I think people are expecting a little more out of an update page than the release date.
I think people are expecting a little more out of an update page than the release date.
Well that's just too bad.
Seriously, you guys are just looking for reasons to complain now. There's nothing rational about this at all. You want him to post an update, he posts an update, should be all well and good now. But NO! He completely posted that update in the wrong spot. It shouldn't matter whether he posted the update on ESPN.com, he posted the update, people will find it, a link will be made from this site.
Stop trying to find fault in GRRM for nothing reasons. If you blame for being to slow with his book, that's one thing. Just don't blame him for stupid things that mean nothing.
I think that the Martin detractors, anti-fans, or frustrated fans, are turning into yet another example of what's wrong with the internet. Like it or not, the internet has provided a voice to the millions of nerdy fanboys, from Star Trek to LOTR to GRRM, and now everyone and his dog can complain (loudly) about everything from the small and seemingly insignificant, to the larger and more frustrating problems like GRRM's long delays and previous false promises. I don't even really follow all this anymore (I have far better things to do with my time than complain about the length of time any one author takes with his/her writing), but I do think it's somewhat amusing.
On a similar topic, I just started my third reading of ASOIAF, and it's better than ever! Long live GRRM!
Now c'mon Evil, that's not fair. The Criticizers are not a plague on humanity, they're passionate fans. Let's keep to the issues being argued about and not take pot shots at the arguers. I agree that the discussion gets frustrating, but we all know that we don't have to participate in it if we don't want to. If you come to play/post, stick to the rules.
And Martin didn't make any false promises. He gave estimates that were assumed by some to be promises. Nobody in fiction publishing makes actual promises until the book is in their hands. Everything up until then -- and sometimes even past then -- is subject to change.
I should clarify that by the "complainers", I wasn't really referring to members on this board, but rather to the more extreme complainers like "Ray" at the anti-GRRM site (which feels like a hate site to me, not one run by a fan).
Also, I should have said "inaccurate estimates", not "false promises", as Martin never promised anything.
Molybdenum & Evil Agent
You are mistaken. Who said this? Who says he posted the update in the wrong place? I'm happy he gave an update and I don't care one bit where he posts it. I'm just pointing out to Kat that she was wrong to judge people a few weeks ago by saying they should not be looking at Martin's BLOG for any updates on the release date. I mentioned at the time that that was false because Martin *does* speak about ADWD on his blog ( albeit very succinctly) and his actual "update" page is never updated, and with GRRM now updating us about ADWD on his blog, that is only further confirmed to be false. GRRM's done nothing wrong here, and I haven't seen anyone who has said he has.Seriously, you guys are just looking for reasons to complain now. There's nothing rational about this at all. You want him to post an update, he posts an update, should be all well and good now. But NO! He completely posted that update in the wrong spot. It shouldn't matter whether he posted the update on ESPN.com, he posted the update, people will find it, a link will be made from this site.
Please do distinguish between someone criticizing an author and someone who is disagreeing with a fellow poster's take. Yes it required that you actually read what people say before you lash out, but that should be an acceptable sacrifice.
Last edited by Mithfânion; February 23rd, 2009 at 01:51 AM.
But yes, I agree, Martin's blog (which he calls "not a blog") is basically his update page now, and his "official" update page is actually more of a "final announcement of completion" page.
It's easy to go overboard. I think, for instance, that I didn't do right by Ray. I said he was now my favorite clueless ironist, which implies that I think he is a clueless person. I do not. I wasn't joking when I said that I hope he writes some novels. I feel his views on this particular subject are clueless and rather ironic, which is an entirely different thing. I explained why I thought so, but it is his views I'm arguing with, not the person.
Mithfanion -- I did not judge people for going to Martin's blog. I said that if reading the blog upset them, it didn't make sense for them to read it because we'd been told that the official release date would be put on the Update page, not the blog. This was due to earlier info from several different sources, including this quote from Wert's blog, to which I was responding on the thread:
“As GRRM himself has said, substantial news about ADWD will be posted on his website's Song of Ice and Fire update page, not on his blog.”
To which I responded: "So apparently, Blackfish, you go to the Update section on the website, not Martin's blog. And if there's nothing there, you go fish."
And which I later clarified: "I.e. tough luck. It's been officially announced and communicated to the official fansites that updates on the release date, when there are any, will be put on the Update page, which certainly makes sense. So you go there, and if there is nothing there, there is no update on the release date. Sounds simple to me. If you want to also go to his blog and hear about football, that's fine too, but the release update is on the Update page."
