Join 3,521 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A song to the bearded glacier
June 26, 2012 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Write Like The Wind (George R.R. Martin) is a tuneful plea by Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo and Paul Sabourin that perhaps it's time for the author to work hard finishing up his Song Of Fire And Ice series.
posted by hippybear (60 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Clever. I enjoyed this thoroughly.
posted by schyler523 at 6:31 PM on June 26, 2012


Definitely amusing, but my mind immediately jumped to the Neil Gaiman Assertion: Authors aren't your bitch. Which came into existence specifically with regards to GRR Martin, and which I learned about here on mefi!

It's still a fun song, though!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 6:36 PM on June 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


My brain is twitching because that should be "A Song of Ice and Fire". I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me, really.
posted by Scientist at 6:37 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul and Storm, previously, to another George.
posted by gracedissolved at 6:37 PM on June 26, 2012


mister martin sighs and turns on the superbowl.
posted by boo_radley at 6:38 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


my mind immediately jumped to the Neil Gaiman Assertion: Authors aren't your bitch.

And is mentioned specifically in the lyrics.
posted by hippybear at 6:38 PM on June 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dancing RailRoads with Ren Faire turkey legs! Yay!
posted by ocherdraco at 6:39 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck. Also, yes.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:41 PM on June 26, 2012


I liked this! It carried the sense of "Hey, please write more books! We wait so long between them and we love them!" which is awesome, because I was bracing myself for the whole "HEY, DON'T DIE BECAUSE IF YOU DIE THEN I WON'T GET TO KNOW HOW THIS STORY ABOUT ELVES ENDS," which, you know, perspective, dude.

Also it was catchy, also the bit about Star Wars cracked me up.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:44 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is very well done, thanks. It is a message to GRRM that we love the work and hope it comes to a conclusion soon without the (sometimes ironic and sometimes insane) bitterness that is sometimes involved in the whiny portion of the fanbase. It's just a catchy tune with a simple message, I like how it shifted into the TV show theme.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:47 PM on June 26, 2012


Nope, he's going to kick off this mortal coil and leave us with his son's re-written box six.

Said son and his newly un-estranged brother will then write prequels until their finger's bleed.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:00 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


No matter how you say this, Martin will /eventually/ fire back from his website that, hey, man, you don't own him. I give him 1-2 years, tops. He'll totally respond and put these guys /down/.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:01 PM on June 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Authors aren't your bitch.

This is true but I am now at the point where I will not start reading an unfinished series unless the author posts a completion bond.


(Ditto for any TV series with a mystery based narrative arc by the way).
posted by srboisvert at 7:03 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


George R.R. Martin indeed is my bitch, but that's a sex thing, not a novel-writing thing. He can do what he wants in his career, but every alternate Thursday, he comes over to my place and out come the thigh boots and the large vibrating egg.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:06 PM on June 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


Good use of Vork and turkey legs. Two thumbs up.
posted by Mittenz at 7:08 PM on June 26, 2012


Oh god that is hilarious. Filk has come a long way, hasn't it?

There are little bits where you wish they had fine-tuned the timing slightly, but it's pretty polished. The bit toward the end where they're facing off with various weapons is great though. Production values are pretty high, it looks good, they sound good. Freakin' great stuff, I've watched it three times now and I'm sure it won't be the last time tonight. I love this.
posted by Scientist at 7:16 PM on June 26, 2012


If Martin doesn't bother tying things up, the folks behind the TV show will get to write the ending. That would be for the best.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: out come the thigh boots and the large vibrating egg
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:42 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got to see these guys live at PAX East this year. They were fucking hilarious.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:45 PM on June 26, 2012


I don't know. I know we've hashed this out extensively, and I'm well aware of Gaiman's Assertion, and I know how obnoxious sci-fi fans can be, being an obsessive sci-fi fan myself. But I can't get past the impression that series writers do make an implicit promise with the reader. "Sorry I didn't finish the story, I know I didn't really wrap things up very well, but the payoff will be worth it." If the author has no obligation to finish the story, then shouldn't we reject series fiction and only accept stand-alone novels? Is that really what authors like Gaiman and Martin, who made their reputations on series, want?
posted by Palquito at 7:48 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The "Great Bearded Glacier" quip is on the money.

