Smart-Alecky SF: "Skullsworn" by Brian Staveley


Skullsworn - Brian Staveley

“’If I wanted you dead, you would be dead’?” He sucked some blood from between his teeth, then spat it onto the cobbles. “What is that? A line from some mid-century melodrama? You hear that onstage a few nights ago?”


In “Skullsworn” by Brian Staveley



Reasons to avoid some Fantasy:


  1. 1 – Trilogies – a story seldom needs 3 volumes, nobody wants to read the ‘excluded middle’ of tosh, let alone wait for the third volume when they have forgotten the contents of the first – strike George R.R. Martin;


  1. 2 – Sequel proliferation. Ditto objection 1 squared – strike Eddings et al;


  1. 3 – Formulaic – It’s often better to re-read Tolkien, skipping some of his embarrassing attempts at females than read the whole thing again with different silly names – strike all sorts of piffle;


  1. 4 – Silly names – countries; cities; people. How about concepts; recipes; politics – invent something – move to include Iain M. Banks ‘Culture’ – or does invention have to belong to THE science fiction part of SF?


  1. 5 – Written by die cast. Surely much is the product of hashish and D&D – this you can make up for yourself;


  1. 6 – Poor writing – to wit the obviously much beloved Staveley – whilst his books were entertaining they are limited by his repetitive vocabulary; why can’t his educated characters master the conditional subjunctive…?



If you’re into SF, read on.

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