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01:59:15 AM Nov 10th 2013
edited by
On October 30th 2013 My Final Edits changed the Gary Gygax entry in Tabletop Games and gave the reason as Natter and Example Indentation.

He apparently assumed that any use of three bullets (***) was evidence of Natter and therefore a violation of Example Indentation. This is not correct, as Example Indentation says that there can be legitimate use of three bullets. In this case the entries are actually different subtypes of examples of the type above them and not a comment on it. I have therefore changed it back.

The entry is:

  • Shades of the color purple (violet, amethyst, heliotrope, lavender, lilac, plum, puce, etc.)
    • They appear repeatedly in modules B2 The Keep on the Borderlands, G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, D3 Vault of the Drow, EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, S1 Tomb of Horrors, T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil, WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure and WG6 Isle of the Ape. In some cases they appeared so many times it appeared that Gygax had suffered a "purplegasm".
    • Monsters associated with purple: azer (love purple gems), bar-igura demons (can change its color to purple), crysmals (can be deep violet colored), drow (violet eyes) forester's bane plant (stalks are purple), mind flayer/illithid (mauve skin), myconids (can be purple, animator spores create a purple fungus), ogres (purple eyes), phoenix (plumage, beaks and claws are partially violet), purple worm, retch plants (globes can be violet or lilac), shade (eyes can have a purple iris and pupil), storm giant (could have violet skin and purple eyes), twilight bloom (has purple flowers), violet fungi, Wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing plant (eyes can be violet).
07:39:31 PM Nov 10th 2013
The problem is not the usage of the third-bullet entry itself. It's how it's used. The example sorting must be such that each bullet describes its own example. If the secondary or tertiary bullet only mentions a continuation of the primary bullet's entry, then it IS violating Example Indentation, and in some cases it turns into natter.

I can't always tell if the offending bullets are natter or not, especially not when I'm not familiar enough with the information itself. It's the job of the troper who adds it to make it clear enough.
06:16:52 PM May 7th 2011
Link to the Creator Insignia ykttw, so it doesn't get lost when we merge the articles.
03:50:11 PM Apr 28th 2011
Yeah, reading this, a few things clicked in my head, at least for written science fiction.

Ray Bradbury? Early Twentieth-Century small-town Americana is all over his work. Railroads. Carnivals. A palpable sense of wistful regret for the passing of the Old West and the closing of the frontier, ironically juxtaposed with really unsubtle Humans Are Bastards stuff. It's most jarring in "The Martian Chronicles," I think, but even in his non-skiffy work he has a very distinctive voice and it jumps out at you.

Let me explain. Years and years ago I was studying late one night and I think it was the Letterman show was on in the background. I was trying to get the Krebs Cycle into my head and listening with one ear, and a guy was talking about visiting a traveling carnival as a child, and seeing a sideshow act with a guy who billed himself as "The Electrocuted Man" strap himself into a phony electric chair rigged up with Tesla coils so that there'd be an impressive display of sparks. And he'd ask people to from the audience to come up to him as the eerie blue lights flickered and his hair all stood on end, and he'd reach out and touch them on the hand or the chest, and their hair would stand on end too, and he'd grin maniacally and whisper "Live forever! Live forever!" And I dropped the biology textbook and said "By God that is a Ray Bradbury story." And it was the man himself, being interviewed by David Letterman for some reason. Does this make sense?

I know, I'm rambling. It's natter. Natter is bad. That's why I'm putting this here instead of on the topic page. If anyone thinks any of my ramblings can be cleaned up and is worthy to be posted, please be my guest.

Here are a few more.

David Drake: badass hardass soldiers IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE, probably with tanks. Even if tanks are not present, he seems to like to write about narrow trails through unclean alien jungles and swamps, thick oppressive forests that might and probably do conceal legions of angry people or aliens who are armed to the teeth with the latest thing in man-portable antipersonnel hardware and yearn desperately to kill you. Only the alien jungle is a nasty enough place that it can kill you all by itself if you're stupid, or just unlucky. His characters may sprinkle their speech with evocative odd turns of phrase, like "Via!" or "Blood and ashes!" as interjections of annoyance. One imagines most of his characters as being hard-eyed young men in steel helmets, who haven't shaved or slept in about a week.

Piers Anthony's fantasy writing drips with puns, most of them ghastly. Maybe not exactly what the trope refers to, seeing as how he restrains himself when writing other genres.

