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Old 10-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #46
astra
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Can you explain this dislike a little more?

The LeGuin and Wolfe above are widely considered masterpieces, and I largely agree. I consider Wolfe to be one of the best writers alive, period, in any genre.
______
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Ehm. I am not very good with words. It is very simple, either I like or dislike it.
I wrote somewhere:
The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun, Book 1)
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Abomination. Foggy, boring, very confusing. Mad rumbling. Avoid.
The Claw of the Conciliator (Book of the New Sun, Book 2)
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I found the first book to be one of the worst books I read, but I head so much price for the series, that I wanted to give it a chance, however, half way through this book I gave up. Just could not take it anymore.
I don't remember a lot but what I do remember is that it was next to impossible to read. You read about something, then all of sudden the story line leaps somewhere else without any explanation or introduction for the situation, then again, then you realise that when someone who cannot lie says something, it is not strictly true, etc. I also really disliked the protagonist and his job.

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, #1)
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Dull dull dull story....
Boring? No likeable characters? Very dry language? Just not interesting...
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #47
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P.S. Forgot to mention one more fantasy (book really, not a writer) to void:

Nation by Terry Pratchett
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The first serious book by Terry Pratchett?
Who said it was a serious book? It was a parody on serious writing. The whole book was bloated with preachy mumbo-jumbo. A pitiful attempt to find answers on the most basic questions human kind ever worried about. Deities (are they real or not)? Is there an afterlife or not? What is fair and unfair? Enforcing 11-13 years old kids to act as 25 years mature people.
While reading this book I had a feeling that I am watching a badly written stage ...more The first serious book by Terry Pratchett?
Who said it was a serious book? It was a parody on serious writing. The whole book was bloated with preachy mumbo-jumbo. A pitiful attempt to find answers on the most basic questions human kind ever worried about. Deities (are they real or not)? Is there an afterlife or not? What is fair and unfair? Enforcing 11-13 years old kids to act as 25 years mature people.
While reading this book I had a feeling that I am watching a badly written stage play of one–dimensional unlikeable characters.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:39 PM   #48
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I was being a little facetious with Lin Carter.

When I was a young pimple, I really enjoyed Carter's Thongor series. I was hungry for anything to do with "Swords and Sorcery." (It's a shame we now have these fat, offensive Fantasy novels, and "Swords and Sorcery" is now an almost forgotten sub-genre of Fantasy.)
Well, not by all of us.

Quote:
I was also (back in those days) a big fan of the continuation of the Conan saga, as worked on by DeCamp, Bjorn Nyberg, Carter [and someone else?].
Robert E. Howard?

Most of the De Camp Conan stories seem to be completions of or based upon notes left by Howard. Nyberg and Carter were De Camp's usual collaborators.

De Camp's other main collaborator was Fletcher Pratt, but he had no hand in the Conan works.

(I knew De Camp back when, too, and was a neighbor of George Scithers, whose Hugo winning fanzine Amra was devoted to S&S.)

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I credit Lin Carter with turning me on to William Hope Hodgson's work. (I assembled Night land for MobileRead; it's available as an LRF ebook.)

Lin Carter led an increasingly unhappy life. He was a hack, but I don't consider that a bad word. He deserved to make more money than he did, and often he wrote out of desperation.

Salud to Lin Carter, and to his pioneering work in the field of Fantasy.

Don
I don't consider hack a pejorative either, but it describes a particular kind of writer who essentially turns out yard goods to editorial demand. I saw a fascinating discussion in a fanzine years back, where on of the participants was Robert Moore Williams. Williams was widely considered the arch-typical "hack" SF writer, and looked down upon by serious readers. Williams basically said "I write what the editors pay me to write, my books sell, and I have the royalty statements to prove it. Who pays your grocery bills?" He said "Maybe I could write the stuff you like if an editor paid me to do it. But meanwhile, it takes talent to stink 'em up just right!"

He was quite right, though I can't read his work. But then, I'm not the audience he was writing for.

Did Lin deserve more success than he got? Hard to say. He wouldn't have gotten it writing the stuff that got published. The question is whether he could successfully sell anything else. I was sorry when he died of cancer. He was an engaging speaker and a nice guy.
______
Dennis

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:38 PM   #49
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Good... glad to hear I have more options open to me. The Magic Kingdom of Landover is one of my favorite fantasy series. I also thought the Jarka Ruus series was quite good too. Quite a page turner. Oh, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara was a great trilogy also.

I'm so glad people can have different tastes and opinions.

BOb
I gave up on Brooks too long ago to have heard of Jarka Ruus or TVofJS but Magic Kingdom for Sale [Sold], which I picked up for free in one of Sony's freebie promotions, didn't thrill me very much; I can see how the main conceit might be promising though.

Its amazing to me how different the taste is even of people who enjoy the same general genre of fiction. I would never have thought that any fantasy reader could dislike the Earthsea books and yet someone above did just that (and it was even astra I believe, who generally seems like a discriminating reader!)
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:24 PM   #50
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In GENERAL I like Mercedes Lackey. I've read the Valdemar books; my favorites of her are her old urban fantasy (Diane Tregarth series or something like that. I have them on the shelf, but to get up and go alllll the way over there...)

I read one Terry Goodkind. It was okay, but you're right. It went On and ON in spots. I didn't pick up any after that.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:26 PM   #51
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Oh, I forgot, I was supposed to add an author that I shouldn't read. Okay. Here it is. Robin Hobbs. I tried folks. I really tried. WASN'T GONNA HAPPEN. Depressing plots, long-drawn-out prose. Ugh. Just ugh.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:50 PM   #52
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I read one Terry Goodkind. It was okay, but you're right. It went On and ON in spots. I didn't pick up any after that.
What, you don't have all your books cataloged in librarything.com or goodreads.com ???

