This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.
The RPGPundit's Own Forum Rules
This part of the site is controlled by the RPGPundit. This is where he discusses topics that he finds interesting. You may post here, but understand that there are limits. The RPGPundit can shut down any thread, topic of discussion, or user in a thread at his pleasure. This part of the site is essentially his house, so keep that in mind. Note that this is the only part of the site where political discussion is permitted, but is regulated by the RPGPundit.

Author Topic: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words  (Read 2752 times)

Rafael

  • Mead Paw
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
Hey,

So, I think this might be a bigger moment than it might seem: Terry Brooks, godfather of post-Tolkien fantasy, and Peter V Brett, author of the "Demon Cycle", one of the more innovative takes on "traditional" epic fantasy, discuss Peter's new novel, "The Desert Prince", and - not in those words - how SJWs are becoming a problem for fantasy literature.



[Relevant part starts around 12:00, gets more specific around 19:30, goes on until about 25:00.]

Worth a look, I think, if only because it does so much to take the bipolarity out of the debate. Like the Pundit, I have no skin in the game when it comes to US-centered political discussion, but I'd like the needless and embarrassing drama to stay out of my hobby. - So, I take this as an important moment in the debate: Here are two of the most successful writers in the genre saying loud and clear that they're not happy with recent developments. Might not be controversial enough for Kotaku, might get missed by Twitter altogether, but still - this is as direct a statement as we are going to get by two of the needle movers in the genre. That's cool, and that feels like a step into the right direction to me.

Cheers,

- R
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 04:15:23 PM by Rafael »
"Rise, like lions after slumber! ...Shake your chains to earth like dew."

Rafael

  • Mead Paw
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2021, 04:12:27 PM »
DISCLAIMER:

The video, BTW, is a public re-upload of a private stream for fans from about a month ago. More than 60 people saw this one.

Also, I haven't read "The Desert Prince", nor do I plan to do, so any time soon - like, you know, saying this with positivity: Nothing against the book, and I like non-traditional fantasy, but - I'm reading the "Necroscope" series as my "big read" for the fall/winter, and I'm not planning ahead beyond that one. Oh, well, maybe I do. I've read part of the "Demon Cycle", though, and, in my estimation, Brett is an able writer who tells an interesting and engaging story.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 04:30:14 PM by Rafael »
"Rise, like lions after slumber! ...Shake your chains to earth like dew."

Godfather Punk

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
  • Oh dear, how sad, nevermind
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2021, 04:25:27 PM »
Thanks for sharing this. Now they have 62 Views (we'll see the RPGSte effect tomorrow, I guess  :) ).

And I have discovered a new writer and have a new series to read.

Rafael

  • Mead Paw
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 04:39:42 PM »
:) My pleasure. The "Demon Cycle" is really good - YA-ish, of course, but still engaging and fresh. Reminded me a lot of Brooks - and of David Farland, as well. There's an old anime series "Legend of Basara" that I felt goes into the same direction - and I think I'm probably not entirely out of line if I suggest that Brett might have taken the idea for his intersex character from there. The point is, though, that he seems to be a fantasy writer, through and through: For him, it's about the genre, not about social commentary and virtue signaling. Unless his future books completely suck, I think he has all the potential to go down in history as one of the great fantasy writers of our time.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 04:47:26 PM by Rafael »
"Rise, like lions after slumber! ...Shake your chains to earth like dew."

Theory of Games

  • Disaffected Game Warrior
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2021, 08:02:32 PM »
No. Pundit DOES have a decidedly Conservative viewpoint, politically. He, in my opinion, destroys

his great opinions by attaching them to the Republican Right. Because the GOP and the Left vote

along the same lines. Like Ralph Nader said, Left & Right are two sides of the same coin.

They're all BS.

Shasarak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2021, 08:24:06 PM »
I have not read any of Peters books but he sounds really slimy in this video.

But at least he made sure that 50% of his characters were female.
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

Trond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1939
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2021, 11:40:58 PM »
I have not read any of Peters books but he sounds really slimy in this video.

But at least he made sure that 50% of his characters were female.

I thought so too, or at least; there’s a point of view there that I have seen SO often and that makes me cringe.

