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Friday, April 28, 2017

Rape Rape can't finish

In light of new rumors concerning the completion of The Winds of Winter, a number of people have been reminding me that I have been predicting that George Martin would not be able to finish A Song of Ice and Fire for several years now.

I generally enjoy the Fire and Ice series, but I thought the last book, divided into two, bordered on the tedious and didn't advance the story much. Like pitchers, writers tend to lose their fastball abruptly, and often without any warning. I suspect Martin's inability to finish the book in a reasonable time frame after turning in a relatively mediocre, (in comparison with the standard he'd previously set, you understand) prior novel doesn't bode well for A Dance with Dragons, but I will be pleased to be proved wrong in July.
- March 4, 2011

At this point, our best hope for ever seeing the series resolved may be for him to kick off sometime after the next book is released, somehow leading to me being asked to finish the series by Harper Collins.  I'll have to think about how I'd go about fixing all the unnecessary loose ends he created in tying the Mereen Knot, but I think the first thing I would do is kill off Reek and the Bastard of Bolton in an unfortunate accident involving chicken bones, a rich cheese sauce, and a sadistic feast-orgy.
- May 6, 2013

Of course, now that many readers are comparing Arts of Dark and Light favorably with A Song of Ice and Fire, I'd much rather finish my own series than clean up after the gargantuan hash Martin has made of his own books, but apparently someone else is willing to attempt to clean out the fat man's stables:
George R.R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" is one of the highly-anticipated novels and fans are hoping to get their hands on it this year. It is the sixth novel in the fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and HBO has previously hinted that it's one of the priorities as a wild card. Recent reports say that the author has been busy finishing a charity work as well as a film studio in Santa Fe, Mexico. However, a new report is claiming that "American Gods" author, Neil Gaiman is now the one writing the novel on Martin's behalf.

Earlier reports from Celebeat suggest that "The Winds of Winter" might be out in June, which is at least a month before "Game of Thrones" season 7 premieres on July 16. It is said that Martin is just finishing a charity work and then he will focus on writing the novel. Now, it is said that Gaiman has been spotted at Martin's hometown many times, leading fans to believe that he has been writing the novel.

There are also reports suggesting that Gaiman might be Martin's editor for "The Winds of Winter" and this could be the reason of his visits at Martin's hometown. However, these claims are yet to be confirmed and the fans should content themselves for now that the novel should be out within this year. Apparently, Martin is busy at the moment with his film studio in Mexico, which will be available to Hollywood production as well as film entrepreneurs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that "The Winds of Winter" author's film studio is housed in a 30,000 square-foot non-profit building in Santa Fe, Mexico. Martin has previously indicated in his blog that he is still focused on a different project, but has made progress in the novel. He also said that he will announce the completion and delivery of the novel.
I have to admit, I laughed at the idea that Martin has been reduced to resorting to a ghostwriter in order to simply complete his own series. How pathetic is that? At least Robert Jordan had the excuse of being dead. The American Tolkien indeed....

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134 Comments:

Blogger Ingot9455 April 28, 2017 2:07 PM  

Brings new meaning to Neil Gaiman's famous, "George R. R. Martin is not your bitch," journal entry. It's because Gaiman is Martin's bitch.

Anonymous G.R.R.M. April 28, 2017 2:11 PM  

First.

Oh, dammit.

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 2:14 PM  

Something similar appears to be happening to Jim Butcher,; the last time we saw a Dresden book was three years ago, and there's no indication he's even close to finishing the next one. This means we probably won't see it until 2018, and who knows about the next Cinder Spires.

I rarely read fantasy anymore, especially the "epic" kind that meanders over thousands and thousands of pages and is likely as not never to be finished. The only author I trust is Brandon Sanderson; he's fun to read but certainly isn't writing literature for the ages.

Anonymous fop April 28, 2017 2:24 PM  

Too much pizza and hot dogs.

Blogger Alexandros April 28, 2017 2:24 PM  

It's actually really depressing to learn that authors can just "lose it." Those books were genuinely great at first; what happens to a man that he can just devolve so rapidly?

Anonymous Steve April 28, 2017 2:25 PM  

KSC - To be fair to Butcher though, he delivered 15 Harry Dresden novels in fewer than 15 years.

And the quality never dropped. Every single one of those books is packed with entertainment. Also there's a difference between the Tolkien-imitating sort of fantasy Martin writes and Butcher's more pulp noir style in the Dresden Files - I'm not convinced readers necessarily expect a grand finale to the latter, more episodic type of tale.

I'm not surprised he hasn't returned to the Dresden well yet, it's slightly miraculous he was able to churn out so much goodness so regularly for so long. Even Stephen King couldn't sustain the same level of consistency in his 7-book Dark Tower series.

Anonymous BBGKB April 28, 2017 2:28 PM  

that the author has been busy finishing a charity work as well as a film studio in Santa Fe, Mexico

Both him and Freed Reed in the same "Pick 12yo girls up off the streets" charity?

Brings new meaning to Neil Gaiman's famous, "George R. R. Martin is not your bitch," journal entry. It's because Gaiman is Martin's bitch

Its pronounced Gay Man. I guess he could be a chubby chaser.

Blogger Jon D. April 28, 2017 2:28 PM  

Became unreadable after he killed off all the characters I don't like. I'll stick with Arts of Dark and Light thank you very much.

Anonymous BBGKB April 28, 2017 2:30 PM  

Those books were genuinely great at first; what happens to a man that he can just devolve so rapidly?

He has been cleaning out all you can eat buffets in stead of his stables.

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 2:31 PM  

@6
It's pretty remarkable that starting in 2005 he was able to put out a Dresden and a Codex Alera book each year. (That is another fun and entertaining, though not great, series.)

I think I'd disagree about the quality. You started having release delays around book 13 (2011) and I think there was a pretty noticeable dip in quality. (Especially in book 14, which had some Martin-level gratuitous sexual content.)

Butcher appears to be going the way of Martin--working on things like RPGs and comics rather than the main series.

I don't plan on reading the rest of ASOIAF even if it is finished. First book was the best by a mile.

Anonymous Avalanche April 28, 2017 2:36 PM  

@5 "what happens to a man that he can just devolve so rapidly?"

Why, money and fame, of course! The usual problem.

Blogger Chiva April 28, 2017 2:39 PM  

The American Tolkien indeed....

Tolkien I can read again. RapeRape Martin I could only slog through once.

Anonymous Avalanche April 28, 2017 2:40 PM  

Have y'all read Gaiman's American Gods? I just finished it. Interesting. I think I enjoyed it (mostly) while reading it, but now ... eh ... I think the premise, and figuring out who was supposed to be who (non-spoiler!), were both really good... Not quite sure it lived up to the premise. Some cool characters, though.

Blogger Kentucky Headhunter April 28, 2017 2:43 PM  

I gave up after book 4 which I read and returned a few days later to get my money back. I flipped through 5 at the bookstore out of idle curiosity and put it back down and walked away. HBO is doing a good enough (keeping fingers crossed) job for me to be satisfied with how it winds up.

