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"Famfic" (was Re: [mythsoc] Sayers (3))

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  • Ernest Tomlinson
    ... From: David S. Bratman To: Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 10:01 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Sayers (3)
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 10:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Sayers (3)


      > Forgot the direct link: http://slate.msn.com/id/2078980/

      The only "famfic" I've read of extensively is the series of "Dune" books
      written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. They're terrible books, and
      I "read" them in the way that I have occasionally "read" books that I don't
      like but feel I must finish, by skimming through the boring chapters and
      occasionally slowing down to read something a little better or more
      intriguing than average.

      The big problem with the "Dune" books is a problem with many prequels
      written by different authors (and occsionally with prequels written by the
      same author; q.v. George Lucas's "Star Wars" prequels.) They take a
      connect-the-dots approach, selecting from the original text a number of
      characters and incidents whose origins they feel worthy of explanation, and
      then writing the story to fit those contrived origins. _Dune_'s appendices,
      for example, mention the rumor that Count Fenring assassinated Shaddam's
      father; so Herbert and Anderson dutifully write that assassination into
      their story. The Lady Jessica is, unknown to her, Baron Harkonnen's father;
      so the authors stolidly write a scene telling us how that happened. And so
      on.

      It doesn't help that Herbert and Anderson can't resist the temptation to put
      an ironical spin on all of these made-up origin stories--hence we find out
      that Baron Harkonnen once has the body of an Apollo (O the irony!), that
      there was once _another_ Piter de Vries (_mirabile dictu_!), that not only
      was Baron Harkonnen Jessica's father but that the Reverend Mother Mohiam was
      her _mother_ (surprise, surprise!), and so on. That these ironical
      coincidences often lead to baffling inconsistencies down the line maybe
      escaped the authors' attention (e.g. if Baron Harkonnen's astonishing weight
      gain is the result of a disease inflicted on him by a vengeful Reverend
      Mother, then why does his nephew Rabban have the same weight problem in
      _Dune_?)

      Cheers,

      Ernest.

      P.S. Did anyone here read "Raymond Chandler"'s _Poodle Springs_? There's
      another example of a posthumously written book that never should have seen
      the light of day.
    • David S. Bratman
      ... Why? ... This kind of contrivance, though in a slightly different context, is possible in sequels also; and here, it seems to me, the heirs of Frank
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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        At 04:25 PM 2/25/2003 , Ernest wrote:

        >The only "famfic" I've read of extensively is the series of "Dune" books
        >written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. They're terrible books, and
        >I "read" them in the way that I have occasionally "read" books that I don't
        >like but feel I must finish

        Why?


        >They take a
        >connect-the-dots approach, selecting from the original text a number of
        >characters and incidents whose origins they feel worthy of explanation, and
        >then writing the story to fit those contrived origins.

        This kind of contrivance, though in a slightly different context, is
        possible in sequels also; and here, it seems to me, the heirs of Frank
        Herbert are following the style of the original.


        >The Lady Jessica is, unknown to her, Baron Harkonnen's father;
        >so the authors stolidly write a scene telling us how that happened.

        First, she had a sex change operation. <g>


        >That these ironical
        >coincidences often lead to baffling inconsistencies down the line maybe
        >escaped the authors' attention

        Very typical of such contrivances.


        - David Bratman
      • Ernest Tomlinson
        ... From: David S. Bratman To: Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 5:23 PM Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Famfic ...
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 5:23 PM
          Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "Famfic"



          > >The only "famfic" I've read of extensively is the series of "Dune" books
          > >written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. They're terrible books,
          and
          > >I "read" them in the way that I have occasionally "read" books that I
          don't
          > >like but feel I must finish
          >
          > Why?

          That's a good question. Lately I've been leaving more books unfinished, but
          I used to be struck with a deep sense of guilt over not completing a book,
          even a bad one. I forced myself through all of _Battlefield Earth_, for
          example, although I remember little of it. ("Dumb humans fight dumber
          aliens" is how one person described that book to me, hilariously.) In the
          case of the "Dune" prequels I was also a little curious to see where the
          stories ended up, if not necessarily how they got there.

          > This kind of contrivance, though in a slightly different context, is
          > possible in sequels also; and here, it seems to me, the heirs of Frank
          > Herbert are following the style of the original.

          The original _Dune_ or the original sequels? Only _Dune_ itself is any
          good, I think, although _Dune Messiah_ and _Children of Dune_ aren't
          completely devoid of interest. I didn't read past that.

          > >The Lady Jessica is, unknown to her, Baron Harkonnen's father;
          > >so the authors stolidly write a scene telling us how that happened.
          >
          > First, she had a sex change operation. <g>

          Ack! What the heck happened there? I'm quite sober, I assure you...maybe
          that's the trouble.

          Cheers,

          Ernest.
        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          ... don t like but feel I must finish ... That s a good question. Lately I ve been leaving more books unfinished, but I used to be struck with a deep sense of
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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            Ernest and David speaking, I believe:

            >I "read" them in the way that I have occasionally "read" books that I
            don't like but feel I must finish
            >
            > Why?

