Saturday, March 29, 2008

Authors Die Sometimes!

This thing about authors dying in the middle of a series, maybe you're thinking, "enh, don't care."

But it's really annoying to those of us who love books. Fortunately, I've only had it happen once or twice.

Once, for sure, is Robert Jordan, author of The Wheel of Time series. How terrible is this? One of the best fantasy epics ever, covering an expected 12 books (700+ pages each), and the man dies before he writes the final novel. Now, I feel sorry for his family, obviously. I don't want anyone to die an untimely death, and Robert Jordan died of a rare blood disease. So, yeah, untimely death.

His estate has said that another author, Brandon Sanderson, will write the final novel, A Memory Of Light.

Jordan's wife said he spent a good amount of time dictating how the final novel should be written, including how the series concludes, and there are even audio recordings of how the series ends. I'm taking that to mean he outlined the final book in pretty detailed fashion, and the new author is going to be providing details like, how they moved an army from one place to another, but is not going to be writing the book from scratch. I hope that's what it means.

Honestly, one of my biggest fears about this much-anticipated novel is that it will be so disconnected from the previous books, that it will be obvious it was written by someone else.

That's what happened with Scarlett, the "sequel" to Gone With The Wind.

What's that? You didn't know there was a sequel? Well, there was, written in 1991, 42 years after Margaret Mitchell died. And while I wouldn't call the sequel horrible, it was mediocre at best. Though reports said she refused to write another book, I really wish we could see what she might have written.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

As I was reading your post I was thinking about Scarlett and what a fiasco that was--from Southern belle to becoming The O'Hara. Whatever.

The only thing I can think of that's worse than another author taking over a series is to have some Hollywood screen writer completely muddle a beloved book--will there ever be a film sequel to Golden Compass, which really ruined an excellent novel.