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April 14, 2011 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Fans of George RR Martin's "The Song of Ice and Fire" series are eagerly awaiting "A Dance With Dragons", the next book. This anticipation has led to hostility from some fans as to Martin's work ethic and the manner in which he spends his personal time.
posted by reenum (206 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Absolute Fucker.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope none of them have read King's Misery
posted by jtron at 9:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.
posted by Artw at 9:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [29 favorites]


I read this article and decided I needed to read this series based on the comments and reviews of his first book. Then I went to the book store and flipped through it and wasn't so sure it was for me. The only book of this style I've ever liked was the Baroque Cycle from Neal Stephenson. Anyone want to hazard a guess if I should give this book a try?
posted by vito90 at 9:56 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


He needs to stop wasting his time gallivanting around Hollywood with Sean Bean and get back to the SERIOUS BUSINESS of getting Doc Tachyon back on Earth. The Jokertown Clinic needs him!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:57 AM on April 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Shouldn't this post include the forthcoming HBO adaptation of "A Game of Thrones?"

Which, btw, looks fucking awesome. If you have HBO on Demand, check out the 15 minute preview.
posted by gagglezoomer at 9:58 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.

Neil Gaiman approved this message.
posted by Fizz at 9:59 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Vito, at this point I would just check out the first episode of the HBO series and see if you like it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:59 AM on April 14, 2011


Haven't there been other posts with articles on this topic before? Not that this is a double, but man, I don't know which is more tiresome - the whiners or the analysts of the whiners. I realize this is really a profile piece more than anything, but it's not super complicated that haters gonna hate.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2011


The only book of this style I've ever liked was the Baroque Cycle from Neal Stephenson.

I'm a fan of both, but there's no world in which I'd call The Baroque Cycle and A Song of Ice and Fire the same style. They're both long and not set in the present-day of the real world - that's about as far as I can go.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2011


Boo hoo for you, GRRM 'fans.' you should have had to wait years for Lyonnesse III, and yes it was worth it.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:01 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm actually kind of tempted by the HBO show, even though I've avoided the books as the covers clearly indicate it'll be elves and wizards and that.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on April 14, 2011


previous-ly...
posted by kliuless at 10:02 AM on April 14, 2011


I feel that the release of Chinese Democracy was a great blow to the world of internet snark with regards to complaining about late things.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on April 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


Martin was unflaggingly attentive to his supplicants, including the couple who asked him to pose for a photograph with their infant daughter, who was named Daenerys, for one of his heroines.

Won't someone please think of the children?
posted by zarq at 10:03 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I read this article and decided I needed to read this series based on the comments and reviews of his first book. Then I went to the book store and flipped through it and wasn't so sure it was for me. The only book of this style I've ever liked was the Baroque Cycle from Neal Stephenson. Anyone want to hazard a guess if I should give this book a try?


Absolutely check out this series. It will blow you away. One reason I enjoy his series is because no one is safe. Fantasy writers often fall in love with their characters and then proceed to over-use them to the point that they become dull and boring. Martin will craft a character you love implicitly and then proceed to murder that individual. I love that he is so ruthless and that it's the story that takes importance as opposed to just a character that fans are in love with.
posted by Fizz at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is why, once I start finishing and publishing my novels, I'm going immediately into Pynchonesque hiding. That way when people start complaining about how much material I'm getting out, I can act like I'm not listening.
posted by penduluum at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like his writing very much, but what's up with the entitlement?
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2011



I'm actually kind of tempted by the HBO show, even though I've avoided the books as the covers clearly indicate it'll be elves and wizards and that.


No elves, the dwarf is a midget, very little magic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, some real nerds on the internet, huh?

/goes back to watching Starcraft II playthroughs.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


Did the New Yorker editor really accept a sentence like "his readership will likely multiply exponentially after the launch"?
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


That's a Metafilter tagline if I ever heard one, furiousxgeorge.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this hostility different from the last update on their impatience?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:08 AM on April 14, 2011


George R.R. Martin: Fantasy blueballer
posted by Authorized User at 10:09 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this hostility different from the last update on their impatience?

This time it's in the New Yorker, which means now your dad knows about it.
posted by theodolite at 10:09 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I read this article and decided I needed to read this series based on the comments and reviews of his first book. Then I went to the book store and flipped through it and wasn't so sure it was for me. The only book of this style I've ever liked was the Baroque Cycle from Neal Stephenson. Anyone want to hazard a guess if I should give this book a try?

Neal and George both have a similar weakness...they don't know how to wrap up their stories. I recommended the books to my friends and family, all of whom are pissed off that he hadn't finished the next book...and it's been years.

An easy read, and I think it's worth it, although his last book was tough to get through as he was pressured by the publishers to change his style. Now that we have a ship date on the new book, it's time to read the whole series...do yourself a favor if you like Fantasy. It's nothing like The Baroque Cycle, though, which is more like historical fiction than Fantasy.
posted by Chuffy at 10:09 AM on April 14, 2011


I can sort of understand the attitude. I listen to a podcast where one of the personalities on it is a programmer, and a couple years ago, he hinted about a project he was going to undertake, and the way he described it made it seem like this was going to be a great program to have. Well, time marches on, and he gets involved with other projects, and he keeps saying that he'll start coding the new, great project once he's done with this or that. The new program has yet to be written, and since the program involves encryption, there was talk on Capitol Hill about how they were going to introduce legislation that would add requirements to him as a provider of this software that he's morally opposed to. In the end, the project will probably never get off the ground, and is total vaporware.

That said, while I resent the fact that he introduced this need in me for something I didn't think I needed, and now is refusing to satisfy it, I don't think I'd go to the lengths of criticizing how he spends his free time.
posted by crunchland at 10:11 AM on April 14, 2011


This time it's in the New Yorker, which means now your dad knows about it.

*Note: Only valid if your dad smokes a pipe.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:12 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm kinda reluctant to start up Game of Thrones again because at his current rate of production and his general crappy health it seems like we are being setup for another Jordan/Sanderson scenario where another writer finishes his vision of the series.

It's making me exceedingly reluctant to commit to anymore doorstop fiction series where the author is intent on making a zillion volumes before wrapping up the storyline. I'd much rather the authors commit to trilogies which can be followed with additional trilogies in the same universe and even using the same characters but I'm beginning to suspect that if a plot can't be resolved in 3 500+ page tomes it shouldn't be written in the first place.

I'll watch the HBO series if only because there is a distinct lack of good fantasy series on TV right now and while Camelot is entertaining in a popcorn movie manner it's hardly awe-inspiring.
posted by vuron at 10:14 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


To quote Bob Dylan: "Just because you like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you anything".
posted by octothorpe at 10:14 AM on April 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm actually a big fantasy fan and I DON'T like Song of Ice and Fire. It drags too much for me (and I read the Battle of Waterloo parts of Les Mis ... verily, I am patient). I have some other complaints I've discussed at length with some friends who are fans, but a lot of it is just matters of taste in storytelling. Which is fine, that's why there's a whole marketplace of stories out there. But shhh, don't admit to other fantasy fans you don't like GRRM, it's a good way to make strangers shout invective at you.

But seriously, fanbois (in the article), RELAX. Books take time. Writers get blocked. People have lives. I have a friend who won't read any series until it's finished for exactly this reason. (Not even Harry Potter! I admired his restraint and willingness to be exposed to spoilers!) We've all had to wait for sequels that seem to take too long ... have a little charity, geez.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:16 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


i visited the haters' forum and holy shit these people care a lot about some elves
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:16 AM on April 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


You know, what is lol is that Stephen King finished The Dark Tower after 26 years, and now he has decided that it wasn't finished after all and he is working on another book. That is what is lol.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:17 AM on April 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


When I buy into a series I expect, sales permitting, for it to be finished. I wouldn't buy the first book if I didn't expect it because half finished stories suck. That kind of feels like an implied social contract to me.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:19 AM on April 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


So the first book was published in 1996. The fifth book will be out this year, 2011. That's five books in fifteen years, which means it has taken him an average of three years to finish each book. (I realize that there have been five-year gaps between publication of some of the books.)

Damn! I've just written some half-assed computer books, and it took me over a year to finish each one. I can't imagine how long it would take me to invent a complex fantasy world and write novels set in those world. I'd be lucky if I finished ONE book in fifteen years.

