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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

In Search of ... the WORST in sci-fi POD samplers!

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Showing 26-50 of 170 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2009, 1:04:41 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
It's either that or the wormhole is a metaphor.

Mmm ... an enigma wrapped in mystery! :P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2009, 4:37:57 AM PST
Todd Hunter says:
I will comment that self-publishing and PoD are not synonymous. I imagine many self-publishers might use the PoD method to get their books printed, but so do several small press publishers.

I'll steer clear of the point-and-mock plan, though...with the advent of self-publishing-made-easy, there are going to be many authors who don't learn how to write well before jumping in with both feet. :-\

Posted on Nov 26, 2009, 6:55:28 AM PST
Somebody should start a website that is devoted to sorting POD Sci-Fi. It might be a daunting task, but it would be helpful to have such a resource that separates the gold from the grunge.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2009, 11:33:13 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
That's a good point about the small presses, Todd.

But I don't think it's "there are going to be": they're already here! :o

There are several of them I would like to link to here, but they haven't the courage to put up samples (or more than a few paragraphs) of their work. Ah well.

Martin, that might be something interesting/fun to keep in mind for the future, but for now, we've this thread for pointing out the real stinkers. :)

Posted on Nov 27, 2009, 10:20:46 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
I've recently noticed a disturbing trend: at least a proportion of PoD authors suffer from a psychosis where they cannot distinguish between the events in their novels (be they wormholes, black holes or aliens) and reality. They seem to either use 'fiction' to present their beliefs, or come to believe in their fiction. This appears to be a major difference between published professional authors and PoD People.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009, 7:34:19 PM PST
D.L. Mains says:
I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry in response to this thread. While the extent of 'badness' is hysterical, the fact that these books are in print and available to the masses is upsetting. It's also amusing to think that the authors will look back at their work with pride. You wonder if they went through the process of seeking traditional publication. Unfortunately, form rejection letters don't give an author any kind of constructive feedback such as "learn the craft."

I do have to agree with Todd in defense of PoD. Many small presses have been forced to turn to PoD to cut costs, and while there are still many books released through small presses with laughable prose and questionable writing, the same could be said for books released through larger houses. Although not as bad as the examples listed here.

Ronald I loved your response to the Flowerbug on the author discussion. I don't think he/she realized your subtle mockery. Your innuendo was brilliant but I fear it went right over his/her head...or maybe it went through the wormhole.

The author information was also...interesting:

"W.C. Honey has written several books pertaining to the erotic genre. This is the only sci-fi title written by this author. W.C. Honey plans to write another sci-fi novel dealing with a cure for cancer and a husband's lust for power and money, after his wife is cured."

I found it intriguing to see that a sponsored link from the book page is Victoria's Secret. Heh

As for odd (why is the `o' not capitalized?) Dwellers, I'm glad you were able to get passed the product description:

Allen Ryan and his wife Sharon set out for a casual camping trip on their way from Albuquerque to Phoenix [they're casually camping their way from Albuquerque to Phoenix? This is only a 6 and a half hour trip.]. Upon witnessing something horrific, they are beset upon by a mysterious security force in the wilderness of New Mexico. After being led to and held at a remote government compound [by the mysterious security force?] they soon learn that escape holds their only hope for survival [um, you think?]. [Makes you wonder if they are trying to escape from `something horrific' or from the government.}

Note: Both of these books have better Amazon rankings than my own book. I'm thinking of throwing myself into a wormhole.

Thanks for the laugh.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2009, 8:24:59 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Remember in Out of Africa when her ex-husband comes out to the farm to tell Karen that Finch Hatton has been killed and she gives him that Meryl look and says, "My gott you're brave." That flashed into my mind when I read "...better Amazon rankings than my own book." :D

But don't worry, D.L. ... like Hannibal to Clarice, I have no plans to call on you...r book ... for now, the world is a more interesting place with the mystery. ;)

Yeah, HoneyFlowerBug watched the contrails of my comment unfold and wondered, "Oh, what pretty clouds ... might they not contain axions or Hawking-radiation-emitting black holes?" It's a mixed emotion, pulling one over on someone like that but knowing that they're just NOT getting it and therefore don't fully appreciate what you just did to them. Oh well.

