The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Non-Book Related Banter > Thread Of Dire Judgment




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message 886: by Esther (last edited May 17, 2010 06:36AM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 517 comments Kaion wrote: "...That's interesting, Esther. I've found many science fiction authors don't pay particularly good attention to characterization or emotional development.

I love Asimov's ideas, but his dialogue and his people? Rough going. But it does mean robots play to his writing strengths. ."


I actually became quite fond of the Mule in Foundation and the girl from Gaia annoyed me. But I do agree his dialogue is dry and reading 5 books from Foundation one after another made my brain hurt!


message 885: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Ah, there's something symbolically interesting in self-destructing literature... (and now with electronic reading they have that too with expiring books!)

That's interesting, Esther. I've found many science fiction authors don't pay particularly good attention to characterization or emotional development.

I love Asimov's ideas, but his dialogue and his people? Rough going. But it does mean robots play to his writing strengths.


message 884: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 517 comments Kaion wrote: "It's really not, Esther. (Your books collapse? The strong nuclear force overcomes the electromagnetic force?)..."

Sorry I have a bad habit of just assuming that everyone has inherited a ton of 1960-1970 bad quality mass market paperbacks that more or less disintegrate as you read them :0)

On topic note, only two stars for Brave New World? Not subtle writing on any account, ..."
I started off my adult reading with 1984, then devoured quality scifi from Asimov and Herbert after which I tried Huxely and his writing just seemed childish.
I am heavily influenced by characterization and emotional development whereas Huxely has caricatures and symbolism.
I don't like fairy tales or allegories either.


message 883: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) It's really not, Esther. (Your books collapse? The strong nuclear force overcomes the electromagnetic force?)

On topic note, only two stars for Brave New World? Not subtle writing on any account, but two stars?


message 882: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 517 comments For sucky books I have get_this_off_my_shelf and for really sucky I have a gag_me_with_a_spoon shelf.
I also have a read-em-before-they-collapse ‎shelf which I feel is self-explanatory.


message 881: by Alex (new)

Alex Madeline wrote: "Then I looked inside. That was a sad day. "

Ha!


message 880: by Madeline (new)

Madeline | 293 comments I've spent the better part of my 8 hour work day stiffling giggles as I read all 18 pages of this thread. I love it!

You know I can't remember the name now, I read it ages ago, but there was a series by Larry Niven that was all about a low gravity planet where people lived in trees, very lush. I couldn't get into it though. he had people that had different length legs and I kept panning over to a scene in my head where these people were trying to walk... it disturbed me. I guess James Cameron's Pocohontas in space is kinda the same thing too.

Long live the moose-eaters! It's my favoritest meat.

Oh no... I picked Lost Girls up off the shelf once. I thought Nifty! A comic book about three classic female characters. Then I looked inside. That was a sad day.


message 879: by Kaion (last edited May 04, 2010 11:56PM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Yeah, besides we all totally know Dorothy was for Ozma. Her bestest transgender fairy princess friend/dictator.* (Oh Baum, and feminism for the win!)

*Yes, Kaion outs herself as being equal opportunity for femslash.


message 878: by Jennifer (last edited May 04, 2010 03:01PM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Alex wrote: "So she did. Woops. New theory: it's impossible to write anything called Lost Girls that doesn't suck."

I for one will never read another book with the same title, ick...I just vomited a little bit in my mouth. Frickin' Andrew Pyper!

Okay, in relation to the Moore book? All I can say, based on this from your review, Alex: "...featuring lesbian sex between Alice (of Wonderland) and Dorothy (of Oz).", is WHY? Why in the name of humanity. I get what you're saying - he did it for just that reaction, but c'mon, try a little harder for a more purposeful point, no?


message 877: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) I thought so. Damn book is on my TBR list.


message 876: by Alex (new)

Alex So she did. Woops. New theory: it's impossible to write anything called Lost Girls that doesn't suck.

I was referring to this one.


message 875: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) I'm subjecting myself to judgement by posting but I can't help but point out that Jennifer linked the Andrew Pyper book, not the Alan Moore book.


message 874: by Alex (new)

Alex Punctilious! Whee.

Heh, Lost Girls. Man, what an impenetrable pile of pretentious bullshit that book was. Alan Moore has been well off the rails for a few years now.


message 873: by Jennifer (last edited May 04, 2010 11:32AM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Charity wrote: "Or maybe propping-up-table?"

