66 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, StormyQueen said:

Wow. No offence or anything, but that really rubs me the wrong way. I feel like here we probably have different views on this, but here I feel as if you are treating sex as the climax for romantic relationships, whereas I see it more of an occurrence along the way. If I was about to be murdered the last thing on my mind would be admitting my feelings and doing it (not that that is ever really on my mind :P), I would be more concerned with comforting myself and the other person with comforting words and actions. To write that would feel wildly out of place and more than slightly creepy.

Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think of what I think of what you think of what other people think (sorry, I had to).

I completely agree with you on this one, Stormy. 

"Hey, you're about to die. Let's do the sex," is not poignant, to me. Especially for Brandon, it would be idiosyncratic at best.

Though for some individuals sex is the pinnacle of romance, in my view it is not. This sort of walks back to the "humans are more than just death and sex" thing. That's a really cynical way of looking at life, my man. We have art, we have music, we have literature, we have love. These are the things that define us as us, not just the will to survive and proliferate. We are wonderful, intricate, beautiful creatures, whether made by a higher power or not, and we are more than just highly intelligent animals. We have culture, and the things within that shared culture that define us.

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2 hours ago, StormyQueen said:

Wow. No offence or anything, but that really rubs me the wrong way. I feel like here we probably have different views on this, but here I feel as if you are treating sex as the climax for romantic relationships, whereas I see it more of an occurrence along the way. If I was about to be murdered the last thing on my mind would be admitting my feelings and doing it (not that that is ever really on my mind :P), I would be more concerned with comforting myself and the other person with comforting words and actions. To write that would feel wildly out of place and more than slightly creepy.

Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think of what I think of what you think of what other people think (sorry, I had to).

Seconded. I probably am pretty strange in this regard, but I actually feel less sexual attraction for girls I'm romantically involved with, not more. I feel more like cuddling, and cuddles become gradually more sex-oriented until they lead to sex, but I don't feel inclined to outright take out my gun. If I were  about to be murdered with my love interest, I'd want to hold her close. Not all people react the same way to the same situations.

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I also think that the lack of sex between Lightsong and Blushweaver is one of the things that make the relationship what it is. Blushweaver has had her way in every other relationship she's been in, but Lightsong is the exception. He's an enigma that she can't figure out, and never does. To add in a sex scene between them would completely remove one of the most unique--and ironic--things about their relationship.

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At this point, I'm kinda hoping @Chaos will lock this subject down again.  We're spinning in circles and not going anywhere.  We do have some people who are evolving their arguments and bringing new points to the table, but we also have people who are copy pasting their own previous responses in response to the new responses to their previous responses.  The whole thread is starting to feel a bit redundant.

 

It is not my place to settle disputes, or decide when a given subject is done, which is why I'm attempting a summoning of someone who has that authority, to try to close this portal down.  But at the end of the day, I think we can all agree that we all love Brandon's work.  It is why we are here.  Are we all going to love everything he does all the time?  No.  I definitely have my favorites among his works, and I have others that get re-read far less often.  I also have some personal views on some subjects that I'd love to see any author explore in the context of their world.  And that is okay.  Do I think Brandon needs to incorporate Harlequin Romance elements to make the relationships and interplay between characters more real?  Not really.  There is a reason why most people keep their intimate moments private, and that is cool.  Maybe one day Brandon will write a character who likes to be a bit more of an exhibitionist, or is up front and vocal about their inhibitions, or lack thereof.  But I do not see that with any current characters.

 

Can we go back to theorising on upcoming plot twists, easter eggs, Cosmic motivations, who the Kandra worldhopper is (currently) and what Hoid is up to?

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1 hour ago, Stark said:

Can we go back to theorising on upcoming plot twists, easter eggs, Cosmic motivations, who the Kandra worldhopper is (currently) and what Hoid is up to?

I'm all for this. 

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4 hours ago, Stark said:

 

 Maybe one day Brandon will write a character who likes to be a bit more of an exhibitionist, or is up front and vocal about their inhibitions, or lack thereof.  But I do not see that with any current characters.

one word: melaan

Edited by king of nowhere
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4 hours ago, Stark said:

At this point, I'm kinda hoping @Chaos will lock this subject down again.  We're spinning in circles and not going anywhere.

Why lock it down? I mean, have you seen the "Roshar vs Scadrial" thread? Talk about spinning in circles haha. 

