The LKM thing

David Rodemaker dar at horusinc.com
Fri Feb 14 08:24:56 PST 2003

> On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 05:47:59PM -0600, David Rodemaker
> <dar at horusinc.com> wrote:
> > > On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 02:47:11PM -0600, David Rodemaker
> > > <dar at horusinc.com> wrote:
> > > > > On Thu, Feb 13, 2003 at 12:08:03PM -0600, David Rodemaker
> > > > > <dar at horusinc.com> wrote:
> > > > > > Probably to one degree or another, but I think that mainly
> > > > > Steve wants to be
> > > > > > published.
> > > > > Norman of Gor didn't seem to have trouble.
> > > > Y'know that's sort of like discussing H.R. Eddison as being at
> > > the forefront
> > > > of modern fantasy writing, or Lord Dunsay.
> > > I didn't say he was good.  I said he got published.
> > I was trying to say that he wasn't exactly a recent author, or a
> > particularly good example of the current market.
> Well, no, but he didn't get censored out of prudishness -- that
> was my point.

Certainly, but it was also 20ish (?) years ago, we're talking about now. I
also wasn't addressing prudishness, but male s. female authors getting away
with writing (more) explicit sex.

> > <SNIP>
> > > I confess that I have still been buying in HC up through the last
> > > new release -- but that was the first HC release, AND also the
> > > book that made me decide "not in hardcover".
> > Well, the publisher didn't decide to start putting her out in HC if her
> > 4-5 novels have been steadily losing sales. I suspect that the huge
> > of sour grapes that come from Narcissus is that 'the boy scout' seems to
> > leaving the series. I'm not convinced of this, but it's a possibility
> > <shrug>.
> The problem is that it takes a while for this kind of feedback to
> work its way back.  Readers have a trust quotient -- Hamilton had
> been doing really well, then she started to lose it, but only
> gradually.  People don't just give up on a series that easily --
> hell, look at _As The Wheel Turns_.  It takes 3-4 books sometimes
> to cement the downward trend.

I don't I agree, to get the ObSKZB in here, the same things were said about
the Steve when Phoenix came out. When you read LKH interviews it's pretty
clear that yes she's worked out some personal issues in the middle of the
series (like that's a suprise in an author) and that's is just as clear that
she's got someplace that she's going.

I'd rather have character development than keeping things the same, which
seems to be most people's complaint of the series. That the development is
ok, if it's exploraration rather than actual growth, which LKH pretty much
seems to be determined not to do.

<SNIP Obsidian Butterfly commentary>
> I think there are more than that, though I count "implied" +
> "explicit" rather than separating them.  I'll have to reread to
> provide more details, but the overall impression of OB was that
> the stuff with Edward was great, Anita - her dates was great, but
> many of the villians were still perverted and sex-obsessed.
> Overall, yes, OB was better than some of the books that came
> before, but then the next one was worse.  So it's still not a
> trend.

Oh, I would tend to agree with you. I divided the two because the complaint
seems to be with explicit sexuality rather than implied sexualiy, or even
better yet, heavy sexual tension.

A couple of books of heavy sexual tension was fine, then it was boring, or

I also agree hat the middle books were spiraling downward to a certaion
degree, OB was great, and the NiC was... Almost as good. It was very nice,
'ok, lets get with the program, we've had massive changes and now we need to
clean up the slate so that we can move on."

> I just realized that I misspoke myself before -- OB was first in
> HC, and I liked it.  NiC was the decision-point book for me.

> You haven't seen how her last few books have Anita constantly
> growing in power to the point where she very nearly overpowers
> everything else?  In every book she obtains a new mystical
> ability or pinnacle of strength?  How she spends at least half of
> each book dealing with sexual subplots or merely in joyously
> pointless description of Anita's latest sex object?

So? Go and re-read them all back-to-back, they're *all* like that. It's just
that the sex became more explicit, and Anita's power level is now matching
'everyone elses'.

Sort of like Vlad getting Godslayer, nobody's complaining about that. Save
for the few who seem to think that he and Lady Telda *should* have slept
together <g>

I'm not one of those btw.

> The adventure parts of the story are still reasonably well done,
> they are just shrinking steadily, while the sexual politics grow.
> I don't like sexual politics.  I don't mind well-written sex,
> which Hamilton isn't writing, but even well-written sex isn't
> enough to fill one-third of a bloody book.  Especially when
> repetitively described gore fills the other third and I'm reading
> for that last small fraction.

Well, that I cannot argue with. I'm not a fan of gore, but I can see the
part it plays in the novels and the story arc.

Like any writer of a long running series (and the Anita Blake series started
off with like 17 book concepts btw <w>) things are going to have high points
and low points, I've seen little to convince me that the series is doomed.

BTW: Does anyone have numbers to back up the 'she's lost a lot of readers
over this' or are we waiting for the next book to actually see? I've heard
it, but I've heard darn near as many people say that they really like her
books still and it also seems that alot of people are picking them up now
when they hadn't before.