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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 09:40 pm (UTC)
It was indeed awesome. I have already devoured my way through it, and am thinking of giving it another read right away, just to make sure I didn't miss anything juicy the first time around.

Many thanks for yet another amazing work. Looking forward to the next one, but that needn't be said.

And ooooo! You hit us with some really hum-dinger cliffhangers, didn't you?

I'm not surprised to hear that the sales were so good. I've seen a surprising number of people with copies in their shopping carts at different stores lately. I'm sure the HBO show didn't hurt book sales. Several people have told me that they never really read much, until seeing the show, and immediately went and read the whole series. I believe you've created a whole lot of new fans of the genre.
Matthew David Bennett
Jul. 18th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
Not five minutes ago, I finished "A Dance With Dragons." I took my time with it, as I feel was necessary. I absolutely loved it, George. At the end of the book, as the feeling in my gut told me that there really is a roadmap for all of this, I got the same feeling that I got upon closing "A Storm of Swords" for the first time. I was so glad to dive headfirst back into your world, and what a great trip it was! As for the lengthy descriptions that everyone seems to dislike: If you did not want a descriptive telling of a story, buy the CliffNotes. I assure that the plot points of Great Expectations, Anna Karenina, and A Dance With Dragons are much less interesting when told out of the context of the author's style...."must needs" and all. :-D Congratulations on your success, George, and I look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the next installment.
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
the wait begins...
thanks for adwd. i liked the book very much. i have "discovered" that hearing and reading it (at the same time) is much more satisfying and fulfilling experience than just reading it. what i "must" complain about though is: i don´t understand why the voice from audible made/makes daenerys sound like an "old witch"? this "must needs" be addressed! she is just a girl. no young girl sounds like that!
now the wait begins...i have bought some other books hoping that they will "bridge" the time until wind comes out (malazan, black company and name of the wind...(way of kings, wot, amber, covenant and countless others have been "devoured" long ago).
one last request/wish/plead...please don´t "stick" to 7. if you finish it in 7...good. if not, please don´t "strangle" the story just to make it be seven! (9 is also a great number ;))
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
It's a fantastic book and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. A question, you refer to your DOS machine as your 'writing computer'. Do you do ALL your writing on that, or is it just for the ASoIaF related work?
Jul. 18th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
All my fiction.

Letters and such I write on the Windows machine.
Steve Bennett
Jul. 18th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Winds of Winter is coming!
Jul. 19th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
My thanks
Mr. Martin,

Since your busy schedule will not take you anywhere near me, I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to you for Dance. I can't say for certain if absence made the heart grow fonder, only that it was a treat to be able to return to Westeros and see our old friends again. I wish you all the best, and hope you enjoy the successes your hard work has wrought.
And may all your winters be short.
Jul. 19th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Welcome back to NM, Mr. Martin; I live in ABQ so I think I'm allowed to say that. ^_^ Really hoping that you can fit a signing for Dance at Page One in your schedule, as my friends and I would love to see you speak again.

As for Dance, I just got it two days ago; opened the Amazon box with a sword, as I felt it was appropriate. It's amazing so far. The ending of the second Jon chapter... wow. I actually had to set the book down and step away for a moment, and that doesn't happen often. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Mimi Miville
Jul. 19th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
so in my downtime after having finished ADWD and waiting impatiently on my fellow podcast hosts to catch up, i made a youtube video in an effort to turn more people on to the glory that is ASOIAF.


Jul. 19th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
See you in Redwood City 'ol Georgey
Dear George, I have been obsessed with your books since I was in my late teens. I am now turning 26 and super happy that your books have blossomed into a very successful HBO series. Although I have yet to watch one episode, I am the official office guru to all those who must know the spoilers.

Your books have gotten me through the worst of times and I am so thankful to have discovered the wonderful world of fantasy and scifi, through them.

I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to say at least one sentence to you. Maybe even get a picture or two. Can't wait for the 27th! See you then, my dear friend.

