Thursday, April 29, 2021

It's over. He's done.

Speaking as an author of a long-awaited epic fantasy novel that is years behind schedule and has yet to be finished, I think I am one of the few people on Earth who can speak with authority on the matter of George RR Martin and the likelihood that he will ever finish A Song of Ice and Fire.

I’ve said since the 7th season of Game of Thrones that George RR Martin would fail to finish his book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. There are now concerns that Martin won’t even finish The Winds of Winter, the planned penultimate novel of the series. Martin revealed this week on his blog that he has, again, fallen “hugely behind” on a project, which we assume means The Winds of Winter.

“When a lot of stuff happens very fast, I fall further and further behind. I am hugely behind right now, and the prospect of trying to catch up is feeling increasingly oppressive,” Martin writes.

That doesn’t sound good.

It has been 10 years since the last book of the series, A Dance with Dragons, was released. If Martin can’t finish Winds in a decade, how long will A Dream of Spring, the final and longest novel of the series, take?

Perhaps, there is not enough time in life to close every Martin-formed storyline. Maybe this book series grew too large, too deep, too in-depth for a conclusion. That TV ending may be all we get. 

The Outkick writer is right. Martin won't finish the series. He almost certainly won't even finish The Winds of Winter. He's not only lost his fastball, he's lost his ability to pitch.

I, however, have not. I will finish A Sea of Skulls and continue with The Arts of Dark and Light. In fact, if fans of the epic fantasy series here are genuinely interested, I can even post a chapter or two of new material here at some point, although I will certainly understand if you would prefer that I reserve all of the new content for the completed book.

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Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 29, 2021 11:20 AM  

Oh hells yeah! Please post chapters!

Blogger Harambe April 29, 2021 11:29 AM  

How do you fall behind when you are basically forcex to stay home and do nothing for a year?

Blogger Newscaper312 April 29, 2021 11:30 AM  

What's funny, just a week or so ago I was at a local seafood place and saw an older bigger bearded guy I at first thought might be an old favorite HS teacher of mine, then realized he looked more like GRRM, down to the goofy hat.
Icing on the cake, guy at table next to him could have been an old Isaac Asimov w the same facial hair.

Rape fetishist and likely pedo (given Asimov's son) - two F&SF heavyweights in same place!

Re GoT series, I tell people pissed about final season of Thrones that it's clear to me all the major plot beats did come from GRRM, and that main problem w showrunners was that they so badly rushed and botched execution of 7 and 8. One theory is they intentionally did it, thinking they had another megadeal show lined up.

Re the books, I knew things were out of whack when the show blew off Martins storyline where Tyrion turns *back* wo ever getting to Daenerys because there is yet *another* secret Targaeryn heir, the teenager, and the show was actually better for it.

Blogger Grey Man April 29, 2021 11:34 AM  

I will finish A Sea of Skulls

Could be fake news.

Lame joke aside, The Arts of Dark and Light is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever read. Even if nothing else is ever added, you have my appreciation.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction April 29, 2021 11:44 AM  

Perhaps said chapters could be given a comic promo?

Blogger Leoric April 29, 2021 11:45 AM  

I say post it. I personally hold out for the book but I know people love to get a glimpse. Also love all the stuff coming out, I can't keep up with everything!

Blogger Jab Burrwalky April 29, 2021 11:46 AM  

Harambe wrote:How do you fall behind when you are basically forcex to stay home and do nothing for a year?

He is now wealthy from books and movies and merch. He hasn't HAD to do anything in years, and his connections to Hollyweird means he hasn't had to stay home either. Why would he write a series he's bored of writing when the returns from here on out will be diminishing ones anyway.

Blogger MN Ruth April 29, 2021 11:49 AM  

Perhaps reality trumped fantasy for a period of time.

Blogger Crazy Dave April 29, 2021 11:51 AM  

recommended reading order for the Arts of Dark and Light works?

Blogger Anonymous Commenter April 29, 2021 11:53 AM  

Is this series available only on Amazon or is there a non-satanic way to get it?

Blogger Silly but True April 29, 2021 11:57 AM  

Why doesn’t he try something creative and way out of left field, making Danaerys go loony, try to burn everything, and then gets killed by Jon Snow? It would moot need for Dream of Spring and would be the most epic troll in fantasy literature of all time.

