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Wizardry and Wild Romance

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  • Wizardry and Wild Romance

    Okay, a long time fan here of practically all your stories. I originally started to read them when I was a teenager and then ceased to read them as I became an adult, only to return once again after recognizing how universal the themes are and how my fondness for them grows as I continue to age. It is fiction you actually learn about life from and I think that is the highest compliment I can give your stories.

    Anyway, recently purchased "Wizardry and Wild Romance", and I had a few questions about the book.

    1) One absence I notice is Terry Brooks and the Shannara series, which helped to revitalize the genre in the late 70's, early 80's. Admittedly it is very "Tolkenesque", but at the same time it seems it would deserve mention purely on the basis of popularity. Is it epic? Perhaps this is the problem?

    2) During the discussion of Garner in Chapter 5, you mention the weakness of structure in his earlier stories and how they improved over the course of time. Then in the next paragraph you elaborate to say that this particular deficiency is absent in the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, Gillian Bradshaw and Susan Cooper. Could you elaborate on this somewhat? I am curious to know in what ways Garner improved in this particular area.

    Thanks
    C York

  • #2
    I can't stand Terry Brooks - one of the worst Tolkien imitators out there, Sword of Shannara could have (and should have) been the subject of plagiarism suit were Tolkien alive still at the time.

    Quite frankly its criminal that he got away with that, I'm sure as far as his new stuff goes he's developed his own style and moved on to other things, but I find it very difficult to get around the fact that he started out with a blatant (and inferior) rip-off.

    It also bothers me that he claims never to have read Lord of the Rings, having read both the books one after the other (as part of a high-school assignment) the plot and characters paralel each other so closely that I find the assertion extremely questionable. I can certainly see why he'd say that however...
    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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    • #3
      I was under the impression that Mike did mention Brooks in W&WR, though I may be wrong in my assumption. Look at this snippet from Epic Pooh:

      "...Terry Pratchett once remarked that all his readers were called Kevin. He is lucky in that he appears to be the only Terry in fantasy land who is able to write a decent complex sentence. That such writers also depend upon recycling the plots of their literary superiors and are rewarded for this bland repetition isn't surprising in a world of sensation movies and manufactured pop bands. That they are rewarded with the lavish lifestyles of the most successful whores is also unsurprising..."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by devilchicken
        I can't stand Terry Brooks - one of the worst Tolkien imitators out there, Sword of Shannara could have (and should have) been the subject of plagiarism suit were Tolkien alive still at the time.

        Quite frankly its criminal that he got away with that, I'm sure as far as his new stuff goes he's developed his own style and moved on to other things, but I find it very difficult to get around the fact that he started out with a blatant (and inferior) rip-off.

        It also bothers me that he claims never to have read Lord of the Rings, having read both the books one after the other (as part of a high-school assignment) the plot and characters paralel each other so closely that I find the assertion extremely questionable. I can certainly see why he'd say that however...
        I couldn't agree more, my wife bought me the first of his books after we were married as I was into Mike's works & Tolkien, but I never finished it. It was an outright copy of LOTR & I'd rather read the original than a poor copy.
        Arioch, aid me! Blood and souls for Arioch!

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        • #5
          Well its not like things have changed all that much. That Paolini kid, with the most shocking arrogance' dares lay claim to originality for that Eragon shit, which is being turned into what (from the website at least) looks like a world class 'paint by numbers' fantasy movie.

          John Malkovich and Jeremy Irons are very good actors in their way, but they have the most shocking taste in
          movie projects sometimes.
          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, I never thought either Malkovitch or Irons were THAT good, but I'm sure they were offered reasonable money. It's not just writers who enjoy the lifestyles of successul whores...

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            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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            • #7
              Always seemed to me that they would have been better sticking to the stage. Reminds me a little of Alec Guiness, who spent the last few years of his life expressing his dismay and regret that Obi Wan Kenobi (one of his least favourite roles) had overshadowed his life's work.

