRRM's shock and awe will drown out the more thoughtful and considered voice of RJ.

At least RJ started to view magic as a kind of natural force, which allows to make science with it (Sanderson perfected that apply to magic). Probably there were other authors before him who did it, I don't know. GRRM writes more in the pre-jordanian style.

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Agreed, a more Tolkienian style, where magic just happens, although perhaps not used as quite such a blatant authorial device.

I must admit, I find Brandon's heavily prescriptive application of magic rather oppressive at times, like it's in danger of sapping all of the mystery out of it. But, as an engineer, I do appreciate the need to explore the limitations and rules of a given system in order to be able to use it properly.

Hey, I'm especially glad to have another European on the forum - someone to talk to when all the North Ams are asleep!! ;o)

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Hello all, I've been happy to find this writing group and hope that I can free my schedule up enough to become a regular here. My name is Eric Cooper and I live in northern Utah. Dan Wells was a friend from college, and he made me aware of this group a while back. I write mostly for children, though I have an older MG/YA fantasy/sci-fi novel I am hoping to get feedback on. I am an elementary school counselor and have published a book in my career field, but so far only struck out with fiction.

 

In my reading, I gravitate toward original, strange ideas and places. Here are some of my favorites from the last few years: The Stars My Destination, A Fire Upon the Deep, The Lathe of Heaven, Mistborn, Ubik, Ready Player One, The Warded Man. And I also like straightforward heroic quests by authors such as David Gemmell and R.A. Salvatore. But the answer to the "What would you take if you were stranded on a deserted island?" question would most certainly be The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.

P.S. I'm a very slow reader and writer (though I prefer to call myself deliberate :) ), so I apologize in advance for not reading and critiquing as many of the submissions as I wish I could.

Nice to meet you all!

Coop

 

 

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1 hour ago, Coop said:

I'm a very slow reader and writer (though I prefer to call myself deliberate :) )

Hey Coop, it's a pleasure to have you on board. Welcome to the group. We should have a slow reading race sometime, I think I could give you a run for your money... wait, what? Ahem. 'Deliberate' is a good word. The term I use for myself is 'plodder'. If there is one man however who is guaranteed to get me turning the pages it's David Gemmell - a true master of fantasy, imho, and sadly missed.

Would love to read some of your stuff sometime, but not rush ;)

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On 7/25/2016 at 1:13 PM, Coop said:

hough I have an older MG/YA fantasy/sci-fi novel I am hoping to get feedback on

Yay! MG/YA fantasy writers FTW! Welcome to the group, Coop! (couldn't resist urge to rhyme)

On 7/25/2016 at 3:10 PM, Robinski said:

David Gemmell - a true master of fantasy, imho, and sadly missed.

@Robinski I didn't know this guy was passed on, but I do remember reading one book by him back in high school--"Echoes of the Great Song" and thinking it was fabulous. More than that, more than a decade later, I still remember the book and its plot, and I've read a lot of fantasy books in between. Made an impression on me. What other books of his would you suggest I hunt down?

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Well, the one that launched him was 'Legend', starring Druss, who was probably his biggest character, and who recurred in various books. I also like the Waylander books, because the Waylander is a thief/brigand type character, which I am more partial too.

I also have a soft spot for the Rigante books, as they have a strong celtic tone.

Interestingly, this feeds into the overarching setting question that someone raised in the Lounge, as the  majority of Gemmell's books are set in the same world, but focus on different nations.

In essence, go read any of his books, they are just bl**dy marvelous :) 

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1 minute ago, Robinski said:

In essence, go read any of his books, they are just bl**dy marvelous :)

LOL--I kinda' saw this going here when the first paragraph sounds like: "Read this--and read this--oh, and this is good to read, too!" ;)

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Lol

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Hello all!  Slik just let me through the magical gate, so here I am!

I'm an aspiring writer currently working on an epic fantasy piece - normal dude gets involved in huge problems, goes on a journey, meets a mentor figure, all the good stuff.  It's not the most original piece, but I'm giving it my best and I love it.  I'm excited to see what you all think and get your feedback.  Hopefully I can be helpful to you all as well.

I love all of Brandon's works, as well as Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories.  I also love Tolkien and Harry Potter, and I've recently found Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters books to be lots of fun.

I looked through some of the older posts in this thread and saw there are plenty of musicians around here - thought I'd mention that I play the violin and dabble in guitar.  I love traditional Irish music and often write with it in the background.

Finally, my background is in biology - I have an BS in biology and worked as a lab tech last year - so if anyone needs a reader for a book in which a lot of lab work is done (DNA extraction, RNA extraction, fly rearing, insect dissection, etc.) I can help with some of the technical aspects, as well as read with an eye for believable lab culture.  Though full disclosure:  I loved my lab, so I don't have first-hand accounts of the horror stories!

