Leave George R.R. Martin Alone

It’s time to deal with some unpleasant truths, Song of Ice and Fire fans.

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  1. The Shows are going to Lap the Books. This is going to happen. We are going to get spoiled by a show in which there is no Lady Stoneheart, no Brave Companions, in which the Greyjoys except Theon hardly exist and have the wrong names. Nothing can be done about it. This was built into the cake when the show started and the books were half-finished.

    And sure, you can say, “Then she shouldn’t have started the show!” But be honest. You’ve busted your butt your whole life to create a literary work that is both popular and significant. And the premium of premium cable channels offers to turn it into a massive television series. You’re supposed to say, “No, I’d hate to see my story visualized by creative people and performed by awesome actors. Please spend your money on something else.” Please.

    Accept that this is happening. Enjoy it as best you can, and when the books finally come out, take solace in the fact that it will be better than what you’ve just watched. The book always is.

  2. George is gonna give us the books when he can give us the books. Yep, we’re four years past A Dance With Dragons and no end in sight. That’s the reality. And the madder we get about it, the more nothing happens, because our nerd-rage has no bearing on how fast we get The Winds of Winter. No. Bearing. Whatsoever.

    So don’t be this guy, whining to Martin on Martin’s own livejournal, accusing him of “betraying” his fans. Display some awareness of cause-and-effect. Do you honestly think this sort of moaning inspires the man to write faster? That he says to himself “Gosh, I’d better not disappoint them any more”? Because it it was me, I’d start wondering how hard I really wanted to work to please the same group of malcontents who took a crap all over my artistic process when I was fighting my way through A Dance With Dragons. If you’re not helping him, you’re not helping yourself. So knock it off.

  3. It’s All Gonna Work Itself Out. If George delivers the books, and they complete the story in a satisfying way, then all of the wait will be forgotten, and we can go back to the books or the series whenever we want and enjoy them. If we don’t like the books’ ending, maybe we’ll like the show’s ending. If George should die with ASOIAF uncompleted, someone else will finish it. That won’t be as good, but it will still be better than Wheel of Time (and the chatter I’ve picked up from those that slogged all the way through WoT is that the books that Jordan didn’t write were at least an improvement over the tedium that the series was stuck in. So who knows what can happen?). We’re going to get our books, one way or another. If we stop complaining, we might even like them.

This is what I had to say in 2011, around ADWD‘s release:

The length of the wait caused no small amount of reader acrimony, and I can see why. The Internet breeds contempt. When authors were faraway geniuses who you might meet at a signing if you paid attention, you had no choice but to wait like a cat left home alone for the weekend. But when an author has a livejournal of his own, and regulary updates it, it’s hard to avoid thinking “Yeah, that’s nice George. Now is Dance of Dragons gonna write itself, or…? And while we’re at it, a few miles on the NordicTrac wouldn’t kill you.”

For myself, I got tired of reading Martin’s dull football commentary, his middlebrow center-left political statements, his self-congratulatory merchandising for his less-interesting books (Fevre Dream: there’s $16 I’m never getting back). So I stopped reading them. I left his site alone until a wikipedia blurb suggested some chatter from his publishers that he might get around to being done soon.

Understand that I’m one of you. I’ve been reading the books since 2003 or thereabouts. I feel frustrated,  like my fandom has been abused. But abusing Martin in return won’t save that. In fact, I kind of regret the mean things I said above (why would he not use his success to say “Hey, if you like this book, check out these others”? Honestly…).

So if the current ridiculous state of ASOIAF is just too much for you, then consider leaving it alone until it resolves itself. You’ll only diminish the wait thereby.

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Disney is Going to Re-Release UnAltered Star Wars, Says the Same Stupid Rumor That Said So Last Year

Watching Star Wars – the original trilogy, I mean – as it was before George Lucas screwed with it is what we’ve all been hoping for since the Disney buyout.

Rumors of this were floated about last spring, but Disney did not confirm that they even wanted to do this. A debate was prompted about whether Disney even could do that, inasmuch as Fox owns the distribution rights for Episodes I, II, III, V, and VI until 2020, and for Episode IV in perpetuity. It seems to me that it could be done, so long as Fox and Disney make a reasonable agreement.

Yesterday, I saw a link that seemed to confirm that this was happening. I clicked it. It’s dated yesterday. It says the same thing: sources have indicated that Disney wants to do this, but they’re not ready to announce yet.

The source it links to? The same Comicbook.com blog post, from last May, that we’ve already debated.

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Meanwhile, what has Disney actually confirmed for us re: Star Wars? The existence of a standalone Star Wars film “Rogue One”, and who is going to direct and star in it. Also, the director and planned release date of Episode VIII. Read about it here. This was released on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Disney announced the existence of 20 or so book and comic titles to fill in the history between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awaekens. Read about that here.

These are things that will be released in the near future and into 2017 and beyond.

But about uncut OT? Not a peep. Not a whisper.

