Friday, September 11, 2009

Neil Gaiman has recently deigned to inform fandom that George R.R. Martin is not our [expletive deleted].

Yeah, you know what? There's a fanfic writer who drives me batty because she keeps starting new stories while leaving a major novel-length work half-undone. Worse, most of the new stories are based on a fairly serious spoiler for the *unwritten portion* of the unfinished work. I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to tolerate it because:

A) She's not a professional, she does this in her spare time
B) I'm not paying a dime for it - it's free ice cream
C) I'm still getting the occasionally interesting bit of prose out of her

While I concede that neither George R.R. Martin nor Neil Gaiman are my "[expletive deleted]", they are supposed to be compensated professionals. Martin's increasing indiscipline and inability to deliver a conclusion to his "A Song of Ice and Fire" serial is, in point of fact, an infraction of promise. I've paid a fair amount of money for his door-stoppers - hard-cover prices, in point of fact. Heck, I've imported the British edition in a couple of cases - I still get spam from because of those purchases. This isn't free ice-cream. I'm not a free rider, I'm not an entitled, pirating brat. I'm someone who expects a story that bloody well ends.

If anything, Martin's fans are peeved that he's contracted Epic Fantasitisis - producing an undisciplined, bloated, cancerous mess of a story which refuses to end. It was supposed to be a four-book series. Then five. Now six? And he refuses to deliver the fifth. Each book takes an exponentially longer period of time to deliver than the last. At the current rate, we may get the fifth book before Martin dies. We're not likely to get the sixth book before *I* die!

So bite me, Gaiman. Martin promises books on deadlines. He fails to deliver said books anywhere near the promised date. We are entitled to expect the fulfillment of promises, even if they're not enforced by the legalities of contract. Neither artists nor writers are classes protected from the consequences of their infidelities. If your word should be worth squat, redeem it.

H/T Glenn, who I think gives the both of them too much credit. Instapundit is also free ice cream - and he's far, far FAR more reliable than the alleged compensated professional Martin.

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