Style is Part of the Substance

Style is Part of the Substance

Alexandru Constantin notes that not only is much of modern fantasy shallow in substance, but it also posesses no depth of style, rendering it almost unreadable. Most of all, all three of the books had pedestrian writing that lacked any hint of style. The prose felt like early young adult, middle school grade, nothing fancier than early Animorphs, and the plot and characters felt stolen from a overwritten D&D module. But to get back twitter and the whole point of this post. I posted about giving up on most fantasy because the writing sucks. People responded, we had…

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Pop Kult

Via Castalia house, an excellent post on how pop culture is more accurately, as Brian Neimeier puts it, Pop Kult (or "Cult"). The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult That said, I do think he's overlooked something: When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney…

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False Depth in Storytelling

False Depth in Storytelling

One thing I often get - most recently regarding the show "Succession" and mostly from people who don't know me that well in my circle of acquaintances - is shock that I don't like [Stephen King | Game of Thrones | Whatever piece of dross that's popular today that involves horrible people being horrible to each other ] "But you should try it out instead of dismissing it right away / after a few minutes" The answer I give echoes Alexandru Constantin's - I don't like it, why should I continue to waste time on that? "But you could…

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On Higher Powers

On Higher Powers

I keep tabs on Bruce Charleton's blog, and so the recent post on Phil K Dick caught my eye. In the past couple of months I have read/ listened-to a dozen Philip K Dick novels, and most of the Exegesis - his philosophical and spiritual journal written during his last eight years. I haven't enjoyed a fiction writer so much, in such quantity, for several years. Certainly, I appreciate his work more fully this time round than when I read a batch of his novels more than thirty-five years ago (triggered by watching Blade Runner - one of the half-dozen…

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A Few Good Books

A Few Good Books

John C Wright recently reviewed The Hidden Truth by Hans Schantz, describing it as "part alternate history, part coming-of-age story, and part techno-thriller, peppered with wry observations about the nature of people, politics and power as seen through the eyes of a youth learning a hard lesson about the evils men hide." He is entirely correct. I found the first book engaging enough to go ahead and buy the second and third while I was on what, at the time, started as a vacation of sorts, and ended with a very difficult time in my life almost precisely one year…

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More Miscellany from the Internet

More Miscellany from the Internet

First, Brian Neimeier discusses that "works of art last" - the second half of an old saying many of us, including me until recently, only knew as "life is short." The equivalent Greek word is techne. That's a big clue that everybody before the Modern era would have put Michelangelo and Steve Jobs in the same general category. Both made stuff according to a standard. That's really what writing is. A carpenter makes a birdhouse by putting wood, nails, and glue together in the right configuration. An author makes a book by doing the same thing…

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i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

For maximum compatibility, the audio files downloaded from Arkaven come as mp4 "video" files because while they are technically m4b files, many applications (like WinAmp) won't recognize them or play them well, and calling them mp4 results in a "least wrong" default that will still play the audio. In either case, since these are your files that you download - and back up if you're smart - you can't just spin up an "audible" app to download and listen to them in one easy place. The good news is that Arkhaven has an excellent guide to get you started. Nevertheless,…

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

First, as Cataline notes, we have a sequel to the excellent Soda Pop Soldier. You may recall I very much liked the first one, and am also looking forward to whatever is next in his Wyrd series. Brian Niemeier is promoting what sounds like a really cool series. Downside is that it’s on indiegogo - upside is that it’s promoting a cool sounding project. The title poem for Nightmare at Noon is well worth the time.…

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