Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Recent Fantasy

Expand Messages
  • Bill
    If, somehow, the current boom had gotten started without them ... Hmm..I put this in a second email because I m puzzled a bit by it. The formula for most of
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 2 12:44 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      If, somehow, the current boom had gotten started without them
      >and had taken its current form, they are both way too outside the formula
      >(yes, Tolkien is outside the formula inspired by his own works) to be
      >successful as they stand from a publisher aiming at riding the boom.

      Hmm..I put this in a second email because I'm puzzled a bit by it.
      The formula for most of the bestselling fantasys are so much Tolkienish
      I fail to see why JRR would be outside it. You can draw up a chart
      with all the Eddings, Shannara, Feist, Williams and Jordan series and
      check off the similiarities to LoTR. I once used to amuse a friend with a
      litany of "Gandalf begat Alannon, who begat Belgarath, who begat..." etc.
      The wizard from the Dragonlance trilogy was in there too, but I forgot his
      name. <g>
      Even Donaldson could be said to follow in Tolkien's steps, except as the
      anti-Tolkien.<g>.
      Now, if by some publishing catastorphe (and no matter what we may think
      about some of these series, their ceasing to be would be disastrous to the
      genre and some publishers)they all vanished, De Lint might...MIGHT ..show
      a minor blip in sales. But I doubt it, as much as I love his work. I've
      tried to handsell his books to readers who were looking to read something
      while chomping at the bit for Jordan's next installment. Mind you, I was
      fairly sure it was a case of apples and oranges. I was right,in most cases.
      On the other hand, I had great success selling GAME OF THRONES when it first
      was published because I used a description from somewhere that called it
      "The War of the Roses meets Tolkien". We sold 56 copies in a month, and led
      the chain in sales for it.
      If anything, we are about to enter another Tolkien influenced boom,if
      my hunch is right. There is the Dungeons and Dragons movie possibly out
      this fall.(Since there is a new rules system being released for the game
      about the same time I think it's a safe assumption that it will be the
      fall.) And of course LoTR due out the year after..

      Bill W.
    • LSolarion@aol.com
      In a message dated 06/30/2000 8:30:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time, dbratman@genie.idt.net writes: ... The Saint Martin s Press rep who comes to my store gives me
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 2 5:31 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        In a message dated 06/30/2000 8:30:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
        dbratman@... writes:

        << Diane wrote about Jordan:

        > I *knew* I was in for a long haul ... He needed to take out the
        > incidental materials and "cut to the chase." >>

        The Saint Martin's Press rep who comes to my store gives me occasional
        gossippy tidbits about Jordan, who has been getting more and more coy about
        how many books there are going to be. However, the rep says the upcoming
        instalment, due in November, will advance the plot considerably. A lot is
        going to happen, evidently, unlike what I've heard about the last one, which
        I haven't read yet (I'm waiting until the whole series is done, and hoping I
        live that long). Apparently, Jordan has been getting intimations of
        impatience from his fans. Let's hope so.

        Meanwhile, I'm really looking forward to the new George Martin!
        Cheers,
        Steve
      • David S. Bratman
        ... But it wasn t because fantasy, the genre, went into decline. ... Indeed. As I said, the vein of classics had been tapped out: the books had sold to those
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 2 5:38 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Bill wrote:

          > This was the point I was trying to make. For years after the Lin
          > Carter line ended, most of the classics he reprinted went out of print
          > again. Only recently have some lesser publishers brought a few out and
          > DelRey recently reprinted two Dunsanys in trade paperback.

          But it wasn't because fantasy, the genre, went into decline.

          > Being in the book selling business for 12 years now, I still feel it
          > was lack of sales that persuaded the new owners not to continue it as it
          > was.

          Indeed. As I said, the vein of classics had been tapped out: the books
          had sold to those who were interested, and weren't selling many more, and
          Carter was beginning to run out of top-notch work that was a) available
          to reprint and b) was in the specific subgenre in which he was
          interested. When I said that fantasy had not ceased to sell, I meant
          fantasy in general, not those books in particular. My main point was
          that they _never_ sold in large quantities to the sort of people fueling
          the fantasy boom now. This had nothing to do with whether there was a
          fantasy boom on or not. The Unicorn's Head books were a prestige series
          for Ballantine, which never sold particularly well.

          > Also the McKillip RiddleMaster books. A great time to haunt the sf
          > section of the bookstores.

          The first two Riddle Master books, having already appeared in hardcover
          from Atheneum, came out in Del Rey paperbacks the following year, 1978.
          (The third book had not yet appeared at all: it came out the next year.)
          Yes, Del Rey was still publishing some good fantasy then, and it's useful
          to remember that.

          David Bratman
          - not responsible for the following advertisement -
        • David S. Bratman
          Bill - You need not convince me of the startling similarities between Tolkien and Donaldson, Eddings, etc. Nor is there any question whence these
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 2 5:46 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Bill -

            You need not convince me of the startling similarities between Tolkien
            and Donaldson, Eddings, etc. Nor is there any question whence these
            similarities.

            But beyond that, a specific formula has grown up, out of this general
            form, which Tolkien does not follow, and which makes him disappointing to
            those who are expecting it.

            Not being gifted with this mindset, it's difficult for me to describe it,
            but among the stumbling-blocks which readers of this sort find in LOTR
            are the very scanty and unsystematized use of magic, and the long
            meandering opening section before the adventure really gets going, along
            with various "slack" passages thereafter.

            Don't take my word for it: ask your customers. Certainly Tolkien is still
            popular among many, even the young, but you will also find many young
            readers who've grown up on later fantasists and who find Tolkien very
            difficult or uninteresting.

            David Bratman
            - not responsible for the following advertisement -
          • David S. Bratman
            Lisa - Since the panel description on the Chicon website reads J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are the best known of the group, but there were other Inklings
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 22, 2000
            • 0 Attachment
              Lisa -

              Since the panel description on the Chicon website reads "J.R.R. Tolkien
              and C.S. Lewis are the best known of the group, but there were other
              Inklings too," it seems to me that what you're really on is a Charles
              Williams panel. He's the real "other" Inkling, and the only other one
              who wrote fantasy, so he's the one you should focus on. And it so
              happens that since our book of Williams has actually been published, I'll
              bring a copy along and you can show it off on the panel.

              Sayers can also be mentioned, but she was a Friend Of, not an Inkling.
              The other Inklings most worth mentioning, to an audience which doesn't
              want the boring scholarly blither that I'd probably contribute if I were
              a panelist, are:

              W.H. Lewis - CSL's brother, author of some delightful volumes on French
              history of the Louis XIV period (especially _The Splendid Century_) and a
              superb diarist: selections of his diaries have been published under the
              title _Brothers and Friends_, and are a good picture of CSL as well as
              interesting in their own right.

              Nevill Coghill - a literature professor at Oxford, he specialized in
              drama and directed some notable Shakespeare productions, as well as
              Richard Burton's film of Marlowe's _Doctor Faustus_; but to a literary
              audience he should be most noted for his fine translation of Chaucer's
              _Canterbury Tales_, in the Penguin edition.

              Owen Barfield - somebody other than me will have to try to boil him into
              a paragraph, but essentially he was a philosopher of language whose
              thought deeply influenced both Lewis and Tolkien and enriched their
              work. The Barfield books to start with are _Poetic Diction_ and _Saving
              the Appearances_: the latter in particular will be appreciated by anybody
              who was interested by Julian Jaynes's _The Origin of Consciousness in the
              Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind_. Barfield's influence on Tolkien is
              well described in _A Question of Time_ by Verlyn Flieger.

              Good luck!

              David Bratman
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.