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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice) Release Date Announced A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice) Release Date Announced Hot

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice) Release Date Announced

Bantam has announced that A Dance with Dragons, the long awaited fifth book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series, will be published July 12, 2011, with a simultaneous release in both the U.S. and the U.K. Although the book is not yet finished, Bantam feels it is close enough to being finished to set a firm release date. The book is expected to over 900 pages.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Martin says:

I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion. There’s also new characters, and viewpoints from characters who did not have viewpoints before.

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Comments (55)
  • avatardave

    "I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, and XXXXXXX."

    Well, at least he didn't spoil anything for those who have read all the books so far published. >:(

  • avatarMattLoter

    If you're worried about spoilers from a series of books that hasn't had a new one in a good number of years, too damn bad for you. There is a statute of limitations on spoilers in the public forum and the preceding books are well past that time.

    Also, Snape kills Dumbledor

  • avatarjay718

    Word, what Matt said. Same type of shit; A couple nights ago a few people were talking about the Sopranos at the bar and this other guy says "Shut up, I haven't seen the last two seasons yet!" Come on man. It's not like George RR spoiled the ending of the Crying Game by telling you the chick's really Keyser Soze.

  • avatarstormseeker75

    I'll believe it when I see it, but I really hope this is accurate. This may be the first book I queue up for to get on release day.

  • avatarShellhead

    I have a life, so I will show up a few days after release day. ;)

  • avatarMattLoter

    It's not like George RR spoiled the ending of the Crying Game by telling you the chick's really Keyser Soze.

    And she was actually dead the whole time!

  • avatarSpace Ghost

    I will start readig these when the entire series is written. I hate having to wait around for half a decade to get part of a story. He should take some personal pride and finish it.

  • Mr Skeletor

    You'll be waiting another 20 years than Space Ghost, as he still has 3 to go.
    Just read 'em. Even if there is never an ending it will be worth it. In fact, I can't see how an ending to this thing can even be satisfying.

  • avatarShellhead

    Space Ghost, the massive delay was a result of Martin's pride... he wasn't willing to say the book was done until he felt that everything was just right. Prior to this series, Martin had a very strong track record for writing quality stories without taking a long time. Even with this series, look at how fast he wrote Clash of Kings (2 years) and Storm of Swords (2 years). Storm of Swords is a seriously large book, too.

  • avatarThe King in Yellow

    Skeletor is right. Just enjoy the ride. Martin has spent thousands of pages deliberately not taking the easy routes, or doing the obvious, or using common fantasy tropes. It's more about watching stories and histories of the great houses play out like the changing of the tides. After witnessing all of that, any ending would seen too abrupt and artificial.

  • avatartrif
    Quote:
    "I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, and XXXXXXX."

    Well, at least he didn't spoil anything for those who have read all the books so far published. smilies/angry.gif

    That's because it's the other half of Feast of Crows - which had only half the characters in it. It can't be considered a spoiler as everyone following the series knew that that cast had got so large that it now required two books to contain everyone over the same section of story.

  • avatarmadwookiee

    For a long time I used to joke that Robert Jordan would probably die before finishing the Wheel of Time series. I don't joke about that crap anymore. Having said that, the end is still not really in sight for that one - no way am I taking on another perpetual series.

  • avatarJosh Look

    The wife actually called me at work to tell me this today. w00t!

  • avatarSpace Ghost

    It doesn't have to be an ending necessarily; just when he is done working on the series.

  • Mr Skeletor

    Just read it space Ghost, seriously I hate 'incomplete' things but an ending to this isn't that important. It feels historical, and it's not building to one event (that can be seen so far anyway) so you're not sitting their waiting for Luke to fight Darth Vader or Frodo to dunk the ring. The book has plot thread payoffs throughout it and major villans have died already. It's like reading a series based on the houses of Rome - do they feel unfinished if the story doesn't take to you right to where the Roman Empire falls? No.

