Hot-take time: Fantasy is a dull genre

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Also Warhammer Fantasy > Warhammer 40,000.
God damn, that is a SPICY HOT take, my dude.
After reading both settings lore and looking at the overall picture.

It boils down to me taking Warhamemr Fantasy more seriously, then Warhammer 40k.

And the fact that Warhammer Fantasy has more variety because most of 40k's relevent lore boils down to Imperium (mostly Space Marines) vs Chaos, with Orks being an amusing sideshow. Eldar may have some importance but the High Elves are way more active and relevent then the Eldar are.

In Fantasy although the Empire for all intents and purpose is the "protagonist" in the lore of Fantasy, they have way more relevent enemies than just Chaos and Orcs, they had Wars against the Vampire Counts and their undead minions, and the marauding Beastmen in their very forests and of course the Skaven beneath their very feet.

And that's also not factoring that the Dwarfs and High Elves are also relevent players in the lore.

And Warhammer Fantasy has much bigger variety of villain charcaters than 40k, most of 40ks famous ones are Chaos Lords.
 

Hazy992

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Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
 

BreakfastMan

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Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Squilookle said:
OK, let me just stop you right there- what the hell is purple prose? Are you going to back up that label with an explanation?
There's no clear cut definition of purple prose ... but typically it involves complex, overly ornate language that neither moves plot, nor illustrates character development. Rather it demands the reader's attentions, takes them hostage, and destroys pacing while providing nothing of substance. Fantasy suffers from it immensely ... which isn't inherently bad on its own... but it is an exercise in just how much tolerance you can have for exposition.

Like every fucking annoying Harry Potter fan ever. Fantasy is particularly annoying in this aspect. Sci-fi gets it in the neck as well. It's not so much that fantasy and sci-fi serials inherently create purple prose... but the attempt to make exposition of characters or environment, rather than 'mobility' and development of character and environment not fucking boring makes it particularly fucking boring and noticeable a hell of a lot more.

Hence why fantasy and sci-fi novelists and media talent produce companion matetials stuff to their primary works.

Because the particularly stupid of their fanbases demand exposition, analytical clarity and ... Get the fuck off that My Little Pony merch!! It's mine!!! Don't make me cut you... What was I saying? Oh, right ... none of this is particularly bad. Just recognize where it comes from. Be self-aware AF... Now what's the best way to dispose of a body?

Secondly- you give two examples of how it should be done, and neither of them are fantasy. They are both science-fiction, with a heavy focus on modern/futuristic technology used according to certain unbreakable laws of physics. Not always the same as our own, but laws nonetheless.
Star Wars is totally Science-Fantasy. It has magic it goes to elaborate extents to describe as mystical, it draws inspiration from the past (including weapons and other fantasy works) to place it in a fictional setting that literally describes itself in a galaxy far, far away. It explains nothing of the technological capabilities of that galaxy, requiring the viewer to shed their disbelief.

Not once in the primary reference materials are lightsabers explained. And do you know how fundamentally awful, a cardinal literary sin, it would be to write a book that does so and expect it to be decent writing?

The criterion for 'not being fantasy' isn't merely that it 'looks techy'. It's about requiring a certain level of suspension of disbelief that a viewer/reader goes into a film/book prepared to make. Ditto, the qualities of good worldbuilding are not alien from one genre to another. Changeling: the Lost, singlehandedly best roleplaying eorld and systems around, is storytelling game of modern fairytales snd beautiful madness. How matrrial reality conflicts with dreams snf absurdities of thd Fair Folk of Arcadia and inbetween.

They are also both films, not literature, and it is a cardinal sin of films not to show instead of tell, so they both have that working for them already. Had LOTR first appeared as a film instead of a book, Tolkien himself would probably have been forced to Vonnegut the material, as other writers already had done for say, radio adaptations of their works. Moby Dick is another excellent example of the sort of change LOTR would have had to undertake.
Because it's the easiest to demonstrate without saying read this book. And the literary criticism is the same, or more so could have been the same if allowed to be so. And it would have been the worst for it. Tolkien inspired future literary genre into fantasy in a big way ... but it would be wrong to say fantasy wasn't being written. At the core you have two styles of fantasy writing, sparse and mythic.

