Home > Creativity, Literature > Gap series book titles question answered

Gap series book titles question answered

A little while ago I submitted the following question to Stephen R Donaldson via his website:

What made you decide to give each book of the Gap series two titles (or a title and a subtitle)? It’s quite unusual for novels to be subtitled like that – was there anything you drew inspiration from for that? And what was the attitude of your editor/publisher to it?

Thanks.

The Gap series is gripping space opera of five books:

  • The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story
  • The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge
  • The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises
  • The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order
  • The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die

Stephen Donaldson just answered:

I did almost the same thing with the “Mordant’s Need” books. My intent was to let my readers know that there was more than one book to the story (without going through endless repetitions of Book One, Book Two, etc.). And in the case of the GAP books, I also wanted to suggest the progress of the themes from book to book. The technique is actually fairly common: for example, my edition of “Lord of the Rings” uses it. My editors/publishers had no objection–although my UK publishers have felt compelled to attach numbers to the paperbacks.

Source: Stephen R Donaldson Official Website.

Actually, I don’t quite get his answer. This is from the Wikipedia entry on The Lord of the Rings:

For publication, the book was divided into three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring (Books I, The Ring Sets Out, and II, The Ring Goes South,) The Two Towers (Books III, The Treason of Isengard, and IV, The Ring Goes East,), and The Return of the King (Books V, The War of the Ring, and VI, The End of the Third Age, plus six appendices).

Each subdivision (volume, book, chapter) of TLotR has a separate title, but my point was that each whole volume in the Gap sequence has two titles (I don’t count ‘Book I’ to be a meaningful title).

Oh, well. I have another couple of questions for Stephen Donaldson waiting to be answered. We’ll see what comes of them.

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