Tuesday 12 November 2019

Fantasy becomes reality for author's loyal fans

Rob Sharp

AMERICAN fantasy author George R R Martin has sold millions of books worldwide, and his fame has heightened with 'Game of Thrones', the glossy US TV series starring Sean Bean, based on his mythical creations.

However, for the past six years Martin has kept his fans waiting with baited breath over his mammoth book, 'A Dance with Dragons', the latest installment in his 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series of warring aristocratic families in a medieval fantasy universe. In 2005 he said the 1,600-page novel would arrive within a year. It never came.

He has constantly rescheduled its release since then, angering his many fans. Now, it seems, the wait is over.

Yesterday, Jane Johnson, publishing director of Martin's UK publisher Harper Voyager, said the novel will be released worldwide on 12 July.

"This book's taken on something of legendary status and had a mythical existence until Wednesday," she said. "But I can now reveal that it was worth the six-year wait."

Martin put his delay down to his close relationship to his fans, who he corresponds with regularly. "The more readers you have, the harder it is to keep up, and then you can't get any writing done," he told 'The New Yorker'.

Negative

In recent months fans have responded with increasing ire over their wait, posting negative comments on the writer's website, georgerrmartin.com, and on Amazon.com discussion boards. On Amazon, one fan wrote: "George R R Martin, you suck...Pull your typewriter out of your ass." Another wrote: "Don't hold your breath on this one unless you like passing out."

Martin alerted fans to his book's completion earlier this week, when he posted a picture of King Kong lying defeated at the base of New York's World Trade Centre on his website. "Kong" is his nickname for 'A Dance with Dragons', referring to its size.

'Game of Thrones', the adaptation of the first book in Martin's series, premiered earlier this month on HBO in the US, and its first two episodes each attracted two million viewers.

The book's announcement has prompted celebrations from fans worldwide. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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