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Chataya de Fleury

"The Steel Remains"

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Personally, I'm a huge fan. Stego apparently is not.

Ok - what about you? And why?

For myself, I liked the style - gritty, dark, of course - and the characters. I like the worldbuilding as a (probably, it's never been confirmed that I know of) Earth so far into the future that some cataclysm happened, which blew up the moon, and humanity is back to the medieval era (with some twists thrown in).

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Personally, I'm a huge fan. Stego apparently is not.

Ok - what about you? And why?

For myself, I liked the style - gritty, dark, of course - and the characters. I like the worldbuilding as a (probably, it's never been confirmed that I know of) Earth so far into the future that some cataclysm happened, which blew up the moon, and humanity is back to the medieval era (with some twists thrown in).

This was the first (and so far only) Richard Morgan read. I liked it alot, for most of the same reasons. There's alot of potential to bring up past events and learn more about how each of the main characters have gotten to where they were, and to meet some of the characters that we only heard about. I'll be looking for the Cold Commands when it comes out.

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Me, too! definitely picking up The Cold Commands asap as soon as it appears.

Some of my male friends have stated that they felt uncomfortable with the sex depicted in the novel. In fact, it ruined the enjoyment of the novel for one of them. Men of the Board - did this matter to you at all?

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Me, too! definitely picking up The Cold Commands asap as soon as it appears.

Some of my male friends have stated that they felt uncomfortable with the sex depicted in the novel. In fact, it ruined the enjoyment of the novel for one of them. Men of the Board - did this matter to you at all?

I was not bothered by it.

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Guest Raidne

That was actually a high point for me. I mean...it was interesting? You don't see that very much. Like I said in the other thread, I could not readily grasp the world, and this lessened my enjoyment of the book. I'm also not all that into the characters. I will still buy and read the second book though, so fret not, author.

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I really really liked this book, but not as much as I liked Richard Morgans SF.

The man on man action did not ruin the book for me, it didnt really bother me, and it was the first time I had read something like that. Other books I have read with homosexual characters did not depict the sex graphically.

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No one was more excited than I when Richard Morgan decided he was going to write fantasy. (I'm quite sure I started the thread on it her, oh so many years ago.) No one has been a bigger proponent of his work than I. Takeshi Kovacs is a brilliantly realized character and Altered Carbon was a bonafide shit storm called down upon science fiction. Ever imagined the best of Alfred Bester, only immersive and as page-turning as the best of Stephen King?

Well, here's Altered Carbon, thank you very fucking much. Enjoy yourself, and try to keep the stains off the furniture.

Black Man made me consider my life. No, consider is too weak a word -- I was rethinking my understanding of myself. The only recent science fiction novel even close to the quality of this behemoth was River of Gods. Seriously. These are the two best SF novels since the heyday ended abruptly around the time of Hyperion and Snow Crash and Red Mars and Doomsday Book.

Black Man was a mirror held up to manhood; a mirror held up to American policies that many people couldn't handle seeing. It was powerful. It was game changing.

And then Morgan wrote a fantasy.

Morgan hasn't read a lot of fantasy, like he obviously had read science fiction and mystery. I don't know a better way to say it. You took a master violinist and put a tuba in his hands and said 'give us a concert!'

His SF is many things, but it is always slick. The fantasy tried too hard to be, and failed utterly. Gay protagonists are not original in fantasy. It was contrived; it was forced. I know the intent was for it to be a perfectly normal thing (which of course it is) and Morgan's heart is always in the right place in his work.... but it felt too contrived. It's been a while since I read it, but I'm quite certain there was a character who shared a lot in common with Edward from Twilight.

Yeah, I said it.

Pretty, perfect, godlike individual who tempts the lowly human, yet has no personality to speak of? Yeah, that.

Listen, this book is not on the level of the poorly constructed garbage found under the Wizards of The Coast banner. It's not Stephanie Meyer rubbish despite my comparison, and if you have read all the good epic fantasy in the world and you simply must have another novel, I suppose you can do worse.

But Morgan writes sublime science fiction. He is the writer that I believe has the best body of work over the past decade in the genre. His fantasy was just ok. His time wasted on mediocrity is a sad development.