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Earth to Variety: No One Wants to Fix the Oscars

It’s not that I disagree with the suggestions Variety offers: 1) Hire Jimmy Fallon to host, with a multi-year contract, 2) Get people who actually share the general public’s taste to vote, 3) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MAKE IT SHORTER, 4) Throw in some Audience Participation, and 5) Give the Celebs their booze back. Any and all of those things would probably help. Especially #3.

It’s that you and I and everyone all know that none of them are going to happen.

The Academy Awards have been dull and self-indulgent my entire lifetime. This is known (it is known). It’s going to continue to be. The purpose of the Academy awards is precisely to be “an employee-of-the-year celebration that happens to be televised for the entire world.” It’s a market display. The longer it goes on, the more everyone there is satisfied with themselves. The rest of us suckers will just keep suffering.

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Sean Penn, You Magnificent Bastard…

Did you actually say “Who gave this SOB a Green Card?” when announcing the best director winner?

Were you drunk?

Did you think no one would be bothered by you saying that?

Were you not thinking?

Do you know Alejandro Inarritu personally? He says you do, and that you have that kind of friendship. So that’s fine, I guess. Hell, maybe this whole operation was you trolling the perpetually offended, which could compel me to credit you with having a sense of humor.

In any case, you just set off a rage of blue-on-blue on Twitter. You just gave the progs something to be mad about that wasn’t Rudy Guiliani’s small act of lese-majeste. God bless you, you raging self-important dictator-snuggling wife-beating communist, you.

Of course, if anyone had actually watched the Oscars, it would have been better.

Confirmed: George R.R. Martin is Screwing With Us.

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Yesterday, Martin’s official Twitter account posted this:

Which prompted the Internet (and especially Reddit) to lose its damn mind. Because, 12 days from yesterday is December 21st, the first day of Winter. The next book in the series is titled The Winds of Winter. Therefore, on that, day, he will announce that book’s release.

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And while I would love for this to be true, I just can’t get my hopes up. Writing epic fantasy takes a long time. Doing a good job with it takes even longer. This isn’t some Dragonlance novel you can poop out in a few months; this is A Song of $(*&ing Ice and Fire. He’s got a million threads to weave together: Stannnis’s deathmarch, Jon Snow touching the void, Cersei’s trial by combat, Sam in Oldtown, Arya in Braavos, Sansa in the Vale, whatever the hell is going on with Brienne and Jaime and Lady Stoneheart, etc.

Oh, and Dany riding a dragon with a khalasar at her back.

We’re gonna be waiting, people. Embrace it.

 

 

Nerds are Never Happy: The Force Awakens Trailer

It was pretty cool.

First off: the slow intro, empty desert, sense of dread, reminiscent of There Will Be Blood. Dug it. The darkness sitting dormant.

Stormtroopers: Same but different. Questions abound: Are these Republic Stormtroopers? Some Imperial rump state? Is the guy who pops up in the desert a good guy pulling a Luke, or some poor stormtrooper who stumbles on to the source of all evil?

R2-Polie-Olie: Looked weird, in a cute way.

Girl on the Desert Speeder: I want to assume that this is Han & Leia’s daughter, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. The speeder itself has a very Episode IV-Tatooine feel, without being an obvious knock-off of Luke’s T-16.

X-Wing Surfing: I want to assume that this is Luke’s son, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. Or perhaps Wedge Antilles’ son. But for all I know, it’s someone else altogether. Still, cool effect.

Lightsaber with crossguard: I liked it. Sloppy, kinda goofy, but cool. The entire scene is menacing, but looking at the presumed Sith from behind makes me curious: is this a scene in which the good guys try to sneak up on Darth Whosis and fail? Is this Darth Whosis stalking a prey of some kind? I want to find out.

Millenium Falcon, now with obligatory J.J. Abrams lens flare: First time – Okay, pretty cool. All subsequent times – GREATEST THING EVER.

But that’s me. Warsies (what the Trekkies call SW fans) are now arguing over ever single aspect of this. For example, at the bottom of this Dorkly anthology of Force Awakens fan art (yes, already), somebody calls the Lightsaber-with-crossguard a “light claymore”. This creates an argument, because it’s a standard length-sword! This provokes a rehash of why a lightsaber with a crossguard is and is not totally impractical. Because magic swords have to make sense.

Also, did you know all Star Wars fans were racist? This is true because of a reddit thread in which people admitted to being confused by black stormtrooper, because obviously not a Jango Fett Clone. Cue arguments about whether the stormtroopers in the Original Trilogy were clones or not.

Also, rolling droid is totally the new Jar-Jar Binks. Totally.

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EU Novels are Lucasfilm-approved! They’re CANON! Naaaaaah!

The only hope from all this pissy slapfighting is that we go in with low expectations. Between the Prequels and Lucas being an obstinate troll about the Special Edition, we have become a bitter and jaded fandom, ever ready to pounce on minutiae as preparation for disappointment. If The Force Awakens is competent (and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be), that might draw some of the poison out, so we can go back to the important things, like making fun of Trekkies.

LOL.