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Thread: The crappy SF book thread
November 6th, 2012, 02:29 PM #1
The crappy SF book thread
Ever read a science Fiction novel that was so horrible you threw it out??? post it here
I recently purchased Heinleins supposedly best selling classic Stranger in a strange land It was sooo dull I fell asleep
Another book i purchased this year was Halo;The flood, which has got to be the worst book I've read since kindergarten.Perhaps if karen Traviss and/or Eric Nylund (previous Halo writers) had written it they would have turned it into a best seller instead of this poor excuse
November 6th, 2012, 07:18 PM #2
Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
It is a book I started and decided to drop but I made the mistake of promising someone I would read it. It was like sticking pencils in my eyes.
But I think this has to be analysed in terms of the personality of the reader. I liked Stranger in a Strange Land. But I read it in the 60s.
Some people want lots of physical action in a story. Some people like intellectual/psychological activity. Some stories mix both. That is why we need better categories. I think more people would read more material if they could get better assurances from the start that they had a good chance of liking the book. All of this talk with everybody just spouting opinions with no parameters doesn't help.
Revelation Space had characters that I just could not give a damn about. My attitude was kill them all so this story will end. LOL I would think psychologists and the literary people could come up with a method of analysing books. Possibly related to neuro linguistic programming.
Stranger in a Strange Land was no doubt better in the 60s than today. It was more counter cultural at a time when hippies were just getting started. It came out in 1961 and Woodstock was 1969. LSD was unknown by most people and still legal until 1966. The sex in SIASL should be boring by today's standards.
November 7th, 2012, 02:37 PM #3
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November 7th, 2012, 07:01 PM #4
I'm reading a Tom Swift megapack. Blooming heck. I didn't remember all that casual racism, repetitive plot elements (in fact repetitive plots) and crappy science from the one or two books I read when I was a kid.
November 8th, 2012, 12:51 AM #5
Faith by John Love is turning out exactly like the dissenting voices on Amazon made it sound like. Feces fetish, lack of explanations, terrible terrible science, boring unexplained scenes.
November 8th, 2012, 10:17 AM #6
November 8th, 2012, 02:23 PM #7
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- May 2012
To a certain extent, I think the level of willingness to throw something aside is dependent on how much you've paid for it. There have been quite a few e-books which I've given up on relatively quickly but they have without fail been promotional freebies - it's difficult to know whether I would have stuck with them had I had to buy them. With paper books I'm significantly more likely to stick to the end, especially if they have been bought new, although there are a couple of notable exceptions (Baxter's Stone Springs got slung aside after less than 80 pages, and Hamilton's Misspent Youth didn't go much further, even though I've thoroughly enjoyed a majority of the work by both authors).
I don't think I'd categorise them as "horrible", though. More often than not if I throw something aside, it's just because I'm not connecting with the book as I'm reading it, rather than any criticism of the book itself. It's hard to pinpoint a specific reason beyond "it's not speaking to me".
November 10th, 2012, 03:50 PM #8
November 10th, 2012, 08:30 PM #9
The Unreasoning Mask by Philip José Farmer. Its the worst book I have ever read. The writing was good, and even the plot wasn't so bad. The blurb on the back was the best part.
It was the way the characters behaved that really made me dislike it. The main character was an ass, pure and simple. His behavior was childish and he couldn't control his emotions. Really hard to believe he was the captain of the most advanced ship there was. It was impossible to give a crap about what happened to him after a while, he treated everyone like ****.
November 10th, 2012, 10:37 PM #10
November 12th, 2012, 07:56 AM #11
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is probably the only SF book I've actually ditched halfway through. It was so unappealing and dull and just didn't capture my imagination at all. The painful part is that it was too fat and heavy for me to justify putting it on Readit-Swapit (postage costs), so it went straight to the charity shop.
Another couple of famous books that I reluctantly trudged through were Fahrenheit 451 (a two dimensional world with nothing suggesting life outside of the plot) and Downward To The Earth (pointless story with cheesy ideas and no consequense).
Oh yeah, and 40% though House Atreides was enough for me to decide that series was not worth reading.
November 14th, 2012, 12:22 AM #12
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- Mar 2009
I don't actually throw them out. I just donate them to my local library and let them throw them out or not.
Most science fiction I've ever read over the past 30 years has been pretty bad.
Ive always thought that most science fiction should really be classified as science fantasy.
There aren't actually many science fiction books that adhere to proven science and expand on what we really know.
Star Wars, Halo, Warhammer, Warcraft, these are all just fantasy books.
Even the most acclaimed sci-fi books don't really have much real science in them.
Dune? Enders Game? The Mote in God's Eye? and so many more are far more fantasy than science.
Don't get me wrong, I liked these books, but I liked them for the human aspects of the stories, not for any science they had in them.
For most sci-fi writers, space and other planets are just a vehicle to tell another human story, no different really than any fantasy or fiction author.
No offense to the author of this thread, but Peter Hamilton is far more a fantasy author than he is a science fiction one. I've read 3 or 4 of his books but I remember most the first one I read. The Reality Dysfunction read more like a Dean Koontz novel than any science fiction book.
November 17th, 2012, 03:06 AM #13
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- Jul 2011
- SF Bay Area
I finished Asimov's "Prelude to Foundation" only because it was sitting on the back of my toilet for a couple months. A horrible product of contract, read in an appropriate position.
I rarely finish a book that I think is genuinely bad. I've put down a few books that didn't appeal to me at the time, but I can't blame the book for that.
November 17th, 2012, 03:37 PM #14
Ender's Game is more interesting for the child rearing psychological aspects than for science. The science is pretty much hand waved.
The Mote in God's Eye is generally regarded as a hard sci-fi story. It contains the McGuffins of some form of faster than light travel, artificial gravity and force fields but they were not unusual by 1974.
But in 1974 the world population had just hit 4 billion. The oil embargo thing was just starting but nobody was talking about Peak Oil or Global Warming. So from the perspective of the evolution of technological civilization and population The Mote in God's Eye was a really interesting and prophetic story. We have not figured out how to get through this century yet. I would bet the population will be below 3 billion by 2100.
So Dune is an entertaining story but it is not a very thought provoking story. Mote is much better in my opinion.
But none of them are outright techno-fantasies like Star Wars.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; November 17th, 2012 at 03:45 PM.
November 23rd, 2012, 10:13 PM #15
I've got to jump in on Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. I almost couldn't finish it, which for me, is almost incomprehensible. It's the kind of book they might give to insomniacs who don't respond to heavy medication. At any rate, stay away from it if you can.