Author Topic: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY  (Read 47477 times)

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Ghoul

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FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« on: 02-10-2009, 21:55:42 »
dobro, pošto smo se složili da je žanr-književnost drugorazredna, i zapravo vredna samo onda kad je above & beyond genre – ajde da vidimo šta pišu ozbiljni, mejnstrim časopisi na teme koje nećete naći u svom omiljenom fanzinu, a opet se dotiču fantastike (koja nije horor, jer za to imamo topik na adekvatnom mestu – horror seriously).

za početak, prijavljujem:

SVESKE, pančevo, sept. 09,
-II deo eseja o fantastici kod pinčona ('objava br. 49') i kortasara (započet u junskom broju)
-I deo eseja o fantastičnoj prozi m. nastasijevića
-'da li svest supervenira nad fizičkim svojstvima?' – iz knjige philosophy of the mind, moglo bi biti zanimljivo fantastičarima...

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #1 on: 02-10-2009, 21:58:32 »
Ne znam otkad ti zarezuješ Bobana u njegovim procenama. Plus, smireno je pominjao Deksu, te mislim da ga je neko omađijao/isprao mu mozak/hakovao nalog.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #2 on: 02-10-2009, 22:21:13 »
ne govorim o 'bobanovim' procenama, već o konsenzusu iznesenom u onom prilogu iz sićeva.

Boban

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #3 on: 02-10-2009, 22:40:52 »
ja uvek smireno pominjem dexu, meni je čak pomalo žao tog jadnog čoveka... ponekad se malo zajebavam sa svim ovim, ali zašto ne?
Put ćemo naći ili ćemo ga napraviti.

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #4 on: 03-10-2009, 11:52:55 »
o konsenzusu iznesenom u onom prilogu iz sićeva.

"Možda ste vi u pravu, ali se ja sa time ne slažem."™
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Father Jape

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #5 on: 09-10-2009, 20:56:59 »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/sep/24/science-fiction-adam-roberts-booker?commentpage=1

Why hasn't there been a science fiction Booker winner?, by Adam Roberts
Blijedi čovjek na tragu pervertita.
To je ta nezadrživa napaljenost mladosti.
Dušman u odsustvu Dušmana.

https://lingvistickebeleske.wordpress.com

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #6 on: 10-10-2009, 00:36:13 »
http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58032

Michael Chabon: We’re All Amateurs Here

Michael Chabon, the first and only person ever to win both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hugo Award for Best Novel...
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #7 on: 26-01-2010, 16:19:34 »
ratko objavio mini-esej o kingsliju ejmisu, mega-zanimljivo:

http://cultofghoul.blogspot.com/2010/01/green-man-kingsley-amis-1969.html

Nimrodel

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #8 on: 09-03-2010, 13:44:10 »
Heh, dugo me ne beše ovde, doduše, čituckah povremeno sagitaško blagoumlje i blagoglagoljanje, i nekako ništa nemah da dodam, al' eto napokon da me potaknu neka tema da dodam nešto što bi moglo da koristi u Gulovom spektru 'ozbiljno-književno-kritičkih' tekstova koji se bave onim što bi se moglo okarakterisati kao žanrovsko da već nije okarakterisano kao mejnstrim što zbog same pripadnosti autora (odnosno 'odsustva' istog) što zbog mnogo jačih motiva i poruka koji pucaju vrlo često na ono o čemu bi sami nobelovci pisali (političke teme, ontološka pitanja, novi filozofski sistemi, u principu, mi Srbi bi to smatrali sarmom u odnosu na čizburger  ;) ).
Dobar početak može biti zbornik Čudo u Slovenskim kulturama  Dr Dejana Ajdačića, a izdavači su Apis (Novi Sad) i Naučno društvo za slovenske umetnosti i kulture (Beograd).
Potom tu je predivna publikovana doktorska disertacija Ane Radin Motiv vampira u mitu i književnosti u izdanju Prosvete u kojoj se mogu naći tekstovi o danas kritički priznatim pripovedačima ali takođe i o onim skrivenim, zaboravljenim od strane istorije književnosti baš zato što imaju previše žarovske arome u sebi. (U principu, nazovi satanu ili neku drugu karakondžulu metaforom za ovo ili ono i gle čuda, ljudi će u grupnoj klanici videti metaforu sličnu Orvelovoj gde glavna sanđama je politička mašina savremenog društva koja pojedinca jede i siše, negirajući individualnost i posebnost, sve je u opštem i kolektivnom  :lol: )

Ovde se takođe može naći simpatičan tekst o estonijskom sf-u gde se lepo vidi da im je poznat termin 'genre bending' u kome se javlja fenomen onoga što i postmodernisti koriste - poštuju osnovne zakone mejstrim književnosti: http://elm.einst.ee/issue/11/estonian-science-fiction/

I jedna od, po meni, boljih studija (u njoj fokus nije gore navedeni problem, ali autori se usputno veoma uspešno dotiču i onoga što je ovde tema) - pun pdf se može naći ovde: http://www.duke.edu/web/isis/gessler/cv-pubs/03slipstream.pdf a preview, ono čisto da se lizne, proba i vidi je li to istinski Kapri ili tek šugavi Ledenko:
http://www.jstor.org/pss/25486063

E tako, eto pomenuh neke stvari, čisto ono da malo  doprinesem ovoj finoj temi. Za mene pak ovo pitanje danas ima jedan veoma običan i dosadan odgovor, veoma neinspirativan za bilo kakve diskusije.
But then the barking of dogs fills the air and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses

Boban

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #9 on: 09-03-2010, 14:19:38 »
jao, super... sada ćeš možda i da vidiš sve one mejlove poslate ovih godina...
Put ćemo naći ili ćemo ga napraviti.

Nimrodel

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #10 on: 09-03-2010, 14:30:50 »
jao, super... sada ćeš možda i da vidiš sve one mejlove poslate ovih godina...

Do sad se logovala samo kao 'guest', sad kad se ulogovah kao Nim, liiiiiiii... teška teškina, Bobane. (Da ti kažem iskreno, ima mojih gimnazijalaca na ovom sajtu i nekako mi beše aprijatno da laprdam dalje :lol: ). Ali dobri su, dobre mlade nade a bogami, sve se nadam da će me poslušati i napokon poslati svoje priče na konkurse ovde... ne daju im da ih objave u visokoumonom školskom časposiu koji se bavi samo 'visokom' književnošću i ne toleriše eksplicitne sadržaje... bah, ajd' da držimo palčeve pa da i ova mladost iz unutrašnjosti se napokon ohrabri ovde i pokaže koliko su zapravo dobri pogotovo kad govorimo o mudroj manipulaciji žanrovskog da bi se dobilo umetničko delo. I ne ljuti se, barabo! :lol:
But then the barking of dogs fills the air and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses

Boban

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #11 on: 09-03-2010, 14:33:08 »
Evo, u znak dobre volje, odaberi jedan gimnazijalski rad koji ima veze s fantastikom i prosledi mi za novi ZS, biće objavljen, a eto i tebi podstreka da ih goniš na još veće napore.
Put ćemo naći ili ćemo ga napraviti.

Nightflier

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #12 on: 09-03-2010, 14:44:02 »
Heh, dugo me ne beše ovde, doduše, čituckah povremeno sagitaško blagoumlje i blagoglagoljanje, i nekako ništa nemah da dodam, al' eto napokon da me potaknu neka tema da dodam nešto što bi moglo da koristi u Gulovom spektru 'ozbiljno-književno-kritičkih' tekstova koji se bave onim što bi se moglo okarakterisati kao žanrovsko da već nije okarakterisano kao mejnstrim što zbog same pripadnosti autora (odnosno 'odsustva' istog) što zbog mnogo jačih motiva i poruka koji pucaju vrlo često na ono o čemu bi sami nobelovci pisali (političke teme, ontološka pitanja, novi filozofski sistemi, u principu, mi Srbi bi to smatrali sarmom u odnosu na čizburger  ;) ).
Dobar početak može biti zbornik Čudo u Slovenskim kulturama  Dr Dejana Ajdačića, a izdavači su Apis (Novi Sad) i Naučno društvo za slovenske umetnosti i kulture (Beograd).
Potom tu je predivna publikovana doktorska disertacija Ane Radin Motiv vampira u mitu i književnosti u izdanju Prosvete u kojoj se mogu naći tekstovi o danas kritički priznatim pripovedačima ali takođe i o onim skrivenim, zaboravljenim od strane istorije književnosti baš zato što imaju previše žarovske arome u sebi. (U principu, nazovi satanu ili neku drugu karakondžulu metaforom za ovo ili ono i gle čuda, ljudi će u grupnoj klanici videti metaforu sličnu Orvelovoj gde glavna sanđama je politička mašina savremenog društva koja pojedinca jede i siše, negirajući individualnost i posebnost, sve je u opštem i kolektivnom  :lol: )

Ovde se takođe može naći simpatičan tekst o estonijskom sf-u gde se lepo vidi da im je poznat termin 'genre bending' u kome se javlja fenomen onoga što i postmodernisti koriste - poštuju osnovne zakone mejstrim književnosti: http://elm.einst.ee/issue/11/estonian-science-fiction/

I jedna od, po meni, boljih studija (u njoj fokus nije gore navedeni problem, ali autori se usputno veoma uspešno dotiču i onoga što je ovde tema) - pun pdf se može naći ovde: http://www.duke.edu/web/isis/gessler/cv-pubs/03slipstream.pdf a preview, ono čisto da se lizne, proba i vidi je li to istinski Kapri ili tek šugavi Ledenko:
http://www.jstor.org/pss/25486063

E tako, eto pomenuh neke stvari, čisto ono da malo  doprinesem ovoj finoj temi. Za mene pak ovo pitanje danas ima jedan veoma običan i dosadan odgovor, veoma neinspirativan za bilo kakve diskusije.


