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Anyone not really into fantasy/sci-fi that much?

 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Anyone not really into fantasy/sci-fi that much? Reply with quote

Just wondering as I think I fit into that category. I have certainly read some fantasy/sci-fi novels, but they only make up a tiny percentage of what I have read, and I don't really have much of an interest outside of the few novels I have read.

I have read the First and Second Chronicles, but wasn't impressed with Mordant's Need, and don't think I would be very interested in anything else that Donaldson wrote (except the Final Chronicles).

I love Tolkien, but find a lot of other fantasy fiction to be uninteresting and/or poorly written. I've been recommended quite a few books and read them only to realize I don't really have much interest in them and would never read them again.

Some classic sci-fi novels I have read, particularly those that perhaps don't belong in the genre that fall under the description of dystopian fiction.

The majority of the reading I do is books that for the most part pre-date the modern fantasy and sci-fi genres.

I just wondered if anyone else had similar reading habits?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As it's almost impossible to narrow down exactly what sci fi and fantasy is (that label applies to an almost endlessly diverse range of books), it's hard to say that one does or does not like it entirely.

I lean toward fantasy, I don't go for sci fi much, but I mainly just read books I know to be very good, which narrows things down. I'm a big epic fantasy fan despite not really being interested in a lot of "epic fantasy" - a lot of stuff with that label is cliched same-old, but I still very much like the parts of it that aren't. There are some very popular writers in that region of the genre who I just don't quite feel any desire to read.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the definitions are difficult, and I'm often surprised to see books put in those genres (particularly sci-fi). I suppose I'm more thinking of where you might find those books in a book store.

When I'm in a book store I tend to completely avoid the fantasy section except on very rare occasions. Sci-fi I might be slightly more tempted by, but in general not a place I visit much.

The Covenant books were actually a recommendation from someone else whose tastes mirror mine quite a bit or I probably would never have discovered them. Others have suggested books that I read and every time the recommendation is "...but this one is different..." yet I'm usually disappointed.

Someone has to really make a good case for a fantasy work for me to read it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am primarilly a sci-fi/fantasi guy. So, strictly, I am not what your looking for.

But I, too, find a lot of most other works, in both genres, to be boring or poorly written or even just disturbing. I am a very fussy reader, I gravitate only to things that I think are elevated above the norm, either because it's an author I know, or because I have heard good things, or even because the back cover held good promise. As a result, I re-read stuff that I like a lot more than I read new stuff, and usually new stuff is a repeat author. And even then, sometimes I groan. (Stupid Anathem!)

I found Game of Thrones to be mostly boring - if you have to care for the characters for the story to be interesting, then it's a soap opera. I found the Kingkiller series to be too sophomoric for my taste. Malazan would have been more interesting if it was focused. All of these stories are stories lots of other people love. But Pah, I say: Pah.

What I am saying is, maybe the trick for you is what works for me: being selective. If you tell us what kinds of things you like about sci-fi and fantasy, when you do like sci-fi and fantasy, probably you would garner lots of interesting suggestions from eeraboots.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend towards the lighter end of fantasy and SF. It takes a special effort for me to get interested in a set of 4,5, or even 9 books. Especially if they're heavily technical.

I've actually been looking for good, solid horror novels for a while and I'm having a lot of trouble finding ones that aren't zombie related.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a time frame when I read the normal stuff. Tolkien, Brooks, Jordan, and so forth. Then I read Donaldson, and I really couldn't go back to the other stuff. I had my first taste of snobbery, and I was going to engorge myself on it!

I had no reason to, but for a while I just read Golden age sci-fi and Donaldson. One day, I got around to reading the Gormenghast series... which personally blew me away and shattered my ill-conceived notion that the height of fantasy literature was either Donaldson or Tolkien.

I wouldn't really read fantasy again until Malazan, and it is only recently that I've started reading newer stuff... I just keep getting my expectations shattered, but I am not much of a fan boy anymore and that allows my taste to go into all shorts of directions that my sycophant devotions would have forbidden before hand.

I tend only to read books that have just come out if they are from authors I know and respect. If it's a new author, I usually wait a bit to gather recommendations and just to observe if feelings towards the work change. Ancillary Justice is currently in this category, as is Quantum Thief. It is important, in my opinion, to be in the right mood to give a book its proper chance.

