I love fantasy, but fantasy series are kind of nefarious for some… problems.

Series that drag on to reach an arbitrary number, creating a number of filler books. (8/9/10 of a certain series comes to mind for “filler books” )

Series that keep going for so long and lose the thread, straight up making what happened in previous books seem silly and irrelevant.

Books that vary wildly in quality (book 10, shout out to you again)

Series that aren’t finished (GRRM fans, you might get your books if he lives long enough. King Killer chronicle fans… I’m sorry, but the author is dead even if the man remains).

I just really wanna try a bunch of fantasy standalone novels from different authors. But I can’t for the life of me find a website that’ll let me do that. Amazon will say after clicking on it “book 1 of x”, so like the information is there, but I can’t find any website that let’s me search for it. I can find websites that list like “Top x standalone novels of the year” but those are usually really click baity.

“Finished series only” filter would be sick as well.

Anyone have any ideas?

    • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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      3 months ago

      gasp

      And there are even recommended tag mashes for different genres! I have found my people who have been similarly hurt by picking up a book that they thought was a standalone, then running right into a cliff hanger wall and an unfinished series.

      • mbfalzar@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        3 months ago

        I also am glad to have this tool but am responding to you in particular to find out what the certain book series is where 8/9/10 are filler novels, because I hate read things sometimes

            • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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              3 months ago

              Spot on!

              I remember in middle school when I was given the series I was hooked after reading the first book!

              Then as I was getting more through the series it was more a sense of stubborn wanting to see it through than anything.

              • Starfarer@lemmy.today
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                3 months ago

                I tired reading it and just couldn’t get into it at all. Which is a shame because I’ve heard good things

                • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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                  3 months ago

                  By not falling in love with book 1 you saved yourself some pain, so don’t fret too much.

        • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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          3 months ago

          If you google “which wheel of time can I skip” you will find many discussions about it.

          You’ll also find fan edits where for a ton of chapters are skipped and instead gives a small update of anything important that happened.

          Famously, despite women being incredibly powerful and it having tons of female characters that talk to one another, he gives a lot of them quirks that get brought up all the time.

  • xmunk@sh.itjust.works
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    3 months ago

    In case you haven’t already read him Terry Pratchett has some excellent works and while in theory the books are set in the same universe… in practice they’re all stand alone novels. I’d suggest starting with Guards! Guards!

    • Alex
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      3 months ago

      There are even some reading guides depending on what sub-genre you are interested in if you don’t want to read the whole cannon. They all standalone pretty well though.

  • Apytele@sh.itjust.works
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    3 months ago

    The library of congress no doubt envies Archive of Our Own’s tag system. Say what you will about fanfiction but they have filters for literally all of this and more. I know it’s probably not what you’re looking for, but man if it was!

    • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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      3 months ago

      Haha my gf reads fan fiction and I do get jealous!

      She can do “cozy platonic, slow burn” with any 3 characters in a story and she’ll get a perfect list as if it’d been hand curated for her despite it being a seemingly insane thing to look for.

      Like how come I can’t just click on good reads " finished series only" but she can find a list of all stories where the main characters have been turned into cats and snuggle up together???

      • Apytele@sh.itjust.works
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        3 months ago

        Could you imagine if someone made a search engine that just filtered mainstream shows by tvtropes tags? AND does the dog die’s content warning database???

        Maybe try some fanfiction though. There’s a LOT of fanfiction written to create an ending for a series that never got one. The media will be different (although fanART is a thing too). Even if you’re worried about writing quality (hey, we were all 12 year old aspiring writers at one point) you can find some absolutely gripping stories. Force Over Distance completely fixed Stargate Universe for me. It was also super gay and had a bunch of University level math that may have been complete horseshit for all my dumb ass would know, but other than that was almost disturbingly faithful to the source material.

        Those were kinda upsides for me personally but the cool thing about fanfiction is that you do whatever you want over there we’re all just gonna mind our business in-LOL no there’s removed fights over on tumblr every other fucking hour over shit that’s either completely dumb or wildly terrifying and most of those fights are about which popular media characters are legally/physically able to and/or should hold hands.

        Anyway I’m extremely picky (even with smut), but sorting by kudos and only reading the first two or three for a smaller Fandom (more for a bigger one obvs) has never done me dirty when I want a particularly engaging read. This isn’t to dig on other styles or skill levels of writing; there’s many different reasons and ways to write, and many ways that people get better at writing over time. But also I get that feeling of just wanting to smash your way through a 20 book series. The dopamine high is exquisite.

  • 🦄🦄🦄@feddit.de
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    3 months ago

    King Killer chronicle fans… I’m sorry, but the author is dead even if the man remains

    wtf happened?

    • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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      3 months ago

      Fans who follow more closely can correct me if I’m wrong, but…

      The author streams and does events, but hasn’t given any updates in a long time. He did a fund raiser where a goal was releasing the first chapter of his next book, which he supposedly has been working on since 2011, and he never did despite meeting the goal. Sure feels like despite supposedly working on it for 2011 he hasn’t even made a draft of the opening chapter.

      Additionally, his previous editors and publisher have said they haven’t seen any indication he is working on them at all. So it doesn’t seem like he’s agonizing over revision 512 and still not happy with it. Seems like he just never made a first draft.

  • yesman@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Lots of times you can ‘one and done’ a series. Dune comes to mind as a great novel on it’s own even if you ignore the rest of the series.

    But I understand what you mean. The only time I’ve been glad to read an entire series was Kings “Gunslinger”.

    • ericbomb@lemmy.worldOP
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      3 months ago

      My Canon ends with Dune so thats a good point!

      Most people only care about the first book though, so I’m not special there.