When an author finishes a book or a series, I consider it done. I read the book(s) with the understanding that the story is complete. Even if I adore the narrative and characters, I don’t typically feel a burning desire for more. (The exception, of course, being when an author stops writing a story in the middle of a series.)
All of this means that I have had a very mixed response to Neil Gaiman’s announcement that he is writing a sequel to Neverwhere and Philip Pullman’s statement that he is publishing a companion trilogy to the His Dark Materials series.
Why? Why would they do this?
That may be a silly question to ask. The ‘why’ is because the authors wanted to write more within specific worlds they created. They hardly need to defend that decision. As a reader though, I still don’t entirely understand it. I have read the original books. I own them. They sit on my bookshelves. Despite that, I never even considered wanting more books related to any of the original novels. It has been 21 years since Neverwhere was released and 17 years since since The Amber Spyglass, the last book in Pullman’s trilogy, was first published. Those are both very long times. Especially considering that to my mind, the books were closed, the need for more wasn’t there.
But maybe I am just being a curmudgeon. I like the writing of both authors, and I’m sure many fans are excited to hear about the new stories being released. Still, I can’t imagine wanting to read these upcoming works. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be surprised. Maybe these books will tell tales that I always secretly wanted to read. Maybe they will fill a gaping hole in my book lover’s heart.
Or maybe not.