WORST sci-fi ever

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by lemming, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. lemming

    lemming New Member

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    Hey, they had a good idea over on the Fantasy forum... we get enough "best ever" threads. So what's the WORST sci-fi you've ever suffered through (or thrown down in complete disgust)?

    As I mentioned out-of-genre on the fantasy thread, I nominate The Nano Flower by Run-on Sentences Hamilton, as well as anything by Zelazny. Blech, and yawn, respectively. :cool:

    lemming
     
  2. juzzza

    juzzza Loveable Rogue

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    This may be akin to blasphemy but I couldn't finish 'Consider Phlebas' By Banks.

    It was recommended by a friend and maybe I had way too high expectations. I can't criticize the writing because it was very good, I just switched off during the fat cannibal episode.

    Sorry.
     
  3. fortytwo

    fortytwo New Member

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    Starswarm~ Brian Aldiss
    Extro ~ Alfred Bester
    Usually I like both these authors but I suppose everyone has an off day.
     
  4. Jack Burton

    Jack Burton Porkchop Express

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    I guess I was more dissapointed than disgusted, but I'd say KW Jeter's Blade Runner novels.......!
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I tried and tried to get into Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction and was b-o-r-e-d. Didn't care about the characters or the story.
     
  6. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes....big fat novels, lots of different characters....

    took me a while too, but felt it was worth it in the end. :)
     
  7. Belgarion

    Belgarion Disabled by the evil Mods

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    Dune's prequels.:cool:
     
  8. Rumfuddle

    Rumfuddle Registered User

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    I'm glad you, blasphemously, mentioned Zelazny. I wanted to love LORD OF LIGHT so much but I found it dense and pretentious. But not the worst sf book ever -
    Zelazny's ROADMARKS is pretty awful.

    Furthur blasphemy; Arthur C Clarke's 3001 THE FINAL ODYSSEY. I was grimacing the whole way through, it was so contrived and just stuck together.
    2001 is excellent, 2010 very good and 2061 just nice and readable - What is it about series? Do they invariably slip downhill?

    Here`s an obscure candidate ; RETURN TO MARS by Captain W.E. Johns who wrote all the Biggles books. A cliche-infected and insipid piece of pseudo-sf written in the 50's when I suppose sf was fashionable for a while or something. Dreadful stuff.
     
  9. Carmichael

    Carmichael Guest


    Battlefield Earth!!
    Battlefield Earth!!
    Battlefield Earth!!
    Battlefield Earth!!


    I can't believe I wasted a week and a half on that absostinkinglutely lousy waste of a perfectly good tree!!
     
  10. lemming

    lemming New Member

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    Rumfuddle, augh... you mentioned Lord of Light. Yeah, I tried to read that. It included the sentence... read no further, ye of weak stomach...

    "That's when the fit hit the Shan."

    I put the book down shortly after, since I didn't really get the plot or the characters anyway. I have a co-worker who considers this light, escapist fiction, so I know some people grok the Z-man... just not me. Missing the appropriate neuron or something.
    :)

    lemming
     
  11. Rumfuddle

    Rumfuddle Registered User

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    Yeah, what awful dialogues.
    I was reminded of those sects who try to come up with their own holy scriptures and frame them in authentic sounding scriptural language. I actually finished it, coz' I'm like that - have to finish things. I see it as a chance to practice speed reading or something *g* And I loved the premise. An it did have it,s moments, a certain atmosphere....but really, I think it's just badly written; graceless, difficult and artificial.
    Zelazny's supposed to be brainy, literary SF. I do not think we're stupid tho'.
    Can someone jump on this thread and defend Zelazny please. That'd be interesting.
     
  12. cgw

    cgw Registered User

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    This is a good tread because you can get a better idea whether to take advice from people in the discussion if you know what they like and what they don't like.
    Don't take my advice if you don't like Zelazny. He's my favorite author by far.
    I'm not going to defend him. If you don't get it, you don't get it.
     
  13. Rumfuddle

    Rumfuddle Registered User

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    Not necesarily a good idea.
    I love Samuel R Delaney and Ursula le Guin, for examle, who were among those who began publishing around the same time as Zelazny in the 60's and are sometimes refered to as having been part of a similar trend in SF towards more 'literary' values, compared to the 'hard' science of previous generations.
    I like so many 'New Wave' era authors in general I'd generally pay attention to a Zelazny fan's recommendations. Much more attention than I'd pay to someone who only reads and raves about Star Trek novels for example.
    One of the most exciting, and indeed inexplicable, things SF is the way opinions differ so wildly.
     
  14. chocky

    chocky Taker of Naps

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    Farnham's Freehold by RAH
    He is one of my favourites but I couldn't even finish this one and I tried three times. It put me off RAH for almost a year.
    It's funny, I started to read sf because of RAH (Puppet Masters, Sixth Column, and Have Spacesuit Will Travel).
     
  15. Belgarion

    Belgarion Disabled by the evil Mods

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    I've yet to read RAH but I have bought one book by him and it is called "Have Spacesuit will Travel".

    Is it good by any chance?:confused:
     
  16. jefeweiss

    jefeweiss New Member

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    If I remember right I liked Have Spacesuit will Travel but it was a book written before Heinlein started writing serious adult fiction. As far as worst SF goes Battlefield Earth was pretty bad. I didn't much care for any of the Dune books either. But either one was at least distinguished enough that I remember it. I have probably read a hundred SF books that I picked up and read the first 20 pages and put them back down again thinking "Ugghh, what a waste of a perfectly good half and hour, I could have been cutting my toenails or something" Those I don't even remember titles. :D
     
  17. Gagged Man

    Gagged Man Cursed Man

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    Worst ever, hey? Well there was this little novel called Privateer (can't remember author) which I found pretty bad. Some friends of mine liked it but I didn't because it just seemed a little too space opera-ish (space opera is fine but I found that in the novel it was absolutely heaped on).
     
  18. fortytwo

    fortytwo New Member

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    There was a novel by Ben Bova called Privateers.
    42
     
  19. Duane

    Duane New Member

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    Without a doubt, Pathfinders. Can't remember who wrote it. I had the whole book figured out by the end of the first chapter.

    I tried three times to get through Dune and never made it. The story's great, but the writing puts me out.
     
  20. Sepulchrave

    Sepulchrave 76th Earl of Groan

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    If you want to find the very worst, try some Star Trek novels. Some are okay, most are mediocre, a few are incredibly bad. Also try some of Larry Niven's late books, like the last two Ringworld ones. Oh, and the Rama sequels. The original Rendezvous with Rama was quite good, but the sequels, I'm pretty sure, are really entirely by Gentry Lee and have Clarke's name on them as an advertisement. I actually read all the way to the end because I wanted the Answer--but they never give it to you! They just throw out all of the original mysteries in favor of something entirely different and much worse. There are actually some interesting things in the sequels, but they never get developed enough.

    As for Heinlein, I liked his books, including Have Spacesuit Will Travel, but I have not read any of them since sixth grade or so. I'm kind of afraid to go back, for fear of what I will find.