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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:01 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
Second, s1m0n, what are your reasons for reading fantasy? Is it just for leisure?


Apart from the needs of academia, I can't think of any other reason to read fantasy. Is there one?

I suppose if you were in the biz, you might be looking for stories to license for movie rights, or manuscripts to publish, but I can't think of other motives.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm 
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I used to devour science fiction/fantasy literature as if it were the very air I breathed. My motivation was escape from the world, and for that, it met my needs perfectly. Now? I no longer do, because this crazy world keeps demanding my attention.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:24 pm 
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Well, according to my experience (and Sturgeon's Law) a portion of fantasy fiction is also Literature, and thus yields the same reward that all Literature yields. My private definition of capital L Literature is that unlike fiction, the primary concern of a literary novel is the interior landscape. Both have external actions and events that the characters go through, but the principal action of a literary novel occurs in a character's head, and this is where the plot's crisis and payoff of the novel will occur. At the end of a literary novel, the hero is different, not because he fought off the villain, but because he realized something.

So that's what I'm seeking when I read fantasy. Most of the time I don't find it, but most of the time, its not there to be found. When I write, I try to write something that works both as f/sf and as lit. It's difficult, but anything else is unsatisfying.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:24 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
These all lead directly to tanks. When I was working there, part of my daily tasks was opening those ports, rubbing a 10' long stick with paste that changed color in the presence of water, and dropping it down the holes to see if water had managed to get into the tanks. We called it "sticking the tanks".


Just for curiousity's sake, what would you do if you did discover water?


Tell my manager and stop selling gas. I was the low man on the totem pole. I don't know what they would do to fix a positive stick reading--that knowledge was above my pay grade :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:01 pm 
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Wanderer wrote:
Tell my manager and stop selling gas. I was the low man on the totem pole. I don't know what they would do to fix a positive stick reading--that knowledge was above my pay grade :)

If I were your manager, I'd hand you one of these and tell you to stick your arm down there, and get to to it. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:47 pm 
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I was at the local gas station myself just now, so I asked the manager what they do. He said they haven't used the stick in around 20 years; this being the 21st century and all, the storage tanks have sensors now. Back in Wanderer's stick-wielding day, if there was water in the tank the manager would have all the gas pumped out and sent back to the refinery for re-processing (if he was ethical, that is, because it cost time and money to do so). Nowadays they just put in an isopropyl alcohol-based fuel additive, much the same as what you might put in your car's own fuel tank. He said they'd just checked theirs, as it would happen, and he proudly told me the readings showed zero water. As with science fiction, I opted to suspend disbelief. :wink:

And there you have it. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
Tell my manager and stop selling gas. I was the low man on the totem pole. I don't know what they would do to fix a positive stick reading--that knowledge was above my pay grade :)

If I were your manager, I'd hand you one of these and tell you to stick your arm down there, and get to to it. :twisted:


Not likely to work. Water is more dense than gas. It sits on the bottom. Plus, you know, my arms aren't long enough to even reach the top of the gas, much less the bottom. Those tanks sit below the frost line, so as to minimize thermal expansion/contraction.

Nanohedron wrote:
I was at the local gas station myself just now, so I asked the manager what they do. He said they haven't used the stick in around 20 years; this being the 21st century and all, the storage tanks have sensors now. Back in Wanderer's stick-wielding day, if there was water in the tank the manager would have all the gas pumped out and sent back to the refinery for re-processing (if he was ethical, that is, because it cost time and money to do so). Nowadays they just put in an isopropyl alcohol-based fuel additive, much the same as what you might put in your car's own fuel tank. He said they'd just checked theirs, as it would happen, and he proudly told me the readings showed zero water. As with science fiction, I opted to suspend disbelief. :wink:

And there you have it. :)


Either way, the ports are still there at most every gas station I can think of that I've visited recently. The original point still stands: The gas is easy to get to in a post-apocalyptic world. Whether it's viable is a different story.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:52 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
My motivation was escape from the world, and for that, it met my needs perfectly. Now? I no longer do, because this crazy world keeps demanding my attention.


I myself have turned to the flute and video games for escaping the world. It works pretty good.

AaronFW wrote:
Second, s1m0n, what are your reasons for reading fantasy? Is it just for leisure?


s1m0n wrote:
Apart from the needs of academia, I can't think of any other reason to read fantasy. Is there one?

I suppose if you were in the biz, you might be looking for stories to license for movie rights, or manuscripts to publish, but I can't think of other motives

...

Well, according to my experience (and Sturgeon's Law) a portion of fantasy fiction is also Literature, and thus yields the same reward that all Literature yields. My private definition of capital L Literature is that unlike fiction, the primary concern of a literary novel is the interior landscape. Both have external actions and events that the characters go through, but the principal action of a literary novel occurs in a character's head, and this is where the plot's crisis and payoff of the novel will occur. At the end of a literary novel, the hero is different, not because he fought off the villain, but because he realized something.

So that's what I'm seeking when I read fantasy. Most of the time I don't find it, but most of the time, its not there to be found. When I write, I try to write something that works both as f/sf and as lit. It's difficult, but anything else is unsatisfying..


