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Old 06-14-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
jgaiser
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Bad Fantasy

Well, since I started a thread on Essential Fantasies, how about a thread on Bad Fantasies?

Reddit has a fantasy sub that I've been frequenting lately and a thread that popped up this morning was this:

Quote:
My question to you: what fantasy books have you read that you just flat out didn't like? What books would you rate a one or a two on goodreads? Any books you wish you'd never read?
http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comm...5/bad_fantasy/

I must be easy to please, as I really couldn't come up any fantasy I'd rate as a one or two, but some of the answers in the thread are interesting. Any anti-suggestions to add?
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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I'm pretty good at knowing what I'm going to like before I read it. I don't take a lot of "chances" and when I do, I'm not afraid to just stop reading something long before I feel compelled to start publicly dumping on it.

Now having said that, Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy should consider it a present if I give it a 2.5

I've enjoyed other works by her, but the main protagonist in that series was one of the most frustrating, annoying turds I've ever had the displeasure of reading about (this coming from a guy who actually likes Thomas Covenant). It was quite maddening really. I only kept reading because I sure redemption was nigh. Turns out it wasn't nigh at all.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:15 PM   #3
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I have a set of nine books that one should stay well away from. These are all by Jacqueline Carey and they are so dull because nothing actually happens.

Kushiel's Legacy
1. Kushiel's Dart (2001)
2. Kushiel's Chosen (2002)
3. Kushiel's Avatar (2001)
4. Kushiel's Scion (2006)
5. Kushiel's Justice (2007)
6. Kushiel's Mercy (2008)
7. Naamah's Kiss (2009)
8. Naamah's Curse (2010)
9. Naamah's Blessing (2011)

Then there are the books by Diana Gabaldon. Really bad and big too. So you get to waste a long time reading something that never should have been published.

Outlander
1. Outlander (1991)
2. Dragonfly in Amber (1992)
3. Voyager (1993)
4. The Drums of Autumn (1996)
5. The Fiery Cross (2000)
6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)
7. An Echo in the Bone (2009)

Lord John
1. Lord John and the Hellfire Club
2. Lord John and the Private Matter
3. Lord John and the Succubus
4. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
5. Lord John and the Haunted Soldier
6. Lord John and the Custom of the Army
7. The Scottish Prisoner
8. Lord John and the Plague of Zombies

Ursala K. Le Guin is not good. Anything she writes can be ignored. I'm not going to bother to dig out her fantasy drek in amongst her science fiction drek.

Last edited by JSWolf; 06-14-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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(this coming from a guy who actually likes Thomas Covenant)
Ha! That is one series where I quit barely into the first book and have no intention of returning to. Of course, I also don't particularly care for GRRM either, although I may go back to it someday. I do really like what I have read by Joe Abercrombie though, so it isn't just a dark/realistic/gritty (whatever) fantasy thing.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:58 PM   #5
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Ha! That is one series where I quit barely into the first book and have no intention of returning to.
In my defense ... I first read it at the time when the only other fantasy book I could have purchased off the shelf at the book store was Sword of Shannara. In '77, the "commercial" fantasy choices were Tolkien, Brooks or Donaldson.

Quote:
Of course, I also don't particularly care for GRRM either, although I may go back to it someday. I do really like what I have read by Joe Abercrombie though, so it isn't just a dark/realistic/gritty (whatever) fantasy thing.
I get that. I burned out on A Song of Ice and Fire relatively quickly too. I don't think it's bad by any means. It just came down with an unfortunate case of the sprawls really early. You don't usually bounce back from that ... you just keep on sprawling. It's like that old show Wagon Train. They never really get anywhere. They just keep wagon-training and new people keep showing up.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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Hmmm, I think there is a big difference between bad fantasy and fantasy that you didn't like. Almost everything listed at the link in the OP is frequently seen on the "Top <insert rag/blog/critic> Fantasy Lists" so I would argue that it probably isn't bad, per se, it just didn't tickle a particular person's fancy.

I loved (am loving?) ASOIF and everything Outlander.

I'm going to nominate Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, after the ninth or so one. It went bad, there is no other word for it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I have a set of nine books that one should stay well away from. These are all by Jacqueline Carey and they are so dull because nothing actually happens.

