Review: The Fionavar Tapestry - GGK

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Lilith

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7 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0007/02/1998
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The Fionavar Tapestry
Guy Gavriel Kay
The Summer Tree, Arbor House, 1984, 311 p.
The Wandering Fire, Arbor House, 1986, 375 p.
The Darkest Road, Arbor house, 1986, 355 p.

The fact that I didn't discover these books until over ten years after
they were first published is somewhat dismaying. How did the world fail to
let me know that they existed? Shouldn't there have been some sort of
fanfare, trumpets blaring, a personal messenger sent to my door? Perhaps,
in the mid-80's, I was too deeply involved with _The Lord of the Rings_
and Lloyd Alexander's _Prydain Chronicles_ to pay much attention to
anything else... not to mention that I had already discerned that most any
book whose cover promoted it as resembling Tolkien turned out to be utter
crap.
_The Fionavar Tapestry_ does resemble _The Lord of the Rings_, and _The
Black Cauldron_, and any number of other tales, but it is decidedly not
crap. Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the finest, if not the best, living
fantasy author. These books deal with the legends, myth and folklore that
lie at the heart of all fantasy. With an amalgamation of archetypes, _The
Fionavar Tapestry_ tells a tale that on one hand is a story that we
already know in our hearts, but on the other is specific and individual.
It is an excellent work, but not a perfect one. (And, in my opinion, not
as good as Kay's other novels.)
_The Summer Tree_ quickly sets up the situation: five young people from
our world are brought, at great risk and expenditure of energy, to
Fionavar, first of all worlds. A magically-caused drought is upon the
land, and the coming battle of Light against Dark will affect all worlds.
The plot device of having "normal" characters thrust unexpectedly into
fantastic situations is a common one, and is usually used to give readers
someone to make them comfortable. But none of the people from our world
scream out, "identify with me!" Each is a complex individual, with their
own history and personal quirks. Once in Fionavar, each is
nearly-immediately absorbed into the world, finding their own place and
destiny, even when they don't see it themselves. The story gives no
compelling reason why these people must have been brought from our world,
or even why five was the ideal number of people to transport. None of the
personal issues that the characters must face (family problems, issues of
loss, love and trust, etc) were specific to our world. Personally, I feel
the story would have worked better if, as in the _Prydain Chronicles_, the
main characters were ordinary people who suddenly found themselves facing
their destiny in their own world.
Other than that, the story unfolds superbly. Diarmuid, the roguish yet
courageous prince is a character that instantly catches in one's heart, as
is the lovely and intelligent princess Sharra. An exiled prince, and a
sacrifice which must be made to the gods seem essential elements. The
horse people, the Dalrei, are vividly drawn, (even if a slight bit too
"Native American"). The lios alfar are creatures of dream, and even a
unicorn, dwarves, and wizards are portrayed without "cutesiness" or
cliche. The great enemy, Rakoth Maugrim, who is from outside the Tapestry
and therefore cannot be killed, in his stronghold of evil, is an effective
enemy, and his minions, the hairy urgach, and
the hordes of svart alfar are suitable as symbols of total evil, which can
be dispatched without moral guilt. The climax of the novel, where Rakoth
kidnaps one of the women from our world, Jennifer, and inflicts upon her a
rape both physical and mental, is very effective, allowing Rakoth to be
hated on a personal level, rather than just being a force which we are
told is evil, as in many other such stories. However, the ending is pure
teaser.... if I hadn't had the second book ready to start, I would have
been *really upset*!
_The Wandering Fire_ begins maybe six months after the end of _The Summer
Tree_. The five are (briefly) back in their home of Toronto, however,
Fionavar is still with them. Jennifer is utterly traumatized by her
ordeal, and not only that, but she is pregnant with the child of Rakoth
Maugrim, which she insists on bearing to term for the reason that she
knows that Rakoth did not intend her to live to bear such a child.
Triggered by an attack in our world by Rakoth's wolf warlord, Galadan,
Paul brings Jennifer back to Fionavar to allow her to foster her child
there. They then appeal to the High Priestess in order to get home
again... but soon after that, Kimberly, still bearing the powers she
gained in Fionavar, has a Seer's dream, and brings the five back to
Fionavar. The drought is over, but Rakoth, still undefeated, has plunged
the land into unending winter. Gradually, _The Wandering Fire_ slips into
bearing a remarkable similarity to a legend that has to do with King
Arthur and his knights searching for the Cauldron of Annwyn, the great
Cauldron which can bring the dead back to life. Having Taliesin, Arthur,
Lancelot, and a rather unexpected Guinevere suddenly dealing with their
age-old issues of love, jealousy, free will and fate in Fionavar is at
first a bit odd, as there was no mention of such in _The Summer Tree_,but
Kay pulls it off effectively.
Only one complaint here: sometimes, a character should either die, or not
die. Having a character die, and then come back to life just sometimes,
well, feels wrong. Especially when it's the second character you've been
made to feel all upset about dying, who turns out not to be dead.
The final book of the trilogy, _The Darkest Road_, takes our characters
into what must be the final battle with the great force of evil, Rakoth
Maugrim. If they win, life will continue, both in Fionavar, and in every
world that exists. If they fail, all worlds are tied to the fate of
Fionavar, and utter darkness will prevail everywhere.
It's not really a big surprise who wins.
But the story, while getting there, is quite excellent.
However, at this point in the trilogy, things are quite complex. There are
many different essential characters, who tend to be in different parts of
the world, doing different things. Kay tries to keep track of things by
frequently putting in bits like, "As he was doing that, she, across the
sea, was just riding toward such-and-such place." It does, at times, get a
bit scattered, and moves a bit more slowly than the previous two books.
Still, the book deals in a thoughtful and emotionally wrenching way with
the prices that must sometimes be paid for victory. Too many books of this
sort merely show our heroes riding through the forces of evil untouched,
either emotionally or physically. In Fionavar, even those forces which are
not evil can be damaging. No one emerges completely unscathed, and even
those characters who were near to one's heart sometimes die.
All in all.... a highly recommended trilogy.

-althea


jbford

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8 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0008/02/1998
para


Lilith <lil...@dorsai.org> wrote in article
<slrn6dpn78...@amanda.dorsai.org>...


not to mention that I had already discerned that most any
> book whose cover promoted it as resembling Tolkien turned out to be utter
> crap.

snip

Happily my UK paperback editions mentioned neither "Tolkein" nor "Arthurian
Legend" or I might have given it a miss too. It was the first GGK I read
and I loved it and still do. That's not to say I think it's better than the
later books - in many ways they're deeper and more polished, but Fionovar
is exciting and I think very moving. My appreciation of Fionovar may be
greater because of the vast numbers of books in a similar genre that
appear so that it stands out among a large field: Lions may be brilliant,
but without comparators it's harder to say, " yes, that's how this sort of
book should be done".

P.S. You give an excellent synopsis of much of the plot - a spoiler warning
might have been nice :)

--
Jenny
e-mail:jbford @ bournemouth-net.co.uk

Alice Victoire M Liesman

não lida,
9 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0009/02/1998
para

In article <slrn6dpn78...@amanda.dorsai.org>,

Lilith <lil...@dorsai.org> wrote:
>_The Fionavar Tapestry_ does resemble _The Lord of the Rings_, and _The
>Black Cauldron_, and any number of other tales, but it is decidedly not
>crap.

Actually _The Fionavar Tapestry_ not only resembles _The Lord of
the Rings_, it plagiarises it repeatedly. And then it runs out of
material there and uses the Arthurian legend for the rest of the
book. Definitely not a credit to Kay.

I posted my own review of this disaster a few months ago, so I
won't do it again, but I'd like to know how you figured that some
people are dying and then coming back to life. He never said
anyone was dead (except the one who did die), and whoever died
didn't come back.

Anyway...

--
Alice V. Liesman
avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca http://www.ucalgary.ca/~avmliesm
My filter eats any email that doesn't have "Ebola!" (minus the quotes) for
a subject (I got tired of all the junk mail I get).


John S. Novak

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10 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0010/02/1998
para

On 9 Feb 1998 17:08:32 -0700, Alice Victoire M Liesman
<avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca> wrote:

>>_The Fionavar Tapestry_ does resemble _The Lord of the Rings_, and _The
>>Black Cauldron_, and any number of other tales, but it is decidedly not
>>crap.

>Actually _The Fionavar Tapestry_ not only resembles _The Lord of


>the Rings_, it plagiarises it repeatedly. And then it runs out of
>material there and uses the Arthurian legend for the rest of the
>book. Definitely not a credit to Kay.

Perhaps you are using some new and interesting definition of
plagiarism, with which I had not previously been familiar.

'Plagiarism' seems more than a little strong, here.


--
John S. Novak, III j...@cris.com
The Humblest Man on the Net

ma...@powered.demon.co.uk

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10 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0010/02/1998
para

In article <6bo5pi$m...@ds2.acs.ucalgary.ca>,

avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca (Alice Victoire M Liesman) wrote:
>
> In article <slrn6dpn78...@amanda.dorsai.org>,
> Lilith <lil...@dorsai.org> wrote:
> >_The Fionavar Tapestry_ does resemble _The Lord of the Rings_, and _The
> >Black Cauldron_, and any number of other tales, but it is decidedly not
> >crap.
>
> Actually _The Fionavar Tapestry_ not only resembles _The Lord of
> the Rings_, it plagiarises it repeatedly. And then it runs out of
> material there and uses the Arthurian legend for the rest of the
> book. Definitely not a credit to Kay.
>
> I posted my own review of this disaster a few months ago, so I
> won't do it again, but I'd like to know how you figured that some
> people are dying and then coming back to life. He never said
> anyone was dead (except the one who did die), and whoever died
> didn't come back.
>
<snip>

I missed the original review, so I don't know who in particular you were
talking about, but the one person I can think of who died was the dwarf (that
mages source) and he did come back, from what I remember it had something to
do with being on the isle of the dead just after killing the renegade mage who
had knicked the cauldron.

Mark

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

Mike Arnautov

não lida,
11 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0011/02/1998
para

Alice Victoire M Liesman <avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca> wrote:

>Actually _The Fionavar Tapestry_ not only resembles _The Lord of
>the Rings_, it plagiarises it repeatedly.