I enjoyed the Codex Alera series, though I thought the ending somewhat disappointing. Tried the first Dresden book, but couldn't get into it. I remember that Rena Sofer was on the TV show but I didn't watch that either.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab April 28, 2017 2:44 PM  

No way Gaiman will read like Martin especially the last crappy books. I wonder what it will look like?

Anonymous BluePony April 28, 2017 2:52 PM  

Write the ending first. I was taught that in middle school creative writing lessons. It really does make it easier having that end goal, that final scene, as a target. Any professional author who writes himself into a corner (as I think Martin once claimed on book 4 or 5) is doing something terribly wrong.

One teacher taught me to make an outline of all the high points and what they mean to the story or various characters. It's like how an artists will draw simple circles and boxes first as guides, and then smooth it out while adding details. You can take the same approach to writing.

It's really book 6 still being written? Cripes, it seems like ages ago I read the first trilogy. I decided to wait until it was all done before returning. Sheesh... Six seasons of a TV version have happened.

"Tolkien I can read again. RapeRape Martin I could only slog through once."

Honestly, I have trouble getting through Tolkien now.

Blogger Bob Loblaw April 28, 2017 2:53 PM  

KSC wrote:Something similar appears to be happening to Jim Butcher,; the last time we saw a Dresden book was three years ago, and there's no indication he's even close to finishing the next one. This means we probably won't see it until 2018, and who knows about the next Cinder Spires.

Butcher's quality never dropped, and to be fair he's pretty much mined out the premise of the Dresden universe at this point. It's going to be difficult for him to add to the story without repeating himself, and I'd rather have him concentrate on something else than to crank out low-quality Dresden books.

Blogger Steven Johnson April 28, 2017 2:59 PM  

Didn't Jim Butcher say he had a trilogy-length ending to the Harry Dresden story in mind, some years ago? Can't remember where I read that.

Blogger Brian S April 28, 2017 3:01 PM  

"The Albuquerque Journal reports that "The Winds of Winter" author's film studio is housed in a 30,000 square-foot non-profit building in Santa Fe"

non-profit... film... 30k square feet... my sjw spidey sense is tingling...

Anonymous CarpeOro April 28, 2017 3:03 PM  

@14 it was Valerie Cruz on the Dresden T.V. series. The main character's actor moved on after one season. To bad, one of the better Sci-fi channel series.

Anonymous Steve April 28, 2017 3:07 PM  

KSC - I think there was a pretty noticeable dip in quality.

Diff'rent Strokes I guess, Willis.

Bob Loblaw - he's pretty much mined out the premise of the Dresden universe at this point

Right? It was a fun, though thin premise to begin with. Gandalf, PI.

I am amazified and stupounded that he squeezed 15 novels' worth of storytelling juice out of that.

He's probably sick of Harry Dresden by now. The Aeronaut's Windlass felt like a contented sigh of authorial relief as much as it was a superbly plotted tale in its own right.

Blogger Eskyman April 28, 2017 3:08 PM  

I think a word has been inadvertently left out- Santa Fe probably refers to Santa Fe, NEW Mexico, (though there is a business district in Mexico City called Santa Fe.)

Got the first two volumes of Song of Ice & Fire given to me, didn't make it through the 2nd book. Just not my cuppa tea; I much prefer Tolkien, personally. Too much blood & guts, too little morality to suit me in Martin's stuff.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer April 28, 2017 3:08 PM  

As unsurprising as it would be for Gaiman to be taking over, it could be that Gaiman is checking out the studios for the TV series version of American Gods.

Blogger JWM April 28, 2017 3:08 PM  

In other news, I found hardbound copies of "A Memory of Light" (last book in the Wheel of Time series) on sale for six bucks on a big table at Walgreens. So it goes.

JWM

Anonymous Sam thre Man April 28, 2017 3:10 PM  

Could it be that epic literature really cannot be sustained beyond 3 to 4 volumes?

I note that even spacing out the unique quests, plot twists, challenges and other stuff, more trilogies have some kind of weakness in the final volume relative to the first.

Tolkien's Lord of the rings 4 book (I include the hobbit as part of it)was saved form the last volume just be a big battle and lead up to same by the home coming to the Shire and the sideways story which was really more about returning vets and their reintegration (or not in Frodo's case) then as a close out to an ordinary epic. The lord of the ring faded away, rather than coming to a Wagnerian triumph or Gotterdammerung. The Shire close worked because it somehow reflected a moment in western history that folks could relate to circa 1950 to 1970.

I do not read such stuff today, but it seems that the 5 to 7 book series are always lacking in the last few volumes, or so folks that read them tell me. An auhto who has shot their wad, so to speak and is trying to come up with a final volume that compares to the first may just not have a way to close it out in less than a tedious manner.

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 3:10 PM  

He does have a trilogy in mind and has given out the titles before. I'd be entirely unsurprised if it never happened.

Seems everyone around here loved The Aeronaut's Windlass but me: I thought it was terrible, especially the writing--it sounded nothing like Butcher.

Dresden actually reminds me a bit of Jack Reacher in its ability to continuously work with an extremely strict formula but still make it entertaining.

Blogger Ben Cohen April 28, 2017 3:13 PM  

Vox, did you get through wheel of Time? Why are you always making fun of it?

Anonymous Hammerman April 28, 2017 3:14 PM  

Trouble getting through Tolkien?
Heresy!

Blogger VFM #7634 April 28, 2017 3:16 PM  

I think a word has been inadvertently left out- Santa Fe probably refers to Santa Fe, NEW Mexico, (though there is a business district in Mexico City called Santa Fe.)


@22 Eskyman
It says "Santa Fe, Mexico" twice, so it could be Mexico City. Who knows... maybe he's working with Alonzo Cuaron.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 3:17 PM  

I think GRRM hates working on that series by now but Gaiman doesn't write at the required length to finish things properly. Maybe they are just meeting to chortle over their respective piles of TV money?

Brandon Sanderson could do it though. Or, dark horse, Guy Gavriel Kay. Though at this point I'm not sure I care.

Anonymous Philalethes April 28, 2017 3:18 PM  

a film studio in Santa Fe, Mexico… Martin's hometown… film studio in Mexico… The Albuquerque Journal reports that "The Winds of Winter" author's film studio is housed in a 30,000 square-foot non-profit building in Santa Fe, Mexico.

It's Santa Fe, New Mexico. I assume "Celebeat" is produced somewhere on the Left Coast, where the grasp of flyover geography is rather loose. Founded in 1610 by Spanish colonists as "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís" (I note Infogalactic still doesn't import all the graphics from Wikipedia), it is the oldest state capital in the USA (and the second-oldest city, after Saint Augustine, Florida).

