On Tortured Similes

I frequently read Penny Arcade. The creators bring a snarky eye to pop culture and video games, and the web comic rarely fails to amuse me.

Today’s strip concerns, of all things, literary criticism.

Specifically, the tendency in science fiction to invent really complicated similes for really simple comparisons. Throwing in random, made-up words — or even real, scientific words — doesn’t make the writing better. It just makes it more opaque.

Also, Penny Arcade tells me that Karen Traviss, author of the Republic Commando novels, will be writing the Gears of War novels for Del Rey. About a year ago, Boom! Studios had announced a Gears of War comic. I don’t think it ever materialized, as it looks like Wildstorm is tackling the property this autumn.

I’ve never actually played Gears of War. Odd, when you think about it, as I know the team at Epic that worked on the game. Funny, that.

2 thoughts on “On Tortured Similes

  1. The oddity thereof depends on your hardware; I don’t have a 360, and I don’t think my PC could run GOW very well, so I haven’t picked it up. Same with UT3, to my chagrin.

  2. Gears of War is a good game, and one that can be played split-screen co-op, which is something that’s becoming a lot more rare these days. It’s visually stunning in its design and animation, too. I just hope Gears 2 is also split-screen.

    As for the books, I liked the first Republic Commando novel and bought the next two, so I’m intrigued by the Gears novels.

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