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Randomness Challenge! Tangents Only Thread

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See my introduction was more Andre Norton (Sci-fi, fantasy and Sci-fantasy). Which then led to some Anne McCaffery and a few others. Andre Norton though was the one who wrote the books I enjoyed the most though. I still like her books a great deal, especially her Witch World series

Mine was Tolkien. I was 8 when I read The Hobbit, and 9 when I started Lord of the Rings. I didn't get around to The Silmarillion until I was 20.

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Of course, having said that I'd probably enjoy GoT (seems bleak, I like bleak) - and when it comes to books I have an "open donation policy" for unwanted books and wind up reading many things.  There's at least most of Wheel of Time in the pile, a godless amount of Star Wars novels, and an enormous amount of Danielle Steel. 

 

The latter's success confuses me, because having read more of her work than is probably healthy I have yet to find a story she's written where something happens.  I expected some gossip, maybe backbiting, perhaps the occassional scathing bon mot.  But literally nothing happens in those books.  Whut?  The only one I can really remember is Sunset in St. tropez, probably because it was the first.

 

Here is the synopsis:

 

A man's wife dies.  He is sad.  He goes on a trip with friends.  He meets somebody new.  They fall in love and are happy. His friends are happy.  The weird maid is also happy.  Aren't you happy?

 

No.  No, madam, I am not.  Because that is very bland.  Now if he lost his wife, found somebody new, then found out he had cancer, and if it was a May/December thing, and she had a past, and his friends didn't approve and tried to sabotage it, and they both found love struggling against a great many odds and trials then I would have been happy.

 

Because that would have been a story. 

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Of course, having said that I'd probably enjoy GoT (seems bleak, I like bleak) - and when it comes to books I have an "open donation policy" for unwanted books and wind up reading many things.  There's at least most of Wheel of Time in the pile, a godless amount of Star Wars novels, and an enormous amount of Danielle Steel. 

 

The latter's success confuses me, because having read more of her work than is probably healthy I have yet to find a story she's written where something happens.  I expected some gossip, maybe backbiting, perhaps the occassional scathing bon mot.  But literally nothing happens in those books.  Whut?  The only one I can really remember is Sunset in St. tropez, probably because it was the first.

 

Here is the synopsis:

 

A man's wife dies.  He is sad.  He goes on a trip with friends.  He meets somebody new.  They fall in love and are happy. His friends are happy.  The weird maid is also happy.  Aren't you happy?

 

No.  No, madam, I am not.  Because that is very bland.  Now if he lost his wife, found somebody new, then found out he had cancer, and if it was a May/December thing, and she had a past, and his friends didn't approve and tried to sabotage it, and they both found love struggling against a great many odds and trials then I would have been happy.

 

Because that would have been a story. 

lol. My mom holds the same opinion of her books. She would rather they were not sold and it rankles her to see it succeed given her low opinion of the book. She favors a few romance authors, but is heavily into murder/mystery, sic-fi, fantasy, sic-fantasy (Where do you think I discovered Andre Norton?)

 

 

See my introduction was more Andre Norton (Sci-fi, fantasy and Sci-fantasy). Which then led to some Anne McCaffery and a few others. Andre Norton though was the one who wrote the books I enjoyed the most though. I still like her books a great deal, especially her Witch World series

Mine was Tolkien. I was 8 when I read The Hobbit, and 9 when I started Lord of the Rings. I didn't get around to The Silmarillion until I was 20.

 

I have yet to read most of this novels. Though I have read enough of the Silmarillion to run a game set in that universe during any of the ages

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I like books and reading. More of a fantasy person myself, but sometimes I read other things. 

 

 

Fantasy fiction is something I avoid, but that's circumstantial.  In the beginning it didn't take because I got a bunch of "fantasy" books in the 1980's which were just weird and, in some cases, just partial bits of larger works.  I strongly suspect the discount paperback bin was raided to produce this questionable hoard.  So early on, fantasy (at least in my pre-D&D days) was synonymous with "weird crap I don't get".  This association was, actually, so ingrained it very nearly made me turn down the offer to play D&D.

 

The second hit to fantasy was a run of terrible and forgettable D&D themed books the game store couldn't get rid of (probably should have been my first clue).

 

A similar thing happened to me and sci-fi.  So probably I don't read sci-fi or fantasy because my circumstantial experience with the products taught me "nearly all of it is terrible".  This may not be wholly fair, since in reality it's more accurate to say "the selection I read was very terrible".

