The Second Apocalypse

General => News/Announcements => Topic started by: Yellow on August 24, 2017, 07:08:16 pm

Title: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on August 24, 2017, 07:08:16 pm
Mark Lawrence is running a poll on his blog to try and rate different novels according to how grimdark they are (and therefore get a feel for what the genre actually defines).

Anyway, TDTCB is there, but it can't be added to the list until it gets 100 votes. If you haven't already, consider going along and voting (and also on the others in the low vote list).

http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/grimdark-were-nailing-it-down.html?m=1 (http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/grimdark-were-nailing-it-down.html?m=1)
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on August 24, 2017, 07:21:15 pm
As of when I clicked it, 82 votes, 52 of which are 5 out of 5.

This might be interesting. Already some good examples of what "isn't" grimdark - Magicians, Lock Lamora, The Sword of Shannara (lol, I hope this is the low bar)

Prince of Thorns is currently the high water mark by far, which I havent read so can't comment. Seems appropriate form what I've heard.

Blade itself is somewhere in the high 3's.

All very interesting. I do hope people vote "based on how grimdarky" a book is, rather than "how much they like it". Thanks for posting!

Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on August 24, 2017, 07:27:37 pm
I've never read Mark Lawrence's books, but I might give them a try based on this result. Oooh, he's suckered me in ;)
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on August 24, 2017, 07:33:07 pm
I've never read Mark Lawrence's books, but I might give them a try based on this result. Oooh, he's suckered me in ;)

POT has been on my list for a long time. One of these days ...
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: MSJ on August 24, 2017, 11:36:05 pm
Just voted, 96 votes after me. Come on, only need 4 for more.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on August 25, 2017, 11:30:54 am
The Darkness That Comes Before - by R. Scott Bakker, Grimdark Rating 4.49
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Madness on August 25, 2017, 01:22:20 pm
Lol.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on August 25, 2017, 01:37:33 pm
I submit that this is a log scale, the curve is exponential, order of magnitude more grimdarky between each full point.

ie. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ratings equal 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 grimdark units...
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 25, 2017, 11:44:01 pm
I submit that this is a log scale, the curve is exponential, order of magnitude more grimdarky between each full point.

ie. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ratings equal 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 grimdark units...

"Grimdark units" will now be my metric for measurement of all things, literary and otherwise.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 26, 2017, 05:32:49 pm
I'm still not entirely sure what grimdark means, but if we take it to be realistic and graphic violence and moral greyness, then it sure fits TDTCB.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on August 26, 2017, 07:20:07 pm
Personally, I've always considered it to be a combination of :

1. Moral realism
2. Unwillingness to shy away from realistic descriptions of violence
3. An accurate reflection of how the real world would behave

I guess, for me, it means "realistic".
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Woden on August 26, 2017, 08:02:37 pm
Another vote for Bakker.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Madness on August 27, 2017, 04:03:42 pm
Even its supposed constituent authors (http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.ca/2015/02/after-grimdark-grim-gathering-responds_5.html) don't agree on what's what...
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on August 27, 2017, 05:12:32 pm
Good to read the views of some of the authors of my favourite subgenre.

Just need to get Heroes Die into that poll! Love me some Caine :)
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 27, 2017, 07:18:02 pm
Grimdark seems to have some negative connotations for Bakker.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Hand of Yawgmoth on August 27, 2017, 11:22:12 pm
Darkness that Comes Before is currently the most grimdark out of all the books up for voting with a 4.49! The only other book currently above a 4.0 is Prince of Thorns.

Just need to get Heroes Die into that poll! Love me some Caine :)

It's in the next round of voting, and I'll be disappointed if it doesn't break the 4.0 threshold.

Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: MSJ on August 28, 2017, 12:39:09 am
Quote from:  tleilaxu
Grimdark seems to have some negative connotations for Bakker.

I don't see how you took that away at all. I took that he was referring to others who don't like whats in the "bag". His final statement seemed to suggest quite the opposite of what you took away.

Quote from: The RSB
I appreciate that some people don't like frightening and troubling things, but please... Don't blame the bag.

[EDIT Madness: Fixed quote tag.]
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Srancy on September 06, 2017, 12:35:36 am
I actually find Earwa uplifting. At least there is the hope for Salvation in their world.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 06, 2017, 01:03:47 am
I've never read Mark Lawrence's books, but I might give them a try based on this result. Oooh, he's suckered me in ;)

Dude, don't. Waste of your time - his story is "ok", but not a good writer.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 06, 2017, 01:08:29 am
Grimdark seems to have some negative connotations for Bakker.

