They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but what about George? The “George” in this case is author George R.R. Martin, the author of a series of books that are the basis for a little show you might have heard of called Game of Thrones. The HBO series is about to enter its fifth season, and the reason that matters is because if the show goes into season six it may officially be entering uncharted territory. That is to say that it will be forced to move on through the arc of the story without Martin’s books to guide them. And that’s one of the reasons that Martin says he’ll be bowing out of appearing at a number of high-profile cons this summer, including San Diego Comic Con, to finish book number six.
On his website recently, Martin offered his heartfelt apologies about deciding not to appear at this summer’s World Fantasy Convention, and added that as of now it looks like he won’t be going to nerd Mecca in San Diego either.
I don’t often attend the World Fantasy Convention (not to be confused with the World Science Fiction Convention, which I have only missed once thirty years), but I was there the last time it was held in Saratoga, and I had a great time. A terrific town, a wonderful con.
This year the convention is returning to Saratoga once again, and I was hoping to return as well. I’m not a guest of honor, and I’m not (so far as I know) getting an award; I just wanted to go.
Reluctantly, however, I’ve just had to scratch Saratoga off my list of 2015 appearances. For no reason having to do with the con itself. I am sure it will be terrific. It’s just a matter of time.
I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate. Son of Kong foremost amongst them.
My apologies to anyone who saw Saratoga on my Appearances page and planned to go in order to see me. I won’t be there. Go anyway. You’ll have a great time.
Also, I have decided against attending this year’s San Diego Comicon. Same reason. But since Comicon was never listed on my Appearances page, scratching it is not as big a deal.
“Not as big a deal?!” Who do you think you’re talking to Martin? Just kidding. Obviously, this is a man who appreciates his fans, which is why he’s giving them lots of advanced warning about him not appearing at somewhere he previously said he was appearing at. For those people going to World Fantasy Con, I’m sure it’s a bummer that Martin has said that now we won’t be there, but perhaps it’s all for a good cause…
Martin’s use of the phrase “Son of Kong” obviously refers to The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the A Song of Fire and Ice series. It could be that completing the novel is a goal within sight for Martin, and he wants to dedicate himself to finishing it off with as few distractions as possible. It’s been going on to four years since the release of A Dance with Dragons, so he’s got to be getting close. There’s not even a semi-official release date for Winter yet, it’s not even on the publisher’s calendar for 2015 or 2016.
At the same time though, Martin is racing the Game of Thrones series, which is quickly running out of source material, and likely will if the show is renewed for a sixth season. Although Martin has shared his plan to conclude the series with showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, I’m sure it’s his preference to have as much influence on the process as possible by laying out his very specific vision for the book series’ conclusion, even though that seems increasingly unlikely.
Game of Thrones returns for its fifth season on HBO on April 12.