After months of reading-drought (3 kids is hard) I’ve just taken the plunge with The Reality Dysfunction. Seems appropriately intense so far. Any fans?
Space Opera then?
Much as I’d want to be a belter I would absolutely be an earther
I have written some really scathing things about that on one of the DiS sci-fi threads
Blurred in case you don’t want to potentially cloud your enjoyment with my view.
Think it’s sexual politics are excruciatingly regressive.
It was written in the 1950’s I think you really have to take when a book is written into context. I’m pretty sure the end of it was meant to be very positive for women to have climbed out of the label society has given them.
It’s just now days we were wives! is not much of a step up.
Its still my favourite book despite the very old fashioned ideas going on in it.
For sure that context is important but it still read really uncomfortably for me. Obviously everyone is going to have different mileage with their ability to look past that and that’s cool.
The science part of the science fiction was too janky for me to suspend my disbelief as well. Again, gonna be different for others (yourself! )
Don’t read God Emperor then Acually, just don’t read it. It’s not very good.
I’m from the fringes of this country, an area where life isn’t easy for those raised there but which is massively exploited for its natural benefits by a distant, bigger, and often much wealthier, population mass so I am Belter all the way! #MebyonKernow
Fantasy really. People with superpowers, huge mythology spanning centuries. Just with spice and space folding instead of rings and hawks. It isn’t a criticism of it - just doesn’t feel like sci Fi to me
Are you talking about Dune or RD? Tough to tell from the board’s interface and my back-to-back messages…
Ah, on laptop now and it seems you mean the Reality Dysfunction. Will let you know how I get on from that regard,
Finished Roadside Picnic, which might now be one of my favourite books, after giving up on Lovecraft, who I can’t help but feel is actually a terrible writer, and am now finally diving into le Guin. Went for Forever Coming Home, which is just so pleasant to spend time with, and it made me spit out imaginary tea at the Granny’s Twat bit. I’ve ordered the Complete Earthsea in hardback because I imagine it’ll be equally as pleasant to keep next to me on my bedside table for a good while.
Lovecraft is a terrible writer at the “being able to write a decent sentence” level, but had an incredible vision. Enjoying the Cthulhu mythos in other media and by other writers is perhaps a better way to experience, and thrill at, the uncaring cosmic horror he saw, without having to fight through his dismal prose and dreadful racism.
Yeah, his dedication to the mythos is what I’ve admired the most, can’t help but love stuff like that, but the core of his stories are so flimsy, and when he half-heartedly plays dumb it’s pretty eye-rolling. And as you said: racist. I couldn’t help but feel that it all represented some kind of colonial anxiety. I’ve got a collection of Blackwood stories so I’ll try them instead!
You what m9? Lovecraft was a superb writer IMHO. Yes the plots were often scanty but for building up brooding atmosphere he was the (no pun intended) king.
Yeah I think the prose style is good but he has no ability to really render characters so there’s almost never (maybe never?) direct dialogue related because of his limitations around two characters talking.
I think in general his stories are great but they are definitely (maybe with the exception of At The Mountains of Madness due to its length) less impressive than all the talk of them would lead you to believe.
That said, I read The Colour Out of Space in advance of seeing the film and it was still a good ‘weird sci-fi’ tale, I think. But I’ve definitely got more out of reading the various sourcebooks for Call of Cthulhu role-playing game than actually reading his stuff, I think.
each to their own and all that, but for my money he had an amazing and unique vision that he couldn’t express on paper as well as it should have been. The fact that it’s still part of the cultural currency today is a testament to how strong it is.
Huh I feel almost exactly the opposite. I think that the power of his prose style makes up for a lot of deficiencies in his writing (weak characterisation, lack of women, sameyness etc). He does the same old ideas over and over but the power of his writing keeps it fresh and engaging despite the obvious flaws
Agree with MLH here. I find Lovecraft’s actual prose lumpen and indigestible to a degree that stands out even in genre fiction. That the central ideas remain interesting is quite something.
Since it always comes up in relation to him it’s worth saying Lovecraft repented his racism later in life, and appeared to be on the path to becoming a socialist according to his personal letters.