What do people expect? I don't read a lot of fantasy, other than Martin's books, which I really love. Have hack writers gotten fantasy fans used to being about to read new installments every three months or something?
posted by grumblebee at 10:20 AM on April 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Actuallly, the dwarf is a dwarf.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:20 AM on April 14, 2011


You know, what is lol is that Stephen King finished The Dark Tower after 26 years

What are you talking about there is only one book in that series, and it is called The Gunslinger, and it isn't a series, it is only the one book, the end.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:21 AM on April 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


Entitlement, you say?
posted by ODiV at 10:22 AM on April 14, 2011 [20 favorites]


Well, grumblebee, we have been waiting for "Revenge of the After Effects" for quite a long time... What the hell are you doing posting messages here on Metafilter? Get to work!
posted by crunchland at 10:23 AM on April 14, 2011


King seemed like he rushed the final 3 books of the Dark Tower series in the grip of some sort of existential angst, like he was genuinely concerned if he didn't finish them in that short space of time he's die before they were finished.

Unfortunately that seems to have really impacted the final three books and IMHO really reduced their value. It's like he lost track of who the characters are and what they were trying to say and just spewed a bunch of random stuff as a conclusion. Plus the "ending" ugh!

Needless to say he seems less concerned with immediately dying and probably less and less content with the final 3 books of what seems like a very personal story and wants to revise the series significantly.
posted by vuron at 10:24 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


@ODiV

Oh dear god. Thanks. I'm officially quitting the internet.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:25 AM on April 14, 2011


Notch gets the same shit over minecraft, too.

I mean look at this shit.

Fans are fucking crazy.
posted by empath at 10:27 AM on April 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


When I buy into a series I expect, sales permitting, for it to be finished. I wouldn't buy the first book if I didn't expect it because half finished stories suck. That kind of feels like an implied social contract to me.

I don't agree with this at all. A large number of first books hold up much better than those that follow and stand perfectly fine on their own. To be honest, a significant amount of them might have held up even better without seeing the series finished.
posted by ODiV at 10:27 AM on April 14, 2011


I read the first two books, waited for the third one. When it came out I realized I didn't remember enough of the first two.

I don't want to reread the whole series each three-to-five years, and I can't remember what's going on otherwise. So I'm just patiently waiting until he's done before I read them all. If something unfortunate happens to him (such as getting pissed off at all the people telling how to live his live and quitting writing forever) and it's clear the series will never finish, fine - I don't mind reading an unfinished series - endings are rarely satisfactory. But I do mind rereading O(N2) books.
posted by aubilenon at 10:30 AM on April 14, 2011


I'm still waiting for:
A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin
A Method for Madness, the next book in David Gerrold's "War Against the Chtorr" series
The Last Dangerous Visions, Harlan Ellison
a paper on why C++ sucks that Eric Raymond claimed he was working on
and probably other stuff that doesn't immediately spring to mind...

It won't kill me if none of these ever appears. On the other hand, I think that if you raise your fans' expectations by saying you're going to do something, then unless you literally cannot do it, you should do it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:31 AM on April 14, 2011


It's not a story with elves and wizards and dwarves. Okay, there is a dwarf yes, but, he's a person with dwarfism, not a mythological creature. Nor is he characterized according to the typical fantasy dwarf trope. He's a human dude, with a sex life and a brilliant mind and I love him just a little. More than a little.

But I digress. I stopped reading Jordan's series and I won't pick it up again until it's done (next year they say??). But I don't know if I can hold out on this series. I also agree with Odiv, that you can enjoy at least the first book without feeling regret over the series not being done. It's possible and I've done it (well I've read more than that), but not everyone can.
posted by Danila at 10:31 AM on April 14, 2011


Does anyone sit down and sing a sing about gold?
posted by Artw at 10:32 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm glad I'm a fan of Pratchett.
posted by Pendragon at 10:32 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was just about to say that this sounds exactly like a typical discussion of Minecraft. Exhibit B, a 217-comment Reddit thread.
posted by teraflop at 10:33 AM on April 14, 2011


I gave up waiting for Buckaroo Banzai Versus The World Crime League a loooooooooooong time ago.

Not seeing that didn't make Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension any less fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on April 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


IMHO the main issue behind the fans being so pissed is not that he's late with the next book or that he's been doing other stuff, it's that he's been promising that the next book will be out Real Soon Now for 6 years. A Feast For Crows was later than expected and he said that the reason was that it was twice as big as the previous books. No problem, he was just going to split it in two and publish the second part in a few months. A year later he said it would be ready in a few months. A bit later he said that he had trashed everything, started over again, but was making great progress and it would soon be ready. At the beginning of 2009 he said that there was a good chance it would be done by June. Two years later it looks like me might actually get a book.

That's what gets me. It's not just that the book is late (although, yeah, that's part of it), it's that he has repeatedly said that it's nearly done only to prove that it wasn't nearly done.

(Plus I think there is a very good chance that he's lost control of the story and doesn't know where to take it. That, IMHO, is part of the reason for the delays - he's desperately scrambling to get things back on track and doesn't know how to. The first three books were fun and I liked the direction they were going, but the fourth book didn't seem to take us anywhere and took its own sweet time doing it).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Duke Nukem, everybody!
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I read the first book. Well-written, I'll give it that, but I was very displeased with the overall direction that I saw things taking. Instead of trying the second book, I looked at Wikipedia, got a sense of where it was all going, and decided I would take a pass.

Martin, you see, is like an abusive spouse. His fans come crawling back to him because they want his love, and they excuse all of his abuse -- and his neglect. To them, he only hits them because he loves them.

He'll change. They know he will. They just know it.

Poor fans.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:38 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read the first two of these books when they came out, and then I kinda forgot about them, and then the third one came out, and I read it, I think, I don't really remember, and then I purged my paperbacks and got rid of all of them, and then there was a long delay, and then the fourth one came out and they republished the first three with new covers to match the fourth one, but it had been so long since I'd read them that all the titles were like A Flurg of Flim and Floo and I wasn't sure which ones I'd read and I didn't want to reread all of them so I just gave up.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Big books take a lot of time to write, especially ones that aren't extruded fantasy product (EFP). How long did it take Pynchon to write Mason/Dixon or Atwood to write Oryx and Crake*? These aren't Dragonlance books.

Martin has more problems than Pynchon or Atwood as well, he's run into the combinatorial factor with all of his characters as well. With 17 main characters he's got c(17,2) =136 pairwise relationships to track. Not everyone has met, but still, his creation is almost unmanageably complex. I have no idea what the TV people are going to do with over 1000 named parts.

* Pynchon: at least 7 years since Vineland; Atwood: 3 after Blind Assasin
posted by bonehead at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to know what drives someone to set up a hate forum for a book series they've fallen out of love with. Not to get too new-agey about it, but that's tying up your mind in a lot of negative crap that you could easily rid yourself of by admitting you're disappointed and angry with the series being too slow to come out and then getting on with your life.
posted by immlass at 10:41 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Martin, you see, is like an abusive spouse. His fans come crawling back to him because they want his love, and they excuse all of his abuse -- and his neglect. To them, he only hits them because he loves them.

He'll change. They know he will. They just know it.

Poor fans.


what the fuck, guy
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:42 AM on April 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


If the series is a bunch of essentially self contained stories, like virtually every mystery series active or most modern fantasy series (such as Dresden Files) I'm okay with a endless stream of books in a series. This is because basically I'm just reading the novel equivalent of the Law and Order series.

However with the big doorstop fiction high fantasy series there is not a big payoff every novel. There might be a mini-climax but there is still an understanding that there is a big payoff coming down the pike some years in the future.

Series like Game of Thrones violate that because it's quite probable that the series won't achieve payoff or it will enter a zombie like existence like the Wheel of Time series (or god forbid the Dune series). This is isn't an acceptable end for me even if it provides the author long term financial security.

In short the author isn't my bitch but I'm not his sucker either and in the exchange of goods I feel the right to expect final delivery of a finished product.
posted by vuron at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is exactly why I refuse to release my 9-volume masterpiece in my lifetime, and why I have left strict instructions in my will that the final volume is only to be read once, by a critic , and then burned.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:46 AM on April 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


How long did it take Pynchon to write Mason/Dixon

What Martin needs is graph paper.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:46 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This sounds a lot like what it felt like to follow Zelazny's Amber series -- which was unfinished when he died.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:47 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.

Now available as an MP3.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:48 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I don't think Martin owes his fans anything.

Except refunds on preorder sales past say, 15months or so.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:53 AM on April 14, 2011


scaryblackdeath: "Martin, you see, is like an abusive spouse."