Okay, seriously, you peeking in my window? Ivanhoe is currently propping up my small file cabinet. Ssshhh!! It's a horrible thing to do to a book, I know. I have only ever thrown two books: The Gargoyle and Lost Girls. They would be filed on the effing horrible bin of woe shelf.


message 872: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) | 1845 comments I really don't follow rules very well and prefer the word punctilious. I like the way it rolls around on the tongue!

Love it...punctilious. Tongue rolling indeed!

Seriously, many thanks for pointing it out. My 5-star reads were prolly wondering what gives. I highly recommend making a few awesome shelves...as well as a sucky shelf. threw-across-room perhaps? Or maybe propping-up-table?


message 871: by Jennifer (last edited May 04, 2010 11:21AM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Hey Charity!!

I love that I bring mirth and merriment to your world! Truly! Huh, I think I have to go re-do my shelves now and make a mostly awesome shelf and an effing awesome shelf too. Yep, pedantic...as I said to Alex yesterday, it always matters to somebody, somewhere. But, for the record, I really don't follow rules very well and prefer the word punctilious. I like the way it rolls around on the tongue! Seriously though, I clicked on your effing awesome shelf expecting all 5 stars, so my curiosity kicked in seeing the 4 stars and being unable to explain it to myself. I am such a geek.


message 870: by Charity (last edited May 04, 2010 11:20AM) (new)

Charity (charityross) | 1845 comments Charity, I have a question. I love that you have an "effing awesome" shelf, but how come not all of the books are five star on that shelf? Can you explain how four star is f'ing amazing? as opposed to just regular awesome? I am seriously curious. :D How people rate books gets me curiouser and curiouser. LOL!

HA! I never even thought about that before. See, once upon a time it was just called faves, but that was super boring so I simply renamed it effing-awesome to try and express my enjoyment of those standout books.

However, you are 100% correct, if something really IS effing awesome then it simply MUST be a 5-star read, cover to cover. Therefore, thanks to you, oh-so-observant-and-pensive Jennifer, I have dumped the rather great 4-star reads into a new shelf inspired by The Princess Bride...the mostly-awesome shelf.

Does that work? :)

P.S. Thanks for being so pedantic. Love it!

P.P.S. just regular awesome....I'm still cracking up!

P.P.P.S. "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." — Dorothy Parker


message 869: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 517 comments I think GGK and similar authors are the reason for the emergence of the 'seculative fiction' genre.


message 868: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Charity, I have a question. I love that you have an "effing awesome" shelf, but how come not all of the books are five star on that shelf? Can you explain how four star is f'ing amazing? as opposed to just regular awesome? I am seriously curious. :D How people rate books gets me curiouser and curiouser. LOL!


message 866: by Alex (new)

Alex I knew you'd have my back.


message 865: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) Of course I won't...I'll keep right next to the copies of Little Girl Lost.


message 864: by Alex (new)

Alex As long as you don't skimp on the Jewel poetry.


message 863: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) You totally have a point, Alex! And to answer your question, Mel, in my bookstore, crappy books are so banned. Unless they happen to be crappy books I personally enjoyed! It will not be a book democracy in there, that's for sure.


message 862: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Alex wrote: "I'd even combine fiction and nonfiction. What if you looked up Iran and found the awesome graphic novel Persepolis next to Reading Lolita in Tehran and...uh, an Iranian n..."

Exactly what I was thinking because, today, I took Reading Lolita in Tehran out from the library.

I do think Chabon is onto something here. I am with Mel though concerning whole cheesy romance/bodice ripper/TV spin-off books. I am totally a book snob when it comes to these types of books and the lack of value they bring to society (in my thinking). I am sure, before I get hollered at, more than one PhD has been earned studying the effects "his manhood filling the room" has had on culture and booyah for them. I would even be curious to learn about these studies and hear about any potential merits but the rusty doors of the brain are pretty tightly closed in this area. I just shudder, and not in the awesome geekgasm kind of way, when I think about who is reading these books and why? Are they the National Enquirer of the fiction world?

Have I mentioned judging things is fun? LOL!


message 861: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Great point with the Maguire, Jayme.

I'd be up to a genre-less bookstore, with themed displays. I mean, that's the point of a bookstore, right? So people can comingle with the books so they can make informed buying choices. (Otherwise, I would just buy books online.)


message 860: by Alex (new)

Alex I'd even combine fiction and nonfiction. What if you looked up Iran and found the awesome graphic novel Persepolis next to Reading Lolita in Tehran and...uh, an Iranian novel? That's a win, right?

