The “Spin off” Books

The “Spin off” Books

My many thanks to Doug Feldmann for sending me this, and to everyone who writes.

There are many more inconsistencies than you have pointed out. I can’t
think of specifics, but if you felt like it you could probably go through
many different books and find spots where characters pay for rooms, food,
and supplies with some copper. Then you’ll find books where a mug of ale
costs steel. You aren’t the only person to notice these things. For this
reason many people do not read any of the “spin-off” books. Some even
include “Dragons of Summer Flame” in this category.

The thing is, you must realize that each author has a different
perspective of the world.

Every person that reads the series has a slightly different perspective.
For instance you, like many people, seem to consider Caramon to lack
intelligence. This isn’t the case, as I believe Weis points out
specifically in Soulforge. He is not stupid, but he is also is not always
quick thinking. He first demonstrates this in Xak Tsaroth when he convinces
Flint to come along with the Gully Dwarves. The reason you rarely notice is
because in the Chronicles Caramon is rarely forced to think for himself. He
can use his charm and his arm to deal with almost everything. This will
cause a glaring inconsistency if an author of a spin-off portrays Caramon as
a muscle-bound idiot. I personally would find this far more irritating than
the fact that Flint probably never actually set foot in the tower of the
sun(as he is supposedly did in Kindred Spirits).

However, what I find to be the much more troubling inconsistency is that
the relationship between Flint and Solostaran becomes such that, when Flint
meets the Speaker in Autumn Twilight, The Speaker would definitely have
acknowledged the dwarf had Kindred Spirits been true. However, in the
Defense of Kindred Spirits, it is a good hypothesis of the relationship
between Flint and Tanis. The relationship between Tanis and Laurana is also
very well done. And, most importantly, it was a fun story to read when I
was 13 or 14. Now it leaves me a little disappointed though. It doesn’t
have the magic of the Weis and Hickman books.

Before I continue I must say that I do not intend to slight any of the
authors of the secondary DragonLance books. Most of them probably did not
even help in it’s original creation and face a daunting task in creating a
story that remains true to the series, yet is exciting enough to keep
readers reading. There is probably where the problem lies. Spin-off books
are written based primarily on the demand of the readers and the desire of
the publisher to make more money. The books will sell regardless of how
good they are, so authors are probably pressured a lot more to finish books
in a timely fashion. This creates a problem when it comes to consistency.
Weis and Hickman probably don’t have time or desire to sit down with every
author and discuss at length details about shapeshifting elves. Authors
probably rely more on AD&D than input from Weis and Hickman. This is why
Flint has infravision in Kindred Spirits but not in the Chronicles. I would
bet you could probably trace many inconsistencies this way, because Weis and
Hickman did not restrict themselves to AD&D rules. Elves are taller and
don’t live for a 1000 years. Dwarves don’t have Infravision (I don’t think
the Dewar even had it). Gnomes are different, and kender, well… exist.

My advice is to treat the spin-off books as hypothetical events that can
be valued for the plot if not it’s place in the world of Krynn. But of
course, though _I_ consider my perspective to be better than yours, I’m
certainly not God, so feel free to disagree with me as much as you like.
It’s quite probable that I have misunderstood your viewpoints (as I believe
other Authors have misunderstood Weis and Hickman’s).

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Last modified on October 18, 2009