Blogger MATT April 29, 2021 11:58 AM  

If the final seasons were remotely re-watchable, he'd have stamped his name on them already
Instead he has to pretend they didn't have his approval.
He had no idea where the atory was going. It got away from him, and his book writing days are over. Cant say I blame him, he's worth around 60mil now.

Blogger D.J. Schreffler April 29, 2021 12:00 PM  

I would enjoy seeing excerpts of new material.

Blogger Zaklog the Great April 29, 2021 12:02 PM  

I think it was when people started talking about Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time that I decided I wasn't going to start a series like that until it was finished. Although Sanderson eventually completed it, Jordan's death vindicated this policy. Even if I were a fan of rape fiction (I'm not), that rule goes double for GRRM's series.

Blogger Wazdakka April 29, 2021 12:04 PM  

Is it wrong to pray for a football injury, so you have more time to write?

Blogger Shane Bradman April 29, 2021 12:04 PM  

The most laughable plotline Martin came up with was the desert Prince guy going to seek Danaerys and spent a whole book getting there only to be burned to a crisp by a dragon. That's the moment I knew Martin wanted to stop writing his series. 10 years later and I haven't been proven wrong.

Blogger kiryth April 29, 2021 12:04 PM  

So winter is not coming.

Blogger Doom April 29, 2021 12:05 PM  

Since you asked? Yes, I would enjoy seeing a bit here. I will probably remember it when I eventually read it, if you do so. But that just adds... something to the project, a neat little bit of extra... a preview... remembered. No matter what we want, it's really up to you. Still, you have my vote.

Blogger Karen took the Kids April 29, 2021 12:05 PM  

Please post the chapters. Its the only series in epic fantasy I'm interested in since finishing A Throne of Bones.

Blogger The Whisky Priest April 29, 2021 12:06 PM  

Charitably he decided to rewrite the book to conform to woke standards.

Personally I think he wrote himself into a corner in his quest to subvert expectations by murdering his characters mid arc.

Blogger Unknown April 29, 2021 12:09 PM  

An excerpt of any chapter will do it for me.

Blogger WITCHOUND April 29, 2021 12:19 PM  

And nothing of value was lost.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. April 29, 2021 12:20 PM  

As much as I want to read new chapters of ASoS, they wouldn't be right unless read in context with the book, as the book has on going narratives that intertwine with world events. It needs to be read as a completed whole.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. April 29, 2021 12:21 PM  

The thing that keeps me awake at night is that Vox has promised 3 more books after ASoS.

Blogger jijijeac April 29, 2021 12:23 PM  

I am actually highly surprised that many people deny human biological realities enough to be surprised that a person with george martin's age (72) and physical condition is not capable of the intense effort required to write a long book.even in the blog post mentioned in the news articles, martin mention the recent deaths of his friends, some due to old age. very difficult for a lot of people to get the hint and read between the lines. martin is probably more worried right now about end of life care, wills and funeral proceedings rather than finishing a novel for which he doesn't have any motivation (since he already made lots of money) nor the biological capacity to do so. to continue to pester martin about his projects is, from my pov, getting closer and closer to elderly abuse.

Blogger MichaelJMaier April 29, 2021 12:29 PM  

So glad I never bought into the Rape-Rape hype. People lauding the amorality of the series turned me off. I kept thinking "How is that a good thing?"

Blogger FUBARwest April 29, 2021 12:32 PM  

Please post chapters! It's been too long since the new AoDaL good stuff hit the street.

Blogger Sicarius April 29, 2021 12:36 PM  

Global warming confirmed

Blogger Jon W April 29, 2021 12:38 PM  

I had an 18 hour drive a few days ago. I was completely ready to shell out 40$ for the audio for Sea of Skulls but sadly disappointed. I am excited to know It will happen. GOT can just disappear into obscurity.

Blogger FacelessBro April 29, 2021 12:47 PM  

I believe you said it years ago that Martin quite literally can't finish the series because he wrote himself into a hole. Couple that with mental decline, and people are beginning to realize it will never happen.

Personally, I would prefer to wait. I'll just shield my eyes if you decide to post new content.

Blogger Stephen Ward April 29, 2021 12:47 PM  

please do not post chapters - I want to read the full book with fresh eyes

Blogger Wasumyon April 29, 2021 12:57 PM  

Posting a teaser is a great idea!

