btilly wrote: aleflamedyud wrote:
Belial wrote:No, seriously, Pratchett is about to become a left-wing Heinlein. He's always had an agenda, but there used to be so much awesome storytelling in the bargain as well. Now it's... not so much. The characters are forced to say so much wise stuff they've hardly got the time to be characters.
When I read "Making Money" it really didn't seem much like that, but apparently Pratchett's opinion on the gold standard is that we should move to a gold standard, and then build all the gold into robots that will guard themselves so nobody needs to guard Fort Knox. That's not exactly a standard political position.
You may want to fix those quote tags. I didn't say any of that.
Mother Nature's Son wrote:Huh. I take almost the opposite view of this thread's premise; if a book doesn't at least try tell me something about the world I live in, I just don't feel like I'm gaining anything by reading it.
The interesting thing about a good story is that you can generally find numerous lessons about the world you live in implicit in the story, parallels and insights that really speak
to you, even if the author had no intention of putting them there. Even if all s/he set out to do was to tell a story with characters that feel true and a situation that seems interesting.
The same doesn't work in reverse, really: it's rare that an author sets out to ram home their personal agenda and a good story worth reading just happens
to fall into place around it. And that leaves you with two problems: the story is flat and uninteresting and transparent, and the agenda itself has no real power beyond what it would have if the author had just written an essay. It is failure across the board. That said
, it is possible to write one's personal agendas if one remains aware that the story in which those agendas are couched has to remain true
(in a feeling sense, not a factual sense), and that if it doesn't you're just masturbating. One of my favorite authors, Warren Ellis, admits that this is basically what he's doing in most of his work: agenda comes first, story comes second, but it's a really, really
close second, and that keeps the work readable.
That said, when you're super-focused on your pet cause, it's really hard to let stories evolve the way they should to keep them believable. You come to a point where, to remain a good and true story, you need to have things occur one way, but to really ram home your agenda that little bit more
or to take that one last shot
at the opposing philosophy, they have to occur another. And many, many authors jump the wrong way on that one.
Thus leading to them showing up in this thread. Go fig.