What’s up, guys, I’m doing a tag. (Also can you say this post title five times fast)
The wonderful C. M. (or as I like to call her, Mademoiselle Tomato) over at Project Pursue Wisdom tagged me for this not too long ago, and y’all should go check out her post (and her lovely blog in general) if you haven’t already, because it was a really fun post to read. (All the Red Rising quotes. I’m dying to read Red Rising now.)
Anyway, rules! Or…not, since I don’t plan to follow them. So, questions!
Fantasy or sci-fi?
Fantasy, my dear sirs and madams, fantasy!
I can tolerate certain types of sci-fi, particularly if they are particularly excellent, but the trappings of the genre are just not my favorite.
Sci-fi is a very philosophical genre, where for her setting the author has to create a possible future. Sometimes that future is bleak and sometimes it’s supposed to be optimistic, but there’s a certain horror that steals into the back of my mind when I have to imagine any of these worlds; the optimistic ones are just as bad as the bleak ones, because if that’s your idea of a good future…I’d hate to see your idea of a bad one.
Whereas fantasy doesn’t have disturbing connections to the real world – not like that. Fantasy is about the Other – our half-forgotten desire to see what’s invisible, to communicate across barriers, to enter a world that’s different from ours, and to encounter both beauty and peril more intense than the kind we run into here. Really good fantasy is an Experience (the exhilarating kind).
Fantasy feeds my sense of wonder, while sci-fi feeds my sense of despair.
Plus fantasy has the sub-genres of, like, fairy tales and whimsical middle grade and mythology and magical quests. It’s just my thing.
Tragedy or comedy?
What’s wrong with you, asking this question? I don’t know.
I would think comedy (happy endings are the best kind), but I have no faith in modern people’s ability to write comedy. (Modern people as in the modern people writing well-known stuff, not as in every writer I’ve ever met – some of y’all, I know, write excellent comedy. An example might be… oh, Friends, for instance. Can’t stand that show. Or any modern action-comedy I’ve ever tried to watch. So plastic.) They’re better at tragedy, because you can write effective tragedy even if your understanding of redemption is lacking, so long as your understanding of sin isn’t.
In an ideal world full of ideal stories, though, comedy. They have happy endings and laughter, my two favorite things.
Fiction or nonfiction?
If I had to only ever read one or the other…….
I hate this question…….
I think I’d go with nonfiction, though? I love fiction, I do, but no more history, no more science, no more philosophy? No. I couldn’t deal with that.
One still has one’s imagination. I need to be able to feed my curiosity about the world and its workings more than I need imagination help. (Much more, actually. :P)
Snow or rain?
Oh, but I love both.
I…really love both.
Snow makes me happier, just because it’s rarer. I have a lovely memory from high school, actually, involving snow.
See, I’d been sick. For a week. And this was in the middle of the hours-every-night rehearsal season of the musical I was in. (I was just ensemble, but you still have to be there all the time at this point.) And so obviously I went back as soon as I could, but I was not really well yet, and for…several weeks afterward, I had no energy, no joy, no anything. I was a shell of a person. It was actually rather odd.
But, two nights before the first performance, as I was driving the two of us – my sister and I – to rehearsal, just as we turned into the parking lot, snow started falling. These little flurries hit my windshield, one after the other after the other…and remembering it still gives me this pang of joy at how beautiful and worth living life is.
Rain has never had quite that effect…so snow it is.
Orange juice or apple juice?
They’re both good in moderation, and I don’t drink either very often. I think orange juice elevates a breakfast to an extent apple juice doesn’t. But a glass of apple juice floating with ice cubes to be sipped at leisurely on a hot summer afternoon (or at your right hand doing its best to impersonate whiskey while you play poker with your sisters and the neighbors)…well, that’s exceedingly pleasant too.
I might like the taste of orange juice a smidge better?
Christmas or Easter?
They’re inextricably connected, obviously. Rather like the beginning and the ending of a book. And I prefer beginnings, in a way. Not because wonderful endings aren’t the best thing in the world, but because beginnings promise that ending to come and are cozy to boot. Christmas is a very cozy hearthside holiday, while Easter is more like being on the lake in a high September wind. You can’t pick between them, it’s not like that. But if I’ve got to pick, Christmas.
Middle-earth or Narnia?
NOT A FAIR QUESTION.
But Middle-earth. Middle-earth has the Ents. There are other reasons too, not that you need them. Because Ents.
Marvel or DC?
Uh…Marvel? I don’t know that that’s fair, considering I’ve never seen anything DC (not that I’ve wanted to either – even Marvel I was forced into).
Well, that’s not true. I did once see the tail end of a TV show episode where a tied-up and unconscious Batman was being slowly conveyor-belted into a huge flaming oven…? And then there was dramatic music and the episode was over.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
I like Star Wars, I do, but I didn’t see it till I was a teenager. It was that movie my parents really liked that they were always saying we should watch, but then we never did because we didn’t own it and we didn’t watch movies much anyway. When we finally did watch it, my sisters were young enough to get obsessed with Luke Skywalker, but I…wasn’t. Sadly.
I wasn’t even young enough to get obsessed with Han. I have no idea why my middle sister liked Luke better than Han, actually…wisecracking scoundrels are sort of her thing.
I still like Star Wars, quite a lot, but I grew up on Star Trek and I’m ridiculously fond of several of the ridiculous characters. (And the premise appeals to me more.)
Old movies or new movies?
So, I think when it comes to movies, I’m like those people who don’t care about prose in books. Because sure, color and sound quality and editing techniques and such things are much better in new movies (I guess), but I genuinely don’t care. The story and the dialogue are all that matter.
Plus, I like the black-and-white aesthetic. And even when old movies aren’t in black and white, they have a style of dialogue that I like much better than modern movies. I like dialogue that’s not just clever, but smart. Quips that require you to know something, or have paid attention to something, to get. Dialogue in modern movies often feels sloppy and lazy to me, at least in comparison to dialogue from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Also I tend to prefer older acting styles, I think. They’re maybe less realistic, but they’re somehow more convincing. To me.
I don’t know why, really. I just know I tend to like old movies better.
Old books or new books?
Well, I hate to be predictable, but old again. There are new books I love, but…while my reading life would be a little poorer without them, it’d be way, way, way poorer without all the old books I have read. Seriously, no Tolkien, no Rosemary Sutcliff, no Chesterton, no Robert Louis Stevenson, no Helen MacInnes, no Song of Roland, no myths, no fairy tales, no Charles Dickens, no Sabatini, no Lucy Maud Montgomery, no James Herriot, no A. A. Milne? Horrible thought.
(I could go on. I just stopped myself there because I really could go on and on.)
And that’s not even to mention all the old books I’m still dying to read. There are a few new books I’m mildly interested in (okay, MORE THAN MILDLY when it comes to The Silent Bells and Boys of Blur and Return of the Thief and West of Yesterday), but…old books are where it’s at, my friends. The history, the depth, the…the vast swaths of time across which books have been written, wherein you can dig for manifold treasures! I want to read all the old books. All of them.
So much I cannot say for the new ones.
Thank you again for tagging me, C.M.! This was a very fun, if painful, post to write up. And…am I allowed to just tag all of y’all in the comments? Because that’s what I’m doing.