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POLL RESULTS: Starting a Series in the Middle

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Have you ever started reading a book series somewhere in the middle?


(94 total votes)

Comments this week:

“30 some years ago, I started reading the Travis McGee mystery/detective novel series by John D. McDonald in mid-series. The books I was reading kept referring to an injury that had happened to Travis earlier. So… I went back and found the first book in the series: The Deep Blue Goodbye – and in that book they refer to the injury as happening earlier! Well…what the heck. I went to used book stores and found all the earlier novels, and read all of the Travis McGee novels.” – Morjana

“The last time I can remember doing it on purpose was because I received an ARC of one of Kristine Smith’s novels (Endgame) I had not read any of her novels previously but I didn’t want to read the entire Jani Kilian series as prelude to this one.” – Paul

“No, just like how I won’t start watching a TV series without seeing the pilot episode. I also won’t watch an episode if I’ve missed the first few minutes.” – Chris Johnston

“I have to go and start at the beginning as I’ve recently done with John Ringo’s Posleen books.” – platyjoe

“Most book series aren’t set up very well for someone to start in the middle. But one writer who gets around this problem is Mike Resnick. He’s written some trilogies in his time, but every book is written in such a way that it contains a comlete stand-alone story, and can be enjoyed independent of the other books in the series. (By the way, I assumed here that you weren’t including series like those that focus on one character, say a detective, but have little continuity outside of that…)” – Michael A. Burstein

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about inappropriate subject matter in young adult fiction!

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

1 Comment on POLL RESULTS: Starting a Series in the Middle

  1. Old Bogus // March 17, 2008 at 11:04 pm //

    Some series allow “midstream” entry: Brin’s “Uplift” series, Varley’s “Gaea” series, and Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series allow ease of entry, as did Asimov’s “Robot” and “Empire” series using lots of flashbacks. Saberhagen’s “Berserker” series also works well as independent reads. Moon’s “Vatta Trading” series also lends itself to midstream entry because the heroine spends a lot of time musing how she got where she was! Vernor’s “Deepness” series and White’s “Space Hospital” series are good stories on their own although Vinge is best read in sequence because you’re gonna wanna go back and read the prior stories anyway!
    Czerneda”s “Species Imperative” series and Donaldson’s depressing “Gap” series are difficult, if not impossible, to read as standalones. I’ve been told by my son who is a fan that Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series is impenetrable without starting at the beginning.
    I’m sure I missed some . . . (H)

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