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Old 29th September 2011, 08:54 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Hmm I guess I will go with Greg Keyes with the Briar King series. At first the series started off pretty good and I really enjoyed it. Then the last couple of books (especially the last) it all went crashing down. Never had a series crash and burn so fast and hard for me. I was rather disgusted with how he finished that one to the point I would never recommend it to another.
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Old 29th September 2011, 08:58 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

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Originally Posted by Coragem View Post
I would add: I'd be surprised if anyone could find me a great many writers who can both (1) work at George RR Martin's level, and (2) work much quicker.

It annoys me when people complain about the delays with ADwithD. Many books are written faster, but if they're not half the length they're nearly all less than half the quality.

Many writers would be happy if they spent a lifetime coming up with something as good as a single volume of ASofIAF.

Coragem.
To each their own really. I am a Martin fan but after the delay with his last book I definitely expected something better than his most recent addition. I finished it and felt myself going 'Eh' and shrugging my shoulders before moving on to something else. It left little to no impact with me unlike some of the previous novels. With such a delay I expected my mind to be blown and that just didn't happen. So I'm not seeing all that quality you are speaking of but like I said, everyone has their own opinions and thoughts on such things.

But hey...words are wind after all, heh.
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Old 30th September 2011, 01:21 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

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Hmm I guess I will go with Greg Keyes with the Briar King series.
I'm with you on this series Darrell. At first I put my disappointment down to the fact that I was reading these novels after having just finishing the Malazan book of the Fallen series.
The books had just competely absorbed the previous 7mths of my imagination and so I felt maybe I was being too harsh.
The Thorn & Bone series was ranked very highly on the Unenlightened 2 thread which I believe set my expectations too high but like you said, the series really did fall flat at the end.

Although I will say the chapters with the Maestro and the wonderful opera thingee was very well written, reminded me of Arithon in Janny Wurts Mistwraith series (which I love).
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Old 30th September 2011, 08:42 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

I would like to retract my previous statement about AGOT. I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones and thought it was brilliant and it actually opened my eyes and mind. My wife got the book for her Kindle and I am still going thru the book. I have to say that it is amazingly brilliant at the point where I am now,
SPOILER
Sansa is being manipulated to think her father betrayed the King
SPOILER END. I do apologise for my rant I was jumping on the band wagon.
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Old 1st October 2011, 08:59 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

It is hard to believe that anyone could disparage The Book of the New Sun or Hyperion Cantos, which are IMO, two of the great works of SF! Sigh. Yes, they are complex books that demand a lot of concentration from the reader. You also have to read the whole series (4 books each) to get the big picture. For me, the complexity, depth and literary quality were outstanding in both.

As for the person who disliked Enders Game, I thought it was a good book but it was certainly boring in parts and a bit simplistic. It wasn't until I completed reading the other books in the series that I appreciated the universe and story that Card had put together.

I don't get easily disappointed and usually when I pick up a book, I almost always plow my way through it and if it is no good, then I erase it from my mind.

Stephen King is one author that I really don't like. And while I enjoy Alastrair Reynolds, I usually get annoyed at how poorly crafted his endings are, which rarely seem to adequately tie all the loose ends together.
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Old 1st October 2011, 12:09 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

1. Tolkien ...(after somehow enjoying it as a teenager in the early 70's,I read TLOTR again a few years ago...the verdict,absolute rubbish...I'm with Moorcock on this guy,although I have to admit I didn't mind The Silmarillion)

2. Lovecraft (100% with MM again here...'unreadable')

And totally disappointing in no particular order...

David Lindsay,Arthur Machen,Manly Wade Wellman,Sprague de Camp,Weinbaum,Kuttner,Edmond Hamilton,Lin Carter,George Alan England,J U Giesy,Emil Petaja,Stephen Donaldson,Julian May,Piers Anthony,Jack Chalker,I agree Gene Wolfe is horribly overrated as people have said,that Kiwi guy who wrote the ridiculous 20 volume fantasy epic with all the silly W&W titles (10 of which weren't published I think or something?)....
I could list hundreds more disappointing authors...but I can think of many more that I do like!
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Old 1st October 2011, 02:54 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Scott Lynch - Lies of Locke Lamora.