(Money for which I will gladly part, Mr Martin, if you finish the series. Or write more Tuf books. or both.)
posted by Mezentian at 8:03 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vaguely (because I was 16 at the time) remember that after Stephen King was struck by a van, fans worried he wouldn't be able to complete the Dark Tower series. The entitled response – hey, I want to read this book! you can't die! – always rubbed me the wrong way.


(Incidentally, King apparently bought the van and had planned to personally destroy it with a pickaxe.)

posted by deathpanels at 8:23 PM on June 26, 2012


I vaguely (because I was 16 at the time) remember that after Stephen King was struck by a van, fans worried he wouldn't be able to complete the Dark Tower series.

To be fair, it apparently still isn't complete. The new volume in the series comes out later this year.
posted by hippybear at 8:27 PM on June 26, 2012


If Martin doesn't bother tying things up, the folks behind the TV show will get to write the ending. That would be for the best.

He's already given them the basic plot points, so at least they wouldn't be pulling out of their butts. It seems like the whole thing is written with an eventual goal in mind, and it's just working out the details that take a long time.

I have a feeling the last book will be much easier since shit will get real, the Others will breach the Wall and kill half the POV characters, and book 7 will mostly be mopping up the pieces.
posted by LionIndex at 8:33 PM on June 26, 2012


Cute! But I was very much expecting Cristopher Cross' "ride like the wind."

Gotta write! Write like the wiind...
George R. R. Martiin.

(Yacht rock 4evr)
posted by Kloryne at 8:46 PM on June 26, 2012


Definitely amusing, but my mind immediately jumped to the Neil Gaiman Assertion: Authors aren't your bitch.

First, that's specifically addressed in the tune.

Secondly, Gaiman's thing never made sense to me. The New York Yankees aren't my bitches either but I am perfectly free to say they're a bunch of overpaid wankers. A waiter isn't my bitch but I can point out when he provides shitty, slow service.

Similarly, GRRM isn't my bitch but I have the absolute right to say that his last book mostly blew chunks and that he'd probably get more done if he spent more time writing and less time self-promoting and never meeting a merchandising opportunity he didn't like.
posted by Justinian at 9:11 PM on June 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


The new volume in the [Dark Tower] series comes out later this year.

Uh... *heh*

and, as someone who had mixed feelings about the seventh volume, I was quite happy with it, although King fans will note certain similarities between the story-within-the-story-within-the-story and plot elements in his and Peter Straub's The Talisman, but it's still well worth a read.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:46 PM on June 26, 2012


See, this stuff makes me all the more confident in my decision not to read the books after getting hooked on the show. I only have to wait a year for my fix!
posted by palidor at 10:15 PM on June 26, 2012


Robert Jordan... you can only carry a torch for so long. I mean people can die waiting for you to wrap this up...
posted by pdxpogo at 10:35 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mar-tin was a man.
Okay, he was a dragon-man.
Maybe he was just a dragon.
But he was still
MAR-TINNNNNN
MAR-TINNNNNN
posted by bicyclefish at 10:42 PM on June 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know we've hashed this out extensively, and I'm well aware of Gaiman's Assertion, and I know how obnoxious sci-fi fans can be, being an obsessive sci-fi fan myself. But I can't get past the impression that series writers do make an implicit promise with the reader. "Sorry I didn't finish the story, I know I didn't really wrap things up very well, but the payoff will be worth it."

This is so. If something is being sold for the payoff, as an investment in future volumes, readers have every right to get antsy as to whether the end will ever come and whether it will be worth it. A TV reveiwer once commented on "Lost" that every time you foreshadowed or alluded to a later explanation or climax, you were borrowing from the future for a payoff in the present. And this applies to many of these long running epics.

