(NEW READERS: Part two here. Part three here.)
I enjoyed the Dune series up to book 4. Book 5 got weird because Herbert took it in a different direction. But 1,2 and 3 were part of his vision for the series and 4 was a wrap-up of that initial vision. Just because his vision differed from our fanboy fantasy of how the books should have gone doesn’t automatically mean they suck. The Bene Gesserit were correct with their estimate; the Kwisatz Haderach *was* a generation after Paul – it was his son. Just because Paul Atreides was egotisticly confident doesn’t mean he is right. And when the book was published, incest amongst royalty was widely accepted as tolerable, so that shouldn’t be penalized against him. If Frank Herbert could predict trends in human culture he wouldn’t have needed novels to make his fame.
Excuse me, when I say Kwisatz Hederach I don’t mean it of the canonical definition. I mean it as the entity who actually applies and uses this power to shape humanity. In my opinion Paul-Mua’dib Atreides gave up his rights to that title when he gave up his life to die in the desert. And remember, the Tleilaxu has already created numerous “Kwisatz Hederach”s before Paul’s existence, but none of them were worth the title because they were controlled and destroyed as the Tleilaxu seemed fit.
OH MY GOD! SO TRUE!
At least, from the set I’ve read. Especially Eddings. I mean, Jesus Christ, at certain points even the god damn characters are pointing out how repetitive all this shit is. And could that book have been any more Deus Ex Machinae? I want the four months of reading time I invested in that series back, and with interest (pun!)
I LOVE Eddings, but the series is in many ways deeply, deeply, DEEPLY repetitious. I have read every book on there except for the Goodkind and that specific Piers Anthony. Donaldson is brilliant, if horribly depressing, Pullman sucks and Jordan…… is just Jordan. ‘Pillow friends’, anybody? Yeah. He’s got women issues, he does.
Terry Goodkind, The Star Wars plot but with more sadism.
Piers Anthony one – What the hell?
I know I read that Xanth book, but could someone refresh my memory? What was child porny about it? I liked Xanth for while, until he decided the whole series would be about how many bad puns he could fit into a page, but I think I stopped after the one where a mermaid spent the entire book walking around in a bra and underwear.
Wrath, that was more of a comment on Piers Anthony’s shitty books in general rather than on the single shitty book.
The Xanth novels were typically fairly clean for Anthony’s work, which is to say that creepy undertones still slipped in. Firefly is the famous child-porny one which I never read. Oh, and Bio of a Space Tyrant I suppose. Plenty of the others are gang-rapetastic. Formulaic writing and flat characters round out an otherwise unimpressive resume.
It’s like in junior high you get Pern or you get Anthony as an embarrassing reading choice for the future. One can guess which I got.
I’m sorry to say that of those I’ve read The Game of Thrones, Northern Lights and Dune. I enjoyed all of those but am in absolutely no hurry to read any of the others.
Maybe it’s because it’s almost 2am where I am, but I stared at the “Land of Bad Names” one for the longest time wondering if you forgot to Photoshop it.
[…] as you can get — though it’s true that I didn’t go the whole Eddings/Feist/Jordan route, and that until recently I was never seduced by D&D role-playing (and that as a result […]
Even though I treasure some memories of Pern from the Harper Hall Trilogy, I will gladly admit to her main series’ true nature and release them willingly into the Fairy Bubble Butterfly Lands of the Mary Sue.
Strangely enough I was also obsessed back in Junior High with the stack of cheapo paperbacks of Xanth, maybe because of the pull of the puns. Not because they were ever, ever, EVER funny but…there is something simply mesmerizing in the sheer, unrelenting BULK of them. I mean, wow. And now I guess that undercurrent of bizarreness I always felt in them was justified.
O BUT I WILL DEFEND PHILLIP PULLMAN UNTIL MY HEART IS RIPPED FROM MY CHEST AND THROWN TO THE SNOW BENEATH THE LIGHT OF THE AURORA BOREALIS.
I also liked Thomas Covenant Book I: FANTASY RAPE IS NOT REALLY RAPE. The Second Chronicles, not so much.
And no Drizzt?
Heh. I admit, I don’t think I’m familiar with any of the books/authors mentioned, besides, I think, one Piers Anthony novel, but these are still great.
Suggestion for future:
JRR Tolkien with Motherfuckers Walking with a Plot Coupon 1, 2, & 3.
There is no one who has even played D+D ever in their lives that hasn’t at least thought of doing the Feist book.
My Dune fanatic friends keep telling me about all the crazy stuff that happens in the Dune books as if it would somehow encourage me to read them.
Oh god, David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey. So much terrible fantasy, so much time spent reading it. Gah. David Eddings wrote the same fucking five book series three times. (Wacky Group with the blue McGuffin of Power saves the world in an incredibly telegraphed ending!)
Lo, but I do like Phillip Pullman, even if the rest of his books are crap on a crap cracker.
I was all ready to get really annoyed-fangirl on you, but even though I love the Thomas Covenant books, I have to give you a free pass due to “Asshole Leper Hero.”
BUT THESE BOOKS ARE STILL DEAR TO ME DAMMIT.
I thought the Terry Brooks one said “Land of Band Names” at first, which was kind of hilarious on its own despite the fact that I’ve never read any of his stuff.
I do have to puff up my chest a bit over the Pullman joke, because that’s more about a common perception of the books than what the books are actually, you know, about.
I’m with Dayv. That title would be MUCH more accurate if it was Philip Pullman’s Organized Religion is Evil, or Philip Pullman’s The Church is Corrupt.
There’s something higher suggested through the books, it’s just that that the officials who have declared themselves the controllers of and experts on that are terribly, terribly corrupt.
Hahahahaha when I reread Goodkind’s stuff removed from my highschool years, I realized how fucking preachy he is. “OH HEY COMMUNISM SUCKS GUYS”. “OH HEY, BELIEVE IN MAGIC INSTEAD OF GOD, DUDE. THESE GOD FOLLOWERS RAPE PEOPLE N SHIT”. Greaaaat.
