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Is LOTR the best high fantasy to this day?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Is high fantasy boring?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Stammis, Nov 9, 2015.

    Why is it so hard to find any interesting high fantasy? Many fantasy books synopsis throws names and places that they expect me to give a shit about, but I don't. Reading something like that turns me off the book instantly. Also, any kind of book title with the word sword in it, or has a dragon in the cover turns me off instantly as well. Granted, I am not giving them a fair chance, but I suspect that it is not the character driven fantasy that I am looking for.

    That is why I adore lord of the rings. Its subtle. It gives focus on the characters and the fantay is just a means to make the world interesting. Does anyone else feel the same way?
     
  2. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    Hm... I actually found LOTR to be boring (but I did watch the movie first, and loved it, so..). But I loved Silmarillion, which is much more demanding read.
    On the other hand, I agree with you. To avoid being boring, it needs to focus on interesting characters that the reader could connect to.
     
  3. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    the poll is very much in absolute terms, I don't like it. I have not read every high fantasy book/series out there, so I can't say it's the best, it is definitely good and it definitely is on the top of my list.

    On the other points you've raised. I actually like finding out about a new world or location in some fantasy location, I reckon it's part of what makes fantasy so interesting to me. I also don't seem to find any correlation between uninteresting characters or dragons with "boring" fantasy - but then again, I have rarely found a fantasy series I was unwilling to finish or continue (with the exception of T.G.) even if it was full of poorly made characters or boring cliches.
     
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  4. Adhulari
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    Adhulari Member

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    What's T.G.?
     
  5. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    Terry Goodkind.
     
  6. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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    Ha! I know what you mean, but there are plenty of non high fantasy books that would bore the hell out of us all with endless information, that's a writer's fault, just as it is with Dragons and swords.
    We need more books like Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. They are character focussed, swords and a dragon included!
    Perhaps that's where you come in, have you got a fantasy novel up your sleeve?
    More new writers are focused on writing high fantasy so it's a case of wait and see.
     
  7. Adhulari
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    Adhulari Member

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    Ah, obviously. Thanks :)
     
  8. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    Not sure if this is intended at me, but yes, I am working on high fantasy (mostly for myself - not intending to publish, I just like stories and fantasy). However, returning to the original topic, you said that more new writers are focused on writing fantasy, perhaps that has something to do with it?
     
  9. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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    Yes to you Necronox and to Stammis.
    If its character centred then i hope you do publish, Necronox and hopefully you will raise the standard.
     
  10. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    I have. I guess that you can categories the book of legacy a Scify/fantasy, but I don't want to spoil anything so thats all I am going to say. What I am going to say though, if you are interested, the people of my fantasy world are divided into four races, prime coloured eyes with the inclusion of white. Their biology works exactly has mixing paint, meaning that you cannot create, for instance yellow by mixing two other colours with each other. Which creates an interesting conflict mechanism between the three prime race. Each colour has an power that has been lost for an eon but, is being rediscovered by a young boy forced out on a journey after his home and family gets destroyed.

    - Did I sell it or no? I am trying to work on different ways on how to present my story and whats unique about it. Sorry if it sounded like boasting.
     
  11. croak3r
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    croak3r Member

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    I find they are always too focussed on writing a massive world, that they forget to be creative, unique and interesting. The book needs to be driven by evens and characters, not describing a large world which the reader has no connection to yet. Once you get them interested then you can expand on your world.
    i tend to base my choices of books on the front cover too. Anything generic like dragons, elves and bland pictures of soldiers i just pass up. If the author cannot be bothered to find an interesting front cover then i doubt the book will be much better.

    Also i like the idea you have for races in your book.
     
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  12. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  13. Theoneandonly99
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    Theoneandonly99 Member

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    This right here. I feel that more and more authors are going for that grand, magical world that they focus too much on the large scale of things, while forgetting that what the readers can really connect to is the small things. After all, it's the small things that make us love the big things in any kind of story, in any kind of medium. Many try to go for that MMORPG-esque universe that they forget to give love to the characters and the actual events. It might work for a game, since the player is the one in charge of his/her own character and most definitely the events that happen within it so the game designer can just simply concentrate on the world. However, when it comes to books, it's just entirely different.
     
  14. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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    It's an interesting concept. I can see you will have fun with the potential conflicts there. Wiped out his entire family too, good stuff(!?!) At the end of the day, when look for a book, the characters are key, even better when the villain is someone you love to hate.
     
