If a Sequel is not written by the original Author, it is NOT a Sequel

This is something which personally I never had to wonder about, but which, I realised yesterday, some people seem to misconceive.

What is the difference between a sequel and a fanfic?


Is ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’, which is the book which comes after ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, a sequel? Well, of course it is, since it was written directly by the same author, Lewis Carroll, and continues the journey of the main character, Alice.

Are ‘Good Wives’ and ‘Little Men’ sequels to ‘Little Women’? Of course they are, as all of them were written by the same author, Louisa May Alcott, and follow the March family throughout the years.

images (1)

Is Robin Hobb’s ‘Rain Wild Chronicles’ a sequel to the ‘Farseer Trilogy’ and the ‘Liveship Traders Trilogy’, even though its not about the same people? Yes it is, because it is set in the same world, tackles events which obviously take place after the other¬†books and which have an impact on them, and because it is WRITTEN BY THE SAME AUTHOR.


On the other hand, what about books like P.D James’ ‘Death comes to Pemberley’, which was written as an obvious sequel to ‘Pride and Prejudice’? Do you really consider it a sequel? The time-frames are right, and the writer is good, but it’s not written by the original author is it? The flavor is totally different. And what about Alexandra Rippley’s ‘Scarlett’, which was written as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone with the Wind’? The realistic feelings of loss and hope in the face of desperation are totally lost to a whiny prima donna who does not capture the original heroine’s spirit in the least. So, written right or written wrong, no I personally DO NOT CONSIDER BOOKS WRITTEN BY A DIFFERENT AUTHOR AS PREQUELS, not even if they do take up the original story-line and move forward from there. For me, that is pure fan fiction. Which has a totally different niche in the literary world, and which I like to read at times too. But which is distinctly different from a REAL SEQUEL, if you know what I mean.


I hear you ask, what about Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series? Jordan got sick (in fact he wrote a couple of his books while bed-ridden) in the middle of it and the last few volumes were in fact written by Brandon Sanderson – so are those real sequels? Yes they are. Why? Because Sanderson not only used the original notes minutely written and explained by Jordan, but he also continued with the original story-line as decided by Jordan, and developed the characters as Jordan had originally planned.

images (2)

On the other hand, look at the Virginia Andrews franchise. Virginia Andrews only actually wrote 6 books before dying. The ‘Flowers in the Attic’ saga (prequel included) and the standalone novel ‘My Sweet Audrina’. After that, her family said they were using another writer to work with her notes, but keeping her name on the books. Because the notes were hers. Really? I read a couple of the books which ‘came after’, and honestly couldn’t see a glimmer of Virginia. On the other hand, the ‘new’ books tackled totally new and different characters and formed up new serieses, so they never aimed at being ‘sequels’ to anything. All they did was keep alive V.A’s name, and that’s fine.


I guess a person’s definition of a ‘sequel’ can be different depending on his/her point of view. However, for me, no ‘sequel’ is real unless it is written by the same author as the previous book/s.

images (3)

All the rest, no matter how well written, thought out and executed, are fanfics. And there is nothing wrong with that. As long as the distinction is clear.

And honestly, whenever I hear of a ‘sequel’ to something good being made (by someone else apart from the original creator), be it in books or movies, I am terrified they are going to destroy and twist the whole plot-line entirely. Think about the rumors of ‘Labyrinth 2’! *sobs*

download (1)


The Man I was in Love with… is leaving… – The Farseers at Present

Around eleven years ago I fell in love with someone who did not exist. I fell totally headlong and irrevocably. I knew he was just a figment of someone else’s imagination. I knew he never did and never would exist. But I could not help it.

He was far from perfect. Oh gods yes. He was sly, manipulative, a liar and a murderer. He was also a bastard. Literally.

With him, I battled vicious family members, journeyed through hardships and illnesses, came to understand concepts like love, secrecy and death, and also, with him, I grew up.

During the first trilogy he was first a boy, then an adolescent, and then a young man. In the fourth, fifth and sixth books dedicated to his Six Duchies, he was a man in his prime. Full of regrets, failures, moods, and mistakes. And yet, still, I loved him.


Now, more than a decade later, Ms Hobb has finally continued the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, in the book ‘Fool’s Assassin’, the first of the Fitz and Fool Trilogy, and suddenly I realised that in the end, he is going to die. I did not understand this just because he is getting older, or because it is ‘inevitable’. After all, this is just a fictitious fantasy novel, and for those who read all about it and know what I’m talking about, he could extend his life indefinitely with The Skill, that is, his hereditary family magic.

No – I know that he is going to die, because the focus of the story is shifting. He is not the sole fallible narrator anymore. He has a flawed daughter – a genius, who like him, we cannot but love and be intrigued by. I am enchanted in getting to know her, and she is still 9 years old in this book! And yet, I am heartbroken. Because as an experienced reader, and a writer myself, I know how the story goes. Slowly, my dear Fitz will recede as a main character, and little Bee will take his place, until finally he will tiptoe out of the plot, and of my life, forever.


Oh Robin, Robin, why are you doing this to me? Don’t you know that my Fitz had been the foundation of my whole epic fantasy romantic imaginary life? Seriously, it just hit me yesterday, and I’ve been in a daze of depression ever since…

I’m not joking, maybe many think I am, but I am not. I have never found such emotion for someone and I never will, at least the author could have the decency not to kill him off!! Robin you have been my favourite writer ever since I first came across your work, second to none not even at present, and not even to George R R Martin, so WHY, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?