Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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So, you're on your first date. No, you're on your second date. The first one went pretty well. They're funny, they have a nice job, they drive a prius (spicy~) and they take you back to their place. Only when you walk in, you see on their living room table, a book. And not just any book. A book by that author.

You know that this relationship just won't work, and you leave immediately. What author is it and why?

Bonus points if it's a certain book too.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Bork Lazer
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Matthew Reilly.

Holy fucking shit, where do I even begin with motherfucking Matthew 'Jumped The Shark And Makes Kojima Look Intelligent' Reilly. He's if you locked a 10 year old in a room with a six pack of Red Bull spiked with LSD, a typewriter, a 40 inch plasma screen TV that broadcasted Ancient Aliens 24/7, a tack-board of post-it notes scribbled with mad conspiracy theories and every Tom Clancy novel published in existence.

Now, you might be asking yourself, who in the goddamn hell is Matthew Reilly? For those of you who were fortunate enough not to hear of his name, this is what Goodreads has to say about the man himself.

Born in Sydney in 1974, Matthew Reilly was not always a big fan of reading. It was only after he read To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies in Year 10 that he realised reading could transport you to another world. Following this revelation, Matthew soon began creating stories of his own and set about writing his first novel, Contest, at the age of 19 while still at university studying law.

Following rejections from all the major publishers, Matthew self-published Contest in 1996, printing 1000 copies. He produced a big-budget-looking novel which he sold into bookshops throughout Sydney, one shop at a time.

In January 1997, a Commissioning Editor for Pan Macmillan Australia walked into Angus & Robertson's Pitt Street Mall store and bought a copy of Contest. The editor tracked Matthew down through his contact details in the front of the book. Interestingly, those original self-published editions of Contest have now become much sought after collectors' items. One recently sold on eBay for $1200!

Matthew Reilly is now the internationally bestselling author of the Scarecrow novels: Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and the novella Hell Island; the Jack West novels: Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors, The Four Legendary Kingdoms, and The Three Secret Cities; and the standalone novels Contest, Temple, Hover Car Racer, The Tournament, Troll Mountain, The Great Zoo of China and The Secret Runners of New York.

His books are published in over 20 languages with worldwide sales of over 7 million copies.

Since Seven Ancient Wonders in 2005, Matthew's novels have been the biggest selling new fiction title released in Australia for that year.

Matthew has also written several short stories, including Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl, a special free prequel to The Tournament which is available online. Other short stories include Time Tours, The Mine and the hyper-adrenalised romp, Altitude Rush.

He owns and drives a DeLorean DMC-12, the car made famous in the Back to the Future movies. He also has a life-sized Han Solo in carbonite hanging on the wall of his office! When not writing or penning a film script, Matthew can be found on the golf course.

Matthew Reilly is currently living in Los Angeles.


Other than proving that any author who drives a DeLorean should not be taken seriously (Looking at you, Ernest Cline), Matthew Reilly is the type of guy who makes amateur Australian writers wonder whether luck was his dump stat during character creation. Here's a cold hard fact. Modern action thrillers sell particularly well, have massive broad appeal, so much so, that you can find them virtually anywhere. They all feature the same archetypes, a predictable by-the-beats narrative and a consistent ability to value narrative set pieces and action scenes over characterization or thematic consistency. There is no shame in liking an action thriller.

The problem is that Matthew Reilly represents the worst aspects of this genre and then, some. His writing style is despicably basic. His idea of maintaining tension and pace within an action thriller consists mostly of italicization, exclamation points and a horrifying blend of run-on and short sentences that make me want to cringe. His characters are concept first, characterization last which leads to some of the most superficial, shallow character arcs that I have ever seen in a novel. His villains are always James Bond mustache twirling psychopaths with little to no interesting features to them. Don't even get me started on his endless capacity to insert pop-culture references (Fuck, I think I remember one time where the villain referenced the Devil From South Park in the most corny way possible) and the worldbuilding.

Holy shit, the worldbuilding.

