Lily Valley

Hugo time! Hugo time! Roundup for 2017 Awards

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:sits down and waits:  I am at "Chapter the Fourth" and agreeing with Zabz already.  After reading the first three paragraphs of that chapter aloud, I REALLY agree with Zabz.  I wanted to punch myself for pompousity.

I will finish this, but really curious about why anyone finished it.

Edited by Lily Valley

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Heh, that's similar to how I felt when reading The Three Body Problem. :P

I will let Contraius defend TLTL, for I am not the most articulate person to do so, and also I haven't slept in like 30 hours. I will say I'm pretty sure I read that Leckie is a fan of the series so I doub it's push back against her.

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15 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

*casts Summon Contraius+"

LOL.

I'm afraid I'm going to let Richard down here -- not feeling too articulate at the moment!

I do love TLTL to death. It's a book of ideas, and style, and complications. It's about so many things not being what they seem, and the implications thereof. It is original, and striking, and put a smile on my face both times I've read it (listened to it) so far. But I can understand why some folks wouldn't like it -- because it does have a very strong narrative voice, and it is very complex and multilayered, and it does involve a lot of artifice. And that's just not what some people are looking for.

Here's what I've said about it previously: This is multi-layered -- many many things going on in plot and character and theme. It makes your brain cells start popping and fizzing with all the ideas and references and complications and interactions. It's talking about transformation in so many ways, and artifice, and science, and miracle, and pretense vs. reality, and cult of personality vs. meritocracy, and the one thing you would do anything to protect, and what that "anything" might actually entail, and it will sound like an entirely different novel depending on who you talk to about it. And it's a loving and sardonic homage to the age of Voltaire and de Sade in both style and substance. And I've got tons of love for all of the fireworks going off in all directions. Nothing about it is truly straightforward.

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3 hours ago, Contrarius+ said:

LOL.

I'm afraid I'm going to let Richard down here -- not feeling too articulate at the moment!

I do love TLTL to death. It's a book of ideas, and style, and complications. It's about so many things not being what they seem, and the implications thereof. It is original, and striking, and put a smile on my face both times I've read it (listened to it) so far. But I can understand why some folks wouldn't like it -- because it does have a very strong narrative voice, and it is very complex and multilayered, and it does involve a lot of artifice. And that's just not what some people are looking for.

Here's what I've said about it previously: This is multi-layered -- many many things going on in plot and character and theme. It makes your brain cells start popping and fizzing with all the ideas and references and complications and interactions. It's talking about transformation in so many ways, and artifice, and science, and miracle, and pretense vs. reality, and cult of personality vs. meritocracy, and the one thing you would do anything to protect, and what that "anything" might actually entail, and it will sound like an entirely different novel depending on who you talk to about it. And it's a loving and sardonic homage to the age of Voltaire and de Sade in both style and substance. And I've got tons of love for all of the fireworks going off in all directions. Nothing about it is truly straightforward.

Hah.  I'm only half way through, but what I would say is:

1.  I think the book desperately WANTS to be about ideas.  It wants to be about all the idea(l)s.  And I agree that it is heavily stylized.  And in its attempt to created supra-post-modern archetypes based on classical (Western) theories, in my opinion it fails to generate any new styles or ideas.  It's just a rehash, and not a particularly original one.  

2.  And the "unreliable narrator" voice is a thing right now.  It's been done a lot both in and outside of genre, and better in both cases.  

3.  It either has a conscious or unexamined (I'm going with very, very conscious btw) bias towards Western thought, and despite its (maybe good) intentions(?) to have an explicitly diverse cast of characters, it trades almost ridiculously on existing Western stereotypes.  And I found once I started seeing it, I couldn't unsee it.  

4.  And actually, I had more "ideas" pinging around my head after reading 3 Body Problem and its offspring or Ninefox or any of the short stories this year (or shoot, anything by KJ Parker ever) than with this book.  This book feels like a law school exam - it's all issue spotting.  Spot the elements, spot the references, FEEL CLEVER!!!!  Which, at the end of the day, really ain't my thing.  

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21 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

 This book feels like a law school exam - it's all issue spotting.  Spot the elements, spot the references, FEEL CLEVER!!!!  Which, at the end of the day, really ain't my thing.  

Hey -- to each their own. You're allowed to be wrong just as much as anyone else. :P

Edited by Contrarius+

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19 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

*shrug*

You probably would not like Gene Wolfe much then.

Who I noticed has a blurb on the book too.

But what is the defense of the book?  Why is it the bestest?  Seriously.  Curious what you think articulate or not.

19 minutes ago, Contrarius+ said:

Hey -- to each their own. You're allowed to be wrong just as much as anyone else. :P

But we can all agree that All the Birds shouldn't have been nominated, much less have won the Nebula?

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1 minute ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

But we can all agree that All the Birds shouldn't have been nominated, much less have won the Nebula?

Well, kinda. I certainly don't see why it deserved to be nominated or to win -- but I can accept that I may simply be missing or misunderstanding qualities that others saw in it.

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1 minute ago, Contrarius+ said:

Well, kinda. I certainly don't see why it deserved to be nominated or to win -- but I can accept that I may simply be missing or misunderstanding qualities that others saw in it.

Lol, should have added a smiley.  But of course we can all accept that others may see qualities in books that we don't, but half the fun to me about talking about books is lively critical debate.  

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22 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

it trades almost ridiculously on existing Western stereotypes.  And I found once I started seeing it, I couldn't unsee it. 

I wanted to get back to this comment for just a second --

Yes, of course the book is full of stereotypes. Because that's part of the point of the book. Stereotypes are a type of artifice -- and a big theme of the book is the contrast between artifice and reality, and what stereotypes we choose to impose upon ourselves. These people CHOOSE to live those stereotypes -- the stereotypical Japanese CEO, the stereotypical celebrity, the stereotypical French Madame, the stereotypical overly devoted nun, and so on. Those stereotypes aren't a bug -- they're a feature of the book.

Edited by Contrarius+

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7 minutes ago, Contrarius+ said:

I wanted to get back to this comment for just a second --

Yes, of course the book is full of stereotypes. Because that's part of the point of the book. Stereotypes are a type of artifice -- and a big theme of the book is the contrast between artifice and reality, and what stereotypes we choose to impose upon ourselves. These people CHOOSE to live those stereotypes -- the stereotypical Japanese CEO, the stereotypical celebrity, the stereotypical French Madame, the stereotypical overly devoted nun, and so on. Those stereotypes aren't a bug -- they're a feature of the book.

But it's the stereotypical western view of a stereotypical Japanese CEO.  In other words, I get that she is using archetypes (it's abundantly clear, and I do find that to be a bug because it means that she gets to "cheat" on characterization), but the stereotypes themselves are pulled out of an 80s movie.  So, maybe we all choose to live in 80s movies?  I dunno.  I am finding it very problematic, and I am finding her descriptive language (such as it is - actually she isn't so great at evoking scene, though it is unfair because I'm currently reading my children Lord of the Rings so the contrast is stark) at best reductive.

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1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

But it's the stereotypical western view of a stereotypical Japanese CEO. 

Well, duh. After all, she's taking her inspiration from the Enlightenment -- which was quintessentially Western.

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