As it should, seems to be a clumsy construct of having to categorize everything. I guess 2 words is too much ( i.e. Fantasy Horror ), so someone had to make a word up, thinking it was cool but quite the opposite, Grimdark is nerdy uncool ( the word, that is - not the works "falling into" this made up genre ).

I took "Grimdark" as a story where the protagonist/hero is evil.

So it appears, Beyond Redemption by Michael R Fletcher, beat it out. Not that I give a shit that anything did, but anyone know this book? Any good?
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: themerchant on September 06, 2017, 04:59:17 am
Just read a couple of reviews sounds interesting.

this bit of a review stuck out for mr personally

"This book is awesome. It takes a very familiar set up - the master thief, the swordsman, the old hand one last job from retirement - and then does.... crazy, crazy lovely things"
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: mostly.harmless on September 08, 2017, 07:57:02 pm
I've read both books by Mr. Fletcher. I think the Grimdark level, for lack of a better word, is similar to PoN/tAE.

I liked the books a lot. He uses German names for ppl, objects, magical system and some other stuff. Knowing German it adds a layer to the story for me, but if you don't I guess the names are also just cool-sounding (my opinion) and looking them up can give you some 'ah-hah!' moments.

Sent from mobile using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on September 12, 2017, 04:22:16 pm
Lmao, I love this exchange in the comments:

Quote
Jimmy Poore8 September 2017 at 11:08
When are you going to draw a map for Book of the ancestors series? I'm dying to read Red Sister but can't bring myself to do it without a map.

Reply
Replies

Mark Lawrence8 September 2017 at 11:40
I'm not going to. If you can't read a book without a map I guess it's not a book for you.


Jimmy Poore9 September 2017 at 06:11
A thousand other authors make reference material let alone a map for their fictional creations. Why would I bother to read one where the author can't be bothered? If people don't like it they don't have to look at it. I hear this talked about all the time, its good to have it for people who want it. It seems your alienating a bunch of people from reading your book especially with an attitude like that!


Mark Lawrence10 September 2017 at 06:59
Like I say: it sounds as if the book isn't for you. I'm sure you can find something else to read.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on September 12, 2017, 04:24:49 pm
Also, Heroes Die is up there now.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Redeagl on September 12, 2017, 05:02:04 pm
Lmao, I love this exchange in the comments:

Quote
Jimmy Poore8 September 2017 at 11:08
When are you going to draw a map for Book of the ancestors series? I'm dying to read Red Sister but can't bring myself to do it without a map.

Reply
Replies

Mark Lawrence8 September 2017 at 11:40
I'm not going to. If you can't read a book without a map I guess it's not a book for you.


Jimmy Poore9 September 2017 at 06:11
A thousand other authors make reference material let alone a map for their fictional creations. Why would I bother to read one where the author can't be bothered? If people don't like it they don't have to look at it. I hear this talked about all the time, its good to have it for people who want it. It seems your alienating a bunch of people from reading your book especially with an attitude like that!


Mark Lawrence10 September 2017 at 06:59
Like I say: it sounds as if the book isn't for you. I'm sure you can find something else to read.

Hah. That's funny.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Madness on September 13, 2017, 12:33:47 am
That actually got a really funny followup by him on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MarkLawrenceBooks/posts/1684910681553634).
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on September 13, 2017, 11:03:59 am
I've never read Mark Lawrence's books, but I might give them a try based on this result. Oooh, he's suckered me in ;)

Dude, don't. Waste of your time - his story is "ok", but not a good writer.

Noted ;)
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Yellow on September 13, 2017, 11:07:06 am
Grimdark seems to have some negative connotations for Bakker.

As it should, seems to be a clumsy construct of having to categorize everything. I guess 2 words is too much ( i.e. Fantasy Horror ), so someone had to make a word up, thinking it was cool but quite the opposite, Grimdark is nerdy uncool ( the word, that is - not the works "falling into" this made up genre ).

I took "Grimdark" as a story where the protagonist/hero is evil.

So it appears, Beyond Redemption by Michael R Fletcher, beat it out. Not that I give a shit that anything did, but anyone know this book? Any good?

I always thought it was taken (sarcastically) from 40k... "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war".

Though Games Workshop is far from what I would consider to be grimdark.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 13, 2017, 05:45:31 pm
Grimdark seems to have some negative connotations for Bakker.

