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    (in no particular order:) books, comics, CRPGs, history, archaeology ... have I mentioned books?

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  1. This is indeed what makes me a little optimistic. But seriously, I never understood why he concerned himself with this issue. Beside why it even was an issue to begin with: I have quite a lot of books which came in multiple volumes within one slipcase, and I also have quite a few paperbacks with more pages than ADwD (up to +/-1500 counted pages), and even more hardcovers. This is nice to read/hear, but I wonder whether he can keep the progress up. I certainly hope so, but I will remain sceptical, simply because this isn't the first time he made progress, just to hit the next wall just a few months/pages/chapter-versions later.
  2. I think it is more or less complete, of course some locations might change and some people move somewhere else, expect maybe: You were right to hesitate, as I, too, wouldn't call it a storyline area, as it plot-important habitants are essentially all spread around the globe at this moment. And while I like the Reader a lot, I really hope no storyline splits in a way, that would make people go to the Iron Isle too soon, as this would cost us another bunch of pages we don't have.
  3. Even if Martin does somehow manage to get back to the pacing of ASOS, there are so many plots hanging in midair now, that it will at the very least take TWoW to get to a point, at which Dany can leave Essos without it feeling rushed. And all the other storylines are also in (dire) need of space to be told, as @Lord Varys pointed out, not even Aegon can be dealed with in just two JonCon and three Arianne chapters without looking like a filler. There is so much that has to happen, that we are running out of pages with just two books left. Of course, and story-wise you are right. The question is, whether GRRM is able and willing to deliver.
  4. The easiest answer would be, that he wanted to deconstruct the topos of the perfect promised prince, groomed to rule and oh so perfect. But beside that: I agree. One could even hypothesise that with the threat of the Others (solved or not) they might even end the dance the way it should have been done the last time: the hard way, by negotiations. I'm afraid we will not get another (eighth) book, or if, than just because he messed up and kept the pace of ADwD. I don't know if he can wrap things up well enough to not make it look cheap.
  5. Yes, but as you might remember (it's been some time, since we last talked about this), I'm not sure the Dance of the Dragons Part Two will ever take place in the sense of a real conflict. We already had a Dance with Dragons, and a lot of characters are still dancing it, some not even started to join, so: If Martin is not making people sit on their hands for a whole book while at the same time a lot of things is happening in other POVs, I think that Dany will "miss" most of the game of thrones played in Westeros, seeing how much she has to do in Essos before moving West. I would find it very plausible if she would even only come because of the Others and the role she and the dragons have to play in that conflict according to the things Marwyn & Co. will tell her. Yes, of course. It's just that we will see this in TWoW or the very beginning of ADoS - or we would need another book, because else we are running out of pages for solving the conflict.
  6. That is all very optimistic considering the size of the story. That's why I said it's the earliest moment. Imho it could be doable if the chapters in Essos were as fast paced as in the first two books, but even than it would cut heavily into the page count, leaving less space for the other characters. That's why I find it more likely to happen in the Prologue or one of the first chapters in ADoS (something like: the first ships are seen emerging on the horizons by a POV on Dragonstone). Oh, it will not be a surprise for the reader, and maybe not even all the characters, but if it comes down because of something stupid (like a sacrifice or something), it will hit some of the characters like a truck. I think we will have a lot of build up for whatever has to happen on the Wall, reaching it climax in either the last chapter of TWoW, it's Epilogue or the Prologue of ADoS (or else we would really need another book ). GRRM could do something like this, ignoring everyone and every plot built up in Essos, or solving it all with one chapter of deus ex machina, but it would not be... how to put it? ... the best writing.
  7. No chance for that. I agree. The only way this could (maybe, big maybe) work - or at least could work in the way that Dany would return only a short time after the battle - would be, if the timelines of the POVs had already diverged a very, very great deal in ADwD. Like, say, if Dany's POV in the Grass Sea would be just days, maximum two weeks after the events at the Pits, while the other POVs have moved two or more months at the same time. But this would only "save" this specific scene, it would not make Dany go to Westeros any quicker, as everybody has already pointed out, and multiple times, and not only here, that she has to get the Dothraki to trust and follow her. I agree here with @SeanF that there must be a trial so the Dosh Khaleen will recognize her as their leader. Then they all have to reach Meereen, have to meet and talk to people, Marwyn (and maybe Quaithe - I like your idea, that she will be waiting for Dany, @Lord Varys, this would be a nice way to speed thing up, a tiny bit) has to convince Dany and everybody that Shit is hitting the fan in Westeros (maybe the Dosh Khaleen would even have seen something it that direction, too)... And than we have to talk about Volantis, because even if Dany doesn't move against Quarth, I think Volantis and Pentos will definitely fall to her. So I think we will at best see her ships arrive in Westeros in the Epilogue of TWoW, while the Wall coming down (or being overrun) in TWoW is imho most likely the major event in the book, contrasted by the petty games about the "iron chair" in the south. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wall falls in the Epilogue of an already very bleak book (or two chapters before that and the Epilogue shows us people fleeing South), and we see Dany's armada in the Prologue of ADoS.
