State of the forum: please read.

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Gatherer, Jul 3, 2001.

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  1. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    You hate that word so much and don't seem to be able to let it go, and it wasn't even posted in this forum. Welcome to my world Anakin. Perhaps you now know how it feels to be attacked, stalked, ostracized and belittled because of the opinion that you hold.

    Mind a little free advice? Let it go. The longer you allow yourself to be defined by those who hold opposing viewpoints, the more and more jaded and cynical you will get, thus contributing to the deterioration of the forums because it influences everything you see and write.
  2. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
  3. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Jades Fire--

    I don't "hate" the word "bootlicker," and for Yoda's sake I'm not letting you or anyone else "define" me. That's absurd. Your comment stands out because the context was so striking, not because I took any particular offense.

    One more thing: My thoughts and feelings that I don't choose to share in writing are not your concern. So please stop trying to guess what's going on in my head.

    Thanks in advance.
  4. Knight1192 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    Well Grey1, no offense taken. Sad fact is, it does seem there is a mentality over here that says sue folks and get the money you deserve. Your kid gets a paper cut at school, sue their teacher, the school, the school district, and the company that produced the paper they got cut on. Nice little example, huh. Perhaps some will find it over exaterated (speeling please), but with some of the folks around where I live, definetely correct.

    Something happens that can easily be forgiven, the folks around here tell their friends that they should sue. It doesn't help any that probably twenty percent or better of all commercials are ambulance chasers telling you that they'll get you the money you deserve for whatever the reason you choose to sue for.

    It seems like only ten percent of all lawyers over here are normal lawyers who are actually looking to do good for society. The other eighty percent are ambulance chasers that push you to sue. Too bad folks don't realize that their not likely to see the amount of money their case might win. After all, the ambulance chasers will take their share and then some.

    Intresting historic fact on lawyers. When the Jamestown colony was set up, a law was in acted that prevented lawyers from becoming a part of the colony because they were viewed as trouble makers.
  5. aleja Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 3
    I agree that the state of the forum reflects the state of what is being published.

    Which is why I've so rarely posted lately - the books are just not worth the thought and energy.

    But I just had to say that Jade's Fire, as always, speaks truth. By your posts, ye are known - no one has to be a mind reader.



  6. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    << I think Dewlanna seriously understates how the atmosphere of this forum has been affected by a group of disappointed fans (mostly over 30) who have called NJO fans (and sometimes others) gullible, bootlickers, apologists for Del Rey, worshippers of a series of books, or crybabies, or made insinuations about the maturity, credibility, objectivity, or reading ability of certain NJO fans. I find this behavior rude, arrogant, and inflammatory, even if Dewlanna does not.>>

    I have been a lurker for a short time, but a SW fan since I first saw the movie in 1977. So you figure out how old I am (I'm 53 if you need a hint <hehe>). I have been reading this thread with interest as I have been one of those readers who is often at odds with what seems to be the prevailing opinion here. Now let me tell you what IMHO is the issue here.

    The NJO is a much darker, and in many ways, very unsettling vision of a universe where "good" (however defined) seems to be unequal to the task of combatting "evil" (again, however defined).I make this statement as I see the Jedi and the Vong as allegories for good and evil. Where the problems arise is the fact that in all the previous SW literature, good eventually wins. Even Thrawn, who at times appeared to be omniscient, loses as he overlooks the enemy within.

    Now I should also say that I *personally* prefer happy endings to sad ones ... but sad ones serve a purpose if they are part of a larger continuity that advances a story. For example, the TV show Babylon 5 was a 5 year story arc, meticulously planned from day 1 by Straczinski, but ... within the arc, there are many stories where characters die and the endings are not happy. The point is, there is a vision. What we have with the NJO is seemingly a lack of that vision.

    It may be that the PTB *have* the vision, and in other threads, there are hints of what that vision might be. But for me, the key point is that I am profoundly unsatisfied by the NJO and it leads me to question why this has been allowed to hapen. The schism in fandom reflects this situation. I agree with other posters that the series is NEW Jedi Order and all this is a way of getting there. But I say, it is a road that I am not happy to travel.

    To get back to the topic, I think the flames and insults and general malaise is a consequence of this path. For instance, I really like CotJ ... yet many people consider it trash. To me, an incurable romantic, I loved the creation of the relationship with Luke and Callista. Yes, the rest of the plot is somewhat weak but who cares. The point is, Luke learned and grew from the experience.

