The Three Hundred Thirteenth Post: The One Where I Remind Publishers About the Loneliest Number

 

I was trying to find a book for a friend of mine for Christmas. She’s into fantasy, so I thought this would be an easy matter of grabbing something from an online bookstore. I typed in a couple of keywords to narrow down the search. I privately clapped myself on the back for getting the gift-giving ball started relatively early (December 11th for those of you playing at home).

How foolish I was.

As I went down the list, almost every single book was part of a trilogy, quadrilogy or series of six or more books. I didn’t want to give my friend another series to keep up with. I hate to sound like that guy trying to get those dang kids off my lawn with their rock and roll music, but I miss single books. I want everything wrapped up in a single volume. I want to set a book  down when I am done and move on to something new. I don’t want to put a book down and must wonder when the next one will be out (Martin, I’m looking at you).

I understand why: having a series keeps readers coming back. I don’t really begrudge the publishers for this trick. With profit margins shrinking, they will do whatever they have to do to get sales.  Nothing wrong with that.

Kinda.

I would like to see some single fantasy novels, like I said earlier. Especially in fantasy or science-fiction where the field is wide open for such a thing. I wonder if this happens in any other genre? Is there an expectation for series in romance? Do agents ask their clients if they have a series for Harlequin Romance? I can’t think of many romance series…then again, I don’t read romance. I don’t think horror has such a problem with this. I can’t recall any series of the top of my head. Personally, I don’t count The Dark Tower series as horror. That’s Stephen King’s addition to epic fantasy.

Speaking of horror…I saw Bird Box. I don’t understand what makes it terrifying to people. I can understand the attempt at some Lovecraftian horror, and they gave it a running shot. Unfortunately, the peril didn’t seem to be…rising to the level the movie’s desire. It is adapted from a novel. I think I’ll get it later and read it. Maybe the novel is better. Books tend to be. Yes, I am biased. I might also re-watch the movie. I just never felt frightened. It wasn’t like The Thing, where we knew there was something out there…and it might look like us. It wasn’t like The Ring where technology made to serve us instead serves a deathless evil…and demands a sacrifice. They just showed up, threw everything in a tizzy because – reasons.

Well, I am going to sign off.  With any luck I will have some help in maintaining a regular schedule of posting – Saturdays will be when I scribble something (except for this one) for posting. I’ll put up something. Might not be storytelling or reviews, but hopefully it will be something.

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a good day.

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