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  1. #61
    Black Rimmersman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz
    Actually, they were about 7 hours apart, but that's neither here nor there.

    Didn't intend to scare you off Joe, but it was veering off the topic a bit too much and others have mentioned this to me as an admin, it is a problem we see in the forums often too -- topics straying too much from the intended purpose.

    Anyway, welcome to the forums, I don't doubt you have a good deal to contribute!

    Best,

    Rob

    Back to topic -

    Another horrid novel I couldn't finish, was oh about 5 years ago now, was Michael Marano's DAWN SONG. A plodding novel about thinly fleshed out characters that somehow won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Horror novel.

    ech.
    Fitz, I did not look at it because it started out being addressed to someone else. I apologize. Thanks for the welcome. Hope I can be a boon to the pool of Fantasy readers here.

    Joe

  2. #62
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memnoch
    This is easy...Dance of Demons without a shadow of a doubt. And they say bad things about Ed Greenwood...wait till you see this one.
    Wow, someone else backs up my choice. Those excerpts are priceless, btw...

  3. #63
    Registered User rune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magze
    Legend Of The Lands Steve Cockayne
    Read all three in the series the most boring books i have ever read in fact not sure if i have the authors name correct i never part with books but gave these to someone who was having a car boot sale :
    Were they really that bad

  4. #64
    Registered User magze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rune
    Were they really that bad
    Yes the story line was good its just the way it was written it didnt catch my imagination the characters were a bit two dimmensional everytime it started to get intresting the focus would switch to something else .I think it was more the style of writing I didnt like

  5. #65
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    I seem to be a glutton for punishment so I'll answer:
    Winter King by Cornwell

    Since some or most of you will probably call me an idiot or illiterate, I'll tell you why.

    Spoilers for the book. All of this is IMHO, of course.

    Over the years I've learned to tolerate a lot from different writers. However, I still have some points that significantly lower my enjoyment of a book. One of them is "mediaeval realism" and one is rape. WK combines these. (For that matter, most "realism" books tend to have rape in them for some revolting reason.)

    I’ve read a couple of Cornwell's novels before and I should have known better than to pick up this book. However, it had (and has) been quite a while since I’ve read enjoyable Arthurian fantasy and I was suckered by the classification of fantasy in the back.

    I know what it was like during the mediaeval times and I have (for the moment at least) no interest in reading about it. Also, I wouldn't categorize "realism" in fantasy. Unfortunately, marketing doesn't agree with me and mediaeval realism stories are indeed called fantasy even in their back-covers.

    Also, I really hate it when people try to cram Arthurian stories in "realism mode". I love and enjoy the fairy tale like Arthurians. They can't have really happened especially in mediaeval times and therefore it is useless to try to mutilate them to that small box.

    I can tolerate rape in a story as long as it has a point and the rapist gets what is coming to him quickly and/or viciously. Even then I can't really enjoy the book anymore. It has brought back the feel of our miserable real world and I don’t read fantasy to feel that.

    What really bothered me was the scene where Arthur gives a woman to man who has said that he will rape her repeatedly and does so, barely off-screen. Is this the modern code of chivalry? That it's okay to rape a woman whose only “crime” is to fall in love with a "wrong" man? Is this the "Arthurian Ideal" of a perfect world and justice for all?

    I'll never touch anything that Cornwell writes, ever again. And I'll lump Martin in that pile, too.

  6. #66
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    Blackwing, I take it that you probably don't like Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, either.

  7. #67
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwing
    I seem to be a glutton for punishment so I'll answer:
    Winter King by Cornwell

    Since some or most of you will probably call me an idiot or illiterate, I'll tell you why.

    Spoilers for the book. All of this is IMHO, of course.

    Over the years I've learned to tolerate a lot from different writers. However, I still have some points that significantly lower my enjoyment of a book. One of them is "mediaeval realism" and one is rape. WK combines these. (For that matter, most "realism" books tend to have rape in them for some revolting reason.)

    I’ve read a couple of Cornwell's novels before and I should have known better than to pick up this book. However, it had (and has) been quite a while since I’ve read enjoyable Arthurian fantasy and I was suckered by the classification of fantasy in the back.

    I know what it was like during the mediaeval times and I have (for the moment at least) no interest in reading about it. Also, I wouldn't categorize "realism" in fantasy. Unfortunately, marketing doesn't agree with me and mediaeval realism stories are indeed called fantasy even in their back-covers.

    Also, I really hate it when people try to cram Arthurian stories in "realism mode". I love and enjoy the fairy tale like Arthurians. They can't have really happened especially in mediaeval times and therefore it is useless to try to mutilate them to that small box.