Great to be here and nice to meet you all!

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33 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

Finally, my background is in biology - I have an BS in biology and worked as a lab tech last year - so if anyone needs a reader for a book in which a lot of lab work is done (DNA extraction, RNA extraction, fly rearing, insect dissection, etc.) I can help with some of the technical aspects, as well as read with an eye for believable lab culture.

Welcome @Hobbit! And hooray, another biology nerd! I'm in more mycology and botany fields, but do a stupid amount of DNA work myself. I have a thing for forests, too, which you'll encounter if you ever sub something with trees in it. I'm hoping you'll be around for a bit, because I'd love another biologist looking at my chapter of ASD with the dichloromethane explosions! Few weeks out from that yet, though.

 

Again, welcome!

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Thanks @krystalynn03 and @kaisa!  Woo biologyyyy!  Whoa you study fungi?  That's awesome!  They're super gross though (just saying) but super awesome.  I'd be happy to hear all your thoughts on forests - I know less than I'd like about that.  What kind of DNA work do you do?  And I can't say I have much experience with explosions (thank goodness) but I'd be excited to read about it!  :D

(Edited to fix tags...)

Edited by Hobbit
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Welcome @Hobbit, great to have another new voice on the forum.

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On August 10, 2016 at 11:24 PM, Hobbit said:

What kind of DNA work do you do

Just the really basic kind wherein we pull fungi from wood, culture them, then sequence them. Nothing fancy, but we do get name new species pretty regularly!

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On August 12, 2016 at 10:01 AM, kaisa said:

Just the really basic kind wherein we pull fungi from wood, culture them, then sequence them. Nothing fancy, but we do get name new species pretty regularly!

Very awesome!  That's so cool that you get to name them! :D

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As I said in my intro, I'm Elinox and it's pronounced "ee-lie-knocks".

Here's my writerly backstory:

I’ve been an avid reader ever since I first picked up a book, starting out with stories being read to me as a child. In my teens and throughout college, I read everything I could get my hands on in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and mythology.

Writing is something I really enjoy and I like to think I can do it fairly well. 

I completed my very first original novel in 2014, after years of off again-on again writing it and that feeling of final completion was absolutely wonderful. That story is in need of some serious editing so it's been shelved for now. 

I successfully finished my second novel by winning NaNoWriMo in 2015. The concept for the story came from the idea that I’ve never been happy with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so I wanted to try it from a different perspective so I wrote 'House of Red'. I went on to self-publish it this past May!

And I just participated in, and won, NaNoWriMo 2017 with my 'Bonita Blue' story. That one is centered around scuba diving and has mermaids. I hope to edit it and offer it to agents this spring. 
 

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3 hours ago, Ookla the Elinox said:

 

I successfully finished my second novel by winning NaNoWriMo in 2015. The concept for the story came from the idea that I’ve never been happy with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so I wanted to try it from a different perspective so I wrote 'House of Red'. I went on to self-publish it this past May!

And I just participated in, and won, NaNoWriMo 2017 with my 'Bonita Blue' story. That one is centered around scuba diving and has mermaids. I hope to edit it and offer it to agents this spring. 
 

Hurray for NaNo!

I participated in, and won, NaNo November 2015, Camp NaNo April 2016, Camp NaNo July 2016, and NaNo November 2016, but I've fallen a bit out of practice. I didn't participate in either of the Camp NaNoWriMos this year, and I lost NaNoWriMo last month in a crushing defeat... I almost finished, but I fell 4,000 words short. It murdered me.

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My name's Jack.

I used to write Worm Fanfiction and am still a little active on spacebattles, but the difficulty of developing new plots and characters drove me to original content, which thus far has been a bundle of fun. Wasn't a fan of Sanderson's after reading his Robert Jordan stuff, my buddy recommended Steelheart and from there I somehow found writing excuses, which is awesome. You'll all have the pleasure of watching me work through each and every one of Sanderson's epics as time goes on and seeing how that changes my writing. I write stream of conciseness and then generally tend to revise my work into a pile of mush, so after listening to some of the writing excuses stuff I decided to try and find a writing group instead of doing my own revising first. You'll probably be getting first drafts from me since I promised I wouldn't be revising. 

I have a fair bit of editing experience, both as a beta for fanfiction and editing writing for my work. 

If I like your writing, I can read a hundred pages an hour with 95% reading comprehension and recall. I can and have edited a million word manuscript, so if people want to contact me privately about that I'm open to it. 

 

Happy to be here. 

 

P.S. If I'm not supposed to post until after the PM thing gets done, sorry. 

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