Sunday, January 06, 2013

Fiction Collision Archives


I Need a Hero, Or An Anti-Hero    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: October 03, 2012


In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of authors shun the typical hero archetype in favor of the fascinating, complicated and sometimes unlikeable anti-hero. Some readers are thrilled at the change, while others are less than impressed. Either way, very few readers feel lukewarm about the type of hero they like reading about. So in this week’s Fiction Collision, we’re going to have the two types of hero square off....more

Horror versus Dark Fantasy    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: September 26, 2012


A lot of folks misunderstand speculative fiction. It’s often defined as a literary genre encompassing elements that are supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic. Many also label it as any type of fiction in which the story takes place in an imaginary world that exists as a result of one or more "what if" questions. It’s all of those things and more.
Speculative fiction’s very nature causes most of the work in these genres to have very blurry lines because all speculative fiction can be blended into another genre. Dark Fantasy and Horror are the two I find readers have the most trouble differentiating between. Because horror has so many negative connotations, I’ve even seen authors label their work as Dark Fantasy, in the hopes of enticing a reader or two into picking it up. Others believe that they’re the same thing. This week’s Fiction Collision will pit the two genres against each other, but not to choose a winner. No, we’re going to see if we can draw a line between them. ...more

Realism versus Escapism    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: September 19, 2012


Readers of “serious” fiction like to turn their noses up at escapist fiction, calling it “pulp” or “trash” among other not so nice names. As a reader of both escapist and realist fiction, I always wonder at the tendency to choose sides. We act as though it has to be one or the other. Works that allow people to escape from the stress of shitty reality aren’t less intelligent or less important than those that force you to face horrors of this world. Actually, it takes a great amount of skill to pull a reader into an escapist reality, convincing them that these things that don’t exist might be real....more

Twilight vs. Fifty Shades of Grey    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: September 12, 2012


I’ve read one installment from both of these series and I have to say, they were equally tortuous in terms of writing style, characterization and plot. However, to her credit, Meyer’s stories, characters and settings were all her own, made up in her own mind without the aid of “inspiration” from another author. Oh wait, Shakespeare. Yes, I shouldn’t forget that. Romeo and Juliet is a noticeable influence in the Twilight books. We should all refuse to read Twilight because it’s obviously a Shakespeare knock-off. Not. Jesus, what romance author isn’t inspired by Romeo and Juliet at some point? Meyer is one of thousands in that respect. Give her a break.
Skill is not what I want to discuss anyway. No, in this week’s Fiction Collision we’re comparing characters, and whether or not Fifty Shades of Grey is a unique work able to stand on its own, as James’s American Publisher and her fans have claimed. ...more

Book vs. Film: The Body vs. Stand by Me    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: September 05, 2012


"The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them-words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear." (Different Seasons by Stephen King, 1982) ...more

It was a dark and stormy night...    By OFW editor: Carlos J Cortes    Publish Date: August 29, 2012


This week's Fiction Collision is a little different than our usual. Instead of comparing popular or classic works of fiction, characters and such, we've decided to showcase some of the worst. The difference is that most of these excerpts are intentionally bad.

Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, was an English politician and writer. He would become remarkably popular from authoring bestselling dime-novels, which earned him a considerable fortune. His prose was florid and verbose, as befitted the Victorian melodramatic style taken to the extremes.
“It was a dark and stormy night” is an infamous phrase from the beginning of Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, which has become an adjective in the publishing industry to describe purple prose....more

Oz versus Narnia    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: August 22, 2012


The film version of the Wizard of Oz gives me nightmares. Okay, I admit the book scares me too, but I can’t even hear the sound of the film or I dream horribly messed up dreams about the witch, her monkeys and the Straw Man who I believe is a close pedophile. Also, the lion creeps me out. On the other hand, the characters of Narnia enchanted me from our first introduction many years ago. What is so different about these two fictional worlds? Is the building of Oz shoddy in comparison to Narnia? Or perhaps it is so well done that it’s too real? This week’s Fiction Collision will determine which fictional place is more real: Oz or Narnia? ...more

Holmes versus Poirot    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: August 15, 2012


Detective fiction is fun and exciting, and the leaders of the pack in terms of characters, have to be Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and Hercule Poirot (by Agatha Christie). I’ve read both authors and enjoyed everything they’ve thrown out there. But I wondered as I leafed through an old Christie novel, which detective would win a literary battle? The result might get me offed, but I think it’s worth the risk. So this week’s fiction collision pits the witty and charming Sherlock Holmes against the empathetic and eccentric Hercule Poirot. ...more

A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones: Book versus Film    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: August 08, 2012


Now that I’m almost through book four in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin, and I’ve watched the first two seasons of HBO's smash-hit “Game of Thrones,” I find myself unable to decide which I like better. Other fans of Martin’s books debate the two all over the Internet, with many believing the show is a big pile of shit. Hardly. The show is fantastic. So, what’s the big deal? Well, the writers made significant changes to the story, often in the interest of better television, and these changes sometimes occurred in key parts of the stories. Sometimes it worked, other times not so much, but should a show or film stay true to its book? This question led me to weight the pros and cons of both. So let’s examine the Game of Thrones books versus film in this fiction collision. ...more

We Need to Talk About Kevin: Book versus Film    By OFW editor: Renée Miller    Publish Date: August 01, 2012


OFW editor, Katrina Monroe reviewed “We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver in our Spotlight, and although I’d seen the film, I wasn’t eager to pick up the book until I’d read her review. I’d have missed out big time, so thanks, Kat.
“We Need to Talk About Kevin” examines life through Eva Khatchadourian's eyes as she copes with the aftermath of a school shooting rampage carried out by her teenage son Kevin. She is writing to her absent husband (and Kevin's father) Franklin about the events, pondering who is at fault for Kevin's actions on that Thursday. Does the blame lie solely with her? She certainly lacked the appropriate motherly affection. But how could she love such a child? Wasn’t Kevin simply born evil?
In this disturbing tale, we see a mother’s view of her son in an exploration of violence via a fictional high school massacre. The horror is so graphic, and the subject matter is so uncomfortable, I wondered which format portrayed it better? ...more

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