The Sword and Laser discussion

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Only Reading Finished Series

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Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2827 comments I just finished book #3 of The Dark Tower, which was a definite reminder of why I only read finished series. Without it being a spoiler, Stephen King finishes the volume with an author's note saying that he will probably write a volume 4, probably, although he doesn't know what will happen, and he's sorry for leaving everyone hanging, but that is what the story demanded.

*shakes fist*

If I had been reading it in the mid-90s, I would have been furious!

With all this talk of the George R. R. Martin, I thought we could talk about series you CAN read all of. :) Anyone? Bueller?


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Jenny wrote: "I just finished book #3 of The Dark Tower, which was a definite reminder of why I only read finished series. Without it being a spoiler, Stephen King finishes the volume with an author's note sayi..."

Well you could get mad again because there is a new dark towers book in the works between book 4 and 5 called The Winds Through the Keyhole.


message 3: by Otto (new)

Otto (andrewlinke) | 110 comments Terry Pratchett is still alive and supposedly writing in his world, but the Discworld books are only loosely connected, so it's ok.


message 4: by Skip (new)

Skip | 517 comments The Wheel of Time will finish up next year. If you have never read the series and start now, you might finish in time for the last book release.


message 5: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Jenny wrote: "If I had been reading it in the mid-90s, I would have been furious! "

I was reading it in the mid-90s. If you haven't checked the publication dates, King took six years to resolve that little cliffhanger.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Kelly (ptekelly) | 206 comments Whilst I understand people doing this - If everyone does this then there will never be a series of books like the ones you are talking about.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 488 comments Paul wrote: "Whilst I understand people doing this - If everyone does this then there will never be a series of books like the ones you are talking about."

Very true, but i think there will always be people happy to follow a series as it's released. Even with the wait after A Storm of Swords I decided to return to my policy of waiting until a series is finished - especially with the ASoIaF being so complex and long I'd rather read other things than have to re-read the series whenever a new book is due out.


message 8: by Nicolai (new)

Nicolai (nemoi) | 47 comments I can't really share this sentiment. Yes, the wait for A Dance with Dragons was particuarly long. But for one thing, anticipation can greatly increase reading enjoyment (at least for me). For another, part of the great thing about epic series is discussing what might happen next and understanding the hidden meanings in a series. You can't really have that with a series that is already finished. I would therefore say that on-going series are particuarly suited for book discussions.


message 9: by Been (new)

Been | 125 comments While the idea of being left hanging by a book series that never gets completed leaves me feeling pretty hollow (the rumours I've heard about George R. R. Martin terrify me), I absolutely love that feeling you get when you've been waiting for the next book in a series to get a date, and more so when it's released. It's like Christmas, only it happens throughout the year.

I imagine long-time followers of the Gormenghast series were fairly elated when Titus Awakes was announced.


message 10: by Joanna (new)

Joanna Nicolai wrote: "I can't really share this sentiment. Yes, the wait for A Dance with Dragons was particuarly long. But for one thing, anticipation can greatly increase reading enjoyment (at least for me). For anoth..."

I second that! While waiting for the new installment of the series can be exasperating (see The Wise Man's Fear or A Dance with Dragons to name but those two) and you will have to re-read the series (sometimes several times - but I kind of like that, you get to know it so much better than the series you read from beginning to the end in one go, 'cause they're already finished) but there is also nothing quite like FINALLY getting it and digging into the new part. Every time some series I'm reading finishes I feel sad that that's it, that there will be no more bitching about waiting, no discussing with friends what might happen in the next one, no running frantically to the bookshop to get it as soon as it's in, no anticipation, no excitement. You just don't get that with a finished series.


message 11: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) I am in the don't start any new series that aren't done camp...until I read one that I like then trapped again!!


message 12: by Dan (new)

Dan (daniel-san) | 101 comments Jenny, if I'm understanding it correctly, I think your point is more about an ongoing series that has no foreseeable end in sight, rather than a planned but not yet published series (I'm thinking trilogies and so on here). If the author doesn't even know how it's going to end, then I agree with you that it can be frustrating to read.

