Dead Men Tell Tales

The New York Times looks at Ludlum and other dead authors who continue to (sorta) release books. This isn’t new; in recent years we’ve seen post-Frank Herbert Dune and other Asimov/Robots books. John Gardner and others have been writing James Bond books for a while now. But as media continues to talk about “brands” and (ugh) “franchises” then I guess this is what we’re in for. It’s easier to sell (and buy) something that is already known that break through with something new. Movies into games. Games into movies. Sequels. Prequels. Remakes. The book people may just be getting started.

Whether it is fair to readers to publish the Ludlum books posthumously – in the form of spruced-up old manuscripts or new novels written by others – is not a serious concern to the estate or to Grand Central Publishing, the former Warner Books, where the rights to all new novels moved from St. Martin’s Press.

“I don’t think anyone objects as long as you maintain the quality of the book,” Mr. Morrison said. “The Sherlock Holmes novels have been a business since ‘The Seven-Percent Solution,’ and some have been better than others. It’s the characters that interest people.”


About Steve