And there is a reason why I brought up Mad Max because it's a clever example of fantasy characters done well and why it's arbitrary to put dividers between fantasy and other genres to begin with... or where you don't have to sacrifice mythmaking to be sparse, or sparse to be mythmaking.

Mad Max, and the character of Max Rockatansky, became a symbol of Joseph Campbell's 'monomyth theory' which really took George Miller by surprise. It grossed at the time the highest revenues from box offices of the two years it was showing through Europe, U.S., Asia and Australia. In France, Mad Max was billed as an 'Australian Modern Western' and Max Rocktansky described in a manner as if an Australian Clint Eastwood. In Japan Mad Max and the character Max Rockatansky was marketed as if a wandering swordsman of feudal Japan (imagery that he would borrow for later iterations) as per their own cinematic releasese. In Scandinavian countries (except in Sweden where the movie was banned) the reviewers talked about the character as if a viking and their native mythologizing.

So you have all of these suspensions of disbelief and internal mythmaking being couched in terms of familiarity to character archetypes in your region. That ultimately delivering strange, fae-like villain in a strange, fae-like existence of a post-societal collapse Australia. And Max is an interesting example, or extension, or the idea of the monomyth. Given Miller was not classically trained, he didn't have an artistic background. He was a general practitioner of medicine in Sydney.

If anything, Miller just wanted to make a movie with real subject matter (drunken violence and instances of horrific accidents) that did happen in Australia in a world lost to itself. And ultimately what was a minorly conservative-rhetoric'd film at the time og drunken Australian youth became a reality-breaking fantasy film of terrific proportions and exuberant characters.

Now what he discovered (by accident, and he will always say by accident if people compliment him on it as if being intentional) is that if you merely want to communicate as if such a character; "Create a movie where it can be understood without subtitles in Japan." Which is an adage he borrows from Hitchcock.

The terse dialogue, and the environment he describes that is perpetually in motion and never shot in the same way again, create a mechanic of illustrating the character as not only as a native of their world without overembellishment, but signify and underline every level of their development being this dance between the brutal reality they are confronted by, the colourful characters they meet, as well as the larger than life persona of Max Rockatansky himself. That is believably somehow larger than life if only because of the fact that the director has never made Max Rockatansky the star of any movie.

He's like the quintessential anti-Mary Sue ... because whatever qualities he does have are utterly paled in comparison by the flare, the colourful noise, of the world he is confronted by and the people within it. He's singular in his uniqueness by saying nothing while everyone and everything else screams alien. That such a character naturally begins to take on elements of whatever fantastic and romantically embellished aspects of whatever cultural mythologies that a person had been raised up with simply by the common enough aspect of surviving them.

You don't go into any Mad Max film without the suspension of disbelief ... but the first movie was of such strange nature that no one had actually seen this type of genre of film done before that it hammers it home that you become a spectator of a world gone mad and fantastically unlike our own ... and you gel with it largely immediately, because it's like Max Rockatansky seems both at home within it, as well as ordinary to our own existence.

So in an overly wordy reason why I insert it thoroughly into the 'fantasy' mix is precisely because there is no way to describe it otherwise, and why it is insanely clever way of worldbuilding. The reason why Miller wrote novels on his charaters, scrapped them, kept all the feel about them, and used that feel and symbolism to make them appear ridiculous and dense every second they're on screen. And because every character barring Max Rockatansky looks that way, Max becomes the quintessential monomyth figure in a fantastic world.

Accidentally brilliant fantasy writing and direction.

And ultimately the lessons you can learn from it are applicable specifically to the fantasy genre.

Now ... you're right ... if Tolkien was writing for the big screen the nature of LotR would be incredibly different. But do you know what's superior to the LotR books? The Hobbit. It is simply more fun to read. The characters are better. The story is better.