Re-reading Martin's new blog entry now, I see that I missed the bit at the bottom where he said that he'd announce when he delivered the ms. to his publisher on his blog. (I suspect I was distracted by the cartoon.) That's not exactly the same as an official release date, but it is a promise of an update, unlike the blog entry itself, so essentially, Martin changed his mind because fans begged, seems like. But the information will also be put up on the Update page, according to Martin, so you can get it there too. And as I said in my previous post, you don't really have to go to either the Update page or the blog for the info, as it will be blasted all over the Web, possibly even before Martin puts any news up anywhere himself, I'd suspect.
But when I made my original comments several weeks ago about this issue, I did not know that Martin would change his mind about updates in his blog, because I am not able to psychically read the future. People were complaining back then that the blog had no updates on the official release date. Martin said that information would be on the Update page. So if the blog pisses you off, you can just check the Update page until there's something on it. Again, I was simply pointing out that if the blog bothered you, you don't have to read it, since official info would be provided elsewhere. I have no earthly problem with anyone reading Martin's blog for crumbs about Dragons.
So yes, I was wrong, as it turns out. But at the time, I was right because this is what we'd been told. You said that sometimes Martin mentions Dragons in his blog, yes, but that you hadn't found it very helpful or believable. Others complained that it was a waste of time and that he was a very bad person for not putting updates on the release date on his blog.
So I suggested you stop reading the blog and just check in with the Update page. Again, this was an attempt to help you all reduce frustration, not an attempt to keep any of you from reading Martin's blog. Please, read Martin's blog. Read it several times a day, if you like. Let me know what Martin thinks about basketball games. Let me know about the miniatures, because I would actually like to get some, if they aren't too expensive.
John Scalzi weighs in. Like most veteran authors, he's on Martin's side:
This is another race I have no horse in. I have, in the past, been somewhat concerned about the passage of time, wondering if this will be an unfinished series (a tragedy, for certain). However, with things like the perspective of Scalzi, and others (some here at sffworld), I am more confident than ever that the book will be; 1.) finished when it should be and 2.) will be high in quality.
Indeed, as most authors do, or have done, he picks up the gauntlet for Martin. This is understandable, he is a writer and is likely to feel more kin to a fellow well-known writer than to the audience that buys the books. I'll go into some of the things he says, because while I do get why he would relate more to Martin here than to the people who pay for the writing, he does sometimes seem to miss in his examples what differentiates ASOIAF from his own work.
And the reason those people are enraged is for one thing that this series, unlike Scalzi's own SF series set in the same world, is heavily dependent upon the next book, to the point that virtually no single storyline is resolved from a main character, until the next book.Bear in mind that my success, in terms of sales and notoriety, is a notch or two down from GRRM’s; I have fans who are annoyed that I have no OMW books in the pipeline, but he has legions of fans enraged that he’s not finished with his book
To draw an analogy, this is like showing episode 19 of Battlestar Galactica season 4, and then have people wait 5 years for the final episode. Waiting for the next Scalzi is more like showing the 4th season and then maybe someday, there will be a 5th one. It would be nice if more came because you enjoyed the show, but it's not essential that more follows.
Here again the hyperbole from someone who just hasn't been following this story for the last few years and just wades in.I suppose we could shove GRRM into a room with a word processor and put him on the Brian Wilson diet, in which we all give him a cheeseburger only after he’s completed a new chapter, but the book you’d get isn’t the book those fans would want.
I think pretty much everyone would like GRRM to feel comfortable doing his job. Citing the example of trying Martin to his computer is an oft used example to drawn people who think Martin should be more focused into a light of ridicule. Though if you read the many interviews with various authors it is clear that for most writers, writing comes down to discipline a lot. Write every day. Write more. Revise and work hard. Write every day of the week, or for some, every night of the week.
I would say to Scalzi, surely fans would not be complaining if Martin delivered in something even remotely resembling a timely manner. Nobody should expect the man to be tied to his computer and let's not make Martin the bullied schoolboy here: it's clear from every angle that Martin does exactly what he wants, and takes on as many projects as he wants, visits as many conventions as he wants, takes on as many licensing projects as he wants and then proceeds to be heavily involved in them, edits anthologies and generally does loads of things that distract and take time away from him. That is his choice, his life, but I understand that people would take issue with a man who seems to lack dedication to the only work among all of those that they actually care about: A Dance with Dragons. If he could do all of that stuff on the side and produce ADWD, would anyone complain? I for one doubt it. But since he has proven he can't, and that the writig pace of the series has gone down dramatically, it's natural for fans to question if all the other stuff should not be ditched to some extent in favour of more focus on ADWD.
It's sometimes forgotten that Martin is the big name he is now because of ASOIAF and that many of his fans are not Martin fans, but Song of Ice and Fire fans. They are not at all interested in all the stuff he's been editing or peddling their way. And that is why people keep harping on about the progress of the book of course; they feel that among all the other stuff that he's doing, the continued absence of ADWD means it might have been buried beneath everything else.