I really don’t see the appeal of Thomas Covenant, based on the first book. Ironically, I’ve enjoyed some of Donaldson’s other stuff, but TC was crap. I was smart enough as a kid to avoid getting drawn into shitty fantasy series and superhero comics, and now as an adult I’m getting sucked into them to a degree just from being on the internet. Dammit.
What, no Mercedes Lackey?
Ha, most of those are right on the money! I’ve read all those authors, if not the books actually depicted. That being said, I may have to give some a read just because thier “new” titles are so ridiculous! Yay egregiousness!
I think Dune should be read up to Children. God Emperor isn’t bad, but you’re better off just finding some of Herbert’s essays. I literally feel asleep five pages into Heretics.
David Eddings is good, but yeah, repetitive. Of course, I just ignore all of his other series and collected the supplimental materials for the Belgariad. (Or however you spell it.) The Riven Codex actually wouldn’t make for a bad D&D campaign sourcebook.
I stopped reading Wheel of Time when I realized Perrin and Mat were the only two characters in the entire series with a shred of common sense and decency and existed to be routinely mistreated by everyone else.
Piers Anthony…. I read the first Xanth novel and that was it. He had a female character who transformed into a brainless sexpot at the height of her period. That was enough.
Glenn Cook needs a nod or two here for The Black Bleak Company and I ripped off John D. MacDonald’s Lame Naming Convention.
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s This is How We Wrote Slash in the Seventies, Biyotches
I suppose Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling are just too easy as targets go…
“– I stopped reading Wheel of Time when I realized Perrin and Mat were the only two characters in the entire series with a shred of common sense and decency and existed to be routinely mistreated by everyone else. –”
Yeah. Mistreated. IN THE PANTS!
After making it through book 10 of the WoT, I really do have to ask what Robert Jordan porn would read like.
[…] this is mostly only funny if you’ve read a lot of fantasy books, but still worth a chuckle. Mightygodking has taken a much more apt turn with the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and compiled a collection […]
The Golden Compass was actually pretty good. I read it, then someone told me the series was banned by a lot of churches for its anti-religious message, and I was very confused. There was a little bit of that in the first book, but nothing to really get up in arms about. Then I read the rest of the series. Whoa boy, they weren’t kidding. The last book in the trilogy is basically his way of saying, “Hey Catholics… FUCK YOU AND YOUR GAY, RETARD GOD.” If the first book didn’t end on such a cliffhanger, that would be another one where I’d say you should just stop after the first one.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds Piers Anthony really really really creepy.
“After making it through book 10 of the WoT, I really do have to ask what Robert Jordan porn would read like.”
The main character would surrounded by a circle of cold, aloof women, all of them naked and glowering at him disapprovingly.
Then, in synch with some horrible soundless symphony, they would all begin pulling their braids.
It would be some kind of horrible braid bukkake.
“I’m with Dayv. That title would be MUCH more accurate if it was Philip Pullman’s Organized Religion is Evil, or Philip Pullman’s The Church is Corrupt.
There’s something higher suggested through the books, it’s just that that the officials who have declared themselves the controllers of and experts on that are terribly, terribly corrupt.”
That’s really just a sideffect of the fantastic nature of the realm; Pullman himself has said that the series is about killing God.
You spelled “rapist” as “hero.” How did that happen?
O gods. Making noise in the reading room an hour and a half before the Greek exam half of your colleagues are taking is definitely frowned upon.
“Asshole Leper HeroRapist” made the tears run down my cheeks. Though I have to admit that I was an avid reader of “Mary Sue Gets A Dragon”, “Mary Sue Solves The Dragon Crisis”, “Mi Sexual Represhun wit Dragons, Let Me Show You It”, and all the rest. As a teenager. 😛
[…] MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits (tags: humor writing books) […]
I had a strange, obsessive completist mindset as a kid and so forced myself to slog through all the Thomas Covenant books. For the final title, “White Gold Wielder”, I fell short of the end by about 100 pages and never found out what happened.
The laugh I got out of “Asshole Leper Rapist” made it all worthwhile, so thank you!
Man, I can’t believe how much Piers Anthony I read, long after I knew how bad it was. I’m glad I’m too old to read this stuff any more … that said, I did read the Harry Potters, so who am I kidding
Piers Anthony let me articulate what I always found creepy about love potion plots. So, yeah.
Will Entrenkin said:
Motherfuckers Walking with a Plot Coupon
I can’t even parse that. Am I missing out on some essential jargon?
The last book in the [His Dark Materials] trilogy is basically his way of saying, “Hey Catholics… FUCK YOU AND YOUR GAY, RETARD GOD.”
Wow. You have to have one heck of a persecution complex to read that sentiment into The Amber Spyglass. I mean, it’s a great sentiment, but it’s not actually present in the trilogy that Pullman wrote.
Also, MGK, more of this please.
Very much an epic win, here. It’s one of those things where even the books I’d read and enjoyed as a teen, I had to look at the photoshopped versions and say, “Yeah, it’s a fair cop.” The satire works because it’s so knowing, I think. You can tell MGK read all this stuff…and probably, deep in his shameful heart, he’d have to admit that he enjoyed it at the time.
You left out Micheal Moorcock! I mean, I ate those books up when I was a teen- and Moorcock actually IS a good writer- but if you can’t snark on Elric, who CAN you snark on?
My college gaming group all read the Covenant series at the same time. We were all relieved to find that we had the same reaction: we had all violently thrown our books at the walls in deep frustrated furies; pissed that we couldn’t reach into the book and bitch-slap the “hero” into Getting A Clue.
Brilliant stuff, thanks for the laugh MGK
Robin Hobb is just dying to be done though. Something like: 3 books of bastard hero getting beaten around to conclude on weird, dragon, anti-climax ending
It just kept getting better and better. Could not stop laughing.
“Asshole Leper Hero”? COMEDY GOLD.
