It seems George has lost interest in the series, as he seems to have moved on to other book ideas. I feel a "bait and switch" attitude in him. He is using the publics interest in "Fire and Ice" to get the series fans to read his other material. I hate being cynical, but it seems more and more authors are doing this. The get a great idea for a series, get people hooked, and then stop writing it for years. You would think that Robert Jordans experience would encourage authors to finish what they start. I have vowed I will not read another "series" unless they have completed it. Come on George, finish what you started!
Lost interest might be a bit harsh. I doubt he's lost interest. But weaving all those plot threads and motivations together can be hard. Even with the best planning he may have found the story isn't evolving where he thought it would.
As much as I hate to say it, as I've really enjoyed a lot of his work, the last Ice and Fire book to come out - that was supposedly 'truncated' from what the volume was supposed to include - was the weakest. His characterization of a major female antagonist was just, well, lame, and the dropped hints about what is going on in the dungeon wayyy too obvious.
Maybe he feels the same way - that it was getting a bit weak - and really doesnt' want to allow it, so he can't let it go? I'd much rather ascribe the delay to pride and desire to release something worthy of his own lead-in than purely mercantile antics. That or its a battle with his editors, who per his own forward (or afterword) were another reason the last volume seemed very much 'incomplete', as it abandoned half the map. Faced with the lose-lose situation of introducing a new false 'conclusion' for a volume or dissecting into two parallel volumes, perhaps he regrets the decision made and is trying hard to rectify it.
Lord knows with Kindle books, the page count doesn't really "matter" in the same manner as on a bookshelf, so maybe someday we'll see a reunited volume that will flow a lot more satisfyingly. (I can dream, can't I?)
Martin took nearly forever to come out with the third volume (I bought the first two from the Science Fiction Book Club almost ten years before I saw the third one in a book store), so it seems more like this is the norm rather than the exception. However, I think the last post IS more dream than reality, as this "pride" to produce a great product doesn't seem to have slowed down his writing of books outside the Fire and Ice series. So, sad as it is, I have to agree that he either lacks motivation for this story line any longer, or he is engaging in "mercantile antics."
As you all probably know, HBO is going to be filmong a Pliot for 'A Game of Thrones' in October. This is great news for fans of the series. Unless of course you realize that this means that the written series will probably never be completed. Go to GRRM's web page. You will see that he is spending his summer going to conventions in Europe, and other places, as well as hocking every little bit of merchandise he is even remotely affiliated with. Read further and you can see that he recently completed a major addition to his house. This guy spends his days making blog posts and seeking out fan adulation. Before he left for some convention in Europe he posted that he was making great progress on Dance w/Dragons. Its like he was throwing out some bone to his desperate fans knowing that the next several months would not be spent working on it. This guy is an old TV writer, and once HBO starts producing his work he is going to forget all about finishing the series. It is very sad, as this was a great series through three books. The best we can hope for is that some assistant hack will actually be wrioting the finmal volumes "based on the authors notes". Read the B.S. he wrote at the end of the paper back version of 'Feast' about how far along he was on the next book, then look at that date he wrote that note. Unfortnately, looks like the success of the series has ruined this guys work ethic. He has even posted blog entries where he and another slacker fantasty author who can't handle his early success (Rothfuss/'Name of the Wind') are joking with each other about making the fans wait. These guys are the Professional-Athletes-who-just-signed-a-big-money-contract of fantasy writers. We'll see something great form them again when the contract is up, and the royalties dry up. Next time I hear GRRM and Tolkien mentioned in the same breath I just might vomit. One guy wrote because he loved to do it and was dedicated to his craft, the other was just trying to be famous and make money.
I too wish George would concentrate on finishing the book; less time at conventions would be particularly welcome. But remember that he has been involved in other writing and publishing projects, and that for even the greatest authors the words of some books won't flow on command.
As for Tolkien, he revised and rewrote some of the same pages for most of his adult life, and never did publish the majority of his work!
