George R.R. Martin to Release Another Book that's Not the Next Installment of "A Song of Ice and Fire." But Wait! It Gets Worse
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George R.R. Martin to Release Another Book that's Not the Next Installment of A Song of Ice and Fire. But Wait! It Gets Worse

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | May 2, 2013 | Comments ()


OK, look: I get it. The guy has written five books already, and maybe he wants to take a break and bask in the glory of his success. I mean, so what if he doesn't finish A Song of Ice and Fire before the series catches up? David Benioff has been doing a fine job telling his story, and I'm sure Benioff could write the end, just as well. After all, though I haven't read the books, it is my understanding from a conversation last weekend that, according to one person (TK), the fourth book is unreadable, while according to another person (one of our readers), the fifth book is unreadable. So maybe the man should leave the series in other hands, yes?

In the meantime, the 64-year-old George R.R. Martin is going to make some more cash, putting out what is the equivalent of a Christmas album, according to The Bookseller:

George R R Martin fans will have a new book for Christmas, with the fantasy writer compiling The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister. The book was announced at HarperCollins' showcase of autumn titles to retailers, held on Wednesday evening (1st May). The hardback title will gather together "clever and naughty quips" from the popular character from A Song of Ice and Fire series, played in the HBO series by actor Peter Dinklage.

HarperCollins described it as "the perfect Christmas gift," quoting Tyrion: "My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, and I have my mind; and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge."

A greatest hits album? A compilation book? What's next? An NBC special with Michael Buble? Dude. Brother. Buddy. Pal. There's words to be written, my friend. Let's not mess about. After all, the man is just one Jets interception away from death.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Spence

    If you think any of the books are unreadable, you're just wrong. On the other hand, seasons two and three of the SHOW are absolute garbage and unwatchable.

  • Andy

    To author of this article: You do realize that the credit for the entire conception of this extremely complex story belongs to George R. R. Martin. He is the one that came up with everything. To say that he should just give it to someone else is an insult to him. We would not have this story if not for him. If you have not read the books then you don't even know most of the things that are going to happen/have already happened, so please do not comment on them. It is his story, let him write it.

  • Kirk

    It amazes me how selfish and stupid so many A Song of Ice and Fire fans are. They treat a man like he's their personal slave built solely for the purposes of entertaining them and pressure him and treat him like crap when he just wants to put time into his books, and when they come out they complain about how he's a horrible writer now and the books suck and say he should have edited them more when they don't give him anytime to do so. Maybe he wants to edit a lot more but MOSTLY HE WANTS PEOPLE OFF HIS BACK.

    One person on YouTube actually made this argument: "Yeah, because A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons" were so much better than the first three books after he put time into them."

    I mean, first of all: You don't even like the books, yet you want him to finish them so much!

    You act like quality is an objective standard!

    If you think the last two books sucked, what do you think will you happen when you sing to him to "WRITE LIKE THE WIND"?

    That song seriously irritates me. They sing "You're not a machine and you're not our slave" and list all sorts of arguments against their points, but their only real counter-argument is how many plays Shakespeare wrote in the time Martin has spent writing A Song of Ice and Fire. This ignores the fact that Shakespeare was writing much shorter works under deadlines based on other people's works. He wasn't simply a lone artist coming up with these ideas and spending all the free time he had developing them to perfection.


  • AdmiralTubington

    Part of Martin's most recent contract renewal with HBO was to hand over materials explaining how he intends the series to end. So, David Benioff knows.

    It's almost a guarantee that the show will catch up to him and pass him, in my opinion, and he'll be put in the spot of having to adapt his own story from screen to novel.

  • Strand

    "so what if he doesn’t finish A Song of Ice and Fire before the series catches up?"

    The fear isn't that the show will catch up (though there's that too), the biggest concern is that he'll pull a Robert Jordan and bite the dust before he finishes A Dream Of Spring... which will be the most epic literary blueballs in history.

  • AshBookworm

    George R.R. Martin is a rich, renowned, bestselling writer on whose works a critically acclaimed, popular series has been produced. All of that has been possible due to the fans of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' who are mostly vocal, passionate and very very patient (the crazies not withstanding, but, these days, you've not made it unless you've inspired some crazies).

    I don't care what Neil Gaiman says; Martin owes it us to stop procrastinating and FINISH THE SERIES!

  • duckandcover

    I mean, so what if he doesn’t finish A Song of Ice and Fire before the series catches up?

    You're fucking pushing it, Rowles.

  • manting

    I certainly worry he might pull a Robert Jordan. I men they are essentially the same dude- both grossly overwieght, fantasy writers, who write LONG series (The Wheel of Time was 5,200 pages), the difference being Jordan died before he could finish the series.
    I think you are insane to think that two TV hacks could ever write a the series better than the creator of the series

  • Mrcreosote

    The management techniques of Theon Greyjoy.
    Unsullied-the Musical
    Ser Robert Strong sings the classics
    Really it can be years before he gets back to book 6.

  • Mrcreosote

    I imagine Hodor's Book of Quotations would be easier to write.