In the past 2 weeks, I picked up and read A Game Of Thrones. I then made it just slightly over halfway through A Clash Of Kings when I threw the book across the room and foreswore reading another word. And scaryblackdeath hits it on the nose*

After 1350-odd pages, I got the complete sense that as an author, he cared not one whit for any of these characters, so why should I?




* See what I did there?
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:56 AM on April 14, 2011


I visualise the making of the Minecraft thing linked up thread to basically be the title sequence from Se7en
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:56 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK, I took the bait - with no foreknowledge about book or author I started reading the three-hundred-or-so free (iPhone-sized) pages iBooks offered up, and GEEZ I am totally hooked now. It's REALLY good, and honestly I hate most garden variety fantasy. So count me a convert. I dunno about the haterz/fanz, they just need to get some respect.
posted by newdaddy at 10:57 AM on April 14, 2011


Somewhat Chocolate Pickle, however with the Amber series you can just read the Corwin part of the series or the Corwin and Merlin parts and pretty much satisfied with the series.

I'm not sure that should Martin keel over today that the series would be anywhere near that level of completion.

I'm sympathetic to him being blocked and I strongly suspect that he's lost control over the story but at the same point I'm exceedingly reluctant to pick up his work again even given the effusive praise he normally gets.

There are other competitors in the grim and gritty fantasy landscape who are doing a better job with their time and honestly I'd rather reward them with my time and money.
posted by vuron at 10:57 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of the series, though luke-warm to luke-cool on Feast for Crows. I agree with the point above that it's not the wait, it the false announcements of "It's nearly done!" that irritates people. Me, I'm only mildly irritated. Mostly though I've been losing interest as it's now been a couple years since I read the last one.

The most irritation I've had from reading them is finding still more new characters 2/3 of the way through Feast for Crows, thrown at you like you care, or have any inkling who or why they are there. I think I groaned out loud (quietly) during the chapter s introducing Darkstar (or whatever his name is) and the sand snakes (whoever the hell they are).

Also, I am cynical and find it impossible to believe that he didn't delay the release of this new one at least a little based on the HBO show timeline. He'd be a fool to have released it a year ago and not take advantage of the HBO marketing machine. I know I'd be taking advantage of it.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:58 AM on April 14, 2011


At least he's still alive to finish the series. We'll never get to see how the Dune books end.
posted by charred husk at 10:59 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interview with George RR Martin in the Guardian
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:00 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting on Part 2 of Aristotle's Poetics. That fucker.
posted by Zed at 11:02 AM on April 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


So he left people wonder what happened to characters! So what! That's what fan fiction is for! They all slept with each other in increasingly unlikely and illegal couplings!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:03 AM on April 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


Series like Game of Thrones violate that because it's quite probable that the series won't achieve payoff or it will enter a zombie like existence like the Wheel of Time series (or god forbid the Dune series).

Maybe he'll get Scott Adams to finish it.

God, ya'll are a whiny bunch.
posted by Cyrano at 11:05 AM on April 14, 2011


That's five books in fifteen years

The last book was split in half so a ton of the best characters were missing. If one of them was your favorite, it has been over ten years since you have read a word about them.

I'm not saying the over the top complaints are justified, and they are mostly tongue in cheek anyway, but the wait really has been excessive.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:06 AM on April 14, 2011


George Alec Effinger was very inconsiderate to suffer from crippling medical conditions and die in poverty before the completion of the last Budayeen book.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I gave up waiting for Buckaroo Banzai Versus The World Crime League a loooooooooooong time ago.

There's a comic book follow-up. Sadly, "Return of the Screw" was bad enough that I gave up on it in the middle.
posted by Zed at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got some sympathy with being pissed of with the 'hey, it's nearly done... won't be long now' ad infinitum from Martin (well, without getting mental about it). At least King was 'I'm making this stuff up as I go along, it'll be done when it's done' with Dark Tower.

I've been interested with the series for a while but I've been holding off reading it until it's at least finished and didn't turn to rubbish. But as others have said it looks like Martin has lost control of his project so I'm not holding out hope.

A while ago I read the first of the Steven Erikson Mazalan series and whilst good, it wasn't so good it made me want to read what looked a the time like something like a dozen doorstops with no end in sight
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actuallly, the dwarf is a dwarf.

He's a human, is what I should have gone with.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:07 AM on April 14, 2011


Isn't this the sort of thing that a copyright term extension should sort out? Martin obviously needs an incentive to provide for his great-grandchildren...
posted by Grinder at 11:09 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Elves are people too! Except for the whole not having souls bit...
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on April 14, 2011


The problem isn't with the fans. The problem is that the author chose to write an episodic story with a promised end, and released early installments before the story was finished. I cannot for the life of me think of a more sure-fire recipe for writer's block.

And let's be honest. He isn't working on the next great novel. He's trying desperately to untangle himself, and figure a way to get out of the (many) corners he's painted himself into plotwise.

The fan reaction is understandable, and predictable. He's not writing penny-dreadfuls or comic books, where an unresolved series, abandoned by the publisher or author, is a risk fans eagerly accept in exchange for fast-paced episodic fun.

He's not writing self-contained chapters in a larger story, like Earthsea or Discworld, that would allow him to really fine tune the story as he went along, and visit every corner of his universe as he liked, when he liked.

He's writing a best-seller fantasy series. The kids reading those are fucking vicious. He knew what he was getting himself into, or he should have... now he's going to die in the traces, being flogged by internet nerds needing to know what the fuck happened to Tyrion.

(As for myself, the series ended after A Storm of Swords - A Feast For Crows was a disorganized, unreadable mess. Being a comic fan, I'm OK with the series ending there.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:13 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm still waiting on Part 2 of Aristotle's Poetics. That fucker.

I blame Umberto Eco.
posted by endless_forms at 11:13 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's what fan fiction is for! They all slept with each other in increasingly unlikely and illegal couplings!

That's not fan fiction - that's the actual story.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:15 AM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sometimes it's better for a series to be left unfinished than for a writer to finally get around to finishing it.

I'M LOOKING AT YOU, JEAN AUEL.
posted by Addlepated at 11:16 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


So he IS writing Lost?
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Hayter To Adapt Sci-Fi Book Series 'Dragonriders Of Pern'
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2011


The kids reading those are fucking vicious.

The Minecraft boards* reek of entitlement, but they deserve it. Mojang have the audacity to release free new content only every month or two! How dare they! After those hardworking players paid their $15 bucks! Before he sold out (like last November), Notch was releasing every Friday! It's soooooo unfair.

*My only point of comparison for a new game in recent memory. I'm as unhip as a legless reptile.
posted by bonehead at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


vito90: "I read this article and decided I needed to read this series based on the comments and reviews of his first book. Then I went to the book store and flipped through it and wasn't so sure it was for me. The only book of this style I've ever liked was the Baroque Cycle from Neal Stephenson. Anyone want to hazard a guess if I should give this book a try"

Do you find yourself getting personally, emotionally attached to protagonists? If so, definitely pick them up. Martin writes GREAT characters you can really root for.
posted by boo_radley at 11:27 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, ha ha ha nerd fantasy fetishists: "Martin told me that many of his fans assume that he is as meticulous a world-builder as Tolkien was. “They write to say, ‘I’m fascinated by the languages. I would like to do a study of High Valyrian’ ”—an ancient tongue. “ ‘Could you send me a glossary and a dictionary and the syntax?’ I have to write back and say, ‘I’ve invented seven words of High Valyrian.’ ”
posted by boo_radley at 11:28 AM on April 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


I got no dog in this fight, but if I were Martin, I'd finish writing the series, then put the manuscripts in a safe, to be sealed until about six months after my death. Then, after I died, on the off chance that I have some kind of afterlife where I get to float around in the world, I'd have an awesome time watching fans' heads explode when they think I died after futzing around for years without finishing the series, then watch their heads explode again later on when the books came out. It would be the greatest psych-out ever.
posted by Pants McCracky at 11:30 AM on April 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


At least he's still alive to finish the series. We'll never get to see how the Dune books end.

Actually charred husk, you CAN see how they end - just not as written by him. His son and Kevin J. Anderson found the notes on how it was all supposed to end, and wrote a two-part finale to the series. Personally I find the writing style very simplistic compared to Frank's so didn't really enjoy them but at least you can finally get the satisfaction of knowing how it all plays out.

