Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 260353 times)

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Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #90 on: January 28, 2013, 02:08:11 PM »
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!


I don't think that authors are often involved in that (or have power over it), rather their old publisher who still owns the rights to their old has decided to cash in on an author who's became famous (case in point, Nora Roberts whose new books feature a special logo that lets he reader know that it's new material). It is very annoying, I just got fooled by an old book that turned out to be pretty dated and not that good, though it was decent and cheap.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #91 on: January 28, 2013, 02:11:52 PM »
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #92 on: January 28, 2013, 02:14:33 PM »
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

*bingbingbingbing* Loved the first part. Recommended it widely. Then got to sparkly aliens and just..... stopped. UGH.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #93 on: January 28, 2013, 02:17:30 PM »
I tune out on writers if I get the sense, after the first half-book or so, that they do not like a single specimen of humanity. I would not spend my non-reading life among people I dislike. Why should I spend time with imaginary beings who make me want to slap each and every one of them?

It's fine to have flawed characters, just not every single one of them being spawn of Satan.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #94 on: January 28, 2013, 02:19:35 PM »
I thought of a dialogue peeve that I haven't seen in awhile.

Be they Native Americans or Indians or whatever you want to call them, I'd be willing to bet cash money that they didn't all speak in formal, stilted and sweeping statements when talking amongst themselves. I don't mind it too much in a lot of western movies, though there you too often run into the other end of the spectrum, with "Me Red Wolf, me heap big fighter" or whatever. But if an Indian character in a western speaks slowly and portentously it's often because it's a dramatic scene, and anyway it's not his first language. No big deal. And even if it is a big deal, it's pretty far down on the list of things most westerns get wrong.

But in a story where it's two Indians talking to each other? I'm no anthropologist or linguist, but I'm betting they wouldn't talk like that. I read a book where a guy is accidentally sent back in time 2000 or so years and is hiding from some Indians. They spot him, of course, and have a conversation about what to do and it's all

"Halt, my friend. Do you see that man behind the tree?"

"Yes, I see him. We should report this to the chief. He will wish to be notified, and it is his right as our leader to decide what to do."

"We are in agreement. The chief must know. Come!"

Or whatever. I'm guessing the conversation really could've been translated as something like

"Say, Bob, you see that guy behind the tree over there?"

"Yeah, I see him. Does he actually think he's hiding? What an idiot. We should probably tell the boss."

"Yeah, good idea. Let's go."


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #95 on: January 28, 2013, 02:24:51 PM »
Going along with fanfiction pet peeves:

1. Modern girl hits her head and all of a sudden wakes up in the 1800's on the Black Pearl wearing a bikini or some other scanty bit of clothing and carrying some modern devices like an iPod, iPhone or other smartphone.   Extra points if she wonders why she's getting no signal.  ::)

2. Canon characters, especially main characters, being described in such a way that you have to wonder if the author saw a differently casted version of the movie.  Captain Jack Sparrow does NOT have blue eyes!!  What's laughable is when they describe him as being tall and muscular.  One of the reasons the writers picked the surname of "Sparrow" for him was because the character was meant to be on the small side with a legend that made him seem bigger.   That and Johnny Depp is NOT a tall guy, I think he's about 5'7". 

3. Unlikely (and often disturbing shipping)  I have seen a few fanfictions where someone decided to have Elizabeth Swann fall for Lord Cutler Beckett.  He was in Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, the vile and heartless little man who had Elizabeth's father killed because Governor Swann was no longer of any use to him. And while it may not be well known canon, he was also the one who branded Captain Jack as a pirate and blew up the Wicked woman (now the Black Pearl which was raised by Davy Jones) for setting free a ship full of slaves. 

4. Unnatural hair colors such as purple, flourescent pink or blue, especially a stripe in a period fic, especially when it's supposed to be natural. Sorry, girls in the 18th century did NOT have streaks of pink hair.   ::)
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #96 on: January 28, 2013, 02:35:04 PM »
I thought of a dialogue peeve that I haven't seen in awhile.