Remember when I said Ancient Aliens and Tom Clancy? I'm a big fan of inane concepts but somehow, Matthew Reilly manages to make the concept of an intergalactic tournament that determines the fate of Earth, biological species of traditional Chinese dragons, a military plot to melt the polar ice caps with fictional radioactive isotopes and an ancient conspiracy involving duels to the death between every culture on Earth boring. Reilly throws more new elements and retcons in each of his novels than Charlie Sheen does cocaine.

Perhaps, I'm too harsh on the poor guy. There's gotta be something that he's good at, right?

I'll say his best strength is his consistency.

His consistency to deliver the same shit forgettable plot points that are delivered in an infantile writing style and structure in every single novel.

So, please, the next time you find yourself bored in an airport, do not ever touch a single Matthew Reilly novel you find in a bookstore.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Penny
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@Bork Lazer I have met Matthew Reily. He was nice in a geeky, 'I sweetened my coffee with cocaine' kind of way. I even have a signed copy of Temple somewhere around here.

That being said I don't fundamentally disagree with any of your points.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Penny
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For me any political autobiographical book. I dont care if its Obama's Dreams from the Witch House or whatever adjective noun from the senator from wherever. Anyone who reads that stuff is clearly an alien or a serial killer and probably both.

The gold standard of this is Bill O'Riley's Killing *Blank* books. Shudder.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Darth Cognus
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I'm not sure I'd care, but on the other hand if I saw a copy of Mein Kampf I feel like I'd be rethinking life choices.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Gcold
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I'm not sure I'd care, but on the other hand if I saw a copy of Mein Kampf I feel like I'd be rethinking life choices.


Never trust an author that looks like Charlie Chaplin.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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I've unfortunately had the pleasure of getting to know some authors of potential books I had previously wanted to read, thanks to using twitter. My first example is any book by Myke Cole. He presents himself as an historian and a feminist, but he's a terrible historian, he is pretty mean, and as for feminist, he's had some sexual allegations come up about him which got him dropped from Grimdark Magazine. I suppose if I walked into someone's home and saw a Myke Cole book on their shelf I wouldn't retch, but if I saw my date currently engrossed in a book of his, no thanks.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Penny
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The Art of the Deal :P
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Odin
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I've unfortunately had the pleasure of getting to know some authors of potential books I had previously wanted to read, thanks to using twitter. My first example is any book by Myke Cole. He presents himself as an historian and a feminist, but he's a terrible historian, he is pretty mean, and as for feminist, he's had some sexual allegations come up about him which got him dropped from Grimdark Magazine. I suppose if I walked into someone's home and saw a Myke Cole book on their shelf I wouldn't retch, but if I saw my date currently engrossed in a book of his, no thanks.


What if they're unaware of who he is or what he's accused of?
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@Odin Well I suppose you could ask the former about about Jordan Peterson too, but admittedly Myke Cole is less infamous. But I disliked him before the accusations and a selling point of his books (and his one or two history books) is that he's a good historian and he's very much not. That coupled with his general personality and it would at least put a bad taste in my mouth seeing his book on the table. Though I suppose it wouldn't be enough for me to just bounce so touche'. Maybe if I saw it was a 3rd book in his second trilogy, that would be kind of worse.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Bondye
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So, you're on your first date. No, you're on your second date. The first one went pretty well. They're funny, they have a nice job, they drive a prius


Let me stop you right there, Poo. Any desire to pursue a relationship/sleep with this individual went out the window as soon as I learned they drive a lunch box.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Kassarock
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Right so I said I had something for this and I'll give a specific example, but really this goes for all types of this book.

My auto 'nope' book would be Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past by Erich von Däniken. The wider genre of 'nope' books is basically all pseudo archaeological crap about ancient highly advanced civilisations, and especially anything with ancient aliens. The reason I chose Chariots of the Gods specifically is because this 1968 work by convicted fraudster Erich von Däniken is really the one that launched the whole 'Ancient Aliens' phenomenon as we know it.

Why do I hate ancient alien stuff so much? Well partly because its pseudo archaeological crap perpetrated by fraudsters to wring money out of gullible idiots. But there's a much dark under current to a lot of this work. Grahame Hancock repackages Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and the archaeological theories popularised by the Third Reich for a modern audience. A lot of Ancient Alien hypothesises attempt to undermine the idea that complex society could not evolve on its own in places like Pre-Columbian America or Ancient Africa, feeding into really quite racist ideologies about the people who inhabited these places.

