[LMB] Fwd: nothing you'll dislike

William A Wenrich wawenri at msn.com
Sat May 5 06:04:29 BST 2012

D W <sucqbus at gmail.com>


Lois' strength has always lain with character, to me.  Characters that you'd
stay with because they're just as fascinating when belly-down in the mud as
when covered in glory.  <snip>

What about you?  Does the world and plot need to feel "real" to be
believable enough to still be fun? Just the characters?  If it's too silly
do you just yell "Bah!" and throw it at the wall?


As with most things, "It depends." I enjoyed the "Lord D'Arcy" series even
though I found the righteous Plantagenet kings ruling England, France, New
England (North America), and New France (South America) to be less plausible
than a society based on working magic.

If the author spends his time beating a drum, especially one I disagree with
(only human), I will probably be less forgiving. For example, one story
specified that the former USSR, was all good, nearly perfect, whereas the US
was totally racist and debased.

I am more likely to reject a story where the characters act totally outside
their established characters. The most egregious example I can think of
comes from American series television. The mousy, totally put upon wife, who
was almost killed by her abusive husband, turns out to be sleeping with many
of the minor characters, and is a psychopathic murderer.

The most common way for me to reject a book is that I either don't care or
actively dislike all of the characters.

Lois has a very rare genius. None of her characters feels like a one off
never to be heard from again. Everyone has a backstory, even (especially)
when we are not told it and you expect that any character who is not
explicitly killed (and maybe not even then) can show up later. How many
pages was Kly the Mail in in Barrayar and was anyone surprised when he
turned up in the Vorkosigan's burial plot? Was it Lis that was riding
courier in CoC or someone else? In either case, it established the existence
of female couriers.

Nicole and Arde certainly show up much later. Even the villains seem to have
a past, Cavillo for example.



William A Wenrich

Christian, husband, father, grandfather, son, American. Here I stand. I can
do no other. God Help me!


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