GRR Martin doesn't care about you or me or anything but the money..... What if we all collectivelly boycotted book 5 when it was published?? Only read it used. If we could cut his profit in half, he would not only get what he deserves, but I bet the next book would be published on-time.
If you took one look at RR Martins own blog you would see that he is a writer that by no means is all about profit. I would rather say that the reason for this extended pause in the series has been a flaw in his persona, that he seems to always find new and interesting project whereever he turns...
Whoa whoa! There's a flaw in your plan. We can not boycott a book that we can not buy. :-) There is nothing on GRRM's website and no mention on his blog that he has finished the book. There is no guarantee that come September 29th 2011 Dance with Dragons will be available.
Let us decide to boycott the book once it is actually available.
Only real problem is Adwd won't be the last installment, so if you were to boycott the next book, grrm doesn't publish the next one and we never find out how the story ends. Not that I hold out much hope for getting to finish the story. I'm 26 now, was 22 when I read the last installment. First was released in 1996, second in 1998, third (split in two parts) in 2000. Not bad so far, 1 book every 2 years is ok. fourth one took 5 years, not being released untill 2005. Here we are, just outside of 2011 and still no sign of the next book. Aledgedly there are two more installments after that. Now I won't exaggerate by saying that I think I'll die of old age before the story gets finished, but I think there is a good chance that Mr Martin will. I wouldn't worry about boycotting it though, I don't think it'll ever be released to boycot anyway.
If Mr Martin only cared about the money he would have released a poor quality rush job years ago and you would instead be complaining about the decline in the quality of the series.
Why do you think he deserves to be punished for taking his time? Has he hurt you by not rushing out a new volume of inferior quality? No. Is he in breach of some contract with you that has a strict deadline? No. Did he ever promise you it would be delivered by a particular date? No. Does he even work for you? No. Did you start reading a series of novels that was not yet finished with no projected date for its conclusion? Yes.
So who is to blame for your impatience?
If you do boycott it when it gets released and it thus fails to earn enough to support him for the time it takes to do a good job on the next volume, there's less incentive for him to write it at all.
Anyone who thinks Martin *does not* care about money is seriously delusional. Between his royalties for a thousand and one licensed products, the HBO series, and continued sales (now again on the bestseller lists thanks to said HBO series) of the pre-existing and almost-certainly-never-to-be-finished-series he is rolling in money. So much so that he clearly has little if any desire to actually do any work.
That being said, I really couldn't care less when the stupid thing comes out. There are many better writers out there. I do fancy the boycott idea though if and when it really ever does come into being.
No-one claimed he doesn't care about money, just that he doesn't care <i>only</i> about money. To claim so without evidence would be as delusional as claiming that having money means he has no desire to work. Clearly, since he is still producing new work, he does have the desire to work. He'll make money from ADWD when he finishes it; he won't make money from it until he does. If he cared only about the money you would have ADWD already (and it would probably suck for being rushed).
And if you don't care when it comes out, why are you arguing about it on the internet?
One small problem with the 'buy the book used' idea. In order to have a used copy, someone will have to buy it new, and then sell it to a used book store. If everyone waits about for a used copy only, there won't be any used copies to be had.
I disagree with quite a bit of what you wrote on Dec' 16th 2010. Although, I greatly respect your right to say this and I can see your point.
In reply to some of your questions: "Is he in breach of some contract with you that has a strict deadline?"
I think some sort of contract exists. OK, it's not the same as a paper contract with a specified deadline, such as exists between an employer and employee or between an author and his or her publisher but there is a contract of sorts.
For example, no contract exists between the fans and the players of Manchester United (or the New York Jets). Although a contract exists between the players and the club, no actual document exists between the club and the supporters, or the players and the supporters. Yet fans expect players to play well and hope their favourite team is successful; clubs expect that if they are successful that many fans will continue buying tickets and products.
Similarly, it is perfectly reasonable (in my opinion) to think that readers of the Song of Ice and Fire series expect the series to be completed. True, there is no contract to ensure completion. However, George Martin is a professional author. He writes books because he hopes people will buy them. That may not be his main reason for writing but his books are a significant source of income for him. Therefore, it is safe to assume that George Martin expects sufficient people to buy his books. Is it not reasonable that a number of those buyers of previous work expect new books to be released? This answer is expanded by your next question.
"Did he ever promise you it would be delivered by a particular date?"
In June 2005, George Martin said that he 'devoutly' hoped that Dance with Dragons would be available in 2006. He also said that 'pages and pages' and 'chapters and chapters' had been written. Now, he did not promise that 'Dance' would be published in 2006, but I think it is fair to say that many readers did expect 'Dance' to be published in 2006. It is certainly reasonable to say that many realistically expected 'Dance with Dragons' in 2006, or 2007.
"Does he even work for you?"
Of course not. He is, however, reliant on the purchases made by his readers. To that end it is in his interest to encourage people to buy his books/products. Obviously, a very good encouragement is to release a new instalment to the 'Song of Ice and Fire' series, which is very successful.