Not any more than LotR "plagiarised" myths and folklore. They both draw
on the same sources htat's all.

>And then it runs out of
>material there and uses the Arthurian legend for the rest of the
>book. Definitely not a credit to Kay.

Seems to me that you missed the point of the trilogy. It deliberately
sets out to tell a tale of major archetypes of our civilisation. That
being so, it couldn't NOT bring in the Arthurian legend (if you pardon
the double negative :-).

--
Mike Arnautov
m...@mipmip.demon-co-antispam-uk
Replace dashes with dots and remove the antispam component.

Uncle Rhino

não lida,
11 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0011/02/1998
para

In article <6bo5pi$m...@ds2.acs.ucalgary.ca> avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca (Alice Victoire M Liesman) writes:
>In article <slrn6dpn78...@amanda.dorsai.org>,
>Lilith <lil...@dorsai.org> wrote:
>>_The Fionavar Tapestry_ does resemble _The Lord of the Rings_, and _The
>>Black Cauldron_, and any number of other tales, but it is decidedly not
>>crap.
>
>Actually _The Fionavar Tapestry_ not only resembles _The Lord of
>the Rings_, it plagiarises it repeatedly. And then it runs out of

>material there and uses the Arthurian legend for the rest of the
>book. Definitely not a credit to Kay.

This is a typical reaction from people who 'missed the point'.

Yeah, sure. Kay used LOTR, and stuff from Arthur, and Celtic, and
all sorts of other things.

However, Kay didn't just steal a bit here and a bit there,
as authors like Jordan and Brooks do. Kay set out with the
express purpose of taking all of these archetypal stories and
characters and playing with them. Yeah, they're borrowed, but
they're borrowed on purpose. And the borrowing is freely
acknowledged.

It makes a vast difference.

Once you understand this, you may not *like* the book, but you
have to at least recognize that it wasn't done out of laziness, but
as an intentional thing, and weigh it on that scale.

The accusation of plagiarism is simply inaccurate. Kay never claimed
any of this is original.

-Karl

--
"Funk(3) - <noun> - The quality or state of being funky"
-WWWebster's funky dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm)

Alice Victoire M Liesman

não lida,
13 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0013/02/1998
para

In article <batmanEo...@netcom.com>,

Uncle Rhino <bat...@netcom.com> wrote:
> This is a typical reaction from people who 'missed the point'.

I think a novel that's really good is good with or without a
point. I never care who's making what point, as long as it's well
done. _The Fionavar Tapestry_ may have had a point, but that did
not make it good. _The Lions of Al-Rassan_ was excellent, and I
never saw a point in it either. Everyone has ups and downs, and
_The Fionavar Tapestry_ was, in my opinion, one of Kay's downs.

> However, Kay didn't just steal a bit here and a bit there,
> as authors like Jordan and Brooks do. Kay set out with the
> express purpose of taking all of these archetypal stories and
> characters and playing with them. Yeah, they're borrowed, but
> they're borrowed on purpose. And the borrowing is freely
> acknowledged.

Borrowing is ok. All the more if somewhere he said "yeah, I
copied tons of stuff from Tolkien." But as it's not written on
the cover of the book, seeing the gates of Moria, Saruman,
Gandalf, Denethor, the Rohirrim, Moria itself, Melkor,
Tangorodrim, elves and orcs, and such appear in his novel almost
as they are in _The Lord of the Rings_ makes me think "wow,
plagiarism" before "wow, what a great message he conveys". If he
acknowledged it, I will very willingly apologise for saying the
P-word.

> Once you understand this, you may not *like* the book, but you
> have to at least recognize that it wasn't done out of laziness, but
> as an intentional thing, and weigh it on that scale.

All right. It wasn't lazy. I still don't like the book.

> The accusation of plagiarism is simply inaccurate. Kay never claimed
> any of this is original.

I apologise profusely. I didn't know he said he did it. I retract
what I said about plagiarism. I'm sorry I didn't look for an
acknowledgement. I recognise he did not plagiarise. Sorry, sorry,
sorry.

Thanks for mentioning this.

Alice Victoire M Liesman

não lida,
13 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0013/02/1998
para

In article <pYVwReA3...@mipmip.demon.co.uk>,

Mike Arnautov <m...@mipmip.demon-co-antispam-uk> wrote:
>Seems to me that you missed the point of the trilogy. It deliberately
>sets out to tell a tale of major archetypes of our civilisation. That
>being so, it couldn't NOT bring in the Arthurian legend (if you pardon
>the double negative :-).

Blech. I'm all the more glad I missed the point, if that's what
the point was.

Neile Graham

não lida,
16 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0016/02/1998
para

In article <6c2oai$g...@ds2.acs.ucalgary.ca>,

Alice Victoire M Liesman <avml...@acs.ucalgary.ca> wrote:
>In article <batmanEo...@netcom.com>,
>Uncle Rhino <bat...@netcom.com> wrote:
>> This is a typical reaction from people who 'missed the point'.

>> However, Kay didn't just steal a bit here and a bit there,

>> as authors like Jordan and Brooks do. Kay set out with the
>> express purpose of taking all of these archetypal stories and
>> characters and playing with them. Yeah, they're borrowed, but
>> they're borrowed on purpose. And the borrowing is freely
>> acknowledged.
>
>Borrowing is ok. All the more if somewhere he said "yeah, I
>copied tons of stuff from Tolkien." But as it's not written on
>the cover of the book, seeing the gates of Moria, Saruman,
>Gandalf, Denethor, the Rohirrim, Moria itself, Melkor,
>Tangorodrim, elves and orcs, and such appear in his novel almost
>as they are in _The Lord of the Rings_ makes me think "wow,
>plagiarism" before "wow, what a great message he conveys". If he
>acknowledged it, I will very willingly apologise for saying the
>P-word.

You might also want to take into account the fact that Tolkein didn't make
up these things whole cloth, but got them from mythology.

If Kay plagiarized, the so did Tolkein.

Kay, as a scholar working on Tolkein, editing his work along with
Christopher (?) Tolkein, also read those same sources and concocted his
own story out of them.

He went to many more mythological sources than Tolkein did, and
incorporate them into the story.

Maybe you're not very well read in mythology? That's all I can think.

Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
sources. So did Kay.

Kay also borrowed a zillion other things to add into his tale. Reading it
I didn't think of Tolkein once, but thought of the many different version
of those tales (the wild hunt, the seeress, the svart and lios alfar, the
Arthurian triangle) and was thrilled with how Kay took them beyond the
normal replay of the tales and made them human in a way that I could
experience along with his characters.

That's the achievement of the novel, and it impresses the heck out of me.
I wish I could have written it. Luckily he did, so I have the pleasure of
reading and rereading it.

I feel sorry that you don't enjoy it as much as I do, but so it goes.

--Neile
--
......................................................................
............................ Neile Graham ............................
br...@serv.net / ne...@sff.net.........http://www.sff.net/people/neile
The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music .... http://www.smoe.org/ectoguide

Jay Random

não lida,
17 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0017/02/1998
para

Neile Graham wrote:
>
> You might also want to take into account the fact that Tolkein didn't make
> up these things whole cloth, but got them from mythology.

First of all, that's TOLKIEN.

> If Kay plagiarized, the so did Tolkein.
>
> Kay, as a scholar working on Tolkein, editing his work along with
> Christopher (?) Tolkein, also read those same sources and concocted his
> own story out of them.
>
> He went to many more mythological sources than Tolkein did, and
> incorporate them into the story.
>
> Maybe you're not very well read in mythology? That's all I can think.
>
> Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
> sources. So did Kay.

There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.

> Kay also borrowed a zillion other things to add into his tale. Reading it
> I didn't think of Tolkein once, but thought of the many different version
> of those tales (the wild hunt, the seeress, the svart and lios alfar, the
> Arthurian triangle) and was thrilled with how Kay took them beyond the
> normal replay of the tales and made them human in a way that I could
> experience along with his characters.

Funny, I started thinking of Tolkien as soon as I looked at the map in
the front. Alas, I was reminded more of _The Hobbit_ than LOTR by the
characters in the earlier part of the first book.

> That's the achievement of the novel, and it impresses the heck out of me.
> I wish I could have written it. Luckily he did, so I have the pleasure of
> reading and rereading it.
>
> I feel sorry that you don't enjoy it as much as I do, but so it goes.

Let me clarify a point: I do not accuse Kay of plagiarism. But his work
is certainly derivative, not only of Tolkien's mythological sources, but
of Tolkien's specific original contributions. This is not a crime. It
isn't even bad writing (though Terry Brooks & a horde of imitators can
easily leave one with that impression).

Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit
at the University of Toronto. Universities, to me, are terra incognita,
& hostile at that; & most of my experience with university students &
faculty is with sophomoric twits & academic snobs, respectively, who
believe they have a monopoly of intellect. Obviously my sample is not
representative, but given my experience, I simply could not identify
with any of the lead characters at all.


--J. Random Illiterate Imbecile (I must be, I don't have a Ph.D.)

Amanda Jacqueline Weinstein

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17 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0017/02/1998
para

Jay Random (jra...@shaw.wave.ca) wrote:
: Neile Graham wrote:
: >

: There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records


: or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
: Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
: narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
: more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.

He borrowed the term "lios alfar" from the Norse tradiation, and I'll
agree that in their benignity his lios are rather Tolkienesque, but there
were elements to the legend that reminded me a good deal of the Celtic De
Danaan/Sidhe (not so much the dangerous and unpredictable beings of the
actual legends, but the filtered and much altered characters of the
Revival's invented "Celtic Twilight"). Take a look at some of the longer
Yeats poems on the subject.

:
: Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit


: at the University of Toronto. Universities, to me, are terra incognita,
: & hostile at that; & most of my experience with university students &
: faculty is with sophomoric twits & academic snobs, respectively, who
: believe they have a monopoly of intellect. Obviously my sample is not
: representative, but given my experience, I simply could not identify
: with any of the lead characters at all.

