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Old 08-07-2020, 08:11 AM   #16
Dr. Drib
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They all sound terribly boring to me.

Cthulhu is starting to stir again...this time with good reason.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:34 AM   #17
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Can someone give me a good example of a book description that doesn't sound boring to them? Also... have you ever read books whose description didn't do them justice?

Sorry, but the "they sound boring" meme seems rather disingenuous to me (everywhere it happens). Not to say that people might find them uninteresting, but rather from more of a "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" point of view.

There is no inherent right for all award-winning books to sound interesting to you (even if you may have convinced yourself that you had your finger squarely on the pulse of the genre in question for a brief second in the past). That's a rhetorical 'you' by the way. The more rational response--the more readerly response--would be to simply not read a book that sounds boring to you, and to remain silent about your lack of interest. You didn't read it so your opinion of it is meaningless, afterall. Or read the book and praise/trash/dnf it.

I also wonder if the naysayers who feel a need to publicly dismiss books no one suggested they need to read, let alone like, would be quite so vocal about "how these books sound" if it were friends who brought them to their attention rather than an awards list posting on the internet.

"Well, Alphonse; I checked out the description of that book you mentioned liking, and I have to say that it sounds like utter crap to me."

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Old 08-07-2020, 11:09 AM   #18
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From one of the greats.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
“All by women.” How would you have reacted if the first three were by men?

And because someone’s name rubs you the wrong way?
Speaking only for myself - it turns me off when ANYTHING is put through a PC checklist.

I have many women authors I enjoy. But I am turned off by efforts to "pick women, pick women of color" or "pick stories with certain PC promoted themes".

It almost NEVER brings for the best book. Bringing forth the best book might well come from a woman or a trans author or have gay characters. But not if having those external attributes be the criteria of selection.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:24 AM   #20
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Speaking only for myself - it turns me off when ANYTHING is put through a PC checklist.

I have many women authors I enjoy. But I am turned off by efforts to "pick women, pick women of color" or "pick stories with certain PC promoted themes".

It almost NEVER brings for the best book. Bringing forth the best book might well come from a woman or a trans author or have gay characters. But not if having those external attributes be the criteria of selection.
What makes you think the 2020 Hugos were awarded to women because they were women?
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:28 AM   #21
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Can someone give me a good example of a book description that doesn't sound boring to them? Also... have you ever read books whose description didn't do them justice?[/i]
How do you choose the books you read? I pay attention to the description of the book...how else would I choose among the thousands?

I pay attention to the cover, to the title, to the description, to the blurbs written by authors I know.

If I read "lesbians in space" in the BOOK's blurbs (not some critic on the web), I probably wouldn't read it.

I might well read: Captain Julie Swan takes on the galaxies worst criminals in this fast space brawling space opera. If you wondered what Jack Reacher might be like in space...read this book.

It could turn out that Julie is a gay woman and it wouldn't bother me. But if the description of the book, by the author/publisher was " lesbians in space" -- no thank you.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:33 AM   #22
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What makes you think the 2020 Hugos were awarded to women because they were women?
I never made that assertion. I said that efforts to promote diversity of authors or characters....rather than simply looking for the best stories....produce sub par results.

Not saying "diversity produces sub par results". Saying that "look for the best" you will find the best.

"Looking for the best from a disabled, trans person of color" might make you feel better....but it's not likely to be the best story.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:00 PM   #23
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I never made that assertion. I said that efforts to promote diversity of authors or characters....rather than simply looking for the best stories....produce sub par results.

Not saying "diversity produces sub par results". Saying that "look for the best" you will find the best.

"Looking for the best from a disabled, trans person of color" might make you feel better....but it's not likely to be the best story.
And yet, your statement in a thread about Hugo winners sounds awfully like an assertion. What’s the relevance, otherwise?

Please stop digging this hole. It’s offensive and embarrassing.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:10 PM   #24
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I like how we're ignoring that even in the short list posted in the OP that not all of the winners are all women, to say nothing of all those who got nominated.