  • avatardave

    I read the first three books (I'm holding off until it's "finished", then will read the rest); my comment was a joke pointing out that he said he didn't want to spoil anything when he actually was for some of the potential audience (especially with the TV series launching, which could broaden that audience; I think that warrants extra discretion).

  • avatarMattDP

    I don't understand the appeal of these books. I've said it before and I'll say it again: they're standard airport lounge bonkbuster books, dressed up in an unimaginative fantasy setting. It's the sort of stuff that gives fantasy a bad name amongst people who love literature.

  • Mr Skeletor

    Good for you Matt. Unfortunatly some of us are dumb and cannot appreciate 'literature', thankfully you are here to remind us in every George Martin thread.

  • avatarMattDP
    Quote:
    Good for you Matt. Unfortunatly some of us are dumb and cannot appreciate 'literature', thankfully you are here to remind us in every George Martin thread.

    It's nothing to do with being dumb, or not appreciating literature. Not everyone is interested in re-reading books or looking for hidden depths and that's just as it should be. And if you're not interested then George Martin is certainly a great author to read. What irks me is the way people bang on about it like it's the best thing since sliced bread, something superlative that deserves obsessing and slavering over. It isn't - it's workaday, page-turner hack writing. Hack writing executed with considerable skill, certainly, but hack writing nevertheless, and there are plenty of other hack authors who are as good, if not better, than Martin.

  • Mr Skeletor

    And there is another discussion ruined.

  • avatarMattDP
    Quote:
    And there is another discussion ruined.

    I have no desire to ruin discussion. I didn't actually see a whole lot of discussion here. If someone would actually like to pick up the baton and explain why I'm wrong, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise I'll just but out.

  • monsterman

    Ah. I'd like to have an argument, please.
    Certainly sir. Have you been here before?
    No, I haven't, this is my first time.
    I see. Well, do you want to have just one argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?

    Well now you've ruined Martin's books for me.... back to Dragonlance..

  • avatarSka_baron

    I saw this announced yesterday on CNN and the article had this amusing link to Neil Gaiman's blog on the topic of time between Martin's (or anyone's) novels:

    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html

  • avatarDelobius

    I don't understand the appeal of these books. I've said it before and I'll say it again: they're standard airport lounge bonkbuster books, dressed up in an unimaginative fantasy setting. It's the sort of stuff that gives fantasy a bad name amongst people who love literature.

    What fantasy authors or books would you consider to be superior to Martin's work? (Not saying that he's the gold standard or anything, just curious.)

    Because if Martin is "airport lounge bonkbuster" material (whatever that means), where does that leave guys like RA Salvatore (and, for that matter, all the authors of the various Warhammer books)...? ;)

  • avatarMattDP
    Quote:
    What fantasy authors or books would you consider to be superior to Martin's work? (Not saying that he's the gold standard or anything, just curious.)

    Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Jack Vance, Ursula Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, Philip Pullman, Stephen Donaldson, Mervin Peake, Gene Wolf. That should give you plenty of material to work through!

    Quote:
    Because if Martin is "airport lounge bonkbuster" material (whatever that means), where does that leave guys like RA Salvatore (and, for that matter, all the authors of the various Warhammer books)...?

    I haven't read any of the D&D books, largely because I've always suspected they were cut from the same cloth that Martin is using, only with less technical skill. The Warhammer books were a bit different because - the two I read at any rate - did a fine job of incorporating the horror element into the fantasy theme. I don't think I've seen that done in books elsewhere.

    As I said before there are plenty of readable fantasy authors who I'd put on a level with Martin, they just don't get the same red carpet treatment. I'm not denying Martin has plenty of talent, I just don't see what's *special* about his work.

  • avatarjay718

    That Gaiman blog entry was pretty great. SpaceGhost, I'll echo Skeletor here and say just go ahead and read the books. The fact that there's no end in sight really shouldn't make you enjoy the books already in the can any less. Your life won't feel any less complete than it would have had you not read them. Once this new volume comes out there'll be close to 5000 pages written, which sure as shit ain't bad. And this series is infinitely better than the Wheel of Time. Just fight the goddamn darkness already!! What the fuck is taking so long? 12 books so far leading up to a fight between light and dark? Gimme a break.

