As writers we get to play with language and can be forgiven when we run away with them. Some of the examples are from well-known writers. I guess the level of hysteria is in the eye of the reader.
Here's this year's Sci-fi winner, Greg Homer (turns out he's from my neighborhood):
Morgan ‘Bamboo’ Barnes, Star Pilot of the Galaxia (flagship of the Solar Brigade), accepted an hors d’oeuvre from the triangular-shaped platter offered to him from the Princess Qwillia—lavender-skinned she was and busty, with two of her four eyes what Barnes called ‘bedroom eyes’—and marveled at how on her planet, Chlamydia-5, these snacks were called ‘Hi-Dee-Hoes’ but on Earth they were simply called Ritz Crackers with Velveeta.After reading a few of these, I noticed ho my own prose was moving toward the purple, overwrought, or otherwise too clever for its own good.
Here's a question for you? How do you know when a writer has gone too far? It is a tricky thing, especially in spec fic, to keep things clear while creating interesting worlds. When I'm in a bookstore, looking for a new writer, I'll pick up the book, open it to the middle, and if I can't pronounce the names I shut it and put it back. That's my criterion. What's yours?