Some of these series are more like one book scattered over three or more volumes (the George R. R. Martin, Sarah Ash and Lois McMaster Bujold books fit this definition) and some are more episodic in nature, where the characters' interactions and growth spread over the volumes but each book has its own story (the Rachel Caine book and Jim Butcher's Dead Beat fit this definition).
But no matter the type, I like series'. I like to feel attached to characters. I like to feel like I'm getting to know them slowly, like they are real people. I like knowing that a problem isn't a simple one, that it can't be resolved overnight or in a few pages. I like characters that are larger than life enough that I can believe that they really can save the world but that they are also realistic enough that I feel like I recognize them as real people (or people who could be real). So often in romance novels or in one-shot stories I feel like I am only getting a glimpse of characters or of the world they live in. And in anything fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal, feeling like the world is complete and that you are immersed in it is an absolute necessity.
Here are a few of the series titles that I am waiting for:
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Roc, May 3rd
Book 7 of the Dresden Files
My husband and I are both addicted to this series about Harry Dresden, wizard and detective. We fight over the books every time a new one comes out.
The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
Eos, June 1st
Third in the Chalion series
The first book, The Curse of Chalion, was nominated for both the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award, and the second book, Paladin of Souls, won the Hugo. Excellent fantasy series from the author of the Vorkosigan series.
Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison
HarperTorch, June 28th
Third in the Rachel Morgan/Hollows series
Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
Ace, July 5th
Book 2 of the Codex Alera
Origin in Death by J. D. Robb
Putnam, July 12th
21st in the In Death series (24th if you count the anthologies and Remember When)
I love this series. I don't always read them right away. Sometimes I read the hardcover from the library and wait to buy the paperback for my collection (I figure Nora will live without ALL of my money). But I always read them.
Afterburn by S. L. Viehl
Roc, August 2nd
Sequel to Bio-Rescue
Viehl is a favorite author. I picked up Blade Dancer at the bookstore in a browsing session and LOVED it. It remains one of my favorite books. Then I went back and glommed all of her StarDoc books, which I also loved. I've got If Angels Burn waiting.
Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon
Del Rey, August 30th (MMPB release)
Sequel to Trading in Danger
This actually came out in hardcover in September, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Moon writes a combination of military and adventure sci-fi that mostly focuses on women who are forced to reinvent themselves and their own ideas about themselves.
Chasing Fire by Michelle M. Welch
Spectra, September 27th
Third after Confidence Game and The Bright and the Dark
A fantasy world reminiscent of 17th-century Europe, with both magic and gunpowder, a rarity in fantasy.
Children of the Serpent Gate by Sarah Ash
Spectra, September 27th
Book 3 of the Tears of Artamon
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
Spectra, December 30th
Fourth in the A Song of Ice and Fire series
The pub date for this one keeps getting changed because Martin isn't finished with it yet. Book 3 came out way back in Oct 2000, which means it will be over FIVE YEARS of waiting, but I guess that's okay. I just REALLY want to read this book.