Cool idea, Chabon.


message 859: by Mel (new)

Mel (MelCdn) | 90 comments Jayme, I'm not going to argue too hard on it because I certainly wouldn't call his works "historical fiction" either. But I do have some sympathy over pigeonholing him into strictly fantasy too - it has been a long time since I read them but I honestly don't recall a whole lot of "fantasy" in the Sailing to Sarantium series (actually I don't remember any but I'll take your word for it that it was there).

I liked your comment to Jayme though - here's an example of a "green" sci fi - Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. Would that still fit that genre or do you have the urge to rename it from sci fi into something else?

And when does fiction cross into science fiction or is it a different genre altogether - thinking of Michael Crichton although I might be tempted to add Stephen King, Dean Koontz etc if that isn't explained away as horror (?). Horror itself is kind of a cross-genre I guess like steampunk - a little fiction and a little sci fi/fantasy. But it's not steam punk which is also a little fiction and a little sci fi. Nor is it "urban fantasy" which is a little fiction and a little fantasy a la Neil Gaiman. Makes your head spin. I'm now wondering how publishers ever manage to pigeon hole books in the first place.

Love your idea of a genre free book store however I think it runs up against a few consumer hurdles particularly relating to penny dreadfuls and the like. Some areas of fiction are so over produced at minimal cost margins that they would quickly overrun any full service bookstore. I think you would have to make some discriminating choices either with respect to choices of books to stock or a ghetto for those books that are voluminous in number but don't appeal to a wide group. I buy my books online and I get easily turned off by sites that stack their home pages with mass produced formulaic "bodice rippers" - aka books that, coincidentally, may also attempt to defy genres but universally have a scantily clad woman on the front and possibly a shirtless man and not much else (if that) to recommend it. I can imagine being similarly turned off if I had to sort the wheat from the chaff on a bookstore shelf as well.

And not to make the romance area the only victim of my prejudice I think the same criticism could be true of the serial tv/movie tie ins, and whatever passes for sweet valley high in the young adult section now and the like volumes and anything else that is likely to quickly take over a bookstore shelf like an exponentially replicating virus overpowering anything more original. What do you think? In your fictional bookstore would you just not stock these kinds of books, would you segregate them or would you throw them in with everything else? Would you draw different lines than I have?

Mel


message 858: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) Oh and one more thing. I read a cool article by Michael Chabon about his thoughts on genre. He had the best idea to have bookstores without sections. If I made a bookstore I would totally do that. But it would have two sections, fiction and non-fiction. And maybe graphic novels would be separate. But that's it. Think of all the books you'd have to look through to find yours that you might not have noticed.


message 857: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) I like that, Jennifer. It's pretty bang on if you ask me! I tried to think of something to break that rule and I'm thinking that when you write fantasy with bolts you get steam punk? I don't know what happens when you do it the other way around though...I think if I ever right a book it's going to be sci-fi in a green place!

And, Mel, I still think it's pretty easy to put him in the fantasy category. There's always a supernatural thread in his writing and that's how I define fantasy. My theory is that people always want their books to be considered non-fantasy when they're well written. Fantasy has such a bad rap that most authors would rather see their books on the fiction shelf. Look at Gregory Maguire, whose publisher probably went to huge efforts to get his books in the fiction section, where the whole world goes, "Oh those are sooo gooood!". But I bet if you put his books in the fantasy section, where they belong, only the nerds would pick them up.


message 856: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) I have a friend who defines scifi as "books with bolts" and fantasy and "books with lush green places". For some reason this always cracks me up!


message 855: by Mel (new)

Mel (MelCdn) | 90 comments Jayme wrote: "Yeah, he writes like...historical fantasy? I guess that's what you would call it. But it's still fantasy, I don't think he's as genre bending as he'd like to think he his."

Really? I mean Fionavar Tapestry absolutely but some of his other stuff I'm not so sure. Lots of it doesn't have magic or fantastical creatures or whatnot (okay whatnot is pretty broad, it probably has whatnot but you know what I mean). I guess it depends on how you define fantasy? If it just means fictional places, people, things and events then not sure how much fiction isn't fantasy?

