Do all SF novels come in series form now?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm starting to believe that there's no such thing as the standalone sci-fi novel anymore. Every time I see something that looks worth checking out, there's always some fine print describing it as "Volume 12 of the [fill in your favorite] Series." But I'm not interested in tracking down however many other books just so I can appreciate this one. I want a book that tells a whole story, beginning, middle and end. Grr, as they say.

    I understand why it's necessary for writers to create such series in order to create a steadier living for themselves, and i know there are tons of readers who eagerly latch onto each new volume or sequel. But if anyone could recommend some good recent some standalone science fiction books for lazier folks like me to investigate, I'd be grateful.
  2. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Amazon is crap for this. I mean seriously, every book is part of a trilogy, series, or group but a select few. I love SF books. And sometimes they can get away with it (Hitchikers guide to the galaxy). Sometimes they can't (Enders Game, for me). Between this and 4 out of 5 SF novels having a werewolf/vampire deal or a "paranormal relationship" I don't know if I can take it much more.

    I have found a few good books that are in non series form. A couple come to mind, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (absolutely wonderful story), and recently one I got by trolling the free eBook section, Bypass Gemini, which was great too. If you want, I can find more SF novels that were good but are not in series form. However, finding more takes a long time and some effort, it seems one off stories are becoming more of a rarity these days.
  3. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Wow nobody else decided to post on this? I guess they all are in series!

    Lol, besides what I posted, good classic SF is great for stories. Jules Verne, H.G Wells and the like....
  4. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    Good thread. I love SF, and the only SF series I've ever managed to like has been Asimov's Foundation. Every time I've tried to read some other series, I've had to stop after a few chapters.
    The authors seem to always try too hard to artificially build their own universe instead of letting it flow naturally as you read. Also, I hate when editors hire new authors to keep milking the proverbial cow.
  5. =w= macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2012
    I've just recently gotten more into SF novels and i've definitely noticed this.

    I think it's good and bad. Sometimes, I get so into a book and the world that it creates that I really want to keep reading more. Other times, I want to read a complete book and enjoy it then move on to something else enjoyable.

    For single, enjoyable SF books, i've been reading some more Vonnegut. I know that some people don't really consider him a SF writer, but it's science fictiony enough to quell my brain's desire for the "abnormal".

    Not too long ago, I read the Wool series, by Hugh Howey (Part 1 of 5 appears to be free for the Kindle version on Amazon right now, actually).

    Then I found out that there was a sort of prequel series called Shift (3 books)

    After I read all 8 originally written by Howey himself, I happened upon this whole "Kindle Worlds" thing, where fan writers can try their hand at using the worlds created by other authors to tell more of a story. I've since read 4 fan fiction books (something I never thought i'd do) and they have all been decent reads.

    I am finally starting to get tired of this "world" and am going to move on, but everything I try to find to read ends up being a series, instead of just a quality one off book. I don't really want to read a whole new series; I just need a palate cleanser of sorts then I will move on.
  6. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    This bugs me too. I've read some decent books and then found out, wow - they wrote 7 more of these? It wasn't that good!
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    ender's game is fine as a single book. just pretend the sequels were never written. :)
  8. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Same here.
    And from your username, the HG2G series was very good, one of my only favorite SF series. Indy authors are usually ok if the concept is sound.

    I did try to start Wool at one point and gave up after seeing how many prequels and additions there were. Just not worth it to me.
  9. musicjunky macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2013
    I like how William Gibson handled his Sprawl, Bridge, and Blue Ant trilogies. The books are loosely connected in that it takes place in the the same universe, but each book is standalone, without subtitles like "Vol 1 in _______." A trilogy is an acceptable amount of titles in a series, anyways.
  10. skottichan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I blame Frank Herbert for this.

    This is actually one of the reasons why I've fallen away from sci-fi/fantasy and stick to horror. I just can't deal with a 10+ book series, it's just too friggen much.

    I have to agree with MusicJunky, Gibson handled it well. I don't mind multiple books written in the same universe, but one. continuous. story. is just too much.

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