    I don't know how you can say the setting is unimaginative Matt, he's created a very unique world complete with thousands of years of history both worldly and familial, languages, legend, religion...it goes on and on. All without leaning heavily on magic or traditional high fantasy norms. GRRM might be a lot of things, but unimaginative ain't one of them. Could he use a better editor? Fuckin' a. Are his sex scenes incredibly awkward and embarrassing and uncomfortable to read? Absolutely, but honestly, most real life sexual encounters are as well. These books aren't even that full of sex; it's not like Anne Rice or something like that.

    Anyway, whenever we talk about GRRM here it turns into an argument. People seem to feel very strongly one way or the other. For what it's worth, I love this series. I've read a metric shit ton of fantasy, (Thomas Covenant, LOTR, Shanarra, Gormenghast, Wheel of Time, Wizards First Rule, countless D&D based series', Thieves World, Black Company, Riftwar, Earthsea, Thorn and Bone, Memory sorrow and Thorn, Dragonriders of Pern...I could go on forever) and this is some of my absolute favorite stuff in the genre. I'm incredibly psyched that there's finally a concrete release date for the next book. Can't. Fucking. Wait.

  • avatarDair

    Loter, thanks a lot for the spoiler. I waited to read the Harry Potter books until my son was old enough to read them with me. I am now ready to start book five and have avoided all things to spoil the books for myself.

    It is fine that time has passed and people want to talk about books, movies and shows that are long since gone. That is why I avoided any topic about HP online. If I had clicked on a link for HP, I would get what I deserve if it was spoiled. Instead, I'm reading a Song of Fire and Ice link and get HP spoiled completely out of the blue. That is pretty uncool, no matter how long time has passed. Thanks a ton.

  • avatarShellhead

    Tolkien: He is more of a fantasy historian than a storyteller. Lots of names, but not a lot of characterization. He wasted many, many pages on weak poetry and detailed descriptions of what the characters had for lunch.

    Moorcock: Bold and imaginative, with a real knack for names. Very hit or miss, and his worst material is almost unreadable trash, like say 75% of the Cornelius Chronicles. I particularly did not enjoy the scene of the fat man gorging himself on junk food while taking a strap-on up the ass from Una Persson. Tends to recycle the same ideas in most of his work.

    Vance: His prose is wonderful, and his sense of pacing is excellent, at least in his short stories. His longer works tend to meander.

    Le Guin: Maybe I was too young when I tried The Left Hand of Darkness, because I don't remember anything about it.

    Zelazny: He had an amazing ability to say so much in so few words, and I love the way he writes Machiavellian immortals. His greatest work was the Amber series, but the first five books are marred by inconsistencies and the second five books had a serious pacing problem. I hate his poetry.

    Pullman: Who? Is Pullman what the P in MattDP stands for?

    Donaldson: No. Hell, no. You just lost all credibility here. Why not throw Terry Brooks in the mix while you're at it?

    Peake: I read the entire first book of the Gormenghast trilogy. It was interesting, but I realized that I hated every single character, without exception, so I didn't bother with the second book.

    Wolfe: He is another wonderful prose writer, almost up there with Vance. But Gene can't end a story worth a damn, and that's why I don't bother reading him anymore. If I spend the time reading an entire novel or even series, there damn well better be an adequate ending.

    Martin: He writes strong dialogue, does good character development, and knows how to tell a story well. His short stories are generally good, but his best work was his standalone novels, like Fevre Dream or The Dying of the Light. Although he was both a writer and the editor for the Wild Cards series, it wasn't until A Game of Thrones that he tackled a huge project by himself. And even then, he cranked out some great books in an amazing time span for a while there. He wrote both A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords in just four years. But I don't need to go into a great amount of detail defending Martin here, he has a whole slew of writing awards that speak to his recognition by peers.

