Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Dance goes on...

Just wanted to bring to your attention a well written article over at Finish the Book, George, which is about the other side of the A Dance With Dragons argument (in other words, why fans should feel entitled to be angry with GRRM).

Now, I'm not one to normally publicise any anti-GRRM stuff, but this is a rational and coherent article and well worth a read. I don't agree with many of the points of course, but I can understand and respect the reasoning behind them. It's good to have intelligent people giving their opinions from both sides of the argument.

Naturally however, the tone is drastically lowered by some of the comments, one or two of which are rather amusing. Here's my two favourite comments:

"I agree with everything written here, I went and checked out the crap written by those other wankers and felt sick reading it. How can so many people be so far up 1 fat ass?I can't wait til the next book comes out, more to the point, I can't wait til the next book becomes available for free on a file sharing network, because i'm not paying 1 cent to that fat lazy rude arrogant sloth.Finish the Book George you fat fuck.All you other wankers that defend him, get a fucking life and grow some balls. Peace out nerds."

If this is the sort of juvenile, idiotic bullshit that GRRM gets every day in his mailbox, no wonder he doesn't bother to update us anymore. No surprises that the person that wrote this posted anonymously. Grow some balls? I suggest you do the same, mate, and come back when you're brave enough to post under a proper name. Stop hiding behind the anonymous veil of the internet.

"Shawn, Aidan, Wert & Peter V Brett have written good articles the odd one out is James who quite frankly seems like another o GRRM's numero ANO-fan. But they are all focussing on the same fact which we choose to harangue Gorgie boy on.... that he is undisciplined & needs more focus... of course they call artistic merit & other fancy words... still Pie-boy is lazy no matter what epithets you grant him."

Ah, recognition at last...though I'm not sure what ANO-fan means exactly - though I suspect it has something to do with the assumption that I've got my cock firmly lodged up GRRM's ass. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but I'm the other side of the Atlantic from GRRM, and - as well endowed as I am - I can't quite stretch it that far. Note yet more juvenile name-calling by the poster. That seems to be a characteristic of many of these sort of posts.

I have absolutely nothing against people that can present a logical and thoughtful argument as to why GRRM's fans have a right to feel aggrieved. In fact, I'd encourage it as it makes for some great debate. But all this petty name-calling is just pretty foolish - not to mention ironic. How can these 'fans' demand to be treated with more respect when they're hurling names at GRRM in the same breath?

22 comments:

T.D. Newton said...

This is me still not understanding why people are so worked up in the first place. What gives these weirdos the sense of entitlement? I mean, yes, ASOIAF is great - I love it, let's not get confused here - but I do have other things to read and do in the meantime. I think these kinds of attitudes contribute to the stereotype of SFF fans living in mom's basement, flaming on the Internet when things don't go their way. Same generation that consumes gallons of Mountain Dew and still plays Counterstrike... and I just don't get it.

Stop getting so worked up, people!

Aidan Moher said...

'I mean, yes, ASOIAF is great - I love it, let's not get confused here - but I do have other things to read and do in the meantime.'

I think this is the key point that they just don't seem to get. Why they spend so much time riding George's ass instead of reading other quality literature is beyond me....

~Aidan
A Dribble of Ink

ediFanoB said...

T.D.Newton and Aidan Moher found the right words. Nothing to be added!!!

Saibot said...

But if they found something else to read they'd have to stop complaining, and humans love to complain.

witty.nic said...

'I mean, yes, ASOIAF is great - I love it, let's not get confused here - but I do have other things to read and do in the meantime.'

I think this is the key point that they just don't seem to get. Why they spend so much time riding George's ass instead of reading other quality literature is beyond me....

~Aidan


---------------------------

I post on FTBG regularly, and yet am still able to read other stuff at the same time as waiting for ADWD! Amazing i know. Maybe i'm unique in this case, although i some how doubt it. I dunno how long YOU guys spend composing your blog entry's - maybe like GRRM, you spend a good few hours typing them up. But the rest of us can type stuff about waiting for one book, then go and read another one! Madness.

T.D. Newton said...

I just scrolled through the comments on the long argument post and I'm kind of appalled. As a writer hoping for some kind of notoriety in the future, this kind of reaction to a book taking longer than expected to complete is a little frightening. Makes me think it'd be better to just stay under the radar, that way you won't have to answer to a bunch of angry "fans" that think they're your boss.

Of course, having said this, I've nearly guaranteed my place in the Annals of Unknown Authors... LOL

Anonymous said...

"Of course, having said this, I've nearly guaranteed my place in the Annals of Unknown Authors... LOL"

There are no annals . . . so your unknowness is made worse.

T.D. Newton said...

Way to beat a guy with the Reality Stick, anon. Then again, you posted as anon so I guess you'd know ... mwahahahahaha

Iain said...

Ah the eternal GRRM/ASOIAF debate. I love it when we, and I am mighty proud to be one, geeks get riled about something. Mind you some of the yapping that is being done at the moment is pretty pathetic and giving us geeks a bad name.

