Thursday, 2 September 2004

Robots, Death, Silk and Marshwiggles

Since I'm seriously behind on my Finished-Books count (am still stuck halfway on The Name of the Rose and Opposite of Fate), I really can't say that I've read any good books lately. Or rather, FINISHED any good books lately. Unless you count the September issue of FHM. No? Didn't think so.

Anyway, I decided that for this post, I'll list down some of my favorite SF and Fantasy characters, just for the heck of it, and due to the lack of inspiration for more Ah Beng-LOTR translations.

Do take note that this is a personal list of characters whom I've READ about. those I have NOT read about but may be the favorites of others may not be here, for obvious reasons. But feel free to recommend your own.

Here we go then, in no particular order:

1) Eowyn (from The Lord of the Rings) - A lot of people don't like her, especially those who watched the movie without reading the books, and Pervy Aragorn Fanciers who think she is a B***H for making googly eyes at their hero.

However, in the male dominated world of Middle-Earth, Eowyn was the only female character who actually DID something other than giving presents and sewing a standard. The part where she faces the Witch-King is one of my favorite scenes ever. I COULD do without that Mills & Boons-esque love scene with Faramir atop the battlements of Minas Tirith though...

2) Silk (from David Eddings' The Belgariad & The Mallorean) - I don't care what people say about this fantasy series, it's still one of my favorites. Reading it is great fun, and in Silk (aka. Prince Kheldar of Drasnia), the series had an incredibly sarcastic yet undeniably fun characters in modern fantasy.

A nation of full of spies is already a laugh, but Silk is possibly the funniest and most outlandish spy in modern fantasy. I loved him so much that, I even stole some of his sarcastic quotes.

3) Puddleglum the Marshwiggle (from CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia) - He's a marshwiggle, he lives in a swamp, he eats frogs, and has the most negative 'Half-empty glass of marsh water' attitude this side of the wardrobe. Plus, he was the best thing in that least appealing of Narnia books - The Silver Chair.

4) Death (from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) - While it's inevitable that at least one of Pratchett's characters would make it on my list, I had some problems choosing just ONE that is my favorite, so I included two instead. First up, Death. Yes, DEATH. The skeleton guy dressed in a black robe and hood and holds a scythe, rides around on a white horse name Binky, and TALKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE THIS.

Now, for Pratchett's version of this guy, add a good heart (though I wonder where he puts it), a total lack of creative imagination and complete confusion about what human beings are like. Makes for lots of great plots, philosophising about death, and generally, lots of laughs.

Oh, and he has a skeletal rat as an assistant, who is basically, the Death of Rats.

6) Daneel R. Olivaw (from Isaac Asimov's Foundation and robot books) - Daneel R. Olivaw is... interesting. As a state of the art robot that looks, feels and acts like a human being, but is bound by the Three laws of Robotics, he was an interesting paradox.

He was first introduced in the first Elijah Bailey robot book - Caves of Steel - as the robot-hating cop's new robot partner. His interaction with Bailey is one of the best robot-man relationships ever, and the foundation (pun not intended) for the rest of the robot books, as well as the Foundation books after the initial three.

7) Raistlin Majere (from Weis & Hickman's Dragonlance series) - Arguably the top of the list of favorite for anyone who has read Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends, Raistlin Majere was the most interesting character in a fun but predictable series that was filled with cliched characters and predictable plots.

As the power-hungry mage who is also devoted to his friends (for a time, at least) Raistlin managed to be good and bad at the same time, while not falling into the boring predictability that the other characters, including his goody-goody twin brother Caramon, fell into.

8) Nanny Ogg (from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) - Ahh... Nanny Ogg. The most fun-loving drunk witch in the Discworld. The good friend and partner of the greatest witch in Discworld, Granny Weatherwax. Loves alcohol, naughty songs about wizard knobs, chatting up casanova dwarves and sex. Commands an army of children, one of whom (Shawn Ogg, to be exact) IS the entire army of Lancre (also its royal butler, gardener, waiter, and privy cleaner).

What's not to like about her?

9) FitzChivalry Farseer (from Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy & Tawny Man saga) - One of the best developed fantasy characters in modern fantasy, Fitz is the bastard son of the King-to-be of the Six Duchies, but is destined never to ascend the throne. His life is probably one of the most tragic disasters I've ever read, and the way Hobb writes, you also care A LOT about him.

The way he goes from unwanted bastard to royal assassin, to the saviour of the country, and then fading to obscurity in the Farseer trilogy makes for a compelling read, while in the Tawny Man saga, all the loose knots in the end come together so nicely that you just want to cheer for him, especially after all that he has been through.

10) Death of Rats (from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) - SQUEAK! Squeak squeak squeak SQUEEEEEAK! Squeak squeak squeak squeak, squeaky squeak squeak.


1 comment:

Erna said...

Finish reading that damn book, will you? ;)