Hot-take time: Fantasy is a dull genre

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Hawki said:
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.
Well it was more an example of endearing characters in a clearly fantasy setting that moors itself at least in slice of life storytelling of character development over elabourate exposition.

And it was expressly a point of avoiding spending too much time away directly from plot, character interaction, and character development. Illustrating more Pinkie's relationship to her family, through the moderation of a third party who can only really interact with one party to that dynamic.

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.
We can totally compare them. Don't be like that. The same cardinal sins of one can be shared by the other. And honestly, no ... books often can't do worldbuilding well at all. In fact, bad literary worldbuilding can kill a book ... whereas often the worst forms of worldbuilding (lazy intro narration, etc) can be overlooked in film ... like SW:ANH.

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.
But clearly that's Max's biggest problem. The fact that he likes the chaos on the road ... he even begins to voice those problems to his superior. That sooner or later, he'll be no different than the people he chases down. And arguably that was the entire back story of Aunty Entity. She was the woman that stayed to fight the end of civilization. Max viewed through the circus mirror ... so very alike, so very similar in history, but for one distinct turning point.

Max fled. Aunty Entity stayed.

Clearly the MFP is falling apart. Arguably it seems like they're no longer even being resourced properly by (assumingly) the Victorian/Federal Police Force anymore (Victoria bought in big into the XB Special Australian-market hybrid).

"The last of the V8 Interceptors..."

Which was a fairly specific vehicle specially designed for various police highway patrol operations in Australia. Given that the various Australian state police forces directly sponsored the Ford XB Falcon V8s in order to get its hands on a specially built performance muscle car for pursuits specifically tailored for Australian conditions.

Suggesting that the rest of the V8 interceptor/pursuit vehicles have been destroyed and the plants had utterly shut down.

And quite clearly it's a dystopian setting ... given that the signpost and various insignia for the MFP's 'Halls of Justice' base (a little detail of clever worldbuilding I was talking about that you'll miss if not paying attention) lists the date of establishment of the MFP is in 1983, and Miller himself suggesting somewhere it's been years since it was first established.

So they're using dated pursuit craft that individual police chiefs are effectively haggling for on the back lines to try their best to maintain basic order on the streets.

So it's depicting a dystopian setting of a future Australia from its 1979 theatrical release.

Effectively the 'near-now' style of worldbuilding, where no distinct dates are given, but proof it's sometime in the near future. Which is why it has somewhat of a (Australian) conservative bent to it. Given in the 60s and 70s Australian sociologists, in conjuncture with (racist) dialogues about the nature of Aboriginal communities, assumed a posture and rhetoric of 'cultural collapse'. One of the big excuses arguments for enculturating Aboriginal children in Anglo-Australian households.

Basically Miller grew up with this rhetoric, applied it to the endemic levels of drunken violence he saw in Australian youth as a doctor treating trauma patients, combined it with the psychologically traumatic events of his near childhood where he was a lucky survivor in a car accident where his friends died, that was (likely) caused by speeding and alcohol, and decided to make a movie about it.

So he took real life stories of the worst accidents, hooliganism, street racing, drunken violence he could, and threw it into a 'cultural collapse' narrative ... but pointing the finger at Australian youth in general. The massive (relatively) budget fundings of Australian cultural and artistic programs the government threw money into was also born from this idea that the future stability of nations were determined by its 'civilizing attributes'. Which included artistry and pro-social media forms that either depicted the horror of 'losing cultural milestones' that would result in anti-social behaviour.

Hence why you have the great 'Ozploitation' era of film making. A metric fuckton of Australian government money. It's also the basis underlying films of cult classics like Wake in Fright (AKA as Outback) ... whereby we tear the fucking shit out of the people living in the 'uncultured' interior. Probably the best example of 'surrealist horror' you'll ever see, and if you watch that you'll realize these were real fears people had.

Despite all of that, the first Mad Max is still certainly a dystopian film set in a future where societal collapse has already happened...
 

Hawki

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
We can totally compare them. Don't be like that. The same cardinal sins of one can be shared by the other.
Okay then - films are far more less adept in worldbuilding than novels. They have less time to tell a story, and have less ability to worldbuild outside the narrative, whereas a book can devote itself to exposition far more naturally, and for longer periods of time, than a movie.

whereas often the worst forms of worldbuilding (lazy intro narration, etc) can be overlooked in film ... like SW:ANH.
That's hardly worldbuilding, that's establishing the premise. The only worldbuilding the intro establishes is that there's a Galactic Empire that exists, is "evil," and a band of rebels fights against them. Everything else in the intro is devoted to plot.

The OT deserves props for storytelling, but while Star Wars is a vast setting, very little of that comes from the films themselves (except maybe the prequels).

But clearly that's Max's biggest problem. The fact that he likes the chaos on the road ... he even begins to voice those problems to his superior.
The film tells us this more than shows us it - he's never shown to really enjoy any of it.

Clearly the MFP is falling apart. Arguably it seems like they're no longer even being resourced properly by (assumingly) the Victorian Police Force anymore.
It's certainly poorly funded (my guess is that it was in Queensland, but that's beside the point), but poorly funded police forces aren't exactly an oddity, especially in a rural setting.

"The last of the V8 Interceptors..."

Which was a fairly specific vehicle specially designed for various police highway patrol operations in Australia. Given that the various Australian state police Forces directly sponsored the Ford XB Falcon in order to get its hands on a specially built performance muscle car for pursuits.
I'll have to take your word for it, but my impression of the V8 stuff was that Max was a car enthusiast - maybe new, better cars had come along? After all, it was effectively a gift for him in order to stay with the force. He doesn't even use it before going AWOL.