There is really good stuff out there, but you have to identify what works for you and what does not. Is it the medieval European setting? The "ordinary boy turns out to be special and royalty" story line? Do you prefer magic with strict rules or to be unexplained?

For science fiction: how scientifically plausible do you want to go? If your answer is "very", then you are no fun. Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a lot of different stuff. These days I'm reading a lot of indie authors, in a bunch of genres. I've been off of epic fantasy for some time, because so much of it is derivative. (Right now, I'm reading one of the Riyria books because Batty had it. It's not exactly knocking my socks off. Laughing )

My biggest problem with a lot of books is that my inner editor starts yammering: "Wow, *that* was an awkward sentence...I would have phrased it this way...Forgot a word there...Wrong cognate...Commas much?..." and so on. It happens to me with both indie and trad-pubbed books, so it's not that. It's that I want to get in there and *fix it*. Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read all kinds of books although primarily Fantasy/Scifi

Here is one I read a couple years ago you might like:
Three Wheeling through Africa - Best seller written by James Culmet Wilson in 1936 about the first motorcycle trip crossing the continent of Africa.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, I love 'em both, at all styles and all levels. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 100% into sci-fi and fantasy .. I'm a dedicated escapist 😏 In fact I would hate it if there were no fantasy worlds in existence to escape to 🤔
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting study that, from information available in the abstract, apparently showed:

Most folk are highly and negatively judgmental about the literary qualities and value of SF/F. It's just not as good as normal fiction, they say.

But what really happened is their biases and expectations caused them to be worse readers.

It didn't say what all the methods/tests/measures they used were.
But one thing they did is to take the exact same story, except one version had normal setting-words. Elevators and cruise ships or whatever.
The other had transporters and space ships.
The readers said the SF version was a worse story.
But the readers actually read it badly...scored worse on comprehension test, said character development was poorer in SF version, plot was weaker, etc. etc.
[[being a genre fan, I fought the Meaning, Aesthetic, and Social Value Wars all the way from high-school through grad school...nice to see what appears to be legitimate research still on my side]].

The question is: when/for whom is the disfavoring of some genre/form a legitimate difference in taste, and when an illegitimate bias? And how can one tell? [without testing everyone on multiple versions of every tale??]

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
But the readers actually read it badly...scored worse on comprehension test, said character development was poorer in SF version, plot was weaker, etc. etc.

That's not hard to imagine. Some people, as soon as they figure out it's sci-fi, groan in their heads, presume they won't like it, and start skimming with a chip on their shoulder if they continue reading at all, waiting for it to be bad.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Vraith wrote:
But the readers actually read it badly...scored worse on comprehension test, said character development was poorer in SF version, plot was weaker, etc. etc.

That's not hard to imagine. Some people, as soon as they figure out it's sci-fi, groan in their heads, presume they won't like it, and start skimming with a chip on their shoulder if they continue reading at all, waiting for it to be bad.


Oh, I wasn't surprised. But it's a fringe issue in the grand scheme---so it's nice to run across concrete info once in a while.
In another way, I don't think it's fringe at all...I think it's scary bad. Because a significant portion of folk with the chip you describe don't only fail to "get" SF...they don't "get" most things.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but to be fair, this phenomenon can't be limited to sci-fi. It probably pertains to every genre. Even, I think, the "non-genre" genre. Which I hate, and I would probably read it with a chip on my shoulder, if I read it at all.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And not just fiction genres either I suspect. Probably applies to most things...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Av and Way...
To some extent, yea, there is some underlying bias generality effect.

BUT, as far as I can tell from the blurb, there WASN't an equivalence or two way street or everyone does it-ness in the result.
Those who had a preference for the SF genre ordinarily did NOT [as a group, on average] read the non-genre version at a lower level. They didn't short its merits objectively...they just said they didn't enjoy it. They passed the tests despite their distaste.

There is a distinction here, and it's important...and not just for SF.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
I'm 100% into sci-fi and fantasy .. I'm a dedicated escapist 😏 In fact I would hate it if there were no fantasy worlds in existence to escape to 🤔


Same. Though if there weren't any, I'd probably make up my own.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
There is a distinction here, and it's important...and not just for SF.


Uh, non-SF fans are closed minded? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Vraith wrote:
There is a distinction here, and it's important...and not just for SF.


Uh, non-SF fans are closed minded? Very Happy

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:LOL:
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