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food court bailiff
Oct 2, 2007

fast n furious foodstuff



Soiled Meat

Like all media, there are good books and there are bad books....and then there are the bad books. Reading a book and hating it can sting more than watching a bad movie, because a book is a much bigger time investment. Let's piss and moan about books that we hated.

The first books that jump to mind are the sequels to Arthur C. Clarke's subtle hard-science-fiction masterpiece Rendezvous with Rama. While RwR was a story of discovery and exploration as humanity suddenly realizes that they're not alone in the universe by way of a giant unmanned spacecraft floating through the solar system, its sequels Rama II, The Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed were increasingly ridiculous farces written mostly by awful hack Gentry Lee. In the first novel there were thoughtful discussions on the physics of BASE jumping in low-artificial-gravity environments, by the third novel a child in a teenager's body is playing with anal beads with a mafia don (who has reprogrammed a robotic version of Abraham Lincoln to mow down everyone at a nearby wedding with 1920's style Tommy guns). There's an entirely too long discussion on how best to breed the only woman for millions of miles to create a genetically diverse family, which is obviously problematic since one of the only available sperm donors is a devout Catholic. It's all sex and drama and presidential robot gangsters for hundreds and hundreds of pages and it never manages to be interesting even when one of the male leads is raped by a race of glowing sentient spiders.


Next up I would like to take a moment to bitch about The Dark Half by Stephen King. King is obviously hit or miss in a lot of his work, and even his great novels aren't really for everyone, but this book flat out sucks on every single conceivable level. King has writing chops, he manages to make an old hotel a force of evil in one book and in another he builds someone named Randall of all goddamn things into a convincing villain - no easy feat. But The Dark Half takes stupidity to a whole new level. It's about a writer whose darker pseudonym is exposed, so it turns itself real and begins killing off his publisher and editor and poo poo, I don't even loving know. The bad guy is a pseudonym who was a fetus that the main character ate in the womb, and the book is over when his shambling living corpse is carried away by a flock of loving sparrows and gently caress you King I feel dumber just for writing about it. You can tell it was a passion project for King written as a "no, gently caress YOU" after someone exposed him as Richard Bachmann, but that doesn't in any way excuse how god-awful this book is.

Anyway I just wrote a lot of words about crappy books, now it's your turn to do the same.

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BigPaddy
Jun 30, 2008

That night we performed the rite and opened the gate.
Halfway through, I went to fix us both a coke float.
By the time I got back, he'd gone insane.
Plus, he'd left the gate open and there was evil everywhere.




50 Shades, I mean have any of your looked at it? It is loving hilariously bad.

Ride The Gravitron
May 2, 2008

by FactsAreUseless


The Qur'an

GOTTA STAY FAI
Mar 24, 2005

~no glitter in the gutter~
~no twilight galaxy~


College Slice

Why is Brian Herbert not in the OP or the thread title

food court bailiff
Oct 2, 2007

fast n furious foodstuff



Soiled Meat

GOTTA STAY FAI posted:

Why is Brian Herbert not in the OP or the thread title

Because I knew enough to avoid Brian Herbert.

Tuxedo Ted
Apr 23, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Kinda cheating, but The Eye of Argon. is incredibly bad. People hold competitions with live readings to see how long someone can go without stopping to laugh.

Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

I'm not a hero...



Killing Time by Caleb Carr was startlingly bad.

Oh, also Atlas Shrugged a book that was remarkable to me for being philosophically repulsive as well as uniquly dull at the same time.

oldpainless
Oct 30, 2009

This post brought to you by RAID: SHADOW LEGENDS.
RAID: SHADOW LEGENDS - It's for your phoneTM #ad



Catcher in the Rye

Mr. Gibbycrumbles
Aug 30, 2004

Do you think your paladin sword can defeat me?

En garde, I'll let you try my Wu-Tang style


The Wheel of Time. First book is literally Fellowship of the Ring with the names changed (and in the case of the Merry/Pippin substitute called "Perrin", barely even that).

Oh and the writing is awful.

Appropriately the acronym is "tWoT" - twot in Brit slang being interchangeable with twat.

Mr. Gibbycrumbles has a new favorite as of 19:42 on Jul 1, 2015

Nouvelle Vague
Feb 16, 2011

Endut! Hoch Hech!


Michelle Remembers , which you can probably blame for that time your mom wouldn't let you play D&D.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



GOTTA STAY FAI posted:

Why is Brian Herbert not in the OP or the thread title

Because, with the exception of Tleilaxu farts, those books aren't even amusing or interestingly bad. They're just bland rubbish.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




Fallen Rib

Flowers in the Attic

You can love your sister, but you shouldn't love your sister.

