A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

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Postby Mithfânion » Thu May 17, 2001 11:41 am

UPDATE;<BR><BR>Book four is called A Feast for Crows, with a Dance for Dragons being no. 5 and Winds of Winter (although that one may take until 2005/2006) is book 6.<BR>It is said that he is truly Tolkien's succesor by many here, unlike Feist, Jordan, Modesitt and many others. Type in Game of thrones on Amazon and get over 500 raving reviews.<BR><BR>So tell me, how good is it and what is it really about, what sort of races does it feature?
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Postby ChrisAns » Thu May 17, 2001 6:11 pm

Actually the next one is called Dance with Dragons and there'll be six altogether, Winds of Winter and, tentatively, A Time for Wolves to follow. He already had a short story in the same world in the Legends collection called Hedge Knight and has said he'll write more shorts based on those characters. But most fans don't see more as a problem. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The series biggest draw is its gritty 'realism'. He loosely based part of it on the War of the Roses. Medieval culture with its tournaments and wars and class distinctions play a big part in the tale. He really has woven an intricate and emotionally draining ride. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>As for races, Valyrians and Faceless Men are two intriuging human varitations. For Valyrians think Melniboneans; exotic and regal with strong inherent magic, just a touch above humans. The Faceless Men are an assassin guild with mysterious powers. They're just touched on so far but will have a greater role later on. Dragons are the most magical beasts but there are also Giants, vampiric Others and numerous prehistoric animals like dire wolves, mammoths and big cats.<BR><BR>Magic hasn't played a huge role yet but apparently will come to the forefront as the series goes on. So far Martin has focused on an almost historically set reworking ala Guy Kay in his last few books.
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Postby Mithfânion » Fri May 18, 2001 2:17 am

THanks for that info Chrisans, I edited my first post as well after your comments.
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Postby Círdan » Fri May 18, 2001 7:15 am

I found it to be as much of a gripping tale as anything I've ever read. I consumed the three current book in about a month and couldn't put it down for anything. What Martin has done is revive the epic fantasy genre with a new way of writing it. He takes no special treatment with anyone, there is no prophetic hero and evil Overlord battling each other for the world. It's a very simple tale in that its complexities don't confuse you, the subplots take you places you actually want to go. I think what interests me most about the books is the political play involved. I absolutely love politics in fantasy books and is the only reason I'm still read WOT. I think many have given better reasons for loving the Song of Ice and Fire series, Amazon is a good example; all those comments!
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Postby Eponine » Sun May 20, 2001 9:35 am

I haven't read the third one yet, but the first two books I found to be completely addictive. It was almost shocking to have it start off so much like other fantasy books and then turn nasty...the only other time I can remember a book hitting me in the face like that was Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. They should have a warning on the cover or something 'Warning, Bad Things Can Happen to Good People'. I know most fantasy books do have bad things happen to the 'heroes' or they would be boring, but very few have that tendency to hit them with something inescapably nasty and utterly final. There is usually that get-out clause, a character isn't really dead or comes back as a ghost, the heroes escape just before the nasty thing happens without too much damage. Of course, this element means that Martin can do something very few writers manage to do to me these days - he can shock and surprise me. Which is a good thing.
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Postby Ar Pharazon » Mon May 21, 2001 1:33 am

I bought myself the first three books after I read the first one from a local library. At the moment I dare say it's the best fantasy story next to LOTR. The guy writes fantasy, but it has this strange realism that makes it such a gripping story that you just cannot put down. The next volume cannot come fast enough.<BR><BR>Good to hear it will be a six books series.
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Postby Lossoth » Mon May 21, 2001 7:19 am

Everyone's correct so far, Gil. This is best thing done in the fantasy genre since Tolkien. But it's so different. You can barely tell who the good guys are, with the exception of the Starks. And sometimes you want to smack them for being so foolish.<BR><BR>Tyrion Lannister is by far one of the most interesting characters I have ever encountered in all of literature.<BR><BR>Ooh, Eponine, you've got to read the third one. It's got, like, four suprise endings!
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Postby ChrisAns » Wed May 23, 2001 1:49 pm

Here's a link to a chat Martin did with SCIFI.COM: <a target=new href="http://www.scifi.com/transcripts/2000/georgerrmartin.html">http://www.scifi.com/transcripts/2000/georgerrmartin.html</a><BR><BR>Not sure how old it is but it mentions a excerpt from a new soiaf short called Path of the Dragon being on the Asimov's site which is no longer there. Apparently Asimov's doesn't archive either its web stuff. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> The story will appear in the Best of the Year collection though.<BR><BR>Seems Martin is a big Tolkien and Vance fan. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif"border=0> Talented and with impeccable taste. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Mithfânion » Mon Aug 06, 2001 12:35 pm

