Sanderson vs GRRM

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#21
I don't understand why an author would get upset about people wanting their book. I get hearing it all the time would be annoying but they need to keep in mind that it is a compliment, nobody gets upset waiting for bad or mediocre books. But we can't wait to read Martin's next book. We could also use Butcher instead of Sanderson for the 10-1 comparison as well. I assume Sanderson is a little more prolific and a little more popular but they are both fairly popular and prolific.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#23
In the strictest sense it absolutely makes sense that that would be the case, but new powers as the plot demands makes for bad reading.

Really the worst thing about Sanderson for me is how often people seem to die but then don't. HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE CAR!
Quite a few people die in the mistborn trilogy.

I need to re-read the part about Lerasium. I tried to google things about people complaining about it being bad writing or deus ex machina, but I can't find any.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#24
"The primary goal of this new series is not so much writing a long epic with great characters and plot (Sanderson plans on writing ten -- 10 -- books in this series) but writing a loooooooooo000ng series to sell lots of books to fans."
Couldn't that be said for any long series in fantasy?
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#25
I'm just porting over conversations that were in another thread. That one got heavily derailed.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#26
Is there really any need to compare these two every time? Yes we all get it, Martin is slow as a snail, but nobody cracks books out like Sanderson. Not Rothfuss, not Lynch, not Erikson, none of the top dogs.
Personally I would rather read 1 book by Martin then 10 books by Sanderson. As far as I'm concerned Sanderson doesnt come close to Martin in terms of quality of writing. But hey that's just me. Time will tell which of them will leave a legacy.
I'm the complete opposite. When I read Martin, I feel like it takes me almost as long to get through the books as he takes to write them. There's some good stuff in there, but it's sandwiched between a lot of scenes I find boring and useless.

As for quality of writing, I've never understood why some people find Sanderson's problematic. I find it's very readable (more readable, in fact, than GRRM). Of course, I know that, in some circles, the more readable a book is, the worse its writing must be.

In terms of legacy, I think they'll both leave lasting legacies, but in different ways. The fantasy they write is so different. In many ways, I think there are two main branches of fantasy today: the GRRM branch and the Sanderson branch.
 

Maxal

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#27
I don't post very often on this forum. In fact, I haven't posted in a very long time, but I wanted to say a few words concerning Sanderson's speed of writing versus GRRM.

While it is true Sanderson is publishing books at an astonishing rate, his Stormlight Archive series, his most popular series, is not progressing very fast. By the time the third book will be released, at least three years will have passed since the release of the second book. In between the first and the second, four years elapsed. Sure, this is still better than GRRM or Rothfuss, but it is still too long for early books in an Epic series. In a general manner, long delays between tomes typically happen through the middle section of a series or the near the end, when the author gets stuck in a hole... or falls prey to a too large and complex cast.

In between the two Stormlight Archive tomes, I believe Sanderson is publishing 5 books... That's great, but he is doing so many at once, I feel the quality has started to decline. I personally was not impressed with his later books. Mistborn also is, in my personal opinion, over-rated. It doesn't not deserve half the attention it is getting. His new Far West installment is a fun read, but it is not a masterpiece.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#28
As for quality of writing, I've never understood why some people find Sanderson's problematic. I find it's very readable (more readable, in fact, than GRRM). Of course, I know that, in some circles, the more readable a book is, the worse its writing must be.
No, I think a lot of those critics are actually distracted by his poor use of language and repetition, particularly in the Mistborn series. When I read Mistborn I didn't know any better but thinking back on it there is something about his sentences left wanting.... and in the first Mistborn he way over used the words maladroit and adroit which a number of reviewers complained about. A writer can be readable but at the same time not sacrifice substance for the sake of being mainstream. Robin Hobb is a good example of a mainstream fantasy author whose work is easy to read but has some depth to it, especially in her fantastic characterization.

Not Rothfuss, not Lynch, not Erikson, none of the top dogs.
Well Erikson writes a gigantic epic almost every time he writes a book so you can hardly bring him up in this conversation. His Malazan books are like equivalent to three normal sized books.
 

