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A Blast from the Past

I was startled looking at my website today when I saw the hit counter, which tells me the site has had more than 23 million hits since December of 2000.

Of course, I have to put that in perspective. It's really just the same forty-two people coming back again and again to see if DANCE is done yet, isn't it?

(I suspect the Not A Blog actually gets MORE visitors than my main site. A mention here -- of a forthcoming appearance, a book sale, a news item -- seems to generate a lot more response than anything on my Appearances page, my Signed Books page, or my News page).

No point to any of this, just... hey, 23 million hits, that's kinda cool...

No telling how many of you have actually been around since 2000, and how many found my site and/or the Not A Blog just last week. Some of you newcomers, though, might enjoy giving a listen to the series of podcasts I recorded back in 2005, to promote A FEAST FOR CROWS. (I assume you old timers have heard them all already). They're all at


I imagine I will be doing more of these when DANCE WITH DRAGONS comes out. I'll need to think up some more topics. (Maybe "Deadlines, and Why They Should Never Be Missed" would be a good one). Meanwhile, these may entertain and enlighten those of you who haven't heard 'em.

And try not to laugh TOO hard at the part where I say I hope to finish DANCE by the end of the year. I really meant it, honest.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Honestly, id rather you take your time and make it come out exactly as you wish it to... rather than be rushed along by all of us soul-less creatures who simply buy the books and demand more.

Some of us actually see the human being behind the books. Somewhere. :)

So. Quit yer rushin'.
Mar. 7th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
"Quit yer rushin'. "
What 'rushing' are you talking about? :)
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:49 am (UTC)
Dear Mr GRRM
<3 !

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

The Sainted Douglas Adams
Mar. 6th, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Dear Mr GRRM
Ha, ha! Hilarious Douglas Adams quote! :-D
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Is that a proto-GRRM in your icon? =)

Where's the endearing beard? =)
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
Honestly...I came to just see about the status of the books....

But I stayed because of your devotion to the Jets and Giants. I look forward to your football commentary every weekend of the season.
Mar. 6th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
Frequent lurker and checker of book statuses here, and I just wanted to let you know how much i really appreciate the openness you've had about book updates recently. It really seems like your creative juices are flowing again and that you are making good progress and that is really exciting to hear about. It makes the wait seem much much shorter.
So just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the fact you occasionally update us to little pieces of progress.
p.s. I'm super excited for the HBO adaptation.
Mar. 6th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
George, Who cares about the people who demand DANCE now... Those people are just TROLLS! I may be in the minority or not, but I don't care how long it takes to produce the the book. I feel for you, my friend, I truly do. It makes me pissed off when people say "When is DANCE gonna be done?"

To the trolls I say; Get over yourselves, it will be done when it is done, your negativity helps nothing...Just go get a hobby if your so obsessed. I suggest golf, that will stoke your frustration.
Mar. 8th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that people who are just asking when their favourite book will come out are trolls. They love GRRM as much as we do, and it's normal IMHO that they want to know when the book will be out! I personally avoided to ask simply because I understand that for the author could be annoying, but I hope every day when I check this page to read a sentence saying that the book will be published next month! I think is cool that we can come here and read what George has to say, but I'm not flaming around against people like me who're just looking forward to read another episode of the Song of Ice and Fire.
Keep on the writing dear George. I can't wait to read another part of your adventures! I understand that creating is not like reading but still I'm a big fan of your books and I can't wait to read on these page that the book is over and ready to be published. Please finish it someday! ;)
Mar. 6th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
Yep. I check every night before I go to bed for updates on ADWD(mostly because I can open a new tab during those pesky hulu commercials). However, if not for checking this nightly I nor any of my friends who I have been updating would not know about the HBO series whatsoever. Now that we are all pumped for it I have that to look forward too when I pop on here as well. I also love the football commentary during season. I like hearing about the Jets because they represent the defense the Giants once had and should still have today.

Mar. 6th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Looking forward to Dance as much as anyone, get it right first tho :) If it takes another 6 months it will just give me an excuse to re-read the rest before I read Dance :)

To be honest the buzz about the HBO series is something I have never seen before for a series that will not be aired til next year, I am so looking forward to it. I really think HBO can do it it justice as no other visual medium could. Congo-rats on the greenlight from HBO!
Mar. 6th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
just found this and thought it was pretty cool


Cast out from the lands of their births
Banished from hearth and home
All brothers must swear the oath
Forsaking all they've ever known

Those who choose to take the black
Bid farewell to comforts great and small
Those who do, don't come back
Prepare yourself for life on the wall

Night gathers and the watch begins
The wind carries an unnatural chill
There are things beyond the northern borders
Mere steel can't kill

Men who choose to take the black
Rogues and rangers, one and all
Those who do, won't come back
Prepare yourself for life on the wall
Mar. 7th, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: just found this and thought it was pretty cool
Hey, I like that! Kind of has a Black Sabbath feel to it.