[…] Filed under: Randomness | Sometimes we feel differently about things, after time has passed. Sometimes… it’s pretty dang funny to look back at things we once loved, and to […]
Hilariously, I read (everything ever written by) Feist and somewhere in the midst of it, I thought, “hey, this is like a really lame-o video game”. And then I read the back of the book.
And it was the NOVELISATION OF THE CRAPTACULAR VIDEO GAME.
Craptacular book redux:
Oh! Go kill Vampires!
“Uh, ok. The ones over there?”
“Oh no. We can’t get in without the random item!”
Oh, I had that all along, I was just waiting for you to ask about it.
“Die Vampire! Die!!”
Die Vampire! Die!! Hey, let’s make out.
@Dayv: I don’t know if you’re missing jargon. I didn’t realize it was jargon. A plot coupon is a bit like a Macguffin; it exists solely to move the characters through the plot. I think the difference is both plot and story are built around a plot coupon, whereas only the plot really revolves around the Macguffin. Like, most of Hitchcock’s movies, you can substitute just about anything for the film or whathaveyou and the story would still work; that’s not the case with a plot coupon.
Here’s Neil Gaiman discussing plot coupons.
In the case of Tolkien, the ring exists pretty much solely so that Frodo and etc. can travel across Middle Earth, meeting other characters and experiencing other cultures, solely to destroy it.
(Tolkien = decent writer and brilliant linguist but not-so-great storyteller)
@MGK: I realize it couldn’t have been an adolescent reading habit, but throwing my book into your next round of these would make my year, and it’s been one hella year.
I just finished The Sword of Truth series since I started it in high school, and holy shit you’re not kidding. The ending basically has the liberty and life loving hero, Richard, banishing the evil “collectivist” empire to another world, where their souls do not pass to an afterlife, magic will die, and all the stupid collectivists start building churches. Essentially, our world. I find it interesting that there’s a world with an afterlife and then you’re essentially killing the immortal soul of those who disagree with you, but you’re the good guy. Damn. All the Sword of Truth books went to the used bookstore.
As much as I always have been and still remain a big fan of David Eddings … yeah, that’s pretty decidedly true. I could talk about the real draw for me was in his characterization, and his ability to tell the story, rather than any uniqueness of the overall story itself, or how the turning the whole Campbellian omnimyth structure into itself being a plot point was pretty neat, but … yeah. Still absolutely true.
To the jerk who said Jordan has women issues: first, he said in an interview that he really did have two girlfriends at once who often scheduled dates so they could both show up, and if James Rigney (Robert Jordan’s real name) could have two girls, than The Dragon Reborn can have three. Second, Robert Jordan died in September 2007 at age 54(ish) from a horrible blood disease, which is why I called you a jerk. Next time, don’t pick on the dead, you zombie-hater!
BTW, I DO have a sense of humor, and I laughed very hard until I saw that comment I’m replying to. Although I disagree with your assessment of Dune, but I agree with the Wheel of Time (“Even more Subplots” was my fave).
PS: to “Rachel” The dragonriders of pern is really SF, not fantasy. I was surprised too.
What about Dennis L. McKiernan’s epic trilogy “LOTR Lite”?
It hurts how funny this is! MGK, I don’t know you, but you just got yourself a fan! My favorite has got to be “The Land of Bad Names.” Oh! My sides!! I was such a huge Shannara fan when I was 12!!! And WoT: Characters show Up! Oh….oh the pain!
Ah, hey, awesome!
I was mad for both Piers Anthony and Anne McCaffrey some years back, but as I got older all kinds of things just looked incredibly creepy and terrible about both of them. And they’re both just so quietly misogynistic – Anthony’s women are practically always hot and often-naked and hooked up with older men who are unattractive, McCaffrey’s women are all inferior to her men.
Seconding the need to take shots at R.A. Salvatore. I tore through his Forgotten Relams stuff for years until I caught up with his published material. I sensed something was off, but it wasn’t until I started looking at his other stuff that I realized they were basically the same thing over and over. Plus, holy axe grind against the Catholic church. Damn!
Terry Brooks needed a bigger burn! Christopher Paolini needs one, too. Hmm, must think of something.
I think there was a McAffrey book where the thing amounted to rape being okay because it was neccessary for the dragons to bone.
Also, I think everyone misunderstands Richard Rahl. You see, the Imperial Order rapes and tortures. Richard Rahl and people on his side use enhanced interrogation techniques. It’s a very important distinction to make, because libertarian Ayn Rand is god Atlas Shrugged so awesome reason is beating the fuck out of strawmen.
I was actually glad(in a way) when I realized Robert Jordan was dead. I thought, “atleast he can’t write anymore of the tired super-she-bitch-character.”
Every one of his characters are retards. Rand, Mat and Perrin share way too much resemblance(which may actually be realistic considering the tiny village they grew up in) with Mat being the most different one-yet still very aggravating.
His repetition of the braid pulling act and *folds arms under breasts*(repeated CONSTANTLY) really, REALLY annoyed me.
I cannot aptly explain how aggravating it was.
Yet I’ve been reading the books anyway, and I’ve enjoyed them somewhat. I may say mean things but I am not the type to give up or totally hate whatever it is I read.
Terry Brooks did piss me off to the point that I quit reading his Magic Kingdom series.
I used to read Feist, and I admit he bores me most the time, but Betrayal Of Krondor, the video game will stand out to me as a special figment of my past.
I’m currently reading a Barbara Hambly novel, “The Witches Of Wenshar” which is a bit of a mixed-bag of good and bad. Oh and to remark on the Piers Anthony book, well- its true, child porn is acceptable in different cultures. Sexuality itself changes between cultures. What is damaging for one culture may not be for the other. With that said, I remember being pissed off when Kitiara had sex at 14 or maybe younger, in one of the DnD books.
For those who dig these sorts of books (despite their merciless treatment here), I’d like to recommend the Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker. Good stuff in a similar vein, but with more of a sense of humor, and, um, no magic, and a lot of engineering.
