Author Topic: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves  (Read 16102 times)

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2013, 06:29:35 PM »
If we're expanding "urban fantasy" to include fantasy set in cities across a wider range than what's currently generally called genre UF, I'll certainly second the choice of a Khaavren romance; or indeed, Swordspoint, The Malacia Tapestry or Walter Jon Williams' Metropolitan and City on Fire. (Brilliant books, those last, which not enough people have read.  An entire planet covered by city in the Coruscant/Trantor mode, kept going by magic that works as a utility.  WJW calls them Totally Urban Fantasy.)

I would toss Perdido Street Station and Iron Council on that TUF heap.

Offline Sully

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2013, 03:39:51 AM »
I dislike how traditional/outdated/slow to evolve some things are.  Swords being the primary weapon of (non-magical)conflict, etc.

I find it no less plausible than holding down a full-time job, a happy marriage, a complex and busy social life, several fairly active internet presences, a couple of other incidental hobbies, and still having time to write a new chapter or do equivalent amounts of other writing-related stuff about 85% of weeks (and catch up before or after the weeks that's not possible.)

Soooo...not very many characters should be able to manage it so consistently? ;)


Offline LizW65

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #77 on: May 11, 2013, 04:00:19 PM »
I dislike how traditional/outdated/slow to evolve some things are.  Swords being the primary weapon of (non-magical)conflict, etc.
That's one thing I like a lot about the Artemis Fowl series: the Fae have not only moved with the times, they're far more advanced technologically than humans.
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Offline mithrandirthewhite

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #78 on: May 11, 2013, 08:29:25 PM »
With Artemis Fowl, they always were more advanced than people, so when we are in the 21st century tech, they are so much farther ahead.

I also would like to find more series where there is magic, and it is used, but it's not a essential part of the series, ala Discworld.  It exists, now move on.
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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #79 on: May 12, 2013, 02:11:30 AM »
I dislike how traditional/outdated/slow to evolve some things are.  Swords being the primary weapon of (non-magical)conflict, etc.


FWIW it's an absolute beeyotch to come up with a close-combat weapon better than swords - and then you run into the Everyone And Their Auntie Is An Expert  problem telling you that they Know Olympic Sabre Fencers Who Would Mincemeat Your LaserHalfStaff/PlasmaAssegai Wielder.   With A Spoon.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 02:17:17 AM by o_O »

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #80 on: May 12, 2013, 04:50:06 AM »
"But why a spoon, Cousin?"
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Offline Sully

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #81 on: May 12, 2013, 01:07:27 PM »

FWIW it's an absolute beeyotch to come up with a close-combat weapon better than swords - and then you run into the Everyone And Their Auntie Is An Expert  problem telling you that they Know Olympic Sabre Fencers Who Would Mincemeat Your LaserHalfStaff/PlasmaAssegai Wielder.   With A Spoon.

I actually do know somebody who fenced in the olympics. Multiple olympics, even.  He did Epee though.  8)

I'm more referring to the stories where it's 'all out war for survival!' And the front line troops bring spears? At least give them a muzzle loading rifle with a bayonet or something.

You know, like they used 300 years ago.  When cavalry carried pistols with their sword.

edit: I should say that while swords are fun, I subscribe to the Indiana Jones School.  As does the olympian above, lol.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 01:12:25 PM by Sully »

Offline vultur

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #82 on: May 13, 2013, 12:26:04 AM »
I dislike how traditional/outdated/slow to evolve some things are.  Swords being the primary weapon of (non-magical)conflict, etc

Given a society of immortals, it doesn't strike me as implausible, really. Supposedly part of the reason WWI was so pointlessly bloody was that the commanders tried to fight it like nineteenth-century wars, with a set of tactics that were on their way out even in the American Civil War. Now multiply that by lifespans four or five times as long (like Dresdenverse wizards) or thousands of years long or practically forever (vampires).... Also, a fast pace of innovation is really more the exception than the rule, taking human history as a whole.

The bigger problem to me is, in a lot of UF settings where the supernaturals have theoretically been around for ages, why did they ever let humans develop technology? The Dresdenverse has a powerful human organization which doesn't depend on technology for its power (the White Council), but lots of settings don't. If the supernatural world is mostly werewolves and vampires and maybe faeries ... it should still be ruled by those beings, and humans would never have gotten a chance to develop technology.


Offline Sully

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #83 on: May 13, 2013, 01:16:55 AM »
Given a society of immortals, it doesn't strike me as implausible, really. Supposedly part of the reason WWI was so pointlessly bloody was that the commanders tried to fight it like nineteenth-century wars, with a set of tactics that were on their way out even in the American Civil War. Now multiply that by lifespans four or five times as long (like Dresdenverse wizards) or thousands of years long or practically forever (vampires).... Also, a fast pace of innovation is really more the exception than the rule, taking human history as a whole.

