Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

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SandChigger
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Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby SandChigger » 04 Nov 2010 05:12

And here's another excerpt from Ch. 30 of Paul of Dune: Dance of the Flowers. Of Death. :doh:

The priest struck a clear musical tone on the bell. "Friends of House Ecaz, House Atreides, and Emperor Shaddam IV, we welcome you to this moment of happiness." He struck a second tone.

As the priest began to speak again, Paul heard a snick, followed by a hum. He didn't want to tear his eyes from the bride and groom, while everyone in the room was listening so intently, but then he heard another sound and sensed a faint movement. He concentrated, forcing the background noise to fall away, and pinpointed the source of the sound: the huge Elaccan flowerpots.

Thufir Hawat snapped his head to one side. The old Master of Assassins had heard it as well.

The large hexagonal mosaic tiles had popped loose—extending slightly from the curved pots on some type of axle—and began to spin.

"Duncan!" Paul shouted, not caring that he would disrupt the ceremony.

But Duncan was already in motion. Gurney crouched, dagger in hand, ready to fight, looking for an attacker. Rivvy Dinari and Whitmore Bludd both drew their swords, advancing to protect Archduke Ecaz and Ilesa; Paul had never seen them move so fast.

The decorative hexagonal plates, thin sheets of metal, propelled themselves forward, spinning through the air like circular saw blades. Their edges, which had been mounted into the glazed clay of the pots, were razor sharp.

The air of the hall was filled with whirling blades, executioner discs that flashed toward their targets: everyone in the wedding party, any person who stood on the stage.

Duncan swept the Old Duke's sword in an arc to strike one of the discs, sending it into the stone blocks of the wall, where it cut a deep gouge before clattering to the ground. Thufir grabbed Duke Leto by the tuxedo collar and pulled him sideways to the floor, diving upon him as another scythelike blade slashed a long rent across the old veteran's back.

More blades crisscrossed in the air, and the audience began to scream in panic. Like a charging bull, Gurney threw himself toward Paul. "Young Master, down!" Paul had already crouched to dodge the flying blades, and Gurney bowled him over, throwing himself between Paul and one of the deadly plates. At the last instant, Paul grabbed a handful of Gurney's blond hair and yanked the man's head. A sharp disc streaked past, missing Gurney's skull by millimeters, clipping a small lock of hair.

"Ilesa! Save her!" Rivvy Dinari bellowed. "I have the Archduke!" Whitmore Bludd sprang toward the bride, whipping his thin rapier before him. He struck one of the disks, and it caromed off into the ceiling.

Undeterred by the Swordmasters, another of the weapons struck like an executioner's hatchet into the Archduke's upper arm, neatly severing it above the elbow. Pushing himself free of Gurney, Paul watched in nightmarish slow motion as the detached limb dropped to the floor, sleeve and all, in a rain of blood.

Dinari roared, realizing his failure. He brandished his sword and stood as a human blockade, spreading himself in front of his grievously wounded master. The Archduke gasped, clutching at his stump.

More spinning blades flew directly at the Ecazi leader. The corpulent Swordmaster smashed one out of the air and sent it ricocheting into the floor. He struck another disk a glancing blow. Then four more blades slammed into his great body with the sound of cleavers cutting into tough meat, embedding themselves deep in Rivvy Dinari's lungs, cutting through his sternum and slicing his heart in half. The last disc bit deep into his gut. Dinari's great hulk collapsed to the floor of the stage, but he had intercepted all of the deadly devices aimed toward his master.

With a howl of outrage, Bludd attempted to defend Ilesa. His rapier skewered and flung aside another executioner disc. He reached up with the thin blade to parry one more razor-edged tile, moving with both speed and precision.

He missed.

Though Ilesa was backing away, she couldn't bend far enough, and the spinning disc slashed her throat.

Her delicate hands fluttered up, as if to catch the scarlet spray, but blood fountained from her neck, drenching her beautiful gown in red.

With a roar from his artificial lungs, Rhombur threw himself forward, knocking aside guests in the front row. "Leto!"