 I mean, he says that he thought long and hard about a character changing sex, and at the same time it sounds like he puts males and females 50-50 in all roles from what he’s saying, “what it means to be male or female” comes up with no answer (as usual) and the evergreen “our society puts us in boxes”. I feel like saying: That’s what you came up with? Did the word “biology” ever enter I your mind? What about “hormones”? Are males physically stronger? Of course, maybe those aren’t really concerns in his fantasy world, but I bet women still somehow get pregnant. If you take those things out, and you blur what males and females do in general, then I can answer the question “what it means to be male or female” : it means absolutely nothing anymore. And to me that is the most boring stance when it comes to gender. 

Maybe he DOES address some of these things? Doesn’t sound like it from what I’m hearing.

Rafael

  • Mead Paw
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2021, 03:49:26 AM »
Yeah, Brett is not making himself shine here. Then again, the question is, would it be in his best interest to make a non-standard statement on the issue? - Like, what can he say that doesn't lead to his own destruction? My impression of him is - he's probably been outlining his stories for over a decade now, and he didn't foresee the late-2010s hysteria about gender. Now, he just wants to write his story as he's planned to do, without having to make concessions to the zeitgeist. Of course, that makes him look pretty disingenuous, at times, but if the gist of what he's saying is "please leave me alone with this", then I can live with that.

Personally, I obviously watched the video for Brooks, and I think it's interesting to listen to what he and some of his oldschool colleagues are saying on the issue: Always polite, but always decided. "Fantasy is not for this." - And that's cool. Brooks, has perhaps three or four books left in him before he retires completely: In this interview, and in other past ones, it's becoming increasingly clear that he doesn't give a crap about a lot of what is going on right now, and that he resents some editorial decisions that were made for Shannara in the wake of "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games". --- It's a joy to behold.  :P
"Rise, like lions after slumber! ...Shake your chains to earth like dew."

Mistwell

  • Smarter than Arduin
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4063
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2021, 04:05:03 PM »
All I am seeing is "Not pure enough" bullshit takes.

OK then. Be the same type of puritans you hate on the SJW side I guess?

Rafael

  • Mead Paw
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2021, 05:35:59 PM »
Just to clarify - I'm perfectly alright with what Brett is saying. This is a guy who counts his book sales in the millions; he's unlikely to kick a hornet's nest for no good reason.

Now, his statements are nonetheless pretty important because there aren't many writers out there who even speak about this; I think the fallout of the Isabel Fall Shitstorm might have loosened some tongues here and there, but beyond very, very lo-fi and measured comments, we have not really seen any sort of real response yet.

So, Brett's and Brooks' comments are notable, however tame or boring one might consider them. As far as I'm concerned, no need for them to say more, and no reason for anyone to demand more of them. They are clearly viewing this outside of any current political debate; that's cool, and that's how one would wish that more people saw it. The "internet thought police" is bad regardless of which team it decides to endorse.
"Rise, like lions after slumber! ...Shake your chains to earth like dew."

Shasarak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2021, 06:27:11 PM »
I have not read any of Peters books but he sounds really slimy in this video.

But at least he made sure that 50% of his characters were female.

I thought so too, or at least; there’s a point of view there that I have seen SO often and that makes me cringe.

 I mean, he says that he thought long and hard about a character changing sex, and at the same time it sounds like he puts males and females 50-50 in all roles from what he’s saying, “what it means to be male or female” comes up with no answer (as usual) and the evergreen “our society puts us in boxes”. I feel like saying: That’s what you came up with? Did the word “biology” ever enter I your mind? What about “hormones”? Are males physically stronger? Of course, maybe those aren’t really concerns in his fantasy world, but I bet women still somehow get pregnant. If you take those things out, and you blur what males and females do in general, then I can answer the question “what it means to be male or female” : it means absolutely nothing anymore. And to me that is the most boring stance when it comes to gender. 

Maybe he DOES address some of these things? Doesn’t sound like it from what I’m hearing.

I was actually more interested in listening to what Terry had to say then the other guy who I am sure is a fine writer.

Now Terry has been including strong women in his books since the beginning and in his second novel the main character Amberle Elessedil was even a woman.  I know, shocking right, fourty years ago at the dawn of Fantasy you already had strong woman characters.

