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  1. Book series' that never die - even when the authors do!

    #618202013-07-30 12:20:47 *johan_5179 said:

    Thanks to the slow and steady decline in people's interest in books, one of the few ways to sell them is create a series. Create a series that is interesting enough in the first installment and open ended enough for people to speculate, and anyone who has bought the first will buy the second and so on.

    Creating a series is hard work and not many people are able to pull it off. So, some people take the easy way out. They take up a series that already exists and work at it. Sometimes they pull it off, mostly they don't.

    Enter books and book series' which have undergone this situation of having multiple writers, and what became of them.

    Also, if you have examples of writers picking up unfinished manuscripts belonging to other writers and turning them into full books, please share.

  2. #618212013-07-30 12:53:44 *johan_5179 said:

    The Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum.

    Continued after his death by Eric van Lustbader.

    I came across Jason Bourne when I first heard about the movies being made. Reading around, I realized that they were adaptations of Robert Ludlum's work. I fished around, and found all three books in my father's collection, along with a lot of other books by Ludlum.

    I can honestly say that if Chuck Norris went toe to toe with Jason Bourne, he would get his ass handed to him. No one, but no one can match Jason Bourne, who is the most complete killing machine I have seen in any book. While I can't put Ludlum down for expert pacing, he knows how to build up characters, and he knows how to make the landscape come to life. He took 10 years to complete the Bourne series, and the second book, 'The Bourne Supremacy' is the best political thriller/action novel I have ever read.

    Now, Ludlum ended the series with the third book. A 51 year old Bourne is haunted by his nemesis in an epic final battle. He triumphs, not by overpowering them, but by being smarter than them. It was a fitting, dignified ending and I was very satisfied. Bourne and company are extremely interesting characters and I loved the ending each one of them had, whether it was happy, sad, or whatever.

    I loved these books. Then HE came.

    Eric van Lustbader has written 7 Jason Bourne books. Yes 7. I have read 5 of them, and I honestly believed that nothing was possible after the 3rd book. I went back to the series because Lustbader has made some name for himself with his thriller writing, and mostly because I wanted to see what will happen to the characters.

    Lustbader eliminated every single member of the cast who was worth a shit in 1 book. He killed them off within the first 50 pages of his first book. It made for a kickass opening, but then I realised what the hell this guy was doing. He was getting rid of every single link Bourne had to his past and trying to claim the series for his own. He then proceeded to kill the remaining characters in the second book. And then set up bad copies of the same characters to populate his world.

    Now, do I have any way of telling the same damn story again and making it worse??

    The only thing he couldn't do was kill Bourne off himself. Or did he? Remember Bourne was 51 and could hardly keep up with younger fitter people? No mention of his age here. Remember his entire split personality - David Webb, the quiet professor who became the world's best guerrilla to deal with his shattered life? Not mentioned at all. Everything interesting about Bourne has been cut away and discarded. This madman keeps churning out Bourne books one every year, and I am not pleased.

    So yeah, my experience has been shitty.

  3. #618232013-07-30 15:20:19hellstorm901 said:

    Anything by Tom Clancy is generally going to become this as it already is happening with him still alive. Most Tom Clancy things are written by others and credited to him and I don't see this changing if he were to pass on.

  4. #618252013-07-30 15:55:10Kirn said:

    Okay, I know an example. You will have to excuse me for it not being a book example though. But still, this fits in a way.

    Yep. Asterix comics. Originally the series were written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. However, after 24th book, Goscinny dies. Uderzo, however, decided to continue making those, writing stories himself now.

    I have to admit - I didn't try reading those books after 24th one. I red that it really shows that the writer changed, it for me - and I do love the setting and characters dearly - it would be hard to see things different. So yeah, I have no first-hand idea if the comics became really worse after that... but I can be sure that they are different now.

    Also, now there is 35th book, which was made without any of the original authors at all. It was made by some Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad. Got no information about it.

    There, this is one of my examples. (And I will put here example I talked about on chat later... tomorrow, maybe)

  5. #618682013-08-01 09:44:15Kirn said:

    Another one. Again, probably not exactly the right example... but this time it is a book, and this time I personally know what utter horror resulted from all this. Plus, it is about a book that many of you know...

    Well, now that I think about it, these days most of you just watched the fucking movie... so go and read the fucking book, you ignorant bastards!

    Still, for those who know: Tolkien's works about Middle-Earth consist of Hobbit, Lord of the Rings trilogy and Silmarillion. And, while first two he published himself, we can already say that his work continued after his death 'cause Silmarillion was published posthumously by his son. So yeah, the world as we knew it was expanded upon in this prequel of sorts.

    However, it didn't end there. We all know that LotR is a fantasy epic that created huge fandoms. And fandoms lead to - and I feel dirty saying the word - fan-fiction. And here we are taking the gloves off, 'cause fan-fiction can be everything from cross-overs to fucking slash fiction. Google that term. Hell, even I did a big LotR fan-fiction project back in the day, which was well-received by Russian LotR fandom.

    But what if you want to deliberately rape the world created by Tolkien with your fan-fiction, while catering to the dumbest readers out there AND you want to make money out of it? Because that's exactly what happened.

