Moonspawn and dem fighting words

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#1
moonspawn

  1. Yesterday at 11:16 PM - moonspawn:
    I know the George Martin discussion is past, but I have a few things to add on to that. One needs to keep in mind that GRRM has had not only a tremendous influence, but that influence has also been very positive - much more so than Tolkien's.
  2. 57 minutes ago - moonspawn:
    Yes, I understand that Tolkien is the father of modern epic fantasy, but I feel like the whole heroic fantasy thing was holding the genre back from it's true potential. It took over 40 years for gritty fantasy to become fully developed outside of a specific niche.
  3. 53 minutes ago - moonspawn:
    GRRM propelled gritty fantasy to the forefront and for that I will always be grateful to him. I'm just tired of people who have it ingrained in their minds that Tolkien is epithet to the god of fantasy which clearly isn't true. A lot of his influence on the genre has been quite negative. Most of us don't care for the Tolkien copycats.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#2
I'm just tired of people who have it ingrained in their minds that Tolkien is epithet to the god of fantasy which clearly isn't true
hahah his stuff was boring and i can't read it, more a fan of peter jackson hahah but he falls into montage of epic lands just as much as tolkien spends pages describing it. They are two pees in a pod.

I can appreciate his impact on fantasy, and he can't be held responsible for the people who copy his work badly. i dont think he is the god of fantasy. i dont think it has been a negative influence but i agree it has taken the genre a LONG time to branch out into many and varied 'sub genres'
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#3
I think a lot of people just have a soft spot for Tolkien. The majority of public also only know Tolkien/Lord of the Rings.

In fantasy readers book terms I think GRRM has revolutionized the genre, however, I'm still waiting on the general populous to admit that they love fantasy. How many people have read/watched Harry Potter...have loved it even, yet where is the professed love of Fantasy?
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#4
I guess my issue is that a lot of people love LOTR and have re-read it multiple times, but don't know much great fantasy besides it such as Mistborn or Malazan, book of the fallen. Speaking of which I think Steven Erikson is the god of fantasy. Pretty much any writer who is really into fantasy that reads his work will most likely be influenced by it. Myself included, of course. Robin Hobbs influence is also very underrated. A lot of good modern epic fantasy writers cite her as an influence or at least mention her - Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erickson, Mark Lawrence, and Patrick Rothfuss to name a few.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#5
I guess my issue is that a lot of people love LOTR and have re-read it multiple times, but don't know much great fantasy besides it such as Mistborn or Malazan, book of the fallen. Speaking of which I think Steven Erikson is the god of fantasy. Pretty much any writer who is really into fantasy that reads his work will most likely be influenced by it. Myself included, of course. Robin Hobbs influence is also very underrated. A lot of good modern epic fantasy writers cite her as an influence or at least mention her - Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erickson, Mark Lawrence, and Patrick Rothfuss to name a few.

I think that a lot of fantasy lovers don't know what good fantasy is, by that I mean they actually need recommendations because they don't know what to pick up. Websites like bfb will help out I'm sure, but growth takes time.

Good movie/tv adaptations help, but they are far and few in between
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#6
owever, I'm still waiting on the general populous to admit that they love fantasy. How many people have read/watched Harry Potter...have loved it even, yet where is the professed love of Fantasy?
That was one series, I never claimed i was a fantasy lover until i had read lots more than one series. i've read one romantic fantasy series and it was alright (don't think i finished it) but i wouldn't say i love the gebre.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#7
I think that a lot of fantasy lovers don't know what good fantasy is, by that I mean they actually need recommendations because they don't know what to pick up. Websites like bfb will help out I'm sure, but growth takes time.

Good movie/tv adaptations help, but they are far and few in between

Which is why I recommend Mistborn to so called professed fantasy lovers and in some cases tell them about this website! You don't know the fantasy genre until you've read Mistborn.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#8
Which is why I recommend Mistborn to so called professed fantasy lovers and in some cases tell them about this website! You don't know the fantasy genre until you've read Mistborn.

While I don't think Mistborn is the best series of the last 10 years, I do think it is the most important. Like GRRM it has opened up a completely different aspect of fantasy.

While you say GRRM put gritty fantasy to the forefront, I think Mistborn helped readers say, hey I like creativity and it should be rewarded.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#9
I find those comments very interesting. I love both Mistborn and ASoIaF but I count the stand alones i've read as what really opened my eyes up to fantasy.

Series all do the same things well if they are good/great. Characterisation and world building are the things that makes those great,and interesting and/or unique plot and good writing does the rest. Stand alones are so different and it's those that i've read over the years that make me appreciate the variety and creativity of this genre i so love.
 

