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mygif

Also, Mr. Martin, if you’re reading this, which I’ve decided you must be, because I really need for you to hurry up the cakes and finish the stupid series before you die of procrastination or something, if you don’t, I will be forced to publish my own all-pony sequel, “A Frolic of Sugar and Happy Hats.” Or possibly the all-squirrel version, simply titled “The Squeakquel”, because that never fails to crack me up, and it’s very important for squirrels to plan ahead for the impending long winter.

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mygif

To be fair, they’ve aged all the child characters; they’re older than they were in the novels. Generally they tacked on 3-4 years. Probably mostly because selling girls into marriage at 11 wasn’t going to fly on TV. :)

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mygif

If all else fails, HBO can just break continuity with Martin once they catch up to him, or toss in filler for stalling sake. This is not uncommon when manga gets turned into anime, for example.

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mygif

He’s only set himself a deadline if HBO doesn’t cancel the show after 1 or 2 seasons like they’ve done with other excellent (or at least passable) costume-y dramas (ie: Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale).

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SpaceSquid said on March 16th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Isn’t it “Tommen” Baratheon?

In theory, I agree entirely that it’s boneheaded and twatastic to shout at an artist to hurry along. In practice, there comes a point where you have to start balancing up a flawed and completed work vs. a better work left incomplete. Of course, that’s something to be soberly considered, rather than repeatedly flung in all interweb directions in the hope your tantrum will get you what you want.

I believe Martin has already stated that should book 6 (or, even more likely, book 7) fail to arrive in time to form the basis of the relevant season, then HBO can finish off the tale however they damn well please. Of course, with the best will in the world, I think the chances of the series reaching that stage can be charitably described as “remote.”

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mygif

Hey, in that case, HBO, call me! Kittens work cheap!

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mygif

Well, it’s hardly Martin’s first experience with the television industry, so he knows what to expect.

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mygif

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a writer and have to crank out hundreds of pages, but also want them to be quality pages that fit such a big epic. I know Robert Jordan was taking longer and longer to finish his series until he eventually died. With Martin I read the first few, and am waiting until the series is over before I get back into it because I won’t remember any of it between books anyway. He’s like four books in, right? So by the time season 3 or 4 comes out, he should be up to book 5 or 6 anyway. Supposedly book 5 is done, it was half of 4 and was just too massive or something

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mygif

I’m new to the Game of Thrones bandwagon and only recently finished the four existing novels, so I haven’t gone through what everyone else has. (Long story short, the fourth book, “A Feast For Crows”, comes out five years after the third despite the fact that up until then he’d been punching them out at a rate of one every two years. Said book is really only half a book, with most of the fan’s favourite characters supposedly featuring in the next one, and a number of cliffhangers unresolved. Martin claims that he’s simply split one gigantic book in two and that the next one will be along shortly. Then almost nothing is heard for five years. Fans go insane.)

But really, nothing makes me wince more than the people who insist that Martin needs to be “ripped into”, that he’s sitting around getting fat off the royalties and has no interest in finishing the series, that he’s done all this just to anger them personally, etc. No, he’s got writer’s block. It happens. What’s ironic here is that Martin obviously cares about writing a good book, so much so that he’s willing to keep plugging away in the face of some *truly* unhinged behaviour from the so-called “fans”. If he was really as contemptuous of his audience as some claim, he would have crapped out something fast to fulfill his obligations and cashed the check. And everyone would have complained. What we’re getting, instead, is an author who’s taking the time to deliver something that’s actually worth reading, no matter how long that is. And as a fan-since-childhood of the Dark Tower books, I can provide a little perspective on how long it can take to deliver installments of a fantasy series, and what a bad idea it is to rush it.

