Tuesday, January 5, 2016

And a Happy New Year!

The rumors of my demise were somewhat exaggerated. While December definitely was hard on mind and body, it didn't kill me entirely. When Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally came to the theater, it was a relief. I was extremely hyped right up to the moment the Lucasfilm logo appeared on the big screen, not being able to find interest in anything else but Star Wars. The whole lead-up to the seventh episode caught me hook, line, and sinker, and all my other geek interests were momentarily forgotten. With the movie finally ingested and digested (saw it twice) and facing the fact (which I knew all along of course) that it was just a movie, I calmed down on the whole deal and now I'm able to get back to my other pursuits - which in the last few days has been preparing a tabletop roleplaying session in our ongoing gritty fantasy campaign, now in its twelfth year, writing flash fiction and microfiction and whatnot, drawing maps...

...but really, the last three months or so of 2015 was wholly dedicated to that galaxy far, far away. I've played the heck out of Star Wars Battlefront, having fun along the way; I've read several of the tie-in novels for The Force Awakens, devouring them eagerly; I've made space on a shelf to display some of my old Star Wars toys, in short I was truly a fanboy again for a good while. My son and heir did enjoy Episode VII a lot more than his dad, though, but I'm trying not to say anything bad about it, as this Star Wars is for him and his generation. It was an extremely fast-paced, entertaining and witty Star Wars film, no doubt, and it absolutely crushes the prequel trilogy in almost every department, but whereas George Lucas went too far away from what made Star Wars great, J.J. Abrams stayed too close. The plot was and is wafer-thin, and it was precisely a new, fresh and interesting story I most wanted to succeed with this new trilogy. I can't believe how contrived the plot is, and yes I know you could say the same about the original movie, but there's a difference - The Force Awakens was a continuation of a story that began simple enough but took on epic proportions; I feel that simply reskinning the original film with some additional bells and whistles was a very weak decision, but, seeing the spectacular success, I'm sure it was a good decision marketing-wise. Artistically, though...that being said, the first twenty minutes is a home-run, it was enrapturing, powerful, and most importantly, different yet Star Wars all the way. All the new characters were top notch, and I would not have minded the original trio's complete absence, as Rey, Finn, and Poe have more than enough screen presence on their own. Blah blah ramble ramble.

And then...George R.R. Martin updated his Not A Blog.

I was actually on a trip when Martin made his post, and someone messaged me: "GRRM is in the news!" And I was like, "Whoa! It has been announced!" Then I told myself to not expect that much, so I wasn't really disappointed when the news was that The Winds of Winter is not done.

HOWEVER, the post Martin wrote is exactly the kind of post I have been asking for on this blog for the longest time. It is a post that shows a more humble author, it is a post where honesty seems to prevail, and it is a post that does not frustrate. In fact, it elicits some sympathy instead (so I have to wonder, did someone ghost-write the blog post from this otherwise curmudgeony author?!) and makes the wait for The Winds of Winter a little less hard. We'll probably have it by the end of the year, all I have to do is to avoid everything related to HBO's Game of Thrones. I can live with that, season five wasn't grabbing me anyway (the only season I haven't re-watched at least one episode of).

So finally a semi-proper update. To celebrate I'm going to refurbish this blog, and get back on track with my re-read of A Feast with Dragons. My New Year's resolution is to finish the re-read this year (I never said I was good with resolutions).

May the Seven be with us all.


  1. A remarkably depressing post - from a man who may struggle with depression. He's in denial about how many story lines largely went off the rails after Tywin took a bolt in the gut. He can't face the current scope of the project - which really could have naturally used the events of ASOS as a sort of beginning climax which sustained a bit through the first part of the next book, and then moved toward closure. But he expanded all of the story lines - added new ones and broadened the scope of the action immensely - probably because of the money. Now he just can't face the project anymore with any real gusto. It's just too unwieldy for a "Gardener" style effort. He needs a real outline at this point - and D&D have taken over that job with the show. I say GRRM - bless you! THANKS for the world. Now just move on to other projects officially in your mind, as you have clearly done in your heart.

  2. Een ezel stoot zich niet twee keer aan dezelfde steen Slynt. Why on earth do you expect the book to be finished this year?! Why did his whiny excuses invoke your sympathy when he said he wouldn't make any excuses? He is again stringing his fans along and you are falling for it again. Refresh your memory: http://www.iswintercoming.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1935

  3. Oh, but I'm only expecting it in a "yeah whatever" way. If it is postponed to 2017, infinity or beyond I won't be surprised.
    I'm not falling for it, at any rate. I was just content with the post, as I've been waiting for something/anything. You're right it isn't much beyond excuses and he's still behaving like someone who has no clue about, well, anything outside the scope of nerdery. I'm not sure I even care about HBO spoiling stuff. I can't imagine anything other than that TWOW will be as dreadfully ponderous as books IV and V.

    BUT: Thanks for reading and responding both of you!

  4. Here is a compelling case for a co-author. It's 10 years overdue - but there remains yet an entire 1200+ page volume in the distance. 69 is not young, and he's not a young 69. His turnip is out of blood. Fortunately it appears that he effectively alleviates his stress by following other muses.


    But of course he's never going to accept a co-author.

  5. I for my part am really glad how you've taken the news about the delay and that you are planning to keep the reread going. In can only support you in your plan to do the reread a lot faster, otherwise (with several weeks or month between the chapters) it is not so easy to grasp the greatness (no kidding here) of FeastDance. Despite your sceptism I'm still convicend that you will like the books 4 and 5 a lot more after this combinded reread.

    Keep on the good work and Greetings from Germany, Hardy.

  6. Hey, just a quick 'thanks' for all your effort. Wonderful interpretations, well written.
    I notice your blogging frequency decreasing, echoing GRRM's own lethargy??
    Shame seeing as I've only just found you, but plenty of past posts to catch up on.
    Thanks again

  7. Thanks for the positive feedback people :)