Guilty pleasures

So I spent $80 and bought the Skull Candy TI's with the fuzzy ear phones, and I pretty much love them. They don't do an incredible job blocking out back ground noise, but they sound hella good. And the fuzzyness is so comfortable. And hot. As in sexy.

So maybe I am going to reveal a rather nerdy bombshell about my life. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have always had a rather soft spot in my heart for the science fiction/fantasy genre of literature. What I refer to as a soft spot was probably more accurately described as an obsession in high school, which has now just dwindled to the aforementioned soft spot. In high school I was all about the Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs, what have you. Wizards, magic, and murderous adventure were my literary passions. However, as I have grown older my tastes have matured. Probably due to a rather rational fear of mockery. I mean, who wants to be seen reading a fantasy book? The worst thing about them, is if you are reading one, any person can just grab it, read any given line in the book out of context, and make you feel like the biggest nerd on planet loser. "Once you summoned the 9 Rods of Dominion. Now look at you! A pitiful wretch!" Such books are rife with mock worthy material.

In my defense, I have not started a single new fantasy series since I was in high school. There was however, one series that I began when I was about 14, which continues to still be written, and therefore I still read.

My guilty pleasure.

Robert Jordan, if you must know. I started reading the Wheel of Time series as I said, at about 14. When I began, there were about 7 or 8 of them out. It has now been 12 years, and there are 11 total.

The end has not yet come.

There is however, one small hang up; the author just effing died last fall. Half way through the last book. Seriously. 11 and 1/2 bloody books, and he goes and kicks the bucket. I remember fearing this possible occurrence all throughout the 11 years I read them. I kept thinking, "This prick better not die, or my life will have been lived in vain. I shall never know the end to the life and adventures of Rand al'Thor."

Luckily for me and a few million other people, he left extensive notes before he died of a freaking RARE blood disease. Someone is going to finish it.

One time, while a missionary, Robert Jordan saved my sanity. I was in an area with the guy I was training. We had been together 4 and 1/2 months, which was a complete anomaly. This never happened. I had never been with someone for longer than 6 weeks, and this was fast approaching 6 months. When one is with someone constantly for 24 hours a day, for months and months, conversational topics get stretched pretty thin. And for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mormon missions, you REALLY ARE TOGETHER. The only time you aren't physically with that person is during showers and pooping.

So, we began to become a little nuts. We started talking in all scriptural tones, always saying things like, "Thus saith Elder Fish," or "And so it behooveth me to..." and so on. We also started to make up crazy doctrinal theories. Just when we were about to sink into mental oblivion, I thought of one thing we hadn't explored; the fantastic world of Robert Jordan. So, over the ensuing weeks, I (having read all the books twice) related to him the entire Wheel of Time narrative, as best as I could remember. Oh the nerdery! The joy! The intrigue! Most importantly, we didn't kill each other, and we didn't completely loose our minds.

So, there you have it. Fish's dirty, embarrassing little secret. I bring this up, because the last book is due to come out in 2009, and therefore I have embarked upon the rather daunting task of rereading all 11, 600-1000 page books.

Someday they will make the movies, and then I won't have to be a closet Robert Jordan reader any longer. Tolkien's fans were liberated from shame. Can I not hope for the same?


Anonymous said...

I would never classify myself as being a sci-fi/fantasy nerd (although thinking about it I guess I have read my fair share, I am an equal opportunity reader) but the "Wheel of Time" series kind of saved my sanity too. After college I moved somewhere and was stuck renting a room in a house from a family I didn't know. It was horribly awkward. I remember coming home from work every night, locking myself into my room and devouring those books. It got so bad I felt like those characters were my only friends. As a very introverted girl I would read about the exploits of Rand and his friends and as ridiculous as it sounds, it helped me get through a very lonely time of my life. Corny-I know. Thanks for sharing your story!

Jimmy said...

Poor Elder Earl

chris almond said...

I am a huge sci-fi fan. still am. i don't love all sci fi but that which i do love i am crazy about. fantasy I have rarely gotten into. i noticed on your blog list amanda. how do you know her? i lost my virginity on her bed. she probably wouldn't be happy me having told you that, but she is very mean so i don't mind.

Crystal said...

I tried reading those. Or one of those. When it took 80 pages for the character to muse upon the pub wench's mysterious mood, I decided to call it quits. Oh well. But don't feel too bad about liking them--my little brother is the coolest kid on the planet, and he loves them.

Carla said...

Can i just throw out there that The Lord of the Rings are considered classics and that there are whole college courses dedicated to the studying of Tolkien. Who is/was ashamed?

Fish Nat!on said...

bad example. harry potter then?

Mark said...

it's weird that for some strange reason I decided to search "rand al'thor" just this evening; the first time, mind you, that I've searched anything wheel of time related. I only really want to see some fanfic pic that some nerdy artist drew in high school. I was just tired of have my visual imagination stimulated by book covers recreated by poor late robert jordan's crazy mind. I felt like it was a mistake, but then seeing your silly post about it made me realize that I don't have to live in such fearsome shame about my wot obsession.

for a clarification of sort: I have never been to a convention, I do not have any ebay exclusive memorabilia, but I can say I've read the entire (thus far) series 3 times at least. every time a new book has come out sine the path of daggers I've reread them all in nerdy anticipation.

truly, you should worry more for the fact that you are mormon (read with T&C) than that you might be an boring scifi/fantasy/fiction lover.

Mark said...

oh and, btw...

this is all said as I look for the fourth time, longingly to the 224th page of knife of dreams, pretty much since hardback. so don't fret, it will all be over and we'll never have to drink another drop of it. soon.