Terrible original/published fiction?

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by ChelG, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Neal Stephenson's newest (?) solo book, a couple years old at this point. Something blows up the moon, pieces start raining down, humanity is Doomed. A group of people survive in a space station and in a fleet of little modular ships that can dock w/ each other, link up, transfer stuff, etc. etc. Finally most people are dead but for 7 women and 1 (?) guy (this is kinda fuzzy, it's been several years since I read it). One of them is a geneticist. (Note that this is set in a basically modern-day Earth with equivalent scientific technology and know-how.) The geneticist has a plan: she'll eliminate every genetic disease from the women's eggs and modify them however they want - make them stronger, smarter, modify their limbs and bodies, etc. And she makes 7 human subspecies that apparently do not hybridize to any significant degree over the next several thousand years. Also humans who lived through the apocalypse in submarines apparently developed gills.

    Whoo, it just sets me on edge.
    • Witnessed x 7
  2. BaseDeltaZero

    BaseDeltaZero Shitposting all night.

    Looks like bonus questionable orbital mechanics, too!
  3. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    I don't know enough about physics to really comment on that part but I would absolutely not be surprised.
  4. peripheral

    peripheral Stacy's Dad Is Also Pretty Rad

    Also looks like he stole the plot from a kurt Vonnegut novel.

    A meh Vonnegut novel at that.
  5. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    Hmmmm.... It's been an even longer time since I read most of Vonnegut. The only human evolution I can remember is the furry people from Galapagos (? I think?).
  6. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    • Agree x 5
  7. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    • Witnessed x 3
  8. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Hilarious rather than offensive bad writing:
    • Informative x 7
    • Like x 1
  9. devils-avocado

    devils-avocado tired and gay

    I feel really bad about critiquing non-mainstream fiction unless the author is charging money, but in some cases these circumstances collide. has anyone else read S.A. Payne's short stories? m/m romance on a personal paysite. and here's the thing - she's not a bad writer! in many ways she crafts a very good story, which is why I started reading them in the first place. but every single one has at least one element that makes me either baffled or furious. I stopped reading after one of them in particular.

    so, this two-part story begins with a fic that warns for het. but it'll only be in this one, not the next! cue me being intensely curious about how exactly that's gonna play out. the main dude has a lady friend that he's pretty close with, and they honestly make a good couple together. they have some sex problems because he's Very Trauma about sex, but nonetheless! they dig each other! so I'm wondering if it's gonna be an ot3 or an open relationship or what. fast forward to the end of the story... the girlfriend follows someome or other into danger, when she was supposed to hang back or sth, and is just straight up killed. stabbed in gut and quickly made dead. and I'm sitting here like 'excuse me W H A T'

    in the sequel, our dysfunctional (and now grieving) male lead meets a cat-dude in the woods, and is roofied by a magic tree so they can have hot sex with each other. (the cat-dude, not the tree. I think.) which, apparently, was the plan all along! I did not keep reading after that.
    • Witnessed x 8
  10. devils-avocado

    devils-avocado tired and gay

    god fucking help me, I revisited the site and ran afoul of my old nemesis


    EDIT: but hey, a bunch of them are on amazon apparently if you want to see for yourself
    (unless I can figure out how the fuck dropbox works/retrieve them from my desktop machine)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    • Witnessed x 5
    • Like x 1
  11. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    I briefly rediscovered R.H. Junior's webcomics, and got caught up on Tales of the Questor and then found his new thing (which he did a kickstarter for, apparently!) Probability Bomb. And then I rediscovered how goddamn preachy R.H. Junior can get when he has a pet peeve he wants the audience to hate with him (or, if they won't hate it, at least know that they are Bad And Wrong for not hating it).

    In Probability Bomb, he has two of his established characters - the main protag from Questor and the main protag from his sci-fi far-in-the-future spin-off Quentin Quinn: Space Ranger - dropped into the same setting and forced to work together. The premise is, Quentin is chasing down a mad scientist who's built a probability manipulation device and wants to blow it up to prove abiogenesis is absolutely a thing; in the process, Quentyn Quinn (Quentin's great-great-umpteen-great granddad) gets spat out of a spacetime rip created by the device being used to juice the odds to get the mad scientist and his crew enough of a lead that the Rangers couldn't just scoop them up. There is naturally a bit of infodumping as Quentyn is brought up to speed on wtf the mad scientist is even trying to do, and it's wrapped around an author tract that goes "evolution is So Not Real, guys, only gullible idiots believe it is and the science will back me up on this any day now, there is so totally an intelligent designer out there".

