Culture: Book
No BS Series Books   (+2, -4)  [vote for, against]
Sequel Books without all the BS for new readers

Many books that are part of a series are written in such a way that a new reader who has not read the earlier books in the series can gain sufficient knowledge to make sense of what is going on.

While this is handy for new readers it is very annoying for people who are up to date with the story.

I propose that books be released in two versions. The Normal BS supplemented books(the way they come now) and a new No BS book which would have a brief summary of the earlier books in the series included in the prolog or footnotes and the actual story would pick up where the last book left off. I would even think that these could be special order and at the same price as the normal versions but they would make reading a series soo much nicer.
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 03 2006

Can you give an example of a series of books which does this ?

For instance the Hitchhiker's books probably fall into the category you describe, but I never found Adams wrote the sequels in such a way as to bore the reader with stuff they need to already know, but (and I can't say this for sure, as I read them in order) in such a way as it wasn't necessary to have to read the previous ones...
-- monojohnny, Jul 03 2006

A good example would be Harry Potter, the Dragonriders of Pern, the new Kris Longknife, Honor Harrington Series, etc. etc.

Examples that generaly do not follow this model would be Tolkiens Lord of the Rings(which could possibly use a little bit of it) Some of Asimovs work(early Robots, Foundation)

//in such a way as it wasn't necessary to have to read the previous ones// This is exactly one of the things Im refering to. though it happens both ways.
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 03 2006

Like Perry Rhodan. But I don't mind the bs. It helps me remember and it helps set the mood again. Also on some occasions some bit of info is changed or interpreted differently... So no bun, but no bone either because I can understand if you don't like the bs.
-- zeno, Jul 03 2006

As long as the authors keep the old info separate from the main body of the story, why couldn't you have this in every book? If you don't need it, don't read it.

I just hate when they sort of interweave the old stuff into the new stuff. You don't know where you can stop skipping ahead. Drives me bonkers.
-- NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jul 03 2006

//need for the particular mid-series book to be able stand as a decent story in its own right//

I think you will find that most good stories do stand on their own. I will admit that some authors are much better with this than others.

I really like books that include a glossary, as this is helpful to remind you of forgotten details, also some I have seen have character summaries and timelines as well.
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 05 2006

It would be nice if they all came with a power point presentation that uploaded via bluetooth into your cellphone by hitting a big red button in the book.
<ring ring> "Hello? Oh, thank you!"
"Who was that?"
"Oh, that was the book, telling me everything that had happened before the events in this book take place."
-- NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jul 05 2006

Lord of the Rings goes the other way with this - it makes references to earlier times that aren't written about anywhere else (well, the Silmarillion covers some of those references, but not all of them) which gives a spectacular feeling of depth to the story.
-- david_scothern, Jul 05 2006

Yes it does [david_scothern]. Can you name one reference to earlier times that was not written about somewhere else? I never found one and believe you me, I've looked.
-- zeno, Jul 05 2006

I would point out the difference between referencing History(a good thing in books) and retelling story to explain current events(an obnoxious thing)
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 05 2006

Seems a bit much to ask a writer to effectively write twice as many books to avoid slightly irritating a very small demographic.
-- hidden truths, Jul 06 2006

Not being an author myself I dont know exactly what happens but I would not be at all surprised to find that the base version of the story that is written does not include all the extra crud. I suspect that this material is added after an editor gets a hold of a book and makes marketing decisions for the content. but this is just my opinion on the matter. Any commercial authors here?
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 07 2006

Some recap is usually necessary to proper understanding of the past, even if you have all ready read the previous item. See, the characters have a perspective on the past, too. The recap should reflect this. Now there have been stories which pick up with no initial reference to explaining what happened in the past, however references are sprinkled throughout the story. You can have short stories with characters which do not refer to other stories with the same characters, however the short story is sufficiently short and isolated to not require reference to the other stories. Overall, I would say if the sequel is better off without any reference to the previous story, then that can happen and should happen. However, most stories are incapable of escaping the previous story entirely. There are no rules, however, the exceptions to usual storytelling methods are better off justified by the story, if the story is to work.
-- Corona, Jul 09 2006

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