Wednesday 5 January 2011

George R.R. Martin hospitalized (but better now).

In an unexpected piece of news, George R.R. Martin has revealed that he spent most of Christmas and New Year's in hospital suffering from an e.coli infection. Happily, he has beaten back the infection, returned home and will be able to attend the previously-announced Television Critics Association events in Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday, as well as his book signing in Pasadena on Sunday.

Most intriguingly, GRRM had previously revealed that he hoped to make an exciting announcement at the book signing. Obviously this was something unrelated to the TV series (which could have been announced at the TCA press junket instead) and, interestingly, Martin has said that he will not now be able to make this announcement due to his illness, meaning it's probably not another licensing or movie deal for another project (which could presumably proceed regardless). In addition, Martin has no current editing or writing projects ongoing outside of A Song of Ice and Fire. Whether this was going to be the completion announcement of A Dance with Dragons or not remains open to rampant speculation, but whatever it was would now appear to have been delayed by at least several weeks, if not a month or so.

Best wishes to GRRM for a speedy recovery. This is not a fun virus to suffer from.


Anonymous said...

Oh, come on, Wert!

"This is not a fun virus to suffer from." As opposed to which one, exactly?

Also, are you sure you should start your post with a (slightly) misleading title? I mean, the man is home from the hospital now - your title seems to suggest GRRM is still hospitalized.

(I'm not sure why exactly, but I'm getting a slightly gossip-papery vibe from this post...)

Jeff said...

I know it has been said a million times on the internet but I am going to say it again - I am not optimistic that this series will be finished by Martin. I know it is a horrible thing to say right after the guy gets out of the hospital but it has nothing to do with that. His writing pace has been getting exponentially slower book after book. The amount of conventions and touring he did even before the HBO series was ridiculous and now with the added popularity that will no doubt come from the TV show The remaining (three?) books, after ADWD, will probably never see the light of day. He's entitled to do whatever he wants with his life but it will be very disappointing to have to read another author's version of the final books. Assuming that even happens.

Tree Frog said...

That stinks.

However, E. coli is a bacterial infection - not a viral one - and can be treated with antibiotics.

Hopefully, Martin can get everything he wants to accomplished and fortunately the show is building great buzz.

Adam Whitehead said...

Good point on the title, I was actually going to come back and change it but got bogged down in a discussion elsewhere. It's been amended now.

'Exponential' growth is not accurate. For that to be true the way between AFFC and ADWD would need to be 10 years, 6 months (since the wait from ASoS to AFFC was 5 years, 3 months). If ADWD came out in mid-2011 that would be over 5 and a half years. The growth from ASoS to AFFC certainly was exponential, however.

There are currently two books planned for after ADWD, meaning that as of ADWD the series is about three-quarters done. To come that far only to let the series reman unfinished would be an immense shame, something I think GRRM was aware of in his Dragon Page interview last year when he said he hoped to increase his writing speed. We'll see if that happens or not.

great_o'rety said...

Well, I guess the attitude towards Mr. Martin of his most dedicated fans (me included) is one of the most ambiguous things in the world. On the one hand the very reason we all hate that "his writing pace has been getting exponentially slower book after book" is because we so truly love what he had done already. So we hate him because we love him. More or less but not far from there. On the other hand we all implicitly feel that that's how things are. Just it all goes to show. ASoIaF has been so great a success that we as much as the author became sort of victims of it.

Now I guess we've been for long in a spot where it's no point being passionate any longer. Better be stoic.

Tree Frog said...

To me, Jean M. Auel remains the Queen of Ditheringly Slow Writing.

It took her twelve years to write a book that gets the main characters through one summer. No significant happenings either.

Then, nine years to get the one due this year, which might finish the series.

Legions of middle-aged women are more frustrated than any of the Martin malcontents. And they're better at bitching than most of those malcontents too.

Justin said...

I think the coming TV show will help his pace, not hinder it. When the show comes out it's going to bring even more fans into the fold. I'm sure by the time first season is finished his publisher will be doing their best to have him finish. It is a shame this one took so long, hopefully he just hit a snag and after this one is finished the rest of the series can be a smooth process.

One question no one has asked yet....why can he no longer make the announcement? He's recovering from E. Coli...and I wish him the best...but he's still going to go sign books at the signing, what's holding him back from making his announcement?

Hopefully we can all read ADWD soon, the anticipation is killing me.

Jens said...