Suggesting that the rest of the V8 interceptor vehicles have been destroyed and the plants had utterly shut down. And quite clearly it's a dystopian setting ... given that the signpost for the MFP's 'Halls of Justice' base (a little detail of clever worldbuilding I was talking about that you'll miss if not paying attention) lists the date of establishment of the MFP is in 1983, and Miller himself suggesting somewhere it's been years since it was first established.
The "Halls of Justice" are run down, sure, but again, that isn't out of the realm of possibility for a police force. It's a common trope in fiction for police forces to be short-staffed and underfunded.

So they're using dated pursuit craft that individual police chiefs are effectively haggling for on the back lines to try their best to maintain basic order on the streets.

So it's depicting a dystopian setting of a future Australia from its 1979 theatrical release.
I've got no problem buying that the Mad Max series exists in an alternate timeline (where a nuclear apocalypse occurred due to an oil crisis sparked by the Persian Gulf War - yes, looked up the wiki), but I contest the idea that taking the first film by itself, it can be taken as dystopian. Run-down MPF? Sure. But this is still a setting where towns still exist, public transport still exists, Max and his family can take a getaway drive (with no mention of how much fuel this will cost them), can still buy ice-cream, can still buy a spare tire, can still go to a farm, can still sunbathe on the beach, and still shows towns that are functioning pretty much as normal. Sure, bikies are out in force, but biker gangs are still a problem in the real world - doesn't mean we're on the verge of nuclear war (hope not anyway). Plus, if I consider it in the larger context of the series, there's no mention of any kind of oil shortage. Yeah, the bikies steal fuel from a fuel truck, but that's about it.

And look, I get it, Mad Max was made on a budget, they could only do/show so much, but there's so little to indicate in the first film that this is really approaching dystopia.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Hawki said:
Okay then - films are far more less adept in worldbuilding than novels. They have less time to tell a story, and have less ability to worldbuild outside the narrative, whereas a book can devote itself to exposition far more naturally, and for longer periods of time, than a movie.

That's hardly worldbuilding, that's establishing the premise. The only worldbuilding the intro establishes is that there's a Galactic Empire that exists, is "evil," and a band of rebels fights against them. Everything else in the intro is devoted to plot.

The OT deserves props for storytelling, but while Star Wars is a vast setting, very little of that comes from the films themselves (except maybe the prequels).
Literally everything in the narrativecould have been summed up with about 10 minutes of additional footage, I agree. It still classes as worldbuilding.

And no, books can't naturally do worldbuilding well or better, because there is no such thing as quantity = quality. This is why I spent time comparing films that actually do worldbuilding well and why it would be a literary sin to articulately describe how lightsabers work in a film AND a book.

My whole original argument that if prose is spending pages not actually describing character development, or moving the plot, or conveying character actions... it's getting on the verge of egotistical writing. Basically an author telling you their vision ofthe world because they find it personally interesting. That's great and all, but it's still egotistical writing. It can be done well, make no mistake. But it's still egotistical writing, and rarely will it ever work well.

And that's no different in literature or film.

The film tells us this more than shows us it - he's never shown to really enjoy any of it.
Clearly he does. Or more to the case, Goose fucking loves it and he cares a hell of a lot for Goose.

It's certainly poorly funded (my guess is that it was in Queensland, but that's beside the point), but poorly funded police forces aren't exactly an oddity, especially in a rural setting.
They kind of are when (then in 1979) the V8 Interceptors were common enough for Highway Patrols... but for some inexplicable reason not only does the Police Chief have to haggle to get one to effectively bribe Max Rockatansky to stay in the MFP ... but the simple fact that they can no longer ever get them.

I'll have to take your word for it, but my impression of the V8 stuff was that Max was a car enthusiast - maybe new, better cars had come along? After all, it was effectively a gift for him in order to stay with the force. He doesn't even use it before going AWOL.
But this wasn't Max saying that ... it was Barry, the MFP mechanic ... and sure as shit he's just as stoked as Max is if not more. It's becoming quite clear that something disastrous is happening in the background. An economic collapse, industrial action, something has made these enginery scarce.

The "Halls of Justice" are run down, sure, but again, that isn't out of the realm of possibility for a police force. It's a common trope in fiction for police forces to be short-staffed and underfunded.
But it is in the realm of impossibility for a police force in 1979. The Australian police forces of the 1970s, particularly their pursuit units, were incredibly well resourced.

The Australian police forces practically bankrolled the entire XB Falcon hybrid project. More over these were the 5.8L V8s, and you could only of gotten them in Australia. An entirely different beast than the pissweak 4.9L V8s like the Falcon Fairmonts. These were beasts designed for speed and rugged reliability.

These were top of the line muscle cars. Custom built to stand the worst the Australian climate could throw at it. That's why Miller used one. It was iconically Australian muscle car of the 70s that killed numerous Australians in street racing accidents and drunken forays on the road each year...

But Mad Max isn't set in the 70s. It's set in the late 80s/early 90s.

I've got no problem buying that the Mad Max series exists in an alternate timeline (where a nuclear apocalypse occurred due to an oil crisis sparked by the Persian Gulf War - yes, looked up the wiki), but I contest the idea that taking the first film by itself, it can be taken as dystopian. Run-down MPF? Sure. But this is still a setting where towns still exist, public transport still exists, Max and his family can take a getaway drive (with no mention of how much fuel this will cost them), can still buy ice-cream, can still buy a spare tire, can still go to a farm, can still sunbathe on the beach, and still shows towns that are functioning pretty much as normal. Sure, bikies are out in force, but biker gangs are still a problem in the real world - doesn't mean we're on the verge of nuclear war (hope not anyway). Plus, if I consider it in the larger context of the series, there's no mention of any kind of oil shortage. Yeah, the bikies steal fuel from a fuel truck, but that's about it.