              There was a story about Michael Caine - someone asked him why he'd chosen to appear in an absolute turkey like Jaws the Revenge. He said simply "it paid for this house". Which also goes quite a long way to explaining - The Swarm, The Island, The Hand, and On Deadly Ground. I suspect Sir Michael has quite a few houses..
              Last edited by devilchicken; 06-24-2006, 08:19 PM.
              Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

              Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by devilchicken
                There was a story about Michael Caine - someone asked him why he'd chosen to appear in an absolute turkey like Jaws the Revenge. He said simply "it paid for this house". Which also goes quite a long way to explaining - The Swarm, The Island, The Hand, and On Deadly Ground. I suspect Sir Michael has quite a few houses..
                The actual quote (as reported on Wikipedia) is:
                Originally posted by Michael Caine
                I have not seen the film, but I hear it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it paid for, and it is superb.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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                • #9
                  my ears picked up on the fact that someone mentioned Michael Caine! :)



                  at least his acting was still good in On Deadly Ground,haha, even though the movie was not a big hit. Michael Caine might have had a couple good lines in his B-movies. I wonder what the movie Deathtrap bought him? hehe ;)

                  "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                  - Michael Moorcock

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                  • #10
                    As everybody of you know I never has been an apraiser of Tolkien, but really Brooks is one of the worst writer I've read until now ( in the Shannara cicle I mean ). I don't like Paolini and I hate with every force of mine Harry Potter.
                    But there is a worse writing ( not writer, "writing" ) in a such field: an italian who wrote a terrible Fantasy saga for our market.
                    You are lucky in your country if your publishers don't print it!
                    Hieronymus

                    - Dalmatius -

                    "I'm forbidden to reign, but I'll never yield before the facts: I am the Cat"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hieronymus
                      As everybody of you know I never has been an apraiser of Tolkien, but really Brooks is one of the worst writer I've read until now ( in the Shannara cicle I mean ). I don't like Paolini and I hate with every force of mine Harry Potter.
                      But there is a worse writing ( not writer, "writing" ) in a such field: an italian who wrote a terrible Fantasy saga for our market.
                      You are lucky in your country if your publishers don't print it!
                      We are in agreement on this, despise Harry Potter, read two chapters of my childs book, (actually pleased she had picked up a genre book!)It was bad, and not very original!It is popular only because kids these days need hype to drive them to read, these are the ONLY books many have picked up. My daughter soon learnt the difference in good and poor, when she started Tolkien, and Rice! Tolkien not my favourite but a classic none the less.Sadly she cant get into MM, possibly presented her with the wrong one.She may now enjoy Jerry Cornelius.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm reminded of a similar story about Laurence Olivier. A young actor asked him why he took roles in bad B-movies. His response, supposedly, was:

                        "For the money, dear boy.". :)
                        Best/Mario

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hieronymus
                          As everybody of you know I never has been an apraiser of Tolkien, but really Brooks is one of the worst writer I've read until now ( in the Shannara cicle I mean ).
                          From his own site:

                          he epic fantasy drew its first, sustained breath when Terry published The Sword of Shannara in 1977. It was a form that J.R.R. Tolkien had used with The Lord of the Rings but which most publishers believed could not make money as a genre. With his highly successful first novel, Terry proved the critics wrong and has since had fourteen bestselling Shannara novels, and the fantasy genre has flourished.

                          The series has fantastic depth, amazingly real characters, and is high adventure of the first order. If you read fantasy, then you must read the Shannara series!
                          I guess it's not a rip-off if you claim that LOTR is its own specific genre ;)
                          Last edited by devilchicken; 06-25-2006, 05:36 AM.
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by devilchicken
                            From his own site:



                            I guess it's not a rip-off if you claim that LOTR is its own specific genre ;)


                            Thanks for braving Brooks' site, devilchicken. I suppose any folklorist will be surprised to learn that Brooks is responsible for epic fantasy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lemec
                              my ears picked up on the fact that someone mentioned Michael Caine! :)



                              at least his acting was still good in On Deadly Ground,haha, even though the movie was not a big hit. Michael Caine might have had a couple good lines in his B-movies. I wonder what the movie Deathtrap bought him? hehe ;)
                              I thgought deathtrap was pretty good, if not unconventional...

                              Comment

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