The Walk of Shame 2

My last post was about some of the rather…interesting indie books you can find in the Christian fantasy fiction section of Amazon. Here’s some more of them, pushing a bit farther back on the timeline.

A little background: I browse these from Amazon’s Kindle Store, using the Religion-Christian Books and Bibles-Christian Fiction-Christian Fantasy path. So these are books categorized by the authors to fit in that section. In that section, there are 2,200 ebooks for fantasy, and futuristic barely cracks 1,000. That’s how few Christian fantasy and science fiction books there are. For comparison, the Sword and Sorcery section of fantasy alone has 9,000 ebooks. This many for what is a dead genre in the last ten years.

But enough of that. Here’s some more books that you can find on Kindle.

Image

 

Yeah.

From the blurb:

In X-Finney Strikes Again there are three worlds; Villain World, Hero World and Earth. The bad guy X-Finney designs a soda, so he can control all the kids on earth. Now the Superheroes of Hero World must save them in time. Can they do it; can the Superheroes of Hero world save the kids before they are under X-Finney’s Power?

If you look at the cover in the preview, those two guys are actually colored in by crayon.

No, seriously, it looks like the author got some line art somewhere, printed it, and colored it in with Crayola crayons. There’s a blurb in the front of the book saying that the formatter/publisher, a place called Revival Waves of Glory Books & Publishing, left it exactly as the author intended with no editing. Like he was apologizing. The main hero is called….Dangerless.

I’m tempted to buy it for trainwreck potential. Next up:

nameofhawk

When you sell a book in 25 page installments, you don’t need to make a physical cover as opposed to a banner ad, I guess. The author has better covers with his romances and historical fiction, but expect to see the name “Murray Pura” a lot. The blurb for this is that Hawk is wandering somewhere in Mongolia with four women.

ponies

 

This isn’t a bad cover. But….

This is a story that appeals to both the young and the old. It’s about a seven year old homeless girl that flies through the mind of God on a painted pony. In her journeys she sees the pain and sorrows that other people endured, as well as how to do miracles. She soon learns she can paint ponies for other homeless individuals that need help to overcome fear, sickness, greed and hate.

This is a story that appeals to both the young and the old. It’s about a seven year old homeless girl that flies through the mind of God on a painted pony. 

PONY.

ForPony

I sincerely doubt the “appealing to young and old” part.

This below is a bad cover:

highplaces

The above cover is for a book named High Places, by Stephen Johnson.

This book seems to favor the “generate interest by obscurity” idea. Very tsundere. “It..it’s not like I want to have a title on my cover or anything!” The blurb is similar.

On a planet where society has moved away from ancient spiritual traditions, one boy will fight for his family and all he holds sacred.

Looking inside the book, it’s not bad of a premise, surprisingly. On the planet Cana, people commune to their god by way of Vines; large skyhooks that a spaceship dropped at some point on the surface, and that are alive. The B.A.A.L. organization doesn’t like this. It has clumsy writing though, and it’s not a good book as opposed to a good idea. Now we have something that overplays its hand:

witchandblood

 

Noviza lives in the magical land of gardenia with her father Sieban and her two pet friends Tyky the sparrow and Judah the lion cub. Forced by poverty Sieban steals the money from his office chest and witch Thessora takes Sieban captive.
Noviza with her two pet friends Tyky and Judah takes on an adventurous journey to fight the witch and rescue father Sieban. Will Noviza and her friends succeed ?

This book unveils to its readers a land of spine chilling mysteries which revolves around a brave spirited girl who wades her way through all the devilish obstacles coming her way, with only one aim in mind, which is to free her father from the evil clutches of Thessora witch. But the story takes an unexpected turn which unfolds another chapter in her conquest that reveals her to be the only hope of being a savior to the hypnotized Gardenia Land and to resurrect the rule of King Melchizedek.

In this entire brain steering conquest, the series of adventure and mystery does not give a predictable feature. The journey reaches a ‘love’ junction, wherein the quest takes onto a route of happiness. But the feel good essence gets a striking blow which leaves the lead girl high and dry in the midst of hindrances.
Thus, series of questions linger in the story. Whether this journey will get to taste the flavor of success, will evil ultimately lose its rule to the power of goodness, will the girl be successful in rescuing her father and reviving her sinking love and ultimately will the land of Gardenia see the victorious light of the day?
This book gets its reader involved into the fictitious plot of the story and make them rhythm their mental moves with every passing minute of the story. This book is basically targeted towards all audiences, be it the young, matured and old. It gives the mind a reason to think over, reflect, feel and respond exactly the way the author intends to. This author desires to give people a mental break from their stereotype professional schedules which clog their minds 24X7 and spice up their minds with fiction, adventure, love, faith and bravery. Thus the book gives its readers a ride through the world of fiction, which includes every virtue of life, depicted in a fictitious manner, which aims at connecting not only to the mind but also to the hearts of the readers.

Book blurb written in the style of TV operating instructions from Taiwan. In case you thought that the author was outsourcing his blurb on Fiver, here’s the first line of the book:

Noviza cried “Father! Father! Have mercy, he is an old man Father!, Guards please! Slowly! Have mercy on him, oh God of heavens”.

No really, that’s the first line. Punctuation and all. And one last book, just to torture us some more.

bear

This is in the Christian Fantasy section. I kid you not.

Ginger Snap the Bear is a story about a young child who takes on the full armor of God to stand up and be a Christian. She follows the Scripture Ephesians 6:6-17 as she battles against being called a child and simply a girl that cannot be a soldier of God. In the end, she shows that she can be a soldier of God and all her friends watch and cheer for her victory in Christ Jesus.

This book should be titled “Ginger Snap the Bear Transfixes You With The Piercing Stare Of The Damned.” I get unsettled just by looking at the thing.

***

What gets me about these books is not so much they are bad. Indie books will always have a mix of the good, the mediocre, and the bad. It gets me because there are so many of them in a tiny, niche genre. And many aren’t even supposed to be there! Kids books, semi-christian work,foreign language books,  and even in one series case Christian erotica are thrown in to this category. This is in addition to the loose categorization of fantasy as it is; a lot of books are “End Times” stuff, which really isn’t considered fantasy proper in the category as opposed to general fiction.

Every one of these books is in a section with 2,000 works. And this number counts each 20 page installment of a longer novel as an individual work. They drown out the good works from the small presses and indie writers. In one sense you can poke fun at how amateurish they are (while reminding yourself you aren’t so hot either,) but in another sense you get angry because so much of the genre you like to read is like this. The good novelists get drowned out by the crap.

And again, I’m not a snob about these things. I’m not expecting all Christian fantasy to be better than the world. Sometimes even average or bad books can be fun to read. But the bar is so low on these that it’s frankly embarrassing even by indie standards.

2 comments

  1. Hmm… the interactive fiction community gets a fair amount of crap pieces, too. Only, I understand it there, because it’s a semi-structured community, with forums and competitions and in-jokes. If anything, from what you’ve posted, I don’t think the situation on the IFDB is even as bad.

    Maybe the self-publishing CSF scene needs more internal accountibility. There should be ways to publish blatantly stupid, ironic works with other writers just for fun, without bogging down Amazon. There should be a shame factor for authors who release crap without putting in at least their best effort to edit and to make a serviceable cover.

    (IF reviewers often outright reject and scorn games that haven’t been beta-tested, but modest efforts at refinement are often acknowledged, since almost the whole genre is non-commercial and self-published.)

  2. “This book should be titled “Ginger Snap the Bear Transfixes You With The Piercing Stare Of The Damned.” I get unsettled just by looking at the thing.”

    I’m crying from laughing at this.

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