I enjoy this podcast about terrible books: I Don't Even Own a Television

CannonFodder
Jan 26, 2001



Passion’s Wrench

Empire by Orson Scott Card. The beginning is kinda decent, but then it turns into hovercrafts and power mech suits that nobody had ever seen before, and then the dumb keeps coming.

food court bailiff
Oct 2, 2007

fast n furious foodstuff



Soiled Meat

CannonFodder posted:

Empire by Orson Scott Card. The beginning is kinda decent, but then it turns into hovercrafts and power mech suits that nobody had ever seen before, and then the dumb keeps coming.

Ooooh you reminded me of another one, Xenocide by OSC. It was ridiculously dry in a way that even the lackluster Speaker for the Dead didn't match and it lacked the sheer absurdity that made Ender's Game and Children of the Mind kind of fun.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


One Deadly Sister by Rod Hoisington has characters who all sound exactly the same, all the time. Almost any bit of dialogue taken from anywhere in the book could be any character, there's no way to tell. The protagonist is supposedly really charismatic, but since all the characters sound exactly the same the only way you know this is because the book repeatedly tells you she is. And that's before you even get to the plot, which is utterly unbelievable, and frequently goes off on tangents that lead nowhere. And apparently it's the start of a whole series.

queserasera
Jul 10, 2014

These high-G injections have some serious side effects after pulling so many jumps.



I'd like to nominate everything Jonathan Safran Foer's ever written. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close especially. Twee author avatar insert narrators suck.

Come to think of it, if I read an author bio mentioning the Iowa Writer's Workshop or Columbia, I mentally prepare for the worst.

Mexican Deathgasm
Aug 17, 2010



Ramrod XTreme

I haven't read a lot of truly terrible books because I tend to drop them as soon as I realize they're bullshit, but when I was a teen I read some awful stuff:

The Dragonlance Series

Forgotten Realms Series

Piers Anthony's Xanth



As an adult, I forced myself to read Twilight because it was such a huge thing. I slogged all the way through it, and it was genuinely the worst thing I've ever read. I have nothing against erotica, I have nothing against bullshit vampire stories, but oh my god the writing belonged in the journal of a dull high school student.

mycot
Oct 23, 2014


Hell Gem

Huh, the timing of this thread matches up with the Steam thread in Games discovering the Doom novelizations (yes, they exist).

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

nothin' wrong with a lady drinkin' alone in her room

queserasera posted:

I'd like to nominate everything Jonathan Safran Foer's ever written. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close especially. Twee author avatar insert narrators suck.

Come to think of it, if I read an author bio mentioning the Iowa Writer's Workshop or Columbia, I mentally prepare for the worst.

I thought the stuff with the granddad was alright, particularly the whole Dresden bombing sequence. The stuff with the kid, not so much.

I sometimes read historical fiction. Most of it is utter crap, but occasionally you find gold. Wideacre by Philippa Gregory was probably the worst book I've ever willingly subjected myself to. The "heroine" was horrible, and not at all in an interesting way. I basically hate-read the stupid doorstopper of a thing just because I wanted to see her die.

Plebian Parasite
Oct 12, 2012



The Andromeda Strain is pretty uniquely flawed and terrible to read. 7/8ths of the book is spent nudging the audience about how ridiculously deadly the virus is and how it's exhibiting all sorts of weird geometric behavior and how something terrible is going to happen. But then the virus just mutates and now it's inert.

Tuxedo Ted
Apr 23, 2007



Grimey Drawer

HopperUK posted:

Flowers in the Attic

You can love your sister, but you shouldn't love your sister.

I enjoy this podcast about terrible books: I Don't Even Own a Television

These are all fantastic, and I already see a few books in there that have been posted here too. Looks like I got stuff to listen to while commuting for a long while.

Dr Scoofles
Dec 6, 2004



BigPaddy posted:

50 Shades, I mean have any of your looked at it? It is loving hilariously bad.

I read about half of the first book and didn't even get to the sex dungeon stuff, the writing is so bad I couldn't force myself through it. I was reading it so I could take the piss out of 'the worst bits' on the Internet when it first came out but I couldn't actually get that far in. It's on the level of a high school student having a try at creative writing. I seem to remember at one point the heroine describes the dude as a 'yummy scrummy choccy pudding with sprinkles and nuts on' like she's loving four or something, and every other page she is literally stumbling over her own feet and falling over because she such a lovable clutz. In my imagination she's the female version of Lenny from Of Mice and Men.