So many recommendations but I'm afraid I found it rather boring after a while. The story started off quite well and quite different to what I had been reading previously. I did actually read the complete story but the storyline just seemed to repeat itself in various guises.
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Old 1st October 2011, 07:03 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

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Originally Posted by Elflock View Post
1. Tolkien ...(after somehow enjoying it as a teenager in the early 70's,I read TLOTR again a few years ago...the verdict,absolute rubbish...I'm with Moorcock on this guy,although I have to admit I didn't mind The Silmarillion)
What did Moorcock say about him? I need to reread LOTR. I tried several times growing up and failed before finally reading it in hs. I enjoyed it but didn't really get blown away. I reread it at some point in the midst of the movies and really liked it. But I've read passages in more recent years and find it very dull.

Oddly, I liked the Silmarillion more too for the most part. I did my undergraduate thesis on it actually.
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Old 1st October 2011, 07:59 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Soulsinging - he had quite a lot to say in an essay he wrote reviewing the field of Epic Fantasy in which, amongst others, he knocks Tolkien, C S Lewis and Richard Adams. Wiki discuss it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Pooh

And I think this is the complete essay here:

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=953
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Old 1st October 2011, 09:47 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

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1. Tolkien ...(after somehow enjoying it as a teenager in the early 70's,I read TLOTR again a few years ago...the verdict,absolute rubbish...I'm with Moorcock on this guy,although I have to admit I didn't mind The Silmarillion)

2. Lovecraft (100% with MM again here...'unreadable')
Though having a great deal of respect for Moorcock, one must read his comments on such things with context in mind as well. For example: While with Tolkien Moorcock is fairly consistent (thought he has on occasion had something kind to say about the novel), with Lovecraft, it's a little different. In his essays, he has quite unabashedly flamed Lovecraft, but in a discussion on HPL's work at Moorcock's Miscellany, the tone is somewhat different:

http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=5829

Now, this may mean he simply finds Lovecraft unreadable as in bad, and is being polite, or that he has had reason to rethink the issue somewhat, but still hasn't read his work in depth, or... several other things. But it is a curious note, nonetheless. Certainly a goodly many people simply can't stand HPL's work -- I've a friend who cannot get her head around why I like the man and what he wrote; but with Moorcock, I often feel it is more a philosophical/political gap which causes such strong reactions, rather than anything else....
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Old 2nd October 2011, 04:34 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

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but with Moorcock, I often feel it is more a philosophical/political gap which causes such strong reactions, rather than anything else....
(can't open your link?) Yes,that's true of course,but he's also talking about the grindingly tedious style of prose and the lame one-dimensional characters etc...that's especially true I think with Tolkien.
This sums up Lovecraft for me,"neurotic drone".

"Moorcock claims that anyone not already inclined to agree with his opinions will probably not find anything to convince them otherwise in the book".

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&so...SzLm4Q&cad=rja
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Old 2nd October 2011, 05:20 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Yes, I've read Wizardry and Wild Romance (at least, the original version; I haven't yet got around to the newer edition, so I don't know how much difference there is between the two) and found it quite interesting. I don' always agree with Moorcock's views, but I alway enjoy reading them. However, there are things about his views about both the writers mentioned above which indicate a very biased reading to begin with, and at times not a particularly careful reading either. This may be the cause of what I referred to earlier, which is his apparent shift (not turnaround, I wouldn't go that far by any means) in regard to Lovecraft. I'm surprised you couldn't open the link, but it is to a thread on Lovecraft's works at Moorcock's Miscellany, and what he essentially says is that he can't read it, has tried hard to as many of his friends like it so well, but the only ones he has been able to read are At the Mountains of Madness and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath which, as he puts it, "I understand aren't typical". Amusingly, he adds that he gets scared reading M. R. James as well.... In a later post, he mentions that he has the Penguin editions sitting on his shelf for "the proper moment" to read....

Point being: I'm not at all sure that Moorcock has read much of Lovecraft and, contrary to popular myth, Lovecraft did vary his manner a fair amount; certainly he used different stylistic approaches over the years; in the first five or so stories of his mature period (beginning with "The Tomb") he used quite different approaches for each.

