Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 261155 times)

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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1590 on: December 29, 2013, 12:57:32 PM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

Some made up language can help to create a setting for a story and it can add atmosphere. But it is a delicate line to walk and way too easy to step over. Trudi Canavan missed that line by a mile.

squeakers

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1591 on: December 29, 2013, 01:36:55 PM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

Some made up language can help to create a setting for a story and it can add atmosphere. But it is a delicate line to walk and way too easy to step over. Trudi Canavan missed that line by a mile.

Anne McCaffrey did a good job in her Pern series.  The names weren't too weird and the concepts were spelled out and made sense.

The book in the bathroom which sparked this peeve... is just bad.  Which is a shame because it's a nice thick book that has an interesting premise.  But no matter if I read it from the beginning, jump to the middle or even try re-reading a spot... the tons of made-up names drives me batty.
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Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1592 on: December 29, 2013, 03:34:47 PM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

This is the reason I couldn't get through even a few chapters of JR Ward's first Black Dagger book and couldn't understand all the rave reviews.

I bailed on that one too. When I need the glossary to figure out what the heck is going on, it's time to put the book back.
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Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1593 on: December 30, 2013, 06:10:15 AM »

You might enjoy this:
http://the-toast.net/2013/11/04/male-novelist-jokes/

Be sure to read the comments, too.


Thank you so much for that link! I cracked up.

On topic, I dislike series that descend into total unrelenting MISERY. Of course things need to happen to the protagonist/s in order to further the plot, but can we try and let them have a few good moments on occasion? I've had to drop a few series recently because they were honestly making me feel depressed when I put down the book!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:18:30 PM by Cherry91 »

Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1594 on: January 03, 2014, 09:18:38 AM »
Peeve: books that have their own language for everything.  You can't have just a sister, oh, no... you must have "the sister who loves me best" or Niguena. And Niguenet means "sister who almost loves as much as the sister who loves me the most". And the friend who protects you all of the time  is the Bisinger.  And the friend who might protect you almost all of the time is the Bisingeru.

And the breeze from the East is the Rumik.  The breeze from the South is is the Rumin.

And so on and so forth to the point I set the book down and find one that I can read without checking the back to see what that title/weird new word actually means.

Some made up language can help to create a setting for a story and it can add atmosphere. But it is a delicate line to walk and way too easy to step over. Trudi Canavan missed that line by a mile.

Anne McCaffrey did a good job in her Pern series.  The names weren't too weird and the concepts were spelled out and made sense.

The book in the bathroom which sparked this peeve... is just bad.  Which is a shame because it's a nice thick book that has an interesting premise.  But no matter if I read it from the beginning, jump to the middle or even try re-reading a spot... the tons of made-up names drives me batty.

It's interesting you say that, because one of things that's always bugged me about the Pern books is the way you get common words replaced with clumsier ones - 'runnerbeast' instead of horse, for instance - it just such a very unlikely linguistic shift - it would make sense if you had a new animal which you names and domesticated, but one you brought with you, which already had a well known and well established name?

I've always assumed that way back when she started, she hadn't  decided on the backstory of the planet having been settled by human colonists, but even so, I find it irritating.

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1595 on: January 03, 2014, 03:38:14 PM »
It has been a long time since I last read the first book but I am pretty sure she didn't have the back story worked out. It had several fantasy elements that were completely dropped from the second book onward, such as Lessa's ability to manipulate people, and more sci-fi characteristics were added (dragons as the result of genetic manipulation).

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1596 on: January 03, 2014, 05:06:49 PM »
It has been a long time since I last read the first book but I am pretty sure she didn't have the back story worked out. It had several fantasy elements that were completely dropped from the second book onward, such as Lessa's ability to manipulate people, and more sci-fi characteristics were added (dragons as the result of genetic manipulation).
Backstory tends to develop as authors work through a series.  The story I heard was the publisher (or maybe her editor or agent) said "This is too much fantasy.* Make it more science-fictiony." So she wrote the forward that said that these were human colonists who settled on this planet.  And I agree about the clunkiness of "runnerbeast."  Even if they're not quite horses, having been genetically manipulated to fit them better for Pern, people would still CALL them horses.  Even if the language drifted, it might be 'ersa' or 'hurrse' or something similar, but runnerbeast?  Clunk.

*Fantasy wasn't a big part of the SF scene at the time (1968.)  SF publishers thought that their reader base was geeky young males.  Fantasy was for little girls, only one step up from fairy tales.  Tolkien's LotR was just starting to take off with baby boomers.
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Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1597 on: January 04, 2014, 11:54:32 AM »


On topic, I dislike series that descend into total unrelenting MISERY. Of course things need to happen to the protagonist/s in order to further the plot, but can we try and let them have a few good moments on occasion? 
I think Dowton Abbey may have jumped the shark for me, on that one. Two grandchildren, both orphaned neonatally? Can't the writers think of a new plot?

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1598 on: January 04, 2014, 01:17:57 PM »


With Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books having been mentioned in the thread: this is not really a “peeve”, so much as a matter of personal and individual taste; but, anyway...

While having largely enjoyed the Pern material; I at times found that dragon / rider r*lationships therein felt, for me, to get into realms of uncomfortably cloying sentimentality. I admit to not being a tremendous animals / pets person. I do get it, that very loving closeness often develops between people and their near animal associates – this with ordinary Earth animals, let alone with creatures as sensitive and intelligent (and telepathic !) as Pernese dragons – sometimes, though, Pernese “dragon-dom” has given me feelings of undergoing a drowning-in-slush-and-mush experience.

