Real Fantasy

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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6 Responses

  1. Will says:

    One issue I had with this essay is how cliched the author’s response is. Another gritty, neo-noir reimagining of genre fiction? How daring! I mean, it’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t been done before . . .Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    Yes. I just read a review of the book (I’m about two chapters in) and he basically says just that: the author tries to do something new, but it’s too late – it’s been done. And when you strip away all the grit and sensationalism you’ve got little left. I may shift course and read something else. Orson Scott Card’s recommendations seemed very good at the Corner yesterday. Warbreaker looks like a good read.Report

  3. Kyle Cupp says:

    When someone asks, like Morgan, why on earth anyone would want to read “something like that,” I’m inclined to think he is probably missing something. Or a lot, in the case of Tolkien’s works. A good many of us adults actually enjoy “all the overwrought prose, the nauseous paeans to class-bound rural England, and the endless bloody elven singing.” Not to mention everything else Tolkien was doing with all the languages he invented. That said, I do play videogames, so my sense of what qualifies as “adult” may be suspect.Report

  4. Linus says:

    I just finished The Steel Remains last week, and, eh. It was pretty good, I guess, but it certainly wasn’t something that made me think “if only Tolkien had written like THIS!” And it isn’t that dark. If he was going for dark, he’s still light-years (pun not intended, but not ignored) behind, say, Glen Cook’s Black Company books.

    I also had the same reaction as Kyle to the claim that no one “adult” would want to read Tolkien, because Mr. Morgan does not care for it. Which, ironically, is a comment I have seen my 6-year-old make: she cannot even conceive that someone would like to eat asparagus, merely because she doesn’t like it.Report

  5. E.D. Kain says:

    I think I might set down Morgan’s book. I’m looking at the Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker now….Report

  6. Joseph FM says:

    Sort of off topic, but I’ve been re-watching Babylon 5 (which I hadn’t seen since its original run in my mid-90s late childhood), and one of the things I’ve noticed is that it’s very strongly influenced by Tolkien – but in all the best ways. (The space-opera setting probably helps though.)Report