    I also liked Zahn. Others have denigrated him lately but that is part and parcel of the whole issue here. We are seeing a change from what we "know and love" to something dark and unknown, and that ALWAYS leaves people uncomfortable. Add to that, the seeming invincibility of the Vong and the fact that the sory arc is taking way too long to evolve, and frustration develops. Babon 5 had 22 episodes per year; more than enough time for things to happen. But we are looking at what, two books per year? People want to know NOW and I think that is contributing to the unease. I mean, I read Conquest a few months ago, and Rebirth is due soon, but it will be some time after that until SbS comes out. And we *still* may not be any closer to a reslution or clear clues as to what will happen.

    And the speculation is what feeds the unhappiness of fans. Will someone else die? Will Fey'la "win"? Will Luke reunite the Jedi? Will Jacen or Jaina or Anakin become the new leader? What about mara and Skycrawler (not to mention Han and Leia)? Too many characters with too many plot threads to be resolved. And god forbid they pull a "deus ex machina" to solve the Vong ... that would *really* be cheezy.

    IMHO *THAT* is the reason we are all so fussed over NJO. Will the NR survive? Will Luke survive? Some have said that if any of the big 3 dies, it is the end of SW. I agree. David Eddings was asked why he did not continue his series with Belgarion into the future.
  7. Frank Slade Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 1998
    star 2
    THAT was an excellent post. Notice how no aspersions were cast on any individual or group that enjoys or doesn't enjoy the series, and no generic characterizations of the fan or critic base were made.

    Booster, I have my reasons for disagreeing with some of your criticisms, but they likely belong in another thread. For now I'll just say that for whatever it's worth I'd post more often if I saw more posts like that.
  8. Matthew Trias Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 1999
    star 6
    Ecept for a few posts in here,very little constructive criticism is being offered.We all seem to be pointing fingers at each other.

    "Well it's the NJO readers's faults.THose bootlickers!No it's the Bantam readers's faults!Those stodgy old fuddy duds!Well don't look at me I like both the Bantam run and the NJO run!It's the Bantam fans and NJO fans faults!"


    :p
  9. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    Matthew Trias --- what are you referring to ... there have been a number of posts here discussing philosphical issues not related to who publishes what. The key to this discussion has been the friction caused by the NJO and the reaction of people to the NJO ... especially the posts. One thing I learned 30 years ago at university is that any study of literature is dependent on the biases of the reader(s). I will like what you hate and vice-versa. But that doesn't mean we can't have an intellectual discussion of a book. I have not even commented on what I consider the respective skills (or lack thereof) of the authors in conveying the NJO universe. My response was to a post regarding the direction the forum has gone, and why it mght be that way. IMHO, posts such as the one you made tend not advance the disucssion --- they more likely serve to drag it right back to where we began.
  10. Bogga Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1998
    star 4
    Booster-1986, that post was worth a lot more than 2 cents...

    It's almost as if some fans have went from one end of the spectrum to the other. With the Bantam books they weren't worried at all about characters dying; sometimes because those characters had already been used in books that take place later in the timeline. Now with the NJO, these same fans are far too occuppied with the thought of death and the fact that the ending isn't already known at the start of the series.
  11. Ana Vitorrian Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 1999
    star 3
    Completely aside from the current discussion . . .

    I want to say thanks to Jades Fire & Dewlanna Solo for recommending Tim Zahn's Conqueror's Trilogy. I have books one and three, I'm just waiting to pick up book two and I'll be ready to dig in.

    I've been a little sidetracked with work and another trilogy that I'm currently reading . . . but I'm excited about getting on to Zahn's work!!! Thanks, again!
  12. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    "the state of the forum reflects the state of what is being published."

    I tend to agree with this statement. With so little lit available to discuss, it is no wonder that topics seem to degenerate into
    arguments and personal attacks. Boredom will do that. I don't think the current story line is enough to sustain good discussion for long. It is after all just one long story with the same enemy. With the books coming few and far between, it makes people frustrated and cranky.
  13. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    What are you waiting for Ana, book 2 is the Best! The best SciFi book I've read in a long time. Get yourself down to the bookstore! :)

    PS: Icarus Hunt was good too. A nice surprise ending. I am now starting Lois McMaster Bujold's "Cordelia's Honor". Thanks to recommendations by aleja and CountJared.
  14. Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2000
    star 5
    I just picked up Greg Keyes' Empire of Unreason myself.
    His is the best scifi/fantasy I've read in moons.
  15. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    I am dismayed that this has gone wildly off on a tangent on its own, and people haven't sunk into thier head the meaning behind the original post.
  16. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    Going off in unexpected directions is the nature of discussion in a free society.
    Letting a dialogue follow its own course is what keeps the discussion from going stale.
    Insisting that the discussion and debate to stay within narrow, artificial confines can be part of the reason that forums can get boring.
    When the discussions get stifled and/or stilted, tempers can flare.