With McCaffrey’s books as a whole (not just the Pern ones) – mostly, I’ve taken pleasure in her imagination / ideas / world-building in general, but as regards interpersonal / inter-species dealings in her works, the “goo factor” has been, for my  personal tastes, often greater than I’ve been comfortable with.  Maybe to do with my being male: stereotypes are, I feel, true to a certain extent, and (many) men incline to being not so tender-hearted as (many) women.

I’ve found for me a corrective, which I relish, to the more-sentimental-than-I-like Pern dragon / rider scene: in a novel series by the speculative fiction / fantasy author Harry Turtledove. I love this series – Darkness -- by this guy (in which I seem to be in a small minority even among Turtledove fans). It basically concerns a desperate global war waged between the different (all-human) nations of a fictional planet – where Earth-type technology (military, and “peaceable”) is largely replaced by magic, and by the use of trained giant beasts native to the planet.

Thus in this universe, “air forces” involve flying dragons, each with a human rider: the dragons breathe fire, and can drop the universe’s equivalent of bombs. Human / dragon relations here, are a complete polar opposite of those on the Pern scene. In Turtledove’s universe, the dragons are vicious, foul-tempered, and so extremely stupid that it is only barely possible to train them – occasionally they forget their training, revert to their natural instincts, and kill their rider: it’s a dangerous service. The riders – or “dragonfliers” as is the universal term on Turtledove’s scene – without exception, strongly dislike their mounts, though they conscientiously do what’s necessary to look after them. These dragons are such, that there’s absolutely no way that any sort of human / reptile bonding can happen. With my feelings about the whole thing, I find this an enjoyably cynical and totally unsentimental “photographic negative” inversion of the Pern / dragons / riders scene.

Would like to think that Turtledove is familiar with the Pern books, and has made – mischievously but without malice – this extreme variation on them. I don’t know whether anyone else on eHell has encountered this Darkness series by Turtledove, and has any use for it – dragon-related, or otherwise !

I’ve also enjoyed Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels: IMO, re the humans-riding-dragons-in-combat meme, a nice intermediate state of things between the extremes described above.


magicdomino

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1599 on: January 04, 2014, 04:12:40 PM »
It has been a long time since I last read the first book but I am pretty sure she didn't have the back story worked out. It had several fantasy elements that were completely dropped from the second book onward, such as Lessa's ability to manipulate people, and more sci-fi characteristics were added (dragons as the result of genetic manipulation).

Ms. McCaffrey probably didn't.  The first part of Dragonflight was a stand-alone novella, "Weyr Search."  A year later, a second novella was published, then the two were combined into a novel.  She probably didn't start working on a coherent history until after the first two or three novels took off.

Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1600 on: January 05, 2014, 12:03:22 AM »
It has been a long time since I last read the first book but I am pretty sure she didn't have the back story worked out. It had several fantasy elements that were completely dropped from the second book onward, such as Lessa's ability to manipulate people, and more sci-fi characteristics were added (dragons as the result of genetic manipulation).

Ms. McCaffrey probably didn't.  The first part of Dragonflight was a stand-alone novella, "Weyr Search."  A year later, a second novella was published, then the two were combined into a novel.  She probably didn't start working on a coherent history until after the first two or three novels took off.

Also, Lessa's manipulative abilities were mentioned a few times later on, the impression I'd gotten was that she learned from her mistakes and became more discrete. ;)

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1601 on: January 05, 2014, 12:28:15 AM »
It has been a long time since I last read the first book but I am pretty sure she didn't have the back story worked out. It had several fantasy elements that were completely dropped from the second book onward, such as Lessa's ability to manipulate people, and more sci-fi characteristics were added (dragons as the result of genetic manipulation).

Ms. McCaffrey probably didn't.  The first part of Dragonflight was a stand-alone novella, "Weyr Search."  A year later, a second novella was published, then the two were combined into a novel.  She probably didn't start working on a coherent history until after the first two or three novels took off.

Also, Lessa's manipulative abilities were mentioned a few times later on, the impression I'd gotten was that she learned from her mistakes and became more discrete. ;)

Yes, I remember in one of the later books, that ancient AI that they unearthed made a comment at some point about how Lessa was as much a telepath as Ramoth (her dragon).



Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1602 on: January 05, 2014, 03:00:52 AM »
I like the fact that self-publishing has become so easy but I do think that more self-published authors should use editors. I was reading one book that I think was supposed to be a sort of serious military romance but some word choices made it unintentionally comical (or maybe it was meant to be spy parody and I didn't just realise it). There was a gun that was a government loner and the hero who spoke in deep Russian baroque. The heroine also blinked very slowly and sexily, I'm not sure how that works (can you blink slowly?). Though I also couldn't really buy the happy end between an American spy and a Russian one, even if he was going to retire (but continue working for his country), so I guess the other things didn't matter.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1603 on: January 05, 2014, 04:26:08 AM »
I like the fact that self-publishing has become so easy but I do think that more self-published authors should use editors.

That would be nice, but the average freelance editor costs significantly more than the average self-pubbed book makes  :-\

Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1604 on: January 05, 2014, 06:28:40 AM »
I can understand that and there aren't any easy solutions for it. My background is with a small publishing company, though not as a writer or editor, and it was always very important for us to be very professional, even if it was possible to do things cheaper.

I was a bit shocked (and very pleased for her) when I learned how much more money a writer I like makes from self-publishing compared with traditional publishing. She's not the average author as well but I think that if you want to be seen as a professional, there are some things that you need, like the editing and good cover design.