Информация от 16 июня сего года.
For whatever reason, this fourth book has given me much more trouble than any of the earlier volumes. As of today, I have finished forty-eight chapters, and have another eighteen partially written. Half a dozen of them are within a few whiskers of completion. The good news is that I have recently completed the final Jaime chapter for this volume. I'm very close on Arya and Sansa too, and fairly close on Tyrion. The not-so-good news is that all the other viewpoints remain incomplete, and one crucial one is barely half-done. The prologue is giving me fits as well, but as of last night I think I may have solved it.
The last printout I did for my editors (who are even more interested in my progress than my readers) came in at 1067 manuscript pages. That count includes includes only the finished chapters, not the partials. The final draft of A GAME OF THRONES was 1088 manuscript pages. A FEAST FOR CROWS will definitely be longer. Most likely it will be longer than A CLASH OF KINGS. As to whether it will eventually be as long as A STORM OF SWORDS... I hope not, but I have given up on making predictions.
The tale grew in the telling, J.R.R. Tolkien once said. Mine too. At a certain point, the best that you can do is follow your story where it leads you.
The vast majority of the email that I receive continues to be very supportive. I do not have the time to respond to all those letters, or to answer questions about why the seasons are the way they are, how the maesters make their chains, which of the Targaryen kings married their sisters, or where Myr is located in relation to Tyrosh (there will be a map of the Free Cities in FEAST that should take of that last one at least). If I did, my progress would be even slower than it is at present. I do read my emails, however, and I appreciate all the enthusiasm and kind words.
Of late, some of the words I have been getting have been less kind. I don't answer those either, though at times I am tempted. I will say, just to set some rumors straight, that I am not dead, I am not dying, I am not in ill health, I have not forgotten about my readers, and I am not lounging in my hot tub drinking chilled wine with hot babes in bikinis (though I'd like to be). I have been working on this bloody book almost every bloody day (okay, except for Sundays during football season and the two days of the NFL draft) for more years than I care to contemplate, writing, rewriting, revising, and writing again, trying to make FEAST a feast in truth.
As for those of you (only a handful, thankfully) who seem outraged that I continue to collect toy knights, read books by other people, travel, teach, speak, and make appearances (as evidenced by my website)... sorry, but I have a life beyond A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. You should get one too. I am sorry if the long delays on A FEAST FOR CROWS have made you lose interest in the series, but believe me, your frustrations cannot possibly hold a candle to my own. For one thing, the way the book biz works, I don't get paid until the novel is (a) delivered, and (b) published.
It is worth remembering that Jack Vance published the third volume of his wonderful Demon Prince series (THE PALACE OF LOVE) in 1967 and the fourth volume (THE FACE) in 1979. And need I mention how long J.R.R. Tolkien worked on THE LORD OF THE RINGS or THE SILMARILLION? Does anyone now wish that he had knocked them out faster?
In the end, the only thing anyone remembers about a book is how good it was. I won't tell you that A FEAST FOR CROWS is going to be great. That's not my call to make. But I will say that I am doing my damndest.
Hang in there. I'll try to make you glad you did.
—George R.R. Martin, June 16, 2004