    The explanation given for why abiogenesis can't have happened is (as best I recall) that the odds are so impossibly huge for it to have happened on even one planet, much less all the planets it had to happen on for the universe to be as richly populated with sentients as it is, and the theories given by the scientists on how it might've happened don't make sense to him.
    To which my only non-profane response is that million-to-one odds happen all the time. (I ragequit and closed the tab once I realized where the infodump was going; there's no point in trying to have any sort of discussion with him about these topics - I've seen people try before and his response is always to double-down, and pretty much all of his comics have a very strong libertarian streak mixed with the sort of profession of religious faith that wouldn't be out of place in a country song, and there's usually a significant element of "city living is Just Plain Wrong, country life is best" too.)

    What frustrates me so much is that when he's good, he's really really good - there's points in Questor where the topic of faith and belief is handled really well and it's a touching, integral part of the story. But when he's bad, he's awful - there's parts where it's painfully shoehorned in to argue the view that the author avatar's faith is Best, all other faiths can go home and think about how wrong they are; and there's parts in Space Ranger where he's hamhandedly arguing that fiat currency is bad as a whole concept because of how hyperinflation is a thing which can happen. And, of course, "evolution is So Not Real" the plot point.

    (Edited because I'm up too late, tired, and only double-checked the name of the new comic halfway through and forgot to fix the name everywhere I'd used it before hitting post.)
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    • Witnessed x 6
  12. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Oh God, I hate that guy. I remember in my teens being so annoyed by his preaching that I wanted to write twincest fanfic about Nip and Tuck just for the purpose of annoying him. I didn't, even then I figured that was petty, and I feared consequences.
  13. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    This comment reminds me of why I hated The Casual Vacancy; in that case it wasn't thoughts of raping people, but we have to see all the ugliness that runs through the head of every character, all their contempt for people they were supposed to care about or help and all their infidelities and little cruelties, and I ended up loathing all of them.

  14. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    I might agree, but they haven't even read the book.

    Not to say you can't judge anything without experiencing it, I don't agree with that, but in this specific case I think it's entirely possible for there to have been something that didn't make it in to the review that would have changed the commentor's opinions.

    I totally get your point, and I'm not disagreeing with it. It was just that the quotee was writing with this level of granularity about something they haven't even read. That threw me off.
    • Agree x 5
  15. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    I regularly deal with intrusive thoughts, and I appreciate characters who have Bad Thoughts. I’m very interested in seeing people play with it in fiction. Will they act on their worst thoughts? Will they struggle while holding onto their moral compass? Will they just be annoyed at the background chatter? I want to know.

    That said, it can be done well or poorly like everything else, and I think it’s a good idea to consider what message you’re sending by portraying it. Fiction is deliberate.
    • Agree x 2
  16. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    So do I, and so would I; from what I saw in the review, this book didn't. The guy didn't seem remotely disturbed or guilty about contemplating assaulting this woman, and later on actually did some fairly skeevy things which make the thoughts look a little more relevant than random brainweird.
    • Like x 1
    • Informative x 1
  17. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    I could theoretically be totally into that in a romance. I love me some flaming garbage. But I'm suspecting I'd find that particular book upsetting rather than fun. I plan to avoid reading it.
  18. kastilin

    kastilin get in the fucking crayfish shinji

    as someone who does orbital mechanics a lot

    my personal pet peeve book is the quantum thief series
    on one hand, there's so much about those books i should love (space battles! minds evolved so much for combat they literally can't think of anything else! canon lesbian character who gets a mostly happy ending!)
    the words "combat autism" were written in 1000000% sincerity
    the writing style is also Questionable As Heck

    i also have a small grudge against league of dragons even though i love the rest of that series
    (yes let's cut out all the action & just casually mention that all the important shit happened, but offscreen)
    • Witnessed x 3
  19. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that works in Ancient Greek theatre, books not so much.
  20. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    J.R.R. "I don't want to bother writing this battle so I'll just have Bilbo pass out at the start of it" Tolkien stirs fitfully in his grave.
    • Winner x 6
    • Like x 1
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