Velkom bek.
Sebarsko je da budu gladni.
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Nimrodel

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #13 on: 09-03-2010, 14:56:19 »
@Boban: Bogami, šaljem ti još koliko do kraja ove nedelje.
@Nightflier: Thanks, m8.
@Ghoul: Guliša, izvini za ovo nenamerno trolovanje - valjda je uvek tako kad se dobri ljudi posle mnogo vremena opet sastanu. I'll shut up, now.
But then the barking of dogs fills the air and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses

Boban

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #14 on: 09-03-2010, 15:09:33 »
oftopičarenje, trolovanje i ostale na drugim mestima nepoželjne stvari, ovde su obaveza i stvar lepog vaspitanja.
Put ćemo naći ili ćemo ga napraviti.

Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #15 on: 09-03-2010, 15:09:57 »
ne, ne, taman posla: baš mi je drago što te je baš moj topik naveo na voskresenije, va imja oca i sjatoga ghoula, amin!
nemoj sad opet da nestaješ, nego priloži šta imaš...

Alex

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #16 on: 09-03-2010, 15:17:13 »
va imja oca i jastoga ghoula, amin!

ispravljeno
Avatar je bezlichna, bezukusna kasha, potpuno prazna, prosechna i neupechatljiva...USM je zhivopisan, zabavan i originalan izdanak americhke pop kulture

Nimrodel

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #17 on: 10-03-2010, 10:47:00 »
ne, ne, taman posla: baš mi je drago što te je baš moj topik naveo na voskresenije, va imja oca i sjatoga ghoula, amin!
nemoj sad opet da nestaješ, nego priloži šta imaš...

Eo, zbog tebe i zbog toga što sam ti malo umrljala temu nenamerno, potrudih se da prekopam svoje i-mejlove i nađoh ovaj, poslat pre nekih mesec i po dana mom drugu Džejmsu. Čitao neke knjige pa me pitao zašto se ja mrštim kad na Scrolls of Lore forumu ljudi krenu da nagvaždaju o nečemu što je ionako samo dobra zabava i ništa više... te sam mu ja ovo otpisala. Iskreno, mrzi me da se bakćem srpskom verzijom odgovora, nema vajde, ovde svi ionako barataju jengleskim i bolje ponekad od samih Jengleza.

Lo, when you ask me, why Knaak will never be accepeted as serious writer even though he is acclaimed as one of the best selling authors, answer is simple... yes, his novels are interesting, full of twists and turns, fantastic characters and scary things, but... But his stories are shallow, made with purpose to entertain you and support what we could call a game lore. Yes, I can see where you see resemblance between this and Michael Moorcock’s Elric, there are magical swords, fantastic beings, even dark immortal forces that influence and corrupt world of the living ones, but tis not the same. While you read that poor Christie Golden’s spin-off, you’re getting crude story with forced motivations, lame dialogues and sentences that look like sheit loads of words just for ’it sounds serious’ sake. You were laughing the other night with me cause of  that ’at long last, no king rules forever, my son’, claiming, as a person whose mother tongue is English, that we’re dealing with truly poor wording... well, that’s the case with Knaak and all others too. I won’t claim that with Elric we’re dealing with high literature, but at least you can taste something of Cervantes’s Don Quixote... as he laughed to all those novels about wandering knights, so does Moorcock... and you can learn basic mechanisms of epic fantasy at least. Lo, true depth and layers are required for something to become true work of good story telling. Nowadays, with all those instant story plot guides and publishing deadlines before story was even born (I mean true story with proper storyline, motives, characters), you will get more of this crap even though once it had potential to outgrow itself. That’s how it works.

Sometimes, time is needed, new generations and ways of thinking for something that is not critically and historically acclaimed to become appreciated and crossover to what we call mainstream. But it can’t happen to spin-off type of literature. Lemme tell you something, we had such writer and he actually lived for quite some time in UK... even made history of British empire for BBC. Well, he did dare to write nowadays famous Rabies (btw, students are even exploring that novel nowadays at our universities), but when he wrote it, something else was considered as a good literature. And, yes, in his novel you’ll find science experiments, mutations, God’s messengers, prophecies, re-making of humankind, horror, slaughter, I mean everything... he’ll even trick you and show you how great spy, conspiracy novels are made... but in those times no serious critic would consider deeper look into this book, no school program would actually have it as possibility for discussion with students... it was too fantastic and people were too narrowminded and poisoned with political doctrine to actually read it and think about it. It was like comparing Henry James or Charles Dickens type of work with Edgar Allan Poe’s... comparison is not the best one but it’ll serve its purpose - that was the case with Rabies and in those times truly cherished and critically acclaimed writers. But times did change and nowadays Rabies are critically and historically acclaimed novel and we talk about it even in our high schools... you may ask me what happened. Answer is simply, that writer (Borislav Pekic is his name btw) used genre as such just as a cover, but his story was not imprisoned by it, his story was much larger and stronger and it wasn’t told just for tell some story sake. Yes, you will have crazy man Gabriel that resembles so much to archangel Gabriel, but that resemblance won’t be there just to say – oh my, we have forces of Heaven involved, and now bring on holly machine gun and wipe out those devlish arses along with line ’Remember I told u I’ll kill u last – Well, I lied’ and then Arnie or Ron Perlman popping in and killing all with fackin flame thrower. Gabriel will be mockery and hidden miracle in the same time, he’ll be embodiment of so famous ’mad men/weak in mind and body humans’ archetype. And let me tell you something, for centruies that type of people were actually considered as holy among many nations... but that’s another topic, you know – we’re all mad men, etc.
Bottom line is – yes, you can use all futuristic and fantasy and horror sheit, but not for the sake of it if you want recognition – true storytelling skill is required and depth, something that will actually tickle even those unconscious parts of the one that reads or listens. Those that claim that genre determination is guilty for their fail are just setting themselves for even bigger fall... it’s not the genre’s fault, it’s just bad writing, nothing else. So, in all, Knaak is full of bullsheit and he’s Blizz’s biatch, easy as that.
But then the barking of dogs fills the air and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses

Nightflier

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #18 on: 10-03-2010, 13:36:31 »
Pretpostavljam da je sve ovo glede Vorkrafta, ali Kristi Golden je pisala dobre romane u Rejvenloftu.
Sebarsko je da budu gladni.
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Nimrodel

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #19 on: 10-03-2010, 20:31:52 »
Ovaj, on me jeste pitao za nešto oko spin-off pisaca, etikete bestseler autora a potom je priča otišla na odnos prema sf-u, hororu i ef-u i ovo je deo onoga što sam otpisala i što ima veze s onim o čemu Ghoul govori. Glede Christie Golden, ne znam šta je sve pisala (znam samo za tri naslova, dva pročitala u dokolici), ali ovo poslednje je blah, tuuuga, a i kako da bude dobro?
But then the barking of dogs fills the air and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses

High Duke

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #20 on: 10-03-2010, 21:10:18 »
Dobrodosla nazad, Nim :)
Let your blow fall because faith is my shield and valor is my sword

Nightflier

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #21 on: 10-03-2010, 21:19:14 »
Ovaj, on me jeste pitao za nešto oko spin-off pisaca, etikete bestseler autora a potom je priča otišla na odnos prema sf-u, hororu i ef-u i ovo je deo onoga što sam otpisala i što ima veze s onim o čemu Ghoul govori. Glede Christie Golden, ne znam šta je sve pisala (znam samo za tri naslova, dva pročitala u dokolici), ali ovo poslednje je blah, tuuuga, a i kako da bude dobro?