 

But the record for worst thing I ever read, out of some very strong contenders, has to go to the Planescape novels.  Poster child for what happens if you take the most interesting setting ever and hand it off to people who don't know what to do with it.  I wouldn't even be able to tell you what they were about, I expended so much subsequent effort to overwrite the memory. 

 

Thinking back on it: I kinda did my research and I was fortunate to start with the very best each genre offered.

 

As a kid (when books were selected for me) my introduction to fantasy was either: C.S. Lewis, Tolkien then Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien, C.S. Lewis then Lloyd Alexander.

 

As I got older (and started picking what to read for myself) I would learn about a genre before diving in:

  • Spy/Thriller Novels -- I started by tracking down everything Ian Fleming wrote.
  • 18th Century Seafaring/Swashbuckling -- I started with C.S. Forester.
  • Science Fiction -- Asimov, Clark, Heinlein then some Niven.
  • More Fantasy -- I took the bibliography in the back of the AD&D Dungeonmaster's Guide and started haunting libraries and hunting for titles out of that list.
  • Murder/Mystery -- Conan-Doyle.
  • Romance -- nothing to read here, move along...

 

I love the discount paperback bin. I love used bookstores even more.

 

It is gone now (razed to the ground in fact) but there was once this used book store that had a tiny, narrow, store front about fifteen feet wide. It led back into ever increasing rooms of odd sizes and weird shapes that were just crammed with books. The spaces between the shelves were so narrow a fat person could not fall over. Many aisles were one way only. The shelves were raw lumber. And the books were piled high and out of easy reach (and I was 6'4"). The place absolutely reeked of old paper.

 

There were even lines of red, yellow, and blue tape on the floor as aids to navigation --- to help people in the depths of the place find their way back to the register.

Edited by TGP
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Ah, prime time. I see the thread had calmed down, now...

 

We should get a rampage going.

 

x2008-06-17-was-aware-that.jpg.pagespeed

I have the original art from the strip that immediately precedes this one.  It's one of my most valued possessions.

 

 

 

 

Hmm let's start this off tonight, it'd be a fun daily thing for me even if no one else cares =P I'll put out everything interesting i can remember off hand each day, and then start looking stuff up

 

It's time to play the music, it's time to hit the lights!

It's time to get things started on the Tiamacrab show tonight

 

Statler_Waldorf.jpg

 

"why do we always come here"

"I guess we'll never know"

"it's like a kind of torture"

"To have to watch this show"

Okay, so, who's which muppet?  Bryan is Kermit, obviously.  Tries to keep us organized, harried by our antics.  I'd say Buglips is... Gonzo.  Weird little guy who does strange things and odd stunts.  Either that or Lew Zealand.  Pingo is Mokey Fraggle (I do not limit my choice in muppets, thank you).  Cash is Sgt. Floyd Pepper.  Not sure where I fit in here.

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LK is likely Sam the Bald Eagle. I don't care to comment on who's Miss Piggy...I'd like to remain intact.

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heh. I just corrupted my friend. She loved Redwall and I loaned her my copies of some the starting Witch World series. She loved them and wants to read more of them. Though some people here would love her reading choices. She is the one who gave me a Neil Gaiman book to read. Now I have her reading even more.

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No.  No, madam, I am not.  Because that is very bland...Because that would have been a story. 

To quote a different romance novelist, 

“Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth." (Janet Evanovich)

 

In other words, it's generally not a story the massive audience of those books are looking for; it's feel-good fluff, a little shot of saccharine to make their hum drum, often romanceless lives feel better. Much the reason people watch mindless romcoms and sitcoms.

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See my introduction was more Andre Norton (Sci-fi, fantasy and Sci-fantasy). Which then led to some Anne McCaffery and a few others. Andre Norton though was the one who wrote the books I enjoyed the most though. I still like her books a great deal, especially her Witch World series

Mine was Tolkien. I was 8 when I read The Hobbit, and 9 when I started Lord of the Rings. I didn't get around to The Silmarillion until I was 20.

 

My introduction to Fantasy was when my dad rejoined the Science Fiction Book club back when I was in the the third grade.  The first two books I read were: Dilvish the Damned (obviously that left no mark on me) and the Dragonriders of Pern trilolgy.

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and an enormous amount of Danielle Steel. 

 

The latter's success confuses me, because having read more of her work than is probably healthy I have yet to find a story she's written where something happens.

lol. My mom holds the same opinion of her books. She would rather they were not sold and it rankles her to see it succeed given her low opinion of the book. She favors a few romance authors, but is heavily into murder/mystery, sic-fi, fantasy, sic-fantasy (Where do you think I discovered Andre Norton?)

