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Thread: Book Recommendations

  1. #1741
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    The last Spenser books by Parker fell apart and Atkin's were more of a formulaic attempt to duplicate Parker. They were

    1. Full of quips
    2. We all love Susan, the greatest therapist and most beautiful 85 year old out there. Since Spenser fought in Korea, that's the age bracket.
    3. Hawk, the cliched sidekick and Spenser - the greatest H2H folks ever.
    4. Never heard of any new guns
    5. Old time gangsters who shot as well as John Wick but would rally to Spenser in time of need.

    The Jesse Stone follow ups were a touch better. Perhaps the genre needs a Crisis of Infinite Earths to reset all the series.

  2. #1742
    Aging of characters is a problem all series fiction authors can run into.
    Matt Helm was the first I noticed. A WW II veteran getting back into international intrigue and adventure in 1960 was plausible. It was a lot less likely in 1975 and Hamilton just quit mentioning where Helm had gotten his experience as the senior agent still able to duke it out with younger guys and get the girl.

    On the other hand, J.D. Robb has crammed 51+ cases into three or four timeline years of ...In Death stories.

    Sue Grafton dealt with chronology by setting the "alphabet series" in the 1980s.

    Most SF writers apply longevity treatments. Not all, Kimball Kinnison was slowing down a bit as Kit and the girls took over the heavy lifting, as was Dominic Flandry at age 60.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #1743
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    Kinnison was many order of magnitudes below the kids. They were Arisian level and the end product of selective breedings as you probably know. Supposedly, there was unwritten sequel where it has been suggested that Kit and the sister bred a new super race. Yuk. Smith told Heinlein about it, and Robert said, perhaps you should pass on that idea. Later Heinlein went off the rails with time traveling family fun and relations with your clones that were made the opposite sex.

    Like I said, the DC universe, resets itself by destroying its universes every few years.

  4. #1744
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Aging of characters is a problem all series fiction authors can run into.
    Matt Helm was the first I noticed. A WW II veteran getting back into international intrigue and adventure in 1960 was plausible. It was a lot less likely in 1975 and Hamilton just quit mentioning where Helm had gotten his experience as the senior agent still able to duke it out with younger guys and get the girl.

    On the other hand, J.D. Robb has crammed 51+ cases into three or four timeline years of ...In Death stories.

    Sue Grafton dealt with chronology by setting the "alphabet series" in the 1980s.

    Most SF writers apply longevity treatments. Not all, Kimball Kinnison was slowing down a bit as Kit and the girls took over the heavy lifting, as was Dominic Flandry at age 60.
    Patrick O'Brian at one point noted if he had realized how long the Aubrey-Maturin series was going to run he would have set the first novel earlier. As it was, he encouraged readers to consider the books, from a certain point forward, all alternate 1812's since there was no way to reconcile realistic timelines for events.

  5. #1745
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Aging of characters is a problem all series fiction authors can run into.
    Matt Helm was the first I noticed. A WW II veteran getting back into international intrigue and adventure in 1960 was plausible. It was a lot less likely in 1975 and Hamilton just quit mentioning where Helm had gotten his experience as the senior agent still able to duke it out with younger guys and get the girl.

    On the other hand, J.D. Robb has crammed 51+ cases into three or four timeline years of ...In Death stories.

    Sue Grafton dealt with chronology by setting the "alphabet series" in the 1980s.

    Most SF writers apply longevity treatments. Not all, Kimball Kinnison was slowing down a bit as Kit and the girls took over the heavy lifting, as was Dominic Flandry at age 60.
    In contrast, Christian Cameron's main characters Arimnestos (Long War series -ancient Greece) and William Gold (Chivalry series, late 1300s Europe) are both followed from their teenage years for several decades. By their 30's, after two decades of a life of violence, they're old hands that aren't as strong and fast as they used to be, are limited by a variety of old injuries, and have to rely much more on instinct, wits, and their friends.

  6. #1746
    Unreconstructed Moylan's Avatar
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    Spenser just stayed in his late 40's forever. So did Susan and Hawk. It worked for me--just don't think about it. Of course, I stopped reading Spenser books sometime around Double Deuce or so. I think I read Hugger Mugger for some reason and thought it was OK. There was one mid-90's one that I read, though, that verged on parody.
    O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason.

  7. #1747
    critical race weary blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moylan View Post
    Spenser just stayed in his late 40's forever. So did Susan and Hawk. It worked for me--just don't think about it. Of course, I stopped reading Spenser books sometime around Double Deuce or so. I think I read Hugger Mugger for some reason and thought it was OK. There was one mid-90's one that I read, though, that verged on parody.
    How old do you think Det. Steve Carella would have been if he kept aging in McBain's 87th Precinct series?
    ...and just like that, I woke up one morning and the America I knew and loved was gone.

  8. #1748
    Site Supporter Coyotesfan97's Avatar
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    There is a separate thread for this book The Maneaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett. I just read it after seeing the thread. I really liked his writing and his love of the outdoors shines through it. I highly recommend it. I loved the chapter about his dog Robin.

    You can get it for $2 but this is the illustrated version for $7.

    https://amazon.com/Man-eaters-Kumaon...s%2C250&sr=8-1
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.* Thucydides 471BC

    "Hey! Let's be careful out there." Sgt Phil Esterhaus played by Michael Conrad

  9. #1749
    Site Supporter Coyotesfan97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feudist View Post
    I'm eagerly awaiting the next.

    Have you read the Tom Swan series? Equally good.
    I read the first bookof the serial of Tom Swan and the Head of St George and then I find the second book isnít available on Kindle for some reason. I liked the first book. ETA now the third book is listed as the second. Weird.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.* Thucydides 471BC

    "Hey! Let's be careful out there." Sgt Phil Esterhaus played by Michael Conrad

  10. #1750
    I wish they would just stop with the Robert Parker continuations. The Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole novels are some of the best westerns ever. Robert Knott took over the series and each one has been a little bit diminished. The latest, Bucksin was a fucking train wreck. I have no idea what they were thinking letting that turd hit print. It doesn't look like there is another novel in the series scheduled, so that may be the unfortunate end.

    Aging a character can start to get tricky. Craig Johnson sets each book in a season, so it takes four books for a year to pass, in-world. Thus it's still plausible for Walt Longmire to be a Vietnam Vet and still be running and gunning. Walt is starting to show his age though, and I think Johnson is handling it well.

    I took the "book a season" approach with my new series. The protagonist just turned 30, so I won't run into some of the aging issues I have with the protagonist of my first series.

    Another thing we're all grappling with is how to handle COVID in our books. CJ Box basically just did a time skip, and set his newest one after the pandemic is over. He's also doing a good job of handling the fact that Joe Pickett is aging, and if he's got half a brain, he'll have Joe's oldest daughter become a Wyoming game warden.
    I was into 10mm Auto before it sold out and went mainstream, but these days I'm here for the revolver and epidemiology information.

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