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Re: [mythsoc] Expecting Another Tolkien

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  • David Bratman
    ... Oh dear. That kind of salesmanship was the bane of my existence throughout my teens, so I sympathize. The problem is that other books may be good, but
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 25, 2007
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      At 11:07 AM 6/25/2007 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:

      >Afraid that can't explain my reaction, since I read TOMBS first, with
      >no preconceptions whatsoever about who should be in it. It was the
      >first fantasy I read after discovering Tolkien, handed to me by
      >someone who said "If you liked Tolkien, you'll like this".

      Oh dear. That kind of salesmanship was the bane of my existence throughout
      my teens, so I sympathize. The problem is that other books may be good,
      but while you're anxiously waiting for _The Silmarillion_ to be published,
      nothing by anybody else will scratch that Tolkien itch.

      A few books I read in those days were good enough on their own terms, and
      sufficiently individual and distinctive as LOTR was, to overcome this
      burden: the Earthsea books and _Watership Down_ among them. Others, like
      the Conan stories, had nothing in common with Tolkien except for having
      heroism in a vaguely barbaric setting, and I couldn't figure out why people
      were recommending them to me at all.


      >--for the 1980s I would pick THE BRIDGE OF BIRDS for that honor.

      A delightful, colorful book. But not what I would call a great fantasy by
      any standard. The book from that decade, indeed even the very same year,
      that I keep returning to is _Fire and Hemlock_, which I still consider
      Diana Wynne Jones's best.
    • Cathy Akers-Jordan
      ... I had the same problem as a teen/college student, John. After reading LotR at 15, I quickly learned to avoid any books that friends or cover blurbs
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 26, 2007
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        > It was the first fantasy I read after discovering Tolkien, handed to
        > me by someone who said "If you liked Tolkien, you'll like this".

        I had the same problem as a teen/college student, John. After reading
        LotR at 15, I quickly learned to avoid any books that friends or cover
        blurbs compared to Tolkien because 1. *nothing* could compare, 2. it
        was usually nothing like LotR, and 3. I usually hated it (like
        Sharnara and Thomas Covenant, which I've mentioned before).

        For years I didn't read sword-and-sorcery fantasy because nothing
        could compare to an epic like LotR and I hated the books my friends
        thought were wonderful. I liked Piers Anothy in high school but
        outgrew him long before my friends did. I read things like Watership
        Down, Ray Bradbury, and lots mysteries (still love those!) -- until I
        discovered Harry Potter. :)

        Now I see I have lots of catching up to do!

        So many books, so little time,

        Cathy
      • alexeik@aol.com
        ... From: John D Rateliff To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 2:07 pm Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re:Golden Compass/Northern
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 26, 2007
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          -----Original Message-----
          From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 2:07 pm
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re:Golden Compass/Northern Lights Award






          On Jun 24, 2007, at 4:31 PM, John D Rateliff wrote:
          >> just as I rank Pullman's the best of the 1980s.
          > Sorry: obviously, that should have read "best of the 1990s".

          --for the 1980s I would pick THE BRIDGE OF BIRDS for that honor.

          --JDR
          <<

          I might have said _Little, Big_.
          Alexei





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        • lynnmaudlin
          So why did The Golden Compass/Northern Lights win, instead of the whole His Dark Materials book? *confused* Reading the variety of responses and reactions
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 26, 2007
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            So why did "The Golden Compass/Northern Lights" win, instead of the
            whole "His Dark Materials" book? *confused*

            Reading the variety of responses and reactions to this and LeGuin and
            others, I can only think "Your Mileage May Vary--" we are individuals
            and respond as such. This is a good thing, imho.

            -- Lynn --

            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > I can't concur. GC isn't a book in its own right,
            > like Wizard of Earthsea, but merely Volume 1, like
            > Fellowship. It can't to my mind be judged
            > independent of the other volumes, and like David, I
            > find the third in particular to be a trainwreck: Act
            > III of Faust as imagined by William Burroughs.
            >
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 6/26/2007 10:32:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, lynnmaudlin@yahoo.com writes: So why did The Golden Compass/Northern Lights win, instead
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 26, 2007
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              In a message dated 6/26/2007 10:32:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
              lynnmaudlin@... writes:

              So why did "The Golden Compass/Northern Lights" win, instead of the
              whole "His Dark Materials" book? *confused*