Basically its wrong, a lot the ideas behind it are kinda fucking gross, and if I catch you reading that shit the only relationship I will be having with you is an extremely long argument.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@Kassarock Do you have the same opinion on movies and media that use ancient aliens as a trope like Prometheus, or is it just the 'work' that tries to be taken seriously?
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@Kassarock Do you have the same opinion on movies and media that use ancient aliens as a trope like Prometheus, or is it just the 'work' that tries to be taken seriously?


I don't particularly enjoy it in fiction either, but I hate it less. Prometheus bothers me less because so much of it takes place in the future in space, though the ideas behind it aren't great. On the other hand I fucking hate films like 10,000 BC when its just a free for all of ridiculous non-sensical ahistorical crap blended together for the entire run time. Although technically it wasn't aliens in that one, it was just white Atlanteans building the Pyramids of Giza several thousand years too early.
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@Odin Well I suppose you could ask the former about about Jordan Peterson too, but admittedly Myke Cole is less infamous.


I'd applaud them for their ability to stay out of the loop, since it'd be genuinely impressive to not know about Jordan Peterson. I think it's a valid defense; "I didn't know, I just found his advice meaningful" would be a great way to reel me back in unless it's followed up with "but despite the fact that he's an arrogant hypocrite, I still think he's great".

But I disliked him before the accusations and a selling point of his books (and his one or two history books) is that he's a good historian and he's very much not. That coupled with his general personality and it would at least put a bad taste in my mouth seeing his book on the table. Though I suppose it wouldn't be enough for me to just bounce so touche'. Maybe if I saw it was a 3rd book in his second trilogy, that would be kind of worse.


I don't really know him so I don't know if he's a bad historian or a good one -- so, I guess on that end, sure. I was more so wondering about the allegations. I don't purity check authors whose works I enjoy nor do I ever intend to start; it'd be too time consuming and frankly I do think art can be separated from the artist -- we're still talking about novels, and not just any author .. right? Jordan Peterson doesn't necessarily classify as art to me and the self-help aspect of it sort of invokes that he knows what he's talking about when he doesn't.

But, a sexual assault allegation does not necessarily impact a writers book on history, especially if it's a novel. He'd be a detestable person, but the book wouldn't necessarily lose value based on just that (for me). He's a bad historian, so I'd judge the book on it just being bad in general.
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@Odin I'd rather not financially support such a person.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@Odin Nope, the last thread was about novels. This can be an author of any book.

@Penny Exactly.
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@Odin I'd rather not financially support such a person.


I don't pay for books, so... de rien to me. :-)
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Silverwind Blade
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So, you're on your first date. No, you're on your second date. The first one went pretty well. They're funny, they have a nice job, they drive a prius (spicy~) and they take you back to their place. Only when you walk in, you see on their living room table, a book. And not just any book. A book by that author.

You know that this relationship just won't work, and you leave immediately. What author is it and why?

Bonus points if it's a certain book too.


Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by ZAVAZggg
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Well, assuming I ever get to a second date at all, anything by L. Ron Hubbard. I've seen Battlefield Earth, I don't exactly trust the taste of someone who has the text it was based on. Also, anything from the Sword of Truth series, or just anything from Goodkind past First Law. I'm not exactly a fan of the guy's attitude as a writer, ironic I know, his simping for Ayn Rand, and constant use of rape or borderline rape in his books.

There are ways of handling themes of sexual assault and abuse in stories, but sprinkling them throughout like they're fucking table salt isn't one of them.

Oh and let us not forget the demonic chicken that was pure evil. Beyond some low-tier fanfiction type material, that had to have been the silliest shit I've ever read in any book.

The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn't. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People's chickens. But this was no chicken.

This was evil manifest.

— Soul Of The Fire


EDIT: Correction, I just recalled that one author who wrote a female character as carrying things such as credit cards in her vagina. That was the silliest shit I've ever read.
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