ADWD is 'almost' done. According to the latest round of interviews with GRRM and his editor, the book consists of over 1,000 completed and locked manuscript pages, and some 200 others in varying stages of completion, making the booker longer than AGoT and AFFC, and about the same size as A CLASH OF KINGS. The publishers are expecting to receive the completed manuscript in October or November, and to publish the book in February or March in the UK and a month or so later in the USA.
That is the current plan. Now we'll just see if he can do it.
Regardless of ADWD's status, the third prequel to ASoIaF, THE MYSTERY KNIGHT, will appear in the WARRIORS anthology in March 2010.
Give the guy a break! It's *hard* to write high-quality fiction. He also needs to live life a little; and reap some of the rewards of his hard work.
I'm prepared to wait - there are plenty of other books out there for me to read. In fact I'm thinking of re-reading all existing Fire&Ice books; they are extremely dense and I have no doubt I'll discover things that I missed the first time around.
give up he has no intention of finishing it . He revels in the glory of being a writer with a fan base, just look at his posts he could care less if this series gets written or not . I dont really begrudge him his want and desire of being worshipped as a renown writer at conventions and fan fairs i mean no matter what a writer says about the muse and the disire to write a part ( small in some large in others) of that has to do with being reconized and acknowledged as a writer(money too of course). While as a fan of the series (not really of grmm anymore) i am a little annoyed that it is taking soooo long to write a book that he supposedly wrote and had to cut into 2 parts for the length, i understand his need to bask in the glory of the fact he is a reknown writer. I have literally given up on grmm actually finishing the series so i will no longer buy the books i will simply go to the library when a new one comes out (if ever lol). On a side note please forgive the bad grammer and spelling i am not a writer....* no need for adulation either*
Heh...the problem is that he flat out lied and told us that he was 'almost' done with ADWD when a Feast for Crows came out. He said in the afterward that he practically wrote both books but it was 'too long' so he had to split it in half.
I'd love to read more but His silence has been more then annoying on this topic.
I've been waiting so long now for the next in the series that I'm going to have to go back and re-read everything again. In fact, this morning when I logged on to Amazon to see what the status was it took me a few minutes to remembers Martin's name . . . . I understand he's doing lots of other things and marketing his bling, but he's turning into one of those authors who take 10 years producing their "masterpiece" only to have it fall flat because the delay has raised expectations to such ridiculous heights. Come on, man, get the thing out for the Christmas holidays, at least, so that we have a chance to sit down and relax with it for a few days . . . .
I find I simply don't care any more. Sad. If you look at GRRM's early work, he was a prolific writer who certainly never took years to deliver. He was a TV writer for heaven's sake! He knows how to deal with deadlines. So no, he is not being a diligent craftsman slaving away to get it right. I find it hard to believe he is working on it at all. It will come out when he needs the cash infusion. When that day comes, I am sure he can get out a few hundred pages of prose to a pre-existing plot outline in short order. The real cause of my "I no longer care" attitude is that the next volume is NOT the end of the series. If it takes this long for the next volume, it is patently obvious the series will never be finished. At least not by GRRM. The most we can hope for is that his estate will allow another author to finish the work to his outline. So George, if you're out there, here is at least one formerly loyal reader who may very well not bother to buy your book when it does come out. I will not reward bad behavior.
Give the Guy a break? I would if he didn't lie on his website and blog derogatorily about his fans. I no longer care to read him. Yeah, I'll finish Fire&Ice, but buy any further books or god forbid any of his trash products? Forget it! Comparisons to Tolkien make me ill. GRRM has grown fat off reader adulation, I hope he reaps the rewards of fan ire in all his future work.
If writing a book is so easy, and all it takes is simply "interest in finishing," then why isn't everyone churning out books of the same depth and complexity as the Fire and Ice series? Being "almost done" writing a book is not the same as being "almost done" drinking a beer...it's entirely conceivable that one might be almost done and then need time (yes, even years) to focus on other work (or even life) for awhile before the rest of the story unfolds. If it was simple, if there was a formula and a finite, predictable timeline for writing -- indeed, for any ART -- then we'd all be doing it. The man doesn't OWE anyone another book, and I, for one, am grateful the muse has stuck with him as long as it has, through such a marathon of a series!
