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Long series are killing fantasy (1 Viewer)

asdar

Senior Member
I know that many will disagree with me but I feel strongly that long series are killing the industry.

I think they're sucking all the money from consumers and limiting the breadth of the field.

Just for example Eddings did the Belgariad and that was a good series with a satisfying ending. Instead of Eddings or someone else going off on a new direction he keeps pumping out books. I can only afford so many books but I don't want to miss what happens to all my friends and so spend my money on a wholly unsatisfying second series.

I think by having the long series it intimidates new readers and the boredom that almost always comes with books that have nothing new to create makes them less exciting.
 

xeonman

Member
Even though I've never read much of the fantasy field, I can say that long book series do intimidate me. And sometimes when I'm reading a series of books, the next isn't always as satisfying as the last. I've never really been a fan of long book series (7 or 8 books of a series is the ultimate limit for me). You can only have a series work for only so long, without making major variations in characters or setting or plotlines. I do agree with you, the main reason i have trouble picking up a fantasy book is that it says book 2 of 9 or book 6 of 11 or something like that. There are few series that you can pick up in the middle of, I can't think of one off the top of my head. So I do agree with you, asdar, long series are killing the industry, in sci-fi as well as fantasy.
 
It is becoming a bit too much. I enjoy reading a book and then seeing an actual ending. Too many fantasy writers are creating series. If they are going to continue with a character it would be nice if they could organize it so that you can read any book about the character in any order.
 

asdar

Senior Member
Well said about the ending. It's almost like they get to the end but delay because they want to pump a few more dollars out of a successful series.

Meanwhile it's getting hard for a new writer to get his book out. At least in my book store the Sci-fi/Fantasy section is shrinking and the main books they display are the long series and Tolkein.

I loved the Lord of the Rings but I can't believe anyone wants all that stuff that's taking up space where my books could go.

I have a friend from Europe that recommended a few books from English authors and they were great but they're not even offered here.

I think because the long series are cutting them out of the money.

Is there anyone that thinks the last Wheel of Time books was good?


I loved those first books, I honestly can't say one thing that's different after this book than it was on the first page. I think it's just another $20 I gave to Jordan. Heck I'd give him $20 just to wriite a GOOD ending.
 

tcaptain

Member
I'm thinking its much harder to write a satisfying fantasy novel than writing a full series (ie: 3 books) because many of them have so much background detail to explore.

That being said, I have to say that I love long series when I love the characters. For example, Eddings, I loved the Belgariad and was overjoyed to see the Mallorean (although upon reading it, I feel that he phoned it in...it simply wasn't up to par with Belgariad). Feist is another I do enjoy following...

I guess for me it depends if a series is warranted...I read a LOT so I always want MORE. My own novel I'm working on right now I doubt I can fit in one 300 page book.

Jordan and George R. Martin overdo it though...and perhaps the guy who writes the Sword of Truth novels...the name escapes me.
 

asdar

Senior Member
Doh!

Martin is my absolute favorite author. I've read his books 5 times which wasn't a lot when I was a kid but is now.

I want him to have long series, just not anyone else.

hehe, my real problem is I want more good books. I feel like I've read everything I can find and I'm constantly waiting for the next book in an old series.
 

Ryushi

Senior Member
Bit off topic but..

I get really annoyed when i get to book two or three in a series then the library doesn't have the next one. My cash seems to just disapear so i can't buy them. I just have to think up my own ending.

For long fantasy series that work just look at Terry Pratchett. i believe his success comes from the fact you can pick up any discworld and it will make sense (well, somthing like that!) , even if you havn't read any others.

Ben M
 

tcaptain

Member
Ryushi said:
I get really annoyed when i get to book two or three in a series then the library doesn't have the next one. My cash seems to just disapear so i can't buy them. I just have to think up my own ending.

That's why I grew to hate libraries :D That and the fines when I'm 2 days late with 20 books or so hehehe. Also, I tend to periodically re-read my favorites which I can't always do in the library...so now I only buy my books (mind you, my paycheck allows me that pleasure...for which I thank god).

On the downside, my wife-to-be is looking at my library and is cringing when she thinks of moving :)
 
Q

Quietus Mors

Well, I think series are both good and bad. I enjoy series because they tell you so much, and sometimes I just hate it when a book ends, you know? I want to know what happens after and all. A sequel gives you that, but it also continues the legacy of the first, and hopefully lives up to the expectations created from its predecessor.

I think it depends, really. I agree that series can create an intimidation behind reading the books, because once you read one you must read the others to find out what happens after. I remember reading Holly Lisle's The Secret Texts, and I was a bit intimidated by how vast the books were. Series do keep me from reading some stories I would be reading right now. I just don't have the time to read a lot lately due to my busy life schedule.
 

tcaptain

Member
Ryushi said:
that is one of the best things about being under 16. No fines!!

Ben M

WHAT????!!!???

How UNFair! I havent been in a library since I was 17....and the rule was that age didn't matter...I was paying those fines at 12 :)

And my parents didn't pay them for me either ....grumble....