If it's a long story in a serial format, I generally think that's okay, although I really become annoyed if I start sensing that what I'm reading is just filler riding the popularity of the previous books.

If a trilogy is complete and another story can be told from that universe, I think that's fine too, but don't leave me hanging at the end of one volume and then say you don't know how many more you will write.

That said, I think a series of books, finished or not, can be very compelling due to the potential for lots of character development and plot. Even if I'm following a series and the ending is disappointing, which often happens, I don't think it's a waste because, of course, it's not about the destination, but the journey!


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2827 comments Yeah, I did read the first two MaddAddam books of Margaret Atwoods, and the first two Rothfuss. A trilogy isn't the same as a series.


message 14: by Tone (new)

Tone (tone_milazzo) How about The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny? It's been finished since '91 and it's made of two smaller series so you can jump off halfway. Plus they're about 200 pages each so you can jam through it.


message 15: by Kris (last edited Jul 14, 2011 07:42AM) (new)

Kris (kvolk) Tone wrote: "How about The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny? It's been finished since '91 and it's made of two smaller series so you can jump off halfway. Plus they're about 200 pages each so you can jam th..."

Great series and I wish they all wrapped up like amber did as well.


message 16: by Dylan Northrup (new)

Dylan Northrup | 33 comments I am in the "wait for the graphic novel". . . er. . . "wait for the series to complete" camp. Here's a few series I'd suggest for those who also subscribe to that philosophy:

- Peter David's 'Modern Arthur' trilogy: Knight Life, One Knight Only and Fall of Knight
- David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series as well as The Elenium and The Tamuli series. Both of those are two series set in the same universes.
- David Brin's Uplift series of books
- Arthur C Clarke's 2001 books as well as his Rama books
- Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series (and, if you've got a ton of time, his Xanth series)

Just some suggestions. I've personally read the Knight Life, Incarnations of Immortality and Uplift series (as well as several of the Xanth books when I was younger) and really enjoy being able to consume a story all at once without having to wait between installments. And, yes, I do the same with comics/graphic novels and have moved towards doing this with TV series as well (Netflix streaming makes it soooo easy).

Once Song of Ice and Fire and Wheel of Time publish their last books, I'll start reading them. Until then, there are plenty of other options out there (I'm currently working on the Rama series and will go over to the Eddings books after)


message 17: by Jim (last edited Jul 15, 2011 07:58PM) (new)

Jim | 4 comments Wolfe has several complete series. I've read The Book of the New Sun and halfway through The Book of the Long Sun as well as The Wizard Knight.

I'll second the recommendation for The Chronicles of Amber books. I have an Omnibus edition that I wish I could get in ebook copy (simply due to its girth and my mobility). :)

Edit: Oh, and the series I'm reading now: The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. There's a trilogy finished and at least one independent book in the same world. I've really enjoyed it so far (I'm a few chapters in to book two).


message 18: by Randy (new)

Randy Word (rword) | 21 comments The Chronicles of Amber is an awesome series. It is really the series that drug me into this type of books. When I read them the second series "Chaos" series had just started so I had to wait on each book but they were well worth it.
I'll second the David Eddings recommendation and add the Dune or Pern series.


message 19: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) Randy wrote: "The Chronicles of Amber is an awesome series. It is really the series that drug me into this type of books. When I read them the second series "Chaos" series had just started so I had to wait on ea..."

Randy all those are great series. Amber is an all time favorite of mine. Have you read S.M. Stirlings series that starts with Dies the Fire?


message 20: by Randy (new)

Randy Word (rword) | 21 comments No, I've never heard of that. I do agree about Amber, it is a great series. I even liked the Dawn of Amber novels that John Betancourt was writing but the series was canceled before it was finished over copyright issues from what I understand.


message 21: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) Randy wrote: "No, I've never heard of that. I do agree about Amber, it is a great series. I even liked the Dawn of Amber novels that John Betancourt was writing but the series was canceled before it was finished..."