If people want to, civilly, discuss or even rehash the points made how, exactly, does that bother anyone else? Let them talk. No one is forced to view this thread, right? @Rockobar obviously struck a nerve with this topic. Some of that was based on the tone/delivery but I genuinely think a large portion of the brouhaha (is there a proper way to spell that? edit: spell checker said there is!) is because Rockobar had the gall to point to the elephant in the room and say, "Hey, I do not like this elephant." There is some legitimate discussion to be had about Brandon's writing style and as this is the "General Discussion" forum I would imagine this is a good place to talk about it.

So, let people talk. Again, why should we shut down an entire thread because a couple of people rehash points made?

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On 3/30/2017 at 5:32 AM, Fedcomic said:

Man, if I started a second date with: I really like you, but have you ever considered changing your appearance, personality, friends, clothes, hobbies, and profession?

 

On 3/31/2017 at 3:46 PM, Rockobar said:

Indeed, it is not a distressing issue for me, not something that would ever make me stop reading his books. Just in the examples I give concerning sexuality and I felt Sanderson held himself back is a "Oh common" kind of moment. Although I touch on a number of topics, I feel they are more tweaks, as I said in my letter that I did not want Sanderson to go to the extremes of GRRM. I could still very easily recognise Sanderson with some of the changes; his style, his plotting, overall character development, worldbuilding etc. If we continue in the metaphor of dating, perhaps I'm doing the unconventional: I'm a girl who sees a guy she likes the look of, listens in on him talking to some friends and goes to him and says 'Hey, I really believe I like you, let's go on a date right now and I'll probably have sex with you at the end of it if all things go well". Perhaps some people will still judge her for that, but it all would have come out in actions at some point, we're just avoiding the small talk. In the same way I could have sent the aforementioned letter of praise to Brandon, maybe it would have made him or Peter Ahlstrom smile, just as a thousand fan letters have. I believe the criticism will prove more useful if any of these ideas trickle back to them.

"Brandina, it's not a distressing issue for me, not something that would ever make me stop asking you out, but in the examples I've given concerning sexuality, I feel you are holding yourself back."

Brandina Sanders scoots her chair way back and stares at me from behind folded arms.

"These are just tweaks.  I don't want you to go to extremes of being like Jenna Jameson.  But I could still very easily recognize you with some of the changes I'm recommending."

Brandina gets up, slaps me, and leaves.

Edited by Fedcomic
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I don't mean to seem like I am just joining a train of people who disagree with you, @Rockobar. I honestly feel that through level-headed discussion, you can understand more fully almost any topic. However, I do think you are oversimplifying humanity. If all I, as a human, care about is preventing death and having sex, even subconsciously, then I fail to see how a majority of my decisions are possible. I, as a youth, enjoyed the mental challenge of taunting people and verbally sparring with others. While I [thankfully] grew out of this habit, it was not an endearing one to many, especially girls in my age group. It tended to engender feelings of dislike in girls and feelings of physical annoyance in other boys, for a vast majority. I enjoyed it because it was a mentally amusing. I wasn't an insecure child, I just enjoyed the mental challenge it posed. However, it decreased possibilities of any romantic relationships with the girls around me, and increased the possibility of physical retaliation with the boys around me. This behavior, if Occam's razor is applied, directly contradicts your idea of these two ideas being the root motivation for my actions. I understand that, given some mental gymnastics, you will probably be able to twist this to fit your worldview. However, it will most likely be more complex a reason than my own explanation - I had a motivation other than avoiding death and promoting sex: I love to know information, to stretch intellectually, regardless of if I then end up with a smarter mate, or whether or not I am more capable of survival. If I knew that I had a genetic, fatal disease which would kill me in a few years, I would still love to learn and read and be a better human. If these two motivations explain all the actions in the world, how do you explain an artist who shuns others to promote art no one will look at until after he is dead? How do you explain my mother's love of growing ornamental plants? As Einstein once said, " It would be possible to describe absolutely everything scientifically, but it would make no sense. It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure." So too with life. It would be possible to describe absolutely everything using only death and sex as motivators, but it would make no sense. It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.

While I may disagree with you, I respect your courage and decision to share your worldview, and appreciate that, in articulating the above, I better understand my own worldview. In that respect, I thank you.

Edited by 18th Shard
@symbol working, grammer/spelling
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eh, if we want to see this in purely evolutionary terms, then mating and surviving instincts are also a poor reference. while evolutionary success is measured very straightforwardly by "fitness" (the amount of fertile descendants you'll leave behind after a few generations; generally defined as the number of your fertile grandchildren, because barring really exceptional circumstances, if you have some latent genetic disease it will show up by the time your grandchildren reach fertility, or it will not impact your fitness enough), everything that increases your fitness will cause you to spread your genes better and will spread in the population. the instincts to mate and survive, are certainly not the end-all-be-all. certainly a creature lacking those will rarely spread its genes, but many more unrelated impulses evolved, simply because they generated from random mutations and the creatures carrying them somewhat performed better than the others.

