Katharine Kerr August 31st, 2006
Yet another voice from the grave — someone found the outline and some notes for a novel Heinlein never wrote, and now Spider Robinson has written it.Â Â For all I know, VARIABLE STAR might be a really good book, but I’ll wager that the publisher wasn’t thinking about its quality when they set the project in motion.Â Â Lately there have been a number of these “dead writer speaks” projects, such as the new “Sanditon” and the pseudo-Sayers THRONES, POWERS, AND DOMINATIONS.Â Â
Â To me, these are different from the continuations of classic series, such as Sherwood’s Oz books, which are going to be much much better than the originals, or the “Endless Dune” series, which at least aren’t any worse than the orginal sequels were.Â When someone creates a world, like Oz or Dune, one can make a case for settingÂ new stories within it, assuming the author agrees — or his/her heirs do.Â Â I have no doubt that Baum would agree, because he was a deeply commercial writer who wrote Oz to entertain others and make himself money.Â Â Â Herbert — IÂ dunno.
But this “new” Heinlein was meant to be a stand-alone, as was SANDITON.Â Austen had ambitions for her work well beyond the entertainment level.Â Sayers’ work deepened with every Peter Wimsey she wrote, but TPD is not a deep book.Â Â I see these as a differentÂ kind of publisher-driven projects.Â I don’t like them, for reasons that might be irrational.Â Â I do know that I’m going to leave instructions to my literary executor to burn all my papers and wipe my hard disk when I die.Â Â (Kevin,Â take note!)Â Â I don’t want my name on any book that I haven’t had the chance to edit, revise, and polish to my (probably low anyway) standards.
How do others feel about this?