    I can tolerate rape in a story as long as it has a point and the rapist gets what is coming to him quickly and/or viciously. Even then I can't really enjoy the book anymore. It has brought back the feel of our miserable real world and I don’t read fantasy to feel that.

    What really bothered me was the scene where Arthur gives a woman to man who has said that he will rape her repeatedly and does so, barely off-screen. Is this the modern code of chivalry? That it's okay to rape a woman whose only “crime” is to fall in love with a "wrong" man? Is this the "Arthurian Ideal" of a perfect world and justice for all?

    I'll never touch anything that Cornwell writes, ever again. And I'll lump Martin in that pile, too.
    Now, I understand that you don't like all that stuff, but does that get it a "Worst Fantasy Book Ever" award, or simply a "Book Blackwing Doesn't Like Award." Seems like it should be more of the second as you don't really mention anything that inherently makes it a bad book. Nothing you've mentioned is really unexpected in the time period.

  8. #68
    well, for my two cents worth....
    Prospero's Children, by Jan Siegel
    The Theif's Gamble, by Juliet E. McKenna
    Robinson Crusoe...

    Yah, i know, Robinson Crusoe is a bit random, but i was reading it to my sister last night and it reaminded me just how bad it really was.

    But as for Prospero's Children, the plot was interesting....if not too belivable, but i hated the way it was written. But maybe that was just the style. Also, it didnt really explain much. it glanced over things i thought would be important, and the whole story turned out to be a bad love story disguised as a fantasy,

    ....patheticly, i cant really remember why i really didnt like the Theifs Gamble, having read it awhile ago. i think it was turning too much into a romance. i didnt like the main character, or the story. but i cant say anything beyod that...

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Archmage
    I gotta agree with you on that one. Some of the concepts were interesting, but I found the writing to be terrible.

    I can't actually narrow it down to one particular book. Obviously I was also not impressed with Newcomb. I would have to add The Runelords by David Farland, The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglas, and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth (everything after book two) to the list.
    I absoultely loved The Wayfarer Redemption series, but i hated the runelords... i think that the worst series ever written is probably david eddings. i liked it when i was younger, but now it's just sooo immature. i mean, garion's just a bumbling farmboy, ce'nedra's a spoiled brat, all of the races are just generalized... look at the tolnedrans, they all love money, alorns are berserking drunk people... i read a very interesting e-mail i found which i'll copy here now:

    THE BELGARIAD. A great big quintology about a farm boy who learns
    that he is really the heir to the throne and possesses tremendous
    magical power. Naturally, he must claim the throne, start a war, and
    quest across the country to stop a dark lord from doing bad stuff. He
    is accompanied by many colorful companions from various countries,
    most of whom are stereotyped examples of their cultures: ie, all
    Tolnedrans are savvy and greedy, all Ulgos are fanatically religious,
    all the horse-nomad people are austere and bloodthirsty in a noble
    way, etc.

    THE MALLOREAN. A time loop causes the events of the Belgariad to occur
    all over again, to mostly the same people. This is not my sarcastic
    way of implying that THE MALLOREAN is a scene-by-scene retread of THE
    BELGARIAD. It is actually explained in the text that this is what's
    going on. The audacity of this excuse to write the same quintology
    twice leaves me breathless.

    Eddings has written other books, which I have avoided like the plague
    I suspect them to be. My comments below refer only to the quintologies
    mentioned above.

    When people refer to "extruded fantasy product," this is the sort of
    thing they're talking about. It doesn't mean that it's utterly without
    redeeming value, but that it is mostly or entirely unoriginal and
    inspired by the work of others (usually Tolkien); that it possesses
    many stereotyped and cliched characters, occurrances, and themes; and
    that it has a (subjective, of course) cranked-out feel to it.

    I will credit Eddings for telling a lively story, which captivated me
    when I was sixteen and less critical. However, the flaws in his
    writing make him unreadable to me now.

    1. The majority of the characters possess a truly stunning stupidity
    and/or lack of emotional maturity. The farmboy Garion is a blockhead.
    His girlfriend Ce'Nedra is a spoiled brat. The two five thousand year
    old wizards who are looking after him, Belgarath and Polgara, behave
    like a pair of bossy teenagers, and repeatedly conceal information
    from him that he, and their own cause, would have been better off had
    they revealed it. There are not one, but two, dunderheaded knights.
    Even the gods are idiots who require a good talking-to. (What did they
    THINK would happen to the people who were created without a god to
    guide them?) Everyone ponders totally unmysterious prophecies, and
    never figures them out. When a man described as "the man with two
    lives" is killed, everyone howls melodramatically. Gee, think he'll be
    resurrected?

