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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Four Book Plus Series

   
Author Topic: Four Book Plus Series
AchillesHeel
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Sometimes it can be hard to accept that the story is over. Disappointing to know that all the characters you have grown to love and despise are done existing, and worse that all the fictional history and snippets of language that was required of you to appreciate three books will never be made use of again.

But then you have writers like Anne McCaffrey who not only wrote a vivid world into our minds but used every corner of it to tell a different story. Or even our own hospitable Mr. Card with the Ender and Bean books. Because lets be honest, one book with Peter Wiggin is not enough.

My favorite is the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey. No matter how powerful her characters are she humanizes them with a bit of weakness that never seems trite. I've read more than fifteen different Valdemar books and I still don't have answers to some of my very first questions from when I read The Last Herald-Mage. But unlike Tad Williams, Lackey isn't presenting you with a question only to yank it away, she laces them in very quietly and hopes some people will wonder "are all the companions in on some big magic-horse conspiracy?"

What are your favorite ongoing multi-character series.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
But unlike Tad Williams, Lackey isn't presenting you with a question only to yank it away...
Hm. As a Tad Williams fan, I have no idea what you mean by this.
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Jon Boy
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I got tired of neverending series after I finally realized that Raymond E. Feist was just writing the same story over and over again ad infinitum. He'd apparently had one decent idea and was going to milk it for all its worth.

I don't want authors to explore every corner of the universe, because in my experience the corners don't turn out to be that interesting. I'd rather have a story with some closure and then read something new.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
I got tired of neverending series after I finally realized that Raymond E. Feist was just writing the same story over and over again ad infinitum. He'd apparently had one decent idea and was going to milk it for all its worth.

I don't want authors to explore every corner of the universe, because in my experience the corners don't turn out to be that interesting. I'd rather have a story with some closure and then read something new.

I think I agree with you. I keep trying to get into ongoing series of books, but never make it past the first 2 or 3. Especially when you get to that one weak book, and every author of those series has at least one. I can invest 40 minutes of my time for a bad episode in a tv show I love, but weeks for a novel is different.

The other thing is that there is so much I want to read, I have a hard time going back to the same series.

Just don't get me started on my love hate relationship with expanded universe books.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I can invest 40 minutes of my time for a bad episode in a tv show I love, but weeks for a novel is different.


The other thing is that there is so much I want to read, I have a hard time going back to the same series.

The solution: learn to read faster. [Smile]
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Emreecheek
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I've been delighted with the new books Elizabeth Moon has been writing set in Paks' world. Only, she's not really so much exploring new corners as much as new characters. Well, new to a viewpoint, anyway.

[Smile]

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But unlike Tad Williams, Lackey isn't presenting you with a question only to yank it away...
Hm. As a Tad Williams fan, I have no idea what you mean by this.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn left me wanting so much more and he wrote it that way on purpose. All the different races, languages and history... for how much I enjoyed the books all that information is useless now.
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TomDavidson
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Um.
You realize that any information you've acquired about Mercedes Lackey's universe is also useless, right? [Smile]

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SteveRogers
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I suppose the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher is considered ongoing, and they're quite the guilty pleasure for me. Following a recommendation from Tom, I fell in love with The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss; the third novel in the trilogy hasn't yet been released, so I suppose it qualifies as ongoing. The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane is another guilty pleasure.

I don't think there are any series I've read and continue to read which are ongoing which consist of books in the double digits. Most of the ones I mentioned are still relatively new, or the books come out quite a distance apart.

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kmbboots
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I generally care less about spending time in the particular universe and more about spending time with characters I car about. I would classify multi-book stories (NotW, Harry Potter, LotR) as a single story told in several volumes differently than, for example, The Dresden Files where each story could stand alone. And there are bunches in between. I would recommend the Miles Vorkosigan books as a great ongoing series. The ERB Mars books are an ongoing series after the arc of the first three books.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The Dresden Files where each story could stand alone.

It should be noted that this becomes less and less true as the books progress, in my opinion. The most recent volumes all build on each other in a way which would leave a new reader lost if they had no prior knowledge of the events and storylines established in previous books.
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Tinros
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The Symphony of the Ages by Elizabeth Haydon is ongoing. It's sitting at 6 books right now, with a seventh in the works, and due to stop at 8. Fantastic fantasy series that tends to be very music-oriented.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The Dresden Files where each story could stand alone.

It should be noted that this becomes less and less true as the books progress, in my opinion. The most recent volumes all build on each other in a way which would leave a new reader lost if they had no prior knowledge of the events and storylines established in previous books.
I have read only the first four. I guess what I am thinking of is story arc. Whether you end a volume in the midst of an arc or at the end of one. LotR or NotW aren't three separate stories. Harry Potter is sort of in the middle - there is one giant arc that ends with the final confrontation with Voldemort but each of the earlier books has its own arc as well - surviving the Chamber of Secrets for example.
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Rakeesh
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Seconded the recc for the Vorkosigan Saga, and one (if you want an ongoing series) for the Aubrey-Maturin series of books.

I'll confess to enjoying some of the 'explore the corners' sort of fiction, but now that I think about it, the times I've done that have only been with characters I already really enjoyed. LotR being the biggest example-and even there, a series and setting for which I'm a gigantic fan-I eventually petered out interest-wise in terms of exploring all the nooks and crannies, because there are a LOT of nooks and crannies in that story. Though perhaps had Tolkien written them in novel form, I would've enjoyed them-much of it is incomplete after all.

But two of the other largest ongoing series where I experience that kind of pleasure, the other two I mentioned, I was also really invested in the characters-and in one case, the Vorkosigan Saga, exploring the universe takes a distant second place to exploring the characters, or exploring the universe with the characters.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The Dresden Files where each story could stand alone.

It should be noted that this becomes less and less true as the books progress, in my opinion. The most recent volumes all build on each other in a way which would leave a new reader lost if they had no prior knowledge of the events and storylines established in previous books.
I have read only the first four. I guess what I am thinking of is story arc. Whether you end a volume in the midst of an arc or at the end of one. LotR or NotW aren't three separate stories. Harry Potter is sort of in the middle - there is one giant arc that ends with the final confrontation with Voldemort but each of the earlier books has its own arc as well - surviving the Chamber of Secrets for example.
Ah, I see. Yeah, I can agree with that. The Dresden Files is very clearly a series while something like Lord of the Rings or Kingkiller Chronicle is one epic story spaced out over multiple volumes; thusly, they're not really self-contained.
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advice for robots
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Favorite ongoing multi-character series would have to be George R.R. Martin's. May it ever continue. [Smile]

I haven't read much of this one yet, but it seems very well done with plenty of critical success: Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Already enough books in that one to keep you reading for a long time.

For sci-fi, Iain Banks' Culture series comes highly recommended.

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Phillyn
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The Lonesome Dove series, 4 books with vivid, wonderful characters that were defined as middle-aged/old men in the first book and then given more detail in the books that came later, 2 depicting them as young men and in the last book the surviving character as an old man. Wonderful characters that at each rereading was like visiting old friends once more.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Um.
You realize that any information you've acquired about Mercedes Lackey's universe is also useless, right? [Smile]

Fair enough, but seeing as I had read seven books (two trilogies, one single) that take place in the same few years and share characters I was pleasantly surprised to find a two book series with one of the most grim supporting cast. That is what I find enchanting about Lackey, she isn't just making stories for her main characters she is just as happy to make new ones for the background characters as well.
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