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Re: [Fantasy_Books] Re: is Lackey lacking?

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  • ethiercn@aol.com
    I know that Bradley worked with Lackey on Rediscovery. The other Darkover novels that have come out since are Ross working from notes (with the possible
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
      I know that Bradley worked with Lackey on Rediscovery. The other Darkover
      novels that have come out since are Ross working from notes (with the possible
      exception of the first Clingfire book). Funny thing is, while I have found
      the Darkover series interesting because of the theme of societal rights vs.
      individual rights, I never really loved Bradley's writing. But I loved the
      Ross books, at least up onto the Alton Gift. The problem with that is Ross
      seems to be trying to write like Bradley. She should just write like Ross.

      Does anyone else remember in the late 80s or early 90s when there were book
      when each chapter was written by a different author (5-6 authors per book)?

      Chris


      In a message dated 1/9/2009 9:19:20 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      sportpony@... writes:

      It's always been my theory ... after Anne McCaffrey did "The Ship That Sang"
      ... and all the subsequent ship books were collaborations ... that authors
      sometimes had this "wonderful" idea about characters and a that carried them
      through a first book but were, maybe not disinterested, but less interested in
      continuing with a series after that first book than with something they were
      already doing ... or new ideas.

      Some of the "Brainship" collaborations were good, others were disappointing.
      In general, I have to say that most of the collaborations I've read tend to
      disappoint ... I have several "first book" of series that I really like and
      keep to re-read ... but the subsequent books, with co-authors, were a
      definitely disappointment.

      Sharon in KY
      Kaleidoscope Farm


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William C. Garthright
      ... I did like The Shadow of the Lion (2002) and its sequel, This Rough Magic (2003), which she co-wrote with Eric Flint and David Freer. They were lots of
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
        > Her later stuff is really hit and miss, and I almost categorically refuse to read anything she cowrites.


        I did like "The Shadow of the Lion" (2002) and its sequel, "This Rough
        Magic" (2003), which she co-wrote with Eric Flint and David Freer. They
        were lots of fun.

        Then again, like Sharon with horses, I tend to be biased in favor of
        books set in Venice (even if it's an alternate Venice in a world of magic).

        Bill

        --
        If one is willing to make adjustments in the historical claims of the
        Bible, they can be correlated with the archaeological evidence if one is
        willing to take some liberties with the archaeological evidence. - J.
        Maxwell Miller
      • William C. Garthright
        ... I agree, Sharon. In a new fantasy series, the setting and the characters are all fresh. We meet them for the first time, so it s intrinsically interesting.
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
          > What I do find with most authors, for me at least, is that the first book will really hook me ... I love it ... sometimes the second holds up pretty well ... and after that it is all downhill.


          I agree, Sharon. In a new fantasy series, the setting and the characters
          are all fresh. We meet them for the first time, so it's intrinsically
          interesting. In the second volume, none of that is new (though the
          author may add a few more characters). Still, he or she often has more
          to say about the whole idea, so it can still be pretty good.

          But as the series continues, the author has fewer and fewer things to
          say about the world or the characters. Fewer NEW things, anyway. Some
          authors are able to slowly introduce new characters in a long-running
          series (I can't think of a fantasy example, but Reginald Hill does this
          very well in his Dalziel and Pascoe mystery series), and pace out the
          development of other characters (so that we learn just a little more in
          each new book). But in other cases (Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, for
          example) the latter books just get horribly cluttered with characters,
          each of whom is required to make an appearance, apparently.

          I think that all series run downhill, though not necessarily steadily.
          Anne McCaffrey's choice of "Dragonsong" and "Dragonsinger" as her third
          and fourth books reinvigorated the Pern series, at least for awhile,
          with a completely different character and point of view. And some can
          keep going longer than others. I'm just amazed at the quality in Lois
          McMaster Bujold's long-running Vorkosigan series (though with the
          publication of the last one, "Diplomatic Immunity," I'm wondering if
          she's finally run out of new insights).

          Theoretically, there's no reason that I can see why an author would EVER
          run out of new things to say. Don't you agree? After all, authors have
          been writing books about the real world for thousands of years, with
          millions of books being published. Have they run out of new things to say?

