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The Social Media

So here's the thing. I am a dinosaur, as all my friends will tell you. A man of the 20th century, not the 21st. Yes, I have been using a computer for twenty years now, but while I cruise this interwebby thing with a PC and Windows, I still do all my writing on an old DOS machine running WordStar 4.0, the Duesenberg of word processing software (very old, but unsurpassed). I have my website, which someone else runs for me, and I have this LJ account, the blog that I vainly called my Not A Blog in hopes that might prevent me from blogging.

But that's it.

I am not on Facebook.

I am not on Twitter.

I will not be on the next new thing to come along, the one that makes Facebook and Twitter as obsolete as GEnie and CompuServe and The Source, those halcyon communities of yore.

Now some of you may think you've seen my page on Facebook. Others may swear they've read my tweets. Wrong and wrong. 'twas not me. Friends of mine who do these things inform me that there are several Facebook pages with my name on 'em. Some seem to be the work of well intentioned fans, and do nothing but copy my posts from here. Others are the work of trolls, established for purposes of abuse, since Ty keeps a lid of that kind of crap on LJ. A few are rank imposture, I hear, featuring nasty comments by assholes pretending to be me. The same sort of stuff is going on with Twitter, I'm told.

I have neither the time, the energy, or the inclination to get on any of these social media myself. There's WAY too much on my plate, and keeping up with the Not A Blog and my website are taxing enough. So here's what I've done. I've given my friend Elio... better known to the denizens of Westeros as Ran... permission to syndicate my posts and comments on both Facebook and Twitter.

Here's the URLs:



These Westeros sites will post my own stuff, yes... but also a lot of other material about the novels and TV shows. "Our social media sites are, we think, a pretty good place to keep on top of the latest news related to you and your projects," Elio writes. Just so.

And these are the ONLY social media feeds I've authorized. If you want to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, accept no substitutes.

(Well, in English. Let me modify that statement. I have given some of my foreign fan sites permission to translate my posts into other languages, so if you are reading this in Klingon or Dothraki, you're just fine).

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming, and me to Skull Island, where Kong is staggering a little.


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Feb. 25th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming, and me to Skull Island, where Kong is staggering a little.

Hey, George?



That's all. ;)
Feb. 25th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
I really detest facebook but I'm not sure I agree with you in saying that it will be replaced. It's here to stay.
Feb. 25th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
I love your work George, but having said that, about freaking time!

I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how this will expand your audience of readers and viewers of the HBO series.

I enjoy Livejournal, but it has paltry subscription numbers compared to the nearly 750 million people who use Twitter and Facebook.
Feb. 25th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
"I still do all my writing on an old DOS machine running WordStar 4.0"

This is the most awesome thing I've ever heard.
Feb. 25th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
You know, George, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you've tried out Second Life as well! ;)

In any case, I completely understand the aversion to all these different online portals that are just popping up out of nowhere, especially when all your contemporaries are constantly monkeying you to get on them. I've had many friends exclaim that they just couldn't go on living anymore without my being on Facebook. So I just gave in.

That being said...... WORDSTAR!?? DOS!!??!!??

Embrace technology, George. Embrace it! Or it will embrace YOU in a massive bear hug of death!
Feb. 25th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Arguably, somebody who has used DOS or is still using DOS has 'embraced technology' in a truer way than some child playing a 99 cent game on an iPad. Besides, what's wrong with WordStar and DOS if they get the job done?

If, on the other hand they don't get the job done for one reason or another, a Linux box sans a graphical environment, coupled with the text editor joe in WordStar compatability mode, might be a sensible 'upgrade.'
Feb. 25th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Can You Be More Specific?
Good ser, by "staggering" do you mean Kong was struck a good blow and stumbled? Do you mean Kong was pushed and momentarily lost his balance? Do you mean, he's weaving back and forth on the skyscraper, almost falling? Do you mean he's like a boxer, on his last legs, and ready to collapse?

I need more detail in these wonderfully clever metaphors. Thanks.
Feb. 25th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Can You Be More Specific?

Possibly even reeling like a hospitalized patient with a urinary tract infection?

