I noticed in my Sunday ritual reading of the NY Times that George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons hit the number one best-seller seat for both hardbacks and e-books in the U.S. this week, selling a whopping 650,000 copies in its first week. Similarly riding the high of the Emmy-scrabbling TV series, Game of Thrones itself retook the number one seat for paperbacks too—15 years after its release.
I know the series takes some lumps in old school gaming circles, still I remain a fan of Martin's genre-bending epic-low fantasy—at least for now. Now a little over 800 pages plowing through the book, my head is coming around to the conclusion that's it only marginally better than the last novel suffering from the same bloat of ever-increasing povs with a glacial pace of resolution for the rapidly-proliferating sub-plots.
Still I remain far more absorbed than I do with most fantasy, which I still maintain is pretty sub-par on the whole even compared with most genre fiction. (Maybe it's because I was raised on a steady diet of meandering 19th-century Russian novels and I have a tolerance for such things?)
One plus from the hoopla around the series is that it really has kicked off a bit of a good deal of buzz in my own personal circles, largely people among people who wouldn't touch a fantasy book with one of our proverbial 10-foot poles.
Currently, I have all four of the preceding novels in the series loaned out, and excited talk about the ends and outs of things Westeros have trumped talk about debt ceilings, San Antonio patronage politics, and all things baby—a big delighted shift for me.
The best part is watching the same people who snicker a little about my dark, little tabletop rpg secret start exhibit real interest in sitting down at one of my home sessions. Opportunistically talking up my domain-level work (“yes you too can be a swaggering, back-biting bannerman in my game”) I think may even have recruited three of them to come out and roll some funny dice with us in the next couple months. I am ever the optimist.
Probably a flash in the pan as a fad, but anyone seeing, feeling, or expecting a bit of bump on this?