A large duck (burger_eater) wrote,
A large duck
burger_eater

The James Nicoll meme:

Eleven things I will serve my best never to put in a fantasy novel unless I am trying to undermine them, [1] and in fact could do without entirely from now on, thanks

1) Vampires or other creatures of the supernatural who cringe away from religious symbols, especially the cross. I had several years of Catholic school, and I don't remember being taught that a person could be damned because something another person did to them. Come on, people. Some bastard grabs a woman and bites her throat, killing her, and God turns away? Does he blame rape victims too?

2) Supposedly intelligent people who want to protect sapient supernatural killers because they wave away their murders as morally-neutral predation.

3) Expecting the reader to root for love affairs between humans and killers because they're not regular killers, they're magical killers.

4) People who are in a position to think about the morality of what they've done/have been doing for years but haven't for God knows why. For instance, look at my username. I've thought long and hard about the ethics of eating meat and I don't think there's an argument against it I haven't come across already [2]

5) Hypocrites who are not treated as hypocrites by the text. If a certain power is too powerful to be trusted to any one person, it's too powerful for you, too. If you would kill other people to keep this power from them, then once the power falls on you, have the decency to off yourself.

6) Stories that posit that human beings are awful and their progress should be hindered as much as possible, or other forms of Benderism. [3]

7) Honestly, how many fights can one person get into without getting seriously fucked up? Or killed?

8) Gunga Din is going to need a lot of selling before I'll take him as a hero. Renfield, too.

9) Spirit=Good. Body=Evil I just happen to like my body [4] and I refust to accept that there's something evil in its desires. I'm not even sure I believe in spirits.

10) The word "into" immediately followed by the word "and." As in: Richard crashed through the window and into the bedroom. I don't know why I always stick the "and" in front of the "into" but I do, and I have to take it out again.

11) Secret powers/terrible trauma that the character refuses to think about to the point where they have forgotten incredibly important details about their own lives.

A lot of the things that other people seem to hate like Fated Romance or Quest plots don't bother me at all. I did, after all, just praise a novel about a group of mismatched heroes who take down a Dark Lord. It's all in the execution, and no, I'm not talking about undermining. Also, there's a lot of fun to be had in telepathic animal companions still (I'd love to see a character with a friendly mental link to his own tapworm).

But in reading other people's lists, I get the feeling that they're reading some real crap. Do we really need to list "Villains who are stupid" ? Shouldn't that be a given? And if you're reading books with real crap in them, why not upgrade to better books?




[1] Actually, I don't believe in "undermining" tropes, because that usually seems to involve stripping the trope of everthing that makes it worth reading about. I might fuck around with a trope, but I'm not all that interested in "undermining."

[2] I'm not interested in a conversation about vegetarianism or eating meat. Don't bother me.

[3] Special dispensation given to stories told exclusively from the point of view of non-human characters depending on how the text treats the humans.

[4] Although it would be nice if there were less of it.
Tags: wasting time, words
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