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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  19:33:08  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Poll Question:
Which wildy popular fantasy author do you despise, and for what reason?

Choices:

J. R. R. Tolkien
George R. R. Martin
Robert Jordan
Steven Erikson
C. S. Lewis
Terry Goodkind
Terry Brooks
R. A. Salvatore
Piers Anthony
Neil Gaiman
Stephen King (not exactly fantasy)
Other (please explain)

(Anonymous Vote)

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

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Edited by - Artemas Entreri on 27 Oct 2011 19:51:28

Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  19:43:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stephen King - he's a hack.

IMHO, of course.

Another on the list jumped immediately to mind, but I realized I love his writing, despite his inability to ever come to any conclusion in a half-milion sub-plots.

And now never will, so I will leave it at that.

RAS grates on my nerves, but I can't deny his talent. I was never able to get past the first chapter or so of Shanarra, but I have a hard time hating an author I have barely read. He just bores me, and that's not the same as hate. I used to love Terry Goodkind, but now I am ambivalent - he got too preachy... but that still isn't hate.

I think all of them - despite how well I like them personally - are good story-tellers, except for SK - I just don't understand why anyone likes him (I think the spoof Family Guy did gets the point across).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Oct 2011 19:52:31
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  19:48:38  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had to vote Tolkien. I love the world he created, appreciate all of the hard work that must have gone into it, and am grateful for what he did for modern fantasy.......but I can't stand his writing style. Sorry

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

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Edited by - Artemas Entreri on 03 Mar 2015 21:10:04
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  19:57:29  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tolkien was my introduction to modern fantasy - I find it impossible to hate him. I read The Hobbit at 13 and was hooked. Then LotR, then Narnia, etc...

Before that I was just a Mythology Buff and Scify fan (I went to the very first ST convention in NY back in '75). Once I discovered Fantasy I was hooked.

You can't hate a guy for giving you a lifetime of great memories.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  20:05:56  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't hate Tolkien, just the writing style

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  21:21:07  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robert Jordan was my vote. He was a great world-builder, but not a great writer. I really enjoyed the first 5 books, then struggled through books 6 & 7, hated book 8, loved book 9, and then hated book 10 and gave up until the series is all the way done. I am looking forward to seeing what his successor does with the story/world though. A further critique of his writing, and why it started out good and then got worse (particularly in books 8 and 10), is as he separated his characters, the plot split into threads, to the point where he should have begun wrapping up specific plot threads and bringing them back to a specific point instead of trying to touch most (if not all) plot threads in every book. For me, this created many-paged books in which nothing of consequence really happened.

Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated January 06, 2016)

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back. --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

"Mmm, not the darkness," Myrin murmured. "Don't cast it there." --Erik Scott de Bie, Shadowbane

* My character sheets (PFRPG, 3.5, and AE versions; not viewable in Internet Explorer)
* Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PFRPG OGL Rules)
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My game design work:
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* Compendium Arcanum Volume 2: 1st-Level Spells (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Martial Arts Guidebook (forthcoming) (PFRPG, designer; Rite Publishing)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  21:52:47  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the problem there is that to be successful, the reader has to identify with the character(s) in some way, and when you need a 30-page index just to keep track of who's who, you kind of loose all emotional connection along the way. Seriously, I had no idea who I was reading about after awhile, especially with main characters disappearing for entire books. Just weird, IMHO.

Does anyone else notice the NUMEROUS similarities between Jordan's series and Goodkinds? So much so, there is even one similar female character with the same name. Makes me wonder who was copying who - even the number of novels was staying consistently the same for quite awhile. Farmboy/orphan growing up with the wrong father, possessing unimaginable power and holds the fate of the world in his hands... a bit over-done these days. Thank god for that cabal of mysterious female magic-users (with a secret evil sub-group) that helps him control his powers.

Anyhow.....

