Category talk:Novel sequences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Novels (Rated Category-class)
WikiProject icon This category is within the scope of WikiProject Novels, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit one of the articles mentioned below, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and contribute to the general Project discussion to talk over new ideas and suggestions.
Category page Category  This category does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.


How is this different from Category:Series of books? -Aranel ("Sarah") 22:03, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Cultural Collision with Popular Term[edit]

I just added these lines (or emphasis) to the page header:

For groups of novels where the order does not matter, see Category:Series of books.
Note this distinction is backwards from the terminology in common use in Speculative Fiction and all its common subgenres. In fantasy, sci-fi, and alt-History, series generally connotes that order matters (very much thankyou!) unlike for example, in a set of detective mystery novels, which by the given distinction is a series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Virginia Wolfe, and numerous others.
As a consequence, I'd like to propose the category Sequential series be the name of this category. Even old time action adventure series like James Bond and Ian McDonalds' Matt Helm spy novels were expected to be read in order. So where did this awkward sounding title come from? No usage I've seen in 51 years of prolific eclectic reading. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift,..., I can type a lot of fiction series where chronology matters to both reader and writer.
  • Which brings up another distiction disagreement. The definition on this page refered to by the author, which I modified to 'by the author/editor' because of a new phenomenum— pioneered in the 1632 series books. Author Eric Flint, having written 1632 (novel) as a single novel, when nearly overwhelmed by the huge success of that work, gambled and threw the development of the milieu open to ideas on the net on the publishers net forum Baens Bar, then invited other published authors to play in his new playground under the rules generated by that first generation of on line respondents. Subsequently the 1633 (novel) and Ring of Fire (anthology) were co-developed and concurrently written by no less than (at least) seventeen previously published or 'name' authors, not counting editor/author Flint in that 2nd opus. The great and growing commercial success of this method is sure to be copied time and again going forward from 2002. The Series is currently up to ten books in five years, and there are co-writing contracts for at least five more just by 1633 co-authors Weber and Flint. Two others between DeMarce and Flint, and another two between David Freer and Flint. The demand for these works is not quite parrallel to Harry Potter, but its trending that way, and Flint has finally frozen the 1632 Tech Manual which means even more publishing in less development time.
FrankB 05:19, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I should hasten to add here, that there are combinations, and forcing an editor to pick between two mutually exclusive category groups (as may be now) is strongly counterindicated. The honorverse booka and Potter books can certainly be read as stand-alone 'first taste of books'. So can Flint's succesful series... but the new reader is then missing a lot. Thus to my mind, there exists a third category: Sequential series— One where the author intends the book to be read in a chronological order consistant with the mileu, but not necessarily in order of publication. FrankB 05:30, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Rename to avoid confusion[edit]

I think that currently Category:Novel sequences and Category:Series of books are confusing, even with the description in them. I'd recommend either: 1) renaming of: Category:Novel sequences to Category:Series of books (sequential) and Category:Series of books to Category:Series of books (non-sequential), or 2) defining Category:Novel sequences as a category for books in sequence and a subcategory of Category:Series of books, and possibly creating a category for books not in a sequence but sharing some common theme. Also, it is not clear whether novel sequence HAS to be read in order, SHOULD be read in order of CAN be read in order. And the categories of Novel sequence and Book series need to be unified. Finally, Category:Series of books should be renamed Category:Book series to have the same name as her article (or the article should be moved).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:09, 1 May 2006 (UTC) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:09, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Novel sequences and book series are two different things; In Search of Lost Time is a novel sequence, but it is a single novel, not a series of books. In addition, "novel sequence" is a literary term (e.g., see here) and thus is the appropriate title for that article. As such, I oppose both changes suggested above. | Mr. Darcy talk 22:59, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that making a distinction between a set of novels intended to be read in a particular order and a set of novels NOT intended to be read in a particular order (but having the same setting, characters, etc), is at worst a completely unnecessary distinction, and at best a premature distinction. There should first be a category to distinguish connected novels from other book series types (such as Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, or For Dummies, or anthology series). That's what I first assumed this category was for. Also, confusingly, the article novel sequence defines this term exactly the opposite as the category does; as novels NOT intended to be read in a particular order. MakeRocketGoNow 23:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


Thankyou Mr Darcy!!! This is much as I suspected five weeks ago when posting above. Novel Sequences are a technical term; if I understand the below and MrDarcy above, it essentially means one novel over many volumes—as some have considered Lord of the Rings—reading The Two Towers w/o reading either of the others would be fairly unsatisfying, I would suspect. Quoting (Encycl. Brittanica from link by MrDarcy):

Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (1913–27; Remembrance of Things Past) had no time for fresh beginnings. Evoking the vanishing world of fashionable Parisian society of the Third Republic, the novel sequence explored the ways in which memory, imagination, and, most of all, artistic form could be put to work together to counter the corrosive effects of time.

