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SF Tidbits for 10/19/07

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

4 Comments on SF Tidbits for 10/19/07

  1. The main thing killing Print Speculative Science Fiction/Fantasy, is there are too many friggin series. I go into a store and shop around, just when I find something that looks good, only to find out it’s book 4/9. I don’t want to have to wait weeks for special order to read the other 3 books before it. Too many series, broken trilogies on bookstore shelves is what’s killing print science fiction. I blame publishers for this so they can milk an author.

    Again. Too many series are what’s killing print speculative science fiction/Fantasy. Am I the only one that experiences this anomaly?

    :-S Hello? Anyone home?8o|

  2. The original article lists Series as one of the five, though not the specific problem you mention, Jim. I think there are better attempts these days to make series books more standalone, so that reader’s are (theoretically) not supposed to worry. That said, I find it hard to start in the middle. Publishers are obviously trying to tap into the already-hooked readership, but I can’t help but imaging that series sell worse and worse as they go on. That’s speculation…I have no data to back that up.

  3. Series books…media-tie-ins. Can we start blaming “graphic novels” of all stripes yet as well? How about too many “annual bests”? Book bloat (remember when books could be read without giving you CTS or other disorders from their weight?)

  4. The problem John with faking a stand-a-lone/series is it’s still part of a universe. The problem in print SFF is too many broken series in bookstore shelves. Isn’t that why we have the Omnibus? Robert J Sawyer is working on a SF trilogy and sure enough Tor will release the series one at a time. None of these series are availible complete unless found in a omnibus format and usually said omnibus format is the last rung on the ladder for a book. I won’t even touch RJS’s trilogy when book #1 comes out. Publishers like Tor need to package trilogies in a complete format, whether they be in boxed format or omnibus edition. The bookstore suffers as well because sure enough book #1 of favorite author of a trillogy will be missing. If I’m going to write a trilogy I’m going to insist on it being complete in a boxed format or omnibus edition. Fat chance that’ll ever happen.

    Hi Fred, absolutely. I’m no expert or anything but keep in mind the graphic novel started as a spin-off from the comicbook industry. Graphic novels are more stand alone and are speialty items. I haven’t got figures or anything to back this up but I don’t see a lot of graphic novels in Coles or Chapters Canada’s National book chain. GN’s show up more at comicbook stores then traditional book stores. I’m with you about the size of a book as well. 420 pages is about right. Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth series bored me after the 2nd book what with my limited attention span being what it is.

    I’m not out to change the Print SFF world or anything I’m just really PO’d at all the friggin broken SFF series on the shelves. If people whine and moan (including me) about the slow death of the print SFF industry it isn’t because of fickle readership it’s because there’s nothing friggin to read. I’m sick to death of goinginto my favorite bookstore, reading the back cover of a promising SFF book only to find it’s book 12/44 of the Wadda wadda Wars by Tom P Whatshisnam. The impulse buying luster of print SFF is gone. That’s why I look to sites like SF Signal to see what’s coming down the Pike. Fantastic Fiction is also another great resource as well because they show book covers of thosands of authors including bios and you can see at a glance if it’s a stand alone novel or what not. I’m not an afiliate of Fantastic Fiction or anything but it should be a link on every serious bibliofile’s desktop.

    Excuse the typos sorry, i’m running late.

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