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Green Gogol

On realism, grimdark and childishness

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6 hours ago, SeanF said:

With an income of £10,000 a year, Darcy would have been richer than many members of the House of Lords, at the time, and certainly, his relatives are much more distinguished than those of the Bennetts.  His grandfather was an Earl, as is his uncle.

I do believe that was stated in the post you quoted . . .  though not his titled relatives, but you know, his aunt was all about this and I've certainly talked of her.

Yes, in any case, no matter how it is cut, P&P is a fairy tale romcom -- probably as opposite of grimdark as anybody can get! (without being hope punk, I hope!)  :D:read:

 

Edited by Zorral

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I believe grimdark is one of the best things to happen to fiction and basically are a shorthand to let readers know that it is going to be dark, tragic, and full of moral ambiguity.

You know, what kind of books I like.

Mind you, I made 3 or three grimdark threads and people just showed up to trash the concept.

 

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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6 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I believe grimdark is one of the best things to happen to fiction and basically are a shorthand to let readers know that it is going to be dark, tragic, and full of moral ambiguity.

You know, what kind of books I like.

Mind you, I made 3 or three grimdark threads and people just showed up to trash the concept.

 

I don't really get why people would invest so much energy in disliking a genre. There's enough readers to allow all styles to exist - they don't necessarily eat up shelf space for other books. That said i can imagine books get published easier if they are ASOIAF (or these days more accurate to say GOT) like.

I guess people can argue about what makes something grimdark. To some it's a derogatory term so they use it as a lazy way to hate a book yet get very defensive if a book they like is called grimdark

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This is the problem with grimdark as a genre, quite apart from the silliness of the name. It's not really used neutrally like sword and sorcery or high fantasy to describe stuff with features in common. It tends to either be used positively, in which case it becomes a huge catch-all including all that stuff I like, or it's used negatively, in which case it becomes a trash chute for the stuff I don't like. This leads to loads of straw-man arguments and people talking past each other.

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One can argue that both Foundryside and the Gutter Prayer are both grimdark: horrors aplenty, moral ambiguity, miserable societies, slavery and oppression, little social contract, scary stuff. But I loved the former and hated the latter, even though the latter was clearly imaginative with its ghouls and tallowmen.

Foundryside had well-founded characters. Its hero was fierce and driven. The ending brought a positive step to the next arc of storytelling. Gutter Prayer is nothing but self-indulgent misery world-building. It's what gives grimdark a bad name. 

Grimdark means you have a textured background to build the story on but you still have to build that story and those characters to make the book work beyond hair dye, eyeliner, and pseudo-Victorian settings.

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39 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

o.O I would never in a million years call Foundryside grimdark. Which is kinda of the point of the thread really. There's no set definition.

Well, the answer for that is in GRIMDARK MAGAZINE.

The story of grimdark is that it was first used as a pejorative on 4chan and RPG.net (I was actually there), specifically referring to the works of George R.R. Martin. It was meant to emphasize a work that included a lot of dark elements seemingly for shock value and needlessly brutal. Being as this is Westeros.org, you can imagine that this backfired a bit because a lot of people LIKE the darkness of ASOI&F. Joe Abercrombie then started using Lord Grimdark as his Twitter Handle and gradually people started using grimdark as "stuff I like that is gritty and mean." This is nothing new in fantasy as lots of authors have done deconstructive adult-only fantasy before.

For those who were REALLY nerdy, it used to be called grognard or "hardcore" fantasy.

Grimdark is just the latest name.

So the definition has shifted.

For me, it's simply, "gritty adult fantasy and sci-fi."

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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2 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah GrimDark magazine...is a magzine...that i have, um, conflicting thoughts on.

But you read it for the articles.

Update: Just web searched and apparently it is an actual thing. I thought this was purely ironic

Edited by brunhilda
Who knew?

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14 minutes ago, brunhilda said:

But you read it for the articles.

Update: Just web searched and apparently it is an actual thing. I thought this was purely ironic

No, it's real, although even they don't always agree on what's grimdark.

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56 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

No, it's real, although even they don't always agree on what's grimdark.

