Skip to Content
2-23-2010 @ 2:30PM
One of the things I like the least about being associated with the fantasy/sci-fi "nerd" fandom in any way is that we have absolutely horrible standards when it comes to literary quality. Sci-fi and fantasy "series" literature can be some of the most terrible crap ever written and yet we don't seem to mind. It's not even that we don't realize that it's crap, as this review certainly demonstrates -- we don't seem to realize that a) good writing exists in the first place, especially within the sci-fi and fantasy genre, or that b) we, as an audience, have the right to insist on high quality work or to call bad writing what it is. Too many of us seem to have the attitude that, well, this is the new World of Warcraft novel, and if we like World of Warcraft, we must like this novel whether it's crap or not. It's not so, people. We can like the genre and like the universe while recognizing that this particular writer is BAD. Life is too short to waste reading bad books -- if you like WoW, play Wow, and when you're not playing WoW, find a book to read that doesn't suck. It will be well worth it.
2-23-2010 @ 2:45PM
Hangk - THANK YOU. This is probably the reason why I don't touch the "licensed" fantasy stuff (WoW, Star Wars, Dragonlance etc), something I've been trying to word right for a comment like this - there's far more interesting sci-fi/fantasy on the same shelves in the bookstore, that I'm likely to get far more enjoyment out of, than something that's telling the story of a game.This stuff may be fine as "WoW fiction", but it falls way short of the standard of most fantasy fiction.
2-23-2010 @ 2:49PM
People buy it anyway, that's the problem. Why pay a good author to write a Warcraft book, when you can pay a bad author less money and get a similar audience?Knaak keeps getting to write thees books because people pay for them. Until people stop buying, Blizzard won't stop inflicting him on us.
2-23-2010 @ 2:52PM
Yes and yes, thank you. The majority of sci-fi/fantasy books are poorly written that I can't bear to get through them. There is so much beautiful literature out there, people- go read it!
2-23-2010 @ 4:03PM
Even though it wouldn't happen in a million years, I always wondered what it would be like if Blizzard could somehow persuade high-gloss literary authors to tackle WoW. Granted, I can't imagine most would be interested, but you figure a few might try it out for kicks. For instance, I think JG Ballard could have written a great book about the Forsaken.
2-23-2010 @ 8:50PM
This. God, this. I wish there were 5 stars for this comment. Slap a familiar logo on the spine and fanboys will eat it up even if it's a crap sandwich. And troll message boards flaming the shit out of people who point out the Emperor has no clothes.And the thing is, EVEN with my admittedly much lower expectations for licensed novels, particularly licensed video game novels, Knaak's work doesn't even cut the mustard. When the likes of Bob Salvatore are writing circles around you, there's a serious problem (and I say this as someone who enjoyed the early Drizzt novels just on a popcorn, fluff level). I don't expect Gaiman or Martin or Pratchett levels of genius from a freaking Warcraft novel, okay? But when your stuff doesn't even rise to the level of, say, an Elminster novel? Heh.At no point when reading a novel do I ever want the thought to strike me that I could work with this material ten times better. Yet every time I force myself to read Knaak's garbage because I'm a lorehound, I get that feeling in spades. And I'm not even remotely close to being the best fanfic author I know.
2-24-2010 @ 8:35PM
QFT.Especially the last paragraph, because when -I- think I could write it better? There's a problem.
2-28-2010 @ 8:13PM
I want to see a WoW tie-in written by Jonathan Kellerman. Yeah, I went there.
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.