In fairness, Feist was going through a divorce when he wrote the game novelizations and – he freely admitted – phoning it in. And while “Betrayal at Krondor” was a classic among computer RPGs, the only thing “Return To Krondor” had going for it was Jimmy the Hand being voiced as Spider-Man with a British accent by the guy who played him in the 90s animated series.
Speaking of which – from one who got into Feist long before he got into D&D – anyone who tells you that they play a rogue without thinking about what Jimmy The Hand/Squire James of Krondor/Duke James would do in a tough spot has either never read Feist or is lying.
And no one can deny that Jimmy got the greatest heroic death of all time – destroying half an army AND his home town while not feeling any of it as his hot telepathic wife overwhelmed his pleasure centers with memories of every happy moment they had together.
I, too, was a sucker for Brooks as a junior higher. Almost 20 years later, now, going back and attempting to read that Shannara series…oh my god, I couldn’t read past the first chapter. Incredibly repetetive(!) and oh so predictable. Like most of these, no?
With Eddings, well, I’m afraid I will always enjoy his Belgariad and Mallorean series (have Rivan Codex, for some reason, too). All his other books piss me off royally, since they are pretty much the same character (just change the skin) as Garion or one of his companions, doing the same thing.
A couple other authors not on here have convinced me that I cannot read too much sci-fi or fantasy anymore. I did like “Ender’s Game”, as a nice escape from college and such, but it can’t last forever. Historical novels and non-fiction are about all I’ve been able to stomach for many years now. How disheartening!
i’m so glad that i read these books before i was a teenager. it meant that i could enjoy them without seeing how bad some parts where. well, that is except for terry goodkind and terry brooks. they both have the honour of being the only authors whose works i was unable to finish. i managed to slog my way through the amtrak wars by patrick tilley and hubbard’s mission earth (both of whom rival jordan for lengthy sagas that don’t go anywhere), but i just couldn’t carry on with the work of the two terrys. hmm, how pythonesque
“Terry Brooks needed a bigger burn! Christopher Paolini needs one, too. Hmm, must think of something.”
For Paolini, how about “Mummy Says I’m A Good Author: That’s Why She Published This Shite Herself”
[…] http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2008/10/20/mgk-versus-his-adolescent-reading-habits […]
I would say you forgot to do Mission Earth by L. Ron Hubbard, but that decalogy was so bad that the name “Mission Earth” is now synonymous with “ohdeargodmakeitstop” in my brain. Somehow I actually read the entire thing, and I will forever regret that.
You can sub out any Mercedes Lackey cover for the Anne McCaffrey one, except of course it’d be “Mary Sue Gets a Horsie”.
I am another who’s gratified to know that other people find Piers Anthony intolerable and creepy.
My college gaming group all read the Covenant series at the same time. We were all relieved to find that we had the same reaction: we had all violently thrown our books at the walls in deep frustrated furies; pissed that we couldn’t reach into the book and bitch-slap the “hero” into Getting A Clue.
Exactly how I felt reading Twilight
In fairness, Feist was going through a divorce when he wrote the game novelizations and – he freely admitted – phoning it in.
Uh, I think you’re missing the point. Remember in the first book (by which I mean Magician, when one of the guys picks “Warrior” as his character class while his buddy picks “Wizard”?
[…] Click the pic for more over at Might God King. […]
[…] Click the pic for more over at Mighty God King. […]
‘You can sub out any Mercedes Lackey cover for the Anne McCaffrey one, except of course it’d be “Mary Sue Gets a Horsie”.’
More like “Mary Sue Has Some Sex.”
Also, am I the only one who read the Piers Anthony book (maybe Isle of View) where the fifteen year old got married and had to learn what sex is in order to consummate his marriage and save his bride’s life? (Apparently, you start by hugging very close…) I’ve never read another of his books.
“Hilariously, I read (everything ever written by) Feist and somewhere in the midst of it, I thought, “hey, this is like a really lame-o video game”. And then I read the back of the book.
And it was the NOVELISATION OF THE CRAPTACULAR VIDEO GAME.”
DUDE. I totally did that with a Holly Lisle novel. *facepalms* Do you have room in that Clubhouse Of Geekitude for another person?
“To the jerk who said Jordan has women issues: first, he said in an interview that he really did have two girlfriends at once who often scheduled dates so they could both show up, and if James Rigney (Robert Jordan’s real name) could have two girls, than The Dragon Reborn can have three. Second, Robert Jordan died in September 2007 at age 54(ish) from a horrible blood disease, which is why I called you a jerk. Next time, don’t pick on the dead, you zombie-hater!”
Hey, Darth Magus! I’m sorry the guy’s dead, believe me, but AS A WOMAN (and therefore, wow, an expert on women issues), let me tell you, Robert Jordan has women issues. Writing polyamorous relationships is one thing. Writing women poorly in said polyamorous relationship is another thing entirely. It’s the latter that a lot of people object to, rather than the form.
Heh.. God isn’t real… well he DOES show up in the 2nd book…only to be killed off! *rotflmao* I love the His Dark Materials trillogy!
[…] half my friendslist, MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits (and part 2) 1:39 pm · Elsewhere […]
Oh, geez. It’s funny ’cause it’s true!
I’m mostly familiar with George R. R. Martin from his SFcybergothhorror stuff like the shorts in Sandkings, which I liked, and which kept me away from his fantasy. Kind of like David Drake’s SF is good but doesn’t make me want to read his Wizards And Dragons Demonstrate The Dehumanizing Barbarity Of War stuff.
Lol, These are all so true, which is sad because I love most of these books as well, especially Goodkind and Eddings >.
Feist’s campaign was really awesome though. Up to the point where one of the characters says, after getting slightly wounded in a swordfight, “Now, I’m REALLY angry!”. This is a line that even the best charisma roll will have a hard time selling
I love all of these, but the Pullman one hits a little too close to home. HIS DARK MATERIALS IS TOTALLY SERIOUS LITERATURE OK?
