[LMB] LOTR, Modern Fantasy, and Chalion

Marci DeLeon agent_a_99 at yahoo.com
Sat, 29 Dec 2001 20:07:27 -0800 (PST)


--- "Jagoda, Lynette K" <lynette.jagoda at pnl.gov>
wrote:
... Because of this ummm lowering of the bar for
general quality, I not only appreciate Lois all the
more, but also worry that writers like Lois are
becoming a swiftly vanishing breed.
>

I'm sorry, but I'm a bit confused as to what you mean
when you say that writers like Lois are becoming a
swiftly vanishing breed?  Writers like Lois in what
ways?  In thier use of the "space opera" theme, which
is a definite model more most of the early Vorkosigan
books?  She doesn't openly hearken to past authors
like Dante did, nor does she quote famous dead people
as Ms. Sayers (amongst many others) is prone to do?

This is not to say that Lois is low quality (good
heavens no!) but to wonder what puts her into a
rarified position.  

Forex, I recently re-read my copy of Barbara Hambly's
_Those Who Hunt the Night_.  And I remembered why I
had bought it, and foisted it on friends, and when it
failed to come back, I bought myself a new copy.  It's
a well-written mystery novel, the vampires are alien
beings, and all of the charcters seem like real
people.  

So, I bought a used copy of the sequel, _Traveling
With the Dead._  And I remembered why I didn't like
it.  Lydia is practically perfection, the story is
confusing and convoluted, and I lost track of who
everyone was, and who they were with.  (One of the end
scenes, however, makes up for the entire rest of the
book.)

So, does this make _TWHtN_ good literature, whereas
_TWtD_ not-so-good literature?  Or does Ms. Hambley's
well-done portrayal of European Victorian lifestyles
and ideas make them both good literature, as that
requires much more work than a badly-written,
non-researched novel?

So I ask, is Lois good literature?  Whast makes good
literature?

-Marci, who thinks she might be rambling, but is at
least on-topic for once 


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