Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reader expectations

Cheryl Morgan over here has something interesting to say about what science fiction readers want when they read fantasy (basically lots of sensawunda ideas).

She is commenting on how some series/trilogies (with reference to The Shadow of Tyr, book 2 of The Mirage Makers) tell you all about the world, and then the remaining books are focussed more on the plot and the characters, and therefore perhaps of less interest to a certain type of reader.

There are also some interesting reader comments following the post.

I must say that I always thought Cheryl to be one of the best reviewers around when Emerald City was extant, because she was very good at giving the reader an idea of whether they would like the book.

Oh my, and I see I shall have to be on my best behaviour at Worldcon .... help!

5 comments:

CW said...

"Sensawunda" - what a great word! (Although for a brief second I did think it was a Malay word)

Glenda Larke said...

Lol! Wish I could take the credit for its invention, but I can't...

Jo said...

I thought The Shadow of Tyr was an excellent book - I actually get tired of too much description of the worlds unless they really impact on the story and in a trilogy I don't think you need to go on and on about the same thing whether fact or fiction - case in point Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children story which rabbits on forever in each book about the prairies and grasses and what animals feed there, we know, we read book one. The worst of her books for this was Plains of Passage.

Peter said...

I totally agree with Jo's post.
Having extensive knowledge of your fictional world, whether real or imaginary, is good for writing but endless repeats of that knowledge in the form of book padding, or simply showing off, can become very tedious.
Most of my favourite authors allow the reader's imagination to complete the picture of a world or character.

Glenda Larke said...

Thanks for the nice words re my own work. Still, I see what Cheryl was getting at. At least some Science Fiction readers are drawn more to the neat ideas in much of fantasy fiction, rather than the other aspects of a novel, and if all the neat ideas are explained in volume 1, are they going to want to read volume 2 & 3?

Fortunately for that species of reader, perhaps, Book 3 of the Mirage Makers does, I think, have some more neat ideas about the world.