Mel


message 854: by Alex (new)

Alex To be...fair, this thread is sortof about treating things unfairly. It's not like there's a genre that hasn't been picked on yet.


message 853: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) But "fantasy" as a genre is treated unfairly. Just check the previous page of this thread.


message 852: by Jennifer (last edited Apr 22, 2010 08:08AM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) "Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
~ Margaret Mead ~

Everyone wants to defy classification/categorization/labels. I know I don't want to be crammed into a box with other ne'er-do-wells ~ hoarding our books (where we find the answers to most things) being verbose on all things literary, and eschewing dumb-dumbs. Oh, wait...


message 851: by Alex (new)

Alex Sounds like those bands that are all "We defy genre, man!" No, you just don't want to admit that you play pussy rock.


message 850: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) Yeah, he writes like...historical fantasy? I guess that's what you would call it. But it's still fantasy, I don't think he's as genre bending as he'd like to think he his.


message 849: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Mel, that is too funny ~ Joe Hill's book. I have read similar things about Kay before, from his own mouth and his publisher's. I guess he must be frustrated with the industry??


message 848: by Mel (new)

Mel (MelCdn) | 90 comments Jennifer wrote: "Alex wrote: "It's guys like that you gotta look out for. They turn out to know some crazy obscure martial art or have mace or be biters or something."

I bet he's a biter! Plus, he whines that his..."


I just looked up the National Post article on him and thought this was interesting:

Nicole Winstanley, Kay's Canadian editor and publisher, says Kay "is one of those writers in the best possible way who's hard to categorize. Is he a fantasy writer? Well, yes. ... But is he solely a fantasy writer? Is his readership only fantasy? No." She says that Kay crosses "genres and readerships in a time when, quite often, booksellers and even publishers are slotting things into categories. He's beyond that."

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/stor...

I just finished
A Certain Chemistry: A Novel and this very publishing dilemma was also mentioned - that publishers like to fit things into neat little slots and books that defy genre are not necessarily a good thing from their perspective.

Also, I just started Horns by Joe Hill (sorry no easy link for some obscure reason) and what do you know one of the first few chapters used "twat" for a woman.


message 847: by Mel (new)

Mel (MelCdn) | 90 comments Not sure about the "biter" aspect but you may think twice about trusting him when you hear that he earned a law degree in 1978 before switching to fiction writing. Lawyer vs. ninja would be a pretty even fight in some people's books.

Mel


message 846: by Jennifer (last edited Apr 21, 2010 08:27AM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Alex wrote: "It's guys like that you gotta look out for. They turn out to know some crazy obscure martial art or have mace or be biters or something."

I bet he's a biter! Plus, he whines that his books are never considered for awards; as though they aren't "real" literature, he says. You can't trust whiners. They're too damn needy.

(She says having Kay's Summer Tree sitting in her TBR. Pfft! Credibility shot to hell now.)


message 845: by Alex (new)

Alex It's guys like that you gotta look out for. They turn out to know some crazy obscure martial art or have mace or be biters or something.


message 844: by Kaion (last edited Apr 21, 2010 08:18AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) That's what makes it interesting! (I do, if only because his rabid fans are very enthusiastic.Tigana is in my TBD cupboard... for any year now.)


message 843: by Jennifer (last edited Apr 21, 2010 08:17AM) (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Laughing so hard right now. You all know what Kay looks like, right??

Picture this fighting a ninja!

I mean, props for being Canadian an all but you would so lose in a fight against pretty much anyone Mr.Kay. I like judging things! :D


message 842: by Alex (new)

Alex Jayme wrote: "Mel, I don't know what a fantasy Canadian is either. Unless it's Guy Gavriel Kay, the awesomest author ever. You heard me, Alex."

Nerd alert! Nice beard, Kay.


message 841: by Kaion (last edited Apr 21, 2010 08:15AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Does it require undead? (Don't think they were ever alive, so no? Aren't golems, like, organic robots?)


message 840: by PDXReader (new)

PDXReader Kaion wrote: "I'd read a book about Guy Gavriel Kay facing off golems/pirates/ninjas."

Do golems qualify as "undead"?


message 839: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer D (Booktrovert) Uh-oh! A Fantasy smack-down!


message 838: by Kaion (last edited Apr 21, 2010 08:06AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) I'd read a book about Guy Gavriel Kay facing off golems/pirates/ninjas.


message 837: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymeb) Mel, I don't know what a fantasy Canadian is either. Unless it's Guy Gavriel Kay, the awesomest author ever. You heard me, Alex.


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