I like books which are related and set in the same world but which each are stand alone. Each book has a complete plot arc and can be read in any order. As a writer I don't want to do the work of building a world for only one story. It's too much work and also I want to explore the many possibilities of my fictional world. As a reader I also want to come back to the same world I've enjoyed before. I admire how Lois McMaster Bujold structures series.
I share your view toward open ended series which never seem to resolve but like comic books or soap operas entice the reader to the next book in hopes of resolution, resolution which is never delivered. I do enjoy very long series such those written by Kate Elliot or Robin Hobbs, but I few these as single novels published in multiple volumes.
I don't know that I particularly enjoy SF stories where the idea rules. I like to see what people do in reaction to the weird situations which can occur only in a SF world. After doing the work of setting up a weird situation, I want to see what will happen to different people living in that situation. And that approach leads to multiple books set in the same world.
In my writing, I've been working with the same world for about twelve years and haven't run out of possibilities for that world. It's a maritime world with a matriarchal society and with "three girls for every boy." That makes for some interesting conflict.
Going back to the foundations of worldbuilding--climate, ecology, economy, religion, architecture, social mores, world view, and so on--is just too much work for a single story. I feel that if forced to do so the world would come off as nothing more than a background.
posted 1 year ago. ( permalink )