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Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I thought for a moment that people were writing started valley themed fantasy novels about cultivating farms

There's a video game called Amazing Cultivation Simulator, and when I first saw it I thought it was one of those games that simulated driving farm machinery.

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Punkin Spunkin
Jan 1, 2010

Catching up to god quicker



I read an L. Sprague de Camp book cuz of seeing goons talking about him and woooofff. Lest Darkness Fall was just straight doodoo (apparently his BEST work?? lmao). I know it's from the 1930s but jesus christ it was so tedious and poorly written and...kinda gross. I guess i might've liked it when I was 11 tho, which I assume is the approximate target age.
I just wanted some good genre fiction from someone into history.

Pictured: probably a pedophile

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



Punkin Spunkin posted:

I just wanted some good genre fiction from someone into history.

This was a really weird post in part because I can't remember the last time anybody was talking about L. Sprague de Camp in glowing terms or even at all but read Avram Davidson

Punkin Spunkin
Jan 1, 2010

Catching up to god quicker



fez_machine posted:

This was a really weird post in part because I can't remember the last time anybody was talking about L. Sprague de Camp in glowing terms or even at all but read Avram Davidson
Oh i didnt mean to call out this thread, i don't actually remember where it was happening, some derail somewhere probably. Not ITT at least, I just felt like talking poo poo about the book.
Thanks for the reading tip.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

fez_machine posted:

I can't remember the last time anybody was talking about L. Sprague de Camp in glowing terms or even at all
I mean I have a vague impression of him as a person that existed and was probably popular in 1930

every time I confuse him with A.E. van Vogt who I believe the reputation of is still "his writing shows its age but holds up"?

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Shadow and Bone is fantasy right? The guy who did the cover art for my book just posted these studies from the Shadow and Bone tv series and holy moly now I want to watch an animated version in this style. Looks so much better than the Netflix series 😲

https://mobile.twitter.com/ArchApolar/status/1388386339482050560

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



What does the word Ďcultivateí mean in this context?

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

In Chinese fantasy genres, cultivation is basically magical meditation that steadily increases your magic power (which kind either be of the wizardly type, or making you physically stronger). Cultivators are...those who cultivate. There are barriers to being one in terms of resources and/or talent. Cultivators are sometimes called immortals because higher cultivation levels usually increase your lifespan, though at the same time further improvement takes longer and longer and eventually results in needing to spend absurd amounts of time just sitting around cultivating, ala "Elder So-and-So went into closed cultivation five years ago, nobody's allowed to bother him".

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

For a bit more about those genres you can check this blog post that was written by Tao Wong, a Chinese Canadian author who writes the cultivation series A Thousand Li - https://www.mylifemytao.com/xianxia-wuxia-cultivation-and-more-a-small-explanation/

A Thousand Li is originally in English and avoids a lot of the more problematic things common to Xianxia stories, but isn't nearly as Westernized as Cradle, so for anyone interested it can serve as a decent intro. (Though it's also not as fun as Cradle imo)

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Hmm I never really understood cultivation. The last wizard school book I read, A Deadly Education, had similar thing with mana and needing to store up mana and mana resource managing was very important as part of the plot.

Though all of the ďI need to collect x so that I can perform y spell and the process is a lot like grinding in a video gameĒ was my least favourite part of that book so cultivation is probably not for me.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Yeah it's definitely game like. Progression fantasy in general is.

uber_stoat
Jan 21, 2001





Pillbug

Selachian posted:

There's a video game called Amazing Cultivation Simulator, and when I first saw it I thought it was one of those games that simulated driving farm machinery.

there's a Let's Play of this in this thread... little too complicated for me to get into but it might give you the general idea.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3915034

ZZZorcerer
Jul 24, 2007



Aardvark! posted:

no but... *sigh"

if anyone knows of such a thing, I uhh, I wouldn't mind reading it

Not a book, but maybe try Vinland Saga it has amazing farming action

A Proper Uppercut
Sep 30, 2008



Ccs posted:

Hmm I never really understood cultivation. The last wizard school book I read, A Deadly Education, had similar thing with mana and needing to store up mana and mana resource managing was very important as part of the plot.

