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10:00 PM
@Riker Good luck!
 
thanks!
 
@Riker My RPG.SE profile has a list of all the games I've played at least once.
 
that is a lot
 
I've been playing for about twelve years, and the last several I've been playing with a group that's not able to commit to a single long-term campaign so we play a lot of little games instead.
I've even written a couple of short-form games.
 
@BESW Sort of like the book The Sisters Grimm?
The Sisters Grimm is a children's fantasy series written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by Peter Ferguson. The series features two sisters, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, and consists of nine novels, published from 2005 to 2012 == Summary == Sabrina and Daphne Grimm have gone through a series of foster homes after their parents disappear. They have been treated as maids, servants, and other things that children shouldn't be. They've even been abused and ignored. This is mostly because they have a harsh and uncaring caseworker, Ms. Smirt, who is supposed to help find a safe new home for them. After...
 
10:06 PM
@Shokhet That sounds more like Once Upon a Time.
OUaT is about specific fairy-tale characters while Grimm is about communities of contemporary individuals who collectively inspired myths and fairy-tales.
 
@BESW I linked to the wiki page without reading it closely. The characters know who they are, and can change form (from normal human -> character) at will. They live in a town among regular humans who don't have a clue
 
So, shades of both.
 
I see.
 
But while the technical details sound more Grimmy, the overall sense is more OUaTish.
 
@BESW I see what you mean
If in some universe I find myself with extra time, maybe I'll start one of those series. They sound really interesting
 
10:10 PM
A lot of folks really like OUaT, but it bored me to tears. YMMV.
All the others mentioned are at least good in my opinion, though. Grimm, Haven, Warehouse 13, The Librarians. (Atomic Robo is awesome too, but it's a free-online, pay-for-books comic.)
 
Noted. Thanks for the recommendations :)
 
My pleasure.
 
Reading the new T39C book I got now...
 
10:31 PM
@BESW The other day you were complaining that I didn't participate enough on meta. So I made more effort and gave it another go. Language-specific tags, genre tags, language and time period
the time period bit is new on meta, AFAIK
Robert's post against useful tags discouraged me but I've been thinking for a while that we should get inspiration from History's tagging
 
10:46 PM
which works how?
 
-1
A: Do we need such broad tags on questions about specific works?

GillesYes, absolutely! Our primary tags should be body-of-literature tags. Tags about individual authors may be useful for fine-grained filtering but they're useless for area-of-expertise filtering. The primary purpose of tags is to convey areas of expertise, to allow experts to quickly filter questio...

 
@Gilles I didn't downvote, but I think one of the reasons your answers got downvoted were because they don't seem to have many arguments other than "it works well for these people"
the one you just linked basically says "people do this and like this method therefore we should do this also"
which isn't a bad argument, but doesn't stand well by itself
 
@Riker Oh, right. The only answers on the site that actually went out and documented objective reasons to pick tags “don't seem to have many arguments”.
 
the genre tags one doesn't really have much backing either, it just proposes a method
@Gilles that's the problem. there seem to be a grand total of 1 objective reason you used and it's that 'other people use it, so we should consider it'
which isn't a bad argument, but the subjective ones are pretty good for being subjective
 
@Riker No, I didn't say “other people use it”. I said “people who are the target audience of this site use it”.
 
10:53 PM
yeah, I was mentally considering "other people" to mean "people we want on the site", sorry
0
Q: Where was the phrase "behind the wind" first used?

RikerIn Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years, chapter 4 ("The World Behind the Wind"), the second-to-last sentence: On the evidence of the events of the fifteenth century, in the world east of the Bay of Bengal—the world "behind the wind", as Arab navigators called it—China could have ...