That's tactics, not adoption of technology.

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The bigger problem to me is, in a lot of UF settings where the supernaturals have theoretically been around for ages, why did they ever let humans develop technology? The Dresdenverse has a powerful human organization which doesn't depend on technology for its power (the White Council), but lots of settings don't. If the supernatural world is mostly werewolves and vampires and maybe faeries ... it should still be ruled by those beings, and humans would never have gotten a chance to develop technology.

Oh, and the muses just struck.

Offline OZ

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #84 on: May 13, 2013, 02:35:17 AM »
Quote
Also she has no romantic life because she's essentially asexual and considers the whole idea vaguely icky and something that makes people behave stupidly

This sounds very much like Adele Mundy in David Drake's RCN series. Admittedly this is science fiction rather than urban fantasy. The funny thing is if I were just to read your description, it sounds unappealing but Adele is one of my favorite characters.

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However, if there is say 1 or 2 monsters, well that might not change the world anymore than your average pyscho/serial killer does.  I mean one vampire could probably get by unoticed, now hiding an entire vampire civizaltion is bit different.

Have you read Dan Wells' John Wayne Cleaver trilogy? It's young adult but I would still highly recommend it.

My pet peeves in writing are more general than just UF but they still apply. I hate stories that are driven by the stupidity of the main character(s) unless they are humor or children's stories. I hate stories where the only reason that the protagonist manages to win is because the clearly superior villain keeps them around to alleviate boredom.

I agree with those that are tired of stories about The Chosen One or where the whole story revolves around a cryptically worded prophecy. I am tired of vampires that literally live off blood rather than the life force that blood symbolizes thus allowing them to get blood from blood banks or in bottles or in small amounts that do not hurt the victims. I am tired (and I have mentioned this elsewhere) of werewolves living in packs and large portions of the stories dealing with pack rules. I am tired of ancient magical beings with great knowledge and power suddenly realizing that the love of their life is an angsty teenage slacker with poor social skills and questionable intellect. 

That is not to say that I haven't read good stories that have used these tropes. I am just tired of them.
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Offline The Corvidian

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2013, 03:57:24 AM »
Given a society of immortals, it doesn't strike me as implausible, really. Supposedly part of the reason WWI was so pointlessly bloody was that the commanders tried to fight it like nineteenth-century wars, with a set of tactics that were on their way out even in the American Civil War. Now multiply that by lifespans four or five times as long (like Dresdenverse wizards) or thousands of years long or practically forever (vampires).... Also, a fast pace of innovation is really more the exception than the rule, taking human history as a whole.

The bigger problem to me is, in a lot of UF settings where the supernaturals have theoretically been around for ages, why did they ever let humans develop technology? The Dresdenverse has a powerful human organization which doesn't depend on technology for its power (the White Council), but lots of settings don't. If the supernatural world is mostly werewolves and vampires and maybe faeries ... it should still be ruled by those beings, and humans would never have gotten a chance to develop technology.

Read Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. The vampires are the reason that steampunk technology exists, because they funded it. (Very minor spoiler)
Clarke's Third Law: Sufficently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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Offline vultur

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #86 on: May 14, 2013, 05:16:42 AM »
Oh, and the muses just struck.

I'd be interested to see what you do with it...

I had the basics of a world along these lines worked out, but never did anything with it.

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #87 on: May 21, 2013, 03:11:26 PM »
Have you read Dan Wells' John Wayne Cleaver trilogy? It's young adult but I would still highly recommend it.

I bounced hard off it, because female characters as Rewards to Fight Over really do not work for me.
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Offline Aminar

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #88 on: May 22, 2013, 04:39:57 AM »
I bounced hard off it, because female characters as Rewards to Fight Over really do not work for me.
They don't work for anybody, but are immensely in character for a sociopath...  That and I don't think things actually work that way much...  But there is plenty of potentially offputting things in those books.

Offline Dom

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #89 on: June 28, 2013, 04:49:34 AM »
I'm pretty over the dom/sub, alpha/beta thing.  There's not much new that's being brought to the table on that topic, and very few authors truly explore the idea in a rational way (as opposed to shallow kink fulfillment).  I think Jacqueline Carey is the only one who has who I find interesting still.

I'm also tired of "bitchy" as being synonymous with "strong".  I actually follow http://www.artofmanliness.com/ blog, and I'm a woman, because it's really not "the art of manliness" but "the art of being self-sufficient, a good person, and honorable" and I like those traits even as a woman.

Jim Butcher is actually writing more of what I'd consider "strong" female characters than many female urban fantasy writers I read, and that's WITH Harry running about attempting to rescue some of them!
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