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George isn't sitting on his ass...he's just pissing us off

 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: George isn't sitting on his ass...he's just pissing us off Reply with quote

I wrote this at Ahira's Hangar, and tossed a barb at this forum while I was at it. I thought you guys would find it amusing and that it would provide a place to rant while waiting for (will it ever be published?) DWD...

At KW I wrote:
Just started Hunter's Run a very intriguing looking SciFi by two New Mexico authors and a famous editor/author. George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham and Gardner Dozois - and it's based on Dozios' rough draft from the very early '70s. You can feel Martin and Abraham's influence right away as it's stocked with Mexican/New Mexican folklore.


Aside from the fact that I am almost beyond my breaking point waiting for Dances With Dragons to come out, and needed a Martin fix it was, actually, Stephen Martiniere's cool-ass cover that drew my attention to this book. I vowed, at one point, to never read any of Martin's "side-work" until A Song of Ice and Fire was finished. The Hedge Knight stuff was acceptable as it gave history lessons of Westeros. I needed a SciFi as, for some reason, I stopped Bank's Use of Weapons 200 paqes in and haven't been able to pick it up since. Nothing wrong with it-just haven't been able to do it.

I'm just 10 pages in, but the bare bones of the original fight talked about in the above synopsis have taken place. It's definitely Martin writing that scene while Abraham fills in the lore. Like Stephen R. Donaldson's "Man Who" detective novels where Puerto del Sol is modeled after Albuquerque, you can already feel the same thing with Diegotown. Like the Hegria in those books mirroring the real life dive bar the El Madrid, there really is an El Rey in downtown Albuquerque...Initially it's really funny seeing a couple of white guys try to create a bastard 'vato' character, but Espejo's dillema is so compelling that you can give them a break and suddenly they are doing a very commendable job, so far.

OK here's the rant I promised at the Watch, but they'll never come over and see it anyway-lazy butts stealing our Martin forum away from us...

When I first attended Bubonicon (the New Mexico SciFi/Fantasy con) 5 years ago it was to confirm the rumors that Donaldson was starting the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Having read the first 3 ASOIAF books in the meantime I was in awe as I watched George R. R. Martin and his entourage of Parris, Sage Walker, Melinda Snodgress and Daniel Abraham walking from The Owl Cafe back to the hotel. Now I'm kinda pissed that such an entourage exists-so buying this book feels like: If you can't stop Martin's side projects, join 'em. As a Martin fan you're painfully aware that there was a big gap between ASOS and Crows and now an even bigger gap between that book and whenever DWD will ever come out. The second time I saw Martin at the convention he was combative with everyone wondering if AFFC would ever come out-now I think most of his fans have thrown-up their hands. I haven't given up but I have thrown up my hands.

It's stuff like this, working with The Dabel Bros on various projects and focusing on the "Wild Cards" series, that originated from a long-running Albuquerque, New Mexico campaign of the role-playing game Superworld, gamemastered by Martin. That seem to have totally distracted him from concentrating on ASOIAF. With the publication of WC's Inside Straight and this year's Busted Flush and managing his contributors, yes for the most part great NM talent:
Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, Leanne C. Harper, Chris Claremont, Victor Milán, John J. Miller, and Abraham. It's not like he's sitting around being idle, but he's still pissing off, and in some cases, alienating his ASOIAF fans.


Last edited by danlo on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:52 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree, danlo. Having just recently finished Feast for Crows (I finally broke down and read it!), I'm *quite* ready for the next book. But I ain't holding my breath.

I suspect Martin has himself a ginormous case of writer's block on ASOAIF, which is why he's moving ahead with other projects. Spoiler:
Not that I would mind it if he left Cersei to rot in jail for all eternity
...but it would be nice if he would come back to the series and wrap things up. It's not like he left it the way SRD did at the end of the 2nd Chrons, with an ending.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, even the award winning author Connie Willis could be said to be part of GRRM's evil cabal. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin For instance the dedication of Hunter's Run to her says she "...learned everything from George and Gardner and taught it to Daniel.", LOL. What's more infuriating about this publication is that it lists a number of Martin's past work, including the 4 ASOIAF books, but then makes ASOIAF fans even crazier by saying that the forthcoming books in the series are DWD, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

I knew that and you guys, probably, knew that but, crap-I didn't need to be teased and reminded of that...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's got THREE more books coming in this series??? Shocked

Let's see, considering how fat he writes, that's at *least* five more books...

...and given the number of years (and other projects) in between books, we're lookin' at, what, another 25 years or so before he wraps up the whole series?? Crazy

And we complain about SRD's writing rate....
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, at least he managed to knock out a novelette for the Jack Vance tribute anthology that he edited.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George is a busy guy. Now in his sixties, George has some thirty projects in the works, the least of which is the work he's doing with the Vance Anthology, Wild Cards, Valyrian Steel, A Game of Thrones board games and card collectibles, his work going into the HBO pilot, promotional work for White Dragon, Sci-fi and comic-cons and the occasional break (how does he take one?), then I think it's pretty easy to realize why Dance isn't done.

George exists in fifteen dimensions simultaneously. Sadly, Dance only exists in one of these, and in that dimension the robbery of his house (which happened last summer) included the theft of the only backup of Dance.

So... the book is dead. Let's all take a moment to weep, and move on. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, this isnt a double post, just an update.

Direct from the George's mouth:

"No, it's not done.

Yes, I am aware that more than a year has passed since my last update. A lot of you have been emailing me to point that out. Thanks, but really, I did know. Unlike many of you out there, I got my copies of the Song of Ice & Fire calendar, so I knew what date it was.

