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So I'm browsing the news, looking for information to add to this increasingly-irrelevant blog, and I stumble across this article.  And at first, I'm unstunned (what's the opposite of stunned? Is that it?) to find out that George and his marketing machine have found a new way to turn what was once a relatively strong mainstay of the fantasy lit world into a shlocky self-parody.  If you, yes YOU, would like to fondle some faux-silken doublets from season one of AGOT, look no further than the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto.  Because you know, a one-season HBO series clearly counts as a cultural icon in line with Tim Burton and Grace Kelly, two others who have had exhibits on them at the Lightbox.

Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but years of waking up in obscure motel showers with hooker blood and mysteriously fragrant semen all over you will do that to a person.  But watching this video, I'm sort of stunned at the cold, antiseptic-like space they decided to do such a thing in.  Looking around the room, you'd think they were displaying priceless treasures of kings long forgotten, rather than a few outfits that a bunch of TV folk wear.

However, while reading the article, I had to take a moment and reread this particular ditty:

“When the first novel came out, no one was waiting for it,” Martin allows. “I wasn’t getting any emails as I now get every day about ‘Where is the next novel?’ and ‘Could you please hurry up?’ and ‘Why are you going to Los Angeles when you should be home working on the novel?’

“So yes, the situation has changed somewhat. Then again, that’s every novelist’s dream. I mean, the vast majority of novelists in this country, be they science-fiction novelists or mystery novelists or mainstream novelists, labour on their books for years, and no one cares whether they turn it in or not, and then they’re published to total obscurity.

“My problems are very nice problems to have, and I appreciate them and the fans, the readers.”

Soooo...just to clarify: is George saying that all of the arguments we've had over this issue over the years are a good thing?  Is he possibly noting that it's okay for people to expect him to get his shit done?  Or that maybe respecting your fans by not treating them like cash cows is a step in the right direction?

Probably not.  But a boy can dare to dream.  Of hookers.

Pesci Forgot to Title This Homoerotic Post

Hello my friends,

I apologize for my lack of participation early on in 2012.  Sometimes the fight just get's taken out of and you need to sit back and reevaluate, or just beat the crap out of some junkie that owes you $5000 from the Super Bowl, that sometimes helps.  "Just take it out of my winnings man"  Hey, Fuck You pay me.  Am i right?

But anyway - I'm back and I see The Salami That Hides isn't, what a surprise.  Chumley is just more interested in anything but finishing his novels, as usual.   So fuck him.  We can have fun right? 

The new guy playing Spartacus?  Eh.........Maybe Andy spoiled me, but this guy smiles to much for me and needs to bulk up a bit.

As my nine year old would say - he looks kinda gay.  Yes son he does.  Maybe it's just my general negativity lately, i still dig all the slaughter and sex.  Actually that was the name of my first band out of high school Slaughter and Sex.  We used to kill it at the roller rink on Saturday nights.

So you are asking - Pesci, what do you need to do or what can we do to help pull you out of your funk?  Good question.  This movie trailer for The Raid, is a good start.....

Oh i love it. 

I need something to read - so if you got somethin' let me know.  I've worked through most of Ambercrombie's stuff.  I had to screen the Hunger Games for my nine year old, so I busted through those.  I finished the works of my savior Steve Erikson.  I might look at that Baker guy , but I am open.  I think Brent Weeks has some stuff for me to look at.

Hey, is it just me, or does watching The Walking Dead feel like homework?  Booooring.

Anyway - you all stay classy


Even I'm a Softie for This One

Sent to me by Thoughtful Reader "K-Man El Magnifico"...
I Made the Eight t-shirt. 

Yep.  There you go.
Also, Why John Hodgman Loves Nipple Tweaking.

Should I know who he is?  Probably.  I live in a cave these days.

Finally, here's a guy masturbating over a tabletop RPG.

After this sequence of depressing GRRM-related incidents that have been sent to me by Alert Readers, I am happy to report that I was pulled out of my malaise by the following:

Happy Friday, everyone.

Two Quick Questions

In regards to the Golden Globes..

(1) Does anyone who reads the books think Tyrion is actually like what he's portrayed as in the HBO series?  Maybe I'm still in the minority here, and I'm a fan of Peter Dinklage, but I feel like they wrecked that character when he went to the screen.

(2) Since when do novelists/authors refer to themselves as "book writers"?  That's seriously weird.

Not much else to report from the trenches.  Oh, except that I have completed grading final exams, and the future looks bright.

The Holidays Malaise

Yeah, I know the title is grammatically incorrect, but it flows better, so I'm sticking with it.  But actually, there's very little malaise in these parts, as it's been a rather festive holiday season for Pesci and myself (read: prostitutes and cocaine mountains).  Of course, with the many distractions of the holiday season, time to sit down and ramble has been scarce, which is why I'm writing this at 6am on a Friday.  But more accurately, my absence can be ascribed to four causations:
- Skyrim
- Pathfinder
- Stupid kids wanting me to give them grades on stuff
- Family always wanting to spend time with me

I mean, I know I'm an engaging guy and all, but really, don't people understand that I have a very demanding and current blog with which I need to keep up?