Not that I think gender should be a deciding factor in if a book does or doesn't get an award, nor do I feel the Hugos used gender to determine who should get an award. Just pointing out that the phrase "all women" was never applicable to this discussion because it's factually untrue.

I also think dismissing an awards list, or a book for that matter, based on the authors name alone is rather more telling of the person dismissing the award/book than it is of the award/book.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:29 PM   #25
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How do you choose the books you read? I pay attention to the description of the book...how else would I choose among the thousands?
Way to not answer the question asked.

I never once suggested that descriptions shouldn't be used in a reader's selection process (nor that I don't use them myself). I asked what exactly about a description would make a book seem "boring" to someone. I also asked if anyone had ever encountered a description that didn't do a book a justice. I also suggested that voluntarily announcing that an award-winning book's description sounded "boring" seems like a pointless over-share to me. I don't recall a lot of "thought about reading book x, but the description sounded boring so I didn't" posts in the "What Are You Reading Now" thread. So I fail to see why such would be relevant here.

Nobody really cares what someone thinks of a book they're NOT going to try before commenting on it. They only care what those who DID try think of it.

As for contributed 'blurbs' ?? I don't give them the slightest glance no matter how I feel about the author they're written by. They're all inane nonsense that I won't wear my eyes out reading.

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Old 08-07-2020, 03:40 PM   #26
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Speaking only for myself - it turns me off when ANYTHING is put through a PC checklist.

I have many women authors I enjoy. But I am turned off by efforts to "pick women, pick women of color" or "pick stories with certain PC promoted themes".

It almost NEVER brings for the best book. Bringing forth the best book might well come from a woman or a trans author or have gay characters. But not if having those external attributes be the criteria of selection.
The notion that increasing diversity costs talent carries with it the implicit assumption that minorities are less talented than the people you are comparing them to.

Also, we should be clear, women, trans authors or books with gay characters might not be the best book for you, but some of us are rather enjoying FINALLY seeing ourselves reflected in the genres we read.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:57 PM   #27
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I picked up Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir recently on special, but haven't read it yet, will probably wait until the trilogy is all published. I must admit that when I saw that description "lesbians in space" in the blurb I was a bit disconcerted because it seemed to suggest this might be erotica (nothing against erotica, just not high on my list). Anyway, then I saw this was a comment by Charles Stross (I'm not a fan) and read on. Other reviews made it sound like I might enjoy it.
I read the first few chapters, but just couldn't get into it. I've read and enjoyed books that had a lesbian as the main character, so that wasn't the issue. It just wasn't particularly interesting to me.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:59 PM   #28
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They all sound terribly boring to me.

Cthulhu is starting to stir again...this time with good reason.
Well, of course, he's my candidate for President of the US this year. It says so on my t-shirt.

Cthulhu for President, why settle for the lesser of two evils?
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:28 PM   #29
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The notion that increasing diversity costs talent carries with it the implicit assumption that minorities are less talented than the people you are comparing them to.

Also, we should be clear, women, trans authors or books with gay characters might not be the best book for you, but some of us are rather enjoying FINALLY seeing ourselves reflected in the genres we read.
Personally, I don't care about the author's gender, race or age or much else as long as they can write a good story. What I am dubious about is the jumping on the bandwagon mindset that seems very popular at the moment.

From what you wrote, I take it that you are okay with the books written about gay men written by women? A rather popular subgenre. Books about gay women written by straight women? Books about gay women written by men? With authors who are now making a character in their book a "person of colour"?

I'm not when that is all the character has to offer. No additions to the storyline, just a cardboard cutout character with a label so that author can claim to be PC.

Though I did get a chuckle from a book I read about 20 years ago about a couple passing in a small town in Somewhere, USA. The original cover showed a couple with two kids who were pretty much fitted the story line. For a recent reissue, the couple on the cover with no kids in view looked like recent immigrants from Tamil Nadu and would not pass in any room better lit than the proverbial coal cellar at midnight at the new moon.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:33 PM   #30
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They all sound terribly boring to me.

Cthulhu is starting to stir again...this time with good reason.
Cthulhu is racist.
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