THEY WERE A LIFETIME TOGETHER
I’m pretty sure it obliquely references this piece of mine, incidentally.
Cute. Loved “6 page descriptions of every last meal”, lol. I for one do not get the popularity of the whole thing but I know I would be anxious if I was into it and it was years between books. I think one time frame wass something like 5-6 years between books? I know I would forget everything and given the size of the books i would not want to invest the time required to re-read them all.
Holy crap, that was wonderful. Have now sent it to all my family. Thanks, John. I needed something to make me laugh today.
This was indeed a good laugh, but I especially enjoyed the old article you linked to. I’ve shared it elsewhere where we had a recent discussion on fan entitlement (where I’d previously shared Neil Gaiman’s article on fan entitlement, also known as, “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch”)… I’ll see if your comments on the matter shake anyone up. ;o)
Thanks. I just shared the video with my youngest son who just finished reading the last book. He laughed like a maniac through the whole song.
that. was. AWESOME! LOL!
That’s how I feel about Patrick Rothfuss and the 3rd Kingkiller Chronicle. One of the funniest things I’ve read lately is his response on Goodreads to people who have given 5 star reviews to a book that isn’t even written yet. His conclusion? Time travelers love his books.
Freaking John Scalzi posts a freaking video on his freaking blog and I end up spending money. I fear some kind of freaking Jedi mind trick is involved.
So… You write complete story arcs in a single book. The world goes on of course but anything could happen after that.
(I imagine Perry creates a TV show where he goes to various worlds to engage in diplomatic discussion and it is regularly compared to Crocodile Hunter. If you don’t like that, you’ll just have to write something else.)
Song of Fire and Ice is a serial epic and ends books on cliffhangers.
I was wondering if you get significantly less pleading and whatnot or if we’re all crazed addicts and will harass you for another fix whether there’s a cliffhanger or not.
Excellent… Saw them perform it live at Wootstock Founder’s Night in SF. Was one of the highlights of the evening.
Is there someone out there who can compare the total wordcount of all Shakespeare’s plays to the total wordcount of A Song of Ice and Fire‘s five volumes? Because I suspect that Martin actually comes out ahead. (The comparisons to Lewis and Tolkien falter on similar ground.)
I just pray that George doesn’t become another Robert Jordan.
Even though I don’t read his work, this was hilarious. I’ve had several discussions with nerd-rage-y Star Wars fans who seem to think Lucas should be tried in the Hague.
My attitude is that it’s the author’s story. If I want to read it, I’ll read it, and if I’m dissatisfied with the pace of production, I’ll go read something else and maybe I’ll come back when the series is done and maybe I won’t.
There is one exception. Tony Daniel. In addition to being one of my top-5 favorite short story writers of speculative fiction (on par with Ursula Le Guin and Ted Chiang), he wrote a series of novels that, while not nearly as transcendental as his short fiction, was pretty good and very original. The problem? He wrote two novels in the series, Metaplanetary and Superluminal, both of which end on cliffhangers…and has apparently abandoned the series altogether and decided not to finish it. Wow is that frustrating! I’ll stick to his short stories until and unless he decides to finish the story he started – fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…
I remember at the time you made that post, I found it amusing that you took nearly 3000 words (and Charlie Stross and others waxed similarly eloquent) to say what Neil Gaiman said in just seven: “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” And the whole kerfuffle seemed to die down after that. Apparently, when John Scalzi and Charlie Stross speak, people listen, but when Neil Gaiman speaks, people STFU. ;-)
But I have to say, it would be nice if you writers learned to write novels as fast as I can read them. Just sayin’.
I have wondered about the line in the song about the HBO series.
If he manages to keep HBO interested though three more seasons, then that could present a problem. It is pretty much the very definition of a high class problem, but it would be a problem, unless the show becomes the definitive series and the final novels become novelizations after the fact.
I read Martin’s comment somewhere that as the number of books increases, the amount of energy needed to stay consistent with the previous ones increases.
If you keep writing so slow
You’ll hold up the HBO show
I scared the cat laughing at that one. Good Job Paul and Storm!
Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world who has absolutely no interest in this silly book series.
Ha! That was hilarious! Good to see Vork again…
@Guliver: I feel your pain (boy do I feel your pain) but it’s not his fault that his publisher declined to put out the conclusion of the trilogy (which had not yet been written at that time) citing disappointing sales.
@ Soon Lee
Not his fault at all, I agree. And if he’d said, I’ll write it when I can find someone to publish it, I’d be waiting patiently and even checking out his new novels in the interim. I totally get that professional authors have to put bread on the table. And I’m glad he’s still getting published and anthologized, and picked up an editor job at Baen. Good for him. But I’m sticking to his short stories unless he indicates he’d even be interested in finishing the trilogy I spent a week of my recreational reading time enjoying only to be left with one helluva cliffhanger.
I’ve watched this several times before as a bootleg-type recording from one of their live shows. Nice to see and hear a professionally produced version.
Mike: It’s not for just the next three season. They are splitting the third book into two seasons because of the amount of content. If they decide to do the fourth and fifth book, those will like wise have to be split into two seasons. So he’s really set for the next 6 years.
No idea what will happen with the show, but signs point to it lasting a long while. The early sales of season one were higher than any other HBO show.
@Gulliver: “…a week of my recreational reading time”
A week? Hah! I got “Metaplanetary” when it was first published, got to the end with the sinking feeling that there was no way the story could be wrapped up in the ~30 pages left; there was nothing on the cover to indicate it was not a stand-alone novel. Then three years (three years!) later “Superluminal” came out, which the pre-release information had been saying was the “conclusion” to the story. IMO his publisher did him no favours with their misleading marketing information.