"Did you start reading a series of novels that was not yet finished with no projected date for its conclusion?"
I have read many series that had no projected date for conclusions. If readers waited until the entire series was published, I strongly suspect many series wouldn't be completed; simply because of lack of sales.
"So who is to blame for your impatience?"
I think the blame lies with George Martin. I think we can safely assume that the cause of these debates is the delay between the release of 'Feast of Crows' in 2005 and 'Dance with Dragons', which is assumed to be in September 2011.
We have been told that 'chapters and chapters' have been written. George Martin said that he devoutly hoped that 'Dance' would be released in 2006.
Now, of course, the big question is: "What has caused the delay?"
The best answer is we don't really know. However, many have visited georgerrmartin.com and also the 'Not a Blog' hoping for some insight and some news. On his official website, the last Song of Ice and Fire update was January 2008 (three years ago). On his blog, news and updates are buried in commentaries on American sports, conventions and holidays. There isn't any clear indication from these two sources about what is going on.
Before, I go on further, a word about his blog. Is it reasonable to expect his blog to be solely about writing and his work and not about his social life? No, it is not. Yet surely we should ask if he wanted a blog purely to record his social life then why link to it from his website? Why not write under a pseudonym? His blog certainly serves to inform its readers of new products, so I think it is reasonable to use it as a source of information.
As to speculations about the delay. It could be: - The series has grown too big. A Feast for Crows introduced lots of new characters, storylines and plot-threads. This either suggests its part of a larger plan (which suggests GRRM has an idea where the whole thing is going), or GRRM has lost enthusiasm for the original story. I think the start of any project, even one using the same Westeros setting is probably more thrilling than soldiering on with the original one. It would be worrying if this is the case.
- He is burnt out. If he is burnt out, why not just let us all know? It's a successful series, there is a lot of expectation and it would be reasonable to assume he's feeling a lot more pressure about the series now than at the start.
I'm sure there are other possible reasons for the delay.
My own feeling is that as a professional author he has written an overall synopsis about 'The Song of Ice and Fire'. I'm positive he, at least, has a mental plan. I'm sure he's generated lots of notes about his characters and he has an idea what happens to his main characters. I don't know what the real reason for the delay is. But I would expect him to have a good idea about where the series is going, and I also expect him to be working on it.
I don't expect him to work to my own agenda, but I am surprised that it is now 2011 and there is still no 5th book in this series. Will I punish him by not buying 'Dance with Dragons'? The simple answer to that probably accords with most, which is 'Give me the chance to buy the book.' I strongly suspect many of us will buy it and I sincerely hope the wait is worth it.
I will definitely be buying the book when it comes out. Hell, I might even buy it from an independent bookshop at full price to support the industry. For all the complaints I think that in the end the main reason it's been delayed for so long is that GRRM got stuck. It might even be he's stuck on a single point, something that seemed fine in a vague outline but when he came to writing he realised doesn't work when you actually sit down to write it. In a series of such complexity that one point would send huge ripples not only through the rest of the book but for all the books to follow.
If that's the case then he was at some time confronted with two options:
1. He could ignore it, get the rest of the book done and published.
Pros: The book would be out and his fans wouldn't yell at him and talk about boycotts. He'd get the money which he could throw on the pile. Because in the end, unless he's saving up to buy an island or a small country he probably doesn't actually need it for anything.
Cons: The book would be out on the shelves for the next fifty years. Sooner or later (and more likely sooner) someone would spot it and then everyone would know about it. Then not only would the future books be completely spoiled but the past books as well (see the Matrix Trilogy as a case study. How many of us have never watched the first film again because of the following two?)
He'd hate himself for writing a shoddy book, knowing he could have prevented it but didn't. Hate himself forever. And then his family and friends would take over hating him after he died.
2. Find a way to solve everything so when the book comes out it will be good quality and the fans will be frustrated but happy once they've finished the book.
Cons: Being hounded night and day by fans who are angry at him. But their frustration comes from a good place, they wouldn't be so angry if they didn't like the books. Banging your head against the wall of figuring your way out of the problem you've found yourself in, trying to adjust things so the whole book (and the future books) hangs together so everyone's happy.
Pros: When the book comes out (and it will) it'll be something he can be proud of and people will enjoy the next instalment. People will (hopefully) soon forget it took so long.
He's in the middle of the series here. Everything he does in this book he not only has to consider what's happening he has to keep in mind everything that's come before it and everything he needs to happen after. This isn't a school essay he's writing. He doesn't have the luxury of checking his textbook and copying the facts in his own words, he's making this up and that's one of the hardest things ever.
Few popular writers in the world ever sat down thinking I'm going to just sit here and bash out a novel and make millions. They sit down and think they're going to do something they enjoy and write a book, one that they themselves would read because it ties in with their interests. It might never be published (in fact the odds are against them) and if it does it might never be huge (only a very small percentage of published books ever sell over 5,000 copies) they might have to write in their spare time for the rest of their lives. BUT THEY STILL DO IT. Not for the money. They dream of money, yes, who doesn't want to get money for doing what they love? They do it because it's what they enjoy doing and if other people like it that's good. Great, even. But in the end they're answerable to only one person, themselves and if they allow one of their stories (something they're almost solely responsible for the quality of) to go out half finished then they've lost sight of why they sat down to do this in the first place.