Ima tu jako dobrih pisaca. Stekpol je legenda, recimo. Njegovi Battletech romani su veličanstven SF. A Goldenova je na početku karijere bila dobra. Posle je valjda mrzelo.
Sebarsko je da budu gladni.
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Perin

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #22 on: 11-03-2010, 21:39:16 »
Meni se od Stekpola svideo Dragon Crown Cycle :)Ako je to on pisao, a čini mi se da jeste :D

Nightflier

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #23 on: 12-03-2010, 00:09:14 »
Jeste. To je jedan od malobrojnih njegovih potpuno originalnih naslova. Jako lepo četvoroknjižje.
Sebarsko je da budu gladni.
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Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #24 on: 21-03-2010, 17:49:48 »
Čitanje odrednice o SF-u u novom Rečniku književnih termina:

http://cultofghoul.blogspot.com/2010/03/mali-korak-za-sf-ali-veliki-za-recnik.html

Nightflier

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #25 on: 21-03-2010, 22:36:02 »
Mda. Već mi je u najavi zasmrdeo taj sajberlelemudonijum.
Sebarsko je da budu gladni.
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Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #26 on: 01-04-2010, 20:23:01 »
Sala je, al' mogla bi i da ne bude...

Tachyon Publications Announces First Annual Make-a-Genre Contest

by C.J. Klempest
— posted @ 4/01/2010 12:01:00 AM PT

Tachyon Publications publisher Jacob Weisman today announced a competition to invent a new subgenre of science fiction and fantasy. "Over the past few years we've published a series of books which group writers who have never heard of one another into tightly-knit literary movements," says Weisman. "Our slipstream, steampunk, post-cyberpunk, and new weird anthologies have done very well for us."

However, since Tachyon's stable of editors has so far failed to come up with any new titles for the 2010-11 publishing season, Weisman has decided to turn to the general public for ideas. "Ideally we'd like a book that has makes the case that Stephen King, Audrey Niffenegger, Michael Crichton, Diana Gabaldon, Robert Jordan, Garrison Keillor, Neil Gaiman, and Nora Roberts have worked in close concert over the years to push speculative fiction to the cutting edge. Of course, the list of contributors is negotiable, depending on the genre you decide to invent. Just hit us with your best shot."

The Make-A-Genre contest is open to all readers and writers over the age of twenty-one. Contestants must submit a table of contents and a persuasive essay to be used as their anthology's introduction. "A catchy name for your genre is a definite plus," adds Bernie Goodman, Tachyon's Vice President of Long Range Planning. First prize is publication in Tachyon's fall list. "We're hoping to debut this book at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus," says Weisman, "and if we get the response we anticipate, we'll continue the contest on a yearly basis." All entries must be submitted through Tachyon's online submissions system at www.tachyonpublications.com.
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Mme Chauchat

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #27 on: 04-04-2010, 17:05:32 »
Čitanje odrednice o SF-u u novom Rečniku književnih termina:

http://cultofghoul.blogspot.com/2010/03/mali-korak-za-sf-ali-veliki-za-recnik.html


Sve je ovo tačno, ni druge odrednice nisu neki biseri, ali zašto se na pola teksta dr Popović pretvara u dr Petrović?

Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #28 on: 04-04-2010, 17:11:19 »
Popović, Petrović... sve su one iste.

Mme Chauchat

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #29 on: 04-04-2010, 17:16:48 »
Po tom principu su Džernsbek i Bredburi više nego prihvatljivi...  ;)

Ghoul

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #30 on: 04-04-2010, 17:28:30 »
kad se g-đa/ica popović dovoljno proslavi da njeno ime postane household item, kao što su imena pomenute gospode, e ONDA će biti bruka što se njeno slavno ime ne poznaje dovoljno!
ne pre toga.

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #31 on: 19-02-2011, 02:10:36 »
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
Reviewed by Adam Roberts


16 July 2007

Here are two titles for booksellers to shelve under Fantasy. Both follow the adventures of an essentially good though morally (slightly) complicated hero around a medievalised imaginary world. Both embody a sort of under-narrative about revenge, upon which are constructed varied and peripatetic adventures. There is, in both books, Evil to be combated, magic to be performed, and artefacts that have special powers. One (the Rothfuss) is an example of a genre pretty much wholly invented and defined by the other (Tolkien). Nevertheless they are absolutely as different from one another as could be imagined. One of these is, in its way, a great book. The other is a competently constructed time-whileawayer. See if you can guess which description fits which novel.

Rothfuss's tale, or yarn, or tome, or whichever term you prefer, concerns Kvothe—pronounced, we're told, 'nearly the same as "Quothe"'—who is the hero of all and the narrator of most of this sumo-sized volume. Living incognito as a humble tavern-owner in a quiet backwater, he's tracked down by a chap named Chronicler, who wants to write down Kvothe's heroic life story. Chronicler, actually, is attacked on the road by nasty evil-magic ceramic spider beasts (Kvothe rescues him) and whilst he is convalescing he transcribes our hero's story—which, with occasional interjections or requests for clarification from Chronicler, fills up almost all the rest of the book.

It's a varied and eventful tale. We get an account of our hero's childhood in a troupe of travelling players; his growing-up, his achievements and his reverses (he spends a time as a street-rat-kid in a crime-riddled city), and we get his ambition to enrol in a legendary university of magic and learn the true names of all things so that he can control them. His destiny is to become "the greatest magician the world has ever known." But it's not a straightforward path. It wouldn't be much of a story if it were.

Readers with even the most rudimentary experience of the genre will recognise all these elements from other books, and Rothfuss is clearly aware of the danger of staleness. Accordingly he tries to inoculate his book against accusations that it is merely derivative. From one of the sections where Kvothe reflects on his own story:

   'I was wondering why you didn't go looking for Skarpi?' ...
    Kvothe drew a deep breath and sighed. 'The simplest reason is the least satisfying one, I suppose. The truth is this: I wasn't living in a story.'
    'I don't think I'm understanding you, Reshi,' said Bast.
    'Think of all the stories you've heard, Bast. You have a young boy, the hero. His parents are killed. He sets out for vengeance. What happens next?'
    Bast hesitated, his expression puzzled. Chronicler answered the question instead. 'He finds help. A clever talking squirrel. An old drunken swordsman. A mad hermit in the woods. That sort of thing ... he finds the villains and kills them.'
    Kvothe leaned forward. 'If this were some tavern tale, all half-truth and senseless adventure ... but whilst that might make for an entertaining story, it would not be the truth. The truth is this ...'
(pp.304-5)

This is the author patting the reader on her shoulder, saying "fools may be content with the old storytelling clichés, but you and I have more sophisticated tastes ..." Except that it's a lie: not only is Kvothe's tale thoroughly storybook in every particular, even the opposition invoked here between real and "literary" is precisely a device, a storytelling trick used by innumerable writers, not least Tolkien himself in The Lord of the Rings (Sam and Frodo, you'll remember, discuss how the heroic tale of their quest would differ from the actual hardships they are experiencing).

Rothfuss is a skilled writer, with good storytelling instincts and the ability to drop just enough specific detail into his worldbuilding to make his Central Casting characters come alive (or at least half-alive, like Pinnochio dolls), but not so much that it bogs down the narrative or bores the reader. There's nothing wearisome here, except possibly the sheer weight of the book itself in one's hands; overall it's a smooth-rolling reading experience that passes the time, is fairly entertaining, and has a few moments of excitement. But here's the thing: it's a fundamentally cosy book. It flatters the reader. It winks at her, promising her the real thing rather than some sanitised storybook version, at the same time sanitising anything that might genuinely unsettle, or unnerve, or wrongfoot her readerly expectations. It, like many works of contemporary fantasy, panders to a sort of imaginative tourism, a safe entry into an escapist imaginative space defined by its reassuring familiarity. Cosiness is a good quality in sweaters. It is not a merit in books.

I read The Name of the Wind as a bound proof. The cover of this pre-edition is as black as Spinal Tap cover art, save only for a white-printed letter from Elizabeth R. Wollheim, DAW's "President and Publisher." Now, the purpose of this letter is to let booksellers know what a great book The Name of the Wind is:

  
Quote
Dear Bookseller,
    You hold in your hands an Advance Reading Copy of the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have ever read in over thirty years as an editor. After reading the first hundred pages of Patrick Rothfuss' THE NAME OF THE WIND, I knew I had to publish this book.... A tale told in classic high fantasy style, THE NAME OF THE WIND is a masterpiece that carries a fresh and earthy originality all its own. It transports the reader to the interior of a wizard's soul and to the world that helped create him. It is the story of a legendary hero and the truth that lies behind his legend. Kvothe is a genuine hero created to walk alongside the greatest heroes of our imagination.... Join me in welcoming a writer who ranks with Tad Williams, George R R Martin, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks as a great writer of high fantasy. Exciting and rousing, intimate and personal, THE NAME OF THE WIND doesn't just describe what it is to be heroic, it is heroic.
    Enjoy!
    Elizabeth Wollheim

There's a slight awkwardness in praising the book for its "fresh and earthy originality all its own" and then listing the authors (Williams, Martin, Goodkind, Jordan, Brooks) of whom it is—as she rightly says—very very reminiscent. But we understand that this is a kind of code, and we take it as such. It says "you like Robert Jordan? You'll like this!"—information presumably useful for people who still enjoy Robert Jordan despite having wheeled themselves all the way to the end of his enormous, time-sucking series. I suppose there are such people in the world. That's not the problem I have with this letter. The problem I have with this letter is this part:

   A tale told in classic high fantasy style ...

