Mad Genius Club– highly recommended in general, especially for writers, especially especially for indie writers- had a post recently featuring an old interview with the esteemed Terry Pratchett. He made some excellent points about what’s termed ‘genre fiction’ in circles I’ve been in vicinity of- that is, fantasy and sci-fi.
Fantasy is often the target of elitist dismissal but sci-fi gets it plenty, too, though less because science fiction bleeds into modern life so often. You can also pretend it’s grounded in hard fact and real trends and therefore get your Serious Literary Writer cred if you approach it with Serious Writer Voice by way of some current pet cause of the Great and Good.
Elitist approval is an interesting thing to go chasing. I get liking something and getting your hackles up when someone unfairly criticizes it; morons who dismiss Tolkien as a cute, happy fairytale (in the modern sense of that noun) certainly anger me for as long as I care to dwell upon their wrongness. But I don’t understand getting outraged about it as if they’ve kicked your dog’s ribs in.
My MMO of choice is Guild Wars 2. Insult me at will. I shelled out for this game and the reason I got my gaming tower is so it runs smoothly.
I was fascinated by the charr race and that’s what my character is. They are, of course, basically the kzinti, including their past history of genocidal war with humans, though their sexual dimorphism is not Niven-crazy. I generally find the world interesting, though the new main cast of the story is a deeply uninteresting set of people. Such are MMOs.
GW2 was the first time I ever saw the increasingly common trope of the bad guys being ALL THE BAD. They are not merely cultists of a world-eating god or a remnant of a violently deposed regime. They are also racist AND sexist AND they destroy the environment AND…
I’ll preface this by saying that I increasingly despise what Disney has done to Star Wars. I grew up with the Extended Universe. In fact, my favorite book is Starfighters of Adumar. Wedge Antilles is my biggest fictional hero and Mara Jade is the coolest female character ever written.
Poe Dameron is the worst character in the Star Wars movies and I want to punch him in the face. Yes, worse than Jar Jar Binks. Worse then the other awful characters in Disney’s Star Wars, including Rose with her stupid, stupid, stupid line. I shall now explain at length why I have this unpopular opinion.
I did it. I finally fought my way through Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer.
Man, was that a slog. After the other wonderful books of the Stormlight Archive, it was a letdown.
I come not to praise Brandon Sanderson, but to complain lovingly about his latest release.