During the past week, on every single news site I regularly visit, I’ve come across George R. R. Martin’s fundraising offer: $20000 and you can die in his books1.
The cause is good ( the money is for a wolf sanctuary ), and there are other options to support, all of them would be fine except the highest prize.
I was a fairly early reader of the original Game of Thrones book and it was something new, something no one did properly before: a fantasy with very life-like happenings and twist. I’ve later learned that the original first book was such a massive success that Martin altered his plans to continue the story five years later with book 2 and 3 for the trilogy; instead he started writing 7 books, filling in all time. That is how the fascinatingly boring A Feast for Crows and nothing-is-actually-happening A Dance with Dragons born.
And now, his offering to alter the storyline that was supposed to be the original trilogy. The story that he said he’d written parts of a decade earlier, according to his words.
Most of the best books I’ve read are stories that were a whole ( more or less ) before they were written; or at least this was what their writers told about them. ( Just search for the reasons why only 7 Narnia books exist, for example. ) They offer the possibility that Star Wars did: a long, long time ago…
But not Martin. This move is clearly ruining the last remains that The Song of Ice and Fire was ever a complete story, with a beginning and an end, that was waiting to be told. No, it’s something Martin decides.
It would have been nice to have the illusion.