Be they Native Americans or Indians or whatever you want to call them, I'd be willing to bet cash money that they didn't all speak in formal, stilted and sweeping statements when talking amongst themselves. I don't mind it too much in a lot of western movies, though there you too often run into the other end of the spectrum, with "Me Red Wolf, me heap big fighter" or whatever. But if an Indian character in a western speaks slowly and portentously it's often because it's a dramatic scene, and anyway it's not his first language. No big deal. And even if it is a big deal, it's pretty far down on the list of things most westerns get wrong.

But in a story where it's two Indians talking to each other? I'm no anthropologist or linguist, but I'm betting they wouldn't talk like that. I read a book where a guy is accidentally sent back in time 2000 or so years and is hiding from some Indians. They spot him, of course, and have a conversation about what to do and it's all

"Halt, my friend. Do you see that man behind the tree?"

"Yes, I see him. We should report this to the chief. He will wish to be notified, and it is his right as our leader to decide what to do."

"We are in agreement. The chief must know. Come!"

Or whatever. I'm guessing the conversation really could've been translated as something like

"Say, Bob, you see that guy behind the tree over there?"

"Yeah, I see him. Does he actually think he's hiding? What an idiot. We should probably tell the boss."

"Yeah, good idea. Let's go."

This is tricky, because when one translates into English, there is very little "pure" English with no reflection of geography, class, historical period, educational level, etc. So, one has to be careful that, instead of giving the sense that your Native American couple were English aristocrats, you don't make them sound like Valley Guys.

In one of Tolkien's letters, he gives a version of Theoden's speech in "modern" vernacular (think Theoden as written by Noel Coward, calling Gandalf "Old boy"), which, ironically, sounds extremely dated to today's reader. He said that he wrote Theoden as speaking in an archaic manner, because that's the way Theoden thought. He would have very little in common, say, with 1940s English aristocrats.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Mikayla

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #97 on: January 28, 2013, 02:41:59 PM »
With fiction, my biggest after typos is gratuitous dream sequences.  I've probably read 100 of these, and maybe one of them had value to the story.  Double swats if the book begins with a dream sequence (usually followed by "She awoke with a start"). 

I also loathe poor plot development.  These are books where the first 100 pages are providing all sorts of intricate sub plots and potential for quite the ending!  Then the next 300 pages wind down from the first 100. 

stargazer

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #98 on: January 28, 2013, 02:44:14 PM »
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!


I don't think that authors are often involved in that (or have power over it), rather their old publisher who still owns the rights to their old has decided to cash in on an author who's became famous (case in point, Nora Roberts whose new books feature a special logo that lets he reader know that it's new material). It is very annoying, I just got fooled by an old book that turned out to be pretty dated and not that good, though it was decent and cheap.

I always assumed more well known authors especially are involved in that because at the end of the book there is almost always something from them about how they always loved these stories and revisiting them and hope you did too or similar.

PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #99 on: January 28, 2013, 02:45:32 PM »
Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!

This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

That one meets two of my pet peeves, and I haven't even read it.

1) When an author has something happen that's absolutely impossible with no adequate explanation, such as the laws of physics stop working. The sparkly aliens actually avert this one, admittedly. I don't much like the idea either, but at least it's an explanation.

2) When characters who live in a given setting or scenario for a long time don't bother to explore the limits of said setting/scenario. I've read stories where there's a tribe or village barely eking out a miserable existence in the hellhole they were unlucky enough to be born in. Then a hero falls out of the sky or whatever and starts looking around and three days later he's all, "If you guys had bothered to walk five feet that way you'd have found the solution to all of your problems. Good thing I came along!" Bah.

Stirling fell prey to #2, in my opinion, during a discussion of his setting on a science fiction group I used to frequent. He explained the constraints the people in the setting had to live under, and almost immediately one of the posters came up with an idea for a fairly crude radio that would use tubes of salt-water rather than wiring. It wouldn't be easily portable, but it would allow people to communicate across fairly long distances via Morse code.

