So what's new on the fantasy frontier?

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
They may have actually existed, but no human was going to train, saddle, and ride one into battle. The intelligent dinosaurs was one of the many things I didn't like about Malazan. Dinosaurs as anything but man-eating-monsters seems silly to me.
That was not my point.
If you take out dinosaurs, what do you have? Typical, been there done that, European based medieval fantasy. Cliche among cliches.
So how do we avoid that? Replace horses with dinosaurs! Presto! You are original. Except you're not. You're just over the top with a childish idea imo.
I was just joking. Didn't you see the ;)? My first thought was that 80s cartoon when I was a kid I think it was called Dinoriders or something like that. It kind of does point out though how bringing reality into fantasy can be dangerous. Riding dragons seems possible because we have no idea what they are like but riding dinosaurs doesn't because we know a little about them.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
I agree with you all only if it is just that: dinosaurs replacing horses. But I kind of hope the play a prominent roll in that specific world.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
It kind of does point out though how bringing reality into fantasy can be dangerous. Riding dragons seems possible because we have no idea what they are like but riding dinosaurs doesn't because we know a little about them.
I heard from Brandon Sanderson's lecture that if you wanna read quintessential let ride dragons and do cool stuff (as he puts it) story, nothing beats Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. Although according to her and told by Sanderson, that is science fiction technically. McCaffery says those are genetically modified animals that are native to some other planet.

Btw, if you wanna check out some videos which I would basically call Sanderson's analysis of fantasy tradition and recommendations here you go :) They are pretty cool videos.

Part 1:


Part 2

 

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
While I would be hesitant to make my dinosaur riding idea the central concept of my fantasy (to the point that the series is named after it, and it's the most prominently featured thing on the cover, and it's the only thing the pre-release ads gush about), I don't see why we're attacking that one choice as being a thin veneer over a cliche, when nobody has actually read the book yet. These companies describe every book as a cliche, because they -- rightly or not -- assume their readers are interested in one primary thing regarding fantasy, and Game of Thrones-esque politics sex battles is the theme of the day. They described Long Price Quartet as sounding like ASoIaF before it came out too.
 

epicfantasyfreak

Journeyed there and back again
I'd probably give it a try, it's just that I find the whole replace-horses-with-dinosaurs thing kinda silly and pointless. It sounds like you could have just used horses, left the dinosaurs out, and had the same story to tell.

The promo starts "What could be better than dinosaurs?" - uh, a million other things?
Then answers the question with "Knights on dinosaurs!" - uh, really? That's your biggest selling point? It seems kinda silly and lame to me.
Then it talks about the editor and series "she was editing the start of a new book series that basically puts 15th century knights on the backs of dinosaurs." - uh, so that's really it eh? That's all you've got? Dinosaurs? The editor sums up the series as "basically knights on dinosaurs" - that does not bode well for reducing the silly/pointless factor.

Then, finally, the real "meat" of the reveal, describing what kind of world needs knights on dinosaurs (the potentially good/interesting part highlighted):
"A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden – and of war. Colossal planteaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meateaters like Allosaurus and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from batsized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán's splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…and the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where we have vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engaged in battle. And during the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac – and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world."


So yeah, it could be fantastic, but my initial gut-reaction tells me that nothing is going to change the fact that the addition of dinosaurs to the setting was completely arbitrary and unnecessary. The author seems to be one of those guys that went to the museum as a child and never got over dinosaurs-are-the-best, whereas I was over it the second I left the building. :D
And what's up with the world being called "Paradise?" I mean, you're being chased down by a raptor with 6" claws that wants to gut you and eat you - "Ah, I love Paradise." o_O
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I'd probably give it a try, it's just that I find the whole replace-horses-with-dinosaurs thing kinda silly and pointless. It sounds like you could have just used horses, left the dinosaurs out, and had the same story to tell.

The promo starts "What could be better than dinosaurs?" - uh, a million other things?
Then answers the question with "Knights on dinosaurs!" - uh, really? That's your biggest selling point? It seems kinda silly and lame to me.
Then it talks about the editor and series "she was editing the start of a new book series that basically puts 15th century knights on the backs of dinosaurs." - uh, so that's really it eh? That's all you've got? Dinosaurs? The editor sums up the series as "basically knights on dinosaurs" - that does not bode well for reducing the silly/pointless factor.

Then, finally, the real "meat" of the reveal, describing what kind of world needs knights on dinosaurs (the potentially good/interesting part highlighted):
"A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden – and of war. Colossal planteaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meateaters like Allosaurus and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from batsized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán's splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…and the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where we have vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engaged in battle. And during the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac – and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world."