But no. The Name of the Wind is a tale told in the bourgeois discursive style familiar from the modern realist novel. A passage picked at random:

    I settled onto the stone bench under the pennant pole next to my two friends.
    "So where were you last night?" Simmon asked too casually.
    It was only then that I remembered that the three of us had planned to meet up with Fenton and play corners last night. Seeing Denna had completely driven the plan from my mind. "Oh God, I'm sorry Sim. How long did you wait for me?"
    He gave me a look.
    "I'm sorry," I repeated, hoping I looked as guilty as I felt. "I forgot."
    Sim grinned, shrugging it off. "It's not a big deal."
(p.427)

This could be three pals from any novel set in the 20th or 21st centuryl; and hundreds and hundreds of similar passages serve only to show the author has not entered into the pre-industrial medieval mindset that his medieval pre-industrial world requires—to, for example, understand the crucial point that not guilt ("I looked as guilty as I felt") but shame was the key moral dynamic for the period. But to understand that would involve shifting about the psychological portraiture of the entire project; it would have meant writing characters less like, and therefore less appealing to, a 21st-century readership disinclined to make the effort to encounter the properly strange or unusual.

This speaks to a broader state of affairs in which style—the language and form of the novel—is seen as an unimportant adjunct to the "story." It is not. A bourgeois discursive style constructs a bourgeois world. If it is used to describe a medieval world it necessarily mismatches what it describes, creating a milieu that is only an anachronism, a theme park, or a WoW gaming environment rather than an actual place. This degrades the ability of the book properly to evoke its fictional setting, and therefore denies the book the higher heroic possibilities of its imaginative premise.

The Children of Húrin, on the other hand, does feel real. It's a book by a man who knew intimately not only the facts and paraphernalia but the mindset, values, and inner life of his relevant historical period—more Dark Age than medieval, this time, but assuredly not modern. The most obvious, although certainly not the only, level on which this registers is that of the style, which actually does approach the classic elevation that Wollheim wrongly identifies in Rothfuss. The Children of Húrin's syntax is compact, declarative and unafraid of inversion ("Great was the triumph of Morgoth"). Its vocabulary is almost entirely purged of words not derived from Old English sources: so much so that the occasional Anglo-French term—for instance, the phrase "Petty-dwarf" with its petit-derived qualifier—jars a little. More, it is a prose written with a careful ear for the rhythms of English; a prose with a very satisfying balance of iambic and trochaic pulses, sparingly leavened with unstressed polysyllables (it reads well aloud). It also distils frequently into compact phrases of surprising resonance and power. Here is the seven-year-old Túrin in conversation with the family servant Sador and trying to come to terms with the death (from sickness) of his beloved little sister Lalaith:

    'Then Lalaith will not come back?' said Túrin. 'Where has she gone?'
    'She will not come back,' said Sador. 'But where she has gone no man knows; or I do not.'
    'Has it always been so? Or do we suffer some curse of the wicked King, perhaps, like the Evil Breath?'
    'I do not know. A darkness lies behind us and out of it few tales have come ... it may be that we fled from the fear of the Dark, only to find it here before us, and nowhere else to fly to but the Sea.'
    'We are not afraid any longer,' said Túrin, 'not all of us. My father is not afraid, and I will not be; or at least, as my mother, I will be afraid and not show it.'
    It seemed then to Sador that Túrin's eyes were not the eyes of a child, and he thought: 'Grief is a hone to a hard mind.
' (p.43)

That last eight-word phrase has a poetic feel in part because the unfamiliar formality and alliteration of Tolkien's style provides us with some of the estrangement that poetry does; and partly because its rhythm (two dactyls and a spondee) make it sound like the second half of a Homeric hexameter. It's appropriate, too, encapsulating in little the theme of the novel as a whole; the way a heroic temper such as Túrin's responds to continual hardship and grief by becoming harder and more edged. Which is a roundabout way of saying that Tolkien was a very skilled writer of this sort of prose.

The Children of Húrin is set in Tolkien's First Age, thousands of years before the events of the Third-Age Lord of the Rings. There are no hobbits, wizards, ents, or Tom Bombadils. There are, however, elves, men, and orcs—lots of the latter. Sauron is mentioned in passing, because at this point in Tolkien's imaginary history Sauron is only the lieutenant of a far greater evil: Morgoth, or Melkor, a character who is, essentially, Satan himself. Húrin, a man from Mithrim, takes part in the battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad, in which elves and men confront Morgoth's hordes. The bad guys win. Captured by Morgoth, Húrin's family is cursed, and then he is tormented by being placed in a magic chair that preserves him from death and compels him to watch as this curse works its malign influence upon his wife, son, and daughter. This takes us up to chapter 3 (of 18). Most of the rest of this book is given over to Húrin's son Túrin, and a little bit to his daughter Niënor.

In the two paragraphs below I outline the story, with many spoilers; but I have fewer qualms about this than I otherwise might because the story will already be familiar to many people. For one thing, it has appeared in print before: Tolkienist Michael Drout (at his blog Wormtalk and Slugspeak) tabulates previous publications:

    1977 in The Silmarillion as "Of Túrin Turambar" (prose)
    1980 in Unfinished Tales as "Narn i Hîn Húrin" (prose)
    1984 in The Book of Lost Tales, Part II as "Turambar and the Foalókë" and "The Nauglafring" (prose)
    1985 in The Lays of Beleriand as "The Lay of the Children of Húrin" (verse in alliterative long-lines)
    1994 in The War of the Jewels as "The Wanderings of Húrin" (prose)

For another, the story itself is an amalgamation of a number of celebrated mythic precedents: one is the story of Kullervo from the Finnish epic Kalevala; the other is Siegfried from the Nibelungen epic. But where the familiarity of Rothfuss's story registers as belatedness and tiredness, the familiarity of Tolkien's gives it the resonance and inevitability of myth.

The book traces the increasingly terrible lives of Húrin's children under the withering curse of Morgoth. Son Túrin is high-minded, noble, taciturn, and darkly charismatic. Daughter Niënor is a much less successful piece of characterisation, little more than a passive beauty (it's almost as if Tolkien can't do women...). Túrin flees his northern home and takes refuge for a time with the elves, who love him; but his haughty manner and his disinclination to speak up for himself leads to him being—unjustly—banished. Armed with a terrible and magical black sword, he takes up with some outlaws, leads men, becomes a prince of the hidden city of Nargothrond, and finally—in some very powerful chapters given added heft by the sheer density and momentum Tolkien's focussed prose accumulates as it goes along—fights and kills the terrible dragon Glaurung.

But Túrin's destiny is consistently infelicitous. His pride contributes to the fall of the city he is sworn to defend; he accidentally kills his best friend; and later he inadvertently marries and impregnates his sister who, when she learns what has happened, drowns herself in a river. At various moments in the narrative Túrin comprehends what he has done, and is driven from his wits; but he recovers them, propelled as he is by the ferocity of his will to revenge. But after this last incestuous transgression has been revealed to him by the dying Glaurung, he finally gives up.

    Then he drew forth his sword, and said: 'Hail, Gurthang, iron of death, you alone now remain! But what lord or loyalty do you know, save the hand that wields you? From no blood will you shrink. Will you take Túrin Turambar? Will you slay me swiftly?'
    And from the blade rang a cold voice in answer: 'Yes, I will drink your blood, that I may forget the blood of Beleg my master, and the blood of Brandir [Túrin's best friend] slain unjustly. I will slay you swiftly.'
    Then Túrin set the hilts upon the ground, and cast himself upon the point of Gurthang, and the black blade took his life.
(p.256)

This is based on Kullervo's suicide, also preceded by a conversation with his magical sword. Moorcock's Elric is only one of many contemporary fantasy variants of this venerable notion.

The Children of Húrin is relatively short; novella length, although published here in a thoroughly gorgeous volume (lovely paper, beautiful typeface generously spaced, a fold-out two-tone map, and eight handsome full-colour illustrations from Alan Lee) that has been plumped-up with a preface, introduction, note on pronunciation, family trees, and a couple of appendices. I knew the story before I picked it up, but I read it nevertheless with enormous and unexpected pleasure. It commanded my full attention and it generated the emotional charge of a much longer novel. It is a tragedy, not in the Aristotelian sense (for there is precious little catharsis here) but in the northern-European sense of humans encountering an overwhelming fate with defiance. And that is at the heart of Tolkien's conception of heroism; precisely not achievement, but a particular and noble-hearted encounter with failure; not how you triumph, but the spirit with which you resist the fate you know to be unavoidable.