Bumping so anyone can give more input <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The latest info still has book four in autumn 2002 but named "A Feast for Crows"
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Postby QueenBeruthielsCats » Tue Aug 07, 2001 6:23 am

Based on everything I have heard, I am definitely going to get going on these -- enthusiastically, they sound great -- but just tell me, please, are there some good female characters to look forward to in here somewhere?<BR>QueenBeruthielsCats.
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Postby Mithfânion » Tue Aug 07, 2001 7:30 am

I was actually worried that there would be too many female main characters. I really don't enjoy reading about women as main characters, I lose interest , fast. In the Song of Ice and Fire it's a delicate mix, which I can stand. Because he has so many point of views from a several characters, there are also a couple of interesting female characters, like Daenerys. I don't think that would be a problem.<BR><BR>What I dislike, is for instance a Marion Zimmer Bradley Arthurian work, which is really quite wrong and has some false ideals.<BR><BR>
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Postby QueenBeruthielsCats » Tue Aug 07, 2001 9:56 am

Mithfanion, I am not especially keen on MZB. Not keen on people taking various liberties which really exceed artistic license. The old story. But I am looking forward to these books. I'll let you know what I think! Ah, the blessing of a board full of people who still READ,<BR>QueenBeruthielsCats.
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Postby Mithfânion » Tue Aug 07, 2001 10:01 am

Queen B<BR><BR><i><BR>Ah, the blessing of a board full of people who still READ,</i><BR><BR>Yes, I know. One of the main reasons I love these forums, there is so much expertise here and room to discuss things you really don't do (much) with your friends, at least I don't.<BR><BR>Cheers<BR><BR>p.s. where is your webpage?<BR><BR>
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Postby Nerdanel » Tue Aug 07, 2001 11:31 am

I'm putting Martin on my list of works to definetely read some time. I'm not in too much hurry as I hate waiting for a series to finish, but on the other hand it will take a lot of time for the series to finish so I might do well to occupy the time by reading the earlier parts. In addition I have a standing policy of not buying a book not in mass market paperpack so I will really have to wait...
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Postby Mithfânion » Tue Aug 07, 2001 11:46 am

LOl Nerdanel, we seem to differ on almost everything. I for one do never buy books as paperbacks, I must have a hardcover. I only buy them as mass market PB if that's all they're available in.It's sort of an addiction aside from the fact they look much cooler on my shelves <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR>The Martin hardcovers are great though, you should try them....
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Postby Amarie » Tue Aug 07, 2001 12:51 pm

All your ravings have gotten me interested now. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> What's the title of the first book? I have about 3 weeks before the fall semester starts so I think I still have time.
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Postby Huan » Tue Aug 07, 2001 1:03 pm

I agree. I have a vacation coming up at the end of this week and I think I'm going to have to hit the book store and pick up the first (maybe the second too). <BR><BR>I'm with the paperback readers -- I consume books as much as read them. Its not pretty, but its what happens as I read them.
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Postby Mithfânion » Tue Aug 07, 2001 1:09 pm

The first book is called "Game of Thrones".
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Postby Nerdanel » Tue Aug 07, 2001 1:39 pm

Hardcovers do not look all that good to me in the midst of a shelf full of paperbacks... <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Some more reasons to buy paperbacks:<BR>1. They are cheaper!<BR>2. They are nicer to read in bed.<BR>3. They are less likely to sprain your back if you have to carry them around.<BR>4. They take less shelf-space.<BR>5. They take less space in your bag.<BR>6. Modern paparbacks are surprisingly durable if you treat them well.<BR>7. You won't feel as bad if you buy a book and find out it stinks.<BR>8. They teach you to be virtuous! (Patience is a virtue.)<BR>9. You are wasting less natural resources per book.<BR>10. You can buy more than 2 times as many books with the same amount of money.<BR><BR>Of course none of this matters if you are a millionaire bodybuilder with a large apartment and no qualms about the world's forest resources (possibly because you make people plant a few acres for every book you buy)...<BR><BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Amarie » Tue Aug 07, 2001 10:56 pm

Thanks, Mith.
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Postby Leshon-Kahash » Wed Aug 08, 2001 5:07 am

Most of you would probably disagree, but I found the blatant sexual content of the books disturbing enough to stop reading them.<BR>I suppose my feelings are rooted in my diffrent nature and beliefs, but I believe they were unnecessary and contributed little to the series, esp. in the vast quantity that the author poured into the narrative.
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Postby Mithfânion » Wed Aug 08, 2001 6:04 am

