Jul. 6th, 2007

reenka: (Default)
Things Learned While Going Through a Pile of Interesting-looking Sci-fi/Fantasy Books in B&N Tonight (or Why I Love Snap Judgments):



- If you're going to be a hard-boiled Noir anti-hero cop with a (very) hidden heart of gold, by three-legged Christ, please be sarcastic. Or self-deprecating. Or something. There's nothing more hurtful to The Mystique than an anti-hero who takes his bullshit angst Oh So Seriously.

No, you don't have to be a Boy Scout to be sympathetic (far from it), but being a sleazy douchebag isn't so helpful either. And no, no one cares that the poor widdle hard-boiled sleazeball has a shaky hand that's embarrassing and doesn't fit 'the image' of a corrupt cop slash thug. Oh, why do I even try. -.-

- If you're going to be the oh-so-fearful and badass wizard to Strike Fear Into The Hearts of Men (and Chickens)-- anti-hero Version 007.2.0-- it would help the reader if said badass stopped wanking to his own (huge! yet "vulnerable") ego throughout the story. I mean. Eventually it does start to smell and that it not sexy.

- If you're going to write Yet Another Fantasy Epic about a streetwise orphan with hidden magic powers (yes, AGAIN), it really helps if they have an easily identifiable personality, quickly distinguished from Another One of Those(tm), so that the reader may actually remember which book they're supposed to be reading. Otherwise said reader may "drift off", or perhaps simply "forget" to keep reading about Anonymous Spunky Orphan-girl #98020983 and her inevitable journey to Respectability and Bitter-sweet Coming of Age, etc etc and so on and so forth.

- If you're going to riff on the currently (unfortunately too) popular genre of Christian mythology rip-offs, please remember that actually setting your work within something recognizable as that mythos is not optional; a few references combined with ridiculous new 'twists' do not automatically a 'fresh new approach' make. If in fact you want to write about sexy demons doing sexy-demon-PI type things, please do your readers the courtesy of not getting their hopes up with smatterings of actual Christian mythology, where, you know, demons are fallen angels (from HELL) and that's kind of the point; the point is not that they're like, these supernatural beings, right, and they're otherwordly and good at kicking ass and getting chicks.

Keeping to some logical constraints in the basics of your source material isn't the same thing as keeping up with some black-and-white view of mythology you're no doubt rebelling from. I know, I know, I'm old-fashioned, what can I say.

- Okay that genderfuck book was actually cool.

But. There's just something about single 'issue' or 'provocative' fantasy books that bores me after I figure out what it is that's supposed to be shaking my worldview or whatever. Let that be a lesson to you all: I want to be stirred (not shaken), like a proper martini. Or if I'm there's shakin' goin' on, at least have some real fun with it, and not have it be a bunch of persecution and social commentary (on "ancient cultures"), more persecution, some sex, some non-fun violence, some more persecution, and then some more of the first-person narration.

Ah, forget it. "Actually cool", whut? I can criticize anything, especially when I get in touch with my inner 14-year old boy! :P

In other news, I saw Die Hard 4, and it was fun. It was also the first Die Hard movie I've seen so far :>

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reenka

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