*sigh* I'm sorry you've had such unfortunate experiences. While many
students are young enough to still believe that they have a monopoly of
intellect, a good academic should be enough of a true scholar to value
knowledge and good ideas, whatever their source. I'd be curious to know
what your experiences were that led to such harsh generalizations, and led
you to believe that a university environment was so incredibly hostile?

I don't find Kim and the others as sympathetic as some characters, but
I think they're intended to start off callow and arrogant.


-----Amanda

:
:
: --J. Random Illiterate Imbecile (I must be, I don't have a Ph.D.)

Jay Random

não lida,
17 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0017/02/1998
para

Amanda Jacqueline Weinstein wrote:
>
> *sigh* I'm sorry you've had such unfortunate experiences. While many
> students are young enough to still believe that they have a monopoly of
> intellect, a good academic should be enough of a true scholar to value
> knowledge and good ideas, whatever their source. I'd be curious to know
> what your experiences were that led to such harsh generalizations, and led
> you to believe that a university environment was so incredibly hostile?

Thanks for the expressions of interest & sympathy, but it's really much
too long & tedious to go into on Usenet. Suffice it to say that most of
the academics I've met were more interested in politicking for
government funds than in scholarship, & had no compunctions about
pre-emptively attacking anyone who might disagree with them. And given
that, because of a truly bizarre combination of illness & bureaucratic
inflexibility, I am persona non grata on the campus of _any_ university
in my country (Canada) _for life_, I can hardly help but see it as a
hostile environment. And when certain denizens of academe dismiss me as
intellectually deficient & presumptively illiterate because of those
circumstances, my hackles are bound to rise even further. Irrational of
me, I know, but there you have it.

> I don't find Kim and the others as sympathetic as some characters, but
> I think they're intended to start off callow and arrogant.

Well, they certainly struck me that way. And as I tackled Fionavar at
precisely the time in my life when I had to deal with callow & arrogant
post-adolescents every day, my gorge rebelled. Perhaps I shall try again
anon.


--J. Random Still Has A Bad Taste In His Mouth

John S. Novak

não lida,
18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

On Tue, 17 Feb 1998 10:55:06 GMT, Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> wrote:

>Thanks for the expressions of interest & sympathy, but it's really much
>too long & tedious to go into on Usenet. Suffice it to say that most of
>the academics I've met were more interested in politicking for
>government funds than in scholarship, & had no compunctions about
>pre-emptively attacking anyone who might disagree with them.

Heh. When dealing with academics of any stripe, one must always
remember: "Power corrupts. Powerlessness corrupts absolutely."

There are few political fights so vicious and nasty as the academic
fights, precisely because so very little is at stake. For all that,
though, I miss my academic days fiercely-- even though a few
individuals are always going to be titanic putzes, there's an
undefineable attraction to the environment of research, learning and
(ostensibly) creativity.

It's my addiction to money that keeps me out of it full time.

>> I don't find Kim and the others as sympathetic as some characters, but
>> I think they're intended to start off callow and arrogant.

>Well, they certainly struck me that way. And as I tackled Fionavar at
>precisely the time in my life when I had to deal with callow & arrogant
>post-adolescents every day, my gorge rebelled. Perhaps I shall try again
>anon.

The part that got me about the whole set-up was tat, well, none of
them really seemed to experience any doubts to their sanity when they
showed up in a new world. And only one of them (Martyniuk) expressed
any doubts _before_ they arrived.

They just waltz in, variously assume their mantles of Heroic
Archetypicality, and tango the rest of the way down the plot line.
Yes, they suffer, they agonize, they grow and they die, but rarely do
we see any semblance of a, "Whoah. We just got transplanted into a
world where magic works. I must be suffering a psychotic break."

Lilith

não lida,
18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

In article <34E8EB...@shaw.wave.ca>, Jay Random wrote:

>Neile Graham wrote:
>> Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
>> sources. So did Kay.
>
>There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
>or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
>Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
>narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
>more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.

Who said anything about Germanic tradition?
The light and dark elves (lios and svart alfar, Kay did NOT make up the
terms) are from Norse mythology, mainly, as are most of
the aspects of the dwarves.

Both Tolkien and Kay's portrayal of "light" elves also strongly resemble
traditional Celtic tales of the Sidhe.

-althea


Michael Kozlowski

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

In article <slrn6ekd0...@viking.cris.com>,

John S. Novak <J...@viking.cris.com> wrote:
>
>The part that got me about the whole set-up was tat, well, none of
>them really seemed to experience any doubts to their sanity when they
>showed up in a new world.

I found that extremely refreshing, especially after the thousand pages of
"This isn't real!" that is the Thomas Covenant books.

I know that I, for one, am not inclined to disbelieve the persistent
evidence of my senses. If I see a unicorn, then there _are_ unicorns,
dammit.

This may have something to do with the fact that I've read a dozen or so
crossover fantasies where Our Heroes are oblivious to the obvious fact
that they have, in fact, crossed over into a fantasy world, and I'd so
hate to be that predictable.

--
Michael Kozlowski m...@cs.wisc.edu
Recommended SF (Updated 1/18): http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~mlk/sfbooks.html

John S. Novak

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para

On 18 Feb 1998 01:58:54 GMT, Michael Kozlowski <m...@vega23.cs.wisc.edu> wrote:

>I know that I, for one, am not inclined to disbelieve the persistent
>evidence of my senses. If I see a unicorn, then there _are_ unicorns,
>dammit.

Well, there's got to be a balance, obviously.
Unrelenting angst or curiosity over the fact is rather pointless.

But the casual acceptance was just... bizarre.

Lawless

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

In rec.arts.sf.written John S. Novak <J...@viking.cris.com> wrote:
> The part that got me about the whole set-up was tat, well, none of
> them really seemed to experience any doubts to their sanity when they
> showed up in a new world. And only one of them (Martyniuk) expressed
> any doubts _before_ they arrived.

> They just waltz in, variously assume their mantles of Heroic
> Archetypicality, and tango the rest of the way down the plot line.
> Yes, they suffer, they agonize, they grow and they die, but rarely do
> we see any semblance of a, "Whoah. We just got transplanted into a
> world where magic works. I must be suffering a psychotic break."

Why -should- they start going into that? In my opinion, if one seems
to be transported into such a world where magic works, it's reasonable
to assume it as real. Being taken there by Loren, from a 'sane' setting,
provides impetus for belief, explanation for it : someplace else things
don't work the same as here. Seeing stuff flying, spells, or everyone
walking the streets naked and no one acting as if it were unusual, then
I'd see a person reconsidering their own sanity.

Questioning sanity / reality would in fact be counterproductive : it
could get one killed ("There isn't any such thing as fire breathing
dragons, so if I just close my eyes and try to wake up....") or worse,
result in Thomas Covenant-style crimes and misdeamonors, which is far
worse than any tendency to belief in another place where magic works.
If nothing else, believing and treating the place and people as real
and accepting it is better than ignoring others plights and even
going so far as saying "It's not real!" as they rape someone because,
after all, they're insane / dreaming so it's okay.

-- | In your head, no car is fast enough,
-- \_awless is : Chase Vogelsberg | In your heart, no love is true.
-- | Will it ruin all your solitary fancies
-- | If I tell you that it isn't only you?
-- A wolf by any other flame.... | -- Emma Bull

Lawless

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

In rec.arts.sf.written Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> replied:

> > Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
> > sources. So did Kay.

> There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
> or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
> Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
> narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
> more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but _The Silmarillion_ / _Book of Lost Tales_
aren't part of Germanic records and tradition, thus you seem to imply
that they're the "oldest .. elves in an extended narrative" regardless
of language and tradition. If you meant to imply such, you are quite
mistaken, as British literature has major narratives dating back as
far as at 16/1700s.

> Let me clarify a point: I do not accuse Kay of plagiarism. But his work
> is certainly derivative, not only of Tolkien's mythological sources, but
> of Tolkien's specific original contributions. This is not a crime. It
> isn't even bad writing (though Terry Brooks & a horde of imitators can
> easily leave one with that impression).

Tolkien's original contributions being ... what? Tolkien popularized a
setting with elves and dwarves, and a style of writing which many have
attempted to emulate and failed miserably largely because they did so;
without Tolkien's background in linguistics they couldn't pull it off.

Unlike those 'Tolkienists', Kay didn't attempt to belabor the names,
languages and cultures, nor did he copy Tolkien's world lock stock and
barrel. Relying instead on other legends and motifs, he achieved quite
a different final effect (even if some motifs, Arthurian particularly,
seemed gratuitous and forced). The emphasis on religion, on differing
gods who were still visible if not overly active in the world, the
familial rivalries and the personal sadnesses and tragedies are all
marked differences from Tolkien.

> Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit
> at the University of Toronto. Universities, to me, are terra incognita,

> & hostile at that;...

Which makes it sound like you're slamming the author and trilogy based
on prejudices against a group which, so sadly, is prominent in the books.
Bravo.

Mike Arnautov

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> wrote:

>There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
>or tradition.

Eh? Why ar you restricting yourself to Germanic tradition? Tolkien (and
Kay) threw his net *much* wider than that. Try Celts!

Neile Graham

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

In article <34E8EB...@shaw.wave.ca>,

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave., ca> wrote:
>Neile Graham wrote:
>>
>> You might also want to take into account the fact that Tolkein didn't make
>> up these things whole cloth, but got them from mythology.
>
>First of all, that's TOLKIEN.

Very sorry.

>There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records

>or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
>Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
>narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
>more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.

As other have pointed out, the lios and svart alfar are Norse in origin.

And no, _The Silmmarillion_ is not the oldest extant treatment of elves in
an extended narrative. George MacDonald's books preceded this by a good
long spell, as did _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ as did _The Faerie Queen_
and others that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

>Funny, I started thinking of Tolkien as soon as I looked at the map in
>the front.

_Maps_ are enough to do that to you? Just the fact of a map? That must
make reading travel narratives very interesting.

>Let me clarify a point: I do not accuse Kay of plagiarism. But his work
>is certainly derivative, not only of Tolkien's mythological sources, but
>of Tolkien's specific original contributions.

No, that's not true. And you can only believe that if you think that
Tolkien made up his world wholecloth and that no one had ever done a
simlar story previous to him, and that's simply not the case.