Maxal

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#29
No, I think a lot of those critics are actually distracted by his poor use of language and repetition, particularly in the Mistborn series. When I read Mistborn I didn't know any better but thinking back on it there is something about his sentences left wanting.... and in the first Mistborn he way over used the words maladroit and adroit which a number of reviewers complained about. A writer can be readable but at the same time not sacrifice substance for the sake of being mainstream. Robin Hobb is a good example of a mainstream fantasy author whose work is easy to read but has some depth to it, especially in her fantastic characterization.
Sanderson repeats himself, a lot. In every book, he sees fit to re-explain the magic system. How many times has he explained the push and pull in Mistborn? And when you open up Alloy of Law, he starts by explaining it, again. How many times has he explained Kaladin or Szeth were lashing themselves? Firefight is especially bad as he must have spend 10% of the book explaining how the spiril worked... It is an habit that can irk some readers while others are not bothered by it. I personally tend to skim rapidly through those and stick the important parts.

I personally adore the Stormlight Archive, despite some of its flaws, as I felt it was one of the fulfilling book I have ever read. The plot is actually going somewhere and I did have the unbelieving satisfaction is seeing most of the story arc come to fruition. However, while I personally am a huge fan of his foreshadowing, it is an habit which irritates other readers as they find the story too predictable.

His prose is simple, but effective. He is not the best writer, but he knows how to built up a climax. He hardly ever deceive in that manner.

After having spend the best part of the last year reading every single book the man has written, the one critic I have is pertaining the fact his main protagonists seem all drawn from the same mold. He has some interesting characters, but his has the tendency to over-invest himself into the same kind of protagonist. His side characters are, often, more interesting, but they too often end up as foils to the main. I hope he will resolve that as Epic fantasy should have more than one or two major character.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#30
I just ranted about Mistborn's sequels in another thread recently, so I won't do it again here. I will just say that they are the only things Sanderson has written that I didn't love.

It's been 4 years since GRRM's last ASoIaF novel, but it's been 15 years since his last great one. If one of Sanderson's books falls flat, who gives a shit? He'll publish something excellent within the next year.
 

Maxal

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#31
I just ranted about Mistborn's sequels in another thread recently, so I won't do it again here. I will just say that they are the only things Sanderson has written that I didn't love.

It's been 4 years since GRRM's last ASoIaF novel, but it's been 15 years since his last great one. If one of Sanderson's books falls flat, who gives a shit? He'll publish something excellent within the next year.
Well that's a thought... Have you read the Reckoners? Did you like it? I agree GRRM has been slow AND deceiving lately, but at least, when he does work, I have reasonable confidence he is working on his next book.

For my part, I will not hide the fact I am worried Sanderson tendency to scatter himself around so many works may end up being resented in his writings. For instance, Firefight is not a great book, but I haven't read his latest Mistborn novels, so I can't comment. So far, he has written the flashback sequences for SA3, but he has not written anything for the last months due to being too busy revising his other books. He plans on a late 2016 release, but he has said to meet these dates, he needs to finish up writing by the end of February. Considering he is touring and revising books until the end of October, that leaves him 4 months to write about 800 pages in order to meet his deadline.

I am worried. He does too much at the same time and he does not seem to concentrate enough on Stormlight, which is supposed to be his major opus. I sometimes feel Stormlight as taken a backseat next to Mistborn and the Reckoners, which is a shame as I consider it to be a superior series.

Which thread have you ranted on the Mistborn sequels?

This being said, I LOVE Sanderson, but I have grown worried lately.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#32

Maxal

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#33
http://bestfantasybooks.com/forums/threads/sanderson-where-to-start-then.2390/page-3

I liked both Reckoners. I'm not desperately awaiting the next one, but once it's out I'll probably read it if I've got nothing else on my plate. They're pretty simple, especially by Sanderson's standards, so I'm not too worried about them wasting too much of his time.
Well, he's done writing the last book, so he won't be "wasting" his time with it anymore ;) You liked them? While I moderately enjoyed Steelheart, I disliked Firefight. I thought the main protagonist was obnoxious while the author tried to shove down my throat how endearing and adorable he was supposed to be. I couldn't muster the love story and I especially disliked the fact the hero seemed to always be right, to always guess right and to always be the one to figure out everything. It was annoying. That being said, the setup was interesting and the book was not lacking in terms of action. I liked the ending, but I wished Sanderson would drop David to focus more on some of the side characters which I thought were more interesting. It was not a great book by Sanderson's standards, but it was not a complete disaster either. I have read much, much, much worst stories. I tend to blame the fact it is classified as YA.