Lamprey Cannon
Jul 23, 2011

by exmarx


Ryoshi posted:

The first books that jump to mind are the sequels to Arthur C. Clarke's subtle hard-science-fiction masterpiece Rendezvous with Rama. While RwR was a story of discovery and exploration as humanity suddenly realizes that they're not alone in the universe by way of a giant unmanned spacecraft floating through the solar system, its sequels Rama II, The Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed were increasingly ridiculous farces written mostly by awful hack Gentry Lee. In the first novel there were thoughtful discussions on the physics of BASE jumping in low-artificial-gravity environments, by the third novel a child in a teenager's body is playing with anal beads with a mafia don (who has reprogrammed a robotic version of Abraham Lincoln to mow down everyone at a nearby wedding with 1920's style Tommy guns). There's an entirely too long discussion on how best to breed the only woman for millions of miles to create a genetically diverse family, which is obviously problematic since one of the only available sperm donors is a devout Catholic. It's all sex and drama and presidential robot gangsters for hundreds and hundreds of pages and it never manages to be interesting even when one of the male leads is raped by a race of glowing sentient spiders.


This isn't even including the fact that the finale, the climactic sendoff to the thousand pages of Gentry Lee's writing, the payoff to the mystery of the builders of the cylinders and their true purpose, is literally 'God did it'. No pussyfooting around the issue, just 'God did it. Here's a video recording of the Big Bang, and of this station (where the cylinders were built and are coordinated from) popping into existence a microsecond later. Hope you enjoyed!'.

Marxism
Feb 14, 2012


CannonFodder posted:

Empire by Orson Scott Card. The beginning is kinda decent, but then it turns into hovercrafts and power mech suits that nobody had ever seen before, and then the dumb keeps coming.

Doesn't it begin with "The liberals" Killing the president?

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Mexican Deathgasm posted:

I haven't read a lot of truly terrible books because I tend to drop them as soon as I realize they're bullshit, but when I was a teen I read some awful stuff:

The Dragonlance Series
I also haven't read any of these since I was a teenager, but I remember the original trilogy Dragons of Autumn Twilight/Winter Night/Spring Dawning being OK. The rest were definitely bad though.

mycot posted:

Huh, the timing of this thread matches up with the Steam thread in Games discovering the Doom novelizations (yes, they exist).
Another I haven't read since I was a teenager, and again I remember the first one actually being OK. And sticking mostly to the actual plot of the game (ie. the demons are demons, protagonist is fighting his way through the Phobos base, etc.). The second book really goes off the rails though and the series just gets weirder and dumber as it progresses.

Nanomashoes
Aug 18, 2012



The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion

how me a frog
Feb 6, 2014


What are you on about OP, what makes Randall an unsuitable name for a villain?

Edit: I was born at an early age in a log cabin I helped my father build.

how me a frog has a new favorite as of 11:13 on Jul 2, 2015

Comptroll The Forums
Apr 25, 2007

DON'T HURT MY FEE FEES!

Reamde. The synopsis made it sound like a cross between Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. It wasn't, and the plot was such unmitigated bullshit that I just quit halfway through.

fatherboxx
Mar 25, 2013



My favorite terrible series of books is the Keeper of the Swords series by a Russian fantasy author Nick Perumov. They star a badass necromancer sacrifing a lot of cats and people to overcome impossible odds every book and in the final one the good guys fight a literal Jesus that wants to destroy the multiverse, because the author is that type of an atheist.

Could not get enough of that poo poo in my teens.

funkybottoms
Oct 28, 2010

Funky Bottoms is a land man

i've read self-published poo poo that is indescribably bad, but as far as stuff that came out through a real publisher, i'll say Terry DeHart's The Unit. it's got your basic "civilization has hit the fan, get the gently caress out of town with the family" thing going on, which is fine, but the author is clearly an ex-military prepper (the father is an obvious author stand-in) whose messages and themes are about as subtle as, say Red Dawn. the best part? the daughter, who is both a vegetarian and pacifist, is punished by the author for her non-violent ways by being kidnapped by a bunch of kids from a juvenile detention facility (who have assault rifles and coordinate ambushes wherein they massacre dozens of people) and raped on a schedule by the entire group. not only that, once dad eventually frees her, she gets shot and killed because she failed to learn the error of her pacifistic viewpoint. oh, and the son becomes some sort of Jesus-loving holy warrior.

James Wesley, Rawles (dunno wtf is up with that name) is pretty great/terrible for some apocalyptic tea party nightmare/wet dream anti-liberal poo poo, too.

