A Song of Fice and Ire

A Song of Fice and Ire

Neil Gaiman recently dismissed fan entitlement regarding George R.R. Martin with a memorable line–as memorable now as when it was coined in the comment section of John Scalzi’s blog 2 or 3 months ago (see comment 258 by “Tully” , who may be Neil Gaiman incognito, for all I know). Pointing out that writers are not machines is maybe a less abusive way to respond to the same concern (see comment 136 on the Whatever thread linked above). NG’s conclusion is that “George R. R. Martin is not working for you.” This undoubted truth is not really on point, though.

By the way: I am not one of the people who are chewing their nails down to their elbows waiting for the next “Song of Ice and Fire” volume. I read the first book, liked it a lot (though certain plotlines moved with what seemed to me glacial slowness, I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing). But I resolved not to read any more until he was done with the thing, because I was sure it would take a significant chunk of a working lifetime to complete and I didn’t want to suffer through the agonizingly long wait between installments.

I do, however, buy each one as it comes out, for the benefit of a SoIaF addict I live with. I’m not suggesting that GRRM owes me anything, except the book I’m actually buying when I plonk coin down for one of his books. But neither do I or the other coin-plonkers have to go on plonking our coins.

Fan entitlement may indeed be pernicious, but it can only exist in the presence of a fan base which is a good thing. It doesn’t seem to me that directing abuse towards GRRM’s fan base does GRRM any long-term favor.

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I tend to hold off on buying a series until I can buy the entire set at once. You never know what might happen, like in the case of Robert Jordan.


Hi Mr. James

Its heartening to see some authors taking a view from the other side.


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