Next time you are in Powell's and see volumes 3 and 4 of the series of books you've brought to bring along on your trip sitting on the shelf...remember what it was like to go from Borders to Borders on a futile hunt for number 3, okay?
For the record, I have an interesting relationships with Stephen Baxter's books. I was first introduced to him while reading a collaboration he did with the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, and quickly sought out more. I read The Time Ships in...oh, within a day and a half or so (having not yet read The Time Machine, to which it is the only authorized sequel).
I now own the majority of his books.
(Also, can I just say that I love the way that page is laid out? Separated by series, with the books' covers shown in series order below? Awesome, Mr. Baxter or webmaster.)
The funny thing is, I often have to start a book two or three times to be sucked in. Once I am, I'm left devouring whole books in a matter of hours -- but that doesn't always happen on the first attempt.
That's what happened with book 1 of the series I referenced above. I'd read part of Emperor but stopped -- which is funny, because I've currently been on the look-out for good alternate history fiction.
Note "good." That's, apparently, more difficult than it seems.
Anyway, on the trip, I started reading Emperor one night when we stopped kind of early. By the end of the trip, I was two third of the way through book 2, and began to look for book 3.
Yeah, every store I went to had book 4...but no book three.
It's now been ordered from Amazon, but still...