… and a Happy New Year: Sequels, Trilogies, and Series

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Apex Publications Blog: Matters of SF, Fantasy, and Horror, Genre Matters | 1 comment

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To start off, many of you might think, “Hey, didn’t I just read a blog post about trilogies?” Yes, you probably did. This month, every time I jotted down a topic subject, I found someone else had just recently posted same or similar, or a same or similar post went up elsewhere within a day. Those of you who write and occasionally feel like there’s nothing new under the sun when you hit a slump, I’m sure you know the discouragement I was beginning to feel. Then, a couple days ago, this one occurred to me, and being so close to the new year, I was sure it was safe. Then, the very next day, Tor.com posted this, and I thought for sure someone had finally figured out how to hack brains, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they would want to hack mine, of all people, so I discarded that idea, as well. After reading the post at Tor.com, though, I see there is a difference! Hooray! Justin Landon asks, “Why for Art Thou?” We (yes, we) are going to answer. To be absolutely clear, this was already my intended post. I adore Tor.com, and this post and its comment section are not platforms for trolling Mr. Landon’s post. So…

Sequels, trilogies and series have a long history in speculative fiction. My own shelves are fairly bulging with them, from the expected Dark Tower, Odd Thomas, and Lord of the Rings, to Chuck Wendig‘s Miriam Black books (Blackbirds and Mockingbird, to date),  to a slew of Star Trek books, and a handful of DragonLance books that I save for rainy-day reading. While Mystery isn’t usually grouped under the speculative fiction umbrella, many of us love a good one, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has provided the world with arguably one of the most successful series to date with Sherlock Holmes. No one can argue the popularity of George R.R. Martin‘s  A Song of Ice and Fire, and Clive Barker has multiple series ongoing, with fans wondering if we’ll ever get to know how they end. So what is it that we so love about sequels, trilogies, and series that keep us coming back for more?

Trixie 80s coverI’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. I’ve loved reading for as long as I’ve been able to do it; but the book that really sunk its teeth into me and had me begging for more, more, more, was Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion, by Julie Campbell. Why did this book have such a powerful effect on me? Well, aside from being a great book, given to me at the perfect age, it was the first book I’d ever read that was the first in a series. Right there on the front cover, “1,” nice as you please, telling me that, hey, guess what, kid, the book might be over, but the story has just begun. All these characters you’ve just fallen in love with don’t have to go away now. There’s a book 2, 3, 4, … 27! You can read it again for the first time! I was around ten or eleven years old when my aunt gave me my first Trixie Belden book. I’m 38 years old now. My dog’s name is Trixie. I’m still on a mission to collect all the original paperbacks and read the entire series. Trixie older cover

Because just as we celebrate the turn of every new year, a new book in a series is a new adventure with friends we know and love, and we can’t wait to get started.

Now, it’s your turn. I want to know what series books you love, and why. What sequels, trilogies, and series books are you looking forward to in 2014?

Jessica NelsonJessica Nelson has been writing since girlhood. She started out writing short stories for herself, usually centering around something like a unicorn and Pegasus prancing along the top of a rainbow, causing glitter to fall from the sky. As she grew, so did her love of words. She filled blank volumes faster than she could get her hands on them, teaching her the true value of napkins, menus, skin, and even her blue jeans.


Jessica has since found her niche in the world of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She keeps a blog of bookish things and miscellaneous bric-a-brac she thinks readers might find interesting at http://allwaysunmended.com and writes book reviews for The Future Fire. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, and a slew of critters, spending her days reading, crafting, tapping at the keyboard, and picking up fur balls. Follow her on Twitter @AllwaysUnmended.
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1 Comment

  1. I just finished Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, which is the first in his Stormlight Archive series — and I’m already reading it again because there’s just so much good stuff in there. Sanderson has such a way about worldbuilding and magic systems, and The Way of Kings seems to be his best work yet. I’m looking forward to Words of Radiance releasing this spring and seeing where the story goes from here.

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