Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fiction Snob

My attitude towards fiction based on games and TV shows is to generally avoid unless it is really, really compelling stuff. A certain someone describes me as being a bit snobby towards these books.

It's for that reason I've never read a Star Trek novel (except for the first Shatneverse novel, and that was originally as a comic). I view reading a book as a commitment and since most TV/game spinoff fiction is dismissed almost instantly as non-canon (you'll never see an episode of Battlestar Galactica that references the novels or comics) and is a cheap disposable way of ringing money out of a fans of a franchise with prose that might as well be written by monkeys intent on churning out 5 cents a word.

It started when I was beginning to play Dungeons and Dragons. I found Dragonlance in our school library and rapidly developed a love for Krynn. After reading the six prequel books, the six books on how the main characters met, the main trilogy, the secondary trilogy and the trilogy of short stories, as well as numerous other spin-offs I rapidly felt I was reading the same book over and over. I finally stopped Dragons of Summer Flame, which was arguably an unnecessary novel.

I've rapidly found - for instance reading an HP Lovecraft or Robert E Howard tale is far more satisfying than reading Kevin J Anderson's Star Wars/Dune/X-Files churned out crud. So you probably won't catch me reading Halo novels, or Dragon Age: Story of Minor Character Bob on my kindle.

There have been exceptions to this - I've read the Star Wars Zahn Trilogy (good, but didn't really feel like Star Wars and the author tended to give all the characters identical tics - count how many characters exclaim 'Point' in those books). Another was the Babylon 5 novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows (I like the character of Sinclair and wanted to know what happened to him, and JMS, the B5 head-honcho states in the foreword this book is completely canon/accurate).

Since getting an e-reader though I've become more willing to experiment with my reading - to the point where I've read some uncharacteristically unusual stuff. Some reviews of this will be forthcoming shortly.

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