Jump to content

Worst fantasy books ever written ?


Agentorange

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 89
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The Darksword Trilogy written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
I picked up one of Terry Goodkind's once and never made it past page 10. It truly read like someone writing up a D&D adventure. And this guy's supposed to be one of the best-selling fantasy authors?? Yeesh!

Another baddie - "Mention My Name In Atlantis" by John Jakes. Supposed to be a parody of Conan-style sword-and-sorcery - but it just ain't funny. I also remember his "Brak the Barbarian" stories as being nothing special.

However, last year I read the first of the oft-maligned "Circle of Light" series by Neil Hancock, and I actually did like that one. Very weird and somewhat incoherent (like a mish-mash of Tolkein, "Watership Down," funny animal stories and some sci-fi mixed in), but it had some really evocative moments and I found myself fond of the funny-animal characters. Some day I'll read the rest of `em.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xanth is funny with some good ideas.

Gor has some excellent settings and very detailed descriptions of peoples such as the Bird Riders and Nomads. They went a bit fetishy after the first 5 or 6 and ended up mostly fetish with some background, but the early ones were pretty good.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hehe...I knew this thread would be interesting. Peoples tastes and opinons vary greatly, but that's cool. I think that diversity is the spice of life.

I loved the Shannara series. Albeit, I haven't read many of the latest books. I read the first six books. Many of my friends bash on it as well. I call it simplistic fantasy- just not as involved as Tolkien-esk fantasy.

I also liked some of the Xanth books. Again, I didn't read the whole series; just three or four I think.

I think that the age you were when you read a particular book or series, and the time period in which you read, determines or shapes your like or dislike of a book or series.

BRP Ze 32/420

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hehe...I knew this thread would be interesting. Peoples tastes and opinons vary greatly, but that's cool. I think that diversity is the spice of life.

I loved the Shannara series. Albeit, I haven't read many of the latest books. I read the first six books. Many of my friends bash on it as well. I call it simplistic fantasy- just not as involved as Tolkien-esk fantasy.

I also liked some of the Xanth books. Again, I didn't read the whole series; just three or four I think.

I think that the age you were when you read a particular book or series, and the time period in which you read, determines or shapes your like or dislike of a book or series.

True. I love the comic books I liked as a kid, even though there are things in them that I now find pretty hilarious: in one old "Spiderman" I have, a super-villian named The Beetle, who used a suit of high-tech armor that allowed him to fly and was loaded with weapons, has been paroled from jail and has his suit with him. Leaving prision, he's thinking about all the crimes he's going to commit now, crowing to himself - "there's no law against a man having a costume!" Well, no, there isn't - but there is against him having a bunch of illegal weapons!

On the other hand, today's superhero comics, which aspire to such "seriousness" (but are really just as dorky) I don't relate to at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anything by H.P. Lovecraft.

Seriously.

I think you're gonna have to justify that comment somehow... I think most of Lovecraft's stuff stands as a fairly decent 'homage' to Dunsany... which I much prefer to all the Tolkienesque Eurofantasy that litters the shelves.

The worst I've ever read was The Sword of Shannara... maybe not so much for the writing... but I'd just finished reading Tolkien and went straight into that mess of pilferage. It was pretty shameless... and served to warn me of ever trying to recapture that initial experience I had reading LOTR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes yeah yeah, buck becomes Captain Ameirca, so the Real Captain America is still dead. 23 years of being a fan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes yeah yeah, buck becomes Captain Ameirca, so the Real Captain America is still dead. 23 years of being a fan.

"Do you want to live forever?" Valeria- Conan the Barbarian.

Yeah, I hear ya. I stopped reading the X-Men because they kept screwing them over so royal that I got fed up with it.

BRP Ze 32/420

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Do you want to live forever?" Valeria- Conan the Barbarian.

Yeah, I hear ya. I stopped reading the X-Men because they kept screwing them over so royal that I got fed up with it.

Yes, I hate it when they do that. Plus I don't like the artwork styles these days. Gimme Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I thought the Sword of Truth series was worthless. Don't know what people see in it.

There was another book I can't quite remember the name of. Wizard War or something like that. One of the few books I stopped reading before I got to the end.

Then there is the Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz. It was interesting that she introduced characters that had no relevance to the plot and their only reason for existence was so they could die in horribly tragic ways.

Actually I find I don't understand many books written by women. Their minds just work to differently. The will spend page after page describing how people feel and you won't even know what they look like. :ohwell:

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

30/420

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not strictly fantasy, but 'Scarecrow' by Mark Riley. Why?

Appallingly written.

Cliched plot.

Blatant Star Wars homage/rip-off so crassly done its an insult to the intelligence.

Characters that aren't really characters but simply a collection of every, single, action-genre Hollywood cliche its possible to find and mould together.

The book rounds itself off with an 'interview' with the author that is so clearly himself interviewing himself, and crowing over what a masterpiece he's created, you seriously want to track this idiot down and brain him with his own Boba Fett helmet.

A novel that is, truly, truly, gut wrenchingly awfully, appallingly bad and should be burned from the face of the planet.

The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

DM logo Freeforums Icon.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with "Sword of Shanarra" was the writing. Broke every rule you learned in creative writing class, especially "show, don't tell." Nice Hildebrandt Brothers cover painting, drek inside. Don't know why it was such a seller, unless fantasy addicts were desperate for anything else once they'd finished Tolkien.

Elizabeth Moon's "The Deed of Paksinarion" triology. Paks and her world are interesting, and there is a good story buried somewhere in the series, but it was clearly padded out in the extreme to make the required 3 novels. If Moon's editor had had any guts, he'd have taken a chainsaw to the mess and could have pulled a diamond out of this coal mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're gonna have to justify that comment somehow...

Do I? Really?

Personal taste is the main reason. I just didn't like any of them and I re-read his collected works twice just in case I'd read them on a bad day. Nope, they were rubbish.

He writes in a dull fashion. All his stories are the same. You can't visualise what he is talking about and have no empathy at all with the characters. As horror stories, they are not scary, which defeats the object. If you compare with someone like EA Poe, Lovecraft's novels come off a very poor second best and Poe isn't fantastic either, but he's a lot better than Lovecraft.

The idea of seeing something that breaks your mind because it is so different was fine in the 1920s when new theories such as Relativity, Quantum Theory and the Expansion of the Universe were changing how people thought about the world and shattered what people thought about how things worked. But, nowadays with films and TV Shows, we see aliens left, right and centre, we have graphic horror films that leave nothing to the imagination and we have been desensitised to a lot of things. So, seeing some half-fish creature isn't going to break my mind and send me to the loony bin.

But, I know that a lot of people like his stuff. There's a game designed around it as well, I think, that is/was fairly popular.

This thread is about people's opinions. I believe, not an absolute measure of how bad books are. So, my opinion stands.

I think most of Lovecraft's stuff stands as a fairly decent 'homage' to Dunsany... which I much prefer to all the Tolkienesque Eurofantasy that litters the shelves.

An homage to Dunsany? Sorry, I didn't study Comparitive Literature at University and I'm not a book critic. What do I care about homages? I've never read anything by Lord Dunsany, mainly because I haven't heard of him before. I'd have preferred something original rather than an homage.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...