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Fractured Fantasy and Science Friction [or Worst SF/Fantasy Book Ever]

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  • Fractured Fantasy and Science Friction [or Worst SF/Fantasy Book Ever]

    This should spark off a interesting discussion. What's the absolute worst fantasy or science fiction book you ever read, and why?

    I just abandoned a book called "Dragon Blade" by Sasha Miller and Andre Norton after 20 pages. Clearly, this was written solely by Ms. Miller after Norton's death. There's not a smidgen of Norton's wonderful prose in it. It's so hackneyed and "boilerplate" that it could have been written by any one of: Robin Hobb (who, by the way, is Meghan Lindholm using a pen name), Tanya Huff (pretty lady, bad writer), Melanie Rawn, Mercedes Lackey or any of their ilk.

    But that's not the worst. That falls to an incomprehensible book called "Algorythm" by Mark Gawron. I couldn't understand a word of that novel! Just terrible! Utter trash!

    Once, I would have nominated "Dhalgren" by Samuel R. Delany as my pick for worst. The book frustrated me so much upon first reading, I literally threw it out a window! But after meeting "Chip" at a book signing in NYC and discussing it with him, I realized there were deeper levels to that book. I read it again and had a more enjoyable experience.

    Anyway, enough of my picks. Let's hear yours!
    Lord Warshaw the Unknown

    "Except in dreams, you're never really free." Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves.

  • #2
    Are we talking about 'pure' SF/Fantasy novels, or do we include those interminable and interminably turgid Star Wars/Star Trek-esque spin-off novels as well?

    PS. I edited the thread title to make the topic a little clearer from the outside.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 05-01-2007, 04:35 AM.
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

    Comment


    • #3
      Star Warts and Star Drek Novels, too.

      Any bad book will do. Though I should point out that a few of those sappy Star Trek novels were written by Kristine Katherine Rusch, who is actually a good fantasy writer, when she feels like it. Traitors was a wonderful novel.

      I never read any of that stuff, except for a handful of Doctor Who novels. Some were good, some were total crap, but that's just Sturgeon's law at work.
      Lord Warshaw the Unknown

      "Except in dreams, you're never really free." Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves.

      Comment


      • #4
        Without doubt - Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara. Not only is it a blatant 4th rate Tolkien rip-off, the prose is grinding. What bugs me most about it however is that Brooks' basically kick-started a career by ripping off superior work.

        I'm sure I've read worse books (including some of those D&D novel by numbers efforts) - but Brooks' really stands out.

        I'm sure he's a nice man, but a filthy cheat nonetheless.

        Also - not SF or Fantasy, I couldn't get through Graham Swift's Waterland. Found it dull and very tedious.
        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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        • #5
          Having recently been reminded in another thread, I give you: Terry Goodkind.
          To use another's words: Faith of the Fallen

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          • #6
            A friend of mine, Terry McGarry, actually had to edit a Terry Goodkind novel. I said "I'm sorry for you!" She couldn't stand him either, but it was her job.
            Lord Warshaw the Unknown

            "Except in dreams, you're never really free." Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WhiteWolf359 View Post
              A friend of mine, Terry McGarry, actually had to edit a Terry Goodkind novel. I said "I'm sorry for you!" She couldn't stand him either, but it was her job.
              Would the full-on ethical thing to do in such a case be to place the entire manuscript straight into the bin?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WhiteWolf359 View Post
                A friend of mine, Terry McGarry, actually had to edit a Terry Goodkind novel. I said "I'm sorry for you!" She couldn't stand him either, but it was her job.
                Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                Would the full-on ethical thing to do in such a case be to place the entire manuscript straight into the bin?
                Or may be just replace 'Goodkind' with 'McGarry' on the cover?
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ethical, yes. Smart move business wise-sadly, no. Her bosses wouldn't have thought too kindly of her if she'd been honest and said "This is grade-A horse manure!" and pitched it out the 30th Floor window--which she should have done!
                  Lord Warshaw the Unknown

                  "Except in dreams, you're never really free." Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I picked up said Terry Goodkind novel yesterday in a bookshop and opened it at random - the passage I came across was from the supposedly evil (must be a communist!) female leader's perspective describing how she thought she deserved to be sexually humiliated and abused....

                    I was almost embarassed lest some one see me reading it and think that I was somehow interested in buying it!
                    Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
                    Bakunin

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                    • #11
                      Sounds like a "good kind" of novel to throw in the trash, or avoid all together. Just the description of that scene makes my blood boil. As a "male feminist" and a goddess-worshipper I LOATHE any suggestion that any woman would want or deserve sexual humiliation. That's akin to those idiots who say that women who wear short skirts or tight tank tops invite rape. Grr!! That fills me with anger! I hope that books flops bigger than Waterworld!
                      Lord Warshaw the Unknown

                      "Except in dreams, you're never really free." Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've read so many bad fantasy books that I lost count.

                        Dennis McKeirnan (sp?) Iron Tower trilogy really stands out to me. Talk about a Tolkien rip off!

                        This others might get me in trouble, but here goes.

                        I really don't know how I got through all 4 King of Ys books by Poul Anderson. I thought they were exceedingly dull. I've liked other stuff he wrote but not these.

                        I also really didn't like the second Thomas Covenant books.

                        Then there is David Eddings. His first series was ok (if that). I quit the second series when I realized that it was the same thing as the first series.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Patrick View Post
                          I also really didn't like the second Thomas Covenant books.
                          I didn't like the first ones. The only bits I thought were interesting were when he was in the 'real' world suffering from leprosy. The rest of it was pretty much painting by numbers.

                          Somebody loaned me the second series, saying it was much better than the first: I don't think I made it halfway through volume 1.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sara Douglass' The Troy Game books. The fourth in this Harlequin romance meets epic fantasy (tries to at least) series was published recently. I hate to admit I'll probably end up buying it.
                            Chicken Little is alive and well. He works at CNN.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree :

                              Dennis McKeirnan (sp?) Iron Tower trilogy and the Mallorean ( sequel of the Belgariad by Eddings ) are among the worst things to be published !

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