Jump to content
Black Crow

Heresy 227 and the Great Turtle

Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, LynnS said:

Foundation Series Asimov

Good answer.  Robots of Dawn was written long after the third book (Second Foundation) and is possibly his best novel.

12 hours ago, LynnS said:

Harry Potter...

Can't agree there. I think the fourth book is exactly where she lost control of what she was doing (it was twice as long, full of irrelevance, and not as good).

That one is also the one that beat ASOS for the Best Novel Hugo.  I don't agree with GRRM about everything, but on that, yes, he has a really legit grievance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Would you say these series are also a single story, or is each subsequent book a new story using the same characters?

Good question.

IMO it comes down to authorial definition. Tolkien for instance did not define LOTR as three books in his own head; that was a consequence of publisher decisions.  To him it was one continuous story.

Foundation began as a bunch of short stories for Astounding and was compiled into novels.

Dune and HP are both true novel series, each conceived as its own thing and written and published on that basis.

ASOIAF is closer to the Tolkien model, as you say, although GRRM certainly knew it would be published as standalone novels and that's how it was sold by his agent.  He thought there would be three books, and we have to chuckle at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Would you say these series are also a single story, or is each subsequent book a new story using the same characters? Could each book be read as a stand alone and have its own beginning and ending?

ASOIAF is technically one very long story broken into segments.

Dune and Rama - yes.  Foundation Series has several continuous characters although the story timeline is over thousands of years.  Hari Seldon is psychohistorian who predicts the future of society using advanced mathematics.  He has recorded a series of predictions which are like time capsules and opened at the appropriate time.  In Foundation and Empire, R. Daneel Olivaw appears once again.  First written as a character in Asimov's Robot Series. 

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, JNR said:

Good answer.  Robots of Dawn was written long after the third book (Second Foundation) and is possibly his best novel.

Can't agree there. I think the fourth book is exactly where she lost control of what she was doing (it was twice as long, full of irrelevance, and not as good).

That one is also the one that beat ASOS for the Best Novel Hugo.  I don't agree with GRRM about everything, but on that, yes, he has a really legit grievance.

LOL.  Definately not a great adult novel but kids love it. Another great series for teens would be the Giver Quartet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giver_Quartet

I'd also include Hyperion Series by Simmons with Asimov, Herbert and Clarke.  I'd also include some more of Frank Herbert's work: Pandora series with the God Ship first making an appearnce in the Consentiency novels.

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is one story broken into 14 books with the last three installments completed by Brandon Sanderson. I get the sense that George is trying to improve upon both Tolkien's and Jordan's model when he envisioned A Song of Ice and Fire.

Jordan was a prolific writer, completing 11 books and 1 prequel in 15 years. The story centers around a central character named Rand Al Thor. While Paul Atreides is a central character in Dune, he's only prominent in three out of six books.

The four book Rama series centers around an alien space structure named the Rama, but don't the prominent characters and stories change from book to book?

I'm trying to make a distinction between a book series and a single story broken into segments, because I think the latter is much more difficult to write, and a challenge that arguably has never been completed "well" - especially utilizing a multiple POV technique. I think this is what motivates George: he wants to be known as the author that did it well. People criticize Feast and Dance "now", but I think the goal is that after the story is complete, the series will be judged in its entirety. 

Edited by Feather Crystal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

The four book Rama series centers around an alien space structure named the Rama, but don't the prominent characters and stories change from book to book?

No, Some scientists elect to remain on Rama as it exits the solar system and their story follows through on each subsequent book.  Earth sends a population of misfits and undesireables to Rama as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the series to be judged in its entirety, it needs to be completed.

Which will not happen.

At least not in the way we expect it to be completed.

Because, as much as I criticize GRRM for failing to complete, being vague and so on, it is also perfect as it is. Perfect as an emulation of our lives. Will we solve all the riddles of our lives? Learn the truths behind each story? Learn how everything ends?

If he had completed the story by now, would we still be here discussing and analyzing everything over and twice again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is one story broken into 14 books with the last three installments completed by Brandon Sanderson. I get the sense that George is trying to improve upon both Tolkien's and Jordan's model when he envisioned A Song of Ice and Fire.

There's not much improvement.

Jordan, just like GRRM, originally conceived of his work as a trilogy and it was marketed and sold on that basis. Then it got completely out of his control, leading to post-trilogy books that (to be honest) bored his audience, much as AFFC bored  most of us.   ADWD, though better, isn't up to the first three.