I would also say to Scalzi, Martin has said in the past after AFFC he would focus exclusively on ADWD. He didn't do this. He also said multiple times that he cannot write away from home, so being out a lot on various holiday trips means no writing. He's also taken on many other projects that require intensive work, which he has to juggle next to ADWD. Seeing that, I just don't see how you can blame people for thinking Martin's not giving it his all for ADWD. People think, "man with all the other stuff you are taking on, next to the fact that you are already a slow writer, who cannot write a word away from home, this is going to take years". And indeed it does. Is it his choice to write in this manner? Yes it is. But I fully understand that people waiting for the next book in a cliffhanger series are annoyed by this and that they question, unlike Scalze, Martin's dedication and work ethic.
I think at the core, he assumes that all of these side projects and many distractions that GRRM chooses to engage himself into, are good for the writing of ADWD. Others look at the past decade, look at AFFC compared to the previous books, look at the empty space reserved on the shelf for ADWD for the last 4 years, and think, well, maybe not so good
And what some do is that they try to put pressure on the author because they feel he's not upto much.
Why does Scalzi assume this though? Since he has not investigated the matter, how does he know GRRM has not lost his dedication or interest in writing the series? What he does is that he simply assumes everything is ok, that Martin is giving it his all and that people should simply wait because in the meantime their author is giving it his all to bring the next book out. Thing is, some fans who have been following these ongoing delays for the last 9 years now and who haven't just jumped into this like Scalzi, have some doubts about that, given all that they witnessed statements wise, behaviour wise and release date wise.Seriously, people, WTF? Give the man a friggin’ break. Yes, it’s taking a while. Yes, he’s doing other things. But I assume it’s taking time because GRRM believes it’s worth getting right, and I assume he’s doing other things because he wants to stay sane
Anyway, I'm happy that GRRM made an update, next to actually completing the book that's the most one can ask for in my opinion. I'm not mad at Martin, I'm not critical of Martin, my Martin mood is very positive. So please note my reply is specifically to Scalzi's blog post, which is heartwarming for a fellow author I'm sure, but it's not one that looks at the issue from both sides, and as such, rather lazy and unbalanced.
Last edited by Mithfânion; February 23rd, 2009 at 05:58 PM.
I think you have a point Mith, especially about people who haven't followed the situation in detail wading in without reading up on the facts, but I think Scalzi also cuts right through to the heart of the matter:
Do we want a book released fast or one that is of decent quality? The two are indeed not mutually exclusive and it is correct that the book that was written the fastest in this series - ASoS - was also the best whilst the one that took the longest to be released - AFFC - was the weakest. However, the mixed reception to AFFC may have been counter-productive from a speed point of view in that it may have made GRRM much more careful about quality control on ADWD.
A comparison I had not considered before was raised on an Erikson discussion. It is not commonly known that, having just signed the biggest fantasy advance in history on the basis of the then-eight-years-old Gardens of the Moon manuscript, Erikson started work on its direct sequel, Memories of Ice. He got about a third of the way into the book, between 300 and 400 pages in, and lost the whole thing in a hard drive failure The loss of this material was massively demoralising and Erikson was not able to immediately rewrite the book as it was just too painful. With the publishers clamouring for the second volume Erikson chose to write a new book set on a new continent with new characters: Deadhouse Gates. He had a great time writing that book and it fired up new ideas, so when he returned to writing Memories of Ice it turned out much stronger than it would have done originally.
Personally, I think a lot of the rewriting and quality control issues in AFFC and the writing of ADWD stem from that decision in late 2001 to ditch 18 months' work and hundreds upon hundreds of pages of the original Book 4 and start writing again from scratch, and not just having to rewrite the book but also restructure the whole series to account for the lost five-year gap and then encountering myriad unforseen obstacles along the way. I think that was somewhat demoralising and has taken the series way off course from where it was supposed to go. Course-correcting from that event has taken a lot of time and effort and energy. I do know that one of the many objectives of ADWD is to get the series back on track and heading for where it was supposed to be going originally, and we will only see if that has been successful when the book comes out.
The only thing we can do right now is look at the evidence, and based on that evidence the version of ADWD that GRRM was in a position to release in 2006/07 would have been very weak indeed. Looking at those rewritten chapters that have been released (particularly the prologue and Jon's first two chapters) the improvement in quality is impressive, and that to me says the extra time was well spent.
Or to put it another way, even if A Memory of Light, Volume I and II are the best epic fantasy novels ever released in the history of everything, that won't stop Crossroads of Twilight being one of the worst, and when people are talking about the completed series five or ten or twenty years from now, they'll still say it was rubbish. You only get one shot in the writing process before the book comes out to make sure it's great, and if it isn't it could haunt you and the series for a long time to come.