Such stories appeared in children's literature long before this time, in
classic literature, and the popularity of folk tales and folk ballads at
the turn of the century (all the Victorian writers researching folklore
and producing works like Alexander Carmichael's _Carmina Gaedelica_,
Evans-Wentz's _The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries_, WB Yeat's _Irish Folk
and Fairy Tales_) made Tolkien's novels almost inevitable. If not him
someone else would have started the trend, maybe not as well, but I'm
certain it would have happened. And in my opinion Tolkien isn't the be
all and end all of this genre.

>This is not a crime. It
>isn't even bad writing (though Terry Brooks & a horde of imitators can
>easily leave one with that impression).

Well, yes. Kay's writing is extraordinarily good.

>Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit
>at the University of Toronto.

I was well used to that, being a big fan of children's fantasy novels.
Didn't even blink.

>Universities, to me, are terra incognita,
>& hostile at that;

Sorry you've had a bad experience. Mine has been mixed. I'm surprised it
overwhelmed the rest of the book--I mostly saw them as a very loose group
of friends.

Don't try to read Pamela Dean's _Tam Lin_.

>--J. Random Illiterate Imbecile (I must be, I don't have a Ph.D.)

Well, it did bother me that you criticized Kay for his use of Tolkien's
mythology without knowing where Tolkien got his material and what existed
already outside of Tolkien.

Not everything that uses Northern European mythology is a Tolkien ripoff.
Tolkien does not own elves or rings or dragons or mountains. Of course,
he is a mountain himself and any writer who follows him has to be aware of
that mountain, elves and rings and dragons and all.

Kay, if anyone, because of his long work on Tolkien, was aware of that
mountain and I thought was particularly careful to work a different and
rewarding area. And I love the books.

Julie Stampnitzky

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18 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0018/02/1998
para

On 18 Feb 1998, Lawless wrote:
>
> > They just waltz in, variously assume their mantles of Heroic
> > Archetypicality, and tango the rest of the way down the plot line.
> > Yes, they suffer, they agonize, they grow and they die, but rarely do
> > we see any semblance of a, "Whoah. We just got transplanted into a
> > world where magic works. I must be suffering a psychotic break."

If you want to see that plot (many times) read Darkover. (Although it
doesn't take the characters too long to settle in.)

Julie Stampnitzky Keeper, http://neskaya.darkover.org


Paterson, Adrian Mark

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19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

>>I know that I, for one, am not inclined to disbelieve the persistent
>>evidence of my senses. If I see a unicorn, then there _are_ unicorns,
>>dammit.

>Well, there's got to be a balance, obviously.
>Unrelenting angst or curiosity over the fact is rather pointless.

>But the casual acceptance was just... bizarre.

But Fionavar is the prime world or whatever and other worlds are just
reflections off it (if I remember rightly), so the group that went from "our
world" to Fionavar would 1) feel like they had really come home and 2) have a
"hidden" part of their psyche which is revealed in all its glory. The
impression I got was that Fionavar was the real world and so going their and
being your own archtype was very natural. Or we could ask Kay why this was
so....

Bye
Adrian

John S. Novak

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para

On 18 Feb 1998 13:15:31 -0500, Lawless <law...@howling.com> wrote:

>Why -should- they start going into that? In my opinion, if one seems
>to be transported into such a world where magic works, it's reasonable
>to assume it as real.

You _really_ would not be shaken, confused, disturbed, suspicious,
questioning, or in any way rattled enough to start inspecting the
fundamental underpinnings of your grip on reality, if you were
transported to a place where Gods not only walked the earth, but on
occasion stepped right up to you and said "Hullo!"

Huh.

>Questioning sanity / reality would in fact be counterproductive : it
>could get one killed ("There isn't any such thing as fire breathing
>dragons, so if I just close my eyes and try to wake up....")

I have not claimed that moments of mortal danger are the right times
to start questioning this. That would be absurd. But maybe later?

>or worse,
>result in Thomas Covenant-style crimes and misdeamonors, which is far
>worse than any tendency to belief in another place where magic works.

Likewise, uncertainty is no reason for otherwise despicable acts. If
you're not moral in your grandiose fantasy worlds, you're probably not
moral in real life, either.

John S. Novak

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para

On 18 Feb 1998 13:52:27 -0500, Lawless <law...@howling.com> wrote:

>Unlike those 'Tolkienists', Kay didn't attempt to belabor the names,
>languages and cultures, nor did he copy Tolkien's world lock stock and
>barrel. Relying instead on other legends and motifs, he achieved quite
>a different final effect (even if some motifs, Arthurian particularly,
>seemed gratuitous and forced). The emphasis on religion, on differing
>gods who were still visible if not overly active in the world, the
>familial rivalries and the personal sadnesses and tragedies are all
>marked differences from Tolkien.

More over, as a kind of a bridge or juxtaposition between outright
pagan elements (the Mornir and Goddess combination in particular, with
the Tree as the pagan vegetative symbol) and the... sometimes
Christian, sometimes flavorless Zoroastrian-like elements (the Weaver
vs the unraveller, and Paul's crucifixion on the Tree).

I gather that's where the Arturian elements are supposed to fit, since
the Arthurian Tale can easily be made into a study in contrast between
pagan elements and the risign tide of Christian culture. It's a
shame, as you say, that it seems so forced and gratuitous on the plot
level.

K. Laisathit

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19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

Totally off-topic, but there is this thing that bugs me from the very
first few pages of the book. Why bringing these guys and gals across?
If it's the impending showdown with baddies that's threatening
Fionavar, wouldn't it be more efficient to teleport a couple of
heavy combat gears over? As I recall, they don't cross over naked,
do they? What's there to stop them from outfitting the couriers
with loads of submachine guns and munitions?

I've always had problem with the story that involves taking
someone from other civilizations, especially the ones with obvious
technological advantage. You can either explain this away by
saying that the cross over is a one-time accidental thing, or
must appeal to some mystical value of the people crossing over.
Fionavar seems to use the second argument. Personally, I hate this
argument.

It's this reason and this reason alone that makes me enjoy
Fionavar less than GGK's other books. Frankly, I just think
that there is no good way to write an alternate universe story,
where people from various parallel worlds move over
from one place to another. There are exceptions. But I doubt
that there are many. It doesn't help either that Star Trek
seems to have a penchant for doing this parallel universe
story. I shudder every time I think about all these Starship
crews stumbling upon a world much like [fill in your favorite
earthly date] earth.

Enough rant for the day.

Later...
--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
K I R A T I L A I S A T H I T kir...@u.washington.edu

Jay Random

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19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

Lilith wrote:
>
> In article <34E8EB...@shaw.wave.ca>, Jay Random wrote:

> >Neile Graham wrote:
> >> Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
> >> sources. So did Kay.
> >
> >There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
> >or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
> >Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
> >narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
> >more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.
>
> Who said anything about Germanic tradition?
> The light and dark elves (lios and svart alfar, Kay did NOT make up the
> terms) are from Norse mythology, mainly, as are most of
> the aspects of the dwarves.

*Ahem*. Norse mythology IS Germanic.

> Both Tolkien and Kay's portrayal of "light" elves also strongly resemble
> traditional Celtic tales of the Sidhe.

OK, granted. But not as strongly as they resemble each other.


--J. Random Sticks To His Germanic Guns

Jay Random

não lida,
19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

Lawless wrote:
>
> In rec.arts.sf.written Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> replied:
> > > Tolkien didn't make up his elves, he borrowed them from mythological
> > > sources. So did Kay.
>
> > There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
> > or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
> > Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
> > narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
> > more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.
>
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but _The Silmarillion_ / _Book of Lost Tales_
> aren't part of Germanic records and tradition, thus you seem to imply
> that they're the "oldest .. elves in an extended narrative" regardless
> of language and tradition. If you meant to imply such, you are quite
> mistaken, as British literature has major narratives dating back as
> far as at 16/1700s.

Ah, yes, the fairies that prick upon dragonflies & sleep in buttercups.
Tolkien despised those stories; Kay owes nothing to them; they bear no
resemblance to the critters under discussion, except the name. But
you're right, they were called `elves'; careless of me to disregard
them.

> > Let me clarify a point: I do not accuse Kay of plagiarism. But his work
> > is certainly derivative, not only of Tolkien's mythological sources, but

> > of Tolkien's specific original contributions. This is not a crime. It


> > isn't even bad writing (though Terry Brooks & a horde of imitators can
> > easily leave one with that impression).
>

> Tolkien's original contributions being ... what? Tolkien popularized a
> setting with elves and dwarves, and a style of writing which many have
> attempted to emulate and failed miserably largely because they did so;
> without Tolkien's background in linguistics they couldn't pull it off.

Come, now. Baird Searles, reviewing the first volume in _Asimov's_,
listed off the clearly derivative bits in approximately this style:
_Here_ we have the Dark, Mortal-Hating Forest; & over _there_ is the
Mountain where the Dark Lord Lies Buried; & over _there_, the Kingdom of
Horse-loving Barbarians....

If you think Tolkien didn't make original contributions, you weren't
paying attention.

> Unlike those 'Tolkienists', Kay didn't attempt to belabor the names,
> languages and cultures, nor did he copy Tolkien's world lock stock and
> barrel. Relying instead on other legends and motifs, he achieved quite
> a different final effect (even if some motifs, Arthurian particularly,
> seemed gratuitous and forced). The emphasis on religion, on differing
> gods who were still visible if not overly active in the world, the
> familial rivalries and the personal sadnesses and tragedies are all
> marked differences from Tolkien.

True, but the setting contains equally marked similarities, & that's
what leaps to the eye. Or what leapt to my eye & the late Mr. Searles',
at any rate.

> > Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit

> > at the University of Toronto. Universities, to me, are terra incognita,
> > & hostile at that;...
>
> Which makes it sound like you're slamming the author and trilogy based
> on prejudices against a group which, so sadly, is prominent in the books.
> Bravo.

No, I'm saying that I _dislike_ the trilogy based on _bad experience_
with a group which is prominent in the books. If you think experience
equals prejudice, or that disliking a book automatically means
`slamming' it or considering it utterly without merit, you've got a
narrower mind than you're accusing me of having.