For my part, I always wanted to see how the Metaplanetary series was going to end, but alas I gather that's in permanent limbo. *sob*
posted by dendritejungle at 11:31 AM on April 14, 2011


Someone who is Doing It Right, in my opinion, is Joe Abercrombie (previously). He set up a gritty, SoIaF-style fantasy world with a trilogy, but instead of just plodding ahead with the same characters, has branched out with a series of stand alone books, Best Served Cold and The Heroes, that use minor characters from previous books to continue to the epic-backdrop storyline.

That way, if you are a fan of the big world-changing epic struggles, you can read the stand alone books for that, but if you're not, you still have a pretty good grim fantasy book in your lap.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:32 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love you, child and unborn child, but I'm having all my notes for anything incomplete thrown into my funeral pyre. Cheers!
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on April 14, 2011


Just think how many comments Artw would have made if he knew anything whatsoever about the books!
posted by fleacircus at 11:34 AM on April 14, 2011


He's not writing penny-dreadfuls or comic books, where an unresolved series, abandoned by the publisher or author, is a risk fans eagerly accept in exchange for fast-paced episodic fun.

I don't know - there's been quite a bit of rumbling about J Michael Staczynski's The Twelve, which keeps getting abandoned essentially whenever the creators get better-paying work. Grant Morrison's aborted reboot of The Authority and WildC.A.T.S caused some grumbling when he was redirected to, if memory serves, Infinite Crisis for DC - although that was rapidly drowned out by grumbling about Infinite Crisis.

I think comic books fans are more used to being dicked around on schedules, and in absolute terms the delays tend not to be as great on a monthly medium. Also, fans tend not to be angry with the creator if a book is cancelled, because the creator is usually the victim of market logic and often tries to wrap everything up as best he can once the cancellation is confirmed.

Comic books and fantasy novels do both seem to breed the kind of fan who feels personally involved with the author as a person, both in the positive (first name terms, fierce defences, buying the T-shirt) and the negative ("Don't pull a Jordan").
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:37 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


(as best he or she can, obviously)
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:38 AM on April 14, 2011


Yet Verhoeve, operating under the nom de guerre of Slynt, now runs a Web forum dedicated to denigrating Martin and his supporters. The site is called Is Winter Coming?—a snide play on “Winter is coming,” the motto of the Starks, one of the central families in the series.


Imagine the above said in the first-person in the voice of Comic Store Guy from the Simpsons.

Or better yet, try not hearing Comic Store Guy when you read the above.

God bless these people.
posted by meadowlark lime at 11:40 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to suspect that if a plot can't be resolved in 3 500+ page tomes it shouldn't be written in the first place.

Proust took less than 3500 pages to get his novel out. I think that should be enough for anyone, personally.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:45 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to say thanks for this post because I heard about that New Yorker article last week and wanted to read it, but the site wouldn't let me cuz I'm not a subscriber. It was great to find out the article is now readable online without subscription, so, YAY!
posted by dnash at 11:46 AM on April 14, 2011


Is this a good place in inquire about forthcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love that he is so ruthless and that it's the story that takes importance as opposed to just a character that fans are in love with.

This is where I disagree and I guess where I just stopped reading after a while. I didn't get the sense that there was much of a story going on. There are events, lots of them, and they're all filled with gore and death and lots of major characters getting mutilated and destroyed, but it never felt to me like it was going anywhere (through the first three books, stopped after that). Obviously others disagree and that's fine, of course, but for me it just seemed like every chapter was about murdering someone else for no obvious or good reason except that they were around.

I get that that's "realistic" -- real life doesn't operate according to a dramatic arc either -- but I don't really go to fantasy to observe the senseless brutality of an everyday world. I have the actual everyday world for that.

That said, all of that is my personal distaste for the series and Martin doesn't owe anyone anything. The passion of nerds is wonderful and terrifying.
posted by Errant at 11:48 AM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Proust took less than 3500 pages to get his novel out. I think that should be enough for anyone, personally.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:45 PM on April 14 [+] [!]

Tale of the Genji is 1506 pages.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:49 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So not 3500 pages, but more that 3 500 page novels.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:50 AM on April 14, 2011


Somewhat Chocolate Pickle, however with the Amber series you can just read the Corwin part of the series or the Corwin and Merlin parts and pretty much satisfied with the series.

In the ADRPG (the roleplaying game based on Amber) crowd, people who only use the Corwin books as canon are called Snooty First Series Purists. I'm a happy SFSP myself; I haven't reread the Merlin books or the short stories in years, and I haven't even looked at the posthumous prequel series.

I guess there's a warning for the Martin fans: you might hate the rest of the series so much you wish he had quit. See: Slap*Happy's comment above.
posted by immlass at 11:50 AM on April 14, 2011


I also wonder about backlash. "These fuckers have been bugging me about Jon Snow for ten fucking years! You want his story? Fine, here's your damn Jon Snow story: 'He's at the Wall. Rocks fall. Everybody dies. The End.' You happy now?"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's also known as the Sherlock Holmes effect.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:54 AM on April 14, 2011


See if you bought Tale of Genji as an iBook, it would probably be thirty giggabillion pages.
posted by newdaddy at 11:54 AM on April 14, 2011


So far, the forum has produced a “field guide” to the various types of Martin defenders and how they may be refuted; a pseudo-legal brief titled “The People Against George R. R. Martin”; detailed charts attempting to expose how few hours Martin has devoted to writing “A Dance with Dragons” per year, based on his blog postings; and a three-hundred-page “Encyclopedia GRRuMbliana,” which includes a spirited history of the forum.

No matter how pathetic my life gets, at least I will be able to console myself with the knowledge that there are people who actually spend time doing things like this.
posted by Ratio at 11:55 AM on April 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


Is this a good place in inquire about forthcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books?

July, allegedly

Just think how many comments Artw would have made if he knew anything whatsoever about the books!

It is within my clearly defined sphere of interests.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2011


Is this a good place in inquire about forthcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books?

Century #2 has been scheduled for July for a while now. But, of course, it was originally scheduled for April 2010, with Century #3 originally scheduled for, um, now.
posted by Zed at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2011


So far, the forum has produced a “field guide” to the various types of Martin defenders and how they may be refuted; a pseudo-legal brief titled “The People Against George R. R. Martin”; detailed charts attempting to expose how few hours Martin has devoted to writing “A Dance with Dragons” per year, based on his blog postings; and a three-hundred-page “Encyclopedia GRRuMbliana,” which includes a spirited history of the forum.
That is.... literally worse than anything I could have imagined.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


shakes fist... darn you, Artw!
posted by Zed at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's really no telling if that's O'Neil or Moore, they both take their time about things.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2011


July, allegedly

Like I'm going to believe that.

Also I think someone else here said it before me but I can't wait until the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen catches up to 1999 and they start including characters from previous League books.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2011


See also: Any Reddit thread where Valve gets mentioned. Episode 3! Episode 3! Episode 3! Episode 3!
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on April 14, 2011


Also I think someone else here said it before me but I can't wait until the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen catches up to 1999 and they start including characters from previous League books.

Rumored characters for Century #3 include Malcolm Tucker.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on April 14, 2011


I gave up waiting for Buckaroo Banzai Versus The World Crime League a loooooooooooong time ago.

most of that material ended up becoming Big Trouble in Little China.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:14 PM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is why I had a hard "Dead or Done" rule to book series. I'm perfectly willing to wait for him to finish. Well, or die. Then I will read them.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:17 PM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


NPR coverage of the HBO show this AM.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2011


At least Moore's told us how Halo Jones ends....
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2011


cjorgensen, you're going to really love my new series, Dead or Done. The final volume is coming out in November. Ish.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:20 PM on April 14, 2011


I don't really care if he finishes the series anymore. It has been so long since the last one that I can't even remember what plot points are dangling. All I can tell you is that I have an ending to the series in mind. If Martin dies, then I still have an ending. But I ain't buying another book in the series until they're all on the shelf.

Political marriage between Jon Snow and Daenerys, who both have legit claims to the throne. Then something unexpected comes out of left field, kills most of the major players, and someone we didn't expect ends up as king. Maybe Bran skin walking Hodor. Maybe Cersei gets assassinated by a strange blind girl who is somehow familiar. Whatever. My version is probably better.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:30 PM on April 14, 2011


The essence of the last several years:

It's almost done. . . I promise. . . but not til I get back from DragonSuperSciFiCon this weekend or SuperSciFiConDragonmania next weekend or ComicDragonManiaCon the weekend after that and not while I'm watching NFL football, or LOST, or merchandising to hell and back my Hedge Knight/Wild Cards crap oh and I have a cough so no writing today.

