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Bad Books: Fit Only to Kindle Fire

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Posts

  • ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning Registered User regular
    edited April 2012

    Actually, there's nothing about the plot regarding the tournament that needs to be fixed at all. There's a point to the fact that the scheme is so Byzantine - to give insight about the person behind it. Such a plot indicates that its creator is not just content to win, but has a pathological need to publicly triumph. Which, in turn, is a sign of insecurity. In fact, giving a "logical" reason would weaken the story.

    Harry disappears in a giant hedge maze in which the participants are not expected to emerge for hours anyway and when he does nobody but the already suspect headmaster of his school believes him.

    How is that a public triumph?

    Well, the plan was to kill the champion of the Tournament and I'm guessing send back the corpse with the portkey. And probably go ahead and have somebody cast the Dark Mark over it. Ta da.

    Oh, a "public triumph" without the public or the triumph part. I'm such a goose!

    Being back and killing the boy who lived is the triumph. Doing it at the Junior Goodwill Games is the...public?...part.

    EDIT: Terrible.

    Okay, so, uh...

    ...John Grisham sucks. Yeah!

    Shadowen on
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Frankly, this whole thing is striking me as being just as inane as people having pointed and heated discussions as to why eagles were not used to fly into Mordor (insert xkcd strip here). :p

    It's hard to see such nitpicking as being indicitive of actual plotholes, and the gymnastics both sides go through were tiresome when this was trotted out in the nascent days of us.net. Surely there are more worthwhile topics to consider.

    That actually happened on various forums I read after the LOTR films were released. You don't need to be a super-nerd to nitpick a property's details. If there are noticeable flaws they will be criticized by the public.

    Harry Dresden on
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    Mad King George on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    He swears up and down in his preface that it was not meant to be a war allegory (although it totally fits).

    It wasn't as simple as suggested above, he did want to tell a long form and entertaining story, but he wanted to do so in his richly developed world. This is also why I find fantasy stories (including Game of Thrones) that semi ape his naming style grating. Every single word in LOTR was carefully chosen so the character names and place names aren't just weird and nordic sounding, they've got connecting meanings.

    Guy was put an insane amount of work into world building, and while his prose has its flaws, I find that world incredibly engaging.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.

    RiemannLives on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.

    I find that authors who attempt to force a meaning or message into their work fail more often than not. But one can dig in and find the meaning behind things like LOTR, because even though Tolkein mayn't have meant some things to be in there, you can read in a lot, not just about the war, but about England, the countryside lifestyle, industrialization, even colonialism and the encroaching death of the Empire.

    A good example they taught us in undergrad was one of my theatre professors had written a play and his wife read it and asked him what made him write about his sister so much. He hadn't meant to, but after going back it was blindingly obvious. When you're writing, you're really not in control of the piece. You can knock it around in editing, but your subconscious is much more to blame/credit for things found in your work.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.


    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Man I'm going out on a big limb here but but

    maybe the guy obsessed with fairy stories and ancient culture

    had a fun time inventing a rather elaborate faux fairy-story from a faux ancient culture.

    The scouring of the shire bit does seem intended to highlight that there is a necessary choice to make between existing without sin and "going on an adventure".

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    He can't have, man. I've been told he intended the story to have no meaning, and I've been told it authoritatively several times. So even if he only wanted to convey that he felt "Old, epic tales are still worthwhile," he can't because he intended no meaning.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    *edit* Oh, I get it, you're just being a goose for the sake of being a goose. How goosey.

    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.
    That's a load of bullshit and you know it. His goal was to write an epic story - you are aware of that you _can_ write an epic story for the sake of telling an epic story, and not because you're secretly trying to sell your view that, "man, the landed gentry are the bestest thing evar!"
    Frankly, this whole thing is striking me as being just as inane as people having pointed and heated discussions as to why eagles were not used to fly into Mordor (insert xkcd strip here). :p

    It's hard to see such nitpicking as being indicitive of actual plotholes, and the gymnastics both sides go through were tiresome when this was trotted out in the nascent days of us.net. Surely there are more worthwhile topics to consider.

    That actually happened on various forums I read after the LOTR films were released. You don't need to be a super-nerd to nitpick a property's details. If there are noticeable flaws they will be criticized by the public.
    Except they're not noticeable flaws, they're pointless nitpicks. The eagles are a good example, because you see people pounce on it like it somehow matters, which nets the response, 'y'know how we see Sauron doing the whole never sleeping flaming eye thing, how are you supposed to sneak up on that, in a sky devoid of other giant flying things that don't work for the baddie?' which then devolves into arguments about strafing runs, and dive bombing, and nazgul to wizard midair combat, and has both side just pulling stuff out of their asses, until someone finally says, "I'm just saying, all it would've taken is one sentence and the whole plothole would've been closed."

