dropitlikefsco77 said: Dear Neil, I have a long and lonely drive from Alaska back to the lower 48 coming up. Would any of your own audiobooks possibly be of help with that?
I would like to think so. Try the American Gods full cast audiobook, and the Neverwhere Audiobook (I narrate it) and Anansi Boys (Lenny Henry does this one, and it’s a joy).
I wonder if the audiobook of American Gods would help me understand it better than when I read it and most of it went right over my head.
I think a lot of people miss that ASOIAF is an attack on loving fantasy worlds. GRRM basically goes: “Hey, do you know how you would love to live in a fantasy land of knights and castles and maidens and all that? Well, you are an idiot, Feudalism is fucking horrific and you should feel ashamed for wishing for it. Look let me show you…”
ASOIAF, to me, is a love letter to democracy, equality and all the wonderful things we have, because it reminds you how horrendous a world without them is."
I hesitated to reblog this post before because even though I agree that a lot of people miss that GRRM is deconstructing fantasy tropes, it’s quite clear that he also loves fantasy. So I don’t think he’s attacking fantasy, exactly, so much as taking the trappings of the genre and reexamining them. What I think a lot of people don’t realize about deconstruction is that it’s not just about breaking things down, it’s about making something new out of them.
People have pointed out how Sansa works in the narrative as a reader stand in, because she, like the reader, wants to believe in a more idealistic fantasy story, but I don’t think GRRM is ultimately trying to punish the Sansas of the world for believing in fantasy. What he’s criticizing is something deeper, he’s pointing out the flaws in the system. And yeah, I do think that you can read ASOIAF as a criticism of stories that romanticize feudalism, but I think the text is also meant to examine injustices that still exist today.
I don’t think GRRM is ultimately trying to say that fantasy is bad or something we shouldn’t want. I see the premise of ASOIAF as something like “our fantasy can do better”.
Nicely put. esp. the part I bolded.
When I started Stargate, I got the part, I was SO thrilled to have this INCREDIBLE character, to be playing someone in the military. I had SO much respect, to be playing someone who’s so smart and so liberated and… I thought “Yes!”
I had two weeks to move from Toronto to Vancouver. I flew out there, I had my first wardrobe fitting. And one of the things that was in… THE thing that was in the wardrobe room was a very low-cut tank top and a push-up bra…
And I turned to the costume designer - whom I’ve worked with since, who’s wonderful - and I said “What… What is this?”
And she said “Well.. they wanna see what you look like in it.”
And I said “…but this… NOBODY in the military, no captain in the US airforce would wear this… while her male counterparts are wearing crewneck t-shirts and… I c… I can’t do it!”
And she said “Well, they just wanna see what you look like and take a picture and…”
I was like “…”.
And I PANICKED because I thought, I had just been given this AMAZING opportunity - I didn’t know it would last 10 years but I knew it was gonna be a kick-ass show - and I was like… “I can’t do it…”
And I started to cry and I said “You have to go upstairs and tell them I’m not doing it. And if it means that they recast the part then recast the part but you’ve cast a smart woman and you’ve cast somebody who has NEVER tried to get a job based on her looks or her body, I’ve always played strong, smart women, I… I can’t do it. So if they wanna recast the part I totally get it but I’m not playing THAT version of this character.”
But I’m saying this while I’m blubbering because I’m suffering that I’ve just lost maybe the best job of my career…
And so she said “Okay” and I said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ve NEVER been difficult, I don’t… but I CAN’T do that!”
So she went upstairs and she came back down and she said “Okay, no problem.”
And I said “Okay, so what’s my costume?”
And she said “Well…”
And I said “Just… What are the guys wearing?”
So she handed me a black T-Shirt and the BDUs, which is what my character would wear in the field with her male counterparts, and that’s where we went from there.
But that to me was the defining moment of…
And I STILL cry about it because I still remember that young woman on the verge of breaking into the… new something big, being petrified that she was gonna loose it, but… I knew that I couldn’t play the TNA version of Sam Carter.
Every time I read this I’m so moved, because I just remember loving her character so much and being amazed by her, and how did this character come to be? Well, the answer is a young, brave woman: Amanda Tapping.
Stargate SGI was a TERRIFIC show and Amanda Tapping was the best.
Also, O’Neill. With two ‘L’s.