Comments on Arthur B's The Reading Canary On: The Riftwar Saga

Arthur B reviews Ray Feist's Riftwar Saga and tries to establish a pretentious new Ferretbrain tradition.

Comments (go to latest)
Guy at 05:14 on 2007-07-06
I went to see Feist speak many years ago at a writer's festival, before I'd read any of his books, because I had friends who were fans. In telling his life story he explained that he'd learned his deepest lessons about human nature from a stint as a car salesman. This made me feel somewhat disinclined to read his books, but perhaps if I see these secondhand I'll give them a burl. :)
Arthur B at 08:55 on 2007-07-06
Luckily for the likes of us, Feist's books tend to fall into the category of "things which pop up in second-hand book shops over and over again". :D
Wardog at 11:45 on 2007-07-06
Moral issues of acknowledgement aside, I think the one thing you can safely say about Feist is that's completely unpretentious. I think it was Dan who said that he read an interview with him in which he said he basically wanted to write exciting adventure stories of the sort he'd loved as a kid. Given that the genre is stuffed with people trying to make a bid for Literature, I find this rather charming of him - ditto the car salesman comment! I did make an attempt to read Magician but I failed. I found the way every chapter started with a ominous pronouncement about the weather distraction ("It was raining" / "The sky was dark" etc. etc.)

I like the Canary idea very much, although if people keep referring to me as the esteemed editor my head is going to explode with pride :) I'm going to see if I can bear to re-read Dragonlance!!!
Arthur B at 13:49 on 2007-07-06
The unpretentiousness is really what's charming about Feist, which makes the Tekumel issue so baffling. It would seem (to me) to be the easiest thing for the world for Feist to just say "Well, Barker ended up being one of many people who influenced me, and I happened to draw on him heavily for the Kelewan segments accidentally; I'm sorry I didn't acknowledge it earlier". As far as the ominous sentences at the beginning of chapters go, I think that's a deliberate device of his (and yes, it is kind of annoying). I don't think anything is lost if you go through and just cross them all out, however.
Jen Spencer at 14:26 on 2007-07-06
I support the institution of the Reading Canary. Let me know if logo pondering is desired.

Hmmm... unfortunately I can't find enough of a pattern in my few articles to make a reviewing animal. Obviously I shall have to contribute more until one develops!
Wardog at 12:14 on 2007-07-09
Well, we'll have to wait until we get image-support before we can go with full implementation but I was talking with Arthur in noodle bar and an iconic rating system showing a canary in increasing states of distress would be great. Like it could start with a perfectly healthy canary looking cute and vulnerable and the canary could get increasingly toxic and unhappy until it was just a little pile of feathers and goo on the floor of its cage. I'm sick.
Rami at 08:28 on 2007-07-10
I like this idea! Implementing it correctly might be a bit complicated, though. We will have to talk about it when I'm in town :-)
Arthur B at 13:24 on 2007-07-10
Heck, we can get image-support right now if we just set up a communal Photobucket account - perhaps editors can have read/write access and contributors can all have read-only access so they can look up URLs for linking images.
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