    Except there never was a plot hole, and there was never a need to say 'one sentence,' because the issue simply didn't matter. What point would a scene where someone said, 'well what about the eagles?' only to be answered, 'No, because X.' have served beyond going, 'Fuck you haters, thought you were clever, didn't you?'

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • rational vashrational vash Registered User
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.


    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.

    This is still the intentional fallacy, just from a different angle. Whether or not he intended there to be a meaning has nothing to do with whether or not the story has meaning, whether or not the story is "gibberish." Meaning comes solely from the person reading it. If we found out that Hamlet was written by a million monkeys banging away randomly at typewriters it wouldn't change what Hamlet means to you, or the what you think it says. It would change it's cultural context, sure, but not whether or not the work is devoid of any meaning.

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    *edit* Oh, I get it, you're just being a goose for the sake of being a goose. How goosey.

    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.
    That's a load of bullshit and you know it. His goal was to write an epic story - you are aware of that you _can_ write an epic story for the sake of telling an epic story, and not because you're secretly trying to sell your view that, "man, the landed gentry are the bestest thing evar!"

    Well, doing something purely for the sake of doing it is pretty much masturbation. The fact that he sold the story for publication means he didn't intend to write it just for writing its sake.

    I never said that, though. The guy had to have some intended meaning, even if it is, "Hey, good defeating evil is actually worthwhile."

    But I've been told that since Tolkien himself declared he had no ulterior motives, even if they were subconscious thoughts based on his upbringing and worldview getting into the story, any attempt to look into it is just a fun mental, but useless, mental exercise since Tolkien is authoritative on every meaning his text could actually or possibly have.


    Mad King George on
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Whether or not he intended there to be a meaning has nothing to do with whether or not the story has meaning, whether or not the story is "gibberish."

    It matters though, if any attempt at discourse is getting dismissed right off, cause he never intended it to say anything.

    Mad King George on
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Except they're not noticeable flaws, they're pointless nitpicks. The eagles are a good example, because you see people pounce on it like it somehow matters, which nets the response, 'y'know how we see Sauron doing the whole never sleeping flaming eye thing, how are you supposed to sneak up on that, in a sky devoid of other giant flying things that don't work for the baddie?' which then devolves into arguments about strafing runs, and dive bombing, and nazgul to wizard midair combat, and has both side just pulling stuff out of their asses, until someone finally says, "I'm just saying, all it would've taken is one sentence and the whole plothole would've been closed."

    Except there never was a plot hole, and there was never a need to say 'one sentence,' because the issue simply didn't matter. What point would a scene where someone said, 'well what about the eagles?' only to be answered, 'No, because X.' have served beyond going, 'Fuck you haters, thought you were clever, didn't you?'

    Yes, there is a good reason Tolkien figured out why the eagle's weren't an option IIRC. It only looks like a plot hole. Rowling isn't that good at fixing potential plot holes like that, which is why her world isn't as consistent. Not that she needed to equal Tolkien's devotion to his material for Harry Potter to work better then it did.

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    just a fun mental, but useless, mental exercise

    Did you mean: literary criticism

    Those people still believe in Freud. Freud.

    And if Tolkien's work is meaningless due to his intent, then I doubt Foundation or Romeo and Juliet have any meaning either, since their authors had no purpose except to make money.

    ISIS delenda est
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    Re: Twilight - If you were an immortal vampire of nearly unimaginable strength, why the hell would you purposely put yourself through high school multiple times? The only people I know of that wish the high school years had never ended are the people who failed to accomplish a single thing of worth after leaving high school, leaving that period of time as the highlight of their life.

    Yearning for some sort of normative relationship with other people, but prevented from being able to do so amongst adults or his intellectual equals due to the fact he stopped aging in his teens and thus still would be an outsider due to being seen as merely a precocious child, periodically returns to high school/under graduate level schooling for a couple years at a time where he can blend into a group of 'peers.'

    Of course, that's approaching the question with the intention of figuring out what actually drives the character, instead of the Twilight answer which would boil down to, 'so he can meet Bella.'
    furlion wrote: »
    What I dislike the most about Twilight is how difficult it is to convince people who enjoy the books, how bad they really are. My wife, mother, virtually every woman I know has read and greatly enjoyed the books. When I try and bring up the racism or sexism, or even how creepy a 100 year vampire macking on a 16 year old is, they just dismiss it. Very very annoying.
    But more or less annoying than having someone come up and tell you, 'Hey! You! You're having badwrongfun! Stop enjoying that thing you enjoy!'