Piers Anthony made me laugh. Laughter is the best medicine they say, so anyone that can make folks smile has to be appreciated on some level. I ran all my T&T and early GH/D&D games based on puns (and somewhere I hear my players still groaning!)

I think I may have outgrown Tolkien, but I still think back upon his books fondly.

Strangely, how I feel about a person doesn't reflect on how I feel about their writing (and vice-versa), and I like Steven King as a person - he makes fun of himself, so at least he has a good sense of humor. He hosted a show about the history of Horror movies recently, and he admitted he hated the screen-adaption of The Shining... turns out even he don't like his movies.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Oct 2011 22:16:51
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29643 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  22:23:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Does anyone else notice the NUMEROUS similarities between Jordan's series and Goodkinds? So much so, there is even one similar female character with the same name. Makes me wonder who was copying who - even the number of novels was staying consistently the same for quite awhile. Farmboy/orphan growing up with the wrong father, possessing unimaginable power and holds the fate of the world in his hands... a bit over-done these days. Thank god for that cabal of mysterious female magic-users (with a secret evil sub-group) that helps him control his powers.


Having the same name could just be a coincidence. Heck, I've seen at least one name I made up be used for a Realms character. The author certainly didn't steal the name; I'd never shared it with more than one or two people. It just happened that we both thought of the same name.

And the farmboy who grows up to find out he's got all sorts of power and uses it to fight the big bad group is a common trope. Heck, everyone knows Luke Skywalker, and that's exactly what he is.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29643 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  22:25:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't despise any of the authors on this list. Some I've never read, some I won't read again... But the only fantasy author whose stuff I truly despise isn't on this list. And even for her, there are a couple of books she's written that I do quite enjoy -- I just dislike some of the tropes she insists on using.

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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  22:36:02  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
[brDoes anyone else notice the NUMEROUS similarities between Jordan's series and Goodkinds? So much so, there is even one similar female character with the same name. Makes me wonder who was copying who - even the number of novels was staying consistently the same for quite awhile. Farmboy/orphan growing up with the wrong father, possessing unimaginable power and holds the fate of the world in his hands... a bit over-done these days. Thank god for that cabal of mysterious female magic-users (with a secret evil sub-group) that helps him control his powers.

Personally, I have not had any trouble following the Sword of Truth series, and even own them all. But then again, my brother-in-law owns all of the Wheel of Time series. So I guess it just goes to prove that different writing styles appeal to different readers. Also, I would like to note that I do not despise Robert Jordan, I am just not a fan of his writing.

Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated January 06, 2016)

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back. --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

"Mmm, not the darkness," Myrin murmured. "Don't cast it there." --Erik Scott de Bie, Shadowbane

* My character sheets (PFRPG, 3.5, and AE versions; not viewable in Internet Explorer)
* Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PFRPG OGL Rules)
* The Hypertext d20 SRD (3.5 OGL Rules)
* 3.5 D&D Archives

My game design work:
* Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG, conversion; Rite Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 1: Cantrips & Orisons (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 2: 1st-Level Spells (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Martial Arts Guidebook (forthcoming) (PFRPG, designer; Rite Publishing)

Edited by - Hawkins on 27 Oct 2011 22:36:39
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idilippy
Senior Scribe

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  22:51:30  Show Profile Send idilippy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a huge fan of Goodkind's series, but I don't despise it or any of the others on this list. Tolkien I could never hate, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were my introduction to fantasy, and as I've read more of his work I've gotten an even better appreciation for his worldbuilding. George R. R. Martin is writing my favorite currently running series, and though the delays have worn on me and his writing isn't perfect I love the story and am eagerly awaiting the next installment. Robert Jordan's series went from fun reading to a struggle to muddle through, and I've also decided to wait to finish the series he started until the last books are out, probably in paperback. However, the first few books of the series are still fun to read, and I don't despise any of his writing.