The question is whether Tolkien's style here is accessible enough to attract the sort of readership likely to enjoy Rothfuss's more calculated blandness of tone. Or to put it another way: what must a writer of Fantasy do to reach the many Fantasy fans whose potential enjoyment of (say) Njal's Saga or Chrétien de Troyes is blocked by the works' archaic style? How to make a bridge between our modern sensibilities and the medieval matter? Rothfuss's solution, for good and ill, and mostly for ill, is simply to write the pre-modern as if it is modern. In The Silmarillion Tolkien was widely criticised for writing his antique matter in an unadorned antique style ("like the Old Testament," reviewers complained; although actually it is rather unlike the Bible in tone and much more like the northern Sagas). Plenty of ordinary readers couldn't stomach it, although Old English specialists and medievalists, who are used to reading this kind of thing, usually speak of the book in much warmer terms.

The Lord of the Rings was amongst other things one attempt at a solution to this problem, constructed by braiding together modern perspectives (the cosy bourgeois hobbits) and pre-modern (the medieval Gondor, the Old English Rohan), not only in terms of story but style—the hobbit chapters are of course written with a kind of early-20th-century contemporaneity of narratorial voice, where the later sequences inhabit a more antiquated and high-flown idiom, full of inversions, dated vocabulary, invocative and rhetorical stiffness, although at the same time rather splendid and suitably heroic.

But it's surprising how few writers have attempted to imitate Tolkien's stylistic strategy in this, although of course they have stolen plenty of other things from his writing. There are other ways of tackling this problem: for instance, rather than sacrifice a modern style many Fantasy writers have given up the medieval setting: there's clearly no problem with using a 19th-century novelistic voice to describe a basically 19th-century world, as in the work of Ian MacLeod and China Miéville. But though vibrant this remains, I suppose, a minor part of the market for Fantasy; Wollheim pitches her "Dear Bookseller" letter at a climate she knows is still hungry for Heroic Fantasy.

Heroic Fantasy, we know, takes as its setting a pre-industrial world, in which some of the conveniences accorded to modern humanity by machines fall within the purview of magic, whilst others are dispensed with altogether. The former strategy enables escapist fantasy about the empowerment of magical skill; but the latter strategy also enables escapism, by giving the readers access to an earthier, more authentic, more empowered, more physical existence than they have as pale wageslaves snagged in the webs of Civilisation And Its Discontents.

Now, the standard defence of escapism goes something like this: "what's wrong with escapism? Who is it that opposes escape? Jailers!" It's an incomplete logic, although there is a grit of truth in it. If you are a parent, and your teenage child spends eight hours a day upon their bed in heroin-induced lassitude as a strategy for escaping the anomie of modern teenagerdom, you don't need the soul of a jailer to want him, her, to stop. Art is about modes of engagement with the world, not modes of avoiding it. The key thing is that some forms of engagement are liberating, and others enslaving; and simple "distraction" falls under the logic of the latter.

Escapism isn't a very good word, actually, for the positive psychological qualities its defenders want to defend; it's less a question of breaking one's bars and running away (running whither, we might ask?); it's more about keeping alive the facility for imaginative play, that faculty that only a fool would deny is core to any healthy psychological makeup. Kids are good at play, and have an unexamined wisdom about it; adults, sometimes, forget how vital it is. What's wrong with Art that insists too severely on pressing people's faces against the miseries of actual existence is not that we shouldn't have to confront Darfur or Iraq, poverty or oppression; it's that such art rarely gives us the imaginative wiggle room to think of how things might be improved, or challenged, or even accepted. Imaginative wiggle room, on the other hand, is something SF/Fantasy is very good at.

An art that simply depresses is liable to be an ineffective art because it will tend, by putting people off, to disable rather than enable imaginative engagement. But even more depressing than reading Celan on the Holocaust is reading the blithe, upbeat, escapist holocaust-fiction of (say) the Left Behind series. I am not, in this review, saying that Tolkien is simply a better writer than Rothfuss; although, as it happens, I think he is. But Rothfuss is certainly an accomplished storyteller; it's just that he has not thought-through the implications of writing Heroic Fantasy in the way Tolkien did.

The irony is that the readers who read Fantasy because they want the uplift of a heroism with which they can identify—and who believe that heroism has no place in the modern world—are actually reading about precisely modern heroes. Kvothe, an individual who overcomes various life obstacles to triumph has plenty in common with Lance Armstrong or that guy in The Pursuit of Happyness. His is a didactic and a feel-good heroism. Túrin, on the other hand, is an individual who fights against a doom greater than he, despite knowing that he cannot win, simply because defiance in the teeth of an inevitable doom is the strength given to humans. His world—where triumph and glory are localised and temporary, and always give way to subsequent defeat—is in the deepest sense our world. That is what it means to be mortal. We are all going to die; it's demeaning to waste our energy in schemes or fantasies that tell us otherwise. What matters, as with Túrin, is the character with which we face that annihilation. Of the two heroisms presented by these books, his is the greater; and the most relevant.

Copyright © 2007 Adam Roberts
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #32 on: 19-02-2011, 02:20:00 »
Paul Charles Smith
On Moral (Fantasy) Fiction


There is an article causing another uproar in the blogosphere, I’m sure you’ve all read it or heard about it by now, and I’m not going to waste my time responding. I’ll happily talk with anyone the merits of the Gardner/Gass discussion, but we aren’t really talking about the value of nihilistic art, so it is pointless. It did, however, lead to an interesting conversation on twitter this afternoon that got me thinking about how far fantasy has really come since Tolkien, and I wanted to think about it a little out loud, so bear with me.

The charge of nihilism is ridiculous because fantasy, especially epic fantasy (whether high or low), remains essentially moral fiction. Even when the protagonists are violent and self-serving, they are considered anti-heroes, ergo they still exist inside the sphere of morality, they are just on the other end of it than more heroic characters. If these novels were truly nihilistic, like McCarthy’s brilliant Blood Meridian, these sort of moral pronouncements would never come into play. In nihilism there can be no right or wrong because nothing can ever be known, therefore it follows that there can be no heroes or anti-heroes, just characters committing acts that have no value. In McCarthy’s world, we cannot even proclaim the monstrous Judge Holden a villain, because the parameters of the novel do not allow it. These gritty fantasy novels may be as far removed from Tolkien in terms of morality as Lolita is from Jane Eyre, but they still exist in the same moral universe.

What also struck me when discussing it earlier is how they also seem to hold to a belief in the same relationship between aesthetics and morality that Tolkien does, albeit in a different way. As Keats famously wrote in Ode on a Grecian Urn, beauty is  truth, truth beauty, and while there are exceptions, The Lord of the Rings mostly conforms to the idea that that which is beautiful is good, and that which is ugly is evil. The elves, even if their time is passing, possess a beauty that flawed man can never match and remain as a reminder of a golden age, while on the other side, evil is the ugliness of orcs, goblins, Shelob and co. As far back as the Greeks, Aristotle was able to differentiate between the good and beauty, but the two have become entwined to form a trope in fantasy that while can be subverted cleverly, often isn’t. Moorcock subverts it sublimely in Elric with the cruelty of the Melniborneans, which as my friend Jonathan remarked only seem to become more amoral the more beautiful they are. Elric, the best of them in the moral sense, as an albino and sickly is ugly by their standards. Gritty fantasies, on the other hand, aren’t subverting it though, they are embracing it. The uglier characters, the dirty cities, etc. again they are just coming at the same thing from a different angle.   

So while the original article may have been a poorly written lament by a person upset that the genre has moved on from his heroes in a way that he doesn’t like, I still think there is room here to have a serious discussion about whether it really has. No judgement either way, there are good low fantasy novels just as there are bad ones (and I’m sure there are some exceptions to the things I have mentioned), but it seems to me epic fantasy is just as moral as it has always been.
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #33 on: 19-02-2011, 02:20:37 »
On Moral (Fantasy) Fiction II

I still had ideas about morality in fantasy bounding around in my head earlier today when the always erudite Adam Roberts linked to a review he had written back in 2007 contrasting Patrick Rothfuss’ debut, The Name of the Wind against Tolkien’s The Children of Húrin. Some of the points that he makes in the article, as well as some later discussion got me wondering about the genre as a whole, so again I will ask you to bear with me as I think out loud.

