[LMB] Fwd: [New post] personable fantasy?

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Wed Sep 27 18:28:06 BST 2017


You can read this on Carrie Vaughn’s web log.    It is interesting that it is Penric that got her to be thinking about this.


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> From: Filling the Well <comment-reply at wordpress.com>
> Subject: [New post] personable fantasy?
> Date: September 27, 2017 at 10:27:25 AM MDT
> To: howard at brazee.net
> Reply-To: Filling the Well <comment+ef99-pc5xxytqwn_hs652g at comment.wordpress.com>
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>  <https://carriev.wordpress.com/author/carriev/>	
> personable fantasy? <https://carriev.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/personable-fantasy/>by carriev <https://carriev.wordpress.com/author/carriev/>
> I'm going to be thinking out loud here for a minute.
> 
> I just basically binged all of Lois McMaster Bujold's Penric & Desdemona novellas <https://www.goodreads.com/series/183152-penric-and-desdemona-publication-order>. Read the first a couple years ago, the second this year, and then just couldn't stop. They're nice. They have some of the compulsiveness of the Vorkosigan books. I haven't read all of Bujold's fantasy, but I found these to be really nice comfort reads. Warm blanket and cocoa on a rainy day reads.
> 
> And this got me thinking. I like fantasy. I like traditional second-world fantasy. I want to write more of it at some point. But I'm really, really picky, it turns out. I usually never get past the first novel in a series, not because I don't like it, but because I've had enough at that point, and don't feel compelled to continue through "x" number of volumes of 500+ page novels. Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is the only epic fantasy series I've read all the way through, and even I petered out when he and Ian Esslemont started publishing endless side novels. There's a self-importance and overwroughtness to a lot of fantasy (even urban fantasy) that turns me off. Not everything needs to be a cosmic battle between earth-shattering forces. Not every story needs to involve armies and politics and international intrigue.  A traumatic backstory is fine, but I don't necessarily want my main character to wear that backstory like a coat of arms, all-encompassing, without room for any other identity.
> 
> So what do I like? Turns out I like personal stories. Stand-alone stories. Exquisitely written, compact, heartfelt stories. Apart from the Penric stories my favorite fantasy of the last couple years was probably Patricia McKillip's Kingfisher.  (All of McKillip's gorgeous stand-alone fantasies are among my favorites.)  I blurbed a book coming out next year that I really enjoyed and kind of wanted to reread as soon as I'd finished -- it was an interesting story about good people with a sweet romance.
> 
> Personable fantasy.
> 
> Quite possibly the direct opposite of grimdark?
> 
> I'm not sure. But lately I've just been wanting really well-written fantasy stories about good people who I want to spend time with. Any suggestions?
> 
>  
> carriev <https://carriev.wordpress.com/author/carriev/> | September 27, 2017 at 9:27 am | Categories: Reading <https://carriev.wordpress.com/category/reading/> | URL: http://wp.me/p531m-25O <http://wp.me/p531m-25O>
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