With the fantasy community strongly divided upon announcements of George R.R. Martin’s new book, Fire and Blood, everyone seems to be expressing their feelings on the subject, whether that might be joy or disappointment. Indeed, I’ve seen comments ranging from childish excitement to calling for other readers not to buy the book until The Winds of Winter is finally out. Some declared that they lost interest in these books altogether and that they can’t be bothered to buy it.
I can’t deny I had mixed feelings myself when I saw the first post about it. It was a mixture of curiosity, sadness, puzzlement and hope.
I hadn’t actually picked up ASOIAF until I’d seen the first season of Game of Thrones, and really wanted to know what happened next. Then I remember loving the second book so much that I actually went back and got the first one, even if I’d seen the film version already. The first few books were pure delight and I loved them. By the time I reached the fifth however I became a little disillusioned. So many characters I loved died or seemed to have been moved out from the centre of the story and so many new characters were introduced instead I didn’t strongly care about at that point, that my initial enthusiasm faded. For this reason I can’t say I’m too bothered about the next book not being out yet. Of course, I will read it when it’s ready, but in the meantime I’m not going to howl my pain and disappointment into the world.
So what about this new book then? Knowing nothing of the author and basing my decision purely on his writing talent I would probably give it a go. But having actually met him and adding this experience into the equation, I would say I will definitely support him and buy it when it’s out. Hell, I’m even looking forward to doing one of these Funko Pop book photos I became so fond of lately.
The fantasy community is a friendly one. Yet, I’ve experienced my fair share of negativity. I’ve seen a lot of rivalry, jealousy, I met authors and publishers who looked down on me, or ignored me, or grew a dislike toward me without even knowing me, simply because I love and promote Mark Lawrence’s books. Yet, George R.R. Martin, who is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) names out there, has shown me nothing but endearing kindness and generosity, without even knowing who I was. On top of this, while I never found out if he liked any of Mark’s books, I know he loved his short story, The Visitor (due to appear in the Wild Card series this year), which is such a wonderful piece and I’m so pleased that he finally got to enjoy Mark’s writing. (Not that I didn’t tell him it was good. Trust me with being the only person on the planet who wasn’t going to talk to him about Game of Thrones upon a rare occasion of meeting him, but Prince of Thorns by some other guy instead.) I do hope he will read Power Word Kill (or One Word Kill) at some point, too, because if he loved The Visitor, he will love this new series, too.
Anyhow. So of course, I will buy his new book. The only question remains whether I should get the US version with the Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme cover (who is the US cover artist for Red Sister) or the UK cover, which is also nice, but apparently isn’t the final cover yet… I’m tired of winter. I want summer now and give me these promised dragons already! 😀