GIVE THE MAN THE RESPECT AND TIME HE DESERVES!!!! Reread the bloody books! There will be plenty in them that will have been forgotten. Or, try something revolutionary and get into another series of books!!!

By the way James, I took up your suggestion about China Mieville and have gone about 200 pages into The Scar. It's terrific.

Adam Whitehead said...

The article makes some interesting points. However, the person who wrote the article is the same person who recently launched a massive spate of attacks on GRRM's blogs in which he called female fans 'sluts', sent offensive personal messages to several of them and then pretended to be GRRM himself claiming to have given up on the series so he could concentrate on eating junk food.

At that point I kind of lost any interest in what the person has to say.

sweetmartin said...

blah.blah.blah.george.blah.blah. blah adwd.blah.blah.blah.asoiaf.blah.blah..=attention
or
blah.blah.blah.this.blah.blah.blah.that...=....???.nothing

Adam Whitehead said...

Retraction and apology: it wasn't the same guy. He has the three 'rs' on his name and not the four that the troll had.

GonzoSteve said...

I just scrolled through the comments on the long argument post and I'm kind of appalled. As a writer hoping for some kind of notoriety in the future, this kind of reaction to a book taking longer than expected to complete is a little frightening. Makes me think it'd be better to just stay under the radar, that way you won't have to answer to a bunch of angry "fans" that think they're your boss.

It's not just that the book is delayed. There's a couple forces at work here for those of us that are frustrated, I'll try to spell them out:

1. He's missed many, many deadlines, whether they were announced by himself, amazon, the publisher, whoever. It's especially annoying because A Feast For Crows is only half a book (as George himself says), and Dance was supposed to be half done. Yet it's taking longer than all the rest.

2. He has summarily and rudely cutoff any and all discussion of Dance. You can say "well, I would too if people were being so obscene about it". But that's just it, they weren't obscene, they were polite. They are honest fans who just want a little info. Then he outlawed all discussion of dance, and that has led to the more angry and obscene comments. This then leads to instances where his partner, Parris, calls actual fans of his idiots (check the Reno post in his blog). This shows a great deal of contempt.

3. Though he has cutoff all discussion of the next book, he never misses an opportunity to try and sell something related to the series in his blog, from miniatures to swords to damaged copies of the role playing game. It comes across as unseemly to use the blog, his personal connection with fans, to sell stuff, and then refuse honest questions about the next book.

Fans feel misled, held in contempt, and treated as cash cows. And hell hath no fury like scorned geek fury on the internet. All of this could have been avoided with a more thoughtful approach to his posts on the blog, I think.

Adam Whitehead said...

"Dance was supposed to be half done. Yet it's taking longer than all the rest."

As has been previously established, no it isn't. Between 3 and 5 years for the writing of an ASoIaF novel is average. ASoS was the sole exception to this rule. The point that it was supposed to be ready earlier is well-taken but that idea was dead about three years ago. It's not so much beating a dead horse as grinding its bones into powder.

"But that's just it, they weren't obscene, they were polite. They are honest fans who just want a little info. Then he outlawed all discussion of dance, and that has led to the more angry and obscene comments. This then leads to instances where his partner, Parris, calls actual fans of his idiots (check the Reno post in his blog)."

I was checking out the blog before the hammer came down. Some of them were obscene. They questioned his morality, his health, rudely demanded information, attacked other fans and acted like asshats. Was it only a small minority? Yes. Did some people who wanted a simple answer to an honest question also unfortunately get caught up in the storm? Definitely. But this wasn't a situation that had happened overnight, but had been carrying on unabated for about three years. Today someone went onto GRRM's blog using the name 'GRRRM' and an author photo and impersonated him, insulted his fans and sent inappropriate private messages to female fans posting on the blog. Whilst that happens infrequently, such things do happen and probably sour the author against further interactions.

"It comes across as unseemly to use the blog, his personal connection with fans, to sell stuff, and then refuse honest questions about the next book."

This in itself is a valid complaint, and I think perhaps moving such information to the news page of his website rather than putting it on his Notablog might be a better idea.

"All of this could have been avoided with a more thoughtful approach to his posts on the blog, I think."

GRRM's problem, although it's a positive one, is that he likes having feedback from his fans. In retrospect it would have been better to have kept the comments disabled on the blog (if for no other reason than he and his assistant have better things to do than spend minutes or hours of every day deleting all the troll comments on his blog), but that's hindsight for you. Ground Zero for the whole thing was the afterword to A Feast for Crows. If he'd just left that out (and even when AFFC was published it was REALLY optimistic ADWD would come out a year later) then I think the situation would be a lot calmer than it is.

T.D. Newton said...

You seem to be ignoring the fact that you are choosing to care about this, and that's what really impossible for me to understand. There are other, more important, things to focus on in life (one would think).

