A Measure of Immortality

I've lost several of my favorite writers over the last couple of years. Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Elizabeth Peters just to name a few. I remember picking up a copy of Dragonriders for $.50 in a barrel at a used bookstore. I remember sitting silently in the Museum of Science and Industry waiting for the judges to come around for the Regional Science Faire in 8th grade while I read Guardians of the West. Eddings was my first frustrating experience in waiting for the sequel to come out. I read the first series The Belgariad in a matter of weeks then tore in Guardians when I was able to get it away from Dad. Then there was that long slog until the next book came out. An entire year! When you're thirteen, that's like waiting in dog years. As for Elizabeth Peters--we were on vacation and I finished reading The Ape Who Guards the Balance and I made my husband find a mall so I could find a bookstore and buy He Shall Thunder in the Sky RIGHT NOW!!!

They're all gone now. Admittedly, McCaffrey gave her world over to her son, but it's not the same. Really. Not. The. Same. You don't mess with the canon like he has. So, I've left Pern behind me. I will also readily admit that's one of the reasons that I haven't so much as glanced at the George RR Martin books. Alright, I've looked at them, contemplated borrowing them from Dad. However, he's no where near done with that series and I don't want to have to see a Robert Jordan pulled. You know, when someone else has to be contracted to finish the series because the originator kicks it before he/she can? Bleh. Killed that series for me too. Dad insists that Sanderson is good, but I just can't get over the glaring narrative shifts. I'm picky, can you tell?

As a writer, it makes you think a little bit about your own worlds. I don't have anything nearly as grandly sweeping as Mr. Martin or Mrs. McCaffrey, but book three is still hanging out there. Just kind of makes you think about what would or should happen if you get hit by a bus and no one's there to finish the stories. Now, I don't have fans like either one of those esteemed authors, and I don't make nearly as much (woohoo! I can now order fries with that!) but it's something that needs to be considered. Intellectual property is just that--property, and as such needs to be remembered as a legacy, particularly with the current copyright laws. Just something for my fellow authors to consider. Even as we hope to gain a measure of immortality with our words we need to think about what's going to happen to those words when our mortality has run its course. Or the five-thirty bus. Whichever.


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