As it should, seems to be a clumsy construct of having to categorize everything. I guess 2 words is too much ( i.e. Fantasy Horror ), so someone had to make a word up, thinking it was cool but quite the opposite, Grimdark is nerdy uncool ( the word, that is - not the works "falling into" this made up genre ).

I took "Grimdark" as a story where the protagonist/hero is evil.

So it appears, Beyond Redemption by Michael R Fletcher, beat it out. Not that I give a shit that anything did, but anyone know this book? Any good?

I always thought it was taken (sarcastically) from 40k... "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war".

Though Games Workshop is far from what I would consider to be grimdark.

Ah, nice - I bet you're right, has to come from somewhere. Personally, I'm fine with very generic classifications, like sci-fi, fantasy or fantasy horror if you will. Dan Simmons pretty much came up with sci-fi horror, but haven't seen much since that measures up - but I'm not well read, so maybe plenty out there that does.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Madness on September 13, 2017, 06:52:59 pm
I always thought it was taken (sarcastically) from 40k... "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war".

As far as anyone can tell, that's where the nomenclature was sourced.

But I mean, in Abercrombie's interviews on the Grim Tidings podcast, he freely admits that he started his @LordGrimdark twitter account to "take the piss out of" (as they say) people calling his stuff Grimdark in the first place and inadvertently legitimized the sub-genre... so there's that ;).
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on October 27, 2017, 02:47:57 pm
How it all shook out. I'm not sure its still being updated at this point:


Beyond Redemption - by Michael R Fletcher, Grimdark Rating 4.72
The Darkness That Comes Before - by R. Scott Bakker, Grimdark Rating 4.44
Prince of Thorns - by Mark Lawrence, Grimdark Rating 4.40
Heroes Die - by Matthew Woodring Stover, Grimdark Rating 4.15 (*)
Godblind - by Anna Stephens, Grimdark Rating 4.12 (*)
The Steel Remains - by Richard K. Morgan, Grimdark Rating 4.11
The Blade Itself - by Joe Abercrombie, Grimdark Rating 4.11
The Court of Broken Knives - by Anna Spark Smith, Grimdark Rating 4.06 (*)
The Black Company - by Glen Cook, Grimdark Rating 3.81
Low Town - by Daniel Polansky, Grimdark Rating 3.72 (*)
The Left Hand of God - by Paul Hoffman, Grimdark Rating 3.69 (*)
Blackwing - by Ed McDonald, Grimdark Rating 3.61 (*)
Horus Rising - by Dan Abnet, Grimdark Rating 3.60 (*)
The Grim Company - by Luke Scull, Grimdark Rating 3.55
Gardens of the Moon - by Steven Erikson, Grimdark Rating 3.52
The Mirror Empire - by Kameron Hurley, Grimdark Rating 3.49 (*)
Elric of Melnibone - by Michael Moorcock, Grimdark Rating 3.48
The Poppy War - by R.F. Kuang, Grimdark Rating 3.48 (*)
Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes,  Grimdark Rating 3.45 (*)
A Game of Thrones - by George RR Martin, Grimdark Rating 3.44
Priest of Bones - by Peter McLean, Grimdark Rating 3.37 (*)
Prince of Fools - by Mark Lawrence, Grimdark Rating 3.27
The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Grimdark Rating 3.20 (*)
Lord Foul's Bane - by Stephen R Donaldson, Grimdark Rating 3.18
The Vagrant - by Peter Newman, Grimdark Rating 3.11
Red Sister - by Mark Lawrence, Grimdark Rating 3.08
The Grey Bastards - by Jonathan French, Grimdark Rating 3.00 (*)
Shadow of the Torturer - by Gene Wolfe, Grimdark Rating 2.96 (*)
The Library at Mount Char - by Scott Hawkins, Grimdark Rating 2.89 (*)
Bloodsong - by Anthony Ryan, Grimdark Rating 2.88 (*)
The Last Wish - by Andrzej Sapkowski, Grimdark Rating 2.82
The Way of Shadows - by Brent Weeks, Grimdark Rating 2.78
Conan - by Howard, Sprague de Camp & Lin Carter, Grimdark Rating 2.68
The Gunslinger - by Stephen King, Grimdark Rating 2.66
The Red Knight - by Miles Cameron, Grimdark Rating 2.66 (*)
Half a King - by Joe Abercrombie, Grimdark Rating 2.64 (*)
The Traitor Baru Cormorant - by Seth Dickinson, Grimdark Rating 2.62 (*)
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett, Grimdark Rating 2.56
Legend - by David Gemmell, Grimdark Rating 2.27
The Lies of Locke Lamora - by Scott Lynch, Grimdark Rating 2.26
The Fifth Season - by N.K. Jemisin, Grimdark Rating 2.26 (*)
Malice - by John Gwynne, Grimdark Rating 2.26 (*)
The Final Empire - by Brandon Sanderson, Grimdark Rating 1.97
Assassin's Apprentice - by Robin Hobb, Grimdark Rating 1.96
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, Grimdark Rating 1.79 (*)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - by N.K. Jemisin, Grimdark Rating 1.75 (*)
One Word Kill - by Mark Lawrence, Grimdark Rating 1.62 (*)
The Innocent Mage - by Karen Miller, Grimdark Rating 1.54 (*)
The Sword of Truth - by Terry Goodkind, Grimdark Rating 1.51
Magician - by Raymond E Feist, Grimdark Rating 1.46
The Pawn of Prophecy - by David Eddings, Grimdark Rating 1.26
The Sword of Shannara - by Terry Brooks, Grimdark Rating 1.16
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on June 11, 2019, 06:52:09 pm
I went back and checked... 8months later. The more I happen to read the books on this list, the more I realize that whatever it is I might think "grimdark" actually is does not appear to be what the general consensus is.

