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It's Publication Day...

... for the long-awaited Tor reissue of ACE IN THE HOLE, volume six in the Wild Cards series. Look for it on the shelves of your friendly neighborhood bookstore, among the trade paperbacks, or from whichever online bookseller you prefer.

Set during a dramatic week in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, as a religious fanatic and a secret psychopath struggle for the nomination, ACE IN THE HOLE is one of our full mosaics, featuring the work of Melinda M. Snodgrass, Victor Milan, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, and Walter Jon Williams, deftly edited and interwoven by yours truly.

The stars this time around are Dr. Tachyon, Mackie Messer, Demise, Puppetman, and Golden Boy. That's Mackie coming through a Hartmann poster on the stunning new cover by Michael Komarck.



This is one of our best, if I do say so myself. The full mosaic form is incredibly demanding, for the writers and editor both, but I think the results are worth it.

Don't be frightened, though, ACE IN THE HOLE is purely fiction. No way any presidential candidate so malicious and deceptive could ever be nominated by a major party in real life. Right?

Comments

Margarita Mader
Mar. 1st, 2017 10:39 am (UTC)
Speaking of publications
Dear George Martin,

Sorry for being so intrusive (and posting somewhat in the wrong place), but I have an idea that might be completely stupid or maybe brilliant. I would feel extremely grateful if you gave it the mildest consideration. Apologies in advance for anything that may sound strange or impolite, I'm not an English native speaker, so I might not always find the correct tone.

The idea is this: After everything I read about the publication of "The winds of winter", I think that there might be one thing that could relieve the pressure you might be feeling:
As I see it, you started by wanting to write 4 or 5 books, then it became more, but at some point you decided that it may not be more than 7. And it appears to me that this is exactly what puts a lot of pressure on you. At least it is an effect that I experience sometimes with stuff I want to finish - the more pressure I feel (and particularly if it is self-made pressure on top of any pressure from others), the less I can go on with doing what I want to be doing or what I expect myself doing, or rather, getting done. Particularly if I try to take one really "big junk" at one go.

It appears to me that the novel is getting ever more detailed during being written and that's actually super cool and maybe the thing that made the novel so successful. So why should anybody, even yourself, restrict the level of detail artificially, or restrict the number of tomes? Why not leave that open? Why not patiently go into writing a couple of months of Westeros' history, or a certain number of pages and whenever some part, little as it may seem, is finished, publish it? Is the publishing process so cumbersome?

I have no experience in publishing, so I have no clue whether there is a very important reason to restricting the number of tomes, or anything, I'm completely naïve at that. But I have a suspicion that it might just be some kind of idea in the writing business, that an author should define the end of a story, or amount of pages or tomes, in advance and failure to do so is generally perceived as failure as an author, or something along the lines. If so, it might just be time to throw this prejudice away and learn better? Time evolves, authors evolve, TV series revolutionarily evolved particularly with the start of GOT... Things could just change for once, like many other things changed with ASOIAF (like protagonists dying frequently, for example). You're a pioneer and have already changed the world of writing, that's for certain in any case.

And I feel almost certain that splitting the remaining work into digestible pieces would very much reduce the pressure you seem to be experiencing. So this would be my suggestion: Write tome 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and publish something every few months of Westeros' history, or every year of writing, or every, say, 400 pages, or whenever you think that this part is just ripe (be it after 50 or 600 pages, why even bother about making any artificial limits to how much it must be?). And just not care whether it will be 7, 12 or even 20 tomes in the end.

Why not? Even more books for the fans, who would buy eagerly I'm certain, even more possibilities for sales events, etc. Could the drawbacks be so heavy that those advantages cannot compensate? Particularly the feeling of being free to write as you want? As much as you want, as detailed as you want, as long in one go as you want - would that not sound great and so much easier? OK, I'm only half your age, have virtually no experience in writing (novels, at least) and might be completely wrong with this funny idea, but who knows, it might be just the solution as well. I would feel so honoured if you considered the idea, even if eventually you were to judge it as complete stupidity.

Kind Regards,

Margarita

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George R.R. Martin
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