Scott Hardie | March 13, 2005
Any comments on the growing literary trend of hiring someone to write an official sequel to a work after the author of the beloved original is deceased? I'm not talking about someone taking it upon themselves to write a sequel to a literary classic now in the public domain; search Amazon.com and you can find loads of sequels to The Odyssey and Pride and Prejudice. I'm talking about more recent titles, when the author has died and willed the copyright to someone, and that heir employs some other party to write an "official" sequel. It just made the news today when the children's hospital that owns the rights to "Peter Pan" hired Geraldine McCaughrean to create a sequel (link) but it has also happened to The Godfather after Mario Puzo died and made headlines when Alexandra Ripley wrote Scarlett as the official sequel to Gone with the Wind almost half a century after Margaret Mitchell's death. (JM Barrie's been dead for almost seventy years now.) I still don't know what to make of Brian Herbert creating new sequels to his dead father's Dune; that's part of the same trend but it doesn't seem so mercenary.

Kris Weberg | March 13, 2005
In fairness, it's always been that way. Virgil's Aeneid is a sequel to the Iliad, for instance. And Virgil was, for all intents and purposes, shilling for Rome when he wrote it -- it's still a classic.

I think we tend to notice it now mainly because so many of the sequels are nowhere near the material they've hitched themselves to.

John E Gunter | March 14, 2005
[quote]I think we tend to notice it now mainly because so many of the sequels are nowhere near the material they've hitched themselves to.[/quote]

I think that can be said for a lot of movies also!

I'm not so bothered by sequels that are written by a different author as long as the new author doesn't divert to much from the original story ideas and I feel the sequel is well written.

But quite a few don't measure up in my opinion. Heck, even sequels that were written by the same author(s) don't always seem to be headed the same way. Take the Matrix movies for instance, the 2nd and 3rd to me look like they went off into left field when you look at the overall scope of the first one!

That doesn't mean that I won't like the other stories, but I feel somewhat cheated when it appears that something like that has been done.

John

Scott Horowitz | March 14, 2005
I am a big fan of Dune. I have read Herbert's originals and loved them (well, the first 4 books, the last 2 just get weird). I have also read Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's prequels. My biggest issue with these books, is that they are written much simpler than Herbert's original stories. These focus more on plots and action, where the Herbert book was more about subplots and emotions. Their books have also been prequels, dealing with the birth of Paul Atreides and how Shaddam became emperor, as well as the battle between humans and AI. Now, I believe they are writing one last book to finish the series, and all these have been based on Frank Herbert's notes, written before he died.


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