#books

Adam Whitehead on HBO’s plan for Game of Thrones versus the publishing schedule for the final two books:

At the moment, however, it appears that Game of Thrones will end in June 2017 after seven seasons and 70 episodes, which puts book author George R.R. Martin and fans of the books in an awkward situation.

As of now, five of seven planned novels in the Song of Ice and Fire series (which Game of Thrones is adapting) have been published. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is underway with George’s publishers hoping to bring it out before the end of 2015. However, that still leaves the final book, A Dream of Spring, some way off. Bringing it out in less than two years given the time spent on the previous books (at least four and a half years for Winds, over five and a half for A Dance with Dragons and just over five years for A Feast for Crows) would seem unlikely. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, George suggested that he might still be able to do it - although it would be a “tight,” - but this was in the same article where Benioff and Weiss indicated that eight seasons was still doable. Dropping it to seven would appear to make it almost impossible for Martin to stay ahead of the series without a dramatic (and unprecedented in this series) increase in writing speed.

Things could get awkward in early 2017. I could also see HBO pulling an AMC and stretching the final season into “two” seasons (which they’ve also done in the past with The Sopranos), to push the finale into 2018. But realistically, the final book probably still won’t be done even by then.

David Carr on a resurgence in printed media:

Publishers who turned out under-designed and under-edited books and magazines in the Internet age have learned the hard way that consumers expect excellence in print. Just as McSweeney’s grand experimental newspaper Panorama suggested in 2009, and as big, beautiful magazines like Vogue prove every month, print is not dead, it simply has some very specific attributes that need to be leveraged. Good printed work includes a mix of elements in which juxtaposition and tempo tell their own story, the kind of story best told with ink and paper.

I largely agree with this. Rather than simply thinking that material published on the web and material published on a page are the same thing, it’s better if both sides play to the strengths of their respective mediums. Wallpaper* magazine is another that strikes me as doing this well.

And, of course, there’s always books as art.

The list is pretty insane: On the Road, Atlas Shrugged, The Cat in the Hat, The Untouchables, From Russia with Love — and those are just the books. Check out the films and music as well.

Sadly, under the copyright laws that exist today (even though all of these works pre-date the newer laws), none of these works will enter the public domain until 2053.

Jennifer Schuessler on Dutch novelist Arnon Grunberg, who is writing his latest book with electrodes strapped to his head:

Mr. Grunberg, who estimated that he would take another five months to finish the book, said the sensors have interfered less with his creative process than he feared, but he did allow that the experiment itself might end up figuring in the book, which he said will address issues of privacy and cybersecurity.

And he admitted to sometimes staring up at the cameras after the technician had left, wondering if they were really off.

“I find myself having all these fantasies,” he said, “like that I was part of an experiment supposedly looking at my brain while I was writing, but the real point was something else entirely.”

This sounds like a Charlie Kaufman film waiting to happen (who, by the way, hasn’t written a film in five years).