George R. R. Martin on science fiction

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This week’s To The Best Of Our Knowledge interviews George R. R. Martin. If you have iTunes just subscribe to their podcast and you’ll see it on the list of shows (I don’t know where to find it streaming online). I was talking to an owner of a local science fiction bookstore, and we agreed that many angry fans are going to break down the gates of hell and tear him to pieces if Martin does a Jordan. Apropos of which the proprietor mused how worrying it was that the 60 year old Martin is corpulent (also, he resented the fact that Martin took vacations!). On the other hand, we agreed that there’s no way Brandon Sanderson would ever be commissioned to complete A Song of Ice and Fire.


  1. I hate this attitude that some fans take (and it isn’t only Science Fiction fans; see Anne Rice) that the Author “owes” them and “owes” it to them to finish the series on their time frame and under their own story desires. It causes the authors to protect themselves from and eventually despise their own fans.

  2. really, if Martin slumps over on his desk of a heart attack or stroke while writing one of the last books are thousands of fanboys (and girls) the world over really going to cry out “No, now well never know how it ends!” instead of being sad that a good man and author has died?

  3. their hardest core fans are mostly needy and demanding losers. of course they despise them.

  4. A sign of what a divide there is between sci-fi fans and the rest of the fiction-readin’ world: until this posting I’d never heard of George R.R. Martin.

  5. So he started writing sci-fi after producing all those Beatles albums?

  6. I read some of Jordan’s books. I’m glad it only took me a few to figure out they weren’t going anywhere. I’ve never read any Martin, and since I’ve given up on fiction I’m not likely to in the near future. 
    I recall Brunching Shuttlecocks doing a diagram of geekery, with sci-fi authors outranking their readers in coolness.

  7. Not a big SF/fantasy reader since high school, but I make exceptions for Neal Stephenson and for GRRM. No one does twisty turny backstabbing politics better than him. General premise is that if you’re in line for a throne, your life expectancy follows a heavy-tailed distribution with a mean of 50 pages, and you will likely be surprised at who kills you. Everyone has a flaw and it’s often hard to figure out who to root for. Nice and dark.

  8. I had largely given up on modern science fiction output until I recently read Vernor Vinge’s “A Deepness in the Sky” and “A Fire Upon The Deep,” both masterful novels written in the 90s. They are somewhat related but can be read in any order.  
    And though I don’t read GRRM I did hear recently that HBO commissioned a pilot to be made for a series based on his Ice and Fire books. HBO productions are generally awesome so I hope the series gets picked up.

  9. Point taken, Michael. On the other hand, it’s extremely frustrating if an author leaves a series without resolution. Diane Duane left her Tales of the Five without development for nearly twenty years, and Orson Scott Card never really wrapped up his Alvin Maker books. 
    After a while, you find yourself waiting for the other shoe.