Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


For Gobula

Gobula recently shared: The Tolkien books are pretty much the only fantasy I've read. I read LOTR [before The Hobbit], and it made a huge impression on me. Given your (one-time) enjoyment of World of Warcraft and similar games and your growing interest in Dungeons & Dragons, I had always just assumed you read fantasy, Gobula. As an avid lover of the genre, I would encourage you to give more a try if you have any inclination whatsoever.

In an attempt to get you started, in fact, I'll recommend my favorite books to you, Glen Cook's Black Company series. The link sends you to a good, concise overview, although with a few broad spoilers. I especially like the books because they're not based on the typical grand battle of the forces of good versus evil. Things are not nearly so clear-cut in this universe. Our main characters are a mercenary unit who are "no stranger[s] to working for the mostly wrong side in conflicts which sets the evil versus the wicked." They aren't necessarily nice or likable people, but they are realistic, and represent a much truer depiction of life than most fantasy stories.

"The thing about Glen Cook is that with The Black Company he single-handedly changed the face of fantasy—something a lot of people didn’t notice and maybe still don’t. He brought the story down to a human level, dispensing with the cliché archetypes of princes, kings, and evil sorcerers. Reading his stuff was like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote."
--Steven Erikson, author of Gardens of the Moon

"Cook's talent for combining gritty realism and high fantasy provides a singular edge."
--Library Journal on Water Sleeps

"Cook provides a rich world of assorted races, cultures, and religions; his characters combine the mythic or exotic with the realistic, engaging in absorbing alliances, enmities, and double-crosses."
--Publishers Weekly on Bleak Seasons

"Sheer page-turning fun!"
--Robin McKinley on Bleak Seasons

"Timely and timeless. The author of the Black Company series brings a stark realism to his tales of imaginary lands."
--Library Journal

"A complex and compelling tapestry. It is a powerful fantasy."


At 2/07/2007 7:00 AM, Blogger Degolar said...

And from the Wikipedia entry on the author: The series, currently 10 novels long, has become something of a cult classic, especially among current and former members of the military. When asked about the series' popularity among soldiers, Cook replied: "The characters act like the guys actually behave. It doesn't glorify war; it's just people getting on with the job. The characters are real soldiers. They're not soldiers as imagined by people who've never been in the service. That's why service guys like it."

At 2/07/2007 10:36 AM, Blogger Hadrian said...

I'm sure I'll format this incorrectly, but were you aware of this?

At 2/07/2007 10:58 PM, Blogger Gobula said...

I refuse to read much description before I read a fiction book. I won't even look at the back of a CD audio.

The Black Company sounds interesting and I may check it out, but the fact of the matter is that I am just not all that interested in fantasy fiction.

At 2/08/2007 6:38 AM, Blogger Degolar said...

Well, it's there if you decide to try it.

No, Hadrian, I wasn't aware of it. Sounds interesting; I might have to check it out. I also discovered he's two books into a new series that's getting good reviews, so I'll have to read them sometime too.


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