One key difference is that Jordan did write according to a plan, meaning that each book had the intended contents and ended as planned.

GRRM isn't at all good at this, leading to books like ADWD in which the ending is arbitrarily decided based on total length (not what has happened).  Entire chapters he had meant for ADWD were instead postponed until the next book. 

23 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

I'm trying to make a distinction between a book series and a single story broken into segments, because I think the latter is much more difficult to write, and a challenge that arguably has never been completed "well" - especially utilizing a multiple POV technique.

I think Tolkien did quite a good job.  His books are tightly written and never feature such extended sequences of near-total irrelevance as we get in the last two ASOIAF books.  (This is why LOTR is not even as long as ASOS... Tolkien was efficient.)

What distinguishes GRRM's POV technique for me is that he is so meticulous about continuity.

Characters only ever know what they should know at that point in time, they get things wrong in ways that match their natures, and the prose style also subtly changes to reflect their personalities (eg Bran chapters are written more simplistically than Tyrion chapters).  GRRM always keeps careful track of who knows what and that information guides everything they say and do.

Tolkien didn't bother with any of this -- if he said a thing happened in any given chapter, featuring any given characters, it was just true, and the reader could confidently assume it was true.  It really doesn't matter in LOTR who said what and there is no effort to adjust the prose to suit the POV, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, alienarea said:

For the series to be judged in its entirety, it needs to be completed.

Which will not happen.

I think it'll depend on whether he can wrap it in two more books.

I think he knows the same thing.

If he gets TWOW out the door next year, and there's only one more book, I suspect he can finish ASOIAF.  But if he needs an eighth novel, that will pretty much shut the door on all hope IMO.

18 hours ago, alienarea said:

If he had completed the story by now, would we still be here discussing and analyzing everything over and twice again?

No, but depending on how good/bad the books were, I might be happier. 

It's such a shame seeing such outstandingly good setup and development in the novels shunted off to his psychological back burner in favor of crappy HBO prequels that, at best, will make him some money he doesn't need... leading in time to the series going completely unfinished, and his promises to the book fans all being broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/14/2019 at 4:33 PM, Feather Crystal said:

Can anyone recall a different book series that was still awesome after the third installment? 

Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone series is always good, and on the plus side I am pretty sure it as fundamental to ASoIaF's thematic geneology as Lovecraft.

Iain M. Banks' Culture novels are great, but not tied together by a single narrative thread, not sure if that counts?

Roger Zelazny's Amber saga covers 10 novels.

Steven Brust's Draegaran novels have I think surpassed 20 at this point, and I have to say the he handles it like friggin champ.

Rounding out my short list, my all time favorite series, Gene Wolfe's Urth of the New Sun clocks in with four.

There's a few I can think of off the top of my head, but it is possible.

 

Edited by hiemal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Musing on the Cold War analogy for ASoIaF, which is just too delicious to spit out, i would likt to add one modification: I think that the entire history of Planetos can be seen as a series of Cold Wars and their escalations and aftermaths; gradually turning a "normal" world into the hot/cold mess that we know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, alienarea said:

And that will be impossible.

It will be if...

• He can't find a way to tell his remaining story in a million words or fewer (about 150 chapters)

• He spends too much time on HBO (because it's easier and gives him a false sense of progress)

• He sticks to his plan of never collaborating with anyone on ASOIAF canon (which btw proves the World book and app cannot possibly be canon in GRRM's mind)

• He can't write eight or more books before he dies

At the moment it does appear all those boxes are likely to get a check.

Having read all the TWOW chapters, about 1/7th of the whole book, I find it very hard to believe TWOW is going to tell half the remaining story. He once again appears to be disregarding his wordcount, as he's done in every novel since AGOT, instead of making sure his narrative goals are accomplished within a fixed length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hiemal said:

Roger Zelazny's Amber saga covers 10 novels.

And the first five are all great, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, JNR said:

And the first five are all great, too.

Har!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2019 at 3:19 PM, hiemal said:

Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone series is always good, and on the plus side I am pretty sure it as fundamental to ASoIaF's thematic geneology as Lovecraft.

The Eternal Hero saga is much underrated, alas - speaking as an ancient who was weaned on them when they were new

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×