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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    The trouble with reviewing IMB's work is that it's literary, intellectual, and creative aspects is an order of magnitude greater than almost any others working in the genre are capable of (based upon my experience of 50 years reading the stuff). Too many reviewers just don't get Banks, aren't familiar with his oeuvre, or need a familiar (ie. naive and puerile) Star Wars/Star Trek approach. Probably why he has failed to win any of the major SF awards despite a body of work arguably the greatest to ever grace the SF genre. I suppose this neglect will eventually be remedied by some sort of lifetime achievement award (sort of like Alfred Hitchcock, who never won an Academy Award for Best Director in spite of being widely considered the best motion picture director ever).
    So according to you too many of these ignorant reviewers are getting stuck into the greatest science fiction writer ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    IMO Banks has no peer in the SF field. The Culture is the grandest vision of the future ever put on paper. Since Matter, I preorder the novels, just can't wait to read them. CP is now widely regarded as the start of the modern space opera. The Culture has become extremely influential and widely imitated. No matter, no one else even comes close to Banks combination of literary talent, intellectual ability, wit, and invention.
    High praise indeed, and we've upgraded from almost the greatest to the greatest, track back though...

    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    Pretty good (is that a back-handed compliment or what?). What bothers me, as others have pointed out, is a lack of strong editorial oversight. There seems to be a tendency in the Algebraist, Matter, and SD, toward filler in the form of loose threads and extraneous characters. To my mind the whole Yime Nsokyi bit is mostly pointless, as is a lot of the Pavulean stuff. Yime seems there mostly to provide exposition, to introduce the Bulbitian idea, and then dissipates like smoke towards the end. After the initial Hell introduction, most of the Pavulean material is irrelevant. It seems to me the book could easily have been tightened to around 450-500 pages without losing anything in the process. The extra 100+ pages don't ruin the book for me, far from it (being a fan and exponent of tangential thought), but it might make a more enticing read for those not as enamored of the Cultureverse as I am.
    Considering your praise and stout defence of the writer, this review from yourself appears to be a bit contradictory and dare I say it ... critical! How dare you sir! having the audacity to grumble and moan about the book like some hack from a vulgar newspaper or just another person with a subjective point of view...

    Quote Originally Posted by vermeer View Post
    Star Wars would be equal, nothing better as far as I can recall. Thoughts?
    Star Wars is a franchise based on films not books and is therefore not the creation of one person. The films themselves have had hundreds of actors, technicians and artists working on them so it's not really a like-for-like comparison. The first Star Wars movies are wonderful but even the hardest die hard fan would be pushed not to admit that overall Star Wars output has been variable, one fan's Darth Vader is another fan's Jar Jar Binks.

    I prefer the Culture novels to the Star Wars novels, will I prefer The 'A Gift From The Culture' movie to the 'Star Wars' movie? Erm, only time will tell...
    Drink, but very carefully...

  2. #22
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    Interesting that you didn't like The Bridge megafauna, I found it the most "M" like
    Last edited by Deep Black; 09-02-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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  3. #23
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    "So according to you too many of these ignorant reviewers are getting stuck into the greatest science fiction writer ever." Say what? CB, are you here to actually make a point, or just take jabs at me. I'm not an uncritical fanboy, a Banksie (like a Trekkie, but in reference to Banks). Even those I most admire, I can be critical about. Because I have said I think Banks is the greatest SF author ever, doesn't mean I find his work flawless. Banks is human, I'm human, as such we will see some things differently. I greatly admire what he has done. I think it is the best canon of work in the SF genre, based upon my having 50+ years experience reading hundreds of books by most of its greatest authors. It is strictly my opinion, others will have different ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    "So according to you too many of these ignorant reviewers are getting stuck into the greatest science fiction writer ever." Say what? CB, are you here to actually make a point, or just take jabs at me. I'm not an uncritical fanboy, a Banksie (like a Trekkie, but in reference to Banks). Even those I most admire, I can be critical about. Because I have said I think Banks is the greatest SF author ever, doesn't mean I find his work flawless. Banks is human, I'm human, as such we will see some things differently. I greatly admire what he has done. I think it is the best canon of work in the SF genre, based upon my having 50+ years experience reading hundreds of books by most of its greatest authors. It is strictly my opinion, others will have different ones.
    Merely putting you on the spot you reserve for the reviewers... you have said that Iain is literally, intellectually and creatively of an order greater than anybody else working in the genre, you also say that he is peerless. I'm sure Iain would be very heartened by that kind of tribute and I don't have a problem with that.

