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Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
August 12th, 2005
11:34 pm


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An *Enema* to the Muse?
Some time ago, themoniker linked to this brilliant, brilliant essay on the crappiness of science-fiction-and-fantasy plots, by Nick Lowe.

I don't read science fiction any more, and haven't read any of the works mentioned except Tolkien's and Adams's, but Lowe brings citations to make his points. And ach, what a scathing tongtypewriter Mr. Lowe had...

Heartily recommended.

Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Supertramp -- School

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:August 12th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
I only read it in passing, but he seems to be coming out of a pretty numbing 50'ish concept of a Well-Made-Novel. I'll try and read it more carefully soon, though.
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Date:August 12th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC)
That's really, really entertaining. Thanks for pointing it out.

I'm glad he singles out Stephen Donaldson so viciously. When I was a teenager, I absolutely loved the Covenant books. The protagonist is surly, male, incredibly important, reluctantly powerful, self-hating, uncooperative, violent, misunderstood, and unconditionally worshipped and loved by all other characters, making him hate himself more because of his unworthiness. (Gee, why is that so appealing to teenage boys in puberty?)

I tried reading them again a few years ago. The books are actually a pretty boring slog if you can't get over what a huge asshole the main character is.
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Date:August 13th, 2005 11:24 am (UTC)
Man, I liked Susan Cooper's books, too.

Of course, I was in elementary school. But I've still got some cool mental images.

(Actually, the thing I found interesting about that was comparing it to the plots of many of the live-action roleplaying games I've been in. Some, though not all, of those devices work remarkably well in live-action games -- plot coupons are actually interesting for characters to pursue; they expect to have gotten some guidance from the gods--er, GMs; and using well-known plot devices is an easy way to evoke a certain character to the game.)
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Date:August 16th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Who cares about plots? You don't expect a well-written plot in an SF&F novel book...
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Date:August 17th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed reading it. though he mostly just states the obvious.

I could also live without the pompous and arrogant first paragraph.
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