New poll - VIOLENCE!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's talk about the last poll first.  The topic was very hypothetical and I asked you which beloved series should get a follow-up.  I gave you a list of series that won't be getting a follow-up or will probably not. It was simply a question for the sake of dreamy rambling. Here are the results:

None, completed is completed - 26.8%
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson - 16.49%
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) - 12.37%
The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks - 12.37%
The First Law by Joe Abercrombie - 11.34%
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - 8.25%
The Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook - 7.22%
Other - 5.15%

It seems that even in a hypothetical situation, completed should stay completed.  I understand the feeling but still, from the series that got the most votes, for the Malazan series, our wishes may be answered in the future!


Back in February, I asked if you liked your Fantasy gritty.  The answer came up with a staggering 87% of yeses.  However, this topic can be explored further, bloodily so! Obviously, violence is not the only aspect of grittiness.  Moreover, I think that it's more difficult to skilfully make use of violence in Fantasy than making a book 'feel' gritty.

Crudeness in battle depictions, detailed graphic violence, rape and harmful sex, cold-blooded murder, gallons of blood. gruesome torture...  it seems that this has become one of the core elements of gritty fantasy, dark Fantasy and slowly it's even becoming of the traits of the modern popular epic Fantasy.

It's not always used in the interest of the story, mostly so if it clearly feels gratuitous, but for some authors like George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Richard Morgan, Glen Cook or newcomers Mark Lawrence and Jeff Salyards, it's an important tool of the trade.

As for myself, I don't mind some violence.  I can't say that I'm a real fan of it or that it's necessary in every situation that makes it possible but it can be an asset. Some situations and settings almost ask for it.  However, the line between violent and simply disgusting can be tricky to draw on.

After so many years of watching violence in movies, TV shows and in videogames, I have grown accustomed to some of it but not completely numb to it.  When reading, I think that my visual imagination has some intrinsic filter, which I'm glad for.  When watching some scenes in the Game of Thrones TV show for example, more specifically the torture scenes like the one with the bucket and rat, I would have preferred a less direct representation.  I prefer to let my imagination grasp what is going without too much detail.  But when reading books, I don't think I ever felt that way.

There are many great Fantasy books that don't use violence openly.  They are proofs that you can write epic Fantasy without being gruesome.  In the end though, violence usually become a great factor to consider to get gossip going.  Talk about it, that's what is important.

What I'm asking you is:

Is there too much graphic violence in Fantasy?

- Yes
- No

Feel free to comment!!! :)


Sabrina A. Fish said...

I don't mind if it is done tastefully. So, I guess my answer is no. If I come across a scene that is too much for me, I just skip past it.

Ghost said...

I think the level of violence depend on the type of fantasy being written. Graphic violence in military fantasy books like Glen Cook’s Black Company series is also a must for the series to work. Overall, I don't think it's too much.

Cursed Armada said...

A big NO here... I think violence is an essential ingredient in a good fantasy story;)

Prateek said...

Violence is ok with me but the detailed torture and/or rape is definitely a big NO. I never got into Joe Abercombie's books because I felt the main focus was more on the violence than on the plot.

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