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And now, a meme, via xsabx.

1. Buffy is the important show and the influential show. Angel is the better show. I'll take 'Somnambulist', 'Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been', 'Reprise' and 'Epiphany', 'Lullaby', 'Loyalty', 'Soulless', 'Inside Out' and 'Home' and line them up against any episode of Buffy you care to pick.

2. SFX magazine is not the work of the devil. In fact, it's a pretty decent magazine, and should be given more credit for the fact that it provides decent coverage of books and comics right up alongside media SF.

3. Spike is dull. The folks at Mutant Enemy twisted themselves and their characters and their mythology into knots to keep him around and boy, does it ever show. They're doing a better job with him on Angel than they managed on the last two seasons of Buffy, but he's still a character that should have been put out to pasture many years back.

4. Terry Pratchett is not without talent, but he's not with much talent, either. The same goes for JK Rowling.

5. On the other hand, Peter F Hamilton and Stephen Baxter are good writers. They are not masters of beautiful prose (although they have their moments), and their characterisation can be sketchy (although they have their moments); but you can't beat Hamilton for out-and-out space opera extravagance, and you can't beat Baxter for a sheer sense-of-wonder kick.

6. Fandom excludes, it does not include. This goes for all fandoms: The big one, and all the little ones. It is not a welcoming, fuzzy place; in fact, it can be downright intimidating.

7. The first season of Angel was the worst, by some distance.

8. Slash fiction itself isn't half as irritating as slash fiction fans can be. I very rarely understand the impulse behind, or even the humour value in, pretending that every possible combination of two male characters (and it does seem to be predominantly the male characters) are involved in offscreen shagathons. Most of the time I can deal with it. Every so often, however, I find it deeply, deeply tiresome (particularly when it comes to Mutant Enemy fandom, and the constant calls of Wes&Angel! Spike&Angel! Spike&Gunn!). Strangely, I have no problem with myself being slashed up. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that.

9. TV and Film SF are not in principle inferior to written SF, although they are often inferior in practice.

10. Lanark is SF, dammit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. Lanark is SF, dammit.

There, there, of course it is. *rolls eyes*
So there I was, nine unpopular opinions in hand and completely blocked as to what the tenth could be. And there I was, having a conversation on MSN with nat. Chance? I think not!
Number one:
Buffy sucks. Next!

Number two:
I have never read SFX.

Number three:
Agreed.

Number Four:
Have not read either of those authors and have absolutely no intention of doing so. Pratchett fans may recoil in horror and shock...now!

Number Five:
See above for the not having read, but just had no inclination. Am not excluding.

Number Six:
This is true: it can be fuzzy and it can be horrible. Can also be incredibly funny.

Number Seven:
Christy's going to take you to task for that.
In many ways I enjoy it more than later seasons.

Regarding number eight:
There are genuine hoyay moments between certain characters in certain shows. Moments where there's undeniable chemistry between actors and most people pick up on this I think, not just slash fans.

Other combinations are purely for fun. I don't know what impulse is truly apart from the fact that some guy/guy combinations are hot. That's basically it as far as I can see. From a fiction point of view, it's just trying different characters together (in your world) and imagining how they might fit. Sometimes there's a belief that those characters would work well together but then there's also the fact that it's hot.
I think you should pay attention to the last bit because that's the main thing with slash (for me, and I'm sorry for TMI-ing everybody): certain guys with other certain guys = room temperature rising.

I should say sorry again for mentioning that. Sorry.
But that's how I see it.
I wouldn't get rabid about certain pairings, but as I do enjoy reading it, I figured I should comment.
As for mutant enemy fans, I think it's just a way for them to try and maintain some smidgeon of interest in a show of ever-lessing quality...

Number 9:
I agree.

number 10:
Most fiction is speculative. Must we do this?! :)

Christy's going to take you to task for that.

Well, these are meant to be unpopular opinions, right? :)

Don't get me wrong, I like S1. I could hardly say I didn't, since it's the season that started it all. And there are things in it I prefer to later seasons (the small cast is one, yes). I just think later seasons added...something.

Moments where there's undeniable chemistry between actors and most people pick up on this I think, not just slash fans.

See, I'm not sure that's true. The only example I can think of where most people have picked up on something is the look that Samwise gives Frodo right at the end of FOTR. Other than that, not so much.

And in some ways, I actually resent it. It may well be a skewed perception on my part, but it's starting to feel like guys can't just be friends. It sometimes seems that it's as much an unwritten rule as the 'leading man and leading lady must get together' rule!

certain guys with other certain guys = room temperature rising.

I do get that, and I don't begrudge you that one bit. And I'm even fine with that being the only thing people watch for. I guess I'm sometimes just depressed that it seems like it's the only thing that most people watch for.

Must we do this?! :)

I've bought it, I'm going to read it. I'll get back to you. ;-)
Is no 7 controversial?? i thought it was the received wisdom (I agree BTW.) Similarly for no 10..

2, 4 and 6 also seem pretty uncontroversial to moi..

And I agree with 8 entirely - but yes that probably is an unpopular opinion!