          But looking at Bujold again, her "The Curse of Chalion" was just
          incredible, with wonderful characters and a unique and fresh-seeming
          system of gods. I was just blown away by it. The sequel, "Paladin of
          Souls," focused on characters who were bit players in the first book,
          and did seem to have new things to say about the whole idea. (Plus, I
          liked the humor. I'm convinced she played a joke on her readers. When
          the heroine was swept up into the arms of a handsome man on a white
          horse, I was wondering what kind of romance novel I'd wandered into. But
          things weren't quite as they seemed.) I thought the second book was just
          as good as the first.

          In the third book, "The Hallowed Hunt," she switched to entirely
          different characters in a different land (still on the same world). And
          it was a good book, too. But we already knew about the gods, and there
          didn't seem to be a whole lot more to say about that. She always has
          wonderful characters in her books, but this one still couldn't match the
          first two. She hasn't written any more in that series, not yet, and I
          think that's wise. On the other hand, how many incredible settings can
          one person imagine in their lives? How many wonderful fantasy settings
          can anyone be expected to invent? Should we expect a constant parade of
          fantasies where we're blown away by the inventiveness and uniqueness of
          the world?

          And there must be a huge financial incentive - for the author AND the
          publisher - to keep writing more books in a popular series. Let's face
          it, if Lois McMaster Bujold writes another book, I'll buy it. It takes a
          number of poor books in a series before I'll finally give up on it.

          Oops! Sorry, I got carried away,... AGAIN. I'm just too long-winded for
          my own good. And certainly for YOUR own good!

          :-D

          Bill

          --
          Bound to the state, religion had long sought adherents with fire, sword,
          and legislative fiat. Unbound, it renewed itself through free
          competition based on its ability to connect with the human soul, one
          soul at a time. - Stephen D. Solomon
        • Kat Hooper
          ... ...But looking at Bujold again, her The Curse of Chalion was just incredible, with wonderful characters and a unique and fresh-seeming system of gods..
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
            Bill said:

            >But as the series continues, the author has fewer and fewer things to say
            ...But looking at Bujold again, her "The Curse of Chalion" was just
            incredible, with wonderful characters and a unique and fresh-seeming system
            of gods.. The sequel, "Paladin of Souls," focused on characters who were
            bit players in the first book, and did seem to have new things to say about
            the whole idea. ..In the third book, "The Hallowed Hunt," she switched to
            entirely different characters in a different land (still on the same world).
            And it was a good book, too. .. Let's face it, if Lois McMaster Bujold
            writes another book, I'll buy it.

            I completely agree - The Chalion series did this better than any other I've
            read and I'm convinced that this is the best way to write fantasy (new
            characters in a partly familiar world with old characters making cameos or
            being referred to). This series is one of my very favorites.

            However, I absolutely loathed her Sharing Knife series. The writing was
            excellent as usual, but I didn't like her heroine and I couldn't get past
            that. I've reviewed both of those series here:
            http://www.fantasyliterature.net/bujoldloismcmaster.html)

            But, as Bill says, I'll try anything written by Bujold. She's a master.

            Kat
            FanLit.net



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • William C. Garthright
            ... I tend to shy away from collaborations in an established series, especially with unknown authors. Too often, they seem to be written by obsessed fans who
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
              > It's always been my theory ... after Anne McCaffrey did "The Ship That Sang" ... and all the subsequent ship books were collaborations ... that authors sometimes had this "wonderful" idea about characters and a that carried them through a first book but were, maybe not disinterested, but less interested in continuing with a series after that first book than with something they were already doing ... or new ideas.
              >


              I tend to shy away from collaborations in an established series,
              especially with unknown authors. Too often, they seem to be written by
              obsessed fans who can't come up with their own ideas for a story. (I
              imagine the first draft, written by a newbie, which the original author
              must somehow try to make into a book.) OK, I understand that, because I
              wouldn't be able to do it, either. And I can get pretty obsessive myself
              about a series I love. But I don't think it makes for good fiction.

