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How do we deal with questions about rumors and release dates?

An example is: Future Malazan novels by Steven Erikson?

At first glance, I would argue that such questions should be off-topic for the following reasons:

  • Most likely, there IS no valid answer in the first place. Only rumors.

  • In rare cases when some actual info is present, it's usually in a trivial place (Amazon listing for the author, Wikipedia, author's or publisher's web site). Those "let me wiki that for you" questions are off topic.

  • In even rarer cases when there IS a non-trivial valid answer (e.g. a quote from an interview, a cite from something the author said at a convention), in most cases it will be 100% obsolete and useless very soon once the book is actually published.

If the community agrees with this logic, should this category be discussed on "What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic?" thread and/or added to FAQ?

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  • I think either there's no valid answer, or the valid answer is too localized, as it's "only relevant to a specific moment in time". Once the book in question is out, then it's not relevant. Maybe they would be on topic if reworded into a 'reading order' question, but for many series there's just one obvious reading order, the publication order. – user1027 Mar 19 '11 at 19:17
  • My personal internal conflict is how do we draw a sharp line between keeping questions like Are there any plans for a new Babylon 5 series or movies?, while at the same time disallowing questions that are quickly obsoleted and frankly uninteresting. – Mark Rogers Mar 19 '11 at 19:34
  • There's already a very similar question, so I closed yours as a duplicate. Feel free to contribute your opinion as an answer/comment/vote on that thread. – user56 Mar 19 '11 at 21:22
  • @Mark - If you DO want to draw a line, do it using the reverse logic of my "contra" arguments above. E.g. only allow the ones that pertain to sure-to-have-an-answer situation (e.g. there's a known fact/statement about the existence of future work); AND when the time-frame is significant enough to warrant not worrying about immediate obsolescence (e.g. known to be >=5 years to pick a random number). Also, the answer must be exact and non-trivial (the linked B5 question's answers are good examples of such, actually) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 20 '11 at 0:40
  • @Gilles - I will repost this as an answer, thanks! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 20 '11 at 0:45

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