Is no 7 controversial?

Somewhat. Although admittedly, it depends where you go. It's less true on LJ than it is on Usenet, for instance. Most everyone agrees that S2 is ace, but once you get past that I think there are basically two camps: Those who rate S1 higher than S3/4/5, and those who rate S3/4/5 higher than S1.

Similarly for no 10.

The genre status of Lanark is a longstanding dispute between myself and brassyn. :-)

The SFX thing seems to stem from (a) something they did to JMS that I don't know the details of, and (b) allegations that their review process is not entirely unbiased. *shrug*
2 may be true now, but as I haven't picked up a copy of the magazine since one of their staff threatened me with legal action I am in no position to comment.

4 and 6 I agree with whole-heartedly. 6 is worryingly true, having been there and done that on several occasions.

9 is worthy of discussion over dinner.

So, all in all, not particuarly unpopular. Sorry.
but as I haven't picked up a copy of the magazine since one of their staff threatened me with legal action I am in no position to comment.

OK, I knew you knew what happened. I didn't know you were that directly involved...

So, all in all, not particuarly unpopular. Sorry.

Damn. I suck. :-p
4: Pratchett is variable. When he is on form he can be incredibly funny and/or thought-provocing and insightful. There was a big patch where the transition between gag-fest Pratchett and literate Pratchett was uncomfortable and didn't always work. The last two books have been - IMO - his best work in a very long time, dark and grimly comic. What he does (and I believe this to be the case of JKR too - but I've never read any HP) is create rounded and sympathetic characters based on archetypes - which is why people like and relate to them.

7: S1 is equal to S3 in being the worst seasons in my estimations - they both suffer from patchiness. S1 doesn't quite hit the peaks of S3 - but doesn't reach the same depths of direness. Crappy and inconsistent characterisation doesn't help S3 either..... But let's face it - Angel at it's worst is better than a lot of other shows.
Angel at it's worst is better than a lot of other shows.

You've given me another one for me list 'cause no, it isn't. 'Provider' is just bad. 'She' is just bad. Not 'bad but better than other TV': Bad.

I would say, anyway.
On fandom - absolutely. I spent several years of my early adult life surrounded by hardcore SF fans (and I suppose was one, though never hardcore) and with a few very charming exceptions they were mainly people who had had a rough ride as kids and were busy desperately re-exerting their intellectual superiority and/or sexual availability over anyone who would listen, and hopelessly, hopelessly snobbish about whom they considered worth talking to, and about what.

On Pratchett ... some lovely ideas but I got bored when he started recycling and haven't read him since. And IMO (and I say this as someone who can spoof but not create), there isn't nearly so much merit in parody as there is in creating something fresh. He's a lovely man though.
there isn't nearly so much merit in parody as there is in creating something fresh.

He doesn't do parody any more - hasn't for five years now..... The only books where parody was the main thrust of the book were the first two anyway.....
1) Agreed
2) never read it - but heard it is good. may consider in future.
3) Totally and utterly agreed.
4) Pratchett is funny - his first few books are genius - now he's running out of ideas. JK Rowling is aimed at children, not me. Therefore I can't stand it. I also can't stand Eenid Blighton.
5) Never read either - but will consider it.
6) Fandoms can be fun, but also limiting - if you're not in one fandom - then you are in another. They are everywhere.
7) Agreed.
8) Slash fiction = lame.
9) Written SF leaves much more to the creative mind - picturing that space ship, or planet in your head - instead of being told what everything looks like. I also find this with other movie adaptations of books, etc.
10) No idea what you're talking about.

also - I'd like to add my own unpopular view:

George Lucas cannot write plot for love nor money. The recent star wars movies have been nothing but effects and a bit of taped together dialogue. A whole love story that is supposed to be intense and beautiful covered in 5, maybe 10 minutes of the whole film - it's just laugh worthy.
i didn't think that 'angel season 1 is the worst' was controversial. it had its moments, but lots of it did hardly anything for me (i discovered on buying the dvd's, when i only had terrestrial at the time). made me interested enough to see more, but it wasn't til Dan showed me season 2 that it got interesting, i thought.

re: slash - i'm with Nat, people having sex is sexy. so reading about attractive people having sex is fun (although i rarely do these days, don't fit in all the offline reading i have). i have a little more of a soft spot for girlslash (but then i would, wooldn't i).

before i had spent enough time on the net to have any inkling about the existence of slash, i watch the buffy ep Halloween. Well, i thought, Giles and Ethan used have something going on, didn't they? and then i got online and its practically canon. these days most of my slash is gained through watching angel, where to quote a friend 'Joss wants his gay award back' :-)
i didn't think that 'angel season 1 is the worst' was controversial.

/me looks at Dan's response. ;-)
I'll leave the rest and say this about 7)

I like Angel S1 a lot more as I've rewatched it via DVDs.

I'm not sure about bits of S2 and S3 was mostly good with very very good highs.

S4 was pretty good, tho. The end lacked a little mind.

I really can't rate them very well at all.