Squirming free of Gurney, Paul got to his hands and knees again, intent only on ensuring that his father was safe. Duke Leto, as expected, was shouting orders, organizing an immediate response, telling his guards to smash the deadly pots, calling for medics, showing concern for everyone but himself.

Acting on instinct, as if he could foresee what was about to happen, Paul sprang toward his father. Every instant stretched, drawn out to a long and syrupy timeline. Duke Leto turned, his gray eyes widening as he saw the sharp, whirling edge—

But Paul slammed him aside, and the cutter disk made only a harmless whirring noise as it passed and thudded into a wall. From the corner of his eye, extraordinarily aware of every detail, Paul saw his mother rushing toward the stage.

Like a mechanical ox, Rhombur used his artificial limbs to smash the pots, destroying the targeting mechanisms, preventing the launch of any more razor-edged plates. Duncan struck the last three spinning discs out of the air.

And all because Archduke Ecazi (WHO?!) stiffed the caterers last time! :P

Oh, where to begin with this one? Let's just do this: "Acting on instinct, as if he could foresee what was about to happen, Paul sprang toward his father." Foresee what was about to happen?! And HOW COULD HE DO THIS THING?! BECAUSE HE IS THE KWISATZ HADERACH! To be. :roll:

"Every instant stretched, drawn out to a long and syrupy timeline." A long and syrupy timeline? Syrupy? What. The. Fuck. :doh:

Have at it. I'm getting bored of BAD.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby D Pope » 04 Nov 2010 08:39

It really does read like a parody.
Someday i'd like to see/hear the difference between nearly polished recording and this.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Aquila ka-Hecate » 04 Nov 2010 08:50

Gory '80s Ninja Movies of Dune.

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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Sev » 04 Nov 2010 08:58

pile of duds wrote:...four more blades slammed into his great body with the sound of cleavers cutting into tough meat...


How else are they going to sound - the continuous, sluggish crescendo of a wet fart*, perhaps. Sorry, my mistake, that's the sound of McDune in general.

*borrowed from Crystal Logic @ thewertzone blogspot
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Nov 2010 09:46

Sev wrote:
pile of duds wrote:...four more blades slammed into his great body with the sound of cleavers cutting into tough meat...


How else are they going to sound - the continuous, sluggish crescendo of a wet fart*, perhaps. Sorry, my mistake, that's the sound of McDune in general.

*borrowed from Crystal Logic @ thewertzone blogspot


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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby merkin muffley » 04 Nov 2010 10:24

Freakzilla wrote:
Sev wrote:
pile of duds wrote:...four more blades slammed into his great body with the sound of cleavers cutting into tough meat...


How else are they going to sound - the continuous, sluggish crescendo of a wet fart*, perhaps. Sorry, my mistake, that's the sound of McDune in general.

*borrowed from Crystal Logic @ thewertzone blogspot


Like pudding in a boot.


A wet, foggy fart on the windowpane.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Unfront » 04 Nov 2010 11:56

Thank you again for posting this. Apart from the Irulan revisionism, the his is the scene that did it for me. The bad writing is one thing, but the wacked out childish creativity and imagination is another thing entirly.

I know it is science FICTION, but that does not mean it should be a free-for-all. Successful science fiction retains some form of plausibility. Leto is a planetary governor! The *wedding party* consists of dignitaries from other worlds. Where is the security? As if these potted plant throwing star assasin bots would have passed security in any plausible scenario - this scene is just another excuse to throw in some more swashbuckling.

As mentioned in another thread, this scene is right out of Kill Bill. I notice that all of the BH/KJA writing takes ideas from other Fiction, especially current pop sci fi. Where is the originality?
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby merkin muffley » 04 Nov 2010 12:19

Never trust an Elaccan flowerpot, especially when it's a random detail introduced for no reason in the work of hack writers. It is guaranteed to kill your ass in a later scene.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby SandChigger » 04 Nov 2010 13:03

Unfront wrote:I know it is science FICTION, but that does not mean it should be a free-for-all. Successful science fiction retains some form of plausibility. Leto is a planetary governor! The *wedding party* consists of dignitaries from other worlds. Where is the security? As if these potted plant throwing star assasin bots would have passed security in any plausible scenario - this scene is just another excuse to throw in some more swashbuckling.