And look, I get it, Mad Max was made on a budget, they could only do/show so much, but there's so little to indicate in the first film that this is really approaching dystopia.
So what? Middle class Filipinos can buy ice cream in the Philippines. They can even go on a drive. Public transport exists, as does small business. Despite fuel costs being relatively high and poverty also being incredibly such. The first Mad Max makes no mention of nukes, and only the second movie hints at it and at best a limited exchange. It makes mention of numerous wars for oil and a global collapse akin to the Energy Crises only far, far worse. And it's suggested to take place years after MM1.

But that doesn't change the fact that Mad Max is specifically set in the future. And by Miller's words, at least ten years in the future from theatrical release. More over, despite that, their best vehicles come from common police pursuit vehicles in the 70s.

Everything hints at both societal and economic collapse. That doesn't mean instant poverty ... what it does mean is people in quiet, rural Australia are finding it no longer so quiet anymore.

It is quite clearly a dystopian movie.

(edit) Also, may I remind you ... fuel stealing was a major crime during the Energy Crisis. It happened then as well, and incredibly frequently both in Australia and the U.S. And yeah ... specifically because of a manufactured oil scarcity event.
 

Hawki

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And no, books can't naturally do worldbuilding well or better, because there is no such thing as quantity = quality. This is why I spent time comparing films that actually do worldbuilding well and why it would be a literary sin to articulately describe how lightsabers work in a film AND a book.
Not really. It depends on how it's done. I don't particuarly care how lightsabers work (Wookiepedia aside), but it's not an inherently bad thing to do so.

And fine, quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality, but a book will always be able to deliver more quantity than a film, and the more quantity, the more detailed the world. How that affects the pacing/narrative is another issue, but a book will always give more detail than a film.

My whole original argument that if prose is spending pages not actually describing character development, or moving the plot, or conveying character actions... it's getting on the verge of egotistical writing. Basically an author telling you their vision ofthe world because they find it personally interesting. That's great and all, but it's still egotistical writing. It can be done well, make no mistake. But it's still egotistical writing, and rarely will it ever work well.
Okay, fine, but you can worldbuild by spreading out the worldbuilding throughout a story, or have the worldbuilding be imparted to the protagonist, so the reader learns at the same rate as them. This is still something books can do better, because your average film isn't going to go much longer than 2 hours (if at all), and will usually be watched in one sitting, while a book has the benefit of length and pacing that can be spread out more.

Or, to phrase it a different way, has there ever been a film adaptation of a book that has given us more information about the setting than the book did?

Clearly he does. Or more to the case, Goose fucking loves it and he cares a hell of a lot for Goose.
Him caring about Goose doesn't say anything about his own level of enjoyment. And I can't think of any point where Max is shown to enjoy what he does.

They kind of are when (then in 1979) the V8 Interceptors were common enough for Highway Patrols... but for some inexplicable reason not only does the Police Chief have to haggle to get one to effectively bribe Max Rockatansky to stay in the MFP ... but the simple fact that they can no longer ever get them.
We've established that this takes place in the 1980s (possibly 90s), so is the lack of V8's down to advances in technology? Is it due to them being an underfuned police force? Or is it due to breakdown in manufacturing abilities?

In the context of the Mad Max mythos as a whole, I could guess the answer with reasonable accuracy. In the context of the film by itself, I can't.

But this wasn't Max saying that ... it was Barry, the MFP mechanic ... and sure as shit he's just as stoked as Max is if not more. It's becoming quite clear that something disastrous is happening in the background. An economic collapse, industrial action, something has made these enginery scarce.
Yeah, Barry's enthused as well, but Max seems happy about it, and if he's happy about it, one has to conclude that it's more due to the love of the car than anything else, because the vehicle he was using before then wasn't shown to have any notable shortcomings. And again, is the rarity of the V8 down to economic collapse, or lack of funding for a police force (which again, isn't a rare trope)?

But it is in the realm of impossibility for a police force in 1979. The Australian police forces of the 1970s, particularly their pursuit units, were incredibly well resourced.

The Australian police forces practically bankrolled the entire XB Falcon hybrid project. More over these were the 5.8L V8s, and you could only of gotten them in Australia. An entirely different beast than the pissweak 4.9L V8s like the Falcon Fairmonts. These were beasts designed for speed and rugged reliability.

These were top of the line muscle cars. Custom built to stand the worst the Australian climate could throw at it. That's why Miller used one. It was iconically Australian muscle car of the 70s that killed numerous Australians in street racing accidents and drunken forays on the road each year...
I have to take your word for it, but:

But Mad Max isn't set in the 70s. It's set in the late 80s/early 90s.
Which is part of my point. If Mad Max isn't taking place in the 70s, then the change in circumstances could be attributed to any number of factors besides economic collapse.

So what? Middle class Filipinos can buy ice cream in the Philippines. They can even go on a drive. Public transport exists, as does small business. Despite fuel costs being relatively high and poverty also being incredibly such.
What do the Philipines have to do with anything?

Last I checked Philipine society wasn't facing the same issues that we know were facing the Mad Max world at the time the first movie takes place.

But that doesn't change the fact that Mad Max is specifically set in the future. And by Miller's words, at least ten years in the future from theatrical release. More over, despite that, their best vehicles come from common police pursuit vehicles in the 70s.
"At least ten years" isn't "a few years from now," but that's beside the point. But first question is whether it's established that the V8 is actually the best vehicle they have (it's implied to be, but I saw it as being more of a vintage enthusiast thing), and b) is the lack of it down to societal collapse, or other factors?

