The Worst Book You Ever Read

Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Sionnach Glic » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:53 am

I can see why The Silmarillion might not be to a lot of peoples' taste, though personally I loved it. It is a bit tough to get into at first, though.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Tyyr » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:41 am

RK_Striker_JK_5 wrote:The YJK, the series before the NJO set up the next generation perfectly to take over. Or at least step up in a serious way. Now... nothing's left. :(

That was the thing, I thought that was the whole point of the YJK, to get the next generation up and going. Boy was I wrong, they went through that group with a machete.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:37 pm

Not the worst, but by far the most depressing book I've ever read was called Titan. It was a while ago, so I don't remember the details, but roughly :

It's set 30 or so years in the future. America is slowly becoming a Theocracy. NASA is gradually being disbanded, as most scientific research is gradually being abandoned. The majority of the population actually doesn't support this... but the religious people are the only ones who care enough to make an effort in politics, so they get their way on things whilst the majority just play computer games and such.

A few remaining explorer types in NASA manage to convince them to mount one last mission, sending two people on a one way mission to Titan. They make it there, and are basically left there to live a live of horror - they're trapped in a landing craft about the size of two small rooms, desperately trying to use the chemicals on hand on Titan to create enough food. At one point, one of them goes permanently blind because he misses some vital chemical out.

Meanwhile back on Earth, an asteroid is diverted towards the planet by the Chinese as a threat to the US. The plan is to make it miss, just, as a demonstration that they can asteroid bomb America. Only they accidentally hit the planet, an extinction level hit that wipes out humanity. By this time, most people don't really even care.

On Titan the last surviving humans die. Billions of years later they are revived, recreated somehow by an alien intelligence which has evolved on Titan. They're kept in some sort of zoo, where apparently they are going to spend the rest of their life. The end.

I felt like killing myself by the time I finished.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Sonic Glitch » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:09 pm

Would it be "Titan" by Ben Bova?
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Mikey » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:43 pm

Yech. Bova should have stuck to editing comp mags... he was phenomenal at it.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Sionnach Glic » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:25 pm

I think I've read that one myself. Depressing, but a good read.

There was another depressing but very good book I read a long time ago. Unfortunately I can't remember the name, all I know is that I picked it up from my local library once about ten years ago. The book starts off concerning a man living in a network of caves overgrown with thick vegetation known as Ponics. The man is a member of a primitive tribe living in the caves. They know little about their world and curiousity about their surroundings is discouraged by the tribe's elders. Despite this discouragement, curiousity is quite abundant, mainly due to the occasional discovery of the skeletons of giant people in newly discovered chambers in the caves.

The protagonist teams up with a group of people planning to go out into the wilderness to find a mysterious and somewhat mythical place known as Forwards. They're lead by a priest who is one of the few in the tribe who can read the mysterious signs they sometimes find on the cave walls.

As the book goes on the team wanders around a never-ending network of caves, cutting their way through the vegetation to reach Forwards. But while the characters are clueless as to their surroundings (with the exception of the priest, who also starts to put all the pieces together) the reader quickly figures out that they're not wandering around caves at all. They're wandering around a ship.

Eventually they reach Forwards, where they find a somewhat more advanced group of people. The Forwarders know a bit more about their situation than the tribal groups, and the reader learns that they're all the descendants of the crew of a generation ship, on which they still live. The priest, who has a map of the ship, leads the team and a few Forwarders to the Captain's quarters, where they discover what happened through his log.

Many centuries ago, the ship left a distant planet to travel to Earth. However, some members of the later generation weren't too happy with being fated to die in space, and tried to force the captain to turn the ship around and travel back to their homeworld at gunpoint. The captain manages to convince the mutineers that the ship is already too far from their home, and that turning the ship around would just mean an even longer journey so that they'd all still die in space. This convinces the mutineers to end their revolution bloodlessly, but it also causes a wave of intense apathy towards life to spread through them and their supporters.

Their refusal to hand over their weapons to the ship's security causes severe tension on the ship, and the captain refuses to allow security to simply take them by force, hoping to resolve the situation peacefully. However, this backfires horribly, as the apparent powerlessness of the ship's security starts to cause law and order on the massive ship to collapse. Tension between the mutineers and the loyalists continues to rise to boiling point. All hell then breaks loose when a firefight starts up between several members of the ship's security and the mutineers when the former tried to stop the rebels from using one of the cargo bays as a target-practice range. All the animosity and anger on the ship then explodes out into the open as the mutineers and the loyalists break out into open warfare for control of the ship. Eventually the mutiny is put down for good, but at this point the ship has been heavily damaged by the conflict, and hundreds have been killed.

Sometime shortly after the end of the mutiny, either through deliberate sabotage or a genuine accident, chemicals began seeping into the oxygen recyling units. This causes a mentally degenerative diesease to begin spreading through the ship's crew. As the death toll shoots through the roof, all semblance of control over the ship fails. Plants in the hydroponics bay, mutated by the chemicals, begin spreading uncontrolably throughout the ship. The captain's last coherent entry into his log was a brief mention that some of the surviving medical staff had found a cure for the diesease, but it could only work on children.

