The Agony and the Ecstasy

By Katrina Harvey

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1923

The press is all over the recent update to George R R Martin’s Not a Blog where he states that he will be cutting back on attending public events because he has too much on his plate, “Son of Kong (his nickname for Winds of Winter) foremost amongst them”. His cheeky parting quip where he says that he reserves the right to change his mind if he should finish the long awaited Winds of Winter before those cons roll around has everyone all in a lather. It doesn’t take much to send the A Song of Ice and Fire fraternity into a buzz of speculation over when the next instalment of the series will finally be in their hands, complete and ready to devour, but I think we need to back off for fear of stifling the brilliance that brings us such joy.

Ever since I first discovered George R R Martin’s epic fantasy series that has spawned the Game of Thrones tv series, the long wait between books has been part of my fan experience. For me, it’s an ongoing joke amongst friends, a thing that you roll your eyes about, whilst settling in for the long haul. I know that this author takes his time, it’s part of his process, so, yes, I’ll agree that there is an element of frustration involved in taking on the commitment to seeing A Song of Ice and Fire to its conclusion but you know the long gap is part of the deal. It’s not a commitment to make lightly but, if you love the books, the rewards are well worth the wait. Think of it like a relationship with somebody who works abroad for long spells. You know before you commit that the long separation will be part of your relationship but you decide that the time together outweighs the time apart. From the moment you make that informed decision, you really need to stop trying to force your partner to alter their existence in order to create a relationship that is not the one that you knew it would be.

Deal with the time apart by discovering others to hang out with. There is more than one author in the world, many of them are very good. You will not be lonely. Some will even come close to stealing your heart. I seem to have a penchant for choosing my favourite authors from amongst those who enforce delayed gratification on me – along with Mr Martin, I like Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch who have also been known to make me wait for my rewards. Every time, it has been worth it. Fortunately I also enjoy the works of Robin Hobb who hits me hard and fast with delicious literary goodness to keep me satisfied in between Westeros adventures. As in any relationship you also have the option to meet up with others who know your other half and have a good old chat about them and what they’re doing and what they might be doing. The A Song of Ice and Fire community is rich and vocal so you can easily keep the flame burning by logging in and dissecting the books to your heart’s content.

George R R Martin is an excellent writer. His creations have given me great enjoyment and they have introduced me to some really good friends. The worlds, the characters, the intrigue, the underlying subtleties, the rich fabric that he weaves are what make his books worth the wait. He has created all of the magic through his own individual process, a process that takes time both at the desk and away from it doing other things that stimulate his mind. It works, we know it works because we wouldn’t be so desperate for the next instalment if it didn’t. By cajoling, threatening, insulting the man to change that process so that we can have the relationship we want rather than the one that we signed up for, we risk losing what has made it worth waiting for. In order to have the ecstasy we must have the agony.


 

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K M S Harvey blogs as the intrepid Captain Kat and earns a salubrious living in the field of custom erotica as Kat Steel. Her first love is genre fiction though and, when she finds time amongst the writing that pays the bills, her children and building a medieval fort, she is doggedly working away on a Steampunk erotica novella, a speculative fiction novel and a historical screenplay.

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