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Last Post 7/5/2015 11:13 PM by Rusty. 92 Replies.
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Wordsmith-reprise
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3/12/2013 12:53 PM

Jeez, Jim! They change their freakin' clothes frequently. If the writers don't make clothing changes for a few books,, I add the info! Doc found a new set of clothes in an old hotel; Krysty had a jumpsuit for a couple of boks, then went to black jeans and a T-shirt; Ryan and J.B. changed clothes here and there. Mildred went from fatigues to jeans and a T-shirt, back to fatigues a time or two.They have to keep the basics, as I'm not allowed to dick around with the blue boots, bearskin coat--that magically appears and disappears from book to book, fedora, scarf that also ppears and disappears from book to book, Jak's camou jacket and the like. And nowsadays they have backpacks, at least from time to time. They have to tote that endless supply of ammo somehow. They have to leave the backpacks if they're on the run, but they eventually find and sock others.

 

Edited to provide more info.

)3az )3aziah
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3/12/2013 5:00 PM
Speak of the devil and she shall appear -LOL!!
Cathy,
I was talking about the LJ books in my above post. Of course the characters change odds and sods from book to book now, especially when you have a writer who has read nothing but the books he has written and the "bible". Yes the characters have items that never change or wear out but back in the old.days LJ wanted.to make changes a plenty but was not allowed.to.
My.knowledge of the DL background only runs to the books Lawrence wrote post this I know only what other readers here know.

Jim

PS
Cathy I didn't mean you.are THE devil, just a pesky one
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Wordsmith-reprise
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3/12/2013 6:15 PM

Definitely pesky.

I'd like to see Krysty's Western boots bite the dust, as they surely hamper her ability to sprint. J.B.'s fedora needs to be replaced, as it's well past its prime, but there is a book coming up that tells of how he got the hat, so the sentimental value must keep it around for a while. Maybe i'll ask the powers that be if he can ditch the hat and get a bowler! Hahahaha!

)3az )3aziah
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3/13/2013 3:15 AM
No get him a top hat and then Doc can be jealous of it after loosing his all that time ago.

Jim
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Peachy Carnehan: Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing.


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applesauce
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3/13/2013 6:39 AM
I am not talking wanting to see them doing a fashion parade like they go on about the food. I mean wash the clothes out while swimming or find new stuff every 10 books so my nose doesnt wrinkle up when they have sex LOL I am addicted to these books and can not put them down. I am throwing in the odd Blade and Stephen King but my main stay are deathland. I agree a base camp makes far more sense. As for backpacks soliders carry them. They could leave them at the jump site as well. It is like eating before a jump when they all puke. You would think they would work out it was better to take the food and eat after the jump. I think I like people to appear to have 2 brain cells LOL
I am sooooo glad to have found others who enjoy my guilty pleasure.

applesauce
)3az )3aziah
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3/13/2013 7:37 AM
It is like eating before a jump when they all puke. You would think they would work out it was better to take the food and eat after the jump.


Just like always it takes a Woman to point out the obvious, its the story of my life!!! I've read all the (early) DL books several times and never thought of this simple thing once.

Jim
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Billy Fish: He wants to know if we are gods.
Peachy Carnehan: Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing.


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Kerrick
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3/14/2013 12:13 AM
applescaue: One rule of Deathlands (and they mention this a few times): Eat when you can, because you never know when you'll get another meal. Oftentimes, they can't stock up on food, other than random supplies they find or hunt down on their own.

Cathy: What's wrong with the fedora? Sure, it's filthy, sweat-stained, and hasn't been washed since the long winters, but it keeps the sun off his face.

I agree with you about the boots, though - it's gotta be hard to run in those things. I mean, look at what happened to Lori.

Jim: Doc didn't lose his - he threw it away and bid it good riddance.
)3az )3aziah
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3/14/2013 7:26 AM
What's wrong with the fedora? Sure, it's filthy, sweat-stained, and hasn't been washed since the long winters, but it keeps the sun off his face.


That sounds like my trusty baseball cap I wear when out walking the hills, its not been washed in years, is sun bleached and the peak is broken but I still wear it with pride.


Jim: Doc didn't lose his - he threw it away and bid it good riddance.


...and i never told you why either did I . He could still be jealous of JB's if he got one -especially when he was off "down memory lane"!!

Jim
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Billy Fish: He wants to know if we are gods.
Peachy Carnehan: Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing.


Please check out my FLICKR photos
Wordsmith-reprise
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3/14/2013 8:39 AM

Well, in addition to being all those things, the fedora has a few bullet holes. If the fedora ever was replaced, it would be replaced by another fedora. My father wore one for years. I love them.

