Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Where is all the 'really good' epic fantasy going?

There is a lot of fantasy out there, and many of it wears the trapping of 'epic' but when you get down to it's just bland - and often 'breaks the fourth wall'. Honestly I am beginning to think that many authors these days are just lazy. I mean I know they are not - I know the effort required to finish a first draft, let alone the re-writes, but come on... you know what I mean?

This is becoming an regular rant of mine, but here I am trawling through my over flowing bookshelves (at home, not in the store) looking for something to read and coming up short.

An example. It really pisses me off when I get a book that has great world building, really epic and original stuff - inventive, fully formed and unique - and then they lift what is essentially a model of the Catholic Church and dump it into their fantasy world with only the smallest of tweaks to make it fit. But it doesn't fit. It sticks out like a sore thumb. And it's really frustrating. The author has gone to so much trouble building their world only to drop the ball with this?

Yeah, I know there is some great stuff coming (Michelle West's new one is out next week, and Rothfuss' is due in March etc) but I'm looking for something now. <stamp foot>

It's just disappointing. And it's also annoying when you get 'reviewers' reading books by writers like Scott Lynch who a brilliant job (for the most part) and snidely make comments like 'but where is the fantasy?' because it's not dripping in magic - um, ever read GRRM?

There was a time that the market was awash in true epic fantasy - what happened? Is it publisher pressure or is this all they are being offered? Is it the market or marketing?

I am sure as hell going make sure that I don't go that route with my own work.

- end rant.

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