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Things that make me mental in the Outlanders universe
Last Post 8/18/2013 6:54 PM by The Phantom. 11 Replies.
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Maximus
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1/25/2013 12:24 PM

    OK, since I already covered this in the DL series, now its high time for the OL series.

     

    After skipping quite a few books after Ellis's leave-taking of this series, I decided to read this 'Stone God' story arc. I just finished the last last 4 books, ending with the latest, Sinister Genesis. (See my review here)

     

    All these were written by Rik Hoskin, who is coming out with his 3rd DL very soon. (I hope for the best. Love the cover art, and the concept sounds interesting. The title suggests chron-jumping of some sort. My fingers are crossed!)

    Even though i liked the last few OL books, there are these continuous running themes that irritate me to no end. I see absolutely no reason for these items that may be some of the reasons that OL has taken a HUGE backseat in recent years here. The fanbase seems to have diminished greatly, and almost no one here is talking about this once, beloved series. I am not here to bash it, but to only give my brutally honest opinions as a fan from the very beginning. It seems that I am all alone here of the long-time fans of this particular series, because i don't see any blogs or reviews of the more recent books. Why is this? Has ALL the old fans truly quit this series?

    OK, the things that drive me mad in the OL series are:

    1: The 'anam-chara' theme. Overused and really has gone nowhere. When Ellis came out with this concept early on in the series, with all the flashbacks of the past, it was cool and kinda romantic. Everything pointed to the obvious: Kane and Brigid are star-crossed lovers. Now, they are just friends. Like that high school sweetheart that led you on, only to finally tell you she just wants to be friends.

    2: Unnecessary risks: I've seen too many of these from both authors. The Cerberus warriors have too much to lose to take these, along with an armory at home base that this is just plain stupid and not needed. It comes off as harebrained antics and unbelievable. I know, I know, its an action/adventure series. But an author doesn't need to do this. Make the risks a MUST!

    3: The Cerberus warriors having become like the American government - the World Police. Overall, this is a fun and exciting concept, but when you have alien overlords on the ropes at this point, why go to Mexico for some stones? Why are they always 'reacting' to danger from the snake peeps, and not just go on the offensive for once? Like America did with Bin Laden - hunt them down and slay them! Take the bull by the horns. Forget others woes around the world, and just go to the main and biggest threat.

    The Phantom
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    1/25/2013 1:03 PM

    There may be a grey area between what would be considered necessary and un-necessary risks. What examples can you give? Keep in mind I have only read the Ellis and Odom novels so far. 

    For the most part reacting is the only thing that can be done in most cases. It's not like they have the technology to read the minds of known or unknown villains. The same can be said for any series with these kind of rebels-groups-warriors determined to fight against the bad guys around their universe.


    Maximus
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    1/25/2013 2:23 PM

    Specifics? OK, I'll give you one I thought was mindless.

     

    In the most recent OL book, Genesis Sinister, Kane and Grant are flying their Mantas over this unknown ancient temple that is obviously spewing out this massive amount of multicolored clouds and lightning.

     

    Instead of just bombing the thing, as I think Grant suggested, Kane says something akin to: "No, no, that's no fun! I wanna go down and see whats inside." With a 'fun tone' to his voice.

    This was no time for 'fun' or 'discovery,' trust me. And from there on, the story just got sillier and crazier. I would rather they just bombed the thing, then pen in something much more cohesive and exciting, all pertaining to Brigid getting her mojo back, which was what basically what the whole book was about.

     

    Hey, I am not trying to start the proverbial 'flame war' here, or say this author is a bad writer. He has a seemingly large imagination. He's also obviously writing the lions share of the series. He did a fantastic job of the several volumes of this Ullikummis story arc. Even the end of that was a little 'way out there' for my tastes. But this one took it too far in bizarro world territory.

    Also there was a harbormaster in post-holocaust Mexico, who even kept tons of records of ships. HUH?! Why? Where was the Mexican government? They don't work now! How in blazes did they manage to create and care for a harbormaster in post-nuke Mexico? And where was this government or police when Kane and Grant were shooting it out with pirates?

    Agent_Thrush
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    8/10/2013 1:20 AM

    I couldn't agree more with you Maximus. I just finished reading the same book and shook my head at some of the things the characters said/did. I loved reading this series when it came out. It is very unfortunate Mark Ellis quit writing the series. I am just about to dig into his blog posts about working with GE.