Blogger Joel April 29, 2021 1:01 PM  

Niente estratti per me. Io preferisco leggere libri interi. Poi nel tempo che ti serve a postare qualcosa avresti potuto aggiungere otto o dieci parole al manoscritto.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat April 29, 2021 1:02 PM  

GRRM set out to be the nihilist anti-Tolkein. He was dedicated to his characters always acting in their short-term interests, and any character that might have grown above that was cut down. If there was ever a series-wide plan (hold that thought), he let his characters trample the plan so badly that he can no longer get there. The TV crew knew this problem: they basically ran through the end of the show to paper over that they made the characters act against their own nature to get to the end of the last show.

GRRM has reached the point of the story where the heroes have to rise to greatness to overcome the great evil, but GRRM doesn’t believe that that is possible, and left the characters still around no avenue to do so believably. The original plan might have been a nihilistic loss (even if unconsciously so), but he can’t do that now because the books are the Great Humanist Saga, no God needed. It can’t end with a loss for his side.

He’s found the literary equivalent of the core of Plantigna’s Defense: even an omnipotent God can’t do something that’s logically impossible. GRRM may be omnipotent in that universe, but he’s written himself to a point where he just can’t make the story go where he wants it to go, and he can’t unpublish what he’s done to get here.

Blogger tdcommenter April 29, 2021 1:03 PM  

ASoIaF fan & culture commentator Nerdrotic came to the same conclusion days ago and noted that Martin had left the cabin where he usually isolates himself to complete his work, despite not completing it.

Blogger Jason the Gentleman April 29, 2021 1:08 PM  

This reminds me of Patrick Rothfuss, the SJW who can't finish his 3rd book even though he's had 10 years.

Blogger Ingot9455 April 29, 2021 1:09 PM  

Come now; why work on your epic when there's Wild Cards short story collections to edit!

But seriously; we can also take into account that Martin DID tell the makers of the series what was going to happen and now he's just seen it panned to heck and gone. Why charge back into the blender? He's got his.

Blogger Gregory the Tall April 29, 2021 1:11 PM  

Maybe he should get rehab with therapeutical coma in Russia.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 29, 2021 1:15 PM  

I'm not much for fantasy fic, but I found "A Magic Broken" a very good read, would rec. Rape Rape should hire McRapey, I'm sure RRs fans would be all over that.

Blogger Ronius_Maximus April 29, 2021 1:15 PM  

I have been patiently waiting to embark on the ADL journey until it's Italian leather binding is in my hands.

Blogger Troy Lee Messer April 29, 2021 1:17 PM  

...Speaking as an author of a long-awaited epic fantasy novel that is years behind schedule and has yet to be finished,...

Respectfully Sir, please shut up and write. No more golf or soccer post. Im even willing to give up Baby Boomer hate threads.

Else it is Vox R. R. Day memes until you do.

Blogger Inquisitor Benedictus April 29, 2021 1:17 PM  

I really don't understand why he doesn't just hire a ghostwriter/collaborator. If he doesn't write the books himself, someone eventually will; so he might as well be able for it, so he can supervise the process and edit the drafts.

Blogger The Masked Menace April 29, 2021 1:19 PM  

Nothing fails like success.

Blogger tuberman April 29, 2021 1:22 PM  

>> So glad I never bought into the Rape-Rape hype. People lauding the amorality of the series turned me off. I kept thinking "How is that a good thing?"

I did get sucked into Martin's TV series for awhile. Then, towards the 3rd or 4th season I realized the reoccurring amorality. Not only that, but the better people from the North (the characters I most cared about) kept doing stupid things, they would've been too intelligent to do in real life, so they got murdered for their stupidity.

This making the better people stupid and falling into simple traps was the straw that decided I wouldn't watch any more episodes. These people showed too much intelligence earlier, and watched their father figure fall into a trap. I figured this was intentional. Could it happen in real life? Yes, but I didn't care, I was done with his nonsense.

Showing an ugly, degraded world runs out of steam or caring for most of us. Even getting a slight kick out of the Dragon Lady wasn't enough to keep interest. My main interest is always characters.

