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Aces, Jokers, Artists

The Wild Cards reread continues over at Tor.com, with an insightful new post by Katie Rask about the many various styles of art in JOKERS WILD, and the meanings behind all of it.

Join the discussion at:



Jun. 9th, 2017 05:13 pm (UTC)
old art
I know you have a great history in early comic book fandom. I believe you also attended the very first comic book convention in 1964, the only one Spiderman artist Steve Ditko EVER attended. Did you ever get a chance to speak with him that day ( or ever ) ? He seems so reclusive that it is surprising he even attended. If anyone could get him to talk, I am sure it was you.
Jun. 11th, 2017 07:45 pm (UTC)
Re: old art
Yes, I spoke with Steve Ditko at that convention, and even got his autograph. (I just wish I could find it). I recall him being a very quiet man, shy... and since I was a pretty shy kid, I'm afraid we didn't have much of a conversation. I just told him how much I love Spider-Man and Doctor Strange and he thanked me, and said that Doc Strange was a favorite of his as well.
Jun. 9th, 2017 05:55 pm (UTC)
While I am sure there are wild card fans, I'm willing to bet 99% of your fans are for asoiaf. Using the popularity of that to promote wild cards to readers who dont care about it is annoying when you havent provided even a nugget of info about WoW in over a year. Fans are annoyed or angry because they love your work, I'm sure it's a burden but that's why you get the big bucks.

Maybe a 10:1 wild cards to asoiaf posts would be fair. Give us something George, we are starving. Just finished king killer chronicles and they were good, but the amazingness of asoiaf has made every other book just not as interesting.

Also, I am a die hard jets fan and will need something to keep me occupied this fall, we were pitiful on paper before we let 52 and 87 go, now we are 0-16 potential. WoW would make the fall a little more bearable.
Jun. 11th, 2017 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
While it is certainly true that SONG OF ICE AND FIRE has many more followers than WILD CARDS, I think your 99% to 1% is rather an exaggeration. Wild Cards is pretty popular as well, elsewise it would not have lasted for thirty years and twenty-three volumes (with four more in the pipeline).

If I post more about Wild Cards than Ice & Fire, it's because there is more to report -- books coming out, being delivered, a new website, and so on. I do post about Ice & Fire and GAME OF THRONES whenever there is actual news to report. Do you really want or need weekly WoW posts all saying, "Still working on it, not done yet?" I know some writers make posts like, "Wrote three pages today," but that's never been my way. And when I tried doing posts like that, back when I was working on DANCE WITH DRAGONS, that just seemed to make people angry as well.

You say, "Give us something," but it seems to me I have... a number of sample chapters have been posted on my website, and I've read more of them at cons. It's never enough. Okay, fair 'nuff, the only thing I can give that will satisfy is the finished book, and that's what I'm trying to deliver.

I do agree with you about the Jets.
William Gicking
Jun. 11th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: cmon
Hey George I know it's probably annoying for you sometimes, annoying is probably even an understatement, but it really is just a compliment that fans are that obsessed with your work that's it's constantly on their minds. Not that we should have the right to try to dictate what you post about on here obviously or that were entitled to a certain amount of updates or anything like that I'm just saying all these ASOIAF fiends(myself included) are a result of you writing some damn good books which is to say...it's kinda your fault that we exist in the first place.
Jun. 11th, 2017 10:26 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
"... obsessed with my work," okay, sure, but...

1) obsession is never good, we all need a sense of proportion, and

2) it's all my work. Well, WILD CARDS is the work of forty plus people, but I am and always have been a huge part of it, as writer and editor and chief cook and bottle washer. Haviland Tuf is my work, Thousand Worlds is my work... my work includes Ice & Fire, but also a lot more.
William Gicking
Jun. 11th, 2017 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
Well said. I do honestly think most of us who check this blog would be excited for any new material from you and not just asoiaf stuff though. But anyway man hope life is going good and appreciate the reply.
Jun. 12th, 2017 12:40 am (UTC)
Re: cmon
Spot on.

People that get annoyed are a vocal minority. There are several thousands of people that read and loved ASOIAF and don't complain about the waiting. Being able to respect other people's activities is a part of being an adult, I guess.
Jun. 11th, 2017 10:05 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
"Do you really want or need weekly WoW posts all saying, "Still working on it, not done yet?"

