What frustrates you most as a fan of Science Fiction/ Fantasy about authors of that genre?

More or less I am curious what sort of things you are tired of in the Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Novels. Authors can sometimes not strike a right note, or perhaps you're just tired of reading stories with similar elements to them? What (off the top of your head) would you like to see. Anything from Plots to Storyworlds to annoyingly generic characters. I am a writer and find myself wondering what people are craving for or simply tired of seeing over and over. Also what completely turns you off of a novel?

Thanks for any and all input.

9 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best Answer

    If I could give you a dozen stars, I would. This question has been revolving in my mind for...5 years now? More? Mostly because I cant stand today's speculative fiction. At. All. Especially fantasy. So childishly written. So incredibly predictable. So pretentious. So shallow/empty. So verbose and boring. They should list "reading fantasy" as a legitimate precursor to dental disease. The teeth grinding alone...

    Anyway. Aside from the aforementioned...I cannot tolerate the RPG writing style of a lot of speculative fiction (and this can be found in all subgenres under speculative fiction, not just fantasy).

    You see authors using onomatopoeia, or long passages describing exactly HOW a character kicked an orc's head off, or extremely lazy (and childish) descriptions ("Awesome shockwave of power"--mistborn--Brandon Sanderson), giving characters super-hero powers and then puppeting them through a generically predictable plot line, or creating incredibly stupid magic systems that threaten to turn the fantasy into a space-opera because they leave no mystery to the reader's mind and explain everything to the point where it's a science (example? Sanderson's Mistborn...congrats mate...you've been nominated twice for my sh!t list).

    And I'm sorry but I don't give a toss if we live in an eco-friendly society. It is NOT ok to recycle each others stories over and over again. I understand that plots are few and far between. I understand that some genres require formula and archetypes and others tropes. But "Parry Hotter" is just Harry Potter with dyslexia. It's still the same bloody story.

    Where's the originality? Where's the actual EFFORT in their writing? (It seems authors are just cashing in on trends until they squeeze every last dime out of it, then follow the next big fad until they suck the life out of that too...locusts they are..they're like an Egyptian plague).

    Where's the literary quality? No figurative language? No in-depth themes? No symbolism? Nothing? I'm not looking for Robert Frost, mate. But I *do* want quality. I want to think after reading the story. I want a plot or a character to address a cosmic question that haunts mankind. Like...'what's the purpose of life?' or "what are mankind's limits?" I want to pause while I'm reading the story because the character described something so beautifully in their figurative language, that the comparison deserved a moment of silent appreciation.

    I'm...bordering on a rant here so...I'll step off my soap box. lmao. Basically, I'm frustrated that science fiction recycles the ideas (like a dystopian society resulting from technological advancement instead of utopia), and fantasy writers basically sticking their hands in their diaper and smearing the contents of it all over the netting of their plan pen for the rest of the little fantasy authors to play in. Just...I'm tired of authors playing in the same old toy box. Innovation will push these genres forward but people are too afraid or too lazy to think outside the box. They'll wait for one of their homicidal readers to write the fan-fiction of the century..then they'll cash in on that idea too. Mmm. Bad taste in my mouth. I'm finished.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Probably that 90% of them out there have basically the same story line

    an orphan.... a world is in turmoil usually some kind of war between worlds or between the obviously 'good ones' and the obviously 'bad ones' with a main monster/magician/evil whatever that is the source of it all.....finds s/he is extremely talented, the most magical/powerful/greatest/intellegant magician/warrior/random new ability which is because of birth right/something that his/her dead parents did....meets side kicks....fights a war that has been going on for ages and single handedly win's it.

    Wish there was more originality in fantasy!!

    I love stories like Robin Hobb the Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders. Hobb is a bit tough on her characters and follows some of the above issues however the emotional pull of her characters and the dark, twisted choices that are made with serious consequences make this a great book. The liveships traders breaks the mould of normal fantasy and incorporates the mind set of all characters 'good' or 'bad'. This leaves you with a dark sympathy and an emotional trial within yourself giving leave to accept some ill treatment towards other favoured characters.

    Patrick Rothfuss also does this well, probably the best fantasy I've every read as it has a captivating plot, amazing characters and the protagonist doesn't always seem to do the 'right' thing which makes situations worse for him. It's cringy but funny at the time. Set in a storytelling dialogue the future and the past clash at certain points and make you wish he had finished the series already!