:)
 

seth

Senior Member
i wouldn't say that the series format is ruining the industry. i think too many authors may resort to it though. there are some authors, jk rowling and anne mccaffrey being two of the most obvious examples, that can do a series well, and then there are some that don't do quite so well; george r r martin's books, at least the game of thrones series, was a little overboard, but i still managed to finish the books in two weeks and keep the characters all sorted out.

personally, i think the use of a series as a mechanism for building a world and telling a story should be judged on a case by case basis. it'll probably work well for some readers and not so well for others.
 

Creative_Insanity

Senior Member
Yes, there are a lot of authors that overdoe the series-thing, but some authors can do it well.

One of my favorite authors is Robin Hobb, and she wrote a set of three trilogies (they take place in the same world so it's safe to call them a series). Each one of her books feels like she cared for it like a child, it's so perfect and polished.

Unlike some authors, where they only really focus on the first couple books in the series, and the rest read as if they were only done for the money.
 

CelticBardess

Senior Member
I totally agree with the intimidation factor. I am very afraid of series that seem really cool, but then I look down the line at the bookstore and see like 7 books in the series....crap! How am I supposed to read all of those in a timely fashion!?!?!

However, if you get this series that takes years for the next book to come out *cough*HarryPotter*cough* it's easier to get more people involved!

Have any of you read the Everworld series? It's a teen fantasy series. A friend of mine got me to read the first one (at that time there were less than 5 other books). The first one was awesome! I really liked it, but then I picked up the second one, and it just sucked. I don't even know what it was about it, it just didn't live up to the first one. I tried reading the third one and I just lost interest completely.

Seth, I agree with your last statement as well. I'm sure there are a lot of readers who absolutely love series! But those are probably the ones who get into it as the first 3 books came out. *shrug* Maybe series will always be a mystery to those who feel that good fantasy, or books in general are better left in one volume.

-Anne.
 

seth

Senior Member
you might be right, anne. the only exception for me really has been harry potter. i started with number three, read throught to the end of four, then read one and two before finally getting the fifth one. and it all makes good sense to me. i wasn't confused by them at all really. it probably helps that i saw the first two movies, or at least portions of them before reading the books, but i can't remember much of them, so i don't think they had a huge impact on my experience with the books. the are authors that i can't pick up in the middle of though. especially OSC. his books are amazing, and in some places you can jump into the middle of a series of his, but i find it's much easier to start from the beginning when it comes to his works. i especially like the ender, ender's shadow, and alvin maker series'.
 

CelticBardess

Senior Member
Well, yes, Harry Potter has been the only series that I think could be excepted, as I had already stated. :)

Actually, that's how two of my friends got involved in HP. They read PoA first, then GoF, and then went to SS/PS and CoS!

I've heard really good things about OSC. I was going to read him for an English project, but I read Ursula LeGuin instead.

-Anne.
 

seth

Senior Member
OSC is one of the best authors i've read. Ender and the companion series, the shadow series, were both excellent. the most unique series of his that i've read is the alvin maker series. i think it's up to about 8 books now, but they're all fantastic.

EDIT: oh, and greg bear is excellent too. darwin's radio and darwin's children was a great series/couple of books.
 
S

Sluag

I enjoy a good long series Like Drgonlance as long as all the books are out at one time. Not always possible unless you just follow the core group. I only read the Margaret Weis path because the others have minor discepances that anoy me So that keeps it down to 10 books I can read those in a month so there good, I hate books you have to wait a year for after just getting number 1.. Number two out in 2010 so keep watching kids.
 
L

Latiscity

Series... usually kill the series for me. Having the combination of being a prolific reader and having the worst memory on Earth makes me tend to not pick up a series if all of the books haven't been complete, and I am able to get all of it in my hands right off the bat.

That feeling... where you're in the middle of the series and you're dieing to know what happens next... but you just can't get your hands on the next book? [insert expletive] I guess I remember that - and consequently learned from it.

Once in a while I pick up a book that has the number "1" on it, and read it, but by the time the next book in the series come out my reaction is: "Haven't I read something in this series before? I'm sure I have." At that point I couldn't give a fig if the last book had been stamped "The Bible." My attention is lost. Irrevocably.

Big numbers do scare me. When I pick up a series and I see some huge number on the cover (i.e 2 out of 11) I breath, "God GOD!" and immediately run in the other direction.

That said, I have enjoyed some great series before... but I can't remember which - no, I'm kidding.
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
Long series, like Wheel ot Time for example, are really difficult to pick up. When I first started reading it there were five books out, and now it's 11 plus a prequel. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be starting that series now.

But Robin Hobb, three sets of three, that's excusable I think, as long as they can stand alone. I'm not a big fan of Robin Hobb overall, but not for this reason.

Terry Goodkind, who writes the Sword of Truth books, I think he gets away with it because the books can be picked up anywhere in the series and still be enjoyed. You don't have to read the first book to enjoy and understand the second or third. He relays the backstory very well, as does J K Rowling.

But yeah, I think some writers go a little overboard. A Series should be 3 books, maybe 4.
 
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