* My friend Rich brought this article to my attention yesterday: The perils and pleasures of long-running fantasy series. It’s about what (if anything) writers of vast, volume-and-decade spanning epics owe their readers, and whether it’s inevitable that books of such unbridled magnitude will break your heart.
* As someone who’s left people hanging on the cliff, I sympathize. I can only imagine how much George R. R. Martin has changed as a person since beginning A Song of Ice and Fire, or how many new ideas he’s had that he can never implement because of all the thousands of pages already committed to print. How such a series may eventually feel like an albatross around the author’s neck.
* Speaking of which, I bought Game of Thrones last week to read on the airplane. It worked superbly for that purpose, making a long travel day seem shorter (except for the part where my son got irritated with me for reading instead of paying attention to him). But when I got home I didn’t pick it up again. I tried reading some more today, but I dunno. I’m finding it both engrossing and aggravating, and sometimes the latter outweighs the former.
* (Trigger/mature subject warning, after the fold) (Also, spoiler warning) (Also, also, sarcastic Rachel warning)
* Rape is an unpleasant subject, but it’s something that happens in the world and I’m not against it happening in books, necessarily. Here’s what I AM against: rape denial. Rape with ribbons on. Rape that gets glossed over as not REALLY rape, because she kind of sort of consented that first time (cleverly accomplished, but still deeply problematic for me) and so surely that consent is good for all the subsequent times where she hates it, right?
* Just so we’re clear, in case anyone has a broken irony-meter: NO, IT ISN’T.
* Because she does hate it, subsequent times. It hurts her; she dreads it. But the author makes a very clear parallel between being raped and riding her horse: riding hurts at first, too! She gets aching muscles and saddle sores! Over time, however, she toughens up and gets used to it, until riding becomes her ultimate freedom. Alongside this, laid out point for parallel point, is the fact that at first the rape is painful, but then she toughens up and gets used to it (likes it, even!), and in the end it does her a world of good. She finds the backbone to stand up to her brother! She seizes the reins and initiates sex for a change! Wow! All that rape improved her life!
* Gross, George. Really, really gross.