Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Sword of Truth (non-fantasy version)

Note: Terry Goodkind has often claimed that he doesn't write "fantasy," as the fantasy elements in his books are not essential to the story. We tried to imagine what the books would be like if the fantasy elements were removed...
"I'm sorry sir, but you can't take that sword on board. Please put it in the box with all the other corkscrews and nail scissors."

"What?!" bellowed Richard. "But I have to go to the Midlands and save the people from their evil dictator! I am the Seeker of Truth!"

"You're a bloody nutter is what you are. If you don't leave the sword behind, you're not coming through."

"Never fear! I shall summon my red dragon Scarlet, and she will carry me! SCARLET!"

There was a swoosh of wings. "Scarlet want a cracker!" said Scarlet, and nibbled at a sunflower seed on Richard's shoulder. Richard rather sheepishly handed over his sword and boarded the plane to Birmingham.


Richard took up his position outside Selfridges and began his speech. "People of the Midlands!" he cried, "You are being oppressed! Join me and we will overthrow the evil dictator who oppresses you!"

A few shoppers paused and shot him irritated glances. His humble woodsman's outfit looked out of place in this bustling hive of commerce, but he had passed a shop selling war wizard outfits earlier on, and thought that might suit him - he'd pop back later and see if they'd accept Westlands money. He had hoped to win the allegiances of these people by teaching them to fix their roofs, but it seemed they already knew how to do that. Now he was short of cash - his grandfather had paid for his journey but had given him no funds for support, and no instructions on how to get back again. Later he'd have to find a forest and hunt for some game, but hopefully he wouldn't have to - once the people heard his message, they'd take him in and give him free food and lodging out of gratitude for his moral clarity.

He tried again. "Noble Midlanders! There is nothing greater than the spirit of a man! Live your life, be free! Moral celery is your only hope! Freedom is the right of all individuals! Life is freedom! Life is for individuals! Individuals are free! Celery for all!To be less than free is to be a slave, and to be a slave is to deny freedom! Free the slaves! Live the dream! Free to live life indivually like a free celery goat gargle bargle rhubarb..."

His words trailed off as he saw a beautiful woman approach. Her dress was long and white, and her hair came down to her waist. A name-tag attached to her bosom declared her to be "Kahlan Amnell - Security". Her eyes rose to meet his, then words issued forth in the harsh Midlands accent.

"You'll have to move along or we'll have you ejected. Several customers have now come in looking for the free celery that you're advertising. Please set up your stall somewhere else." She glared at him until he moved away.

Dejected, Richard made his way out of the shopping centre. A small girl nearby said loudly "Mummy, why does that man smell?". Richard's thing rose in him and he turned, kicking the child in the jaw.


Richard's companion in the jail cell was a large, burly, muscular man covered in tattoos. His bulging muscles rippled as he flexed his muscular, tattooed arms.

"Right, pretty boy, it's your lucky day" said the man. Richard wasn't worried, though, as rape was just an exciting thing that happened to women, and they enjoyed it really, and the good girls always got rescued at the last minute after some titillating nakedness and foreplay. Besides, his sword used to belong to some good fighters so he must have picked up some skills from that, right?


And here we draw a veil over the scene, leaving Richard to his well-deserved fate.

Conclusion: Sword of Truth without the fantasy elements is like The Sopranos without gangsters.


Blogger Ayilir said...

*claps hands* nice story ^^ and you really have a point. It's fantasy without question. He does go deeper into personal feelings and philosophical issues than many other fantasy-authors, but claiming you don't write fantasy when you write books that have dragons, wizards, and many mystical creatures in them... is going a bit too far.

There are two possibilities left.
1: he's schizo and sees "magic" all around him, or 2: he's not being entirely honest with himself.

Whatever he says though, his books are some of the greatest fantasy written in the last couple of decades.

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be able to say that his books can be included in some of the greatest fantasy written is exposing that his books are all the fantasy books you've ever read.

I'm sorry for you if you've never heard of Le Guin or Martin.

10:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Robin Hobb? She's better than Le Guin.

9:29 pm  

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