Originally Posted by Anabran
Second the complete lack of powerful or relevant, influential female characters.
it read like a cheesy 1950's sci fi novel where all women are just "secretaries"
Make a particular effort to avoid the Barsoom stuff by Edgar Rice Burroughs, then. Unlike the recent movie (where Dejah Thoris kicks ass better than John Carter, and they wonder why it bombed) the sole reason female characters exist is to get kidnapped, so that the he-man hero can rescue her (and she will fall madly in love with him and make his babies).
And I say this as someone who has a certain apprecation for the classics.
(Could not read the one written by his son, though. From what I could tell, by the writing style, the characterization, the plotting, it was written when said son was about three years old.)