Kushiel's Legacy
1. Kushiel's Dart (2001)
2. Kushiel's Chosen (2002)
3. Kushiel's Avatar (2001)
4. Kushiel's Scion (2006)
5. Kushiel's Justice (2007)
6. Kushiel's Mercy (2008)
7. Naamah's Kiss (2009)
8. Naamah's Curse (2010)
9. Naamah's Blessing (2011)
Did you read all 9? If so, why?

I read the first one a couple of months ago, and actually really liked it, although I can see that it would put some people off. I also hear that the series may go off the rails later, but I've bought the other two books in the first trilogy anyway. But Kushiel's Dart is 900 pages long. I think if I didn't like it I'd probably not bother with another 8 massive volumes.

As for me, there are plenty of books, some by big names, that have just not hit the spot for me. I give up after book 1. I wouldn't necessarily say they're all bad, but they were just lacking something I was looking for. They include:

Terry Brooks - Sword of Shannara
Terry Goodkind - Wizard's First Rule
Tad Williams - Dragonbone Chair
Steven Erikson - Gardens of the Moon
JV Jones - Cavern of Black Ice, and The Baker's Boy
Freda Warrington - Amber Citadel
Karen Miller - The Innocent Mage
Fiona McIntosh - Myrren's Gift
John Marco - Jackal of Nar
James Barclay - Dawnthief

...and probably others that currently escape me. The quality varies. Some of them I quite liked, but not enough to get hold of volume 2. The most disappointing was maybe the Freda Warrington, since (a) I already owned all 3 volumes, and (b) I remember really enjoying the Blackbird series in my youth. I'm now not sure whether that was actually good, or whether I was simply less discerning. That first Jewelfire book was just poor, though.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
(this coming from a guy who actually likes Thomas Covenant)
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Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post
Ha! That is one series where I quit barely into the first book and have no intention of returning to.
I was coming here to post The Thomas Covenant Series.

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Originally Posted by treadlightly View Post
Hmmm, I think there is a big difference between bad fantasy and fantasy that you didn't like.
That's just it I dislike the Thomas Covenant Series because I think it is bad fantasy.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Apache View Post
That's just it I dislike the Thomas Covenant Series because I think it is bad fantasy.
Apache
Fair enough
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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Did you read all 9? If so, why?

I read the first one a couple of months ago, and actually really liked it, although I can see that it would put some people off. I also hear that the series may go off the rails later, but I've bought the other two books in the first trilogy anyway. But Kushiel's Dart is 900 pages long. I think if I didn't like it I'd probably not bother with another 8 massive volumes.
No, I did not read all nine. I found the first book so awful, that I gave up after 15 chapters. Nothing happened, nothing looked like it was going to happen, and it looked like if anything did happen, it would have been something boring. I just found the writing to be stiff and unimaginable, It wasn't nice at all.

I did fully read Outlander and it was just silly in a it never should have been written way of being silly.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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I was coming here to post The Thomas Covenant Series.



That's just it I dislike the Thomas Covenant Series because I think it is bad fantasy.
Apache
I read the first two Thomas Covenant series. I remember that summer. I basically devoured them. One of those "I read that much already?" type reads. I found the books to be quite good.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:59 PM   #12
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I did fully read Outlander and it was just silly in a it never should have been written way of being silly.
Did you just read Outlander the novel or the entire series? And I would not classify any of the Lord John novels as fantasy, they are historical fiction. The series is a spin-off of a time travel series but doesn't actually contain time travel.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
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Did you just read Outlander the novel or the entire series? And I would not classify any of the Lord John novels as fantasy, they are historical fiction. The series is a spin-off of a time travel series but doesn't actually contain time travel.
Why would I read any more past Outlander when it's just so bad?

Lord John counts as it's characters from the series.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Welcome! To the "Someone Is Wrong On the Internet" phase of the thread!
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:45 PM   #15
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Hmmm, I think there is a big difference between bad fantasy and fantasy that you didn't like.
Agreed, which is why I didn't want to say any of those were bad, just that I don't care for them. I didn't like the TC books at all and therefore haven't read them, but I do understand that they may have some redeeming qualities to them (if you get that far). I just couldn't stand the protagonist.

There is also the flip side - bad fantasy that you actually enjoy. For me that would be Sword of Shannara. I realize it is bad (especially re-reading it as an adult), but I REALLY enjoyed it as a kid and have a fond spot in my heart for it still. The same goes for a lot of the Forgotten Realms books.

There are a couple indie books that I have started to read that would fall in the bad category too, at least the portions I forced myself to read. Fortunately for me those were free when I got them.
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