    Thing is you don't take issue with the reviews, you take issue with the reviewers.

    You say they don't get Banks, they have trouble understanding the work and they most probably have a naive and puerile Star Wars/Star Trek approach (a side swipe at the Trekkers too, bear in mind there's at least one Trekker on this site.) In short you admire Banks but you can't stand any reviewer of Banks that posts or publishes negative comments about his books, you will of course make an exception for yourself being so qualified to discuss his work but that's different of course...

    I appreciate you're a science fiction fan with fifty plus years of reading behind you but there you go.
    Drink, but very carefully...

  5. #25
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    Putting a lot of words in my mouth I never said CB. I said "too many reviewers" and I never said anything about my feelings towards such reviewers. I don't really care that much what reviewers say or don't say. My point is that SF reviewers too often seem to have no virtually background in the genre or are limited to a fanboy approach. Too many of the reviews start out by saying I haven't read any other Culture novels but ..., or misinterpret completely what the Culture is (some sort of future America in space), or don't like it because it's not grounded in a Star Wars/Star Trek style. Sure it's a generic criticism, but it's tedious to take them on one at a time. And after reading about a dozen reviews of SD, I'd say about 1/2 to 2/3s of them fall into these categories.

    My assumptions has been substantiated within the SF community itself, by the lack of a single Hugo or Nebula award for Banks. Yet he is widely considered the progenitor of the modern space opera, as well as an author who is extremely influential and widely imitated within the genre. That's why I made the Alfred Hitchcock analogy (best movie director of all time, but never won a Best Director Academy Award). And gee, if you'll check my previous post, I did finish by saying, "It is strictly my opinion, others will have different ones." So are you taking me to task for having an "opinion" or are you just here to express your "opinion" of my "opinion"? Your comments are directed at me and don't actually address any of the points I've raised. Care to comment on something besides me personally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    Putting a lot of words in my mouth I never said CB. I said "too many reviewers" and I never said anything about my feelings towards such reviewers. I don't really care that much what reviewers say or don't say. My point is that SF reviewers too often seem to have no virtually background in the genre or are limited to a fanboy approach. Too many of the reviews start out by saying I haven't read any other Culture novels but ..., or misinterpret completely what the Culture is (some sort of future America in space), or don't like it because it's not grounded in a Star Wars/Star Trek style. Sure it's a generic criticism, but it's tedious to take them on one at a time. And after reading about a dozen reviews of SD, I'd say about 1/2 to 2/3s of them fall into these categories.
    'Too many reviewers' is hardly a get out clause, a generic assumption is still an assumption. They're expressing their opinions too just as we like to do and surely it's the opinion that counts not the assumed background of the individual doing the reviewing. That is of course if we're talking proper criticism here.

    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    My assumptions has been substantiated within the SF community itself, by the lack of a single Hugo or Nebula award for Banks. Yet he is widely considered the progenitor of the modern space opera, as well as an author who is extremely influential and widely imitated within the genre. That's why I made the Alfred Hitchcock analogy (best movie director of all time, but never won a Best Director Academy Award). And gee, if you'll check my previous post, I did finish by saying, "It is strictly my opinion, others will have different ones." So are you taking me to task for having an "opinion" or are you just here to express your "opinion" of my "opinion"? Your comments are directed at me and don't actually address any of the points I've raised. Care to comment on something besides me personally.
    I've not made one single personal remark towards you, I don't know you any more than you know me. I could tell you what I think about you but that would be an assumption wouldn't it? I respond to what individuals say not to what I think they are or what group I think they belong to.
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  7. #27
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    CB, you use the word "you" about twice a sentence (post # 24), so that tends to make it personal. Further, you have made no attempt to explain why I shouldn't criticize the reviewers (after all, they are responsible for the reviews), merely saying I should critique the reviews rather than the reviewers. If many reviewers are incompetent or vacuous that should be pointed out. You don't blame a product for its shoddy construction, you blame those responsible for making it. Speaking of making assumptions, yours about my hating all negative reviews of Banks is inexcusable, particularly since you claim you are not attacking me personally. I don't recall any mention of my feelings regarding either positive or negative reviews, because I have no problem with either. Reviewer competency is the issue. In the future, please read what I write and stop making unwarranted assumptions about what I am saying. If you are unsure, just ask, I'll try to respond articulately.

