Hey, What Happened to Our Favorite Spin-Off Series?


I’ve got high hopes for the After Earth fiction that we’re starting to see pop up from Random House. It’s a lot of fun, and a series based on a  far future, post-apocalyptic setting sounds like my kind of bag. (YEAH, BABY, YEAAAH!)

Franchise fiction, or “spin-off” novels, get short shrift in some literary corners. Heck if I know why. Seems like it takes an awful lot of creativity to be able to get inside the head of another creative person and create convincingly within the parameters of the world they created. I’ve had the great pleasure to have known a number of writers who largely write franchise fiction, and they’re some of the hardest working, nose-to-the-grindstone, dependably creative people I know.

Sometimes these writers get lucky and work on series that turn into pop culture phenomenons –Star Wars and Doctor Who, for example – and sometimes they don’t. Maybe the books are well-written, but for some reason or another, they die on the vine shortly after whatever movie or TV show they’re inspired by does. I remember quite a few that I liked, including The X-Files and Millennium novels, two franchises that weren’t able to support their fiction children.

Do you remember any fantastic fiction series that were based on movies, television or games that died untimely deaths? What were they? How do you think that they could have continued?