  • avatarDr. Mabuse

    I'm not a fan of the fantasy on the whole but the ASOIF, the Elric Series and Joe Abercrombie's The First Law series are my favourite reads. I tried Gene Wolfe's Torturer series and abandoned it a 1/3 into the second book, Brook's Shanara series felt like a blatant rip off of Tolkien and the rest never held my interest.

    Jay's absolutely right no one is going to agree on this (or any subject) so try it out yourself SG and see what works for you.

  • avatarSka_baron

    Probably won't add to the conversation much, but has anyone ever read Juliet McKenna's The Tales of Einarinn series? I feel like it's a series I devoted time to that no one else has read so I can discuss how awesome it is. Or maybe it's drivel, but I'd like to at least see where my opinion falls with "the rest of yous guys."

  • avatarubarose

    @ wdgrant
    Lotter comment is just a HP meme. There's a bunch of them about characters killing other characters.

  • avatarjay718

    I agree with almost everything you said Shellhead. Not for nothing, but really, how many pages has Martin wasted on detailed descriptions of what his characters were eating, to say nothing of wearing though? For what it's worth, while I've enjoyed it immensely throughout my life, I do think Tolkein's work is wildly overrated.

  • avatarColumbob

    Halfway through book 2 right now and enjoying myself thoroughly. The world is not the most imaginative, but Martin is a knight and history buff and he wanted to write a fantasy about royalty, knighthood, and all the backstabbing wheeling and dealing of the court, and it's pretty awesome and merciless. All of this has probably already happened in our own world anyways, except for the two big "fantasy" storylines, the stuff north of the Wall and Daenerys Targaryen's crusade of reconquest with her dragons.

  • avatarjay718

    Sorry, I should have said "I agree with much of what you said."

    Y'all should check out Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora series. Pretty good stuff.

  • avatarMattDP
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Donaldson: No. Hell, no. You just lost all credibility here. Why not throw Terry Brooks in the mix while you're at it?


    OK we'd better leave it at that, I think. Because in my opinion you just lost all credibility by suggesting Donaldson is not credible :) Dr Mabuse is probably right about it being too much down to personal taste to be worth arguing about.

    The most telling point you made - for both of us, I think - is pointing out how much Martin has been lauded by his peers. That suggests that it's probably me not getting something about the writing rather than any particular flaw in it. It spins round because Donaldson was also highly lauded by his peers.

    Oh and Phillip Pullman wrote the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Probably worth avoiding since you clearly don't have my taste in fantasy ;)
  • avatarDair

    Thanks Uba. Sorry to overreact there. I'll get my panties out of a twist now.

  • avatarjpat

    I suspect ego's played a part in Martin's delays, but I'd guess the bigger problem has been that while he knew how to start, how to end, and how to reach the midpoint of the series, he had trouble figuring out what to do after the third book (originally intended as the midpoint). I haven't read the fourth one yet, but if 7/12 is a realistic date I guess I'll have to. The third book offered enough resolution for me to not be too wrapped up in how the last three or four play out, but I don't object to giving them a go.

  • avatarShellhead

    jay718, I finally got around to reading The Lies of Locke Lamora recently, and it was great. I feel guilty about waiting until it was available at the public library, because I am personally acquainted with Scott Lynch. We played in the same Vampire LARP for a year. I knew that his dialogue was going to be great, because he did some great improv acting in LARP. And given the level of politicking and intrigue in the game, I expected that the plot of his first book was going to be great. The unexpected pleasure was the fast-paced action and the novelty of the setting. Also, I was amused that he modeled one of the female characters after one of the guys running that LARP, Jesse Aubart.

    MattDP, yeah I can agree to disagree.

  • avatarShellhead

    jpat, I've never written a novel, but I have done a lot of writing over the years. When inspiration really strikes, things seem to almost write themselves, with ideas easily flowing into words. Martin cranked out over 1,700 pages from 1997 to 2000 for possibly the two best books in this series, so I believe that the story ran beyond the boundaries that he originally plotted out. A lot of great scenes, but the overall impact made this series into a much bigger project. So Martin has probably been struggling for the last decade to wrestle this story back on track, while not neglecting any of the new elements brought in. He originally intended this series to just be a trilogy.

