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    Is this guy a Hack?

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      Non-dune discussion

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    Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Nebiros » 09 Apr 2010 23:38

    I will post something Dune related soon (as soon as I finish reading God Emperor of Dune) but I wanted expert opinion on a certain author of a book I currently am reading. I certainly am not the best book reviewer and judge of character around so that is why I am asking you guys since you know what good writing is (Even though I personally believe I am a good writer myself).

    What do you guys think of Terry Brooks? I'm reading The Sword of Shannara and I have noticed from reading this book and another he wrote as well as his bio that he has some hack like tendencies.

    He writes fantasy novels. When I read his books I find the read entertaining yet uninspiring. Although his stories are fantasy, they are not as absurd as KJA sci-fantasy. I make the comparison because I find KJA's books also entertaining yet uninspiring.

    The Sword of Shannara seems to be a cheap imitation of The Lord of the Rings. There are far too many similarities for one not to ask why this guy was not sued for plagiarism. However, the Shannara series goes on in several other books and it evolves into his own original creation. He just had to have a starting point by imitating a much loved classic.

    Now I will point out that he has written one media tie-in novel but the rest of the time he sticks to his original creations. He has written an unusually long list of novels in recent years, but he does not churn them out as fast as KJA.

    Also note the fact that he has received praise from Frank Herbert.

    "Marvelous! I enjoyed every moment of it." These words were quoted in the front of the book and uttered by Frank Herbert.

    So if anyone here has read any Terry Brooks novels, tell me, does this guy deserve praise or be condemned as a hack?
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby SandRider » 10 Apr 2010 00:22

    from the title alone, I'll tell you it's YA bullshit ....

    and all sword&sorcery bullshit is a cheap imitation of Tolkien ....






    and I'll g'head and tell you now,
    God-Emperor will make blood come out your ears .... best for you to wait
    for Keith to explain it to you in "Leto of Dune" - it's on his radar now, he's got
    a decology of HellHole to talk thru, and the R2D2 meets Robby the Robot thing,
    then the X-Files coloring book, but Becky will do most of the work on that one,
    and altho he's twitting half the day away, he's still on schedule to have all the
    "Thrones of Dune" to the publisher by Christmas ....
    ................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Aquila ka-Hecate » 10 Apr 2010 09:28

    I've read one, maybe two - but nothing has remained in my mind about the contents.

    So for my money - hack, yes. And I don't even much like Lord of the Rings.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby TheDukester » 10 Apr 2010 12:18

    Nebiros wrote:The Sword of Shannara seems to be a cheap imitation of The Lord of the Rings.

    Well ... yes and no.

    You should have been there back in 1980; it was all fantasy fans could talk about for a few months (in our primitive, pre-internet way). But, really, it's not LotR, especially the second half (which I will keep to myself for fear of spoilers). There was a built-in problem for any mass market fantasy series released from about 1977 to 1982 (especially if it was a trilogy): "It's just like LotR!" Even poor Thomas Covenant was accused of this, essentially for starring in a popular three-book series that had swords in it.

    My theory is that this was the reason why:

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    This is what the covers looked like for a U.S. re-release of the LotR series in (I'm doing this part off the top of my head) about 1975 or so. It was massively popular. This edition and one that quickly followed (1977 or so) almost single-handedly kick-started a Tolkien revival in the states, in many cases literally changing the way bookstores looked. Where once there was just "literature," now many stores began offering a separate "SF/Fantasy section." Combined with the startling popularity of the Star Wars movie (summer of 1977), the entire face of genre publishing was completely changed in about a three- or four-year period.

    So ... just about anything published in the next five years was instantly accused of being a "Tolkien rip-off." And certainly there were some. But Brooks, so the story goes, had been working on Shannara for years and years before the Tolkien revival, so I've always cut him a bit of slack as far as that goes. The publication of the first U.S. mass-market paperback (1979, I think) certainly looked suspicious, but there wasn't much to be done about it at that point.

    As far as your other question: yes, Brooks is a bit of a hack, but he's no Anderjacket. Put it this way: if TheKJA is a 12th-level Uber-Hack with a +5 Recorder and a Sword of Scientology, Brooks is maybe a 4th-level Hack with a +1 dagger. For one thing, Brooks' characters are memorable — they actually have more than one dimension. I literally cannot remember a single character I've ever encountered in any KJA writings I read before I realized what an insane no-talent hack he was.