Blogger Some Guy April 29, 2021 1:27 PM  


There is a youtube channel called LuciferMeansLightbringer. He is 100% pagan, but I think he has figured out the mythology that Martin is trying to create. If what I have seen from his channel is correct, Martin has written himself into a corner and he was hoping some of the plot points he wanted to end with would work in the tv series. They landed terribly and now I think he can't go forward without undoing what he has already committed to. So please finish ASOS, we need someone, somewhere to finish what they started. Not to mention that your characters were considerably more entertaining.

Blogger GammaCatch April 29, 2021 1:43 PM  

Game of Thrones, the show and the novels, are FULL of Leftist Propaganda. They are meant to demoralize under the guise of showcasing the nuances of character study and thematic structure. If I recall correctly, Martin is an actual Communist, and this shows in his themes. Guys like Peter F. Hamilton did the same thing in 90's Science Fiction with The Night's Dawn Trilogy. It was the fantasy/sci-fi decade of subversion.

The only good thing that came of Game of Thrones was watching Emilia Clarke being outrageously, paralyzingly, irrationally, beautiful.

Blogger Gator McCluskey April 29, 2021 1:43 PM  

"I can even post a chapter or two of new material here at some point" - Yes, please!!

Blogger tuberman April 29, 2021 1:45 PM  


>> GRRM set out to be the nihilist anti-Tolkein. He was dedicated to his characters always acting in their short-term interests, and any character that might have grown above that was cut down. If there was ever a series-wide plan (hold that thought), he let his characters trample the plan so badly that he can no longer get there. The TV crew knew this problem: they basically ran through the end of the show to paper over that they made the characters act against their own nature to get to the end of the last show.

Yes, the above is exactly what I felt, said better by you. Thanks!

Blogger Damelon Brinn April 29, 2021 1:47 PM  

By midway through the fourth book I got the feeling he'd lost interest in the original characters or had no idea how to complete their stories.

It's too late anyway, because of how the TV show ended. If he writes an ending that matches up with the one everyone hated, the fans will hate it for the same reasons. But if he tries to fix it with a good ending that makes sense, people will hate it for all sorts of different reasons, because it can't please all their wishes. His most profitable move would probably be to write an ending that slavishly panders to the Tumblr crowd that loved the dragon girl. But how much profit can there be in a book now, compared to whatever he got in royalties from a hugely popular TV show?

Blogger Rex Little April 29, 2021 1:53 PM  

When I saw the post title--before reading any of the text--I kinda thought (hoped?} it was about Biden.

Blogger GAHCindy April 29, 2021 1:56 PM  

The thing is, we know what's taking you so long. Dying to see you finish it, but you're doing many other worthy things. WTH has he been doing all this time? Isn't that basically all he does?

Blogger Tom M April 29, 2021 2:00 PM  

Having read ASoS v1.0 a coupla' times now I'm itching for the 3rd, 4th and 5th books in the series.

You still plan on 5 books in the series, right Vox?

Blogger Jack Aubrey April 29, 2021 2:08 PM  

If you post chapters there are many who will enjoy them. Those of us who prefer to wait for the finished product can just exercise a bit of self-discipline and not peek.

Blogger Dave April 29, 2021 2:27 PM  

When you leave a man like Jaime Lannister to redeem himself or perhaps write novels, the result makes you wonder when he is so far ahead. You hope and pray for the right thing but spectacularly they fail against all odds. Not a real champion in any respect. Morally, the Dog did better. Now to find a mirror...

Blogger Sicarius April 29, 2021 3:03 PM  

His demeanor is deeply telling of his lack of confidence. He is past the peak of success and his art is now a contemptible burden. Just like Rothfuss.

Some of Martin's characters were terrific and it would have been nice to see their threads tied up. But he wove too much senseless misery, debauchery and misfortune into his world and it is too rich a task for him to stomach.

Martin may be the perfect example of a glutton for punishment.

Oh well. High time to forget asoiaf and read AoDaL.

Blogger Ray - SoCal April 29, 2021 3:13 PM  

I laughed out loud reading the fake news joke. The absurdity makes it even funnier. Vox has a proven record of way over delivering.

>Grey Man April 29, 2021 11:34 AM
>I will finish A Sea of Skulls
>Could be fake news.

Blogger Stocky Anglo April 29, 2021 3:25 PM  

Fun fact, I quoted scenes from the series in a city council meeting to reprove the new anti-discriminations ordinance my city council was pushing.

Blogger Some Guy April 29, 2021 3:28 PM  

"Just like Rothfuss."

