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Last Post 6/26/2009 6:34 PM by Daniel. 70 Replies.
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Cerberus Man
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4/17/2009 11:39 AM
    Posted By EZ-E on 14 Apr 2009 12:00 PM Question is, will I be handicapped if I read the books in order but maybe skip a few in the process? Or should I get the missing books before proceeding to the next? Thanks for the feedback.


    I want to add that you should check on the copyright page of Outlanders books to make sure series creator Mark Ellis wrote it. If his name isn't there, don't bother.

    But keep in mind OL is far more intense and complex with a more "legitimate" SF focus than the childish nonsense that passes for SF in DL.

    Things actually happen in OL books that change the series and the characters...up until recently it was not a static series. The books didn't end where they began. There's been a sense of history and progression in the OL series from the beginning.

    "It's better to have a blaster and not need it than to need it and--" "Oh, spare me," Brigid said irritably. (Kane and Brigid Baptiste from Armageddon Axis)
    Jax2
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    4/17/2009 2:33 PM
    Posted By Cerberus Man on 17 Apr 2009 11:39 AM
    I want to add that you should check on the copyright page of Outlanders books to make sure series creator Mark Ellis wrote it. If his name isn't there, don't bother.




    Thanks for the push, but there are three books I did write wherein my name wasn't printed on the copyright page--deliberately left out due to fear of a burgeoning fan-following.

    The books are Equinox Zero, Talon and Fang and Sea of Plague. I didn't realize my name had been removed until it was pointed out here on good ol' Jamesaxler.com.

    The attempts to diminish my connection to OL started years ago...even when the GE blog got started, one of the first things posted there was a breathless little report wherein one of my cover concepts (which I had been turning in like clockwork for over a decade at that point) was attributed to the new art director.

    But to give them their due, they did make correction..

    Anyhow...speaking of blogs--

    The publisher of my Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels has launched a blog and they've posted excerpts from that book.

    Give 'em a look at this link if you've a mind to-

    http://www.everything.com/graphic-novels-the-beginning/

    JettaManDan
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    4/20/2009 8:14 AM
    for the OP - you can read the books out of order....they give a little blurb in the beginning that kind of recaps the main story - but the character developement is pretty linear....it might be a daunting task to start from the beginning and read them all as i have..but it has been a very enjoyable series and i look forward to every new one that comes out...
    Cerberus Man
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    4/20/2009 1:08 PM
    I recommend reading the first seven books, from Exile to Hell to Iceblood in order. Mark nails everything down in those novels and they almost comprise one extended epic storyline.

    It's a little easier to jump around after those seven books.
    "It's better to have a blaster and not need it than to need it and--" "Oh, spare me," Brigid said irritably. (Kane and Brigid Baptiste from Armageddon Axis)
    The Phantom
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    4/20/2009 8:21 PM
    I agree as well.

    One of the major elements of the beginning of the OL series is the characters discovering that there is so much more going on outside of their limited experience and knowlege of the world.
    There is so much mystery involved, and reading about the characters discovery of all the stuff that is going on is one of my favorite aspects of the first seven titles, and in book seven, that is when the beans really get spilled. An awesome start to the series best enjoyed reading first, and in order.

    Raboy
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    4/21/2009 12:14 PM
    Mark I always wondered if you planned for the 7 books to be the set up for the entire series since you established so much in them--the real story behind the redoubts and how the mat-trans units operated, why time travel couldn't work to keep the nukecaust from happening, the great stuff about the Tuatha da Danaan, the Anunnaki, who and what the gray aliens really were --not to mention the introduction of Sindri.

    That was a lot of ground to cover in 7 books!
    Jax2
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    4/21/2009 8:41 PM

    Yeah, with  ten years worth of hindsight, I guess it was indeed a lot of ground to cover.

    But, no--I didn't have a plan.

    As I've posted before, the original premise of Outlanders was set in contemporary times and was much more military-SF...it was actually startlingly close to what Stargate SG-1 evolved into, even though it predated SG-1's debut by a couple of years.

    However, all of the material I'd created for that first concept (called Major Arcana) eventually showed up in OL, from the interphaser to the Tuatha De Danaan to the Annunaki...even Colonel Thrush.

    It wasn't easy trying to force all of those elements into a postnuke setting (especially a posntuke setting as contradictory and often just plain silly as the DL one) but I tried to come up with explanations that although they weren't completely satisfactory, I could least live with.