Everything hints at both societal and economic collapse.
Okay, if "everything hints at both societal and economic collapse," describe something that hints at this outside how badly funded the MPF appears to be.

what it does mean is people in quiet, rural Australia are finding it no longer so quiet anymore.
Yes, the horrors of a bikie group. Clearly that's a problem that doesn't exist in non-dystopian societies.

(edit) Also, may I remind you ... fuel stealing was a major crime during the Energy Crisis. It happened then as well, and incredibly frequently both in Australia and the U.S. And yeah ... specifically because of a manufactured oil scarcity event.
It did, and? We see one example of fuel stealing in the film - it's by the bikies, and you could cut the scene out and it wouldn't change anything. Everyone else in the film seems to get by just fine, least as far as access to motor vehicles and fuel goes. Again, I point to the road trip Max and co. take. Assuming Max's salary matches how poorly funded the MPF appears to be, I have to question whether they could really afford to just drive across Australia for a mini-holiday if fuel prices are skyrocketing.
 

Ogoid

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Hawki said:
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.
I've never been to Australia, let alone in the 70's, so I can't comment on how close or far to the actual state of things there at the time the film was. However, the subtlety of the first film's setting, of a world slowly but surely falling apart even as people desperately try to deny or fight the encroaching chaos, is one that I've come to regard as high or even more highly as Mad Max 2's understandably iconic (but which at this point has become almost a given of the genre as Tolkien's Elves and Dwarves for fantasy) junkyard-tribal, post-civilization world.

There are hints everywhere that things are not going well at all, from the existence of "high fatality roads" to Dispatch stating MFP officers aren't allowed to sell fuel, apparently private tow truck owners running after a police chase, lights flickering at the nightclub Goose goes to, the rundown state of the MFP's "Halls of Justice", not to mention their treatment of suspects, e.g. Johnny the Boy (they literally just have the guy wrapped up in chains), and generally Toecutter and his bunch taking control of small cities and running amok, terrorizing the locals for at least a day until there's any law enforcement available to do anything about it, at which point they're long gone.

True, it's not what people have come to expect from a "post-apocalyptic" setting since 1981... but that's one of its greatest virtues in my eyes.

...Okay, so as to give this post the barest semblance of relation to the topic at hand, one more historical fantasy novel I've recently read, which doesn't follow the Tolkien/Howard mold, Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark, which focuses on the 1529 Siege of Vienna.
 

BreakfastMan

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Hawki said:
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?
In the whole canon of the genre, yeah I think it is safe to say that WOT is important. Being more "underground" doesn't mean it isn't important. See: Velvet Underground.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Hawki said:
Not really. It depends on how it's done. I don't particuarly care how lightsabers work (Wookiepedia aside), but it's not an inherently bad thing to do so.
It is an inherently bad thing. It's like spending pages describing solely how magic works. Not a character's perspective on it ... simply describing everything about a lightsaber.

You try it.

It's awful and a perfect example of a pitfall of purple prose. Because if it reads like a technical manual and a writer tries to make it infinitely less garbage, given its science-fantasy roots with magic space monks that lightsabers are affiliated with, by using overtly florid language to 'colour' pure egotistical exposition--it is the very definition of purple prose.

The fun fact of the matter is films can get away with it better than books... but even film has its limits...

Dare I say, Star Wars: ANH would be shit if Kenobi pulled out lecture slides and was shown teaching Luke how to disassemble and reassemble his lightsaber like a good soldier should know how to. It's almost as if they cut out showing how Luke built his lightsaber for a reason in RotJ. It's almost as if KotOR's most fucking boring, pace destroying bullshit, is when you have to construct a lightsaber.

Because the barrier to investment of 4-8 pages of bullshit is about 30 seconds on screen, easily being able to enmesh it in a single person's narrative so the purple prose is 'hidden' and the viewer's investment still remains strong.

4 pages of pace destroying prose in a book, however ...and you've probably lost half your reader base.

You know what is one of the most egregious examples of whiny I find with Star Wars geeks? When I mention how I thought the swordplay in TFA was infinitely better than all the nonsense circus act garbage in the prequel trilogy, and they talk my ear off of made up fucking nonsense 'sabre fighting styles'. Just ... no ... no. I laughed. Because the original trilogy had a sword master as part of the fight choreography ... the prequel trilogy used a circus performer, and it shows. TFA seems to ditch realism but thank FUCK it also ditched the circus performance act to give us a brutal, more visceral style of fighting with weaponry. And it is infinitely better than this...


Look at this shit ... and no amount of esoteric, bullshit lore will make up for it. No one important gives a shit about "Shi'cho" or Shiz'ko or Shish'kebab whatever fucking nonsense ... fuck anybody that says otherwise.

Awful is still awful.

And then they have the gall to wonder why normal people still like the movies, and complain how they 'don't truly love Star Wars'. That they have the audacity to not be autistic savants and desire to explore and memorize all the made up bullshit that has been tacked on to a moderately well put together (due to editing) science-fantasy storyline. Fuck off anybody that thinks like that ... you want to know why the movies are shot the way they are? It's because 99% of the ideas and suggestions I get from 'hardcore' Star Wars fans would make them worse.

I can empathize. I truly can. I fucking adore MLP:FiM and even Equestria Girls, and I've read all the comics, all the companion stuff. I have plumbed the depths of it in all aspects and I have way more MLP merchandise than is healthy for a grown adult. But I try to be self-aware at the very fucking least.