God, the only one more contemptible than Martin is Rothfuss. At least Martin is struggling telling an epic story, Rothfuss can't be bothered to just sit down and write.

Blogger The Depolrable Podunk Ken Ramsey April 29, 2021 3:34 PM  

Joseph Haydn is a dude who suffered for years coming up through abject poverty and hunger. Finally in late adulthood he achieved financial independence, and he found that to be liberating. He could at last write music on his own terms, at his own pace. Musical ideas actively pursued him, he claimed, demanding his attention. (The 'allegros' pursued him faster than the 'adagios', he quipped -- he was always quite humorous and playful!)

IMHO, the difference is that Haydn pursued the beautiful, the good, the true whereas Martin champions nihilism. Haydn's cup overflowed increasingly all the way to his end, effusive harmony and melody and counterpoint clamoring to be heard in abundance.

What is the produce of nihilism, though? What have you left to say once you've shunned and destroyed everything worthy?

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira April 29, 2021 4:05 PM  

At least in VD's case, we can say he has completed many side-quests along the way. What has Martin done aside from growing more obese?

Blogger Cable Salad April 29, 2021 4:26 PM  

There’s been many great announcements here lately, but this one easily takes the cake, at least for me.

I read and re-read all of your Selenoth novels and stories multiple times and I still can’t help myself but marvel at the astonishing level of craftmanship of your work, and praise the Lord for the gifts and talent He so amply bestowed upon you.

Totally looking forward to continue the Skullbreaker‘s saga, accompany Lodi on his seemingly neverending journeys, and watch Marcus surpass himself with each challenge he‘s overcome. By GorGor‘s smelly crack, you even managed to make one of the villains likeable and relatable! What sort of Dark Lord sorcery is this?

Anyway, God bless you and your family, Vox, and thank you for these novels! May the near infinite tenacity of the Skullbreaker, the unshakable, grim determination of Lodi and the sheer resourcefulness and ingenuity of Marcus Valerius always guide your pen!

Blogger Cable Salad April 29, 2021 4:29 PM  


Blogger dangerdog April 29, 2021 4:34 PM  

As a fan of your series I vote for a chapter or two of the new material to be posted.

Blogger Cwyn April 29, 2021 4:41 PM  

@ Kentucky Packrat

Exactly. It's the epitome of post-modern fantasy crap. Fantasy is designed to be about high concepts or at least enforce basic truths about the world. He could have done that, but when you paint everything morally black and grey and everyone is an ahole, of course you can't figure out how to end it. It's not actually about anything, it's just a nihilist attempt at grimdark "realism". When you lack Godly morals and principles in your world, it's not odd you can see how to end it.

Blogger Sam Spade April 29, 2021 4:50 PM  

Very excited for ASOS. Both a throne of bones and summa elvetica are fantastic.

Blogger Cable Salad April 29, 2021 4:50 PM  

After I bumped into Vox and the Selenoth novels I stopped caring about Gamma of Thrones altogether and never looked back ever since.

Oh come on, all of her acting‘s basically done by her eyebrows, but she’s pretty to look at, I‘ll give you that.

I think the books were rather subtle in that regard. The show on the other hand was way worse to the point I was actually surprised Jon Doe wasn’t resurrected as a bike thief.

Blogger artensoll April 29, 2021 4:53 PM  

He won't make it through the winter.

Blogger Cable Salad April 29, 2021 5:28 PM  

So at the current pace we can reasonably expect the series to be finished in ~18 years?

Blogger Cable Salad April 29, 2021 5:34 PM  

Maybe in all those years poor George Rape Rape Martin just couldn’t make up his mind which character should end up getting raped next, but apparently he decided just now that his fans should be the ones getting screwed for a change.

Blogger Geir Balderson April 29, 2021 5:39 PM  

Perhaps, RR can get a down on his lucky writer to finish his series. Maybe, John Scalzi would leap at the chance to be a ghost writer? He could dress the dragons in red shirts?

Blogger Canadian Warlord April 29, 2021 5:42 PM  

@49. Damelon Brinn
>>>"By midway through the fourth book I got the feeling he'd lost interest in the original characters or had no idea how to complete their stories."
Yep - forget about books 6 and 7, he still has not written 4 and 5. A bunch of things happen at the end of "Storm of Swords" that have yet to pan out after 2 books, I think the only story advances were in the north. He throws a bunch of plot threads up in the air so everything can be moving at once - also there's extra things injected in at the last minute that should have been there from the start like the maesters plotting amongst each other, or the glass eyes technology. Feels tacked-on like from another author.