[…] this is what happened. When Boingboing linked to that first post of Photoshopped sci-fi novels, I got a major traffic spike. Such a major traffic spike, frankly, that it overloaded my former […]
Ah, brilliant post! May I suggest an alternative Jordan title? Assuming I may, here goes:
“You can tell I got paid per page”.
I don’t remember laughing as much as on the “Mary Sue Gets a Dragon” cover. So spot on, and it was a pretty good book in spite of this.
I also liked the fourth Dune book. Sadly I haven’t read most of the other parodies books, I’ve been more into scifi than fantasy back in those days.
So true … particularly “Mary Sue Gets a Dragon.” I was nine or ten when I first read an Anne McCaffrey book, and I remember thinking even then: “Uh, seriously?” Of course, that didn’t stop me from reading the other ones…
[…] one here. Part two here. This was originally supposed to be a three-day block of posts, but, well, we all […]
Aww, did somebody’s fantasy novel get rejected and he stayed up all night drinking and getting even with his photoshop? Easy to sit here in the future and say you could do better, but where were you when these books were being hammered out on manual typewriters? BTW, McCaffrey’s first novel RESTOREE is a ‘mary sue,’ as you slash fans say, but not really the rest.
So, what is it you read today that’s so much better than these books? OR that (snicker) you have written that’s superior to even poor Goodkind?
[…] More fun: Photoshopped fantasy […]
What about the sci-fi ones? These, at least:
Clarke: Rendezvous with Rama (anyone?)
Asimov: I, Robot (Maybe “I, Neurotic Robot”)
Bear: Eon (“Math in Space”)
[…] MightyGodKing Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits (part 1) […]
Feist also (allegdly, but no longer talked about) may have enjoyed playing Tekumel (Empire of the Petal Throne) – http://www.tekumel.com
“Conan the Libertarian” more than makes up for your undeserved maligning of Martin and Herbert. The ending to that series was so disappointing, too.
I compulsively read everything David Eddings (and now Leigh) has ever written, although after this Younger/ Elder gods fiasco with the worst deus ex machina ever written (and I’ve read every author on this list, if you want to be royally pissed of by a total cop-out after five (4?) books, read his newest series) I’ve sworn to never pick another one up again.
But jeez, he needs to find a new plot.
And ‘braid bukkake’ is my new favourite phrase.
[…] http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2008/10/20/mgk-versus-his-adolescent-reading-habits/ […]
Wow. Simply wow. How someone could show thier ignorance so blatantly is beyond me. Most of these books were on the #1 New York Times Best Seller List, if not all. All of your criticism shows a lack of imagination, and an inability to immerse ones self into fantasy. Don’t play any video games, your brain may melt. Jordan’s work is about to become another series of movies like Tolkien’s, and will make much much more money. But everyone is entitled to thier opinion, regardless of how rediculous it makes them seem.
Don’t procreate. We don’t need to make humanity any dumber.
[…] What if book titles actually reflected the true content of the book? They would look something like this. […]
Meiliken – You have absolutely no sense of humor. I absolutely adore Eddings, but I have no illusions that everything he’s written to date (excepting The Losers, which is not fantasy at all) is anything other than complete and utter brain candy, and it’s the same for Pern.
For the love of all the gods that may or may not exist, you couldn’t PAY me to read one more Jordan book, let alone watch a movie based on something that’s not only repetitious, but isn’t even close to witty or entertaining. Those were just awful. And by “awful” I mean “almost as bad as Anne Rice” based on sheer writing style alone.
Get a grip, get a life, and for frack’s sake get a sense of humor.
Oh, man. I love almost all these books/series and I about FELL out of my chair, howling with laughter. I salute you! This is the BEST post anywhere EVER.
Well, except for the few other posts on other topics in other places which are also the BEST post anywhere EVER. And, of course, the XKCD comics of which several are the BEST post anywhere EVER.
But STILL! I think you get what I’m trying to say here, to wit, this post wins all the Internets.
Thank you, and good day.
I’ve read quite a few of these books and enjoyed most of them, but these covers are hilarious!
And don’t take them seriously, really. The covers don’t do any harm, and frankly, I’m going to read more of the authors just because I want to see if the books are really that bad.
HAHAHAH! I read most of this stuff and couldnt agree more – and Oh DUMBASSES WHO GOT OFFENDED AND ANGRY THAT YOUR LITTLE FAIRY PRINCESS HERO WRITERS WERE MALIGNED: Lighten THE FUCK up. Geez. Nobody needs stick in the mud tightasses like you procreating. I loved many of these books and couldnt agree with the photoshopped versions more. Hey guess what? You can love your dog and still laugh your ass off when he comes in the room with toilet paper stuck on his nose!
My ASOIF alternate title would be:
“Don’t get attached to anyone!”
A friend of mine linked me to this. I am in TEARS from laughter.
And I want to form a guild called The Knights Who Say Fuck, now. Oh so very badly.
Thank you. I’ve read this list through three times now, and it keeps getting funnier…
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“Most of these books were on the #1 New York Times Best Seller List, if not all.”
That says nothing about the quality of the work, just the number of people suckered by it (see “Twilight” and the various “bestsellers” by L.Ron). Making such weak arguments only sets you up for ridicule, that’s Internets 101. If you are this touchy, for pete’s sake don’t go see the Jordan film(s) you boast of as something in those inevitable changes made in translating a book to cinema is going to really piss you off.
This is a great “collection” posted here, even if I still read the books (am reading “Mary Sue Gets a Dragon” now, coincidentally). Even tho I have the same nitpicky grouse about Pullman, I still get and appreciate the joke.
Whew! Tolkien and Heinlein are still sacrosanct.
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where are Weis and Hickman?
“You roll the dice and I’ll make sure the mage always wins.”
[…] MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits […]
I started on page 3, and I have to say this is the BEST! Eddings is some of my favorite brain fluff, Garion and Sparhawk both. Elder/Younger gods is hideous (too similar), and there was some other book that was SO Flute in Another Universe it was horrible.
The only McCaffrey I liked were the books where they found the spaceport, and even then I had issues with it.
