Every good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Except for
your favorite book series, which as we all know must go on forever.
I was thinking about this the other day when I finished "The Silver
Mage" the fifteenth and last book in Katharine Kerr's Deverry
series. On the one hand, I'll miss visiting her wonderfully detailed
world and it's characters. On the other end, it should be the
author's choice as to how and when they stop writing about their
creations. And I'd rather have all the threads of a series brought
to a satisfying conclusion by its creator than to have them keep on
writing it because it's profitable. That's when writing becomes an
industry, not a craft, and I think it's pretty easy to spot when a
writer reaches that point, because there's a certain spark missing
from their writing.
Of course there's the other sort of ending for a series, the one
where its creator suddenly dies without having brought things
to that satisfying conclusion I mentioned in the last paragraph.
An example that comes to mind is Robert Jordan and his
"Wheel of Time" series which just seemed to roll on and on
right up to his passing. His fans worried that it would never be
completed. Luckily, Jordan's widow and estate had his notes
and outlines for the last three books and selected another
fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson, to write them and bring
the series to a close.
There's some discussion if there is anyone who could continue
Robert Parker's Spenser or Jesse Stone series. I have to
confess I'm of two minds again about this. I am a big Spenser
fan and the thought of no more new novels with Spenser and
Hawk and Susan saddens me. But could anyone else write
dialogue like Parker with the same wit and flair? I don't know.
Ironically, Parker himself completed "Poodle Springs", an
unfinished novel of the late Raymond Chandler.
And then there's the series that have become family traditions.
Anne McCaffrey's son Todd now writes novels set in his mother's
Pern universe, and Clive Cussler's son has begun co-authoring the
Dirk Pitt series.
So, what series are you a fan of that you will miss when they come to
their end, untimely or not?