Though all of the “I need to collect x so that I can perform y spell and the process is a lot like grinding in a video game” was my least favourite part of that book so cultivation is probably not for me.

I could be wrong but I don't really think A Deadly Education would be in that same category. I'm just kind of hearing about this Xianxia now but I get the feeling the story is mainly about just becoming more powerful for the sake of being more powerful
? A Deadly Education was more story/character focused.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




A Proper Uppercut posted:

I could be wrong but I don't really think A Deadly Education would be in that same category. I'm just kind of hearing about this Xianxia now but I get the feeling the story is mainly about just becoming more powerful for the sake of being more powerful
? A Deadly Education was more story/character focused.

Not saying ADE is cultivation, it just had an element of needing to do a repetitive task or expend a certain amount of time to charge up the power meter. This serves to add a cost to the magic system so the characters canít just pull anything they want out of thin air, which is fine. It just gets tiring to read about characters worrying about their magic supply and having to plan time to replenish their magic supply, etc. And it sounds like cultivation is that but where the goal of storing up this power is more amorphous. Though thereís presumably some stakes and consequences if the character fails to train or else its not really a story

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Cultivation story chat is making me think of the season in It's Always Sunny where Mac was 'cultivating' mass.

80% of the story terms tossed around in this thread go over my head. Portals, cultivation, etc. In SFL Archives land, terribly aged by 1990's standards novels and short stories have started getting discussed.

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 07:38 on May 2, 2021

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I thought for a moment that people were writing started valley themed fantasy novels about cultivating farms

The Good Earth extended universe.

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Ccs posted:

Not saying ADE is cultivation, it just had an element of needing to do a repetitive task or expend a certain amount of time to charge up the power meter. This serves to add a cost to the magic system so the characters canít just pull anything they want out of thin air, which is fine. It just gets tiring to read about characters worrying about their magic supply and having to plan time to replenish their magic supply, etc. And it sounds like cultivation is that but where the goal of storing up this power is more amorphous. Though thereís presumably some stakes and consequences if the character fails to train or else its not really a story

Kind of, but instead of cultivating to regen your mana bar itís more cultivating to level up and reach new levels of power youíve never had before.

Gats Akimbo
May 28, 2007

Ignoring this post


DACK FAYDEN posted:

I mean I have a vague impression of him as a person that existed and was probably popular in 1930

every time I confuse him with A.E. van Vogt who I believe the reputation of is still "his writing shows its age but holds up"?

Um. No. It doesn't.

A couple of them can just about get by on ideas, but I'm being very generous on "just about". Dude drank the Scientology kool-aid and it really shows. 99% of his protagonists are super-rational superhumans who've figured out The Secret Of The Universe and are exactly as boring as that sounds unless you're into nerd teenager power fantasies.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Gats Akimbo posted:

Um. No. It doesn't.

A couple of them can just about get by on ideas, but I'm being very generous on "just about". Dude drank the Scientology kool-aid and it really shows. 99% of his protagonists are super-rational superhumans who've figured out The Secret Of The Universe and are exactly as boring as that sounds unless you're into nerd teenager power fantasies.

Hey now. Be Accurate.
AE Van Vogt got sucked into two non-religion religious cults, not just one. First it was Null-A, a short lived cult focused on Alfred Korzybski's "general semantics" theories until Korzybski died, then it was LR Hubbard's first cult (source: the SFL Archives). And yes, Null-A was also a story series Van Vogt wrote.

One of the low-key reasons why Damon Knight (a SFF author/SFF editor/SFF critic) hated AE Van Vogt & everything AE Van Vogt wrote so much was because Van Vogt didn't suck-off Damon Knight's ego 365/24/7 like every other SFF author of the 1960s-1980s did, due to Van Vogt having other revenue streams.

I'd describe Van Vogt as being most skilled at dreaming up unique monsters and oddball scenarios, which other writers would strip-mine and reuse. Like for example, the person (Dan O'Bannon) who wrote the ALIEN 1979 script/story built their entire career on repeatedly stealing AE Van Vogt's ideas.

As for L. Sprague de Camp, the warmest thing I can say about him SFF related is that he safeguarded the biggest property in the "swords and sorcery" subgenre of SFF fiction for a while (Conan the Barbarian), and non SFF related wrote a lot of "common man's guide to XYZ" non-fiction titles.