 

silentalbino
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3/14/2013 10:05 AM
The weighted white scarf has returned in the latest one.
Maximus
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3/14/2013 11:02 AM
Yeah, the latest book finally DID mention Ryan's long-lost scarf, but only once, and and over halfway through the book. Also, his panga was never mentioned until very late in the book. Seemed very odd, as he could have used both in several dire straits, but never did.
Maximus
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3/15/2013 10:21 AM

Another thing that bugs the hell out of me is when some authors write that Ryan and the companions get caught flatfooted like greenhorns.

 

Again, I am not picking on Rik Hoskin and his latest book, in which this happened - yest again in this series! - in which the companions are in enemy territory, are supposedly on full alert, but then a large group 'sneaks up' on them out of the blue, as if this is the companion's 1st outing.

 

Even the illustrious Laurence James did this, and it drove me nuts then. Still doing at book 100+ is damn near maddening. It shouldn't have happened at Book #1. C'mon, authors! Are u kidding me?

 

With all due major respect and kudos to all authors, please, please, please don't write in another 'caught flatfooted' scene again! At this juncture, every single member of the companions should have the professional experience of a grade A special forces soldier. Hell, with all the action they've gone through, they all should fight, fuck, hunt, gather, and do every specialized thing that each possess. Ryan should be able to track and recce just as good or better than Jak, for instance.

applesauce
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3/15/2013 11:47 PM

What is the actual time span between the first book and the latest one. I am curious only being up to book 30. There had to be more than a year for the baby to be born, but beyond that i can not work it out as Dean doesnt seem to have aged.


I do follow the eat when you can, but I am talking when they know they are about to jump and sit down to eat rather than taking it with them. I think to survive you should be practical and getting actual use out of the food makes sense rather than puking it up. How puke filled is that room now LOL I do not see good house keeping top of the list,

It is good to know they use backpacks in latter books,


applesauce

Kerrick
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3/16/2013 7:13 PM
Applesauce: There's a timeline on the wiki: http://www.jamesaxler.com/Wiki/tabi...fault.aspx To answer your question: the series starts in Jan 2096; book 100 takes place sometime in 2102. Unfortunately, that's the most specific I can get - a few books after LJ retired, the series became more episodic and less continuous, so it was difficult, if not impossible, to keep track of dates anymore.

I don't recall seeing an instance where the companions sit down to eat right before they *know* they're going to jump. All the chambers are different, but I've had the same thought at some points - going back to a chamber where you've already hurled has got to be pretty gross.

Something that's really been bugging me lately (I might have mentioned it before): Ryan's scar. Did this get retconned when I wasn't looking, or are the new authors not bothering to check the bible? The scar is on the *right* side, NOT the left, and it doesn't go through his eye. Harvey stabbed him in the left eye first, then tried to get him in the right, but he moved and the knife cut down his face, leaving that scar.
applesauce
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3/18/2013 1:17 AM
Thanks I tried to keep my eyes half closed so I did not get to many spoilers, but I got an idea there is a very clever sticky coming up

applesauce
WarZ
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1/20/2015 5:14 PM

There are so many things on the "bugs me" list at this point that I'll need to make a proper summary later.  So many things mentioned in this thread are right in there  

I too have read all the books in recent years.  Book 1 to book 90 as of today.  I've read them over the last 3-4 years or so.  So when you have that kind of perspective it can be a real chore to stomach the kind of lack of continuity and "normal" characterization we often see from the various authors.

 It should be a requirement that if you are going to author a book in a series like this that you have read "most" of the series.  Not necessarily every single book, but at least be interested in the series enough that you have read a good portion of it.

Some of these authors come in and you can tell they "might" have read part of a book.  The take on characterizations is so bad completely kills the stories.  Book 88 by Rik Hoskin was soo atrocious in terms of character behavior, interaction, and abilities, that I was BARELY able to finish it.  The story and idea behind it was actually good.  But its execution with the characters was absolutely terrible.

 A major "bug me" point as well is the handful of books that weave a good to great story all way through but then in the last 20-30 pages the author (or editor ?) basically strips the story to a barebones summary, that jumps around with little continuity, and an almost insulting series of events that "wrap up" the story.  The ending of Time Castaways almost pissed me off because of this sloppiness.

Ron Miles
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1/20/2015 5:27 PM
> It should be a requirement that if you are going to author a book in a series like this that you have read "most" of the series.