I'd prefer it if he just said, "Fuck You, I'm rich I never have to write another damn word I'm going to let the grease of a thousand Philly cheesesteaks drip into my beard, settle into an easy chair until I occasionally rouse myself for a Con where I may wave from my gilded litter to my misguided followers like the most debauched Roman patrician."
posted by MasonDixon at 12:32 PM on April 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sometimes it's better for a series to be left unfinished than for a writer to finally get around to finishing it.

True, true, true. Robert Asprin's 'Myth' series jumps to mind. And increasingly I'm thinking Steven Brust's 'Vlad Taltos' books might be heading in a similar direction, which would make me very sad.
posted by gurple at 12:37 PM on April 14, 2011


It's almost done. . . I promise. . . but not til I get back from DragonSuperSciFiCon this weekend or SuperSciFiConDragonmania next weekend or ComicDragonManiaCon the weekend after that and not while I'm watching NFL football, or LOST, or merchandising to hell and back my Hedge Knight/Wild Cards crap oh and I have a cough so no writing today.

the impression i get is that the dude does conventions in an attempt to keep in touch with his audience so he can continue to write for a living but i am not really a scholar on this guy; either way i don't think i'd be terribly inclined to continue writing a story if i knew that anyone in the entire world was keeping track of what i was doing with my life vis-a-vis not obviously working on some fantasy books.

I'd prefer it if he just said, "Fuck You, I'm rich I never have to write another damn word I'm going to let the grease of a thousand Philly cheesesteaks drip into my beard, settle into an easy chair until I occasionally rouse myself for a Con where I may wave from my gilded litter to my misguided followers like the most debauched Roman patrician."

i have never read a single thing this martin guy has written and now that i know that there is some arcane sigil in his books which makes the reader go crazy i feel like i made the right decision.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


They are really good books, there wouldn't be the hate without it, but it's certainly a trade-off of sanity.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2011


The gathering was in the free-spirited mode of the times—in an autobiographical essay, Martin notes that, when this conversation took place, they were both naked. (He does not elaborate.)

I've obviously being going to the wrong conventions
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2011


Must have been at SchwingCon.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:46 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you, MeFi's own Charlie Stross, for bringing the Merchant Princes in for a landing.
posted by whuppy at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2011


So I am only kind of into fantasy stuff, and a lot of what I've really liked probably tips more toward historical romance, like Diana Gabaldon. But I like men-in-tights kind of miniseries and the HBO show looked interesting to me so I figured what the heck, I'll give the books a try, and I started the first one and am really liking it. And just as I got to the point where I am now committed to the book, what happens? The new Auel comes out, after like forty years and my infinite patience being completely spent.

Now I don't know what to do. Finish Game of Thrones, read the newest installment of Ayla being the inventor of civilization, then go back to Martin? Or set Game of Thrones aside? Or what? I don't know.
posted by padraigin at 12:53 PM on April 14, 2011


A Method for Madness, the next book in David Gerrold's "War Against the Chtorr" series

Good luck with that, dude. We will never know how the Baby Cooper Dollar Bill lawsuits are resolved. And if you remember the Baby Cooper Dollar Bill story, as I do, it means you read far too many books. As I do.
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never understood why GRRM simply didn't post "Hey, you guys, I've had to suspend the release date indefinitely. This book's not flowing very well, so I'm gonna take a mental break for a couple of years, get the creative juices flowing again, and tackle it fresh."

I really do believe most fans would've understood.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:12 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm of two minds about this. This reeks of fan entitlement of the worst caliber but at the same time, when you engage fans as quasi-participants who manage your online presence and keep track of your world for you, you open yourself to the impression that they *are* entitled to something, even if they're just part of the infrastructure that lets the helpful superfans get involved.

This is only going to get worse as our faux-flattened, social media-marketing engaged world blurs the difference between friendship and salesmanship, and its audience demands to be engaged like they're reading circle buddies. This is bad for the writer and fans alike, because it basically rips novelty out of the picture. If you do things to fulfill expectations you create what's expected, and what is wholly unnecessary for you to create if it has already been conceived of (and in the case of fanfic and RPGs, actually executed) by the audience.

Once they reduce you to a figurehead through which their own desires are validated, you're done.
posted by mobunited at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


These people are the equivalent of the football "fans" who show up to sing racist songs and throw bannannas at the black players, or chant that players they don't like should die of AIDS: self-entitled fucks who detract from the world.
posted by rodgerd at 1:31 PM on April 14, 2011


immlass: I just want to know what drives someone to set up a hate forum for a book series they've fallen out of love with. Not to get too new-agey about it, but that's tying up your mind in a lot of negative crap that you could easily rid yourself of by admitting you're disappointed and angry with the series being too slow to come out and then getting on with your life.

Short answer: mutual reinforcement. You don't have to confront your sense of entitlement and/or your emotional over-investment in a piece of entertainment that you have absolutely no direct control over if there's a community of like-minded people to validate your questionable choices. The tendency for these online communities to be run by the most fanatical and extreme of the fans (as we all know, "fan" is derived from "fanatic") ensures that the more even-keeled tend to get run off. I know that it's why I tend to stay away from much of fandom, as well as many creators and artists.

Slap*Happy: The fan reaction is understandable, and predictable.... He's writing a best-seller fantasy series. The kids reading those are fucking vicious. He knew what he was getting himself into, or he should have...

Really? You don't think that the nature of fandom has changed thanks to the internet? GRRM has been a professional writer for about four decades now; I think that he's had a bit of experience dealing with fans long before ASOIAF. Your classic SF and fantasy authors didn't have to deal with: 'a “field guide” to the various types of Martin defenders and how they may be refuted; a pseudo-legal brief titled “The People Against George R. R. Martin”; detailed charts attempting to expose how few hours Martin has devoted to writing “A Dance with Dragons” per year, based on his blog postings; and a three-hundred-page “Encyclopedia GRRuMbliana,”' or any of the other bullshit that these feckless jerks have dreamed up to rationalize their failure to confront the self-defeating nature of their actions. I think that GRRM has been amazingly polite and restrained in his responses, and if he's done a little pushback in the ensuing years, his fans should be happy that he hasn't put up a video involving a can of lighter fluid, a match, and a big heap o' manuscript.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:33 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Again, I think the degree to which a lot of it is tongue in cheek is being lost. Jamie Lannister/Winnie-the-Pooh rape fan fiction isn't a serious criticism.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:37 PM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your classic SF and fantasy authors didn't have to deal with:

On the other hand, Joe Haldeman once had a "fan" throw a cup of warm vomit on him. I expect Mr. Haldeman would have preferred a pseudo-legal brief....
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:38 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


And this why I don't read doorstop multi-volume SF/Fantasy series anymore. While I don't agree with the sense of entitlement GRRM's readers seem to have, it IS frustrating to finish a novel only to find out that it really isn't over. I much prefer things like Banks' Culture novels or even Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century novels, where each novel stands on its own merits and it isn't necessary to have read anything else written in that particular universe in order to enjoy any one book.

Personally, I blame Allen & Unwin, the original British publishers of LOTR for the trend of doorstop multi-volume epics in SF&F. Tolkien wrote LOTR as one novel, but the sheer size of the damn thing scared the publishers, so they asked him to break it down into 3 books. What wound up happening years later (seemingly) that the numerous writers inspired by Tolkien thought that multi-volume was the way you were supposed to do Fantasy. I stopped reading Fantasy & SF for years because I got tired of reading 6 volume epics that could've been told in one or two.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm probably not the right person to be casting stones here, but maybe SOME people need to get out of their parent's basements and do something other than rag on an author for not meeting their timeline. Whether the article was serious or not, you can bet there was at least one person who would have written something similar in tone if given the outlet. I mean ever see someone who takes GWAR seriously? or Glenn Beck literally? or watches Fox & Friends without irony? They're out there...

I'll just wait here PATIENTLY until Bungie sees fit to get me some new HALO.
posted by ironbob at 2:00 PM on April 14, 2011


I don't remember the Baby Cooper Dollar Bill story. But I have been tempted to name a pet "Mr. President."
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:07 PM on April 14, 2011


I can imagine bitching about the time it takes between books because, well, why not? But bitching *at the author* in a serious manner? Making a calendar of vacations? That's odd.

I don't read things that are less standalone than, say, the Toby Daye novels, which feel only somewhat incomplete at the end.