Anthony: yeah, definitely creepy.
Can’t stand Terry Brooks. “Don’t shame his death!” grrrr.
Love Goodkind, but he does get preachy.
Jordan: ROFL!!! There are so many characters who appear *once*, or maybe one time in book 3 and then once in book 5, with the assumption that you remember exactly who this is and why the creepy violin music is playing… and braid pulling, sniffing, smoothing skirts, and crossing arms beneath breasts… GAAAAHHH!!!
I love all of these, thank you!
[…] (och innan dem, BoingBoing) länkar till en fantastisk samling av fejkade sf/f-omslag. Del 1. Del 2. Del […]
[…] Covers For anyone who reads Fantasy, the link below should be fairly amusing. Mightygodking.com Post Topic MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits __________________ Originally Posted by Blind […]
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As much as I can take a joke on a favorite author, I have to say… I have read the george rr martin series, the wheel of time series, a couple xanth books, and the phillip pullman series, and to be quite honest I didn’t get any of the jokes. Knights who say fuck? Is there swearing in a song of ice and fire? I mean, maybe there is, but if I can’t remember having read the books less than a year ago, I’d say it wasn’t so awful as to be striking. Characters show up? Seems logical for a book, no? (I agree the series DOES drag on after the 5th book, and if I wasn’t one of those people who love dragging on because it means more time with the characters, I’d hate it. mock away! but, not in a non-funyn way o.O) I did catch a good bit of “macho” stuff in xanth (women exist for nothing but feeding and cooking! or such) but no child porn whatsoever. And the phillip pullman books are anti-religious? Seriously? I swear they were my favorite books ever for a while an I never caught it. And I reread the first and second not long ago, so yeah o.O Is it all in the third?
Like I said. Make jokes about good authors that are well founded, why not. But these were completely nonsensical. Maybe the books I didn’t read had funnier, more related titles.
[…] to you MightyGodKing’s “MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits” series: parts one, two, and three. I laughed so hard I choked, for […]
Ha! I’ve read and enjoyed most of these books and their sequels. But God, aren’t these spot on?
I can’t think of a better spoof title than “The Black Bleak Company,” but it deserves one. Being one of my favorite series, you’d think I could help there.
Larry Niven: Geeks in Space
Once, long ago, I tried reading a Xanth novel, and with every page I got a stronger and stronger sense of deja vu until it developed into a raging sense of doom. It went away when I put the novel down. I don’t know if it means anything, but I never picked another one up, as much as people recommended them.
These are AWESOME! I’ve read most of the books on all 3 pages and I have to agree with your characterizations esp. concerning Anthony – I mean, how many books about prepubescent children running around in their undies do we need?
I loved the Pern series until I got old enough to understand that there were only 2 strong women on the planet and they were both bitches.
I think my favorite covers are the Feist one, the Mists of Avalon one, the Drizzt one and the Elric one. Good work!
I loved Piers Anthony’s Tarot-series. I didn’t really read much from him after that.
Anne McCaffrey’s Mary-Sue was the only one I ever liked. She was never really likable, she only got the “best” man. And, I always loved McCaffrey
Frank Herbert is okay, but a little bit cryptic.
What about Robert A. Heinlein? He liked his “old men” to (how do I say this “american correct”?) do their young daughters. Read about his “Howard-Family” an Lazarus Long. I read it all, but I never really liked it.
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[…] little while ago the Mighty God King posted a marvellous collection of doctored book covers, with the titles he felt the books he’d loved as a teenager should have had. The genius of this […]
The joke about people ranting on about David Eddings and his repetitive plots is that he intended to write them that way. The whole point of the Malloreon being like the Belgariad all over again *was* that the universe was stuck in a cycle which had to be broken. Don’t you just love people who like to bash stories they haven’t actually bothered to read? The icing on the cake is when they say: “I haven’t read these books, and I don’t ever want to, but I will make nasty comments about them regardless.”
“Making such weak arguments only sets you up for ridicule, that’s Internets 101″
I think that’s the same class where they covered “Don’t feed the trolls”.
You are incorrect but you wouldn’t know until you read all 34 books.
[…] to commentsI was reading a blog entry recently by “Mighty God King” (subtle) called MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits, as well as an article on the censorship of a Wikipedia page for the rock band The Scorpions by a […]
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I also think David Gemmell would be deserving of a similar treament.
“Larger than life anti-hero saves the world”.
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A better one for ASOIAF would be to keep the original title but change Martin’s name to Maximilien Robespierre. Because he’s given us the fantasy royals and nobles that militant republicans (in the traditional, non-american sense) have been waiting for for centuries. Also, when most genre books either have no cusses at all or twelve fucks per paragraph, Martin exercises moderation.
Umm, for those with web filtering at work, I suspect naming one of the images “childporn.jpg” could lead to some interesting visits from HR.
I would like to say that im glad some one else besides me found The Wheel of time and everything Terry Goodkind really boring. Also, i accept the Dune jabs, its not the kind of series just any one can get into, but the whole work is an amazing read, especially God Emperor of Dune.
I laughed. So many of these are so very true. Things of note:
George R.R. Martin: Yes, many of the characters are foul-mouthed, but the world he’s writing about isn’t your typical fantasy setting. It’s still by far the best writing I’ve seen in the genre; I get the impression you’re only mocking it because it’s popular.
David Eddings: I regretfully have to admit I’ve read most of his stuff. And I have to agree. If you want the full David Eddings experience in one easy novel, read The Redemption of Athalus. It’s like he put the whole 5-book series, cutting out several books worth of unimportant dialogue and exposition.
Robert Jordan & Terry Goodkind: I’ve read the first book of both series. Jordan, I stopped reading because I just hated the writing styles, the characters, and the plot. Goodkind’s first book I enjoyed, so I stopped reading so I could continue enjoying it.
I love sites that rip off other sites without siting sources… thumbs down.
Brilliant! This reflects many of my own attitudes, although I have enjoyed many hours of reading these books just to “hear” a tale well told.
