"We warned George that A STORM OF SWORDS was as long a book as we could possibly publish in one volume, and now he's gone ahead and made this one a hundred pages longer," a Bantam spokesman said. "Worse, the thing's still growing! Besides, we have all these different covers we've designed and paid for over the years, we might as well get some use out of them."
Rather than simply divide the text into five segments, Bantam has decided to follow the precedent established with A FEAST FOR CROWS and "unbraid" the novel, publishing each character's adventures as a separate volume.
The five parts of DANCE will each be released with a subtitle, as follows:
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: DAENERYS
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: JON SNOW
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: TYRION
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: THE MEEREENESE KNOT
"If this format proves to be as popular as we think it will be," the Bantam spokesman said, "we will go back and re-release all the older books as individual 'character volumes' as well. Each of Martin's books is really seven or eight novels woven together, so there's no reason why they shouldn't be published individually, to give each character his moment in the sun. This will allow each reader to follow his favorite characters, and ignore the ones he finds tedious, whiny, or annoying."
Bantam is also making a study of the feasibility of publishing subsequent volumes of Martin's series as individual single-volume chapbooks, to be released at the rate of one chapter a month. "It worked wonderfully for Stephen King with THE GREEN MILE," said the Bantam spokesman. "Even GRRM should be able to write a chapter a month, and if we get them into print as quickly as he writes them, maybe that will stop him from going back and rewriting them so damned much. Serial publication was good enough for Charles Dickens, it should be good enough for Martin, and will get all those impatient Ice & Fire fans off our backs."
The first installment of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will still be published on July 12. It will be either the Daenerys segment or the Jon Snow, Bantam says.