I am convinced GRRM wants this book to work. He's not going to spoil ADWD and almost 15 years worth of effort for the sake of these anonymous dissenters whom he's never met. If he spoiled it, they'd just shrug and walk away, he has to live with it.
I agree with P.J. Smith, the man's blog is dull but then after 15 years there's only so many posts you can make along the lines of 'sat and typed stuff I can't tell you about. Didn't like much of what I wrote' which is what most writers think like.
Anyway, though I'm as anxious as anyone else to read what comes next I can understand the delay. And its worse when Amazon, who have to put a pub date in even when it's something they just made up (they do do that you know) put something they think is far off and then it catches up with itself and another random date has to be thrown in and people get frustrated because they think it's gospel.
But there are other books to read! I recently enjoyed The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding and the books of Joe Abercrombie. Maybe you will too.
And I'm finished. And I'm afraid that as empassioned as I am about this post I'm just going to post without spellchecking so I can get it out of the way. In this case, this is where me and GRRM differ.
I didn't know this wasn't a complete series when I started reading it a few years ago. I read all of books one after the other and thought they were excellent. Now with this huge gap which is getting bigger year after year I would have to read the whole lot again before I read 'A Dance with Dragons'. I'm not going to keep re-reading the whole series before each new book - 5+ years apart each time! I'm going to wait now until they are all released, if that ever happens, and read from start to finish. I know that is probably the best part of 10 - 15 years away but I'm not prepared to keep getting disappointed by his lack of commitment to finishing this whole saga off.
Can i quickly ask if anyone who has suggested boycotting this book has actually tried writing a series of books that most people would agree upon to be one of the best series of books written so far. it is no longer just a book he has created a whole world that he know has to manage and keep track of. Quite frankly I'd like to see these "boycotters" produce a series that is better and has quicker releases.
I dont think anybody here is claiming to be able to write anything nearly as good - which is why there is alot of strong feelings about the series and now the author. Personally I think he is now too interested in the TV series for him to be spending anything like the time and the effort required to maintain such a high standard.
"George R. R. Martin is not your b*tch" -Neil Gaiman
Gaiman has a very well written explanation for his opinion as well. Start reading from the bold text unless you want to know what his dog was up to in 2009. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
Good post from Neil, interesting he mentions Pat Rothfuss - The name of the Wind is one of the best books I've read in a while but the next one isn't our for ages. Should probably get Scott Lynch on the boycott list too - 5 years since The Lies of Locke Lamora, tsk tsk ;o)
You know, this Gaiman argument is getting very stale.
Who is Neil Gaiman anyway? He's just a fair-to-middling writer who states his own personal opinion. He is not a prophet of God giving us the eleventh commandment: Thou shalt not vex GRRM. Verily he is not your b*tch.
All in all, that's one man's opinion. Nothing more. There are others. How about Stephen King's opinion? (And King should know, given how long it took him to complete the Dark Tower series). To paraphrase:
"Any writer who takes seven years to complete a book isn't thinking deep thoughts. Any writer who takes seven years is just dicking off."
I posted this into another thread as well, but i think it's a decent and valid tought. Well, at least HBO have schedued the TV series of GoT in april 17 - what can i say more to somehow convince myself that the ADWD is still not writen? It's obious from any sane point of view that IF the book was ready they will release-it in conjunction with the serie to make bigger sales and share the insane advertising campaign HBO is deploying behind the show. But guess what? No sign of the book - nada. This argument beeing made, i'm sure we will not see ADWD this year or at least next 6 months for sure. Becouse if the book was even nearlly 70% complete the editor would have push to publish something NOW.
So, in keeping with your platitude, A Feast of Crows is the best book in the series so far, since it took the longest to write, and will be remembered forever, while the others will be forgotten. Interesting hypothesis. i don't think many here would agree with you, though.
Re: Your "suggestion" about trying to write a book ourselves...
i'm a damn good plumber. If you contacted me to repair a nasty leak in your home's plumbing, and i agreed, would you be upset if i then proceeded to do several dozen other projects, take vacations, visit plumbing conventions, all the while promising you that, in a week or so, i'll have your plumbing in tip-top order? If i suggested to you -- as you do us -- that you don't have a right to complain, and you should try opening up your house wall and go after the leaking pipe yourself -- would you accept that and let me continue doing as i please? Or would you fire me and tell all your friends and acquaintances to boycott my services as well?
Some of us are writers. Some of us are plumbers. Same rules apply to both.
myk_akahige, did Mr Martin come round to your house? Did he say to you personally he would hand you the manuscript at a particular time? Will you or your property be damaged if delivery is not made at that time?
If Mr Martin has let any one down its his publisher as he is the one who the agreement was with, not you, not me.