1. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    Appreciating setting oriented stories

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by marcusl, Jan 6, 2011.

    Recently, a workmate of mine lent me The Dreaming Void, by Peter F. Hamilton. I've read the first hundred pages, which were mostly spent on talking about the world's history and various technologies. The characters' motivations were mentioned, but I didn't get a feel of their personalities, and so wasn't able to really get into the book. Maybe some of you have read this book and will disagree, which is cool.

    I hardly ever read science fiction books at all. Do they tend to be setting oriented? How does one become attached to a book that's not focused on the characters? Of course, it comes down to personal tastes, but I don't know, it's just something that's crossed my mind.

    Thanks.
     
  2. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Science fiction books are like most books: some are setting oriented, but most aren't.

    Science fiction as a rule is interested in a world slightly or majorly different from our own, so more explanation might be needed than in, say, a modern romance. But the science fiction I've read and loved is usually focused on the characters. That doesn't mean it ignores the setting; Legacy of Heorot even had a map so you could see where everything was placed. But that book had a large cast of characters, most of them interesting people, and it was the people that hooked me into reading it.

    I have no idea how people become attached to a fiction book that lacks characters. The biggest gripes I've had with books like One Second After and the "Sword of Truth" series was how flat / unrealistic the characters were -- and when the character is literally a Author Moves the Plot piece, it ceases to be a character and becomes a trope like any other. Not fun to read at all.
     
  3. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    Thanks for the answer. I agree that the Sword of Truth series has flat characters, but it seems to be a popular series, so I don't really understand, either?
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice is read it like it is a non fiction book about something you are interested in.

    That is how I approach these kind of books - go for interesting instead of enthralled.
     

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