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I think saying Steven Erikson influenced you is perfectly fair. I think saying anyone who reads his work will be influenced by it, and that he is the god of fantasy, is vastly overreaching. Unless you want to throw everything that is a reaction period under the blanket of 'influence,' which is incidentally exactly what a lot of those crazy LotR nuts do.

As for the rest, it's what I've been saying for awhile. I think it might have even been my first post on this forum. George R.R. Martin is responsible for the majority of modern fantasy, and this is not even a debatable 'influence' (e.g. 'this story has main characters who also die, so it's obviously based on blah blah blah!'). It was a complete recoloration of the genre, that happened after A Song of Ice and Fire went 'mainstream.' It's now difficult to find fantasy that doesn't attempt to ape him to some extent, including Malazan (I'm aware that Erikson wrote GotM waaaaay back in 1992, but I'd put money that he only got it published because of ASoIaF, which makes it likely that his publisher was trying to bank on it being able to ride that wave).

Honestly, although I think some great things have happened in the years since with fantasy, I'm not even that happy about GRRM's influence. If there's anything more painful than reading a completely unoriginal, hackneyed old-school fantasy that clearly has zero inspiration, it's reading a completely unoriginal, hackneyed, newer fantasy that tries to shoehorn 'grittiness' into its story that also clearly has zero inspiration. At least the former is cheerful tripe. The latter leaves you depressed for both the story itself, AND the fact that you wasted your time on it.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
When you read some of Tolkiens works, and the history of his world, it's as though he actually believed it was real. The Silmarillion is like reading a history book at times, rather than a Fantasy novel. This is partly why his works are held in such high esteem, not just because he was the first.

I guess ultimately it does boil down to timings though. Tolkien was the first author in the genre to be unbelievably successful, and so it is natural to compare his work with books published since, and for him to have influenced countless authors since. If ASOIAF was written 60 odd years ago, do you think it would be getting criticised now for stifling epic fantasy, due to the countless potential copycat authors of gritty fantasy which would have no doubt popped up afterwards? It's just the way the genre has evolved.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#12
If there's anything more painful than reading a completely unoriginal, hackneyed old-school fantasy that clearly has zero inspiration, it's reading a completely unoriginal, hackneyed, newer fantasy that tries to shoehorn 'grittiness' into its story that also clearly has zero inspiration. At least the former is cheerful tripe. The latter leaves you depressed for both the story itself, AND the fact that you wasted your time on it.
Yea look i totally agree with this, I'd rather read the Belagarid series again then some try hard AsoIaF or Abercrombie wana be. Even i get tired of Abercrombie's work and Martin is ruthless with his characters, not always in ways that make me appreciate what he is doing. I think they are good writers, I wont enjoy terrible writers doing the same things with plot and characterisation.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#13
Writing good fiction obviously requires talent, but at the same time it is highly important for any writer of any genre to read a lot not only from their respective genre but also from a myriad of other genres as well. This is the number one advice of any great writer. Not looking like an ignorant idiot obviously helps. Most people need a lot of influence if they are to produce works of efficacy. That way it is less likely that people will call that person a wannabe GRRM or Abercrombie. Hopefully their side influences will help to drown out their main influences so no specific influence is too dominant. Most people don't like reading fiction infected with disease. You can't avoid being compared to the writers that came before no matter what, but reading exactly the same is an easy avoidance. It is human nature to juxtapose what they are reading to what they have read.
 

Riposte

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#14
GRRM may have popularized a different approach to sword and sorcery, but ASOIAF is still a series in dialogue with Tolkien's work. I don't think you have ASOIAF without Tolkien's work.


Both GRRM and Tokien have their imitators. Some of them are good and some of them are garbage.
 

Frizzo0133

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#15
Interesting topic, I think GRRM is definitely the most influential modern fantasy author, honestly how can he not be at this point with his success and impact on media as a whole. Is he the best author going today? Not in my opinion, but he has changed the game and how readers look at fantasy. Tolkien has his place, he's the father of fantasy as a whole, he changed everything, but genre is a much different landscape than it was from when he wrote his books.

The Thomas Covenant books changed fantasy quite a bit as well, do I like them all that much? I've read them all and no, I don't, but I can see how it influenced fantasy.

Someone brought up Harry Potter, which I actually enjoyed, it's a nice gateway into allot better books, if that's you're introduction, good for you, I hope you make it to the Sanderson's, GRRM's, Abercrombie's, and Erickson's of the fantasy world, but I can see where it won't all appeal to all of those readers.

To quote GRRM about the fantasy I enjoy these days, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."