New Mexico was part of Mexico for 25 years, but became part of the USA in 1848 (169 years ago), along with Arizona, California and other territories. It became the 47th state in 1912.

New Mexico magazine (published by the state Tourism Department) has long had a monthly feature titled "One of Our 50 is Missing" ("Yes, it’s a state. No passport required."), with reader-submitted gaffes from various publications. For instance, this month it's one from the Newspaper of Record (The New York Times, aka "Carlos Slim's Blog") in which a map switches New Mexico with Arizona.

George R.R. Martin lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he also owns a small art-house movie theater which shows classic films (that Martin likes, presumably) and writes (when he does). Seems doubtful his film studio is in a "non-profit" building in Mexico (though there is a Santa Fe in Mexico, formerly a town, now a neighborhood in Mexico City). (Does Mexico do "non-profit"?)

(Apparently Ivan Throne is also based in Santa Fe, according to an address seen on his website.)

Blogger SemiSpook37 April 28, 2017 3:19 PM  

Hammerman wrote:Trouble getting through Tolkien?

Heresy!


Dude, I tried starting with The Hobbit years ago. I never knew how fast he could put me to sleep.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 3:21 PM  

Part of the problem is ASOIAF was conceived as a trilogy then turned out to be a hit and got stretched on the rack.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 28, 2017 3:22 PM  

It's actually really depressing to learn that authors can just "lose it." Those books were genuinely great at first; what happens to a man that he can just devolve so rapidly?

Martin is an explorer. A big part of the process for him is the exploration. He doesn't work from a outline in any serious way.

This is all fine and dandy but when you get bored with the subject of your exploration you've got a major problem. And he clearly got bored.

I can hardly blame him, he's been working on this same project for twenty years. Interest was bound to flag.

Which is why he his last book was just Westeros fan fiction. He needed those side characters to try and get himself interested in the project again.

Blogger lowercaseb April 28, 2017 3:26 PM  

KSC wrote:Dresden actually reminds me a bit of Jack Reacher in its ability to continuously work with an extremely strict formula but still make it entertaining.

He made it easy for himself by creating a character that has consistency but still is open to growth and change. I read also that he wanted to wrap the Dresden series up around book 17. The pieces are in play for it to go into a trilogy format for that.

Dresden is a fun interesting character...but the money shot for that series is when he introduced Michael the paladin. One of the best written and most positive takes on that type of character I've seen.

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 3:28 PM  

If we can get the time travel book (which is supposed to be book 17) I'll be satisfied.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 28, 2017 3:30 PM  

Dude, I tried starting with The Hobbit years ago. I never knew how fast he could put me to sleep.

I think that might be one of the saddest things I've ever heard.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 28, 2017 3:30 PM  

Wait a minute!

Gaiman is ghosting him because he can't finish?

Gaiman's last real book was Anansi Boys, it was published TWELVE freaking years ago. Even then he had to ripoff Pratchett's Thief of Time to do it.

Everything since then has been kid's books, short story collections and comics.


This is like two drunks helping each other walk down the street.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 3:35 PM  

I thought the Dresden series improved a great deal while Butcher figured out how to write page turners in the Codex Alera. And introducing Michael and related issues also provided improved the concept freshness compared to the vampires and stuff before that.

As to more books, I think Jim Butcher gave us a pretty good hint in that book where he killed off Dresden. But it's episodic work by now so he can basically write another one whenever he feels like it.

Anonymous VFM #6303 April 28, 2017 3:39 PM  

Martin has never been prolific. He's been published since the early 1970s, so is at the tail end of the novella short story guys - people who could make a modest living at shorts as long as they were connected to Hollywood, and Martin was. He got Sandkings adapted for the new Twilight Zone or Outer Limits or something more than once. He edited anthologies.

In his youth, he cranked out a novel once every five-or-six years.

He was never a Stephen King or Dean Koontz-type.

Also, even though GoT won the Yugo Award or Nebishly or something that year, I hadn't heard of it. I only randomly picked it up in the 1990s because it was in the bargain bin. It was probably a 1st edition paperback for all I know. Thought it was great fun with a nice surprise.

My point is that I'm not sure Martin was hoping to do much more than keep a contract for a trilogy, and he would have been done with all this nonsense by 2005 or so. He just doesn't crank out novels.

My point is he didn't lose his fastball as much as he never had one. The reason GoT was good was because he had five years to write it and no pressure. Once they tried to apply pressure to the old man to accelerate his writing flow, he started seizing up.

Now it is more than obvious that he is no longer having any fun in the world he made, and is just working for the man.

Kind of funny imagining the Violet Beauregarde of Science Fiction astride the saddled, skeletal frame of Neil Gaiman, with Rape Rape barking out "who bitch this is?" in his little non-profit film studio, though.

Blogger Ransom Smith April 28, 2017 3:43 PM  

The surprising amount of Tolkien hate I'm reading is tear inducing.

Anonymous Steve April 28, 2017 3:44 PM  

KSC - are you a crazy man? Aeronaut's Windlass was incrediballs. Let me count the ways:

* Non-stop, breathtaking, buckle-swashing, edge-of-your-Kindle action!

* An astonishing sailpunk/magic new world, filled with interesting characters!

* a TALKING CAT! And nobody loves cats more than me. Believe me, I have the best cats. But even I know that writing a mouthy mouser is fraught with the risk of the story devolving into Paw Patrol fanfic. Magnificently averted, in this case, because the talking cat is a masterfully written and memorable moggy who works brilliantly within the universe and story Butcher created.

* a plot that reads like you always imagine how fiddlers who sold their soul to the Devil sound. It's Planck-scale tight, it's effortlessly well paced, it's full of great surprises and hits all the actional, emotional and awesomeonomic notes a reader could possibly expect in a work of fantastic fiction.

It's a splendid book, and my only criticism is it didn't come with a free amnesia ray so I could read it for the first time again and again.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 3:48 PM  

But was the cat like totally snarky?

Blogger Jourdan April 28, 2017 3:49 PM  

As bad as Rape-Rape is--and he is quite bad, his novels nothing more than a distillation of the freshman's urge to turn beloved novels upside down into faux-transgressive trash--he is one of the greats compared to the charlatan Jordan.

Jordan was nothing more than a rip-off fraud and a con-man. Everything he wrote in his books was ripped off from something else, from the "lone woodsman who is secretly the last heir of a kingdom" to "desert dwellers whose environment has formed them into incredibly tough fighters" to "dead beloved wizard companions that come back to life" was just ripped off.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 3:51 PM  

This reminds me ... I want more John C Wright books.

Anonymous Steve April 28, 2017 3:54 PM  

Bz - Can you imagine if Scalzi wrote it? Of course you can. The cat would sound like a painfully try-hard middle aged dweeb whose wife looks like one of the Super Mutants from Fallout 3.

Butcher's cat sounds like talking cats should sound. Delightfully conceited and entertainingly arrogant. And much concerned with catching things, and eating their insides.

