May 18th, 2015

sword

The Show, the Books

I am getting a flood of emails and off-topic comments on this blog about tonight's episode of GAME OF THRONES. It's not unanticipated.

The comments... regardless of tone... have been deleted. I have been saying since season one that this is not the place to debate or discuss the TV series. Please respect that.

There are better places for such discussions: Westeros, Tower of the Hand, Watchers on the Wall, Winter Is Coming, the comments sections of the television critics who regularly follow the show: James Hibberd, Alyssa Rosenberg, Mo Ryan, James Poniewozik, and their colleagues. I am sure all those sites will be having a healthy debate.

I have a lot of fans asking me for comment.

Let me reiterate what I have said before.

How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story.

There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one. And for just as long, I have been talking about the butterfly effect. Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities, and a cast of characters in the hundreds.

There has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material, by and large (if you doubt that, talk to the Harry Dresden fans, or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, or the fans of the original WALKING DEAD comic books)... but the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms, like the one presently engulfing my email.

Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements.

David and Dan and Bryan and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can.

And over here I am trying to write the best novels that I can.

And yes, more and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose... but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place.

In the meantime, we hope that the readers and viewers both enjoy the journey. Or journeys, as the case may be. Sometimes butterflies grow into dragons.

((I am closing comments on this post. Take your discussions to the other sites I have mentioned. And for those who may be curious as to the road the books are taking, I direct you to the WINDS OF WINTER sample chapters on my website)).
wcposter

Conquest Bound

I hear that everything is up to date in Kansas City, so I am heading that way to check it out for myself. Next weekend I will be Editor Guest of Honor at Conquest, KC's long-running regional con, and one of my very favorites. I went to my first KC con in 1972 (where I finally met Howard Waldrop, with whom I'd been exchanging letters since 1963), and have been coming back when I can ever since. The 1976 worldcon in KC -- MidAmericon -- still ranks as the best worldcon of all time, in my not so humble opinion. Even if I did lose two Hugos there.

So if any of you are in Kansas or Missouri or within driving distance, do come join us. You can check out the basics on the con here: http://www.conquestkc.org/

I should underline the fact that I am the Editor GOH at Conquest (Brandon Sanderson is the Author Guest of Honor). I've been editing books just as long as I've been writing them (the first book I ever published was one I'd edited, not one I'd written), and to date I've been editor or co-editor on thirty-eight anthologies, with number thirty-nine on the way. Yet this will be be the first time that any con has ever honored me for my editorial work.

Yes, I will be reading a chapter from THE WINDS OF WINTER there, and yes, I'll talk about ICE AND FIRE and my other writing... but the emphasis at Conquest will be on my editing, especially the WILD CARDS series, and one of my two scheduled autograph sessions will be limited to the anthologies I've edited. Just sayin'.

And of course, I expect to find some burnt ends as well... dragon-charred, no doubt...