Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#23

VladThatGuy Wrote: There you go. Didn't know that this was an actual fiction genre. 

So much for the showdown on main street at 3:00. Traditional tropes be damned.

I'm just trying to imagine a story that can be driven by a harem as the main construct of story. Examples welcome.


There are no valid examples, harems are terrible and if you enjoy them you should feel terrible about it. 

peoapproval

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#25

FortySixtyFour Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: There you go. Didn't know that this was an actual fiction genre. 

So much for the showdown on main street at 3:00. Traditional tropes be damned.

I'm just trying to imagine a story that can be driven by a harem as the main construct of story. Examples welcome.


There are no valid examples, harems are terrible and if you enjoy them you should feel terrible about it. 

peoapproval
Hahaha! Thanks for this. It was my first impulse, and frankly, out of curiosity, I wondered about this as a genre.... 


Just can't wrap my head around it. HOW in the world had such a genre come to life? Can a story even come out of such a thing? Or, maybe "harem" has a different meaning here than I understand. 

Wouldn't be surprised.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#26
I mean, it depends on the harem story?  Like, there's plenty of "harem" stories where the main male character is constantly surrounded by strong, beautiful women, but only has an actual romantic relationship with one of them at best. Conversely, there's harem stories where the women are basically sexy pokemon to collect and the character development of a shallow puddle.

Sometimes we get stories like Apothecary Diaries where the harem is actually the backdrop of the story and the main character has zero romantic interests.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#27
I didn't read other people's comments so this might have been mentioned before but one of the most annoying things about harem isn't that the plot doesn't exist but that the girls become the plot. Even in a scenario where let's say the MC has to save the world or some other boring thing, the focus is less about the impending doom and rather that one girl's ass. Even when an appropriate amount of focus is put on the other normal things, you can tell that there is still enough focus on the smut that it takes away from the story. 
The only time this hasn't happened for me was when I read Blue Core, which is actually available here on RR. I won't get into too much detail, but it felt more like the MC was in an actual relationship instead or being a porn star or something.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#28

VladThatGuy Wrote:
FortySixtyFour Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: There you go. Didn't know that this was an actual fiction genre. 

So much for the showdown on main street at 3:00. Traditional tropes be damned.

I'm just trying to imagine a story that can be driven by a harem as the main construct of story. Examples welcome.


There are no valid examples, harems are terrible and if you enjoy them you should feel terrible about it. 

peoapproval
Hahaha! Thanks for this. It was my first impulse, and frankly, out of curiosity, I wondered about this as a genre.... 


Just can't wrap my head around it. HOW in the world had such a genre come to life? Can a story even come out of such a thing? Or, maybe "harem" has a different meaning here than I understand. 

Wouldn't be surprised.



Vlad, given FortySixtyFour's fictions, I suspect he was being facetious. 

As for stories involving harems, they are much like stories mixing romance and adventure. Some are done well, some aren't. 

Blue Core has been mentioned on RR. It's harem aspects are very light. Sexy Space Babes would be another. Not on RR, Daniel Schinofen's Binding Words series is an example, as is Jan Stryvant's Valens Legacy series. Not everyone's cup of tea, but they definitely have plot and characterization.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#29

ObnoxiousGuy Wrote: But what if the Harem is subverted, like the MC just make a lot of "girl friends" he's close with but without any sexual relationship? Where the characters feel alive and natural in progression.
So the plot still progress without any actual hiccups that otherwise would happen.
Is it even Harem at this point?
I mean, that just sounds like a well written story. I don't really care if it's harem or not as long as it's written compellingly.


Write a good book and you could get me to read anything.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#30

InterestingLad Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote:
FortySixtyFour Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: There you go. Didn't know that this was an actual fiction genre. 

So much for the showdown on main street at 3:00. Traditional tropes be damned.

I'm just trying to imagine a story that can be driven by a harem as the main construct of story. Examples welcome.


There are no valid examples, harems are terrible and if you enjoy them you should feel terrible about it. 

peoapproval
Hahaha! Thanks for this. It was my first impulse, and frankly, out of curiosity, I wondered about this as a genre.... 


Just can't wrap my head around it. HOW in the world had such a genre come to life? Can a story even come out of such a thing? Or, maybe "harem" has a different meaning here than I understand. 

Wouldn't be surprised.



Vlad, given FortySixtyFour's fictions, I suspect he was being facetious. 

As for stories involving harems, they are much like stories mixing romance and adventure. Some are done well, some aren't. 

Blue Core has been mentioned on RR. It's harem aspects are very light. Sexy Space Babes would be another. Not on RR, Daniel Schinofen's Binding Words series is an example, as is Jan Stryvant's Valens Legacy series. Not everyone's cup of tea, but they definitely have plot and characterization.
Thanks for the insight. To know what fortysixFours's fictions are alone is impressive to me. You're light years ahead of me.


So, to further impressions that I am a neophyte, is this the traditional definition of "harem" that is at the center of these stories??? 

I get the insinuation of its promiscuous, multitudinal nature (like that one? I gotta even make words up to figure this one out). Sexual exploits? A bevy of beauties kind of thing? That goes on adventures?

I know I am dim... and trying not to be. :)

Thx

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#31

VladThatGuy Wrote: To know what fortysixFours's fictions are alone is impressive


Not unusual. I read harem stories, though I found that author's work on another site.

I can't think of a harem story where "promiscuous" (indiscriminate, no standards) would apply, though I admit that I have NO familiarity with anime stories involving harems. Comments here make me think they are awash in teenage angst, and that's a no-go for me.

