Now, The Gods

by Robert French
Reviewed date: 2005 Sep 29
Rating: 0
267 pages
cover art

Now, The Gods is the most incompetently-published book I have ever read. It is rife with copy editing errors: nigh a hundred misspelled words, scores of missing words, failures to capitalize, and more than one instance of incorrect line justification. Then there is the author's failure to consistently call his characters by the same name: the cat in particular is called Mr. Butterscotch, Butterscotch, Mr. B., and Scotcher seemingly at random. (This despite the cat's owner stating that he called the cat Scotcher.) Finally, there is the author's fastidious avoidance of using periods when writing dialog...all of his characters speak with ellipses.

The plot must have been written by a fifth-grader. Dr. Stephen Anderson goes to pay his friend a visit at a research laboratory. At the lab, Dr. Stephen Anderson--professor of literature--is mistaken for Dr. Samuel Anderson--doctor of nutrition--and is hustled onto a spaceship and blasted into space. Poor Dr. Anderson finds himself on a months-long journey with nothing to do.

The ship's mission is to travel to the planet Orpheus at the outer limits of the solar system and locate ores of the element ferium, a substitute for iron. (Because, apparently, Earth has run out of iron and needs substitutes badly.) But on the way, the ship crashed onto a large asteroid--which is apparently made of mostly ferium. (The crew of the spaceship is surprised to discover that this large asteroid "has gravity" and is also highly magnetic, the combination of which makes the ship unable to take off again.)

I don't know how to describe this awful book other than: incompetent. There isn't a scrap of valid science anywhere. The main plot point is solved by deus ex machina: they use Mag-Nev paint, which (as everyone knows) repels magnetism. The rest of the book is taken up exploring--clumsily--the love interest.

I've read some dismal books in the past, but this one takes the cake.

[2018 Feb 6] Update - Over the years, every time I think of the worst books I've read, this one comes to mind. It's just so bad. That's why this book gets my lowest score ever: zero.

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