Here's a book that I really want to see a sample of:

Infinite Possibilities: Chronicles Vol.1: 2853-2857

Had a much more energetic exchange going with the author of this one (he kept calling me an "IDOT" ... ?!?), but he went through and deleted all his comments. He did at least correct his author page profile text according to my suggestions. Didn't thank me, though. :P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2009, 6:44:31 PM PST
D.L. Mains says:
I thank you for sparing me although it wasn't my intent to make comparisons. I made note of it to point out that not only are there writers of such work but also readers. Someone is buying the drek.

It's a shame HoneyFlowerBug didn't appreciate your comments. Sort of sucks the satisfaction right out of the effort though. I enjoyed it if it means anything.

I agree with you on Infinite Possibilities. Even if he came up with a clever way to justify the pretense...why even bother. HAVING all that unexplored space to begin with opens the `infinite possibilities' of a writer's imagination. The length doesn't fit the genre either. 188 pages? Is it YA? I didn't see anything on the book page to indicate it was for young adults or children.

I would have loved to have seen the comments the author deleted. Your responses are enough to spark one's interest. Maybe he realized how unprofessional it was to respond so harshly to unfavorable reviews. He could have thanked you for your editorial help with his profile page though. Good manners go a long way.

Maybe an IDOT is a term from a future or a parallel universe meaning conscientious reader of superior intelligence? Or maybe he just can't spell.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2009, 3:59:21 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:

His changing the profile was really thanks [read: vindication] enough.

Supposedly he's doing a second volume....?!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2009, 5:21:25 AM PST
Perhaps he believes you work for the Illinois Department of Transportation?

Perhaps his mom was frightened by an IDOT truck while she was carrying him?

(He was probably just having a bad day.) :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2009, 6:27:13 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Ha ha! :)

He must have been having a week of bad days, then, because he used it several times. ;)

Posted on Nov 29, 2009, 11:05:17 AM PST
D.L. Mains says:
Maybe the 'i' is stuck on his keyboard. Hmm...there are an awful lot of 'i's in Infinite Possibilities so maybe not.

Posted on Dec 23, 2009, 1:51:15 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
To anyone still following this thread...

Oh, sorry, I seem to have momentarily been channeling one of my favorite POD authors whom I've never read, Marilyn Martin. :P

Got a new one for you all ... about a month old now, but still steaming:

Resurrection Planet by Lucas Cole.

The "Search inside this book" function is available, and if you enjoy this sort of stuff, you really do owe it to yourself to have a look.

Seems to be trying to answer the question, "What happens when bad theology meets bad sci-fi in the hands of a bad writer?"

Posted on Dec 23, 2009, 9:36:05 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
I don't think we've discussed this one yet, either:

Utopia Begins (Volume 1)

Amazon preview available.

"It was quiet the spring day that the stranger came into town. Everyone was going about his or her everyday duties of work or school. Yet everyone knew within minutes of the new face when he arrived. He didn't have the same mannerisms or dress the same as everyone else and you could just tell he was there on some kind of mission."

Can you be to-the-point and say clunk-clunk-clunky?

Now who wouldn't pay $5.50 for 200 pages of that? (Also available as Kindling for $2.99!)

(Why does everyone want to be a writer?)

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 4:33:28 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
(Argh! I can't stand it any longer:

... Yet everyone knew of the newcomer within minutes of his arrival. ..."

There, whew, that's better.)

Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 5:21:55 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
I just noticed that the Search Inside feature has been activated for the following. (It might have been available the whole time and I just wasn't paying enough attention.)