    Popular Russian fantasy-writer Nick Perumov did exactly that. He made himself famous by writing 'Ring of Darkness' trilogy (actually, first there were only two books, then he made third one which was crazier than first two together) in the Middle-Earth setting after Lord of the Rings events. Btw, the fuck denied that that thing is his 'sequel to LotR'. Let me give you a plot of those.

    After war described in LotR came new age, age of humans, with evil forces beaten and hiding, elves slowly buggering away to Valinor and Hobbits still being quiet farmers. One Hobbit, however, does not want to life quiet farming life and he spends all his time re-reading old book about events of the war. One day he is visited by a dwarf who searches for the book to help him in uncovering mysteries of Moria. The two start traveling together. Along the way they find out that darkness gatheres again - around a human who is founding old Nazgul rings one by one.
    So... not a continuation in any way, yep. And hey, it could be a nice read, but the scale of idiocy is off the charts here. Let me just mention few things here. First of all - hobbit himself. This one end up being proficient in melee and range fighting, including bows, daggers and throwing daggers. He gets mythril armor making him unkillable, he finds ancient artifacts, giving him more combat bonuses and gets a position of centurion in a human army. This is a 80 lvl hobbit. No, really, that the meme that appear after the whole thing. The kind of hobbit that walks up to the dragon, hits him on the head with a stick, puts all the treasures in a single bag and moves on to find something more challenging. Next. Along the way there are new races and tales of new lands - just brought onto the Middle-Earth. Weird legends and sayings. And if that wasn't enough, there are creatures found in the books that are more powerful than even Vala. Those same creatures made his way into other books of the author later and became something like his trademark most people do not like him for. Oh, and to top it all off, you know how the books end? Well, they end with our good heroes attacking Valinor. Seriously. And going right through it and bursting through it into another newly created world. Happy end.

    The books are horrible. Well, first two are readable, but the last one is utter shit. And noone would have red them if the whole thing wouldn't be presented and 'actual continuation of LotR'. Well, as you can imagine, a whole lot of Tolkien fans hates Perumov for it still. And rightly so.

    So, that's my another example. Making horrible read on a foundation of cult classics and making a name for yourself with it.

  6. #618692013-08-01 10:03:05DarkChaplain said:

    While we're at Tolkien:

    The Children of Húrin

    This one was restored and reassembled from Tolkien's writings, and edited by Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R.'s youngest son. Christopher set out to publish a lot of Tolkien's work which had not seen the light of day before the grand master's death. The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Children of Húrin being chief among those publications.

    I am also pleased to say that I have read the Narn i Chîn Húrin plenty of times in the past, including various incarnations, and enjoyed them a hell lot. Indeed, part of me thinks that, in a way, the story is somehow more compelling than the Lord of the Rings. It is a tragedy, that book.

  7. #618972013-08-02 08:12:59Michu said:

    The Magic Key.

    "The Magic Key is a series of books published for children as part of the Oxford Reading Tree, from Oxford University Press."

    I am pretty sure they still go on and even if they have finished (which I doubt since there are millions of them)

    If you don't know this family, you've been neglected as a child.

  8. #618982013-08-02 08:18:49Kirn said:

    Googled those. Can't seem to find any other author except for the original one - Roderick Hunt. Who seems to be alive and still receiving awards, so... How is this relevant to this thread?

  9. #619552013-08-02 18:19:11 *johan_5179 said:

    The Sudden Series by Oliver Strange

    Continued after his death by an editor at Corgi Books, writing under the name Frederick H. Christian

    The Sudden books are among the earliest and best-loved of the (Wild West) type. Sudden is portrayed as an intrepid and accurate gunfighter in search of two men who cheated his foster father. James Green earns the nickname "Sudden" because of his lightning speed with a gun. Sudden is portrayed as a stereotypical gunfighter: an intelligent and resourceful drifting cowboy who is respectful of the law, unwilling to use a gun unless absolutely necessary, humanitarian, brave, strong, and fair.

    The series is famous not for its plot or the characters. The plot usually involves Sudden helping people, uniting lovers, taking on the crooked town marshal and cliche's from the average potboiler. The characters are stock characters which populate many westerns.

    BUT, what sets the series apart are the very vivid and mostly accurate descriptions of the Wild West, its customs, its landscape, its people. And the dry humor :3 I honestly can't pinpoint what it is, but for some reason these books just work and are the best reads in this genre.

    After Oliver Strange died in 1952, an editor decided to continue the series since they had good sales and what he did is, well, pretty horrible. HE PLAGIARIZED FROM EARLIER SUDDEN NOVELS THEMSELVES D: . AND messed up the chronology. Fortunately, since the plot and characters are not very complex, there is not much to mess up. Unfortunately, the books died since Christian didn't have Strange's skill and because he was essentially a twat. Another bad experience, yes.

    All Sudden novels are out of print today.

    I have been searching for second-hand copies for 4-5 years now, but I have only managed to find 2. And for some weird reason both are from F.H. Christian -_- My father owns 4 written by Oliver Strange, and the difference in quality between the writing styles is very noticeable :(