  • delle

    What made me cringe in disgust is knowing that if the books hadn't been adapted for television, we'd be back to where we had been for over a decade previous; ie, when people asked me my favourite book I would reply "A Song of Ice and Fire series" (and they would reply, "Never heard of it")....and this book would never be made, let alone just in time for Christmas.

    There is money to be made, sir. Make ALL the money!!!

  • Palaeologos

    If Martin dies and the series lies fallow indefinitely, he's a lazy bastard who doomed his fans to a lifetime of wondering what happens next. If Martin dies but lets someone else finish his work, he gets static for turning his work over to some hack who can't possibly equal his style (-cough- Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson -cough-).

    Cut the guy some slack.

  • Flor

    Which is exactly why he should get at it on the double, and make sure he can finish what he started!

  • JoannaRobinson

    Not to be an obnoxious reality wet blanket, but if it's just a collection of existent quips, it's likely some publishing intern at HC putting this collection together and GRRM's involvement will total, oh, one day.

  • duckandcover

    Get out of here with your logic.

  • John W

    The only thing I took away from this post is Lena Headey is so beautiful.

  • Sherry

    I'm just startled to see a photo in which Kit Harrington is smiling. I hardly recognize him.

  • QueeferSutherland

    The most recent two novels aren't unreadable, they're just in desperate need of editing (AFFC is easily the worst of the series and ADWD rocks). Hard to believe, but constraints are Benioff and Wiess' biggest advantage. They simply don't have the time and money to explore every plotline, and as a result make the edits his publisher apparently did not. The books are a great read and fill in a ton of backstory. But there's plenty to leave on the cutting room floor.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    This is what I always say. There's obviously a point somewhere in the five years between "A Storm of Swords" and "A Feast for Crows" where his books began selling enough that they didn't really bother editing him anymore. After all, why cut down on the page count when you can just charge more for a bigger book! So we get repetitive passages, unnecessarily adjective heavy descriptors, and characters wandering in circles so we can get backstory on areas that would really be better off in a "History of Westeros" compilation made AFTER the series was finished. The characters are what they always were, and the narrative thrust is still there, it's just buried under a lot of self-indulgent crap that an editor sort of shrugged at.

  • Slim

    Can I take issue with "the publisher didn't bother editing him" line of thinking? What in the world makes anyone think that the same stuff that bugs the readers didn't piss off the editor? But the editor isn't king and he/she can make pages of strongly recommended revision suggestions, and at the end of the day, the book belongs to the author, with all the praise and criticism that comes with it. Also, an author like Martin, whose readers are hammering with communication, for the next installment is always behind schedule. If you asked most readers if they wanted to wait six months for the 'better book', the version the editor had to beg and fight the author for, they'd want the quicker version. I just wouldn't assume what the editor shrugged at...

    As a side note, this collection being published by HarperCollins instead of Random House, Martins' publisher for A Song of Fire & Ice series, indicates that his publisher didn't just whip something up for a quick buck - that it is Martins himself (and his agenting community) is driving the buck-chasing.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    I understand that, and I don't blame the editors at all. Martin is holding all the cards, here, and instead of being properly critical of his own work he's obviously taking the "my way or the highway" route. The same thing happened to Stephen King. I'd love to see what a good editor could do with the later books even if it came at the cost of an extra six months but I know I'm in the minority.

    I apologize if I seem overly flip. I'm aware of the good work editors do, but it seems like an awful lot of readers and publishers have forgotten or simply don't care anymore and it's very disappointing.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    You're not a paid writer here, but I have to bust anyone's chops for this ironically mangled sentence: The most recent two novels aren't unreadable, they're just in desperate need believe editing...

  • QueeferSutherland

    Yeah WTF was that? I don't even think I can blame this on autocorrect. Downvoting myself now.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    You actually did what I do all the time - your fingers jumped ahead to where your mind was.

    but you've got a sense of humor about it.

  • I'm sure he's just read this while enjoying his eggs benedict, extra side of bacon and has browns. As I hobbit, I'm sure he's also looking forward to his second breakfast.

  • zoompow

    George RR Martin is not your Bitch

    (also leave Brandon Sanderson out of this - he needs to get to work on the follow up to Way of Kings!)

  • JJ

    Bravo. I cite this so often.

    Before people complain about the roles that an actor or actress takes, the films that a director pursues, or a new genre that a group or singer tries, realize that they don't work for you. That doesn't (and won't) stop you from having your own opinion, but they don't owe you anything.

  • AshBookworm

    I disagree. Writers like Gaiman and Martin owe us everything. Without their passionate, vocal fandoms, they wouldn't be where they are now.

  • lowercase_see

    I thought that's what the internet was for?

    After porn, obvi.

  • FriendlyFace

    Just don't rush him, unless you want another ending like Stephen King gave to the Gunslinger series. These things take time. Do you want it to be amazing, or do you want it to be here now? Patience, friends.