And the lyrics fit well in regards to the Night Watch.
Mar. 6th, 2010 07:15 am (UTC)
I really enjoy hearing about the behind the scenes of your books! Thanks for doing these :)
Mar. 6th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
Oh, brilliant! Podcasts! I did not know they existed, so thank you very much for pointing them out.

(It is better to miss a deadline than a lifeline.)
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
Hermione v. Jaime
I thought you should know that Hermione would destroy Jaime because she has the lazy magicks of deus ex machina on her side. (Oops wrong post.)
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
I've only been stalking you since 2002ish, so I don't quite go back to the beginning of your site. But I'm sure I count for a few dozen of those hits.

The book will be done when it's done. Meanwhile, I make it my civic duty to turn on as many people as possible to the series. I've already converted my dad and sister, and my mom has committed to reading them next when she's done with the Robin Hobb she's reading now. And last Thursday at work a coworker and I enthusiastically sold the series to a few others. (They wanted to know what the fuss was about when they saw us talking about the fact that HBO picked up the series.)
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
(Maybe "Deadlines, and Why They Should Never Be Missed" would be a good one).

That suggestion brings a smile to my face!

Congratulations on 23 million. That's a rather nice milestone.
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
I loved those podcasts when I first heard them. I still think of the words "gratuitous feasting" from time to time...
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
Being a newbie, I'm still discovering lots of goodies in internetland, so my sincerest thanks for the link to the podcasts - I am very much looking forward to listening to them. :)
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
I devoured the 4 books late last year, and have since then been checking for news on more. And the on HBO series. And your wit.

"And try not to laugh TOO hard at the part where I say I hope to finish DANCE by the end of the year. I really meant it, honest."

Hey, as long as you never said which year, you would have been fine. "It will be done by the end of the year." This year, next year, 2020, whenever. It will be done.

I don't really mind the waiting: there's not much point. If the book came out tomorrow, I'd probably read it in a couple of days and then I'd be waiting again for the next one.

It'll come when it comes. :)
Mar. 6th, 2010 09:28 am (UTC)
for a lot of us now is most important the man that the writer and this section has helped to this.
Mar. 6th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
George, raw web hits aren't very useful -- they include the robots from google, bing, yahoo, et al, who crawl your site regularly.

On the other hand? If you're getting proper web stats, as opposed to just a hit counter, you might want to look at the daily visitors figure, or graph daily visitors over time. (And if you've got a webmaster, get them to do some A/B profiling and search engine optimization!)
Mar. 6th, 2010 10:05 am (UTC)
internet users and the pressure they put on fans,lol.
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:14 pm (UTC)
It was 2005 when I became a fan. I was in need of books to read so headed to our charity shop. AGOT and ACOK were there, one for 2.50 GBP and 3.50 GBP respectively. I had never heard of the series before but I figured, that it was not too pricey to give a chance. I normally whizz through books that I enjoy and I found that i was reading about 3 chapters an hour for AGOT which I saw as slow. It wasn't until I hit the Bran incident, that I realised how much I was enjoying it, and after that chapter I was hooked. I got the Third off amazon and was lucky enough that when I finished it, Feast was launched so headed to Glasgow for a signed copy.

I have since introduced 4 people to Westeros. I got the bonus benefit of a link on your website to a webzine and found Tad Williams' Memory Sword and Thorn Trilogy. Another author I had never heard of before but when it came to me moving to Ireland, I only kept those two sets of books, the rest were put in recirculation.

23 Million is not completely understandable. How does it compare to books sold? Even if the 8K fans on LJ checked one a week for 3 years, that is 1.2 million. I find that I rarely check the website now as more information is given here, as well as your insights and such like.
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
new content
Your blog has new content all the time and your main site is relatively static. So more people come here.

I read your books for the first time in 2000.

Mar. 6th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I first stumbled upon your not a blog, through your website to check about ADWD. I stayed though, because your posts are interesting, often amusing and it annoys me as well to see the trolls just demand the book. I also found names of authors I had never read, through your blog. I really don't care how long the book takes. It takes as long as it needs to for it to be right. I have enjoy rereading the other books in the series, plus books from many other authors. Take as long as you need! Your books are rich in detail, and I cannot imagine the level of work it takes to create such lands, worlds and people in it as you do.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 6th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
I don't care if Dance doesn't come out until next year. I love the books, and I'll buy them when they're out.

That said, wow . . . :D The high hit rate is definitely an ego-boost, I'm sure.
Mar. 6th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
I created this account strictly to say one thing.

I am in the midst of reading the series through for the nth time, and I felt that I needed to add my voice.

This is quite possibly the best fantasy series I have ever read. Period. I love everything about the way it is written, the characters, the scenery, the thrilling battles, and the emotional confessions that are strewn throughout. I would say that I cannot wait until the DANCE arrives, but I do not want to add to the pressure. Let me say that I look forward with great excitement to the arrival of the DANCE, and the following novels. Even if they each take another 5 years.

I just wanted to give you my personal thanks for creating such a wonderful world, and allowing me to share in it.
Mar. 6th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
And try not to laugh TOO hard at the part where I say I hope to finish DANCE by the end of the year.

