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Old 01-08-2013, 07:26 AM   #1
jbcohen
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Long running series

I like series where you get to know a character or characters who are developed through successive books in a series so by the second or third book the reader has a fairly good idea of what the character(s) are like and by the fourth a reader is familiar enough with a set of characters that you can imagine them standing next to you. The Wheel of Time was an excellent example of that, after a few books I had a fairly good idea of Mat, Rand, Moraine, Lan and the whole gang of what they must look like. What authors have written series that are similar?
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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Long series? Well some long series just roll on and on as revenue generators long past their expiration point but some do make it to double digits, with the same cast, without wearing out their welcome. Two that come to mind:

David Weber's Honorverse - Starting with ON BASILISK STATION, 14 novels (and counting) and back-filling with a few short stories afterwards he is chronicling the life and times of the premier military officer of her era, starting with her middie cruise to her leading role in a galaxy-wide epochal war.

Robert Lynn Asprin's - Myth Adventures - 19 volumes and a great comic series of fantasy comedy-adventure starring Skeeve, a magician's apprentice turned demon's apprentice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythAdventures
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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I can understand what you are saying fjtorres. There are some book series that seem to out live their welcome or over develop their characters.

Honor Harrington seems to be a good example of this aspect. The series started when Honor Harringtion was a Captain and proceeded through several novels in which author David Weber advanced her to the rank of Admiral and made her pals with the queen of Manticore. Not much else to take her, besides she was run out of the Manticore naval service once already in the series, except perhaps to make her Chief of Naval Operations. I have not read the latest book in the series as yet, I intend to, however David Weber seems to have transferred the spotlight to one of Honor's pals, don't recall her name.

However there are some series where the characters never seem to be worn out such as the Mack Bolan saga and the component series. That saga seems to be in the 600 novels or so and still going and after reading as many of the books as I have I feel like if Mack walked in the door of my home I would recognize the man.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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Robert Parker's Spencer Series. Also The Jessie Stone Series.
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe.
Agatha Christie's Poirot
Perry Mason by Erle Stanley Gardner
Vlad Taltos by Steven Brust
The Sacketts by Louis L'Amour
The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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One of the things I like about Honor Harrington is how people move in and out of the books. Some of her crew from the very first novel disappeared for a few books afterwards and then reappaer in a new position. Its fun to see them advance through their careers along with Honor even if they aren't th focus of the book.

To be honest though, sometimes a character will disappear for 3 or 4 books and when they come back it takes me a while to remember who they were, haha.


The Wheel of Time is a good example of a central cast of characters we get to know but then there are sooo many throw away characters it can get confusing. Usually if an author spends several pages telling me about a character's looks/family/history/thoughts, they have some role to play. In the Wheel of Time, these characters are sometimes used just to show a changing world and then are never mentioned again or seen once in passing a few books later.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Yeah I now Robert Jordan tended to be like that with throw away characters. One of the main problems with him is that there were so many characters doing different jobs in the whole scheme of things that one had to have a web site just to keep track of whose who. Harrington is not that bad, there are a few central characters and a few minor ones that don't seem to matter much.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mewmartigan View Post
One of the things I like about Honor Harrington is how people move in and out of the books. Some of her crew from the very first novel disappeared for a few books afterwards and then reappaer in a new position. Its fun to see them advance through their careers along with Honor even if they aren't th focus of the book.
Ginger Lewis and Wanderman are a good example. Abigail Hearns. The entire Zilwicki family.
Also, Weber shows how Honor's originally crew have grown to be forces in their own right. When they die, you mourn along with her.
And he does it with the antagonists, too; Tac-witch Shannon Foracker being a good example. I'm thinking the Mesans are going to curse that name for centuries.
It's a fun Universe to visit.
(Wouldn't want to live there, though.)
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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Simon Scarrow has written a series that follows 2 officers in the Roman army. It is during the time of the Emperor Claudius. The first book is Under the Eagle. There are 12 books in the series I think, however, the last couple are not in ebook form.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:10 PM   #9
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Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Series.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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Well, since I'm currently engrossed in the Warhammer 40K universe, there's some long series there.

The Horus Heresy series - 19 novels, 18 short stories and 4 novellas.
The Gaunt's Ghosts series - 13 novels, a short story anthology and an audio book.
The Eisenhorn and Ravenor series - 7 novels and 5 short stories.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #11
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JD Robb's "Eve Dallas" futuristic police-procedural is on book 34, I think. (Some people refer to them as the "In Death" books).

Only 2-3 years have passed in the characters' lives, though. So it's not going to be like the Harrington books in terms of character development, but quite a bit is revealed about her as time goes by.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #12
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Cool The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, 14 novels to date as well as an anthology containing 10 short stories and a novella. Also at least half a dozen short stories in other mixed collections.

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Old 01-09-2013, 01:35 AM   #13
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David Weber's Honorverse - Starting with ON BASILISK STATION, 14 novels (and counting) and back-filling with a few short stories afterwards he is chronicling the life and times of the premier military officer of her era, starting with her middie cruise to her leading role in a galaxy-wide epochal war.
This is a good series. Unfortunately I burned out (twice) after book 9 and all of the short stories.

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Lynn Asprin's - Myth Adventures - 19 volumes and a great comic series of fantasy comedy-adventure starring Skeeve, a magician's apprentice turned demon's apprentice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythAdventures
19? I only have 12. I guess I have some shopping to do....

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The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, 14 novels to date as well as an anthology containing 10 short stories and a novella. Also at least half a dozen short stories in other mixed collections.

Excellent, excellent series!! My favorite character isn't even human, but I love him dearly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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19? I only have 12. I guess I have some shopping to do....
Jody Lynn Nye is behind the other 7.

And the Harrington books? Volume 9 is roughly where the series expanded from a focus on Honor to a wider view of the universe around her. The stories since are really a single mega-narrative about an epochal war. Empires live, emipres die, the fate of humanity at stake... and hardly anybody notices.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:42 AM   #15
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The Wheel of Time series is not the same as most of the other series mentioned here. It is a serial - a single story told in 14 volumes - rather than a series of stand-alone stories featuring the same characters.

I can't off-hand think of any other serial of comparable length, although there are plenty of much longer series. It's kind of traditional to run into the tens of books about a single detective in crime fiction. I admit to being slightly intimidated when I looked at the Nero Wolfe wikipedia page.

Epic fantasy tends to run to trilogies, sometimes fours or fives. Longer sequences (such as Recluce) are usually not serials. Song of Ice and Fire is unfinished at 5, so far.
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