Fritz Coldcockin
Nov 7, 2005

I'm out here freezing my castagnas off




Dinosaur Gum

This many posts and no mention of the goddamn Twilight series?

Pastry of the Year
Apr 12, 2013



Nanomashoes posted:

The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion

I will fight you

Mexican Deathgasm posted:

I haven't read a lot of truly terrible books because I tend to drop them as soon as I realize they're bullshit, but when I was a teen I read some awful stuff:

The Dragonlance Series

I chewed through so goddamn many of those stupid books, and worse, I was an active and eager evangelist for them. I lent out Dragons of Autumn Twilight so many times that its covers fell off. The shameful things are still at my mother's house and she never misses an opportunity to ask me if I want them back

GOTTA STAY FAI
Mar 24, 2005

~no glitter in the gutter~
~no twilight galaxy~


College Slice

BigPaddy posted:

50 Shades, I mean have any of your looked at it? It is loving hilariously bad.
The writing is just terrible. I'm not saying that in an "it's cool to hate on 50 Shades" way--it really is awful. It reads like a high school girl's erotic Mary Sue fanfic.

mycot posted:

Huh, the timing of this thread matches up with the Steam thread in Games discovering the Doom novelizations (yes, they exist).
Those actually weren't terrible for YA fiction. They felt like the publisher grabbed an author who'd never played computer games, gave him the broadest of strokes about the game universe, and set him loose. "Okay Mars, demons... 'Cacodemon,' huh this guy looks weird, and he floats? I can work with that. 'Imps,' golly they're ugly, and those spikes look uncomfortable, oh they spit fire too"

doug fuckey
Jun 7, 2007

hella greenbacks

GOTTA STAY FAI posted:

Those actually weren't terrible for YA fiction.

dude did you read the first sentence posted above, like real carefully? It's really bad! Hahaha!

DrBouvenstein
Feb 28, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 4 days!


Tiggum posted:

I also haven't read any of these since I was a teenager, but I remember the original trilogy Dragons of Autumn Twilight/Winter Night/Spring Dawning being OK. The rest were definitely bad though.


If anything, I'd say the later ones (War of Souls series) were better, but that's not a high bar to set.

I read the original for the first time in high school, and then probably once or twice more between end of high school and end of college.

I read them once as a "real" adult a few years out of college...once. Horrible. They were written based off of running the author's characters through an actual campaign of adventures designed to "kick off" the Dragonlance world for D&D and it shows. All the characters just move from set-piece to set-piece with very little reason why. Random things happening that, to the average D&D player/writer are,

"OMG, so cool!"

I mean, the unicorn princess in the forest who gives them Pegasuses to ride, a man with a gemstone in his chest who ends up being the "Deus Ex Machina" just because, a Mary Sue character that reeks of someone trying to make a "bad-rear end" character (see, he has, like, gold skin! And his eyes are hourglass shaped because they see how time ages everything! He's dark and brooding and no one understands him!)

Elpato
Oct 14, 2009

I hate to spoil the ending, but...some stuff gets eaten, y'know?


mycot posted:

Huh, the timing of this thread matches up with the Steam thread in Games discovering the Doom novelizations (yes, they exist).



I remember reading these in fifth grade, and I thought the first one was really cool because blood and cursing.

The "I was born at an early age" is actually a Groucho Marx quote.

That blurb reads like a synopsis from a later book, because that gives up, like, all the plot of the first novel. The second novel got weird to the point where fifth grade me put it down and went outside. The authors had a huge hard on for survivalist Mormans and women covered with blood.

CannonFodder
Jan 26, 2001



Passion’s Wrench

Marxism posted:

Doesn't it begin with "The liberals" Killing the president?

Sort of. It's heavily implied "The liberals" were behind it, then it's heavily implied the Generals set up the false flag war game scenario that the protagonist wrote up and gave it to The Liberals, then super rich techo boy tries to take over, but in the end we all love our rich Mormon President.


how me a frog posted:

What are you on about OP, what makes Randall an unsuitable name for a villain?

Edit: I was born at an early age in a log cabin I helped my father build.
I see an opening line like that and I know I am in for one hell of a ride. A ride... through Hell *e1m1 music blasts through the speakers*

CannonFodder has a new favorite as of 17:47 on Jul 2, 2015

WeedlordGoku69
Feb 11, 2015

A DAILY DOSE
OF OLD SHOOTERS


PLAY NOW MY LORD



The "born at an early age, in a log cabin I helped my father build" thing is an ancient joke, sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln. The paradox is supposed to be obvious and you are supposed to laugh at it.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

"Dragon's Fury" makes Tom Clancy look subtle and nuanced.