Besides being a cheap attempt to capitalize off the Maya 2012 hoopla, this one is notable not only for how BAD it appears to be but also for the obnoxious way the author (a retired private eye and "master of secrets") keeps flogging it here.

Highly recommended! :)

Opening from preview (asterisks indicate italicized text in original):

Lietenant Warchovski slammed me hard against the wall. "You killed Diana! That's your god-damned knife in her! Admit it Jack-you're psycho!"

I *had* killed my wife-an oracle foretold it, but destiny trapped me. Ancient evil rode me like a parasite. I knew too much about powerful worldwide forces and now they hunted me. I was tied up in the strangling knot of a terrifying Mayan prophecy-Doomsday, December 21, 2012-*my birthday*.

But what difference could I possibly make at the end of the world?

At the end of Time...

You know, if I were going to be ridden by an "ancient evil", I would want it to be HARD, and I'd want to be put away wet, not ... infected with a namby-pamby "parasite" like some opera diva worried about her waistline. And if the evil is inside or on the guy (like a parasite), why are the "powerful ... forces" hunting him? Wouldn't the evil ones already know where he was?

The silliest bit of all is the doomsday BS. My calendar in the kitchen runs out in a few days, too, but you don't see me jumping up and down like it's the end of the world. :D


Posted on Dec 27, 2009, 5:42:02 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Ooh, looks like we got a live one:

BLACK ROAD 2012 forum:
Native American Thriller - Native American Detective Mystery - Native American Prophecy

Jeffrey says:
TO: Ronald Craig

University instructor, Iwaki : Fukushima : Japan


If I betray my oath of darkest secrecy to the Athabaskan Ojito---my informants in the society whose name I am sworn to never will be as much in danger as I myself, and, in good conscience, I cannot let that happen to someone who has to yet buy my book...

PS: We have "people" in Japan.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2009, 3:00:00 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"I cannot let that happen to someone who has to yet buy my book"

So if you buy the book you are in danger from the Athabaskan Ojito, the Unilluminati or perhaps the Brotherhood of The Yellow Sign?

Hmm, sound like an ideal gift for people you really don't like.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2009, 8:40:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2009, 8:42:05 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
Ronald, I am fairly sure that the world ended sometime around 100 AD, although I am unable to account for what appears to be its continued existence, all the best authorities seem to agree that the world is well beyond its expiration date. However, if the universe is anything like the dairy section at my local Safeway--

Posted on Dec 28, 2009, 10:22:02 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Ha ha ... um, OK. :D

Yeah, I almost thought about telling him that I had no intention of buying his book, but realized that would be like signing my own death warrant.

I may yet die from terminal giggles. :P

Posted on Mar 16, 2010, 8:55:17 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:

Here's two new ones just got flogged by their authors in another thread:

Friends In Deed

"Product Description (Kindle)

Aston West was condemned to life on the prison planet Lycus IV for spitting in a man-s face. Being forced to reside with the likes of murderers and thieves, he owes his freedom to Lars and Elijah Cassus, who orchestrated an escape. Now the twin brothers call in the favor and force him to return with their team to Lycus IV to rescue crewmate Leah Jordan.

Aston discovers Leah-s desire to leave the twins forever, but Lars and Elijah use fear and intimidation to control their group and no one leaves alive. It-s a case of kill or be killed and Aston will need to become more like the brothers than he ever wanted."

Hunter-s apparent aversion to apostrophes in the above is a bit odd, but somehow charming in its own way. Don-t you agree?

And, Passengers to Sentience

The title alone on this one is mind-numbing! But wait, there's MORE!!!

"Product Description (Kindle edition)

Data detective Ben thinks he's succeeded in his latest drugs bust. Now he needs to find some different answers: how did humans use cloning to populate other planets across the Milky Way; how can we communicate almost instantaneously between one star system and the next?

