Literary Disappointments (was: The LKH thing)

Mon Feb 17 07:15:03 PST 2003

On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, Chris Turkel wrote:

@> I read that trilogy and thought, "What a good idea. Too bad you ruined 
@> it." I feel the same way about the Pern books: There are some good 
@> ideas there but she ruins them. My aunt copy edited Acorna's World and 
@> thought her style was stiff.

Ditto on this. 

Pern is kinda a bothersome one for me. Literally every single
SF-knowledgeable person I knew told me the Pern books were excellent, so I
ended up buying four even though I hated every one. I just kept hoping the
next one would be better.

@> >> And there's Jordan's Wheel of Time, which has also come up. This is 
@> >> what
@> >> happens when you take a four-book series and stretch it out to three 
@> >> times
@> >> that length. With sniffling and much adjusting of necklines.
@> Yes! Oh I am so sick of sniffs, adjusted necklines, stiffens, etc. For 
@> a while Nyvanae's pulling of her braid got me.

Well, this is how Jordan gets each book to 1200 pages. Each character has
this enormous collection of nervous gestures that they constantly run
through throughout the series (checking their hidden weapons?) - I'm not
sure what the intended effect of this is, but the actual effect tends to
be along the lines of "get on with it!" It's such a pain sifting through
pages and pages of tedious hair-pulling and cross-chatter to find the
significant event that actually occurs in the chapter.

I've always said that Roger Zelazny could have written that entire series
in one 300-page book. And it would have been better, too. Hell, Tolkien
spent his entire life on less than two Jordan-sized books of published
material. If you're taking up that much space, you ought to be doing more
with it.

(Heh. Another interesting tangent: how long would it have taken Mr. Brust
to write the Wheel of Time series? And what would it have looked like?)