I haven't read anything at all by Erikson, and only started the Shannara books, so I don't have an opinion on Terry Brooks or Steve Erikson, and it has been a long time since I've read C.S. Lewis, but I liked his stuff alright when I first read it. Salvatore's books were the first Realms books I read, and though I've gone away from him in the past few years I still enjoy his first Drizzt books. Piers Anthony's Xanth books are odd, but I really enjoyed the first one and even some of the later ones in that never-ending deluge of puns are fun reads. Gaiman wrote American Gods, which I really enjoyed, Anansi Boys, Good Omens(co-wrote), and Neverwhere which I also enjoyed, and numerous short stories I've read that run the gamut from great to bad in my opinion. Stephen King's Dark Tower series is on the list of my top 5 fantasy series of all time easily, and he has tons of other novels(The Stand, Desperation, The Regulators, and on) that I really enjoy.

Well, that's all of them, looks like none of the people on this list make the cut as despised authors, as even the closest in my opinion, Goodkind, isn't utterly awful.
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3521 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  23:33:22  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
JK Rowling....too many reasons to list

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Gouf
Learned Scribe

USA
75 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:34:17  Show Profile  Visit Gouf's Homepage Send Gouf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dragondoom by Dennis L. McKiernan was the book that made me black ball this author and put him at the top of my list. Great characters, but a highly disjointed plot and and a "Lets wrap this up quick cause I got signed for a sequel" -anticlimactic ending!

Never touch another of his books again.

"Why is the torch burning blue?"
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
235 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:37:26  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wish George R R Martin would pull his finger out and hurry up with his writing... that bugs me like mad.

I wish Berg'inyon Baenre didn't make me think of a beef casserole dish... I always imagined someone managing to gain his truename and finding out it was Boeuf.

Of the authors on the list that i've read, I can't say I dislike or hate any of them.

Hate isn't a particularly nice word tbh.

Edited by - Farrel on 28 Oct 2011 00:50:26
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31683 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:39:58  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't despise any of the authors on this list. Some I've never read, some I won't read again...
Since I'm a amateur practising wordsmith myself, I'm uncomfortable with the notion of assigning any level of dislike to any author.

Certainly, there are authors whose works I will likely never read again -- for various and myriad reasons that I will not express here. They're personal decisions based on actions and/or conduct taken by these authors -- either through their works, or from commentary made in the real-world -- that have made me reconsider how I relate to them. But that's not to say that I'd "hate" them as a result of their craft.

I admire any author who can achieve what they set out to accomplish when they put pen to paper.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31683 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:43:24  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, I would issue a Moderation warning here.

Expressing constructive negative criticism is fine, but let's remember to keep this discussion civil, courteous, and above all, respectful.


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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Falstaffsrevenge
Seeker

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:44:16  Show Profile Send Falstaffsrevenge a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me it's Robin Hobb, awesome writer, but I hate how the main character always get the shaft! You keep reading a particular series, waiting for the main character to rise above everything, but no! The character get the proverbial finger and goes, "Eh, I am used to being dumped on and I am ok with being the whipping boy!" Bleh!


Some friends are like slinkies, not much use, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down stairs.
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WizardsHerb
Seeker

United Kingdom
23 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:49:24  Show Profile Send WizardsHerb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to say Other, for J K Rowling.

Also won't go into all the reasons, but I will mention that I blame her for Twilight being published. Indirect, but there. That's not the main reason by far, but damnit, why? Whyyy?!
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  00:57:12  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The two authors I dislike and will never ever read again are not on the list.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  01:18:00  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


The two authors I dislike and will never ever read again are not on the list.



Share Dennis

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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Joran Nobleheart
Senior Scribe

USA
489 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  02:13:07  Show Profile  Visit Joran Nobleheart's Homepage Send Joran Nobleheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robert Jordan, hands down. Next to him, Salvatore. I also want to mention Richard Baker since his lack of research and oversight on The Last Mythal was overwhelming, and his characters blank, empty, uninspired and uncreative. I just cannot take that "trilogy" messing up so many facts that should have been easy for him to find the answers to.

