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Jansh

A song of ice and fire

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I think it's pretty clear that GRRM has lost any fire for writing the series. When you think about it, the last 'complete' ASOIF book, a storm of swords, was published in 2000. So long ago that the Simpsons were still making good episodes. (Whatever you think of Crows and Dragons, they were clearly incomplete and awkward books). The so called Meeranese Knot knocked any momentum, any fire out of him, and now he's spent the last fifteen years painfully working through how to complete a story that is too big and too sprawling. It's no wonder really that he'd rather do other stuff, three quarters of the time he's spent writing these books have probably been a very unsatisfying experience.

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Whilst it's sort of disappointing news, I'd heard nothing about there still being a possibility of it beating the tv series and assumed that ship had long since sailed (as the time from the author saying "finished" to a book hitting the shelves usually seems to be the best part of a year). What he needs to do is hire a ghostwriter to bang something out based on the scripts for the next series of the show, with a few changes to reflect the difference between it and the books :P

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I think it's pretty clear that GRRM has lost any fire for writing the series. When you think about it, the last 'complete' ASOIF book, a storm of swords, was published in 2000. So long ago that the Simpsons were still making good episodes. (Whatever you think of Crows and Dragons, they were clearly incomplete and awkward books). The so called Meeranese Knot knocked any momentum, any fire out of him, and now he's spent the last fifteen years painfully working through how to complete a story that is too big and too sprawling. It's no wonder really that he'd rather do other stuff, three quarters of the time he's spent writing these books have probably been a very unsatisfying experience.

Why make Dragons so freaking LONG then, if that's the case? I read it on Kindle and meandered, stumbled and crawled through it (though enjoyed it on the whole, especially the last quarter) and afterwards, when I noticed it in a friends bookshelf, realised the size of it and had a "ohhhhh" moment.

That said, I really didn't notice any great decline in the quality from the first to the last book. Might go back and read the thread to gauge others' thoughts.

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Would rather wait three times as long then get a Sanderson hack job.

Sanderson rescued Wheel of Time pretty well and managed to give an endlessly meandering series a decent conclusion.

He's not on a par with Martin at his finest, but at this stage I'd take his writing with Martin directing perhaps to get things towards a conclusion

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Sanderson would be a terrible fit for the series. For starters his writing can be a bit prudish, possibly because he's a Mormon. His stuff contains zero sex and or swearing and can often feel like YA novels despite being marketed to adults, he goes so far as the I make up rubbish sounding fantasy swear words. His writing also tends to focus on how his magic systems works and you get long stretches that read like an RPG sourcebook. Magic in ASOIAF has been a deliberately hazy affair. Sanderson would tie himself in knots trying to figure out how many points Melisandre put in Int and Char to be able to birth the shadow baby and if that would allow her enough mana to resurrect Jon Snow.

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My only sliver of hope in all this is that I think he's known for a while where it's all ending up - I think he's given the show-runners a summary - and that he's written ahead and has most of the last book done because it's more interesting to write that. He's only struggling with this one because there are so many strands to start bringing together that he's either daunted or bored. And he probably can't resist going off on new tangents as he writes. If my forlorn hope is right though, the last book might be done and out relatively soon after Winter.

I'm too optimistic, I wouldn't last 10 minutes in Westeros :P

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Sanderson rescued Wheel of Time pretty well and managed to give an endlessly meandering series a decent conclusion.

He's not on a par with Martin at his finest, but at this stage I'd take his writing with Martin directing perhaps to get things towards a conclusion

I think Harsin has pretty much covered it, but just no. Sanderson is fine at what he does, which is this-happened-then-that-happened with interchangeable characters and did-I-tell-you-how-cool-his-powers are. He is totally unsuited to Martin's writing, and to be honest, his finest is massively below Martin's worst. If you did want someone to continue on from him, Abercrombie or Bakker would be the only choices really. I would favour Bakker just because he would make it end up with sex aliens being the last faction standing.

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He's only struggling with this one because there are so many strands to start bringing together that he's either daunted or bored. And he probably can't resist going off on new tangents as he writes. If my forlorn hope is right though, the last book might be done and out relatively soon after Winter.

Yeah, I think it must be tough for him to summon the energy to write them now. He started the first book almost 25 years ago, and to still be chained to that same series all these years later- obviously as a person and writer he's changed and his interests have changed- it must be tough to continue to dedicate himself to writing them when there's no doubt many other ideas and even just normal life things he'd like to experience instead. Not to mention the increasing pressure of him having to 'beat the show' in race the telling of the stories as well. I'm pretty sure when he started he would have no idea that the books- and an ongoing TV adaptation- would become so huge.

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I don't necessarily think its him getting bored. Tolkien worked on Middle Earth stories his whole life and does other stuff in Westeros like the Dunk and Egg tales. Being financially able to do what he wants probably just means there are competing interests.

It all comes back to the aborted time jump I think. He obviously had a fairly good idea of the first three and by the time he gets to Storm it's moving like a train. But once you are through the crescendo of violence in it, there is a need to calm things down for a bit.

He obviously had a plan, post time jump to resolve it all. But once he disregarded that, he's stuck working out a huge story that keeps spiralling. It just looks like even post Dance, he still hasn't it worked out. That's the most worrying thing. I enjoyed both Feast and Dance but they meander in a way the first three really don't.

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I expect if anyone ever had to take it over it would be Daniel Abraham, who seems to be Martin's protégé. Wouldn't be my choice mind.

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I expect if anyone ever had to take it over it would be Daniel Abraham, who seems to be Martin's protégé. Wouldn't be my choice mind.

God I hope not, he's an even more tediously slow paced writer than Martin at his most indulgent.

Should get Patrick Rothress to do it for shits and giggles, just to make sure we never see the end

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I think Harsin has pretty much covered it, but just no. Sanderson is fine at what he does, which is this-happened-then-that-happened with interchangeable characters and did-I-tell-you-how-cool-his-powers are. He is totally unsuited to Martin's writing, and to be honest, his finest is massively below Martin's worst. If you did want someone to continue on from him, Abercrombie or Bakker would be the only choices really. I would favour Bakker just because he would make it end up with sex aliens being the last faction standing.

I think that's needlessly harsh on Sanderson and the Stormlight Archive show he can write more mature fantasy, but I do accept he wouldn't be a great fit, I just objected to him being called a hack.

Abercrombie would be the best choice clearly

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I think Abraham would be fine. At the very least we wouldn't have endless chapters of Tyrion on a boat. He's perfectly happy to skip some of the excruciating details where necessary.

Not that it's ever going to happen. I wonder if he'd even accept it knowing what he knows about GRRM's intentions.

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I think Abraham would be fine. At the very least we wouldn't have endless chapters of Tyrion on a boat. He's perfectly happy to skip some of the excruciating details where necessary.

Not that it's ever going to happen. I wonder if he'd even accept it knowing what he knows about GRRM's intentions.

Meh - he's written entire books where about as much happens as Tyrion's boat trip (Shadow in Summer spings to mind)

I suspect the books may never be completed and we may need to look to the show for a conclusion

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That's a good chapter, there was a link on Reddit the other day to all the available ones in a google doc, though one was just a description. I had so much fun reading them, I still can't wait for WoW even with all the delays.

 

I'll grab the link and post it later, my son is using my laptop to play Civ IV and I don't want to interrupt such an important development.

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At this point, presumably his editor's job is very easy, since s/he will have given up doing anything except shouting 'JUST SEND ME THE FUCKING THING SO I CAN GET IT TO PRINT' over and over and over.

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