  8. Unfortunately, I'm with @The Bard of Banefort here: I seems like damage control, especially compared to the things he said in the last months, which actually made people re-evaluate him as a writer (such as, that he didn't understand why people are so upset about the shows ending, etc. pp.). Originally, I thought the "yes and no" about the similarities between the books and the shows ending would be something like: Dany doesn't stay in Westeros, but flies back to Essos and takes her people with her, while Jon keeps his oath and goes back to the wall, Bran becomes a tree, Kings Landing is magdeburgerised but by Aegon, etc. pp. Now, I'm not so sure anymore, and I'm also not sure about Martin's abilities to forcefully change his ending... But maybe the characters themselves will save the day and simply do things differently - not that we will ever see an ending. I always disliked the "god-king-Bran-ending", as it not only would make GRRM an epigones, but also one who did not understand either Herbert, or his own ability to make one and the necessaries of a commentary about the God-Emperor. First: A commentary is simply not needed, everything wrong with the concept of the God-Emperor is already addressed in the original book and mostly by the God-Emperor himself. Second: It works a a bittersweet ending for humanity and the protagonists in Dune only because of the character, traits and especially the agenda of the Worm. Bran has non of this: He is not an adult mind in a child's body, he can not see all futures at once (he can see the past, and only parts of it), he doesn't have access to the memories of thousands of very different people, but only to devotees to the trees, etc. And he lacks the agenda of the Worm, and I don't see where he should get it from in the last two books. And as far as we know the trees were not seen as benevolent enough by the Andals to keep them around, they chopped them down, to cut down their influence and the ability to spy on humanity. In Dune it is the God-Emperor himself who does this: he destroys the possibility for another Kwisatz Haderach, making humanity invisible and impossible to be influenced by the past memories at the same time. So I'm with you here, I don't think the rule of tree-god-king-Bran can end up as bittersweet or less than horrible even in the blue-and-orange-spectrum of value systems. I would actually like to see it ending in just this moment: funerals are being held, people are saying their farewells, (Dany's packing for Essos, Jon is going back to the Wall to reform the Nights Watch - if one or both are alive), a Great Council is being planed, but not now in Winter, people need food and shelter first (he could give Edmure a nice shining moment in which he grills his fellow lords about for once doing their focking duty and take care of their people). That would indeed be a bittersweet ending.
  9. Yes, a really nice one, reminds me of one of my favourite pictures of her, young and with her hair burned down: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/b/b4/Pojypojy_LionPelt.jpg I like pojypojy, they also have some not as common motives: https://www.deviantart.com/pojypojy https://www.deviantart.com/pojypojy/art/ADWD-SPOILER-good-company-253912679 https://www.deviantart.com/pojypojy/art/ADWD-SPOILER-old-friends-260230147 https://www.deviantart.com/pojypojy/art/ADWD-SPOILER-R-W-253912211 Another artist I like very much is Mustamirri: https://www.deviantart.com/mustamirri https://www.deviantart.com/mustamirri/art/In-Qarth-433540884 https://www.deviantart.com/mustamirri/art/After-performance-503650703 Responsible of my favourite Theon-sketch: http://algesiras.free.fr/pages/hig_home.html algesiras.free.fr/images/highgarden/algesiras_theon.jpg Sandor: algesiras.free.fr/images/highgarden/algesiras_4dogs.jpg I also like their take on Jaime: algesiras.free.fr/images/highgarden/algesiras_maindor.jpg But this is my favourite concerning Jaime: https://www.deviantart.com/dubugomdori/art/Song-of-Ice-and-Fire-Jaime-129772100
  10. and Well, with: What utter horseshit. First of all, there is no specific height WoT is elevated to, because there is no rating or ranking body. Some people view it as being of higher quality than others, and that is literally true of every piece of literature out there. What's really confusing is why people who haven't read the books care. If you read a few pages and didn't like it, move on. But the idea that anyone can gatekeep and decide where any piece of work "belongs" and then can go around saying anyone who doesn't agree is dumb is just repugnant. How odiously self-centered do you have to be that it isn't enough to say "I don't like it, here's why". Instead you need to say "this is "objectively" trash, and anyone who likes it has something wrong with them"? you addressed me, and as you have imputed things on me I have not said, I answered. Have you perhaps, just perhaps, been reading LV's replies? I have, and you might have realised from my posts that my point of view on this subject is different (as on many others). No, I was not aware, as I don't read every thread on this forums. Edit: By the by, thanks for the tip concerning Arcane, it's entertaining.
