What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

UNSOLVED: One specific book > A traditional medieval-style fantasy novel in which a popular King, ruling a kingdom which is one amongst many within an archipelago. His port city is besieged. Good deal of intrigue between nations. Spoiler ahead.

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message 1: by Rob (last edited May 08, 2015 07:22AM) (new)

Rob | 79 comments The title pretty much has it all.

It's your traditional medieval-style fantasy, the king is a hero-type, loved by all. I think he's been away, clearly there's a conflict and he gets killed when a great big rock that has been launched by an attacking ship which is besieging his port city comes crashing through the building he's in.

I think that's the cliffhanger at the end of the book.

I think it was the first book of a series. Would have been some 15 years ago when I read it, I reckon.

There is a good deal of intriguing between the nations in the book. I have a nasty suspicion that some other characters are on a journey across the whole geographical area during the course of the book. No cliches in fantasy, eh?

message 2: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Bump

message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2420 comments Was the books aimed at kids, YA, adult? Do you know if it was a new book at the time you read it? Recall any other characters -- did the king have a wife, siblings, children? Do you recall if the book was shortish, longish, a doorstop? Anything at all about the cover? When you say fantasy I assume that means there was magic; can you remember anything about the magic?

message 4: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments I think it was adult, although from memory it was pretty lowbrow writing, Kevin Anderson sort of stuff (although not by him, I've checked).

I believe it was new.

Can't recall other characters, apart from the suspicion I mentioned that in parallel to the King's story there was some other group travelling about the various kingdoms. I presume the King had a full complement of family but I couldn't swear to it.

I would hazard a guess that it was of middlish length.

Cover? Nothing.

I am not sure about the magic - it could easily have not featured.

Not very helpful, eh?

message 5: by Michele (new)

Michele | 280 comments Maybe something by Dave Duncan? Not sure why but that description brought his name to mind. I haven't read any of his stuff in a long time though so I don't remember anything about a king being killed by a rock.

message 6: by Teri-K (new)

Teri-K | 303 comments That sounds like something that happened in The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. First of a trilogy and the other details work. But it's been quite q while since I read it.

message 7: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Teri-k wrote: "That sounds like something that happened in The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. First of a trilogy and the other details work. But it's been quite q while since I read it."

Thanks, but I don't think that's it.

message 8: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Michele wrote: "Maybe something by Dave Duncan? Not sure why but that description brought his name to mind. I haven't read any of his stuff in a long time though so I don't remember anything about a king being kil..."

I have had a browse through his stuff. I don't think so. But thanks for trying...

message 9: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Little bump...

message 10: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Another bump...

message 11: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35116 comments Mod
Rob, at what point in the story is the king killed?

Are there fantasy creatures such as dragons?

message 12: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments The scene where the king is killed is the last one in the book. I think it was a cliffhanger for subsequent books.

Could have been dragons but I couldn't be sure either way.

message 13: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35116 comments Mod
Okay, I removed the description of how the king dies from the topic header - and added a spoiler alert.

message 14: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments This is a new thing, is it? The 'don't put too much detail in the title' concept?

I am afraid that makes this forum pretty much unusable for me. I only occasionally browse through the list and I don't have time to open each message. If I don't think 'that sounds familiar' just from the title, I move on. Less detail means less chance of identifying the book. I always thought that there must be loads of books I probably knew lost behind titles like 'A book I can't remember' and 'help me find this book' and with less detail there will be more lost books that don't get found.

'Yeah, but spoilers...' I am really not so terrified of finding out a few plot points about a book. You only have to go back to some of the older threads to see how many times there are comments like 'that sounds interesting, I' m going to read that'. I did it myself and do you know what? It didn't lessen my subsequent enjoyment of the book that I knew some plot elements or how one scene panned out.

message 15: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments And to be specific about this book, the fact that the king dies is precisely the bit that will identify the book. Removing it from the title makes the book sound like any one of thousands of generic fantasy novels. No-one is going to read the new title and think 'oh, I know what that is - I'll click through and have a look'. Chances of identifying the book just dropped to near zero.

message 16: by Kris (last edited Nov 29, 2017 04:45AM) (new)

Kris | 35116 comments Mod
Spoilers are fine and sometimes needed to solve a book request. Details in the topic header are encouraged to aid recognition and prompt more members view a request. (I added more plot details from your first post.)

General headers like "help me find this book" are not helpful, and we ask the poster to change it (or we do so).

However, in this group, spoilers are not allowed in the topic header. Other members may want to read and enjoy the book. A number of members have expressed a strong dislike for reading spoilers, so a spoiler alert is required.

Here are the general guidelines for posting book requests:

message 17: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Fine, but my infrequent visits will become even more infrequent. Less detail (spoilers or not) equals less chance of finding the book.

message 18: by Michele (last edited Nov 29, 2017 07:45PM) (new)

Michele | 2420 comments I always thought spoilers were welcome anywhere in this forum - headers, summary, discussion, whatever. Like Rob, that's how I know whether I have a chance of solving one.

message 19: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments That was my understanding too, Michele. The purpose of this part of the site is to identify books. That requires detail. Surely it's not too difficult to understand that if you come into this part of the site you will see detail about books.