I started liking them especially the first one but then he lost my attention. I really like the others though and after reading the ones with merlin a few times I like them as much as the orginial series now. At first to jarring of a change in voice but after getting through that I don't even really notice now.


message 22: by Randy (new)

Randy Word (rword) | 21 comments My fav of the 2 series is which ever one I'm reading at the moment. I really like Merlin a lot.


message 23: by Dobie (new)

Dobie (IndianaDobie) | 22 comments I can understand the frustration that would lead someone to decide to only read finished series. For me anyway,what is truly frustrating is when there is such a huge gap in time between books. Waiting for "A Dance of Dragons" was particularly frustrating since it was supposed to have been completed so long ago. It was like Martin has been teasing us for years - and after a certain point it just becomes frustrating.


message 24: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson are great reads and the series is finished.

Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set


message 25: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is a finished series.


Wizard's First Rule (1994)
Stone of Tears (1995)
Blood of the Fold (1996)
Temple of the Winds (1997)
Soul of the Fire (1999)
Faith of the Fallen (2000)
The Pillars of Creation (2002)
Naked Empire (2003)
Chainfire (2005)
Phantom (2006)
Confessor (2007)
Debt of Bones (2001, prequel novella)


message 26: by Leah (new)

Leah | 20 comments Brian wrote: "The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is a finished series."
I am reading Confessor right now though I am wondering what Goodkind is going to stir up with
The Omen Machine: A Richard and Kahlan Novel since the series effectively ends with Confessor.

I'm looking forward to some trilogies that I have on my to-read shelf. It will be nice to have a story line finish after 3 books! I feel like I have read nothing else since I began.


message 27: by Kevin (last edited Jul 31, 2011 02:12PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Brian wrote: "The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson are great reads and the series is finished.

Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set"


Is really finished with The Alloy of Law coming out in November?


message 28: by Noel (last edited Aug 01, 2011 07:59AM) (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments Yes, I think you can say it was finished, great ending by the way. The new book is set 300 years after the original trilogy and is in effect a completely new story line.


message 29: by Neil (new)

Neil (rucknrun) Brian wrote: "The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is a finished series.


Wizard's First Rule (1994)
Stone of Tears (1995)
Blood of the Fold (1996)
Temple of the Winds (1997)
Soul of ..."


Did you see this? Omen Machine I wonder how it is associated to the series. It says a Richard and Khalan story. The Law of Nines was sort of associated too.


message 30: by AndrewP (last edited Aug 01, 2011 12:47PM) (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2440 comments Brian wrote: "The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is a finished series."

I just finished book 3 of this series and really liking it so far. Picked up books 4 and 5 on audio CD from Borders using closing sale and other discounts, so will be continuing soon.

For finished series, how about the ones from Tad Williams One sword and one laser. I enjoyed both of these very much.

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy: (Epic fantasy)
The Dragonbone Chair
Stone of Farewell
To Green Angel Tower
(The third one is in two volumes if you get the paperbacks due to it's sheer size.)

Otherland: (Epic virtual reality)
City of Golden Shadow
River of Blue Fire
Mountain of Black Glass
Sea of Silver Light

There is another set of 4 called Shadowmarch. I have not read these so I do not know if it is a complete series. Does anyone know?


message 31: by Ken (new)

Ken | 141 comments In the 90s I started the Saga of the Pliocene Exile series and the Galactic Milieu series by Julian May. These are 10 books that can all be a single series. It was great up until the last couple of books where it seemed the author was getting tired and just wanted to wrap it up.


message 32: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2440 comments Ken wrote: "In the 90s I started the Saga of the Pliocene Exile series and the Galactic Milieu series by Julian May. These are 10 books that can all be a single series. It was great up until the last couple ..."