    Hope this helps...these are just my opinions on books I've read as right now I'm struggling to find anything worth reading in the fantasy section. I think a strong emotional attachment to one or more of the characters is paramount. Most authors miss this wildly and it's so important. Nobody relates to a hero that is a goody two shoes.

  • 3 years ago

    Furthermore to already listed authors one of the crucial best are:- Terry Pratchett Roger Zelazny Michael Moorcock Janet Morris Jerry Pournelle Henry Kuttner Ursula ok Le Guin A E Van Vogt Nancy Springer Julie E. Czerneda Esther Friesner Holly Lisle Octavia E Butler Iain M Banks Lois Mc grasp Bujold Suzette Haden Elgin A A Attanasio Marion Zimmer Bradley Frank Herbert Henry Kuttner David Webber James H. Schmitz Andre Norton Philip Jose Farmer Cordwainer Smith Christine Feehan Sherrilyn Kenyon Robert A Heinlein Bob Shaw Barbara Hambly Elizabeth Moon Steven Brust

  • Fitz
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Sci-Fi: Too many space operas. Star Wars was cool, but there are other plot lines. No need for an "evil empire" vs. the righteous minority stories that get get pumped out like their being assembled in a factory. I recently read a book called "Calculating God" about an alien that comes to Earth and spends a lot of time with a human scientist trying to convince him that it's scientifically impossible for god not to exist. Now, I'm an atheist, but what an original and clever idea! We need more writers with ideas like that.

    Fantasy: Does every fantasy story HAVE to have elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins with new names? I love Lord Of the Rings, but copying it and recopying it with different names is really unoriginal. The Eragon series is really popular, and I can't figure out for the life of me why. It reads like a movie script written by a 14 year old. Incidentally it was, yet it's a best seller. I don't get it.

    @Jillian: I agree. It started when Anne Rice humanized vampires (though I have to admit, I love her books), but it led to Twilight which aggravates me to no end. They ruined a perfectly good monster and turned it into a bleeding heart teenage angst symbol. What a waste. Though I did recently read a vampire book that was a very interesting take on the subject called "The Passage" by Justin Cronin. I HIGHLY recommend the book, it was truly outstanding. Here is Stephen King's review: Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve.

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  • Gina
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    To me, there are two kinds of SciFi: pop-scifi and literary-scifi.

    I only like the latter. The big difference is that the literary type uses unnatural situation to create scenarios that portray REAL emotions or make the reader think about REAL ethics. The "scifi" nature should only be a platform on which to build relatable characters and emotions, and to bring up questions we may have to answer one day.

    Pop-scifi, on the other hand, uses the sci-fi elements as the center of the story. It aims to shock or entertain, but that's it.

    My biggest problem with modern Sci-Fi is that people are all making the "pop" variety. Where are the Isaac Asimovs and Phillip K. ***** these days?

  • 7 years ago

    I personally don't care for having vampires and werewolves as romantic figures. I feel as though that's taken away their power and original symbolism. I wouldn't mind reading a lot of vampire novels if they weren't glorified as some perfect boyfriend image.

    I also hate it when something is just poorly written in general or they try and use pretty words in place of names like Starlight Glitterton instead of something like Alison Baker even if it's "not real". If anything, I can't accept things like that unless there's an explination for such dazzly names ad that they make it seem realistic like a futurecommunity of redoing last names according to powers or whatever, but I've yet to find that.

    If you're looking for ideas of what to write for your pieces and make it appropriate for your genre: note that sci fi and fantasy are still types of fiction and fallow similar rules to plain ol' fiction. I was taught to search for ideas via people watching and avoid as much media influence (including the internet ironically) as I can and to draw then apply from what I've seen in real life. This is usually why people say my bets work is when I draw from my own experiences.

    Source(s): creative writing major - it's my specialty
  • 7 years ago

    Thinking that they have to stick to the same general plot line. There's nothing wrong with going a bit wild with your ideas, much like Tolkien did when he wrote Lord of the Rings.

    Most authors or wannabe writers seem to think that they have to follow whatever everyone else is doing, such as sparkly vegetarian vampires, wizards going to school and performing magic with wands...

    Basically, to be a good book in my mind, you have to *not* follow the herd. :)

  • 7 years ago

    Two words. Love. Triangle.

  • 7 years ago

    the plot is never original

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