-- Sven (*ducks and runs for cover*)
Feb. 25th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Amen to this post, Mr. Martin! I'm only 33 and I still feel like a dinosaur. What's wrong with paper and pen, I'd like to know? Ah, well. Back to blogging I go.

Feb. 25th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
On an unrelated note, what is the story with the Doorways series. My local shop is telling me book 4 is of 4. Are the plans to do another batch? I feel like we were just getting started here.
Feb. 26th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Doorways
We'd like to do more. Depends on the sales.

There are seven more adventures already written. Two by me, and the other five by Michael Cassutt, Steve deJarnett, Jim Crocker, Ed Zuckerman, and J.D. Feigelson. I'd love to see 'em all adapated.

So buy plenty of the comics, tell your friends to buy
'em too, and email IDW and tell them you want more DOORWAYS!
Feb. 25th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
I admit it. I am a social media hog, but I know you have mentioned before that you will not be using Facebook, Twitter, or anything of the sort anytime soon. Thank you for reaffirming that!

In the past 24 hours (through social media), I have been introduced to these lovely scent boxes that HBO has shipped out to various critics/bloggers. I am busy coveting away, but I was also wondering if they are sending you any swag. It seems only right that you would receive these items as well!
Nigel Bradley
Feb. 25th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Fall, Kong, Fall!
Here's the scene:

King Kong climbs to the top of the Empire States Building. There at the top, however, he sees something traumatic.

"The things I do for love," Faye Raye says... and then shoots Kong in the face with a rocket launcher.


...what, isn't that how the movie ends?
Feb. 25th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
"Staggering". I've yet to read that one on the blog, I like the sound of it.

Go GRRM! Stagger that Monkey till he drops!
Feb. 25th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Kong v beauty
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder or so tis said.
I beheld a couple of bi-planes taking out the big guy.
Beautiful bi-planes!

Almost time to join the Dance........
Feb. 25th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
lol WordStar... hahahaha
Feb. 25th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
I know a lovely lady to bring Kong to its knees.
Feb. 26th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
Oh no, are my DVDs already obsolete?
Feb. 26th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC)
I remember when I was a little teenlet and I read Piers Anthony and he also had an affinity for DOS and WordStar, and got similarly chastised to upgrade... and that was 15 years ago! He was quite passionate about the stability, functionality and familiarity of using it. (w/ the importance of "Back up, back up, back up" as I seem to remember him losing some work) I got his argument and preference for using it, thus I get yours.

And with as many projects are you're conquering, I'm content to wait for Kong.

Feb. 26th, 2011 07:33 am (UTC)
Hi there good ser, you mentioned that someone else runs your website. I regularly check it and wonder if you have spoken to the person who runs it recently. I noticed that the last 'News' is from November 2010 and the last 'Ice and Fire Update' was January 2008. Also I dont think the bibliography has been updated with some of the latest projects I read about all the time here on the Not-a-blog.
Feb. 26th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
I remember GEnie. Beat all out of compuserve. Oh the good old days of area code BBSes and 1200 baud modems.

Used to work on an Apple IIGS. That was the line that should have built Apple's empire, not the Mac. That was one of the best boxes I ever had.

Apple had some good classic word processors, though for the life of me I can't recall the name of my favorite software which I'd used for years.
Feb. 26th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info Mr. Martin!

Your presence on LiveJournal has me joining the community here.

I'll be following you on Twitter and Facebook now.
Feb. 26th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
I just noticed this post has George feeling "quixotic"
I want to know who is tilting at giants (or Windmills)

There are giants beyond the wall... could it be Bran, Stannis, Jon? I honestly have no idea.
Feb. 27th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
<-- Kong is staggering a little -->
From The Chronicles of Riddick, "Kill the beast while it's wounded!" and "You keep what you kill." In otherwords, go for the kill...torturing Kong will just make him angry and he puffs up even more to intimidate you...you know that better than anyone. Alas, it is your beast to do with as you will...I'm sure I'm not alone in the sentiment I convey with the phrase, "We're behind you in this endevour because you know the way better than anyone."

