Wednesday 26 November 2008

Why is 'A Song of Ice and Fire' so popular?

Really interesting debate over at sffworld about why George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is so popular.

At least, that was what the discussion started as. But online genre forums being what they are, it rapidly descended into a heated argument about whether Martin's sex scenes are gratuitous or not, and whether Westeros is an accurate portrayal of the Middle Ages (minus the dragons, etc!).

I love seeing people get so passionate about this sort of thing; it's what makes the online genre community so absorbing. Not that I'm condoning personal attacks of course, but it's great to see someone throwing a proper frilly-cuffed strop about what constitutes 'gratuituous' sex.

For the record, I don't believe at all that Martin's sex scenes are gratuitous (Richard Morgan's favourite word) and I do believe that - if you take all the obvious fantasy stuff out - Martin's world is an accurate representation of Medieval Europe.


Todd Newton said...

Yeah I totally saw that "debate" yesterday but couldn't comment for fear of being dragged into the fight. Pretty hilarious stuff, though. I mean, it's always funny when people try to sound intelligent while they fight via the internet.

Jebus said...

Had a flick through that discussion, fuck me some people are just fucking weird.

How can anyone think a sex scene is gratuitous unless they aren't getting any or have been despoiled by the misguided altruism of religion? Wankers.

Arguing on the internet about a fantasy series written by a fat dude who likes NFL is about as intelligent as trying to fuck a rhino on heat.

Anonymous said...


I threw in the towel midway through because I realized my bullsh*t style of argument had just risen ten zombie-spawning volcanoes in my backyard.

I like the NFL too and hate my Patriots for choking so masterfully tonight, but ... When I visited Kenya and Tanzania I was really disappointed that I didn't see any rhinos. Hippos are really big though.

I'm not getting any sex, but I'm 16 and unmarried.


On a serious note (time to start another fight, but don't worry, I'm not going to be checking up on this one every five minutes) what the hell does altruism have to do with sex? I am Catholic and my [insert putdown here] upbringing did influence my argument.

As of 2000 around a third of the world was Christian; I wonder how many of those people you just made enemies with. And holy shit, look at the syntax in the above sentence.

Not that you care.

Anonymous said...

Er, that should say, "Not that I expect you to care."

Anonymous said...

Suffering from Song of Ice and Fire withdrawal I started reading George R.R's old Sci Fi stories. What a boring, mediocre writing, hard to believe they are written by the same person. I wonder if Song of Ice and Fire was written by someone else and this someone does not want to write Dance with Dragons for George R.R anymore; that would explain why George R.R is not finishing it.

Blackfish said...

@ the last anon, I have not read any of GRRM's sci-fi, but c'mon, writers do get better with practice.

Could someone link me to said discussion? I'd like to read it, if just for the lulz.