And yes, this is my modified reply from earlier. I felt it best to go back and revise my previous statement as some would find it less than respectful.

Paladinic Ethos
Saint Joran Nobleheart

Edited by - Joran Nobleheart on 28 Oct 2011 02:22:39
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  04:17:19  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


The two authors I dislike and will never ever read again are not on the list.



Share Dennis

Christie Golden. She butchered Arthas. I nearly tore the book into pieces. And Laura Resnick. She gave Magic: The Gathering a new meaning. She didn't only mess some established lore, she also made the setting into some Harlequin-festered caricature.

I would have listed Jordan, too. But upon serious consideration, my reason for having stopped reading WoT [till Book 8] was not because I disliked his writing. I still think of him as one of the most talented and great fantasists, but I was very disappointed with where his series was heading...He plagarized his own work.

Every beginning has an end.
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Nilus Reynard
Learned Scribe

Canada
105 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  06:58:10  Show Profile Send Nilus Reynard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had to go with other & that other is Anne McCaffrey.

When I first started reading fantasy, I got a bunch of her books just because she is a well known author. They just didn't hold my attention & reading through one of them took forever because I found the content boring.

Nilus Reynard
Doom Master of Beshaba, Hand of Despair.
P15 Hm CN
(2nd Edition AD&D)
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Thelonius
Senior Scribe

Spain
724 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  07:40:39  Show Profile  Click to see Thelonius's MSN Messenger address Send Thelonius a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe despise is a too strong word, there are some I find overrated though. But I guess that in fact is all a matter of tastes.I can think of a popular author buthe is not in the phantasy genre so I won't say the name

"If you are to truly understand, then you will need the contrast, not adherence to a single ideal." - Kreia
"I THINK I JUST HAD ANOTHER NEAR-RINCEWIND EXPERIENCE"- Discworld's Death frustrated after Rincewind scapes his grasp... again.
"I am death, come for thee" - Nimbul, from Baldur's Gate I just before being badly spanked
Sapientia sola libertas est
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1754 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  08:17:28  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1. Terry Goodkind - his books start as a Wheel of Time clone, eventually transforming into Atlas Shrugged (supposedly, I stopped at the second book). Uses a lot of cliches and Mary Sue characters. Has a weird sense of right and wrong. Michael Bay of fantasy.

Terry Brooks - supposedly he improves after the Sword of Shannara (LotR clone), I read two more and it's not true.

Robert Jordan - boring, cliche, too long, full of annoying characters, particularly female. You know how it's going to end.

McCaffrey - ruined dragons

Stephen Donaldson - I don't care at all for his characters

Now these are or were great writers unlike those above:

George Martin - spends a lot more time signing his books than writing, has a weird torture fetish, obsessed with food, wine, turtles, grotesque things ... ''plagiarizes'' history. Repeats boring phrases and annoying archaic words endlessly. Stalls the plot with useless filler, says that all great writers did that. After ten years of waiting ends his book with a cliffhanger, and probably it is the last book. If Goodkind is Bay, Martin is George Lucas.

R. Scott Bakker - he needs to show, not tell, his one superintelligent character fails to deliver. Logical inconsistencies. flawed philosophy.

Feist - killed off his interesting characters
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  09:25:58  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Quale

Stephen Donaldson - I don't care at all for his characters.



Agreed. Now that you reminded me, he's supposed to be on my list, too.

quote:
Originally posted by Quale

Feist - killed off his interesting characters

I don't dislike an author just because he needed to kill off his characters, even if said characters are my favorites---provided that the cause of their deaths was sufficiently reasonable and that their deaths were handled very well. Yes, Feist killed off some of his interesting characters, but for me, that's hardly reason enough to dislike his books. Besides, he keeps some alive, like Pug and Tomas.

Every beginning has an end.
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