melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-02-20 09:33 am
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FMK#1: Arthuriana

OK! I should have all the fiction sorted and reshelved by tonight, so WE'RE DOING THIS. If I manage to do this weekly we should be done in only a year!

Here's how it will go: I will post a list of 10-20 unread books that I own. Sometimes it will be themed, sometimes it will just be random. It will be a poll, and you folks will get to vote F, M, or K for each book.

F means "melannen should have a single night of ill-considered passion with it and then decide whether to turn that into a long-term thing or dump it with prejudice."
M means "melannen should commit long-term and continue to keep the book in her bedroom indefinitely."
K means "melannen should dispose of it posthaste."

This may remind people of a certain familiar game. Unfortunately I don't think DW polls have any way to force a three-way choice like in the game, so it's a free vote for each title. (Also I don't think I could agree to give up 1/3 of my books anyway.)

I will read the book with the most F votes, hopefully within the next week, and then post about it here.
I will dispose of the book with the most K votes, *if* there are enough total K votes on all titles to make a quorum (i.e., if only one person votes K in the whole poll, I don't consider myself bound to their vote.)
All other titles, I will think about very hard and take your votes into consideration!

Feel free to vote even if you only have a vague idea about the book or author. Or even if you've never heard of it but think the title is cool. That's why I bought most of these, after all.
Feel free to vote F on terrible books just because you want to make me read them.
Please leave comments with more information on the book or justifying your votes if you do have things to say!

Anon/no account votes and comments are on. Some background on me and my library if you wander here from far away: I am an SF fan and aspiring SF writer (emphasis on "aspiring" rather than "writing" rn). I would like to keep books that are a) good and/or b) important or foundational texts in the genre and/or c) help balance the proportion of books not by/about white dudes in my library.

Got that?

Poll #18011 FMK #1: Arthuriana
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 30


The Eagle and the Sword, A. A. Attanasio (1978)

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F
9 (90.0%)

M
0 (0.0%)

K
1 (10.0%)

The Merlin Effect, T. A. Barron (1994)

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F
10 (76.9%)

M
3 (23.1%)

K
0 (0.0%)

The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (1982)

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F
7 (30.4%)

M
4 (17.4%)

K
12 (52.2%)

Ass't'd Prince Valiant Hardcovers, Hal Foster (1978)

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F
6 (46.2%)

M
2 (15.4%)

K
5 (38.5%)

King Arthur and His Knights, Henry Frith (1884)

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F
9 (69.2%)

M
3 (23.1%)

K
1 (7.7%)

The Merlin Conspiracy, Diana Wynne Jones (2003)

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F
10 (47.6%)

M
10 (47.6%)

K
1 (4.8%)

King Arthur and His Knights, Sir James Knowles (1860)

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F
7 (58.3%)

M
4 (33.3%)

K
1 (8.3%)

The Pendragon Cycle, Stephen R. Lawhead (1987-1989)

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F
10 (62.5%)

M
1 (6.2%)

K
5 (31.2%)

Merlin's Godson Trilogy, H. Warner Munn (1974)

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F
6 (66.7%)

M
0 (0.0%)

K
3 (33.3%)

The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, John Steinbeck (1976)

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F
9 (56.2%)

M
2 (12.5%)

K
5 (31.2%)

The Merlin Trilogy, Mary Stewart (1970-1979)

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F
12 (57.1%)

M
7 (33.3%)

K
2 (9.5%)

The Sunbird, Elizabeth Wein (2004)

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F
13 (72.2%)

M
5 (27.8%)

K
0 (0.0%)

The Book of Merlyn, T. H. White (1977)

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F
10 (47.6%)

M
9 (42.9%)

K
2 (9.5%)

Merlin's Booke, Jane Yolen (1986)

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F
10 (66.7%)

M
4 (26.7%)

K
1 (6.7%)

The Last Defender of Camelot, Roger Zelazny (1980)

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F
9 (52.9%)

M
4 (23.5%)

K
4 (23.5%)



(Books on the topic I have read and am definitely keeping: the Mike Ashley anthologies, Parke Godwin's Firelord, a mysterly Goldsmith "King Arthur" that is hilariously bowdlerized, Sutcliff's Arthur books, Twain's Connecticut Yankee, White's the Once and Future King, lots of pre-1860 retellings and sources, lots of "nonfiction".)
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2017-02-20 04:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my god I had forgotten MZB was involved with Tiger Burning Bright and now I retroactively have to scrub my brain I loved that book when I was a teenager.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2017-02-20 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)

:(

recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

[personal profile] recessional 2017-02-20 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
FWIW: if we were to actually feel horrible for enjoying all art ever created by Hideously Awful People, we'd be consigning most art in history to the furnaces. (My favourite example being Beethoven, who utilized his position to steal his nephew from said nephew's mother and then drove said nephew to the brink of suicide, and who was basically emotionally abusive to everyone in his life ever, so.)

Horrific people can, in spite of themselves, make good art. The art doesn't justify their horrificness, but their horrificness also doesn't automatically remove their art. *hands*
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

[personal profile] recessional 2017-02-21 06:02 am (UTC)(link)
I also think that there's a certain amount of . . . *grasps* like I found MYSELF stamping very hard on a not particularly admirable impulse, post-finding-out, which is that I just don't LIKE MoA and never have, and never liked any of her other stuff, and everyone else did and I always felt Pressured or Judged. So finding out she was a Terrible Person hit this really strong inclination to a more violent rejection and labelling all of her stuff as TAINTED OMG!! (I had the same impulse with Card, mind.)

Which I personally feel is bullshit, and I know a lot of women, especially either older women or women who were raised in particularly repressed backgrounds, where it really was the first thing they came across that gave them a feeling of identification/etc, and that's a shitty way to treat THEM, so I did stamp on that impulse.

Like I think you're right too - I think there's a lot of stuff contributing to the reactions I've seen. But when it comes down to it, I strongly feel that judging art by the moral failures or successes of the artist is a mug's game. Lots of horrible people make good art, and lots of wonderful people make terrible art, and the art remains, and all we can do is use the art to make US better, regardless of the person who made it. /rambling

Which may be self-justification because my favourite example is actually very germane to me, because on the one hand I find everything he did REPREHENSIBLE and that's just the stuff we have confirmation of (we have no idea what he actually DID to end up with his nephew deciding death was better . . . ), and then on the other you will take the 9th out of my cold dead hands. SO.