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View Full Version : Kevin J Anderson - crap author?


Illuminatiprimus
04-08-2008, 10:26 AM
I'm currently reading (on my mother's almost rabid recommendation) Kevin J Anderson's Saga of the Seven Suns. I have to say I'm not enjoying it hugely, I'm 60 pages in and the narrative and dialogue is extremely basic. Sure he's creating a fairly interesting world but ploughing through the lame descriptions and exposition is detracting from my enjoyment of it. I've also read the prequels to Dune and some of the legends of Dune series that he wrote with Brian Herbert and I wasn't massively impressed with those either.

What do others who have read him think? Also if you've read the Saga does it get better? My mother swears that it does and that it's totally worth it, but then she really enjoyed the legends of Dune way after I'd given up on them as unreadble drek.

Bosstone
04-08-2008, 10:46 AM
I haven't read Saga of the Seven Suns, but I did read the Jedi Academy trilogy he did for the Star Wars canon. He was no Timothy Zahn, but it was engaging enough. Of course, at the time I read them I was young and a huge Star Wars freak, and if I read them now I might have a different opinion.

JSexton
04-08-2008, 11:49 AM
Even when I was a SW geek and hungrily read every book, even the mediocre ones, I loathed Anderson's books. They were awful. Poorly written, dull plot, and it was like he'd never seen a Star Wars movie. The characters were out of character the whole time. Example: in one book, Han is being attacked by Imperials. Chewbacca...runs away. Yup, just turns and runs, abandoning Han.

Ghanima
04-08-2008, 12:26 PM
He's a great author, if you're a 12 year old boy. Otherwise, total hack.

Qadgop the Mercotan
04-08-2008, 12:45 PM
He's a hack.

Despite that, I've enjoyed his "Seven Suns" thingy. I just have to lower my expectations.

But heck, I get a guilty pleasure from reading Mercedes Lackey

The Lovely Margo Lane
04-08-2008, 12:56 PM
He's a great author, if you're a 12 year old boy. Otherwise, total hack.

or 13 year old girl.

smiling bandit
04-08-2008, 01:16 PM
Aside from being the most loathesome example of a genre author in living memory, Anderson is also infamous for introducing established characters primarily so as to compare them with his much more "teh 133t" personal creations, who are given godlike super-powers to make up for their complete lack of brains.

GargoyleWB
04-08-2008, 02:01 PM
A hack. He has an annoying literary technique where he chronically tries to suspensefully end a scene, often using only a hyphen instead of being bothered to compl-

JSexton
04-08-2008, 02:24 PM
A hack. He has an annoying literary technique where he chronically tries to suspensefully end a scene, often using only a hyphen instead of being bothered to compl-
Yeah? Yeah? Then what happened?!?

Sir Rhosis
04-08-2008, 06:30 PM
Something I've always wondered -- is he really pretty much the sole author of the Dune sequels with Brian Herbert along to tie into Frank's name, or can Herberts really write also? And I know there will be quibbles with the word "write." Basically, does BH contribute anything other than his name?

Sir Rhosis

Two and a Half Inches of Fun
04-08-2008, 06:39 PM
or 13 year old girl.

I thought girls matured faster than boys - not slower.

Justin_Bailey
04-08-2008, 07:26 PM
Something I've always wondered -- is he really pretty much the sole author of the Dune sequels with Brian Herbert along to tie into Frank's name, or can Herberts really write also? And I know there will be quibbles with the word "write." Basically, does BH contribute anything other than his name?

Brian Herbert was a published author for decades before the Dune prequels were written, so I assume he's got to have at least some writing ability.

Guinastasia
04-08-2008, 07:51 PM
Even when I was a SW geek and hungrily read every book, even the mediocre ones, I loathed Anderson's books. They were awful. Poorly written, dull plot, and it was like he'd never seen a Star Wars movie. The characters were out of character the whole time. Example: in one book, Han is being attacked by Imperials. Chewbacca...runs away. Yup, just turns and runs, abandoning Han.


Posters over at TheForce.Net boards usually refer to him as "Burger Boy". Truly a horrid, horrid writer. I don't think he's written a book for the SW universe for a while.

