Just finished reading a fascinating article about George RR Martin in The New Yorker. Martin is, of course, the author of 5 novels that will eventually make up a 7-part series called 'The Song of Ice and Fire'. As some of you already know, I've been obsessed with these books for the entirety of 2011. My poor, put-upon wife has borne the brunt of my fixation. She's had to endure, among other things, incessant playing of the Game of Thrones soundtrack, constant humming of the 'Game of Thrones' theme, rambling discourses on the differences between the HBO show and the book it's based on, forecasts on the scenes likely to play out in season 2 and how well they'll play, filling every other stray silence with updates on characters from the new book, "A Dance with Dragons" which I am sipping one chapter at a time, and more than a few times, my taking on the patois of the series, affecting a Renaissance festival-y faux-English accent, and holding conversations in this voice. Even though I can see how deflating it must be for her to see her husband this way --- after all, it's not possible to get farther away from the Alcide-ideal than a grown man drawing a Nerf sword from his thumb and index-finger scabbard and shouting random character names from the series -- I'm helpless not to do it. So yeah, I need to get out more and read other things. I know.
Anyway, the New Yorker article. It's a profile of Martin written shortly before the publication of book 5, and it focuses on his relationship with his fans, particularly those who've become not just ornery at how long they've had to wait for this latest tome to land, but highly critical. Some of them so annoyed as to start their own websites (like, "Is Winter Coming?") where posters and commenters bash Martin and his work ethic. It's a fascinating look at where the relationship between popular genre authors and their fan-base stands, how it can sour, and asks some interesting questions. Like, what exactly does an author owe his fans? Anything? And is the sense of entitlement that creates this frustration generational?
Worth checking out.