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Open Thread, Nerdy Style

Oh, hi! Welcome to the Thursday night Open Thread. While no topic is off-limits, I thought I’d stick with books tonight. And, since this is Persephone, nerdy books specifically.

Is there a book or series of books that you’ve resisted for reasons that you can’t even explain? I’ve actually done this with many fantasy novels and series, and I’ve decided to stop doing it. Inspired partly by the success of the HBO show, and partly by the urgings of my NBF (Nerdy Best Friend), I’ve decided to sink my teeth into the series A Song of Ice and Fire, starting with the first book, Game of Thrones.

I’m only a few chapters along so far, and while I’m enjoying it, I have to say it’s a smidge overwhelming. After leaving the familiar comforts of other fantasy worlds I’ve come to know, Westeros is a pretty confusing place. So many names! So many rivalries! So much incest!

Anyway, I’d love any advice or words of wisdom from GoT fans as I wade my way through the first book. If you want to jump on the bandwagon, too, that would be cool. I might write another post or two about it as I go along. Or, if you have a series you’ve been avoiding for non-legitimate reasons, maybe this can be your inspiration to give it a try.

Otherwise… happy Thursday everyone! It’s almost the weekend.

Photo: HBO

23 replies on “Open Thread, Nerdy Style”

Keep a bookmark in the glossary at the end!!

I found actually that I raced through the Ice and Fire books because I wanted to see what would happen next (I was also inspired by Game of Thrones, so read the whole series in like two weeks), but I missed some of the detail as a result. Try as I might to slow down, I couldn’t because I was just so eager to find out the next plot twist. So I think I’ll read them again at some point soon, at a more leisurely pace – I suspect I’ll get more out of them than I did from my speed-reading first attempt!

NED!!

And yes, join us on the GoT bandwagon!
I would say go with it… don’t worry about the minor characters too much, if they’re important you’ll be reminded about them again later. When you finish the book, if you’re still unclear on everything, then you can look up A Wiki of Ice and Fire – but make sure it’s just for the first book lest you spoilerise yourself.

I’ve wanted to read GoT and the others for a while, but I haven’t got around to it. This has a lot to do with the fact that the author strongly opposes fanfiction of his work, and if you can’t (in good conscience) write fanfic on something THAT epic that takes up THAT much of your time, what’s the point?

Is it sad that I’m totally serious? I’m going to pretend it’s not sad.

When I was a teenager, I was super SUPER into the Pern books. I still love the world of Pern, but since realizing how sexist and homophobic Anne McCaffrey is, and how sub-par a lot of her writing really is, I just can’t look at the books the same way, although I will never stop loving the Dragonsong trilogy.

Anyways, the point is that Anne McCaffrey is a pissy old lady about fan fiction. So I feel your pain, but…I’d give GoT a shot anyways. Because they really are wonderful.

I’ve actually never done this with a book series that I can think of (I’m sure in about 20 minutes or so I’ll be like “well except THAT series, duh…”) but I actually did this for a long while with Buffy and Firefly. I just had SO MANY people who told me to watch these shows, and how they were AMAAAAAAAAZING, that I kind of refused. And especially with Buffy (which I associated with teenage WB dramas, for obvious reasons.)

I finally agreed to watch the first episode of Firefly with some friends in college, and I was HOOKED. I ate up that series, and started on Buffy as soon as I had a chance, and am now a pretty devoted Whedonite.

I have not read anything Harry Potter. I think it’s because they started when I was in high school and loving “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” and feeling my first feminist feelings reading “The Good Earth.” The people I knew who were reading Harry Potter were in middle school and also playing Pokemon. But one of my post-Bar resolutions is to read the whole series! So I will do that. But I have to borrow them from a friend who isn’t in town tonight. I think I will read Thomas Hardy tonight, though. Or The Hunger Games (again).

Psst, I haven’t read Harry Potter either! Not out of principle or anything, it just never happened and then it seemed it was too late. I feel a little less intimidated now that the whole series has played out both in the books and in film. Maybe that should be my next move after Ice and Fire?

I’m just finishing up Book 3 and I can say, with confidence, that this is probably among the strongest contemporary fiction I’ve ever read. 50 years from now, we will look back on it as the as millennial answer to Lord of the Ring.

As for HOW to read these books, I can offer no sage wisdom. You just have to keep going. About 75% of the way through the first book, you begin to keep track of the main players/houses. But I’m in Book 3, and even now I can’t keep track of ALL the minor players–such and such of House This, who sears fealty to House That.

Just go with it. Just let it happen. And when Martin starts letting main players die, know that so many of us will be there to help you through the first few losses.

Oh God I already know about the first big death that’s coming in book one because (Spoiler alert?) I read an interview with Sean Bean that was all “Now that you’re off Game of Thrones, what are you going to do next?”

I doubt it will make the loss any less devastating. If anything I’m trying to cherish my time with him now because I know I’ll be losing him soon. Sniff.

I honest to goodness wept at that death and didn’t pick up the book again for two weeks.

The most recent series of deaths occurred during my reading a few days ago. Haven’t managed to pick up the book again in my grief.

Time is the great healer of all griefs, though, so I should be able to finish this series eventually. >_<

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