R Scott Bakker vs. China Mieville

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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2013, 10:07:56 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote from: Curethan
death swirling down all over the place
To be fair that's probably some 'life is a spiral, but seen only from its end as a circle' and some sort of paradoxy only seen by souls thing. To be fair, it's more like a flag.

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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:04 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Wilshire, you make me think of Guy Kay... That's how I would describe him against Bakker, as well.

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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:09 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Guy Kay hmm? Maybe I should read him too.

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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:14 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I wouldn't recommend his urban fantasy but then I'm just not that into urban fantasy, just fyi, if you're going to seek his stuff out. Tigana, Under Heaven, Lions of Al-Rassan, Last Light of the Sun, I can vouch for - though, again, not really decided on how much I enjoy his stuff.

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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:18 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
Tigana is a favourite of mine. The first time I put it down I felt satisfied, but everytime I began to consider it again my appreciation for it would grow. Under Heaven is near the top of my summer reading list.

If I'm not mistaken, Kay is also partly responsible for crafting Tolkien's notes into The Silmarillion alongside Christopher Tolkien. He's definitely worth checking out

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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:23 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I thoroughly enjoyed Tigana for the musical focus and the little analogous caveats to the Iberian peninsula.

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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:28 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
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I thoroughly enjoyed Tigana for the musical focus
Same here. Initially I thought a troupe of musicians incongruous to the story (sorry if I'm vague, I'm trying to avoiding spoiling the novel for anyone who hasn't read it), but after completing the novel it makes a lot of sense and is actually quite clever and moving.

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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:33 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol. Yeah. The Dive for the Ring was also spell-bounding.

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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:38 pm »
Quote from: Church
also some gay barbarians in Tigana if my memory serves me correctly, so good RSB crossover!

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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:43 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
Quote from: Madness
I thoroughly enjoyed Tigana for the musical focus and the little analogous caveats to the Iberian peninsula.

I always thought the Peninsula of the Palm was (loosely) based on Italy...

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« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:48 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
Quote from: Wilshire
Guy Kay hmm? Maybe I should read him too.

Guy Kay is one of my role-models.  Back in the day I used to worship the page he wrote upon.  Now, not so much.  As an author, he's extraordinarily, sometimes mind-bogglingly good at many things; but I think he's also quite weak when it comes to other things.  His language can be gorgeous.  His authortial sensibilities in general are top-notch, in my opinion.  His greatest weakness, I think, is storytelling.  Tigana, for instance, seems to me now to be awfully messy and digressive from a storytelling standpoint; yet the ideas, the settings, the feeling of the whole thing is just incredible.

His later books become tighter, but at the cost of grandeur.  Under Heaven, for example, strikes me as a fine piece of storytelling.  But I was surprised by how small the story is.  There's nothing wrong with small.  I've wished more than once that I was capable of writing a story with such a limited scope.  But there's something... I dunno... too neat and restrained about it, it seems to me, especially given that the book is set against the backdrop of historical events of massive, massive proportions.

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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2013, 10:09:00 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
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Tigana, for instance, seems to me now to be awfully messy and digressive from a storytelling standpoint; yet the ideas, the settings, the feeling of the whole thing is just incredible.
I read it a few years back, before I had taken a genuine interest in storytelling as a craft; I'm also finishing up a class in narrative theory at the moment, so I might have to give it another read afterwards. Although, our application text is Tristram Shandy, so digression is the name of the game :)

Quote
But there's something... I dunno... too neat and restrained about it, it seems to me, especially given that the book is set against the backdrop of historical events of massive, massive proportions.
Under Heaven is on my shelf waiting to be read so I'm just hazarding a guess here: is it possible that it is intentionally tight because of the vastness of the history? Is it written in a way that someone familiar with the history will appreciate the smaller scope of it, or perhaps written in a way that encourages research and a second read?

Also, @Madness and any other musicians out there, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind might be worth checking out for its musical focus. I was absolutely spellbound by Kvothe, could barely put the first book down

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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2013, 10:09:07 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: delavagus
Quote from: Madness
I thoroughly enjoyed Tigana for the musical focus and the little analogous caveats to the Iberian peninsula.

I always thought the Peninsula of the Palm was (loosely) based on Italy...

Upside down, I could see that. Honestly, it was something in his descriptions and characters that reminded me of the region - no real logical choice, simply an affect that came over me reading.

@Camlost, I have had Name of the Wind on my shelf since the summer we met. In fact, I had it that entire summer too. I've never even felt the urge to crack it - first-person narrative can be extremely tedious for me, sometimes, depending on its craft.

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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2013, 10:09:16 pm »
Quote from: delavagus
Quote from: Madness
I have had Name of the Wind on my shelf since the summer we met. In fact, I had it that entire summer too. I've never even felt the urge to crack it - first-person narrative can be extremely tedious for me, sometimes, depending on its craft.

I know it's probably bad form for me to be too open in criticizing fantasy authors -- I don't want it to seem that I think myself 'superior' to them, esp. given that they've finished books and gotten published and I'm still just a wannabe; nor do I want to make 'enemies' before I even publish a book -- but I'll run the risk enough to say that I was very disappointed by TNOTW.  I'm honestly perplexed by the praise heaped on it.

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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2013, 10:09:20 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
I'm getting a little of topic with this post, away from Mieville that is, but I thought I might clarify my particular appreciation for TNotW. I've always had an interest in classical mythology. Now, this might seem a strange correlation, but the idea of a legend telling his own story seemed similar to the notion of myths being subject to group control (variants popping up throughout time and place) for me, and that struck me as a very interesting narrative feature of the text.

I've always been an advocate of structured magic systems in fantasy elsewise it simply becomes a plot feature. This was one of the initial big draws to Bakker's work for me. Applying this to Rothfuss' work, I found Sympathy to be a clever form of structured magic (again keeping it vague for those who haven't read it).

Back to the topic at hand though, has anyone read Kraken by Mieville?