    In some ways I viewed OL (and I guess even DL to some extent) as the sequel to Major Arcana...that OL came about because the original group of characters failed in their mission.

    But when I wrote them I didn't have in mind that those first seven books were all part of a single interconnected storyline, although in retrospect I can see they actually are.

    When I crammed all the Major Arcana material into a postnuke setting, it added layers of complications so I I had to spread out backstory and so forth over several books.

    I did intentionally create several continuing sub-plots that ran at least through the first 15 or so books--a practice I'd picked up from reading Marvel Comics when I was a kid.

    Since Outlanders was the only GE series written by one author at the time, that approach was a novelty.

    skullspliter
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    4/27/2009 4:38 PM
    After reading a couple books so far i like the series but i checked the books it seams they are putting in new aruthersif you mind was there a falling out (I'm sorry if these question have been answered.
    Ron Miles
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    4/27/2009 4:41 PM
    My understanding (and I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong): Although Mark Ellis has expressed an interest and willingness to write additional books in the Outlanders series, he has not been offered a new contract to do so since he completed Ghost Walk. That may or may not change in the future, only time will tell.
    "Sadly then I knew the answer. All her life she was a dancer, but no one ever played the song she knew." - The Residents
    Jax2
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    4/27/2009 6:12 PM

    Sorta correct...as far as it goes.

    I'm willing to discuss it.

    EZ-E
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    6/1/2009 3:18 AM
    Posted By Cerberus Man on 17 Apr 2009 11:39 AM
    Posted By EZ-E on 14 Apr 2009 12:00 PM Question is, will I be handicapped if I read the books in order but maybe skip a few in the process? Or should I get the missing books before proceeding to the next? Thanks for the feedback.

    I just noticed my question being transferred to the Outlanders forum. Thanks. I'm following the advice of the replies that I got.

    I just finished #7 (having only skipped #4 but it's ordered now). I've gotta say, Mark Ellis has created some excellent characters all around. Like any good story, the author must draw the reader in and make them take an active interest in their plights.

    Call me a freak but I'd rather tussle with Domi rather than Brigid.

    I now have 8-12 on hand which I will read in order. After those, I'll read "Children of the Serpent" on thru #44 which I also currently possess. Anybody see a problem with this approach? Will I miss out on any major developments by skipping from 13 to 33?

    I see that Jax2 is Mark Ellis. I'm glad to see that he has a continued interest in his works. Alan mentioned in one of his blogs that a writer must write to satisfy his self. Sure, there's truth in that but an author darn well better write for the fans as well if he wants bacon on the table. But I think both Alan and Mark have succeeded in doing both.

    I think perhaps the biggest reward in authoring books, especially a series with such cult followings, is the response from the readers. It seems that the publishers and editors both are unappreciative bureaucrats looking to turn a quick buck while treating the heart and soul of the projects, the authors, no better that a draft mule. Lots of respect out to you guys for the BS you've endured! And thanks for the hours of entertainment!

    p.s. It just dawned on me while reading OL7 that I've never noticed Israel being mentioned once in either DK or OL. This seems odd to me considering how Israel has always played a critical role in history and religion. Any feedback on this?

    Vic


    Daniel
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    6/1/2009 9:49 AM
    Posted By EZ-E on 01 Jun 2009 03:18 AM
    I now have 8-12 on hand which I will read in order. After those, I'll read "Children of the Serpent" on thru #44 which I also currently possess. Anybody see a problem with this approach? Will I miss out on any major developments by skipping from 13 to 33?




    Most definitely! 15 through 17 is the Imperator Wars trilogy (Doom Dynasty, Tigers of Heaven Purgatory Road) which introduces the character of Sam the Imperator.

    If you don't know who he is, then the revelations in Children of the Serpent won't make much sense.

    You should also read The Dragon Kings duology, Devil in the Moon and Dragoneye and even Talon and Fang.

    These are all books that relate directly to the core mythology of the series--also new characters and even new tech are added to OL.

    As you've seen so far, OL isn't as episodic as DL so it's not as easy to jump around the books at random. Unlike OL, things change...and the characters even change their clothes once in awhile!

