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MJH on Fantasy

Following on from the issue he has with HPL (closure), M John Harrison decries how this infects much modern fantasy.

Write it out of some emotion of yours you never understood, or some decision you made you’re not sure if you regret; but never once name that emotion or let me see the decision. I want what’s underneath. Make it short. Remember the world never had a plot, & that there’s no difference between a “myth” & commuting to work, they’re just two really excellent ways of narrating the life out of life.

Someone posted a counterpoint, or perhaps a complimentary point, from Guy Gavriel Kay.

MJH does tend to the antagonistic when making points about literature (and gaming), but they are never less than interesting.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)

Nota bene: Gates of Eden. Dylan comma bob.

(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm a massive fan of his fiction but I don't necessarily subscribe to his views. If you replace fantastic with "stuff I like", I think you may be closer to the truth of the matter.
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
I might be misremembering, but didn't he once tell you that he changed Viriconium around so much specifically to frustrate attempts to convert it into a game setting?
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, he did. Although I suspect some hyperbole in that claim, especially as much of it was written before Gygax.

And still I like his writing and his curmudgeonliness.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )