Had to ask...

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Jun 25 14:53:45 EDT 2003


On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 11:00:38 -0600, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>>But is there not a slight difference between a series that is definitely
>>meant to be a single chronological narrative, such as Potter, and one which
>>doesn't depend for each book's coherence on knowledge of all that has gone
>>before?  I am told I can if I want read one or two of the later Miles
>>Vorkosigan books in isolation and not feel that I am missing great scads of
>>important back-story.
>
>I think the person/s who told you this have a heart of stone. You CAN read 
>one Miles Vorkosigan book if you are the kind of person who can eat one 
>potato chip or one square of chocolate. Yes, the novels do stand on their 
>own, but they are so excellent they make you want to read the rest.

I completely agree with this; a loosely-connected series still benefits from
reading all the books, even if it's possible to read each volume in
isolation.  What's more, the Vorkosigan books *are* a single chronological
narrative, but Bujold has gone to great lengths to make the individual
volumes accessible to new readers--so they'll go back and read the rest.

But I must add that there *is* a difference, however slight, between a
series with a definite end and an open-ended series like the Vorkosigan
books.  I could see waiting until a series was finished if you knew the
series would be complete at a certain point--I have a friend who isn't
reading Robert Jordan until all the books in The Wheel of Time are out,
which is a great plan for so many reasons.  But there's no sense in waiting
for the Vorkosigan saga to be "complete" because that could be decades from
now.

I sort of envy people who discover great serieseseses of books after they're
complete.  They're spared all the awful waiting and their memories are fresh
as they come to each volume.

Melissa Proffitt

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