Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One more note on the awesomeness of S.E.

I know I have complained more than once about George R.R. Martin not being the nicest person toward his fans (a few excepted of course). I've ranted about how he uses his blog for everything except Ice and Fire, which fans are interested in, and curious about.

Now, over at the Malazan Re-read I asked Steven Erikson a question, and lo! and behold. Not only do I get an answer, I get a fricking essay from him.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/06/ask-steven-erikson-your-bonehunters-questions

(My post is #32, his response is #33).

While Martin juggles a hundred projects (or so it seems), Erikson commits himself fully to his novels and has just finished the first one in a new Malazan trilogy (The Forge of Darkness) so he probably had some time right now to talk about characterization (before he plunges into the second book of the new trilogy). But still...what a guy. For each book he makes himself available not only to answer questions but actually goes somewhat in-depth, too. People are different of course. When GRRM says "I don't like to talk about that stuff" (A Song of Ice and Fire) we have to respect that. But we don't have to like it.

Now, Erikson didn't quite answer the question I believe - I need to read it through properly what with all those strange words like fecund), but still. BUT STILL. This is a level of interaction with his readership no authors (that I am aware of) are capable of; but many have good, informative blogs, like Rothfuss or Abercrombie to mention two obvious ones, and these are the exact opposite of GRRM's grumpy, out-of-date, uninformative blog. He's spent a total of 16 words on The Winds of Winter information so far this year.

When friendly readers ask him questions related to his magnum opus on his blog, Martin gives short, terse and actually also rude answers. Yeah, I'm again thinking of the PR value of Not-A-Blog and how the man himself diminishes it. Usually, though, he just doesn't answer any queries related to his writing - for example, in yesterday's post Home Again..., a fan asks several (good) questions: How much time does Martin have for writing? (I'll answer: about a page a month), Do you budget a certain number of hours/day? (I'll answer: Not really) Does your assistant help you with scheduling your work? (I'll answer: He's down in the basement looking for more collectibles to sell)
You might object that Martin probably hasn't read these questions, but then as you scroll down, once another fan asks about a collectible, he's right on it. So why can't Martin answer these questions when he has time to answer that there will be a calendar painted by Marc Simonetti? Seems to me he simply doesn't want to. Which is fair enough. But it's so damned transparent it hurts.

I wonder what the people who paid through their nose for his writing lessons at Clarion West in Seattle learned.

'Nuff said.
Coming up: Re-read post.

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