Oh yes - he has a whole series of novels even: https://www.blacklibrary.com/warhammer-chronicles/malus-darkblade - and comics too.
He’s about 1/10th as ludicrous as Anomander Rake, though Rake at least as a better name.
It can’t have been every single one, because I didn’t
Brandon Sanderson is an author who yeah, is good at one thing, designing magic systems so that they make sense both consciously and intuitively, thus you can imagine what might be done with them before it is done, which can be somewhat engaging. I actually can’t think of a pen & paper RPG that manages this, hilariously.
Unfortunately, he’s not really actually good at anything else. His big flaws are:
He’s a coward when it comes to writing about people being people. This means his characterisation often seems weak and unbelievable, particularly when sexual attraction is involved. It gets downright fucking WEIRD in some of his early books where two characters are clearly about to make out and instead one just sits on the other’s knee. Like, what the fuck? There’s no in-setting or character-driven stuff behind this.
He’s a coward when it comes to moral points too, sticking to a very conventional morality, even when it doesn’t exist in the setting, and makes no emotional or rational sense to the characters. Examples are too tedious to list, but numerous, usually resulting in characters basically thinking “I should do X, but I cannot because it would be WRONG!!!” - even though by the standards of the society he lives in, it isn’t. /rolleyes
His dialogue is weak, at best. Occasionally he can manage a memorable speech, but actual dialogue? Pffft. The 1 & 2 also help make this worse.
He ludicrously overdescribes things a lot of the time. I mean, dude, shut up.
His backstories/settings are always convoluted as fuck, sometimes delivered in massive exposition dumps or unnecessary flashbacks, and worse, as he goes on, and keeps writing his books, they start interconnecting between different universes of books in extremely complicated ways, that whilst often unimportant, a lot of page space is actually wasted on, and thus reader time is wasted. I was asking online about who this weird character was in one of his novel and why she came out of nowhere, got tons written about her, and then vanished, and it turns out she’s a character from some other series of novels - with an entirely different setting/universe.
It was at that point I forswore any further Brandon Sanderson novels. He was gradually, like ever so gradually getting better at 1 & 2 (and he was consciously aware of that flaw), but every book I read, about six in total I think, 5 got worse, and it’s just really shit behaviour, frankly. It leads to this obsessive fanbase consisting of idiots who love following and knowing these pointless connections, and I’m sure it sells him a ton of books because said idiots have to read everything with “Brandon Sanderson” on it in case there’s a connection to another one of his books.
He did get a big boost initially, because he first book (that anyone actually read) did actually seem pretty good or at least like the start of something good - The Final Empire. It was also a breath of fresh air when it came out, in 2006, especially if you’d been reading other fantasy of that era. But it was downhill from there.
Interesting. I immediately detected Diary of a Wimpy Kid as fairly vile, even from descriptions of it, and everything I’ve heard about it confirms that. Even defenses of it by parents seem half-hearted and uncertain. That seal shit sounds absolutely fucking vile to give to kids.
As for it being better when you were younger, I mean, when was that? When I was young, I’m 42 now (uggggggh), so in the 1980s (surely it wasn’t that long ago!), the books aimed at and given to kids were pretty terrible. I mean, what I remember was that I did get a lot of shit books given to me by adults. Anything by fucking Enid Blyton, for example, fuck that shit. Or what about CS Lewis? They loved to give that utter trash to kids.
There was always stuff like Stig of the Dump or Swallows and Amazons, or anything by Roald Dahl, or Five Children and It, or The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, or The Worst Witch or whatever, but that felt like an escape, most of it, from stuff you were “meant” to read.
But I think there was a limit to how much damage could be done because it wasn’t really commercialized. You had all these books series, and a lot of them were ghastly, but they weren’t backed by massive publishers, or let alone horrifying media corporations. Now there’s just so much stuff, and some of it so aggressively marketed that as you say it must be very challenging to actually locate things that are good.
I did, I enjoyed it, and I recommend it to others!
That’s a reasonable question, but it seems founded on the notion that people know the foundational text exists, and understand the context that it gives to later works, which is clearly not remotely the case with Moorcock.
Personally, having gone back and read quite a few “foundational texts” in fantasy and science-fiction, I think the answer, sadly, is “it varies”.
Some foundational texts are in fact, still remarkable, and by reading them, you do tend to learn something new, and gain a new perspective on later works, because often what people have been stealing is often superficial - though sometimes entire concepts are, perhaps not even consciously, stolen and have a very deep impact on genre writing.
If you look at science-fiction, reading 1950s through 1970s “foundational texts” (including Asimov’s Foundation haha), an awful lot of them are kind of dreadful. Hard to read. Often sexist (sometimes even worse). Largely you don’t need to read them. Some you do - The Demolished Man, whilst a problematic novel, at least holds up as a novel, and it’s influence is hard to understand without having read it. But most science-fiction authors of that period? That’s a big nah.
Fantasy looks a bit different, I think. Far more often the foundational works do have a charm of their own, do have something to say, and some even possess the power to shock, especially when you look at when they were written. I mean, I’ll always remember the Fritz Leiber Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser book, where the tough warrior male leads who’ve been rescuing princesses (or failing to do so), getting seduced and whatever for short story after short story, realize that they’d actually happily bang each other, except it might ruin their friendship. And this was written in like, the 1970s. That’s a weird example but Moorcock, specifically, is a better writer than pretty much all the people who have aggressively stolen his concepts, and he has stuff to say, too, that hasn’t been repeated, or learned from. Or that’s been done worse, since. And nobody seems realize it’s even happened, no matter how obvious the theft.
This makes him rather unlike Tolkien, for example. You don’t actually need to read LotR to understand his profound influence, and in fact not actually sure it helps entirely. I think knowing the context in which it existed, reading fantasy from before Tolkien, then fantasy from after, and understanding how he influenced other writers, both positively and antagonistically (Moorcock basically wrote to spite to Tolkien), relies on understanding stuff that’s not in the books - like how people understood his work in the 1950s and 1960s (often as a work of far-future sci-fi, bizarrely).