     It is also a shame, as you said, and very sad that the old stalwart readers of this forum have abandoned the series. When good people go, it's difficult to engage in conversation and read other people's ideas. But I guess when the series goes bad, people leave in droves. 

     

    Maximus
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    8/13/2013 11:02 AM

    Thanks agent thrush.

     

    I happen to have the latest OL book, but have yet to read it. 

     

    But when i do, this site will hear my personal review.

    Jax2
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    8/16/2013 8:15 AM

    Just for the record--such as it is--I didn't quit writing the series. I wasn't allowed to continue writing it.

    Basically, I had serious issues with the former executive editor...mainly over why the OL royalty statements and what he told me in regards to sales didn't add up.

    I requested an independent royalty review.

    His reaction, when it came time for a new contract, was not to offer me one. 

    With all the things going on in my life at the time--the least of which was my daughter falling desperately ill--I wasn't  inclined to beg to continue writing a series I created. Apparently he figured it was easier to replace the creator of the series than to address my questions.

    With the recent revelations about Harlequin and their creative bookkeeping in regards to royalties, I feel validated to some extent. Obviously I'm not the only Harlequin writer who had the exact same concerns and exact same unanswered questions.

    There were other things going on between the former executive and I that turned our relationship toxic, but the unanswered financial questions lay at their core.

     

     

    Maximus
    Advanced Member
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    8/16/2013 9:54 AM

    It really is no surprise then that Gold Eagle has lost many Outlander customers.

     And probably some Deathlands ones too.

    With the myriad mistakes and seemingly constant stagnation of both series, it is a wonder that I still try to stick with them. I read loads of sci-fi/fantasy, as well as plain fiction...but mainly with a penchant for action/military or scary creatures are involved, ie, the Event series by Golemon, Steve Alten's MEG series, and Greig Beck's Arcadian series. (Excellent!)

    I think both series just feed my B-movie side of my brain. Most of the books are breezy, easy reads about one of the most popular genres out there - dystopian society. Post-holocaust scenarios that have piqued our collective interests since the 50's. 

     

    Jax2
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    8/17/2013 10:47 AM

    Yeah...but although fans of series act like they're interested in the back story and the real-world details of publishing, when it comes right down to it, they're like meth-heads...they really don't care as long as the publisher keeps pumping out the product they want to buy, regardless of whether they're dissatisfied with the quality. They complain, but keep buying.

    One of the old-time members here (now apparently long-gone) posted that if  F. Paul Wilson wasn't allowed to continue writing Repairman Jack because he had problems with the publisher, the hue and cry from readers would shake the heavens.

    But with Gold Eagle series the reaction is more like: "They had the original author KILLED?!? Well, I hope the guy who replaces him is just as good." 

     

     

     

     

    Ithaqua
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    8/17/2013 7:31 PM
    Jax2, I know exactly what you are saying from experience. Fans often bite the real hand that feeds them without knowing it. Or at least I hope it's not intentional. Suits don't make the product, the reap the rewards but they really create nothing. They may legally own a property but without those who came up with it they have nothing. Most certainly don't understand artistic integrity...or really any form of integrity.
    The Phantom
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    8/17/2013 11:52 PM

    In some situations, or many, unfortunately, if the boss says something is so, then it is so, regardless if it is or not. Because they are the boss. If you question what the boss says or even offer suggestions, the boss says don't ask questions, and don't "argue" (suggestion). Because they are the boss. Never got along with bosses such as these, and it sounds like Mark had to deal with this type at GE lol.

     

    Jax2
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    8/18/2013 7:48 AM
    As freelancers, we Gold Eagle writers didn't have bosses as such.

    The former executive editor I reference got involved in business areas that really weren'this business, like the issues about my royalties. He should've just turned the matter over to the appropriate department instead of making himself the intermediary...which only made me suspicious of his motives after a point.

    But he definitely tried to make himself the boss of the writers, answerable to him about violating his arbitrary rules (like communicating with one another) and so forth.

    I told him once that his basic attitude toward the writers was that were no different than secretarial day labor hired from Kelly Girls to do data entry.

    He didn't deny it.

    The Phantom
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    8/18/2013 6:54 PM

    *googles Kelly Girls*

    Ahaha! Yeah that would seem like the case.

     

     

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