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science fiction - what's all that about then? - Three - The Villages

Date: 2007-03-10 23:25
Subject: science fiction - what's all that about then? - Three
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A colleague at work recently lent me a Star Wars tie-in. He's a big fan and was surprised that I'd never read any of them. My defence, that you can't read everything, cut no ice, so he picked the one he thought was the best and handed it over.
I'm not going to say which one it was, or who wrote it. I just thought I'd post some of my thoughts, in view of the earlier debate about science fiction and what to do with it.
Well, it fair romped along. It would have made a pretty good movie; in fact, it cut from scene to scene just like a movie. My first reaction, though, was that it was quite poorly written.
And then I realised it wasn't poorly written. It was simply written. It didn't try to do anything big or clever or scary, it just did its job. And I thought that Kristin Kathryn Rusch was probably right - this kind of stuff is ideal as an entry-level read for people who don't normally read science fiction. The only fault in the argument is that Star Wars tie-ins are for Star Wars fans - the book I read did assume a more than passing familiarity with the movies on the part of the reader, who I guess would already be interested in science fiction. I think it's unlikely a non-science fiction reader, someone who hadn't seen the movies, would have much patience with it.
Still, it was something to think about.

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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-03-15 22:06 (UTC)
Subject: Star Wars
I read one - I also won't say by who - and thought it was *very* poorly written, sloppy and some very basic simple rules of good writing were blatanly ignored. I managed 100 pages, quit and threw the book away (something very hard for me to do). However, the whole KKR kerfluffle has me reexamining my own feelings about whether media tie-ins can act as entry level work - I now believe they can. As a result and because "1" is a very poor sample set, I plan to read another Star Wars novel, when my friend Sean Williams' one is out later this year.
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User: hutch0
Date: 2007-03-15 23:09 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Star Wars
Hi, Lou
I found the one I read surprisingly hard to get into at first. There was a conscious sense of having to decelerate into it, which took me a bit by surprise, but once I'd done that I found it loping along rather agreeably. It was never going to win a Hugo, or indeed any award, but it did its job within its remit. If you like, I can email you the title.
Having said that, I'm in no great hurry to read another one. I'd be interested to take a look at any Battlestar tie-ins, though.
It seems to me that tie-ins in general are doing well; the science fiction shelves in bookshops over here are groaning with them - mainly Star Wars and Star Trek, so people appear to be buying them in some numbers.
The problem, I think, as I said earlier, is that they're pretty much pre-sold - a Star Trek fan is likely to be a science fiction fan already. We need to be attracting people who aren't already science fiction readers.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-03-15 22:07 (UTC)
Subject: Star Wars
Apologies that was me - Lou
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