I had heard a lot of good things about Ursula K. Le Guin's writing, so I started reading A Wizard of Earthsea

So far it's... alright? I'm enjoying it well enough but it seems pretty standard as medieval fantasy goes. I'm not seeing what people find so special about her writing, personally

I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more several years ago but nowadays I don't read as much and if I dedicate my attention to a book, I've come to expect something special of it

Also I keep going "wow this setting is really sexist and everyone seems fine with it". Which, sure, medieval fantasy, whatever, but that doesn't make it fun to read

I'm not sure if I have the energy for stories without nonbinary characters anymore

@socks Yeah, I kinda felt the same. I tried reading it, but I couldn't get into it, it felt so bog standard fantasy, which surprised me

Though if you haven't read her short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas", I do very much recommend it

genre fiction opinion 

@pinkbun @socks yes, the earthsea novels are genre fiction. their appeal comes from what they do within the framework of high fantasy.

it's fine if you just can't get into plain high fantasy. at the same time, all of us have grown up with a generation of media that constantly tries to subvert and otherwise distance itself from traditional genres, and i think that needs to be pushed back on. a genre is sort of like a programming language. a story can be special even though it's pretty standard high fantasy in the same way a piece of code can be special even though it's written in standard haskell 98 and doesn't use arbitrary rank types or whatever.

basically what i'm saying is, don't be surprised when a story people say is good seems really genre. it probably seems that way because that's what it is

genre fiction opinion 

@autumnontape I think you're misunderstanding me. I don't think being standard high fantasy is bad, otherwise I wouldn't seek it out. I like the genre! That's the biggest reason why I'm still reading. It's just cool.

My point is that it doesn't really seem to have anything special as a work of fiction. The characters aren't particularly likeable or relatable, I'm not very interested in learning more about the world and its systems, etc etc. It's just kinda there.

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