    See my latest post in Surface Detail-Spoilers thread where I think a reviewer competent and the review thoughtful despite what is a rather scathing negative review of SD.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    CB, you use the word "you" about twice a sentence (post # 24), so that tends to make it personal. Further, you have made no attempt to explain why I shouldn't criticize the reviewers (after all, they are responsible for the reviews), merely saying I should critique the reviews rather than the reviewers. If many reviewers are incompetent or vacuous that should be pointed out. You don't blame a product for its shoddy construction, you blame those responsible for making it. Speaking of making assumptions, yours about my hating all negative reviews of Banks is inexcusable, particularly since you claim you are not attacking me personally. I don't recall any mention of my feelings regarding either positive or negative reviews, because I have no problem with either. Reviewer competency is the issue. In the future, please read what I write and stop making unwarranted assumptions about what I am saying. If you are unsure, just ask, I'll try to respond articulately.
    A 'personal remark' in this context would be an insult directed at you, dear me, I didn't appreciate you would be so sensitive and perhaps I am making an assumption, after all I'm only going on what you post here... Elsewhere on the net maybe you post praise of negative Iain Banks reviews. Maybe you run a dedicated site to the Best Negative Reviews of Iain Banks Novels Ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    See my latest post in Surface Detail-Spoilers thread where I think a reviewer competent and the review thoughtful despite what is a rather scathing negative review of SD.
    Ah, on cue. An example of you being nice (despite what is a rather scathing negative review of SD) grrr. Heh, I'll have a read.

    There is nothing wrong with criticising anything anyone has written with regard to Iain because we all right stuff with regard to Iain and by that token we all deserve to be criticised, raining praise or raining stones come what may.

    What I'm pointing out to you is that our own assumptions on the personality and the background of the reviewer are nothing to do with the words that are written. They are our own ideas with no basis in fact and shouldn't be used as counterpoint.

    In the final analysis (The) reviewers being science fiction fans and posting on the net are in effect - us as well.
    Drink, but very carefully...

  9. #29
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    CB, you obfuscate so well. You fabricate exaggerations—perhaps I run a negative IMB review site. You make unwarranted assumptions—I criticize reviewers of IMB's work, ergo I hate negative IMB reviews. You don't address the point—you still haven't said what's wrong with criticizing incompetent reviewers. You suggest Vermeer and I are involved in a conspiracy—Vermeer's coincidental mention of a negative review I find has merit. Nope, none of this has anything to do with me.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    CB, you obfuscate so well. You fabricate exaggerations—perhaps I run a negative IMB review site. You make unwarranted assumptions—I criticize reviewers of IMB's work, ergo I hate negative IMB reviews. You don't address the point—you still haven't said what's wrong with criticizing incompetent reviewers. You suggest Vermeer and I are involved in a conspiracy—Vermeer's coincidental mention of a negative review I find has merit. Nope, none of this has anything to do with me.
    I don't recall mentioning that you and vermeer were in a conspiracy, I'm sure that will come as much a surprise to vermeer as it does to me, I may be wrong do quote me... As for this point I'm not addressing;

    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    Too many of the reviews start out by saying I haven't read any other Culture novels but ..., or misinterpret completely what the Culture is (some sort of future America in space), or don't like it because it's not grounded in a Star Wars/Star Trek style. Sure it's a generic criticism, but it's tedious to take them on one at a time. And after reading about a dozen reviews of SD, I'd say about 1/2 to 2/3s of them fall into these categories.
    Here it is again for you, crystal. Are you sitting comfortably?

    It is fine to criticise any review.

    It is fine to criticise any perceived incompetence within any review.

    It is not fine to make a general assumption or if you've got trouble with that phrase, to make stuff up about the background of the reviewer, to promote your argument.

    You've read twelve reviews, the majority of which have been negative and your defence of Iain's work is to say the majority of reviewers are Star Wars and Star Trek fans that don't get Banks. How do you know?
    Drink, but very carefully...

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