Well, first off I guess that's pretty much a moot point anymore given that GE is folding and all but the very last book in the series has been completed (the last one is being written right now, and will be complete very soon).

But even so, in a series with more than 100 books, most of which are long out of print, that is a rediculous thing to expect from a write-for-hire author. You yourself say it took you upwards of four years to read the first 90 books. Do you really think that any author, particularly for the meager wages on offer, is going to spend a couple of years just to have the privilege of writing piece of pulp fiction with a shelf life of roughly sixty days? Ain't gonna happen.

I think it is reasonable to expect an author to approach the material with respect, and certainly reasonable to expect them to have read at least a couple of representative books. It is up to the editors to ensure that the style and characterizations are in bounds. That's about it.

Granted, I think the series would have been better with a few dedicated authors. In my fantasy world, the series for the last few years would have been written exclusively by Alan Philipson and Chuck Rogers trading off each book. But at six books per year, that was never going to happen.
WarZ
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1/20/2015 11:47 PM

I do see where you are coming from in regards to the authors not reading enough of the books.  So saying they read "most" of the books is overly ambitious. I guess the statement just portrays my disbelief that a LOT of the books written have such a poor grasp of what would seem fundamental character traits, behaviors, abilities, and often setting / background qualities. 

 But my point is they should have read a significant number of the books.  At least 10 ?  A good enough number to have a solid grasp of what they are working with.  At least 2 of the books I have read were so far out of touch with characters and setting that it was exceedingly difficult to finish them. 

 I learned to accept the change to an episodic nature, and therefore a lack of continuity and overall story progression.  But the lack of fundamentals makes it difficult in some books.

I think it is reasonable to expect an author to approach the material with respect, and certainly reasonable to expect them to have read at least a couple of representative books. It is up to the editors to ensure that the style and characterizations are in bounds. That's about it.

Some of the books it seems like this didn't happen, except on the most cursory level.

 I realize now that in that publishing situation, things were not setup to accommodate consistency and continuity.  But knowing that still doesn't make some of those books any easier to read

 That's why my comments went into the the "things that bug me" thread, lol.

WarZ
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1/21/2015 12:02 PM

Oh also:

Thanks for the reply   I'm really happy to have found this site and forums.  It has helped me immensely in understanding things that didn't make sense.  Plus its essentially the only avenue available (that I've found) that allows me even a small chance to discuss / learn about / see insights into what I've read.  Essentially share the experience.

 My only regret is that I didn't find and read the books earlier so I could have engaged in many of the discussions that have come and gone over the years here.

 This is absolutely no knock at all to the site or yourself, but it seems like I missed the "hay day" of Deathlands interest and participation.  My timing to experience the Deathlands is out of synch for participating with the community.  Stuff I'm just experiencing I'm guessing most have long moved on from and / or long forgotten about

I'm finding myself posting in really old threads because of it.  So if reviving old threads is frowned upon here (as it can be on some websites), let me know and I'll create new threads for topics.

So again, thanks !

Ron Miles
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1/21/2015 12:22 PM
> if reviving old threads is frowned upon here (as it can be on some websites), let me know and I'll create new threads for topics.

Nah, you're fine.

> But my point is they should have read a significant number of the books. At least 10 ? A good enough number to have a solid grasp of what they are working with.

Do you really think reading more of the books would have improved things for the bad entries? A lazy author is going to be lazy (and there have definitely been some poor, lazy entries in the series of the years). On the other hand, some of the very best authors in the series (like Alan Philipson and Chuck Rogers) read very few books before diving in. Even so, their skill and commitment to the craft of writing adventure stories shines through.

It is also worth noting that the authors are at the mercy of the editors, who can and do go into the manuscripts and make all kinds of changes (which is, after all, their job). I am personally aware of several cases where the authors felt like the editor made material changes/deletions/additions that were problematic. A change of weapon type, the removal or repositioning of a scene that has the knock-on effect of placing a person or item in two places at once, etc. That kind of stuff happens, and realistically we aren't talking about High Art here. Things happen on a deadline and on a budget (and clearly even so it wasn't enough to make the books profitable enough to keep going).

Things always get ugly when art collides with commerce. Some of the books are just irredeemably bad (I'm looking at you, Skydark Spawn). But there have been a surprising number of gems over the thirty year run of the series, and a more surprising number of gems in just the past few years. I would certainly count the last three books (Desolation Angels, Blood Red Tide, Polestar Omega) as classics. If nothing else, the series is going out on a high note.
"Sadly then I knew the answer. All her life she was a dancer, but no one ever played the song she knew." - The Residents
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