    This makes the only character who isn't a moron, the rat-faced little
    man, Silk, steal the show. He drinks! He wisecracks! He gambles! He
    tells Garion useful things! He's a spy! He's a prince! He's tragically
    and secretly in love with his married aunt! He has another tragic
    secret involving his mother! The rat-faced little man is by far the
    most fun character in the entire canon, no doubt about it. Which
    brings me to...

    2. The terrible, repetitive writing style. Silk is described as "a
    rat-faced little man" about once for every year Belgarath has been
    alive. No can just say anything without an adjective attached: he said
    slyly, she said sheepishly, they bellowed loudly. Most horribly,
    Eddings is overly fond of weasel words such as "like," "sort of" and
    "kind of." They are kind of scattered across every page, sort of like
    confetti, and once you, like, notice this, you will never be able to
    read Eddings again.

    I'm not even going to get into the stunningly immature treatment of
    sex: "Baby!" "Chair!" "Baby!" Those who have read will understand, and
    shudder in appalled memory.

    Rachel

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priestvyrce
    Blackwing, I take it that you probably don't like Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, either.
    You are right. I only managed to read a couple of chapters of the first book. Granted, it was a very, very, very poor translation which might have affected more. But from the descriptions I've seen I won't touch it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael
    Now, I understand that you don't like all that stuff, but does that get it a "Worst Fantasy Book Ever" award, or simply a "Book Blackwing Doesn't Like Award." Seems like it should be more of the second as you don't really mention anything that inherently makes it a bad book. Nothing you've mentioned is really unexpected in the time period.
    That's why I inted to avoid it in the future. And let's make it "*The* Book Blackwing Doesn't Like And Would Gladly Take Away From Libararies so No-one Would Be Exposed To It Ever Again Award."

    Shoudn't incorrectly used mythical figures have an award as well? Using the Arthurian names in a non Arthurian setting has to be at least some sort of style error.

    Oh, you would have liked me to go on and on about the infuriatingly smug characters, Lancelot and Galahad as brothers ( ) and nearly insane Merlin? Lets just say that it didn't have a single character that I liked or recognized.

    However, if you want to hear about pacing and stuff like that, I didn't really pay attention to that. Which of course shows also how much I Didn't Like it.

  11. #71
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rira
    well, for my two cents worth....
    Prospero's Children, by Jan Siegel


    But as for Prospero's Children, the plot was interesting....if not too belivable, but i hated the way it was written. But maybe that was just the style. Also, it didnt really explain much. it glanced over things i thought would be important, and the whole story turned out to be a bad love story disguised as a fantasy,
    I had seen very good things about this book for a while before actually reading it. I don't think it was terrible, but rather bland and nothing really grabbed my attention about the book.
    Last edited by Fitz; August 16th, 2004 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added ending quote tag

  12. #72
    Registered User Iskaral Pust's Avatar
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    Blackwing - Being historically accurate and containing a rape scene does not make a book "the worst fantasy novel ever". Nor does having smug characters (in your opinion, I don't remember more than one or two) or providing an interesting twist on the Arthurian legend by making Merlin's sanity questionable. Also, if you don't consider it fantasy, then why are you mentioning it in this thread?

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz
    I had seen very good things about this book for a while before actually reading it. I don't think it was terrible, but rather bland and nothing really grabbed my attention about the book.
    I agree that the first novel by Ms. Siegel wasn't the most original, though I did like her Atlantis, it still had enough in it to pull me in for a second time. The Dragon Charmer was the best of the lot.

  14. #74
    I wouldn't be stupid enough to call the Thomas Covenant series the worst fantasy novel/series in existence, but to put it simply I was more interested in the urban setting and the mentality of Thomas the Leper rather than Thomas the Unbeliever in the world called the Land. For me it was a case where the character overcame the story/plot, as I wasn't too thrilled with the fantasy aspect of the series. Amusingly enough, I've found myself reading the sections where Thomas Covenant and Linda Avery are back on Earth, rather than the Land.

  15. #75
    I like what I like... Richardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordGrimm
    I wouldn't be stupid enough to call the Thomas Covenant series the worst fantasy novel/series in existence, but to put it simply I was more interested in the urban setting and the mentality of Thomas the Leper rather than Thomas the Unbeliever in the world called the Land. For me it was a case where the character overcame the story/plot, as I wasn't too thrilled with the fantasy aspect of the series. Amusingly enough, I've found myself reading the sections where Thomas Covenant and Linda Avery are back on Earth, rather than the Land.
    So... err... you mean you like the reality parts of a leper paying his bills, hitchhiking to a bar, and talking to faith healers... but not those silly bits in Revelstone, seeing the death of the wraiths, the immortal rigidity of the Haruchi... and the defense of the land against overriding and true evil...
    I'm confused.


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