Just finished the first Thomas Covenant book. I tried to read it when I was a kid but never got past the first few chapters. Now I remember why. He’s basically an asshole trapped in a world of pussies. It’s bad enough that he rapes a little girl and her old man doesn’t hunt him down and carve him up like a Thanksgiving turkey. But he also gets away with being a total dickwad to everyone else in the book without getting bitch-slapped even once. I kept hoping he’d run into a couple of George R.R. Martin’s Knights Who Say “Fuck”. They’d hang him from a tree and gut him just for laughs.
Goodkind was good for the first couple of books, then it basically turned into Atlas Shrugged with hotter chicks.
[…] SciFi and Fantasy book covers via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist. Check out the three posts (post 1, post 2, and post 3) to see the complete collection. Here are a couple of my […]
It’s easy to criticize the books years after I found them appealing, but the bottom line is that if most people read the books when they were kids, that means that they were reading as kids. My best students read fantasy. I’m just glad they are reading at all. My own sons read fantasy. I don’t care what quality fantasy they are reading. I’m just thrilled that they are ripping through book after book. I read almost all the books on this list, and although I know now that they aren’t incredibly well-written, I don’t regret the time I spent reading them. However, even when I was a kid, I wondered about Piers Anthony’s sexual development!
But where, oh where, is Marion Zimmer Bradley in this mess? Surely you can’t leave her out? Or is it, The Wimmen of Camelot are 200 Times Better Than Any Knight or King and So Am I”.
HI-larious! It lends a glimmer of hope to long dreary Sundays when contemplating reading the Wheel of Time series again. Instead, I will make little labels and rename the books as appropriate.
This would have amused me even when these books were a staple, and super serious. Had I only seen the revised cover of Dune, i might have been spared that unalterable reality of book after book.
Thank you for the laughs and the memories!
You really stick it to what Auntie Ursula calls Ye Olde Baloney Factory. Got to hand it to you especially on Twilight and Dune.
Speaking of not knowing to quit when she was ahead, I read the first two Pern novellas, Weyr Search and Dragonflight, when they ran in Analog magazine in ’66 and ’67 and I still think they were brilliant.
John Campbell did not run trivial garbage in his magazine. You had to be one hell of a writer even to attract his attention. Analog had a very wide-range readership demographic, so these early Pern stories’ popularity can’t be put down to just a lot of teenagers who didn’t know any better.
Lessa was a unique and powerful female figure in a stark, brutal but fascinating setting. If I were to compare it to anything, it would be Cinderella, but with the heroine having full agency and power, not needing any old fairy godmother. I still crack up laughing when everything starts going wrong in the castle and Lessa just bends over the sink and scrubs her plates.
We didn’t have the concept of “Mary Sue” and I am suspicious of it today because I think it puts down women. If Mary Sue means too perfect, look at Menolly. Never could stand that series, which is too bad, because it’s vividly written with a great concept.
I’m not saying McCaffery is anywhere near the writer that let’s say Leigh Brackett or MacDonald Wallis were, and along about ’98 when Masterharper of Pern came out my precise reaction was “Good LORD! Don’t that woman EVER STOP?!?!” I hope you do your computer “magic” with some of the later Pern books where she really did get unrealistic, childish, and, worst offense, boring.
Wow. Having read all those works (other than Philip Pullman), now I feel I understand them better.
[…] ago, but always provides awesome laughs for me. The third one down is appropriate for this post. Photoshopped Spec Fic Book Covers, part the first. The links to the second and third pages are on the bottom, and not to be missed. […]
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I actually liked a lot of the Goodkind books and still do.
He indeed is preachy, and I think everything goes downhill after his Faith of the Fallen.
The books after FotF were really disappointing, and I think he was tired of writing them at that point. His series ending was rushed and unsatisfying.
He also can be repetative, but I have a tendency to skim over the repetative parts (of any book).
I think it’s ultimately his characters that make me love the books (except for a few minor irrations like when Kalahn–a trained, feared, competent leader of many lands–becomes an airhead whenever Richard is around or is weak and not fearsome when it’s convenient to plot).
Goodkind made me care about even his secondary characters, so I was emotional when he killed them off.
He was also fairly inventive with some of the magic in his world (if not with plot), which is more than I can say for a lot of other books.
Robert Jordan books I have also enjoyed. Although his female characters didn’t become complete airheads, he sure made them all bitchy and controlling (as if men NEVER are that way and women ALWAYS are).
I always hate how, even though the female and male power was suppose to be balanced, a male writer just can’t seem to help himself in making his male characters stronger in some way. Something I’ve noticed.
Brandon Sanderson has become the balance to some of the more aggravating aspects of Jordan, and likewise the other way around. I think they actually would have made great co-authors of other books, had Jordan not passed away.
I don’t really care for GRRM books. I read a few of his, but his characters didn’t mean anything to me, so he could kill them off and I could care less.
“A Song of Rape and Whores” was someone’s take on ASoIaF. What is it with male fantasy/sci-fi writers and women, anyway?
Covenant I read so long ago I can barely remember anything about it except I found it irritating and unenjoyable. I CERTAINLY didn’t care about the main character. Obviously, the book wasn’t even memorable.
Dune never interested me, so I never read it. SO tried to get me to watch the movies/series of it, but those didn’t keep my attention either.
Pern never interested me either, but my aunt loved them. I thought of them as boring.
I think ultimately, it’s the characters that decide whether I like a book/series or not. Plots are so recycled (pretty much most plot ideas were used up a LONG time ago), that’s become secondary to me. Writing style is a third, unless is so clunky or over-elaborate that it gets in the way of the characters/story.
I like different kinds of heros. I like the Kushiel series because the main character was not what the typical hero is, and that right there drew me in.
I liked Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. LOVE her characters and her sense of humor. THAT series is mostly historical fiction with a dash of sci-fi/paranormal (not a whole lot) and a main romance (which is why it is often found in the romance section, even though I consider it more historical than anything). She has her aggravating habits, too, but mostly she is an awesome writer.