People who are worried about reading that last Earth's Children book? I thought 'well, as a teenager I enjoyed them and wanted to know what happened!' and either as a teenager I had terrible, terrible taste or that last book is significantly worse than all the others. Beyond the Mary Sue-ness of Ayla, it's still idiotic.
posted by jeather at 2:15 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dilettantes. I'm still waiting for more Sandkings.
posted by dhartung at 2:18 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you are making a calendar of someone else's vacations, you clearly need a job. And medication. And a smack in the face.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:18 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The article linked was excellent and, for me at least, redeems GRRM and excuses him for the late book. But of course, just because he says he is trying to not write Lost doesn't mean he will succeed - he has a lot of work ahead of him to untangle the mess he has written himself into. In any case, I am going to wait until the series is complete before buying another book.
posted by Vindaloo at 2:22 PM on April 14, 2011


I'm sorry if this has been posted already--I haven't read the books, so I only skimmed this thread--but I thought this blog post from last year laid out a pretty good case for why George R. R. Martin might have written himself into a corner and almost literally can't finish the books. (After io9 picked it up, the blogger refined his thoughts in a followup post.)

To reiterate, I haven't read the books, so it's possible that he's way off base. But as a writer, especially one prone to the same weaknesses he suggests Martin has, it rang true.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:37 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sometimes it's better for a series to be left unfinished than for a writer to finally get around to finishing it. This is how I felt after throwing Memnoch the Devil (the last Anne Rice book that I read, after being a rabid fan*) across the room in sheer fury & frustration.

* Actually, I stood in an around-the-block line at Vroman's when I was in high school waiting for an Anne Rice book signing, for The Witching Hour IIRC.
posted by epersonae at 2:40 PM on April 14, 2011


On the other hand, Joe Haldeman once had a "fan" throw a cup of warm vomit on him.

Well, yes, you've always got the outliers, the ones who don't need reinforcement from others because they've already had deep, meaningful conversations on the subject with their neighbor's dog.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:50 PM on April 14, 2011


>>> NPR coverage of the HBO show this AM.

The information architect from Atlanta in that feature? That's me.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:59 PM on April 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll just wait here PATIENTLY until Bungie sees fit to get me some new HALO.

Oh, dear. It's going to be like Greyfriars Bobby in an armoured suit.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:03 PM on April 14, 2011


On the other hand, Joe Haldeman once had a "fan" throw a cup of warm vomit on him.

That's...pretty bad. Although perhaps worse is that I mixed up Joe Haldeman with HR Haldeman, and found myself thinking "Well, OK, that's admittedly forceful ... but at least it was warm."
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:06 PM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Halloween Jack: "On the other hand, Joe Haldeman once had a "fan" throw a cup of warm vomit on him.

Well, yes, you've always got the outliers, the ones who don't need reinforcement from others because they've already had deep, meaningful conversations on the subject with their neighbor's dog.
"

"I told him to kill all the cats! Cats you damn idiot!"-David Berkowitz's dog
posted by Splunge at 3:21 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The information architect from Atlanta in that feature? That's me. --- Cool!
posted by crunchland at 3:22 PM on April 14, 2011


You know, what is lol is that Stephen King finished The Dark Tower after 26 years, and now he has decided that it wasn't finished after all and he is working on another book. That is what is lol.

Plus he's retired! lol!
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:37 PM on April 14, 2011


Anyway, this is why I only read books by that Ladies' Detective Agency guy. Book a week! Booyah!
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:40 PM on April 14, 2011


read the newest installment of Ayla being the inventor of civilization

Come on, everyone knows the only part we really care about is what new sex position they'll invent this time. (fingers crossed for pegging!)
posted by elizardbits at 3:43 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone dejected about Martin should read some Glen Cook books - he's at least as good as Martin or better, he's written a metric shit tonne of em, he's finished practically every series he started, and he churns em out almost constantly!
posted by smoke at 4:29 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fun Glen Cook Fact: He used to write his novels while on the assembly line at a GM plant. And by "on the assembly line" I don't mean he wrote in his spare time while employed at the factory, I mean he wrote the books in those 5 minute downtimes he'd get here and there while literally on the assembly line. That's a fuckin' author.

Real artists ship!
posted by Justinian at 4:33 PM on April 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Came in for the Sandkings love, left satisfied.
posted by Aquaman at 4:38 PM on April 14, 2011


At least he's still alive to finish the series. We'll never get to see how the Dune books end.

Oh, Paul attacks the capital, Baron Harkonnen is killed and Paul marries Irulan and becomes Emperor. Pleased to help.
posted by ersatz at 4:42 PM on April 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Really? You don't think that the nature of fandom has changed thanks to the internet?

No. Because when we're talking about fans, we're not talking about people who expect something for nothing. They're not hangers-on and drags and dregs and assorted ill-socialized scum.

Dude, they're your customers. Making 'em wait for a decade to finish a promised product is a good way to lose customers, or, if you make a good product that they're willing to wait for, resentful and angry customers. (Anyone remember Quark Xpress? Good times...)

So, GRRM provides crappy customer service in a mass market, and is shocked when some of those customers who bought into the series because they were promised a timely conclusion mmmmmmay have a right to be a bit annoyed. It's not unreasonable to demand a story have a beginning, middle and end, and that you won't have to wait until your kid goes off to college before you get to see that end.

What he should have said: "Hey, kids, lost my mojo on this one - I may come back to the series later, or I may not. Here's a Dunk and Egg comic in the meantime!"

What he's saying: "How DARE you question my ART! Your sense of entitlement sickens me! Besides, it's almost done, so there!"

One upsets fans, who then get over it. The other causes fan hate-sites, a 30 page guide to attacking other fans, and neverending flamewars all over the intarwebs.

Because one is being honest with his customers, and the other is what he's been doing.

I sort of think it's funny that the authors participating in said flamewars get all het up - I think it's because they get the cold night sweats thinking about staring down writer's block when there's a crapload of fan interest and a fat merchandising contract involved.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:46 PM on April 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


but I thought this blog post from last year laid out a pretty good case for why George R. R. Martin might have written himself into a corner and almost literally can't finish the books.

As someone who read the first book enthusiastically, became suspicious of the author in the second book and gave up somewhere in the third, this strikes me as an accurate reading of the books' problem. I don't read a lot of epic fantasy so I don't know if it's the norm to not be able to clearly formulate what would constitute an ending to the story. But I literally don't know what that would be in this case.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:05 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems to me that the ending will occur when Jon Snow has a secure grip on the Iron Throne. I'm not certain where GRRM is going with the threat from beyond the Wall but the Seven Kingdoms storyline has a natural endpoint.
posted by Justinian at 5:15 PM on April 14, 2011


Seems to me that the ending will occur when Jon Snow has a secure grip on the Iron Throne. I'm not certain where GRRM is going with the threat from beyond the Wall but the Seven Kingdoms storyline has a natural endpoint.

I guess I never felt strongly enough about him as a protagonist, but thinking back (and again, I quit early) I suppose he's the best candidate.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:28 PM on April 14, 2011


I could be wrong, obviously, but given the series is pretty much named for the guy I think it's probably the way it will all shake out.
posted by Justinian at 5:44 PM on April 14, 2011


I could be wrong, obviously, but given the series is pretty much named for the guy I think it's probably the way it will all shake out.

I hope it does, but only for the irony. The series that overturned decades of faux-Tolkien and fantasy-by-numbers and ushered in a new era of gritty, unpredictable, realistic fantasy ends with... the bastard scion of a once-mighty house defeating a nigh-unstoppable magical evil and ascending to the throne? Unheard of!
posted by Errant at 5:58 PM on April 14, 2011


That is the argument against it. Maybe Dany decides that since she already busted one prophecy she might as well go the whole nine yards and offs Jon herself.
posted by Justinian at 6:07 PM on April 14, 2011


Dude, they're your customers. Making 'em wait for a decade to finish a promised product is a good way to lose customers, or, if you make a good product that they're willing to wait for, resentful and angry customers.

I dunno. This just strikes me as a category error. Martin is not a business...he's an author. An artist. That's not a pretentious stance or pose on his part, he actually is an artist. Opinions may vary on whether he's a good one or not, but there's no arguing that an artist is what he is.

And I think we'd do well to understand that "business", as a concept, is not so all-important that we ought to reduce other perfectly legitimate concepts (such as "artist") to mere subsets or special cases of the "business" concept. I mean, for fuck's sake, doesn't business and commerce occupy enough of our attention without that?

