My esteemed associate and friend Mr. BRKN shared this with me this morning. It seems George RR Martin is delaying his next A Song of Ice and Fire book (which totally would have otherwise been coming out this year, of course) in order to make changes to the ending.
This is amusing on a number of levels. First, obviously, is the idea that anyone believes the estimated delivery times anymore. I know, there’s a strong likelihood that one day those estimates will be correct and there will actually be a book, and anyone who scoffed at that estimation will have egg on their face. This series has dragged out a lot, but it’s had some pretty unique delaying factors. And at least Martin is still saying he’s working on it, and plans to finish, even if (as I think is entirely reasonable) he can’t say when it will be ready.
So sure, it’s delayed. Big deal. Fire and Blood was pretty cool, and at least he wrote that. I have said many times that Martin can tell us whatever story he likes, at his own pace. I consider our contract fulfilled with each book I pay money for. If the story doesn’t end, so be it. That will be sad, but not as sad for me as it will be for Martin.
This brings me to my second point, which is of course he’s re-working the ending. Did you see what people thought of the ending of the TV series? If he didn’t take at least the general reaction on board, he’d have to be clinically insane. Sure, maybe don’t read every angry little nerd essay on the Internet about what should have been done differently, but get an idea of the broad strokes.
I think he was already all over this, and always intended for the books and the series to tell divergent stories. They’d have to, given the mass of differences between the two right from the start, and particularly in the latter couple of books. But what a great opportunity the TV series has given him, to actually test out one ending and see what things he needs to tweak. And he’s been at it this long, it’s not as if another year or two (or five) is going to make any difference.
The last A Song of Ice and Fire book came out when I still had a butthole. Let’s see if I can write twenty books before the next one arrives.