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The Marquis de Leech

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About The Marquis de Leech

  • Birthday 12/15/1982

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  • Blood-sucking Aristocrat
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    Dunedin, New Zealand

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  1. Galadriel's the warrior. Tar-Miriel is, well, a Queen, and Bronwyn is supposed to be a healer.
  2. We don't know the context of the "Fellowship" here. It's not as if Tolkien didn't use his own groups of travellers on a Quest outside Frodo's one (Beren, Luthien, and Huan, Thorin and Company). Pretty convenient that Bilbo Baggins randomly puts his hand on the sodding One Ring in the tunnels of the Misty Mountains? I mean, we're dealing with magic and story symbolism. If you're going with a Sauron Was Here symbol, what else would you use?
  3. Finished a re-read of the (translated) Nibelungenleid. Interesting to compare with the related material I have read in the last couple of years (Volsunga Saga, the Poetic Edda, and the libretto of Wagner's Ring Cycle). Here, Kriemhild's villainised, Brunhilde vanishes, and the poet really, really likes describing clothes, bedding, and armour.
  4. Creative people very often are profoundly screwed up. I actually prefer the ideas of Foundation over Dune, though I'll admit that Herbert was the better writer.
  5. I think that's a fair comment. The analogy I would give is how Vampire fiction wound up getting warped by Dracula.
  6. In terms of sales figures? Nothing in science-fiction approaches it (not even Dune). Literary influence is another matter, though I still don't think you find a Tolkien equivalent.
  7. True, but Wells' other Big Guns: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The First Men in the Moon are recognisable science-fiction works. The War of the Worlds reinvented invasion fiction in such a way that it allowed the genre to exist in a modified form for decades to come. (And because this was Wells, it wasn't about Germanophobic xenophobia, but rather a vicious comment on the British Empire).
  8. While I wouldn't call Charles Williams respectable-at-the-time, his works are not exactly light reading, requiring a fair amount of appreciation for philosophy and/or religion to follow. I mean, one of his novels literally posits the world getting invaded by Plato's World of Forms. In his case, the issue was more that, well, you were dealing with literature as produced by a bona fide Occultist (albeit this was not something the other Inklings were aware of at the time). The other one would be David Lindsay's Voyage to Arcturus, a sort of Gnostic Pilgrim's Progress from 1920. Profoundly weird, but with some seriously deep symbolism.
  9. I think that's being a bit harsh on Dunsany. Dunsany's Gods of Pegana is a clear influence for Tolkien's Valar, and the goofiness of The Book of Lost Tales is very, very Dunsany. Tolkien nabbed the Hobbit goblins from MacDonald, but other than that MacDonald was a bigger influence on Lewis than Tolkien.
  10. The point is that retrospectively claiming works for a genre can be a dangerous exercise in anachronism. Shelley's Frankenstein is a Gothic Horror novel - it only gets lumped into science-fiction because a recognised genre of science-fiction arose many decades later (courtesy of H.G. Wells). Though I do not consider Lucian of Samosata to be science-fiction in any sense, since at no point is it actually engaging with science (either Aristotle or Lucretius). It's basically a second-century Gullivers Travels, a social satire with copious silliness, and the inclusion of Sun and Moon people is neither here nor there. (Another example of retrospective shoe-horning would be people who claim Voltaire's Zadig as a detective story, when the genre really got going with Poe). In the case of fantasy, I personally consider Morris in the 1890s to constitute the birth of the modern genre - MacDonald is arguably closer to dream-fiction than a setting in a "real" secondary world. By the time you hit Dunsany, you're dealing with invented pantheons of gods, and Tolkien found himself getting compared to E.R. Eddison.
  11. Though I should note that The Worm Ouroboros has a science-fiction framing device (it ostensibly takes place on Mercury), and The Dying Earth concept is stolen from Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique, and thence from William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land, and thence from the last section of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Meanwhile both Smith and Howard were looting early twentieth century Theosophy (occultism) for setting ideas, while Charles Williams (the "third Inkling") was writing philosophical/mystical fantasy thrillers. Pre-Tolkien fantasy was arguably a weirder genre than anything we've seen since, with the science-fiction and dream-fiction overlaps on one hand, the symbol-heavy philosophy section on the other, William Morris' love affair with Malory, and Lord Dunsany's playful myth-making.
  12. I don't think we get ASOIAF. No The Lord of the Rings means no Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, which was the big influence on ASOIAF (I think Martin sticks to science-fiction in this version of the timeline). As for pulp sword and sorcery - the likes of Moorcock were influenced "against" Tolkien. Take out Tolkien's gravitational effect, and even Moorcock might wind up different. Meanwhile, the notion of publishing fantasy trilogies would be out too. It'd be a genre of stand-alones.
  13. I'd argue it'd exist, but it wouldn't exist as we know it.
  14. I think you're underestimating Agatha Christie, whom I am pretty sure remains the best-selling novellist of all time. Christie's And Then There Were None has sold over 100 million copies alone (as per wikipedia). And she wrote some 80 books in the course of her life (plus nineteen plays, and six romance novels under a pseudonym) - her overall sales would be over a billion.
  15. Funny thing: Ent is Old English for giant. Having Ents as a name would presumably be fine, so long as they're not tree-people.
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