On epic fantasy

originalGoogle Search Result of the Day:  the phrase “men fucking nen” led someone here. Yes, nen, not “men,” and no, I have no idea.

Also, yes, that’s Maisie Williams.  I don’t actually watch Game of Thrones— no cable, and we haven’t bothered to pay for season passes to download it– but literally every single time she does something as her and not as Arya Stark I find it hilarious.  Sixteen-year-old girls shouldn’t be able to deadpan the way this kid does.

Today’s plan was pretty simple: quick blog post, do no work, sit around read books, maybe give the PS3 a workout for the first time since I finished The Last of Us.  Today’s actual events: quick blog post, do no work, somehow lose three hours, abruptly realize I’m starving and eat lunch, read for an hour, fall asleep, get up just before five.  I was home sick on Monday, remember, and I am officially sick to death of this quasi-ill low-grade recurring semi-mononucleosis bullshit that has plagued me off and on since this school year began.  I don’t normally complain about naps but I did not want to take a nap today and so it was not the pleasurable experience that they normally are.

What I wanted to do: finish The Eye of the World, the first Wheel of Time book, which I’m only about halfway through.  I’ve read the first… six? seven? books in the series, and put them down a long time ago when 1) Robert Jordan wrote an entire book without mentioning my favorite character and 2) I realized just how many books he still had to go before the series was finished– and that was before he died, leaving Brandon Sanderson to take over, and what was supposed to be one final book turned into three final books.

Here’s the thing: other than the omg long nature of the things, I don’t recall having any real complaints about the story or the writing itself– I’ve been looking forward to finally reading the series in full and was excited about picking up the first volume again a few days ago.

It’s… surprisingly hacky.  (OKAY, FUCKING SERIOUSLY, HOW THE HELL DO I TURN OFF THE GODDAMN SPELL CHECKER IN THIS SOFTWARE, BECAUSE IT JUST REPLACED “HACKY,” WHICH IS A WORD, WITH “JACKY,” WHICH ISN’T, AND THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME, AND THE NAN-VS-MAN WARS IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH ALREADY PISSED ME OFF ENOUGH.  I CAN FIX MY OWN DAMN TYPOS, WORDPRESS, DIE IN A FIRE.)

Ahem.  I’m okay now.

It was quite a while ago when I read the series, and to be honest I remembered very little of it, but, like, the nouns are getting to me: he doesn’t have trolls or orcs, he has trollocs, and he doesn’t have ogres, but he has ogiers, and there’s a guy named Thorin in there and you can’t do that, and the bad guy actually has “Ba’al” in his name, and then there’s the scary guy in the ruins whose name is actually Mordeth, like, be a little subtler and call him Lord Evilkill or something like that.  The tuatha de danaan are Irish fairies; he has a group of gypsies called tuatha’an.  I know naming things in fantasy stories can be a pain in the ass, and I’m not blind to the fact that my Grond shares a name with a battering ram in The Return of the King, so maybe this is all a trifle hypocritical, but this stuff just keeps happening.  That and the whole thing is very, very Tolkien in a way that didn’t annoy me the first time I read it through but on reread, much like the formerly-one-of-my-favorite-books-and-now-entirely-unreadable Sword of Shannara, it’s really getting on my nerves.

And I have, like, thirteen more of these things to go.

I may be somewhat less excited about this project than I was when I started it, is what I’m trying to say here.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

10 thoughts on “On epic fantasy

  1. Have your read any of GoT? It will make your work seem like a piece of flash fiction. You could be working on a huge project that never ends like that. Feel better?

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      1. I don’t focus on the entire book. I’m following certain characters and I’m still into their journeys. I have to read the next one to find out what happens to Snow. I have theories.

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  2. For something new, try some Charles de Lint. Each book stands on it’s own but many of the characters reappear over and over. He posits parallel worlds that are peopled with the characters of Celtic and Native American folklore. A few people can see them when they slip into our world and a few people can slip into their worlds.

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  3. Love days when you don’t necessarily have to do anything, but I can understand the frustration over a nap when it is not welcomed because you had an agenda, you were going to stick to it. Then the nap happened and boom, there goes that schedule so you ditch it in anger, and hope that tomorrow or the next day the doom nap will not come and mess it all up.

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  4. Okay, so, now I have to ask: who is your favorite WoT character? I remember stopping halfway through Book 5 because there was barely any Perrin. I can’t remember if they mention him or not, but that’s when I folded. I’m thinking of giving it another chance, though. That was a long time ago…

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  5. Just wanted to say that I am enjoying your blog immensely! I am pretty new to it and find “hopping around” to read the entries can be habit-forming! Cannot wait to read your book when it comes out.

    Regarding the on-and-off again illness/nap taking – I can relate, as I have ME, Hope you feel totally well soon!

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