On the DOS note...I'm concerned. I was weaned on DOS 2.0 and the last DOS I used as my primary operating system was 3.30a. Are you using DOS 3.xx? I hope not, because I'm a computer engineer with 28 years of experience in my bones and MSDOS was the first OS that I really dug into the details of. As I recall IO.SYS delivered with DOS 3.xx will have problems with the file dates...not the FAT directory entry which is good until 2107 (7 bits), but the Input/Output routine which processes the file date cannot handle a year larger than 2015 (5 bits)...I remember stepping through the routines using MASM and Norton Utilities and watching the routine shift the year into position prior to adding 1984 to it...this was a speed improvement over taking the 7 bit date and adding 1980 to it...like previous versions of DOS did. I believe DOS 4.0 stopped using this speed enhancement, but I can't guarantee it because I stayed with 3.30a until Windows 95 came out. I don't believe there will be any error...it's just that all file dates from 2016 and later will be written to disk as 1984 because the 5 bits used during the calculation will roll over from 11111 to 100000 and the 1 at the beginning will be shifted out and not used in the unsigned arithmetic.

Deja vu...I actually remember mentioning this in a Not-a-blog post about 8 years ago and you assured me that you were not using 3.30a, but I can't help myself when someone mentions they are using DOS. Good luck with WordStar too...I taught Word Perfect to civilian employees on a military base who were transitioning from WordStar (I believe the current version was 2.x) to Word Perfect 1.x.

So, I had to learn WordStar as well as Word Perfect, and what I remember the most was the WordStar manual was a huge multi-volume epic of over 1,000 pages which spelled out in detail all the very versatile functions that allowed a user to do just about anything they wanted...with the right keystrokes for which there were keyboard overlays to help users remember them. The Word Perfect manual was only like 300 pages and there was only one overlay...menus replaced special keystrokes in a lot of features and printer setup was greatly improved. That's why a lot of users went with Word Perfect...it "appeared" to be easier.
Feb. 27th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
So is kong is staggering good or bad for the book?
Feb. 27th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
Feb. 27th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)

Oh, and parenthetically, George: do you have an adequate data-backup solution for that, er, time-honored computing platform? Something better than, say, spitting out a floppy disk at end-of-day?

One wouldn't wish to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who lost his entire score to the Phantom sequel (necessitating square-one restart) when THE CAT WALKED OVER HIS RECORDING CONSOLE.

-- Sven
Feb. 27th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
IIRC, George has said he has floppy back-ups and also regularly prints out hard copies, a lot of which have already been shipped to the publisher (I've heard that Bantam already has done some work on prepping the - obviously still incomplete - MS for publication).

There was also the incident when the old computer nearly suffered a major failure and an expert had to be called in to save the machine (AFFC is dedicated to that guy, I believe), though the work and manuscript wouldn't have been lost.

Really harsh story: Steven Erikson was halfway through writing his then-second MALAZAN novel, MEMORIES OF ICE, when a catastrophic computer failure destroyed the entire MS. Erikson was so distraught he started again from scratch with a new novel, DEADHOUSE GATES, which he wrote in its entirety before returning to MEMORIES later on. That's why the MALAZAN books have that alternating storyline/continent structure which people seem to admire as a grand artistic statement when it was actually the by-product of mechanical failure :-)
Feb. 27th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
I LOVE that you use Wordstar 4.0. The. Best. Ever! Is it the green font on the black field? I remember using that on my 8'' monitor and being envied by all! There's something about that look that I still love though...! The black field instead of white mabey?...Whatever it is I love it!
Feb. 28th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: ha
The green font back then was due to the monitor hardware...not the software. Monitors back in the 80's used a mono color phosphorescent backing. Green and amber were popular. Around 1987 16 color monitors (of which only 7 could be used as the font with the other 7 as the back ground (the remaining 2 were white & black) and the EGA graphics adapters were readily available for PCs then the next year 256 color VGA's made the scene...which triggered the still booming trend in home-made graphics. We are totally spoiled today with like 16 million colors.
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George R.R. Martin
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