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Back in Santa Fe

Home again in New Mexico... for a few days, at least. Just enough time to catch my breath before flying off to the San Diego Comicon.

While I was gone, Ty moved all my internet functions to a nifty new computer (just the Windows side of things, however, my writing computer remains the same dependable DOS machine as always). The internet stuff seems to be working well, as witness my appearance here... but I do not seem to have any email yet. So if you've been emailing me and wondering at my silence, that's why. I have not had any access to email since leaving on my book tour.

My book tour, by the way, was astonishing. More than a thousand people at every appearance. Close to two thousand in New York. And such great people too... unfailingly cheerful and friendly and enthusiastic, despite having had to wait in line, in some cases for many hours. I have the best fans in the world. I appreciate all your support.

The success of DANCE has exceeded my wildest expectations. We had the strongest first day sales of any work of fiction released this year, certainly the strongest sales of my career. Not to mention the best reviews of my career, and some amazing word of mouth. That all means a great deal to me. It is no secret how long and hard I struggled with this one. Knowing that tens of thousands... indeed, hundreds of thousands... of my readers feel it was well worth the wait heartens me more than I can possibly say.

I will be posting my full schedule for San Diego tomorrow or the day after. And after comicon, it will be on to LA, the Bay area, Seattle, Denver, and Lexington. I hope to meet many more of you there.

Thanks, all. You guys (and gals) rock.


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Jul. 18th, 2011 07:01 am (UTC)
Congratulations again. You're the man, George! I would seriously go to SDCC *just* to see you.
Jeff Bunting
Jul. 18th, 2011 07:13 am (UTC)
Can't wait till the next!
I finished it and can't wait till the next one. I hope your still working on Winds when you get the chance and don't wait till next year to start it. I'm just filled with joy at this piece and was dismayed when I read some of the negative reviews on Amazon but I don't think that they really count as I've heard that Amazon reviews aren't always honest.
Kirika Tokihashi
Jul. 18th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
Dissapointing if you compare it to previous books
The only chapters I REALLY liked were Arya's, Bran's and Jon's (although one of them was very corny and cheap). The rest was either good or mediocre at best (basically whenever Starks were mentioned it was very good). And Daenerys chapters were hideous, too prolonged, verbosed and pointless (they can be summed up in six words: "Daario" and "I am a bad queen" x1000000). It's the most overhyped book I've read in a while. Worth buying but nowhere near first three books of the ASoIaF saga wich are the best books I;ve ever read. /IMO
Jeff Bunting
Jul. 18th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Dissapointing if you compare it to previous books
No offense but I have to disagree. I loved A Game Of Thrones but it took me half way through to really like it as nothing really interesting was happening. with A Dance I couldn't put it down and nearly finished it in three days. With A Game Of Thrones it took me four days and with A Clash Of Kings I really had to struggle through it at times till it started to get interesting.

It seemed like Martin changed the pacing of the series which may upset some readers but not this one.
Jul. 18th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
Congratulations George.
I'm only 40% of the way through Dance, but I love it so far. Things are really heating up.

Most of all, I'm really glad to see that you've had such a positive outcome after all the hurtful crap you've had chucked your way the past few years.
You are an absolute Gentleman and I'm really happy for you :)

Jul. 18th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
All of us Native New Mexicans are glad to have you back! and a moment to congratulate and thank you
Welcome back home and I hope you know as a fan of all things Fantasy and Sci-fi I am extremely proud to have you lving in my home state! I hope you will spend some time down in albuquerque some time soon.

your fan, Occams Beard
Jul. 18th, 2011 09:06 am (UTC)
God, and I'm still waiting for my "Dance"! (no spoilers so far ^^) but in two or three days' time it'll most probably be in Poland :D George, you say you have the best fans in the world while the truth is that YOU are the best IDOL one can have :)
Jul. 18th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC)
Hey George, just wanted to add my voice to the chorus in saying that a Dance with Dragons is really, really excellent so far (my husband and I are < 1/4 of the way through the audiobook - thanks for returning Mr. Dotrice!). You have put all my fears to rest through the text - not through assurances on your blog or press releases - but with the book itself. Congratulations.