I mentioned that whole issue for two reasons: (1) to admit & identify
the personal biases that I brought to my reading of the books, (2) to
point out that it was NOT the derivativeness that I chiefly disliked.
Actually, I don't mind if a book is derivative of Tolkien, as long as
it's well done in its own right. _Fionavar_ was, though Kay's auctorial
skill is really not up to the task of convincing me that he is writing
about the One True Real & Original World Of Which All Others Are Pale
Imitations. (That claim struck me as rather laughably arrogant--on the
part of the characters making it. Then again, a lot of people think that
about their particular corner of the cosmos.) I don't happen to be
equipped to enjoy it properly; that doesn't mean I can't _detect_ the
merits it does indeed possess.


--J. Random Clarifier

Jay Random

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19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

Mike Arnautov wrote:

>
> Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> wrote:
>
> >There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
> >or tradition.
>
> Eh? Why ar you restricting yourself to Germanic tradition? Tolkien (and
> Kay) threw his net *much* wider than that. Try Celts!


`Elf' is a Germanic term, not Celtic; `lios alfar', `svart alfar' are
taken straight from the Icelandic. If Kay was deriving his alfar from
ancient tradition, why did he call them elves rather than Sidhe?


--J. Random Knows Where The Net Was Thrown

Jay Random

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para

Neile Graham wrote:
>
> In article <34E8EB...@shaw.wave.ca>,
> Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave., ca> wrote:
> >Neile Graham wrote:
> >>
> >> You might also want to take into account the fact that Tolkein didn't make
> >> up these things whole cloth, but got them from mythology.
> >
> >First of all, that's TOLKIEN.
>
> Very sorry.

No worries! I also happen to have a name that is routinely misspelt, so
I'm perhaps unusually sensitive on the point. Sorry if I snapped at you.

> >There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records

> >or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
> >Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
> >narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
> >more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.
>

> As other have pointed out, the lios and svart alfar are Norse in origin.

Ah, the dangers of a little education. I said `Germanic', not `German'.
Please note the difference, & the significance thereof.

> And no, _The Silmmarillion_ is not the oldest extant treatment of elves in
> an extended narrative. George MacDonald's books preceded this by a good
> long spell, as did _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ as did _The Faerie Queen_
> and others that I'm not thinking of at the moment.

But did MacDonald explicitly call his creatures elves? I'm not certain
of that. As for Shakespeare & Spenser, their works were in a very
different vein--silly wee fairies indulging in courtly intrigue--which
Tolkien explicitly & violently repudiated. (His poem `Errantry', or
rather, the commentary on it in _Tom Bombadil_, was a broadsides attack
on the whole wee-fairy tradition.)


>
> >Funny, I started thinking of Tolkien as soon as I looked at the map in
> >the front.
>
> _Maps_ are enough to do that to you? Just the fact of a map? That must
> make reading travel narratives very interesting.

The similarities of names & geographical features between Middle-earth &
Fionavar were sufficient to rouse my suspicions.

> >Let me clarify a point: I do not accuse Kay of plagiarism. But his work
> >is certainly derivative, not only of Tolkien's mythological sources, but
> >of Tolkien's specific original contributions.
>

> No, that's not true. And you can only believe that if you think that
> Tolkien made up his world wholecloth and that no one had ever done a
> simlar story previous to him, and that's simply not the case.

I couldn't believe that if I _did_ think he made it up whole cloth, as
then there wouldn't be any mythological sources in question.

> Such stories appeared in children's literature long before this time, in
> classic literature, and the popularity of folk tales and folk ballads at
> the turn of the century (all the Victorian writers researching folklore
> and producing works like Alexander Carmichael's _Carmina Gaedelica_,
> Evans-Wentz's _The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries_, WB Yeat's _Irish Folk
> and Fairy Tales_) made Tolkien's novels almost inevitable. If not him
> someone else would have started the trend, maybe not as well, but I'm
> certain it would have happened. And in my opinion Tolkien isn't the be
> all and end all of this genre.

Be that as it may, it _was_ Tolkien who started that trend, & Kay _was_
heavily influenced by his works. As was only natural under the
circumstances.

> >Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit
> >at the University of Toronto.
>

> I was well used to that, being a big fan of children's fantasy novels.
> Didn't even blink.

Oh, I can accept real-world frames all right, though I don't especially
favour them. It was the particular choice of frame that I just couldn't
cotton to.

> Well, it did bother me that you criticized Kay for his use of Tolkien's
> mythology without knowing where Tolkien got his material and what existed
> already outside of Tolkien.
>
> Not everything that uses Northern European mythology is a Tolkien ripoff.
> Tolkien does not own elves or rings or dragons or mountains. Of course,
> he is a mountain himself and any writer who follows him has to be aware of
> that mountain, elves and rings and dragons and all.
>
> Kay, if anyone, because of his long work on Tolkien, was aware of that
> mountain and I thought was particularly careful to work a different and
> rewarding area. And I love the books.

I know a good deal about where Tolkien got his material, & which
elements he _invented_ himself, or elaborated from bare entries in
Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse glossaries. I find it exasperating in the
extreme that many persons do not acknowledge that he made contributions
of his own. (See elsewhere in this thread for some pretty good
examples.)

You're quite right, Tolkien does not own elves or rings or dragons or
mountains; but when you can look at another author's work & say, `Ah,
here we have Legolas & Narya & Smaug & Amon Amarth under different
names,' you have to say that the author is not only aware of the
mountain, but building directly on top of it. I do not accuse Kay of
this degree of derivativeness; Terry Brooks came close in his Shannara
books. But Kay, like Robert Jordan (an author I cannot manage to like at
all), put his Tolkienesque elements foremost; he not only derived from
Tolkien, but traded upon that fact. So did a great many less capable
writers in the 70's & 80's, such as the (now forgotten) Niel Hancock,
whose Greyfax Grimwald was Gandalf the Grey without even the serial
numbers filed off.

Kay isn't half so blatant, but the tendency, I still maintain, is there
in _The Fionavar Tapestry_. His later works, which do not resemble any
single literary model to any great extent, appeal to me correspondingly
more.


--J. Random Derivation-Hound

Graydon

não lida,
19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

In article <slrn6en7...@mariner.cris.com>,

John S. Novak <J...@mariner.cris.com> wrote:
>On 18 Feb 1998 13:52:27 -0500, Lawless <law...@howling.com> wrote:
>
>>Unlike those 'Tolkienists', Kay didn't attempt to belabor the names,
>>languages and cultures, nor did he copy Tolkien's world lock stock and
>>barrel. Relying instead on other legends and motifs, he achieved quite
>>a different final effect (even if some motifs, Arthurian particularly,
>>seemed gratuitous and forced). The emphasis on religion, on differing
>>gods who were still visible if not overly active in the world, the
>>familial rivalries and the personal sadnesses and tragedies are all
>>marked differences from Tolkien.
>
>More over, as a kind of a bridge or juxtaposition between outright
>pagan elements (the Mornir and Goddess combination in particular, with
>the Tree as the pagan vegetative symbol) and the... sometimes
>Christian, sometimes flavorless Zoroastrian-like elements (the Weaver
>vs the unraveller, and Paul's crucifixion on the Tree).

Those two elements are quite Pagan/Heathen; Urthr is a weaver by old
pre-Christian verse description, and, well, Paul is hardly the first
person to get wiser from being hung on a significant tree. ('Nine nights
I hung on the windy tree...', but then again Odhinn is a god, and can be
expected to last longer.)
--
goo...@interlog.com | "However many ways there may be of being alive, it
--> mail to Graydon | is certain that there are vastly more ways of being
dead." - Richard Dawkins, :The Blind Watchmaker:

Graydon

não lida,
19 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0019/02/1998
para

In article <slrn6en7...@mariner.cris.com>,
John S. Novak <J...@mariner.cris.com> wrote:
>On 18 Feb 1998 13:15:31 -0500, Lawless <law...@howling.com> wrote:
>>Why -should- they start going into that? In my opinion, if one seems
>>to be transported into such a world where magic works, it's reasonable
>>to assume it as real.
>
>You _really_ would not be shaken, confused, disturbed, suspicious,
>questioning, or in any way rattled enough to start inspecting the
>fundamental underpinnings of your grip on reality, if you were
>transported to a place where Gods not only walked the earth, but on
>occasion stepped right up to you and said "Hullo!"

But, but... That happens on _this_ world.

Just becuase it hasn't happened to you, you can't write off as deluded all
the people it _has_ happened to, can you?

Neile Graham

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In article <34EC06...@shaw.wave.ca>,

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave., ca> wrote:

>No worries! I also happen to have a name that is routinely misspelt, so
>I'm perhaps unusually sensitive on the point. Sorry if I snapped at you.

Well, you can imagine how often "Neile" gets misspelt and pronounced and
the variety of ways.

>> >There are NO stories or legends about elves as such in Germanic records
>> >or tradition. _The Silmarillion_ (if you want to be picky, _The Book Of
>> >Lost Tales_) is the oldest extant treatment of elves in an extended
>> >narrative. And Kay's lios alfar resemble Tolkien's Eldar a good deal
>> >more than they do the vague figures in, say, the Eddas.
>>
>> As other have pointed out, the lios and svart alfar are Norse in origin.
>
>Ah, the dangers of a little education. I said `Germanic', not `German'.
>Please note the difference, & the significance thereof.

The significance being that your previous statement is, therefore--if you
consider the Norse tradition to be Germanic as is the common
interpretation where Germanic means the Germanic languages, including
English, Scandinavian, etc.--incorrect.

>But did MacDonald explicitly call his creatures elves? I'm not certain
>of that.

Goblins, actually. Not a significant difference, I would say, especially
as we're talking about elves, Eldar, lios and svart alfar, etc., etc.

>As for Shakespeare & Spenser, their works were in a very
>different vein--silly wee fairies indulging in courtly intrigue

Here we diverge again. I don't see either Shakespeare's or Spenser's
fairies and elves as at all silly (except in the case of Puck's trickery)
or wee.

Nor the elves in the folk tradition they come from.

And we can also include in this line Lord Dunsany's elves, which also
predate Tolkien. I can't remember if William Morriss' romances include
elves or not. They certainly include Gandalf/Merlin type figures.

