Open Thread: Unfinished Work

(by chris the cynic)

Short version:

Are there unfinished works that interest or intrigue you?  Ones that frustrate you?  Ones of your own you’d like to say something about?

Long version:

As November comes to a close, many of those who participated in National Novel Writing Months will find that instead of producing a full novel in a month they’ve produced an unfinished work in a month.  Unfinished work is nothing new.

Vergil never finished the Aeneid.  While he reached the end, there are places in it where he put in placeholder lines that he could tell at a glance were things he’d have to come back to, and he probably intended to revise the whole thing one last time after all of the placeholders had been replaced by completed verse.  He died before he got the chance.

Giovanni Villani of Florence, a historian, also found his work cut short by mortality.  He died of the Black Death in the middle of a sentence about the Black Death.

Book series of a certain length are prone to suffering author existence failure as well.

Other unfinished works are things that were simply shelved or abandoned.  Check a fan-fiction site if you want to find thousands upon thousands collected in one place.

TV series also often meet this fate without anyone needing to die.  How, one wonders, would John Doe, Surface, seaQuest, Nowhere Man, The Pretender, Sliders, Invasion, Lois and Clark, V: The Series, Earth 2, The Dead Zone, VR 5, Forever Knight, Kyle XY, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Mork and Mindy, Space: Above and Beyond, and [so many animated shows one could never hope to capture the scope by making an overly long list of excepts] have ended?

With unfinished works appearing throughout our world (though my examples have been somewhat chris-culture-centric) you probably have some thoughts related to them.  Are any of those thoughts ones you might share?  Because here is the place to do so.

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

2 thoughts on “Open Thread: Unfinished Work

  1. christhecynic November 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I have stuff to say, but my computer currently is without power and I left the cord somewhere else.

    I remember Earth 2 and VR 5 hitting particularly hard. Especially VR 5. You can’t just end like that. You can’t.

    Anyway, when my computer has charge again because I have cord again expect me to come back to this and say something more meaningful.

  2. lonespark42 November 30, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Space: Above and Beyond OMG!

    Legend of Korra isn’t unfinished but is known to have suffered from changed timelines.

    I know that happens to lots of shows but I’m usually not aware of it. I think Oz got an extra season and managed to have several unsatisfying endings. Also BSG had weird pacing things partly due to that but perhaps mostly due to other things…

    My friend has been doing work on Tolkien and related material like Volsung Saga, and there are zillions of things where it would be so amazing to have a finished version, or a few more versions, or a reference to Thing X in a particular version of the story…

    Then of course the tragedy where we know of myths, stories, folklore, etc. due to references in other works, but the story/character/piece of lore seems lost.

    And it would have been cool if the Hitchiker’s Guide series had a different conclusion…

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