    And that's my speech for today. It's a nice day; let's do the rest of school outside. :)
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Freakzilla » 10 Apr 2010 14:31

    I remember the Sword of Shannara books being wildly popular when I was a kid. I guess I was in middle school then. Being like LotRs, for my age group, was not a negative thing but a reason to read them.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby SandChigger » 10 Apr 2010 14:33

    TheDukester wrote:Put it this way: if TheKJA is a 12th-level Uber-Hack with a +5 Recorder and a Sword of Scientology, Brooks is maybe a 4th-level Hack with a +1 dagger.

    D(evilish)&D(elightful). :lol:
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Freakzilla » 10 Apr 2010 14:37

    SandChigger wrote:
    TheDukester wrote:Put it this way: if TheKJA is a 12th-level Uber-Hack with a +5 Recorder and a Sword of Scientology, Brooks is maybe a 4th-level Hack with a +1 dagger.

    D(evilish)&D(elightful). :lol:


    +5 Dictatel of Hacking?

    I'm curious what y'all would rate his intelligence and alignment at on D&D scales.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Omphalos » 10 Apr 2010 18:08

    That thing is more than just a +5 Dictahiker. Its more than a vorpal weapon. It's akin to Baby Yaga's Hut or Excalibur. It's Mournblade with magnetic tape.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby inhuien » 11 Apr 2010 05:05

    Freakzilla wrote:I'm curious what y'all would rate his intelligence and alignment at on D&D scales.

    Int: 8
    Alignment: Neutral
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby lotek » 11 Apr 2010 08:41

    I was thinking exactly that, alignement neutral as in bland, no character whatsoever...

    as for Brooks I remember reading quite a fair bit of the Shannara series at the time; I think i read it before Tolkien.
    As a young child I enjoyed the uberness of his heroes, but I quickly decided that was the problem, that even when they struggled it was too easy and you never doubted the outcome.
    Then Thomas the Unbeliever, and Morgaine and Vanye changed all that.

    And of course Paul but that's another story :)
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Ampoliros » 11 Apr 2010 11:22

    KJA 20th level pulp crier
    Str 10 (Eh, below avg but not crap)
    Dex 8 (He hikes, but what is he eating between hikes?)
    Con 13 (providing he actually does hike some and isn't just full of it.)
    Int 7 (passed college with a nat 20, fails real life)
    Wis 4
    Cha 3/13 (depends on if you are adoring him to his satisfaction)
    Com 6 (He could be uglier. He still looks like a crossbred pig-orangutan, but so do a lot of people.)

    Alignment: KJA classifies for all kinds of alignments which puts his general alignment at Neutral. More often than not he shifts between Chaotic neutral (His style of writing) and Lawful Evil (his defense of his writing as good because it sells and because he is the duly appointed successor via the HLP to Frank Herbert's Dune). Because of his low wisdom which prevents him from seeing the larger picture of anything and his generally don't give a shit unless your blowing him attitude he'll never really have a true alignment more than Neutral. And not the cool Druid defender of balance Neutral. The mongoloid can't grasp the import of anything outside of line of sight Neutral. The baby constantly surprised and entertained by peek-a-boo neutral.

    With stats like these the only PC class he would qualify for would be: Fighter. He has a high con, so he can take some punishment, but with his abysmal dex and "qualifing" strength he's not going to be Lancelot. He's the gate guard who likes to talk up his accomplishments. Minion, torchbearer. these are the RPG words that describe KJA. He probably fancies himself a wizard, but never got past parlor tricks. He does have a decent enough Charisma against people who willfully follow him.
    More likely he would be a Courtier/Adviser to a bumbling prince whose mismanagement of his inherited estate inversely parallels the mastery with which it was built. He rides the coat-tails of someone who is riding coat-tails of a brutal but efficient master. Someone like Brian Herbert.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby TheDukester » 11 Apr 2010 11:32

    Alignment: neutral evil.
    Int: 7 or 8. Maybe 9

    Those are honest assessments. I really, honestly think Anderjacket is a complete dumbass. He's a "writer" only through sheer force of will.

    The alignment comes from his utter selfishness and lack of concern for other people.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Omphalos » 11 Apr 2010 13:32

    KJA is lawful evil, int of about 12, 11, with a wisdom down in the low single digits.

    BH is chaotic neutral, intelligence and wisdom down in the single digits.
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby TheDukester » 11 Apr 2010 13:34

    Bill Gates' D&D stats:

    http://onion.com/8ZZPzz
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Freakzilla » 11 Apr 2010 13:38

    Level 1 Human:

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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby lotek » 11 Apr 2010 15:37

    Freakzilla wrote:Level 1 Human:

    Image


    fucking awesome!
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    Re: Is this guy a Hack?

    Postby Freakzilla » 11 Apr 2010 15:39

    lotek wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Level 1 Human:

    Image


    fucking awesome!


    You knew those nerds were going to breed one day.

    (Not pointing any fingers.)
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