Oh, and fully agree with 1) :)
1. I might have conceded you had a point if you'd left 'Soulless' and 'Inside Out' off that list. ;P

2. On the few occasions I've read the magazine I've found it to be pretty poor.

6. Not entirely sure I understand what you mean by that..

7. It's remembered more fondly than the fourth will ever be.

8. Dunno if you've watched Angel 5x08 yet, but take away the slash and there's almost nothing there to enjoy.
1. Angel started out as a crap show. Then it got better.

2. Crowley The devil has more important things to do than waste time publishing a magazine.

3. Yep. And he's repellent. See 10.

4. Terry Pratchett is one kind of a good writer. J. K. Rowling may well become that kind of a good writer given time and experience and will.

5. I find both Hamilton and Baxter very nearly unreadable, though I do keep trying.

6. To a certain extent, I'm afraid this is true.

7. Definitely. I got put off Angel for some years because I saw the first two episodes while visiting friends in the US, decided the show was hellishly dull, and didn't bother about it again until sometime in the third season, when I realised that things had changed somewhat. It had got better, for one thing. Some catchup work was then required.

8. See 7.

9. Agreed.

10. I haven't read Lanark.
5. I find both Hamilton and Baxter very nearly unreadable, though I do keep trying.

I think as a writer, Baxter is definitely improving. Hamilton isn't, but he hasn't written as many books.

8. See 7.

Ohhh-kay. Not touching that with a bargepole. ;-)

(Oh, alright, just one question: Where do gay people who don't like slash fit into your theory?)
# 4
THANK YOU. It's about time somebody else noticed that!
For concepts and ideas, they are solid. For the actual craft of writing, they could use some pointers. Especially Ms. Rowling, who seems to not take any criticism whatsoever and thus refuses to improve her craft (based on books 1-4, haven't read 5 yet).
1. Buffy is the important show and the influential show. Angel is the better show.

I don't believe that any season of Angel could possibly be better than season 3 of Buffy.

you can't beat Hamilton for out-and-out space opera extravagance

Hamilton's books have never held any attraction to me. When I see them on the shelves in bookshops they appear as huge tomes probably full of overblown rubbish no doubt screaming out for a decent editor to trim it down. It appears to be the sort of meaningless kind of space opera that I'd abhor - as if Eddings was writing sf.

No. If I want space opera, I get my kicks from Niven and Pournelle, and would cite The Mote in God's Eye as being the best space opera I've read.

and you can't beat Baxter for a sheer sense-of-wonder kick.

I've only read one Baxter story, it was in the sole issue of Interzone I purchased several years back. I cannot for the life of me recall the title. Having recently read it (within the past year), I found it to be dull and of no redeeming features. Granted, I shouldn't judge the mans whole body of work on one story, but it certainly hasn't inspired me to give his novels a try.

Fandom excludes, it does not include.

True enough, but perhaps you've being slightly hard on fandom there. I would venture to say that it's basic human nature to exclude rather than include. Kids are taught from an early age to exclude when they form their groups of friends and exclude other children because they're too big, too small, have the wrong hair colour, or hold the 'wrong' opinions.

TV and Film SF are not in principle inferior to written SF, although they are often inferior in practice.

It's incredibly hard for TV and film to manage to do SF for I think two main reasons. First being that a good SF story never looks silly in your head, yet on screen it's very hard to make something appear futuristic without appearing silly. Secondly, it's hard to strike a balance on screen - that is, the ideas have to be developed enough so that the story makes sense and isn't laughable, but also it can't be so obvious or expositionary that it bores the audience.

An author can write a book which cleverly puts forward a logical problem of some sort and then solves it through the story, or an author can convincingly build a future society from the ground up, yet these things are hard - if not impossible - to translate to the screen. I'm really not looking forward to the I, Robot movie.

I don't believe that any season of Angel could possibly be better than season 3 of Buffy.

You haven't seen season two of Angel, then? :-)

(Although I do agree that S3 Buffy = da bomb.)

Niven and Pournelle

Ah, well. I've never managed to stomach them, I'm afraid (although admittedly I've not read much, and I've not read your example).

Granted, I shouldn't judge the mans whole body of work on one story, but it certainly hasn't inspired me to give his novels a try.

Given the little I know about your tastes, I'd say it would be worth your while looking at The Time Ships or Anti-Ice, but other than that stick to the short stories. If you ever see a cheap copy of Traces anywhere, pick it up.

I'm really not looking forward to the I, Robot movie.

Is anyone? :-/
I cancelled my subscription a couple months back, I realised I hadn't opened the last two issues, because as a bookseller it told me nothing I didn't already know and had reviews that simply missed the point far too often, especially of books.

Right now I'm pondering a sub to Asimov's and/or Locus.
Right now I'm pondering a sub to Asimov's and/or Locus.

Don't ponder! Do it! They're both well worth it. :-)
Although I'm no big fan of SFX, I have to agree with you in a "taste testing dog crap" sort of way: compared to SCI FI or Cinescape, SFX is actually readable. Compared to the new Mark Altman-published CFQ, it's the goddamned New Yorker.