The saddest thing I have read on the internet in quite some time

Mar 12 2015 Published by under Staring in Disbelief

19 responses so far

  • Philapodia says:

    Life must be bleak and grey for this sad person. He should start with the wonderful Wheel of Time series. 12,000 pages later he will thank me (or wonder where the year went...).

  • drugmonkey says:

    I can't even imagine where you would tell someone to start. The Hobbit, most likely. Foundation. Dune.

  • Julian Frost says:

    Discworld. Particularly poignant for me as Sir Terry died yesterday.

  • babyattachmode says:

    Fine, I'll admit that I didn't know who Terry Pratchett was until he died yesterday. I started reading LotR but couldn't finish it because I thought the description of all the details was boring. I started the Dune series but quit when *spoiler alert* the guy turns into a worm or something. I do read lots of other things, just not fantasy. We don't all like the same things. And that's not sad, that's okay.

  • Cynric says:

    I started the Dune series but quit when *spoiler alert* the guy turns into a worm or something.

    I'm guessing you'd stopped reading too closely by this point...

  • babyattachmode says:

    Cynric, that is entirely possible. So I guess I can remove my spoiler alert?

  • babyattachmode says:

    Oh wait I'm back realizing that The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy and The Handmaid's Tale also count as scifi. So I guess I do like some scifi.

  • respisci says:

    Although Hitchiker's Guide is good, my favorite books by Douglas Adams are Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. Would they be classified as fantasy? I classify them as funny as heck.

  • dsks says:

    Aw c'mon. That person had to be trolling the nerds, knowing full well a comment like that was going to unleash an unrelenting barrage of suggestions and advice - peppered with no small amount of bickering and literary one-upmanship.

  • Noncoding Arenay says:

    LOTR, but of course!

  • Cynric says:

    Cynric, that is entirely possible. So I guess I can remove my spoiler alert?

    I thought you might be pulling our collective legs, but yeah, that doesn't happen 🙂

  • Actually it does, in Children of Dune -- Leto II actually turns into a worm. But much like The Matrix sequels maybe we can all agree that we can simply delete the later Dune books from memory.

  • Busy says:

    Oh common The Hobbit is children/YA's literature. I'm glad you enjoyed, and I'm sure I would have too, had I read it when I was eight, but I didn't and hence I never will.

    p.s. I never got much into Fantasy. Sci-Fi on the other hand...

  • jmz4 says:

    "Discworld. Particularly poignant for me as Sir Terry died yesterday."
    -Except that Discworld is essentially high-fantasy satire. You won't get as much of the humo(u)r out of it if you aren't already well acquainted with fantasy tropes.

    I personally got into fantasy with Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist and Anne McCaffrey (if she counts). Scifi doesn't really hook me unless it's cyberpunk (Gibson and Stephenson), or short story anthologies.

  • Cynric says:

    Actually it does, in Children of Dune -- Leto II actually turns into a worm. But much like The Matrix sequels maybe we can all agree that we can simply delete the later Dune books from memory.

    I've read that, but have no memory of him turning into a worm. Weird. I've obviously already deleted it.

    Apologies to babyattachmode!

  • Ola says:

    Yes, sad indeed.

    I don't count myself as a sci-fi / fantasy fan, but classics such as Neuromancer, Brave New World, The Time Machine, had to be read for their greater value regardless of what genre they fit into. To not partake an entire genre of literature would be like a drinker never having tasted red wine. Like being a music fan having never listened to Jay Z or Mahler or Britney Spears. Like a film lover never having seen Mary Poppins.

    You don't have to like it, but just as we tell the kids as dinner, "take one bite to be polite". There's just too much good shit out there to let your preconceptions get in the way of sampling from a wide palette.

  • E-Rook says:

    I would just pull my braid out if I didn't have an alternate universe to escape to. Usually with clear demarcations of right/wrong and good guy / bad guy; and hard work and perseverance almost always lead to success.

  • Noni Mausa says:

    We were marinated in SF via Analog magazine and any number of library books, piled around our childhood home like occasional plinths of intelligence.

    Good SF and good fantasy allow you to explore the what-ifs of this world, not just imaginary, unreal worlds. In fact, neither genre works well unless it adheres to a consistent internal structure, however different from our daily experience.

    Remember Heinlein's "Podkayne of Mars?" She ends up as a kidnapped tourist on the foggy, swampy planet of Venus. Dropped on our real Venus, she would dissolve, melt or cook to a crisp in pretty short order, so in that sense PoM was a fantasy. Yet the story is fully able to explore issues of in vitro delayed childbearing, interplanetary politics, and relations between sentient species, just as Lewis's Malacandra explored low gravity effects on animals structures (on Mars, humans looked like stubby ogres compared to the graceful, elongated h'nau.) Oh, and both genres can take us to worlds of mood and beauty, travelogues of possibility. Try the gentle, aching beauty of Crowley's Engine Summer.

    And finally, fantasy allows social commentary which would be censored faster than Podkayne on Venus, to have its effect in societies where things cannot be said outright.

    Noni

  • Try the gentle, aching beauty of Crowley's Engine Summer.
    John Crowley! Although he's one of those people like Margret Atwood who kind of straddles the boundaries between genre and literary fiction. He also has a blog http://crowleycrow.livejournal.com/.

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