Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why I'm Afraid the Ice and Fire Author is Going to Die Before Finishing the Series

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
-Robert Frost

Much like his protagonists, George R.R. Martin does not have a long life expectancy ahead of him.  Not that I have any special or particular knowledge of his health, he just doesn't really look like the healthiest dude if you know what I mean.  I've been waiting nearly twenty years to find out how the damn story ends (A Game of Thrones originally came out in 1996), so you can imagine I'm starting to get a little impatient.

I almost had a heart attack when Stephen King nearly died right in the middle of The Dark Tower series.  That should have been a lesson to authors everywhere to friggin' write faster.  And though I lost interest in the Wheel of Time somewhere around book 6, I can appreciate fans of the series were devastated by Robert Jordan's passing.  And I also suspect there may be a half-finished Lisbeth Salander book that Stieg Larsson left somewhere that might actually be good.

In short, I'm afraid the author may not make it to the end of the tale because it has happened before.  And it will happen again.

I get that Martin has other interests and projects.  He's a creator with lots of stories to tell.  I actually really like the Wild Cards series.  And owning a movie theatre is pretty cool.  Can't say I understand the "not writing during football season" bit though.  Point is HBO has made him oodles of money and he's earned the right to spend it and enjoy himself.  Just please, please, finish those books while you're at it.  And if it's not too much to ask, can you make them a little better than the last two?

Fun fact #1: I was horribly disappointed with both Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. Clash of Kings and Storm of Swords are two of my favourite books in any genre, but Feast and Dance just felt... unnecessary.  From what I understand, when Martin originally wrote A Game of Thrones he planned it as a trilogy.  When he started writing Clash he realized he had way too much material for three books so he decided to expand it.  Unfortunately he used up all the good material in books 2 and 3, and what was left was stuffed into books 4 and 5.  Those last two easily could have been edited down into one book.  Not enough happened and way too many extraneous characters were introduced.  I'm just really hoping he saved enough good stuff for the last two books...

Fun fact #2: I've never really gotten into the TV show.  There's nothing wrong with it, I just find it kinda slow.  Maybe it's because I watched it by myself on my tiny iPhone screen, I didn't get the full effect.  I only watched the first season and an episode or two of the second.  I'll have to go back and try it again someday.


Sean said...

I have never read any of these books... which is better, Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones?

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Oh man, Game of Thrones, hands down. At least the first three books. Like I said, books 4 and 5 did not live up to the expectations of the earlier ones.

A lot of people really like Wheel of Time, but I found it to be really stereotypical, run of the mill fantasy (just way too long). Game of Thrones is different. It's darker, grittier, way more brutal. It's a much deeper reading experience. The characters evolve and change (and die) way more frequently.

Birgit said...

My ex was reading Wheel of Time series. Is there a character named Birgit in there or am I thinking of another. I have not read the books (obviously). Yes writers can't die until they finish their work

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I don't remember. There are approximately 250,000 named characters in Wheel of Time, so it's entirely possible there's a Birgit in there somewhere.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. The last couple of novels just seemed to flounder around going nowhere. the same thing seems to be happening to Jim Butcher. The last two books of the Aleran series had action ... but no plot ... there was no there there. I think these authors try to get all awesome and epic but that isn't what makes a good story or captures my interest at any rate. I like the people when they aren't so awesome ... when they have really hard problems to solve. Anyway ... dropping by for the a-z thing. Really like your blog =)

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I could be completely off the mark, but I think part of the problem comes from stretching a story longer than it needs to be. Not all fantasy series have to be a trilogy (or longer). If you have enough great content for one or two books, don't try to stretch it out to three. Lord of the Rings was only a trilogy because it was too long and publishing technology at the time couldn't print a book that big. It was SUPPOSED to be one book. I think you're right, they concentrate on being too epic instead of focusing on telling a good story.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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