Of course, the alternative is for readers not to get invested in the end, but to enjoy any volume for its own merits. But, looked at this way, I suspect most of these endless fantasy series wouldn't be worth anyones time.
posted by outlier at 1:21 AM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, I just finished reading all five books of A Song of Ice and Fire over the last few months, back to back. And while I've heard lots of complaints about how FFC was a low point in the book, that the series is starting to suck, etc... I didn't really find it to be so. In particular, a lot of people complain that he meanders too much post SOS and is dragging everything out, but in fact I kind of welcomed the slowdown in pace in FFC after the painful events of SOS. The adrenaline was building up ever since the second half of GOT, and reached a peak in SOS... and after the FFC kind of helped me calm down and relax a bit.

Thus I'm wondering if part of the reason people are getting unhappy with the new books is because they aren't reading them back to back, but with several years gap in between. The wait builds anticipation, and makes you feel ready to get into the thick of the action once again, and when nothing seems to happen you feel shortchanged.

But if you look at the books as a series, FFC isn't really taking that much "time"; its a bit of an interlude between major acts. Perhaps when all 7 books are done and are read in one go, the slow parts won't feel that draggy at all.
posted by destrius at 1:54 AM on June 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


They should call themselves R.R. Top.
posted by elgilito at 2:11 AM on June 27, 2012


Given the length these novels are it's no surprise it's taking him a while. Each one of his novels is longer than Lord of the Rings.
posted by bap98189 at 3:57 AM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got to see these guys live at PAX East this year. They were fucking hilarious.

I saw them at DragonCon last year opening for Jonathan Coulton. They were a hoot.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:38 AM on June 27, 2012


I think, as someone who's been playing the wait-for-GRRM's-book for a very long time now, that it's not so much that he's taking so long, but that he actively promises it won't take so long, and then proceeds to not finish the books at the pace he promises. (Yeah, AFFC and ADWD, I'm looking at YOU.)

I love Neil Gaiman, and I understand how he could want to come to the defense of an author, being an author himself...but there's another truth, too: that GRRM is writing for a publishing company that (presumably) made a contract with him for the entire series. I don't think any publishing company would say, "Yeah, write us a series, and finish it if you want." And then that publishing company makes commitments to us, on that basis. Sometimes we even pre-order the book, expecting a delivery date on schedule.

The books are good, but we wait so long for them that they wind up being not enough of a fix. Destrius is completely right- reading them in sequence, it seems fantastic. But when you have to wait five years in between books, your want to find out what happened has just reached a boiling point. The other problem was the split of the books meant that you don't really get to find out what happened to half of the characters in each of the last two books, so it felt even more like not enough.
posted by corb at 4:40 AM on June 27, 2012


Dark Tower is a weird case when it comes for waiting for series to be completed. I read the first four books shortly before it became clear the fifth was on its way. (And long enough before the fifth came out that I would have to re-read the first four and that seems like a lot of work, so I've never read the ones that have come out since.) At that point, Stephen King said he intended to finish the series sometime, but there was no expectation that would actually happen. It was sort of like the Hitchhiker's Guide movie.

I don't think any publishing company would say, "Yeah, write us a series, and finish it if you want." And then that publishing company makes commitments to us, on that basis. Sometimes we even pre-order the book, expecting a delivery date on schedule.

Except that this model seems to work well enough that it continues.
posted by hoyland at 5:18 AM on June 27, 2012


I got to see these guys live at PAX East this year. They were fucking hilarious.

I saw them at DragonCon last year opening for Jonathan Coulton. They were a hoot.


Saw them in St. Louis. Paul and Storm were more entertaining overall than Coulton.

And then saw JoCo opening for They Might Be Giants... and JoCo did all his not-fun songs about dysfunctional relationships that don't involve mad science, plus the obligatory Mr. Fancy Pants. No "Creepy Doll." No "Skullcrusher Mountain." No "RE: Your Brains." Not even "Still Alive." Just the depressing shit and the one fun gimmick tune.

