Jul 5, 2013

Pity the Miners: A Tale of Dwarfs and Mucus

My first foray into a giant's nostrils as dwarf leader was turning into a disaster.
While the others slept, Plugsel crawled up to me and grabbed me by the earlobe. "Rovayrt," he said, "I sense a buildup, a rumble. This giant's about to sneeze."

by HabbenINK
Words that we ought to retire

Certain words have come to remind me of this fungus-ridden potato I found in the pantry once. (I took pictures. I'll show them to you sometime.) They've mutated beyond recognition -- mutated through overuse, that is, and lost all their nutritional value. Like that ganky potato.

Don't get me wrong, I like potatoes, but as far as I know, man cannot live on potatoes alone. After all, the food pyramid includes bacon and moonshine too. And cigarettes. I don't smoke, but I'll look into it. According to scientists in the 22nd century, tobacco's really good for your health.

Anyway. Certain words no longer have a place in fantasy. I'm not going all zealot on you, but do you seriously still need to use


without a trace of irony? Well, do you?

Now, I don't have anything against medievalist fantasy, in the sense that I don't have anything against potatoes, either. All I'm saying is, this particular set of words represents a certain attitude -- aversion to risk, a preference for imitation rather than innovation, and subservience over subversion.

Of course, there are people out there subverting fantasy tropes and I appreciate that. I'm not saying you can't have wizards in your stories, no. It's just that the very word, wizard, along with the others I mentioned, skews the reader's mind in unhelpful ways. 

Now more than ever we need new recipes and pioneering cooks, 'cause dem potatoes aren't gonna bake themselves.

Music for people who can't stand wizards anymore

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