And, to be frank, the point of these threads is that you don't know the book. So how is anything being spoiled? If you read this thread under its original title you would know that somewhere there is a book where a king dies. That's hardly revelatory - I could name ten like that off the top of my head. Even if by some miracle you end up reading this specific book in the future you won't know that's what you are doing. Even when you get to the recognisable bit you might possibly remember this thread but what's the thought process at that point? Surely it's no more than 'Oh, this might be that book I read about in that thread, I'll go back and answer the query'. Are there really people whose response would be to throw the book to the ground and storm off in a temper? Because they recognised a book after they had read it?

message 20: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments And from the detailed instructions on how to use this group, one of the very first points...

This is one group where spoilers are not only requested, but almost required.

message 21: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4226 comments "Spoilers are OK in the body of your post, but keep them out of your topic header." is one of the topics in the "How this group works" folder and I personally like the rule.

message 22: by Kris (last edited Nov 30, 2017 03:00PM) (new)

Kris | 35116 comments Mod
Yes, it really does bother some members of this group. So how is anything being spoiled? It's being spoiled for people trying to help you who might also want to read the book. Note: Medieval fantasy is not the most common request and will stand out. This group covers every genre and audience imaginable.

The use of spoilers has been debated for many years. Here is part of the discussion -- https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The current rule of not allowing spoilers in the topic header seems to strike a fair balance for most members. Rules, of course, do evolve. I would suggest adding to the spoiler discussion above, if you wish.

As mentioned above, details including spoilers are encouraged to help solve requests. Just give others a fair warning before revealing a spoiler.

As a reminder, the Spoiler html link (click "(some html is ok)" above the Comment box) is great for hiding text -- but this text cannot be viewed on the mobile app.

message 23: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments Bump. Despite the nonsense around spoilers. 'Cos I was reminded of this book the other day.

message 24: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39275 comments Mod
We do have legitimate disagreements about the importance or non-importance of spoilers. Everyone has an opinion, which is absolutely fine, we like diversity of opinion. But bear in mind that Kris is only enforcing a (more or less democratically arrived at) group rule here so your term "nonsense" should not be directed at her.

message 25: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39275 comments Mod
Yes, spoilers are absolutely allowed and encouraged in the comments. We tell people to write every single thing they remember about the book in their query/comment. This helps queries get solved.

If it's a big spoiler, you can always announce it beforehand or use the HTML spoiler tags.

We tell people to pack as much plot info (and of course genre) in the title/topic header as will fit - just not major spoilers.

message 26: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Nov 15, 2019 02:06PM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1767 comments I'm one of those people who buys books after reading about them here. If someone recalled the book enough to try and locate it later (and doesn't have a perfect memory), then the book had to have something of significance about it. That really pushes a book's relevance, imho.

The group's rules on having a required descriptive subject are good. I no longer read or click-thru on anything that doesn't give me some clue as to what type of book it is. (how NOT to do it) I don't read very much romance, so knowing the thread is a romance book, or an ebook - helps me enormously on cutting back which ones I actually need to look at. I end up only clicking thru 1-3 posts per page of results on average, so that's not too bad.

However, putting spoilers in subject lines - or the first line of the post; ruins it for *anyone* on the internet, who does a search, that turns your post up as a result. Which includes a lot more people than who've 'signed up for spoilers, by being a member of this group'.

I have removed a spoiler from one of my subject lines:
scifi/horror: (GN?) post-apocalypse?, underground dictatorial human authorities... but [spoiler removed] live on the surface

Because that was an important plot element, as a number of underground society stories have nobody on the surface at all - or no plot-twist involving who is on the surface.

Some people have argued that even descriptions shouldn't include spoilers - which is unacceptable to me. I'm for making people get ahold of a desktop browser, and using the spoiler tags. I'm kinda okay with people just capitalizing SPOILER / giving a couple lines of space, and then having at it. You were warned (well, except people on the internet).

EDIT: according to Kris's following technical note, I should probably redo my spoiler tags to include spoiler text, since mobile people won't be able to tell when the spoiler starts (or otherwise have an option to miss it).

Regarding search results:

Google: novel "uncle sugar" asteroid aliens

And you'll come up with my post. Editing the original description I gave the immediate answer in the first line, so a rando internet searcher can get on with their lives, without having to process through the whole history of the search, and various wrong suggestions until they get to the end to the correct solution.

message 27: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35116 comments Mod
Technical note:
Currently, the spoiler tag doesn't work on the Mobile App -- you automatically see the "hidden" text. However, the spoiler tag does work on the Mobile Website and full Desktop Website. This may change in the future. (At one time, the spoiler tag couldn't be viewed on the App.)

Back to Rob's request...

message 28: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments bumped

message 29: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments re-bump

message 30: by Rob (new)

Rob | 79 comments running out of patience but... bump

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Thief (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Megan Whalen Turner (other topics)