Anger.......

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Dr. Why
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Anger.......

Postby Dr. Why » 28 Mar 2009 17:01

I was just about to review the hack's Star Wars novel Darksaber on Amazon and I cam across this glowing five star review of the book

"I picked Darksaber up on a whim, being bored with the cookie cutter Sci-Fi/Fantasy at my local book store. Darksaber did not disappoint. Kevin Anderson is a master at constructing a good story, and at keeping you turning the pages. I found Darksaber hard to put down. I am an avid reader, and it is rare where a writer captures my attention to the point where I will seek out his other books and read them. Having churned through numerous authors and styles of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, I have been disappointed often. even if you are not a fan of Star Wars, this book and story is good. Check it out."

For some reason, this review has moved me to anger and I just had to rant. I mean "Kevin Anderson is a master at constructing a good story"!?!?! seriously have you not read Dune, or Iain Banks or Hyperion or any of the number of truly great Science Fiction novels. This just angered me to no end.
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Postby Nekhrun » 28 Mar 2009 17:13

That review is bullshit. There's no way someone wrote that after putting down a kja book.

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Postby Ampoliros » 28 Mar 2009 17:22

read the 1-star reviews, they are hilarious

assume that all the 5 star reviews are either 5 yr olds or paid to post.
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Postby dunaddict » 28 Mar 2009 18:02

Hilarious indeed! :D Most of the reviews could be mistaken for McDune-reviews. Read these fine examples:

However, as usual, Anderson fails horribly when it comes to fleshing out his ideas. He does not do anything resembling justice to the original characters, nor are his new characters realistic, believable, true to SW, or enjoyable. Humor, once again, is childish, slapstick, and (how do I put this?) stupid. Also in the fine Anderson tradition, most characters are whiners.

Quoting the Movies is NOT Writing a Book

His writing style is atrocious, simply atrocious. His books do not contain a single quote. Not one. Why? because it is written completely in the 3rd person in which character thoughts and dialogue with each other is summarized. It reads like a condensed novel.

Like most of Anderson's books, I found myself mentally editing as I read.

I guess he feels that by writing a fighting scene on as many pages as he can will offset his inability to give us a cohesive story that makes sense. I am truly surprised that ANY of the reviews are favorable.

It is a tired story. Anderson's writing isn't strong enough to overcome a story that does not add anything significant to the Star Wars Universe. It's middle of the road Star Wars. Nothing special to see here. Not truly worth the effort.

The characters are perpetual irritants, the plot is ludicrous, and even the "action" scenes are vapid. I kept telling myself that no one would intentionally write a book this awful. Anderson writes like he's nine, repeating himself throughout the book. Maybe he thinks the reader cannot recall what he wrote just five lines ago.

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Re: Anger.......

Postby GamePlayer » 28 Mar 2009 22:32

LOL :) Oh, that's a shill review if I've ever seen one.
Or it could be an honest review from a fan who defines "avid reader" as someone who subsists on a diet of Chick Publications and microwave operating manuals :)

At least the one-star reviews were entertaining :P
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Postby Dr. Why » 28 Mar 2009 23:52

Indeed, reading this again reminds me of the one other time I have read Anderson's work outside of Dune and Star Wars. It was again a novel where he wrote in someone else's universe..........it was called 'Captain Nemo' and indeed it 'twas not good. For any brave enough here is the link that maintains it plot description http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Nemo-Fant ... 073&sr=1-2

Granted these two one star reviews do a better way of explaining how bad this book is than I can.

So:

Jules Verne, one of the founding fathers of Science Fiction, is revealed to be a bad writer who relies on a severely bastardized Captain Nemo to supply him with ideas. This is just beautiful! I find it fitting that this premise is conceived of by Kevin J. Anderson, a writer who has relied on other writer's ideas for his career (Star Wars, Dune, X-Files, etc.).

Please, if you have any respect for Jules Verne or classic literature in general, do NOT bother with this book. Nemo, as envisioned by Anderson, bears almost no resemblance to the character depicted in 20,000 LUTS and Mysterious Island. I checked it out of the library, so at least I didn't have to pay; however, that's 4 nights of reading time that I can never reclaim.


I think the thing that bothers me most about this novel is the novelist. Had Anderson actually read any of the Verne's work, he might have understood how patently ridiculous the idea of a novel based on the "real" Captain Nemo is.

Why? Well, "Nemo" is a pseudonym, for one. It comes from The Odyssey. When Odysseus blinds the Cyclops, the creature roars out a demand for the name of the man who has done this to him. The answer is "Nemo", or "No man", which is how Odysseus tricks the Cyclops into lying to his brethren. "Who did this to you?" they ask. "Nobody. Nobody did this to me."