Did you say *what* year?
Mar. 6th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
I've been following this blog for years and I occasionally check the site for new chapters and book recommendations, but I had never found the podcasts.

Re. the advice to write some short stories ... erm ... could you perhaps tell the plotbunnies I took in to not bring their extended family, friends and their extended family, and turn trilogy on me? My muse is useless; he only laughs when the blasted critters scamper all over the place. :)

I did write some short stories once I realised that my excursions into fiction writing (I come from an academic non fiction background) were more than just a whim and there might be a chance to make something out of that sucky almost-novel I had scrambled together - if I could figure out how to really write. Two of those were summaries of novels, one a lovely little thing that fit nowhere, one I sold, and the other four were either genres I didn't really want to write or were not quite there. At that time the Roman plotbunnies kept coming in and I got an idea how to save that novel, but I never regretted having spent my time with those stories; they were a good way to play with styles, POVs, genres and all that.

Re. deadlines. You think anyone would notice if we ereased that word from the dictionary? :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Relatively new fan weighing in here. When I started to talk of reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, a friend pointed me in the direction here, and I'm quite delighted to get a peek into the thoughts of you, the author. As an aspiring writer myself, reading your words here gives me inspiration.
Mar. 7th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
I remember those! I might have to go relisten to them. :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
hey if you ever miss podcasting, it's the podcast of ice and fire's ultimate lifetime wish to have you as a guest on our show!
Mar. 7th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
About the 23 million hits.
GRRM, there's something about your website that tethers itself to my ankle. After "Feast" I kept checking back for updates while my bimonthly tabletop gaming group switched from Dungeons and Dragons to the "Game of Thrones" RPG. Then, I'd check for updates on the RPG. Then, naturally, I was checking for updates on the Guardians of Order situation. Then you had to go and start the rumbling about the TV Series. Somewhere in between there I checked back up more and found all of your incoming work on Wild Cards.

I believe it was Robert DeNiro that said: "Just when I was out, they pull me back in."

That website been a never ending stream of updates. In all honesty, I find that rather refreshing. You definitely have been moving a lot of work into consumer hands and there's always something there to look at.

As for DANCE? Take your time. I'm really anxious to see what you came up with for the direction you're taking the Stark family. Time isn't going to affect the fact that my brain's going to DEVOUR that book.
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
I always go to your website before coming to the LJ page. And usually several times a week. But I doubt I'd still make the "top 42."
Mar. 8th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
I have been checking your website at least twice a week for the past four years, so i believe its safe to say 50% of your 23 million hits is from your top 1000 fans.
Mar. 8th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
You totally set up a new way to phrase the tired, old question....


Mar. 9th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Speaking of your popularity, I was wondering if you'd seen this webcomic where you're namedropped

Mar. 9th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'm trembling of fear and rejoice when I think of the day ADwD is finally published. At the pace it is going and the growth rate, I think it will have ~2,000 pages (a dream, but it will be extremely difficult to find time enough to read it).
Mar. 11th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
New to GRRM/Not a Blog
I'm one of the new ones (started reading books August 2009) and have been visiting Not A Blog eagerly awaiting the new book! Cheers!
Mar. 12th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
"It's really just the same forty-two people coming back again and again to see if DANCE is done yet, isn't it?"

Having given the rest time to kiss up, I'll answer. Of course! Well, a tad more than 42 I suspect. :-)

And we'll keep showing up until it's done too!

Apr. 2nd, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Support and comprehension
George, I have to tell you to things.

First, thank you. I´m a young spanish writer (25) with several tales on various anthologies and probably my first novel soon hitting the shops.

You can´t really imagine (I mean, you obvious can, because you feel the same for sure once upon a time) what it means to a young writer like me swallow your work and learn from it to understand, polish and improve my own work.

All writers owe you a ton of Beers.

Second, I understand perfectly well where you are with "A Dance with Dragons". Last year, interviewing Clive Barker in Sitges, he told me one thing that stoods in my heart in words of fire and ice: "There are other voices".

The only things that writers do is listen the song and hope for don´t screw it putting in words.

I listen a couple of ones by myself. And I know that don´t matter what a great listener you are, because is the voice fades out, your alone in the darkness, with nothing to say except empty words.

So don´t worry for the time. We´ll wait. Because we love our songs.

PD: And thank you, thank you, thank you for the great interview that you have with us (I´m the editor of contents in Scifiworld) when you visited Spain. You´re more than loved in our home.

Thank you, master.
Apr. 26th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
waiting for Dances with Dragons
I'd like to represent the the slightly less patient readers who would now accept ANYTHING having to do with the story line of Arya Stark! Anything at all. The last of her chapters was such a cliff hanger. Could you please, please perhaps update your "Fire and Ice Sample" section with a bit of her story.

I've read, then reread all your books. I have each one in both hardcover, and paperback, and have now finished them in audio format. Sure there are other good books to read. I have enjoyed Robin Hobb greatly, and other recommendations. However, I am now officially desperate, and ready to read Dances with Dragons.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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