Jeff O’Neal wrote a great piece on BookRiot the other day about sequels that he would pay to see written if they were a Kickstarter project. It’s a pretty short list, so I immediately started to think about what I would add to it.
A lot of the books I read are series books, so I already have sequels for them. As I thought about it, I could only come up with a few that I would contribute to a Kickstarter for:
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. There already is a sequel of sorts, in the form of a short story in the collection, Fragile Things. I love the premise of this book and would love to see what might have happened to other gods and supernatural creatures that immigrants brought with them to America. And I would really like to see more about Mr. Jacquel and Mr. Ibis at the Cairo funeral home. (Come to think of it, I would also like to see a sequel for Neverwhere because the world of London Below is so wonderfully realized that I want to learn more about it.
- The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Mostly because I want to see what happened after its ambiguous ending–which was the best way to end the novel, natch. A sequel would probably mess up the original book’s reputation.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. I thought there were going to be more books in this alternate world, but as the years roll on it looks less and less likely. But this one is another case of a fantastic world that you only really get to peek into as the plot steamrollers past.
Thinking about hypothetical sequels also made me think about actual sequel. All of the readers I know have come across a lackluster (or worse) sequel or entry in a series. There is one series, a trilogy, that I actually pretend is a sequel book. I pretend that the other two books in the series don’t exist because the first book is the series was so wonderfully perfect that I’m afraid reading the other two will ruin my feeling about it. In case you’re curious, that book is Nancy Turner’s These is My Words.
That’s the danger of sequels, of course. We want to see more of our favorite characters and worlds, but there’s always a chance that the sequel won’t live up to the debut.