Taverns???

The Master™

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While reading The Dragon Sorcerer by John Grgory Betancourt (see review), there is a part that sparked some interest:

"There is a long tradition of bar stories in fantasy and science fiction literature. Just think about it for a minute and I’m sure plenty will spring to mind. Pratt & de Camp’s “Gavagan’s Bar.” Spider Robinson’s “Callahan’s Place.” Thieves’ World’s “Vulgar Unicorn.” Arthur C Clarke’s Tales of the White Hart. You even get bars in fantasy classics, like Lord Dunsany’s “Jorkens” stories. Issac Asimov? “The Black Widowers” (although they’re mysteries). And, of course, there are scattered stories by the likes of Avram Davidson, Gardner Dozois, Robert A Heinlein, Henry Kuttner, Larry Niven, Robert Silverberg, and so many more that they can’t possibly be listed here… It seems everyone likes to write about bars. (Maybe SF and fantasy writers like beer a little too much! Hmm… gives me an idea for a story!)"
John Gregory Betancourt

So it occured to me, does a tavern scene in a story (or a story about a tavern) make a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel more interesting??? Personally, I have read lots of novels, some that have had taverns and some that haven't; and there is no difference to me...

And what is the best tavern names that you have seen???

I like Slab's Tavern, in Zelloque... Haunted by Beren 'Slab' Vethiq, the founder and former owner of the bar...
 

Leto

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The Master™ said:
So it occured to me, does a tavern scene in a story (or a story about a tavern) make a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel more interesting??? Personally, I have read lots of novels, some that have had taverns and some that haven't; and there is no difference to me...
I don't think it's Sci-fi/fantasy related. It's also widely used in crime novels, songs, or films and TV show.
Taverns, pubs and bars are simply good places to have character interactions and interesting background stories. They are also good place to get story ideas just by observing fellow customers and listening to their discussions. Why the man at the counter is so broody over his glass ? What made the brunette at the end of the room laugh so hard ? And so one.
 

GOLLUM

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YES YES I really like fantasy books with Tavern scenes. I think Leto probably hit the nail on the head whne she said "Taverns, pubs and bars are simply good places to have character interactions and interesting background stories."

There are particular scences that I really like in fanatsy books including Tavern Scenes, anything relating to ships and water eg. storm/shipwreck or wild weather, anything having assassins involved, political jockying, anything underground eg.caverns, sword fights, magic battles, dragons and darklit city alleyways.... :D

I remember De Camp and Pratt's Gavagn's bar series and Lord Dunsany’s “Jorkens" with particular fondness... :D
 

kaneda

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Obsessing is a good thing.
I don't think they're essential in fantasy, but taverns do seem to feature in a lot of the fantasy books that I've read, normally in the same fashion; being a meeting place or a place to gather information. Maybe some writers are too lazy to imagine a different meeting place for their characters :)

I actually cannot think of any tavern names at the moment :confused: my memories so bad at the moment. When i think of some i like i'll add them.
 

GOLLUM

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In relation to Kaneda's comments about Taverns yes maybe their being lazy in putting a "standard" tavern scene in the story but for me it helps to add a certain level or degree of atmosphere or intimacy that helps to heighten my interest in a story and especially its characters.... :)
 

kaneda

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Obsessing is a good thing.
GOLLUM said:
In relation to Kaneda's comments about Taverns yes maybe their being lazy in putting a "standard" tavern scene in the story but for me it helps to add a certain level or degree of atmosphere or intimacy that helps to heighten my interest in a story and especially its characters.... :)

I'm not saying it as a criticism because for the reasons you've said it does work. Its just with some books you know its going to follow a set formula in events and places, and the tavern scene is one of thoses set environments.
 

Culhwch

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I've been racking my brain for awhile now, and the best I can come up with is... The Leaky Cauldron, from Harry Potter. I was trying to think of some Pratchett ones, but drew a blank.

Actually, thinking back, I've written a lot of tavern scenes in my own work. I don't think it was out of any, 'Well, it's fantasy, they'd best visit a tavern' kind of sentiment, but it's just where the characters ended up for some plotting reason or another. But then again, I am a hack, so maybe they were just full-blown cliches....
 

Leto

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Culhwch said:
I've been racking my brain for awhile now, and the best I can come up with is... The Leaky Cauldron, from Harry Potter. I was trying to think of some Pratchett ones, but drew a blank.
The Mended Drum, Biers, and the dwarf cantina that Carrot seems to be fond of... And don't forget CMOT Dibbler mobile stand.
 

Stalker

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It's just another way of narration. It has ancient tradition probably deriving from Greek philosophic dialogues. In fiction... hmmm. I doubt if even Geoffrey Chaucer with his Canterbury Tales was the first here.
 

Leto

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Stalker said:
It's just another way of narration. It has ancient tradition probably deriving from Greek philosophic dialogues.
This would explain the Tavern scene in Pyramids, by T.Pratchett, then ?
 

rune

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I suppose Taverns are good things to add into a story so that characters can take stock and discuss what's happening so far in a plot. And lets be honest we all need a drink now and again :D Dont suppose Pub would have the same feel either.
 

GOLLUM

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You're right Rune!....:rolleyes:

Pub does nothing for me BUT Tavern somehow has a lot more gravitas...:cool:
 

rune

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GOLLUM said:
You're right Rune!....:rolleyes:

Pub does nothing for me BUT Tavern somehow has a lot more gravitas...:cool:

I think Tavern brings up an older feeling, something that has mystery and character. Were as the other doesnt.
 

Stalker

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Leto said:
This would explain the Tavern scene in Pyramids, by T.Pratchett, then ?
I would've told you my opinion on it if I had read that novel by Terry Prachett but, unfortunately, I didn't. Still, there's something I wish now to read.;)
 

Mark Robson

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The Lord of the Rings has a few - The Prancing Pony, The Green Dragon and there was another one between Hobbiton and the Brandywine that they avoided to prevent delays, but the name of that one escapes me momentarily.

You're right, though, bars/taverns/inns frequently play host to scenes in fantasy. They are a great place for characters to discover information and interract with characters that they might not normally meet anywhere else. They provide a tool to progress characters and storylines with an exchange of information, or a confrontation in a public place that offer the chance to accelerate events. I think it's fair to say that there are not many fantasy stories that feature golf courses, or betting shops, so the guys have to have somewhere to meet. ;)

As for a favourite Tavern name, I'm not really sure. I'd have to scan back through a few books to refresh my memory on a few.
 

The Master™

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I can just see a seedy group of adventurers hanging out at a trendy wine-bar/pub... :D

7ft bouncer wearing a tuxedo... And carrying a shillaly... ;)

I always liked the idea of MY tavern... The Dragon... I designed it Dragon Magazine, when they had a competiton... It was a multi-dimensional tavern... Where it interacted with all the Dungeons & Dragons universes... It was a really cool place... Where time moved differently to the rest of the universe... Where all sorts of people lived, visited, traded, etc...
 
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