New poll - Completed series follow-up

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In past polls, you told me that you loved series more than stand-alone books and you didn't really wait for a series to be completed to start reading it. With this love of Fantasy series in mind, a topic came to my mind and I decided to turn it into my next poll.

When I was a teenager, I remember thinking that The Lord of the Rings should have had a follow-up, another series with the characters I loved so much.  Aragorn's rule could have been in danger from the gathering of the remnants of Sauron lackeys or something like that.  I eventually read almost all of Tolkien's other books but I still had this thought in the back of my mind.  Anyway, it wasn't a realistic idea since the guy had already passed away...

Then I read the follow-up to the Star Wars saga put to movie by George Lucas, the series written by Timothy Zhan, the Thrawn trilogy (composed of Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command).  Even though I thought of these novels as the episode 7, 8 and 9, they were more part of the extended universe of Star Wars than real follow-ups (I know, they were set right after episode 6, so maybe they ought to be considered as such...).

Last year, or maybe the one before, Steven Erikson announced that he was doing two new trilogies set in the Malazan universe after the completion of the Malazan book of the Fallen.  The first book of the first trilogy is The Forge of Darkness which is featuring Anomander Rake thousands and thousands of years before his masterpiece.  The subject matter or time period of the other trilogy is still unknown. No sign of some kind of follow-up for the Malazans...

R. Scott Bakker wrote a superb trilogy named the Prince of Nothing some years ago. In this case, the ending was loose enough with clear perspectives for the future and the author decided to go with a new trilogy following the events of the first (20 years later mind you).  I'm not sure that a follow-up will be possible after the Aspect Emperor but you never know.

Brandon Sanderson also completed a trilogy some years ago, Mistborn.  Here again, the trilogy could have been the end of that particular 'universe' but he decided to get back to it in the form of a stand-alone set in the future of his created world in The Allow of Law.  He also mentioned that he was going to write two more Mistborn trilogies. If he writes the 36 novels he's planning right now, he will be called the master of follow-ups!

Joe Abercombie is in a similar situation.  He wrote the First Law trilogy and then followed it up with two and  soon three stand-alone set in the same universe, Best Served Cold, The Heroes and A Red Country. Will he ever write a trilogy set after the first? It's rumored to be the case...

I could go on and on... but now that you have grasped what I'm hinting at, let's ask the question:

Which series should get a follow-up?

As for the answers, I can't really post a thorough list of all the completed Fantasy series I can think about or find out on the web.  So I went in search of a new way to post polls that will give me the possibility to add your own answer! That's the start of something much better! :)

Still, I decided to put some answer to start the discussion. Here they are:

The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
The Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook
The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks
The First Law by Joe Abercrombie
None, completed is completed

Let's be clear on some elements.  I know that Mr Tolkien is dead. However, for the sake of this poll, please feel free to include series that can't be written if you want, it's just for fun. Also, I know the The Wheel of Time is not finished yet. Even though it's hard to tell right now if the ending will block all possibility of a follow-up let's assume that it doesn't.  Moreover, some people speculated that a trilogy about the fight for Mat and Tuon for the throne of the Seanchan would be interesting.  Sanderson said that if it sees the light of day eventually it would be from his own hands. I think that the chances are slim... Maybe we will see Harry Potter as an adult before that...

As for your host, my pick is simple, it's the Malazan book of the Fallen.  However, I would not ask for another decalogy. Thinking that Esslemont will be closing some threads for the characters Erikson left behind, the remaining Malazans are the ones I would like to read about.

What's yours?


Anonymous said...

I'm of the opinion that tacking on follow-ups to a series brings diminishing returns in terms of quality of the books - once you've got a big fan base they'll buy the next one pretty much no matter what, but it means you're just churning out words to sell.

If they're specifically intended beforehand, like Abercrombie's were, I think it works fine, but I think each series/project needs a plan that the writer sticks to, or it goes off the rails like Martin and Jordan have. If the plan includes follow-ups from the start, fine - they're then part of your thinking as you work, if it's something to add on because you've not got the ideas or guts to try something new... well, I find that hard to respect.

Anonymous said...

It is an interesting question about The First Law. As i can remember, Joe has mentioned a prequel-trilogy, set in Union long before events of original. Any case A Red Country will be the last stand-alone novel in sequence.

Anonymous said...

in any case, a direct follow-up to The First Law is impossible now, sins stand-alone novels have spoiled many facts, and the history of Glokta is completed, as Abercrombie argees.

Anonymous said...

I love the book. It,s interesting stories.

Phil said...

I understand your opinion Tom and I'm actually on the same page as you in this. The purpose of this poll was to to know which series you would love or have loved to see expanded in a follow-up in an imaginary situation, a reader's dream come true.

Even though a direct follow-up to Abercrombie's First Law may not be in the realm of possibility it's always fun to speculate whether it would be a good idea or at least something you would look forward to...

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