The genre is called epic or heroic fantasy, for the most part the two are interchangeable. What this suggests to me, and I would argue, is that there exists a tangible link between this sort of genre fantasy and the classical world. If The Lord of the Rings is the Ur-text of this type of fantasy, it proves the point in that it is impossible to separate Tolkien’s novel from the philological source material that inspired it. While Tolkien was inspired by the sagas and the Eddas, I’m going to instead talk about the heroic age, because I am more comfortable doing so, and I believe that the same points are relevant. It seems to me, and through dialogue I hope to show, that there is one fundamental difference between the classical world and genre fantasy, which in turn unites modern epic fantasy in the same moral sphere.

Yesterday I stated, rather emphatically, that epic fantasy is essentially moral. The literature of the Greeks, however, has a very different causal connection when it comes to the climax of the tale. While, as Roberts points out in his review, epic fantasy rarely engages in catharsis, there still seems to me something quite important here. Aristotle, in the Poetics, talks very briefly about hamartia (ἁμαρτία), the tragic flaw that is the primum movens of the tragedy. The vagueness of Aristotle in this area has lead to a lot of speculation by modern critics, some of whom have tried to assign moral weight to the term so that the flaw is a moral one. The  evidence from the sources proves this is just not so, as Dawe rightly points out in Some Reflections on Ate and Hamartia, of all the tragedies, only Women of Trachis‘ tragedy can be argued to be the result of an error of judgment. We can no more  blame Oedipus for the death of his father in Oedipus Rex than we can blame Philoctetes for becoming ill in Sophocles’ play of the same name. What we can take from this, and what Tolkien does well when he is in his tragic mode, is that the role of fate was very different in the classical world that it is in modern genre fantasy. There is no chosen one, to be subjected to a fate is to be subjected to the whim of fickle gods, who send men to their deaths deserving or undeserving. The gods are just as likely to curse an individual for his hubris as they are for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Recall the double edge sword of the fate offered to Achilles, a short life of glory or a long life of no consequence. These characters are, just as the Greeks saw themselves, essentially pawns of the gods, and certainly did not consider themselves autonomous moral agents. Also important was the relationship between fate and irony, fate was absolute and any attempts to escape it only caused the trap to tighten around its flailing victim. Oedipus too thought himself free from the curse of the house of Thebes, but we all remember that sobering chorus that closes the play, count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain (in the classic Lattimore).   

There are certainly similar occurrences in the Norse myth that inspired Tolkien, Sigurðr’s inadvertent incest, for example, or the inability of the Æsir to escape their own fate, even though it is known to them. As Roberts rightly points out in his review of Children of Húrin, the Norns may have already set your fate, but it is standing in opposition to that fate that is important, not whether you defeat it. Ragnarök may be the end of the gods, but the gods will still fight regardless. When Tolkien is at his best, as he is in Children of Húrin and in parts of The Silmarillion, the fate of men (or elves, or dwarves) remains external from them, but this certainly isn’t the case in The Lord of the Rings, where moral agency shifts onto the individual, making him responsible when measuring himself against an external moral system, in this case Tolkien’s often maligned good and evil. Perhaps the genesis of that problem can be seen in Children of Húrin, in which a reader with some experience with philology wonders why such a cruel fate, usually the whim of fickle gods, can befall Túrin Turambar when Eru Ilúvatar is a benevolent creator.

There is a discrepancy here between Tolkien in the tragic mode and the Tolkien of The Lord of the Rings, just as there is between the classical sources and epic fantasy. It can be seen in the Nietzschean sense as a shift from shame culture to guilt culture. For those unfamiliar with the terms, a shame culture is one like that of the Greeks, where external forces are responsible for misfortune, while a guilt culture is one where the individual is to blame. Just as we see a shift in society between the two, we can see the same shift in Tolkien. The result of this is what Nietzsche refers to in The Genealogy of Morality as slave morality. To quote (Kaufmann translation),

Whereas all noble morality grows out of a triumphant affirmation of oneself, slave morality immediately says No to what comes from outside, to what is different, to what is not oneself: and this No is its creative deed. This reversal of the value-positing glance – this necessary direction outward instead of back to oneself – is the nature of ressentiment: to come  into being, slave morality requires an outside world, a counterworld; physiologically speaking, it requires external stimuli in order to react at all: its action is at bottom always a reaction… imagine “the enemy” as conceived by a man of ressentiment – and here precisely is his dead, his creation: he has conceived “the evil enemy,” “the evil one” – and indeed as the fundamental concept from which he then derives, as an afterimage and counterinstance, a “good one” – himself.   

There is an argument to be made that is certainly worth exploring in that through The Lord of the Rings Tolkien appropriates the classical age in order to see it through the lens of guilt culture, the result of which is slave morality. Nietzsche argues that in slave morality the aim is subversion, not to seek to rise about the master but instead to pull him down to your level. Sauron, in the Nietzschean sense, is a master, as a strong willed individual who refuses to be bound by morality, and one can certainly see that he possesses Der Wille zur Macht, while the fellowship seeks to thwart that, and in turn make him a slave. One could also accuse this worldview of what Nietzsche refers to as Amor fati, the love of fate, in which the individual comes to accept the suffering and loss he or she experiences as necessary. Where Túrin railed against his fate, Frodo, Aragon and co. seem to fall in line under some form of deontology, the journey to Mount Doom will be long and hard, but it has to be done and that is that.

 Despite his other work, The Lord of the Rings remains Tolkien’s most influential, as well as the most influential epic fantasy novel in history,  and perhaps his lasting contribution to the genre is to marry the classical sources to guilt culture, resulting in slave morality. If this is the case, then this is the ethical sphere in which they all operate, far removed from that of the classical sources. Those novels that look to the sagas for inspiration instead of Tolkien, like Anderson’s The Broken Sword and Moorcock’s Elric are very different beasts, as are Tolkien’s works in the tragic mode. What cannot be denied though is that there is definitely a shift in register between the heroes of myth and those of epic fantasy despite their common ties, and I find this quite fascinating myself.
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

analogdigit

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #34 on: 18-03-2011, 22:29:31 »
Nekako mi se ova tema učinila najpogodnijom za postavljanje ove slike....
Radi se o grafičkom prikazu "Istorije SF-a". Meni je bilo zanimljivo, može svašta da se nađe, pa rekoh da podelim sa ostalima.



Uf, ovako se ništa ne vidi, evo linka:

babilkulesi.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/wardshelley_scifiSmaller.jpg

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #35 on: 18-03-2011, 22:43:35 »
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

analogdigit

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #36 on: 18-03-2011, 22:49:44 »
 xrotaeye

Bobane, znaš šta ti je činiti! -> xuss

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #37 on: 18-03-2011, 22:50:37 »
Zasto bi te Boban upucao?

"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Meho Krljic

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #38 on: 18-03-2011, 22:52:08 »
...kad je ovde Melkor zadužen za političke atentate.

analogdigit

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #39 on: 18-03-2011, 22:56:56 »
Zasto bi te Boban upucao?
Ma mislio sam da upuca ovaj post odozgore.... :)

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #40 on: 18-03-2011, 22:58:14 »
Ma jok. Neće se baci.
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #41 on: 18-03-2011, 23:06:46 »
Kad sam ja bio politicki orijentisan, vise sam u Deadpoolovom fazonu :)
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #42 on: 15-10-2011, 23:40:13 »
   By Kelly Faircloth                              Oct 15, 2011  1:00 PM            1,460       4                         
          
Forget why fantasy matters. Why does realism matter?

 Last week, as part of their month-long celebration of Ursula K. LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea, Manhattan's Center for Fiction gathered four fantasists, including Naomi Novik and Lev Grossman, to explain why fantasy matters.


Despite the panel's name, none of the speakers Lev Grossman (The Magician King), Naomi Novik (the Temeraire series), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), and Felix Gilman (The Half-Made World) — at the Center for Fiction's "Why Fantasy Matters" really seemed to feel the genre needed a defense. Instead, the conversation evolved into something more interesting: An examination of the ways fantasy can explore what realism can't.


To get things started, moderator Joan Walsh, tackling the panel's subject matter from a different angle, asked why fantasy might not matter. Lev Grossman cited the resistance he sometimes faced as Time's book critic, as he tried to incorporate more fantasy into the magazine: People often charged that these works are escapism, merely a way for people to avoid reality. His response to that attitude:


"In fact, the fantastical worlds that are depicted in these books are not fantasies in a psychological sense, where you can have whatever you want. These are worlds where the problems are very real and you're encountering problems that are recognizable from the real world in a transfigured form." He added that Westeros, for example, is not a place you'd want to escape into. Here Naomi Novik jumped in to add that, "They can be used to give you distance from where you actually are, from the topic that you want to slip in there for your readers." That distance, Grossman concluded, can give you "traction on real issues and real problems."


