Books in Series

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Jan 13 18:00:23 EST 2000


On Thu, 13 Jan 2000 17:31:59 +0000, Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:

>>>  Anne McCaffrey has lost the plot with Pern and is wringing every last
>>> drop out of that world
>>>
>> I wish she could be declared Unfit and have custody taken from her.  I still
>> think there's a lot of possibility to Pern.  What happened?  And I just came
>
>Hear, hear!  I loved the first two trilogies; I quite enjoyed Moreta and
>Nerilka, although I don't think they fit too well, but I failed to finish
>Dragonsdawn, and now hardly ever read McCaffery :-(

That's how I felt...as though my enjoyment decreased in direct proportion to
the order I read her books in, liking the most recent ones least....

Some of that is my changing taste in books, but not all.  Some of it is
dissatisfaction that she seemed to feel she needed to emphasize that Pern Is
Not Fantasy and the introduction of the SF-style history of the world.  That
would have been interesting as its own series, but it wasn't what I read the
series for at the beginning.

>>    "Andre Norton killed Witch World by dragging in other novels, like
>> her Gryphon series."
>
>I have stayed away from Witch World so far, having been unable to find the first
>book in the series.  This is now on my books to read pile, so...

It's so interesting.  I know, I really KNOW, that I read this whole series
as a young person.  But when I re-read _Witch World_ recently, I couldn't
remember ever having read the series at all.  Other than the names of the
protagonists, it was like a brand-new series.  My favorite Witch World book
is _Year of the Unicorn_, which is a corollary novel set in the same world.
Norton is just so vivid and so strangely imaginative--I always see her
worlds as sort of bleak with bits of green life here and there, somehow.

>(I am in the process of rediscovering much of the Norton I enjoyed when younger
>- hence my voting for her in Nat's survey.)

Oh, I still love her books.  If there are ones I don't like, it's because
the plot is not as interesting.  _Octagon Magic_ is still an old
friend--fits into a certain category of fiction for me, of which _The Broken
Citadel_ is also one, but I can't really define it other than that.  Also
Zilpha Keatley Snyder's _Witches of Worm_, which is severely creepy.

>>    When it comes to dwj, dwj knows best.  I'll have it her way.
>
>Up to a point.  But some of her weakest books have been in trying to tie
>together series: Crown of Dalemark being a case in point.  I am sure that even
>sequels will be really good if DWJ writes them, but I can't help feeling that
>something independent, set in the same world, would be better still.  (Drowned
>Ammet and Spellcoats are quite independent of Cart and Cwidder, for example)

I don't think it's so much a matter of being part of a series, but in the
fact that she's trying to tie it together.  I.e., if she set out to write a
series and knew it was a series and planned it that way, I'd bet it would
totally hang together.  _Crown of Dalemark_ is kind of an afterthought.
Although....

>Castle in the air seems to be a half-way house.  It is almost but not quite
>independent of HMC, so if you don't know who Sophie & co. are the ending seems
>strange, and not worthy of the rest of the book.

Maybe the way she thinks about plot is just not conducive to writing
sequels--at least not ones implicit in the first book.  Personally, I would
have preferred not knowing that _Castle_ was a "sequel" to HMC, because it
isn't truly.  I was expecting a TRUE sequel, one that focused on Howl and
Sophie etc., and it was disappointing the first time because of my
expectations (better the second time, naturally).  But it is something you
ought to know if you haven't read either, for the reason Philip says.

Melissa Proffitt
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