For example, in some species of fishes and insects reproduction happens solely by rape, and females have no mating instinct whatsoever; in fact, they try to stay away from males. they get raped enough that they still have children, and as they get wounded in the raping, if they had not the instinct to run away from males, they would die more often. while you can certainly justify the behvaior as a tradeoff between mating and surviving, well, as far as we can determine the fish does not think that way. the female only tries to run away from males, the males only try to catch the females, and individuals who deviate from this behavior have lower fitness, so the behavior remains. being abrasive to others, liking ornamental plants, being gay, all those stuff has really nothing to do with mating and survival instincts, but if by some contrived mechanism it actually helps you, evolution will keep it. If not, it does not necessarily disappear, there may be reasons for those genes to stay around. the obvious example is homosexuality; while clearly it reduces your chance to have children and therefore your fitness, it is caused by a wide array of genes, and each of those do actually raise your fitness when paired with some other gene. So all individual genes survive, and homosexuality would keep appearing on a few % of the population even if no homosexual ever managed to have children.

with humans it is even more complicated, because we have a culture. ideas and ideology compete to be accepted by people in a way very similar to how animals compete for food. You may notice that we have a lot of ideas on what is right or wrong that we pass to our children, just like we pass our DNA. Except that culture does not need sex to transfer, so it is even less easily described. For example, a man sacrificing his life to save a complete stranger is a loser from a DNA-fitness point of view, but if his actions inspire two other people to want to do the same, then the idea is spreading. If altruism spread thusly in a society, the society may better be able to endure something like war or calamity, and so a cultural advantage will become a DNA advantage too. This is one of the few exceptions where the number of fertile grandchildren is not a good measure of long-term fitness.

So even the strictly scientific view is not reductionist. Simple story: "things just happen; if some of those things just keep on happening, then they will happen even more in the future". Complex version: "there are some general rules, but they produce a completely different outcome for every different situation."

btw, that phrase by einstein sums up perfectly the relation between natural sciences and human sciences.

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11 hours ago, Stark said:

At this point, I'm kinda hoping @Chaos will lock this subject down again.  We're spinning in circles and not going anywhere.  We do have some people who are evolving their arguments and bringing new points to the table, but we also have people who are copy pasting their own previous responses in response to the new responses to their previous responses.  The whole thread is starting to feel a bit redundant.

I am ill-at-ease with this comment and I have debated with myself as to whether or not I should answer it. I ultimately decided I had to voice out my thoughts because I feel they are relevant, not to this thread's main topic, but to this particular post. So please forgive me for the small (and hopefully short) deviation onto the intended topic.

Thus, on behalf of myself, as a long time (well 3 years sound like a long time) active member of this community, I would never want to see a topic being closed merely because it appears as if it is going into circle. I need to draw the line here in between the various conversations we have had onto this community as while some rely on factual, many rely on personal opinions and personal perspectives. In other words, many of our conversations dwell within the realm of subjectivity as opposed to objectivity which is why argumentation, no matter how well thought of, might not serve to change a few given individuals minds, including my own. When discussing personal opinions, thoughts and views, one cannot hope to drastically change his interlocutor thought process throughout a few well written replies. Those thoughts, opinions and views are part of us and while it is true only fools never change their mind, it usually takes time. More time than it takes for these threads to rise up and die of inactivity.

It is why such conversations can sometimes read as redundant and/or as people throwing in their opinions without anyone bulging. I would hate for those to be terminated because some feel it goes round in circle, even if it maybe true they are. The nature of subjective related threads are to have people throw in their opinion, explain it as best as they can ans weight it out against other people's opinions. Their intend rarely is to convert the non-believers nor to uproot the truth.

The intend often is to just voice out our thoughts, to state how we read/view it. We can hope to bring in a innovative enough perspective for others to see things as we see them, but it often is easier said then done.

Hence, all this to say, this thread might have started up in ruckus, but the OP has since clarify his thoughts and voiced out his opinion in a more constructive manner but, more importantly, the thread remains relevant for as long as others are willing to partake in it. When others will feel they have said all they had to say, when others feel there is nothing more they can add to their opinion, then they will stop replying and the thread will become obsolete.

Sorry for the incursion, but I wish for discussions to exist and I felt I needed to draw the attention onto the difference in between conversation relying on facts from those relying on perspective.