So yeah, it could be fantastic, but my initial gut-reaction tells me that nothing is going to change the fact that the addition of dinosaurs to the setting was completely arbitrary and unnecessary. The author seems to be one of those guys that went to the museum as a child and never got over dinosaurs-are-the-best, whereas I was over it the second I left the building. :D
And what's up with the world being called "Paradise?" I mean, you're being chased down by a raptor with 6" claws that wants to gut you and eat you - "Ah, I love Paradise." o_O
I like how it's necessary to specify that dogs, cats, ferrets, and goats live in this place, too.

Oh yeah, and HORSES. You know, warm-blooded mammals that can be trained, can carry knights long distances, and can be trusted not to bite your head off.

(And now the technicalities...Although there's some new evidence making it sound like dinosaurs were much more birdlike than it was thought when I was a kid in school, one thing about reptiles today is that they're just not built for endurance. They can do some really quick movements -- like if you've ever seen video of a crocodile snatching its prey -- but they can't sustain a high level of activity for hours and hours.

Plus, either they are going to be killed quickly in battle, or you are going to armor them with vast amounts of metal that would have been incredibly expensive and difficult to obtain. And the amount of food that would be required to feed a large dinosaur would be ridiculous and impractical to drag along with an army. Not to mention that mammals bigger than tree shrews didn't exist when dinosaurs still roamed the earth...)
 

Sir Arthur

Journeyed there and back again
I'm writing a book about knights who ride mountain bikes. The whole world will have conveniently placed trails. Perhaps I'll add dinosaurs to do the trail maintenance.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
What? A fantasy author - and a successful one at that - who doesn't take a 5 year sabbatical between books? Who doesn't engage in all sorts of other projects? Who actually sits down and finishes his trilogy? Is it time to book that long-awaited ski vacation in hell? Abercrombie must be the black sheep of the guild. :p
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
What? A fantasy author - and a successful one at that - who doesn't take a 5 year sabbatical between books? Who doesn't engage in all sorts of other projects? Who actually sits down and finishes his trilogy? Is it time to book that long-awaited ski vacation in hell? Abercrombie must be the black sheep of the guild. :p
Ah, Ofer, indeed!

That is really a perfect handover to my question ... has anybody already seen that?

The World of Ice and Fire - new book by George R.R. Martin

So, what's the story here? Is that actually some a book (shame on George R.R. Martin for neglecting the original series) or some kind of recycling-re-edition-cum-new-artwork?

Best regards,
Andy
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
According to the file size (200M) looks like some sort of a graphic novel. I think there were quite a few of those published in the recent years within the world of Westeros. Maybe it contains new stories from before the main series begun, but all the same I don't think I'll be bothering with it.
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
Looks like a "history" of Westeros. I remember some rumblings about this a while back. I thought it was going to include some artwork (maps and such), maybe that's the reason for the large file size.
 

epicfantasyfreak

Journeyed there and back again
Yea, it's a ttrpg-like setting product (minus the rpg stats) containing a gazetteer and historical description of the setting, including major characters and organizations in the series. They did it with Wheel of Time (I actually saw that one the last time I was at B&N), and they're doing it with Malazan too. Apparently it's the new thing to do with major fantasy series these days.

I doubt that Martin had a great deal of work involved in it, despite his name as an author, because it's filled with the sort of stuff that one merely collects from the novels themselves and maybe has a few blanks filled in by the man himself, or more likely, conversations with the man himself.
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
yeah that's what I figured.

people make fun of him for this stuff (grrm), but frankly, if you were that guy, you'd probably have just as hard a time saying no: "no thanks, no more royalty checks for me, I'd rather be poor and hungry!"
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
I guess he might have handed over his unused idea notebooks to some copywriters and artists to make something out of it....
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
I'm completely out of things to read. Modern fantasy has spoiled me, and the old stuff rarely does it for me any more.

I'm going through withdrawals. HALP MEEE
 

epicfantasyfreak

Journeyed there and back again
I'm completely out of things to read. Modern fantasy has spoiled me, and the old stuff rarely does it for me any more.

I'm going through withdrawals. HALP MEEE
I doubt you're completely out of things to read - there's always something else... ;)

So, having no idea what you have read, I'm starting at the "beginning" of modern fantasy:

Have you read Glen Cook's Black Company series?
Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series?

I assume you did, and assuming you enjoyed them, have you read these guys' other works? Cook has a long list of stuff he's written, Donaldson has considerably less.