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Missing Left Sock Beast
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Coyote Musings
Coyote handsome
his coat the same brown
as the dust from which he rises


What is the sound of one hand slapping Schroedinger's cat?


The Quantum Duck goes "quark, quark."

September 2010
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Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]
A poll, because of a conversation I'm having elsenet

Fantasy Readers:

A satisfying fantasy novel

needs a "neat, clean" ending.
can have an ending where Good triumphs over Evil and everything is neatly wrapped up.
can have an ending that is ambiguous, where Good doesn't necessarily triumph over Evil.*
can have any sort of ending so long as it makes sense with the plot.
Something else that I will detail in comments.

I would be interested in reading a fantasy novel that was described as having a "noir"-style ending, where some of the evil-doers get away with their actions - or even are rewarded for them - so that other injustices can be addressed.

Something more ambiguous that I will explain in comments.

Can you think of a fantasy novel, not the beginning or middle of a series, that has a "noir"-like ending?

Something more ambiguous that I will share in the comments

If your answer to the last question was "yes," can you tell me the title and the author?


What are you on about?
Something else that I will share in the comments.

*For example, there is a conspiracy against the throne. One of the conspirators is the likely candidate to become the next King/Queen/Emperor/Empress/Whatever. Because the protagonist(s) realize that Something Bad will happen if this person isn't placed on the throne, they allow the coronation to take place, and don't speak of their knowledge to anyone else. cf The Empire Strikes Back, I suppose, although that's both SciFi and also the middle of a series.

When I speak of "neatly wrapped up," I am of course allowing for the possibility that there are a few loose ends for continuation of the series if there are to be more books.

Please feel free to share this poll around. I'm not 100% sure that my questions are clear, either.


The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop is sort of like that, except that I think she wrote a fourth book, which I haven't read, that might have broken the noir.
The Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher is like that, with good-bad-guy characters, but it isn't over yet.
lavendargrrl says Carnival by Elizabeth Bear (matociquala)might fit, I have likewise not read that but for the sake of my immortal soul, please don't tell her.

I don't read as much as I use to. I've never been much of a fantasy reader, the HP and Discworld books are the exception.

If you delete “fantasy” and substitute “protagonist” and “antagonist” for “Good” and “Evil”, how many novels qualify?

For the first question, I am OK with both an ambiguous ending AND one that matches the plot, no matter its form. I think I might actually prefer the ambiguous ending, since too much happy-happy gets me down, but I couldn't select both options.

I'm not sure that Laurie Marks' novels (the ones I've read; I've read two in a set that will eventually comprise four) count as noir style in any sense of the term, but one thing I like about them is that there are multiple moral systems that all make some sense, not just "teh good" and "teh evul."

I feel the same.

Possibly...possibly...the Harry Dresden books would qualify as having a noir ending. However, since he does seem to be gradually building towards something massive and earth-shattering, it might count as the "middle" of a series. The bad guys usually get their comeuppance, but not always neatly and cleanly, and they do sometimes get away. Series is by Jim Butcher.

Also, it's been a long time, but the Deryni books, as I recall - generally not happy endings, and the heroes did not always come out ahead. Katherine Kurtz is the author. I enjoyed them as far as I read them, but it was starting to get rather desperately depressing... haven't had the fortitude to pick it back up, but I did read quite a lot of the series.