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Old 23rd November 2017, 02:29 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Is that what we are calling "contrived writing" nowadays?

Tolkien is like the Beatles. Groundbreaking... but it's all been done much better since.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
A better example being?
I'm kind of with Giz on this one. A lot of LoTR's value is in its originality, aspects of which have been ripped off in pretty much every example of the fantasy genre that have occurred since. The quality of the writing swings wildly from magnificent and awe-inspiring to trite and pretentious. It's awfully long and has stretches (like Bombadil) which don't seem to make a lot of sense to the larger story.

Tolkein's real genius was not in writing but in worldbuilding. He created a huge and wonderful tapestry of a setting with so much detail and scope that few have come close to since. And it's hard to convey that in a movie, three movies, six movies, or a TV series.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 03:21 PM   #122
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I agree Bombadil would have been very hard to pull off in the movies, but I enjoyed the passages in the book. Tolkien said he wanted to write a really long story and entertain people. If I like a story, I like reading about events or characters that aren't essential parts of the plot, but help flesh out then world of the story.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 04:23 PM   #123
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The other angle on Tolkien, of course, was his resuscitation/borrowing of saxon and indo-european words and, contrastingly, other linguistic innovations from whole cloth. Together, the opus is almost an insider joke for language lovers and historical linguists. Meanwhile, Bombadil is pure generative wordplay in line with his more basic earth sprite nature, almost a power of creation. Much better, from this perspective, in the reading than in the movies.

It's in the Silmarillion and fragmented stuff where he goes more raw story-building without yet crafting much in the way of language, showing its less-finished nature.
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Old 24th November 2017, 03:57 AM   #124
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Much of the Elvish languages was derived from Finnish.

Tolkein was a linguist, and his mastery of language gave a massive boost to his world.

I remember many many years ago there was a Dragon magazine article which was essentially a very brief primer on linguistics for fantasy games. Boy, did that one article have a great effect on my understanding and appreciation of fantasy worlds.
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Old 27th November 2017, 03:10 PM   #125
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Since it's connection with the books is only as a background, this will end up being just another Sword and Sorcery series.
I would rather then do a Good Fantasy series based on some fantasy which has not been done.
Andre Norton's Witch World, anybody?
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Old 27th November 2017, 03:39 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Since it's connection with the books is only as a background, this will end up being just another Sword and Sorcery series.
I would rather then do a Good Fantasy series based on some fantasy which has not been done.
Andre Norton's Witch World, anybody?

Imagine the special effects opportunities with Pern.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Dragons have been done to death, but so has pretty much everything else in the Fantasy genre, and McCaffery's take is a bit off the beaten path, and somewhat more nuanced.
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Old 27th November 2017, 05:07 PM   #127
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How nuanced would it be by the time it reached the screens though?
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Old 27th November 2017, 07:11 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How nuanced would it be by the time it reached the screens though?

Probably not very, sad to say.

But it's still nice to imagine.
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Old 28th November 2017, 02:34 AM   #129
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There are quite a lot of entries in the fantasy genre that could be done well. I tried to watch the Shannara series on Netflix and I couldn't bear it.
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Old 28th November 2017, 02:37 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There are quite a lot of entries in the fantasy genre that could be done well. I tried to watch the Shannara series on Netflix and I couldn't bear it.
Same with that TV series based on Goodkind's Sword of Truth book (though the books weren't great themselves) And the TV series based on the Dresden Files.

Apparently fantasy is really hard to do well...
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:44 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There are quite a lot of entries in the fantasy genre that could be done well. I tried to watch the Shannara series on Netflix and I couldn't bear it.
I tried to watch it as well. I haven't read the books so wasn't coloured by them but it was still rubbish.
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:46 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post

Apparently fantasy is really hard to do well...
And Historic Fiction. Look at the mess that made of the Last Kingdowm books. It came out more like a fantasy.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:12 AM   #133
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Do not try to watch the miniseries "Legend of Earthsea" if your TV might be damaged by having the remote thrown forcibly at it.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:24 AM   #134
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Whether they do it well or poorly is one question, and what place & time in Middle Earth's history they set it in is another. And the best setting to use would be when the land that had been Arnor (Gondor's northern twin) was rearranging after its collapse and the north was gradually moving toward its more familiar state as seen in TH&TLOTR (Shire, Bree, Rohan, scattered minor tribes like the Púkel apparently hiding in the corners).

Just think of what could be done with it...
  • The Shire wasn't the Shire yet, but the Hobbits must have been somewhere; where had they been hiding, how had they been surviving, and how did they end up with the Shire mostly to themselves?
  • The people of Rohan must have been around, too, but started as merely one among a rabble of mostly-unnamed other barbarian tribes, or at best an early federation of such tribes. How did they emerge, dominate, and become the favored northern allies of Gondor? How did their culture end up so horse-based, and did it involve a split so they had close cousins still around without the horses for a while? (We can probably even involve Eorl, and thus eventually throw in a scene showing the first time they called themselves Eorlingas.)
  • We know that one or more of the above must have migrated or lost some territory, such that their territories had once been adjacent or overlapping and then separated, because the Rohirrim had cultural memories of the "Halflings". What had their relationship been like, how had they also interacted with that rabble of other barbarian tribes, and what had caused their geographic separation?
  • That rabble of miscellaneous primitive tribes I've mentioned twice now: JRRT mentioned their existence but nothing else about them, so you can invent anything you want to about them (within the universe's constraints). Had any of them fought for Sauron against their fellow humans, like the Easterlings in TLOTR, which their neighbors still remembered & resented? How did some of them apparently end up farming and forming towns like Bree? Did any of them migrate away to the east, go extinct, resist the spread of Rohan, join federations which would end up merging into single bigger tribes possibly including Rohan...?
  • What were the roles of Elves and Dwarves? They should both be more prominent and less reclusive in this era than later, at least in certain areas.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:34 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Same with that TV series based on Goodkind's Sword of Truth book (though the books weren't great themselves) And the TV series based on the Dresden Files.