    If they really enjoy Twilight that much, shouldn't they appreciate a man taking the time to tell them they're wrong? /s



    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    just a fun mental, but useless, mental exercise

    Did you mean: literary criticism

    Those people still believe in Freud. Freud.

    And if Tolkien's work is meaningless due to his intent, then I doubt Foundation or Romeo and Juliet have any meaning either, since their authors had no purpose except to make money.

    Romeo & Juliet was a satire about young love, wasn't it?

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012

    Romeo & Juliet was a satire about young love, wasn't it?

    It can be interpreted that way, sure. It was based on some other books though, namely The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke. I doubt that the Bard himself was some sort of hidden feminist, or Marxist, or what have you.

    edit- actually if you want to go hella back it's based on Pyramus and Thisbe from Roman mythology. Shakespeare even does a mini-play of it in Midsummer.

    Captain Marcus on
    ISIS delenda est
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    just a fun mental, but useless, mental exercise

    Did you mean: literary criticism

    Those people still believe in Freud. Freud.

    And if Tolkien's work is meaningless due to his intent, then I doubt Foundation or Romeo and Juliet have any meaning either, since their authors had no purpose except to make money.

    Romeo & Juliet was a satire about young love, wasn't it?

    Doesn't matter made money.

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.


    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.

    This is still the intentional fallacy, just from a different angle. Whether or not he intended there to be a meaning has nothing to do with whether or not the story has meaning, whether or not the story is "gibberish." Meaning comes solely from the person reading it. If we found out that Hamlet was written by a million monkeys banging away randomly at typewriters it wouldn't change what Hamlet means to you, or the what you think it says. It would change it's cultural context, sure, but not whether or not the work is devoid of any meaning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reader-response_criticism

    Litcrit isn't actually that simple. We can reject the idea of the work as allegory, but still allow for the author to intend some communication of ideas and values. We can also accept the viewpoint of the reader. And we can also accept the viewpoint of the author. And we can also accept the unintended messages that a reader finds in the work. And more. Much more. What you say about Hamlet and monkeys is true, but it's not the only truth here. Shakespeare was a person too. And so are monkeys.

    Rejecting the 'intentional fallacy' doesn't mean we pretend there was never an author. The Death of the Author is a great idea but a terrible phrase, because the author doesn't die in modern criticism - he is just relegated from divine creator to lowly schmuck, same as us readers.

    Tolkien, along with many other writers, rejected facile claims that his work was an allegory, because critics of fantasy often require that a fantasy work, suspect as they are for being in some part unrealistic, should validate itself through moral worth. Allegory is a common reductivist approach to fantastical literature from a largely hostile critical profession. But works that are not allegories still have connections to the real world, both conscious and unconscious. And, of course, we don't have to only take that kind of critical approach. We can care about a modern reader connecting 'evil races' to racism in the real world, or as I like to do, we could talk about the widely different versions of 'hero' shown in LOTR (this, btw, would be the logical extension of the earlier discussion here about why the hobbits are positively portrayed by Tolkien while being looked down on by some Men).

    Criticism is in part a creative act, and a grab-bag of different approaches can be fruitful. Grabbing on to The Death Of The Author, or New Criticism, or Cultural Materialism, or Deconstructionism and only allowing criticism of that type is... well... sophomoric, sorry to say.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • BehemothBehemoth Registered User regular
    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    I don't buy this. The man was obsessed with language, and languages is made of words and words by themselves have meanings. String them together and you get complex meanings.

    I can buy him not intending his work as say, a WWII allegory, although that totally fits, but to write a story and intend it to be devoid of any meaning whatsoever except whatever the reader chooses? Bullshit.



    As to the intention of the author (which I think rather a lot of literary critics would argue doesn't matter) there is in the case of Tolkien rather a lot of documentation available - by his own hand - on the exact question of what his intentions were.

    It is a closed question.

    Again, if you are interested in what we might read into the text that is an open one. But I think it is exceedingly incorrect to label them as the "message" or "meaning" of the author.


    So Tolkien's just a masturbator, then.

    Because that's all it is if he wrote a "story" intended to be devoid of any sort of meaning.

    It also means that it's gibberish because language used without meaning is gibberish even if it appears to be a story.

