Part II, The Best Serial Fiction Today: One Reader’s Opinion

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If you missed Part I of this series, go check it out here!

Last time we talked about what serial fiction is, exactly, and why you should care. The main pros of the format are that it’s conducive to reading quickly–say, when you’re waiting with a sick kid at the doctor’s (not that I’d do that. I’d obviously be busy comforting said sick kid).

Now let’s get to the good stuff–recommendations! Here are my current favorites in serial fiction:

bloodandsnow1. Rashelle Workman’s Blood and Snow series. Not only is it chock full of magic, humor, and vampires, the complete season is only $3.99. Pretty cool. She also has a spin-off serial she’s starting soon, based on one of the secondary characters.

 

debtcollector2. Susan Kaye Quinn’s Debt Collector series. I’ve read Quinn’s Mindjack series, and it is awesome. I’ve only read episode one of her Debt Collector serial, but it has her trademark sci-fi/action “movie” feel. I think she’d be a great script writer. The premise is sooo interesting, too–it’s about debt collectors who take souls from people who aren’t living up to their potential. Spooky.

 

Serials on my TBR list:

indexingseananmc1. Indexing. This one is an urban fantasy, and it looks so good! Here’s the description, from Amazon.com: For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where narratives the rest of the world considers fairy tales becomes reality, often with disastrous results.

TheImmortalCircusActTwo_COVER2. The Immortal Circus, Act Two. I haven’t read Immortal Circus yet, which is why this one has had to be put on hold. But it looks amazing.

 

 

So, what about you? What serial fiction have you read lately and what’s on your TBR list?  

Sampling Serials, Part I: What the Heck Are Serial Novels and Why Should You Read Them?

© Miflippo from Stock Free Images.
© Miflippo from Stock Free Images.

If you’ve been paying very much attention over the past year or two, you’ve probably seen serial novels cropping up everywhere. Amazon has a program called the Kindle Serial where you pay a one-time fee of $1.99 (in the U.S.) and are mailed a new episode every week. Websites like JukePop Serials and Tuesday Serial attempt to deliver the best of serial fiction on the web to readers waiting hungrily for their latest “fix.”

So what, exactly, is a serial novel? Science fiction writer Susan Kaye Quinn describes it like this on her Facebook page:

A serial is a story told through a series of installments, or episodes, released on a regular schedule. … TV series are the most common form of serial storytelling today.

It’s been done before, most notably by Charles Dickens. So the real question is, why should you choose serial episodes when you have everything from flash fiction to short stories to novels available?

Because sometimes you want a story with an arc that continues on, like a novel, but you don’t have the time to finish a whole novel. You’d like a nice, clean break between stories, but novel chapters leave you with giant cliffhangers, begging you to stay awake for another half an hour. With serial fiction, authors generally wrap up the episode nicely. Yet, you know the characters you love will return for more shenanigans the following week (or month, depending on the author’s release schedule).

It’s the best of both worlds. And, when you’re done, you can always buy the box set so you have all the episodes in one place to read later. Another thing that’s really, really cool is reader participation. Since authors are writing these episodes by the seat of their pants, most of them welcome reader feedback on the plot. Want a certain character to die? Get pregnant? Go to jail? Weigh in on the author’s Facebook page or website and see if you get your wish.

I, personally, didn’t think I’d much enjoy the serial fiction format. I like my stories meaty and I like them all at once. Or so I thought. When I began to write full-time, I found that I sometimes needed a break from reading full-length works. I wanted a snappy, fast-moving story I could keep coming back to (unlike short stories). Enter the serial. It’s the perfect-sized read when I have a few minutes to spare before bed or while I’m at a kid’s gymnastics class, waiting. And if I absolutely fall in love with the characters, I know there’s more coming (also unlike short stories).

So, what do you think? Would you give serial fiction a try? Or do you like your fiction in novel format?

This is a two-part series of posts on serial fiction. Coming on June 18th is Part II, The Best Serial Fiction Today: One Reader’s Opinion. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss it!