Though, given how varied each individual book's votes are, I suspect there's not much of a consensus.

Like, for example, Poppy War having the same rating as Elric, and Library at Mount Char being so low. Or Fifth Season, Legend, and Lamora being basically the same rating.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 11, 2019, 07:13:29 pm
I'm so disappointed by voted book lists that I stopped considering them a thing long time ago. The problem with them is people not being familiar with all the available options, often not actually being that well-read, and even if they somehow are, not really having any noticeable critical thinking.

Like, The Library at Mount Char, while fairly dark, is made laughable by the stupidity of what's happening there (basically, the whole plot is pointless because the author just simply doesn't understand emotional growth, thinking it can only be achieved through horrible adversity), essentially being grimdark for the sake of being grimdark. The latter can be said about many other books on the list, too. And it's not even in the same universe as TSA, which isn't trying to be dark, it simply is because there is no escaping it and because what happens in the series has actual weight instead of being just a stylized cartoon.

And then there are people who just don't read anything disturbing, so their mileage on grimdark varies, to say the least.

The whole exercise is all around pointless and quite annoying if you take it seriously.

That being out there, looking at it as just a list of new books is how to not get toxic in this situation, so props to Wilshire!
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: Wilshire on June 11, 2019, 07:25:08 pm
I personally really enjoyed Library at Mount Char, that it sits next to Shadow of the Torturer is somewhat telling to me. Though personally I'd place them at different ends, they do end up both being rather moody and have similar themes of emotional development during hard times... However I'm not really a fan of Shadow to begin with so maybe I "didnt get it".

And yes, that's why polls are pointless. The fellow that's not read any of the top 5 (for the sake of argument), might put Elric of Melnibone at a 5 if their other experiences of reading fantasy are Shannara, Sword of Truth, and LOTR.

A list like this is really only as valid as the number of people who have read every one and ranked them accordingly (edit, went back and read your comment - this is exactly what you said lol). Given a few hundred of those people and you might get a list that was at least consistent, but it is then impossible to generalize on a greater scale, as the whole list needs re-evaluated every time a new book is added.

But, I find the attempt enjoyable, and will continue to make up words and genres for "books that are dark" rather than using words other people have made up but don't have useful definitions :P .

Edit: Also, this makes me not want to read Fletcher - I'm pretty skeptical of a book thats "way more grimdark" than TDTCB.
Title: Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 11, 2019, 07:44:03 pm
And yes, that's why polls are pointless. The fellow that's not read any of the top 5 (for the sake of argument), might put Elric of Melnibone at a 5 if their other experiences of reading fantasy are Shannara, Sword of Truth, and LOTR.
Um, one of those things is not like the others! The Sword of Truth is actually quite rape-y, full of torture and a lot of killing, and is very harsh on everyone who disagrees with the main characters. But all of those things are a bit brushed off since the books are mostly centered on getting their simple moralizing - and, later, heavy-handed Objectivism message - across.

All that being said, the Chainfire trilogy (it's part of the Sword of Truth series) is still one of my all-time favorites. Goodkind's really great with explaining his magic, even though it's not very consistent from book to book. But he takes it seriously and has a lot of details and interesting interactions within his magic system that leave other writers far behind.