WORST sci-fi ever

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

  1. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Plenty of people consider science to be dull.

    The writing and the "science fiction" story need to be evaluated separately and the reader must decide what he cares about. Andre Norton was a better writer than Mack Reynolds. But Mack Reynolds was a way better science fiction writer than Andre Norton. There is almost nothing scientifically interesting about Andre Norton's material. Mack Reynold's characters contain so much cardboard you can smell the glue. But I would still rather read Reynolds.

    I have tried 3 books by Ian Banks and only finished Player of Games. It contains no science and the story was only interesting because I was a chess addict in high school. We need define different characteristics in sci-fi stories and various readers must decide what characteristics they value. Banks can't touch Asimov by my value system.

    http://sfbook.com/red-mars.htm

    Face facts, the literary people are not the ones inventing and designing this technology that is making this a science fiction society. Joanna Russ discussed this in 1975.

    http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/6/russ6art.htm

    psik
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  2. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I completely agree with the above and like with everyone my thinking evolved with time and experience, so today i tend to appreciate the literary part unless the sf is truly 21st century cutting edge such as for example Greg Egan or Alastair Reynolds write; a corollary of the above is that - at least for me - sf like science dates quickly, with the new stuff superseding the old...
     
  3. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    MEGA agreed!! Battlefield Earth has my vote.
     
  4. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    Great thread! My vote goes to Ursula LeGuin's Always Coming Home a sure cure for insomnia! I still can't believe I forced myself the read the whole thing. A big departure from her earlier work.
    Just a word about The Reality Dysfunction I can feel your pain but try to stick with it. I just got started and after about 80 pages or so the story began to take flight. When dealing with a saga this big it is sometimes necessary to give the author a chance to "set things up" before throwing in the sponge.
     
  5. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I will have to ditto that one. There may be some worse fanfic but it doesn't get in print.

    psik
     
  6. Woofdog2

    Woofdog2 Registered User

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    Is Niven actually writing any of the stuff published with his name in the last decade (except Draco Tavern)? The stuff with Pournelle/Barnes I at least enjoy, but the unknowns showing up on his titles are invariably weak or even bad. Stuff from his prime was simply brilliant.

    I read all 10? mission earth books before the age of 20 and even then found them increasingly dull. Today, of course, i would just stop on book 1.



    I tried twice to real The Praxis/dread empire's social ball, and gave up over a hundred pages in - bunch of social scheming with a ship race in space for action.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  7. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    http://www.challengingdestiny.com/reviews/redmars.htm

    The weird thing about the Mars trilogy is that the two main characters in the story are the planet Mars and the human race in general. It is not about individual characters or small groups of characters like most other books. So the trilogy becomes an exposition of Robinson's ideas about ecology, economics and social evolution.

    It doesn't surprise me that some people think it is terrible.

    psik
     
  8. eygooglizer

    eygooglizer New Member

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    Someone said it before but Rama II by Arthur C. Clark and Gentry Lee is probably the worst sci-fi I've ever read. I try to stick to established classics or recommendations from sources I trust, but I liked Rendezvous with Rama so much that I had to keep following the story. What a disappointment!

    Rendezvous is all about the ship and then Rama II is all about the people. It jumps from a masterpiece in hard sci-fi to a pretty bad space opera. There was so much potential for that series; it was heartbreaking to get to the end of Rama II and realize that it wasn't going to get better.
     
  9. Fanco

    Fanco New Member

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    True, also science fiction stops being science fiction if it is appreciated by people and critics outside the science fiction society, then it is called dystopies instead.
     
  10. owlcroft

    owlcroft Webmaster, Great SF&F

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    You don't know you're born.

    So far, almost everything has been books that were pretty popular that some people didn't like. If you really want to get down to the Plan 9 From Outer Space equivalents in books, you need to dig a lot deeper.

    A good starting point is the recurrent department "Thog's Masterclass" from David Langford at The Ansible. Indeed, so popular a feature is it that it now has its own web site. While most of Thog's examples are from fantasy fiction, a good few are from sf, and it is those that will give you some fine titles.