Tragically, after 12 years of moderating on the Westeros forum, it appears that the answer to this for many people is yes. In fact, there are literally people out there who assume if you go a week and don't mention ASoIaF but do mention football, they conclude that you haven't worked at all on ASoIaF for that week and spent it all watching football instead (I mean, is that even possible. How many games are there a week?).

I mean, it's a nice problem to have to have this interest in your work, but it's also plain weird to me. I do think most readers take it as read that you're continuing to work on TWoW even if you go more than a week without mentioning it, and it will be done when it is done.
Jun. 12th, 2017 12:23 am (UTC)
RE: Re: cmon
That is a very simplistic conclusion. The fandom was allways supporting Mr. Martin, even after they knew that Winds won't come out before season six of GoT. But that has been 17 months from now. Since then, nothing has happened. Mr. Martin said that he is months from finishing it, but fans thought that he was speaking about months, not years. Sure, 20 months are still months, but obviously no one interpreted that that way. I think the main problem right now, is that most of the fans have lost their hope. Some morons unfortunatly articulate that hatefully on the internet. Others use their humor and sarcasm to deal with this. Many have just let it go by now. But nevertheless, it is not a secret by now, that the vast mojority of the fandom has lost every hope to ever see a finished work of Ice and Fire. I do not belong to them. But it is a fact now. And not all of them are jerks. Most of them still have big love for Mr. Martin. And they do not demand from Mr. Martin to write "every week", that he is "still working". But they want to know why the book is not out yet, when Mr. Martin originaly thought that the book may be finished within a few months back in 2015 (from his new year update in January 2016). It is nearly two years now. Not weeks. I think, your arguement is therefor way one-sided.
Jun. 12th, 2017 01:14 am (UTC)
Re: cmon
The real pity here is that there is an argument at all.

Let me draw your attention to the fact that my original post, above, was about the Wild Card reread, and Katie Rast's real cool analysis of the artwork referenced in JOKERS WILD. That's what we should be talking about in these comments.

But no, someone brought up Ice & Fire, and instead of ignoring or deleting it, I answered. That's what happens whenever I address WINDS in any manner. Despite the fact that I have repeatedly asked my readers to STAY ON TOPIC in these comments sections, WINDS will inevitably take over any discussion in which I allow it to be referenced in any way. And then the arguments will begin.

I am better off deleting and ignoring. As this has proved once again.

Anyone have anything to say about the art in JOKERS WILD??

Edited at 2017-06-12 01:15 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2017 11:38 am (UTC)
Re: cmon
Dear G.R.R Martin,

Honestly, after looking at the response to this blog on reddit, I feel the "Fandom" is split into the quiet and supportive Neds and the loud and "spoiled" Joffreys. I am more in the Ned group.

Although I am interested in the story being one book closer to completion with TWOW, that Is not where my excitement lies.

What I am most eager for are the stories that speak of things from before ASOIAF, stories like the rest of Gyldayn's work on the Targaryens, which you say may come out around October 10th, and The rest of the Dunk and egg stories.

These stories help add context to the main series and although I am eager for these books, I shall be patient and allow you to continue your work while silently being supportive of you, like every person who enjoys your work should be.

Take your time and ignore the roaring of the Joffreys.

Jun. 12th, 2017 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
Neds and Joffreys? Hey, I like that...
Ryan Hoover
Jun. 12th, 2017 02:05 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: cmon
Hey George,

I understand that you want the comments for any post to stay on topic, and I am sorry to sidetrack this conversation further; but I feel that a large portion of your fans want to talk about ASOIAF with you but there haven't been any blog posts for us to do that, so unfortunately other post's comment sections get hijacked like this one did.

Come to think of it maybe a weekly "still working on TWOW" post would be helpful at least in that it will contain all the ASOIAF comments to their appropriate post(s).

Jun. 12th, 2017 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
"Anyone have anything to say about the art in JOKERS WILD??"

Not yet, but hopefully soon, and if that cover is any indication, no complaints whatsoever. I just got my copy of Wild Cards I recently, so I'll be making my way to III in no time.