So there IS an easy solution—pull anything out of the category which cannot be defined as a 'Novel Sequence' per (WP:V and require member-articles to carry explicit cites as footnotes) such by an external reference calling it such—we are talking about a small exclusive club here. In essence, the follow-on novels aren't crafted to be stand-alone according to Brittanica— thus they can be viewed as a single serialized very long novel. (Perhaps like the Never Ending Story... <G>)

  1. This satisfys the colloquial usage of series, and the technical needs of literary arcana. This would remove Harry Potter, honorverse, and 1632 series for sure, imho.
  2. And remove the unnecessary distinction that I agree with MakeRocketGoNow about—the new criteria for Category: Novel sequences thus becomes whether there is a third-party who has reviewed/studied/commented about the work that has called it a 'Novel sequence', which can be footnoted.
  3. That may cause a few such to be categorized as series, but being a technical niche, they instead of the one's collected by Category:Novel sequences will have the likelihood of being seen and explored by many more possible browsing readers.
  4. It also solves another problem: What to do with series that should be read chronologically but also contain short fiction collections that aren't novels. Series does not cause collision with those anthologies, so they fit into the niche quite nicely.
  5. Lastly, I concur with Piotr: rename the bookseries cat s.t Category:Series of books s be renamed Category:Book series to match Template:Main:book series. This should be done initially with a redirect for later deletion, then have that cleaned up by AWB or a BOT.

The other renaming ought to be forgotten about per MrDarcy. Best regards to all, FrankB 05:13, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm with FrankB on just about all of those points. "Novel sequence" is a technical term, not a Wikipedia distinction, and it should be preserved. We may miscategorize a series as a sequence or vice versa, but over time those mistakes will be ironed out. | Mr. Darcy talk 14:30, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Start over[edit]

I've gone over the Wikipedia entry for novel sequence and the discussion above. Unfortunately, defining what is and what isn't a "novel sequence" seems highly problematic. The category also has great potential for confusion. Hell, I'm still confused. Unless someone can explain what is and what isn't a "novel sequence" to my satisfaction, I suggest this category be scrapped, and some more general category be created that encompasses all interrelated novels/series of novels. Or create an even MORE general category for interrelated fiction so that a book of short stories is not excluded from its brother novel(s). Perhaps Category:Fiction series or Category:Fiction book series or Category:Sequential series or Category:Sequential book series. MakeRocketGoNow 00:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

To me, "series" is a subset of "sequence", but I'm not ready to die in a ditch over that argument. However, I'm very concerned that anyone could consider "book" to be a synonym of "novel". A book could be history or any other type or non-fiction. It could be poetry, children's picture books, or pretty much anything that goes between two covers. Deb 12:00, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
If you read the discussion above, you'll see the suggestion that the category only include those works defined by reliable sources as novel sequences. It's more than a suggestion, actually - it's a rule. Since third party sources do make this distinction (cf. the reference to Proust's works as a novel sequence above), then Wikipedia can and should make this distinction as well. I'm not clear why this one user is pushing so hard to delete the category. | Mr. Darcy talk 13:22, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Deleting the category is not necessary. I'm also fine with restricting this category to externally defined "novel sequences." But to alleviate confusion, I'd like to see a new category created that is a subcategory of Category:Series of books that would encompass all connected novels/fiction. Suggestions? MakeRocketGoNow 16:14, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I am SO confused...but here's my take on it[edit]

Just for my own edification, I went back over various phrases and definitions from WP about these articles & cats. Here they are for one-stop shopping.

  • Book series (article) says: "A book series is a sequence of books with common characteristics, typically written by the same author, or marketed as a group by their publisher. Fictional series typically share a common setting, story arc, set of characters or timeline."
    • Category:Series of books: The category's explanatory text currently reads: "Series of books that are not intended to be read sequentially (in order). See Category:Novel sequences for series that should be read sequentially." (emphasis mine)
      • My own observation of the titles I've read is that the works listed in the "book series" category may be read out of sequence, but their characters and settings would be better understood if they were read in sequence - contrary to the cat description.
  • Novel sequence (article) says: "A novel sequence is a set or series of novels which share common themes, characters, or settings, but where each novel has its own title and free-standing storyline, and can thus be read independently or out of sequence." (emphasis mine)
    • Category:Novel sequences = The category's explanatory text currently describes it as "Groups of novels by the same author/editor intended to be read sequentially. For groups of novels where the order does not matter, see Category:Series of books." (emphasis mine)
  • None of this addresses works like LOTR, which must be read in sequence in order to make any sense, i.e. works whose story arc crosses over into another work.