There’s actually not many series that I like. I’ll often buy the first book, but then abandon the rest of the series because it couldn’t hook me.
David Edding’s books kept me from committing suicide, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
I guess the value of a book to someone depends on what you get out of it.
I just read Lord Foul’s Bane. And then I saw this cover and laughed my ass off because in my 1st web search upon completion of this awful piece of crap I see exactly what the title should have been (add rapist in there too). Wow, this book is so bad on so many levels that its actually pretty fun to read. So blatantly ripping off everything Tolkien that calling it generic doesn’t begin to describe…Its like Donaldson went to college, smoked his 1st joint, got his 01st (and maybe last) piece of ass and she turned hom onto LOTR and he excreted this nonsense.
All these years after reading Dune and then the next 2, I still refuse to believe they were written by the same person: Dune IS a masterpiece (I think), but the sequals I read were, as the French would say epouvantable!..Was it the second book where his kid wears a suit of desert trout and starts leaping around like the Hulk?
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Thanks, i really enjoyed the article. Eventhough it took ages to load. *stupid it megacable!*
YOu forgot John Norman’s Gor series aka “I have serious issues with women.”
[…] (A címet pofátlanul innen loptam.) […]
“Winter Is Probably Not Coming”
“For some reason Asimov’s “Old Scientists are Sexy” and Heinlein’s “The Perfect Woman would be Me with Big Boobs” didn’t make the list, but otherwise, a cavalcade of memories.”
i’m more amused by the ‘philip pullman didn’t write an atheist series!’ comments than the original photoshops 😛
“…Pullman has left little doubt about his books’ intended thrust in discussions of his works, such as noting in a 2003 interview that “My books are about killing God” and in a 2001 interview that he was “trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”
dune is awesome, and how young are you that you got to read asoiaf in your adolescence? dang.
10 pts to gryffindor for ‘asshole leper hero’
[…] can’t laugh enough about these posts by MGK: Read them. The Game of Thrones parody cover is not the funniest, but it is my pretext for promoting them once […]
Let’s see… I enjoyed Eddings and Pullman, but I’ll freely admit that Eddings could get very repetitive (I think it really hit home the second time they got to the desert place with the ghosts). I still like Silk, though. And Pullman did get a little… heavy-handed as he went along, though not so much in the first one – I honestly missed that the Magisterium was working for the church in Golden Compass (yes, I’m American :P).
Only ever read the first few McCafferey books, never really got into them, especially since it was in middle school and the dragon mating stuff *still* made me uncomfortable. Likewise only read the first three Dune books because the third confused the hell out of me. Somehow avoided Anthony until I was old enough to know better.
Definitely spot on about Eddings. I’ve only read the Belgariad, the Malloreon and the Elenium, but I’m surprised, however, that nobody mentions the trope that I spotted popping up so often in his work: The practice of creating a minor character with next to no plot importance who is simply so sympathetic, likeable or innocent that they exist simply to get killed horribly and unjustly in order to wring a cheap emotional reaction out of the reader. I can’t remember specific examples now, but I guarantee that you’ll notice it as you read them. I even remember Eddings himself commenting on the practice fairly early on in the Elenium by having Sparhawk remark that one of the knights in his little Fellowship is simply too nice not to get killed soon. My gaming group even used Eddings as a verb to describe introducing such a “Dead-NPC-Walking.”
The Golden Compass and other books NEVER say that god doesn’t exsist, they just say that the person controlling heaven was not him. So it’s completely unreasonalbe that people don’t let their children read them, and by making such photoshop crap, you’re just adding to the contoversy.
Bahahaha, now I really know I’m a fantasy nerd. Those are pretty hilarious.
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I loved Piers Anthony from ages 9 to about 13, and although they still hold a place in my heart, I can’t seem to revisit the Xanth series. Probably because it’s just really not very good, and I know if I read it as an adult, my warm fuzzy nostalgic bubble will pop
The Incarnations of Immortality series isn’t bad, though. Some of the books, anyway. I think. Then again, I haven’t re-read them either so I’m probably remembering them better than they actually are.
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Philip Pullman’s should be “Armored Bears! Then Some Other Stuff”.
I feel like the Stainless Steel Rat series is just begging for this. I love them but damn the dialogue is stilted, and Jim is one of the biggest Marty Stus in existence, and his whole family takes after him that way.
[…] Revisiting the sad, misogynistic fantasy of Xanth and as a chaser: MGK Versus His Adolescent Reading Habits […]
Oooooh! What a dweebish way to classify the Anne McCaffrey book! Honestly, I’m getting REALLY fed up with EVERY book that features a female protagonist being automatically slotted as “romantic fantasy” or “a Mary Sue story”. Talk about being sexist! Ask yourself this: Has there ever been a story about a guy who befriends a dragon, finds a beautiful woman, gets laid and saves the world? Is HE instantly labeled a “Gary Stu”??? No. How about “Tarnsman of Gor”? I read that one in high school too. As a female, it messed me up. Or how about ANY Conan the Barbarian book? Just because the male reading the book is incapable of putting himself in a female’s head for the length of the book does not make the story a “Mary Sue”. A true “Mary Sue” requires that the female lead meet an already established hero (Mr. Spock was the first recipient of that honor) entice him to choose her despite all obstacles, and then father the obligatory children with her. And how do I know about the “Mary Sue” trope? I’m old enough to have attended Star Trek cons in the early 70’s, and the person who originated the appellation “Mary Sue”, Paula Smith, is someone I’ve been on panels with at cons.
Instead of showing a distinct tendency to be out of touch with your “female side”, it is recommended that you have a better understanding of the labels you’re using. And to shove you into my shoes, remember this: women and girls are expected, as readers, to put themselves in both male and female lead roles in order to enjoy almost any book or movie. There is no reason at all that men can’t do it too. True men man up and try to see it from our point of view sometimes.
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Wheel of Time: SSDCI (Same Shit, Different Cover Illustration).
Brilliant… Hysterical… I can’t wait for the next in the series 😉
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