I am not advocating a complete reading for those who have tried the man's work and found it not to their liking... such would almost certainly be a pointless endeavor. But I have found from experience that it often depends on what one has read by the man -- that valuable first impression -- as to how they react to him. There is a world of difference between, say, "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Quest of Iranon", "Sweet Ermengarde", The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, and "The Shadow Out of Time"....

On Tolkien... I am curious, given your reactionn to The Silmarillion, what it was which so alienated you about LotR; that is, if you could pinpoint a particular element or set of elements. Different people tend to have different gripes about that one, and I'm always interested in hearing their views, whether or not I agree. (And at times I do indeed agree....)

I suppose one writer who has disappointed me is Mieville, though this is in connection to his novels that I've read more than his shorter fiction. Even there, I can appreciate (on an abstract level) his abilities and talent, but it just doesn't "connect" with me, which is why I haven't kept up with his work. I also quite respect the man's intelligence, and think his foreword to the Modern Library's edition of At the Mountains of Madness is one of the most thoughtful and perceptive brief pieces I've seen on HPL in a long time... and sure to rile anyone who still holds to the opinion that HPL was not a racist, or at least harbored very strong racist views.

Another is Storm Constantine, whom I have attempted to read a few times, but never got very far. This one, however, may be one of those "waiting for the right time", at which point I may alter my opinion.

But the strongest for me, by far, is Poppy Z. Brite. I have tried several times to read her work, each time going into it with a desire to truly like it, especially given the opinions of so many others whose judgment I respect... and each time I come away with a very strong sense not only of disappointment, but downright annoyance. Not at the concepts, but at the heavy-handedness of the whole thing. It just seems she wields a sledgehammer to make her points and, while that might be somewhat fitting with a tale such as "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood", which is sort of an alternate version of HPL's "The Hound", it makes even the excessive prose of that Lovecraft tale look downright restrained in comparison... and there is good reason to think HPL meant the tone of that to be parodic to begin with! I still wish I could like her work... there is undeniably something there; but so far, I ain't seen the light.....

Last edited by j. d. worthington; 2nd October 2011 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 12:08 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Well,I can't discuss these things intellectually,I don't have the education for it!! Yes,to be fair I haven't exactly read a lot of Lovecraft. I've tried though! I think the first thing I read of his was 'The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath'...it just didn't work at all for me,can't remember why exactly. I sort of remember it as being very 'meandering'...or something! I don't know! I've read a few stories from different magazines etc that were ok I suppose,but it's all down to 'taste' or whatever,I just much prefer the more Romantic sort of stuff of Howard,C L Moore,CAS etc from that era.
Probably the main thing that I didn't like about TLOTR was as Moorcock says,the whole sort of Winnie The Pooh feel to it. This MM quote sums that up for me...
"The little hills and woods of that Surrey of the mind, the Shire, are "safe", but the wild landscapes everywhere beyond the Shire are "dangerous". Experience of life itself is dangerous". And this one..."If the Shire is a suburban garden, Sauron and his henchmen are that old bourgeois bugaboo, the Mob - mindless football supporters...etc etc".
So,yes,it's all about philosophy etc...I suppose that's the same with every book we read. I can sometimes ignore stuff like this if a story is 'good' enough (in other words...if I enjoy it),but not with TLOTR,the Tolkien philosophy is just too obvious and all-pervasive all the way through.
Tolkien was one of the worst for one-dimensional characters too! And the perpetuation of the old bourgeois values is also annoying (everyone in their 'proper' place)...for instance every line that Sam Gamgee utters in the books and worse,in the movies,just makes me want to cringe in horror! 'I'll sacrifice myself for the greater good sir' type of stuff...It's all,'Mr Frodo this and Mr Frodo that'...you know?
Whereas The Silmarillion was a much more kind of adult work I thought...the characters are not so juvenile and silly or whatever I suppose.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 01:02 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

I have to confess to finding the Hobbit dull and TLOR umm worse. The world is impressive but for me the story stinks.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 09:04 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Re: Which authors have disappointed you the most?

Elflock: Thanks. I thought that might be at least one aspect of it and, to some degree, I see where you're coming from with Tolkien. I do think there's a great deal more to the characters than that, but it often is so understated that it can be easy to miss. Though I disagree with some of your points (and Moorcock's, too), I appreciate hearing your views on the subject.
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