Anonymous Peddler April 28, 2017 3:58 PM  

Speaking of...

When are you sending out the update to complete Sea of Skulls?

Blogger Scott Birch April 28, 2017 4:00 PM  

I liked American Gods and Anansi Boys. The whole GoT epic is so very dull, by virtue of being stretched out. Pratchett was clever how he kept Discworld fresh. I don't think most other autthors are able to do that.

Blogger Lovekraft April 28, 2017 4:01 PM  

Time will tell. I'm expecting expose tell-alls similar to the scandals from Gone with the Wind (or was it Wizard of Oz)? Numerous GOT starlets got sucked into the Hollywood fame pit and were never the same again.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 28, 2017 4:06 PM  

BluePony wrote:Write the ending first. I was taught that in middle school creative writing lessons. It really does make it easier having that end goal, that final scene, as a target. Any professional author who writes himself into a corner (as I think Martin once claimed on book 4 or 5) is doing something terribly wrong.

See, I think Martin has an ending in mind (or written down in his notes somewhere). His problem is that his series has several convoluted plots and intertwining events that he's having trouble reaching the ending. At this point, I think he just doesn't know how to reach his desired ending.

Anonymous instasetting April 28, 2017 4:13 PM  

American Gods, which I read years ago, had good chapters, but the book as a whole was a letdown.

This was partially because the plot by the chief plotter was so underwhelming. Also, atheists tend to write depressing junk, which I'm not sure Gaiman is, but it had that feel.

The book was less than the sum of its parts.

Blogger Jack Ward April 28, 2017 4:14 PM  

Author burnout? Try David Weber and his Honor Harrington series. I really enjoyed that one and was looking forward to a few more books as Harrington and company took apart the Galactic empire. Weber just lost it somewhere. And, his ebooks are very expensive. I hope Vox can avoid defecating into his Amor universe. I wonder if Vox's son writes?

OpenID crapulux April 28, 2017 4:16 PM  

Reminds me of Terry Goodkind's Sword of truth... I liked the first tome. I think I gave up at the 4th or 5th. I just couldn't go on. It became abysmally bad. And today I checked... 17 tomes published? Wow.

Anonymous Pax_Romana April 28, 2017 4:19 PM  

I picked up Dresden the same time I did ASOIAF, in the mid '00s. I loved both, but I preferred Dresden's world. There was a familiarity and a hope that even in bleak circumstance, the hero could win...even if he had to die to do so.

As a result, the mythology behind the Dresden Files inspired a web series I've been working on, based on Merlin, and the Codex Alera inspired a book I've been writing that I hope to some day put before Castalia.

Martin has...inspired nothing for me other than a desire to be better.

Anonymous DeeJay April 28, 2017 4:22 PM  

Odd. Gaiman's always been primarily a comics guy to me, with short-story writer coming in a close second. Like other '80's funnybook game-changers, his work on Sandman is pretty much up there with Frank Miller and Alan Moore's stuff. Frankly, it's actually a bit surprising to see Martin enlist him as a ghostwriter, if that's indeed the case. Going with somebody like China Mieville would've fit the tone of his books better.

(And yes, I know all three of these guys cover the full spectrum from mild-SJW to flying-rodent-dung-insane communist. Art is still Art: let the other side engage in purging wrongthinkers. Who knows, they might even drive some of them over to THIS side of the fence!)

Anonymous Old Man Willow April 28, 2017 4:24 PM  

SemiSpook37 wrote:Hammerman wrote:Trouble getting through Tolkien?

Heresy!


Dude, I tried starting with The Hobbit years ago. I never knew how fast he could put me to sleep.


Well that's your trouble right there! The Hobbit wasn't meant to be part of the Lord of the Rings. So you need to skip that entirely, and come back to it later if you want. It was really kind of a one-off that caught Tolkien and his publishers by surprise.
This is why so many people have trouble starting the LoTR, too. Tolkien started writing a Hobbit sequel, so the book starts off very much like the Hobbit (until they arrive at Bree). It was kind of "discovery" writing.
I wonder if Tolkien ever thought about going back and re-writing that portion to make it match in tone with the rest? I suspect not -- and many people don't mind it. Many, however (like a friend of mine) just keep trying to start the LoTR, since they hear so much about it, but they just can't get past the first 30 pages or so.

I'm not sure what Martin's problem is; I never felt compelled to read any of his stuff.
How Pratchett managed to keep his multi-book series going for so long is probably a matter of scope. The early books were parodies of high, heroic fantasy. You can't keep that up for long-- epic fantasy requires epic climaxes, and you can't keep coming back to that.
Instead, Pratchett turned to character studies and satirical concept novels, which generated new material in a less sweeping scope.

That's my two cents, at least.

Anonymous CarpeOro April 28, 2017 4:25 PM  

I'd offer up David Drake as another example of author burnout. His RCN series was excellent for many books, but the last three and his Raj Whitehall series last couple were frankly feeling not just formulaic but repetitive (his co-authors were not upto speed).

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 4:25 PM  

@42
"Non-stop action?" That certainly isn't the book I remember. Same with "interesting characters"; Grim and Bridget were bland and I wanted to punch Gwen in the face more or less constantly. And the villain was lame.

@52
I read through book 4 of Honor Harrington. Another series with a boring, forgettable protagonist. (There, I finally said that out loud.)@53
Oh man, you have no idea. I still occasionally re-read books 1 and 2 of that series when I'm on airplanes or in similar circumstances. You have no idea how bad it gets, especially after Confessor (which was supposed to be the finale.) It's quite literally unbelievable.

Anonymous John April 28, 2017 4:29 PM  

I read a while back that the last three years for Butcher had included a divorce, a new marriage, and a move (half a fire by Twain's reckoning). None of that seems conducive to getting work done that required focus.

I think he managed to keep the bar set pretty high, and I enjoyed Skin Game as much as any of his work. Tough to keep a character driven series fresh after so many books, even John D. McDonald and Robert B. Parker started feeling formulaic near the end of their careers. I feel like there are a few Dresden books left before the universe is totally mined out, a trilogy finale would be welcome.

That said, the last ASOFAI felt like work reading the last half. What started as a complicated web has devolved into a tangle.

Anonymous AzDesertRat April 28, 2017 4:37 PM  

Jack Ward wrote:Author burnout? Try David Weber and his Honor Harrington series. I really enjoyed that one and was looking forward to a few more books as Harrington and company took apart the Galactic empire. Weber just lost it somewhere.

It is a rare series that can go beyond a trilogy before cratering into a smoking pit of "meh". The Starfire series that Weber wrote with Steve White back in the 90's/00's is another example. The first 3 books were great epic scale space warfare novels (In Death Ground is still one of my top 5 favorites of all time). Book 4 was borderline but closed off the story arc that White and Weber had been working on together. Then White went on to books 5-7, one with a female co-author, and it just got stupid. The writing is definitely sub-par compared to the earlier books and you can see the SJW/Feminist themes start to creep in.
The first 3 are such favorites of mine that I've bought 5-7 just on the hopes that the story would improve, but it hasn't. They (White and the new co-authors) wrote themselves into a plot corner and book 7 was little more than a ham fisted attempt to "reset" the universe. Unless Weber jumps back in I'm done with that line of books.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 4:44 PM  

Gaiman is a "Jewish agnostic".

