1. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    New Yorker article on George R.R. Martin

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by minstrel, Apr 11, 2011.

    The current issue of the New Yorker (April 11 2011) has an article on George R.R. Martin, focusing on the reaction of his fans to the delays in completion of his series "A Song Of Ice and Fire."

    Many members of this forum are working on fantasy series. I recommend that all of them read this article, because it makes working on a fantasy series seem like indentured servitude. Or worse. The way some of the fans seem to be treating the author of their favorite series is appalling. Some of them have even set up web forums dedicated to "denigrating Martin and his supporters." He actually has fans emailing him "You'd better not pull a Jordan" (referring to Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series) meaning dying before he finishes his series.

    The thrust of the article is about what an author owes his fans. And how far across the line fans can go.

    All I can say is that I never ever ever want to write a series. Every story I write, even if I get novels published, should be a stand-alone work. I do NOT want fans like GRRM's so-called "fans".
     
  2. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    Firstly, Martin is a whole other beast now. He's not just published writer, he's a published mega-writer, and thus should be judged on a different level. Like it or not, he's going to be remembered for a long time, a la Lord of the Rings, for a song and Ice and Fire series.

    Fans had a right in my opinion to be a little mad at old George. I was one of those fans as well, but I agree with you that death threats and the such are a little ridiculous.

    However, I'm almost positive Martin has been compromised by his own success. The release of the show as an HBO series is only going to cause it to explode in sales even more, and I hope he's listened to his fans and learned from A feast for crows.

    A feast for crows was nothing compared to the first three books. I'm afraid, though don't want to believe, that he just wanted to bleed out the series for money, and thus made AFFC to drag on the number of books and increase sales. In turn, AFFC really had nothing at all interesting happen, no progression, about characters nobody really cared about.

    Hopefully, why his new book took to long is that he's had to pack a lot of progression and storyline in to make up for the nothingness of AFFC. If he wants to take a long time to write his book, I'm fine with that, its his book. If he wants to make 3 very good books, and then just release a crappy fourth to ride on the hype and bring in the dough, I'm gonna have to judge a little bit.
     
  3. Fang990
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    Fang990 Member

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    Did they post the article online, or do you have to go out and buy a physical copy?

    Anyway I'm a huge fan of the series, and yeah book 4 was just filler, but I don't think he did it just to milk out the popularity. The scale of the series is just huge with the amount of characters and everything, and I can see how he could start writting AFFC and it just end up getting too long. I do think I would have split the character POV's differently, which may have solved the lack of plot progression.

    On a positive note I'm looking forward to A Dance With Dragons, and the tv show.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I loved AFFC...am I really the only one?

    Published writer or published mega-writer, I don't think that "fans" should get up in arms because it takes a long time for a book to be finished. Minstrel, I'm with you...never going to write a series.
     
  5. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously, Martin received death threats? I mean, what would they say? "You better finish this series before you die or we'll kill you!" :rolleyes:

    I agree that a Feast for Crows was very different. But didn't it come about because a Dance of Dragons was becoming too long and he had to divide it in half? Or was that another book?

    Personally, I didn't care much for a FfC because it introduced too many new plots that weren't resolved, like
    Arya waking up blind.

    And doesn't HBO's Game of Thrones start this Sunday? From the trailers, it looks like they stayed as close as they could to the source material, but I'm really only impressed with three of the actors. Ned Stark (Sean Bean:D ), Tryrion (Peter Dinklage), and Little Finger (Aidan Gillen).
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    No, I didn't mean to imply that Martin had received death threats. But he had fans who were saying that they didn't want him to die before he finishes his series. But they sounded pretty mean about it. "Don't you DARE pull a Jordan!" That sort of thing.

    Here's how I see it: A writer writes a book, and the fan buys the book. So they're square - the fan has paid for what the writer wrote. The fan did not pay MORE than the book was worth, so the fan has no right to expect more from that writer. If the writer writes another book in the series, the fan can buy that one too, and they're square again. There is NEVER a situation in which the writer owes the fan more than the books he's already written and been paid for.
     
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  7. Fang990
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    Fang990 Member

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    Yes, He said he started writing the book and it just got waaaayyy to long so he split the POV chacaters between the south (AFFC) and the north/across the narrow sea (ADWD). Most all the characters I really like are in the next book so AFFC wasn't all that interesting to me, jamie was the highlight of the book.
     
  8. Chris Gentry
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    Chris Gentry Member

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    Aye, I feel sorry for Martin. He wrote four excellent books, books that were worth the money I spent on them. That is all that he owed me and his fans.
    I didn't pay for an entire series and Martin doesn't owe me an entire series.

    Honestly, I wouldn't be shocked if the stress kills him and all of these rabid fools will be to blame. Call me crazy but I think Martin's health is more important than the ending to a good serious.

    As for AFFC's, I agree Jaime was the most fascinating character in it. Fortunately, I like Jaime so i still enjoyed the book.
     
  9. Fang990
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    Fang990 Member

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    I'm not gonna bother putting any spoiler up because I assume if you're readingt his thread you've read the book....if not the just skip over my post.

    I think Jamie's quest for redemption, if you wanna call it that, is what made him interesting to me. That with the inner turmoil he has with his claim to fame and all that. I wanted him to die a slow painfull death for the first two books.
     
  10. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    They are some horrid folks out there.

    Thinking of the film Misery -maybe it wasn't that far-fetched after all.
     
  11. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    Honestly, it's worth the wait. Well, hopefully.

    AFFC was the weakpoint of the series, but it was also still really good, imo. Compared to other fantasy books at least - in terms of writing and characters.

    Hopefully he will adjust to vast increase of fame and pressure he is going to get here. HBO just renewed the ASOIAF series just after the first episode of A Game of Thrones.

    Basically, as others have said on here, he's going to be big now.
     
  12. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I'm about 3/4 of the way through A Feast For Crows, and while it does have its strong points on the whole I think it's by far the worst in the series so far.

    The Arya plot has probably been my favourite, especially now that Harrenhal's been left behind. I've found Braavosi culture the most interesting in the series, and seeing it more in depth has been the high point of the novel. I'm not so put off by Arya
    going blind, I kind of saw it coming. In the house of the Many-Faced God, a lot of emphasis was put on the loss of self, including the senses. I see her loss of sight as a continuation of her training, hopefully culminating in her becoming a Faceless Man. Thanks to the separation of the books we probably won't know for another 13 years or so :rolleyes:

    Jaime's plot has also been great, largely because it features Jaime. The Iron Men plots have been good, though I look forward to their inevitable barbecuing.

    Cersei's plot has been disappointing. She just seems completely lost and incompetent, while utterly convinced that she's the smartest one in the room. She's been so dislikable up to this point I can't feel bad for her, but if her reign falls in this book it won't feel very satisfying either. It seems so obvious that Taena is playing her...

    Brienne's chapters are just awful. Worst part of the series. I'd have rather seen Bronn's duel first hand. Actually, now that I think about it, the occasional Bronn perspective scene would be incredible.

    If the series lasts long enough, I wonder what HBO is going to do with AFFC. Especially after Storm of Swords, it's going to feel incredibly anticlimactic. The worst part is the book keeps hinting at, or setting up very interesting plots in the other storylines, but instead of seeing them we're stuck with Brienne's pointless trek through the middle of nowhere.
     

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