  11. Excuse me, but first: I did not say I don't like it, or did not find it entertaining. In fact, I made no statement about whether - and if, how long ago - I read WoT, nor how far I have come. And you have not asked, you just presume. Second, like I said before, nothing is wrong with anyone just because they like or even love a specific piece of art. Third: Of course there are objective criteria for the quality of a work, they are a bit more blurry for art than they are for science or handicrafts but they exist. For literature there would be criteria like style and tone and their proper application, world building and logic, narrative coherence (or an artful lack of it ), characters description, their interactions and developments, if there is something like a story or plot, than it should at least follow it's own logic, etc. pp. Just to name a few. As as I said before, pulp/genre literature can of course be objectively good - and often is. It's just that subjective emotions (like/don't like) toward a work just as often have little to do with it's objective qualities - and don't have to. Fourth and last, because you asked why people care: I don't, really. But, as have been said before by others, @Lord Varys made a thread specifically for describing his experience with WoT without disturbing the fan-threads here. This is actually very civil, if you ask me. Some people (like me) enjoy lurking here and accompanying him on his journey through the books, some agree with him on one occasion but disagree on others, some drop in from time to time, others have posted just once. And of course, this being a critical thread, the chance for people sticking around being critical toward the work in one or more aspects is more likely. So, why do you care? If you would make a venting thread about one of my favourite authors or one of their works, I would look into it, see if some of your points are valid and maybe, just maybe, I would try to convince you otherwise with one or two responses. But after a few tries I would simply stop.
  12. To continue some discussions from the previous post @fionwe1987: And I'm not saying you are not allowed to like or even love a work that is, objectively, not very well written or even outright bad - on the contrary. Subjectively most if not all of us have pieces of popular culture we enjoy very much, or even are emotionally attached to, which are objectively bad. That's totally okay! What I, and I think - please correct me, if I'm wrong - @Arakan are talking about (and what I think - again, please correct me, if I presume wrong - is driving @Lord Varys into fundamental opposition here), are works of art which are elevated by their adult fandom and publishers into heights (up to a point then the author starts to ever so slightly believes this themselves) where they don't belong. @Arakan made a very good example with the Star Trek books: I know a handful of people who are into Star Trek, one of them even has every book she could get her hands on. Not one of them would claim it anything other than pulp. Another example would be a good friend of mine who loves Star Wars and military sci-fi - upon asking him for a recommendation to read, he - knowing me - named two military sci-fi (of the hundreds he read) I could try. Fans of the very German phenomenon of Perry Rhodan are another example: They discuss the series all day with each other (it's serious business, just like Star Trek or Star War ), but of course it is pulp, they would never claim otherwise. One just has to realise, that there's no need to search for excuses to like something that is pulp or even outright bad - it's okay, it's ones subjective taste in this specific category (That's why one can even love Kafka and Star Trek books at the same time!). Of course, there are also works of pulp which are objectively good (say: coherent character description and development, logical world building, good storytelling, discuss philosophical questions etc.pp.) - but are still pulp. And there are also of course works which are unjustly not recognized as "true" literature because they are genre. But these would be other discussions. To answer @Lord Varys's question from the last thread, as spoiler-free as possible: And now to mine „guilty pleasure“: I used to play MMORPGs (I no longer have the time for this hobby, nor was I still willing to bang my head bloody on my desk because of lazy, shallow or outright horrible storytelling with most of my online-friends retired), and am still following the stories and lore of some of them. So the game in question is not WoW (no, don’t let my start on this one, I’m going straight into facepalm only thinking of it…), but Final Fantasy XIV: Yes, some of the quest-lines are good; yes, some of the characters are (still) great and complex (or even got more layers to their personality) and there are nuanced and beautiful dialogues full of different possible meaning. And of course the developers most likely did not wanted the main message to be interpreted strictly that way… ...But because they simply ignored the implications and consequences of a lot of dialogues and events, combined with the fact that there are no counter arguments made, AND put insult to injury by throwing not only another time travel into it, but also altering the rules of it between two expansions completely (yes, sci-fi-fans might roll their eyes at this and simply turn away), if one does try to apply logic to the plot, it boils down into callow anthropocentrism and accusing one culture for the splitter in their eyes, while ignoring the beam in the eye of the world the player comes from. It's basically like saying our world would be better than Banks' Culture, because we don't have Special Circumstances. On top with "every almost perfect culture in the universe is doomed to fail so it's better to keep waging wars, pillage, murder and rape". All this while committing the first and most severe sin of storytelling: Telling not showing. Now to somehow get back on topic, using games as another example: It's just a MMO, so I normally don't measure it with the gems of the genre (TS:Torment, Witcher 3 etc.pp.), but I do think even MMOs (or fantasy pulp literature) have to keep some integrity and logic in their story and their characters, and whoever writes the scripts should be aware of how their story can and will be interpreted, especially because/if they are not really interested in discussing the philosophical consequences, but only use them as spice.* And now people start telling me, that this was the best story-telling they have ever experienced in any fiction, so I beg to differ and start comparing it to the works they think it can be compared with. And it fails the test. And this is how threads like this come into existence. So... rant over; at least this time we did not end up discussing ancient warfare and Byzantine ship design... *And here FF XIV is more guilty than WoW, as the latter at least tries to discuss different points of view, but fails utterly because of severe bad writing and rule-of-cool, while the first pretends to be deeper but regularly glosses over the questions it raises.