[HEAVY SARCASM]No, I’m not bitter.[/HEAVY SARCASM] Why do you ask?
From his old website:
“Superluminal also ends with something of a cliff-hanger. Will there be a final book in the series?
Eos decided not to make an offer on the third book in the series. My sales were decent, but underwhelming. This is, as you might suppose, a large professional disappointment for me. I pushed hard for a final book. There are various alternatives to finishing the series, but all involve my not being able to feed my family – I’m not twenty and living on air and gumption any more. It is even more distressing for me to leave the loyal readers of the first two books without the whizz-bang, no-holds-barred finale I had planned. Some day. At the moment, I hope to at least hint at the ending I had in mind by writing a few short stories set in the Metaplanetary milieu. I hope this is, at least, some consolation to readers who feel let down by my not being able to complete the tale.”
I would dearly love to read the conclusion to the story. One day. In general, with writers I really like, I make a point of supporting by buying their books, especially mid-list writers; the best-selling writers I can hold-off, it’s not like my one purchase will count for much one way or another. So with ASOIAF, I am going to wait until the whole series is done before I resume reading it.
Love the video. I’ve never read the series, but I do recall a similar impatience when I was reading Glen Cook’s Black Company series.
A week in aggregate, I meant. I got The Robots Twilight Companion when I was in college – it was one of my first SF books (before which I’d stuck to history, romance and occasional fantasy). When Metaplanetary came out I was jazzed that one of my favorite authors had decided to write a novel (I later learned he had already penned two). I had more or less the exact same reaction as you did during the dénouement that clearly wasn’t, and was likewise relieved when Superluminal came out. I hope he gets to finish it someday, for his sake and ours, and that his publisher cutting him loose on the home stretch hasn’t left too bitter a taste in his mouth. At least there’s still his shorts. Tony Daniel is merely a pretty good novelist, but he is a primo fantastic short story writer. Life on the Moon made me realize what critics meant when they talked about science fiction fulfilling its literary potential, A Dry, Quite War was worthy of the best of Ray Bradbury, and I literally cried at the end of the titular story of The Robots Twilight Companion…and I’m not the teary type.
A list of all the wordcounts of Shakespeare plays can be found at http://www.shicho.net/38/stats/38wordcount.php.
There are 928,913 total words in all of Shakespeare’s plays (including Edward III and Two Noble Kinsmen)not counting Dramatus Personae and other metadata..
I think a better comparison is Robert Silverberg. If in January 1956 Silverberg had sat down to write George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice And Fire series, he’d have finished A Dance with Dragons in September of 1957.
This is brilliant. Doubly so in that it’s one of those things that turn up right when you need it most. I just this week finished my first novel, and am doing the putting-together-query-letter stuff now. Word for word, I’m starting to suspect that the novel will have taken less time to write. Hence my delight on discovering a fantastic anti-procrastination anthem!
Writing the book gave me a lot of sympathy for my favourite authors, though. It’s a bit like making croissants — the sheer amount of labour that goes into something that takes, like, a minute to eat. Take Harry Potter — there were years of wait (for me) between each book and the longest one took me seven hours to read. And as a reader (or, at least, I think it applies more widely than to just myself), you’ve anticipated it for so long, and you devour it, and then it’s gone until you can get your hands on the next one.
But the experience of writing a book? It kind of made me feel a bit like maybe it’s a bit unfair on the author that your months or years of struggle takes a determined reader less than a day to get through.
(I’m speaking generally here, as I haven’t read ASIF yet. It’s on my to-read list, but ironically, it’s because of my own story that I haven’t, because I’m terrified of the second painter problem (friends who love the series have drawn comparisons). On the other hand it does mean that I have it to look forward to when I’m finished. Or he’s finished. Depending, I guess.)
And now I shall listen to my new anthem once more and go write (this damn letter) like the wind.
Oh, yeah. I once asked an author friend if it makes her crazy when I read a book (that took her a year or more to write) in one sitting, and want the next one, like, tomorrow. Being a fine human being, she patiently explained that yes, it did make her crazy. She did not call me a bloody idiot or punch me out or do any of those (perfectly understandable now that I think of it) things.
Also, @James Davis Nicoll: you can’t really compare anybody to Robert Silverberg. He is magnificent, and he’s really in a category of one. (As are all authors, as our host points out.)
That video is fabulous. Thank you.
Okay, so the first three volumes alone are more words than Shakespeare wrote. I thought as much. I seem to remember our esteemed host making a similar point: Martin wrote as many words in six years as Scalzi did, only Martin had to save them all up and publish them all at once, while Scalzi released his in much smaller chunks. (So the song talking about him being “slow” is being really unjust.)
@ David Goldfarb
Okay, so the first three volumes alone are more words than Shakespeare wrote.
Precisely speaking the first three volumes alone are more words than have been recovered out of what the Bard is generally thought to have wrote. Not only is there strong evidence that goodly chunks of certain works are missing or rewritten by later authors (Macbe…er, the Scottish Play being the most famous example), but there are accounts that his playing company preformed plays of which no one has ever found texts or even the actors’ prompt book.
Thanks for sharing!
How hard to could it be to write a book where 75% of the words are “Bastard Jon Snow,” “a lannister always pays his debts” and “Kaleesi.” on the other hand, it is nerd crack and I NEED another book. Its wrong to get me addicted and then hold out.
i didnt find this video to be one bit funny. Anyone elses opinion?
@ Gulliver: Yes, there are lost plays (Loves Labors Won comes to mind), but the song lyric says “35 plays”, which is the existing canon. (Actually 37, but that scans poorly….)
More so, because up until now, **I** have had the privilege of providing one of the most compelling performances of a turkey drumstick on video since Henry the VIII or Friar Tuck.
[Viral Marketing Hall of Fame video]
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