Dumbest IOZ post of all time?


Harry Potter is over, oh god, now I can cum.  I guess it is easy enough to criticize JK Rowling for writing absolutely execrable prose, but I have read C.S. Lewis, and let me tell you, that guy couldn’t write a graceful sentence if his reward were a chaste peck on the lips from JayCee himself.  Tolkein obviously couldn’t write either; I mean, maybe that shit sounded better in the original Elvish, but the GoogleTranslate English version sucks.  Somehow every single sentence in I Snored.  There Were Rings? sounds suspiciously like, "Able was I, ere I saw Elba."  What was my point?  Ah, you know, just that you can criticize JK Rowling for writing ten million pages of clumsily derivative horseshit, but that is effectively the nature of fantasy.  Anyway, I was feeling a bit undertheweather on Monday, so my boyfriend and I went to see Harry Potter 19: The Phantom Penis. I could not actually tell you what happened visually because the entire movie was filmed without any lighting instruments; occasionally a magical CGI squiggle darted across the screen; the aesthetic vision seems to have been something like: Screensaver, Windows 95.  There are some also some CGI magical creatures that look like they were left in the recycling bin outside of the office that created the latest Shartosquidasaur for the [sigh]Fi Channel.  There are a number of British accents, and invariable someone tells Harry Potter, When the Time Comes, You’ll Know What to Do.  Now I understand why this sort of thing is so popular a trope in fantasyland.  It lazily suggests magic and intuition and an un-mundane world of things unseen, but it is exceptionally frustrating to hear and to read.  If your friend just found a really awesome animated .gif tumblr, he doesn’t say, "Kittens with Hitler moustaches eating spaghetti . . . when the time comes . . . you’ll know where to find it . . . your heart will guide you."  No, he sends you the goddamn URL.

Anyway the movie was really long and boring, just like the books, and Ralph Fiennes looks like a cock.  The End.

IOZ is pretty good at pointing out assholes. Even when they happen to be IOZ.

Are fairytales fantasy?

Jo Walton has an interesting piece on Neil Gaiman’s Stardust in which he argues that while the book is indeed fantastical, it isn’t fantasy – at least not in the modern sense of the term:

Of course Stardust uses some of the worldbuilding techniques of fantasy, and any book about a young man going on a quest for a fallen star and encountering witches and magic is inherently fantastical. But genre fantasy post-Tolkien has become connected to specific imaginary history and geography in a way that Stardust scorns. This is not only a book without a map but a book where the very idea of a map would be ridiculous. The geography makes sense in an intuitive magical way that works for the plot. The same goes for the history and the social systems. This isn’t a book that you can consider comfortably in the same genre as Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet or Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s just not interested in doing the same kind of thing — it’s coming at the numinous from quite a different direction. It has different ancestors and works by different logic.


Stardust is very short and very beautiful and it reads just like a modern fairytale should.

If Stardust isn’t fantasy because it isn’t like Rothfuss or Martin or the other world-building fantasy epics, than none of Gaiman’s work is fantasy. Anansi Boys and American Gods certainly don’t qualify. Even Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia would not make the cut. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians might not either and Harry Potter is a close call at best.

And if fairytales aren’t fantasy, then we must also strike Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell from the canon, as well as Little, Big and any other modern fairytales we can root out.

Post-Tolkien fantasy is, of course, deeply infused with fairytales if only because Tolkien himself was fascinated with faerie and fairytales. Sure, the Dragon Lance books may be your typical party-of-heroes world-building narrative type fantasy, but it is no more the heir to the genre than Stardust or Jonathan Strange. These are all very different sorts of books, but I think they all belong on the fantasy shelves.

Fantasy is a big tent. We should make sure it stays that way.