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23909Re: [mythsoc] RPG fiction

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  • Alana Joli Abbott
    Dec 19, 2012
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      Er.  Do you actually not like novels inspired by RPGs?  Or do you just not like
      novels that are obviously someone's writeup of a D&D campaign or that feel like

      Guessing here that David's objection is primarily to RPG tie-in novels. There are quite a lot of bad ones out there. I certainly tried to write good ones (my two published novels are tie-in novels to a now-defunct RPG), though, as I said, I think there are ways in which the RPG-tie-in novel must work both as a narrative and as a piece of marketing, and I've no idea if or how that shows up in my own work. 

      I will say though that I've been very impressed with some lines of RPG-tie-in fiction that have tackled large issues. I've never read one that I thought was striving toward a literary stylistic delivery -- all those that I've read tend to be more like adventure or pulp fiction in style than, say, Joyce or Faulkner -- but I have read a number that I felt handled issues of faith, both losing it and finding it, in a complex and interesting way, particularly for worlds in which gods are just a factual part of life. So I think that, while they may not be to everyone's taste due to style -- or, perhaps, substance -- RPG-tie-in novels can be a place for numinous qualities and big questions and compelling character story arcs. And, like with most fiction, there's usually a lot of drek to wade through before the real gems surface.

      I do suspect that RPG-tie-in novels might have more in common with, say, H. Rider Haggard (whose works I know by reputation only) than with Tolkien, despite how many RPG-tie-in novels borrow the trappings of Middle Earth.

      I am loving the way that music came into this conversation, and feel like it's a beautifully apt comparison.


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