Accessibility, in books.
Because the world is all the same. One of the themes of this site has been about accessibility in games, now the theme comes back even if I’m dealing with fantasy books.
From an interesting interview with Scott Bakker, on Steven Erikson:
Steve Erikson and I had a conversation about this very thing at the ICFA a couple of weeks ago. Both of us are building very tall series on narrow foundations simply because of the sheer complexity of our first books. My bold prediction is that Steve’s next series will be every bit as successful as A Song of Ice and Fire.
At first I was misled by the “very tall series on narrow foundations”, as it sounds as the first book wasn’t well planned enough to sustain a huge series (10 tomes, in the case of Erikson).
It probably means the opposite: they aimed too high with that first book, make it too complex and intricate, and so too dense for a lot of readers. For a series this long this means that you bleed a majority of readers soon, and only a very small group will stick to it and make to the end.
In fact in that interview Bakker says he should have simplified his book, reduce the introspection and the philosophical essays. Make it easier to read. More welcoming. More accessible.