Readers of this blog may be aware that I’m very fond of David Drake’s RCN (Royal Cinnabar Navy) series, and its main characters, Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy. If you only have time to read one Napoleonic naval series set in space, read this one.
(I like Honor Harrington well enough, but if you’ve already read Pern, Hornblower, and the Life of Nelson, you don’t really need to read them all mixed together. Besides, this one’s shorter.)
But the problem is that Drake is not shy about the debt his series owes to the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O’Brien. In turn, the Aubrey-Maturin books did owe a little something to the Hornblower series.
Can we say “disastrous marriages”? I knew you could.
Meanwhile, Drake points out that the next RCN book (due out in September of 06) is “quite different from earlier volumes in the series”. Then the sample chapters at Jiltanith start having Daniel meet a nice, smart, respectable girl from a naval family… with a rather unforgiving mother. Both of whom seem to be on the catch for Daniel. Neither of whom seem to be the type to understand Adele, but both of whom seem capable of driving poor Adele into a murderous rage. Or at least making her, like, ruin her life and stuff.
So that’s the problem. We’re getting to the point in the series when Aubrey, Maturin, and Hornblower all met exactly the wrong woman, and had their lives made miserable for years as a result. I don’t really want to read about that.
But I will, of course. I’ll want to read about Daniel Leary whatever Drake does… but I’ll just whine about it a lot. A lot. Sigh.
See, I really do want my favorite authors to stretch themselves, and I really do trust them when they do so. But I also really hope that those series I like will continue to develop in ways that I like. There’s no way to guarantee that I’ll get anything I want, of course. But mostly, I really want them to continue to be writers I respect, both as artists and human beings. I truly wish them well, and I am glad to use my cash to help support them.
However, David Drake also has a new Isles book coming out next month. I’m all in favor of that since it’s the antepenultimate volume and Serious Plot is guaranteed to occur. Also, he’s coming to Books & Co. on his book tour, so I’ll be conveniently able to moan, groan, pone and swear undying loyalty to the man himself. (Assuming he doesn’t put a restraining order on me before then….) If he’s coming to your area, I highly recommend going to see him. He’s an interesting character in himself.
(And for all you Latin fans in St. Blog’s, don’t forget the man’s a really gifted student of the classics.)