              Because, as I said in my post last night, the whole nomination procedure was
              very arcane. They started with all the winners of the Carnegie Medal. _His
              Dark Materials_ was never voted on as a single book for the Carnegie. Only
              the part published as _The Golden Compass_ won a Carnegie. Then some
              committee decided that the following ten books were the finalists and they were the
              only books that the online voters could choose from:

              David Almond _David Al
              Melvin Burgess _Junk_
              <WBR><WBR>Kevin Crossley-Holland
              Jennifer Donnelly _A Jennifer Donnelly
              Alan Garner _The Owl Service_
              Eve Garnett Eve Garnett <WBR><WBR>_The Family
              <WBR><WBR><WBR><WBR><WBR><WB
              Philippa Pearce Philippa Pearce <WBR><WBR
              Philip Pullman Philip Pullman <WBR><W
              Robert WestallRobert Westall<WBR><W

              The online voters chose _The Golden Compass_, possibly because it was the
              only one that they had read (or even heard of).

              Wendell Wagner




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            • WendellWag@aol.com
              The book titles and authors got screwed up somehow, and I don t have time to figure out why. Look at the Wikipedia entry for the Carnegie Medal. There s a
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 26, 2007
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                The book titles and authors got screwed up somehow, and I don't have time to
                figure out why. Look at the Wikipedia entry for the Carnegie Medal.
                There's a list of the ten finalists there.

                Wendell Wagner



                ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


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              • Diane Joy Baker
                Oh, of course it did. If first volume is part of a series I can t separate what happens in the first book from what happens later in subsequent books, and
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 27, 2007
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                  Oh, of course it did. If first volume is part of a series I can't separate what happens in the first book from what happens later in subsequent books, and since he's so millitant, it shows in the later work. So although I enjoyed some aspects of *Golden Compass* I would not be able to give it my vote.

                  More things to add to my To Read pile, continually getting larger.

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: William Cloud Hicklin
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 10:58 AM
                  Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Golden Compass/Northern Lights Award


                  I can't help but suspect that Pullman's open
                  contempt for Tolkien and Lewis, as well as his
                  militant atheism, garnered him quite a few votes
                  from the Literati.





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                • Diane Joy Baker
                  I certainly enjoyed Atuan; still hold some images in my mind from that book after years of not reading it. That s a compliment. ... From: Walkermonk@aol.com
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 27, 2007
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                    I certainly enjoyed Atuan; still hold some images in my mind from that book after years of not reading it. That's a compliment.

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Walkermonk@...
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 11:43 AM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re:Golden Compass/Northern Lights Award



                    I missed this, since I tend to skip Mr. Rateliff's posts. Just want to state
                    for the record that "The Tombs of Atuan" is a fantastic book, absolutely
                    worthy of following "A Wizard of Earthsea" and an excellent compliment to it. Far
                    from diminishing from Wizard, it adds immeasurably to the development of Ged
                    and shows more of the Earthsea world and its inhabitants.

                    Just had to show Atuan some love -- now back to the debate about Pullman,
                    whom I care nothing for and think very little of his writing, and certainly not
                    enough to argue about him when others are doing such heavy lifting for me, so
                    to speak.

                    Grace Walker Monk


                    In a message dated 6/25/2007 10:18:53 AM Central Daylight Time,
                    solicitr@... writes:

                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff
                    <sacnoth@...> wrote:

                    >That Pullman utterly
                    > failed to deliver on the promise of this first book
                    doesn't, to my
                    > mind, detract from his achievement, anymore than
                    THE TOMBS OF ATUAN
                    > diminishes A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, or Book V of THE
                    FAERIE QUEENE
                    > diminishes Books III & IV.

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                  • John D Rateliff
                    Just a quick note to ask if anybody who d found errata in THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT could drop me a line off-list (sacnoth@earthlink.net) to let me know about
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 2, 2007
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                      Just a quick note to ask if anybody who'd found errata in THE HISTORY
                      OF THE HOBBIT could drop me a line off-list (sacnoth@...)
                      to let me know about them, so I can fix them for the trade paperback.
                      Think I've found most of them by now, but you never know; better
                      hearing again about one I've caught than missing one I didn't spot.
                      TIme is a factor, though, so if you know of any please let me know
                      right away.
                      Thanks all.
                      --John R.
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