Thoughts on Epic Fantasy

Before I get started with this blog post in earnest, I’d just like to point out something. I’ve seen no less than three reports of nebulous ‘someones’ working on the type of monthly buffet reading scenario I outlined. I think it’s around the corner.

Anyway, on to more interesting things.

George RR Martin had an interview just a day or two ago. The interviewer asked how long it would be before the next one in his series. He gave the witty, totally unexpected answer of “When it’s done, it’s done.”. I believe this is code for ‘Years from now, though I better get it out before the fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones gets underway.’

I’m starting to think about reading the Wheel of Time series. Or rereading…in the case, of some of them. I got caught up on the series about a decade ago, then found out Robert Jordan had planned at least another 5 or 6 books. He, like GRRM, wrote a tale so intricate and following so many characters that it’s hard to just pick up the next book in the series without a major primer, a book of cliff notes, a drawn tree of characters and how they relate, and an open Google browser to answer the rest of my continuity questions as they arise.

I will readily admit that GRRM has forever changed my view of epic fantasy. These days if I see the description of ‘evil’ in a back cover blurb, I put the book down. Few people ev view their actions as truly evil. They’re doing what’s best for a certain demographic, even if it’s just a demographic of one. Complex read-world motivations are key. (That’s real world motivations, not MTV’s Real World motivations,which are to be drunk and stupid while filmed.)

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