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I honestly have no idea how to begin this seeing as so many people have already posted their opinions and whatnot but I decided to at least come back and say my piece if only for the sake of a quick apology.

Hey @Rockobar - I haven't posted on this thread because the last time I opened this up a lot of things were going. I will admit that when I first took a look at your letter I also felt a little bit indignant. I've reconsidered things since then and what I'd like to say is this:

You are strong, opinionated, and despite getting disagreements left and right you've held on to your stand and for that I commend you. Not a lot of people can process all that and still take the time to draft a politely-worded answer to every single reply. I personally wouldn't have been able to do something like that, so yeah, kudos.

Second, I get your viewpoint - personally, sometimes I think on the same path too. But I also understand why so many people rallied against it because no matter how true that viewpoint may be, we are more than just the seconds we spend thinking of the graves that will be inevitably dug up for us. You are not wrong, your opinions are sound and logical - if not a little bit tilted to one side - but please do understand that some of us explicitly came to Brandon because of the way he humanizes concepts like this.

With sex - it can sometimes be used to add a degree of reality and grit - because it is true human beings are really, really sexual creatures. But sometimes sex does nothing for a piece of fiction except putting something rather gratuitous between the pages simply for the sake of making characters seem mature and on point with adult interaction (YA novels). Brandon can manage that without sex and so far from what I've read, if he feels like adding something like that to a story would be necessary for advancement or realistic portrayal he'd do it. The fact that he hasn't done this doesn't necessarily mean that he's prude, he's conservative, or that he's keeping things safe for a community - he simply doesn't need it in. If you still think it's lacking then there's nothing we can really do about it - 

I will second the meaningful deaths part however because Brandon sometimes has a tendency to save them all and drop them like bombs and you can actually see it coming; but there's nothing technically wrong with the way he kills off his characters either. It's just multiple shades of tragic and if it gets me teary-eyed and heartbroken I think it still has pretty much done it's job well.

As for the utilitarianism part of your letter I think Brandon's already doing that. No where in his books has he ever made religion or religious people ever look purely good the same way that he has never ever painted atheistic people or people who commit to no faiths as bad. In fact, I applaud the way he writes about religion because Brandon is one of the few writers I know who actually knows the distinction between having a religion and having faith.

I hope you finish this post all the way because I will say this - I hope you stick around. I think you're a really interesting person in real life and that your arguments, although they rubbed some people the wrong way, I want you to know that they haven't gone completely unappreciated. Thank you for your post.

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Ok so a couple of things

1.Sexuality wise, I do see the virtue of exploring this in more varied ways, but romance is hardly ever the centerpoint of everything (my least favorite part of mistborn) and an uncomfortable author doesnt sound that appealing to me.

2. Something that is a little difficult for us to grasp is that there are confirmed gods in this world. In our world where the religious say their gods are silent and the un-religious say they arent real, it makes sense to have the non-pious do great things. But some of these worlds are actively ruled by gods. They are defined to fit the gods purposes. If someone who doesnt support them wins, it defeats the purpose of being a deity, unless the whole point is to overthrow them in the first place.

3. I feel like its a ton of wasted potential to set up a universe with a bunch of worlds that can have different purposes and magic sets just to restrict them to swords and armor. I mean you cant make anything space age obviously, because that would make the 17th Shard obsolete, but having multiple different genres is part of the appeal of this system he set up. Personally I have a framework set up for a WWII era world that I like to mess with in spare time.

 

Keep in mind that Ive read the mistborn and stormlight archives so far so i might be missing some examples, but I stand by my points.

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I'm very late to this thread, but I just want to say some things anyway:

1. Respect to OP for replying in such a nice manner despite all the angry comments he got. I will upvote the opening post for this.

2. About sexuality: I think that there is a value in the light sexual content of Brandons books. It is good that there is something for everyone. Just like it is nice to have superhero movies that are pure fun (Guardians of the Galaxy) and superhero movies that are darker and more gritty (Logan), it is nice to have different kinds of fantasy, and I would not want Brandon to change in order to become someone he isnt, just as Guardians should not be Logan. That would be sad for audiences like me, who prefer Brandons take on sexual content.

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I disagree with you AND you kind of spoiled Warbreaker for me. I'm angry and if it wasn't for the generally nice and friendly atmosphere on this forum I might have been more eloquent with my opinions on your opinions, especially the part about sex.

(No, there doesn't have to be sex in fantasy books, no matter what you think.)

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Okay, can we just close this thread?

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