I'm eager for the rest of the story, too. But perhaps the people who are angry with Martin should find a way to justify their position that doesn't implicitly rely on a false equivalence between art and commerce.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:24 PM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's been a while, I can see how fans can get tetchy, ok, but; look how long it took that Marcel Proust guy to finish his "Remembering of Times Past" trilogy. I thought we were never going to get to the Ice Dragon in that series. I bet it will make a badass movie though.
posted by newdaddy at 6:41 PM on April 14, 2011


I think you mean "Memories Of Previous Things", newdaddy.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:49 PM on April 14, 2011


I was listening to this Writing Excuses podcast "Author Responsibility to the Reader" (transcript) where they talk about meeting deadlines and I couldn't help but think about GRRM. I haven't read the books because I don't like grimdark, but I as reader it was kind of refreshing to see authors with an attitude like that. But then again, Kevin Anderson is generally considered to be hack so...
Kevin J Anderson: Well, I know a lot of other authors who seem to think deadlines are a suggestion instead of a contract. [...] Well, I grew up that you are a person of your word. If you said you were going to do it by a certain day, you do it by a certain day.

When I was in college, and I had a deadline for a term paper, my professor didn't want me to turn it in a month late. It was on time. But I worked so hard to become an author, that when I finally became a professional author, there was no way I was going to blow it by just not fulfilling my responsibilities. It's a contract, it's a legal contract with the publisher, and you sign your name on the bottom of it that says I promise I will turn in this book by this date.

I take it seriously. I think the readers were reading a series because they want to read the next book in... oh, say, The Wheel of Time series or something like that. They want to know that it comes out when they're expecting it. I've done the Saga of Seven Suns which was seven volumes long, 700 page books. I turned those in every year on time, and they came out every year on time. People could rely on that.

I think that writers... too many writers don't treat their job as a writer is a job. It's a job. Most people have to go to a job at eight o'clock in the morning, they have to clock in, they have to work a certain number of hours before they get to go home. For writers, they don't get a pass on that. That... if you're a lawyer, you're expected to be in so many hours per day. If you're a doctor, you put in so many hours per day. If you are managing a restaurant... if anybody you know... any of you know people who manage a restaurant, that person's they are like from the early morning until midnight when the restaurant closes. Being a writer... a successful writer is no different from that. You should put in your time, do your work, and meet your deadlines.

[...]

Brandon Sanderson: I do want to say one thing to close out this podcast. The reason I called it what I did, Author's Responsibility to the Reader, is because... a lot has been written about this. I don't want to contradict any other authors. Everyone has their own way of thinking about it and way of talking. Neil Gaiman has a very long, brilliant post regarding author's responsibility and reader responsibility to authors. But I've always looked at this as I am making a contract with my readers. When I say I'm going to release a series of books, I believe that I have an obligation to continue that series and put them out in a timely manner, because when you buy the first one to support the project, you are buying into my offer of a contract to you. Now, different authors approach things different ways. But I really want to say to you, listeners, try and think of it more that way. Think about the privilege it is to actually be writing these stories and sharing them with people. Treat it like a responsibility.

Howard Taylor: I think the duality you're looking for here, Brandon, is the difference between the writer's attitude and the reader's attitude. If you are just a reader listening to this podcast, please don't talk to your favorite writers and say, "You have a responsibility to me. Sit down and write a book." Just... why don't you just go and enjoy some books that have been written, and just keep reading? Writers? Know that there are readers out there who are sitting on their hands quietly expecting you to be more responsible than you are and get to work.

posted by nooneyouknow at 6:54 PM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sal Nuts had this problem.
posted by clavdivs at 6:55 PM on April 14, 2011



Do you find yourself getting personally, emotionally attached to protagonists? If so, definitely pick them up. Martin writes GREAT characters you can really root for.
- boo radley, surely you jest.

If you like rooting for protagonists, save yourself the time, effort, and if you're like me, emotional-reading investment in liking characters that GRRM is just going to kill off, sooner rather than later, in the most gruesome and or demeaning and or horrifyingly prosaic way possible. If you like having to read hundreds of pages about characters you hate winning, and otherwise perfectly intelligent female characters doing shit so stupid it's obvious what the outcome is going to be a hundred pages beforehand, all for some purported payoff when, in a scene of searing shortness, some asshole gets his comeuppance, feel free.

I really liked the first book until it became clear that he wrote stupidity in to suit whatever fucked up thing he wanted to do next, particularly when it came to Catelyn Stark. And then it became clear to me that in general, he's apparently writing just to fuck with you if you like anyone he's created. As some wise person said up-thread, this guy does not give a shit about anyone he's written, so why should I? Without characters I can care about, there's no story.

I'll watch the TV series, but I'm not getting suckered into wasting one single second more on the actual reading of these books.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:07 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zelazny's Amber series ... unfinished when he died.

And today I learned that Roger Zelazny is dead. I enjoyed him an awful lot when he was at his best.

Back to the elves now...
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 7:18 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"...a false equivalence between art and commerce"

Great artists produce. They have patrons or buyers, even Picasso and Virgil. I know of very, very, very few artists who's career was improved by irritating their patrons (customers) or blowing off the deadline of a major comission (book deal) by a decade or more.

If an artist can't create art, they aren't artists. And if they create soley for the artistic process, they're dilletantes and not professionals. Adams was making prints for customers well into his '60s - to my mind, a real artist respects the craft of his or her avocation as well as the whim of their creative muse. That means shipping on time.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:43 PM on April 14, 2011


Lots of artists work on deadlines, the entire movie and TV and video game industries come to mind.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:48 PM on April 14, 2011


"Seems to me that the ending will occur when Jon Snow has a secure grip on the Iron Throne."

I was thinking Daenerys but whatevs. It's been so long I can't remember if she's dead or rampaging around with a slave army. I heard GRRM will never finish the series now because he's locked himself in his office and he does nothing but eat ribs and watch an uncut screener of A Serbian Film in a constant loop.
posted by MikeMc at 8:07 PM on April 14, 2011



Dude, they're your customers. Making 'em wait for a decade to finish a promised product is a good way to lose customers, or, if you make a good product that they're willing to wait for, resentful and angry customers.


That's understandable if you're talking about pizzas or even software (or the movie, TV, video game industries) where you can simply hire more people to finish things. If that's the sort of thing you want, if you value dependability more than originality, if you really believe that making the deadline is everything, then patronize the work of hacks. Your expectations will never be let down.

The problem with the GRRuMblers is that they knew that no one else really provided what they wanted, but they still wanted that regular fix, so instead they tried to goad GRRM into shoving something out the door, and persisted when that failed. For everyone who did move on, they got one or two who picked up the series and was disappointed when they ran out of books to read. The suggestion that the GRRuMblers would have been perfectly OK with GRRM saying, "I may come back to the series later, or I may not", strikes me as the sort of after-the-fact rationalization used by abusers of all stripes, and even if GRRM had literally said, "How DARE you question my ART! Your sense of entitlement sickens me! Besides, it's almost done, so there!", that would in no way justify the heaps of abuse piled on him.

If GRRM posted tomorrow that, sorry guys, I really tried, but I can't write myself out of the numerous corners that I've painted myself into, I'm turning the reins over to Kevin J. Anderson and devoting my career toward the next installments in Wild Cards, he'd still be a very successful, multi-award-winning author with legions of fans worldwide. The GRRuMblers need him much more than he needs them, and that's what they can't stand.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:16 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's understandable if you're talking about pizzas or even software (or the movie, TV, video game industries) where you can simply hire more people to finish things.

Sometimes they bring in more people, sometimes the budget doesn't allow it. Do you know the kinds of hours people work in these industries? GRRM does, he's worked in them, and he certainly isn't a hack.

"Seems to me that the ending will occur when Jon Snow has a secure grip on the Iron Throne."

I was thinking Daenerys but whatevs.


They end up married and ruling together I assume, the fun will be if Jon ever figures out who his father is and how that makes him feel about his choice of brides.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:25 PM on April 14, 2011


the fun will be if Jon ever figures out who his father is and how that makes him feel about his choice of brides.

Well, it would be the traditional choice for Danaerys. A lot of precedent.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, I think it very unlikely that Jon doesn't discover his parentage far before any theoretical nuptials. Remember, Howland Reed was at the Tower of Joy and is still (so far as we know) alive and well with the crannogmen in the fens around the Neck. And isn't Bran going to hook up with him? It's been so long I can't recall the exact dispositions of the Stark kids. I think Rickon is supposedly up with the Umbers and Bran is going to the crannogmen? Maybe.