And before I get grouped up in the Defenders for attacking the attackers, I agree Martins a slow writer. I even agree that he's slowing down. I do think he owes his readers a finish to the series.
However, I also think it is his right as an author to take his time if it's going to produce a better quality novel. I believe there is a good chance the series will be finished, (realistically he only has to live for another 10 years at the absolute most) but time and chance happen to everyone.
EDIT: I hope not too many people see series as crap because of one bad book. I'm on a re-read of A Shadow Rising and Jordan's world-building amazes me. I'm putting him only behind Bakker and Tolkien in that department. Now I'm going to run before the Martineers come after me for saying that.
Now I'm going to slowly back away from the thread, before I get more people questioning my intelligence.
Last edited by molybdenum; February 23rd, 2009 at 08:00 PM.
That wasn't even close to an "attack," it was trying to explain why people are frustrated with being told that the only thing that's going to appear on an Update page is a release date. "Update" implies a constant stream of new information, not "Okay, it's done." Not using the update page for its intended purpose and then getting upset at people asking for it to be used that way is just adding to the frustration.
Mith probably lays out the reasons for some fan's dissatisfaction as logically as one could hope for given the sometimes heated nature of these discussions. That said, I 100% agree with the recent blogging of Jon Scalzi. Martin writes how he writes, and if I'm going to read his books, that's just something that I not only have to accept, but should strive to respect. Sure, I'd love for more updates like the one he just posted, but it seems that doing so has brought him grief in the past, so I understand his reluctance to post anything substantial more frequently. It seems to me that in the past, when the updates were more frequent, he did his best to give accurate estimates, but simply turned out to be wrong. I don't fault him for that. From what I've been reading, it would seem that his writing style doesn't really lend itself to making accurate predictions of finality. Having thrown caution to the wind and making many incorrect predictions so often in the past, and being insulted relentlessly for the effort, I can certainly understand why he'd be a little gun shy about making any more guesses as to completion. I concede, however, that by stopping the updates, GRRM is allowing a few bad apples to ruin it for the more undertanding fans who aren't likely to bitch and moan, but just want to be assured every now and then that progress is being made. It seems to me that this is probably Mith's greatest beef with Martin, and I can understand it.
I think the most annoying arguments revolve around GRRM's other interests and his insistence in only writing under certain specific conditions (at home in a ceratin chair and what have you). Get over it. The man writes how he writes. There has been some discussion as to whether the first three books were actually written in a much quicker manner. According to Wert, this isn't necessarily true. However, even accepting that the first books were written at a faster pace doesn't change the fact that he writes how he writes. Did GRRM only recently fall in love with the NFL? I suspect that he spent just as much time watching and talking about football while working on AGOT, ACOK, and ASOS as he does now. The same goes for his other activities, whatever they may be. For whatever reason, he was still able to produce those books at a faster pace than ADWD. Sucks for us, sucks more for him, but it is what it is. He's tried cutting back on other interests in order to focus on writing, and appararently he's decided that it didn't make enough of a difference to the end result to justify putting all of his other interests on hold. That's his perogative. He's allowed to have a life. Sure it's frustrating to be left on a cliffhanger, but unless an author promises that a series will be published and completed in x amount of years, being left hanging about storylines you care about is what you sign up for when you first start an incomplete series.
I guess I could more easily appreciate the arguments of those criticizing Martin if he was completely ignoring the book. It would seem, however, that he actually writes quite a bit, but just winds up making many revisions, scrapping chapters by the score, or saving alot of material for the last two books. Clearly, he's not being lazy, he's just being selective as to what will make the final cut of ADWD. Again, he writes how he writes. Nobody, with the possible exception of his publisher, has the right to suggest he change that process. Shame on anyone who tries.
That last line is not directed at any poster in this thread, but more to the guy with a blog who has the nerve to criticize the writing process of the author of what is arguably the defining fantasy series of our generation (to be consistent with Kat, I'll call him Ray). Ray apparently thinks he's qualified to share his criticizms because several years ago he took a few writing classes before deciding to become a teacher. I'd think it out of line if Stephen fricking King, perhaps the most successful and prolific author of our time, took another successful author to task for his or her writing process. I lack the vocabulary skills to convey how ridiculous I think it is that Ray would stand on a soapbox and tell Mr. Martin how to do his job. Although, ironist that I am, I'll still thank Ray for an interesting read.
Last edited by dsw13; February 24th, 2009 at 01:43 PM.
I always assumed it was taking so long was because Martin couldn't decide what new mental deviancy and physical imperfections to give to the new PoV character.