Sanderson vs GRRM

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#61
A few points that occurred to me while reading this discussion:

1. There's quite a few literature classics which never got finished because the author died, and personally I would consider it sacrilege if they were continued by someone else. 2 examples from memory:
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek and Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol.
2. And there are several examples of series which were continued by someone else (either as a sequel or based on the author's notes) that I wished were not - the most obvious example are the Dune books not written by Frank Herbert. In fact, I think that the relatively successful ending for WOT by Sanderson is the exception and not the norm.
3. If all someone wants is to know how ASoIaF ends, all they've got to do is to wait 2 years until the end of the TV series. I know Martin said the ending of the series will be different in each format, but I seriously doubt that it will be that much different. After all, according to earlier interviews (which I'm way too lazy to find and provide the link for) he already provided the entire story arc for HBO.

There is one point in which I'm in agreement with @Darwin , but for different reasons: I do think that Martin comes off as an asshole, but not because he doesn't want anyone to continue his work - that I can understand. He comes off as an asshole because he clearly doesn't care about his fans. Basically, for the past 15 years (since the publication of the third book) he's done everything but continue what's bound to be his greatest legacy. Over 15 years he published 2 ASoIaF books, but on the other side he has been engaged in a lot of other projects so clearly time wasn't in issue. While I agree with @Alucard that Martin doesn't owe me anything, I also think that what's Martin doing - which is basically procrastinating in writing the long awaited sequels without giving explanations other that "you can't rush quality" (again, no link, just something I remember reading) comes off as way too obnoxious - especially to his original fans who started reading the series almost 20 years ago.

The other thing is, while Martin has done a great service to fantasy by elevating the level and opening the door to new writers and fans, it is my view that he's also done a disservice to a lot of new authors because I know a lot of people (e.g our very own @TomTB ) who will not buy or read a book from a new series until it's completed because of the example Martin - and apparently, Rothfuss - are providing, so that can hurt sales of new authors. No one wants to start reading a story in their 20's and finish it in their 50's.

So basically both sides has a point and fuck it all, I think I'm gonna start a GGK book. A standalone, just to be on the safe side. :)
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#62
There is one point in which I'm in agreement with @Darwin , but for different reasons: I do think that Martin comes off as an asshole, but not because he doesn't want anyone to continue his work - that I can understand. He comes off as an asshole because he clearly doesn't care about his fans. Basically, for the past 15 years (since the publication of the third book) he's done everything but continue what's bound to be his greatest legacy. Over 15 years he published 2 ASoIaF books, but on the other side he has been engaged in a lot of other projects so clearly time wasn't in issue. While I agree with @Alucard that Martin doesn't owe me anything, I also think that what's Martin doing - which is basically procrastinating in writing the long awaited sequels without giving explanations other that "you can't rush quality" (again, no link, just something I remember reading) comes off as way too obnoxious - especially to his original fans who started reading the series almost 20 years ago.
This mirrors my sentiment and I think its a very valid point. Let's compare it to football for example. Football players entertain us with their art (okay, calling it "art" after watching the Dutch national team get beaten to a pulp is stretching it a bit, but you know what I mean) and get paid heaps for it. Still, fans are not really entitled to anything; if you don't like football, just don't go the stadium. Now, there are some great football players out there. Let's take two good players; Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Whereas Messi is a cool, friendly guy, Suarez is generally considered as one of the biggest assholes the world has ever seen (for various reasons, but let's use the umbrella term "bad sportsmanship").

Hmm, I'm getting a bit carried away with the football metaphors lately (perhaps I'm traumatized...). In any case: GRRM comes across as a big douche. Southpark even based a 3 episode Halloween special on the subject. For those of you who haven't seen it; go watch it. It's hilarious.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#63
You're right that another author might not finish it well, although I believe that between GRRM's notes, conversations with GRRM, and the completed TV series to go on, an author hand-picked by GRRM would likely do at least an adequate job. I don't know that many fans were upset to find out that WoT would continue to completion with another author should Jordan pass away. I thought most people were happy with Jordan about this.
There is one point in which I'm in agreement with @Darwin , but for different reasons: I do think that Martin comes off as an asshole, but not because he doesn't want anyone to continue his work - that I can understand. He comes off as an asshole because he clearly doesn't care about his fans.
He doesn't care about his fans, and that makes him an asshole.
Not caring that they would be disappointed is what makes him an asshole.
Most fans are pleased with most authors, and most authors do what they can to please their fans. GRRM is deliberately becoming the Comcast of fantasy authors.
That he's an asshole because he doesn't care about his fans was my key point as well. I agree with everything you wrote about why he's an asshole, I just see his refusal to ensure that the written series continues to its conclusion in the event of his death as a new example of him scornfully disregarding his fans' concerns. It would be a simple concession to the millions of people who want to read the completed story and are upset that he likely won't finish it. It's the same concession, and for the same reasons, that he made to HBO when giving them the story arc in advance. When it's millions of dollars for him on the line, no problem. When it's millions of fans on the line, they can f--- off.

Here was Jordan's attitude after his diagnosis:
Posters like codman25 are often chastised as insensitive by others who claim to care only for the well-being of Jordan and his family. Jordan himself chuckles at these exchanges. He doesn’t mind if fans worry about his ability to finish the series. “I hope I finish the books too,” he says.
...
If he gets better, he’ll write faster. No one wants to talk about the alternative. If he dies, could someone else finish the series? Authors like V.C. Andrews and Mario Puzo have posthumously passed along their series to other writers. Still, some fans worry that another author, even Harriet, wouldn’t be true to Jordan’s voice. Jordan, however, is open to the idea. “I’m getting out notes, so if the worst actually happens, someone could finish A Memory of Light and have it end the way I want it to end,” he says. “But I hope to be around to actually finish it myself.”
http://www.forbes.com/2006/11/30/robert-jordan-illness-tech-media_cx_hc_books06_1201jordan.html
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#64
It's late and I don't know where to put this, I follow Patrick Rothfuss on Goodreads and decided to leave a comment asking about how his third book was coming along (ok he gets asked this all the time, but my comment and another one users comment have mysterious disappeared). I didn't know that this could be done and why would be the point, I have been polite and respectful ?
Hey Hand. There's a link somewhere in this thread to a Tor article that says book three is done, has been, and he claims to have edited it 300+ times, one time merely to see each use of the word of.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#65
If Martin doesn't want someone else to finish his books that's total understandable. Tolkien had a similar attitude (his son Christopher published some books after the great author died, but his estate is very strict in not letting anyone finish existing manuscripts). Martin is also not fond of fan-fiction. Never has been. He doesn't do this to spite his fans, that's just how he handles his art.

So, I agree with Alucard. But.... also with Darwin! Why? Because in my opinion Martin is a bit of an asshole. Not because he doesn't want anyone to finish his series in case he dies, but because of his attitude to his fans. On several occasions he has insulted fans, he doesn't believe in keeping anyone up to date on anything and he has consistently missed previously set deadlines (if you know you can't keep them, just don't give us a deadline at all). Now Martin may be a nice guy in real life (in fact I think he is), but the aforementioned things makes him a bit of an ass in my book (especially when you compare him with the other current greats, like Sanderson or Hobbs).

I think y'all are getting carried away with this, no?
After all we're discussing escapist fiction, it's not high art. I think when GRRM/Game of Thrones was lampooned by South Park, that should have been a wakeup call for George. It's no longer literature we hold close to our bosom, it has entered popular culture... like Michael Jackson, the Kardashians, and Lady Gaga it's all gone mainstream and accessible, so common.