>--which
>Tolkien explicitly & violently repudiated. (His poem `Errantry', or
>rather, the commentary on it in _Tom Bombadil_, was a broadsides attack
>on the whole wee-fairy tradition.)

Which only counts if you consider all previous works of literature about
fairies to be about wee fairies. Sure there was a Victorian tradition of
wee fairies that Tolkien reacted against--in favour of the longer,
stronger tradition of darker, bigger more "real" fairies.

>The similarities of names & geographical features between Middle-earth &
>Fionavar were sufficient to rouse my suspicions.

I would say they were too easily roused, but that is neither here nor
there. You focus on the similarities, I on the differences.

It is in the differences that I see Kay's achievements in this novel--in
all the other mythic patterns brought into the story. The section about
the Wild Hunt alone is a stunning achievement.

>I couldn't believe that if I _did_ think he made it up whole cloth, as
>then there wouldn't be any mythological sources in question.

True, but if Tolkien covered x mythology, added n + y of his own and Kay
covered x + m + c mythology and y of Tolkien's additions and adds z of his
own, what is the proportion that is derivative of Tolkien enough for you
to condemn the series as a derivation?

The series that bother me are the ones that don't go back to the original
sources and use Tolkien's stories as though they were a template for them
to change rings to swords or suchlike.

Kay's work is far more original than that, and far too original and
intriguing to me (actually, I would be delighted if he went back to his
work with myth) to be called a mere Tolkien imitator and to be lumped in
with others of that ilk.

>Be that as it may, it _was_ Tolkien who started that trend, & Kay _was_
>heavily influenced by his works. As was only natural under the
>circumstances.

But not exclusively. I would say his work was _more_ influenced by myth
than Tolkien's. Mythic pattern is the Whole Point of Fionavar: the idea
is that the mythic patterns we see repeated in our world originate in
Fionavar.

And since now I remember Dunsany and Morris, I rather more strongly
contest Tolkien as the originator of the trend. Certainly the
popularizer--I can't argue that.

>Oh, I can accept real-world frames all right, though I don't especially
>favour them. It was the particular choice of frame that I just couldn't
>cotton to.

Ah well, I loved it, having greatly enjoyed my years as an undergraduate
and my experiences visiting Toronto.

>Kay isn't half so blatant, but the tendency, I still maintain, is there
>in _The Fionavar Tapestry_. His later works, which do not resemble any
>single literary model to any great extent, appeal to me correspondingly
>more.

A tendency does not a derivative and therefore useless/uninteresting work
make.

What makes Fionavar so interesting to me is how much farther he went with
the human aspect of mythic patterns. There are few works with a similar
strength--in fact, I can't think of any any like it in adult fantasy. The
closest are Alan Garner's _The Owl Service_ (Garner, BTW uses svart and
lios alfar in earlier books), Susan Cooper's _The Dark is Rising_ series,
Diana Wynne Jones' _Tam Lin_.

Jane Yolen's _Briar Rose_ is an incredible book that makes use of a
traditional story but not in the same way at all.

Anyway, these books hit a specific chord in me--hence my rather
impassioned defense.

I feel sorry for people when they can't appreciate the value of something
I love--particularly when I disagree with the overt reasons. The covert
reasons, i.e. taste, is a different animal, and I feel that underneath all
the trappings of our disagreement that this is what we are arguing.

Neile Graham

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para

In article <34EC0...@shaw.wave.ca>,

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave., ca> wrote:

>> Eh? Why ar you restricting yourself to Germanic tradition? Tolkien (and
>> Kay) threw his net *much* wider than that. Try Celts!
>
>`Elf' is a Germanic term, not Celtic; `lios alfar', `svart alfar' are
>taken straight from the Icelandic. If Kay was deriving his alfar from
>ancient tradition, why did he call them elves rather than Sidhe?

You might be interested to know that the Irish are extremely closely
genetically related to the Icelandic.

OLOF DAHL

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para


Gurpal Bahia <gba...@concentric.net> wrote:
> The quintet were brought over to Fionavar to participate in the King's
> anniversary ceremonies. The head magician, who would later betray
> Fionavar, wanted participants from several different worlds to
> attend. Loren, who had a presence on Earth, was assigned to bring
> people over from here and he brought over these characters because of
> his spell's interaction with Paul. He had little idea of what was
> about to happen so there was no thought to bring over weapons and
> such.
>
> Gurpal Bahia
Well, actually Loren (the magician) and Matt (the dwarf) did not choose the
group randomly, in one of the first pages the dwarf points out Kim (the
seeress) to Loren, saying something like:-She's the one.
(I have not the exact wording, since my copy of the Tapestry is a
translation)
Also, there are some hints of a conversation between Loren and Ysanne
(the seeress in Fionavar), so I think Loren knows there are more things
to those five persons than just the Kings party..

/Olof

Mike Arnautov

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para

"John S. Novak" <J...@mariner.cris.com> wrote:

>You _really_ would not be shaken, confused, disturbed, suspicious,
>questioning, or in any way rattled enough to start inspecting the
>fundamental underpinnings of your grip on reality, if you were
>transported to a place where Gods not only walked the earth, but on
>occasion stepped right up to you and said "Hullo!"

Well, speaking for myself, I would very much hope not. At the risk of
starting a divergent branch of this htread :-), my greatest hero is
Granny Weatherwax from _Witches Abroad_, because she knows *absolutely*
who she is. I am not as good as that, but I very much hope htat my sense
of who *I* am would come up trumps in such a situation. Do I make
vaguely sense?

And as somebody else pointed out, Fionavar is the "urground" of our
psychology -- it is constructed by Kay as such.

So, yes, I find their easy acceptance more than acceptable. I would have
been irritated (and have been irritated on occasion by other books) if
htey started agonising about their sanity, or Fionavar's "reality".

Mike Arnautov

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para

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave.ca> wrote:

>`Elf' is a Germanic term, not Celtic; `lios alfar', `svart alfar' are
>taken straight from the Icelandic. If Kay was deriving his alfar from
>ancient tradition, why did he call them elves rather than Sidhe?

That's an easy one. Kay was working with archetypes. If you know any
Jung, you'll realise htat this means an inexpressible psychic nexus,
which cannot be directly referenced, but can be successfully
circumscribed. (It is irrelevant whether one gives any credence to the
theory, BTW.) Both Sidhe, elves and alfar are references to the same
archetype, so in a sense it makes no difference anyway. Except that it
does. To evoke an archetypal content one needs to play hte strings which
have as many relevant cultural associations entangled in them as
possible. For most prospective readers this was much more likely to be
elves, rahter than Sidhe.

Kay was actually being extremely skillful in boht using these
associations and yet disrupting them.

Lilith

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para

In article <34EC06...@shaw.wave.ca>, Jay Random wrote:

>Neile Graham wrote:
>> And no, _The Silmmarillion_ is not the oldest extant treatment of elves in
>> an extended narrative. George MacDonald's books preceded this by a good
>> long spell, as did _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ as did _The Faerie Queen_
>> and others that I'm not thinking of at the moment.
>
>But did MacDonald explicitly call his creatures elves?

Well, if we want to be picky about that, Kay never explicitly calls his
creatures "elves."

>of that. As for Shakespeare & Spenser, their works were in a very
>different vein--silly wee fairies indulging in courtly intrigue--

I definitely would not call various of the creatures in "A Midsummer
Night's Dream" "silly wee fairies."

>Be that as it may, it _was_ Tolkien who started that trend, & Kay _was_
>heavily influenced by his works. As was only natural under the
>circumstances.

Indeed, and I don't think that anyone is arguing this point. Kay DID spend
an awful lot of time with Tolkien's work, and I'd venture to say that
anything you spend time with on a daily basis will influence and affect
one's creative output.

The question here is: Did Kay derive elements of his story from Tolkien to
a degree that was unethical or deleterious to the quality of his work?

I'd say, no, not really, although the influence is undeniable.

-althea


John S. Novak

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para

On 19 Feb 1998 10:43:31 -0500, Graydon <gra...@gooroos.com> wrote:

>>You _really_ would not be shaken, confused, disturbed, suspicious,
>>questioning, or in any way rattled enough to start inspecting the
>>fundamental underpinnings of your grip on reality, if you were
>>transported to a place where Gods not only walked the earth, but on
>>occasion stepped right up to you and said "Hullo!"

>But, but... That happens on _this_ world.

>Just becuase it hasn't happened to you, you can't write off as deluded all
>the people it _has_ happened to, can you?

Faster than you can pop a lithium.

Uncle Rhino

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

In article <34E8EB...@shaw.wave.ca> jra...@shaw.wave., ca writes:
>
>Actually, what put me off _Fionavar_ was the frame, the real-world bit
>at the University of Toronto. Universities, to me, are terra incognita,

I have to agree that this also put me off when I first read it -
until I realized that this, also, is part of the 'archetype'
game he's playing. This is all from the Edgar Rice Burroughs/
Lin Carter/etc/etc genre, where you have ordinary people
magically transported to another world/realm/dimension.

Yeah, he starts of with this sort of stereotyped dialog
and cookie-cutter characters - it's what he does with
these elements that makes it stand out.


-Karl

--
"Funk(3) - <noun> - The quality or state of being funky"
-WWWebster's funky dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm)

Sakura

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

In article <01bd3d86$902381c0$Loca...@win95.swipnet.se>,
OLOF DAHL <olof...@swipnet.se> wrote:

>Well, actually Loren (the magician) and Matt (the dwarf) did not choose the
>group randomly, in one of the first pages the dwarf points out Kim (the
>seeress) to Loren, saying something like:-She's the one.
>(I have not the exact wording, since my copy of the Tapestry is a
>translation)
>Also, there are some hints of a conversation between Loren and Ysanne
>(the seeress in Fionavar), so I think Loren knows there are more things
>to those five persons than just the Kings party..

I'm only partway through the first book, so I'm not sure if anything later
on contradicts this, but as far as I've found out, the reason that Kim was
chosen was because she was a 'hook' and therefore able to bring other
people across between worlds. Her four friends were chosen because they
were with her.