 

I try not to get rankled any more, because it is what it is.  A person would go nuts trying to account for why terrible things succeed and good things fail.  There isn't a logical element involved.  All a person entering the shark tank can do is respect the job and the reader enough to bring their best, and then see what happens.  Take the work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously.  Learn, push boundaries, write the truth, and try to do better each time. 

 

Whether that leads to the flophouse or the mansion is out of a scribbler's hands.  I do tend to try and reject the notion of "not deserving success", though, because whatever my opinion of a work might be the only way to succeed is to sell copies - so the decision of who "deserves" success is made entirely by the audience pool everybody taps.  When writers start getting snooty about taste, it's as good as saying you don't respect the audience and that's a dangerous road to take. 

 

Stephanie Meyer earned her money, book by book at the register.  God only knows why, but that doesn't change the essential fact that she did.  People got something out of what she produced, and ultimately that's the objective of every scribbler.  There's a fine line between professional competition and falling into the trap of getting snooty and trying to prove how smart a writer is.  I'd sooner take a thousand Twilight novels than another self-indulgent tripe-trip down "look at me, I'm so clever" road.

 

I already know which of the two is more insufferable. 

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I agree. My mom simply does not buy her books and if someone tries to push the books on her she refuses saying she is already aware of the author and does not like their writing style. At least on that front she has a polite way to refuse the books she dislikes. She only gets rude and derogatory about them if someone refuses to let it drop. So I should give her credit that she only vents her intense dislike to me.

 

I only read ones that interest me. My mom though reads everything and I swear at times she likely knows every genre and author. She will pick up and read even books she is fairly certain she will dislike in the hopes of being surprised to discover a new author she loves

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No.  No, madam, I am not.  Because that is very bland...Because that would have been a story. 

To quote a different romance novelist, 

“Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth." (Janet Evanovich)

 

In other words, it's generally not a story the massive audience of those books are looking for; it's feel-good fluff, a little shot of saccharine to make their hum drum, often romanceless lives feel better. Much the reason people watch mindless romcoms and sitcoms.

 

 

I guess.  I don't really get it, but I can't find fault with your point.  For me the story is everything, and despite my preference for the bleak I do like things with happy endings.  But I still want to see the character who wins have to fight for it. 

 

Speaking of "enjoying the bleak and dramatic", all my favourite sitcom episodes back in the 80's were the "very special episode" ones.  I used to dig through the tv guide to find them, and then write them down so I wouldn't miss them.  I can't tell you the plot of any normal episode of Diff'rent Strokes, but the episode with Dudley and Arnold with the creepy shopowner is burned in.

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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All of this talk of bleakness and books have me pining for some of my old high school days.  I was really big into anything dystopian and cyberpunk-ish.  I really want to read some Steven Barnes (Street Lethal, something I can't remember, and Gorgon Child).  Even went so far as to try and find them in e-book format on Amazon but they seem not to exist in that format.  I'll have to wait until I return home and see if they survived the great paperback purge of '06.

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As a young kid I was really into reading ghost and horror stories. The more macabre the better.

Most of the comics I bought where those.

I also enjoyed kid mysteries like the Hardy Boys and another series that was about a group of friends somehow connected to Hitchcock.

In junior high my interest changed over to more adult mystery writers as well as scifi. It wasn't until after I'd been playing AD&D for a while that I really got into fantasy.

 

Today my reading interests are mostly fantasy, mystery, and biographies. I like watching scifi shows and movies but I haven't read much scifi for a long time. Ghost and horror stories I don't read anymore either, in fact when I went through some of my old books and comics I found them kind of disturbing.

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All of this talk of bleakness and books have me pining for some of my old high school days.  I was really big into anything dystopian and cyberpunk-ish.  I really want to read some Steven Barnes (Street Lethal, something I can't remember, and Gorgon Child).  Even went so far as to try and find them in e-book format on Amazon but they seem not to exist in that format.  I'll have to wait until I return home and see if they survived the great paperback purge of '06.

 

I have a copy of Street Lethal. 

 

 

Non-book related:  The sperm whale carcass has floated out to sea, much to the town mayor's relief (I believe the specific phrase was:  "Not our problem now!").

 

One of the blue whales has been taken by the Royal Ontario Museum for skeletal preservation.  The fate of the other remains undetermined.  Debate is going on as to whether the province should pay to have it preserved.  I think yes.  It's not an essential expenditure, no, but how often does such an opportunity present?  It's a pretty rare thing and, moreover, a natural death incident.  Preserve it.  Spend the cash. 

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