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 13:45 on May 2, 2021

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


Important thing to note about cultivation series and Xianxia in general: much like how western fantasy, intentionally or not, takes a lot from Christianity, Xianxia takes a lot from Chinese religious traditions, particularly Daoism, but also a little Buddhism or Chinese folk religion, depending on the example. In Daoism, there is the idea that those who understand and live the Dao become Immortals. There are Eight Immortals that form the main Daoist "pantheon" for VERY MUCH lack of a better word. That said, anyone experienced enough is capable of being an Immortal, with Sun Wukong being a famous example of an Immortal who converted to Buddhism according to the Journey to the West. If you've read that story, you understand that Immortals =/= good people, just super capable, which extends into modern Xianxia.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



DACK FAYDEN posted:

I mean I have a vague impression of him as a person that existed and was probably popular in 1930

De Camp was popular in the 40s and 50s. His main claim to fame is that he was one of the earliest writers to work to "preserve" Robert E. Howard's works.

And by "preserve" I mean he added his own bits to the stories, or took unfinished/unrelated stories that Howard wrote and redid them as Conan stories. Because of hacks like de Camp, it took something like 60 years for Howard's original versions of all his stories to be readily available in print.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Yeah.

Van Voght still gets respected because he was a good idea man, sort of the Philip k. Dick of pulp. Like, everything from Star Trek to the Displacer Beast in D&d draws from his work (both of those actually from the same book, Voyage of the Space Beagle).

L. Sprague deCamp by contrast would be entirely forgotten today if he hadn't had the bright idea to seize control of the Robert E Howard literary estate. He's the Kinbote of pulp.

pradmer
Mar 31, 2009


The Bull from the Sea (Theseus #2) by Mary Renault - $2.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DCGJ6WC/

The Mongoliad series by Neal Stephenson and others - $0.99 each
The Mongoliad #1 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007S0EF24/
The Mongoliad #2 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ML0EUI/
The Mongoliad #3 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ML3ATA/
Katabasis - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D2WM5HE/
Siege Perilous - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ETHH904/

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Hieronymous Alloy posted:


Van Voght still gets respected because he was a good idea man, sort of the Philip k. Dick of pulp. Like, everything from Star Trek to the Displacer Beast in D&d draws from his work (both of those actually from the same book, Voyage of the Space Beagle).


Voyage of the Space Beagle is still fun, and packed with cool concepts. Plus being a 1950 book, you can read it at a sitting.

Edit: Annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be a kindle edition.

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

I read some of the Space Beagle short stories and my fav part was always when they sit down to analyze the alien life form in the context of weird early 20th century eugenics. I donít even mean Ďfavoriteí purely as mockery, it was like reading artifacts from another culture. They really believe this poo poo and treat it as objective fact!

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Sounds like somebody needs some refresher Hypnosleep courses in applied Nexialism.

Deptfordx fucked around with this message at 21:54 on May 2, 2021

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Deptfordx posted:

Voyage of the Space Beagle is still fun, and packed with cool concepts. Plus being a 1950 book, you can read it at a sitting.

Edit: Annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be a kindle edition.

I think it's the only major thing I've read by him, and yeah, it was fun. Also a major inspiration for Alien.

Groke fucked around with this message at 21:48 on May 2, 2021

Xotl
May 28, 2001

Be seeing you.

quantumfoam posted:

One of the low-key reasons why Damon Knight (a SFF author/SFF editor/SFF critic) hated AE Van Vogt & everything AE Van Vogt wrote so much was because Van Vogt didn't suck-off Damon Knight's ego 365/24/7 like every other SFF author of the 1960s-1980s did, due to Van Vogt having other revenue streams.

No, it was much simpler than that: Damon Knight just thought he was a terrible writer. He wrote strong critiques of van Vogt back in '45, before Knight had anything more than a few published stories and anyone had really noticed him as a fiction writer. Knight didn't like a lot of early SF authors, so he wasn't just picking on Vogt.

Anyone who cares about the history of SF owes it to themselves to read In Search of Wonder, Knight's collection of SF criticism.

