According to Amazon, September 30th is the official release date. As I believed Martin would expire before finishing the novel, this earns my official Moe Stamp of Amazement:
Martin Climbs From Beneath Pile of Empty Dorito Bags, Finishes "Dance"
Would it kill you to hit return an extra time between paragraphs, or add a little <br> or something there, George?
Bah. I stopped caring when I realized that Erikson, Abercrombie and Bakker came along and kicked his ass anyway. I may pick it up eventually in paperback, but not if it's mostly crappy side characters no one cares about anyway.
Now, tell me the new Gentlemen Bastard book is actually coming out and I'll be excited.
I don't blame people for being frustrated by the delay. What I don't understand is the rabid, drooling hatred of Martin--i.e. the name of this thread--by people who claim to be his "fans". As long as we're talking about the Simpsons, it reminds me of Homer's lament in the episode where he runs for sanitation commissioner--"My campaign is a disaster! I hate the voting public so much! Why won't they vote for me? I'd make 'em pay!"
Again: the guy took six years to finish a 1000+ page book. That's neither unreasonable nor unheard of. It was a bit shabby to announce that it was almost finished when he still had years to go, yes. But it's not an unforgivable sin, and his "fans" are acting like spoiled babies about it. Complain if you must, but there's at least one site out there devoted to screaming at Martin to finish the book, all the while insulting him (gosh, that would sure motivate me!), his family, anyone he's ever met, anyone who's ever defended him, the publisher, Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi (for the capital crime of writing this and this, respectively), and even HBO (because it's apparently vital to their self esteem that the upcoming series be a total bomb--as recently as a few months ago they were insisting that the series would never come out. That would be the series that was already being advertised and had mostly been filmed. Also, the comments are filled with disparaging remarks about Deadwood and Rome and even The Wire. It's mass delusion. I keep expecting to see, once ADWD hits shelves, posts insisting that it's all an elaborate ruse. Though, in a delicious bit of irony, they haven't updated in a month or two, and are beginning to see their own readers turning on them for not updating. Turnabout is fair play.)
What's really obnoxious is that, as Devin pointed out a year or two ago, the people screaming the loudest don't seem to want a good book. They want product that they can cram down their throat as fast as possible, and then they want to bitch about it later. That more or less summarizes my biggest problems with geek culture right now, and it's why I've taken so passionately to this particular argument (I like the books, but I'm not a raving fan.)
And I've read the first book of the Malazan series and half of the second. I find it to be a pretty dreary slog so far. I'm told it gets better, but I'm going to venture to say that if it takes two massive books' worth of writing to really engage my interest, then no, this is not a better series than ASoIaF, which had me hooked after a couple of chapters. Again, people seem to like Erickson because he cranks out product fast, and because they can use him as a cudgel to beat Martin with.
Erickson appeals to a certain audience and is often used to compare with Martin because of the scope of the work. And while it was nice to be able to read so much of it while waiting for Martin it has not soured me on ADWD. If anything did it was A Feast that did that.
All fantasy series have that kind of scope. And Martin's "fans" also often compare his work to Robert Jordan's (as in, "I hope he doesn't pull a Robert Jordan and die before finishing the series", because, you know, he died specifically to annoy you, the bastard). Robert Jordan's work is fucking NOTHING like Martin's--it's godawful, for a start--which just goes to show that this type of fantasy fan has no discrimination or taste. They just want to consume more and more words. They want fast food. Martin is at least *trying* to cook a nice meal.
And Feast For Crows was a little padded but otherwise fine. Again, people are confusing "it didn't have Tyrion in it" for "it's a bad novel".
For what it's worth, I created the title as more of a joke than anything else. I bear the man no ill will. I am in no way angry with him. I would rather he take the time necessary to create the best product he can create. I am frustrated that I've been left hanging for years (and I say this as someone who only came to the series after "Feast" had been published and released in paperback). Not that I've lost any sleep over it, mind you. There's a million other books out there to read, after all.
That being said, I would trade the new SOIAF book for "Republic of Thieves" (the new Locke Lamorra book) any day of the week.
I guess I've seen so many people posting this kind of thing unironically that I wouldn't really register it as a joke. Even today, with the actual book being announced, the vitriol is flying fast and furious. It's like they think that if they let up in their hatred, it's a sign that they've wasted the last six years (gee, why would anyone think that). Also, I'm sure all the people insulting Martin's weight are svelte, sexy go-getters.
I didn't hate Feast. I didn't like that the format changed. Half the characters - full stories. I would have prefered full characters - half stories. And i'm not bashing Martin. Writers write differently. What can you do.
I agree, to an extent. The format change--specifically, employing multiple viewpoints for a chapter each--was sloppy, and the fact that Brienne (for example) had her story left unfinished means there's going to be an even further structural muddle in the next book (though I suppose that we could switch over to
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
for the continuation of that story...hmmm...maybe it works better than I thought). And while I wasn't uninterested in Cersei's rearranging of the court, the goings-on in Dorne, and the Ironmen's scheming, an awful lot of that could have been left offstage to preserve the structure. In fact, it kind of seems like Martin could have stuck to his original plan of jumping ahead several years and filled us in on the relevant details via flashback, though admittedly some of the Arya stuff would be a lot to catch up on in the form of an infodump. But still, I wasn't bored, and I even appreciated that this was a nice lull in the action after Storm of Swords. I certainly don't think it proves that Martin has "lost the thread" the way a lot of people are insisting.
And there's no way he finished it five years ago and has been sitting on it. He'd have to be a) the most committed fake-blogger ever, and b) borderline psychic (since the show wasn't announced until, what, 2008? 2009?) The show would have gotten a new audience picking up the books no matter whether the 5th one was out or not. And why wouldn't he spend the intervening years prepping the 6th book, and have THAT ready for the show? It makes no sense. I think it's as simple as his editors putting the screws to him so that they could have something ready for the TV show.
I'm glad he finally finished it. The frustration stemmed from Martin's own promises: he split the last novel into two and said the next one would be out a few months later. Then a year later. Then another year later, etc. It really was of his own doing. Now, I think he just won't comment on it, which is fine. Take whatever time you need to make a good novel.
As for Lynch's Gentleman Bastards sequence, I think we are going to be waiting awhile. Since the last novel, he's gotten H1N1, his wife left him, and he's had more than one nervous breakdown. Not looking good.
I was annoyed in Feast he stated the next book was coming fall 2006, then in 2006 he said it was coming in 2007. Once I realized there was no end in sight I was content to wait (and thankfully he stopped promising it would come out). Also, I really liked Feast, I liked the change of viewpoints as it gave a totally different viewpoint as in most peons didn't care who was king, at least the mad king had a stable monarchy in their mind. Once the rebellion came around, well, shit just getting worse and worse for them.
As for this book, I won't believe it until I have it in hand and won't be anticipating it that much. Don't get me wrong though, I'll buy it the moment it becomes available and a few months before hand I might have to do a full re-read of the previous books as it's been about 3 or 4 years.
I did, as well. People seemed so surprised that it wasn't as epic or didn't deal with the characters they would have liked, but Martin announces his intentions in the title. "Feast" isn't about thrones, kings or swords. It's about the wreckage and carnage left behind in the wake of such things. It's about the average person--the carrier feeders--making their way in the aftermath. To that extent, I think it worked just fine.
Although, obviously, I understand folks' frustrations in not having the continued adventures of Jon Snow, Tyrion, etc.