    Llew32
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    6/1/2009 9:50 AM
    One thing I would really like to see is Mark creating a book of Major Acana to see what OL could have been w/o GE forcing the post nuke setting. Either in novelization form or as a graphic novel. I know there would have to be some change as Mark said he used a lot of plot/character info in OL, but I think it would still be very cool
    Daniel
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    6/2/2009 11:00 AM
    I agree--very cool!
    EZ-E
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    6/11/2009 1:21 PM
    Thanks for the tips, Daniel! I'll follow your advice. I actually picked up 15 copies I needed on ebay at a good price so I'll fill in the missing books and read the series in order. I have nearly all of them now, anyway.

    Outer Darkness is my favorite book so far. Of course, it wouldn't have made much sense if I hadn't read the previous books. But I can feel for Kane's desire to stay in a functional, ordered world. It was interesting to see the story play out with Col. Thrush. Of course, I was somewhat handicapped since I didn't read #4 until after #10 since I didn't get until later. But the story recaps itself well and I was pretty much filled in. Still, I have a big aversion to not reading the books in order since Mark Ellis has a linear approach to his story telling.

    There's zero doubt that I'm hooked on the story now. And, I can't believe that I'm saying this, it is actually much better than DLs. Gasp! Blasphemy!

    I was very disappointed, though, when I found out in book 4 that their universe is not our own. They have a time line that diverged from our own in the 1980's. Loved it when Dr. Tanner made his guest appearance, though! By the three Kennedy's, I mean it. My memory really kind of sux but didn't that scene mirror an identical one in a DLs book? It seems that it did.

    Now, a question to a writer. I'm an x-ray tech and, as one, I'm quite familiar with anatomic and positioning terms. The prone position is lying face down and supine is the opposite, face up. Yet, it seems that all authors use the terms interchangeably. For instance, in book 4, it is mentioned that in nearly all of the jumps, the transportee usually always ends up flat on their backs. In practically the next sentence, Mark refers to them in the prone position when they are really supinated. Yeah, it may sound anal but what can I say. 17 years in the field has conditioned my mindset. :þ So, prone just means recumbant, lying down to most?

    One more anal point. OK, you can slap me if you see me. But Mark made a thorough description of the radial artery where DeFore makes an injection. But, arteries are not used for injections, veins are.

    Dispite my minor criticisms, Mark Ellis is one of the most creative genius' that I have ever read. I love that guy!

    Thanks for the entertainment.
    The Phantom
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    6/11/2009 2:21 PM
    Posted By EZ-E on 11 Jun 2009 01:21 PM
    I was very disappointed, though, when I found out in book 4 that their universe is not our own. They have a time line that diverged from our own in the 1980's. Loved it when Dr. Tanner made his guest appearance, though! By the three Kennedy's, I mean it. My memory really kind of sux but didn't that scene mirror an identical one in a DLs book? It seems that it did.

    Yes you are correct. In Dark Emblem, the Outlander crew briefly showed up in a gateway, when Tanner showed up in the gateway in Omega Path.


    Cerberus Man
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    6/11/2009 3:42 PM
    The OL/DL universe can't be our own...I don't know about yours, but my January 20th, 2001 came and went without a single nuclear explosion.
    "It's better to have a blaster and not need it than to need it and--" "Oh, spare me," Brigid said irritably. (Kane and Brigid Baptiste from Armageddon Axis)
    EZ-E
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    6/11/2009 4:24 PM
    Tell me it ain't so!!

    Since the early books were written before then.........
    Raboy
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    6/11/2009 6:29 PM

    Actually if you read the forword to Pilgrimage to Hell its obvious the 'Axlerverse" and our own were never the same.

    And, I can't believe that I'm saying this, it is actually much better than DLs. Gasp! Blasphemy!

    Way back when on the first Axler board--not Rons'--them was fighting words!

    But most everybody who gave OL a fair chance came to the same conclusion.

    Dispite my minor criticisms, Mark Ellis is one of the most creative genius' that I have ever read.

    Agreed--too bad GE looks at that quality as a drawback and not an asset.

    Made it real hard to replace him with any old hack who needed to make a car payment!

    AP
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    6/11/2009 10:08 PM
    Posted By Raboy on 11 Jun 2009 06:29 PM .

    Agreed--too bad GE looks at that quality as a drawback and not an asset.

    Made it real hard to replace him with any old hack who needed to make a car payment!
    Uhh, you got it assbackwards. If GE looks at quality as a drawback, wouldn't it make it real EASY to replace him?

    And the really, really smart "old hacks" don't buy their cars on time; they buy them with cash from the HUGE lump sum advances.

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