For the record, as I'm reading I have no idea how on earth you will ever manage to untangle this ever-tightening "Mereenese Knot." It's no wonder it took so long!
Jul. 18th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
Thanks for a great read, interrupted the millennium trilogy to read the book for which I have been waiting for so long! It was well worth the wait. Though I was so hungry to read this latest installment in my favorite series that i devoured it in a day and a half. Now I must wait view the series on the small screen in the near future and alas find other books to sate my literary appetite.

Looking forward already to the next one :) My apologies for being so demanding! I blame it fairly and squarely on your great writing

Once again thanks for a great book and great series.

Jul. 18th, 2011 10:26 am (UTC)
welcome home!! it was wonderful (as usual) to see you last week. enjoy the days home before comicon. :)
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
What she said.
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
The book was awesome.

Thank you.
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
Agree completely worth the wait and as an aspiring writer i know the difficulties you face in this so don't worry were all in their!!! An amazing next chapter of the series :) i'm enjoying reading it, getting there slowly with it!!!
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Congratulations, George. :)
Jul. 18th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
Congratulations (and nitpicking)
Great news about the sales on ADWD – I'm not surprised to hear that it's topping the charts. I know I'm just one of a massive swell of fans that picked up the series after learning about the HBO show.

You're an incredible storyteller, George - I'm sure that's probably been a source of much of the delay and difficulty getting ADWD finished; adding and interweaving compelling new stories and characters into the already elaborate cast and story-arc that you've created must take some serious creative elbow-grease.

I know that this isn't a forum for criticism, but as a huge fan of this series, I'm compelled to let you know about an aspect of your writing style that takes me out of the story, particularly in Feast and Dance: the new words and overused phrases.

In Feast, it was the phrase "half a groat" - it hadn't appeared in any previous book, but Arianne of Dorne and Cersei both use it. It was only used 4 times in the entire novel, but by the fourth use it was jarring.

I'm sure you've heard this from other readers, and I can appreciate the fact that in the years between books, you're bound to come up with new concepts or pick up new phrases and words that fit the medieval feel of the ASOIAF world.

However, where other fantasy authors might need to use novel prose to make their worlds feel more authentic, you're far beyond that. The world has clearly been painstakingly crafted, but the story and characters are what sets this series apart. The world is so richly developed that it doesn't need any embellishing prose to make it more real. The red sand of the fighting pits, the glowing horizon over Valyria - it's subtle, exquisite craftsmanship.

On the other hand, "must needs" felt overused in ADWD, even forced at times. The phrase was used 5 times in AGOT, 3 times in ACOK, 8 times in ASOS, 12 times in AFFC, and 22 times in ADWD. In some places, it didn't even make sense grammatically, and I felt almost as if it'd been thrown in the way a cheesy Renaissance Faire worker might throw around the word "thou". I'm about 90% percent of the way through Dance now – fantastic, by the way – and Barristan Selmy just dropped a "must needs" that was so unnecessary and felt so out of place that I felt driven to stop reading, create a LiveJournal account, and come nag you about it.

It's not your job to worry about awkward repetition in your prose - you've got a story to tell, atmosphere to build, and a world full of characters to bring to life. When you're in the zone, stopping to second-guess your choice of words can be devastating to momentum and throw the creative flow completely off-track.

But your fiction's fantastic, and it's always a shame to see the carefully crafted atmosphere broken by a word or phrase that reminds me that I'm reading a book by a mortal man that can make mistakes like any other writer.

So you must needs let your copy editor know to keep an eye out for stuff like that. ;)

Great work on the book, hope you get a break to have some fun at ComiCon!
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations (and nitpicking)
My editor has tried to take out "must needs" several times. I always put it back in. I like the phrase, and the archaic flavoring it gives.
Re: Congratulations (and nitpicking) - danhoelck - Jul. 18th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Congratulations (and nitpicking) - dim_carcosa - Jul. 19th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Congratulations (and nitpicking) - sylphic61 - Jul. 18th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Congratulations (and nitpicking) - danhoelck - Jul. 18th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Andre Santiago Jr.
Jul. 18th, 2011 11:14 am (UTC)
Congratulations, George! It's definitely well deserved. It was wonderful to finally meet you for the first time at NYC. You've inspired me to write and to eventually become a published author. I can't wait to see you at NY Comic Con!
Jul. 18th, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
Thank you for that book ^^.
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George R.R. Martin
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