It sounds to me as if "novel sequences" are a form of "book series", but the distinction between them is not clear to me.Perhaps the simplest solution would be to make Category:Novel sequences a sub-cat of Category:Series of books and try to make the definitions a bit more clear. If this has been covered or suggested before, my apologies; I can hear my hair turning greyer as we speak over this. Her Pegship 23:41, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Cut the Gordian knot[edit]

I created Category:Series of books to encompass ALL book series, from Nancy Drew to Lord of the Rings to ...For Dummies. The category description defining it as "Series of books that are not intended to be read sequentially" was added later by User:Piotrus. I do not agree with it. I see NO use in setting up two separate categories, one for connected novels you should read in sequence, and one for connected novels where it doesn't matter what order you read them in. Put them all in, say, Category:Novel series and be done with it. MakeRocketGoNow 01:17, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Works for me. It seems that a list format would make more sense for the sequential fiction stuff anyway. Shall I cfr the Novel sequences cat? Her Pegship 04:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Please do! MakeRocketGoNow 16:48, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Have we misunderstood the category here (regardless of current description), this would be for articles on the sequences. So the articles are likely to contain the list of what makes up the series / sequence. Also the sequence should not make too much of the intention, just that they can be treated as a sequence. Also I don't think there is much on common parlance to distinguish sequence / series. No individual novel articles should appear here in this catagory. No I don't think the catgeory should be merged. I might support a rename to "Novel series" or "Series of Novels" if others thought this necessary. If we merge it we will have the series of books that make up "The History of the English Speaking Peoples" by Winston Churchill in this the "Dune" sequence, series by Frank Herbert in one enormous  :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 07:58, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the category is full of individual novel articles. If it should be full of lists, or articles about novel series, then would someone please revise the description for it? (Kevin?) I'll be happy to help move the articles once it's clear what the category's for. Also, how about renaming it Category:Series of novels to parallel Category:Series of books? Thanks. Her Pegship 14:12, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

FYI: I've revised the proposal as Category:Novel sequences to Category:Novel series at Cfr. Cheers, Her Pegship 16:29, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Once that change takes place - assuming it does - I propose the description of the category Category:Novel series should become something like

Articles about "groups" of novels - NOT articles about the novels themselves.

Includes series described by the same author/or authorial partnership that can read sequentially. Authorial intention may be enough to define a series but this should be augmented by reader experience.

Note includes both series that should be read in order as is often the case in speculative fiction and all its sub-genres, and also those that can be thought of in order but can also be sensibly read alone.

I think the Series article itself should indicate whether the order is significant when reading them set. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 17:09, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm much too tired to cognate on this further (I've some comments all but done on the Category rename (Cfd) page) but ask that you all do consider 1, and 2 as well as Mr Darcy's 'Proust' example above. A (quoted) search for "Novel sequence" in Britanica turned up anther half-dozen novelists, and when Columbia did the same, I found those links supporting Mr Darcy's points above.
This new 'go-round' all kicked off while I was taking a wikibreak (Still am, actually) for RL needs and asked Peg to resolve the 'definitions dichotomy' on the 12th between novel and category. So thanks to you all. Based on the three examples in two encyclopedias, ISTM, the only thing really necessary is to tighten up the category purpose statement, move most articles out, and leave the category name unchanged, as it appears correct, however rarely used. We're doing a lot of that in reworking Maps on the commons and here into the same system. Note however, the sequence apparently need not have the same central characters, but just a continuous milieu of some sort (like the Roots miniseries), since at least one of those new examples is apparently multi-generational.
Someone divy up the pages to check and re-cat, and I'll spring the time to move my share of articles to the proper cats. I'll support Peg's take, per the the note in the Cfd. Best wishes! // FrankB 06:17, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Please see my comment at Cfd; I'm too tired to retype. zzzzz Her Pegship 15:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Articles sorted[edit]

I hope I have got the sorting correct but please someone sanity check the work. This category should now only have the articles relating to groups of novels, that is "loosely" associated novels refered to as a "Novel sequence" see debates above. Others have been moved to Category:Novel series or even elsewhere. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:29, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Kevin, for a terrific job. I had lost hope. <g> Her Pegship 16:23, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Novel sequence article[edit]

Just a thought but the [[Novel sequence] article itself doesn't make clear the line of distinction between sequence and series. Any thoughts and / or ammendments please. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 11:47, 30 June 2006 (UTC)