In any case, Howland Reed is the last living person to know the truth so far as I can recall and I can't believe he won't be putting in an appearance at some point.
posted by Justinian at 8:44 PM on April 14, 2011


Fizz: Absolutely check out this series. It will blow you away. One reason I enjoy his series is because no one is safe. Fantasy writers often fall in love with their characters and then proceed to over-use them to the point that they become dull and boring. Martin will craft a character you love implicitly and then proceed to murder that individual. I love that he is so ruthless and that it's the story that takes importance as opposed to just a character that fans are in love with.

There is no part of this that is true.

Every single Main Character who died was forecast a million miles away and every single Main Character who died was a shitty 2-dimensional cardboard prop. Ned was a whiney internet white knight and deserves no head. Rob wants to thumb his nose at the guy who gives him an army and expects not to die? And Catlyne and Brianne were just shrill, terrible characters the entire time.

Tyrion will not die.
Dany will not die.
Jon Snow will not die.

They're his favorite characters. They've survived ridiculous things already without a scratch. "Oh Jon Snow's hand?" Please. He deserted from the fucking Wall and murdered his commanding officer and then got promoted.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:48 PM on April 14, 2011


I'm not mad. There's so much other content out there that I've been busy finding new to me books by the hundreds over the last five years. (Gee, I should not have finished Consider Phlebas and The Giver on the same night, my head has not recalibrated itself.)

By the way, I found listings in the Kindle store for both Dance and IQ84. Not in the Sony Reader store yet, but I'm optimistic.
posted by dragonplayer at 9:06 PM on April 14, 2011


Dance has been in the Kindle store for a long time.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:07 PM on April 14, 2011


IIRC, it was Justinian who observed in a previous discussion that Tyrion is a tragic figure. That plus the fact that I like him means that he will surely die.

I find Dany (can't be bothered to remember how to spell her stupid name) and Jon Snow annoying. Therefore they will live.

I disagree with your assessment of Ned, but I have to admit that when Cersei offered it to him, he declined, so maybe he didn't deserve it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:09 PM on April 14, 2011


I did not know that Zelazny is dead. This explains why, when I'm hunched over at a book store, I find no new Zelazny books. His stuff is always on the bottom shelf. Near Vinge.

And now I am very sad. And a bit grateful that I need to bend over less. I am old and this is a thing for old people.

Now if we can get those fuckers that camp out in the aisles to get the fuck up, it's not a library people. If we can get those bastards to get up, and out of the way of people actually looking for books to buy...

I mean, what the hell? When did it become a thing to just sit down or even (and I've seen it) lie down in the aisles of a book shop? Why is this allowed?

Why do book store owners or employees allow this? Is this a thing? They aren't buying books that I can see. They are usually just reading books and talking shit. WTF?

Get off of my bookstore carpet you fuckers!
posted by Splunge at 9:21 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]



Boo hoo for you, GRRM 'fans.' you should have had to wait years for Lyonnesse III, and yes it was worth it.


Lyonnesse is just squicky.
I still haven't read ASOIAF. It was kinda a running joke on Something Awful that people would recomend the books for EVERYTHING. I haven't been able to get into an epic fantasy series since Dark Tower... tend to prefer shorter stuff, though I did just get through Imajica. Not really into the elves and dwarves anymore.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:57 PM on April 14, 2011


Splunge: " This explains why, when I'm hunched over at a book store, I find no new Zelazny books. His stuff is always on the bottom shelf. Near Vinge. "

This is how the alphabet works?
posted by boo_radley at 10:21 PM on April 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


King wrote other books between the Dark Tower books. The wait was bad but you could poke around the other corners of his universe and you never knew who would show up in the Dark Tower.
Don't these fans have other books/games to keep them occupied? with the Minecraft fans, instead of bitching why don't they work on whatever nerdy mega-structure they're building?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:32 PM on April 14, 2011


The whole Salinger/Pynchon eccentric-recluse thing just keeps looking better and better, doesn't it? Fans are scary.

The whole talent &/or fame thing is scary. It's like being a beautiful girl; you get tons of fawning attention, but it can turn murderous at any moment if you don't satisfy the desires and demands of your worshipper[s]. Basically, if you have something people pine for, you're in trouble, and the more they pine – the more dangerous your situation.

I think Pynchon totally has it right; he writes, he publishes, he engages, but you won't recognize him standing in line at the pharmacy or even browsing in the bookstore. I suspect a huge amount of effort goes into this, and I suspect it's totally worth it.
posted by taz at 10:53 PM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


boo_radley: "Splunge: " This explains why, when I'm hunched over at a book store, I find no new Zelazny books. His stuff is always on the bottom shelf. Near Vinge. "

This is how the alphabet works?
"

Alphawhat?
posted by Splunge at 11:14 PM on April 14, 2011


Splunge: "Alphawhat?"

Shalom, my brother.
posted by boo_radley at 11:20 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crabby Appleton: IIRC, it was Justinian who observed in a previous discussion that Tyrion is a tragic figure. That plus the fact that I like him means that he will surely die.

I find Dany (can't be bothered to remember how to spell her stupid name) and Jon Snow annoying. Therefore they will live.

I disagree with your assessment of Ned, but I have to admit that when Cersei offered it to him, he declined, so maybe he didn't deserve it


He won't die, he's a Targaryian. That's why his dad won't let him inherit anything: he isn't actually his son.

And Ned confronted the queen, in private, when her household guard was 100x his. He deserved to die for being an imbecile. I did think that the Lannisters melting down his greatsword was a nice touch, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:11 AM on April 15, 2011


Big books take a lot of time to write,

Oh come on Vollmann has written the equivalent bulk of this series like fifty times over and still has time to go bananas in warzones and rescue child whores.
posted by generalist at 5:35 AM on April 15, 2011


He won't die, he's a Targaryian.

Dubious at best. At least, his death won't be pointless.

He deserved to die for being an imbecile.

He wanted to save Cersei's children, who were innocent. His honor, and his failure to anticipate Robert's untimely death (which, I admit, was stupid), sealed his doom.

I did think that the Lannisters melting down his greatsword was a nice touch, though.

They'll rue that day, I'll wager. (If the books are ever done, which I wouldn't bet on.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:51 AM on April 15, 2011


If you don't finish the series then the terrorists Lannisters win!

After reading some of these comments it occurs to me I may have not read the last book to come out, though I thought I was all caught up. I can no longer remember who's dead and who isn't.
posted by ODiV at 9:40 AM on April 15, 2011


I happen to think that the fans of the book brought this on themselves. I was introduced to the books by people who were like "It's slightly fantasy, but it reads more like a historical novel about the 100 years war!" Subsequently, I heard that comparison a lot.

The Hundred Years War took 116 years to finish. You knew what you were getting into people.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ooh -- is this the thread where I can complain about Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand, one of my favorite books as a young teen and part 1 of a diptych that was to be completed with The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities? I think everyone should learn this lesson about art and artists at an early age like I did. Samuel R. Delaney published the first in 1984, and I now can't even remember when I forgot the plot, the characters, and even (until reminders like this one) that there was a promised followup. That's life: artists die, interests shift, and shows are cancelled, no matter how many nuts you mail to the studio.
posted by chortly at 2:38 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he has a pretty good excuse.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:11 PM on April 17, 2011


I don't blame him -- as I said, such is the nature of art. Though for a while I did hope he might reinvent whatever he had originally intended in response to the changes in his personal life and the AIDS crisis. And I'm still a bit sad that that was, essentially, the end of his SF career.
posted by chortly at 7:59 PM on April 17, 2011


Reddit seems to be having a ridiculous entitlement freakout over the portal 2 ARG, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on April 18, 2011


Reddit seems to be having a ridiculous entitlement freakout over the portal 2 ARG, EVERYTHING FWIW.

FTFY.
posted by GuyZero at 3:18 PM on April 18, 2011


/r/gaming is a little jumpy, I'll admit. Especially with Valve - once a week they have a "Steam ate my account, oh whoops it was because I did something stupid, oh whoops they would have got back to me if I'd just waited fifteen minutes" freakout post.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on April 18, 2011


Century #2 has been scheduled for July for a while now.

And it's listed for pre-order now, so maybe it'll actually happen.
posted by Zed at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2011


I guess this means the next book is done.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:48 PM on April 27, 2011


Goodbye, friends, the ground will surely open and swallow us all. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
posted by Justinian at 5:29 PM on April 29, 2011


Done.
posted by zabuni at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2011


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