Thursday, December 02, 2004

I can't wait for the sequel, Austin

Babble on.

Austin at The Transplanted Texan writes what I've thought, about authors I've read, in a post entitled Epic Vision (Part I). And now that he's said it, I need to start scrambling around for a non-political post topic for the next slow news day.

[Robert] Jordan started off well - in my view - and sucks the reader fully into his world. The next few books, through number six or so, sustain that enthusiasm and excitement, or let it drop only a little. But once we reach the last half (please?) of the series, the story makes it obvious that Jordan doesn't know exactly where he's going, and things begin to break down. When the entirety of a 700 page book chronicles only the events in a single day, you know there's going to be trouble moving the plot.

He says similar things about the prolific Asimov, and I especially liked this analogy as it pertains to the Foundation series: "It's like a painter who has finished his masterpiece returning to the full canvas, stapling another half-board onto the side and painting on another section." A painter who has developed a nervous disorder that makes his hand shake, or a vision problem that clouds his ability to assess his own work. You wonder if anyone knows how to leave well enough alone these days.

Might I add that Terry Goodkind seems to have completely misplaced his ability to write a story? He has morphed from a talented and compelling author into a very dark, almost apocalyptic preacher - the type you expect to see handing out pamphlets on a street corner while wearing a hand-lettered sandwich board that proclaims "The End Is Near!"

This disease of running out of interesting things to say, but continuing to say things because it pays well isn't confined to SciFi and Fantasy, by the way. Tom Clancy suffers from it, as does Stephen Coonts. And I will admit I enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's first four books of the Outlander series much more than the last one. It was a long time coming, and seemed like a placeholder to keep fans interested in the series while she thought about where to go next.

Of course, as an aspiring author himself, I'm sure Austin appreciates the irony of posting his thoughts on literary sequels in two parts. It was intentional, right big guy?

Babble off.


At 4:51 p.m., Blogger Austin said...

But of course! :-)


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