Best regards,
Michelle Ma
Jul. 19th, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
Dance with dragons
I just finished the book and it's got me worried. This might be the sort of post that never actually gets published, but I think a lot of your readers have the same questions I do. Obviously there wasn't as much action, or plot resolution, in Dance or Feast as there were in the previous three books, and that fact combined with the long wait has got people's heads rolling. What I mean is that if someone were to assemble a list of the top ten plot points they wanted to see addressed or advanced in Dance, they might see two, or maybe even one, actually dealt with.

There could be two different reasons for this:
1) Considering Feast/Dance one book, then after the culmination of action in the previous three books there was bound to be a lull while you gathered your character once again and put them in position for the endgame in the next two books. This seems natural with what you've stated before about wanting to skip ahead five years for this book, and the troubles you've had writing this book would seem more understandable if you knew going in there wouldn't be a lot of action here.

There's a second option for this lack of action though:

2) Like 'Sword of Truth' or 'Wheel of Time', 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is a compelling world to inhabit, not only for the reader but obviously for the writer as well. You wouldn't have written over a million words by now if you didn't love this world. You want to explore this world and fully flesh it out, and we the reader want you to do it. The problem becomes: "Does fleshing this world out, and exploring every facet of it take the place of narrative?" Which is the problem I saw with the two previously mentioned fantasy series.

Now I'm not trying to troll here, there are valid points to be made for either one of those choices, and maybe there's a third, fourth, or fifth option I haven't considered. And whichever choice you've made regarding ASoIaF many people are going to love it and a few are going to hate it, you're going to get rich, and that's just the name of the game.

My question then, and I'm beggin you for an answer, is it option 1 or 2? I began reading the series because it felt going in as if you had a story you wanted to tell that just happened to be millions of words long. I can understand if there's a lull in the middle of this giant story while you get all your pieces in order, but I will feel let down if this is a prelude to another eight books of wheel spinning.

You don't owe your readers anything, you're not our bitch, this is your animal and if you want you can add cartoons, aliens, or talking cars. But, I think myself and a lot of your older readers are asking you, begging you, to give us some confirmation, one way or the other, is this a story being told, or a world being explored?
Jul. 19th, 2011 08:43 am (UTC)
Patience wearing thin

When oh when will "The Winds of Winter" be finished? It has been seven long days since "A Dance with Dragons" arrived. George R R Martin, you should stop behaving unethically, and honour your obligations. You are contractually bound to finish the book already. Where is it?!??
Jul. 19th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Reviews on Amazon.com are stupid!
I just checked, and really I can't believe it! Those reviewers must be very young or stupid or something. "Nothing happens! BOOOOOO!" What crybabies! First, in most of my favorite books, nothing EVER happens. Second, more things happened in the first 370 pages of this book than in all FFC. And FFC WAS very good. I can't understand that kind of stupidity.
Kyle Hutchinson
Jul. 19th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
No Dragons Here
Thank you for the wonderful experience the book (and it's predecessors) provided. It was such a wonderful immersive experience that I felt somewhat disheartened upon returning to the real world (sigh, no dragons here).
Is there any chance that the chapters you finished that your editor asked you to pull from this one will be posted on your "Ice and Fire Sample" page in the future? The only minor problem I had with the dance was that it seemed to end rather abruptly for some characters (I am assuming this was due to the pulling of said sequences, and thus an editorial thing).
Again, many many thanks!!
Jul. 19th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
The binding in my copy of the book broke half way through the series. Pages are falling out, poor thing. Should I contact your publisher about this or just return it to Amazon?
Jul. 19th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
If you bought the book from Amazon, yes, return it to them. They should replace it.

Sorry to hear about this. This, alas, is one of the risks you run when a book gets as big as DANCE, and the main reason why you really can't make 'em any bigger, no matter how much story you have to tell.
Emilie McLaughlin
Jul. 19th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
"Dance was awesome"!
Sales were great, reviews were great, and it was indeed worth the wait!! Since I couldn't take the day off, I got up at 1 am and downloaded my Nook...then, I went to work and continued reading using Nook on PC...while working intermittently on the Things That Had To Get Done. I wonder how much productivity was sacrificed across the US due to Dance? :)
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George R.R. Martin
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