AT least, that's what I understand /Loren/ was thinking...Fate or Destiny
or the Weaver or whoever might have put mroe thought into it, but I
haven't gotten that far yet. 8)


J
--
"One equal temper of heroic hearts, http://www.io.com/~jeffj
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will je...@io.com
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, "Ulysses"

Ross TenEyck

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para

kir...@u.washington.edu (K. Laisathit) writes:

>Totally off-topic, but there is this thing that bugs me from the very
>first few pages of the book. Why bringing these guys and gals across?
>If it's the impending showdown with baddies that's threatening
>Fionavar, wouldn't it be more efficient to teleport a couple of
>heavy combat gears over? As I recall, they don't cross over naked,
>do they? What's there to stop them from outfitting the couriers
>with loads of submachine guns and munitions?

I can think of some possible reasons. For one thing, it's much easier
to find and persaude a few random college students to pop over to another
world for a while, then it is to get hold of major military equipment,
or persuade someone with access to such that they want to come with you.
Weapons available to civilians -- handguns, rifles, and such -- might
have been nice, but hardly enough to turn the tide of the war; probably
not even a single battle. There's a limit to how much ammo you can
carry.

>I've always had problem with the story that involves taking
>someone from other civilizations, especially the ones with obvious
>technological advantage. You can either explain this away by
>saying that the cross over is a one-time accidental thing, or
>must appeal to some mystical value of the people crossing over.
>Fionavar seems to use the second argument. Personally, I hate this
>argument.

Hmm... have you ever read... I can't remember the title exactly, something
like "Doomfarers of Coramonde"? Don't remember the author, either. In any
case, in that book, the good guys need to kill a dragon, so they summon
an armored personnel carrier from Vietnam (they were trying for a tank,
but their description to the demon wasn't sufficiently precise.) The
APC does in the dragon nicely, and one of the guys decides he likes the
world enough that he wants to come back. He does bring several guns
and a bunch of ammo with him, as well as as much other useful stuff as
he could stuff in his car; and the guns did help a great deal, until the
ammo ran out.

--
================== http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~teneyck ==================
Ross TenEyck Seattle, WA \ I dreamt I held the sun closed in my hands,
ten...@alumni.caltech.edu \ and saw my bones in dusky crimson within
Are wa yume? Soretomo maboroshi? \ the ruby-warm glow of my crystal flesh.

Marie Rodriguez

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

err, just curious, did Diana Wynne Jones write a version of Tam Lin that
I am unaware of (I collect fairy tales and would want to track it down
if this were the case) or do you mean Pamela Dean?

Marie Rodriguez

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

Jessica

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

It's Diana Wynne Jones, and it is a Tam Lin version. But it isn't
called _Tam Lin_. I think it's _Fire and Hemlock_, and it is a very
good book.

Jessica

Joe Bernstein

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20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

In article <6cknfb$o...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu>,
Marie Rodriguez <mc...@cornell.edu> wrote:


> err, just curious, did Diana Wynne Jones write a version of Tam Lin that
> I am unaware of (I collect fairy tales and would want to track it down
> if this were the case) or do you mean Pamela Dean?

I don't know if the previous poster meant Dean's book or Jones'; Jones
has written a Tam Lin, but its title is <Fire and Hemlock>. I was
frustrated by both books in the same way (essentially that they take
so long to get to the point of Plot Takeover that when the plot does
take over it does so wholesale, leaving no room for anything else at all).
But in retrospect I'm not so sure I'd make this accusation against Jones';
book, and in the context of the previous poster's reference (involving
humans in the mythic), I think it'd work better. (Dean's is a Great
College Novel that somehow gets mixed up with fantasy.)

Um. As so often with my comments, this sounds terribly negative, and
in fact I enjoyed both books a great deal and expect to reread both.
Dean's *is* an absolutely superb college novel until quite late in the
book she seems to remember that she's got a Tam Lin story to finish
up. Read it for the first four hundred pages, not for the plot.
Jones' has the more traditional virtues of fantasy in big heaping
doses; and an ending that left me scratching my head in total confusion,
and that I've gone back to roughly once a year and finally think I
have a clue about. Since one of the tradional virtues it's strong on
is the Mystery of the World, I'm less sure this is a bad thing than
I was when I first finished the book.

Joe Bernstein

PS Since you say you collect fairy tales you probably know this, but
*just in case*, you should certainly investigate the fairy tales series
Terri Windling did circa 1990. Most if not all of the books had short
bibliographies of fairy tale collections and novels in them. Titles
include Jane Yolen's <Briar Rose>, Dean's <Tam Lin>, Kara Dalkey's
<The Nightingale>, Patricia Wrede's <Snow White and Rose Red>, and
I'm not sure these had biblios but anyway Stephen Brust's <The Sun,
the Moon and the Stars> and Charles deLint's <Jack the Giant-Killer>.
(title?) Seems to me there were one or two more, not sure.
--
Joe Bernstein, writer and bookseller http://www.tezcat.com/~josephb/
Speaking for myself alone j...@sfbooks.com jos...@tezcat.com

wil...@bright.net

não lida,
20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

Yes, it is good. Anything by Diana Wynne Jones is great. Her books
are like a roller coaster that has no track to follow so you never know
where you might end up! cw

Robert A. Woodward

não lida,
20 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0020/02/1998
para

In article <6ckpfr$3...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>, ten...@alumnae.caltech.edu
(Ross TenEyck) wrote:

> kir...@u.washington.edu (K. Laisathit) writes:
>
> >Totally off-topic, but there is this thing that bugs me from the very
> >first few pages of the book. Why bringing these guys and gals across?
> >If it's the impending showdown with baddies that's threatening
> >Fionavar, wouldn't it be more efficient to teleport a couple of
> >heavy combat gears over? As I recall, they don't cross over naked,
> >do they? What's there to stop them from outfitting the couriers
> >with loads of submachine guns and munitions?

<SNIP>


>
> Hmm... have you ever read... I can't remember the title exactly, something
> like "Doomfarers of Coramonde"? Don't remember the author, either. In any
> case, in that book, the good guys need to kill a dragon, so they summon
> an armored personnel carrier from Vietnam (they were trying for a tank,
> but their description to the demon wasn't sufficiently precise.) The
> APC does in the dragon nicely, and one of the guys decides he likes the
> world enough that he wants to come back. He does bring several guns
> and a bunch of ammo with him, as well as as much other useful stuff as
> he could stuff in his car; and the guns did help a great deal, until the
> ammo ran out.

Written by Brian Daley. Sequel was _The Starfollowers of Coramonde_.

--
rawoo...@aol.com
robe...@halcyon.com
cjp...@prodigy.com

Avram Grumer

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

In article <6clijv$l...@huitzilo.tezcat.com>, jos...@tezcat.com (Joe
Bernstein) wrote:

> PS Since you say you collect fairy tales you probably know this, but
> *just in case*, you should certainly investigate the fairy tales series
> Terri Windling did circa 1990. Most if not all of the books had short
> bibliographies of fairy tale collections and novels in them. Titles
> include Jane Yolen's <Briar Rose>, Dean's <Tam Lin>, Kara Dalkey's
> <The Nightingale>, Patricia Wrede's <Snow White and Rose Red>, and
> I'm not sure these had biblios but anyway Stephen Brust's <The Sun,
> the Moon and the Stars> and Charles deLint's <Jack the Giant-Killer>.
> (title?) Seems to me there were one or two more, not sure.

Brust's _The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars_ is currently in print in trade
paperback under Tor's Orb imprint with a nifty cover. DeLint's _Jack the
Giant-Killer_ was reprinted under one cover with its sequel under the
title _Jack of Kinrowan_ in mass market paperback recently enough that
even if it's not in print (I don't know if it is or not) you'll probably
be able to find copies on the shelves without too much trouble.

--
Avram Grumer | av...@interport.net | http://www.users.interport.net/~avram/
When crimes are outlawed, only outlaws will commit crimes.

Andrew Plotkin

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

Marie Rodriguez (mc...@cornell.edu) wrote:
> err, just curious, did Diana Wynne Jones write a version of Tam Lin that
> I am unaware of (I collect fairy tales and would want to track it down
> if this were the case)

Yes. _Fire and Hemlock_. It's one of my very favorite DWJ books.

--Z


--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Joe Bernstein

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

In article <avram-21029...@avram.port.net>,

Avram Grumer <av...@interport.net> wrote:
> In article <6clijv$l...@huitzilo.tezcat.com>, jos...@tezcat.com (Joe
> Bernstein) wrote:

[list of old Ace/Tor Fairy Tales series, and comment that they had
bibliographies in them]


> > Seems to me there were one or two more, not sure.
>
> Brust's _The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars_ is currently in print in trade
> paperback under Tor's Orb imprint with a nifty cover. DeLint's _Jack the
> Giant-Killer_ was reprinted under one cover with its sequel under the
> title _Jack of Kinrowan_ in mass market paperback recently enough that
> even if it's not in print (I don't know if it is or not) you'll probably
> be able to find copies on the shelves without too much trouble.

<Jack of Kinrowan> is apparently in print, though we tend to order so
*many* copies of DeLint's books here that I can't swear to this. No
bibliography in this edition, nor do I remember any in the original.

We seem to be out of <The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars> already. Dang.

Most of the others appear to be out of print, except the one I'm
incredulous I forgot; thanks for giving me an occasion to bring it
up. This is, of course, the amazing <Thomas the Rhymer> by Ellen
Kushner. I *thought* I remembered an introduction in there talking
about the relationship of the legend and the book, or some such,
and giving a bibliography, but it's not there now and maybe I'm
imagining it. I'm quite sure that *one* of the books (thought it
was either this one or <Tam Lin>) had something about the author
having to check with Windling whether ballads were OK topics.
(With the notable exception of "Tam Lin", ballads tended to be
anything but fairy tale-like.)

What I'm getting at with these bibliographies is not, by the way,
"here's a list of treatments of the legend *this book* is about".
Rather, Windling would list some of those, and then some selection
of other fiction, collections, and non-fiction related to fairy
tales. Each bibliography was a not-very-overlapping smorgasbord.
Given that they're not currently available in the books, I can't
help thinking they might be a good idea for separate reprinting.
There are similar and obviously more current bibliographies, with
little comments on the books (I'd forgotten those), in the anthologies
Datlow and Windling have recently been editing, but these seem to
be essentially the same book to book.