As the panel's resident surrealist, Kelly Link pointed to not just the symbolic possibilities, but how the tension between reality and fantasy can create a text that's richer than something that's more straightforward:
 
"One of the things about working with fantasy or surreal or even satirical or super-real material is you are creating a narrative in which there is never just a single reading. There's always another level moving around below the surface. You have these two levels, which are there also in realistic fiction but are not quite as fluid. It's more possible to get a number of different readings into a work in which there are things which may be stand-ins for whatever the reader or the author wants to put in there."
 
In fact, she values the bewilderment that fantasy offers: "I don't like work where I understand everything that's going on, where I think, ‘Yes, this is right, this all maps onto my experience.' I actually want something that makes me think about things in a different way."
Grossman chimed in:
 
"When you're writing fantasy this wonderful thing happens, which is everybody knows about reality. We all know what would really happen. Then your playing with reality. You're breaking its rules. So there's this wonderful sense in which you are harmonizing with reality. Everybody knows the reality and then you're doing a kind of melody line above reality."
 
A conversation about world-building turned into a lively discussion of how the meanings of fantasy tropes have shifted over time. Grossman said:
 
"I think a lot about the fact that, for most of the history of literature that we know about, most literature was fantasy. Up through Shakespeare, it was not looked askance upon to have witches and magic and spirits in your stuff. The more time I spend reading and writing fantasy, the more perverse it seems to me that fiction has to pretend to act like the real world and obey the laws of thermodynamics."
 
Novik, on the other hand, had an immediate counter-point, which is that what we now consider mere folklore was, at the time, taken as literal truth: "At the time, though, they believed witches were real. Right? So you could say Shakespeare was trying to write realistically."
Grossman conceded she was right — but added perhaps the most interesting remark of the whole talk, which is that he finds himself asking, "Why does realism matter?"
Felix Gilman offered another take:
 
"There's something satisfying and emotionally valuable about something which is deliberately not rational, not fully understood. Which doesn't necessarily have to fit into the tropes of the fantasy genre, but the fantasy genre is a form of sticking a finger up at completely rational view of the world."
 
Ultimately, Novik brought the panel full circle, explaining why she reads almost exclusively fantasy at this point and suggesting that fantasy's not-realness makes, quite simply, for a more engaging story:
 
"The key for me is a sense of wonder, a sense something that I don't expect might happen at any moment, a sense that I haven't been told all the rules of the universe that I'm in and I'm getting to discover them and that allows me to engage with the text."
 
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #43 on: 18-10-2011, 13:45:42 »
 What the Booker prize really excludes China Miéville has conjured a new way of construing the over-familiar SF vs literary fiction debate
   
  • Sarah Crown
  • guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 October 2011 17.56 BST 
  • Article history
  •   China Miéville height=276 Estranger … China Miéville. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian 
  • I was up in Cheltenham this weekend at the Literature festival, where I chaired several events – including one with SF legend Brian Aldiss, still going strong at 86, and calling to mind in voice and appearance a benign, left-wing John Cleese. When asked by an audience member why he'd tackled the subject of state-endorsed torture in his 2007 novel, Harm, he explained the novel's political charge on the grounds that "I really do believe that the people in charge at the minute are  - well, shits". Amen to that.
    Anyway, my final event on Saturday was with SF-legend-in-the-making China Miéville, to discuss his latest novel, Embassytown. We talked about the novel for about half an hour (read it: it's excellent) before the conversation veered onto the evergreen territory of the Booker prize's wilful neglect of science fiction. It's a  well-rehearsed argument (I went to an event at Cheltenham last year in which  Miéville and John Mullan squared off entertainingly over it), but we ran down the familiar points: SF novels are generally sold not on their literary credentials but on the ideas they explore; the Booker is a genre (litfic) award itself, but just doesn't admit it; SF novels DO make it onto Booker shortlists (Never Let Me Go, Oryx and Crake) but once shortlisted they're not called science fiction any more (cf Kingsley Amis's oft-quoted distich: "'SF's no good!' they bellow till we're deaf./ 'But this looks good … ' 'Well, then, it's not SF!'").
    It's an endlessly fascinating subject, and the conversation was particularly timely, given the widely-acknowledged paucity of this year's Booker shortlist - but we didn't really break new ground until a few minutes before the end of the event, when Miéville made a point that I found so interesting I wanted to disseminate it further. The real schism, he suggested, lies not between "litfic" and fantasy/SF, but between "the literature of recognition versus that of estrangement". The Booker, he said,

    and the tradition of, if you like, 'mainstream literary fiction' of which it's the most celebrated local jamboree, has tended strongly to celebrate the former over the latter. There's an obvious relation with realist versus non-realist work (thinking on these lines might help map links between the pulpiest SF and more celebrated Surrealist and avant-garde work), though the distinction maps only imperfectly across the generic divide. All fiction contains elements of both drives (to different degrees, and variably skilfully). That very fact might be one way of getting at the drab disappointment of, on the one hand, the cliches of some fantasy and the twee and clunking allegories of middlebrow 'literary' magic realism (faux estrangement, none-more-mollycoddling recognition), and on the other at those utterly fascinating texts which contain not a single impossible element, and yet which read as if they were, somehow, fantastic (Jane Eyre, Moby-Dick, etc).  Great stuff can doubtless be written from both perspectives. But I won't duck the fact that at its best, I think there is something more powerful, ambitious, intriguing and radical about the road recently less feted. I'd rather be estranged than recognise.
    It's a fascinating distinction, and one that also has the neat effect of moving the debate on from the contentious territory of the SF/litfic turfwar into that of value-neutral literary theory. As Miéville says, there is nothing inherently superior about recognition or estrangement, but given that the literature which the Booker traditionally rewards tends to be of the "ah, yes!" variety rather than what we might term the "oh, my" sort, does it not seem reasonable that we give long-overdue space to the latter?
     
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #44 on: 18-10-2011, 14:39:09 »
Jesi čitao Atvudovu u Gardianu?
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #45 on: 18-10-2011, 14:54:21 »
Naravno. Usul je otvorio i posebni topik, mada bi mogli i to ovamo da prebacimo.

tapa...tapa...talk
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

zakk

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #46 on: 18-10-2011, 15:11:25 »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/oct/14/margaret-atwood-road-to-ustopia

Iskreno, nisam izdržao da iščitam preko trenutka kad uvede Ustopiju
Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #47 on: 18-10-2011, 15:18:43 »
Zato treba procitati i onaj komentar koji sam linkocao :-)

tapa...tapa...talk
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #48 on: 20-10-2011, 23:02:02 »

  • and the tradition of, if you like, 'mainstream literary fiction' of which it's the most celebrated local jamboree, has tended strongly to celebrate the former over the latter. There's an obvious relation with realist versus non-realist work (thinking on these lines might help map links between the pulpiest SF and more celebrated Surrealist and avant-garde work), though the distinction maps only imperfectly across the generic divide. All fiction contains elements of both drives (to different degrees, and variably skilfully). That very fact might be one way of getting at the drab disappointment of, on the one hand, the cliches of some fantasy and the twee and clunking allegories of middlebrow 'literary' magic realism (faux estrangement, none-more-mollycoddling recognition), and on the other at those utterly fascinating texts which contain not a single impossible element, and yet which read as if they were, somehow, fantastic (Jane Eyre, Moby-Dick, etc).  Great stuff can doubtless be written from both perspectives. But I won't duck the fact that at its best, I think there is something more powerful, ambitious, intriguing and radical about the road recently less feted. I'd rather be estranged than recognis
    e[/l][/l]

 The Booker Prize, “Fantasy,” and “Mainstream” 
   
   
  • Jeff VanderMeer • October 19th, 2011
  • An interesting discussion here, based on this quote from China Mieville. I understand why this is a new concept to the interviewer—referencing “those utterly fascinating texts which contain not a single impossible element, and yet which read as if they were, somehow, fantastic”—but it’s not a new concept in the larger scheme of things (nor do I think China’s presenting it as such).
    As I commented:
    “It’s an important point China is making, but while it may be new to the interviewer, it’s not a new concept. It’s an argument I’ve been making, along with several other writers, for decades. It’s also something John Clute has explored to some extent in his criticism, and I think literary journals like Conjunctions have also explored it. The fact is, there are fantasy novelists who read like realists and supposedly mimetic novelists whose world view and approach make them read like fabulists. The importance of stressing this similarity/difference is that it gets us away from using the terminology of commodificaition of fiction and what are often just marketing terms that reflect “accidents of birth.” If you’re a Kafkaesque writer from Eastern Europe, you’re likely to be published in the mainstream. If you’re a US writer like Michael Cisco, you’re likely to be published through genre imprints. These arbitrary issues and contexts don’t really tell us much about the works themselves, or their complexities and contradictions…which is why “genre” vs “mainstream” is so pointless.”
    I recognize I may be riffing off of only part of China’s quote, but it’s the part that most interests me and is most irritating in terms of how people tend to compartmentalize literature.
    I was just revisiting this, taking a piece of the fantasy lecture I’ve been delivering since the late 1990s, and expanding on it for the Inspiration chapter in the writing book I’m working on for Abrams Image:
    “But, conversely, does it really matter if the imaginative impulse results in the  ‘fantastical’ in the sense of ‘containing an explicit fantastical event?’ Is it something a writer should worry about definitionally or practically? No. For a certain kind of writer a sense of fantastical play will always exist on the page. This is often what we really mean by the voice of the writer. Talking bears have moved in next door. Does the reality of whether they actually have matter more than the quality of the metaphor? Perhaps not. Consider Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale and his World War I novel A Soldier of the Great War. A Winter’s Tale includes a winged horse and other fantastical flourishes. A Soldier of the Great War contains no fantastical elements, and yet in its descriptions, its voice, Helprin’s animating imagination behind the story, this novel also reads as invested in the fantastical. The writer Rikki Ducornet can write as lyrically phantasmagorical a novel as Phosphor in Dreamland and an as intense yet fiercely realistic story collection as The Word Desire…and yet they exist in the same country, perhaps even come from the same area of that country. This is the power of one type of unusual imagination.”
    The writing book is still in rough draft form, but it’s forcing me to close in on more precise terminology and an expansion of the idea, so we’ll see where it ends up in a couple of months…
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."