Also... Kurt Vonnegut is a writer. Show, don't tell ... applies to literature no less. Applies to all storytelling. Don't tell the player that they're getting a negative modifier for being a catfolk in a racist human city. Show them by just in the corner of their eye they noticing a non-human npc get the shit kicked out of them in an alley, and the town guard just ignore it when they enter the city. Show them by how differently they talk to and interact with that PC in comparison to how they treat your human party members if they don't know they're travelling with them. How quickly that more favourable stance change if they realize as such.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
 

BreakfastMan

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Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
Elaborate then, what is the setting that is Discworld?
 

BreakfastMan

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Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
Elaborate then, what is the setting that is Discworld?
It is a fantasy universe created by british author Terry Pratchet, initially to serve as a parody of bad fantasy but later evolved into its own thing. Most of the stories take place on a flat, disc-shaped world (aka the titular Discworld) that sits atop 4 elephants that sit atop a giant tortoise that flies through space.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
Elaborate then, what is the setting that is Discworld?
It is a fantasy universe created by british author Terry Pratchet, initially to serve as a parody of bad fantasy but later evolved into its own thing. Most of the stories take place on a flat, disc-shaped world (aka the titular Discworld) that sits atop 4 elephants that sit atop a giant tortoise that flies through space.


FUCK LOGIC, FUCK IT IN THE ASS!!!
 

BreakfastMan

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Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
Elaborate then, what is the setting that is Discworld?
It is a fantasy universe created by british author Terry Pratchet, initially to serve as a parody of bad fantasy but later evolved into its own thing. Most of the stories take place on a flat, disc-shaped world (aka the titular Discworld) that sits atop 4 elephants that sit atop a giant tortoise that flies through space.


FUCK LOGIC, FUCK IT IN THE ASS!!!
Again, it started out as a parody that developed into something with a little more meat about 4 books in. :p
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Samtemdo8 said:
BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
Have you even read Discworld?

I always see it in recomendations, but never been elborated on WHAT Discworld is.
Dude, I have read a shit-ton of Discworld. I haven't read every book in the series, but I have probably read damn near 90% of them.
Elaborate then, what is the setting that is Discworld?
It is a fantasy universe created by british author Terry Pratchet, initially to serve as a parody of bad fantasy but later evolved into its own thing. Most of the stories take place on a flat, disc-shaped world (aka the titular Discworld) that sits atop 4 elephants that sit atop a giant tortoise that flies through space.


FUCK LOGIC, FUCK IT IN THE ASS!!!
Again, it started out as a parody that developed into something with a little more meat about 4 books in. :p
True, 40k started off as a joke until a few editions in.

Though I still can't take somethings seriously about it (Chainsaw Swords for one)
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Samtemdo8 said:
True, 40k started off as a joke until a few editions in.

Though I still can't take somethings seriously about it (Chainsaw Swords for one)
It also started off as a superior game ... to whatever mess they want to pretend is a """tactical""" miniatures wargaming product.

40K is Ameritrash on steroids. Second only to Monopoly. They've had 28 years to make this game somewhat playable.
 

BreakfastMan

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Samtemdo8 said:
True, 40k started off as a joke until a few editions in.

Though I still can't take somethings seriously about it (Chainsaw Swords for one)
It also started off as a superior game ... to whatever mess they want to pretend is a """tactical""" miniatures wargaming product.

40K is Ameritrash on steroids. Second only to Monopoly.
Which is weird, because it is basically thinly veiled fetishization of 19th century British imperialism. And if there is one thing I know about Anglos, it is how they love reminiscing about how they ruled the world once.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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BreakfastMan said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Samtemdo8 said:
True, 40k started off as a joke until a few editions in.

Though I still can't take somethings seriously about it (Chainsaw Swords for one)
It also started off as a superior game ... to whatever mess they want to pretend is a """tactical""" miniatures wargaming product.

