Books with Great Premises that failed utterly to carry them out

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Father Maryland, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Father Maryland Enemy of Neo Secesh Everywhere

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    So yes the premise of this thread is rather simple.

    Essentially what books that you can think of seemed great in premise but failed so utterly in execution that you felt like vomiting with rage?

    One title that jumps out at me is Descent at first it seemed like a cool idea. I mean you have a immense unknown underworld filled with a deadly, cruel and truly bizarre sentient species. Even better it looks at first like it might turn out to be a truly spectacular horror war thriller.

    And then the writer managed to fuck it up with

    A) Leagues and leagues of stupidity.

    B) Skipping to the uninteresting points.

    C) Making it all about catholicism.

    D) Ruining the bloody under worlders.
     
  2. B_Munro Member

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    The sequel didn't help, either.

    Hm. I can think of a number of books which didn't live up to their premise, if none quite as badly as the example you give. We're still waiting for a truly good "Aliens invade during WWII" novel or series of, for one... :D

    Bruce
     
  3. Father Maryland Enemy of Neo Secesh Everywhere

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    Oh you mean the one where they turn the former slave and himalayan expedition leader into a movie producer?
     
  4. Campbell1004 Well-Known Member

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    The Life Eaters.

    Its a graphic novel about Norse Gods who show up during WW2 and side with the Nazis. Half of the novel is establishing the world. The other half is leading up to this giant climatic battle where one side is racing to cause global warming and the other is trying to bring about nuclear winter

    and then it ends.
     
  5. DValdron Well-Known Member

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    That one, and then segue into 'monologues by satan'. The first book blew it, but the second one melted down to much.
     
  6. ChucK Y Well-Known Member

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    Turtledove's Atlantis series. Instead of a real alternate history, a slightly disguised rehash of OTL American history.
     
  7. B_Munro Member

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    Aren't all his extended AH series aside from the Worldwar series rehashes of actual history?

    Bruce
     
  8. B_Munro Member

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    Hm. I liked the original short story. The whole graphic novel, with all its crap about every polytheist group on Earth apparently engaging in mass human sacrifice to raise their own Gods and the Iron Man suit and the defeat of the US (we'd just keep fighting and withdraw to the tropics, damn it!) was an extended letdown for me.

    Bruce

    Edit: if we're going to let everybody on Earth in on the secrets of Necromancy and turn off their morality, we might as well let the US in on it and sick Popeye, Superman, and Bugs Bunny on the Norse Gods.
     
  9. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    It's very obscure, but I remember once reading a Finnish book about two boys. The promise (it seemed to me) would be about these boys running away from home and having adventures, but in fact, one of them is a big jerkass, the other one's too afraid to run away, most of the book the first one isn't there anyway, and when the jerk tries to run away alone, he dies on the river.
     
  10. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    I would tend to agree with you on this with most of Turtledove's books, but I disagree when it comes tothe Atlantis series or atleast books 1 and 3.
     
  11. SquireJames Well-Known Member

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    You could argue that the book fulfills the reality of running away. Kids think they will be fine and have wonderful adventures, when in reality the world is a cold harsh place and chances are you won't last long as a child in a world of adults.

    Or it could be a utterly pants book, as you describe. Just pointing out the alternative :)
     
  12. mrmandias Regent

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    1. Summa Elvetica

    2. Book I read awhile back that involved American expatriates living in Australia, one of the last free countries in a Nazi wins scenario. Pretty cool. And then the Puppet Fascist US disappears. All communications cease. No one gets in or out. Hair raising.
    It's all downhill from there.
     
  13. CaliBoy1990 Iconoclastic Liberal.

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    I volunteer L. Ray Hubbard's Mission Earth..........an admittedly riveting storyline at times but unfortunately with enough Scientologist propaganda to make you wanna vomit.
     
  14. Thande SWALLOWS·AND·AMAZONS·FOR·EVER!

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    This may just be because I remembered the TV miniseries as being more profound than it actually was, but: Neverwhere.
     
  15. wcv215 Well-Known Member

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    Most of Turtledove's stuff that I have read, except Worldwar (which was ruined by standard Turtledoveisms), and Agent of Byzantium.

    The Dark Tower series also comes to mind. It started off excellently, and then got worse as time went on.
     
  16. B_Munro Member

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    Well, the first book or two just promised more than the author could live up to (it was that way with Flint's Belisarius series, too), and then it went meta, which is never a good idea.

    Bruce
     
  17. Sabbatai Zevi Wannabe Academic

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    Agreed on Turtledove. The Russian parallels in "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" were positively painful.
     
  18. nlucasm A Chilean Wea

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    one from Chile

    a couples of years ago was published a book titled "SYNCO" about a ATL 1978' Chile without the 73' coup d' etat : it haves 2 mayor PODS:
    - after the killing of his family by a right wing terrorist group Pinochet stays loyal to Allende and crush the attempt of coup.
    - The SYNCO or Cybersyn Proyect "a Chilean attempt at real-time computer-controlled economy in the years 1970–1973" is fully developed. :)
    The first half is almost hardcore AH with the protagonist discovering the real story about the apparent semi-utopian Chile and the backdoor deals and crimes thath make it possible.

    The second half is in part fantasy and part "magic realism" and finally Chile magically disappears from the world.:mad:
     
  19. B_Munro Member

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    For Latin American writers, the temptation to succumb to the Dark Side of Magical Realism must be strong.... :)

    Bruce
     
  20. C Montgomery Burns Banned

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    Left Behind