As a reader, I have the utmost respect for George R.R. Martin’s literary genius. As a writer, I understand how difficult it is to create literary masterpieces. As a geek, I really don’t care about any of that. I just want the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
I think Paul & Storm’s song “Write like the Wind (George R. R. Martin)” sums it up pretty well.
It’s true, as good fans we don’t mean to dictate to a genius. That could easily backfire, and we could be left without the final two books. Most writers will tell you that the more we are pushed about completing a project, the more cantankerous we become about said project. Take it from me — nobody can find a thousand things to do other than work with as much skill as a writer who is sick to death of a given subject.
But c’mon, Mr. Martin… you can’t possibly be tired of A Song of Ice and Fire! Your readers surely aren’t. And George (may I call you George?), launching an amazing HBO series of your books without even having a timetable for completion of the series is really kind of a mean thing to do. The show grew your readership to an unimaginable number, and all of your fans are desperate for the next book, The Winds of Winter. Well George, winter is coming on December 21; maybe you could give your fans an early Christmas present and commit to a release date.
We don’t anticipate it, and we are trying hard to have that utmost of virtues, patience. But patience is beginning to turn into fear that we may never know how it all ends. And folks, Martin knows it. In a July 12, 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin made two comments that speak to his fans’ worries. One comment: “Three years from now when I’m sitting on 1,800 pages of manuscript with no end in sight, who the hell knows,” is exactly the reason why we’ve grown inpatient. We were relieved to learn that he knows the end and has shared it with the HBO producers, because, as Martin succinctly put it “the fans are very worried about (knowing the ending) in case I get hit by a truck.” To our great relief, he did offer a glimmer of hope for desperate fans in an October 7, 2012 interview, when he commented that he would like to publish the sixth book in the series in 2014, albeit while admitting that only 400 pages were complete at the time of the interview.
Freak accidents aside, Martin is aging and the fear of losing the Tolkien of our time before his masterpiece is complete is somewhat reasonable. Fans must also understand that genius takes time, and harassing him probably isn’t helping our cause. Maybe Martin would be willing to strike a deal; we’ll be happy with the HBO show and fun paraphernalia like the Game of Thrones board game, and leave him alone to write. For his part, getting to a place where he can commit to a release date, no matter how far out, would be a fair reward for our patience.
Also check out on TechRepublic:
- Game of Thrones: HBO series is a feast for geeks
- Game of Thrones: A quick character guide (gallery)
- Game of Thrones Season 2: Expect even more action in Westeros
- Game of Thrones - best show on TV? (discussion)
- George R. R. Martin: 8 sci-fi films better than Star Wars
Thanks to TechRepublic’s Mark Kaelin for the video tip.