Thanks for both explanations. I originally asked the question because I was wondering what type of literature you were reading, your goals for reading, and wondering how it related to the suspension of disbelief. Before stumbling on this hay bale thread, I had seen an article on Rock-Paper-Shotgun about portraying slavery in videogames. They began the article with this remark:

Video games always come with an expectation that the player will suspend disbelief to some extent. Genetically engineered super-soldier clones don’t exist, radiation has never and will never work like that, and overweight Italian plumbers could never make that jump. In most cases, if we are unwilling or unable to suspend our disbelief, we may well struggle to enjoy the game and our questioning of the basics of its ‘reality’ would probably make us insufferable to be around.

So I had already been thinking about the suspension of disbelief a little.

My field isn't literature. My undergrad was in Linguistic Anthropology and I did some graduate work in Ethno-arts and Cultural Anthropology, as a result, I tend to stay out of reading fantasy but have different anachronisms that bother me.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:14 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
The conversation moves at too great of a pace for me to keep up. (It isn't bad, it just is what it is.)

Welcome to the Pub as it used to be. Years back before Facebook, the Pub was a total circus, and keeping up was the order of the day. It was fun as all get-out. I'm hoping more people will start participating again. :)


I think it would help if C&F were more mobile-device friendly. Speaking of which.. I have ideas or suggestions in this regard, but I'm not even sure who I'd communicate the ideas to. Any ideas as to who and how I'd communicate my suggestion/offer assistance in helping it become mobile-device friendly?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:38 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
It's been argued that sf is a subset of fantasy.

Late to this thread.

I would argue not. SF deals with a potential future for this planet and the human species. The start point for SF is the real today on Planet Earth. The author then postulates where technology will go from here and writes a tale about how we and our descendants will deal with this new reality. Fantasy, OTOH, postulates a different world entirely, a world that has never existed. There may be humans in this world but they are not our descendants, they are a different race who happen to look and think much like us. I consider SF and fantasy two separate genres. I enjoy them both and read them regularly.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:51 am 
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Wanderer wrote:
An Draighean wrote:
despite the fact there is no electricity to run the petrol pumps, and no way to siphon petrol from underground storage tanks in any petrol filling station.


Having worked at a gas station/convenience store in my youth, I can tell you, it's not hard to get access to the gas in the big tanks, though siphoning would be problematic because of the way siphons work. But if you have access to cars, I don't know why you wouldn't conceivably have access to pumps, since you can buy gas-powered pumps at home depot.


Fair enough, but the author could have easily done enough basic research to include this in his story. An additional paragraph or two about going to Home Depot and obtaining a gas-powered sump pump would have done wonders towards suspending my disbelief.


Wanderer wrote:
The unbelievable part of gas-driving post-apocalyptic stories, especially when it's far-future, is that gas starts degrading after only a few months. Far into the future, there wouldn't be any usable gas available, no matter what liquid remained in those tanks.


Yes, I agree completely. Another good point, and another example of Mr. King's lack of doing his homework.

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Last edited by An Draighean on Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:59 am 
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walrii wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
It's been argued that sf is a subset of fantasy.

Late to this thread.

I would argue not. SF deals with a potential future for this planet and the human species. The start point for SF is the real today on Planet Earth. The author then postulates where technology will go from here and writes a tale about how we and our descendants will deal with this new reality. Fantasy, OTOH, postulates a different world entirely, a world that has never existed. There may be humans in this world but they are not our descendants, they are a different race who happen to look and think much like us. I consider SF and fantasy two separate genres. I enjoy them both and read them regularly.


I could make a case for either perspective, and ultimately don't much care.

However, not all fantasy is made-up world pseudo medieval fantasy. There's plenty based, like SF, in today's world. And for that matter, there's plenty of far future SF that is only vaguely based on contemporary humanity. No more so than pseudo-medieval fantasy, at any rate.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:09 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Nowadays they just put in an isopropyl alcohol-based fuel additive, much the same as what you might put in your car's own fuel tank.


Since most gasoline now sold in the U.S. contains 10% or more ethanol (thanks corn lobby :tomato: ), it's pretty much a moot point. The ethanol is continually absorbing whatever condensed water may be in the storage tank.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:17 am 
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AaronFW wrote:
I think it would help if C&F were more mobile-device friendly. Speaking of which.. I have ideas or suggestions in this regard, but I'm not even sure who I'd communicate the ideas to. Any ideas as to who and how I'd communicate my suggestion/offer assistance in helping it become mobile-device friendly?


Oh dear. I'd support the idea if it was likely to generate more traffic, but I have to say I don't relish the prospect. It's unfortunate that mobile-friendly also tends to mean PC-hostile.

But its a valid question. Does anyone know if the phpBB software has a mobile friendly build?

As far as I know, this site's admins don't include folks who want to crunch a lot of code for a volunteer gig. The site is off the shelf shareware, mildly customised. It's been migrated a few times to more recent versions of the software, and if there's a more mobile-friendly build that might be worth doing again. But I think that's the most you could hope for. There's no Chiff and Fipple backroom of coders. Maintaining the dbase is hard enough, and as I've said, for everyone its a volunteer gig.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:45 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
It's unfortunate that mobile-friendly also tends to mean PC-hostile.

It doesn't have to. That's just bad web design. And I'm speaking as someone who doesn't even have a smart phone, currently accesses websites through computer browsers only, but still believes responsive design to be essential these days. While a site encumbered by paleolithic, non-scalable design may still be better than no site, it can only benefit (never suffer) from a properly responsive rethink.

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