Kevin J Anderson - Is he any good?


Unlikely Ally
Mar 10, 2011
I am really keen to know if anyone here rates either the 'Saga of Seven Suns' or 'Terra Incognita' series.

I really like sci-fi and fantasy and my favourite authours are S. Sonaldson, U. Le Guin, F. Herbert, I. Asimov, I. Welsh and P. K. Dick.

I read two of the Dune 'prequels' as well as the novels he wrote to 'complete' the Dune story he wrote with Brian Herbert, and was a little underwhelmed.. Are either of these series better than those Dune books, or should I avoid them?

He wrote Hopscotch, which I abandoned halfway through because it was so badly conceived and written. So, yes, I'd say he's avoidable even without Brian Herbert (whose Garbage Chronicles rivals Hopscotch in my personal list of the most unreadable things I have been subjected to) to help drag him down further.
In defense of KJA, i've found his Dune and Saga of the Seven Suns books Ok for reading on the train. They're never going to set the literary world alight and they have that young adult feel to the writing, but they were good fun.

Underwhelming is a pretty good description for them.
When there are so many good books available, why waste time on bad ones?
Fair comment. Consider them a guilty pleasure. :) We all have them.
The main problem I've always had with his work is that there is often a good story lurking somewhere within the book. Get another author to write a novel using a KJA work as a guide and something great could come out of it. But as they are, not worth the effort. Unless you believe interstellar politics should be based on who gets to shack up with a Kings 18 year old daughter.
Somebody's buying these books and it's not just me.
As far as I can recall he collabed with Dean Koontz on the Frankenstein series (book one I think). I read the first book and it was OK, a murder mystery thriller with a bit of a superhero edge to it, can't remember much as it did not really impact me that much. I could see the parts DK wrote because the prose and thought behind it was executed well, the other that I assume KJA wrote was not.
And he was involved in the completion of A. E. Van Vogt's sequel to Slan, Slan Hunter. I have a copy, but now I'm wondering if I should take the time to read it. I probably will at least give it a start.
I like a lot of van Vogt's fiction, but Slan struck me as over-rated. So I've no real interest in reading a sequel. OTOH, John C Wright wrote a Null-A sequel, which I find more interesting... but I'm loathe to give that man any money.
And I for one, will never forgive him for how he massacred the prequels and sequels to the Dune series. And I won't read anything with his name appended.:mad:
This, essentially. Stay away. Especially if you enjoy Ursula Le Guin and Philip K. Dick.
Thanks guys.
I know everyone's taste is different, and no doubt there are people who like his stuff.. somewhere.. but you've at least encouraged me to put him well dawn the order.
There are so many good books and authours out there I don't really want to begin reading a big series that will ultimately be a waste of my time.
And yeah, if I start it, I will have to read the whole thing. I'm just cursed like that. Mervyn Peake, David Eddings, Jennifer Fallon.. I had to finish trilogies by thse guys which had a lot of promise but were ultimately, well, pretty abysmal.
I will defend KJA. I liked his Seven Suns saga and all of the Prequels for the Dune series. 7 Suns are long books with many characters but was quite easy to follow and the story was great space opera. It is not a thinking sci-fi saga, but it is entertaining. I also liked his collaborations with Brian Herbert. Be warned, they are NOT Frank Herbert. In fact in my opinion they are more flowing and better paced than the original DUNE set by Frank Herbert. They read more like a story than specific points in time as each of the Dune novels were. The last two books finishing the Dune set were paced and read like the prequels. But that was expected from the authors. Overall, if you like fast paced space opera, try 7 suns. I am looking forward to their new set starting with 'Hellhole'.
I tried to read the Dune-based books, but I'm afraid I very quickly classified them under the "attempt to cash in on a far superior creation" label.

Mervyn Peake... had a lot of promise but were ultimately, well, pretty abysmal.
Each to his own taste, of course, but assuming you're referring to the Gormenghast trilogy, I'd be interested to know what you consider so bad about it that it merits such a sweeping dismissal...
Why would someone join SFF Chrons just to post a defence of KJA's appalling books? And to only post that?

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