    He didn't intend for it to have no meaning, he just didn't want it to be an allegory because he thought allegories were dumb. LotR has lots of meaning. It's just not a story that can be directly mapped onto any real-world event or simplistic moral.

    By the by, Tolkien especially hated the idea that LotR is a WWII allegory:
    In the Author's Foreword to my 1970s Ballantine paperback edition of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien says his epic was never intended to be an allegory of World War II, as some people thought.
    He said that he detested all allegory or roman-a-clef writing; furthermore, if LOTR had followed the actual course of events, the One Ring would not have been destroyed, but rather taken by the Allies and used against Sauron; Barad-Dur would have been occupied rather than destroyed; Saruman would have discovered enough information to build his own Ruling Ring, and eventually would have challenged "the self-styled Master of Middle-Earth. ... And in that conflict hobbits would not have lasted long, as both sides would have held them in hatred and contempt."

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    So hobbits are italians? :lol:

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Behemoth wrote: »

    He didn't intend for it to have no meaning, he just didn't want it to be an allegory because he thought allegories were dumb. LotR has lots of meaning. It's just not a story that can be directly mapped onto any real-world event or simplistic moral.

    You're responding to me, but addressing an argument I wasn't making.

    He didn't. On several fronts.

    Most importantly he did not put any such "messages" in LOTR / The Hobbit. His purpose was simple to try his hand at telling a long and entertaining story. Full stop.

    Here's the fellow you want.

  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    Yeah you seem to have blown out a couple posters' sarcasm detectors, George. But then again, your insistence that you weren't making that argument doesn't invalidate other posters' interpretation of your words; after all, your input into the meaning of your writing is no more inherently valuable than anyone else's.

    oh god no must claw my way out of the death-of-author rabbit hole

    SO! I just finished On Basilisk Station, which combined so-bad-it's-awesome author tract (our antagonists are forced into an expansionist military campaign by their "Dolist" faction's insistence on a Basic Living Stipend) with military fetishism and frequent cringe-worthy prose. I intend to read the following ten books in the series. Does this indicate a moral failing on my part?

    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    Tolkien deliberately made choices throughout his story that made them less entertaining but more meaningful--the Scouring of the Shire in particular is much more upsetting than a simple happy ending would have been. The overriding theme of the novel isn't "look at all these swordfights and magic and adventure!" but that the world is moving on. For good or ill the end result of the quest was always going to be "and then all that was magical set sail for distant lands". The Hobbit is an entertaining story; Lord of the Rings has much more on its mind than just storytelling. Or rather, at the same time that it's telling a story about hobbits and wizards, it's also telling a story about the seduction of power, the nature of culture, and the autumnal sensation of an era coming (for better or worse) to an inevitable end.

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    So to cleanse my mind somewhat from the foray into Atlas Shrugged (still plugging my way through it, but the pain is intense), what do people think of the last couple of Dune books that Frank Herbert put out there? I mean I loved the first one, and the second and third were still pretty good, but it kind of got freaky as it kept on going. I even read the books penned by his son and Kevin J. Anderson, and if that is where his notes were really going for the ending what the fuckity fuck?

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  • PhantPhant Registered User regular
    I liked all of Herbert's Dune books, but more for the ideas he is obviously batting around in them about the totality of the human condition. Taken just as a story they are pretty fucking weird.

    As for Tolkien and meaning, it helps to remember that the man served in the first world war. That's a thing that likely to color an authors work even if its not intended in a conscious way.

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  • The_TuninatorThe_Tuninator Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I dislike all Dune books after the first one. In my eyes, that's where the story ends.

    It doesn't really fly off the rails until the God-Emperor worm nonsense, though.
    oh god no must claw my way out of the death-of-author rabbit hole

    SO! I just finished On Basilisk Station, which combined so-bad-it's-awesome author tract (our antagonists are forced into an expansionist military campaign by their "Dolist" faction's insistence on a Basic Living Stipend) with military fetishism and frequent cringe-worthy prose. I intend to read the following ten books in the series. Does this indicate a moral failing on my part?

    I enjoy the Honor Harrington series, to be perfectly honest. It's not world-shattering or anything, but it's fun sci-fi.

    The_Tuninator on
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    The politics in the Honor Harrington books are absolutely atrociously dumb

    Dumb dumb dumb.

    Also Honor is an incredibly boring character, most of the time.
    Actually most of the characters are pretty boring.
    BUT!

