Craig and Megan spin the Fantasy Wheel! We took several listener suggestions for topics and chose a few of them to speak about for a few minutes. Topics include: whether we can judge books objectively; fantasy speed dating; overused tropes; and our favorite antagonists.

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Music: “The Seven Seas” courtesy of https://www.philter.no/

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There are 2 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    That was good. I liked the effect of the wheel.

    As to what makes a book good, Ted Kooser has a phrase he uses, “Don’t drop your sunglasses in the bottom of the boat.” When he was a kid, he went to Wisconsin Dells and was totally enthralled looking through the glass bottom of the boat, which was one of the available rides. The water was clear, and he could see all the junk that had been dumped in the lake: old tires, maybe a car, refrigerators, whatever was down there. He was totally entranced until a lady dropped her sunglasses in the bottom of the boat. This little thing jerked him out of his trance, and he once more became a hot, bored eight-year-old boy stuck in the middle of a lake. That is his metaphor for when an author does something that breaks the reader out of their being in the book or other written work. Suddenly instead of being an observer in this great drama, the reader thinks, “Wait, is that spelled correctly? Oh, hey, I’m reading a book, not part of the story.” The reader at that point can turn away. The reader can put the book down. When an author does that too often, the reader may never finish the book. Writing a good book is a matter of not distracting the reader.

    To give an example, there is a science fiction book called Black on Black that I ran across years ago. The story and concept is interesting, but the author does distracting things, such as having military people whose ranks are sergeant and corporal refer to civilians as “non-coms.” I don’t know what the author thinks “non-com” means, but where I come from, it’s short for “non-commissioned officer,” such as corporals and sergeants. When I reach that point in the book, I am out of the story.

    • #1
    • September 20, 2019, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Craig Hanks Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):

    That was good. I liked the effect of the wheel.

    As to what makes a book good, Ted Kooser has a phrase he uses, “Don’t drop your sunglasses in the bottom of the boat.” When he was a kid, he went to Wisconsin Dells and was totally enthralled looking through the glass bottom of the boat, which was one of the available rides. The water was clear, and he could see all the junk that had been dumped in the lake: old tires, maybe a car, refrigerators, whatever was down there. He was totally entranced until a lady dropped her sunglasses in the bottom of the boat. This little thing jerked him out of his trance, and he once more became a hot, bored eight-year-old boy stuck in the middle of a lake. That is his metaphor for when an author does something that breaks the reader out of their being in the book or other written work. Suddenly instead of being an observer in this great drama, the reader thinks, “Wait, is that spelled correctly? Oh, hey, I’m reading a book, not part of the story.” The reader at that point can turn away. The reader can put the book down. When an author does that too often, the reader may never finish the book. Writing a good book is a matter of not distracting the reader.

    I really like that.

    • #2
    • September 20, 2019, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like