A long ramble: Regency fantasy, book recommendations, etc.

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Mon Sep 3 15:36:59 EDT 2001


---Original Message From: Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
> One thing that bothers me about some fantasy series.  They 
> often cover centuries, or even millennia, of their world's 
> history, and yet the world seems technologically stuck in the 
> early middle ages, with no explanation as to why. Sometimes I 
> think it may be merely because the writers are romanticising 
> the period.  Science Fiction writers don't seem to have this 
> trouble, but then they are used to writing in a genre large 
> sections of which are concerned mainly with technological progress.

Sci. Fi. Has it's own version of this.  I love it when they have
galactic civilizations that have been around for hundreds of years
essentially unchanged.  On Earth, we've had a tough time keeping any
single government around for longer than a couple centuries.  The
longest lasting governments I can think of are Rome and China, but both
of those underwent *substantial* change--to such an extent that I have
kind of a hard time calling them the same government.

> Alan Dean Foster, whose SF I recommend, but not his fantasy.  
> Very readable.  I don't think it would stand up to 
> hard-science scrutiny, but it's still good SF.

I *loved* the Flinx novels.  It's been ten years or more since I read
them, but I wouldn't mind reading them again just to see if the memory
holds.  I think he wrote _Quozl_ as well and that book stands as one of
the few fundamental stories I've read that changed the way I think about
some things.  The story was so unique and fresh that I can still
remember significant details as well as the broader storyline.

> To me, "Urban" means "to do with cities".  We finally settled 
> on two competing definitions last time - "Fantasy of, rather 
> than merely in, a city", favoured by me, and "Fantasy which 
> contrasts magic and modern city life as light and darkness" 
> (I think) favoured by Mr and Mrs Proffitt (who will no doubt 
> pop up with a far better statement of their definition).

Nah.  That's about what my definition comes down to.  Charles DeLint
serves as my measuring stick for my kind of Urban Fantasy.

Jacob Proffitt

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