The team realise the truth - they and everyone else on the ship are all the descendants of the ship's original crew, and the ship itself has been flying uncontrolled through space for centuries while the survivors lost all knowledge of where they were. With their entire world turned upside-down, the team begins to view this "Earth" place as some sort of paradise. After all, why else would someone go out on a trip lasting thousands of years just so their distant descendants could get there? They decide to try and fly the ship to Earth, and set out to find Bridge, where they think they can control the ship from.

Upon finding the bridge, they're surprised to find it locked down and heavily sealed off from the rest of the ship. They manage to force entry into the bridge, and once inside they're immediately captured by giants, the first living giants ever seen. From the leader of the "giants" they learn more of the truth. The ship arrived in orbit of Earth fifty years ago, brought there safely by the ship's autopilot. Earth's government, not knowing what the hell they could do with the inhabitants of the ship, decided to observe them covertly. They sent teams in to secure important parts of the ship and observe the inhabitants through the surveilance systems on the ship. The giants aren't giants at all - they're normal humans. The inhabitants of the ship have shrunk over the centuries. The government of Earth hired humans small in stature to go in undercover and pose as inhabitants of the ship, helping to keep the tribes from discovering the truth of their situation while their more conventionaly sized comrades kept the ship in working order.

While the humans are trying to figure out what the hell they should do with the protagonists now that they've discovered the truth, a few of them manage to escape back to Forwards and the tribes. They warn them that the "giants" still exist and have been watching and controlling everything on the ship. They also reveal that some of the "giants" are living amongst them. This revelation causes the situation on the ship to go straight to hell, as the paranoid and terrified inhabitants of the ship begin lynching anyone suspected of being a "giant". The humans, deciding they've had enough and that the inhabitants of the ship can go and rot in space, send in armed squads to get their undercover people out safely.

Unfortunately this just makes things worse. The various tribes and Forwards ally to fight off the "invaders" who they believe are coming to kill them all. This degenerates into open warfare on the ship between the humans and the inhabitants. The humans on the ship's bridge quickly decide to flee once they recieve reports of a large mob of Forwarders heading towards them, and escape in a shuttle. The rest of the protagonists, now free, try and find a way to land the ship on Earth before they fly past it (under the impression that the ship is moving very quickly past the planet). The protagonists think they've found their answer when the ship's primitive AI, detecting fires raging throughout the ship due to all the fighting, suggests activating the Emergency Stop system.

As chaos continues to rage throughout the ship and vital systems, already stretched to the limit by centuries with no maintanence, begin to fail, the protagonists locate the Emergency Stop system and, after hestitating briefly, activate it. The ship begins to break up into seperate small self-contained units. The majority of these, lacking power due to damage, fall into the Earth's atmosphere and either burn up or slam into cities with no survivors. Some of the units, those with some power left, spiral off into the depths of space, never to be found again. The book ends as our protagonists, onboard one such unit, eagerly discuss how long it will take them to finally land on Earth.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Mikey » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:08 pm

Yeesh.


I'm reminded of H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Outsider." The first-person protagonist tells of his childhood, all alone as far as he can remember, spent inside some sort of windowless building or somesuch series of stone-walled rooms. He has dreams of some other sort of existence, and finally these become a compulsion which causes him to find some sort of dome or cupola and make the arduous climb to what appears to be an egress. He makes the long, painful climb and gets out of the building, only to mysteriously find himself at ground level. He is distracted from considering this when he sees another building with lights and the sound of merriment.

Our protagonist approaches and surveils the building and, yearning for social contact which he's never had, finally decides to enter. Just then, the crowd inside all start to express panic at some sort of apparition. The protagonist, too, sees through a cut-out in a wall the source of their fear and begins to exhibit similar panic. The monster is never described physically,
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:28 am

Tyyr wrote:
RK_Striker_JK_5 wrote:The YJK, the series before the NJO set up the next generation perfectly to take over. Or at least step up in a serious way. Now... nothing's left. :(

That was the thing, I thought that was the whole point of the YJK, to get the next generation up and going. Boy was I wrong, they went through that group with a machete.


Oh, the point of the YJK was to do that. You're right there. The NJO and subsequent books simply dropped the ball and kicked it down the sewers. And I fucking HATE them for doing it.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Vic » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:52 am

Mikey wrote:Yeesh.


I'm reminded of H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Outsider." The first-person protagonist tells of his childhood, all alone as far as he can remember, spent inside some sort of windowless building or somesuch series of stone-walled rooms. He has dreams of some other sort of existence, and finally these become a compulsion which causes him to find some sort of dome or cupola and make the arduous climb to what appears to be an egress. He makes the long, painful climb and gets out of the building, only to mysteriously find himself at ground level. He is distracted from considering this when he sees another building with lights and the sound of merriment.