@Hamlet @Standback better now?
it's been edited + reopened so apparently some people feel it's better now
 
@Riker I don't see how this question relates to literature
whether in its initial state or its current state
Presumably “behind the wind” is a literal translation of the Arabic phrase meaning leeward. Why is it interesting who first used this literal translation, and why is it a literature question?
 
just because it's not interesting to you doesn't mean it's not on-topic
 
@Riker I didn't say it wasn't interesting to me, I said I didn't see any connection with literature
 
> Why is it interesting who first used this literal translation, and why is it a literature question?
> why is it interesting
 
@Gilles Hmmm. I think these suggestions have plenty of support in the text. For example, Asimov never really explored how close robots are to humans. I'd say "The Bicentennial Man" is an iconic "robot desiring to be human/displaying humanity" story, no? — Standback 2 mins ago
Displaying humanity, yes, but it's played purely from the point of view of the humans: humans shouldn't be afraid of being governed by robots, as long as the robots are good at it (and in fact they're better at it than humans)
 
11:04 PM
@Gilles I am eager to discuss, but it's 1am here :-/ I'll be happy to read your comments on the morrow, though :)
 
lol night
 
We don't get to see Byerley's point of view. We don't even know whether Byerley has a point of view or is just acting to maximize human happiness
 
@Gilles Wait, who's Byerley? Which story is this?
 
and later in the Empire series, with Daneel and Giskard, we do get to see the robots' point of view and they are maximizing human happiness
@Standback the (implied) robot in “The Bicentennial Man”
 
@Gilles ...wasn't that Andrew? Andrew Martin?
 
11:07 PM
ye
 
@Standback Oh, sorry, I'm mixing up titles
 
Dodged a bullet there :P
I am really truly going to sleep.
 
loll
 
Byerley is the one who gets elected while there is doubt whether he is a robot or a human
 
Maybe a side chatroom for this? I'd hate for this convo be lost in the noise.
 
11:09 PM
You're right, TBM does seem to desire to be human. That's much later than I, Robot though.
 
11:23 PM
@Riker I'm not sure how the edits make it better. I disagree with reopening the question, and I would vote to close it if I could.
 
@Gilles please don't put that kind of sentence into your answer, it adds nothing and it's kinda rude without reason
if you disagree with the quesiton vote to close or comment
 
Is there any objective system for telling the difference between a genre and a subgenre? It seems to me that the entire genre classification system is quite woolly and hard to pin down. As, in fact, you yourself said in another post here: "Debating whether a book is this or that genre is sterile. Many books have elements of one genre, and other elements of another genre." Given that, how do you expect genre tags to be able to be applied objectively and intuitively? — Rand al'Thor 4 mins ago
@Randal'Thor It's comments like ^^^^ this that make me feel so bad about Lit.SE
I spend half my answer explaining the very point that you raise in your comment. Did you even bother to read my answer?
 
@Gilles where do you explain that?
I don't see that
 
@Riker in the answer above Rand's comment
 
I don't see the relavent part of the answer
 
11:36 PM
> As a reader, if I'm looking for a book in a library or in a bookstore, I'll find the book on the shelf dedicated to the broad genre that this book is in — most separate at least several broad genres: general fiction, mysteries, romance, SF.
 
relevant
 
> A question about a book should be tagged speculative-fiction, romance or mystery if it's marketed as SF/romance/mystery. This is a subjective judgement to some extent, but one that someone else (the publisher, the author or their agent) has made for us.
 
that's not at all about the difference between genre and subgenre
he's not talking about classifying genres
he's talking about when is too deep
do we apply hard-science-fiction to some of asimov's stories or do we leave them as science-fiction
tahts' the part that he's saying is hard to "apply objectively and intuitively"
 
Or, is magical realism a subgenre of fantasy, or is it a separate primary genre classification?
 
yeah
 
11:38 PM
@Riker is a subgenre. I'm against subgenres, for the same reasons that they didn't work on SFF. I'm for broad genres, for the same reason that SFF works.
 
that's the point
what defines a subgenre
 
@BESW Whatever, it doesn't matter much.
 
that's what his comment is asking
@Gilles it matters a lot
 
If the question is acceptable on SFF then tag it .
 
The Erast Fandorin series jumps genre with every novel.
 
11:38 PM
that specifc case maybe not, but in general
 
SFF hasn't imploded.
 
@Gilles ok that seems like a really freaking bad idea
 
It has a lot of problems, but defining what's on topic isn't one.
@Riker why?
I'm not saying that there's a rule “on-topic on SFF → ”, btw. I'm saying that the same criteria that work there also work here.
Can you guys please stop strawmanning everything I write?
 
can somebody review close votes?
 