Made me wish it was Paul and Storm opening instead.
posted by Foosnark at 6:45 AM on June 27, 2012


See also: Please, Please George by Dinosaur Feathers.

I saw them as the opening band in a concert last year. They said, "this next song is about the Song of Ice and Fire," and I thought they were joking until they started singing.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:00 AM on June 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's pretty safe to say that Paul and Storm are writing this song from the point of view of a self-aware yet still-entitled fan, rather than directly from the perspective of Paul Sabourin and/or Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo.
posted by jscalzi at 8:22 AM on June 27, 2012


People saying they won't read unfinished series rubs me the same way as "I don't even own a television."

It's also just bizarre to me. Of course I want things to end well, but there are plenty of great things that exist that have bad endings or never ended at all, and missing out on all of them would just be a damn, damn shame.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:08 AM on June 27, 2012


People saying they won't read unfinished series rubs me the same way as "I don't even own a television."

I think that "done or dead" comes from a very different place than "I don't even own a television". The latter is basically denigrating the medium by claiming it is so unimportant or uninspiring that they can't even bother to participate. The former, on the other hand, is saying that even though someone might love the genre, they don't want to invest themselves into something that has no end in sight.

I'm not saying that authors owe me anything, but the simple fact for me is that over a long enough time, having the start of a story in my mind and in my imagination and yet being made to wait for years and years for the story to continue or conclude makes the whole thing a net negative to me. A series of books that I would have loved over the course of 5 years can become soured if they instead take decades.

3 years, 5 years? Sure, OK. 10? That's pushing it. But ASoIAF? We're at 16 years at this point, with at least 10 more to go if the current rate continues. And so I'm not saying I'm never going to read the books, but I'm certainly not going to keep trying to keep myself invested in it. I frankly do not have it in me to remain enthusiastic about something with that slow a pace over that period of time.

I know that there are a lot of people for whom this is not the case. That's completely fine. Enjoy the books at the rate they are published, and be happy. For me, though, it just doesn't work.
posted by tocts at 11:17 AM on June 27, 2012


Needs more Harp Twins.
posted by homunculus at 11:25 AM on June 27, 2012


So funny, and it has a bonus crossover character from a series I like (or am I seeing things?).
posted by dragonplayer at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2012


The last two books were dreadful and completely extinguished my interest in what was a spectacular series. If he would recall those two and try again I might be interested.
posted by Jackson at 12:40 PM on June 27, 2012


I actually wrote a long blog post about this whole issue back when Gaiman made his Assertion. tl;dr: Martin's biggest problem is that he has, in the past, had the bad habit of promising dates he couldn't deliver on. (And I'd argue that the HBO series constitutes another promise that he may or may not be able to keep, namely, that he can stay ahead of the show.)

Love the song, though, and love Paul and Storm. (And Vork - dragonplayer, you're totally not seeing things.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:07 PM on June 27, 2012


And I'd argue that the HBO series constitutes another promise that he may or may not be able to keep, namely, that he can stay ahead of the show.

"May or may not"? Is there even a chance he'll keep ahead of the show?
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that a couple of the books are going to be split into two seasons, so there's a chance? I think?
posted by restless_nomad at 4:22 PM on June 27, 2012


People saying they won't read unfinished series rubs me the same way as "I don't even own a television."

Curious.
I've switched to the "I won't read unfinished series" in the last decade because, well, I started The Wheel of Time. I made the mistake of dipping into The Sword of Truth.
Had I waited I would never have abandoned either series for crappy writing, meandering plots, or endless word-churning.

I made an exception for GRRM, as I'd been buying ASOI&F as and when they came out. I ploughed through them when I knew the TV series was looming because I wanted to be informed by the books... and now I am left hanging.

And in five years, when Winds of Winter comes out I'm going to be faced with re-reading all five earlier books, or being even more confused by who tertiary characters are, and what a minor plot point I read years earlier means.

