Lightning out of the Bottle
Sequels signal a good original Good enough, anyway, to warrant more. Sequels to great originals disappoint more often. Regression to the mean plays a part; you can’t expect to catch lightning twice. And maybe, maybe, the great original makes it too easy. Why stretch? Why change the formula? How can you improve it? Just as in sports it’s hard to repeat, to find the fire, so to in arts, even the low arts. Today I finished two sequels to great originals and in both cases I held an empty bottle devoid of lightning.
Avengers 2 — Avengers is probably the greatest superhero movie. This seemed like a Frankenstein monster, stitched together out of spare parts, every part except the heart.
Echopraxia — Blind Sight is the greatest hard SF of the century (young as it is). A stunning original work (that you can read online for free). I couldn’t make hide nor hair of this, even though it had the same theme set in the same world.
Ah well, I’m thankful that lightning struck once, I suppose.