The only thing Martin’s guilty of is poor communication, constantly promising that it’ll be here any time now. In recent weeks, he’s been mentioning on his blog that he’s found new momentum and seems to be within sight of the finish line, but like I say I’m new to all this…he could have been claiming this same thing for years. Still, based on the available evidence, I’d guess that the next book will be hitting right around the time of the series launch. From there it’s a matter of writing two books in 6 years. But hey, if the showrunners need to make their own ending, I’m cool with that–David Benioff’s pretty good in his own right.

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mygif

Well, he’s one bad football game away from the grave, so I’m not gonna get too invested.

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mygif

For a change of pace, while waiting, I’ve just jumped on the “Malazan: Book of the Fallen” bandwagon. A ten book series that is …almost fully written.

It’s been 3 weeks now and I’m 5 books into it. … My Wife is growing resentful of my reading habits.

I do recommend it to everyone waiting. It is (so far) an interesting piece of fiction.

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jkosmicki said on March 17th, 2010 at 11:51 am

I would imagine that Martin has the series outlined in some form, and they will make changes anyway to film it, so if the books are different from the series, what’s the problem? I have had the next book pre-ordered at Amazon for about two years now – but I’d much, much rather that Martin takes his time than meets an arbitrary deadline (even if he does set those deadlines himself). I USED to really like Harry Turtledove’s novels until he started cranking them out to meet publishing deadlines. Now they are so formula that you could almost do a drinking game from them. I appreciate Martin’s commitment to craft.

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Citizen Bacillus said on March 17th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I have nothing but sympathy for writer’s block, but the reason this case in particular has driven the fans insane is that everyone thinks he’s going to die before he’s finished. (And to be fair, they’re probably right.) He also said in the event of his death that his notes would be destroyed so no one else could finish it. The sense of personal entitlement is completely misplaced, but it’s grounded in a very real annoyance about that last bit.

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Illuyankas said on March 17th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

@Aulayan: The Malazan Book of the Fallen is fantastic, and it’s kind of moderated my reaction to GRRM taking so long – I’ve been spoiled by getting a new Erikson book every year. I mean, hell, he’s written and released something like five books since AFFC came out, all around 900-1000 pages. Once Erikson finishes the tenth book later this year, and moves onto the two extra trilogies full of backstory and sideplot, he’ll be writing these doorstoppers at the relatively relaxed pace of one every eighteen months to wind down from the Malazan series. Excellent series, I recommend it.

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magnuskn said on March 17th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Well, the Malazan books are nice, if you can wrap your head around the backstory, which goes back hundred of thousands of years. I got it ( more or less ^^ ), but I fear a lot of people would be turned off. Martins cast of thousands is small, compared to the Malazan books.

Also of note for the Malazan books: Almost everybody is a warrior-philosopher and will occasionally launch into a multi-page screed about the cruel, cruel world. :p

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solid snake said on March 17th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

If HBO catches up to Martin, a friend of mine devised an intersting solution. HBO could film the rebillion leb by Robert, Ned, and others, along with the Dunk and Egg stories to fill time.

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magnuskn said on March 17th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

God, that would be nice. One of the really good aspects of Martins books is that you read about what some of the older characters did in their youth and you go “Man, I’d really like to read about that in more detail!”.

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mygif

People actually had the balls to bug you to dis Martin over this?
I thought all the people with an axe to grind with GRRM over his had shut up after almost the entire internet called them all dicks a few months back…

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mygif

I’m sorry, but the “we’re upset because Martin will drop dead any minute now” thing is moronic. The guy’s in his 60s, and a little overweight. He’s not lying on his deathbed, typing through the pain, or anything. I’m sure he’ll finish the damn books in his lifetime, unless he really and truly loses interest.

It must be creepy to have so many people speculating about your imminent demise. I also love the implicit suggestion of “we don’t care if you die, as long as you finish the books first.”

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mygif

Even if he doesn’t finish the books in time for the series, he could just poop out a vague outline of what he hasn’t written yet, on which the series could be based.

The series is going to do away with probably 75% of the text of the existing novels, anyway. And probably won’t use much of the dialogue as written. If he can provide the remaining plot, then the TV writers can fill in the details.