Anyway, I was waiting for a bit of George news to spur me to a long post, and we have it now with several items.  Let's start with  George being named Author of the Year by USA Today, a paper whose claim to fame is a weather map in thirty-two eye-catching colors.  Actually, now that I look at it, I think that joke just writes itself.  USA Today naming somebody author of the year is like Highlights naming somebody Best New Chef.

Speaking of USA Today and useless things, we also have the recently-released trailer for the GOT Xbox game, also posted by USA Today.  The only thing striking about this mediocre-looking game trailer is right around 1:53, when there's a dissolving montage of faces and OH MY GOD THEY MADE GEORGE A VIDEO GAME CHARACTER.  I don't know what they're planning on doing with him as a character, but rumor has it that the character travels all over Westeros consuming free meals and selling calendars.  More updates on that when they happen.

And then we have George's release of the sample chapter of Winds of Winter.  (Side question: Why is everything on George's website written on boldface font?  On what planet does he not have enough money to hire a community college student to design him a better website?)  Anyway, I found the chapter rather enjoyable, even though I have fuck-all memory for half of the characters they're talking about and remembering who's on who's side at this point.  But any chapter that returns the narrative back to the Starks and the core characters and conflicts that we started with almost TWENTY YEARS AGO is fine by me.

CORRECTION: It turns out my final note on this post was incorrect.  There is a second chapter for WOW due in July with the 2012 release of the ADWD paperback.  Either I skimmed a bit quickly on his blog or the news article I got in my reader was erroneous. (I swear it's the second one, but hey, we're not immune to errors around here.)  But thanks to you loyal readers who caught the faux pas.

Holiday Greetings

All right Ray.  I can only take so many drunken phone calls from your loaded up, coke addled ass.  Hey, have you guys noticed how all of Ray's films go directly to DVD nowadays? 

Listen kids, sorry I have been out of action, but i am surprised Ray actually had time to post with all of his obligations to the Occupy Wall Street movement.  You know him being a staunch communist and all.  Which I also find odd since he is a union guy and we know how unions in Illinois operate - the state treasury is their personal piggy bank.  You know the real reason the Feds came down so hard on the mob in Chicago don't you?  My Pisans where cutting into their business.  Only elected officials can steal in this state.

But I digress. ........  I was in Vegas over the weekend, working on some things.  You know what I'm talking about.  Watch Romo choke another one tonight - wink wink.  And do you even need to ask?  Pesci always comes home a winner.  I stayed at the Cosmopolitan.  Fantastic fucking place.

So i see that Sir Hamalot is up to the same old shit.  Selling books, pawning off his autograph, putting off work like all those who graduate from the Chicago School of Art.  You know what that art degree gets you?  You're the guy they pick to decorate the windows at the Starbucks your working at during the holidays.  Enjoy that 'barista'.

So Ray claims The Penis that Hides has about 100 pages written for the next book.  I say bullshit - he has nothing written.  All he has are some chapters he didn't use in Dance and bumped them forward.  The guy hasn't typed shit for over a year I'm sure.  It too bad Ham and Eggs isn't selling his signed books in Chicago, I need some more kindling for my fire pit (it's been overused a bit lately, you know business).

Giggles All the Way claims he was most thankful for his family, friends, and readers during Thanksgiving.  I guess his way of showing us his appreciation is to stuff two whole turkeys down his gullet while rubbing giblets all over his naked torso (I mean come on, you know he eats naked).

Oh, on a side note:  Ray I found out dad sleeps in the buck because his boxers have become too constricting.  Enjoy that shit.  If I have to live it so do you momma's boy. 

But hey - we're not always negative on this site.   I will give Captain Asshab his just due;  His Gorton's Fisherman look seems to have inspired a generation. The fucks at the college next door to my office  love the full beard, long-coat, fisherman's cap look.  We will soon have the next generation of dock workers ready to go.  Time to re-vitalize the docks in Baltimore. 

So that's about it bitches.  I hope you are all well. 

Hey, one more thing; I watch the new Conan the Barbarian other day and I have to say, not only was it the worst fantasy movie I've ever seen, but it may have been the worst movie I've seen period and I've seen Age of Innocence (it was in order to nail a chick, so fuck off).



It's just shy of 6am and I'm up on a Sunday to go to work.  Christ, this is what my life has become.  If only i had piles of cocaine to help me--OH WAIT HERE IS SOME RIGHT HERE.