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim April 28, 2017 4:48 PM  

OT : Gavin McInnes continues to drift toward the civic nationalist center aka "loserville"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d19GeUCHYUM&feature=youtu.be

Blogger lowercaseb April 28, 2017 4:53 PM  

instasetting wrote:Also, atheists tend to write depressing junk, which I'm not sure Gaiman is, but it had that feel.

Now if he wrote about Scientology gods (er thetans)...that be fresh and entertaining.

Blogger SmockMan April 28, 2017 4:54 PM  

Arts of Dark and Light is the better series anyway.

Blogger Lovekraft April 28, 2017 4:55 PM  

@55 DeeJay: I remember the Gaiman Sandman fans as pretentious, above superhero dreck (I, at the time, fantasized about turning into Colossus in the high school hallways smashing people into lockers).

Cerebus by Dave Sim is an example, in modern times, of how to do an epic. Will tell you some day of my times hanging out, playing catch and working for Dave.

Anonymous Bz April 28, 2017 4:56 PM  

"Martin has an ending in mind (or written down in his notes somewhere)"

There was a brief outline shown in some article a while back for a publisher pitch. From what I recall, it's outdated by now.

Ahah, here is an overview though it looks like they somehow lost the actual letter. The broad strokes are not too surprising given that you have three volumes, a civil war, some dragons and a lot of zombies.

http://winteriscoming.net/2015/02/05/george-rr-martin-original-game-of-thrones-pitch/

Blogger lowercaseb April 28, 2017 4:57 PM  

Jack Ward wrote:I wonder if Vox's son writes?

His son is already a published author! Can't get more literary dynasty than that.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 28, 2017 4:59 PM  

Will tell you some day of my times hanging out, playing catch and working for Dave.

Wondered if any Cerubi would end up here. Always enjoyed everything Dave did.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 28, 2017 5:11 PM  

@56

The thing about the Discworld books is that they were running into trouble too.

The last good Ankh-Morpork book was Making Money. They went into a steep decline after that one.

Admittedly Pratchett's illness was part of that but the Sam Vimes books were going down hill long before Pratchett's health problems set in.

Once Pratchett locked down the setting as fantasy steampunk, it began to collect plot baggage. I recently reread Moving Pictures for the first time in a long time and the setting of Ankh-Morpork is so different it's rather jarring.

Whore-pits in AM? The Seamstresses' Guild would never allow it. Lord Downey's young gentlemen would be visiting the owners on the first night they opened.

Blogger Last Redoubt April 28, 2017 5:20 PM  

@12. Chiva

The American Tolkien indeed....

Tolkien I can read again. RapeRape Martin I could only slog through once.


I'm sorry man. I couldn't even do it once....

@AzDesertRat - yeah - Weber went down the drain and interviews I've heard with him indicate that despite his supposed conservatism, he's a full on churchian feminist. Shame, there was some fun to be had in some of the earlier Harrington stories, and still have and intend to keep "In Death Ground" and the "Shiva Option."

But then the last two were with White in the Starfire universe. And I'm sure I know which characters were Weber's.

Blogger Achilles April 28, 2017 5:38 PM  

All those casting calls took their toll on Martin's productivity.

It would be hard to think of a writer more unsuited for ghostwriting for Martin than Neil Gaiman. I doubt Gaiman can ape Martin's style. Too wishy washy. Why not get someone who already imitates Rape Rape. Is the editor over at Bantam some obese lesbian with 8 signed copies of Stardust?

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim April 28, 2017 5:44 PM  

The man who unironically refers to G.R.R. Martin as "American Tolkien" is the man who gets his front teeth caved in by my elbow.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 28, 2017 5:56 PM  

Last Redoubt wrote:Tolkien I can read again. RapeRape Martin I could only slog through once.

I'm sorry man. I couldn't even do it once....

Chauq'un a son gout and all that, but we feel sorry for you.

Anonymous Silly but True April 28, 2017 5:59 PM  

@BBGKB: "Its pronounced Gay Man."

Needn't ignore his full name: Kneel gay man.

Blogger Pseudotsuga April 28, 2017 6:02 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:@56

The thing about the Discworld books is that they were running into trouble too.

The last good Ankh-Morpork book was Making Money. They went into a steep decline after that one.

Admittedly Pratchett's illness was part of that but the Sam Vimes books were going down hill long before Pratchett's health problems set in.


Yes, once Pratchett's "embuggerance" took control, the writing declined considerably.
That's a nice call on the fantasy steampunk -- once he decided that he would use the Discworld as a model for wishful progressive thinking (the goblin/orc/football book, and the women soldiers book, for example) they lost the satiric edge which propelled the earlier books and characters.

Blogger 4499 April 28, 2017 6:07 PM  

"Woe is me, why oh why won't someone craft a keyboard with the portly gentleman in mind?" he wondered fattingly.

Anonymous Hammerman April 28, 2017 6:11 PM  

Start with Fellowship of the Ring. Just be aware the first few chapters are setting the board, not action packed. It is completely worth it.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume April 28, 2017 6:32 PM  

@42 Steve,

I'm a big Jim Butcher fan myself: Harry Dresden's books are great and I have to disagree with whoever said above that the Alera books were good but not great.

What?!I love them, more so than the Harry Dresden books. And they were written on a dare!

But, I've got to second KSC:

I wasn't able to finish The Aeronaut's Windlass. I wonder if you and I even read the same book. The characters were annoying retreads. And I don't see how the plot was tight at all, but since I couldn't finish it, I probably never will. I kept drifting off to read something else or go to sleep.

A huge stinking pile of Meh.

Sorry Mister Butcher, if you're reading this. Please go back to Alera.

Blogger phunktor April 28, 2017 6:34 PM  

Good choice of strike

Blogger VD April 28, 2017 6:53 PM  

Vox, did you get through wheel of Time? Why are you always making fun of it?

I quit in the middle of Book 6 or so. Because a) it sucks, and b) it features the most annoying protagonist in the history of SF/F.

I only made it as far as I did because I was hoping against hope that Rand al'Thor would die. I sincerely despise that whiny little bastard.

Blogger VD April 28, 2017 6:54 PM  

When are you sending out the update to complete Sea of Skulls?

This year. But not in May.

Anonymous Turner Ashby April 28, 2017 7:11 PM  

Old Man Willow wrote:

I wonder if Tolkien ever thought about going back and re-writing that portion to make it match in tone with the rest? I suspect not -- and many people don't mind it.

