Holiday reading thread over at Blag Hag

December 20, 2011

I admit I have a really, really, really hard time getting past someone who can say

I really enjoyed the HBO series, but I didn’t feel like waiting years to learn the rest of the plot. The same thing happened with Lord of the Rings – I saw the first movie, then quickly gobbled up the trilogy, the Hobbit, and even the Silmarillion.

The notion of someone who manages to miss an epic all-time great series like Lord of the Rings until the movies come out…and who didn’t start into the books of GRRRRRR Martin when first seeing the HBO trailers…. Well. I get a little faint I gotta say.

I’m a reader. I like films just fine and sometimes the adapted works can be quite good. But man. The notion that you’d have all your orientations all fucked up by directorial interpretation and Hollywoodification before you read the books makes me a little bit nauseated I gotta tell you.

Since we’re on the subject, please Dear Reader I implore you. Read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books before you see the Hollywood version that is coming out. And for that matter, view the Swedish movies first too. There is no possible way the latest, glitzy movie is not going to suck in comparison with the Swedish movies and, inevitably, the books.

anyhow, the real point is that Blag Hag asked her readers to throw out suggestions for fantasy/sci fi books that weren’t quite so dismally formulaic

when you have a series that’s basically medieval Europe placed on an imaginary map, I’m not sure what you expect. It’s inspired by history, where woman were treated that poorly. I find it refreshing that the plot doesn’t accept that (like in Lord of the Rings), but rather multiple woman try to overcome it.

But I see the point. How many more fantasy novels do we need that perfectly mirror medieval Europe, with women having the roles of wives and nothing more? If it’s fiction, why not make them equal? Or why not make them the ones in charge?

…and they responded. Maybe you’ll find a tip for something you will enjoy reading.

No Responses Yet to “Holiday reading thread over at Blag Hag”

  1. pramod Says:

    Might be a generational thing. My brother did it mostly the McCreight way, while my decision to read the books was independent of any movies that might have/had been made.


  2. Scicurious Says:

    THIS will be the year I start Malazan Book of the Fallen. Really really. After I read the latest GRRM and the latest Rothfuss.

    Someone in the thread mentioned Mercedes Lackey, DEFINITELY a great choice for strong female characters as well as gay and lesbian title characters, particularly for younger (13-16) readers.


  3. Jen Says:

    Heeey, to be fair, I had just turned 14 when the first LotR movie came out. No one my age had heard of it…


  4. drugmonkey Says:

    I was probably 8 or 9 when I first read LotR….


  5. pinus Says:

    I am a similar flavor of geek as DM, read LOTR for the first time when 9.


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    Wait….no one had heard of LotR by age 14. Jesus Christ I’m palpitating over here.

    I….I… I can’t even come up with an analogy for how bad this is! Please tell me you grew up in the Bible Belt or something….?


  7. @fiainros Says:

    I’m trudging through Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for the 2nd time. Tried to read it the first time a couple years ago when my running buddy mentioned it as the book she was reading with a good review. Didn’t get past page 2. I’m on page 36 now. Don’t know why I’m struggling with getting it going. I also want to see the Swedish movie before I sit down to watch the Hollywood version.

    But I’m a read before the movie comes out kinda gal.


  8. marye Says:

    I was 17 when the first movie came out, so granted that’s a little bit older than the above commenter, but I had definitely heard of LOTR by 12. And I did grow up in the Bible Belt. (Though I will admit to not being the *huge* fan of the books or movies that being a nerd supposedly requires.)


  9. drugmonkey Says:

    Fortunately, there is much diversity in nerddom. Everyone need not lurv the MiddleEarth to have nerd cred…


  10. Susan Says:

    I’m honestly not sure I will or want to see the Merkin version of the Girl, because the Swedish ones were just so good and true. I’m already a member of your read-it-first! religion, so you’re preaching to a choir here.


  11. Isabel Says:

    It’s admittedly been ages since I read Water of the Wondrous Isles, supposedly the *first* fantasy novel, but at the time I thought Birdalone was a compelling, even inspiring, female protagonist who has a great adventure that involves many variously interesting female characters; and I enjoyed the faux Medieval writing as well (lots of conversation but no quotation marks for example).


  12. Namnezia Says:

    The girl with the dragon tattoo I thought was gratuitously violent and not very interesting, so I decided to skip the rest of the books and haven’t seen the movies. Not that I’m opposed to violence in books/movies, but I basically saw no point to it and it turned me off to the whole thing.

    I did recently read “Pattern Recognition” by William GIbson, which reminded me of the GWTDT, but was more entertaining. Has anybody read the other two of that trilogy?

    As far as George Martin, well, I have to confess I had never heard of him (I hadn’t read much fantasy since high school). But got curious after the TV series and got hooked on the books. After the first book your TV-images of the characters pretty much fade, since I saw a couple of reruns recently and they were not as I had pictured/remembered them.


  13. drugmonkey Says:

    Oh, I’m not claiming Game of Thrones should be as known as LotR, here. Not at all in the same ballpark. Never having heard of Tolkien is like being ignorant of Shakespeare or Dickens or Verne…


  14. Namnezia Says:

    Oh, I’m not claiming Game of Thrones should be as known as LotR, here. Not at all in the same ballpark. Never having heard of Tolkien is like being ignorant of Shakespeare or Dickens or Verne…

    In that, I definitely agree. Though I’m not surprised many folks hadn’t actually read Tolkien, even if they’d heard of him. I bet you that there are plenty of folks who read a lot who have never actually read anything by Dickens.


  15. I first read Hobbit and LoTR in gr7. I did not know about GoT until the HBO series. I did however go to school where the bible was read every morning…I will be reading the books since I can not wait for the series.


  16. becca Says:

    I was rather pleasantly surprised to realize how much feminist sci fi /fantasy I have read. Bujold, McCaffrey (though she has some serious limitations), Lackey, Pierce, LeGuin, Wrede, L’Engle, Carey….
    Also, was that Tom Robbins for real over at Blaghag??

    That said, I’ve never read Dickens or Verne.


  17. drugmonkey Says:

    Seriously beca? No Dickens?




  18. Isabel Says:

    Interesting take, my instincts about Birdalone may have been on target. Am I the only one here who read this book??

    Subverting the Female Stereotype: William Morris’s The Water of the Wondrous Isles


  19. Mondragon Says:

    Aach, I hadn’t checked out GRRM for the same reasons I have avoided Modern Fantasy since I went 20, a glut of Eddings in my teens rendered the very thought unpalatable. When I first plugged into SF however via Banks, Stephenson and Brunner however, the old ways of magick could never persist. And the abomination that was the LOTR movie sequence, culminating not in the Scouring of the Shire, rather a scouring of the cheeks of an hour of crying hobbits, well I was surprised when I quite enjoyed season 1 of GOT. So I could read ’em all now I suppose.

    Anyway, we readers of actual books will always have lots of things that film and TV producers aren’t smart enough to adapt, particularly since the new Thomas Covenant sequence has delivered far more than I thought it would, the Baroque Cycle, ad infinitum. Though I can see the Cycle as some kind of Mahabarat type thing, hundreds of half hour segments.


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