NekoCatSidhe t1_jefearu wrote

I see those more as mythology and epic poetry, even if they inspired modern epic fantasy through Tolkien. And the people who originally created these myths probably did not see them as being fantasy or even fiction, but as reality, because they believed that gods and spirits and other supernatural creatures actually existed. That is quite different from the modern fantasy genre.


NekoCatSidhe t1_jedj0ch wrote

Of course. Literary genres and tropes are more fluid and arbitrary than most people realise.

For example, I have started reading Japanese fantasy light novels a few years ago and the subgenres in it are completely different from western fantasy : the biggest one is for example the isekai genre, which is a mix of reincarnated / summoned to another world stories and litRPG stories. You also have quite a few book series of Chinese court drama with a fantasy bent, and also book series about interacting with yokai, the supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore. It is very different from the mix of epic fantasy and urban fantasy we associate with the fantasy genre in the West.

So I would not be surprised if new genres and subgenres were to suddenly appear in the West as well. It is enough to have one well-written book doing something new that suddenly becomes popular, and then you will have a bunch of other books imitating it, and then you get a new subgenre. This is what originally happened with the Lord of the Rings : most fantasy books before it was published were Sword and Sorcery, but epic fantasy then became the dominant subgenre in fantasy after the publication of the Lord of the Rings, even though that subgenre did not exist at all before.


NekoCatSidhe t1_jabmap2 wrote

I don’t think I have one. I have read and liked a number of books that I would describe as dumb fun / shallow entertainment, including Japanese light novels (like Bofuri : I don’t want to get hurt, so I will max my Defense, Reign of the Seven Spellblades, or Death Daughter and the Ebony Blade, to mention some light novel series I read recently), but I think it takes actual talent to write that kind of books in a way that is actually fun and entertaining instead of just dumb and shallow.

Also, none of these series were particularly trashy (no harem of scantily clad bunny girls, sorry), just fun and entertaining, so I do not really have anything to feel guilty about reading them. While I may have read a lot of classics and history books when I was younger, I now mostly read for fun, and there is nothing wrong with that either.


NekoCatSidhe t1_ja8dgjr wrote

I think that makes little sense. Statistically, most writers finish the series they wrote. Rothfuss and Martin belong to the rare exceptions to that rule.

So I will have no problem starting series that are not finished. Most of the time those series will eventually be finished, and in the few cases where the series is left unfinished because the author had a burn-out or suddenly dropped dead, then that is just bad luck, so I will just move on and read other series. The only exception I make is when I know for sure that the series will never be finished, which is one of the reasons I will never read the Name of the Wind or Game of Thrones or Berserk.

If anything, I find the way Martin and Rothfuss are still such big names in the fantasy genre despite never finishing their series and never publishing anything else afterwards quite puzzling. Their fans seem amazingly dedicated. I would have stopped waiting for the next book and moved on a long time ago in their place.


NekoCatSidhe t1_j23dh7y wrote

So the trick is selling good books they think the readers might actually want to read, rather than accepting money from publishers to hawk subpar « bestsellers » that the corporate overlords have decided should sell ? Amazing ! Who would have thought it ? /s

Something I have noticed here in France is that the bookshops that are successful are the big independent bookshops like Gibert Joseph in the Quartier Latin in Paris. They tend to be huge, with a lot of nooks and crannies full of books on various esoteric subjects. They can give Amazon a run for their money when it come to the variety and availability of the books they sell, and there is always a great atmosphere in these bookshops. They are paradises for bookworms. Even as someone who almost always read on my Kindle now and buy ebooks on Amazon, this is still the kind of places I love to go to and buy books from. And I am not the only one : Gibert Joseph is not only thriving, but also opening subsidiary bookshops in other big towns of France. By contrast, FNAC, the main chain bookstore in France, switched over the years from mostly selling books to mostly selling electronic devices, and only survived the pandemic thanks to a loan from the government.


NekoCatSidhe t1_iwz3s69 wrote

What Holmes was selling is a product that already exists too. It is called a Lab-on-a-chip, a device used to make analysis on very small amounts of blood. Just google it if you don’t believe me. It was also already sold commercially before she even dropped out of college, and it is very high tech product that takes a lot of research and investment to design and manufacture, and there was no way a college dropout could actually make one.

But somehow she was able to sell it as something that was actually new and innovative, but was unable to use the money raised from investors to hire a team of competent engineers to design her own Lab-on-a-chip before some journalist found out she was actually using the ones made by other companies and using her investors’ money for that. If she had been better at hiring competent people and managing them, she could have succeeded, but she was just a narcissist crook, so she did not.

Personally, I think the only difference between her and Elon Musk is that Musk is better (or maybe just more lucky) at hiring competent people. He is not better at managing them (his antics at Twitter show that he is actually an extremely incompetent manager), but that was enough for him to have other people actually make the products he was selling and succeed. But they are both narcissist crooks, in my opinion. Musk is just a better crook : he is shady, but knows better than to do anything actually illegal.