Yes, as a matter of fact, he not only thought about it, he began it. He was especially concerned about the fact that the geography of the Hobbit does *not* match the geography of the Fellowship, even though they are supposedly travelling over the same ground and even, in places, by the same road. IIRC he got as far as their encounter with the trolls. Then he showed it to beta readers, and they were uniformly disapproving, saying that the new work had none of the charm of the Hobbit and little of the epic power of LotR, so he dropped the idea. I've read the fragment, and on the whole I agree with his beta readers.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J April 28, 2017 7:13 PM  

"At least Robert Jordan had the excuse of being dead."

I giggled, but Jordan at least prepared Sanderson well. Extensive notes and a vision for every loose end, the imagined ending, the path to get there. Jordan knew he was terminal but was determined to deliver on his contract and satisfy his fans.

Martin is just lost, and Gaiman is there to keep up appearances of staying on track rather than execute an authors vision.

I stopped reading WoT after an entire book was devoted to chasing rebel Aiel around and Perrin's endlessly tedious deliberations as to how to best rescue his wife. Rand al'Thor bothered me. Egwene bothered me. The Aes Sedai were...ugh.

But of all the characters he created, I wanted to drive a rusty stake into every one of Nynaeve's toenails and cut that freakin braid off and strangle her with it.

Blogger Chris Lutz April 28, 2017 7:15 PM  

I read 3-4 of the first books in the Harrington series. But it became obvious that it was going to become a repetitive slog. Harrington betrayed/outnumbered etc. Manticore saved by Harrington and it's superior naval excellence.

I've read I think the first three of the Starfire series. They aren't bad but they suffer from hero-itis. The navy fights valiantly and brilliantly on every occasion. The enemy is technologically inferior but is able to throw vast numbers at our heroes. Same sort of repetitive story telling.

I really don't like fantasy so I've never been able to get through LOTR or The Hobbit.

Anonymous Turner Ashby April 28, 2017 7:17 PM  

Actually, I should have read Old Man Willow's comment more carefully. As far as I know Tolkien never thought of rewriting Book I of LotR to match the tone of the later books. My comment above referred to The Hobbit

Blogger Sheila4g April 28, 2017 7:28 PM  

Gaiman's American Gods was interesting, but I can't say I loved it. My older son did, though. I started reading ASOIAF many years ago and stopped after book 3 - long before the tv series started. Husband loves the series and I haven't watched any of it. I stumbled onto Butcher's Dresden series at book 12? {the big one where he rescues his daughter in Mexico} and got hooked and then went back and read all the others. Agreed Aeronot's Windlass was rather different; neither loved nor hated it. Started Wheel of Time series when I picked up the first book at an airport not long after it came out. Read 4 or 5 volumes and then totally lost interest. Agree with Vox that Rand is a miserable character.

Anonymous Steve April 28, 2017 7:31 PM  

KSC, Emmett - for my money's worth, Aeronaut's Windlass elegantly combined a number of wondrous elements:

* The romance of the age of sail, but set in the skies. I've always liked Treasure Island, Hornblower and so on. There's a kind of magic in sailing vessels. To my mind, which spent its formative years steeped in stories told by Robert Louis Stevenson, Roger Lancelyn Green, and the outrageous lies of the ancient Greeks, sailing ships = adventure.

* The magic of magic. I enjoyed the stuff about lift crystals and half-mad etherialists and so on. It was thoughtfully contrived and artfully executed.

* The characters. I've already praised the talking cat, but the human characters are also well realised. I liked the old-fashioned British stoutheartedness of Captain Grimm. I was pleased that the dastardly dago adversaries were far from one-note stock baddies, but brave, clever and desperate men on a deadly mission. Gwen was a bit paint-by-numbers, but she was never annoying and served mainly as our POV in this world.

* And what a world. It's sort of the opposite of Hugh Howey's WOOL. People live in vast, ancient city-towers above the mists. How can you not love that?

As with everything else in the book, de gustibus non disputandum and so on, but to my eye the plot was more or less pitch perfect. I enjoyed every page of it, and would definitely buy a sequel.

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 7:43 PM  

What "plot" are we talking about? There was enough to fill perhaps 100 pages, not the 400+ the book was given. And, again, I don't remember any "well-drawn" characters--I can perhaps name a single attribute for each one. I'm perhaps trashing the book a little too much; it's by no means close to the worst thing I've read. But it's certainly the worst thing Butcher has written.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume April 28, 2017 8:02 PM  

@87

Maybe it's the cats, Steve. Maybe it's the stupid cats.

Besides the characters (I can only name some from reading the posts here: that's how forgettable I found them) and the general tediousness of the story, I found the portrayal of cool, haughty know-it-all cats downright insipid.

I'm sure there is a 40+ cat woman out there with short, dyed hair who chortled with glee whenever the cats did something wise and cute. I am not that audience and found their addition to the story a subtraction, in actuality.

Maybe that was Butcher's ultimate plan: dangle the cats in front of fat Third Wave Feminists like a piece of yarn in front of a kitten.

You know, trying to expand his readership.

Blogger Matthew April 28, 2017 8:17 PM  

I enjoyed Windlass very much when I read it. Now I can barely remember anyone in it, or what happened.

Blogger Matthew April 28, 2017 8:18 PM  

There was a patrician girl, and a ship's captain, and a sage and his crazy apprentice, and apparently some talking cats. I vaguely remember a peasant girl who could talk to cats.

Blogger Pseudotsuga April 28, 2017 8:19 PM  

Chris Lutz wrote:

I really don't like fantasy so I've never been able to get through LOTR or The Hobbit.


I sense no guilt there, and that's perfectly fine. Not all books appeal to all readers. I, myself, have never been able to read Frank Herber's Dune. Just not my cup of spice.

Anonymous RedJack April 28, 2017 8:25 PM  

The Aeronaut's Windlass wasn't very good. The whole "teen girl/cat" thing threw me off. If I hadn't read the front cover, I wouldn't have known that Butcher wrote. When I later read that he was going through a messy divorce, and then a new marriage, I figured that was the last of him. I honestly wonder if his new or old wife wrote that book. It just seemed very off.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 28, 2017 8:26 PM  

@75 Pseudotsuga

I suspect but can't prove that Pratchett's daughter started ghosting him about the time of the second Tiffany Aching book.

There's a marked difference in style at that point. I'll give her this much the Tiffany Aching books weren't bad but they didn't have Pratchett's sharp edge either.

Although my favorite Pratchett is still the one that he co-wrote with (of all people) Neil Gaiman...Good Omens.

Sadly some of the jokes are pretty badly dated at this point. No today would get the one about how any cassette left in a car for two weeks turns into a Best of Queen tape.

Anonymous Eduardo April 28, 2017 9:01 PM  

.... Cassette recorders in the car maybe? Yeah cassettes were around when I was 5-6 years old, but I never heard that comment about Queen, why would they turn into the Best of Queen?