  • upstate

    First three Gunslinger books were legitimately excellent, fourth one was navel-gazing, fifth one was eh, sixth one made me actually furious, seventh one was horrible right up until the last 150 pages or so. And then it was fantastic. He ended the series the only way a series like that -- written by Stephen King -- could end.

  • Danar the Barbarian

    That's funny; I thought the fourth was meh, the fifth was awesome ("Oriza!!!"), and then I agree with you about the last two. And yes, the ending was the only possible one. Now if only we could get a Game of Thrones-like treatment for that series, I would die a happy nerd!

  • babybiceps

    When you find a book unreadable, maybe you shouldn't hold it upside down.

  • fluff_fluff

    I wish there was a succinct text-based substitute for flipping the bird with both hands high

  • Jon

    I read the fourth and fifth book together as I didn't like his idea of splitting the characters by location. It made those two installments a lot better, and I definitely would not classify them as unreadable.

  • koko temur

    He will have 3-4 books out before the tyrion one, which he wont even write, it will be an intern copy-pasting. His problem is not the slow writing, its ADD. dude, just finish one project. ONE.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    You know what happens to artists with successful and popular careers after they release a greatest hits album right?

    That said, I would respectfully suggest that this book be written in the form made popular by one Mr. Stirling Malory Archer of How To Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women, and Also Cocktails Ever Written fame.

    Joffrey. Joffrey. JOOOFFFFREEYYYYYYY!


    *Face slap

  • So, are you suggesting Joffrey may be in a zone?

  • Conor

    Is that an Archer reference I spy?

  • Conor

    Oh for shame.

    I failed to read the whole comment before replying. Rookie error.

  • Guest

    I thought the second book was unreadable.

  • This guy is killing me. Seriously. I realize that he's not beholden to his fans, but at the same time THE FACT THAT HE MIGHT DIE BEFORE HE FINISHES THIS SERIES IS KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT. Sir, if you didn't want a legion of nerds following you like rabid puppies, perhaps you should've tried your hand at historical non-fiction instead.

  • Hey, Brandon Sanderson is always looking for work, so don't panic too much.

  • Scully

    This is too cruel to suggest. If only Sanderson got his hands on ASOIAF. Sigh. Now this is all I will dream of.

  • Frank

    I'd be ok if he died before finishing the books. He's already told the show runners what's supposed to happen just in case something happens to him (and so they don't kill off a character they'll need later down the line). If he kicks we'd end up getting the books sooner.

  • QueeferSutherland

    I don't think we'll ever see the books if he dies. He already said he won't allow another writer to finish the story, putting HBO in the catbird seat. Certainly not rooting for his death by any means, but having the series be the only way anyone can get resolution to the story is a mindblowing intellectual exercise.

  • koko temur

    The 4th and the 5th books are one gigantic book split to two. Both of your friends are right.

  • Milly

    Or split into 4, depending on what release you have.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    As far as I know, Martin is always juggling several projects at once. So that's nothing new.

    I also don't think that any book from the series is unreadable.

  • I'm slogging through AFFC and am finding it harder than the others. But I'll go back and re-read it before I move on to ADWD (I have read all of them multiple times before moving on, just so I get a better idea of where things are. They almost always read better the second time.)

  • Lee

    I loved the first 3 passionately, struggled mightily through AFFC and literally could not get through ADWD. The storylines got increasingly overlong, pointless and boring. I'll be very interested to see what they do with the series, but if they stick with the books, they will go downhill.

  • Palaeologos

    Ditto for anyone who disliked AFFC. Coming off ASOS to that book made me wonder if they were written by the same author. That said, I did enjoy ADWD, if not as much as the first three books.

  • IngridToday

    The first two books have a few major events and the third book is basically a lot stories coming to an end so it peaks.
    The fourth book is mostly focused on Westoros with POVs by Cersei, Jaime, Arya, Sansa, some things with a few Greyjoys. No Tyrion, Jon, or Dany.

    The fifth book is lots of Jon and Dany (who I personally don't really care about) Tyrion (who's storyline I hated) and some new characters and new(er) stories expanded on.

    It's really your opinion on which set of characters and stories you like.

  • pfeiffer87

    FfC has grown on me - I read it recently and realised I actually prefer it to some of the earlier ones.

  • Duvall

    The fourth and fifth books could have used a good editor, but it's silly to say that they are unreadable. Well, unless you just don't care for doorstop fantasy, in which case you never should have started the series in the first place.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    More importantly, we need to find out where whores go...

  • Optimus

    They go through the ho door.

  • Wembley

    One Does Not Simply Walk into Hodor.

    Oh sorry. Wrong overlong fantasy series.

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  • Uriah_Creep

    Have you guys noticed that these entries often have several upvotes? Do you think the spambots go aound upvoting each others' work? That seems like borderline-Skynet behaviour. THEY'RE HERE! Holy shit, where's John Connor?

  • koko temur

    More importantly, why is it in GREEK?! I think it get upvoted by two in the closet greeks we have here, who just enjoy to get something from the motherland.

  • BWeaves

    OK, this whole thread needs to win an EE award.

  • Lee


  • John G.


  • zeke_the_pig

    To someone else's bunk

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