    For starters, here are some also gleaned from generally notable authors:
    • Brian Aldiss demonstrates his knowledge of arcane geography in Remembrance Day: 'She wore large bronze earrings made in an obscure country which rattled when she laughed.'
    • Kevin J. Anderson's Hidden Empire comes up with a whole new reason why interstellar spaceships don't need pretty streamlining: 'In the vacuum of space no one could see beautiful lines or shiny hulls anyway.'
    • Poul Anderson's story 'Among Thieves' suggests an futuristic method of spring-cleaning: 'He swept the antechamber with the eyes of a trapped animal.'
    • Isaac Asimov mentions an unusual throat problem in Prelude to Foundation: 'His mouth, for a moment, ran liquid and then it slid, almost of its own accord, down his throat.'
    • J.G. Ballard presents the concept of fun-loving facial hair in Cocaine Nights -- 'The underwriter seemed equally amused, frisking up the ends of his moustache, eager for them to join in the fun.'
    • Stephen Baxter reveals a daring combat technique in his story 'The Star Beast': 'He closed with Arabs whose breath stank of spices and who fought with knives clutched in their teeth.'
    • Arthur C.Clarke explains the mysteries of relativity in 'The Sentinel' -- 'That mountain's less than twelve thousand feet high -- that's only two thousand under Earth gravity ...'
    • Storm Constantine's Hermetech describes a young woman with unusual physical endowments: 'He could feel the bones through her spare buttocks.'
    • Robert Heinlein sensitively describes a kiss from the female viewpoint in The Number of the Beast: 'Our teeth grated, and my nipples went spung!'
    • Thomas Harris conjures up a slightly fishy image in Hannibal -- 'Excitement leaped like a trout in the public trousers.'
    • Robert Holdstock combines horror with fruit salad in The Stalking: 'His head suddenly began to peel, the flesh tearing away from the bone in ragged strips, like a pink banana.'
    • Patricia McKillip diagnoses another throat condition in The Riddle-Master of Hed -- 'Something jumped in the back of Morgon's throat. It was huge, broad as a farmhorse, with a deer's delicate, triangular face.'
    • Kim Stanley Robinson finds a brand-new simile for a space elevator in Green Mars: 'Just to the south of them, the new Socket was like a titanic concrete bunker, the new elevator cable rising out of it like an elevator cable ...'

    My favorite so far:

    'Karl Zeigfried' in his "classic" novel Android:
     
  11. gjb

    gjb Registered User

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    I agree with this old post.:eek:
     
  12. EMMAXIS

    EMMAXIS Registered User

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    I loved 3001. I love the whole fish out of water story. But it was my first in the series that I read, so maybe that's why.
     
  13. EMMAXIS

    EMMAXIS Registered User

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    Here's some blasphemy for you: I couldn't finish Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in Strange Land" despite many attempts. It just got too weird and preachy for me. And that Jubal guy kind of got under my skin.
     
  14. Chuffalump

    Chuffalump A chuffing heffalump

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    I thought it was boring twaddle too.
     
  15. eygooglizer

    eygooglizer New Member

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    I completely agree (although I had to finish it for a class). The entire middle section of the book seems to wander aimlessly. Unfortunately, that was the first work by Heinlein I had read, so it was a while before I picked up another one of his novels. I love his other books/short stories, but Stranger in a Strange Land was not worth the time.
     
  16. gblnking

    gblnking New Member

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    Like so many others, Battlefield Earth. Yuck. I tried to like it but come on, it just hurt to read.
    My other vote is for Red Planet. It was great reading to cure my insomnia.
     
  17. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    I give the award to the novelization for SW Attack of the Clones. If you thought the Padme/Anakin dialogue was bad in the movies . . . .
     
  18. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I found this by Kurt Vonnegut from 1965.

    http://www.vonnegutweb.com/archives/arc_scifi.html

    ROFLMAO

    psik
     
  19. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I don't think there's particularly a worst ever sci-fi book, there's simply too many to know which it is.

    I'd say Heinlein's Friday and Haldeman's The Forever War get thumbs down from me, though, for unnecessary mentions and/or occurrences of sex, not to mention Heinlein getting a second thumb down for the incredibly distasteful rape scene in the aforementioned book.
     
  20. Michigan

    Michigan Registered User

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    I hated, HATED Stranger in a Strange Land and could not finish it. Probably one of my least favorite books that gets consistent praise.