In it China,India,Pakistan,Iran,Iraq,Cuba, Syria and Saudi Arabia all attack America only to be stopped by President Norman Schwarzkopf and Vice President Alan Keyes.

I've read plot synopsis of countless terrible novels but Dragon's Fury stands out due to:

1. The aforementioned country's working together.

2. The author's totally not racist depiction of African-Americans who "see the light'" and become staunch Republican voters.

3. The Supreme Court rules all abortion illegal because ???

4. The President opens up National Parks in America for oil drilling. This is portrayed as a good thing.

5. Violent crimes ends because of repelling of most gun laws.

6. Illegal immigration ends after a mob of women and children storm across the border and lynch random American dudes for no reason and the President kills them all with a Hellfire missile.

7. Dan Rather is a evil Chinese spy and is executed.

8. The US and UK destroy Mecca, , bulldoze the ruins and salt the Earth.

It's pure insanity and written by some crazy far-right dude. (and for free on his website)

http://www.jeffhead.com/ebookdownload/DFS-WorldWar.pdf

The "destruction of Mecca" sequence is so overdone one can imagine the author pleasuring himself while writing it.

quote:

But in the end, over 75,000 combatants and an estimated 65,000 civilians remained in the city and around the holy shrines, fortifying them all for the expected ground assault...that never came.

With no more talk, with no more fanfare, at noon on June 8th, the bombing began.

Waves of B-52H bombers performed the most intensive bombing raids since the Vietnam War... all concentrated on the one, city. Wave after wave, the bombers came throughout the 8th, 9th and 10th of June...non-stop.

Interspersed in with the ARC LITE bombing was the use of dozens of newly developed MOAB II area demolition bombs. Mammoth 60,000 pound bombs that were delivered by specially configured C-17 Globe Master transports, dubbed B-17 IIs. Each of those behemoths was capable of completely reducing entire city blocks. They were known as poor man's mini-non-nukes.

By the morning of the 9th, first hundreds...and then thousands of inhabitants and combatants began exiting the ruined city. Any who came out with weapons in their hands, or who otherwise attempted to fight were immediately shot down and killed.

Soon, all who came out were unarmed and nonbelligerent.

By the afternoon on the 9th, no major structure was left standing in the city. By noon on the 10th, when the bombing campaign ended, not one stone was standing left upon another within Mecca.

An eerie silence fell across the face of the countryside in and around the remains of the city. There was not so much as a moan coming from the ruins. .
That afternoon, allied scout, EOD and medic teams entered the city. Over a two day period, fewer than 500 injured were pulled from the mounds of rubble. By the 14th of June, all rescue and recovery efforts ceased. The allies did not intend to rebuild Mecca...they intended to send a message.

Over one hundred U.S. Army D-9 caterpillar bulldozers then appeared on the perimeter around the city and converged on it. They literally covered over the smoldering debris and smoothed it out in three days time. A flat, desolate landscape then occupied the ground where once Mecca stood. All debris, all ruined or discarded weapons-all bodies-had been buried there.

Atop this soil the allies sprinkled salt and then soaked the ground in swine fat. Around the perimeter, and interspersed every five hundred yards within, the following metal signs were erected:

Here stood Mecca, until it was occupied by barbarians, terrorists and desecrators and those who harbored them, who then committed atrocities against the United States of America and the United Kingdom and their allies.

Now there is nothing here but a desolation of pig-fat and salt.

Let the fate of this once great city be a clear message to all those who would desecrate that which is holy and who would consider committing similar atrocities against United States or United Kingdom forces, personnel or civilians.

To the innocent we allowed to escape we say-De Oppresso Libre! To the barbarians who died here we say-Sic Simper Tyranis!

Nckdictator has a new favorite as of 19:28 on Jul 2, 2015

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Mexican Deathgasm
Aug 17, 2010



Ramrod XTreme

Pastry of the Year posted:

I will fight you


I chewed through so goddamn many of those stupid books, and worse, I was an active and eager evangelist for them. I lent out Dragons of Autumn Twilight so many times that its covers fell off. The shameful things are still at my mother's house and she never misses an opportunity to ask me if I want them back

I don't regret loving the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books as a teen. They were a gateway to Dungeons and Dragons, as well as actual good fantasy novels, not that a whole lot of those exist. But the main thing is that it gave me D&D which is a hobby I've loved for over 20 years.

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