    Now the last few posts, albeit off topic, have been polite and friendly.
    They've been what was once the backbone of a good discussion/message board.
    They've been about reading good SciFi books.
    They've been about the free exchange of ideas

    Let the discussion flow where it will.
    If the original topic is still relevant, the conversation will return to it.
    If the topic is played out, the discussion will move on or the thread will drift to the bottom.
  17. Former Grunt Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2000
    star 2
    Well said Dewlanna. Any intelligent, reasoned discussion is a welcome breath of fresh air. The forum has been a boring place to visit of late.
  18. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    Gatherer,

    One example or yours that struck a chord with me was the attacking of opinions. Going back and forth offering points and counterpoints in a debate of opinions on the books is one thing. However, there seems to be a recent trend that goes beyond debating each others positions, with some people attacking other peoples opinions, without offering an opinion of their own. If you are merely posting around the forum, playing Devil's Advocate, ripping apart other people's opinions, such as saying they have no factual basis (duh, that is why it is an opinion or speculation), without offering an counter opinion is just... well I don't think that is playing fair. Heavy handed tactics like this don't really make things a whole lot of fun, and when things aren't fun anymore, people leave. Or they form Fan Clubs so that they can commune with like minded individuals in a relatively safe environment.
  19. PROPHEToftheCOUNCIL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2001
    star 4
    Gatherer,

    I would point out that I believe that it is the nature of posts to inevitably go off topic; But that the original spark that ignited the flame that is the thread does not leave the collective concious of those who post(for why would the thread be as long as it is), but merely is place to the side for a time so that a response to the immediate preceeding post(s) can be given.

    Being one of the Old Guard to the Literature forum.

    (yes I know what it says under my sign name, it is easily exlained, I have signed and resigned on repeatedly under various names over the years after unfortunate happenings regarding the cleaning of email repositories)

    I would liken the state of the Literature Forum to an old carpet, it may get weighted down with dust; but it is livened up with a good beating, and cleaned with a good wash. Alas all rugs/carpets do have a limited lifespan and eventualy will need to be replaced.
  20. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    Good post, Booster.

    But (to enhance the discussion): I believe that what you described is only an accelerator for the problem at hand. The basic problem, I believe, is that many are not able to discuss properly. Many just state their opinion and are upset when it isn't echoed.

    As I said before, it is not only about NJO. What you said about this topic is true, I agree fully.
    Look at Episode 1. It ripped the fans apart between those who loved it and those who expected something else and hated it. Inbetween, there were those who either liked or disliked it for several reasons. But between the two extreme positions, there was no negotiating.
    Look at Jar Jar haters. I mean, come on, he's only a character in a movie! Why all that talk of "Gungans must die" and "Erase Jar Jar from the movie"? They could at least think about incorporating him into the saga, like giving him more maturity in eps 2&3.

    The same is going on on the lit boards. NJO, yes or no? But this is not the only topic: You mentioned CotJ. Why can't people live with the fact that some people like a book they didn't like?
    In the new X-Wing thread, I stated I disliked the way Corran developed. Every answer was, "I like Corran", so I left the thread without causing further trouble. Two opinions, and I'm not sure if this is good stuff worth discussing, as those opinions won't be likely changed.


    I think the problem is a fundamental one. And with the NJO letting people wait, other topics come up. Difficult topics. People are upset and want to tell it. But most won't hear properly, or don't want to hear.

    So, Booster, thanks for illuminating thoughts from your point of view! I'd like to hear some more thoughts from you, and hope you can agree on some of the points I stated!



    discussion: 1 says A. 2 says B, making A to C in the process. 1 answers with D, making C to E in the process, and so on.
    Every new thought helps you to get a step further, and to learn more about you, the one you talk to and maybe about the world itself...
  21. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    Thanks Grey1 and Frank for the kind words ... as someone who wrtes for professional magazines, I like to escape to fantasy worlds. Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, David Eddings' worlds of Belgarion and Sparhawk, Ann McAffrey's Crystal Singer ... and so on ... occupy my readings now. In my youth, I was a voracious reader of the golden age of sci-fi --- Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert and van Vogt. So I claim to have some pedigree when assessing the state of the art in Star Wars writing --- both as a reader and a writer. Nonethless, my post yesterday was not intended to focus on any one writer ... it was aimed at what I see has become a schism in fandom.