No, I'm not planning to update the update, for reasons stated in the update itself. Until such time as I can write, "It's done," it will remain the last update... aside from what I may say here from time to time, on my Not-A-Blog.

I made a lot of progress on the book in the first half of 2008. So much so that I was optimistic that I would be done by the end of the year. Unfortunately, I did not make much progress on the book in the second half of 2008. Indeed, I made some regress. (That Sansa chapter I talked about finishing, for instance. It's still finished, but my editor and I decided it belongs in THE WINDS OF WINTER, not A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, so it's been moved into the next book. Sansa will not appear in DANCE.)

Some of the reasons were literary, arising from problems in the narrative itself. I'm not going to discuss them here, because I really do not like talking about questions I am still wrestling with on a work in progress. It never helps. Art is not a democracy, and these are problems I need to solve myself. Having a few hundred readers weigh in with their thoughts and opinions -- which seems to be what happens whenever I post here about DWD -- does not advance the process. I'm sorry, but that's true. I know that many of you would like to help me, but you can't. I have editors and I have two capable assistants, and that's sufficient. I'm the only one who can dance this dance.

Some of other reasons for the delay have nothing to do with the book itself. They're extra-literary, arising from other things in my life. I could sketch out some of them here, sure, but what good would it do? Those who are inclined to understand would send me messages of sympathy and support. Those are not so inclined would dismiss them as "excuses," or even "feeble excuses." A few will even go so far as to accuse me of lying.

That's the part that really bothers me. For the record, I have never lied about anything having to do with A DANCE WITH DRAGONS or the series as a whole. I have been wrong, yes. I have been wrong lots of time, especially when I've tried to predict how long it will take me to complete the book, or when it will be published. Being wrong is not the same as lying. Since the very beginning of this series, I have been guilty of being over-optimistic about how long it would take me to finish the next book, the next chapter, or the series as a whole. I cannot deny that. I have always been bad with deadlines... one reason why I did my best to avoid them for the first fifteen years of my career. That's an option I no longer have, however. Or at least will not have until A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is complete.

That's the main reason why I no longer want to give any completion dates. I am sick and tired of people jumping down my throat when I miss them.

This latest flood of emails has worn down my resolve, however. So in hopes of quieting it, once more I will step into the breach --



I am trying to finish the book by June. I think I can do that. If I do, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will likely be published in September or October.

(Yes, I am aware that I have previously said that I hoped to finish by the end of 2008. And before that, I said that I hoped to finish by June 2008, before I went to Spain and Portugal. And before that, I said I hoped to finish by the end of 2007. I know, I know, I know. No, I was not lying. I was wrong. And wrong again. And wrong before that. This time I hope that I am right. But you know, I can't swear that in blood. I write one chapter at a time. One page at a time. One word at a time. And then the next.)

That's all I have. But it's more than Amazon has, or anyone else.

The INSTANT that I finish the novel and put it in the mail to Bantam, I will post that fact here, just as I did for SUICIDE KINGS a few days ago. Until and unless you read that announcement here, believe nothing you hear from any other source.

I have made a lot of progress on the book since August 2007, but this part hasn't changed:



Thanks for your continued support... and for your patience."

So... no Sansa in Dance, and he hopes we will be reading by fall. That answers that.

-B

p.s. On George's Livejournal he has the cover for Dance up... nothing spectacular, but hey, them's the breaks, no?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's more definite than anything we've had from him in awhile... Thanks for posting it, Baradakas!

Sounds like he's as frustrated as the rest of us. And, as I suspected, it sounds like a ginormous case of writer's block is at the heart of it. Jeez, now I'm starting to feel sorry for the guy....
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hurray! He's already started The Winds of Winter!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He technically had half of DwD done when Feast came out, too.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But, it seems like us pesky fans are too hard on him. Is it any wonder??? We LOVE this story, hehehehe.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Scalzi posted this about it today. I agree with him.

Quote:
Seriously, people, WTF? Give the man a friggin’ break. Yes, it’s taking a while. Yes, he’s doing other things. But I assume it’s taking time because GRRM believes it’s worth getting right, and I assume he’s doing other things because he wants to stay sane. Let the guy do what he needs to do to make himself happy, and happy with the writing. You’ll benefit from a book that you’ll actually want to read, as opposed to a book that is simply there to have.

All of this comes around again to the question of what authors owe their readers. My opinion on this is that what authors owe their readers is that when their book comes out, it is, in the estimation of the author, as good as the author can make it. Everything else — how much time it takes, what else the author is doing with his time, so on and so forth — is neither here nor there. Now, certainly some fans may think differently about that. But they’re not writing the book. It’s a subtle yet telling difference, there.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Scalzi, too. On the whole, I don't care how long it takes him to write the next book or finish the series. I would rather read a book that's done properly than one that was written quickly anyday. And there are other books out there to read. But, I've lost my confidence in Martin being able to do a good job finishing this series. AFFC was a stinker, there's no other way to put it. It wasn't a complete novel, and I really wonder if he's capable of finishing the story properly.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't the best book in the series, but I enjoyed many aspects of it like Arya, Cersie's wonderful fate and Sam's journey. It served it's purpose advancing the story.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Thread necromancy!)

No matter how long it's going to take him to finish it all (and it will be long, you can count on it), there's one thing that's easily predicted: fans will be disappointed by the ending. Everyone has got himself so worked up about these books, there's no way GRRM can live up to the huge expectations.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiral Jacobs wrote:
Everyone has got himself so worked up about these books, there's no way GRRM can live up to the huge expectations.


I suspect that is part of the problem as to why it's not done yet Smile
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