[LMB] (chat) series and titles

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Tue Mar 27 16:30:37 BST 2007


On the Baen board, where for some reason we get the best discussions of 
my Eos books, we were talking about what to name the new baby duology.  
One of the fans there came up with an exceedingly cool haiku on the 
topic, too.

This series is interesting to me, among other reasons, because it gives 
me a chance to play with yet another series structure. The VK series was 
a collection of independent books set in one universe and timeline 
focused on one character & his friends/family. The Chalion series, if it 
ever gets completed, may be five books each linked by theme/god. TSK is 
yet another model, the single story arc spanning several (in this case, 
4) books.

Actually, TSK is more complicated than that. Each book has an arc, and 
each pair has an arc, and the whole has an arc. Picture them as 
semicircles in ascending rows: four, two one.

The one thing each series has in common is that none were planned out in 
advance. Series as an art form is under-studied in academic world 
because while you can, just barely, get a gang of undergrads to read 
half a dozen novels in a semester and compare and contrast them, there's 
no way you can get them to read half a dozen series. But I believe 
series is its own form. I (will) have explored 3 permutations of that 
form; are there more? Etc.

Given that, the thinking seems to be drifting toward keeping /The 
Sharing Knife/ as an overall series title, with subtitles for each of 
the four volumes, even though it started out to be the title for one 
stand-alone book, but well, these things happen.  If I go that route, 
the current title placeholders would be:

The Sharing Knife, Vol. 3: GRACE RIVER

and

The Sharing Knife, Vol. 4: THE WIDE GREEN WORLD

    Reversing, with some unfortunate confusion, the emphasis I insisted 
upon for the first pair, with the overall title given prominence.  The 
second pair being a duology by design rather than accident, the two 
volumes are slightly more independent of each other -- I'm still worried 
about too much clogging with necessary recap -- but only slightly.  They 
really will need to be read 1-2-3-4.

Musing, L.






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