Oh, and vynil discs and my dad's good and old Atari 2600 also played a big part of my childhood. AND LASERDISCS!

O_O old stuff is fun yo...

Blogger Ingot9455 April 28, 2017 9:08 PM  

I have not read Wheel of Time, but only listened to bits of it as someone else in the room with me was playing the audiotape. So I don't know which book it's in.

But there is one extended sequence in one book where the all-chicks Aes Sedai are playing petty politics with one another in the most childish backbiting all-chick power structure queen bee backbiting stupid structure imaginable. And I'm thinking, "Let's see - end of the world is nigh, ancient powers breaking loose, world about to be destroyed, and the magical chicks are sitting in a castle playing power games on one another. This is surprisingly realistic for a fantasy story."

Anonymous Turner Ashby April 28, 2017 9:09 PM  

For people who just can't get into Book I of LotR, and only for those people, I would recommend reading Chapter 2 of Book I (of Fellowship), "The Shadow of the Past," for essential background, and then skipping ahead and beginning in earnest with Book II (of Fellowship). (The series, although published in three volumes, is divided internally into six books, two per volume.) If you read Book II and don't like it, then you can fairly conclude that you won't like the rest of the story.

Blogger Chris Lutz April 28, 2017 9:13 PM  

@92 My wife got me to read the Dune books when we were in college. I really enjoyed the first one. The next five were a steady drop in quality. But I can readily understand why the story doesn't appeal to certain people.

My daughter loves LOTR and The Hobbit. And I actually enjoy the LOTR movies. The Hobbit movies are interesting in that the parts that are solidly from the book (from the parts I've read) are by far the best parts. The add-on items are mediocre to crud.

Anonymous 6184 April 28, 2017 9:13 PM  

Awwww Cold Days didn't have *that* much gratuitous sexual content...I don't remember even one RapeRape...

Blogger KSC April 28, 2017 9:24 PM  

@98
The books would actually be a lot better without any romance IMO; Butcher has said who Harry ends up with is one of the few things he hasn't determined, and it shows.

Blogger Bob Loblaw April 28, 2017 9:48 PM  

Steve wrote:I've always liked Treasure Island, Hornblower and so on. There's a kind of magic in sailing vessels. To my mind, which spent its formative years steeped in stories told by Robert Louis Stevenson, Roger Lancelyn Green, and the outrageous lies of the ancient Greeks, sailing ships = adventure.

You might enjoy J.A. Sutherland's Alexis Carew series.

Blogger roundeye April 28, 2017 10:10 PM  

Rapidly? It happened over two decades.

HBO made him a near half billionaire. It is a distraction.

Blogger Cail Corishev April 28, 2017 10:36 PM  

Dresden is a fun interesting character...but the money shot for that series is when he introduced Michael the paladin.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, I think by trying to keep the story agnostic, so to speak, he wasn't able to do the character full justice. In Michael's first couple appearances, he's awesome, and clearly has God on his side. But then you find out about the other two swords, and one of them being carried by an atheist, and everyone has his own powerful amulet driven by his own faith in his own navel or whatever that are all basically equal.... And now we've gone from Christian Knight of God to New Age BS.

I still read to book 12 or 13, I think, so it didn't ruin them, but I always wished for Michael to break out into his own unapologetically Christian series. The other thing that finally did me in was grown-up Molly; couldn't stop rolling my eyes long enough to read. But a dozen books is a very good run, and they didn't get bad; they just lost my interest.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 28, 2017 10:55 PM  

It's actually really depressing to learn that authors can just "lose it." Those books were genuinely great at first; what happens to a man that he can just devolve so rapidly?

What are the odds Rape Rape has Type II Diabetes?

Right. So, what is Type II Diabetes? It's insulin resistance. Insulin is required to get glucose from your blood stream across the cell walls and into your cells so your cells can burn it for fuel. Years of over-carbing leads to IR - for some as-yet unknown reason your cells become resistant to letting insulin through. Sugar builds up in your blood stream and your cells struggle to get the fuel they need.

Your brain weighs 3% of your body mass but burns 20% of your calories. It needs a lot of fuel. Some people are starting to refer to Alzheimer's as Diabetes of the Brain.

Rape Rape's brain cells are slowly dying of starvation while he strip-mines buffet tables across New Mexico.

Blogger Gapeseed April 28, 2017 10:56 PM  

I like Gaiman. "American Gods" and his Norse theology retelling are both compelling, although some of my fondness might be tied to my listening to these books in audiobook format rather than reading them. Gaiman has an excellent storyteller voice and delivery, while the full cast production of American Gods was outstanding.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents April 28, 2017 11:22 PM  

George's plot has fallen, and he can't get it back up?
He should hire Davie Gerrold to finish it for him, right after that Chtorr series winds up.

Blogger DJ | AMDG April 28, 2017 11:34 PM  

Actually, the brain and nervous system are the only areas of the body that don't require insulin to process glucose. It's a fail safe. The reason diabetes and dementia have been linked is because of the hypoglycemia frequency in those who use insulin or type II drugs. Diabetes isn't just dangerous because of high blood glucose levels but also lows.

Lol. *sperg*

I know....

Blogger Bob Loblaw April 29, 2017 12:01 AM  

roundeye wrote:Rapidly? It happened over two decades.

HBO made him a near half billionaire. It is a distraction.


I would think that kind of money would remove distractions. You hire a personal assistant (used to call 'em servants) to cook and clean and shop and buy gifts and take care of life's other distractions, you buy a house in a quiet place without remote neighbors, and spend 100% of your energy writing.

Blogger Scott Birch April 29, 2017 1:51 AM  

Inspiration for writers comes from interacting with other people though Rob. If you use wealth to isolate yourself and to smooth all the rough edges in your life ... Well, sone people can and some people can't pull that off.

Blogger Alexandros April 29, 2017 2:34 AM  

I have nothing against the guy, but I loathed American Gods. I wonder if there is a divide based on depressing-ness?

Blogger weka April 29, 2017 2:46 AM  

What the hell is going on here? Gaiman taking over Martin's sprawling mess (first book was good, then they deteriorated), Greg Benford writing a sequel to war of the worlds?

Card and Butcher are off their game. Stephensen is not, and Brin is recycling milSF.

The good writers are not at the big three no more. They are at Baen and Castalia

OpenID chronicrpg April 29, 2017 2:53 AM  

@69 Cataline Sergius
"The thing about the Discworld books is that they were running into trouble too.

The last good Ankh-Morpork book was Making Money. They went into a steep decline after that one."

I'm of the opinion that each Discworld sub-series without fail went in steep decline around its third book. The main characters invariably explode in competence and power until all traces of their earlier bumbling personalities which made them charming in the first place are gone, and at the same time, the longer a sub-series went on, the more Pratchett spent on his soapbox.

Blogger Resident Moron™ April 29, 2017 3:09 AM  

It's not a sudden loss of talent that's the problem.

It's that Rape Rape started with no idea how to finish.