And fine, quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality, but a book will always be able to deliver more quantity than a film, and the more quantity, the more detailed the world. How that affects the pacing/narrative is another issue, but a book will always give more detail than a film.
Not really.

I've tried to rewrite a scene of a film in 3rd Person ... the environment, character actions, dialogue, pacing ... and 1 minute of an action packed movie is like 6k words. Have you seen the storyboards and scripts and animator notes for a My Little Pony episode? Particularly with a lot of dialogue and character/environment interaction?

And those have the benefit of storyboard artists that 'comicize' scenes for animators that save more money and time than writers purely giving environmental descriptions for a reason.

Turns out writing is hard ... and extensive ... and that films can show a metric fuckton more than books. Moreover, books are beholden to literary critique and standards of writing in a way that film isn't in terms of the pure basics of storytelling.

Okay, fine, but you can worldbuild by spreading out the worldbuilding throughout a story, or have the worldbuilding be imparted to the protagonist, so the reader learns at the same rate as them. This is still something books can do better, because your average film isn't going to go much longer than 2 hours (if at all), and will usually be watched in one sitting, while a book has the benefit of length and pacing that can be spread out more.
No ... it literally can't. What books do really well is the ability to tailor POV. But it can never 'panorama' better than film. Actually sit down and try to write out a scene of your favourite action movie from simply 3rd Person. As simple as it gets. I'll be waiting 2 weeks for you to get it done to the same quality as scriptwriters and the means of following the scene to conclusion. Yet it will take only a minute of your time to show that on the big screen.

Try encapsulating the scene in Saving Private Ryan and the first minute prior the beach landing. Or how about this scene from A Bridge Too Far ....


Very simple scene all things considered. It will still take you roughly 5-6k to display it in as much detail as you see. Why? The long gaze of showing you the situation.

In fact, to write about the complement of XXX Corps tanks, so if one gets destroyd the convoy can still move on. The staggered profiles of the tanks and flanking GPs, the illusive detail of showing the soldiers breaking for tea they are still cleverly shielded by the landraising incline of the northwest running road that protects them from possible attack from across the river during break? How the tank destroying outfitted main gun is prperly elevated and positioned, with a spotter still on guard, in preparation to provide effective fire if they get intelligence on the enemy's artillery or possible troop movements to attack them given their exposure on the road?

Trying to explain that in enough clarity in a book that it doesn't start sounding like a historical text describing military SOP, or just a mess of florid prose because you're afraid of boring your reader, is very fucking hard.

Or, to phrase it a different way, has there ever been a film adaptation of a book that has given us more information about the setting than the book did?
Or to phrase it the correct way, since when has a book ever delivered the density of information as a film without being fucking impenetrable?

We've established that this takes place in the 1980s (possibly 90s), so is the lack of V8's down to advances in technology? Is it due to them being an underfuned police force? Or is it due to breakdown in manufacturing abilities?

In the context of the Mad Max mythos as a whole, I could guess the answer with reasonable accuracy. In the context of the film by itself, I can't.
Well, given that Australia didn't mimic the aspects we saw in Mad Max and that Miller expressly wanted to show a dystopian future where it might, and taken on the historical basis of the film, the intentions of it being shown, the geopolitics of the time, it's more accurate to call it a dystopian film. Also the commentary about him buying ice cream and going to the beach.

That Filipinos do that despite earning less than what a cop would make in Australia. Buying an ice cream and going to the beach isn't exactly a statement of wellbeing... nor that the world isn't going to shit. You could still buy a beer on the beach in Darwin, Australia, 1942... despite Japanese air raids. In fact... after Darwin was wiped off the map in February, 1942... you could still buy booze the next day. Probably a bad idea to go to the portside beach... give or take 2 months for them to clean it up.

Also.... reslly don't appreciate you excising lines of text from eachother when clearly they're part of the same argument.

If you find it too long... show the first and last sentence, don't treat them as separate arguments. It's bad form. I don't do it to you.

My argument about the V8s, detailing their history for example? Clearly a single argument.

The fact that these vehicles are the last of the Interceptors. The last police issue V8. Dated, no longer in factory circulation, police have to haggle to get them, suggests a dystopian setting of a future Australia far removed from the police forces of 1979. That the police are carrying a multitude of different weapons, including sawn-off break opens rather than a Browning HP (which suggests they're trying to make do with common civilian firearms and easily sourceable ammunition types)? That it's set over a decade afterwards, a society and justice system in utter shambles, is proof of a societal collapse event. It is alien to the Australia in 1979 of its release. And the movie is purposefully set at least a decade in the future.

How Macaffee talks about the conflict. How he tells Max about giving people back their heroes? He sounds like a government spokesperson of a nation that is crumbling apart. It sounds like the desperate speech a police chief would give to idealistic police officers, trying to rally them to the cause that already appears lost.

"They say people don't believe in heroes anymore? Well, damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give 'em back their heroes!"

The "Main Force Patrol" is a fictional institution. Established in a future where there is little peace to be found. Which suggests the government's efforts to maintain any basic semblance of civility and order is failing. And even the government's capacity to maintain it is all but finished. There is no other police force out there. The MFP is the only thing that stands between citizens and roving gangs of murderers, rapists, vandals and thieves.
 

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Ogoid said:
There are hints everywhere that things are not going well at all, from the existence of "high fatality roads"
Road fatalities are common in Australia, especially in holiday periods, where they usually reach double digits (at least in NSW). The sign doesn't say over what period of time the fatalities reached the 57 figure, but that's not a particuarly high number in of itself.

to Dispatch stating MFP officers aren't allowed to sell fuel,
I saw that as evidence of potential corruption more than signs of an oil shortage.

apparently private tow truck owners running after a police chase,
Is that out of character for today? I mean, okay, sure, but if the police are using the private sector to help them out, I don't see that in of itself as a sign of the end times.

lights flickering at the nightclub Goose goes to,
My bathroom lights flicker sometimes.