So, Verne has his unnamed Captain adopt the name "Nemo" to show that he has separated from the world of men, and their greed and abuse. The idea that it is a true surname is absurd.

At the end of "The Mysterious Island", Verne reveals that Nemo is an expatriate Indian, which makes it even more unlikely that he would be around to befriend the boyhood version of Verne.

Of course, Verne could have made that bit up.

Tie it all to dull writing and a drab storyline and what you get is a dreary, dreary book that will make your blood boil with annoyance.
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Postby SandChigger » 29 Mar 2009 02:00

He evidently did something similar in his Martian War with H. G. Wells, only tried to include everything Wells ever wrote in the mix.

Two great science fiction writers of the past weren't imaginative geniuses, they were either hacks who simply recorded events that were told to them by more adventurous friends or liars who fictionalized their own strange experiences. But Kevin is the imaginative one for reimagining them thus.

And Frank Herbert's greatest works are just the scribblings of a horny princess.

Feh.

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Postby Hunchback Jack » 29 Mar 2009 12:28

He wrote some variation of Fantastic Voyage too, piggybacking on Asimov's renown. Never read it tho.

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Postby Seraphan » 29 Mar 2009 13:09

Not to mention that Starcraft novel he wrote. Death must be walking blind :evil:
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Postby SandChigger » 29 Mar 2009 17:23

That's the one about the video game?

Evidently he used his stepson and the latter's friends as "informants" in the writing (if it's the one I think it is). 'Becca co-authored on that one, too, I think.

The reviews weren't great. A lot mentioned it being like something written by someone who had read the game manual but didn't know any of the other game lore.

So much for research. :roll:

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Postby TheDukester » 29 Mar 2009 18:01

Just another set of outraged fans ... oh, I'm sorry, Kevvie, I mean "talifans." Because, obviously, they're just a bunch of haters, right?

28 one-star reviews, right here

It's breathtaking what an incredible hack he is ...
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Postby orald » 29 Mar 2009 23:19

Anyone got a link for this Starcraft story? This oughta be fun! :lol:

But wouldn't he rather write in the 40K universe, or does he prefer hacking the hacks(blow me Blizzard fanboys)?
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Postby GamePlayer » 30 Mar 2009 10:00

For a video game, Starcraft has a good story. However, the story of Starcraft only goes as far as it's needed to make for an engaging video game. By far, it's the detailed fictional world and the politics of the three races that make the narrative aspects of Starcraft so compelling. But to write actual novels about Starcraft? You'd need someone who can build vibrant characters and give some personality to the universe. That ain't KJA, even in his alter ego as Gabriel Mesta :roll:

I like the "Does it come with crayons?" comment. It says something quite damning about KJA as an "author" when the Star Wars and Starcraft crowd are as harsh about criticizing him as we are. I mean, it's not like Star Wars or Starcraft is Dune, yet even with expectations lowered, KJA still hits bottom :)

It's like I've always said, whether it's Star Wars, Dune or Starcraft, KJA is known as a hack the world over. Yep, only a few bad apples out there; whatever you say, Kevy. :roll: :wink:
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Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Mar 2009 21:18

The reviews on Amazon for the Fantastic Voyage novel are interesting reading. Not there there are many of them; I guess it wasn't a big seller.

The 5-star reviews are all of the "this was an awesome action-packed thrill-ride" variety. The low-star reviews were more thoughtful, and are very familiar - KJA had some cool ideas, but didn't have the writing chops to fulfill their potential, or write an interesting novel.

I won't reproduce them here, but this is a good one. It's long, but worth the time.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R97L90MHUFSCC/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R97L90MHUFSCC

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Postby SandChigger » 31 Mar 2009 00:16

There's a good review, for sure. (I'm curious about the plot details he wouldn't spoil, though. Anyone read it? I looked to see if Arthur W. Jordin had reviewed it ... his "reviews" are basically restatements of the plot with a line or two of bland commentary. ;) )

Ooh, Harriet Klausner has "reviewed" it. And she wants a sequel?! :shock:

The characters are fully developed and deliver the action that makes readers want to see them star in future adventures.

:roll: Absolute and total shill.

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Postby Hunchback Jack » 31 Mar 2009 01:23

From some of the other reviews, I think there were a series of battles between the miniaturised ship and alien antibodies or nanomachines.

Basically, instead of using the initial premise as a way to discuss and explore different possibilities of alien anatomy, KJA glossed over the anatomy and turned the book into a Star Wars novel.

It's actually fairly astounding how often he botches a genuinely interesting idea. Someone like Bear or Brin would have been able to create a fascinating hard SF novel from that premise. KJA is simply incapable of doing anything but blow things up.