  • avatarSpace Ghost

    Ah...my problem isn't that the story isn't finished per se. It is that I read a lot and I sometimes find it irritating to read 4 books in a particular world --- then read 50 books about someting else and have to remember what the hell was going on when the 5th book of the last world came out. If they aren't that linked together, then it really isn't a big deal. Last month for instance, I read

    The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
    Sleepless by Charlie Huston
    The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
    Jane Eyre -- part of my initiative to read more "classics"

    The same thing happened with Wheel of Time. I read the first 9 in 1999-2000 during college (got started through a fantasy/sci-fi writing class). When the 10th didn't come out until 2003, I thought I would just wait until all 12 were out so I could wrap it up. Not it has been more than a decade and I just have no ideas what was actually going on. Likely, I will have to read a synopsis somewhere or skim through them. Irritating as hell. Come to think of it, the same thing happened with the Gunslinger series by King; read the first four in 2001 and then had to wait 3 years for them to finish.

  • avatarJackwraith

    I've read most of what Matt and Shellhead are debating, as well. Of the collection of names there, I'd select Zelazny as the most talented writer, and not for the Amber series. There's something about the eloquence of his prose combined with the natural feel of his dialogue that just works for me. I was genuinely sad about his death (spoiler!), even though his best work had been done many years before and he was kind of playing out the string.

    I'm a fan of ASOIAF. I was never a huge Martin fan before this, even though I loved the Wild Cards series and especially Zelazny's contribution ("My name's Croyd Crenson. They call me The Sleeper. Perhaps you've heard of me?") As a former comic writer myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the smooth transition of character-driven script to setting-driven prose. I think Martin retained some of that easy flow and has reproduced it in ASOIAF, which is part of what makes the books so readable. However, the truly interesting aspect is that he's not afraid to let his story progress.

    So many fantasy novels, including LOTR, don't genuinely progress from point A to point B, but instead only provide the veneer of change. Frodo was happy-go-lucky Frodo for only the briefest moment before becoming tragic Frodo. There really was no transition, no transformation, no change there. The same holds true for characters like Thomas Covenant, although the latter is certainly easier to relate to from the average American male's standpoint. When you combine that with the messianic overtones in both stories (a trend that itself comes from a story about a character who went through very little personal transformation, despite going through the most traumatic change of all), neither of them even approach what Martin has been willing to do to his characters as they live their lives.

    I'm also a sucker for mass factionalism (I used to be in politics, too...) and he based a large part of the story on the clan fights in medieval and Renaissance Italy, so that's a selling point for me, as well. I think they're worthwhile and I'm excited about DoD finally being done. I just wish I could find a regular opponent(s) for the LCG around here and convince my regular group to let me pull out the GoT boardgame once in a while, too.

  • avatarShellhead

    I think that most of the authors that MattDP listed are outstanding, but I just wanted to point out that every writer has strengths and weaknesses. I was a big fan of Zelazny in the past, more than any other writer mentioned in this thread, but I am struggling to re-read To Die in Italbar right now.

  • avatarjay718

    I've read most of the Amber books, Lord of Light, Damnation Alley, and a smattering of other Zelazny books. I remember them fondly (Damnation Alley in particular) but can't say much more about them than that. They didn't make as much of an impression as a lot of the others I guess. Shellhead, the second Lamora book is even stronger than the first. I'm really looking forward to the third. I just love the concept of the Bondsmagi.

    I really, really love the AGOT LCG. I'm always up for it, any time. I got some people into it sneakily, by giving them the core sets as gifts. Works like a charm...