Both the series I named above involve a male character with multiple females that face challenges together while involved in polyamorous relationships that are either common or, at least, not unusual in their cultures. In each series, the female characters bring unique capabilities to the effort. 

"Reverse harems" with a female lead and multiple, simultaneous male sexual partners also exist, including on RR.

Of course, sexual relationships outside the norm have long been a part of speculative fiction. See, for example, the casual (but not indiscriminate -- Wyoming and Manny both had standards!) sex that led to "marriage" into a line marriage in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Heinlein had other works with relationships outside typical western norms. Lessa and F'lar in Dragonriders of Pern were a long-running relationship in constant threat from the influence of the mating flights of Lessa's queen dragon. Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series had Miles in multiple relationships simultaneously (although mostly of the "girl in every port" variety) before meeting and marrying his final love in The Courtship of Miles Naismith (one of my favorite books).

Even night-time drama series have unusual relationships. One show that gets regular viewership in my house had, for a time, one male doctor living with two females, one of whom was having his baby and both females were sexually involved with each other.

So, the concept isn't that unusual.

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#32

InterestingLad Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: To know what fortysixFours's fictions are alone is impressive


Not unusual. I read harem stories, though I found that author's work on another site.

I can't think of a harem story where "promiscuous" (indiscriminate, no standards) would apply, though I admit that I have NO familiarity with anime stories involving harems. Comments here make me think they are awash in teenage angst, and that's a no-go for me.

Both the series I named above involve a male character with multiple females that face challenges together while involved in polyamorous relationships that are either common or, at least, not unusual in their cultures. In each series, the female characters bring unique capabilities to the effort. 

"Reverse harems" with a female lead and multiple, simultaneous male sexual partners also exist, including on RR.

Of course, sexual relationships outside the norm have long been a part of speculative fiction. See, for example, the casual (but not indiscriminate -- Wyoming and Manny both had standards!) sex that led to "marriage" into a line marriage in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Heinlein had other works with relationships outside typical western norms. Lessa and F'lar in Dragonriders of Pern were a long-running relationship in constant threat from the influence of the mating flights of Lessa's queen dragon. Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series had Miles in multiple relationships simultaneously (although mostly of the "girl in every port" variety) before meeting and marrying his final love in The Courtship of Miles Naismith (one of my favorite books).

Even night-time drama series have unusual relationships. One show that gets regular viewership in my house had, for a time, one male doctor living with two females, one of whom was having his baby and both females were sexually involved with each other.

So, the concept isn't that unusual.
Thanks for this.


But I am guessing it is not unusual in this side of a literary fandom. Certainly, a new(er) age genre with not a terribly long history, relative to "literature" itself.

I could only reference my understanding and knowledge of harem, and they are not faithful polyamorous relationships. They are patriarchal forms of indulgence and in worst cases subjugation. Imprisonment for conjugal pleasures. 

Certainly, a much darker reality than what has developed out into the genre of lit. It's only a surprise to me that it evolved into this form. Never knew a thing about it. (living a sheltered life)  :)

If it gives you the gift of writing, I tip my cap. Art has no borders, nor should it. 

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#33

ObnoxiousGuy Wrote: In many stereotypes, people hate harem because it bogs down the story with smut where the plot don't progress.
But what if the Harem is subverted, like the MC just make a lot of "girl friends" he's close with but without any sexual relationship? Where the characters feel alive and natural in progression.
So the plot still progress without any actual hiccups that otherwise would happen.
Is it even Harem at this point?
And would you want to read something like this better than the harem that people fear?
I mean, you pretty much just described 90% of of seinen anime, manga and light novels and 50% of shonen anime manga and light novels. So I guess it works?

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#34

FortySixtyFour Wrote:
VladThatGuy Wrote: There you go. Didn't know that this was an actual fiction genre. 

So much for the showdown on main street at 3:00. Traditional tropes be damned.

I'm just trying to imagine a story that can be driven by a harem as the main construct of story. Examples welcome.


There are no valid examples, harems are terrible and if you enjoy them you should feel terrible about it. 

peoapproval
I’m not going to explain why this coming from fourtysixtyfour of all people is funny but it is

Re: What Do You Think About Harem?

#36
My first reaction when I see a harem tag or listed anywhere is to turn away and find something else to read.
I have to admit, that comes mostly from the times when it didn't contribute anything to the story and the stilted and unnatural interactions were getting on my nerves. Interestingly, I have at least some tollerance for the smut harem. It doesn't pretend to be anything but the fulfillment of a lust fantasy
I have the least amount of patience with static harems. That's the standard anime harem. A number of girls all trying to catch the attention of the (usually oblivious) MC. No one ever gets anywhere, nothing changes, character development is 0. It's all just there for the ecchi and the gags (the joke gags, not the bdsm kind, mind you). Those cause me mental anguish.
However, I'm sure there is an adventure story out there with a harem of sorts with human-like interactions instead of unrelatable scripted crap. There are love triangles, why not love squares, pentagons or hexagons? I'm sure it can be done, but I haven't read anything that does so. 
You can also subvert it. Dungeon 42 had a sort of harem appear. All the interactions were terribly forced and caused by a mind-control item that caused the man in the group and the women to act out various tropes along the way, causing pain if they tried to act out of the 'character' it had assigned to them. 

So, as with anything related to writing, the verdict is: "It depends on how you do it"