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Postby SandChigger » 31 Mar 2009 04:43

He both blows and sucks. :wink:

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Postby Rakis » 31 Mar 2009 13:51

SandChigger wrote:He both blows and sucks. :wink:


That's a hard thing to swallow... :shock:

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Postby Ampoliros » 31 Mar 2009 15:22

orald wrote:Anyone got a link for this Starcraft story? This oughta be fun! :lol:

But wouldn't he rather write in the 40K universe, or does he prefer hacking the hacks(blow me Blizzard fanboys)?


I'd love to see him write for the WH40K universe. He'd be attacked and smashed by soccer hooligans then burnt on a pyre of his own work.

There are some surprisingly good books in the WH40k universe, btw.

I love reading some of those Starcraft reviews. Its funny how they complain that he had Zerg aliens mowing through Confederate forces in full armor, yet later the same aliens can't destroy a pick-up truck.
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Postby Hunchback Jack » 31 Mar 2009 23:25

Those one-star reviews for the Starcraft novel are hilarious. Given that this is a book based on a video game, I'd imagine that expectations are a bit lower than a Dune novel, say, to begin with. But KJA doesn't even come close to being good enough, as far as these reviewers are concerned.

There's also an anthology of the first four Starcraft books, and almost every review says things like "this is a great anthology, except for the KJA book which is complete crap". I laughed my ass off.

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Postby SwordMaster » 01 Apr 2009 08:54

No suprise that he tried to write in Starcraft, most 13 yr olds try a novel of their favorite game at some point. What I cant figure out is, does he even have any passion, I mean from the reviews I read its as though he is just going through the motions.

Most authors that write in someone elses universe honestly do "Love" that universe. I always knew he did not know much about Dune and by that logic maybe never even read the FH books. But now it seems like he really does not "love" any universe. He just sort of plows through it and puts it out.

The one thing about KJA that I can really say is positive. He makes me think I could be an author. I mean if he can, anybody can.
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Postby SandChigger » 01 Apr 2009 18:49

Exactly. :D

And I think that's why his fanboys are so fierce in his defense (or, at least, used to be). A large number of them are also talent-free wannabe writers, so when you attack Kevin and point out what a failure he is as a writer, in their minds you're really attacking their dream.

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Postby Redstar » 02 Apr 2009 04:49

Video games typically don't have very good stories, though that's changing. The Halo series, Bioshock, Mass Effect, and a few others are good examples for the consoles.

But I think PC games have typically always had better stories going for them. The King's Quest was loose, but it built up on itself. Warcraft and Starcraft both do a good job as far as creating a mythos, but story writing? That's what the novelizations are for... So KJA is just treating them like another cash cow. It's the old mentality of comic books, which Moore and the others long took care of. When will video games get the same?

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Postby GamePlayer » 02 Apr 2009 10:02

SandChigger wrote:Exactly. :D

And I think that's why his fanboys are so fierce in his defense (or, at least, used to be). A large number of them are also talent-free wannabe writers, so when you attack Kevin and point out what a failure he is as a writer, in their minds you're really attacking their dream.


Funny how things have changed. It used to be that potential writers would aspire to be the best so they could produce works at least somewhat worthy of the great writers. Now, it seems people want more mediocre writers so that less effort is needed on the part of fans who aspire to be writers themselves.

Redstar wrote:Video games typically don't have very good stories, though that's changing. The Halo series, Bioshock, Mass Effect, and a few others are good examples for the consoles.

But I think PC games have typically always had better stories going for them. The King's Quest was loose, but it built up on itself. Warcraft and Starcraft both do a good job as far as creating a mythos, but story writing? That's what the novelizations are for... So KJA is just treating them like another cash cow. It's the old mentality of comic books, which Moore and the others long took care of. When will video games get the same?


Video games, for obvious reasons, are much better at building the fictional construct of a given universe rather than a strong story that stands on it's own. The problem is the lack of character for the protagonist(s), an obvious problem in a game when the player himself is the protagonist(s).

The other obvious problem with a video game is the necessary focus of any given video game on game play, not story. The nature of the video game is such that game play must come first. Even if the story in a video game is very strong, it all falls apart if the game play itself is weak.

It's like film; the nature of film is visual presentation, so when you want to show something, you can't leave it up to imagination like in a book. In film, you have to show what you want to include in your story. If the visual presentation of a film is weak, so is the film, even if the story is good.
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Postby SandChigger » 02 Apr 2009 10:09

I'm not sure I understand the need for novelizations of video games.... I mean, it's bad enough that they make movies of them. :roll:


(That said, I do quite enjoy the Biohazard movies. Go, Alice! :P )

(And no, I've never played the game. Played an old version of Doom a few times. That movie sucked.)