  13. First, sorry @Lord Varys for disturbing your - for lack of a better word - "Selbstkasteiung" again, but I have to reply to some posts here: On the contrary, it's elitist to argue that one can not expect anything better from entertaining literature, because you not only cultivating anti-intellectualism here, but also are implying that a) interesting thoughts aren't entertaining and b) - and that's driving me up the wall, sorry - that normal people are too dumb to enjoy and understand philosophical concepts, so they should be happy if someone fools them with crumbs No, exactly this spicing up is the problem here, counter examples: GRRM isn't spicing anything up, he uses topoi to show something (or hint at something, but it's not even necessary to recognize the topoi used) and ponders on philosophical questions in ASoIaF. Peter S. Beagle did not spice anything up in The Last Unicorn, but was able to present philosophical questions in a manner anybody could think them with him. Michael Ende did not spice anything up in his works, but created worlds for children and adults to enjoy full of philosophical questions. Terry Pratchett and Walter Moers also don't have to spice their tales up with philosophical concepts, they simple discuss them. And because @Arakan just decided to give The Witcher a try in another thread: Sapkowski also doesn't spice his work up, but uses fragments of mythology and fairy tales for his story, but he knows what he is doing and also doesn't use philosophy and ethics as mere decorum. All this have something in common: They tell stories with - more or less - realistic characters in a - more or less - realistic constructed world, who have to deal with different viewpoints, agendas etc. So in such works there is no need for "spicing something up" as the philosophical concepts unfold naturally. Second, I have to thank @Lord Varys. Your torture (combined with the new main story line of a certain RPG... No I got it, really: sugar-coated crapsack worlds are so much better than almost-utopian-societies... Arrgh!) got me back to Iain Banks: I'm rereading The Culture again.
  14. Yes, of course. They also have their fair share of cowardice (which, combined with the Dylan-stunt, has cost them both Roth and Oz) and unfortunately also like to "subvert expectations" (that's why we did not get the most suitable candidate this year, also not the second or third best - because everybody was expecting Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, so it had to be someone almost nobody was seriously considering... *sigh*). Beside: We really don't know, whether they really never had considered Borges, Lem, Clarke, Adwood, Silverberg, Tiptree, Gibson etc.pp. for the prize (inconsistency in quality is no criterion for exclusion, as the prize can be given for just one work), it's just they have only one prize per year, while the numbers of suitable authors are a lot higher. But please don't start to exaggerate pulp-authors into heights there they will suffocate. I know the list above by @The hairy bear was meant to be funny, but it really isn't (for me anymore), as too many genre-fans really do believe their favourite authors belonging there (and I had that discussion a few times too often). I leave this here, because it still does sum up that problem quite nicely: https://web.archive.org/web/20130805135731/http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=953 P.S. And while we are at it (comparing GRRM with "giants"), it really would be nice if he had the work ethic of the Magician...
  15. Actually, quite a few laureates also wrote Fantastique (in the sense of the metagenre), but not only, then doing so tending more toward surrealism, allegories/parables - but of course not pulp, that's not what the prize is for (I think hope they learned their lesson about trying to be popular and giving the prize to Bob Dylan, this was really a dark day. If they wanted to give the prize to a singer/songwriter just to show that a lot of popular song lyrics are indeed Lyric poetry,they should have given it to Leonard Cohen or one of the other - compared to Dylan - far superior songwriters). Out of my head I would like to add to your list: Olga Tokarczuk, Josè Saramago, Elias Canetti, also at least partly any author writing magical realism. Depending how wide or narrow one does define Fantastique, you could find such elements in the oeuvre of almost every laureate. But you are of course right insofar that the committee really doesn't like giving the prize to genre-authors: They never ever had considered giving it to even the most intellectual, elaborated and philosophical of SciFi-authors, why should they give it to an unfinished pulp-fantasy-series, even although it really is quite a good read.
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