Quote Nerdanel:<BR><BR><i>"Of course none of this matters if you are a millionaire bodybuilder with a large apartment and no qualms about the world's forest resources (possibly because you make people plant a few acres for every book you buy)..."</i><BR><BR>You've been asking friends about me haven't you? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Obviously there are some undeniable virtues of PB's. They're cheaper and lighter. There are some drawbacks of course. They're usually not as pretty, are not half as durable as hardcovers and I prefer a heavy book when reading in my bed, because I don't have the hold down every page when reading.<BR><BR>Leshon-Kahash<BR><BR>I can understand that. I wasn't disturbed by it personally, but it can be borderline if you've been brought up differently I presume.
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Postby Nerdanel » Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:13 am

So you like to read books on your stomach then. I don't think it is the most comfortable position, and I can't stay in it very long (compared to the time it takes to read a book). I usually read on my side or back. That has it drawbacks too. My arms tend to get sore reading a 800+ page book even in paperback. This was particularly irritating when I was reading Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and there were four such books one after another.
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Postby Mithfânion » Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:40 am

Yes I read on my stomach. Quite uncomfortable, true, I'll usually have some elbow pain after half an hour or so. But I find it impossible to read on my back. But when I think about it, it would make me pretty muscular if I did that with those hardcovers <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I do most of my reading when I'm travelling.<BR><BR>You read primarily Fantasy is it not?
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Postby ChrisAns » Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:46 pm

Where did you read about the title change, Mithfanion? I use SciFan to keep track of series and they still list it as Dance with Dragons; <a target=new href="http://scifan.com/series.asp?SR_seriesid=665&AU_authorid=138">http://scifan.com/series.asp?SR_seriesid=665&AU_authorid=138</a> . <BR><BR>Westeroes has a little on it; <a target=new href="http://www.westeros.org/Westeros02a.html#Recent\%20News\%20&\%20Updates">http://www.westeros.org/Westeros02a.html#Recent\%20News\%20&\%20Updates</a> but no confirmation yet.
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu Aug 09, 2001 5:33 am

Ah ChrisAns, I was hoping you'd pop in. Where have you been anyway, people in Talk were asking about you...<BR><BR>Scifan.com is probably wrong because Martin hasn't revealed the titles for books five and six definitively. Amazon.co.uk holds Feast of Crows as the name for part four, which I personally don't find half as attractive as Dance of Dragons. As it is, they await confirmation from Martin self, but Voyager has said that it was Feast of Crows. But then, what do they know <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby Eric_Reese » Thu Aug 09, 2001 9:23 am

Perhaps A Feast for Crows is Book 5's title? Damn Martin titles his books well. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>As for the series: I've only read A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings(waiting for A Storm of Swords to be in paperback), but they're amazing. Definately the best since Tolkien.
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Postby Eponine » Thu Aug 09, 2001 9:36 am

I just discovered a huge drawback to paperbacks. I purchased 'Storm of Swords' the other day, gloatingly, then took it home and started reading. Halfway through, I happened to glance at the cover (they made Tyrion look way too old, I think, and if that was the Hound on the cover he looks way too impressive) and found that they've done the 'Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn' thing and divided the book in two, so what I had bought was actually only 'Storm of Swords: Part One'. Grrr. I wouldn't mind so much if they put both parts on the shelf, at the same time, but I don't see why I should wait months more just because I can't afford to buy hardbacks.
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu Aug 09, 2001 10:09 am

Yes Eponine, It was only recently that I discovered that book three was so big they had to split it up into two books. The second book isn't even available here. And besides, if you're having a hardcover, the book is going to be gigantic.<BR><BR>I'd take the two paperbacks in this case.<BR><BR>
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Postby Nerdanel » Thu Aug 09, 2001 3:38 pm

Yes, I've lately read primarily fantasy. I've formerly read a lot of science fiction and horror, but nowadays I don't read them as much, though I have in no way forsaken them. There seems to be more books that interest me written nowadays in fantasy than in the other two genres.<BR><BR>I don't much care for cyperpunk nor its effect on science fiction (though Neuromancer was good). Neither do I like the trend of science fiction getting more like "serious modern literature". I maintain a book can be deep and deep and thoughtful while being fun to read as well. I like science fiction with a healty dose of escapism and sense of wonder. My favorites include Ringworld and The Integral Trees by Larry Niven, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, and Kingdoms of the Wall by Robert Silverberg.<BR><BR>I like a good dose of horror in fantasy and pretty much everything, but I find many modern horror books lacking in something. My favorites of those that are usually labeled as horror include such as H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
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