40K is Ameritrash on steroids. Second only to Monopoly.
Which is weird, because it is basically thinly veiled fetishization of 19th century British imperialism.
Interesting in Warhammer Fantasy's case that the main human faction is not a fantasy version of Medieval England , but fantasy version of 16th Century Holy Roman Empire.

Bretonnia is actually France then England.

And the actual England in the Old World, Albion, is Pre Roman Celts.
 

twistedmic

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BreakfastMan said:
I am not even talking about all the dregs in the genre. I am talking about the "important" works like Wheel of Time, Game Of Thrones, or the Elric series. If we include all the random bad crap, the percentage of stuff is just riffs on LOTR shoots up to 99.99%.

And fantasy in particular encounters this problem of being immensely derivative of a very small number of works (those being: Grimm's fairy tales, Conan the Barbarian, and The Lord Of The Rings) far more than other "genre" fiction like sci-fi or horror.
Would you consider Malazan Book of the Fallen to be a retelling/riff/commentary of Tolkien, Grimm's or Conan?
I'm asking legitimately, not trying to be a prick.
As I see it, that series has only a minuscule handful of vague similarities towards the above mentioned works, most of those regarding the Teblor/ Thelomen Toblakai and Barghast being incredibly strong barbarians that are really good at killing non-barbarians (though they are explicitly not human).
 

09philj

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Modern fantasy and science fantasy tends to be where more of the fun stuff is, as opposed to high fantasy. Brian K Vaughan's comic Saga is basically fantasy, but uses being science fantasy as an excuse to include more interesting locations and character designs, as well as allowing for a nice mix of the modern and archaic. Then there's Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Kieron Gillen's The Wicked + The Divine, which are both about godlike beings interacting with the modern world. Gaiman's work in general is about the interplay between the world we know and other, fantastical worlds beyond, which allow them to feel both very grounded and very otherworldly.
 
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BreakfastMan said:
Hazy992 said:
Berserk is the only good fantasy story, you cannot debate me on this because you know I'm right.

Thank you and good night.
Counterpoint: Discworld exists.
I was wondering where the works of Pratchett fitted into your percentages. The good percent it seems. I approve
 

Thaluikhain

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Samtemdo8 said:
And the fact that Warhammer Fantasy has more variety because most of 40k's relevent lore boils down to Imperium (mostly Space Marines) vs Chaos, with Orks being an amusing sideshow. Eldar may have some importance but the High Elves are way more active and relevent then the Eldar are.

In Fantasy although the Empire for all intents and purpose is the "protagonist" in the lore of Fantasy, they have way more relevent enemies than just Chaos and Orcs, they had Wars against the Vampire Counts and their undead minions, and the marauding Beastmen in their very forests and of course the Skaven beneath their very feet.

And that's also not factoring that the Dwarfs and High Elves are also relevent players in the lore.

And Warhammer Fantasy has much bigger variety of villain charcaters than 40k, most of 40ks famous ones are Chaos Lords.
Errr..ok, WHFB had the Empire allied with High Elves and Dwarfs (and Brettonia), and they were more relevant, rather than the Imperium being by far the most important. But it's not true that the Imperium only fights Chaos (though Chaos is a really big deal), there's also a lot about orks and Tyranids. Also, Beastmen are part of chaos, and sorta Skaven too (nowdays, lose the sorta), the Empire fighting them is not evidence of it fighting people other than chaos.

40k has famous characters for each race (excepting nids, and I can't remember the Necrons beyond the c'tan), the first GW special characters were Yarrick (human) and Ghazghkull (ork).

Aaaaand...WHFB doesn't exist anymore. So, what previous era of WHFB do you mean? If you mean old WHFB is better than new AoS or new 40k, no argument there.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Thaluikhain said:
Samtemdo8 said:
And the fact that Warhammer Fantasy has more variety because most of 40k's relevent lore boils down to Imperium (mostly Space Marines) vs Chaos, with Orks being an amusing sideshow. Eldar may have some importance but the High Elves are way more active and relevent then the Eldar are.

