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Author Topic: How do you feel about stand-alone books?  (Read 15275 times)

Offline YordanZh

How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:00:42 AM »
Hi fellas. I was thinking about something so I thought I should ask - how do you feel about stand-alone books? Most of us don't like starting unfinished trilogies and series because who knows when they'll be finished and whether we won't have to just leave them. But how about stand-alone books, even if they are still a part of a larger (possibly unfinished) world?

Do you view them as a chance to quickly read something new and refreshing without the obligation to read 1000 more pages to find out what happens, or do you view them as a waste of time if they are not part of a bigger storyline?

Offline Eclipse

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 07:01:18 AM »
After finishing quite a long fantasy series I much prefer to read stand alone novels at this moment of time also it gives you more time to look at different authors

Best stand alones for me are the Night Circus,Ready Player One,The City of Silk and Steel and the Folding Knife

What is everyone else's best stand alone novels?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 07:14:34 AM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline Elfy

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 08:31:10 AM »
My own favourite standalone is The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 08:41:32 AM »
I also like to alternate series with stand-alone books.
It's quite refreshing sometimes to know there's just one :)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 09:28:39 AM »
I also like to alternate series with stand-alone books.
It's quite refreshing sometimes to know there's just one :)

Come on give us the name of your favourite's
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 09:46:17 AM »
Oh let me think (I really should be working ;) )

Jasper Fforde - Shades of Grey (maybe I'm cheating here, as this was supposed to be a series, but since nothing has come out in the last 5+ years, I consider this a stand-alone, it can be read like that)
Mary Gentle - Black Opera
Erin Morgenstern - Night Circus
Judith Tarr - Alamut (again, cheating a bit since there is a second book as a sort of continuation, but it can be perfectly read as a stand-alone)

And gosh, just realised how few of fantasy books I've read are stand-alones!
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Offline YordanZh

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 09:53:24 AM »

And gosh, just realised how few of fantasy books I've read are stand-alones!

Right? My thoughts exactly! I remember when I worked in a book store. Every day I'd have customers asking me about "short, good and stand-alone fantasy novels that I can just take and read in a couple of days" and I had such a hard time giving them suggestions! (not only are there few fantasy stand-alones, but even fewer get translated into other languages (not a native English speaker here)).

So it always bugged me why are they so few? Either readers don't like them as much or writers don't like writing them even tho there are enough readers for them. My personal guess is on the latter - when you go and create an entire fantasy reality you just WANT to put a big story into it.

Offline Raptori

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 10:28:52 AM »
Stand-alone is great, especially if it's set in a larger world that contains other stories. I'd love for that to happen more often, it's way too rare these days.
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Yora

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 11:00:06 AM »
Yeah, I like complete stories in 50 to 300 pages but the characters and the world being reused for more stories.
I want a plot to be wrapped up reasonably quickly but then still get more of that stuff. I don't feel like reading anything that isn't concluded after three books and I much prefer it to be in just one.
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 03:19:26 PM »
i'm a giant fan of stand-alones.

my favorites are the ones written sherlock holmes style.  meaning, they neatly wrap up the plot, but the main characters are the same.  you can write them to be read in a specific order to show character growth, but it's not necessary.  you can even introduce new characters and spin off stories about them too.

the old thieves' world books come to mind specifically.  i would love someone to take on that format again.

and, sanderson actually has some pretty amazing stand-alones.  warbreaker is great.  emperor's soul is fantastic.  alloy of law is by far my favorite mistborn novel.  even legend is incredible - tho, less scifi, more fantastical.

p.s.  yes, i went on a sanderson reading binge recently.  ha!

Offline YordanZh

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 03:24:16 PM »
Aye, Sanderson is the first name that comes to my mind as well, followed by Gaiman. Still, they are in a minority. And I don't think I'd count the Sherlock Holmes's style of books "stand-alones". I mean, they are, but at the same time - not quite. I associate this style of writing novels more with thrillers and detective stories than with fantasy.

Offline Raptori

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Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 04:03:57 PM »
The thing with Sanderson is that most of his stand-alones are supposedly going to have sequels, including Elantris, Warbreaker, and Alloy of Law. He does have many separate series set within one universe, but he doesn't seem to write stand-alone books at all.  ;D
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline YordanZh

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2015, 04:05:44 PM »
True, true ...

Offline Rostum

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2015, 04:45:25 PM »
The trilogy is an expectation becoming a cliché now. If its good It will  be read regardless of how many books it is over. Novellas can be perfect in themselves. Again I am a fan of recycling worlds and characters across books. Tell the story don't try and stretch it to three books or shrink it to one*.






* Unless you are getting a big advance and your publisher wants three.

Offline Annomander Matt

Re: How do you feel about stand-alone books?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2015, 04:53:35 PM »
I personally love longer fantasy series because I love becoming engrossed in the world. However, I've grown to appreciate stand alone novels much more recently. I enjoyed Elantris and Warbreaker(didn't know they were getting sequels though), and really really enjoyed Uprooted. If you are looking for a true stand alone that hits many fantasy bullet points and is an easy read, I'd highly recommend it.