Oh, since this is going to alt.books.reviews, I really oughta say
something about <Thomas>, no? <Thomas the Rhymer> makes of a
rather sketchy legend a gorgeously written and deeply involving
tale. It's written in four first-person accounts, one after
another, each in a quite different voice. I wish I could be
more detailed, to convince you to go read this book, but have
not yet reread it myself as I've been meaning to lately...
Some years ago I read the entire Fairy Tales series except for
Dalkey's <The Nightingale>, and at that time considered <Thomas>
easily the best; evidently enough people agree with me to make
it the last in print (recent reprints excepted). I might add
that it has fairly little in common with <Swordspoint>, Kushner's
other novel, except her sheer skill and intelligence as a writer.

Joe Bernstein, back at the bookstore, and still shocked at this
omission...

David Skogsberg

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

In article <robertaw-200...@blv-pm106-ip28.halcyon.com>,
Robert A. Woodward <robe...@halcyon.com> wrote:

[Doomfarers of Coramonde]


>Written by Brian Daley. Sequel was _The Starfollowers of Coramonde_.

Is there anyone on rasfw who has read that one? I've been looking for it
ever since I read _Doomfarers..._, and I really want to know where to
get it.

The same with _The Demon Lord_ and _The Dragon Lord_ by Peter Morwood -
I have _The Horse Lord_ and _The Warlord's Domain_, but I cannot find the
middle pair for neither love nor money.

cd
--
"And it has come to pass that the Lord of the Woods, being ...Seven
and Nine, down the onyx steps ...(Tri)butes to him in the Gulf, Aza-
thoth, He of Whom Thou has taught us marv(els)..." -H. P. Lovecraft
cd skogsberg | d97...@dtek.chalmers.se

Graydon

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

In article <6clijv$l...@huitzilo.tezcat.com>,

Joe Bernstein <jos...@tezcat.com> wrote:
>Um. As so often with my comments, this sounds terribly negative, and
>in fact I enjoyed both books a great deal and expect to reread both.
>Dean's *is* an absolutely superb college novel until quite late in the
>book she seems to remember that she's got a Tam Lin story to finish
>up. Read it for the first four hundred pages, not for the plot.

Read the first four hundred pages paying attention like an obsessive
compulsive starving vulture watching an elephant with the staggers and no
other scavenger in sight.

Dean's :Tam Lin: is highly structured and pretty much seamless, but it's
very very subtle about it.

Marie Rodriguez

não lida,
21 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0021/02/1998
para

><Jack of Kinrowan> is apparently in print, though we tend to order so
>*many* copies of DeLint's books here that I can't swear to this. No
>bibliography in this edition, nor do I remember any in the original.

That's the only one for which I don't have the original printing so I
can't tell you (bet someone who _has_ the original will post though ;));
I'd be surprised if it didn't, though.

>We seem to be out of <The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars> already. Dang.
>
>Most of the others appear to be out of print, except the one I'm
>incredulous I forgot; thanks for giving me an occasion to bring it
>up. This is, of course, the amazing <Thomas the Rhymer> by Ellen
>Kushner. I *thought* I remembered an introduction in there talking
>about the relationship of the legend and the book, or some such,
>and giving a bibliography, but it's not there now and maybe I'm

TtR is not part of the series. Same subject matter, same imprint (Tor),
and same cover artist (Thomas Canty), but no intro by Windling and no
bibliography (and not mentioned in the intro to <Briar Rose>, published 2
years later, where all 5 previous books in the series named and
discussed).

>imagining it. I'm quite sure that *one* of the books (thought it
>was either this one or <Tam Lin>) had something about the author
>having to check with Windling whether ballads were OK topics.
>(With the notable exception of "Tam Lin", ballads tended to be
>anything but fairy tale-like.)

and yes, you _are_ remembering the intro to <Tam Lin>.

>What I'm getting at with these bibliographies is not, by the way,
>"here's a list of treatments of the legend *this book* is about".
>Rather, Windling would list some of those, and then some selection
>of other fiction, collections, and non-fiction related to fairy
>tales. Each bibliography was a not-very-overlapping smorgasbord.
>Given that they're not currently available in the books, I can't
>help thinking they might be a good idea for separate reprinting.
>There are similar and obviously more current bibliographies, with
>little comments on the books (I'd forgotten those), in the anthologies
>Datlow and Windling have recently been editing, but these seem to
>be essentially the same book to book.

I think they tried, with the series, to make the bibliographies
reflective of what one might want to try if one enjoyed the book, where
with the anthologies (<Snow White, Blood Red>, <Black Thorn, White Rose>,
<Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears>, and <Black Swan, White Raven> if anyone is
interested) they tried to be much more complete.

As an aside, Ithaca has a fair to middling SF selection and I know that I
miss stuff (it's why I am so glad to have news access again). I was
spoiled in Boston...

marie

Ross TenEyck

não lida,
22 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0022/02/1998
para

d97...@dtek.chalmers.se (David Skogsberg) writes:
>In article <robertaw-200...@blv-pm106-ip28.halcyon.com>,
>Robert A. Woodward <robe...@halcyon.com> wrote:

>[Doomfarers of Coramonde]
>>Written by Brian Daley. Sequel was _The Starfollowers of Coramonde_.

>Is there anyone on rasfw who has read that one? I've been looking for it
>ever since I read _Doomfarers..._, and I really want to know where to
>get it.

I can't help you with finding it, but I have read it. It struck me
as being about as good as the first book, which I would rate at solid
B+ fantasy. Not spectacular, but a good read.

Ogre

não lida,
23 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0023/02/1998
para

In article <34EC00...@shaw.wave.ca>,

Jay Random <jra...@shaw.wave., ca> wrote:
>Lawless wrote:
>>
>> Correct me if I'm wrong, but _The Silmarillion_ / _Book of Lost Tales_
>> aren't part of Germanic records and tradition, thus you seem to imply
>> that they're the "oldest .. elves in an extended narrative" regardless
>> of language and tradition. If you meant to imply such, you are quite
>> mistaken, as British literature has major narratives dating back as
>> far as at 16/1700s.
>
>Ah, yes, the fairies that prick upon dragonflies & sleep in buttercups.

You are very much mistaken if you think that's all there ever was to
the British "elves". Centuries before, their distant ancestors the Sidhe,
or the Tuatha de Danaan, were quite powerful folk. You may like to take
a peek at some older Irish sources, such as the Book of Ulster, to get an
idea of what they once were.

[follow-ups trimmed]
--
"Most people learn from their past mistakes and in future lives go on
to grow into better people. Others, who don't, become ogres."
- E. A. Scarborough, _The Godmother_
Eliminate Unsolicited Commercial Email: http://www.cauce.org

Jo Walton

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23 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0023/02/1998
para

In article <slrn6ekb5g...@amanda.dorsai.org>
lil...@dorsai.org "Lilith" writes:

> Both Tolkien and Kay's portrayal of "light" elves also strongly resemble
> traditional Celtic tales of the Sidhe.

"Strongly resemble" is overstating the case.

The elves who pass over the sea and don't return are something Tolkien
made up. The Sidhe aren't really much like them at all. The Sidhe
are capricious and wilful and not good and calm and civilised and
noble like Tolkien elves.

This is complicated by the nature of the evidence we have for Celtic
mythology, which I won't bore you with here, but while the Sidhe
were one of the bones in the soup from which Tolkien drew his elves,
they'd been cooked down rather a lot and came out very differently
flavoured IMO. One of the other cooks who had a hand in them between
the Celtic Sidhe and Tolkien's elves was Dunsany, in :The King of
Elfland's Daughter:.

I like Fionavar a lot, it's one of the very few modern fantasies that
goes on from Tolkien, as Tolkien went on from Morris and Dunsany etc.,
rather than just recycling Tolkien.

--
Jo - - I kissed a kif at Kefk - - J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.bluejo.demon.co.uk - Blood of Kings Poetry; rasfw FAQ;
Reviews; Interstichia; Momentum - a paying market for real poetry.


Uncle Rhino

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23 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0023/02/1998
para

In article <888259...@bluejo.demon.co.uk> J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk writes:
>
>I like Fionavar a lot, it's one of the very few modern fantasies that
>goes on from Tolkien, as Tolkien went on from Morris and Dunsany etc.,
>rather than just recycling Tolkien.

Jo, that's an *excellent* way of putting it.

Neile Graham

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23 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0023/02/1998
para

Jo Walton <J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>> Both Tolkien and Kay's portrayal of "light" elves also strongly resemble
>> traditional Celtic tales of the Sidhe.
>
>"Strongly resemble" is overstating the case.

Though I wasn't the one who said this, I would agree that they certainly
the Sidhe more than the wee fairies J. Random was talking about. "Strongly
resemble" may be overstating it, but certainly in relation to Victorian
flower fairies it seems a strong resemblance. You're right that there are
significant differences, though.

>The elves who pass over the sea and don't return are something Tolkien
>made up.

Don't you mean "aren't" here? What about the Tautha Da Dannan and Tir na
nOg of Irish legend? They were the most like Tolkien's elves--noble, even
godlike, and passed over the sea not to return. Isn't that something from
mthe Maginogian or am I misremembering?

>One of the other cooks who had a hand in them between
>the Celtic Sidhe and Tolkien's elves was Dunsany, in :The King of
>Elfland's Daughter:.

Exactly my point, mumblety mumble posts back on another trail, where J.
Random and I were arguing about (oh, oops discussing) Tolkien's literary
forebears.

>I like Fionavar a lot, it's one of the very few modern fantasies that
>goes on from Tolkien, as Tolkien went on from Morris and Dunsany etc.,
>rather than just recycling Tolkien.

My other point. I've been very surprised to see people arguing that Kay
copied Tolkien's elves when they seem quite different to me, and the whole
cycle an excellent addition to the literature rather than a rehash of old
played-out themes.

There are plenty of works that deserve to be accused of being mere copies
of what was written before, but Fionavar isn't one of them.

Jay Random

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23 de fev. de 1998 03:00:0023/02/1998