Thread: Adult Topic!: Afra: Questionable attraction?
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Old Aug 1 2008, 12:18 PM   #16
draconichybrid
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Default Re: Afra: Questionable attraction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
I think you're stretching the concept of deus ex to breaking point here - it's a tad more specific than sweeping authorial fiat, don't you think?
I suppose, but.... Not that this really has anything to do with anything, if you really want to see deus ex machina stretched to the breaking point (trust me, I haven't even come close to the breaking point), I'd again recommend Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series.
Keri heaps so much crap on poor Riley that it's easy to wonder why she isn't suicidal about halfway through book two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
This. One of my primary complaints on this issue is that Anne, like many other popular authors, has a tendency to recycle the same old relationship tropes again and again and again, ad nauseum.
No insult intended, but were talking about fantasy here. Granted some connection to 'true reality' is needed for believability purposes, but it's a fine line to walk....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Yes, that's the intention, but short of the authorial fiat that leads inevitably to the foregone conclusion of a happy ending, it falls far short of realism. We do, of course, have the privilege of knowing the author's style, and can happily hand-wave all that possible alternative unpleasantness of the first option aside knowing full-well that she'd never put one of her characters through it... and that's what makes Anne a romance-wolf wearing sci-fi cable-knit, if you'll excuse the atrocious analogy. She chooses character tropes over characterization, realistic consequences be damned. I don't even think you can call these relationships non-standard either, because they've pretty much been the status quo throughout recent history... but is maintaining that trend in future-fiction really a positive addition to a work of science fiction?
Personally, I think you're reading too much into things, but... I do see some of your points.

How about we agree to disagree?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
'Show, don't tell' is one of the first rules of good writing, and I'd FAR rather see the struggles of working through to the happy ending than just having it neatly dished up on a plate as the author ties up all the loose-ends at the end of a novel.
I sometimes think along those lines myself. When I'm in 'truth and consequences' mode, I'll reach for Keri, or Iris Johanson, or Catherine Coulter, or... well, ther are a quite a few authors and authoresses that I like to pick from.

When I'm having a particularly rough time of things, I want to escape that. So Anne or some other authors/authoresses are what I pick up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
I'm going to take a step closer to your perspective at this point, and admit that yes, there was scope for these things to happen off-screen. We don't see Sascha's immediate reaction, or how he works it through in his head (if he does), or if he trusts that Tirla will mature into the fullness of her personality and potential despite their preordained future. So yes, there's plenty of room in the parts of the story we don't see for the happy ending to not only be justified, but earned.

But the thing is, we don't see it. And THAT is my point. Anne misses a chance to deepen Sascha's and Tirla's characterisation, and she misses her chance to make that perfect happy ending worthwhile - something that isn't a foregone conclusion simply because Anne is Anne.
Very good points, and I agree. But I'd rather give Anne a chance to write something on the 'further adventures of Tirla' (heh) and blame her if she doesn't than start blaming her now....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Sure, one can argue that all romance authors are just as bad, but that's the insidiousness of Anne's portrayal of strong women in a sci-fi setting. Socially, her female characters are in many ways about as far from the utopian ideal as you can get, unless your idea of a utopia is rooted in the glory days of some fictional 1950s.
Again, when I'm reading her books I'm usually looking for an emotional pick-me-up as well as something to stave off boredom... so I'm not really disposed to care.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Very true, but there's still a massive cultural gulf. I have, perhaps, been unfair to the future-Tirla in past posts. The Tirla of PIF was so clearly a knowledge-sponge that she'd certainly be capable of bridging that divide within a few short years, and applying her hard-won maturity in some aspects of her personality to her inexperience in other areas.
Again, give her a chance to write up something on all of that... or if you are that unhappy, write it up yourself or find someone else who has.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
I'll leave that to the throw-away remarks about her in subsequent books. But again, I'm being a little unfair to her. No McCaffrey heroine gets to escape the destiny of excessive fecundity (and before anyone says 'Lessa', Ramoth was a more than adequate proxy in those terms...)
At least Anne always gives them the excuse of necessity....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
What I am doing is being critical of the fact that his unrequited love for Rowan was transferred into feelings for her daughter right from a VERY young age, and while his puritanical upbringing certainly helped ensure that his affection for her always remained within acceptable bounds, we can't get away from the fact that he waited for her to grow up and mature for a very large part of her life. There was no other woman he was interested in, at all.
You meant to say 'completely hidden' there, right? Just checking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
So yeah, he waited not only until she was legal, but also until she was mature. That's a good thing.

The questionable aspect of this to me is the fact that he spent all those years waiting for an idealized adult woman that he himself played a role in molding.
But not in the way you're thinking, obviously -- Damia herself established she never even had a clue he had any special attraction for her before the Sodan incident.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
I don't think it was ever specified, but given the uniqueness of her Talent I think you can put it at the top of the pile in that specific area with no questions asked.
Adjusted T-rating would be Commercial T-4, so yah.
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