Just saying...

the rundown state of the MFP's "Halls of Justice",
True, but again, is that signs of societal collapse, or a lack of budget/corruption?

not to mention their treatment of suspects, e.g. Johnny the Boy (they literally just have the guy wrapped up in chains),
Police brutality still exists.

andgenerally Toecutter and his bunch taking control of small cities and running amok, terrorizing the locals for at least a day until there's any law enforcement available to do anything about it, at which point they're long gone.
Fair enough, but bikies could easily do that today as well. I've been through my share of small towns in Australia, as well as other countries. If bikies turned up in the numbers that Toecutter and co. did, the locals couldn't do much even IF society was still functioning.

True, it's not what people have come to expect from a "post-apocalyptic" setting since 1981... but that's one of its greatest virtues in my eyes.
Fair enough. I can certainly get why people (yourself included) can see the film as being post-apocalyptic/near-collapse. I just don't think the film does enough to show it, and at times, is contradictory about it. I get the "show, don't tell" rule, but would it be too much to ask for a newscast via TV or radio? Discuss what things are like in the country (not just state) and beyond? You could call this lazy writing if you want, but a little bit of context can go a long way.

BreakfastMan said:
In the whole canon of the genre, yeah I think it is safe to say that WOT is important. Being more "underground" doesn't mean it isn't important. See: Velvet Underground.
Okay, but why is it important? I can accept that 2001: A Space Odyssey is important, even if I don't like it. But WoT? I've never come across anyone cite WoT as an inspiration for them. I haven't seen its tropes adapted (granted, its tropes were already popularized by LotR). It's never really received any major adaptations bar a comic series. The only piece of inspiration I've arguably seen is Brandon Sanderson, but as much as I love Sanderson's writing and his works, his style is like night and day compared to Jordan. And yes, while he did write an essay on how Jordan influenced his writing, I don't see any evidence of that in his own works.

I'd say that if someone (or something's) important, it needs some kind of external legacy/influence. And TBH, I can't say that WoT has displayed that.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
It is an inherently bad thing. It's like spending pages describing solely how magic works.
There's an entire chapter in the fourth Harry Potter novel dedicated to describing how the Three Unforgivable Curses work. It's one of the most engrossing chapters in the novel, because it recontextualizes a lot of prior material, sets the stage for a lot of further material, and gives us a good sense of how the 'rules' work for the curses, since they're repeatedly used by the antagonists. Part of why it's engaging isn't just because of this though, it's because of the character reactions to them - Neville is terrified of the Cruciatus curse (for reasons we don't learn until much later), Harry surviving Advada Kadavra becomes even more shocking, etc.

You can write these kinds of things well.

Not a character's perspective on it ... simply describing everything about a lightsaber.

You try it.

It's awful
There's a segment in one of the old EU novels where Luke describes the feeling of holding Anakin's lightsaber for the first time. It's only a paragraph or so, but it adds a lot of depth to the original scene.

If that dragged on for pages and pages, sure, but you seem to be advocating that any kind of description or worldbuilding is inherently negative. If I spent four pages on a lightsaber all at once, it would be pretty bad (unless I did a Rowling or Herbert and made it engaging). If the info of that four pages was spread out, then it becomes much more paletable.

and a perfect example of a pitfall of purple prose.
Purple prose is writing that's overly elaborate or ornate. It can apply to worldbuilding, but to basically any form of writing. For instance, in the current Firefly story I'm writing, here's an excerpt:

A jingle began to play as Edgar began talking about the results of the 194th Annual Persephone World Fencing Championships. Zoe picked up the remote and shut the holo off ? she didn?t care about fencing championships, and aside from maybe Inara, doubted anyone on this boat did either. Instead, she just lay there. Listening to River?s breathing. To the hum of the ship, and the turning of worlds. The music of the spheres played, but as always, it was dissonant. Yet not so dissonant that it could keep her awake forever. She needed sleep. The type of sleep that part of her wished to never wake up from.

None of that is related to worldbuilding, yet it's still bordering purple prose. Part of the reason why I go back to chapters numerous times while writing them and tone it down.

Dare I say, Star Wars: ANH would be shit if Kenobi pulled out lecture slides and was shown teaching Luke how to disassemble and reassemble his lightsaber like a good soldier should know how to. It's almost as if they cut out showing how Luke built his lightsaber for a reason in RotJ.
It wouldn't be shit, but that says more about a film's pacing restrictions than the know-how of a lightsaber. I'm pretty sure there's an EU work that deals with Luke building his lightsaber anyway. I could easily see that in a book, if the construction was used as something beyond just the sake of showing the construction in of itself.

You know what is one of the most egregious examples of whiny I find with Star Wars geeks? When I mention how I thought the swordplay in TFA was infinitely better than all the nonsense circus act garbage in the prequel trilogy,
No.

Better than AotC? Sure. Apart from that? No.

and they talk my ear off of made up fucking nonsense 'sabre fighting styles'. Just ... no ... no. I laughed. Because the original trilogy had a sword master as part of the fight choreography ... the prequel trilogy used a circus performer, and it shows.
They also show Jedi at the peak of their power, and makes the lightsaber a viable weapon in its universe.

The duels don't do as well on the emotive angle mind you, but Last Jedi fixed that.

TFA seems to ditch realism but thank FUCK it also ditched the circus performance act to give us a brutal, more visceral style of fighting with weaponry.
Swinging your lightsaber around madly in the hope of hitting something?