I was fascinated to hear Terry say that the only reason he has written so many Shannara novels was because of the fans asking him to write so many Shannara novels.  And that is a great point, when do you let a good thing go?
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

Trond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1939
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2021, 07:39:18 PM »
The weird thing about the "strong women" thing is that people keep talking about it as if it is something new. When were there no strong women in literature? Gilgamesh? My favorite "trolling" response is that the real reason we keep talking about it as a novelty is that deep down we know, women aren't really that strong :D *



*Yes, I know there are more than one way to be strong, calm down, I said I was trolling

Squidi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • S
  • Posts: 62
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2021, 07:53:34 PM »
I was fascinated to hear Terry say that the only reason he has written so many Shannara novels was because of the fans asking him to write so many Shannara novels.  And that is a great point, when do you let a good thing go?
It depends on the author and the circumstance. I think having fans is a responsibility and an honor (though one I didn't personally enjoy). An author or creator who listens to their fans and gives them what they want is certainly praiseworthy - though I'd warn against stagnation, lest you wither as an artist.

My irrational fear was being a one hit wonder. The idea that you can do something people like, but they only like that one thing and nothing else you make is ever good enough - that used to keep me up at night. It's like, am I as good as people tell me that I am, or was I just lucky? I ultimately came to the conclusion that, when it came to writing, I kind of was a one hit wonder and that maybe I didn't have as much to offer my craft as I originally believed. Lucky for me, I'm good at a lot of things and interested just about everything, so I didn't feel damned to keep returning to the same well for all eternity. I would've become an empty shell of a man to constantly face my own inadequacies, day after day.

I actually considered doing something people facing somewhat recently, only to come to the realization that I would be hardcore cancelled after about 15 minutes and I've already been banned from many of the biggest forums and social media outlets (once, for saying Black Panther was a terrible movie, and once for defending HP Lovecraft - I'm such a radical), so I didn't really have an avenue to promote my work to others who might like it. It's like, I'm already pre-cancelled, so what would be the point?

That's my problem with the woke crowd. It isn't just what they destroy. It's also what they prevent from existing in the first place.

My favorite "trolling" response is that the real reason we keep talking about it as a novelty is that deep down we know, women aren't really that strong
I'm actually kind of getting sick of strong women. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but I just find it dramatically more interesting for them to be deeply flawed, or weak in some way. I want their strength to come from their weakness.

Like, Ripley is more interesting in Aliens for her PTSD and using Newt as a surrogate for her own lost daughter compared to Vasquez who just points a big gun at stuff and scowls. Ripley wouldn't be considered a strong woman today because she is traumatized, bigoted against androids, and needs to be rescued. She's strong because she overcomes these things.

But these days, it's the Captain Marvel version of strong woman where they were perfect and invincible the entire time, but it was men who were keeping them from reaching their fullest potential (which justifies them bullying everyone around them). Yawn.

Shasarak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2021, 08:13:18 PM »
My favorite "trolling" response is that the real reason we keep talking about it as a novelty is that deep down we know, women aren't really that strong
I'm actually kind of getting sick of strong women. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but I just find it dramatically more interesting for them to be deeply flawed, or weak in some way. I want their strength to come from their weakness.

I like how Brin Ohmsford had the stronger wishsong but in the end fell to the corruption of the Ildatch needing to be saved by her brother who only had the power of illusion.

Of course you would never see that story now.  Its Mary Sues all the way down.
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6816
Re: Terry Brooks and Peter V Brett on cancel culture, in the mildest of words
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2021, 09:31:05 PM »
]I'm actually kind of getting sick of strong women. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but I just find it dramatically more interesting for them to be deeply flawed, or weak in some way. I want their strength to come from their weakness.

Like, Ripley is more interesting in Aliens for her PTSD and using Newt as a surrogate for her own lost daughter compared to Vasquez who just points a big gun at stuff and scowls. Ripley wouldn't be considered a strong woman today because she is traumatized, bigoted against androids, and needs to be rescued. She's strong because she overcomes these things.

But these days, it's the Captain Marvel version of strong woman where they were perfect and invincible the entire time, but it was men who were keeping them from reaching their fullest potential (which justifies them bullying everyone around them). Yawn.

Yep. Like the cave scene in Last Jedi, where Rey faces herself, and only sees a multitude of reflections of herself. She doesn't need anyone, and doesn't need to improve. She's already pretty much perfect and it's on everyone else to realize it.

I'd argue these aren't strong characters. They're entitled brats.
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung