History SeinfeldIsUnfunny / Literature

31st May '17 8:21:57 PM jormis29
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* Nowadays, ''Series/TheWheelOfTime'' by Creator/RobertJordan is considered a horrendously cliched example of how all fantasy books are too long, with series that go on seemingly without end and yet little happens in them. When the first volume was published, in 1991, most fantasy novels were actually quite short, and/or tended to be trilogies or quintets at the very longest. However, he inspired so many other writers to [[{{Padding}} pad out their volumes]] and stretch their stories over ten or twelve volumes that by the 2000's he gets lumped in with those he inspired, often cited as the UrExample, but rarely acknowledged as the man who started the trend.

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* Nowadays, ''Series/TheWheelOfTime'' ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' by Creator/RobertJordan is considered a horrendously cliched example of how all fantasy books are too long, with series that go on seemingly without end and yet little happens in them. When the first volume was published, in 1991, most fantasy novels were actually quite short, and/or tended to be trilogies or quintets at the very longest. However, he inspired so many other writers to [[{{Padding}} pad out their volumes]] and stretch their stories over ten or twelve volumes that by the 2000's he gets lumped in with those he inspired, often cited as the UrExample, but rarely acknowledged as the man who started the trend.
17th May '17 2:56:06 PM lluewhyn
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**YMMV, but the reputation can be somewhat exaggerated. Although plenty of minor characters die, not unexpected in a book of [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters so many characters]], only a few were major POV characters- Ned, Catelyn, Jon. After the first book, it would be easy to classify three main POV characters as Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow. Throughout the first five books, only the last one is killed and will likely be brought back to life (heavily speculated in the books, already occurred in the television show). It's more shocking how often the plot drastically changes with character deaths having major political impacts, which averts the more standard tendency to change the status quo slowly.
29th Apr '17 5:53:09 PM Rebu
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* Imagine this; a low-class creative-type young man is secretly in love with the one of the richest, most popular girls around, along with most of the upper-class boys, who she keeps turning down. Her peers sneer at him, behind his back, but she invites him to her big fancy house in the country. He knows he doesn't have a chance, but goes anyway. They spend a lot of time together, getting to know each other. [[spoiler:He overhears her remarks to one of her many high-class suitors about how she'll to marry someone high-class, gets upset, and dresses her down for snobbery. When he cools down, he's so embarrassed that he decides to leave. She shows up and whoops, turns out it was just a misunderstanding. She was referring to him, metaphorically, and the story ends.]] Clearly this is some sort of wacky teen romantic comedy film. Except it's the poem ''Lady Geraldine's Courtship'', from the 19th century. Just put the narrator in a band, put the protagonists in high school, and set it during a weekend at her parents' house, and you'd basically have a Disney Channel Original Movie.
10th Apr '17 1:05:02 PM nombretomado
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* The ''Literature/SnowCrash'' physical manifestation of the internet can come off as either a brilliant, eerie prediction of the future or a "I know this already" unsurprising setting depending on whether you read it before or after ''SecondLife'' proved ''everything.''

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* The ''Literature/SnowCrash'' physical manifestation of the internet can come off as either a brilliant, eerie prediction of the future or a "I know this already" unsurprising setting depending on whether you read it before or after ''SecondLife'' ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' proved ''everything.''
2nd Apr '17 2:17:37 PM appointmentwithdensity_
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* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the book. They forget that this was ''the'' first book to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].

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* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the book. They forget that this was ''the'' one of the first book books to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].
28th Mar '17 4:03:18 PM Golondrina
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22nd Mar '17 1:40:48 PM Golondrina
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* ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' by Sun Tzu seems like nothing but simple common sense when read today by anyone with an interest in military strategy; however, at its time it most certainly was not. For example, Sun Tzu's claim that spies were just as important to warfare as soldiers and generals was considered highly controversial by the ancient Chinese (who mostly considered espionage dishonorable).
* Creator/LewisCarroll:
** When ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' was released, it was considered very innovative for not having [[AnAesop a clear moral to the story.]] Nowadays, when it's not considered necessary for every children's book to come with a moral, few readers even think about the fact that the ''Alice'' books lack one.
** It can be hard to see "Literature/{{Jabberwocky}}" as a brilliant bit of nonsense poetry when many of its {{Perfectly Cromulent Word}}s (most famously "chortle" and "galumph") have since [[{{Defictionalization}} become recognized as real English words]], and are no longer "nonsense". Also, divorced from its original context in the 19th century - when published translations of Old English poetry were first becoming widely available, and were widely read by English intellectuals - it can be hard to recognize the poem as an [[AffectionateParody affectionate send-up]] of ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}''.



* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the book. They forget that this was ''the'' first book to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].



* ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' by Sun Tzu seems like nothing but simple common sense when read today by anyone with an interest in military strategy; however, at its time it most certainly was not. For example, Sun Tzu's claim that spies were just as important to warfare as soldiers and generals was considered highly controversial by the ancient Chinese (who mostly considered espionage dishonorable).



* When ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' first came out, Ce'Nedra, the "spoiled brat" who becomes "a little tiger when the chips are down" (to quote the author himself) served as a SpiritualAntithesis to the damsel types that previously littered the high fantasy genre. In the years since, with the advent of high-fantasy works like ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' and ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', which offer a variety of major female characters in various roles, Ce'Nedra's distance from the kind of damsel characters she was intended to parody has shrunk.
* ''Literature/TheBible'' is widely considered by many as the go-to example of ValuesDissonance that keeps mysteriously proliferating itself, a fantasy novel masquerading as a self-help book or vice-versa. Never mind the fact that between the dated verses is moral philosophy that was well ahead of its time, some of which is taken for granted having now become the status quo, and some of which can still be considered "progressive" today.
** What many people nowadays can't seem to understand is that, even in the early days of the Torah, the Bible was never intended to be ''exclusively'' a "guide to life" as such. Not everything in even the Old Testament is supposed to teach a moral lesson; there is much that is pure history or even poetry.



* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' (1889) has fallen victim to it. It was one of the earliest TimeTravel novels, and the protagonist's efforts to introduce "modern" technology and values in TheMiddleAges was groundbreaking on its own. However this idea was followed in (among others) ''Lest Darkness Fall'' (1941), which was itself influential in the AlternateHistory genre, ''The Cross Time Engineer'' series, the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, and ''Literature/{{Timeline}}''. While The Man Who Came Early (1956) by Creator/PoulAnderson served as an influential {{Deconstruction}} of the concept, nowadays its hard to realize what was unique in the original novel.



* Dennis Wheatley was a British thriller writer who began his career in the 1920s and died in 1977. Many of his otherwise conventional adventure stories contained elements of black magic and Satanism, which (at the time) was considered highly cutting-edge and daring. Many of the today's cliches of such fiction were originally invented by him. Since many of his works feature characters astral travelling, it might also be said that modern cyberpunk also stems from his ideas. Today, however, due to the racism, homophobia, sexism, class-consciousness and Anglocentricity of his ideas, the novels appear quaint to most and offensive to many.



* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is this to... western literature. The first part of the novel had a RandomEventsPlot, a RomanticPlotTumor and other errors, but the EvenBetterSequel had almost none of the tropes under the BadWritingIndex. Imagine a world where everyone ignores [[LitClassTropes literary techniques]]. If it looks like nothing special today, that is because everything after it followed the techniques that made it successful.



* ''Literature/TheGreatGodPan'' (1894) was a prototype CosmicHorrorStory, notable for "the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds". It was cited as a major influence by Creator/HPLovecraft, and (more recently) Creator/StephenKing. But part of the suspense is killed for the modern reader, who knows what to expect from the genre.
* Many novels and stories by Creator/HGWells contain what seem like very dated, unambitious and dull uses of sci-fi devices. For example, in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'', the time traveller simply goes to the future, has a look at what it's like... and then comes back home again. However, Wells was practically the first sci-fi writer of any kind (to the extent that the term 'science fiction' did not exist - Wells himself invented the term 'scientific romance' to describe his works). This can be applied equally to many other early sci-fi works. Also, Wells is famous for inventing ''nearly every other sci-fi trope'' and inputting them in his stories. Said devices are now part of nearly every novel, comic, video game, movie and anime that has science fiction elements.
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': This book heavily influenced geek humor during the 1980s, but by more or less codifying the genre, doomed itself to this category. It also suffers from a degree of [[DiscreditedMeme Python syndrome]].



* [[Creator/JackLondon Jack London's]] ''Literature/TheIronHeel'' is arguably the first Futuristic Dystopia novel ever written. The central premise of the story - an evil MegaCorp takes over the government, takes control of the media, violently oppresses all free speech and thought, etc. - was novel and topical (and quite scarily plausible) at the time London was writing, but it has since been done to death and back so many times over that the original seems tame and dry by comparison (YMMV on the continued topicality).
* [[TheLeatherstockingTales James Fenimore Cooper's]] works not only put America on the literary map, but also pioneered a positive portrayal of Native Americans in adventure fiction, which got Cooper quite a bit of flak from contemporary American politicians, who at the time were pursuing an active policy of driving Indians from land that white Americans wanted. But since the ''Leatherstocking Tales'' are written in the style of Romanticism, which dramatically fell out of fashion with the rise of literary Realism, since the "NobleSavage" is now often viewed with suspicion, and since so many of Cooper's plot elements were reused by other writers of Western and general adventure fiction he is now often viewed as trite, at least in his native America.



* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' launched the PlanetaryRomance genre, and has been hugely influential on creators of fantasy/science fiction media, including the minds behind ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. This influence created problems for ''Film/JohnCarter'', in that while it was faithfully adapting the original novels, for those not familiar with the source works, it came across as a massive ClicheStorm.



* Creator/LewisCarroll:
** When ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' was released, it was considered very innovative for not having [[AnAesop a clear moral to the story.]] Nowadays, when it's not considered necessary for every children's book to come with a moral, few readers even think about the fact that the ''Alice'' books lack one.
** It can be hard to see "Literature/{{Jabberwocky}}" as a brilliant bit of nonsense poetry when many of its {{Perfectly Cromulent Word}}s (most famously "chortle" and "galumph") have since [[{{Defictionalization}} become recognized as real English words]], and are no longer "nonsense". Also, divorced from its original context in the 19th century - when published translations of Old English poetry were first becoming widely available, and were widely read by English intellectuals - it can be hard to recognize the poem as an [[AffectionateParody affectionate send-up]] of ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}''.



* Creator/AnneRice's ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'' suffer from this even harder, if only because she was more prolific than Brite and she's much more well-known in the mainstream. Lestat in particular is the poster child for this. The "sexy Eurotrash rebel-without-a-cause in literal leather pants" character is so cliche in modern vampire fiction that people groan when they see it. Somewhat hilariously, it was a major criticism of the ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' movie.



* Everything written by Creator/KarlMay can seem this to modern readers, especially if they are German. The funny thing is not only did he create many of the tropes Germans now associate with Native Americans, his descriptions are so badly researched (he wrote most of his works before ever having been to the US) that much of what he writes is accepted as "common wisdom" in German speaking countries yet no American has ever heard of that. The fact that "Indianerfilme" were hugely popular from the 1960s onward in both East and West Germany and they all were based on each other and/or his works doesn't help. Just one example of his influence: May made his hero Literature/{{Winnetou}} an Apache because he had read a negative depiction of them in a lexicon - the result? Apaches are one of the most widely known native American groups and usually viewed positively in the German speaking world.

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* Everything written ''Literature/MadameBovary'' by Creator/KarlMay can seem this to modern readers, especially if they are German. The funny thing is not only did he create many of Gustave Flaubert was shocking and controversial at the tropes Germans now associate with Native Americans, his descriptions are so badly researched (he wrote most of his works before ever having been to the US) that much of what he writes is accepted as "common wisdom" in German speaking countries yet no American has ever heard of that. The fact that "Indianerfilme" were hugely popular from the 1960s onward in both East and West Germany and they all were based on each other and/or his works doesn't help. Just one example of his influence: May made his hero Literature/{{Winnetou}} an Apache time, because he had read it was a negative depiction of them in a lexicon - the result? Apaches are one deconstruction of the most widely known native American groups Romantism genre and usually viewed positively eventuallly led to the Modernism movement. Nowadays, it is mostly looked as a mundane story about an adulterous woman.
* ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'' can come off as this - In the early 20th century, these books were ''the'' fantasy books enjoyed by a PeripheryDemographic, before ''Literature/HarryPotter'' came around
in the German speaking world.late 90s. Nowadays, the books seem ''quite'' cartoonish.



* Science fiction in general. Technologies that used to be completely fantastic tend to become TruthInTelevision decades later. See also TechnologyMarchesOn.
* The ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' franchise, particularly ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannara''. People today tend to look at it and see a blatant rip-off of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. At the time, people wouldn't have, due to Brooks' other innovations, including Elves that were human and known to be fallible, a {{Mentor}} who was a whopping example of GoodIsNotNice, the aversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, the AfterTheEnd setting and of course, the twist ending ([[spoiler:The Sword convinces the BigBad of his DeadAllAlong status]]). The series had the first high fantasy novel (''Sword'') not written for children to be a commercial success in its own time (that's right; ''The Lord of the Rings'' was not a commercial success until many years after it was published), and ''Elfstones'' and ''Wishsong'' were numbers two and three, respectively; all three spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. This was largely what convinced publishers that fantasy could be a commercially viable genre separate from sci-fi, causing an explosion in the publication of fantasy. Nowadays this is forgotten and the novel's innovations are so common that modern readers tend only to notice the flaws and the similarities to ''Lord of the Rings'', instead of the differences.
** When ''Shannara'' first appeared in '77, fantasy fans ''did'' see it as a LOTR ripoff. It came in for a lot of derision by the SF&F crowd. Its success came from younger and more casual readers, disappointed because ''The Silmarillion'' (also published in '77) wasn't like the earlier Middle-earth books. These readers picked up on ''Shannara'' because at the time there wasn't much else in the genre.[[note]]The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballantine_Adult_Fantasy_series Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series]] reprinted classic works of high fantasy (see note on William Morris, below) but most were complex narratives in old-style English, which may have been too difficult for casual readers.[[/note]]



* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe was one of the very first writers of horror and suspense fiction, and he helped to create many of the conventions of the genre. Said conventions are now so common that it's hard for a modern reader to find his work as compelling as his audience did. Poe's pioneering use of the UnreliableNarrator doesn't seem like a big deal anymore now that suspense and horror readers have come to ''expect'' their narrators to be unreliable.



* "Literature/ASoundOfThunder", a short story by Creator/RayBradbury, was about time travelers who went back to prehistoric times, [[ButterflyOfDoom killed a butterfly]], and [[GodwinsLawOfTimeTravel accidently caused a fascist candidate to win the presidential elections]]. Which was a really original plot, when it was written. However, those story elements are so trite now that when the movie loosely based on the story was made, it was criticized for using old, tired cliches.

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* "Literature/ASoundOfThunder", For about ten years or so, Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' was considered the ultimate in subversive epic fantasy. Little to no magic, no elves or dwarves (at least, not fantasy dwarves), profanity, uncensored sex, graphic violence and no PlotArmor for ''anyone''. But it was also a heavily character-driven piece with genuine heart, even if that wasn't always recognized. By the 2010's, it had spawned so many imitators who mainly copied its surface qualities (extreme violence and death, explicit sex) that it no longer feels like anything really different, and is primarily thought of as "that series where everybody dies" due to its at-the-time-unheard-of tendency to kill characters that would usually survive to the end of similar books.
* ''Literature/ASoundOfThunder'',
a short story by Creator/RayBradbury, was about time travelers who went back to prehistoric times, [[ButterflyOfDoom killed a butterfly]], and [[GodwinsLawOfTimeTravel accidently caused a fascist candidate to win the presidential elections]]. Which was a really original plot, when it was written. However, those story elements are so trite now that when the movie loosely based on the story was made, it was criticized for using old, tired cliches.cliches.
* ''Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy'' was one of the earlier science fiction works to portray aliens as being morally superior to humanity, as opposed to most other works of the period, which treated aliens as hostile invaders. Nowadays having aliens be better than or comparable to humans in a moral sense is far more common.



* ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji''. It's considered one of the first modern novels, if not ''the'' first. Nowadays, it can be ''quite'' hard to get into.
* ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' can get hit with a big dose of this by the ''Franchise/StarWars'' fandom today. By now, we've had a ''long'' time to get used to living in a world with over 100 published ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' novels, a whole trilogy of official {{prequel}} films, and - at long last - an honest-to-God [[Film/TheForceAwakens seventh episode]] that actually brought back Luke, Han and the rest of the gang for more adventures. In 1991, there was just the Original Trilogy, and a paltry handful of licensed comic books and young adult novels to content the hardcore fans. With that in mind, you can understand why it was ''a pretty big deal'' when Lucasfilm announced that Creator/TimothyZahn would be writing an all-new trilogy of novels that actually attempted to continue the story of the ''Star Wars'' saga after the Battle of Endor - complete with a love interest for Luke, babies for Han and Leia, and a new BigBadDuumvirate who were explicitly written [[ContrastingSequelAntagonist to contrast Vader and Palpatine in every way]]. Case in point: the only reason it's known as ''"The Thrawn Trilogy"'' today is so fans can keep it separate from all the other ''Star Wars'' novels (including several trilogies) that came after it; at the time, it was just marketed as ''"The Star Wars Trilogy"'', because it was the first new trilogy that fans had seen since 1983.



* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': This book heavily influenced geek humor during the 1980s, but by more or less codifying the genre, doomed itself to this category. It also suffers from a degree of [[DiscreditedMeme Python syndrome]].
* The ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' franchise, particularly ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannara''. People today tend to look at it and see a blatant rip-off of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. At the time, people wouldn't have, due to Brooks' other innovations, including Elves that were human and known to be fallible, a {{Mentor}} who was a whopping example of GoodIsNotNice, the aversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, the AfterTheEnd setting and of course, the twist ending ([[spoiler:The Sword convinces the BigBad of his DeadAllAlong status]]). The series had the first high fantasy novel (''Sword'') not written for children to be a commercial success in its own time (that's right; ''The Lord of the Rings'' was not a commercial success until many years after it was published), and ''Elfstones'' and ''Wishsong'' were numbers two and three, respectively; all three spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. This was largely what convinced publishers that fantasy could be a commercially viable genre separate from sci-fi, causing an explosion in the publication of fantasy. Nowadays this is forgotten and the novel's innovations are so common that modern readers tend only to notice the flaws and the similarities to ''Lord of the Rings'', instead of the differences.
** When ''Shannara'' first appeared in '77, fantasy fans ''did'' see it as a LOTR ripoff. It came in for a lot of derision by the SF&F crowd. Its success came from younger and more casual readers, disappointed because ''The Silmarillion'' (also published in '77) wasn't like the earlier Middle-earth books. These readers picked up on ''Shannara'' because at the time there wasn't much else in the genre.[[note]]The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballantine_Adult_Fantasy_series Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series]] reprinted classic works of high fantasy (see note on William Morris, below) but most were complex narratives in old-style English, which may have been too difficult for casual readers.[[/note]]
* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the book. They forget that this was ''the'' first book to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].
* Science fiction in general. Technologies that used to be completely fantastic tend to become TruthInTelevision decades later. See also TechnologyMarchesOn.
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' (1889) has fallen victim to it. It was one of the earliest TimeTravel novels, and the protagonist's efforts to introduce "modern" technology and values in TheMiddleAges was groundbreaking on its own. However this idea was followed in (among others) ''Lest Darkness Fall'' (1941), which was itself influential in the AlternateHistory genre, ''The Cross Time Engineer'' series, the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, and ''Literature/{{Timeline}}''. While The Man Who Came Early (1956) by Creator/PoulAnderson served as an influential {{Deconstruction}} of the concept, nowadays its hard to realize what was unique in the original novel.

to:

* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': This book heavily influenced geek humor during the 1980s, but Nowadays, ''Series/TheWheelOfTime'' by more or less codifying the genre, doomed itself to this category. It also suffers from Creator/RobertJordan is considered a degree of [[DiscreditedMeme Python syndrome]].
* The ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' franchise, particularly ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannara''. People today tend to look at it and see a blatant rip-off of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. At the time, people wouldn't have, due to Brooks' other innovations, including Elves that were human and known to be fallible, a {{Mentor}} who was a whopping
horrendously cliched example of GoodIsNotNice, the aversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, the AfterTheEnd setting and of course, the twist ending ([[spoiler:The Sword convinces the BigBad of his DeadAllAlong status]]). The how all fantasy books are too long, with series had that go on seemingly without end and yet little happens in them. When the first high volume was published, in 1991, most fantasy novel (''Sword'') not written for children novels were actually quite short, and/or tended to be a commercial success in its own time (that's right; ''The Lord of trilogies or quintets at the Rings'' was not a commercial success until very longest. However, he inspired so many years after it was published), other writers to [[{{Padding}} pad out their volumes]] and ''Elfstones'' and ''Wishsong'' were numbers two and three, respectively; all three spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. This was largely what convinced publishers stretch their stories over ten or twelve volumes that fantasy could be a commercially viable genre separate from sci-fi, causing an explosion in the publication of fantasy. Nowadays this is forgotten and the novel's innovations are so common that modern readers tend only to notice the flaws and the similarities to ''Lord of the Rings'', instead of the differences.
** When ''Shannara'' first appeared in '77, fantasy fans ''did'' see it as a LOTR ripoff. It came in for a lot of derision
by the SF&F crowd. Its success came from younger and more casual readers, disappointed because ''The Silmarillion'' (also published 2000's he gets lumped in '77) wasn't like with those he inspired, often cited as the earlier Middle-earth books. These readers picked up on ''Shannara'' because at UrExample, but rarely acknowledged as the time there wasn't much else in man who started the genre.[[note]]The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballantine_Adult_Fantasy_series Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series]] reprinted classic works of high fantasy (see note on William Morris, below) but most were complex narratives in old-style English, which may have been too difficult for casual readers.[[/note]]
* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the book. They forget that this was ''the'' first book to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].
* Science fiction in general. Technologies that used to be completely fantastic tend to become TruthInTelevision decades later. See also TechnologyMarchesOn.
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' (1889) has fallen victim to it. It was one of the earliest TimeTravel novels, and the protagonist's efforts to introduce "modern" technology and values in TheMiddleAges was groundbreaking on its own. However this idea was followed in (among others) ''Lest Darkness Fall'' (1941), which was itself influential in the AlternateHistory genre, ''The Cross Time Engineer'' series, the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, and ''Literature/{{Timeline}}''. While The Man Who Came Early (1956) by Creator/PoulAnderson served as an influential {{Deconstruction}} of the concept, nowadays its hard to realize what was unique in the original novel.
trend.



* ''Literature/TheGreatGodPan'' (1894) was a prototype CosmicHorrorStory, notable for "the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds". It was cited as a major influence by Creator/HPLovecraft, and (more recently) Creator/StephenKing. But part of the suspense is killed for the modern reader, who knows what to expect from the genre.
* ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji''. It's considered one of the first modern novels, if not ''the'' first. Nowadays, it can be ''quite'' hard to get into.
* Drizzt Do'Urden, the subversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, was pretty groundbreaking in fantasy when released. However, Drizzt was the font from which the "Wangsty Exiled Drow" flowed, and is now held up as a shining example of everything that is wrong about the D&D fandom.
* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' launched the PlanetaryRomance genre, and has been hugely influential on creators of fantasy/science fiction media, including the minds behind ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. This influence created problems for ''Film/JohnCarter'', in that while it was faithfully adapting the original novels, for those not familiar with the source works, it came across as a massive ClicheStorm.
* Many novels and stories by Creator/HGWells contain what seem like very dated, unambitious and dull uses of sci-fi devices. For example, in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'', the time traveller simply goes to the future, has a look at what it's like... and then comes back home again. However, Wells was practically the first sci-fi writer of any kind (to the extent that the term 'science fiction' did not exist - Wells himself invented the term 'scientific romance' to describe his works). This can be applied equally to many other early sci-fi works. Also, Wells is famous for inventing ''nearly every other sci-fi trope'' and inputting them in his stories. Said devices are now part of nearly every novel, comic, video game, movie and anime that has science fiction elements.
* Literature/TheBible is widely considered by many as the go-to example of ValuesDissonance that keeps mysteriously proliferating itself, a fantasy novel masquerading as a self-help book or vice-versa. Never mind the fact that between the dated verses is moral philosophy that was well ahead of its time, some of which is taken for granted having now become the status quo, and some of which can still be considered "progressive" today.
** What many people nowadays can't seem to understand is that, even in the early days of the Torah, the Bible was never intended to be ''exclusively'' a "guide to life" as such. Not everything in even the Old Testament is supposed to teach a moral lesson; there is much that is pure history or even poetry.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is this to... western literature. The first part of the novel had a RandomEventsPlot, a RomanticPlotTumor and other errors, but the EvenBetterSequel had almost none of the tropes under the BadWritingIndex. Imagine a world where everyone ignores [[LitClassTropes literary techniques]]. If it looks like nothing special today, that is because everything after it followed the techniques that made it successful.
* [[Creator/JackLondon Jack London's]] ''Literature/TheIronHeel'' is arguably the first Futuristic Dystopia novel ever written. The central premise of the story - an evil MegaCorp takes over the government, takes control of the media, violently oppresses all free speech and thought, etc. - was novel and topical (and quite scarily plausible) at the time London was writing, but it has since been done to death and back so many times over that the original seems tame and dry by comparison (YMMV on the continued topicality).
* When ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' first came out, Ce'Nedra, the "spoiled brat" who becomes "a little tiger when the chips are down" (to quote the author himself) served as a SpiritualAntithesis to the damsel types that previously littered the high fantasy genre. In the years since, with the advent of high-fantasy works like ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' and ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', which offer a variety of major female characters in various roles, Ce'Nedra's distance from the kind of damsel characters she was intended to parody has shrunk.
* For about ten years or so, Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' was considered the ultimate in subversive epic fantasy. Little to no magic, no elves or dwarves (at least, not fantasy dwarves), profanity, uncensored sex, graphic violence and no PlotArmor for ''anyone''. But it was also a heavily character-driven piece with genuine heart, even if that wasn't always recognized. By the 2010's, it had spawned so many imitators who mainly copied its surface qualities (extreme violence and death, explicit sex) that it no longer feels like anything really different, and is primarily thought of as "that series where everybody dies" due to its at-the-time-unheard-of tendency to kill characters that would usually survive to the end of similar books.
* Nowadays, ''Series/TheWheelOfTime'' by Creator/RobertJordan is considered a horrendously cliched example of how all fantasy books are too long, with series that go on seemingly without end and yet little happens in them. When the first volume was published, in 1991, most fantasy novels were actually quite short, and/or tended to be trilogies or quintets at the very longest. However, he inspired so many other writers to [[{{Padding}} pad out their volumes]] and stretch their stories over ten or twelve volumes that by the 2000's he gets lumped in with those he inspired, often cited as the UrExample, but rarely acknowledged as the man who started the trend.
* ''Literature/MadameBovary'' by Gustave Flaubert was shocking and controversial at the time, because it was a deconstruction of the Romantism genre and eventuallly led to the Modernism movement. Nowadays, it is mostly looked as a mundane story about an adulterous woman.
* Dennis Wheatley was a British thriller writer who began his career in the 1920s and died in 1977. Many of his otherwise conventional adventure stories contained elements of black magic and Satanism, which (at the time) was considered highly cutting-edge and daring. Many of the today's cliches of such fiction were originally invented by him. Since many of his works feature characters astral travelling, it might also be said that modern cyberpunk also stems from his ideas. Today, however, due to the racism, homophobia, sexism, class-consciousness and Anglocentricity of his ideas, the novels appear quaint to most and offensive to many.
* [[TheLeatherstockingTales James Fenimore Cooper's]] works not only put America on the literary map, but also pioneered a positive portrayal of Native Americans in adventure fiction, which got Cooper quite a bit of flak from contemporary American politicians, who at the time were pursuing an active policy of driving Indians from land that white Americans wanted. But since the ''Leatherstocking Tales'' are written in the style of Romanticism, which dramatically fell out of fashion with the rise of literary Realism, since the "NobleSavage" is now often viewed with suspicion, and since so many of Cooper's plot elements were reused by other writers of Western and general adventure fiction he is now often viewed as trite, at least in his native America.
* Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy was one of the earlier science fiction works to portray aliens as being morally superior to humanity, as opposed to most other works of the period, which treated aliens as hostile invaders. Nowadays having aliens be better than or comparable to humans in a moral sense is far more common.
* ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'' can come off as this - In the early 20th century, these books were ''the'' fantasy books enjoyed by a PeripheryDemographic, before ''Literature/HarryPotter'' came around in the late 90s. Nowadays, the books seem ''quite'' cartoonish.
* ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' can get hit with a big dose of this by the ''Franchise/StarWars'' fandom today. By now, we've had a ''long'' time to get used to living in a world with over 100 published ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' novels, a whole trilogy of official {{prequel}} films, and - at long last - an honest-to-God [[Film/TheForceAwakens seventh episode]] that actually brought back Luke, Han and the rest of the gang for more adventures. In 1991, there was just the Original Trilogy, and a paltry handful of licensed comic books and young adult novels to content the hardcore fans. With that in mind, you can understand why it was ''a pretty big deal'' when Lucasfilm announced that Creator/TimothyZahn would be writing an all-new trilogy of novels that actually attempted to continue the story of the ''Star Wars'' saga after the Battle of Endor - complete with a love interest for Luke, babies for Han and Leia, and a new BigBadDuumvirate who were explicitly written [[ContrastingSequelAntagonist to contrast Vader and Palpatine in every way]]. Case in point: the only reason it's known as ''"The Thrawn Trilogy"'' today is so fans can keep it separate from all the other ''Star Wars'' novels (including several trilogies) that came after it; at the time, it was just marketed as ''"The Star Wars Trilogy"'', because it was the first new trilogy that fans had seen since 1983.

to:

* ''Literature/TheGreatGodPan'' (1894) was a prototype CosmicHorrorStory, notable for "the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds". It was cited as a major influence by Creator/HPLovecraft, and (more recently) Creator/StephenKing. But part of the suspense is killed for the modern reader, who knows what to expect from the genre.
* ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji''. It's considered one of the first modern novels, if not ''the'' first. Nowadays, it can be ''quite'' hard to get into.
* Drizzt Do'Urden, the subversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, was pretty groundbreaking in fantasy when released. However, Drizzt was the font from which the "Wangsty Exiled Drow" flowed, and is now held up as a shining example of everything that is wrong about the D&D fandom.
* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' launched the PlanetaryRomance genre, and has been hugely influential on creators of fantasy/science fiction media, including the minds behind ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. This influence created problems for ''Film/JohnCarter'', in that while it was faithfully adapting the original novels, for those not familiar with the source works, it came across as a massive ClicheStorm.
* Many novels and stories by Creator/HGWells contain what seem like very dated, unambitious and dull uses of sci-fi devices. For example, in ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'', the time traveller simply goes to the future, has a look at what it's like... and then comes back home again. However, Wells was practically the first sci-fi writer of any kind (to the extent that the term 'science fiction' did not exist - Wells himself invented the term 'scientific romance' to describe his works). This can be applied equally to many other early sci-fi works. Also, Wells is famous for inventing ''nearly every other sci-fi trope'' and inputting them in his stories. Said devices are now part of nearly every novel, comic, video game, movie and anime that has science fiction elements.
* Literature/TheBible is widely considered by many as the go-to example of ValuesDissonance that keeps mysteriously proliferating itself, a fantasy novel masquerading as a self-help book or vice-versa. Never mind the fact that between the dated verses is moral philosophy that was well ahead of its time, some of which is taken for granted having now become the status quo, and some of which can still be considered "progressive" today.
** What many people nowadays can't seem to understand is that, even in the early days of the Torah, the Bible was never intended to be ''exclusively'' a "guide to life" as such. Not everything in even the Old Testament is supposed to teach a moral lesson; there is much that is pure history or even poetry.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is this to... western literature. The first part of the novel had a RandomEventsPlot, a RomanticPlotTumor and other errors, but the EvenBetterSequel had almost none of the tropes under the BadWritingIndex. Imagine a world where everyone ignores [[LitClassTropes literary techniques]]. If it looks like nothing special today, that is because everything after it followed the techniques that made it successful.
* [[Creator/JackLondon Jack London's]] ''Literature/TheIronHeel'' is arguably the first Futuristic Dystopia novel ever written. The central premise of the story - an evil MegaCorp takes over the government, takes control of the media, violently oppresses all free speech and thought, etc. - was novel and topical (and quite scarily plausible) at the time London was writing, but it has since been done to death and back so many times over that the original seems tame and dry by comparison (YMMV on the continued topicality).
* When ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' first came out, Ce'Nedra, the "spoiled brat" who becomes "a little tiger when the chips are down" (to quote the author himself) served as a SpiritualAntithesis to the damsel types that previously littered the high fantasy genre. In the years since, with the advent of high-fantasy works like ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' and ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', which offer a variety of major female characters in various roles, Ce'Nedra's distance from the kind of damsel characters she was intended to parody has shrunk.
* For about ten years or so, Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' was considered the ultimate in subversive epic fantasy. Little to no magic, no elves or dwarves (at least, not fantasy dwarves), profanity, uncensored sex, graphic violence and no PlotArmor for ''anyone''. But it was also a heavily character-driven piece with genuine heart, even if that wasn't always recognized. By the 2010's, it had spawned so many imitators who mainly copied its surface qualities (extreme violence and death, explicit sex) that it no longer feels like anything really different, and is primarily thought of as "that series where everybody dies" due to its at-the-time-unheard-of tendency to kill characters that would usually survive to the end of similar books.
* Nowadays, ''Series/TheWheelOfTime'' by Creator/RobertJordan is considered a horrendously cliched example of how all fantasy books are too long, with series that go on seemingly without end and yet little happens in them. When the first volume was published, in 1991, most fantasy novels were actually quite short, and/or tended to be trilogies or quintets at the very longest. However, he inspired so many other writers to [[{{Padding}} pad out their volumes]] and stretch their stories over ten or twelve volumes that by the 2000's he gets lumped in with those he inspired, often cited as the UrExample, but rarely acknowledged as the man who started the trend.
* ''Literature/MadameBovary'' by Gustave Flaubert was shocking and controversial at the time, because it was a deconstruction of the Romantism genre and eventuallly led to the Modernism movement. Nowadays, it is mostly looked as a mundane story about an adulterous woman.
* Dennis Wheatley was a British thriller writer who began his career in the 1920s and died in 1977. Many of his otherwise conventional adventure stories contained elements of black magic and Satanism, which (at the time) was considered highly cutting-edge and daring. Many of the today's cliches of such fiction were originally invented by him. Since many of his works feature characters astral travelling, it might also be said that modern cyberpunk also stems from his ideas. Today, however, due to the racism, homophobia, sexism, class-consciousness and Anglocentricity of his ideas, the novels appear quaint to most and offensive to many.
* [[TheLeatherstockingTales James Fenimore Cooper's]] works not only put America on the literary map, but also pioneered a positive portrayal of Native Americans in adventure fiction, which got Cooper quite a bit of flak from contemporary American politicians, who at the time were pursuing an active policy of driving Indians from land that white Americans wanted. But since the ''Leatherstocking Tales'' are written in the style of Romanticism, which dramatically fell out of fashion with the rise of literary Realism, since the "NobleSavage" is now often viewed with suspicion, and since so many of Cooper's plot elements were reused by other writers of Western and general adventure fiction he is now often viewed as trite, at least in his native America.
* Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy was one of the earlier science fiction works to portray aliens as being morally superior to humanity, as opposed to most other works of the period, which treated aliens as hostile invaders. Nowadays having aliens be better than or comparable to humans in a moral sense is far more common.
* ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'' can come off as this - In the early 20th century, these books were ''the'' fantasy books enjoyed by a PeripheryDemographic, before ''Literature/HarryPotter'' came around in the late 90s. Nowadays, the books seem ''quite'' cartoonish.
* ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' can get hit with a big dose of this by the ''Franchise/StarWars'' fandom today. By now, we've had a ''long'' time to get used to living in a world with over 100 published ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' novels, a whole trilogy of official {{prequel}} films, and - at long last - an honest-to-God [[Film/TheForceAwakens seventh episode]] that actually brought back Luke, Han and the rest of the gang for more adventures. In 1991, there was just the Original Trilogy, and a paltry handful of licensed comic books and young adult novels to content the hardcore fans. With that in mind, you can understand why it was ''a pretty big deal'' when Lucasfilm announced that Creator/TimothyZahn would be writing an all-new trilogy of novels that actually attempted to continue the story of the ''Star Wars'' saga after the Battle of Endor - complete with a love interest for Luke, babies for Han and Leia, and a new BigBadDuumvirate who were explicitly written [[ContrastingSequelAntagonist to contrast Vader and Palpatine in every way]]. Case in point: the only reason it's known as ''"The Thrawn Trilogy"'' today is so fans can keep it separate from all the other ''Star Wars'' novels (including several trilogies) that came after it; at the time, it was just marketed as ''"The Star Wars Trilogy"'', because it was the first new trilogy that fans had seen since 1983.
23rd Jan '17 6:56:49 AM Lujo
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** Drizzt, and genraly the concept of white haired sword wielding defector from decadence member of an always chaotic evil race, was completely cliche way before the '90es. It's arguably one of the biggest cliches in fantasy, except it gets revived with every new generation. It was not even invented by the guy who is recognized as the Trope Codifier, Michael Moorcock, who lifted bits of it from a different genre and stuck it into Fantasy as a way to parody Conan the Barbarian. Yes, "Drizzt", originally known as Elric of Melnibone, was originally invented as a parody, and the fact that it became a huge cliche was a case of epic completely missing the point. Forgotten Realms as a setting lived off this sort of thing, that was the product line general idea. As the name itself implies "Stuff youngish folks won't be able to tell was stock fantasy not that long ago, but we know always appeals to a certain demographic". Planescape, for example, was "Let's give stuff that seems more original, or at least more obscure and less done to death a shot here". The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia, for example, is an even more direct ripoff of Elric of Melnibone because of no contract to peddle the D&D game setting and mechanic in the books, and the fact that the author was originally peddling it to the Polish audience. A Song of Ice and Fire essentially goes "So you guys can't get enough of Elric of Melnibone? I'll give you about seven million of them!", too. The original Elric stuff was highly original and obviously impactful, but Drizzt is Count Chocula to Elrics Dracula.

to:

** Drizzt, and genraly the concept of an angsty white haired sword wielding defector from decadence member of an always chaotic evil race, was completely cliche way before the '90es. It's arguably one of the biggest cliches in fantasy, except it gets revived with every new generation. It was not even wholly invented by the guy who is recognized as the Trope Codifier, Michael Moorcock, who as he lifted bits of it from a different genre and stuck it into Fantasy as a way to parody Conan the Barbarian. Yes, "Drizzt", originally known as Elric of Melnibone, was originally invented as a parody, and the fact that it became a huge cliche was a case one of epic the all time great cases of completely missing the point. Forgotten Realms as a setting lived off this sort of thing, that was the product line general idea. As the name itself implies "Stuff youngish folks won't be able to tell was stock fantasy not that long ago, but we know always appeals to a certain demographic". Planescape, for example, demographic", often times written in a bit of a PG-13 way when the source material was "Let's give stuff that seems more original, raunchy or at least more obscure and less done to death a shot here".edgy like, say, Elric was. The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia, for example, is an even more direct ripoff of Elric of Melnibone because of no contract to peddle the D&D game setting and mechanic in the books, and the fact that the author was originally peddling it to the Polish audience. A Song of Ice and Fire essentially goes "So you guys can't get enough of Elric of Melnibone? I'll give you about seven million of them!", too. The original Elric stuff was highly original and obviously impactful, but Drizzt is Count Chocula to Elrics Dracula. Elric's Dracula.
23rd Jan '17 6:53:13 AM Lujo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Drizzt, and genraly the concept of white haired sword wielding defector from decadence member of an always chaotic evil race, was completely cliche way before the '90es. It's arguably one of the biggest cliches in fantasy, except it gets revived with every new generation. It was not even invented by the guy who is recognized as the Trope Codifier, Michael Moorcock, who lifted it from a different genre and stuck it into Fantasy as a way to parody Conan the Barbarian. Forgotten Realms as a setting lived off this sort of thing, that was the product line general idea (As the name itself implies "Stuff youngish folks won't be able to tell was stock fantasy not that long ago, but we know always appeals to a certain demographic". Planescape, for example, was "Let's give stuff that seems more original, or at least more obscure and less done to death a shot here"). The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia, for example, is an even more direct ripoff of Elric of Melnibone because of no contract to peddle the D&D game setting and mechanic in the books, and A Song of Ice and Fire essentially goes "So you guys can't get enough of Elric of Melnibone? I'll give you about seven million of them!"

to:

** Drizzt, and genraly the concept of white haired sword wielding defector from decadence member of an always chaotic evil race, was completely cliche way before the '90es. It's arguably one of the biggest cliches in fantasy, except it gets revived with every new generation. It was not even invented by the guy who is recognized as the Trope Codifier, Michael Moorcock, who lifted bits of it from a different genre and stuck it into Fantasy as a way to parody Conan the Barbarian. Yes, "Drizzt", originally known as Elric of Melnibone, was originally invented as a parody, and the fact that it became a huge cliche was a case of epic completely missing the point. Forgotten Realms as a setting lived off this sort of thing, that was the product line general idea (As idea. As the name itself implies "Stuff youngish folks won't be able to tell was stock fantasy not that long ago, but we know always appeals to a certain demographic". Planescape, for example, was "Let's give stuff that seems more original, or at least more obscure and less done to death a shot here"). here". The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia, for example, is an even more direct ripoff of Elric of Melnibone because of no contract to peddle the D&D game setting and mechanic in the books, and the fact that the author was originally peddling it to the Polish audience. A Song of Ice and Fire essentially goes "So you guys can't get enough of Elric of Melnibone? I'll give you about seven million of them!" them!", too. The original Elric stuff was highly original and obviously impactful, but Drizzt is Count Chocula to Elrics Dracula.
23rd Jan '17 6:46:26 AM Lujo
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Added DiffLines:

** Drizzt, and genraly the concept of white haired sword wielding defector from decadence member of an always chaotic evil race, was completely cliche way before the '90es. It's arguably one of the biggest cliches in fantasy, except it gets revived with every new generation. It was not even invented by the guy who is recognized as the Trope Codifier, Michael Moorcock, who lifted it from a different genre and stuck it into Fantasy as a way to parody Conan the Barbarian. Forgotten Realms as a setting lived off this sort of thing, that was the product line general idea (As the name itself implies "Stuff youngish folks won't be able to tell was stock fantasy not that long ago, but we know always appeals to a certain demographic". Planescape, for example, was "Let's give stuff that seems more original, or at least more obscure and less done to death a shot here"). The Witcher's Geralt of Rivia, for example, is an even more direct ripoff of Elric of Melnibone because of no contract to peddle the D&D game setting and mechanic in the books, and A Song of Ice and Fire essentially goes "So you guys can't get enough of Elric of Melnibone? I'll give you about seven million of them!"
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