If it's fast-food fiction you want, there's plenty out there. If you've the patience for a gourmet, then check out the work of Patrick Rothfuss, Heinlein, Dan Simmons, Steinbeck, Chabon, Gaiman, D.M. Cornish...or any one of the thousands upon thousands of fantastic authors out there while you wait for Martin.
He does "owe" his fans, especially if he makes promises he doesn't deliver on. If he is writing for literary fame or to sooth the muse whispering in his ear, then no, screw his fans. Yeah, there are alot of other good books out there but great epic fantasy is in short supply so I don't blame his fans when they grumble when he makes promises about completing his book (several years ago) then pushes back release several times with zero explanation. I understand it takes awhile to develop such high quality product, but then then tell him to stop making promises he doesn't deliver on and we will all move on.
Look, far be it from me to try to talk anyone out of their disgruntlement. I'm honestly just a bit befuddled by what seems like mis-spent ire and spite over a book...a past-time meant to be enjoyed. Reading a well-crafted story is one of the great pleasures of my life. And the creators of those amazing stories are, to me, heroes...flawed heroes perhaps...but heroes none-the-less... For me personally -- though I'd love to know what happens next in Fire and Ice -- it's not worth polluting the pleasure with venom about what I think some writer owes me. Promises or no promises, the only book I'm owed is the one I pay for. And being a "fan" doesn't count as payment. Fandom is a choice.
I suppose people do enjoy their grumbling though, and you're certainly welcome to champion their right to it. I guess grumbling's as valid a past-time as any...even if it seems to be based on some image of Martin sitting at home counting his gold coins saying "screw my fans." I could go on, but I've got a stack of great books to read.
I wouldn't say I make a pass-time of grumbling, but Martin's book is way overdue. Are we owed the book? Based on a promise, yes. Unkept promises are, in effect, lies and we don't like that kind of dishonesty. Now, I will concede that Martin may have a problem with his muse or a million other problems. That being the case a simple explanation and an apology, would probably make everyone happy. Most of us are expected to apologize when we miss a day of work due to the flu. Is this so much different (other than the "day" is more like years)? Perhaps more disturbing than the extended delay is the feeling that Martin is brushing off his fans. Lies and brush offs are waaay to common in our lives these days to overlook it when someone we admire does it to us. Just level with us Martin - if your muse has temporarily deserted you, we can live with it -- just don't treat us as though we are unimportant now that we've made you an important author.
George did write on his web page that he was one of those who "yearned to have written" more than to write. Writing scripts is a far different animal than writing a long long long long long work of fiction. It is far more immediate with a short turn around time. George's temperament may be better suited this this activity than novel writing. This summer I read the eight books of Steven Erickson's Malazan series which is certainly as involved, dense, intelligent, and lengthy as F & I. Steven seems to to writing and publishing on schedule. So it can be done, maybe not by George, by someone. I do not believe he will finish the series any time soon.
While not a fan of the Harry Potter series, I recognize their charm and quality. Ms. Rowling is the perfect example of an author who truly seemed to care about 1. The story, 2. Her fans. Despite it being picked up by a major movie studio, the high end films of each novel, all the money and publicity one could hope for...When she finished one book she disappeared to take a short break and write the next. She's an attractive woman and could have been on TV everyday if she wanted. But she didn't. No blogs, no conventions, no hocking useless merchandise...just writing her books, and finishing her series. You never heard from her in between books. This is professional, this is caring about your fans, and this is serving the story. The Song of Ice and Fire is over. Think: if he needs five plus years per book, and we have two more after "Dance", then we will be waiting 12 more yeras to finish the series. By then, some producer at HBO will have decided how to end this thing, and it won't be near or at the quality of the first three books. For those of us who have come to love the surviving characters, that is a damn shame.