Look at this shit ... and no amount of esoteric, bullshit lore will make up for it. No one important gives a shit about "Shi'cho" or Shiz'ko or Shish'kebab whatever fucking nonsense ... fuck anybody that says otherwise.
Lots of people care. Just because you don't doesn't give you the right to say "fuck anybody" who does.

And I say this who doesn't care myself, even if the use of Form was woven adroitly into the Revenge of the Sith novelization.

I've tried to rewrite a scene of a film in 3rd Person ... the environment, character actions, dialogue, pacing ... and 1 minute of an action packed movie is like 6k words.
You're doing something wrong then. I've novelized plenty of cartoons/movies/games/comics before, including as part of exercises I did in the CCE writing courses I did back in the day. How good (or bad) they are is up to the reader, but there's no way you need 6000 words for 1 minute of screentime. If it's an action scene, you need even less words - action scenes require very high word economies to function in writing, with it being preferable to use short, sharp sentences, rather than a more flowing narrative. It's part of why I hate writing action scenes in general, but I still write them as best I can when the story calls for it.

Turns out writing is hard
I know writing is hard, I've been writing for over a decade.

that films can show a metric fuckton more than books.
Unless you mean "show" as in "visuals," no, they can't. Not if we're doing a 1:1 comparison.

Again, name an adaptation of a book that has more worldbuilding than the book it's based on.

Moreover, books are beholden to literary critique and standards of writing in a way that film isn't in terms of the pure basics of storytelling.
Films are still reviewed and held to a standard.

No ... it literally can't. What books tell really well is the ability to tailor POV. But it can never 'panorama' better than film.
Yes, and? What does this have to do with worldbuilding?

It seems you're equating worldbuilding with wordpainting. Those are two different concepts.

Actually sit down and try to write out a scene of your favourite action movie from simply 3rd Person. As simple as it gets. I'll be waiting 2 weeks for you to get it done to the same quality as scriptwriters and the means of following the scene to conclusion. Yet it will take only a minute of your time to show that on the big screen.
That I've done this kind of thing before aside, what does this have to do with worldbuilding? A novel has to write out its scenes, a film can show a lot quickly. Again, what does this have to do with worldbuilding? A film can do it quicker, but a novel can do it more in-depth.

Trying to explain that in enough clarity in a book that it doesn't start sounding like a historical text describing military SOP, or just a mess of florid prose because you're afraid of boring your reader, is very fucking hard.
Again, wordpainting, not worldbuilding. You've shifted the argument entirely.

Or to phrase it the correct way, since when has a book ever delivered the density of information as a film without being fucking impenetrable?
A film has never delivered as much density as a novel in regards to imparting the details of its world.

Again, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film allows you to infer a lot of what's going on through its visuals. But the level of information imparted is dwarfed by the novel.

That Filipinos do that despite earning less than what a cop would make in Australia. Buying an ice cream and going to the beach isn't exactly a statement of wellbeing... nor that the world isn't going to shit.
Part of the "going to shit" angle is an oil shortage - how much oil are they using to do that? And if the roads are without law and order, is that really the safest thing to do?

There's a reason why Winston and Julia don't visit the beach in 1984 after all.

You could still buy a beer on the beach in Darwin, Australia, 1942... despite Japanese air raids. In fact... after Darwin was wiped off the map in February, 1942... you could still buy booze the next day. Probably a bad idea to go to the portside beach... give or take 2 months for them to clean it up.
Yeah, sure, but there wasn't a breakdown of society in WWII in Australia. The film supposedly shows otherwise.

The fact that these vehicles are the last of the Interceptors. The last police issue V8. Dated, no longer in factory circulation, police have to haggle to get them, suggests a dystopian setting of a future Australia far removed from the police forces of 1979. That the police are carrying a multitude of different weapons, including sawn-off break opens rather than a Browning HP (which suggests they're trying to make do with common civilian firearms and easily sourceable ammunition types)?
I'll have to take your word for it, know only slightly more about firearms than I do about cars.

That it's set over a decade afterwards, a society and justice system in utter shambles, is proof of a societal collapse event. It is alien to the Australia in 1979 of its release. And the movie is purposefully set at least a decade in the future.
Thought it was "a few years from now."

You mentioned Miller saying it takes place a decade from when it was filmed, but those are two different timeframes. And as I discussed up above (like, way above, with a different user in this post), I don't think the film does enough to illustrate a supposed collapse, if that's what's going on.

How Macaffee talks about the conflict. How he tells Max about giving people back their heroes? He sounds like a government spokesperson of a nation that is crumbling apart. It sounds like the desperate speech a police chief would give to idealistic police officers, trying to rally them to the cause that already appears lost.

"They say people don't believe in heroes anymore? Well, damn them! You and me, Max, we're gonna give 'em back their heroes!"
Or it's banal, cliched dialogue that could be applied to any work of fiction that involves the police in a less than ideal spot.

The "Main Force Patrol" is a fictional institution. Established in a future where there is little peace to be found. Which suggests the government's efforts to maintain any basic semblance of civility and order is failing.
If you say so, but if every fictional police unit in fiction is evidence of failing society, then that's a hell of a lot of failing societies.

And besides, we know nothing about what's going on apart from the rural areas that we see. There's a mention or two of "Sun City" or something, but we have no idea what life is like in the cities, or anywhere else for that matter. To quote another post-apocalyptic Australian story, take 'The Big Dry'. The atmospheric phenomenon is never explained (least in the stage play, can't comment on the book - cue worldbuilding advantages), but its geographic reach at least is (Australia is fucked, rest of the world seems to be fine). Mad Max offers us no such insight.