In Fantasy although the Empire for all intents and purpose is the "protagonist" in the lore of Fantasy, they have way more relevent enemies than just Chaos and Orcs, they had Wars against the Vampire Counts and their undead minions, and the marauding Beastmen in their very forests and of course the Skaven beneath their very feet.

And that's also not factoring that the Dwarfs and High Elves are also relevent players in the lore.

And Warhammer Fantasy has much bigger variety of villain charcaters than 40k, most of 40ks famous ones are Chaos Lords.
Errr..ok, WHFB had the Empire allied with High Elves and Dwarfs (and Brettonia), and they were more relevant, rather than the Imperium being by far the most important. But it's not true that the Imperium only fights Chaos (though Chaos is a really big deal), there's also a lot about orks and Tyranids. Also, Beastmen are part of chaos, and sorta Skaven too (nowdays, lose the sorta), the Empire fighting them is not evidence of it fighting people other than chaos.

40k has famous characters for each race (excepting nids, and I can't remember the Necrons beyond the c'tan), the first GW special characters were Yarrick (human) and Ghazghkull (ork).

Aaaaand...WHFB doesn't exist anymore. So, what previous era of WHFB do you mean? If you mean old WHFB is better than new AoS or new 40k, no argument there.
We don't acknowledge Age of Sigmar in the same context and Warhammer Fantasy...
 

Hawki

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I really can't be bothered to list every non-Tolkein fantasy, so I'm simply going to look at what other people have said:

BreakfastMan said:
I am not even talking about all the dregs in the genre. I am talking about the "important" works like Wheel of Time,
Wheel of Time is "important?"

Maybe it's my bias showing, but Wheel of Time is an example of a riff off LotR, and doesn't bring much new to the genre. And even then, while I know there's a fanbase for WoT, can we really say it achieved mainstream success in the same way as LotR or ASoIaF?

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
What about My Little Pony?
I like MLP and it's fantasy, but it's a children's cartoon that, even by the standards of children's cartoon, is surpassed in worldbuilding by stuff like Avatar.

I can't really hold it as a stellar example of the fantasy genre in of itself.

Worgen said:
What about cyber fantasy like Shadowrun?
I think Shadowrun has more in common with sci-fi. At most, I'd call it science fantasy than straight-up fantasy.

Also, don't think "cyber fantasy" is a word - it would come under either "urban fantasy" or "low fantasy."
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
There is kind of a reason why Miller 'ended up with two scripts' by the end of Fury Road. That's what he does with every movie. He writes a massive world, then goes Kurt Vonnegut ... he doesn't pull out some The Silmarillion or Legendarium or any fucking tripe.

Tolkien created a stir, he created an influence. But that's no excuse to inherit his flaws.
Don't think we can compare them - one's books, one's films. You'll always be able to do better worldbuilding in a book than a film.
I liked the moral complexity they gave the Rebellion.
Moral complexity that's dropped by the first act. It still boils down to good guys vs. bad guys by the end.

BreakfastMan said:
But yeah, I don't think Game Of Thrones existing actually goes against some of my points from earlier. Game Of Thrones is still all about commenting on these pieces of Tolkien's world that get re-used and re-referenced endlessly. It is still mostly a political thriller.
While GoT arguably subverts fantasy tropes, it could just as easily exist in a world without those tropes, since a lot of its inspiration comes from War of the Roses. Its more fantastical elements, such as dragons and zombies, aren't things that LotR has a monopoly on.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
You don't go into any Mad Max film without the suspension of disbelief ... but the first movie was of such strange nature that no one had actually seen this type of genre of film done before that it hammers it home that you become a spectator of a world gone mad and fantastically unlike our own ... and you gel with it largely immediately, because it's like Max Rockatansky seems both at home within it, as well as ordinary to our own existence.
I'd say the first Mad Max is hardly a world gone mad.

Seriously, replace the MPF with regular police, and there's not really anything to suggest that it takes place in anything but a contemporary (for the time it was made) setting.