BOb
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:11 PM   #53
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L.E. Modesitt, Jr. I've read one of his sci-fi, and one of his fantasy-including-sci-fi novels - but I believe he writes regular fantasy too. Cannot stand!! There so much wrong with the writing, including stupid place names based on actual place names but with extra 'y's, and tortuous writing which is trying so hard not to be racist or homophobic...

But the worst aspect is the meticulous detailing of every meal (as if it were a travel book with special interest in cuisine) and including description of washing the dishes afterwards. And placing the cup on the draining board to dry. It beggars belief!

Does anyone know what his fantasy is like? I shudder to think, and I ain't gonna give him a third chance. (Thankfully I'd only borrowed the books of his I read, so I could return them at no cost to me and with an opportunity to chastise the lender - who had seemingly given them to me as a kind of prank!)
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:18 PM   #54
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What, you don't have all your books cataloged in librarything.com or goodreads.com ???

BOb
I admit it. I started entering books into library thing. But like most people here...I have a LOT of books. The task...seemed insurmountable. I lost interest after the first 50 or so...
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:20 PM   #55
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Stephen R. Donaldson
I enjoyed the Thomas Covenant series, but I can see how others would not. If you don't like crappy anti-heroes who don't learn (like in real life), you won't like Covenant.

Terry Brooks
I read Sword of Shannara and thought it was awful. I was very much put off by how similar it was to Lord of the Rings, and my inner sense of cognitive dissonance kept ringing because the writing was so clumsy and awkward. I did, however, recently read and enjoy "Magic Kingdom for Sale". Not the best book around, but it was cheap and I wanted some comforting fantasy.

Robert Jordan
I flew through the Wheel of Time for the first time last spring when I was still using my DS as a reader. (Hey, it works!) I enjoyed it and thought the writing was good, and the story very good.

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Wizard's First Rule was what brought me back into the land of pleasure reading during college, and my initial impetus for turning my DS into a book reader. I won't say that it's perfect by any means, and I skipped through 20 pages of "how to avoid being a communist" several times. But the story itself and characters are good.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:58 PM   #56
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I admit it. I started entering books into library thing. But like most people here...I have a LOT of books. The task...seemed insurmountable. I lost interest after the first 50 or so...
It's only insurmountable if you think you need to do them all in one sitting. Just do a few every day or so and you will eventually have them all entered. Of course, ordering a Cue Cat bar code scanner and using that saves a lot of time.

It actually went a lot faster than I expected.

BOb
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #57
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OK, everyone is going to hate me, but...... the last 3 books of The Dark Tower series. Also that horrible Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.... does that count?
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:11 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Well, not by all of us.


Robert E. Howard?

Most of the De Camp Conan stories seem to be completions of or based upon notes left by Howard. Nyberg and Carter were De Camp's usual collaborators.

De Camp's other main collaborator was Fletcher Pratt, but he had no hand in the Conan works.

(I knew De Camp back when, too, and was a neighbor of George Scithers, whose Hugo winning fanzine Amra was devoted to S&S.)


I don't consider hack a pejorative either, but it describes a particular kind of writer who essentially turns out yard goods to editorial demand. I saw a fascinating discussion in a fanzine years back, where on of the participants was Robert Moore Williams. Williams was widely considered the archtypical "hack" SF writer, and looked down upon by serious readers. Williams basically said "I write what the editors pay me to write, my books sell, ad I have the royalty statements to prove it. Who pays your grocery bills?" He said "Maybe I could write the stuff you like if an editor paid me to do it. But meanwhile, it takes talent to stink 'em up just right!"

He was quite right, though I can't read his work. But then, I'm not the audience he was writing for.

Did Lin deserve more success than he got? Hard to say. He wouldn't have gotten it writing the stuff that got published. The question is whether he could successfully sell anything else. I was sorry when he died of cancer. He was an engaging speaker and a nice guy.
______
Dennis


I read a number of stories years ago by Robert Moore Williams, and found them to be OK, but that was back in the days when I was reading and discovering the older Fantasy writers.

About the time of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series, I also discovered Fletcher Pratt, and especially enjoyed the "The Well of the Unicorn," although that was not - as you know - published in that series.

I alos read a number of deCamp/Pratt collaborations, but didn't particularly enjoy them.

You're right about the completion of the Conan stories from Howard's notes. I also had, back in those days, a huge collection of Amra. That was a very schoarly and enjoyable fanzine.



Don

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Old 11-01-2009, 12:16 AM   #59
Dr. Drib
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To All contributors:

I must say that I'm impressed by the continuing level of courtesy as we continue to discuss the authors and books that WE WOULD NEVER READ!

Let's prove "THEM" wrong and continue this high level of knowledgeable discussion and light-hearted fun as we continue to EXPRESS OUR OPINIONS WITHOUT RESORTING TO PERSONAL ATTACKS.

Don (Moderator)
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:29 AM   #60
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I think part of the problem (Which is unfortunately very Common) was that success of the Series itself led to him adding in more and more, without anyone really wanting to tell him enough is enough.

As long as people Like us kept on buying, there was no real incentive to shorten up and finish.

I've read the series from Book one to ten at least half a dozen tmes, and you can really see how he seemed to have lost focus on the ending sometime around book 4 or 5. I actually stopped reading around Book ten, deciding to only go back when the last book in the series comes out.
I've read the first 6, and I will read the rest but right now I need a bit of a break from the story. Book 4 has been the best so far IMHO. What drives me up the wall is the detail and pages he will spend describing a character who plays a minor role in the story, and which none of that description has anything to do with the story at hand. There is that, and during the first 4 books every single room that had a lit fire let out light but no heat - all I wanted was to read about a warm fire for once!!

I will finish it, I already have book 7,8 and 10.
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