Also, off topic, I'm sorry - but I asked you a few weeks back about book recs (WoT, Accursed Kings, or Dark Tower), well I called an audible and got this book "Dying of the Light" instead, by some Martin guy, and read it while I waited for a non-fiction book to show up, "Adults in the Room" by Yanis Varoufakis. If you read non-fiction, I highly recommend this book. It's all about Varoufakis' time as Greece's finance minister and his dealings with the European and US establishments. Yanis is almost like a Greek Ned Stark, hopelessly trying to solve his country's problems, but that Lannister (aka Eurozone) machine is just too deep for him to navigate. It's a great read about good people trying to do the right thing, but coming up short because, well, life.

PS - "Dying of the Light" was great, any plans to re-visit Dirk (granted he made it out of that epilogue)?
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:39 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
No, no plans to revisit Dirk... though one day, if I ever have the time, I may return to the Thousand Worlds. But not to Worlorn. That was only one of the worlds, after all.

I did have that book about Avalon I started once... before A GAME OF THRONES shoved it so rudely aside...
Jun. 12th, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
RE: Re: cmon
I can understand the thirst from people for WoW as I myself am looking forward to the eventual release. However, the amount of sh*t you see posted about "how longs it's taking" and "what if something happens to GRRM and we never get the book" is just insane. I mean, I'm sure in some ways you can see it as sort of a compliment that the demand for your book has lead to this sort of insanity from fans, but the frustration you might get from the pandering would be frustrating.

In my mind, you release WoW when it's ready to be released, it's as simple as that. It's as if some still don't realise the many times you've said how notoriously late you are with deadlines.

Just thought I'd say my piece and hope everyone realises [unlikely] they just need to have more patience, the longer wait will make WoW even more satisfying to read and inevitably turn the hype for the "final" book into massive overdrive.
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
I don't see speculation about the possibility of my death as any sort of compliment, no. My own hope is to live another thirty years and write thirty more books.
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: cmon
From the vantage point of your readers, the no updates on WINDS stance makes it seem like the fun has been sapped out of the writing process for WINDS. *Seems* because we don't know if the writing is going well or not, and we want to root for you! Share in joys/sorrows and such. It's part of what makes the I&F community the fun fandom it is.

I think most fans aren't looking for a weekly update though, just something -- even if it's nothing more than "Finished a chapter today" or "Had to take a chapter from finalized format back to draft after I realized it didn't work."

A fun ways you did *some* ADWD progress updates towards the end of the writing progress was to create fun puzzles for fans to try to figure out what you were working on: E.G. "I'm shoveling snow, a pair of krakens to tie up, writing Fred, Barney and Yogi chapters."

I understand if this comment never sees the light of approval, but that's okay. I just hope you have the chance to read it. Best wishes.
Williamjames Hoffer
Jun. 11th, 2017 09:27 pm (UTC)
Wild Cards v. ASOIAF
Just so you know, the vast majority of us fans are fans of all of your work, including the amount of time you give us on your blog. Your dedication to us is amazing, particularly in light of all of the things that you do. You owe us nothing and we owe you everything. Thanks! I don't speak for the fandom by any means, but I do survey what we write on reddit, tumblr, You Tube, etc. That why I doubt I'll be the only one who will write in, but: Regardless of the odds, do what is right" is what I've come to live by, and I think your characters, the ones rooting for anyway, reach that conclusion too. Best to all.
Jun. 11th, 2017 10:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Wild Cards v. ASOIAF
Thank you.
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:07 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Wild Cards v. ASOIAF
Thank you George! I will wait patiently for Winds. Please make it so awesome it will melt my face off! Can't wait to hear more about the North, particularly the Stark children warging. Not to mention the Dornish plot! Thanks GRRM!
Joel Gillham
Jun. 12th, 2017 02:52 am (UTC)
Dear Mr. Martin I have one Question
Sadly I have never read the Wild Cards series but I love A Song of Ice and Fire, I love dunk and Egg and I love the Thousand Worlds. I hope to one day read the Wild Card Stoires.
As an aspiring Fantasy and Sci Fir author my self you are one of my inspirations.
In a Storm of Swords. When Robb returned to Riverrun after fighting the Westerlands he looked for other options to go back north after losing the Freys one of them was a letter to his Aunt Lysa, quote on that below.

I've asked only that she (Lysa Arryn) open the Bloody Gate for us, and provide ships at Gulltown to take us north. The high road would be hard, but not so hard as fighting our way up the Neck. If I could land at White Harbor I could flank Moat Cailin and drive the ironmen from the North in half a year

I remember in a Clash of Kings the Manderlys were given money to build a new Northern Fleet. In a Dance With Dargons Sir Davos sees part of this fleet.