Apparently fantasy is really hard to do well...
I thinks its mostly because until GOTs it was seen as a niche genre. It was and is still low budget. That can be seen in the effects and felt in the writing, acting, and direction.
The only think the Shanarra show has going for it is that they are really really pretty people, the Seeker show only had normal tv pretty people.

I actually liked the Dresden Files series, it departed from the books but I hadn't read them yet so there's that. Contemporary fantasy is easier. Modern sets are a lot cheaper than high fantasy castles and landscapes.
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Old 28th November 2017, 06:31 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There are quite a lot of entries in the fantasy genre that could be done well. I tried to watch the Shannara series on Netflix and I couldn't bear it.
I didn't think it was too bad, but I gather it won't be around for a third season.

The big money-making SF and Fantasy shows tend to be heavy on the sex and violence, The Shannara Chronicles were pretty PG in those regards.

I was idly wondering about Jack Chalker's the old Flux and Anchor series. That might have too much sex though.
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:57 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Imagine the special effects opportunities with Pern.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Dragons have been done to death, but so has pretty much everything else in the Fantasy genre, and McCaffery's take is a bit off the beaten path, and somewhat more nuanced.
Oh that would be awesome! I loved the Pern books. I should re-read those... I wonder if they hold up as an adult?

ETA: Could also get a lot of fun out of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Landover series... or C.S. Friedman's Coldfire stuff. All of those could be great, plus you get that mix of sci-fi & fantasy that made them so much fun to read.
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Old 29th November 2017, 02:01 PM   #138
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I'd love to see Piers Anthony's Xanth world done as a TV series.
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Old 29th November 2017, 02:18 PM   #139
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Some Prince Corum maybe?
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Old 29th November 2017, 02:19 PM   #140
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Don't forget we have 'Zapped' on UK Dave. That's a funny and well produced Fantasy Sitcom.
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Old 29th November 2017, 02:27 PM   #141
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Maybe something a bit more ambitious: Zelazny's Lord of Light would be epic.
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Old 29th November 2017, 02:51 PM   #142
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Since we've drifted away from Tolkien I'll add my wish for a fantasy series: Julian May's 'Saga of the Exiles' might work in a Game of Thrones kind of way.
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Old 30th November 2017, 06:56 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Since we've drifted away from Tolkien I'll add my wish for a fantasy series: Julian May's 'Saga of the Exiles' might work in a Game of Thrones kind of way.
Big fan of the “Pleistocene Exile” here and it has great potential for the screen. Great characters, cleverly-drawn aliens....

Another would be the Fafherd and Gray Mouser stories of Fritz Lieber. Two of the best rogues in all of fantasy.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:03 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Could also get a lot of fun out of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Landover series.
Landover was Terry Brooks. Bradley's series was Darkover.

Slipping over to another subforum, Bradley's daughter accused her of having molested her. Might not be a good choice for a series.

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Old 30th November 2017, 02:40 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
Landover was Terry Brooks. Bradley's series was Darkover.

Slipping over to another subforum, Bradley's daughter accused her of having molested her. Might not be a good choice for a series.

1) Damn, yes, I always get those mixed up.
2) I'm actually kind of getting tired of all these accusations. I'm going to go bury my head in the sand for a bit.
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Old 1st December 2017, 05:33 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Oh that would be awesome! I loved the Pern books. I should re-read those... I wonder if they hold up as an adult?
I didn't find that they did. YMMV.
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Old 5th December 2017, 04:54 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
Landover was Terry Brooks. Bradley's series was Darkover.

Slipping over to another subforum, Bradley's daughter accused her of having molested her. Might not be a good choice for a series.

I don't particularly care what her daughter accused her of. It doesn't make her books less enjoyable. I may not have chosen to hang out with her personally were she still living when the accusations were made... but her books are still good books, and they'd still make a good TV show.
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Old Yesterday, 06:45 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I didn't find that they did. YMMV.

I have collected some quotations from a documentary about Anne McCaffrey that I think sum up the ideology of her Dragonriders on Pern series:
The first four quotation are from the documentary.
The first five quotations are from the documentary.
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Old Today, 12:19 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I have collected some quotations from a documentary about Anne McCaffrey that I think sum up the ideology of her Dragonriders on Pern series:
The first four quotation are from the documentary.
The first five quotations are from the documentary.
I confess that I hesitated to click because I was worried that I'd find out something about one of the authors that had a huge influence on my childhood that I really didn't want to know. Glad to have been wrong about that.
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Old Today, 12:37 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Surely the larger plot point with Tom was arming Merry with a barrow-blade forged specifically to harm the Witch-king.
Couldn't he have just found it lying by the road?
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Old Today, 02:47 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Sergei Walankov View Post
Couldn't he have just found it lying by the road?
No. Because he would not take this thing, if he found it lying by the highway.

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