As to all the rape-hype, I think it's more a cooking book series than a mysoginyst one (Piers Anthony, Stephen R. Donaldson). Half the chapters start with fat crackling over cookfires. The tv series actually ramped up the R, including adding a main character (Sansa) and also Jaime and his sister (ewww).

As others have posted it's largely about destroying the noble heroic figures. Situations like the Baratheons not having troops in the capital, or Robb Stark not throwing in with them when they attack the capital, are not realistic. Maybe that means the 3-eyed raven controls things or something. It's just bad writing, books were bought for me by my wife so I read them - they do read easier than your typical fantasy. I think it's because of the murder-mystery elements in the first few books?

Blogger Maha April 29, 2021 6:50 PM  

It's much better when it is finished and printed in hardcover. I keep my Throne of Bones in the living room on the coffee table and that's the best way to advertise it. You don't have to say a thing, they ask themselves.

Blogger Damelon Brinn April 29, 2021 6:57 PM  

As others have posted it's largely about destroying the noble heroic figures.

When Ned died in the first book, it was intriguing, because the good guys don't die meaningless deaths very often in epic fantasy. They survive or die in heroic sacrifice. So that was interesting. But after another book or two, it became obvious that Martin was going to do that to all the good men, usually after turning them stupid or corrupt first. No thanks.

they do read easier than your typical fantasy.

They're written like a TV show, especially a soap opera. You shift to a new character perspective each chapter, usually ending with a bit of a cliffhanger, so you always have multiple plot threads you're wanting to see the next bit of. And if you don't care too much for one character, you want to get to the next chapter with one you like better.

That was the case in the first 2-3 books, anyway. He got away from that when he focused so much on a few women. They went from an easy read to a slog at that point for me.

Blogger The Observer April 29, 2021 7:09 PM  

Good riddance to the fat fuck and his masturbatory fantasies of sterilising all the religious people of the world.

My impressions after reading Tuf Voyaging was that the author was a clearly disturbed man, and after reading ASOIAF and learning more about him in the years to come, was not surprised.

Blogger Jeff Godley April 29, 2021 8:09 PM  

Contrary to popular belief, I think the blog post in question is actually Martin subtly hinting that his book is nearing completion.

Will I look very silly in a few months for holding out hope that he was close to publishing (or that the book might be halfway decent)? Oh, probably. It would hardly be the first time I've made that mistake with GRRM.

Blogger Chief_Tuscaloosa April 29, 2021 8:48 PM  

Can't help noticing that it has been half a decade since 2016 and A Sea of Skulls. So the SDL isn't slower than George Rape Rape Martin...yet.

But as a very satisfied customer of the series, an Amazon reviewer of same, and a reader who can't wait another five years to see what happens to Corvus, I have to borrow the words of crisis actor Joe Biden and say "COME on, man!"

Blogger DeadMeat April 29, 2021 9:08 PM  

Harambe wrote:How do you fall behind when you are basically forcex to stay home and do nothing for a year?

Porn. Lots and lots and lots of porn. Or so I've heard...

Blogger Reziac April 29, 2021 9:50 PM  

Random comments:

GRRM's books 4 and 5 were originally one book, but at that size (~1.2M words) impractical to print. So he peeled them apart and they became two volumes.

Agreed he wrote himself into a hole. IMO Daenerys was his foundational mistake, as everything surrounding her (especially after she wandered off into the back of nowhere) served only to distract and dilute. And that quickly became the model for other previously-interesting characters -- ship them off to parts unknown where they do irrelevant nothing-much and become worthless for propelling the story (as well as often becoming just plain boring. Did anyone actually care about Tyrion after he joined the circus?)

I wandered away from the TV series somewhere in Season 4, having wearied of not only the unrelenting grimdark, but also the tiresome showcasing of every incident of debauchery. The books tend to use it to punctuate events, but the TV version was all degenerate all the time. As someone once put it, "Even peril can grow boring."

GRRM has said he knows the final line... but he's managed to create such a minefield of exploding plot bunnies that him ever getting there is unlikely in the extreme. And I too get the feeling he's bored with it (who wouldn't be?? 4 and 5 were such a slog to read, they couldn't have been fun to write.)