            That's a good question. Lately I've been leaving more books unfinished, but
            I used to be struck with a deep sense of guilt over not completing a book,
            even a bad one. >>

            Timely topic. I have just started _Triplanetary_, the first of E.E. "Doc"
            Smith's Lensman books, and it is tedious going for me anyway, as I am not
            into the lingo. But I'm in a game that spins off of it, at least so far as
            the lens idea is concerned, so I thought they might be good to read. I'm
            thinking maybe I'll just go with the gamemasters's summaries after all. I
            certainly like his writing better so far.

            Sometimes books do indeed improve ... how many people had trouble getting
            into LOTR? I hear that's common. I had trouble getting into the Green
            Angel Tower books, took me a book and a half. Paksennarion took about the
            same.

            Lizzie Triano
            lizziewriter@...
            amor vincit omnia
          • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
            ... From: Ernest Tomlinson To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 4:25 PM Subject: Famfic (was Re: [mythsoc] Sayers (3)) The only
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Ernest Tomlinson
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 4:25 PM
              Subject: "Famfic" (was Re: [mythsoc] Sayers (3))

              "The only "famfic" I've read of extensively is the series of "Dune" books
              written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. They're terrible books, and
              I "read" them in the way that I have occasionally "read" books that I don't
              like but feel I must finish, by skimming through the boring chapters and
              occasionally slowing down to read something a little better or more
              intriguing than average."'
              What intrigued me about the Anderson Dune books was that the first ones forward talked about how they found manuscripts for, among other things, the Butlerian Jihad, and the end of the Dune Books that Herbert never finished before he died in a safe deposit box. They aparently did exstensive rewriting. But I didn't much like the seqels to Dune either, so I was just disappointed in a different way



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            • jamcconney@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/25/2003 8:38:29 PM Central Standard Time, ... A miraculous feat in itself. 8-) Sorry, couldn t resist. Anne [Non-text portions of this
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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                In a message dated 2/25/2003 8:38:29 PM Central Standard Time,
                darancgrissom@... writes:

                > Dune Books that Herbert never finished before he died in a safe deposit box.

                A miraculous feat in itself. 8-) Sorry, couldn't resist.
                Anne


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ernest Tomlinson
                ... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano To: Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:33 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc]
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...>
                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:33 PM
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: "Famfic"

                  > Timely topic. I have just started _Triplanetary_, the first of E.E. "Doc"
                  > Smith's Lensman books, and it is tedious going for me anyway, as I am not
                  > into the lingo. But I'm in a game that spins off of it, at least so far
                  as
                  > the lens idea is concerned, so I thought they might be good to read.

                  I bought _Triplanetary_ and _First Lensman_, although I haven't read them; I
                  began my reading of "Doc" Smith with _Galactic Patrol_, which as I remember
                  is the true first Lensman book. I came to enjoy after a fashion Smith's
                  purple prose, ridiculous as it sounds sometimes. Clear ether, spaceman!

                  > Sometimes books do indeed improve ... how many people had trouble getting
                  > into LOTR? I hear that's common. I had trouble getting into the Green
                  > Angel Tower books, took me a book and a half. Paksennarion took about the
                  > same.

                  When I started _Cyteen_ that I've mentioned before, I think I got more than
                  a hundred pages into it before decided that I actually liked what I was
                  reading. I thought of setting the book down many times before I got that
                  far. Also I remember that it took me a long time before I got into Roger
                  Zelazny's "Amber" series; it wasn't until about halfway through _The Guns of
                  Avalon_ that I decided that I wanted to keep reading. (Later I found out
                  that the beginning of _Nine Princes in Amber_, the first "Amber" book, was
                  stolen lock, stock, and barrel from Raymond Chandler. I've never seen such
                  an obvious case of literary theft, and I wonder sometimes why more people
                  haven't commented on it.)

                  Cheers,

                  Ernest.
                • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                  ... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:33 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Famfic Timely topic. I
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 25, 2003
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:33 PM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: "Famfic"


                    "Timely topic. I have just started _Triplanetary_, the first of E.E. "Doc"
                    Smith's Lensman books, and it is tedious going for me anyway, as I am not
                    into the lingo. But I'm in a game that spins off of it, at least so far as
                    the lens idea is concerned, so I thought they might be good to read. I'm
                    thinking maybe I'll just go with the gamemasters's summaries after all. I
                    certainly like his writing better so far."



                    I felt the same way about Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Years of Rice and Salt," I read the first three chapters and told everyone I hated it. But the next book I wanted wouldn't arrive for three days from Amazon, so I continued. After I actually finished I realized I liked the book alot and that It had gven me some new things to ponder which Robinson had never done for me before. As an aside the Mars series by him was a great long soap opera version of the much better book by Ben Bova, "Mars."


                    "Dune Books that Herbert never finished before he died in a safe deposit box."

                    "A miraculous feat in itself. 8-) Sorry, couldn't resist."
                    Anne

                    As to this he was a great fan of Houdini, I thought everyone knew that.
                    If at first you don't succeed ignore the fact you're wrong.




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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