  • avatarJonJacob

    I have been playing with the idea of reading Martin for some time now. Many of my friends reccomend him but the problems I've had with fantasy in general have kept me away form him. This conversation is actually usefull to me for that reason. I still really hate the idea that fantasy has to be knights and magic. I think that Celine's novels(not the first two) are all fantasy, Joyce's last two books stirke me as being fantasy as well as Alasdair Grey, Tom Robbins, Flann O'Brien, even someone like Hunter S Thompson... and many surrealist writers. My favorites are still Mervyn Peake and David Lindsay. I'll probably borrow the Martin books from someone to see what I think.

    Dr. Mabuse.. do you have the first couple of books?

  • avatarColumbob
    Quote:
    This conversation is actually usefull to me for that reason. I still really hate the idea that fantasy has to be knights and magic.

    The fantasy elements in this series take a back-burner to the very grounded in reality conflict of royal houses duking it out behind the scenes at court and on the battlefield. They'll probably take more of a center stage as the series goes on, though, but this is very much a European medieval story with a smattering of magic, just like in our world (folklore, legends and myths have always been a part of humanity). There's the odd dire wolf, dragon, wraith or farseer, but that's pretty much it, they're not the focus of the story at all.

  • avatarStormcow

    Pullman is the sore thumb in Matt's list. I read through Dark Materials, and the part where he goes "and that's how she betrayed them" moment was a real groaner. That made it pretty clear that Pullman was trying to punch above his weight.

    Thing is, I can see where Matt is coming from - AGOT really likes to jerk your chain, and there was a time where I thought it just had shock value and not much else. On closer reading though, there's a lot of really good, very subtle writing in the series, a lot of "ah!" moments where you can piece together half-truths and seemingly inconsequential details. That's not too far from Gene Wolfe!

  • avatarDr. Mabuse

    @ JonJacob Yeah, man, I can hook you up.

  • avatarDr. Mabuse

    The Hedge Knight is a pretty good story about an old ...Hedge Knight (a merc) who dies and is replaced by his squire, Duncan. To pay respect to his fallen master he heads to a tourney to make his name as a knight. It's available as a graphic novel. I highly recommend it.

    There was a follow-up story called "The Sworn Sword" that I heard as an audiobook. That sucked ass.

  • avatarGary Sax

    I fucking love this series besides the most recent book which was still very readable. It is well written and the characterization is fantastic. I enjoy it a hell of a lot more than Tolkien, which I enjoy.

    Anybody who DOES like this series, get ready for the bandwagon to get full. This HBO thing is going to kick this series into a higher gear than they already are, I suspect. I think it'll be hard, though, I feel that Song of Ice and Fire starts relatively slowly so I think people are going to pick up the first book and go "man, what?" and stop.

  • avatarColumbob
    Quote:
    I think it'll be hard, though, I feel that Song of Ice and Fire starts relatively slowly so I think people are going to pick up the first book and go "man, what?" and stop.

    I don't know, I was hooked right from the start and had no problem keeping the different story threads apart. Familiarity with the game and the series from years of buddies and internet talk might have helped, or maybe I'm just used to reading those types of multi-viewpoint stories.

    Hey JonJacob, if you want some awesome fantasy that's totally knightless, check out anything by China Miéville for a nice mix of SF/Horror/Fantasy, or if you want an even weirder strand of fantasy, Jeff Vandermeer's masterpiece City of Saints and Madmen is something else altogether.

  • avatarMattLoter

    I'm more inclined to think that a great many people will get to Jamie's adventures in the Winterfell tower and be like uhhhhh this makes me too uncomfortable to continue. I read it on an airplane and was totally feeling weird sitting next to random ladies.

  • avatarscissors

    China Mieville is great... you might want to look up Vandermeer's Veniss Underground, too.

  • avatarColumbob
    Quote:
    I'm more inclined to think that a great many people will get to Jamie's adventures in the Winterfell tower and be like uhhhhh this makes me too uncomfortable to continue. I read it on an airplane and was totally feeling weird sitting next to random ladies.

    Ok, so this story has rapes aplenty, incest, kids getting sliced and diced, infants getting their skulls smashed by brutes, girls getting deflowered at 12-13 and getting pregnant...everything that's already happened on earth many times before and still happens in our modern, "civilized" age.

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