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Old 08-29-2018, 05:48 PM   #1
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Series order

I've been listening to Gemmell's Drenai series in published order since they first hit the audible a few months ago. I'm up to book 3, "Hero in the Shadows", the first Waylander book. Book 1 of the series "Legend" was the first Druss book. I've read all the series in both paper and ebook over the years.

What's interesting about the various story lines is that Legend is the last chronological Druss book, but there are multiple books that tell his back story. Same with the Waylander books. I thought about trying to listen in chronological order, but decided to stick to publish order.

Quite a few well known series take this approach, with the publishing order being quite different than the chronological order - Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series, McCaffery's Dragonrider series and Bradley's Darkover series to name just a few.

So how do y'all approach such books? Do you prefer publish order or chronological order. My take is for books that I re-read, i.e. the joy is in the journey not what lies at the end, then I prefer publish order.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:51 PM   #2
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Publish order for me, always.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:59 PM   #3
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Published order for me as well.

Once in a while if I'm rereading I may do a chronological order, but usually I reread in published order.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:11 PM   #4
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The first time I read any series that is still being written and published, I read it in publication order. If the chronological order is different I will read it in chronological order the second time I read the series. If it is a series that has multiple books out, when I discover it, I will read it in chronological order.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:16 PM   #5
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There is no order other than published order, in my opinion. Reordering a series of books is no different to me than someone reordering the individual chapters of a single book to suit their own sense of chronological "propriety."
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:42 PM   #6
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I prefer chronological order. But it also depends on the series.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
There is no order other than published order, in my opinion. Reordering a series of books is no different to me than someone reordering the individual chapters of a single book to suit their own sense of chronological "propriety."
Personally, if I'm reading the books as they are published, that's the order I read them in. If I'm re-reading a series or purchasing a series that is essentially complete, I'll read them in chronological order.

I've read quite a few series where the author has given a suggested reading order which is chronological. Nothing like realizing that book 1 in a series was a 300 page spoiler for the next 6 books.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:40 PM   #8
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If I am reading Historical Fiction like Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, I prefer to read it in chronological order. It makes more sense for me, knowing the history of the Peninsula War, to read it in chronological order.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I've read quite a few series where the author has given a suggested reading order which is chronological. Nothing like realizing that book 1 in a series was a 300 page spoiler for the next 6 books.
That's one of the reasons I stick to published order. Even if the author recommends an alternate order, I don't want to have to do a ton of research to find out if it's truly viable from a "reveal" standpoint. That, and the fact that the whole idea of "prequel" is rendered completely meaningless when slotted in chronologically. Too often (as you discovered), a prequel read first is nothing but a massive spoiler for the rest.

A reread, I can understand experimenting with (though it's still not something I tend to do), but if I've not read them, it's published order or nothing. I doesn't matter one bit to me if the series is completely published before I start it or not.

I'm a huge fan of stories that jump back and forth between different timelines (if done well). Whether that story happens between two covers or twenty doesn't change that. There's a delicious tension and release aspect to them that cannot be duplicated in a narrative with a completely linear timeline. I guess the urge to "chronological-ize" a story (or series of stories) is something I must have been born without. In my opinion, there is simply no benefit to doing it. It's all risk for zero reward. *shrug*

EDIT: I'm not judging, by the way (for those who enjoy the practice). It's just something I don't get. And am unlikely to ever get it. The desire to rearrange how a story was originally told/written is just complete foreign to me. It's akin to reading the last page before going back and starting the book. *shrug*

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Old 08-29-2018, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
That's one of the reasons I stick to published order. Even if the author recommends an alternate order, I don't want to have to do a ton of research to find out if it's truly viable from a "reveal" standpoint. That, and the fact that the whole idea of "prequel" is rendered completely meaningless when slotted in chronologically. Too often (as you discovered), a prequel read first is nothing but a massive spoiler for the rest.
I was thinking more of where the first published book in the series is later supplemented by several prequels -- much like the Star Wars movies. One series I read had what should have been book 4 published first -- as I said, 300 pages of spoilers when I picked up and read books 3-5 in publication order but books 1-3 in chronological order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
EDIT: I'm not judging, by the way (for those who enjoy the practice). It's just something I don't get. And am unlikely to ever get it. The desire to rearrange how a story was originally told/written is just complete foreign to me. It's akin to reading the last page before going back and starting the book. *shrug*
It's your books, read them the way that you want. I do like going back after a while and re-reading a series that I enjoyed. If nothing else, it cuts a bit into the cost of my habit. OTOH, I have one friend who will read the first chapter and then the last chapter before buying a book and then dump it in the staffroom for somebody else to read after she's finished reading.

Last edited by DNSB; 08-29-2018 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:11 PM   #11
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It's your books, read them the way that you want. I do like going back after a while and re-reading a series that I enjoyed. If nothing else, it cuts a bit into the cost of my habit.
I wasn't really speaking about re-reading in general. While it's true that I don't re-read nearly as much as I used to, re-ordering series books in subsequent re-reads was never something I was really tempted to do—even back when I used to re-read a lot. It just didn't (and doesn't) occur to me to want to put things in chronological order. All the times I've accidentally done so have been disappointing experiences for me. I guess I've just never been under the impression that the earliest point in the time-frame that a story covers (multi-volume epic or short-story) is necessarily the best—or even the most logical—place to begin. The first time through or the fourth.

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Old 08-29-2018, 10:24 PM   #12
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I always try to stick to the order in which the books were written. I read a lot of Scandinavian crime series which may have been translated to English years after original publication. Published-in-English order is not always year-written order, so I try to be careful. Spoilers for whodunnits are disastrous.

I've always worked on the principle that the author must have (surely?) used some kind of logic in deciding which book to write next.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:28 AM   #13
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I prefer chronological order for most series that have already ended. And hate prequels the reason I never watched star wars 1-3 and have no plans to. Some authors write prequel stories that are sort of being narrated in the current timeline by one of the characters I really don't mind those. For currently running series I follow I read them as they are published as I have no choice in the matter. Though if I am rereading those I will read them by the internal chronology.
Like Dresden Series by Butcher most of the series is in chronological order apart from the short stories but the author has stated where most of the short stories fall in the time line so if I start reading it again I will read the short stories accordingly. And even use epub split in calibre to separate out each short story from the anthologies and place them according to the timeline
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:57 AM   #14
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After reading McCaffrey's Pern series in both published and chronological order, I only do published order. As mentioned, even when the author recommended chronological order, there is not only a spoiler, but the air of suspense is gone as well. Watching the action of Captain Kirk and his crew, and then going back to when he first entered Starfleet is far better than the chronological. Why would you care about him, after all? Just another guy entering Starfleet.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:08 AM   #15
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Published order for me.

To use an obvious movie example, The Empire Strikes Back loses one of the best twists in filmdom if you've already watched three movies about Anakin Skywalker.

I don't like the reordering of the Narnia series, regardless of Lewis' opinion.
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