              On the other hand, from what I've read, Eric Flint's "1632" series was
              imagined as a collaborative effort from the start, though the first book
              was written entirely by him. It's a sprawling world with thousands of
              characters, in which the stories of ordinary people are the key to the
              whole transformation of the society. Newcomers and established authors
              alike write stories and novels set in that fictional world, and
              together, they build on this shared vision.

              I must admit that I've really enjoyed that. Oh, the books and stories
              are quite variable in quality. And I think the whole thing has gone on
              for much too long. But it really was kind of neat, at least in the
              beginning. So I may have to reconsider my earlier thinking, at least a bit.

              And heck, if this is how a budding author can start his career, how
              could I object to that? (For established authors, though, I just wonder
              if they're running out of ideas.)

              Bill

              --
              One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good
              time. - Nancy Astor
            • William C. Garthright
              ... I was hugely disappointed with the Sharing Knife, and I agree with your reviews, Kat. But I do suspect that they weren t as bad to read as they might have
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
                > However, I absolutely loathed her Sharing Knife series. The writing was excellent as usual, but I didn't like her heroine and I couldn't get past that. I've reviewed both of those series here:
                > http://www.fantasyliterature.net/bujoldloismcmaster.html)
                >


                I was hugely disappointed with the Sharing Knife, and I agree with your
                reviews, Kat. But I do suspect that they weren't as bad to read as they
                might have been to hear, especially if you didn't like the reader's
                voice. But my opinions have also changed a bit, from what I thought on
                my first read of "Beguilement."

                I think I was shocked by "The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement,"
                because Bujold is my very favorite author and I was expecting so much.
                I'd absolutely loved her Vorkosigan space opera series, her Chalion
                fantasy series, and even her earlier standalone fantasy, "The Spirit
                Ring" (1992). So I was just astonished that I disliked this book. I
                could hardly believe it.

                In my case, Fawn probably wasn't the big problem, but she was very
                childish. And that just made the love affair even creepier (I absolutely
                agree with you there!). It's wasn't... quite... child abuse, but it was
                way too close for my tastes. Fawn wasn't just 19, she was a very young
                and immature 19 (she seemed more like 15, I thought). And the unending
                wedding preparations at the end of the book? Please!

                I was a bit happier with the second volume, except for the opening sex
                scene. (I tend to think that explicit sex works better in a movie than
                in a book, because it never seems very real to me when I'm reading it. I
                think it's just the wrong medium.) There seemed to be a decent fantasy
                story struggling to emerge from this romance novel. The third volume
                was... OK, I guess. It was more fantasy than romance, but it just sort
                of petered out at the end. Apparently, there are more volumes to come,
                since there was no real ending at all. (She should have stopped with
                two,... or even none.)

                But I re-read the first two books before I read the third, and I wasn't
                quite so disgusted with the whole thing. Maybe I just got used to it.
                The other thing that happened is that I read a speech about this series
                which Bujold made at a SF convention. I wish I had a link to that,
                because it was very interesting. The Sharing Knife was apparently an
                experiment (unfortunately, she didn't give any indication that the
                experiment was finished). She talked about the varied response she'd
                seen, how fantasy fans hated the romance parts, and how romance fans
                hated the fantasy which intruded on the great love affair.

                It was really kind of funny. Well, I guess tastes are different, huh? It
                WAS a good speech, and I felt better knowing that this was just an
                experiment, a deliberate attempt to combine the fantasy and romance
                genres. And, as I say, maybe I just got used to the whole idea after
                awhile. I still don't like the Sharing Knife, but I'm not quite as upset
                by it as I used to be. And I can now admit that I do like parts of it.
                There was a very interesting fantasy in there. Too bad it was... spoiled
                like that.

                The odd thing is that I do like some romance in my fantasy (and in my
                science fiction and mysteries, too). I like character-based fiction, and
                romance is usually a big part of that. I even like such works as the
                Liaden series by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, where romance is a BIG
                part of the story. But if the Sharing Knife is an attempt to combine
                those two genres, then I suspect that I'd absolutely HATE "romance
                novels." I've never read any, so I don't know. It just seems weird to
                me, since, as I say, I do like romance as part of my fiction (or what I
                consider to be romance, anyway, not old men having sex with girls 40
                years their junior).


                > But, as Bill says, I'll try anything written by Bujold. She's a master.


