Tuesday, May 26, 2009

George R.R. Martin is not your bitch

A blog entry otherwise entitled, "I'm the last one to know about these things".

Actually I just started reading A Game of Thrones this week, for the first time. As synchronicity would have it I was picking through some back entries at Bookninja and came across this story that made me shout Really? in open defiance.
To give you some back story (although I am probably the only one who needs it), George R.R. Martin, insanely popular fantasy series writer, is currently writing the next installment in his Song of Ice and Fire series that began in 1996 with A Game of Thrones. After A Feast for Crows was finished in 2005, there was demand to know when the next book would be. Fans were understanding at first, but as we rounded 2009, four years later, fan-boys and -girls became ravaging and took this hiatus personally. Neil Gaiman has a great response to this group.
Actually he coined the phrase stolen for this entry title and it has spread vociferously (you can google it for 12,000 hits): I can just see t-shirts in the making, "George R.R. Martin is not your Bitch!", possibly even being worn by the clods sending Martin you-better-be-writing-and-not-playing-with-your-medieval-models-playset e-mails.
Actually I really enjoyed strolling through George's (we're buddies now that I have his t-shirt) website when I first started reading Game of Thrones way back 6 days ago. I think the medieval models are great and love that he's sharing this hobby with his fans, who probably also like small scale modelling. The attacks began after the fans lost patience and, apparently, came to the end of reading; "shit, well I've read everything left on the planet and that f*** George Martin simply refuses to write the next book to be published".
The fans are lucky enough that George even shares his hobbies, his writing, he keeps up a blog and lets people know how the next book is coming along, he checks and responds to e-mails, and he is not obligated to do these things, to stay close to the people who love his books. But, somehow this got turned around to being ABOUT obligation and entitlement; since when does audience expectation determine how authors write their books, and even what gets written, unless they write for Harlequin?
This is all just re-hashing the 12,000 other people online. But, if you've finished and loved the Song of Ice and Fire series up to this time, have you read Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry? Or Jack Whyte's A Dream of Eagles series? I am thinking of Canadian fantasy-lovers specifically.
Finally, read George's blog, his other books, re-read the series, pick it up for someone else to read for the first time, but especially read the humbling livejournal entry from George, his response to these attacks and to his fans.

I guess I better finish Game of Thrones.

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