Friday, September 28, 2007

In Memorium: a death in genre (trashy) fantasy

Just found out that Robert Jordan passed away. AV Club took the opportunity to trash his books. His never finished 12,000+ page 12 volume tomes to some were the ultimate example of genre fantasy (aka trashy and as opposed to fantasy with literary pretensions like Borges or Gaiman) but for me just seemed too heavy and pendulous to bother with.

I agree with the AV Club blogger though, that George RR MArtin blew me away. At least the first was perhaps the best genre fantasy I have read. But like the blogger, I had moved on from genre fantasy before the plodding Martin released his 3rd book (plus his introduction of magic in book 2 put me off, part of what made book 1 so great was that it was fantasy without magic).

I can definitely empathize with the AV Club's point when I stopped reading genre books, I also read a lot less. Though my recent response has been to read more comic books (though many with literary pretensions).

(Though I feel compelled to observe that he neglects Raymond Feist, who despite being a trashy fantasy writer wrote the text for the first computer game to almost transcend into what could almost be called literature (Betrayal at Krondor), and experimented with fantasy novels where the plot was driven by devices like founding the first stock market and cornering the corn market. Again, it was a naive view of economics--I will write a better one someday--but I appreciated the effort.)

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