After much research and watching old movies, he also discovers that FTL drives never quite worked, suspended animation was too much like being dead, hyperspace was never found, and matter transporters still make a mess.

Ben takes a holiday, exchanging mind and body with Lori, the partner of his dreams and is guaranteed that it's a return ticket. Instead he finds himself being used as slave labour on a hostile desert planet where life is cheap and he's expendable. To make matters worse, he's lost all memory of how he got there and of who he really is.

The only person who can change him from victim to victor is Ben himself. Unfortunately, he does not know this, until an accident gives him his mind back. Follow the exploits of Ben and Lori as they fight to keep their knowledge secret. Can they succeed in their battle to escape without alerting their dangerous fellow crew members? And even if they do get away, can they reach home without finding even more trouble? Doubtful!

Product Description (Paperback)

Set several hundred years in our future, this is a science fiction crime thriller, with some lustful romantic interludes. Humankind has developed a new way to colonise other planets but has discovered no other sentient life. The hero and heroine (a cybercrime detective and a prosecutor) meet on an intriguing exchange programme where things do not go entirely as they expect. There's conflict and confusion: a desperate bid to survive against improbable odds. The author adds to the plot new technology, humour, intrigue and more than one hidden agenda."

Oh, my, doesn't that sound RIVETING in a hopelessly silly way?

(No previews yet, so can't mock, I mean, discuss the quality of the writing, but I'm sure it rises to the task.)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2010, 4:10:29 PM PDT
Todd Hunter says:
Unfortunately, I don't have a say in the formatting issues of the blurb that the publisher puts up. My guess is someone copied and pasted it into a form and it was jacked up after submitting. I've noticed the same thing when copying things such as my bio into web forms, which is why I now usually copy and paste into Notepad to clear formatting before copying and pasting them into the form.

Trust me, if that's the only issue with the blurb you have...thanks for the plug. ;-)

Posted on Mar 18, 2010, 6:22:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2010, 6:23:29 AM PDT
Peter Piper says:

I've been wondering for months how long it would take to make it onto your thread. I'm deeply troubled that my title made your mind go numb, I'll go change it at once! ; )

You can indeed decide if it "rises to the task" of providing you with sufficient mocking amusement. You can download the free ten percent sample on your Kindle for PC reader, or if you can't do that, you can try the multiple formats available on a different site, where there's a fifty percent sample. That's of course if you haven't got the 99 cents. Last week you could have had the whole thing free in ebook week if you'd paid attention! : )

And while you're at it, you could try:

The First Completely Electronic Robot and Science Fiction Limerick Book

I'm sorry but the book is so short (around 1800 words) - the Kindle 10% sample stops just at the end of the contents page. However, the Amazon book page has one free sample and here's another, with a little self-deprecation on my part, just for you:

A strident old robot called Bird
Cried out day and night to be heard.
He wanted to write
But try as he might
His ideas were far too absurd.

Peter Salisbury, author of Passengers to Sentience

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2010, 9:52:04 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Aw, PeeJay, so sorry to have kept you waiting. Hadn't noticed your or your book's existences, actually. :)

Gots lots of 99+1 cents, thanks for caring, just no Kindle or PC. No real interest, to be honest, even in a free version.

But kudos for your unflagging flogging of it! How's that working out for you? :)

Posted on Mar 18, 2010, 11:56:14 AM PDT
Peter Piper says:
"Hadn't noticed your or your book's existences, actually. :)
Gots lots of 99+1 cents"

I seem to be quoting you now. Ronald, are you OK? You appear to be slurring your words, maybe it's the lingering effect of my title! : )

Thanks for asking, in fact I hadn't sold any books in days but then, within less than an hour of my last post, someone bought my book. How's that for a coincidence?

Take care of yourself, young man. I'm glad you found me at last - and thanks for the sale!

Peter Salisbury Passengers to Sentience
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
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Total posts:  170
Initial post:  Nov 7, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 28, 2014

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