I haven't read that thread. I'll go read it. Thanks.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#34
No, I think a lot of those critics are actually distracted by his poor use of language and repetition, particularly in the Mistborn series. When I read Mistborn I didn't know any better but thinking back on it there is something about his sentences left wanting.... and in the first Mistborn he way over used the words maladroit and adroit which a number of reviewers complained about. A writer can be readable but at the same time not sacrifice substance for the sake of being mainstream. Robin Hobb is a good example of a mainstream fantasy author whose work is easy to read but has some depth to it, especially in her fantastic characterization.
Interesting. I don't tend to find Hobb easy to read. It's not that there's anything wrong with the writing. It's more the fact that her pacing is really, really slow at times. In Liveship traders, she also spends way too much time with characters I don't like. I've never had either problem with Sanderson.

Note: It's not that I don't like Hobb. I think her stories produce some of the strongest emotional moments in fantasy, but I feel like I have to slog through a lot of boring stuff to get there. I thought the Farseer trilogy was very good overall. I'm on the fence about Liveship Traders.

Of course, I may not be the best judge of prose because it's not even close to the most important thing for me while reading. As long as the prose is good enough that it doesn't distract me, I really don't care about it. Oddly enough, I find that some authors praised for their prose write some of the most distracting prose. Generally, if I'm noticing the prose, I'm not deep enough in the story. For me, Sanderson is great at writing invisible prose.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#35
Sanderson repeats himself, a lot. In every book, he sees fit to re-explain the magic system. How many times has he explained the push and pull in Mistborn? And when you open up Alloy of Law, he starts by explaining it, again. How many times has he explained Kaladin or Szeth were lashing themselves? .
That is my biggest, maybe only, complaint about Dresden books. I am on the 9th book and he is still explaining every aspect of magic. Now I understand the first few books or maybe something not used often but at book 9 if you haven't read any go back and read one of the previous 8 books!
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#36
Interesting. I don't tend to find Hobb easy to read. It's not that there's anything wrong with the writing. It's more the fact that her pacing is really, really slow at times. In Liveship traders, she also spends way too much time with characters I don't like. I've never had either problem with Sanderson.
Note: It's not that I don't like Hobb. I think her stories produce some of the strongest emotional moments in fantasy, but I feel like I have to slog through a lot of boring stuff to get there. I thought the Farseer trilogy was very good overall. I'm on the fence about Liveship Traders.
Her books are very slow but that doesn't make it difficult for me, it just well.... makes it slow. Yeah I hear about complain about some of her characters in Liveship Traders, where I never had complaints. I think the reason is because her characters tend to have very strong and rash personalities and I can see why maybe some of those characters might get on people's nerves.
 

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
#37
We could just say that every conceivable discussion has already been discussed somewhere in the world and that there's no need to discuss anything anymore as it has already been discussed - then where would we be............ Hello anyone want to discuss anything ? Hello...hello...anyone there ?
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#38
Pretty sure Martin just out wrote himself. Too complex of a story for him to keep up with. That is why I am more impressed with Sanderson. He is juggling a ton of stories and while he isn't doing it on an amazing scale with every book, they are all still solid and offer something unique in the magic systems and what not.

The first 3 ASoIaF books are about as good as it gets in fantasy, but he hasn't been able to maintain that level. At one point there was no author I was more eagerly anticipating than Martin but at this point he has fallen down the list. I would be hard pressed to choose between a new Stormlight book and a new ASoIaF book.

I don't think I would bet on Martin ever even actually finishing the series at this point. That also leads to far less excitement.
 

Maxal

Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry
#39
Pretty sure Martin just out wrote himself. Too complex of a story for him to keep up with. That is why I am more impressed with Sanderson. He is juggling a ton of stories and while he isn't doing it on an amazing scale with every book, they are all still solid and offer something unique in the magic systems and what not.

The first 3 ASoIaF books are about as good as it gets in fantasy, but he hasn't been able to maintain that level. At one point there was no author I was more eagerly anticipating than Martin but at this point he has fallen down the list. I would be hard pressed to choose between a new Stormlight book and a new ASoIaF book.

I don't think I would bet on Martin ever even actually finishing the series at this point. That also leads to far less excitement.
I partake the sentient. The first three books of ASoIaF were amazing but the story does scatter around widely starting at the fourth book. It has gotten to a point where I now lack the faith into every seeing the series come to a worthy conclusion. The feeling is of course exacerbated by the fact Martin is not getting any younger. Shall he die prematurely, would be willing to ask another author to complete the series in his testimony?

If I had to choose, I would choose the new Stormlight over the new ASoIaF book any day.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#40
The problem with GRRM is he killed off too many interesting characters and replaced them with mediocre characters. Dorne sucked and he actually killed the most interesting character from Dorne.