George R. R. Martin: there is no God and the universe is a cold fucking place. It doesn't hate you—it's cold and empty and dark and goes on forever and hate might almost be better. At least cats are cool, and people who don't like cats are bad, and if you harm a cat you will very soon die in a hideous and imaginative manner. Oh, and the military sucks and is stupid, even when the human race is at war with aliens and its survival is in doubt. At least this is how his 1970s skiffy writing ("A Song for Lya," "Sandkings," "Nightflyers," "Starlady," etc.) comes across. I haven't read any of his fantasy.

John Varley's general tone is even darker and bleaker, without cats. Post-apocalyptic stories of some kind, usually involving either a plan to attempt to save humanity from extinction in the far future, or involving a world that's been wiped clean of human life utterly, are his most common themes, in the work that I've read of his. George R. R. Martin can be funny and his stories can have the occasional light moment when he feels like it. Varley's... don't. At least of what I've read.

Harry Harrison has a thing for a semi-obsolescent form of heavy weaponry called a "recoilless rifle," of which the Other Wiki could tell you more than you want to know, and seems to consider slightly reduced-scale versions ideal weapons for armored spacemen fighting boarding actions IN SPAAAAACE.

Gordon R. Dickson wrote lots of military SF, lots of which were written with what some critics called "'human supremacist' overtones" (implying what? that he was racist against little green men who aren't real? this is why I'm not a critic) for John Campbell when he was editor of Analog SF&F. Though I always thought his answer to those particular critics was a story called "Naked to the Stars," which—aw, go to the Other Wiki and read about it, this is getting kind of long.

Poul Andersen's first language was Danish, not English. His written English was extremely articulate, faintly archaic, and full of little stylistic tics that were, if not precisely grammatically incorrect, then still make his prose instantly recognizable. Using "must" in the past tense, for instance. He was that outdated stereotype, the melancholy Dane, and much of his later work showed an almost tangible influence of the pessimistic German historian Oswald Spengler (and here I am thinking of the Flandry stories). Oh, and he quoted Kipling a lot in his work. Space as a metaphor for the sea, and vice versa, and the human need to learn and explore were very common themes for him.

Ron Goulart's skiffy was always a relatively small part of his output, but his skiffy voice always seems to have a zany sense of humor. Oh, and there are sexy nuns. With big bewbies.

Howard Waldrop is probably zanier than Ron Goulart, though his sense of humor is in the aggregate several shades darker. He is also a Texan, and many of his skiffy stories are set in Texas and/or feature Texan characters. And barbecue.

Spider Robinson likes stories about time travel and transhumanism sprinkled with bad puns and somewhat preachy self-insert aging-hippie characters.

George Zebrowski has big ideas, mind-blowingly big ideas that are so big they can't be contained on the page and bits and pieces of them break off and get lodged in your mind and stay there, slowly fermenting and mutating. If you don't understand, read his "The Monadic Universe" and get back to me when your brain stops vibrating long enough for you to be able to type again.

Stanislaw Lem's first language is Polish but he writes mainly in English. His prose is grammatically perfect but structurally just a little bit eccentric (it feels a wee bit German, actually) and is instantly recognizable. He also has big ideas, strange ideas, novel ideas, weird ideas, ideas you might not expect to make an entertaining story but which somehow do.

Jack Vance characters usually speak in a very distinctive, extremely formal, mock-archaic dialect sprinkled with fanciful and evocative words that are usually never exactly defined ("sandestin," "deodand," etc., or something may be called "Blue Ruin," which may be, depending on the story and the universe, a brand of cheap wine, or a deadly magical spell) Most of his protagonists are antiheroic to varying degrees, also, from Cugel the Clever, who is an out-and-out sociopath, to the hardass Kirth Gersen, who never stops to question whether he is always wholly morally in the right as he pursues five mass-murderers across known space, nor seems to care much about whether he has any moral standing or authority other than his own burning desire to take personal vengeance upon each of these men to justify actions that upend entire planetary societies on the way. Other reviewers have noted that when the author allows us to see a conversation between two Vance characters, often what is conveyed by an arched eyebrow over a heavy golden goblet of wine is often more significant than what they speak to one another.

...jeez. this was not gonna be that long. Anyway, I know I'm nattering. You agree? You disagree? You think any of this stuff holds up to examination or might even be salvageable? Please feel free to edit it and add it to the main article page.
12:34:43 PM Feb 11th 2011
Is there a reason why a few examples are outside of folders? I was originally going to move them into their respective folders, but wanted to check and make sure they're not being held at the top of the example list for a specific reason first.
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