It distracts from my enjoyment. I'd rather know a thing was finished, or close to being finished, before I commit.
posted by Mezentian at 5:01 PM on June 27, 2012


And I'd argue that the HBO series constitutes another promise that he may or may not be able to keep, namely, that he can stay ahead of the show.

"May or may not"? Is there even a chance he'll keep ahead of the show?

My understanding is that a couple of the books are going to be split into two seasons, so there's a chance? I think?


Yes, this is entirely true.

A Storm Of Swords will take two seasons for the HBO series to cover.

Starting with A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, the TV series will apparently be sort of combining those books in odd ways, since they cover parallel time lines but do so without making the time lines overlap in the way the stories are told. So they will be consolidating those books into a coherent single (yet fractured) time-line so viewers have a better grasp on what events are happening simultaneously to different characters, even if the events are from completely different books.

That will probably take 4 seasons to cover.

So there's a chance that GRRM will have The Winds Of Winter done before the show catches up with that, and then he'll have another 2-3 years while the TV show goes through that book before he has to publish A Dream Of Spring.

Most interesting will be to see how close that race comes, and whether we end up with the odd possibility that ADOS will be airing on TV before the book is published with the producers working from material already written but not yet in book form, etc.
posted by hippybear at 6:28 PM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


And in five years, when Winds of Winter comes out I'm going to be faced with re-reading all five earlier books

You say that like it's a hardship. I personally can't wait for my pre-WoW re-read. I read all of the books this winter and spring, but I kind of raced through them. Lurking on fan boards a bit has made me realize how many subtle things I missed and I'm really looking forward to a re-read in a few years.

A nitpick about the video, which I otherwise loved: it kind of annoys me when people say GRRM kills all your favorite characters. Without getting too spoilery, that doesn't really seem true.
posted by lunasol at 7:18 PM on June 27, 2012


Is A Dream of Spring really the final title? Because, man, it sounds way too much like A Memory of Light to me.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:20 PM on June 27, 2012


Is A Dream of Spring really the final title?

That's what Wikipedia claims, so I just went with it.
posted by hippybear at 7:30 PM on June 27, 2012


Re-reading is a hardship.
There are so many unread books in the world (hell, unread books on my shelves) that re-reading too soon is so wasteful.

Without getting too spoilery, that doesn't really seem true.
[Redacted] fans disapprove of your opinion.
[Redacted] isn't coming back.

hippybear says that "That will probably take 4 seasons to cover.".
I say this completely seriously:
Won't someone think of the children?
They're already growing up so quickly.

Less seriously:
Won't someone think of Hordor's back?
posted by Mezentian at 8:21 PM on June 27, 2012


Re: Hodor's back: that's what the wheelbarrow is for!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:46 PM on June 27, 2012


I say this completely seriously:
Won't someone think of the children?

In all fairness though if you have a 12-year series or so, your child actors will grow older. It still cracks me up that Emilia Clark (Daenerys) was born in 1987 and her character is supposed to be 13 in the books and 16(?) in the books.
posted by ersatz at 4:17 AM on June 28, 2012


Game of Thrones to the tune of Maroon 5's Payphone
posted by the_artificer at 1:27 AM on July 14, 2012


In all fairness though if you have a 12-year series or so, your child actors will grow older. It still cracks me up that Emilia Clark (Daenerys) was born in 1987 and her character is supposed to be 13 in the books and 16(?) in the books.

It's been fairly well documented in many places that GRRM originally started out the characters so young because he intended there to be a... 5 year? gap between a couple of the books, allowing them to grow up. But by the time the TV series came around, he had given up on that idea (resulting in much re-writing of things, delaying books even further), so some of the characters got aged-up for the TV series.
posted by antifuse at 12:55 PM on July 19, 2012


I still wonder if that's really going to bite him in the ass with Rickon.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:07 PM on July 19, 2012


Rickon seems so very much like a non-character now. But then, I've only just started book 5. So who knows?
posted by antifuse at 4:45 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older Rise of Flight is a World War 1 combat flight simu...  |  In a light-hearted but genuine... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments