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Feb. 7th, 2011


Profanity in Fantasy

So lately I've had an epic (in the classic sense of huge, not the internet sense of awesome, though I have no doubt that it will be awesome also) fantasy trilogy, and I keep getting hung up on the issue of language. Not the write-it-in-English sort of language, but rather, the manner in which I will phrase sentences and in particular, dialogue.

An informal poll over on my Facebook led to people expressing a marked disinterest in reading a fantasy novel with modern swears (though many so-called modern swears date back hundreds of years). I myself have occasionally found it off-putting - at least until I wrapped my brain around the idea that the novel in my hands was going to contain such words, and moved onward to enjoy it.

But if the purpose of including profanity, vulgarity and obscenity in a fantasy novel is to provoke an emotional, visceral response in the reader, wouldn't it be advantageous to actually write the characters' dialogue in the sort of language that would do so? In other words, the difference between "that fornicating buggerer" and "that fucking faggot" is immediately apparent. The former is an intellectual exercise in the use of my Thesaurus; the latter, well, you be the judge.

And then there's the question of inventing all-new swears, like The Wheel of Time's "blood and bloody ashes", or at least replacement words such as Battlestar Galactica's "frak" or Firefly's "gorram". How intrusive are they? Do they immerse the reader in the world, or shock them back to reality?

My gut is saying to use modern swears. My head is saying not to.

Oct. 29th, 2010


Holy Mouths of Babes...

While explaining segregation to Sierra and Tony, and how some places had white water fountains and black water fountains, our six year old Hayley exclaimed that she only knew grey water fountains, the metal ones at school.

May. 18th, 2009


Petty joys are still joys

A friend texted me to say that our buddy's stepdaughter stopped reading Twilight because it wasn't as good as Truthseekers.

Aug. 22nd, 2007


Yoinked from Rehena

"...the same fear that has kept me stuck in life so many times before, afraid to move forward, to take a step that would free me from the ordinary, the mundane, the insufferable. A crippling fear that deadens my potential and limits my relationship with the world. It's so easy to cling to the familiar, even when it's deplorable."

"Most people are too afraid to give up their security to do what they really want."

Jul. 21st, 2007


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Spoilerless

It arrived at 10:44 AM.

And at 9:29 PM I finished reading it.

Thank you, Jo Rowling.

Jul. 1st, 2007


Slings & Arrows: Universal Truth

Great dialogue from the series Slings & Arrows:

Sloan: Okay, so why'd you kick another guy's ass for disparaging a girl you're not even with any more?

Geoffrey: Do you love Ellen?

Sloan: Fuckin' right!

Geoffrey: Well, if you feel the same way now as I did seven years ago, then you're going to spend the rest of your life kicking other people's asses for her whether you're with her or not. That's just how truly horrible life can be.

Jun. 14th, 2007


IN other news...

China Mieville is a brilliant fucking genius who simultaneously makes my brain hurt and makes me laugh out loud for the sheer genre-destroying joy of it all.

*goes back to The Scar*

May. 8th, 2007


Holy Pageturner Batman

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is maybe the single most engrossing, page-turning read I've read in ... years.


When I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about what I just read, or fantasizing about reading it.


Just wow.

Apr. 29th, 2007


(no subject)

"The rich don't know art because they've never suffered."

Apr. 15th, 2007


You tell it, Doc

"You know what people are, mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox, Scrubs

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