For values of "work" which involve people yelling at each other about whether anthropomorphism always counts as speculative fiction, or if it's only sf if there's also humans in the story.
I don't think "SF&F does it" is a great argument for much of anything.
@Gilles It's not strawmanning to ask questions about what's unclear. I know it's clear to you, you wrote it! But other folks aren't going to magically understand all the nuances you intend to imply.
3
 
11:42 PM
@Gilles my point is that SFF has spent years hammering out the specifics of what is/isn't fantasy, but that I don't think we need to go that deep
 
If we wanted to discount your ideas, we'd just downvote and leave.
We're asking questions because we want to see how it can work, not because we want to prove it can't.
If somebody's asking questions about a thing you feel you've already explained well, consider that maybe you're experiencing that common syndrome where we read our own context into a work and see things which aren't explicitly on the page: people without the same context won't see the same thing.
This is a really really easy thing for writers to do with their own texts.
 
@BESW I know, and that's why I tend to be very verbose.
 
I usually have to re-write questions at least three times to purge them of my unstated implications.
 
But it's annoying when people then go TLDR on me.
 
Verbosity is often the enemy of clarity.
You've noticed a pattern: many many folks on lit.se ask you questions about things you feel you've already explained, or re-state your ideas inaccurately. You've chosen to interpret this as perversity on the part of a large segment of the lit.se community. I suggest it may also/instead signify that your usual communication techniques are breaking down somewhere in the lit.se context.
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11:49 PM
@BESW I can't think of a meaning of perversity that makes sense in this context.
 
@Gilles Yes, I read through it carefully before casting my vote.
I still don't get your response to that comment either.
 
> perverse
[...]
2
a : obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted : wrongheaded
b : arising from or indicative of stubbornness or obstinacy
3 : marked by peevishness or petulance : cranky
This may be because lit.se users are coming from many different Stack backgrounds and there's not a coherent lit.se dialectic yet.
 
@Randal'Thor Ok, let's do it brief: I'm for objective genre tags.
(Yes, I'm fully aware that I can't win.)
 
@Gilles You seem to be going off the assumption that the genre categories used by bookshops are some kind of universal and objective classification system. But different bookshops and libraries (even in the same country, let alone different ones) have different genre and classification systems. As said in my answer, genres usually can't be objectively defined.
 
@Randal'Thor They pretty much are.
 
11:53 PM
I don't believe objective genre tags exist. It's possible to tag according to publisher choices about genre tags, which is passing the buck and causes problems of its own (eg, "young adult").
 
@Gilles Can you give me an objective definition of any genre? If you have some, I'd love to see them (and to see them edited into your answer).
 
Yes, of course there are outliers. But tags don't have to have 100% objective rules. Otherwise we'd never use any tags whatsoever. There's always ambiguity somewhere. That's why tags are chosen by humans and not by computers.
@Randal'Thor It's the genre that the imprint advertises.
I'm not going to try to define genres. I want to reuse other people's empirical definitions. I don't care whether they're Right or Wrong.
 
Genre describes the group of people a publisher thinks would be most likely to buy a book. Not uncommonly the author doesn't agree with the publisher's genre label, and the label changes as market audiences shift.
Genre is not a description of a book's content or themes, except incidentally.
There is value in genre as a sorting tool, but it's neither universal nor immutable.
I'd be interested in seeing a proposal to use genre tags which takes this into account.
 
@Gilles But different people have different empirical definitions. There's no One True Definition of any genre (as far as I can tell, unless you can prove me wrong).
 
I mean, we could use LOC filing numbers. That'd at least put all the choices under one roof instead of using thousands of different publishers' conflicting ideas about genre depending on who published what when.
 
11:58 PM
@BESW mine does
I go with whatever the publisher chose
And I don't care, at this point, about the outliers. Now (or rather three weeks ago) is the time to find tags that work 99% of the time. We'll tackle the outliers as they arise. If they ever arise.
Let me give you an example (about on-topic-ness, not about tags, but it's the same principle).
 
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