The OF Blog: Two quick thoughts after having finished Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two quick thoughts after having finished Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains

1. Many of the reviews that I've read of this novel, positive and negative alike, never really explored what makes Ringil's character so intriguing.

2. If noir fiction revolves around characters living on the peripheries of their societies, then could one argue that having a male homosexual who is not desexualized or just only a passive victim as a/the lead character is perhaps the extension of this tension between individual/society to its deepest, most difficult levels?

Full review this weekend, perhaps. I do have quite a few things to say, none of which deal with "hype" or "buzz" ;)

9 comments:

Fábio said...

I´m very, very curious to read this book.

RobB said...

The first salvo of the neverending "OFB v PFH Blog War" is thrown!

Larry said...

Nah, outside of that one passing bit (which refers to more than one blog), I'm not going to mention any others' reviews in my own. Besides, I do have some criticisms to make of the book that perhaps might be of interest to many. But that'll likely be Friday or Saturday before I write it, unless I have the energy tonight to write it after sleeping only 4.5 hours last night...

SQT said...

So that's how you finished it so quickly. You don't sleep.

I just got this in the mail yesterday. I hope to get to it soon. I look forward to your opinion.

Larry said...

Actually, I read it over 3 days...or a little over 2 hours during that time :P

Liviu said...

If you come to TSR without reading Morgan's earlier work, without hearing about how this novel will revolutionize epic fantasy the way GRRM did and without having read epic fantasy with gay protagonists before, having even - gasp - explicit male gay sex - S. Monette anyone?? - - then probably TSR will seem a great book, but for me it was a good but just that novel.

Too much setup, too little and rushed action, though I agree there is a lot of potential there.

I am tired of the Morgan ending twist after all his novels - would not want to spoil it, but anyone reading his work will know with a great probability before-hand who the villain turns out to be - after all he did it in all his novels until now, only in market Forces it was meant to develop on the way, but in all the rest it was supposed to come as a surprise...

Larry said...

Liviu,

That's an interesting criticism of Morgan's work, one that jibes well with my experiences as well (having read all but Woken Furies to date).

Eddie Clark said...

Tying your two points together, I haven't read any commentary about the politics of making the protagonist an aggressive, active (in the sense of not passive or victimised) gay man. And I mean this in both the sense of the politcs of Morgan's world, and the politics of fantasy writing in general. Even recent examples of well-written, interesting gay people that others have cited (Monette's Felix, Hal Duncan's Puck) have been victimis to an extent that Ringil isn't. Will have more comment when you post your full review and I've had a bit more of a think ;).

Larry said...

Eddie,

That is exactly what I hope to address to some small degree at least when I write my review. Ringil is a fascinating character, especially in the opening chapters, and his sexual orientation is not some thrown-together bit. I have to applaud Morgan for integrating Ringil's character into the tale that developed around it. But I don't want to reveal too much, so more tomorrow sometime?

 
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