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Old 02-25-2013, 08:16 PM   #46
Ken Maltby
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
I happen to be one of those readers who likes series generally. For example, I have every volume in the Recluse series by LE Modesitt, Jr. and in many of the series that Harry Turtledove wrote, just to identify two.

But your mention of Feist raises another point. Series can change a writeer from interesting to downright dull and boring. I have read many of Feist's books (and own a number of them), but now I can't bring myself to read his writing. I find it has grown stale. Same is true of Robin Hobb's Rainwild series -- the first couple of books wre good but thereafter I couldn't read them.

Series can remain good (David Weber's Honor Harrington and Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series come to mind) through all of the volumes, but then others die with each new volume (Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan are two authors whose series come to mind). I suspect that writing a series is very difficult for authors.
As for Robin Hobb:
I'm not a fan of most of her works, but the Farseer Series was pretty good.
In fact I read the "Rainwild" series based on my favorable experience with
the "Farseer" series, in my opinion "Farseer" was much better.

There is often a great deal of difference between the sequels and the initial
novel of a serial. "Triplanetary" was the initial novel of the Lensmen series,
but it is a much more polished novel than the rest of the pulp series.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:19 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
As for Robin Hobb:
I'm not a fan of most of her works, but the Farseer Series was pretty good.
In fact I read the "Rainwild" series bashed on my favorable experience with
the "Farseer" series, in my opinion "Farseer" was much better.

There is often a great deal of difference between the sequels and the initial
novel of a serial. "Triplanetary" was the initial novel of the Lensmen series,
but it is a much more polished novel than the rest of the pulp series.

Luck;
Ken
Uh, Triplanetary was a retrofit.
Originally a separate story it was much later reworked and combined with new material to tie it to First Lensman, itself a late addition to the series, for the first book edition of the set. The series originally started with Galactic Patrol.
The extra polish came from the reworking, years after the other books.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:01 PM   #48
Ken Maltby
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So... "Triplanetary" not a good example. Since I can't recall an equal example, my
perception could be bogus. I guess we would call it a "prequel" now a days. I always
thought it started the series.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:55 AM   #49
fjtorres
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
So... "Triplanetary" not a good example. Since I can't recall an equal example, my
perception could be bogus. I guess we would call it a "prequel" now a days. I always
thought it started the series.

Luck;
Ken
As far as the *books* go, it does.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lensman_series

Quote:
The series was published in magazines, before being collected and reworked into the better-known series of books. The complete series in internal sequence and their original publication dates are:
1.Triplanetary (1948. Originally published in four parts, January–April 1934, in Amazing Stories)
2.First Lensman (1950, Fantasy Press)
3.Galactic Patrol (1950. Originally published in six parts, September 1937 – February 1938, in Astounding Stories)
4.Gray Lensman (1951. Originally published in four parts, October 1939 – January 1940, Astounding Stories)
5.Second Stage Lensmen (1953. Originally published in four parts, November 1941 – February 1942, Astounding Stories)
6.Children of the Lens (1954. Originally published in four parts, November 1947 – February 1948, Astounding Stories)

Lensman Sequel
7. The Vortex Blaster (1960. Published with the title Masters of the Vortex in 1968)

Originally, the series consisted of the final four novels published between 1937 and 1948 in the magazine Astounding Stories. However, in 1948, at the suggestion of Lloyd Arthur Eshbach (publisher of the original editions of the Lensman books as part of the Fantasy Press imprint), Smith rewrote his 1934 story Triplanetary, originally published in Amazing Stories, to fit in with the Lensman series. First Lensman was written in 1950 to act as a link between Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol and finally, in the years up to 1954, Smith revised the rest of the series to remove inconsistencies between the original Lensman chronology and Triplanetary.[2]
Triplanetary as we know it, especially the critical first two sections, is Post WWII whereas the core of the series is Pre-WWII. But in the book editions it did come out first. And the bulk of the story, dealing with Costigan and the Nevians, was in fact earlier than Lensmen so its not a true prequel in modern terms. But First Lensman is.

A better example of your idea would be Dune.
The first volume is one of the great SF novels of the 20th, probably of all time. The second volume, a quick and dreadful cash-in. The rest is mostly fan service. There's a lot of exploration and expansion of the core milieau and the mythos but nothing that follows really hits on all cylinders like the first volume.

There is also John Norman's GOR, where the first four started out as good Burroughs-ian pastiche and evolved into...porn?

Or Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series; the first five show a good progression of skill and good writing. Urban fantasy with a bit of detective mystery. Around volume 6 or so the mystery element pretty much got displaced and the sex became the core of the series. By now it's strictly fan service. If its still running. The second one is really very good.

It does happen: a lot of series do outlive their reason for existing, which makes the few true series that don't all the more significant. It pays to know when to quit. Just not as well as fan service.

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-27-2013 at 07:00 AM.
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