What eventually gets published as novels will probably differ, but it’s not exactly unheard of for the novel to differ from the screenplay.

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mygif

If the series ever does catch up to the books before they’re done, they could always do what DRAGONBALL Z did and just have entire episodes of the characters staring at each other and powering up, with the occasional recap thrown in.

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mygif

While I agree that it’s moronic to ask Martin to put aside quality to just get the damn books finished already, I think what really frustrates people isn’t that the books aren’t done so much as that Martin seems to get sidetracked so easily from trying to complete them. If you follow his blog, it seems every other post is about some side project that no one (or comparatively few people) cares about, and I can see how this can get irritating to a reader who believed Martin when he said A Dance with Dragons would be out in 2006. Today there’s an 1100-word narrative on what would happen if Jaime Lannister faced off against Cthulhu, which would be awesome if just coming from a random blog, but coming from him you can’t help thinking “doesn’t he have anything better to do?”

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mygif

It’s true Martin screwed up by saying Dance With Dragons would be out immediately, and he’s guilty, as I say, of not communicating very well. But as the infamous “George Martin is not your bitch” meme made clear, writers need to have more in their life than just writing. If you do nothing but write or create or perform, you become Jay Leno: a withered husk of a human being who lives only for applause. And the work suffers.

Writers sometimes need to take breaks. It looks like Martin needed to take a very long break, and he’s still going to need to work on other stuff now and again. How much of it is laziness, and how much is a legitimate attempt to get around his writer’s block? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt. Writing isn’t like cleaning the house–you do it better, sometimes, by not doing it. Sitting in front of a typewriter, forcing the words to come, doesn’t help anything if you’re not in the right mindset. And you absolutely can do a better job by working on other things once in a while–ask any writer.

At any rate, Martin’s claiming that he’s going great guns and seems to be near to finishing. I’m new to ASoIaF and this whole business, so I could be painfully naive, but he sounds pretty convincing. And as mentioned in MGK’s post, having the TV show get picked up could be exactly the right kind of pressure he needs to get this done, as opposed to anonymous internet people screaming “FINISH THE BOOK INSTEAD OF WATCHING FOOTBALL YOU LAZY FUCK”

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mygif

Martin’s got some background in writing for TV, doesn’t he? I wouldn’t be surprised if he whipped up some workable scripts when the time comes rather than needing the books finished.

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mygif

I have no problem explicitly stating that I don’t care if he lives or dies or all his arms and legs fall off, fat old man needs to finish his series while I’m still interested.

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mygif

Prankster writes: “If you do nothing but write or create or perform, you become Jay Leno: a withered husk of a human being who lives only for applause.”

Leno also has his cars and custom car projects. Apparently he bankrolled the design and construction of a turbine-powered car, which was built in his big storage garage/restoration shop.

Of course, that sort of thing doesn’t lend itself to generating much fresh comedy material, nor is it something many people can relate to.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps phoning in the comedy performances just to bankroll his car habit, which is what he really loves.

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mygif

5 books in 14 years (assuming #5 comes out in 2010)? You got it easy! Try waiting for Vernor Vinge novels…

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mygif

@Jon H: yes, of course it’s not possible to exist with literally nothing in your life except writing/performing/making art, so even notorious workaholic Leno has his car fetish. Which is actually a little creepy–it’s almost like he knew he HAD to have something else to be interested in, so he went full-bore into cars.

He must like comedy, though, since he’s got more money than he could ever need to buy cars, and he still refuses to retire from the Tonight Show. As you may have heard.

@Suzene: Martin’s apparently on tap to write at least one episode of the show, so he’s going to be somewhat involved.

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mygif

You all do know you’re jinxing him to his grave, right?
Some years ago I saw some interview joke where Robert Jordan said he planned to keep writing until they nailed his coffin shut, and in that instant, I knew that was exactly what would happen. You’ll all be sorry in a few more years when they start tossing around names for a ghost writer to finish it.

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