    Grey1 ... you bring up a good point regarding JarJar. Personally, I didn't mind him, although others have strong feelings. Same goes for Tim Zahn, Greg Keyes, Mike Stackpole or ... well, the list goes on and on. The point is, we need to agree to disagree without beating up on each other. Don't shoot the messenger ... listen to what is being said.

    If someone asked me, my reasons for disliking the NJO are based on two key points --- one personal and one structural. I personally do not like the way the original characters have been treated. I am an old-timer (literally and figuratively) and I like Luke and the others. That doesn't mean they can't share the stage. But to dumb them down is not acceptable to me.

    However, I could accept that if the purpose was to bring in the New Jedi Order as the title states. Instead we have an interminable series of books with a seemingly invincible (or nearly so) foe ... and no idea of how it will end. A previous post (I forget the author and apologize in advance) noted that the earlier books were written to backfill the EU, so we knew that Luke et al would be OK. Here we don't know the outcome so we are anxious.

    And that is the structural flaw ... Because we can grab hold of twenty or more books in the backfill area, we can take comfort in the developments. Here, we have no idea how this will play out and we are forced to speculate over long periods as this develops. I think the NJO has been milked to death and could easily have been done as a three-part series. Maybe 5 if done well. But the writing in many cases is not up to the quality that is required to consistently be exciting and to hold us in suspense. I find myself quite ambivalent regarding the rest of the series. I am torn between my dislike of what has happened and my curiosity to see how it ends. Sort of "in for a penny, in for a pound" philosophy.

    What has this got to do with the thread? It goes back to the reason it was started by Gatherer. People were flaming each other instead of discussing issues. I stated yesterday that I liked CotJ because I loved the development of Callista and Luke ... that is partly a love story and as someone who has been married to the same lovely woman for 30 years, I relate to these kinds of things. Other readers may be too young or inexperienced to appreciate the depth of a relationship that was created.

    Same goes for Zahn in VotF. His development of Mara in SotP and VotF so that she sees what love is and what it means is so real. OK, it is idealized <g> but it is closer to what I see as my life's journey with my wife than some of the disposable relationships that exist today. Maybe that is part of the problem ... you have to experience these things before you can really understand them.

    I also believe part of the trouble is due to the fact that today's youth are raised in the MTV mode: instant gratification. My own children are 24 and 27 and neither of them reads the way I did. It is pleasing that so many younger people are reading SW, but wthout reading other material or the great classics or other authors, they lack the frame of reference to critically consider what is going on here.

    'Nuff said today ... to be continued if others want ... otherwise I'll go away and be quiet <hehe>
  22. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    So now it's against the rules to discuss, non-starwars lit in the lit forum? i'll remember that when people bring up zahn's other books, or other author's other books. Just because an author writes it doesn't truly make it star wars related.
  23. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    I think it is fine to discuss authors other works IF they have previously, or about to write in the Star Wars universe.

    Really, I don't see they point why we would discuss author's and their works if they are not related.
  24. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4

    But if you are going to be a stickler for EVERYTHING we post here being SW related, I'm sure we can make anything we say SW lit related.

    It's easy enough to do. Take this example:

    I just finished Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. A good book with believable aliens and a too rapid ending.
    (now to tie it into SW)
    That too rapid ending is like a lot of SW books.
    See, now it's a Stars Wars lit related post.

    And I even resisted the impulse to make an anti NJO comment even though one is just begging to be made, but I'm trying to be somewhat civilized. :)
  25. Wildwookiee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2001
    star 4
    I haven't had time to read all the posts, but from what I have read, I have a comment on opinons. I believe, and even encourage the discussions on controversyal topics, and about opinion. I don't mind when someone posts somthing that I don't agree with...but they must make it intellegent. If someone is out to post somthing just to be stupid, and flaming in the very nature of thier post, i.e- Kevin J. Anderson sucks, then I think that we should call them on it, and make them understand that though they might think that, that personlly bashing an author is not allowed. I have had intellegent debates on the pro's and cons of many authors, and I think that constructive critizism is healthy, useful, and entertaining...but let's not make this a blast furnace of stupidity.
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