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My thread is better constructed than yours, Emilie. :D

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I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't the same high that Morgans other books brought. The prose was, as always, excellent, and the characterization was on the same level, but I thought that the novel took far too long to get where it did, and I thought that it wasn't nearly as game changing/thought provoking as it was trying to be. It was a good, but flawed, novel, nowhere near the strengths of Altered Carbon, Market Forces, or Black Man. I certainly wouldn't object to more fantasy, and I'll certainly read it, but I'm not holding my breath like I would be if Neon Man was announced.

EDIT: I'll add that I had no problem with the sex at all and found it rather interesting in a there's-a-first kind of way.

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I can see where you are coming from with the contrived feeling. It felt like he was trying to overturn a number of tropes, and not quite managing it, or instead putting in other tropes. A constant thought of mine was "He is trying to hard".

Having said that, it was a good book, a cut above the majority of fantasy out there, and well worth reading.

As for him sticking to SF, i dont think that is necessary. I can see some awesome fantasy novels coming out as he gets more comfortable with the genre. I hope he writes more SF as well, though!!

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Pretty much, I have been trying to come up with something to add to my last post, but the above two are pretty much it. I found the sex to be one of the positive aspects of the book. We get a wealth of straight sex in most other novels, we even get a little bit of lesbian sex, but Morgan's novel marks the first time I have encountered graphic sex between two men. It did not bother me any more than any other sort of sex.

Oh, but as a whole I found it an entirely underwhelming book. The end was promising though, so I will be buying the sequel when it is finally published.

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You may recall that my review stirred up a lot of shit back then, which led to the "hype files" and Simon Spanton being depicted as a very bad guy (since then I've been calling him Doctor Evil).

Anyway, I felt that beyond the shock value stuff (sex, violence, etc), the book had not that much to offer in terms of plotlines and worldbuilding and characterization. Morgan, a brilliant scifi author, made me feel as if he wasn't that conversant with the fantasy genre. So it was an okay book, but nowhere near as good as I expected it to be.

Will be picking up the sequel for sure, because I'm well aware that Morgan has all the tools to elevate his game. Will it be better than TSR? Time will tell. . . :)

Patrick

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It seems kind of pointless to have two threads on the same subject, but anyway...

I'm hopeful that the next book in TSR series will be significantly better. Now, hopefully, Morgan's gotten to test drive his noir fantasy and get the urge to purely subvert every trope of the genre out of his blood, and he can, I hope, focus more on telling a story that lives up to the author's abilities. After all, with the gay protagonist and post-epic-war setting established, he's got to add something new to the mix for the next two books.

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Yeah? Well, she asked me to start a thread and then started it herself. Let the mods fix it. :D

ETA: I think it amusing that the short hand you used for this work is TSR.

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Morgan, a brilliant scifi author, made me feel as if he wasn't that conversant with the fantasy genre.

Great fucking sentence, Pat.

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ETA: I think it amusing that the short hand you used for this work is TSR.

Don't diss on TSR yo.

Anyway, The Steel Remains didn't really do it for me. I'll pick up the next book in paperback form at some point and i'll be hoping it's better.

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ETA: I think it amusing that the short hand you used for this work is TSR.

...Why? The Steel Remains. What else would be used?

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...Why? The Steel Remains. What else would be used?

because Wizard of the Coast bought TSR, publisher of many many bad fantasy books for teenagers back in the day.

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I found The Steel Remains to be a generally adequate fantasy novel, superior to some, nowhere near as good as the best. Reading Morgan's interviews, I couldn't help notice that he was comparing the book to The Lord of the Rings and pretty much nothing else. Later on he admitted that, aside from The Lies of Locke Lamora (which he cover blurbed), he hasn't read anything else in the genre. To his credit, I did hear via his blog he was trying some other modern fantasy writers later on.

The issue I had with The Steel Remains whilst reading it was that the SF-tinged elements, the most interesting part of the book, was downplayed in favour of the 'gritty' stuff, which Morgan talked about a lot in discussions. The problem is that the gritty stuff, the blood splatters, the presence of gay characters, the ruthlessness and so on has been done before and done better by authors not limited to but including GRRM, Erikson, Bakker, Kearney, Abercrombie, Gemmell, Cook and Parker. Christ, some of Parker's work makes The Steel Remains read like David Eddings. Yet, due to Morgan's lack of experience with the genre, he seemed to be unaware that he was not breaking new ground at all.

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