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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Books to read.

One of my greatest regrets is not having read more as a child... I missed out on a lot... now that I'm unemployed I'm trying to catch up on that.... between writing and such.
The easiest time to "read" is while working out... Audiobook style, it is how I read many a books... right now I'm rereading Way of Kings that way... I only have a few hours left in that one...so I need a new read...
So I've aquired several Audiobooks of books I've wanted to read for a while... all of them are on a certain list....
http://www.listchallenges.com/npr-top-100-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books?ref=share
On the list of Audio books:

  • Dune
  • Handmaid's tale
  • Foundation
  • Ender's game
  • Neuromancer
  • Stranger in a strange land
  • Starship troopers
  • The moon is a harsh mistress
  • Snow Crash 
  • Ring World\
  • The Once and Future King
  • Rendezvous Rama...

AND MANY MORE!

The fact that Game of Thrones is number five is an insult to Fantasy and Science fiction... don't get me wrong, they're wonderful books... but they belong around 50 or so... But I know a lot of people would freak out at me for say thing: but the only reason it is that high up on the list is because of the TV series sparking a new fantasy revolution.
It is a sad thought but most new fantasy authors within the next 10 or so years will model themselves after Martin, thus making his "style" less unique as time goes on. I hate the fact that he took grit, something that has been present for a long time and made people think he invented it.
Which is interesting, a lot of people look at Martin and think "Oh he's so original...or...HE'S FUCKING TROLLING ME"
I personally think he had some good intent at first. WARNING, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW FOR GAME OF THRONES THE FIRST SEASON...I mean book....

Yes he killed his main character at the end of the first book...so revolutionary? not really. Like every fucking Shakespearean tragedy...or hell, a certain book beat him to the twist DECADES before...hell, I'll argue that book did it better... A novel called Psycho...which you know for the movie... It was a pretty epic twist and they killed the main character halfway through...hell... Ever see the film called Absolute Power? Staring Clint Eastwood?  It was based on a book of the same name by David Baldacci... In what is quite awkward... I remember watching that film with my mother in the 90's... she is a massive fan of  thrillers and books in general... Although she liked the movie, it still pissed her off.
In the book, Clint Eastwood's character dies halfway through anticlimactically... by chance, this book came out just a few MONTHS after A Game of Thrones was first published... Thrillers don't take long to write, perhaps it was inspired...maybe not...
Point is, the idea of not just killing characters but killing them in terrible fashion has been around for a while. Nothing new. It just pops up every so often... trends do that... like the whole gritty reboot thing? nothing new... look to the James Bond movie franchise, nothing else shows the state of cinema at the time better... The Timothy Dalton movies show how in the late eighties, people wanted to be gritty and shit.

Anyway, I never said I didn't like Game of Thrones... I am quite fond of it actually. But unlike a lot of people, I choose to see the flaws in Martin's writing and storytelling in general... and he did get better with time. And despite his novels being called "Gray" by so many people... they sure as hell didn't start out that way... HAR HAR I'M A STARK, THAT MEANS I'M GOOD...HURR HURR I'M A LANISTER, THAT MEANS I'M EVIL.
Can't really blame Martin, that style emulates with people the best. However, Martin did write himself into a corner... killing Ned stark was the biggest thing he did in his novels...hell he would have to recreate that feeling in order to patent the idea...again...and again...and again.

Martin in an interview said he writes that way because: "HEY KIDZ, I DO THAT BECUZ THEM HEROES GET IN A FIGHT AND YOU'RE ALL LIKE...HE OKAY! HE GOT THIS...BECAUSE HE HERO... I MAKE YOU AFRAID FOR THEM CHARACTERS AND...."
Yes, his characters are mortal. Something many authors tend to forget about their characters... I want to argue that Martin has taken it too far. It has become his shtick and he is forced to keep using it over and over much to his reader's dismay.
Martin claims this makes readers care for the characters more? I disagree.
A pattern is a pattern. Displaying a character, giving them a few asshole qualities, then showing how they're not so bad or the opposite of what you thought before... giving them hardship, having them overcome that hardship, have them excel...then do better...better...DEAD.
Cool, so that is what we call a pattern. Martin does it...over...and over...and over. To the point where readers joke about expecting it. and yes...they do expect it, despite how much they deny they did.
Fans of the book are extremely apathetic, they don't care about the characters anymore because they know that if they do, it'll be more painful when the character is killed over something stupid... hell I would argue that the characters do stupid shit to get themselves killed...especially a certain someone.
It made sense with Ned...NOBODY ELSE.
So yes, I love Game of Thrones, but it is quite flawed. if you disagree, then you are biased and need to get that checked out.
It doesn't belong in the top ten of Science fiction and Fantasy. It only made it so far on the list because it is relevant.

Also American Gods, I read it in high school...guess what? I thought it was okay... not mind blowing.
Please get your jaw off the floor. It is unsightly
Toodles.

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