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Monday, November 01, 2010

A series I didn't finish reading

A number of years ago, I began reading what was supposed to be a great series, the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R. R. Martin. The books are Sword and Sorcery fiction. (For more on the plots, characters, and setting, see the first link, which is to the Wikipedia article on the series, which article has links to pages on the individual books. The first book was published in 1996. I probably obtained a paperback copy in 1997 or 1998.)

I read the first two books in the series, and some shorter fiction related to these books. The volumes were well crafted, including the characters, the setting, and the plot. But I decided that I should stop reading them. Too many characters were evil, in too many ways. Too much evil, such as cruelty to slaves, and in war, seemed to be just accepted, with no revulsion towards it. There were some characters who were loyal and hard-working, and who treated others fairly, but they often seemed to be killed by other characters, without such good qualities. So I quit reading. The series didn't seem to affirm much. (I have recently posted on the topic of affirmation, here and here.)

When I began this brief series on affirming, my experience with Mr. Martin's books came to mind. I checked on what the series had become. I was surprised to discover that, although the first four books have sold well -- very well for fantastic literature -- and subsequent volumes have been eagerly anticipated, there has been a hiatus of about five years since the fourth novel was published. Martin and the publisher do not have a release date for the fifth work. The Amazon web site gives the publication date as December 25, 2012, which sounds like an estimate, not a firm date. Or perhaps it's just wishful thinking. Few or no books come out on Christmas day.

See here for a Martin fan's perspective on the hiatus in Martin's series. Here's the Wikipedia page on the fifth volume.

Perhaps it would be best if the series (which is projected to go to seven volumes) is never finished.

Thanks for reading. Read something that affirms some sort of excellence!

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June 10, 2011. The series is the basis for a TV series on HBO, and the books are again on some best-seller lists. A publication date, next month, has been set for the fifth book, so presumably, this time it's a real date.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

The HBO TV series is apparently doing very well. But see here.