Stirling admitted it would work in his scenario, because if the sparkly aliens nixed the laws of physics enough to stop it that would have the minor side effect of causing all living things to drop dead. So it would work, but Stirling said none of his characters cared enough to pursue that kind of innovation. Which is when I decided I had no interest in reading the books, because I don't care about people who have no interest in bettering their lot. And given how much warfare there apparently is in the series, even a crude radio system would be a huge advantage. If the characters don't care about that, let 'em die.

Kiara

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #100 on: January 28, 2013, 02:47:15 PM »
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

To follow from this, if you're going to write an AU, please don't take universe A, and just drop in the characters from universe B, and have the same original story play out in universe A!  Just finished (why I read the whole thng I don't know....) one like this with the Avengers in Star Wars.  Was the same Star Wars story, with two small fix-its.  Part of why I read is to be surprised.  I love AUs, but this one....oy.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #101 on: January 28, 2013, 04:38:18 PM »
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

*bingbingbingbing* Loved the first part. Recommended it widely. Then got to sparkly aliens and just..... stopped. UGH.
Very many among the SMS fan community seem highly blissed-out over this series, from the beginning to -- wherever it's got to now. Plainly, not you or me. I struggled through to the end of Book 5, progressively more unhappily, and then "called it a day".

For sure, people's reactions vary here. For some, something like this is an ingenious, innovative and appealing fusion-or-whatever of two different genres; for others, it becomes a repellent botched and monstrous hybrid.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #102 on: January 28, 2013, 04:48:07 PM »
Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!

This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

That one meets two of my pet peeves, and I haven't even read it.

1) When an author has something happen that's absolutely impossible with no adequate explanation, such as the laws of physics stop working. The sparkly aliens actually avert this one, admittedly. I don't much like the idea either, but at least it's an explanation.

2) When characters who live in a given setting or scenario for a long time don't bother to explore the limits of said setting/scenario. I've read stories where there's a tribe or village barely eking out a miserable existence in the hellhole they were unlucky enough to be born in. Then a hero falls out of the sky or whatever and starts looking around and three days later he's all, "If you guys had bothered to walk five feet that way you'd have found the solution to all of your problems. Good thing I came along!" Bah.

Stirling fell prey to #2, in my opinion, during a discussion of his setting on a science fiction group I used to frequent. He explained the constraints the people in the setting had to live under, and almost immediately one of the posters came up with an idea for a fairly crude radio that would use tubes of salt-water rather than wiring. It wouldn't be easily portable, but it would allow people to communicate across fairly long distances via Morse code.

Stirling admitted it would work in his scenario, because if the sparkly aliens nixed the laws of physics enough to stop it that would have the minor side effect of causing all living things to drop dead. So it would work, but Stirling said none of his characters cared enough to pursue that kind of innovation. Which is when I decided I had no interest in reading the books, because I don't care about people who have no interest in bettering their lot. And given how much warfare there apparently is in the series, even a crude radio system would be a huge advantage. If the characters don't care about that, let 'em die.

A new aspect to me, of the "Emberverse" -- but, having read your post, I concur. And a prominent character in the earlier books of the series, is an industrialist and engineer who feels highly resentful about what has happened to the world, and knocks himself out experimenting to try to invent, or re-invent, technology workable to the maximum poss. under the new conditions. And HE -- well, presumably, in this case, doesn't think of the "radio" possibility which you mention.  That, on the author's part, is truly weak.

Kaypeep

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #103 on: January 28, 2013, 04:49:49 PM »
Contemporary Romances:  Every female, no matter what her career (VP, baker, truck driver) appears to be wearing a silk shirt, skirt and high heels.  I once asked my friends (who are VP's, tv camera crew people, SAHM, accountants )and none of them own a silk shirt.    ENOUGH WITH THE SILK SHIRTS!  Also, every bra is a "scrap of lace" and unhooks in the front.  I swear, too many books lose my interest because they are like mad libs with the same scenes over and over.

Shalamar

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2013, 05:04:55 PM »
I stopped reading a certain chick-lit author because of the way she described what the female protagonist was wearing - she was too fond of the expression "She slipped on a (name of incredibly expensive accessory) to complete the outfit."  Odds are that the accessory in question was a belt or a scarf or a pair of shoes that costs more than I make in a month.  No thanks.