I expect that eventually job of finishing the final books will be handed over to some lesser unfortunate... my first guess would be GRRM's former assistant and occasional co-author, Ty Franck.

I've attempted various other GRRM books in the past, but only Windhaven and Dying of the Light were good. Wild Cards didn't interest me at all, and Tuf Voyaging struck me as a pervert's Gary Stu.

He's pretty much to why I only got one book and change into Rothfuss... who I stopped reading because "I don't like any of these people."

Blogger Richard April 29, 2021 10:17 PM  

There's an interview with Martin somewhere on YT where he confesses that he doesn't like to outline his novels.

Talk about a facepalm moment. When I heard that, I also knew he'd never finish.

Blogger Across the World April 29, 2021 11:31 PM  

He basically combined a fantasy setting with the grim lethality of historical fiction. And like someone else mentioned he ended every chapter with a cliffhanger which did wonders for books 1-3. He definitely lost his
fastball and it showed in 4 and after.

Blogger Newscaper312 April 29, 2021 11:35 PM  

@74 Observer

That's one thing that always got me. There was some pushback on the rape, but nobody ever said a damned thing about all the castration.

Blogger April 30, 2021 5:50 AM  

Why doesn't he just hire a ghost writer?

Blogger Joshua_D April 30, 2021 7:04 AM  

Good news.

Blogger Iron Spartan April 30, 2021 9:22 AM  

Martin writes when he is broke. Now that he has the HBO money, he has no need to write. So its not going to get finished

Blogger Reziac April 30, 2021 11:32 AM  

Richard sayeth, "There's an interview with Martin somewhere on YT where he confesses that he doesn't like to outline his novels... When I heard that, I also knew he'd never finish."

Speaking from experience, outlining is not necessary, even with a big complex storyline. Indeed, the vast majority of the "classics" and most novels before the modern era were "written into the dark" -- commonly called pantsing. No outline at all, just some idea where it would wind up.

Rather, you need the focus and self-discipline to NOT chase after every plot bunny that hops past, and to stay on target in your head even if the route gets convoluted. If you're a military operation fighting demons in Demonland, you don't suddenly veer off and pick daisies at a retirement home just because "wouldn't it be cool if one of the old folks was a demon".

Outlining has its own pitfalls, mainly a tendency to achieve a boring sameness, and pacing that's inclined to be predictable. And some writers' heads rebel and say "if I already know what happens, why write it?"

The problem is not that GRRM doesn't outline. Rather, that every time some "wouldn't that be cool" hops past, he runs madly after it, then can't figure out how to get back to where he came from, and it just gets more and more scattered as more of these side trips appear and are chased over the horizon. I think he has some vague idea that he's going to pull all those threads together at once, but they've become far too scattered and mutually irrelevant. It could still be done, but he's unlikely to manage it.

Blogger Unknown April 30, 2021 1:56 PM  

I used to love A Song of Ice and Fire when I was a gamma, leftist degenerate (Martin's target audience.) Thankfully, I pulled myself out of the nihilistic chasm before it was too late. I would wager that the reason Martin is taking so long on "Winds" is because the world changed around his story faster than he could write it. When he started, he was just a glorified hippy turned Clintonite liberal, then the Marxist takeover essentially made his viewpoint too conservative for publication. I believe he is trying to rewrite the message of his entire book series from a trite, late-90's, egalitarian jerk-fest into a proper treatise on why the welfaritarians should rise up against their white, cishet oppressors, by handing power to Silicon Valley kleptocrats and the other globalists, of course. Thank you, Vox, for showing me that Christianity is not a religion for idiots as the American anticulture would have us believe.

Blogger Lonnie April 30, 2021 7:41 PM  

Robert Jordan all over again (except, in Martin's favor, he didn't write a 15 volume monstrosity that should have been edited with a chainsaw). The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Blogger kerdasi amaq May 01, 2021 1:20 AM  

Game of Thrones is a complete mystery to me; am I missing anything?

Blogger Josh Randle May 02, 2021 1:17 PM  

Very good news! I keep worrying you are gonna abandon the AODAL series and that would be an absolute tragedy. Can't wait to finally get my hands on a hardcover ASOS!

Blogger Steve Rodger May 03, 2021 11:34 AM  

I would aprove a teaser.

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