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Warning Signs of a Bad Paperback Sequel

I can't believe metamanda read this book (Orson Scott Card's latest Ender book, Shadow Puppets). When I saw this book in bookstores, I was tempted, but in examining the backcover and first couple pages, it reminded me of the seven warning signs of bogus science, though applied to paperpack releases instead.

Keeping this in mind, I've drawn up a preliminary list of "Six Warning Signs of a Bad Paperback Sequel"...

1. The reviewer's quote on the back cover praises the author's writing, without ever mentioning the book itself.
"The novels of Orson Scott Card's Ender series are an intriguing combination of action, military and political strategy, elaborate war games and psychology."

2. The book mentions itself as "a sequel" to a more popular book in the series, skipping books that occurred in between.
"A Sequel to The New York Times Bestselling Enders's Shadow." The book is actually the sequel to Shadow of the Hegemon, which is the actual sequel to Ender's Shadow.

3. The reviewer's praise on the inside of the book are for a different book in the series
In this case, the book they used quotes from is similarly titled - Shadow of the Hegemon - so it is easy to assume that they are talking about the same book. You would assume by the time the paperback has come out, they can get some quotes for the actual book.

4. The book is the seventh book in the series (or the sixth, or anything past the third)

5. The sequel is co-authored
This doesn't actually apply to Card's book. In this case, I'm referring to the Rama series by Arthur C. Clark.

6. The sequel is clearly unplanned
This is more an exception for series like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Both occurred in multiple books, but both were contiguously written and intended.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on October 4, 2003 1:07 PM.

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