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Parallel Visions: City of Angels City of Demons ebook and trade paperback available on Amazon (or here).
The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
Read free chapters of Parallel Visions: City of Angels City of Demons here
The Red Rook, sequel to Dispensing Justice and the second novel of Nova Genesis World is now available for Kindle or as a paperback at Amazon.
Read free chapters of Dispensing Justice here (or get it here).
Read free chapters of The Red Rook here (or get it here). -- Fritz Freiheit

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A list of books Fritz stopped reading and why

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Warning: This is a work in progress. -- Fritz.

Comments on abandoning books

It's extremely rare for me to get to a point where I want to "throw the book against the wall". I usually keep a general account of the number "eye-rolls" in book. Very occasionally if this grows to high I will put the book down or even abandon it. In the past few years (and I realize this is an uncommon response) I have become rather intolerant of characters who share too much and/or too often of their interior life. Continually telling me that a character is afraid / angry / having gastric distress / "I'm not human (enough)" / etc. irritates me. Eventually, I'll put the book down. Another pet peeve of mine is having a vague or non-existent plot. Which leads me to counter comment about keeping what irritates readers in mind when writing is to also keep in mind that what irritates one reader may delight another. Which is to say, know your target audience.


I abandoned Bowl of Heaven (2012) by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven partly because I couldn't find any characters I was interested in, partly because of strong idiot plot elements, namely the idea that a starship captain (and all the crew) thought it was a good idea to drive the ship into the drive plume of the "Bowl" (a sun converted into a starship using the star as the drive) so they could reach the interior of the "Bowl". As cool as this might be (and who doesn't love the "Rule of Cool"), it is a completely insane idea as they knew nothing of what they would encounter as they entered through the "exhaust port". (e)
I really wanted to like Brightness Reef (1995) by David Brin. I'm a big fan of Startide Rising and would put it down as one of my all-time favorites anytime. But Brightness Reef was another matter. The plot was slow in developing, the characters not very interesting, and I had a hard time getting into the run-away-from-Galactic-civilization mindset of the colonists. To make matters worse, the reader was terrible. Slow and ponderous. I have a particular dislike for this audiobook reading style. (e)
Alas, I wanted to like The Legend of Buddy Hero (2013) by Adam Oster, but slumming it with a drunken superhero wasn't doing it for me. I had a number of reasons for abandoning this novel. First, there was little to nothing in the way of engagement with the Buddy or any other character. Second, what little of the plot that was visible was an uninteresting and weak version of saving the world from some vague threat of invasion by alien monsters. (e)
After re-reading Slan (1946) by A. E. Van Vogt, I thought I would try Slan Hunter (2007) by A.E. Van Vogt and Kevin J. Anderson. As I listened to the introduction about how this final work by Van Vogt was picked up by his children and worked on, I felt a growing trepidation about what the actual book was going to be like. My fears turned out to be true, and I found the writing dated. I think this was on purpose, but I can't be sure. For some reason I can tolerate rereading old works, but when I know something has been written more recently, yet cleaves to a style of years gone by, I lose that tolerance. Unfortunately, Slan Hunter felt stilted and didn't seem to be going over anything new, so I stopped. (e)
In the opening paragraph of The Unnoticeables (2015) by Robert Brockway, the narrator goes to great effort to state that he isn't one for metaphor to reinforce his statements as true. Then proceeds in later paragraphs to extensively use metaphors.
Update: The deliberate shock factor ramped up dramatically. On top of not believing the character's response to the horror of what she was seeing (too accepting and blase by far) I felt like I was being deliberately and repeatedly poked with the "gore" and "sick sex" schtick, so I'm done with this novel. (e)
Soooo much telling! It took a third of Vicious (2013) by V. E. Schwab before we got to the origins of the main characters. Way too much description of internal state and motivations (a serious pet reading peeve). So much that I almost stopped reading, but I'm not quite ready to give up yet.

Update: A bit over halfway through and I have to take a break.

Update 2: The break has turned into an abandon. Can't bring myself to go back and finish the book. I have too many other books to read. (e)

Comments on abandoning series

Early on (approx. 20% of the way through) in A Beautiful Friendship (2012) by David Weber I became irritated with the preachy delivery and the main character being considered strictly honest (by herself and her parents) but this honesty did not extend to withholding information. While I can see this as being a sort of honest, it's rather disingenuous and (did I mention?) annoying. Don't think I can put up with this much more, so I won't be pursing the sequel. After finishing, my opinion did not change. Didn't hate it, but was a real disappointment. (e)
I almost stopped reading Death's Apprentice (2012) by K. W. Jeter and Gareth Jefferson Jones dozens of times, but managed to finish it despite the cliche and clunky writing. I wanted to like it, as I've really liked earlier works by the co-author K. W. Jeter, but unfortunately it fell into the anti-pick category. (e)
Almost abandoned Ghost of a Chance (2010) by Simon R. Green. I have to give it an anti-pick rating for cliches and repetitiveness of narrative and dialogue. I was also frequently jarred as it transitioned between jovial humorousness and frank and moderately horrific descriptions of violence and the results there of. (e)
The Mechanical (2015) by Ian Tregillis is the second book by this author that I've read and it will probably be the last. Like the first book I read, it has great worldbuilding, and like the first book, I could not find a single character that I liked or cared about and every attempt at making them sympathetic through suffering and angst simply made them that much more unlikeable. Nor did it help that the plot was desultory, ending with no real resolutions. (e)
While I liked a fair amount of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain (2014) by Richard Roberts, the plot hinged around a superpower that was, in essence, the ability to create semi-random magical items that were labeled as "science" (and while there was a strong feeling of Mary Sue, it wasn't quite enough to drive me away). I had major issues (and this is something I'll fully admit is all about me and my relationship with science) with the way science and math were not-so-subtlety dissed and denigrated by the main character's superpower (a "mad scientist" ability to create Objects of Power that were not understood by their creator). It left a bad taste in my mouth. (e)

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