This is a weekly meme hosted by Cambria Hebert, in which I sporadically take part. Cambria describes it thus:
Welcome to my weekly meme Tell Me Something Tuesday where I ask you something and you tell me the answer!! It’s as simple as that and I thought it would be a great way for all of us bloggers to get to know one another! So this is how it works: I post a question here on my blog and then i give my answer. I invite all the bloggers to take the question and post it on their blog with their answer and we can hop around and see what everyone says! If you are a blogger don’t forget to leave your link at the bottom of this post! If you aren’t a blogger – that’s okay too!! Leave your answer in the comments section!
If you're a blogger and want to take part, be sure to post your link on Cambria's page for this week, by clicking right here!
On to this week's question!
Tell Me Something:
At what point do you think a series has gone on too long? How long should a series be?
I'm really sort of in the minority on this issue. I absolutely love long series, as long as they keep putting out good stories. A good example of a terrific, and long-running, series is the Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
David Weber's Honor Harrington books and the other books set in the Honorverse; this long-running space-opera/sci-fi series has 26 books (a few aren't yet available), but I've read almost all of those as well! Again, Weber keeps the storylines strong, fresh, interesting and he keeps pulling me in.
A suspense/police procedural series of which I'm very fond is the Lucas Davenport series by John Sandford - there are 22 books available and I've read 20 or 21 of them, and loved every one. These are amazing because they're realistic - the detective ages, gains a family and some aches and grey hairs, slows down a little ... It's not like Robert B. Parker's Spenser series where the guy never seems to age even though decades have gone by!
On the other hand, sometimes you get series that just need to stop.
Maybe the first book, or even two or three, are okay, but then the series becomes strained, repetitive, maybe even silly. One such series is the Spenser series of books I just mentioned - yeah, I enjoyed the first few, but after that ... oh, it got horrible. Same with the Stone Barrington stories by Stuart Woods - I enjoyed quite a few of them, but by the time we were past a dozen, they were starting to get repetitive. Piers Anthony writes fabulous stand-alone books, but once he gets started in a series - Xanth, The Apprentice Adept, etc. - and once he gets past the first two or three books, the series' descend into such silliness and contain such recycled scripts that it's groan-inducing!
But the fact is, there is just no way to tell! Recently I was adding series information for an author with whom I have recently become acquainted (Matt Shaw, if you must know), and contacted him to ask about his Happy Ever After trilogy, which consists of five books. He told me that, after he finished that third book (A Fresh Start), his readers wanted more, so he wrote the two additional books in the series, and wrote All Good Things so as to provide a definite ending to the series. Also, sometimes, an author will plan out a long series, but for one reason or another, it doesn't work out. For instance, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (the widow of Jim Morrison!) wrote a fabulous series of books that took the stories of Arthur and the myths of the British and Irish Celts and transplanted the stories to another world. The Keltiad, The Aeron, and the Tales of Arthur comprise a total of 9 books, and I know she planned more, but for some reason, she quit writing them. By the way, these books are a bit hard to find - or they were for me when I was accumulating them - but if you like Arthurian Legend or Celtic Myths and legends, you will love these books!
So, for me, as long as I love the books, and as long as the author keeps writing the stories, I'll keep coming back for more! Keep 'em coming my friends!