nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Maybe this man should quit writing novels and become a cartoonist

Or maybe not....the cartoons at the link about what it's like to be an author with demanding fans are hysterically funny, but the book sounds interesting, too.

Anyway, this is also an excuse to write, a little late, about GRRMartin's upcoming book and me.

Recently, Martin wrote about being harassed about the long-promised fifth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The short version is that he's been saying the book was coming out (the earliest version was that it was almost done), and some fans have been nasty about him working on other things or having fun.

I loved A Game of Thrones. It was a long but amazingly clear complex fantasy novel set in a grim world, with prose reminiscent of Poul Anderson. While clearly part of a series, it ended at such a natural stopping place that I felt happy to have read it even if no more books came out.

It was planned as the beginning of a four book series.

I spent enough time thinking about the first book to find what I consider to be a major implausibility in the plot, but it wasn't a deal-breaker. (I'll put the implausibility in a comment-- it isn't what seems to annoy most people about the book.)

More books came out, with vivid characters and the occasional stunningly violent big set-piece scene.

Poignancy was added to the wars and politicking because winter (plus evil ice-elf zombie-masters) was coming. I wanted to reach into the books and shake the characters. They knew about winter (the world has a super-seasonal cycle, and you really want sound building and a big store of food), but being as this is Murphy's planet, people haven't quite gotten word about the ice elves. (That's my term for them-- in the book, they're called Others.)

You may notice that the series hasn't wrapped up in four books. Long about book three, Martin seemed to have lost control of his material. Too many characters, too many plot threads. In book four, there's an extra religion.

By book four, I wasn't having as much fun. Partly, it was the darkness of the world. A little couldn't even build a without having it stomped flat. Partly, it seemed as though his precisely gauged reminders of who was who had deteriorated into excessive repetition.

The nearest thing to a benevolent character had his good will knocked out of him.

I may well read book five when it comes out, but I'm not in a hurry and I'll wait for reviews.

I've seen a fair amount online about how childish and obnoxious the fans who really want that fifth novel are. Some of them are obnoxious, and I'm sorry that GRRMartin has had to deal with them. However, it's been a long time since I've looked forward to a book that much. There are any number of books I'll be pleased to see, but that's not the same. I don't know how much is that I'm drowning in interesting books, how much is just getting older, and how much is depression, but I rather envy the people who really want A Dance with Dragons.

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