Why cant Robb just send a raven from Riverrun to White Harbour commanding Lord Wyman to have the fleet sail for Saltpans a port in Robbs Northern and Riverland Kingdom. King Robb can march from Riverrun to Slatpans and sail to White Harbour from there.
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Dear Mr. Martin I have one Question
These sorts of detailed I&F issues are best discussed with your fellow readers on Westeros or Tower of the Hand. That's not the sort of question I would ever answer here.
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:24 am (UTC)
Genuine GRRM Appreciation and some questions
Hi George, first of all I'm aware this probably won't mean much to you but I'm sorry for the amount of flak you catch from the frustrated ASOIAF fan community. As someone who keeps up to date with the various sites that discuss your works, in fact I probably keep a bit too up to date to the slight detriment of my studies in medicine, it seems the issue is two-fold. Many fans cannot take the responsibility upon themselves to find new activities, pieces of writings and other hobbies that they enjoy which is definitely their own personal issue. There is also an absence of appreciation and empathy when they do bother you for updates. Being such a famous author doubtlessly has unique stresses and demands that fans would be unfamiliar with. Expectations are difficult. Writing is extremely difficult. Many fans don't often understand that you actually would like to deliver the winds of winter and enjoy your life which sometimes means branching out into other things, having a healthy life balance and not pushing yourself like a slave until a deadline is met. I really hope that the constant noise of complaining fans hasn't dulled your love for writing or for the fantasy universes that you've constructed, because I can really tell from reading your works that you do love your writing and your creation. Anyway I'd personally like to thank you for rekindling my love for writing in general and specifically for the fantasy genre, it was something that I had just sort of forgotten about as I focused more on the stresses and demands of my school life and the last 8 years of my studies in university and further to medical school. I have since branched out to other fantasy authors in search for something that brought me as much joy as ASOIAF has. While I do notice that a lot of pieces of writing in fantasy and other genres have their own pitfalls and don't capture the same feelings as smoothly or as appropriately as your writings do, I am still able to appreciate them on their own and for what they are. Long story short thank you for helping me find a part of me that the rigors of life nearly made me forget about. Also I know you will still have many fans pestering you for updates and the like, but I just hope you can continue to enjoy your writing and do it for yourself and not for the masses begging for scraps day in and day out. I don't expect anything more from you but just want to express my appreciation for what your writing has already done for me so thank you.
Also when reading other fantasy novels I often find a lot of the dialogue as rather fake or forced or just plain unnatural. I just wanted to know how do you go about writing dialogue between characters that just feels like natural and not like its sole intention is to advance the plot? Were there any sort of authors or muses that you looked to for examples or advice for writing good dialogue?
Sorry for the long comment but this is my last question, I'm looking into starting to read the Wild Cards novels although hopefully not although hopefully not all 23 because I don't have that much spare time. I was wondering is it recommended to read them sequentially or can I pick up any volume randomly? are there certain volumes that are absolute must-reads plot-wise or for stand-alone exceptional quality of writing? If you have read this then thank you for your time, I really appreciate it.

Kind regards,
Jun. 12th, 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Genuine GRRM Appreciation and some questions
My years in Hollywood did wonders for my dialogue. There's nothing like hearing actors actually trying to say your words to help you focus on what works and what doesn't.

My con readings are also good for this.

Lacking actors, the best thing a writer can do for himself is to READ HIS DIALOGUE ALOUD.
Jun. 12th, 2017 10:00 am (UTC)
write method
Hello dear GRRM,

Above all, I’m sorry for my English, I write you of France and my level is pretty poor.

I would like to know so possible your method of writing. I am fascinated by your so rich universes. I imagine that it did not come like that, and that there are years of searches and documentation. For example, for " A Song of Ice and Fire " it seems to me that you were inspired by " War of the Rose " but I think that you have multitudes of the other inspirations.
Thus, you can reveal us how you document and especially how you transpose all these historical and imaginary facts on paper? Have you a method? And have you a method to develop also all which is fiction (imaginary facts)?
And to finish, go to develop you the continent of "Sothoryos" which remains very mysterious and about whom we know almost nothing.

Thank you very much, by hoping to have an answer from you, know that we are many very (across the Atlantic) to find your wonderful papers and I am a big "FAN" of what you are doing.
Very good day.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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