  15. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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    I guess it's alright if the bonkers mad big world provides an excellent backdrop for the final fight
     
  16. Jones
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    Jones My body is ready

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    I like good fantasy and I even like some bad fantasy and I couldn't suffer through a second TG novel. In fact I would say the awfulness/success of Goodkind was a large influence in making me try to write because if people could demand 100 sequels to that, then maybe I have a shot.
     
  17. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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    I am surprised.
    What exactly was it that you didn't like about TG's novel?
    Which novel did you read?
     
  18. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    To me, yes. I like urban fantasy because I like the fact that it's set in real world , but another version of the real world, with paranormal/ magic etc... But when it comes to what you call high fantasy, I find it very very boring and dull. I hate when authors name their characters invented names that I don't even know how to pronounce, or when the world they created is totally different from the one we live in, I find it hard for the suspension of disbelief to kick in and don't get me started on wizzards and dragons and stuff like that . But it's just my opinion of course, to many people it's not boring, maybe because when they read they want to experience a completely different universe.
     
  19. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I appreciate the work authors do who write high fantasy but I don't have the attention span or long term memory for it. Although, I did really enjoy the Memory, Sorry and Thorn series by Tad Williams in my mid to late teens. Even then, I didn't really keep up with all the names of people, places and things being thrown around. I absorbed what I could, somewhere between 50-70% or something, and enjoyed the story, plot twists and beautiful writing style. I tried re-reading it in my late twenties and couldn't do it.
     
  20. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Interesting high fantasy? Well, that is largely personal preference. I do not like bland worlds or ones that are inconsistent, but I doubt anyone likes them. On the flip side, overly complicated worlds can be very difficult for the reader to imagine or even understand. The latter is what I like.
     
  21. Jones
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    Jones My body is ready

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    Wizard's First Rule. And it's been a really long time, so I don't have much in the way of detail, but my recollection was that the world was not very deep or rich (The only people that exist are in these ten cities This city is good. This city is bad. These people live in mud, or something). And then I recall it being dripping with saccharine nonsense about friendship. "Even though we just met, we're friends, and friends act such and such a way." My recollection was that it was just pretty derivative and added nothing particularly groundbreaking or new, sort of like something a highly intelligent fifteen year old might crank out (see: Eragon)
     
  22. Kipski
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    Kipski New Member

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    I am not a fan of the genre much either, but I know that high fantasy can be interesting. For example, I started reading Orcs: First Blood by Stan Nicholls. I am not a fan of the genre, but I felt myself turning through the pages quickly. I didn't make it through the book because I was in a book store, but if a friend had it, I would have borrowed it. I feel that if fantasy is written a certain way, I am much more likely to enjoy it.
     
  23. Haze-world
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    Haze-world Senior Member Supporter

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  24. PapaGhanda
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    PapaGhanda Member

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    I had a hard time getting through the LOTR Series. The constant threat of the shadow figures. It's like "winters coming" but in a different fashion.


    High-Fantasy always includes an almost omni-presence of something that is "Bad" in relation to what is "Good" within its realm...

    It was good back then, is it good now? I don't know.
     
  25. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I think high fantasy targets a more savvy readership than other forms of fantasy. The works often contain tantalizing tidbits for those who know their history. Its like an inside joke, you won't get it if you don't know the context.

    Example 1--Believe it or not, this is hysterical.
    Three gods are trapped in animal form.
    Bear says, "I hate being stuck in an animal form. I can't even scratch my arse."
    Fox says, "Being an animal isn't all bad. There was this one time when I was a horse . . ."
    Hawk says, "We don't talk about that."

    Example 2--This is just plain sad.
    Jarl says to a woman, "I see you have your own dwarfish necklace, but I expect the price you paid was far more dear. I imagine that when the lights are out you cry Freja's tears."

    If you are reading a Celtic based book, do you know to be looking for references to oak, ash, and thorn? If you are reading a Scandinavian based saga would you catch the kennings?

    If you don't know a fair bit of history, cultural backgrounds, and mythologies, you won't get the full experience of the story. If you don't care about those things, then why bother with the genre at all? There are lots of great low fantasy books out there. Though to be fair, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett usually throw in a number of references that make me snicker. (Example 1 is from one of Neil Gaiman's children's books, so no, we don't talk about that in bedtime stories. LOL!)
     

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