What Makes a Sekrit Rool?
A ‘secret rule’ is what I call a trope or archetype that a specific writer comes back to again and again. It might or might not be something that’s universal to the genre the writer is working in, it might be a specific theme or belief that the writer deals with.
Sekrit Rools: The Dragon Riders of Pern, by Anne McCaffery
I mock because I love. Dragonriders of Pern was one of the first sf series I read when I was a kid. It was only much later that I realized how brain-breaky the series could be. (I personally think that the first two are great, and I still kind of like the Harperhall trilogy.)
Sekrit Rools: The Belgariad and Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings
The Belgariad was on the very first fantasy novels I ever read. While I loved it when I was a kid, later re-readings disturbed me due to the many, many problematic situations and characters. (Also, the series is very “look, look, I re-invented the wheel, isn’t it shiny!?”) Some people blame the addition of Leigh Eddings but I hold D. Eddings completely responsible.
Sekrit Rools: The Horseclans novels of Robert Adams
Post apocalyptic nomadic barbarians led by a mysterious immortal dude! I both loved and disliked this series intensely. The dislike was mostly because of the strongly conservative tone and the really extreme violence, victim blaming and the homophobia. The love is mostly because of the entire post-apocalyptic giant telepathic cat and pony show.
Sekrit Rools: The Honor Harrington Series by David Weber
Honor Harrington is a series I only started reading because I read Weber’s Oath of Swords. I was not initially very impressed with this Strong Female Character. Weber is another convservative writer I like, and despite the habit of Immense Infodumping of Things I Would Prefer to Read as a Meta Post, Honor Harrington kind of grew on me for the rare moments of humor and let’s face it, Nimitz.
Sekrit Rools: The Warlock Novels of Christopher Stasheff
Once again, I mock because I love them. Actually, I loved the first book, and a couple of the “Warlock with cute cardboard children in tow” books–and that only because The Warlock series is the first sf/fantasy series I’d ever read where The Hero’s Family is also in on the fun and games.
Sekrit Rools: Barbara Hambly
Hambly is a writer whose tropes tend to be nearly universal across her fantasy works, from Dragonsbane to the Darwath Trilogy. (I haven’t checked to see if the same is true of her mysteries.) She’s a favorite writer of mine, though there are a couple books I just can’t read because they’re just a little too grim and dark for me to read.
Sekrit Rools: John Ringo
John Ringo is in fact a favorite writer, though I don’t read a lot of his books anymore because he’s a writer with many axes to grind–and I vehemently disagree that certain of those axes need to be ground. That said, if you really like explosions and action-adventure, Ringo is probably a writer you’d like.
Sekrit Rools: Orson Scott Card
Card’s sf/fantasy novels in a nutshell. (More specifically, these are the Sekrit Rools of Songmaster, Hart’s Hope, the first three books of the Alvin Maker series, The Ender’s Game books, and Wyrms I have varying degrees of liking for each of these series.)
Sekrit Rools: The Saga of Pliocine Exile by Julian May
It’s either a sign of otherwise good writing, or morbid curiosity on my part that made me read and finish this series…over a period of several years…(The books in the series tend to be hard to find.) The only reason I completed it was because I really liked “Intervention.”
Sekrit Rools: Elfquest by Richard and Wendy Pini
I did not start with reading the comic book. Instead, I started with the trade paperback Journey to Sorrow’s End written by Richard Pini. I might have been in second or third grade, and I utterly fell in love with the elves.
Sekrit Rools: The Cheysuli Novels of Jennifer Roberson
I did enjoy these books and another series (The Sandtiger and Del series) by Jennifer Roberson, but there were some attendant problems. Jennifer Roberson seems to have difficulty in portraying a “feminist” character from within the context of the character’s supposed society. Which is to say, her “independent strong minded female” characters tend to sound like stereotypical 60’s era feminists.