                Yup. I'll still buy the next book she writes. I've received enough
                enjoyment from her books over the years, that it's going to take more
                than this to discourage me.

                Bill

                --
                Because a fellow has failed once or twice, or a dozen times, you don't
                want to set him down as a failure till he's dead or loses his courage -
                and that's the same thing. - George C. Lorimer
              • Sharon
                Just one more maybe? I REALLY want to knolw how that soldier
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
                  <<<She hasn't written any more in that series, not yet, and I
                  think that's wise. Bill >>>

                  Just one more maybe? I REALLY want to knolw how that soldier character manages to deal with the bear demon that he's ... mmmm ... ? in possession of? ... particularly in view of the fact that most of those "infected" by demons become saints!

                  Sharon in KY
                  Kaleidoscope Farm

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jamesfhenry
                  I ve seen spin-off books that take existing characters and plots, like the Star Wars saga, where writers were commissioned to write stories in the same line,
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 9, 2009
                    I've seen spin-off books that take existing characters and plots,
                    like the Star Wars saga, where writers were commissioned to write
                    stories in the same line, but tangentially related. Splinter of the
                    Mind's Eye is a good example there. But if I had gotten bored with a
                    topic, I would just wash my hands of it and let someone else run with
                    it themselves.

                    In my case, as I'm nearing the completion of the second book in my
                    series, I'm becoming more excited about the plot and characters than
                    I was when I first conceptualized it. In particular, the conclusion
                    of the second book opens such a Pandora's Box that I may have to
                    write an extra book just to answer questions it opens up. That came
                    as a legitimate shock to me, but a welcome one. I dedicated the first
                    book to my oldest child, Tyler. The second book is dedicated to my
                    second child, Kristen, and the third will be to my youngest child,
                    Isaiah. But then my wife has two older kids who I love like my own,
                    and I always wanted to write books for them too. So I always knew I
                    needed five stories, but only had ideas for four of them, so now I've
                    got enough material to dedicate one book to each of the kids. If I
                    get any further inspirations, I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for
                    dedications.....something tells me one of the older boys will make me
                    a step grand father before that becomes an issue.....

                    --- In Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon" <sportpony@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > <<< I don't fully understand why she would start a series by
                    herself, and
                    > collaborate with other books on the same topic. I don't mind the
                    idea
                    > of collaboration, but when it comes to Antiquity Calais, he's all
                    > mine. Jim >>>>
                    >
                    >
                    > It's always been my theory ... after Anne McCaffrey did "The Ship
                    That Sang" ... and all the subsequent ship books were
                    collaborations ... that authors sometimes had this "wonderful" idea
                    about characters and a that carried them through a first book but
                    were, maybe not disinterested, but less interested in continuing with
                    a series after that first book than with something they were already
                    doing ... or new ideas.
                    >
                    > Some of the "Brainship" collaborations were good, others were
                    disappointing. In general, I have to say that most of the
                    collaborations I've read tend to disappoint ... I have several "first
                    book" of series that I really like and keep to re-read ... but the
                    subsequent books, with co-authors, were a definitely disappointment.
                    >
                    > Sharon in KY
                    > Kaleidoscope Farm
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • William C. Garthright
                    ... Well, Sharon, I m never going to say that Lois McMaster Bujold doesn t have something new to say about ANY of her worlds. I wouldn t be at all surprised to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 11, 2009
                      > Just one more maybe? I REALLY want to knolw how that soldier character manages to deal with the bear demon that he's ... mmmm ... ? in possession of? ... particularly in view of the fact that most of those "infected" by demons become saints!
                      >


                      Well, Sharon, I'm never going to say that Lois McMaster Bujold doesn't
                      have something new to say about ANY of her worlds. I wouldn't be at all
                      surprised to see a new Chalion novel, and I imagine it would be pretty
                      good, too.

                      Bill

                      --
                      Bad science contributes to the steady dumbing down of our nation. Crude
                      beliefs get transmitted to political leaders and the result is
                      considerable damage to society. We see this happening now in the rapid
                      rise of the religious right and how it has taken over large segments of
                      the Republican Party. - Martin Gardner
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