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  1. #31
    Senior Member Pirate Jenn's Avatar
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    I must admit to loving Zelazny. I devoured the Amber books.

    However, I read them when I was 14, so. :: shrug:: Who knows what I'd think, now. I enjoyed the dreamy feel and the sense that any weird thing might happen. My dad's set of the Chronicles had two volumes...and I seem to remember not liking the second set as much. I loved the whole Trump card thing and the family mystery.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Pirate Jenn's Avatar
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    Oh, and worst so-far is *Speaker for the Dead*, by Card. (Which, probably, demonstrates that I've not read a ton in this genre) Really, I dislike HG Wells' Time Machine even more...but, as it's a classic and was written forever ago, I'll give him some leeway.

  3. #33
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    I struggled through 3/4 of Nightfall, by Asimov and Robert Silverberg, before giving up. An interesting storyline, let down by predictable characterisation, and dull narrative.

    This is my impression of most of Asimov's work, but Nightfall is the only one I have binned without finishing!

  4. #34
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    The different styles between Ender's Game and the rest of the series has caused a lot of discussion here.I thought the way the story developed was brilliant (but he is one of my favourite authors) Many people were dissatisfied, expecting more of the same in Speaker.. but Ender matured and this was reflected in the final 3 books.

    I am convinced that Nightfall was much better as a short story, it has a terrific theme (in my opinion )

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  5. #35
    I got 80 or so pages into Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction and couldnt read anymore. Id pick it up and think to myself "but its supposed to get better" read another sentence and put it down again.

    Ive read 4 culture books so far and liked them all, but the end of CP was a little drawn out (if you even got that far). Id probably put Player of Games at the top, but i was obsessed with the idea of the game more than anything.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guymelef View Post
    I got 80 or so pages into Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction and couldnt read anymore. Id pick it up and think to myself "but its supposed to get better" read another sentence and put it down again.

    Ive read 4 culture books so far and liked them all, but the end of CP was a little drawn out (if you even got that far). Id probably put Player of Games at the top, but i was obsessed with the idea of the game more than anything.
    I would say that you need to read something like 150-200 pages of a Hamilton trilogy before you get into the plot, and you also need to read them whithout too long time in between reading sessions since there are so many different characters and sub plots that he weave together. I absoluteley love everything* he's written but none of my friends have been able to get through them so maybe it is a question of perseverence or maybe it is just taste... Though I must say that the sex scenes in the nights dawn trilogy I could certainly do without...

    *The worst book that I have ever read would probably be Misspent Youth by Hamilton. Irritating, infuriating and unplausable, what kind of dad would do such things? Though he gets points for involving me as a reader but in the end I just felt that it was stupid...

  7. #37
    I typically do a lot of research before I read a book, to make sure I'm not wasting my time, thus I haven't read to many bad books. HOWEVER I ill-advisedly tried reading some books based on Magic: The Gathering (I used to play as a kid). It was basically a bunch of fantasy and scifi cliches jammed together with questionable writing quality failing to tie anything together...

  8. #38
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanco View Post
    I would say that you need to read something like 150-200 pages of a Hamilton trilogy before you get into the plot, and you also need to read them whithout too long time in between reading sessions since there are so many different characters and sub plots that he weave together. I absoluteley love everything* he's written but none of my friends have been able to get through them so maybe it is a question of perseverence or maybe it is just taste... Though I must say that the sex scenes in the nights dawn trilogy I could certainly do without...
    I am not interested in perseverance if I am supposed to enjoy reading. I give an author 50 pages to get me hooked or I find another book. I don't read sci-fi to do work. But putting interesting science into a book is not work to me.

    psik

  9. #39
    This is an interesting topic. I'll nominate a few different ones for different reasons.

    The Novel "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L Forward for fulfilling the stereotype about science fiction being cheesy and having terrible characterization and dialogue. The story itself is actually fairly interesting, but parts of this novel were so dorky it made we wince at times.

    A lot of you will probably disagree with the next two, but..

    Anything by Kim Stanley Robinson just for being insufferably dull. Never been able to finish a book by him.

    Asimov, for being vastly overrated.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
    This is an interesting topic. I'll nominate a few different ones for different reasons.

    The Novel "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L Forward for fulfilling the stereotype about science fiction being cheesy and having terrible characterization and dialogue. The story itself is actually fairly interesting, but parts of this novel were so dorky it made we wince at times.

    A lot of you will probably disagree with the next two, but..

    Anything by Kim Stanley Robinson just for being insufferably dull. Never been able to finish a book by him.

    Asimov, for being vastly overrated.
    The above post is very interesting because while I agree with a lot of the criticism there (yes, Robert Forward was a writer that makes the current bestseller hacks like Patterson or Follett look like Nabokov, but he wrote some of the greatest hard sf ever with his neutron star civilization, yes Asimov today is close to unreadable after age 12, but what he did for the fledgling fields of both sf and pop-science is incalculable and yes KSR is quite dull on occasion, but he wrote seminal stuff nonetheless), it shows that sf has always been the cutting edge of writing - not in style but in content and innovation - and as those have now been thoroughly assimilated in mainstream culture and literature today - the literary qualities which were much less relevant at the time started becoming of importance...

    Back on topic, I would say that in terms of worst (known) sf ever, nothing comes close to Ron Hubbard's later books (eg Battlefield earth, Mission Earth etc) though like with the North Korean movies of my childhood, they are so bad to be unbelievable funny on many occasions...

  11. #41
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
    Anything by Kim Stanley Robinson just for being insufferably dull. Never been able to finish a book by him.

    Asimov, for being vastly overrated.
    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.

    The front page of this book has a quote from Arthur C. Clarke saying "[Red Mars]...It should be required reading for the colonists of the next century" – not sure about making it required reading, maybe it can be used as a test.

    It's a mystery to me how this book won the 1993 Nebula Award for Best Novel, it may be fairly accurate and close to how-it-could-be, but it's booooring!
    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 by psikeyhackr; December 13th, 2011 at 10:10 AM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    The writing and the "science fiction" story need to be evaluated separately and the reader must decide what he cares about.
    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...

  13. #43
    Registered User Sirius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmichael View Post

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

  14. #44
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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.

  15. #45
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius View Post
    MEGA agreed!! Battlefield Earth has my vote.
    I will have to ditto that one. There may be some worse fanfic but it doesn't get in print.

    psik

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