First let’s get the temporary farewell out of the way: I’ve been dealing with some health issues—nothing to worry about, but it’s going to require some lifestyle adjustment—so I’m taking the month of May off from the blog to . . . recalibrate. Also, I have one sister graduating from college and another getting married, so LOTS of family responsibilities to take care of.
I’ll be back in June, hopefully with my moxie fully refueled.
Onwards and upwards!
George R.R. Martin . . .
A few of you might have already heard this rant—I’ve been quite vocal in my refusal to read any of his A Song of Fire and Ice books after #3, so I’ll tackle that first.
12(ish?) years ago, I picked up A GAME OF THRONES. I was enthralled. I devoured it and the next two installments like some strange, hideous candy. It was the first truly excellent high fantasy series I’d read since discovering Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.
After finishing A STORM OF SWORDS, I was thrilled and relieved to find that the next book, A FEAST FOR CROWS would be released within months.
So I waited, and when it was released, I dragged my broke-ass, college student self to the local bookstore, and I spent much of my very limited cash on the shiny red hardcover that was my current obsession.
When I got home, I started flipping through it—GRRM’s chapters are titled by the POV they’re told from, and it had become my habit to look ahead to see HOW LONG I’d be waiting to see my favorite characters—but to my extreme displeasure, I flipped further and further without seeing two of my top three.
A silent scream was building inside me: WHERE IS DANAERYS? WHERE IS JON SNOW?
Finally, I got to the end and found this:
Disappointed but relieved to have an explanation, I decided to, again, wait. The other other half was practically written, right? Wouldn’t it be better to read them both together?
Less frustrating, certainly . . .
. . . SIX YEARS LATER. *throws head back and shrieks with RAGE*
Seem like an extreme response? Maybe. But most readers only have to deal with a 12 month wait between books.
It sucks, but it’s known, and it’s expected.
With high fantasy, you don’t know. You could be waiting a year, you could be waiting four, and with the exception of Brandon Sanderson who oh-so-considerately marks the progress of each of his current WiPs at the top of his website, we have no idea where on the waiting spectrum a next installment is going to fall.
We spend the time between books on tenterhooks, waiting, hoping for an update that rarely gives us more information than “hard at work.”
So when an author LIES, and, yes, I saw the out GRRM left himself, but in conjunction with the rest of that letter, the pages and pages, the chapters and chapters already written, he made it sound like the book was practically finished, that it was just a matter of getting it published . . . But that wasn’t the case, was it?
So I repeat, when an author LIES about the progress of one of their books, it makes me lose my mind.
And when (SIX YEARS LATER) I heard that HBO was televising the series, and GRRM was finally publishing the next installment . . . I boycotted.
Not only was I still furious with Liar McLiarpants, but in the interim Robert Jordan had died, leaving WoT one installment shy of completion.
GRRM is also an older guy, and call it callous, call self-preservation, call it whatever you want, I wasn’t jumping into another series that carried a strong possibility of remaining unfinished (at least by the original author).
Xfinity, frickin’ GoT watchathons, and stupid, stupid me and my binge-watching proclivities.
Last week, I got sucked into season 1, and by Sunday at 9pm, I’d gotten current and added HBO to my cable package so I could watch the season premiere.
And it’s not gonna end there, people. B/c as angry as I (JUSTIFIABLY) was:
1. It takes too much energy to keep up that level of RAGE, and I’m trying to take a leaf out of book bff’s notebook and stand in the sunshine.
2. It’s really frickin’ good. REALLY frickin’ good.
GRRM somehow consistently manages to balance EPIC storytelling with SCHADENFREUDE.
Too much schadenfreude and I have to stop. Like Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, it becomes a gruesome parade of violence and taboo simply for the shock value.
But GRRM . . . He backs up his shock and horror with compelling characters and plot threads. You want, ye gods, you WANT to look away, but you CAN’T.
And so, I’m rehooked. I even found this beauteous five book set on Think Geek for super cheap:
So be sure to keep an eye out for my inevitable reviews when I get back in June. Even if you’ve never read fantasy, even if you think it’s not for you, GRRM is worth checking out—the man is a MASTER.