Plenty of other authors for the books have had to correct his mistakes in other books, explaining ways out of the situations he had his characters in.

jayjay
04-08-2008, 08:22 PM
Brian Herbert was a published author for decades before the Dune prequels were written, so I assume he's got to have at least some writing ability.

All you have to do is read any one of the "Whatcha reading?" threads in CS to understand that having novels published does NOT mean that you necessarily have writing ability...

Justin_Bailey
04-08-2008, 08:36 PM
All you have to do is read any one of the "Whatcha reading?" threads in CS to understand that having novels published does NOT mean that you necessarily have writing ability...

Cute, but you know and I know that not having "writing ability" doesn't make a published author a fraud.

jayjay
04-08-2008, 08:50 PM
Cute, but you know and I know that not having "writing ability" doesn't make a published author a fraud.

No one said he was a fraud. An author who was a fraud would be one who published someone else's work under his name, or made up situations in a supposed memoir. A hack is just an author who has no discernible talent, causing the minds of most readers to boggle as to just how s/he got a contract to write any novel.

Justin_Bailey
04-08-2008, 09:07 PM
No one said he was a fraud. An author who was a fraud would be one who published someone else's work under his name

But that was the question. The question is Brian Herbert a real writer, or did he just put his name on the book while Anderson did all the writing.

I said that Herbert had several books published several decades before the Dune prequels were written.

So, regardless of the "hack" discussion (which I think is pointless in a thread about sci-fi, I love it, but a lot of it is shit), Herbert is a published writer.

jayjay
04-08-2008, 10:03 PM
But that was the question. The question is Brian Herbert a real writer, or did he just put his name on the book while Anderson did all the writing.

I said that Herbert had several books published several decades before the Dune prequels were written.

So, regardless of the "hack" discussion (which I think is pointless in a thread about sci-fi, I love it, but a lot of it is shit), Herbert is a published writer.

I'm sorry...I read the post I replied to as referring to Kevin Anderson! I just went back and looked after reading this post and...DUH...right there in black and white, "Brian Herbert".

My mistake...

Oregon sunshine
04-08-2008, 11:01 PM
...He wrote the X-Files paperbacks, which I'm reading right now...utter shite, all the way through (so far). The dude can't write his way out of a paper bag. They're kind of the "family reading club books of the week" so I'm slogging through them, but not happily. I would not recommend any of his books even without having read them.

And on a (hopefully somewhat related) side note, what's up with Michael Moorcock? I tried to read some of his stuff for the first time since junior high, when I kinda liked him, but I quickly came to realize, that he is an utter hack, who constructs the most ridiculous run-on sentences, and commits comma abuse, until, your head spins, and you, are about, to vomit, and after about ten pages I began to wonder, how has this dude, managed to make it in the world of publishing; perhaps there is more to it than just being a good writer, and obviously there is!!!

Sierra Indigo
04-08-2008, 11:04 PM
I say this as a fan of Stephanie Perry's work, I didn't find the saga of the seven suns that bad. It was fluffy, and such that I could read it in a couple of short sittings which is what I like sometimes.

Scissorjack
04-09-2008, 05:54 AM
Something I've always wondered -- is he really pretty much the sole author of the Dune sequels with Brian Herbert along to tie into Frank's name, or can Herberts really write also?

Whoever did the actual writing was so awful he was almost gifted: I picked up the first one, and on the first page read the line "You nervous coward!". Anyone who can make a three word sentence simultaneously a tautology and an oxymoron truly stands alone among writers.

Neidhart
04-09-2008, 07:29 AM
I don't see how William Dietz keeps getting publishing contracts unless he's sold his soul to the devil. I tried reading DeathDay. Total rubbish.

Meurglys
04-09-2008, 07:36 AM
Brain Herbert has had one of his books re-issued recently - a humorous, or at least lightweight, sf novel called Sidney's Comet. First published in 1990.

I did enjoy one of Anderson's early books, Ill Wind - about an oil-eating microbe that escapes from a lab and destroys civilisation! It's out of print now, or I might read it again... I don't recall reading more than a page or two of any of his other books.

And I see that the two of them have a new Dune book coming in late summer - Paul of Dune. I had hoped the series had finally ended with Sandworms of Dune. Not that I've read more than a few pages of any of their collaborations...

Monkey Chews
04-09-2008, 08:25 AM
I've been waiting for Dune 7 for years and years (being one of those rare nutters who loved Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune as much as the original), and was so excited when "Hunters of Dune" came out. That was, until I read it.

It was awful! The characters and dialogue are shallow at best, and cartoonish at worse. Cheap action-adventure space opera with pretensions of grandeur. It's like it was written by someone who'd only read a summary of the Dune novels and not the content, let alone taken notice of the style. Duncan, Murbella and Sheeana were th same characters in name only. And all the ridiculous nonsense with the gholas was annoying and seemed somehow so disrespectful to both the original Dune novel and the volumes since then, which had moved the story on so very far from those characters.

I managed to make it to the end of the novel, and for some reason - the desire to have the saga completed, I guess - I was determined to read the second volume, Sandworms of Dune, but I tried several times to buy it, and each time I'd pick it up in the store and read the back, I'd have to put it down again in frustration. The whole thing looked like silly, hollow schlock.

(A while after, I read a synopsis of the final volume and am so glad I never wasterd my money. I know it's unfair to judge a novel on a synopsis, but it sounded preposterous. Not to mention so far removed from anything I could have imagined Frank Herbert having done with the Dune saga.)

I've still got a sour taste in my mouth about the whole thing. I love those 6 original Dune novels!

Illuminatiprimus
04-09-2008, 08:30 AM
I think one of the thing that bothers me the most about the books of his I've read is the ridiculous behaviour of his characters. I'm willing to suspend disbelief when reading sci-fi in the field of characterisation, but they still need to behave in ways that are consistent and understandable (even if their behaviour is random/crazy, you have to make it clear why it's random and crazy). The other main sticking point I have is the dialogue - it's something a 14 year old would write.

As much as I love the Dune series nothing short of a hefty financial inducement would make me pick up the "sequels" that Anderson and Herbert Jr have written/shat out.

Merijeek
04-09-2008, 09:08 AM
I think one of the thing that bothers me the most about the books of his I've read is the ridiculous behaviour of his characters.

I've only read his Star Wars crap, but the most annoying thing to me was his need to one-up everything from Star Wars.

Death Star blows up planets? Well, the Sun Crusher blows up stars!

Boba Fett? I have (some lameass generic bounty hunter guy)!

The funniest part, to me, was when Han Solo is in the Sun Crusher (did I mention that the Sun Crusher is, literally, indestructible?), and he's being chased by four Star Destroyers. They grab him with a tractor beam and start pulling him in, so he reverses course and flies through the Star Destroyer's bridge, sending it spinning out of control. So what's he do now that there's three Star Destroyers chasing him?

Why, he runs away of course!

-Joe

Bosstone
04-09-2008, 10:05 AM
Now that y'all are reminding me about the Star Wars books he did, I have to agree that it is cringe-worthy.

The EU is essentially published fanfiction, really, and the common fanfic tropes pop up everywhere in the worse ones.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
04-09-2008, 10:31 AM
All you have to do is read any one of the "Whatcha reading?" threads in CS to understand that having novels published does NOT mean that you necessarily have writing ability...Hey, is this meant to disparage the quality of books chosen by people in the "Whatcha reading" threads?

jayjay
04-09-2008, 10:40 AM
Hey, is this meant to disparage the quality of books chosen by people in the "Whatcha reading" threads?

No...it's an acknowledgement that sometimes people on the "Whatcha readin'" threads will note that a particular book from a popular author is lousy. And it happens fairly often, especially for prolific authors.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
04-09-2008, 11:26 AM
No...it's an acknowledgement that sometimes people on the "Whatcha readin'" threads will note that a particular book from a popular author is lousy. And it happens fairly often, especially for prolific authors.Okay, I misread you. Sorry! (Am I defensive about the crap I read? No, not at all.)

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