I can get that after a certain amount of time and money is expended people might feel a certain attachment to the book series, even to the point of "craving" the next installment, but I'm not understanding where that craving transforms into an assumed control over said property. None of us controls what or how GRRM writes and, just like a TV series like Firefly getting canceled despite it's obvious fanbase, no futile amount of bitching is going to change that.

It's much easier, and more productive, to focus on other things in the meantime rather than formulating rants that only serve to show how impotent the entire argument is.

I like the series, yes, but I have absolutely no personal stock in when the next book comes out. When it comes out, I will read it, and that's as far as I'm willing to go. I'm on neither side of this argument because I don't care how long or short GRRM takes to FTB. I have things to do.

Anonymous said...

James Dude

you got it all wrong... I meant your head... see this is what halppens when you stick it in all the wrong places for so long.

Arcelor

James said...

Iain - Cool, I'm glad you're enjoying The Scar - terrific novel. And it only gets better.

Taliesin said...

Werthead

Just wanted to correct you. You defend GRRM here by saying:

"As has been previously established, no it isn't. Between 3 and 5 years for the writing of an ASoIaF novel is average. ASoS was the sole exception to this rule. "

Surely this is a blatant lie which anyone who knows when the books were released can deflate? Why do you keep spreading such misinformation about the time it took to write the first couple of books all over the Internet? It's false, and you know it's false, yet you choose to say it anyway.

Game of Thrones; 1996. Clash of Kinsg 1998; Storm of Swords 2000.

The average between book 1 and book 3 is 2 years. Which means that the wait for Dance with Dragons is not normal, as you falsely state. Nor was the 5 year wait for AFFC normal.

I hate it when people make up this sort of shit. Defend your author if you want but don't try to feed intelligent people bullshit that they can easily fact-check.

Regards

Taliesin

Adam Whitehead said...

I am fed up of being called a liar by people who cannot be bothered to engage in BASIC fact-checking. Seriously, go and read the interviews on the SSM. Go and check the back-entries on the Notablog. Re-read Speakman's article and the information he received from GRRM on the writing of AGoT and ACoK.

The facts will not change because they are inconvenient to your argument and because you stand there screaming false information futilely into the wind.

"Game of Thrones; 1996. Clash of Kinsg 1998; Storm of Swords 2000."

Yes, this is when they were published. It is not when they were written.

The Fellowship of the Ring 1954, The Two Towers 1954, The Return of the King 1955.

By this logic the last two books were written in a year, weren't they? Except of course they weren't, they were written in about 3-4 years apiece. Publication dates only give you part of the story.

"The average between book 1 and book 3 is 2 years. Which means that the wait for Dance with Dragons is not normal, as you falsely state. Nor was the 5 year wait for AFFC normal."

The waits and the publication time have increase. I have never said otherwise. The WRITING TIME of each individual volume has not increased.

The simple difference between the two concept is really not that hard to grasp, yet it appears that people have difficulty doing so. Such people are merely showing their basic ignorance of the publishing business, and really should not comment on things they do not understand.

Chris said...

"he never misses an opportunity to try and sell something related to the series in his blog"

I'd always read those posts in a tone more like: "Here are some things that fans may find interesting; perhaps you weren't aware of their existence." I'd never heard of Dabel Brothers or Subterranean until I saw them mentioned on his site.

Perhaps my shilling threshold is lower that others'. It'd be different if he were pimping a CafePress store of his creation, trying to sell pens he used to take notes during writing, or hawking doubly-overpriced Moleskines with ASOIAF House crests.

GonzoSteve said...

"You seem to be ignoring the fact that you are choosing to care about this, and that's what really impossible for me to understand. There are other, more important, things to focus on in life (one would think)."

TD - you've taken the time to participate and comment on this debate, no? It didn't take up too much of your time, or detract from your many other noble pursuits, correct?

Why is my (or any other GRRM critic's) participation in this debate more unseemly and more time consuming than your own? Yes, I'm choosing to care, and so are you, apparently, otherwise you wouldn't be commenting, or coming back to respond to comments. We all lead very busy lives, I'm sure, but the 45 minutes or so that I've spent discussing this subject over the course of 3 or 4 days does in fact leave me quite a bit of time for other things, believe it or not.

I'm not all that worked up, at all. You, however, are "appalled" at what people are saying about George, and how they are "a bunch of angry "fans" that think they're your boss.." I posted in an attempt to explain some of the nuance behind why some fans are upset.

T.D. Newton said...

I guess I just assumed formulating an entire article-length post on the ethos vs. other forms of argument implies more effort than a brief comment on a blog post, the latter being a reaction to the situation and not the result of research and contemplation.

I understand why you posted, and if you look at me "being appalled" in context you might understand better why I reacted that way. I fully support people having an option on the Dance of Delays, I just disagree about having that opinion with so much fervor.

If you're just going to split hairs, or imply that I'm some kind of authority figure on any of these subjects, then I'm sorry to have wasted your time by voicing my opposition to your lengthy and valid argument. My only consolation is that with each passing day you get more frustrated at GRRM and I continue to refuse to care.