Melkor

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Re: FANTASTIKA, SERIOUSLY
« Reply #49 on: 21-10-2011, 18:50:51 »
Adam Roberts
On Awards   
:1:
 So the 2011 Awards season is almost over. ‘Hello adam,’ commented the almost-certainly-not-a-spambot “goals” yesterday: ‘some words about the booker prize?’ What was it Hamlet said? Words, words, words. There's no shortage of them.  In sooth, to switch plays, I know not why I am so unmoved by the Man Booker this year. Most years I read the entire shortlist.  This year – not a one. Couldn’t muster the interest. I suppose I will read Barnes’s winning title, Sense of an N-Dubz, at some point. At the moment, having sat in one of those comfy chairs in a bookshop for half an hour browsing a copy, I can say: it looks slight, not merely in terms of length: well-written but essayistic. Maybe it is the single best novel published this year. Maybe not. More likely, I think, is that this award represents recognition for Barnes’s whole career, a sort of long service medal. The Booker has form for this: nobody would nowadays place 1998’s Amsterdam amongst McEwan’s best or even better books; it certainly wasn’t the best novel published in 1998. Similarly, by all accounts (and by ‘by all accounts’ I mean: according to something I read when I used to teach a course on the prize, but which I can’t locate at the moment) the judges were upfront that giving the prize to 2000’s The Blind Assassin, one of Margaret Atwood’s stodgier books, had more to do with her larger reputation than the novel itself. And giving last year’s prize to Howard Jacobson for the actively bad The Finkler Question (the worst book on that year’s shortlist, never mind questions of larger merit) was surely motivated by a sense of: ‘it’s about time we gave some formal recognition to Jacobson’ than anything else. It may look, from inside the judges’ eyrie, a safer bet: at least nobody can deny that Barnes and Atwood are writers of stature.  In those years when the prize has tried to live by the good-wine-needs-no-bush mantra it as often as not goes embarrassingly wrong, rewarding lightweight, mediocre novels by newcomers like The White Tiger or Vernon God Little (this latter surely the most meager work of fiction ever to win a major prize). Still, it’s a letdown when weak novels win prizes, whatever the reason.
 
 I'm more interested, personally, in SFF award-dom; which, this year, has been all a-kerfuffle.  The 2011 British Fantasy Award collapsed in ignominy and recrimination, and is now being painstakingly rebuilt from the ground up. In another part of the forest, the 2011 Hugo went to two Connie Willis books that (taken together or separately) were, or are, not especially good. This wasn’t a catastrophic award—like the year the Campbell went to Ben Bova’s exercrable Titan (again, I presume, for reasons of long service to SF: it would be more than sane mind could cope with the thought that the prize was awarded for the merits of the novel itself). Having just read the Willis (I was sent it to review) I'd say it’s certainly not actively bad, in that way; but it is flabby and ill-disciplined, a bit tedious and a bit self-indulgent.  And, really, it isn't the best non-realist novel in the world.
 
 I’ll come back to the Hugos in a minute, but I want to pause for a moment to say something about prizes more generally. The on-going British Fantasy Society kerfuffling is largely centred on reforming the voting protocols. It’s clear why that's so, and it’s a commendable thing; but it’s not, I think, at the heart of what went wrong. Similarly, when people criticize the Hugo awards, they are sometimes accused of criticizing the people who voted for the Hugo awards—the logic seems clear, there, but it’s misleading. When an award-winning novel is greeted with anything other than unanimous rapture, the canard is brought out of its canard sheath and waved about: taste is subjective. If I say that Ben Bova’s Titan is a bad book and somebody else thinks it was the best novel published in 2007, then perhaps our dissonant opinions represent a Lyotardian differend that can never be reconciled.  Live and let live.  Bollocks to that.
 
 Now, aesthetic judgment is not an exact science, and sometimes the toss can genuinely be argued. But here’s the elephant in the room: the most contentious decisions, award-wise, are usually the ones where the wrong book is given the prize. As to what the ‘right’ book is, in any given situation: well, there will be a number of possibles. But too often the book that is chosen is not one of these.
 
 This very rarely (if at all) happens, I think, for reasons of corruption or delinquency, certainly in SFF, where fans really do care about their genre. But it does happen nonetheless, and for a number of reasons. Fandom tends to distort distinterested objective judgment: when an author of whom one is a fan puts out a sub-par book, the fact that one is a fan of that author can lead one to an inflated assessment of the book’s merits. Tribal allegiance makes this worse, bedded-in by the mild siege mentality that is (we can be honest) precisely one of the appeals of being a genre fan—for when the ‘mainstream literary culture’ flies over us like the Luftwaffe, we inside the urbs of Truefandom can generate a really excellent Blitz spirit, as many a jolly con attests.
 
 Let me put it another way. Giving a prize to a novel is, in effect, trying to second-guess posterity. If I say ‘this book is great’ I may be talking about my idiosyncratic taste. If I say 'Dune is a classic of postwar American SF' I'm not. Indeed, if we look at the result of the 1966 Hugo -- joint winners Frank Herbert's Dune and Roger Zelazny's ...And Call Me Conrad, it is no disparagement of Zelazny (a very interesting writer, who has written several enduring novels) to say: one of those books has been endorsed by posterity in a way that the other hasn't. And this is the nub of my point: what matters about an award is not how it arrives at its decision.  What matters is the extent to which its decision is posterity-proof.
 
 And actually, I'd say SFF has proven itself pretty sound when judged by that criterion. We might, I suppose, look back and think ‘well, broadly speaking I’d say Phil Dick (say) should probably have won more awards, and Robert J Sawyer (say) fewer’, but scrolling down the lists of Hugo, Nebula and Clarke winners from the last century—far enough ago for us to begin to get a sense of how posterity is settling with respect to the books’ longer term reputations—is to encounter a list of, mostly, actual classics.
 
 Two further things occur to me. One is that, as far as making one’s decision posterity proof goes, you’re generally better selecting a book by a newbie—because then the people making the decision, not having the reputation of the author to fall back on, are more likely to be guided by the actual merit of the book. China Miéville was a relative unknown ten years ago; yet his 2001 Clarke Award for Perdido Street Station was clearly the right call; and now we'd all agree it's a modern genre classic. It’s far too early to say whether posterity will endorse Lauren Beukes’ 2011 Clarke award—though I’d say there’s a good chance—but I’d much rather see the judges going with a newer writer on the merits of the novel than give the prize to one of the genre old guard on the grounds that ‘it’s about time so-and-so won a prize'. The other thing that occurs to me is this: I wonder if popular votes, rather than juried awards, actually have a slightly better posterity-convergence than juried awards. It’s hard to demonstrate this, statistically; although the wisdom of crowds—assuming one believes in such a thing—might lead one to expect it. In the 80s the Clarke went to books like George Turner’s The Sea and the Summer and Rachel Pollack’s Unquenchable Fire--good books, both, but, really, without the staying power in terms of long-term reputation of some of the BSFA Best Novel awards from the same decade (I’m thinking of Aldiss’s Helliconia books, Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer or Holdstock’s Mythago Wood). Still, this is starting to get mushily subjective, so I’ll come back to my main point. Which is this: really, and in the longer term, ‘the process by which you arrive at your decision’ matters much less than whether or not you pick the right novel. The path by which the BFS arrived at their best novel award this year was dodgy, and that’s regrettable; but a bigger deal is putting the weight of fandom behind the idea that Demon Dance is the best non-realist novel published this year. One need not think it a bad novel to say: it’s not that.
"Realism is a literary technique no longer adequate for the purpose of representing reality."