Much better.  Anyway, I continue to hold down the fort, solo, and while the first quarter work schedule may be kicking my ass, I still refuse to abandon my post.  (Granted, lots of readers may abandon me, but hey, it's all a journey.)  But this week, as I was leading groups of pimply-faced devotees through a variety of readings, I came across this passage from Edgar Allan Poe, who discusses some interestingly relevant ideas in his 1846 essay, "The Philosophy of Composition":

[P]erhaps...the autorial vanity has had more to do with the omission [of authors' discussing how they work] than any one other cause. Most writers — poets in especial — prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy —an ecstatic intuition — and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought — at the true purposes seized only at the last moment — at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view — at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable — at the cautious selections and rejections — at the painful erasures and interpolations — in a word, at the wheels and pinions — the tackle for scene-shifting — the step-ladders and demon-traps — the cock’s feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred,  constitute the properties of the literary histrio. [Liotta's brackets]

A translation in brief: most writers want you to think they are magical, inspired artists who create through bursts of inspiration, and don't want you to see the nuts and bolts of real writing work.  They'd rather have you imagine they are geniuses with some intangible gift that isn't allowed to be questioned or dissected.  "Vanity," he regards it as. 

Sure, Poe was kind of an asshole.  Which makes him one of my favorite people.  Especially because Poe was saying, in much more eloquent ways, what we've been saying here ad nauseum for a couple years or so.

Meanwhile, back in 2011, it looks like George will have another distraction from his writing.  Wild Cards tv shows....sigh. 

On a more fun note, have you visited Inn at the Crossroads?  Two women attempt to make all the food in GRRM's ASOIAF series.  If nothing else, the Weirwood Cake is pretty ridiculous and awesome.

I came across this from an article located here.  Sure, it's a couple weeks old, but hey, I'm lucky if I notice what day it is. (Cocaine.)

That's all for now.  Gotta go grade some papers and contribute to society.

P.S. On a side note, it seems like the spammers have been coming after our comment boards in full force.  I'm doing my best to delete the spam and unblock any real comments that may have been misidentified as such by LJ.  So be patient, and I'm delving in best I can so we can keep our "all opinions are welcome" policy going here at FTBG.

Updating You On Non-Updates

As this blog turns its focus to The Winds of Winter, we (or I, since Pesci seems to have flown the coop lately, leaving me with the bloody knife and the shovel), I feel compelled to share with you another interview with George regarding the HBO series and a whole lot of blather.

In keeping with his longstanding tradition of filling time that could be well-spent on creating his beloved/eternally frustrating fantasy series, George reveals that he has only about 100 pages of TWOW done, most of which is leftover material from ADWD.  In addition, he courteously heads off any guesswork on his fans' parts by stating that he "will return to [writing TWOW] in January."  Because in the meantime, he has a coffee table book and a Dunk & Egg novella to work on. 

I'm going to close this off with a quote that I wish I could attribute, but I neglected to get the poster's/author's name when I was browsing the web the other day.  But to paraphrase, an astute reader/critic of GRRM's and this whole affair said, "You know, for a writer, his publishers, and a cable network to spend so much time and money trying to turn this guy's books into a cash cow, it's ironic that his fans are criticized for being "demanding" when it comes to finishing the series."

Well said, anonymous sir and/or madam.  Well said.

More updates to come...hope you all are well.

For Shame

Looking back on my work on FTBG, I feel as if I need to work harder to get to my points more quickly.  I'm not sure if you've all noticed, but I tend to ramble quite a bit, mainly because (a) no one in real life listens to a word I say, and (b) cocaine.  Lots of cocaine.

That being said, I'm going to see how long I can maintain my new policy of efficiency, targeted witticisms, and insightful satire. 


If you ever wonder if the HBO/GRRM PR machine is truly working at full balls-out capacity to create buzz and keep the AGOT brand (yep, I'm officially designating this whole thing a brand), take a look at this article. I've read it at least three times, and I can't figure out what is possibly newsworthy about it.  It essentially boils down to "Hey, this book's popular because of a TV show...have you tried them out yet?"  Oh, and "George is huge in Pakistan.  Like, white linen pants-huge."

Side note: Did you notice the weird link at the start of that article, which takes you to an article called "Reading for the soul: helping kids love books"?  I can't think of a better way to get kids into books than by introducing them to the Dothraki fashion as soon as possible.

In other news, it looks like Game of Thrones: Genesis is still chugging along.  The funny thing is, as much as I enjoy video games, fantasy, and RTS gaming, the more I read about this project, the less fun it actually sounds.  Not sure how many of you out there are gamers, so I'm interested in your comments on that front.  One thing's for certain: when you have a hugely complicated mythos that even its own creator has difficulty keeping straight from time to time, a surefire way to keep it consistent and less complicated is to let every media editor, game designer, and screenwriter start playing around with the timelines and characters.  I swear, when all of this is said and done, trying to iron out the full realization of Westeros will be like trying to prove paternity status after an NBA all-star party at the Playboy Mansion.

Now I have to finish watching Kingdom of the Spiders so I can go shower and go do shit that gets me paid.  Y'all keep it real.

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