And even the government's capacity to maintain it is all but finished.
And yet government buracracy still exists to get Johnny released...

The government's still functioning enough to give due process. So, again, is the MFP's poor shape due to the breakdown of society? Or is it due to government/police corruption?

In the context of the Mad Max mythos, I can answer it as being the former. In the context of the film by itself, my inclination was towards the latter. Heck, Affi basically tells his officers to "do whatever you want, just keep the paperwork clean" afterwards.

There is no other police force out there. The MFP is the only thing that stands between citizens and roving gangs of murderers, rapists, vandals and thieves.
I can infer that, but what evidence of this is there apart from Toecutter's gang? Great, a group of bikies is terrorising small towns in regional Australia. That isn't exactly a hard thing to do.
 

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BreakfastMan said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And gave us amongst the first various RPGs, both pen and paper and computer RPGs. I will argue fantasy is kind of a catch all genre, which makes it transform into something larger than easy description. Fantasy does open some interesting character driven environments for a narrative to unwind, whether or not those elements are even explored.
I strongly suspect the first RPGs where fantasy primarily because the story typical of most fantasy literature (that of the "epic quest") fits much easier into a game format than, say, a noir mystery or whatever.
Actually, the first forms of it came from house rules around historical wargames, especially Napoleonic era.
 

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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)
As someone who played Epic scale when it was still new and a thing, it wasn't so much a joke, but it wasn't meant to be taken entirely straight either.

40k was, as a friend described "Hair Metal Sci-fi".
 

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If we limit this to fantasy literature I can't really disagree with you. I tried to read Wheel of Time, and it was such an unbearably generic copy-paste of every fantasy trope ever imagined I gave up about 1/10 through the second book. But then again I read abysmally little to begin with.

But how about Hayao Miyazaki? Could Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke or Castle in the Sky be classified as anything else than fantasy?

But I do have one recommendation for the OP that breaks away from all fantasy tropes as effectively as possible: The 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear, by German author Walter Moers. It's an incredibly creative, imaginative, colourful and rich fairy tale set in a land called Zamonia. It chronicles the life of the titular character, divided into different chapters or his different "lives". These include, among others in no particular order: being raised by pygmy pirates after getting rescued from a massive maelstrom. Growing up on an island of ghosts who frighten each other as a form of entertainment. Working as an assistant to a pteranodon-esque lizard bird whose job it is to save people moments away from their death. Living inside a tornado inside of which the time flows at like 1/1000 of the normal rate. Living with desert nomads with absurdly long names which they always have to iterate to each other when addressing one another so the protagonist makes themselves the most absurd and longest name of all.

And in the midst of all this things like elves, orcs, hobbits or wizards are nowhere to be seen. Instead we have headless titans called bolloggs (and I only now realize what that sounds like in english), living piles of goo from another dimension who play music on instruments made out of milk, gargantuan carnivore plants that disguise themselves as islands, ghosts that only talk backwards, giant spiders that weave webs that create illusions and so on. I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for something outside the normal fantasy trappings.
 
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I'm probably not someone who's to talk about the genre as a whole, cause out of a "classic" fantasy, i've read: LotR, Hobbit, Witcher series, one book by Ursula LeGuin, first couple of chapters of GoT, bunch of Discworld novels... and that's about it. And the last one is more of a spoof on the genre.

I've found myself more of a sci-fi guy when it comes to literature. And one of the reasons is that, indeed, tolkienesque fantasy doesn't seem appealing anymore. I mean, why would i repeat myself with imitations, if i already read the original?
 

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Smithnikov said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Also Warhammer Fantasy > Warhammer 40,000.
Damn STRAIGHT.
Fire, Faith, and Steel.

Sigmar > God Emperor of Mankind, Tomb Kings > Necrons, High Elves > Eldar.
More of an Ar-Ulric man here, but Sigmar was cool by him, so it's all good.
Though to be fair, I still wish for my Dream 40k game to happen, basically a big AAA game with more or less the gameplay of Advanaced Wars on bigger scale:

 

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Samtemdo8 said:
Though to be fair, I still wish for my Dream 40k game to happen, basically a big AAA game with more or less the gameplay of Advanaced Wars on bigger scale:
I'd rather just have Advance Wars 5 thanks. :(
 

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Hawki said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Though to be fair, I still wish for my Dream 40k game to happen, basically a big AAA game with more or less the gameplay of Advanaced Wars on bigger scale:
I'd rather just have Advance Wars 5 thanks. :(
Are you one of those guys that thinks Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin is the worst game in the series?

Because I still find the last game to be awesome.
 

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Samtemdo8 said:
Are you one of those guys that thinks Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin is the worst game in the series?
You don't know me well - I've repeatedly stated that I think Days of Ruin gets far too much flak. It's actually my second favourite game in the series.
 

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MrCalavera said:
I'm probably not someone who's to talk about the genre as a whole, cause out of a "classic" fantasy, i've read: LotR, Hobbit, Witcher series, one book by Ursula LeGuin, first couple of chapters of GoT, bunch of Discworld novels... and that's about it. And the last one is more of a spoof on the genre.

I've found myself more of a sci-fi guy when it comes to literature. And one of the reasons is that, indeed, tolkienesque fantasy doesn't seem appealing anymore. I mean, why would i repeat myself with imitations, if i already read the original?
I've heard Earthsea draws on different sources; was the Le Guin novel you've read from that series?
 

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Making it easy: Of course you find it boring, you have restricted the genre to "works like Lords of the Rings".
 

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"I am going to make a blanket state about something I am only willing to look at the surface of, and then say I am not willing to put effort in to change my opinions."

Congratulations, you intellectual, you.