I second that. The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles was a great series.


message 33: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) Andrew wrote: "Ken wrote: "In the 90s I started the Saga of the Pliocene Exile series and the Galactic Milieu series by Julian May. These are 10 books that can all be a single series. It was great up until the ..."

Agreed one of the best...


message 34: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6032 comments How about a Peter F. Hamilton sf series, like Night's Dawn, or the Commonwealth series (Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained), which continues in the Void series. I think it's sufficiently literary for you.


message 35: by Noel (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments Tamahome wrote: "How about a Peter F. Hamilton sf series, like Night's Dawn, or the Commonwealth series (Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained), which continues in the Void series. I think it's sufficiently literary for ..."

Yes, and the Void series is now finished with a definite ending to it.


message 36: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6032 comments Plus the old psychic detective Mandel series will be reprinted in the US soon. :)


message 37: by Leah (last edited Aug 02, 2011 12:41PM) (new)

Leah | 20 comments Neil wrote: "Did you see this? Omen Machine I wonder how it is associated to the series. It says a Richard and Khalan story. The Law of Nines was sort of associated too. "

This was sent with the Tor newsletter today- a statement by Goodkind on TOM
http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPag...
edit: because it might be tl;dr for some people, Goodkind basically says he likes picking up with the next book right after the ending of the previous one so I'm hoping that the new one isn't grandpa Richard and grandma Kahlan in their twilight years


message 38: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments Leah wrote: "Neil wrote: "Did you see this? Omen Machine I wonder how it is associated to the series. It says a Richard and Khalan story. The Law of Nines was sort of associated too. "

This was sent with the T..."


Why cant authors ever just finish a story line and move on.


message 39: by Leah (new)

Leah | 20 comments Brian wrote: "Why cant authors ever just finish a story line and move on."

I agree, 11 (12?) + prequel is a lot. I feel like he also could have wrapped up that story in much fewer books.


message 40: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments Here is almost all of Goodkind's plots.

Khalan is in trouble. Richard goes to save her and uses simple magic he never knew he had.

Give me a story with only Cara :) I would be ok with that.


message 41: by Ken (new)

Ken | 141 comments I was totally engrossed in Night's Dawn right up until how it ended. Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained and the Void books were all phenomenal.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2827 comments Tamahome wrote: "I think it's sufficiently literary for you ..."

You as in me? How did I become the S&L snob? ;)


message 43: by AndrewP (last edited Aug 03, 2011 11:20AM) (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2440 comments Leah wrote: "I agree, 11 (12?) + prequel is a lot. I feel like he also could have wrapped up that story in much fewer books."

I am sure he probably could, but he does get them out in a timely fashion of about one a year. The series would have taken 60+ years if GRRM was writing it :)

Brian wrote: "Give me a story with only Cara :) I would be ok with that."

What a cool idea, I would go for that.


message 44: by Leah (new)

Leah | 20 comments haha that's true, Andrew. Did all of GRRM's books take so long to come out or just the most recent one?


message 45: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments A Game of Thrones August 1996

A Clash of Kings November 1998

A Storm of Swords August 2000

Feast for Crows October 2005

A Dance with Dragons July 2011


message 46: by Leah (new)

Leah | 20 comments Brian wrote: "A Game of Thrones August 1996

A Clash of Kings November 1998

A Storm of Swords August 2000

Feast for Crows October 2005

A Dance with Dragons July 2011"


oh wow. My sister in law said that she read them in high school so I assume that she has been in it since the beginning, like many people.
Wait 5 years for something that takes you a week to read 8D


message 47: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Brian wrote: "Here is almost all of Goodkind's plots.

Khalan is in trouble. Richard goes to save her and uses simple magic he never knew he had.

Give me a story with only Cara :) I would be ok with that."


Good point, but not with Naked Empire or Pillars of Creation.


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