The Worst Sci/Fan/Hor/Adv/Mys authors of all time-and the abysmal creations to avoid

Nice to see the Guide proven right!

I have to throw in John Ringo, if only for justifiably generating the “OH JOHN RINGO NO” meme. At least he can laugh at himself and be a good sport about it, but his books are SO BAD.

I think maybe you should be forbidden from posting in this thread because your choices make everything else sound like high-quality fiction.

Yet at the same time I find myself morbidly curious as to whether or not you can come up with similarly horrible examples in all the other genres.

I forgot to mention, Chancery Stone is the only author I know of who is banned from her own fan community.

If I could break into my old boxes of books, I could probably refresh my memory enough to fill out the rest of the genres, since I have fantasy, horror, and romance covered already. Possibly sci-fi too, Wraeththu is far future and at some point they do start using futuristic technology instead of using alien horses and sex magic for everything.

I don’t see how he belong on a list of the worst fantasy authors of all time in any way, shape, or form. For one thing, Wheel of Time was not his only creation - his earlier works show his talent. For another, while his later works on the series definitely meandered, the first 6-7 books, which themselves comprise thousands and thousands of pages, were quite good.

This is like being the guy who thinks Metallica belongs on the list of worst metal bands of all time because he doesn’t like the last few albums released. Don’t be that guy.

David (and Leigh) Eddings.

I was so angry after I finished Hannibal that I threw it in the trash. It’s the only book I’ve actually thrown away.

I did that to Jonathan Franzen’s The 27th City. I didn’t want anyone else to make the mistake of reading it.

Is she the one who went crazy in the Amazon review thread for one of her own books?

That’s not too uncommon. IIRC, even Anne Rice did that at one point.

Wait, what? How is that even possible?

She wanted her fan community to be run by her fans so she could pretend it was a spontaneous show of affection from people who love her horrible book. So she never had control over it. And let me tell you, that is one woman who does not believe in the Death of the Author. If you wanted to talk about themes in her book that she didn’t approve of, she would flame the shit out of you. It got really out of control with her abusing almost everyone, so they ended up banning her.

Thanks for starting this one too, jpinard.

This is why I wanted it:

Peter F. Hamilton - Nights Dawn trilogy. Bad! It has good parts, but the bad parts are so bad they make the whole worse for the contrast. I might not have hated this so much until I read the last book. Making the nominal protagonist, who is barely in the book, into pretty much a literal god was crap.

I still like the author, but not that series. Maybe if you cut all the undead stuff, it’d be good.

Oh my yes. I couldn’t finish the first one, and I still feel dirty.

Simon Green: Deathstalker series: These are almost so bad they’re good, but not quite. You can turn the pages but you’ll wonder “Why the hell did I read that?” at the end.

Mercedes Lackey. Thanks for killing fond memories of Bard’s Tale with your novelization!

My favourite brush with greatness was years ago when I knew Mary Gentle in passing, I found myself at a party in Storm Constantine’s house on the way through to somewhere else and Brian Froud happened to be there too.

Dangerous levels of crazy concentrated in that location.

I never read it - that bad? I always felt slightly guilty that I should have read it (as co-designer of BT III), but I thought Mike Stackpole should have gotten the shot.

Not to mention Lackey isn’t high on my preferred list of authors.

THIS 100%. I haven’t read a Star Wars book since this, except for a reread of the Thrawn Trilogy once. So bad it hurt. Though seeing some of the story lines to come out of the EU it doesn’t sound like I’ve missed anything over the years anyways.

I am totally using that line on my wife, thanks.

Bear in mind that I do book reviews for multiple publications, so there’s an awful lot of…interesting material that gets mailed to my house, largely unsolicited. That being said, some of the worst include:

C.J. Ryan’s Dexta - How to Save the Galaxy From War By Flashing Your Rack And Adjusting Your Pubes. Seriously.

Graham Masterton’s Night Warriors - Everyone in this book has a small penis, except the women. They have large magical imaginary spiked ones. And then they all die. Horribly.

Denise Vitola’s The Red Sky File - The main character is a werewolf who’s not a werewolf, tracking down a magical mystery that’s neither magical nor a real mystery, in a nonsensical post-apocalyptic future.

No, he doesn’t stop doing it in later books. In fact, he doesn’t stop doing it in other non-Recluse series. Almost every single book he’s ever written goes like this:

  1. Superman-to-be leaves home
  2. Encounters incompetence/corruption in the world
  3. Nukes everything

How in God’s name does crap like this get published?

These writers possess incriminating photos of publishers?