Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adam Roberts takes on The Wheel of Time

For reasons best known to himself (masochism?) SF/fantasy writer and literary academic Adam Roberts set himself the task of reading all ten books of the Wheel of Time epic fantasy series.

That's ten books, all of which are at least 500 pages long and some break the 1,000 page barrier. Some might say that life is too short, but at least Roberts has read them all so you don't have to.

So, for one of the best thoughtful and withering deconstructions of bad fantasy I've ever seen, some great quotes, seek out his blog.

To whet your appetite, here's a quote from his review of Fires of Heaven:

'None of the previous volumes in this series are what you would call fast-paced (although I concede the first one had a reasonable, if stately, momentum to it); but this book is slower than a slug on mogadon. By this stage in his series Jordan had evidently, and I think unwisely, decided to jettison ‘stuff happening’ as the organising principle of his fiction in favour of ‘characters talking, backstorying, bickering, flirting, fretting over their motivations and wearing painstakingly described clothing’. Of course, Jordan’s previous model of ‘stuff happening’ was ‘meandering characters getting intermittently attacked by trollocs.’ But it was better than what we get here.'