As noted by others above, even Stephen King had the same trouble.

Dark Tower 1 to 3 are excellent. Rest are junk.

Wheel of Time 1 to 3 are solid. Rest are junk.

If you doubt it's all about the finish; just ask your wife.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit April 29, 2017 3:16 AM  

basementhomebrewer wrote:it could be that Gaiman is checking out the studios for the TV series version of American Gods.

That was in the can long ago. It premieres tomorrow.

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( don't trifle with me, son. i'm a professional, certified 4th degree black belt in the ancient Hebrew martial art of Kibitz Maga ) April 29, 2017 3:35 AM  

113. Resident Moron™ April 29, 2017 3:09 AM
If you doubt it's all about the finish; just ask your wife.



just ask George's rape victim.

i mean, he got her all worked up, made her lay back and pretend she was enjoying it ... then nothing.

even premature ejaculators can do better than that.

Blogger TECM April 29, 2017 4:56 AM  

I like Weber's stuff baring the honorverse, though books in that setting are surprisingly tolerable when they don't feature her or his other self insert. It's not fantastic stuff, but I enjoy it. His Safehold series reminds me of nothing so much as what they've turned civilization into.

For fantasy, the best non-Tolkein has to be the black company, and the Malazan series, though they're both military fantasy.

Blogger Basta Con La Droga April 29, 2017 5:22 AM  

Both Martin and the other neckbeard Rothfuss are a monumental fraud.

Blogger Resident Moron™ April 29, 2017 7:27 AM  

@Most Deplorable Paradigm

David Gerrold and the Chtorr; another excellent example of a writer with an intriguing idea for starting a story, and not a clue how to finish it.

Anonymous Blue Manticore April 29, 2017 8:19 AM  

Turner Ashby wrote:Old Man Willow wrote:

I wonder if Tolkien ever thought about going back and re-writing that portion to make it match in tone with the rest? I suspect not -- and many people don't mind it.

Yes, as a matter of fact, he not only thought about it, he began it. He was especially concerned about the fact that the geography of the Hobbit does *not* match the geography of the Fellowship, even though they are supposedly travelling over the same ground and even, in places, by the same road. IIRC he got as far as their encounter with the trolls. Then he showed it to beta readers, and they were uniformly disapproving, saying that the new work had none of the charm of the Hobbit and little of the epic power of LotR, so he dropped the idea. I've read the fragment, and on the whole I agree with his beta readers.


What publication does this appear in?

Anonymous The OASF April 29, 2017 9:09 AM  

My good biblical Christian friend and I have suspected from the beginning that he was not the one who wrote that series. I think we've been proven to be right.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 29, 2017 10:33 AM  

@20 CarpeOro
@14 it was Valerie Cruz on the Dresden T.V. series. The main character's actor moved on after one season. To bad, one of the better Sci-fi channel series.
---

I liked it. The main character actor moved on to Arrow. He is detective(?) Lance, Laurel and Sarahs dad.

Blogger Morgon April 29, 2017 10:40 AM  

When I saw Jim Butcher at Dragon Con he was saying that he was living in a tiny apartment while building a new house (which was taking longer than expected) and didn't have a good space to write, so his productivity had slowed. He expected to get back into the swing of things once his house was done.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 29, 2017 10:43 AM  

@46 Steve
Butcher's cat sounds like talking cats should sound. Delightfully conceited and entertainingly arrogant. And much concerned with catching things, and eating their insides.
---

There was a frenemy Fey cat in the Dresden novel where he was the Ice Knight or w/e it's called

Blogger Were-Puppy April 29, 2017 11:31 AM  

@92 Pseudotsuga

I sense no guilt there, and that's perfectly fine. Not all books appeal to all readers. I, myself, have never been able to read Frank Herber's Dune. Just not my cup of spice.
---

Dune is another one that went on for quite a lot of books.

Blogger Rory April 29, 2017 1:20 PM  

It was my first proper big novel I read, my introduction to actual adult reading at 12, so I'm biased. It holds a fond place in my heart and is responsible for a lot of my love of America. His description of Shadow's time in that small town with the cars under the ice - it left a mark on me, and since then I've always had this hankering to live in a place like that.

I'm not very genre savvy so I don't know how it stacks up, but I love it. I'm trepidatious about the TV show. We'll see.

Blogger Rory April 29, 2017 1:21 PM  

(Looking at this on desktop, I see the in-line replies don't appear in-line. I'm referring to @13 Avalanche's question about American Gods.)

Blogger Nate73 April 29, 2017 3:04 PM  

After this, Dune, and Wheel of Time I'm never starting a fantasy/scifi series again unless it's over and done with. So hopefully VD finishes that Arts of Dark and Light stuff so I can get to reading book one!

Blogger RJ April 29, 2017 4:45 PM  

I've enjoyed reading all the books in ASOIAF (some more than others). The wait between books has been painful. Honestly though, at this point, I really don't even care that much any more. Martin doesn't seem to give a shit, so why should we? Sad! (lol)

Anonymous instasetting April 29, 2017 5:14 PM  

Depressing-ness as a dividing line, yes.

Try Honor Harrington#10. Its different. Much more political. Its about how small lies on both by ambitious men can tumble out of control and lead to a widespread war no one wanted.

Also, I think it may have the North something Files, which is the source of political power by one Manticoran lord. He has files on everyone. Now, this may have been a J.E. Hoover callback, but when ya'll were talking about Epstein's Island, I thought of this.

Blogger TPE April 29, 2017 6:09 PM  

I never liked his works, they are all the premise of drama ending with a cudgel, with the attempt to shock and awe.
Maybe that is why people enjoy the TV show so much. When you cut out a great deal of a book's story in adapting it to a visual form you often lose many important aspect of the story. With Martin they probably could have cut more without losing any of the story's value.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 29, 2017 8:04 PM  

Just realized why Gaiman's visiting Rape Rape. American Gods is being turned into a GoT clone for HBO.

Blogger B.J. May 01, 2017 11:32 AM  

Not only is Martin not going to finish them, I don't think they *can* be finished, not in any way that makes sense or doesn't make all the previous books a complete waste. Martin is in a collapsing mine, and all he knows how to do is dig more tunnels.

It's okay. A Game of Thrones is a legitimately good book on it's own, and Martin has achieved more success than most authors ever dream of. It's fine. You don't have to take an author's entire body of work in aggregate. He can be a one-hit-wonder. Most people seem to have only a few great works in them to create, no sense in crying over a dry well.

Blogger Unknown May 01, 2017 2:15 PM  

I pushed through WOT in my late teens. I agree with Vox that Rand was one of the most annoying leads I've ever seen. Perrin was worse but I actually liked Mat.

I expected someone to point out that Terry Goodkind is actually the worst, best selling author in history.

Blogger Hutt May 01, 2017 2:16 PM  

Douglas Adams is the only author whose entire body of work I enjoyed.

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