I've written for it multiple times.

It makes it fun when people tell me I don't know what grimdark is.

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The point of the thread was not to determine if grimdark is better than whatever. The point was to discuss the idea that the grimdark stories where everybody is horrible and nothing good ever happens is not more realistic or adult than other more optimistic books.

Edited by Green Gogol

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11 minutes ago, Green Gogol said:

The point of the thread was not to determine if grimdark is better than whatever. The point was to discuss the idea that the grimdark stories where everybody is horrible and nothing good ever happens is not more realistic or adult than other more optimistic books.

Well, I agree with you there.

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I used to like grimdark as one of these catch all’s for stuff that I want to read.  It worked fine for Abercrombie, Lawrence and Morgan.  It’s not so reliable these days.

As for whether it’s more realistic or adult, well, I’d say it’s not the bleakness or the miserable events that strike a chord with me, it’s more the range of normal that you often see in so called grimdark books - the world is funny amongst all the shitiness, people are sardonic and cynical and pessimistic (or amusingly overly optimistic). That’s realistic because that’s what life is like.

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1 hour ago, john said:

I used to like grimdark as one of these catch all’s for stuff that I want to read.  It worked fine for Abercrombie, Lawrence and Morgan.  It’s not so reliable these days.

As for whether it’s more realistic or adult, well, I’d say it’s not the bleakness or the miserable events that strike a chord with me, it’s more the range of normal that you often see in so called grimdark books - the world is funny amongst all the shitiness, people are sardonic and cynical and pessimistic (or amusingly overly optimistic). That’s realistic because that’s what life is like.

Not sure I understand what you are saying. Are you saying that you think life is awful?

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10 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Well, the answer for that is in GRIMDARK MAGAZINE.

The story of grimdark is that it was first used as a pejorative on 4chan and RPG.net (I was actually there), specifically referring to the works of George R.R. Martin. It was meant to emphasize a work that included a lot of dark elements seemingly for shock value and needlessly brutal. Being as this is Westeros.org, you can imagine that this backfired a bit because a lot of people LIKE the darkness of ASOI&F. Joe Abercrombie then started using Lord Grimdark as his Twitter Handle and gradually people started using grimdark as "stuff I like that is gritty and mean." This is nothing new in fantasy as lots of authors have done deconstructive adult-only fantasy before.

For those who were REALLY nerdy, it used to be called grognard or "hardcore" fantasy.

Grimdark is just the latest name.

So the definition has shifted.

For me, it's simply, "gritty adult fantasy and sci-fi."

That’s lots of words to amount to “there isn’t really a  definition”

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9 hours ago, Green Gogol said:

Not sure I understand what you are saying. Are you saying that you think life is awful?

No, I’m saying that often in grimdark books

1. The world is funny 

2. People are sardonic

3. People are cynical

4. People are pessimistic 

5. People are sometimes overly optimistic 

and

6. Numbers 1 to 5 are also accurate in real life

Irrespective of background circumstances, people don’t deal with things through grand themes or noble thoughts, they just get on with it.  I don’t know if that seems awful to you, it just seems normal to me.

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On 2/6/2019 at 1:39 PM, C.T. Phipps said:

I believe grimdark is one of the best things to happen to fiction and basically are a shorthand to let readers know that it is going to be dark, tragic, and full of moral ambiguity.

Neither necessary nor sufficient. Lots of so-called grimdark is hardly anything of the three features (hint: virtually everybody is a cynical but witty a**hole is not "moral ambiguity"). And there are plenty of books/stories with the three features that would usually not be called "grimdark" (e.g. Children of Hurin) but maybe it could.

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14 hours ago, Green Gogol said:

The point of the thread was not to determine if grimdark is better than whatever. The point was to discuss the idea that the grimdark stories where everybody is horrible and nothing good ever happens is not more realistic or adult than other more optimistic books.

Actually, I bring this up on reddit. "What are these stories?"

Everyone says there's a lot of grimdark where everyone is awful and nothing good happens.

Please point to specifics.

Because usually all the most famous grimdark...isn't that. Examples would be nice.

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