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.
I hope your health issues get resolved quickly. I had some problems that ruined the end of the year for me, so I kind of fell behind in the blog world. We will miss you. I hope your issues don’t affect the fun you’re going to have with your sisters. We’ll be here when you come back!
I am not a huge high fantasy person, but I have a friend who keeps telling me I really should try them that they are really good, but I keep hearing about how he kills off so many favorite characters and well that is not a way to get me to want to read or watch anything…lol. So I have not even tried the show. 🙂
I hope you have a great time off and I think everyone needs a little time off of the blog now and then. I hope you health issues are not to severe and the lifestyle change isn’t to harsh. It’s hard to have to change things. *hugs*
I’m so wary about this series – which I haven’t started yet – exactly because GRMM isn’t even sure he’ll even continue with the next book… I don’t think I could stand the suspense and the wait, frankly!
Good luck with your recalibration, Jessica!
Lexxie recently posted…Up Close and (un)Conventional – Keeping Track of Ideas
Wow that is a lot of rage. I did read the books when they were new, in Dutch, and by that, I mean the first 3. Book 3 was already in 2 parts because they were just so big. But I never read book 4, and I don’t really know why. I do have it. It just doesn’t tempt me. But the fact that you are back in love, gives me perhaps enough couragh to start over in English.
Take all the time for your self and your family that you need!
Enjoy your time away!
I agree, it is frustrating waiting for Martin. I don’t think any other writer is as slow as he is. At least he’s told people how he wants the series to end just in case something happens to him.
I’ve read all the books, but I haven’t seen the TV show. I’m mad that the show is now overtaking the books and they get to find out what happens to Jon first! I know we’ve been told the show and the books will be different, but I’d like him to write a little faster, because to me the books will always be canon! I agree, I disliked the way he split the story in 4 and 5 too.
Molly Mortensen recently posted…Shadow Hunters Series Episodes One and Two Review
First things first – take care of you, girl! I hope when you return all is well with you, and with your family. 🙂
I’ve yet to start GoT but it’s been on my shelf for years. Years. And I’m thinking it’s a good thing I read this rant because it’s been to be prepared. 😉 I haven’t wanted to watch GoT because 1) I don’t watch tv and 2) I like to read the book before I see the movie/show. But you have me just a wee bit curious, Jessica. 🙂
I hope your month of recharging is invigorating – see you when you get back!
As for GRRM, I read GoT in 1996 – TWENTY years ago. I read the next 2 as they were released. Then, I said no freaking way. The books are so long and complicated, and I can’t remember everything that happened. We’re talking about several thousand pages. Over TWENTY years. I won’t read another book in the series until they are all released. Finished. DUN.
I won’t watch the show until it’s done, either. I know that GRRM has no obligation to finish the series (other than contractually to his publisher), and that he owes me nothing, but until they are finished (if they ever are), I will not dedicate time out of my life to read them. Now there is no release date for Winds of Winter, and there are supposed to be 2 books after that one? Nope. I’m dun.
Julie recently posted…Spotlight and Giveaway: Forever with You by Heatherly Bell
I was amused to read your post because I, too, got disgusted waiting for the sequel and I don’t have time to re-read the earlier volumes right now, so I haven’t bothered to catch up on the series. I don’t watch a lot of TV and don’t subscribe to that network, so I suspect that I will wait until the frenzy dies down and the series is all on DVD before I watch it!
Will miss your great posts and reviews next month Jessica! But totally get the taking care of yourself first, not to mention the frustration of waiting YEARS for an author to finish a book. Sending you good vibes and healthy energy while you’re
Rhianna recently posted…Fall in love with #PNR all over again!
Despite the number of people who have suggested him to me, I was always afraid the books would degrade badly into shock value only. Perhaps that is only the HBO thing? Hm… I still may pick it up, but I do think I’ll library book it so my broke @ss doesn’t suffer. LOL
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis
I gave up early one, I did read the translations and in those days they were childish things. But I also hated characters too much and the people I liked died so I was out
Aww I hope everything ends up okay, we’ll miss you! See you in June!
I love the GoT show and I have to finish season 3 at some point! I read the first book, and I did like it, and someday I plan on continuing the others. Maybe by that time the next book will be out lol but I won’t hold my breath.
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I wish you well on your recalibration/detox/break!
Sometimes taking the blog break is a good thing especially when health and real life issues need to be taken care off. I hope the break works out well and you get a bit of time to relax and recharge your batteries.
So there’s a lot of discontent amongst GRRM’s fans about the amount of time it takes him to publish the next installment, and I have to say, I too was quite annoyed. You know, it’s one thing to take a long time to produce a novel. But it’s another to pretend you have almost finished the book while it’s not. Ultimately I’m kind of on the fence about the whole Song of Ice and Fire franchise. I do enjoy the books and the TV show, but the way GRRM acts sometimes leaves me with a bad taste.
Hope you have a nice month off!
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I stopped reading when you did. I got to the end and was pissed because of the meanwhile…It meant to me that time wouldn’t really being moving forward in the next book either. I have it. I haven’t read it yet. Maybe I will.
Take care of yourself!
Hope to see you back in June, Jessica! hugs x And yes, I was another one raging and I refused to read the latest installment, because come on! 6 years?! By the time it released I completely forgot about everything that was happening. I waited instead for the tv series to catch up and save me some major re-reading 🙂