And it's actually much worse than that in context. Two chapters before you got this
An entire shipment of huge potted plants, rainbow-hued ferns, flowering bugle lilies, and spiky Elaccan evergreens had been sent by Duke Prad Vidal himself. The pots were large and elaborate, girdled with a mosaic design of broad hexagonal plates. There was an awkward moment as Thufir Hawat insisted on scanning the plants to prove that they were not poisonous. Some members of the Ecazi party were offended, but the Archduke told them to allow the most thorough inspection. "We will take no risks."

See, it's Hawat who dropped the ball. Because, you know, he's old and inept and screws up all the time. Like he will again a few years later, with even more lethal results, on Arrakis. :roll:

And at the end of the chapter immediately preceding:
BACK AT THE Castle, Jessica greeted them, standing at Ilesa's side. Paul recognized and admired what his mother was doing, and thought she was remarkably composed and elegant.
The whole front foyer and reception hall had been decorated with Caladan pennants, ornate streamers, and large potted plants from Ecaz. Paul could smell the lush greenery, and the flowers that had already begun to bloom in the few days since they'd been set out.
"An auspicious beginning." Rhombur stroked the plants with his prosthetic hands. "Look at the blooms!"
"A wedding gift from Duke Prad Vidal," Leto said. "I think Ilesa is very pleased."
"She should be pleased just to be marrying you, Leto," Rhombur said. Then he glanced at Jessica and seemed embarrassed by his comment. "It'll all work out for the best. Leto, you always seem to manage that."

Notice that part I underlined. According to usual English usage, there should be a definite article in there: "the large potted plants from Ecaz". Because they were introduced earlier and the reader already knows about them. So there's language usage for you that's just plain aberrant. Weird, since they're both supposed to be native speakers. Indicative of sloppy editing, whatever else was going on. :twisted:
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby merkin muffley » 04 Nov 2010 14:50

It's seamless foreshadowing. Who would've thought that these plants, which are of absolutely no intrinsic interest or relevance, might actually be the thing that kills everyone? Never saw THAT coming! :roll:
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Serkanner » 04 Nov 2010 15:03

Uhm ... didn't we have similar spinning killing blades in the CoD television series while Alia was dancing? I wonder where Dumb and Dumber got the inspiration for this scene .... oh wait! I forgot KJA watches DVD's for research.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby DuneFishUK » 04 Nov 2010 15:22

Yup - that was my thought exactly.

Coincidence or total fucking unimaginative laziness?

Oh and, Rhomubur smash! :D

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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Nov 2010 15:29

Don't forget the "Piranha Mites" and FH's self-improving hunter-seekers.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby TheDukester » 04 Nov 2010 16:24

So bad! Such amazingly awkward writing! :doh:

There are times when I've wondered how much of this sort of thing can be laid at the doorstep of Bobo Herbert and/or the routine that Idiots One and Two have set up to produce these books. Not to defend Anderhack or anything — you'll never catch me doing much of that — but it's easy to forget that Neck-Bolts Herbert is an astonishingly poor writer. He's living proof that the ability to write fiction is not a genetic trait.

Even the small passage quoted here feels ... I don't know ... sort of "choppy," I guess. I can visualize Anderkeith doing most of the heavy lifting, but Bobo insisting on throwing in some lines here and there (like the unnecessary detail of the guy getting hit with the blades; let's not forget that Bobo really is kind of a sick fuck who hates other people).

I picture TheKJA learning, over the years, which lines he can change and which ones Bobo will insist upon leaving intact. Keith might be a lot of things, but he does recognize an easy paycheck when he sees one.
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Re: Next time, call FTD! (BAD WRITING SERIES)

Postby Shaitan » 04 Nov 2010 19:11

Poor Thufir. Constantly having to apologize for being the reason security was magically and mysteriously breached about three dozen times across the span of McDune.
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