Xotl fucked around with this message at 05:39 on May 3, 2021

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Cool.

Damon Knight's actual SFF writing aged so severely I have never bothered checking out his SFF criticism pieces. The two Damon Knight short story collections I came across 2 years ago were dumb as hell/bland.

SFL Archives: 1995 brought back SFF convention drama to the SFL Archives. The 1995 NASFC convention was combined with DragonCon 1995 at one site in Atlanta Georgia, and the people used to NASFC conventions reacted really badly to DragonCon's focus on comic books & gaming. The most hysterical SFLers feeling the vapours after DragonCon/NASFC 1995 swore they saw real-life pornstars signing stuff in the dealers room along with hardcore sex tapes. Meanwhile, the UK's first attempt at hosting a WorldCon (Intersection 1995) in 1995 went terribly bad, as per everyone who attended/were not running Intersection 1995. Terrible site. Unfriendly to every fandom base, especially disabled people.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

L. Sprague deCamp by contrast would be entirely forgotten today if he hadn't had the bright idea to seize control of the Robert E Howard literary estate. He's the Kinbote of pulp.

Eh, the Harold Shea books he did with Fletcher Pratt were okay, although I've never read any of de Camp's solo writing so I don't know how much credit is due to Pratt.

shelley
Nov 7, 2010


Iíve read a few of de Campís short stories and thought they were fine, but itís been a while.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Van Voght still gets respected because he was a good idea man, sort of the Philip k. Dick of pulp. Like, everything from Star Trek to the Displacer Beast in D&d draws from his work (both of those actually from the same book, Voyage of the Space Beagle).
gotcha

but also lmao at two different cults

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



"......ok VV. So you fell for that scammy cult. It's alright. We all make mistakes, you're allowed one life gently caress-up for free. Live and learn. Just move on a wiser man. Why yes Ron, I *would* like to hear more about your new religion!........."

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

DACK FAYDEN posted:

gotcha

but also lmao at two different cults

Some people are just wired that way, I guess.

Then again, IMS, scientology and general semantics isn't exactly worlds apart.

I mean, if I had a dollar for each time I've seen someone fall for a scam and then later fall for a similar scam... I could afford several candy bars, at least.

Groke fucked around with this message at 15:09 on May 3, 2021

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Did people in this thread like Foundryside? I'm looking for a solid book to read before The Blacktongue Thief comes out and I've enjoyed some of Robert Jackson Bennett's other works, though I always feel he fumbles the endings a bit.

tildes
Nov 15, 2018


Ccs posted:

Did people in this thread like Foundryside? I'm looking for a solid book to read before The Blacktongue Thief comes out and I've enjoyed some of Robert Jackson Bennett's other works, though I always feel he fumbles the endings a bit.

Yeah Foundryside was solid- not as good as some of his other stuff for me, but still fun. The caveat is that I was really not a fan of the sequel, couldnít actually finish it so maybe donít get hopes up for that one (or see if you like it, but also I think foundryside is totally fine as a stand-alone book so itís ok if youíre not into the sequel). Maybe will return to it once the trilogy is complete.

McCoy Pauley
Mar 2, 2006
Gonna eat so many goddamn crumpets.

Ccs posted:

Did people in this thread like Foundryside? I'm looking for a solid book to read before The Blacktongue Thief comes out and I've enjoyed some of Robert Jackson Bennett's other works, though I always feel he fumbles the endings a bit.

I enjoyed it, although not as much as I enjoyed City of Stairs and its two sequels. In that trilogy, I really enjoyed both the world Bennett created and gradually revealed, and the characters in the books. Foundryside had some characters I liked, but the world being built up didn't interest me quite as much. The first book was fun enough, though -- more like a heist book than anything in the Cities books-- and the end was pretty satisfying -- it would work as a standalone book. The sequel is definitely a middle book, and ends on a cliffhanger, for what it's worth.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Okay I'll probably read it as a standalone, I'm not really looking for a trilogy. Really glad most authors are writing books these days that can be series intros or standalones.

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DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

For some reason specifically The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is on sale for $2.99 even though none of the other PKD books on my wishlist to re-purchase in digital are on sale:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B005LVR6C8

but then I like it so I ain't complaining

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