@ anon:
"As opposed to which one, exactly?" - The common cold is a viral disease.
While no sickness is genuinely funny, I'd say that someone suffering from a E. coli infection (even if caused by bacteria, not viruses as TF's pointed out) would happily exchange this infection for a common cold...

@ Wert:
Sorry to be a smart ass but exponential growth does not necessarily mean that there's a factor of 2 between two values - any factor would do (s. geometrical sequence).
But even then we don't have anything remotely like a exponential growth.
The books were published in these months (according to wikipedia):
08/'96 (AGoT)
11/'98 (ACoK)
08/'00 (ASoS)
10/'05 (AFf)

That would give us 27, 21, and 62 months in between the respective publications.
As can be seen, the time between books 2/3 and books 3/4 has all but tripled (62:21 ≈ 2.9524). For there to be a exponential growth the first book should have been published 7 months prior to book 2, not 27!
(Of course, these numbers only reflect pub dates, not writing pace...)

Were Martin's pace really exponential we'd see ADwD in January 2021 (!) as the time between publications should be almost exactly 183 months (62 * 62/21 ≈ 183).
[And the two remaining books would be published in January 2066 and February 2199!]

This shows how ridiculous it is to use the term "exponential" if you don't mean it metaphorically.

If any, Martin's pace has been almost constant (admittingly, constantly slow) as 62 months after 10/'05 would be 12/'10.

However, I guess we all know that Martin's writing hardly follows a mathematical sequence (be it arithmetic or geometric).
Let's hope that the long wait for the twin books AFfC/ADwD is due to interior plot difficulties (Meereenese knot) and external side projects. If so, the remaining novels could come out in a more timely fashion. I guess, Martin himself is very much intested in completing his magnum opus and will resume a quicker pace once he's found a satisfactory way out of the corner he seems to be written himself into...


Anyway, glad to hear that he's better - it must've sucked to spend Xmas / New Year's in hospital.

Adam Whitehead said...

"One question no one has asked yet....why can he no longer make the announcement? He's recovering from E. Coli...and I wish him the best...but he's still going to go sign books at the signing, what's holding him back from making his announcement?"

That's the question I asked in the post :-) Most of the announcements the more cynical were expecting - another Wild Cards book, or another anthology, or a short story being turned into a comic or something along those lines - are all things that would seem to be able to proceed regardless of if GRRM was ill or not. The only reason his illness was able to effect the announcement is if the announcement was dependent on work he was planning to during the same period (i.e. writing something).

At this very moment, ADWD is the only writing project that we know of on his plate. FORT FREAK was turned in a while back and there are no anthologies or other books currently outstanding, aside from ADWD. That doesn't mean it was it, just that it becomes the most likely possibility.

Jens said...

To see the announcement of the eagerly-awaited completion of "A Dance with Dragons" would be very cool indeed...

Another nice surprise would be a new Dunk & Egg novella. Does anyone (Wert?) know if Martin has talked about the next installment? I only know that he plans to write several more...

Adam Whitehead said...

The next project after ADWD will be the world book, which has been mostly written but needs GRRM's final edit and approval. Hopefully that'll be out for Christmas this year, but maybe more likely next year.

The next D&E story (possibly the one set in Winterfell about the 'She-Wolves') is on GRRM's schedule but I don't think he's done any work on it so far. It probably depends if a suitable venue (say a WARRIORS II collection) for it appears (or he does one himself).

Unknown said...

Howdy Wert;

What are you hearing in terms of how the Timeline will be skewed in ADWD and perhaps the book following? And, if you aren't hearing anything, what would your speculation be?

I thought the whole point of AFFC was that Martin was uncomfortable jumping forward 5 years, but, it left us with a laboring, almost stagnant installment in AFFC and the suspicion that ADWD will be several years in the future anyway, without much explanation of why such a jump from the end of AFFC occured (which was supposedly the main thing that was vexing Martin in the first place).


- The Fisher King

- Fish

Adam Whitehead said...

The timeline for ADWD seems clear: the first half runs parallel to A FEAST FOR CROWS, climaxing around 800 MS pages in (which is about the 50-55% mark of the novel). The remainder of the novel follows on from the end of A FEAST FOR CROWS. There is no further major jump forward in time, although Martin's reports of characters having to sail long distances almost from the very end of AFFC and reach their destination in ADWD suggests we may return to the situation in AGoT and ACoK where weeks or months could pass between chapters (ACoK covers about a year, for example, whilst AFFC is maybe a few months at best).

Unknown said...

Thanks Wert!

- Fish