Thursday, December 02, 2010

Good Intentions


Back in 1996, when I was doing book reviews for the local paper, I had occasion to interview George R.R. Martin, who was on a tour to promote his new fantasy novel series, "A Song of Fire and Ice." The first novel, A Game of Thrones, was just out, and at almost 700 pp, a thick and juicy read. Really convoluted -- you needed a family history to keep up with the characters, and he thoughtfully provided one. 


Martin told me at the time he had intended to write a trilogy, that's what he pitched to Bantam, but realized that he would need four books instead of three. If I write more than four, he said, you have my permission to shoot me.


I supposed that would be doable -- there are already four books published in the series, with three more on the drawing board.


At least.


I don't want to shoot him; indeed, I want him to live long enough to finish the series, just as I did Roger Zelazny when he was plugging along on the Amber novels. Roger had the grace to finish those before he passed away -- too young -- but at least he wrapped them up.


George is looking a little long in the tooth, and it's been what? five years since the most recent novel?


Stay alive, George, stay alive.

10 comments:

Jay said...

I agree he needs to finish the series. It would be a shame to have all those plot lines left swinging in the breeze.

Winter is coming.

Steve Perry said...

Winter has been coming for a long damn time. Four books, and the monsters haven't even gotten over the wall yet ...

Dan Gambiera said...

Or Lord help us Jordan's Great Waste of Time

Jim said...

Gordon Dickson passed on leaving his Childe Cycle incomplete. I wish he hadn't spent so much time on side stories and concentrated on the main books... but some of those side stories are great reads, and probably put dinner on his table more than once.

I never got into A Game Of Thrones or any of the sequels. I think they came out about the time I was getting really frustrated with the way every friggin' fantasy book seemed to be the start of a never ending series...

May have to give it a chance anew... But maybe I'll insist that Martin FINISH it before I start!

Joshkie said...

I put down as Dan called it "Jordans Great Waste of Time" at around book 7 to wait for him to finish it. Sadly not to be, but it will be finished under another author. I couldn't keep the story in my head the 2-3 years between books. I try to not start a series if it's doesn't appear close to being finished.

William Adams said...

I don't know that I'd consider Zelazny's Amber series compleat --- there's a lot of interesting concepts yet to cover as evinced in his various short stories (collected in _Manna from Heaven_ or better still _The Road to Amber_).

Also, sadly his Changeling / Madwand books are seriously in need of a completion.

William

Some guy said...

I also have never forgiven Dickson for having the discourtesy to die without finishing the Childe cycle, or at least the volume that was going to be set in medieval times. The nerve of these irresponsible authors!

Am I the only one who thinks that Martin's earlier stuff was much better than his fantasy tril- quad- infin- work? I thought his early work was laden with the cliche "sense of wonder".

Steve Perry said...

Jordan (real name, Jim Rigney) was my editor on the Conan novels. Smart fellow, he caught all my in jokes and blue-lined 'em. But I couldn't get into the Wheel of Time series at all. I tried.

George on the other hand, does wonderful character studies and while I wish he'd get on with the story, that has become kind of incidental to the back-stabbing, double-dealing and intrigue from family to family

Gordie -- rest his soul -- was a sweet man absolutely unlike his Dorsai. I worked for him once, wrote a story for an anthology, and he edited it as if he expected his mother to read it and he didn't want to upset her sensibilities ...

AF1 said...

With HBO making a series out of his books Martin might have even more on his plate that will keep him from finishing the story.

But maybe it will be the kick in the pants that he needs to get going.

perlhaqr said...

I like the stuff from GRRM that I've read, but I'm just not reading these until they're all out.

I might buy 'em and pop 'em in a box, though, to keep the dollars flowing that direction.