Our protagonist approaches and surveils the building and, yearning for social contact which he's never had, finally decides to enter. Just then, the crowd inside all start to express panic at some sort of apparition. The protagonist, too, sees through a cut-out in a wall the source of their fear and begins to exhibit similar panic. The monster is never described physically,
Spoiler:


I remember that one, it left me depressed for a day or so.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:14 pm

Not a single book, and none of which I've ever read, but the definitive list of why Karen Traviss is a fucking idiot:

General Schatten wrote:Wrote a story about how the Yuuhzan Vong view the Mandalorians as on equal terms with the Jedi and the Sith.

Made the Mandalorians into peaceful farmer Soldiers, all self-sufficient and manly to a one.

Gave said Mandalorians a magic metal that only they could forge despite not even a fraction of a percent of the resources the galactic governments (Republic and Empire) put into their chemical and metallurgical science divisions.

Made Ben Skywalker wish he was a Mandalorian.

Wrote that Jaina Solo, ace pilot of the legendary Rogue Squadron, needed instructions from Mandalorian trained Ben Skywalker in how to use a helmet commsystem.

Wrote that Boba Fett was the greatest Jedi Hunter in the galaxy despite Luke having fought and killed more Jedi than Boba had ever seen.

Wrote that Jaina Skywalker, Sword of the Jedi, could not comprehend how to deal with an opponent (Mirta Gev, Boba's granddaughter) who had lightsaber resistant armor. Despite having made her reputation as a war hero fighting Yuuhzan Vong.

Writing the Imperial Commando 501st Book, which was only tangentially related to the Imperial Commandos and the 501st.

Wrote that Luke Skywalker didn't know what made a Sith different from a Jedi.

Wrote that Jaina Solo needed to learn a completely new style of fighting to beat Jacen from Boba Fett. At the insistence of her uncle who had refrained from killing Jacen because he foresaw that it would cause his son to turn to the darkside.

Pellaeon saying that Daala would make a good first female Moff. Daala was an incompetent and there's already been a female Moff, said Moff was also the youngest one ever.

Wrote the retarded 3 million clone army bullshit and tried to, ineptly, defend it in her novels.

Wrote in her blog that anyone who like a Jedi was akin to a neo-nazi.

Shit all over Abel G. Pena's previously written canon and then whined about her canon being overwritten by Lucas.

Gloats about how she's never read a Star Wars novel in her life.

Thinks there's some underlying story that only her journo skills will let her get at.

Writes the most retarded characterization of Soldiers I've ever heard.


From here

Jesus H Christ. :shock: I really don't like the woman or her plots (as I'm sure people will be shocked to hear :P ) but I didn't know she was that bad. I hadn't heard of half that nonsense before.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Sionnach Glic » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:29 pm

To expand the list:

* Killed off Gillad Pellaeon.

* Had Daala hire Fett and the Mandos to hijack a Super Star Destroyer.

* Had Daala later kidnap Pellaeon's body and run off with Fett back to Mandalore.

* Made Daala chief of state of the Galactic Alliance.

* Completely turned around Daala's view on the Jedi to fit Travis' own, despite Daala having a good deal of respect for their abilities in Darksaber.

* Had the Jedi's role in the GA taken over by the Mandalorians.

And most of that was just one bloody book.

So it seems like Daala's become her own self-insertion character. I guess it wouldn't make sense for that "journo" character from the Clone Wars era to still be around to act as Travis' avatar. She kills off the best Imperial character still alive, wanks to the Mandalorians yet more, and screws with a character that another author created.

It's no fucking wonder that the other authors got fed up with her shit and had Mandalore BDZed.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Sionnach Glic wrote:It's no f***ing wonder that the other authors got fed up with her s**t and had Mandalore BDZed.


It gets better - the other authors (specifically Denning IIRC) only biocided Mandalore. It was Lucas who BDZed it. :lol:
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Sionnach Glic » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:38 pm

Seriously?

+5000 respect for Lucas! :lol:
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Tyyr » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:42 pm

Killing Gillad was a crime against Star Wars. The man was the perfect model of an Imperial officer who wasn't a mustache twirling psychopath.

Daala should have been stuffed in a golden bikini and allowed to do what she was best at.
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Re: The Worst Book You Ever Read

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:18 pm

Sionnach Glic wrote:Seriously?

+5000 respect for Lucas! :lol:


Well it was the Clone Wars series that stated that, and Lucas has apparently been pretty heavily involved, so I think we can assume that if it wasn't his idea personnaly, it got a direct stamp of approval from him.

Tyyr wrote:Killing Gilad was a crime against Star Wars. The man was the perfect model of an Imperial officer who wasn't a mustache twirling psychopath.


Aye, although he's far from universally popular. To some, he's the Old Man of the Empire, the consummate professional officer who saved the remnants of Death Squadron and the Moddell Sector Fleet and later stabilised the Empire after the chaos of the warlord era and the failure of Op SHADOWHAND to conduct an orderly fighting withdrawal to the rim. To others he's Old Fuss and Failure, the man whose premature retreat abandoned Grand Admiral Teshik, whose Captaincy after fifty years of service speaks to incompetence, and whose tendency to retreat in the face of relatively minor setbacks doomed the Empire.

So far as I'm concerned, he's Pelly. The first Imperial officer of the new EU, and one of the few in whom you can see the calm professionalism of Needa and Piett.
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