    The battles are a lot of fun. I love me some space opera missile swarms, damnit, and he writes some pretty clever battles.
    The logic behind the wars are still terrible again, but the battles? Usually pretty fun.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Honor Harrington is repetitive, like real repetitive. This is because the author has no real understanding of tactics beyond throw missiles at the enemy until he blows up. He keeps trying to find ways for the bad guys to walk straight into a giant missile swarm that destroys them completely.

    This requires either A: The bad guys being stupid or B: The good guys to invent some new tech that allows them to fire more missiles at farther ranges. Often A and B happen in the same book.

    In later books tries for political intrigue, which is code for "Two characters sitting around and debating the galactic situation". For extra fun its usually two characters that agree on the situation, but one of them helpfully takes on the "devil's advocate" position. Explaining the other side to his compatriot.

    Honor Harrington herself is text book Mary Sue.

    Read Horatio Hornblower instead. There is a reason the series is a classic.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    That's the reason I always hated English/Literature classes.

    Why did the story have to have some deep and profound meaning? Couldn't it just be a good story?

    Yeah, I didn't do so well in those classes :P

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Beltaine wrote: »
    That's the reason I always hated English/Literature classes.

    Why did the story have to have some deep and profound meaning? Couldn't it just be a good story?

    Yeah, I didn't do so well in those classes :P

    The idea is to understand what makes it a good story, which admittedly isn't something everyone gels on, but some people do.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Yeah you seem to have blown out a couple posters' sarcasm detectors, George. But then again, your insistence that you weren't making that argument doesn't invalidate other posters' interpretation of your words; after all, your input into the meaning of your writing is no more inherently valuable than anyone else's.

    oh god no must claw my way out of the death-of-author rabbit hole

    SO! I just finished On Basilisk Station, which combined so-bad-it's-awesome author tract (our antagonists are forced into an expansionist military campaign by their "Dolist" faction's insistence on a Basic Living Stipend) with military fetishism and frequent cringe-worthy prose. I intend to read the following ten books in the series. Does this indicate a moral failing on my part?

    No. The books are good. If you like Weber's writing style. Echoes of Honor is excellent.

  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    I will agree that Horatio Hornblower is worth reading, though I haven't read those books in a very long time. I also liked the Seafort Saga by David Feintuch (at least the first several novels, I don't think I read them all) which was inspired / blatantly steals from Horatio Hornblower, but in space.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    I will agree that Horatio Hornblower is worth reading, though I haven't read those books in a very long time. I also liked the Seafort Saga by David Feintuch (at least the first several novels, I don't think I read them all) which was inspired / blatantly steals from Horatio Hornblower, but in space.

    How many space opera series were inspired by Horatio Hornblower?

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    I will agree that Horatio Hornblower is worth reading, though I haven't read those books in a very long time. I also liked the Seafort Saga by David Feintuch (at least the first several novels, I don't think I read them all) which was inspired / blatantly steals from Horatio Hornblower, but in space.

    How many space opera series were inspired by Horatio Hornblower?

    At least six according to the Wiki. Not including Star Trek.

    There also at least 4 contemporary series inspired by Hornblower. Aubrey/Martin is the best sailing series. Sharpe is explicitly a land based counterpart to Hornblower.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Aubrey/Maturin > Hornblower

    There, I said it

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Can someone explain to me why Heinlein is considered a master of classic sci-fi?

    I mean, honestly, can someone break it down for me? Did he come up with something that hadn't been done before that I'm not aware of? Was there a 'creepy incest is a good thing' memo that I missed? I enjoyed reading some of his earlier books when I was young and stupid and hadn't been exposed to enough of the world to realize that Heinlein's ideas aren't very interesting. Perhaps they were interesting when they were new? But the other classic sci-fi masters mostly hold up pretty well, and none of Heinlein's shit smells like anything besides what it is, to me. His prose isn't anything special, his plotting is weak when it isn't non-existent, and everything that happens in every one of his books appears to be just a vehicle to push his (frequently bizarre) moral, political, and social agendas.

    Even his early works that are supposed to be the good part of the greater Heinlein corpus aren't particularly special. What did Stranger in a Strange Land really do for the genre besides giving us the word grok? And why do people always seem to leave out the large portion of the book where the protagonist is being Hippy Jesus and eating his friends in soup when discussing it?

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  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    I cannot believe this thread, someone bashed on fucking Reading Rainbow and others on Tolkien? This thread is only fit for fire.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    I cannot believe this thread, someone bashed on fucking Reading Rainbow and others on Tolkien? This thread is only fit for fire.

    Sacred cows make sacred hamburgers.

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