George R. R. Martin and his self-entitled fans

George R. R. Martin is still trying to finish A Dance with Dragons, the next installment of his Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. He’s years behind schedule, so it’s hardly surprising that his fans are waiting impatiently; for an author, that’s probably a good sign. What isn’t a good sign is when fans get nasty: some of them have been sending George angry e-mail objecting to his “wasting time” on anything other than working on A Dance with Dragons (e.g., other books, travel, watching football) and — in a manifestation of evil that would have made it into Harlan Ellison’s “Xenogenesis” — worrying to his face that he’s going to “pull a Robert Jordan” and have the bad manners to die before finishing the series.

The sense of entitlement is nauseating; you’ll see a few — thankfully, only a few — examples of it in the comments to John Scalzi’s and Charlie Stross’s posts on the subject. But it’s counterproductive: do you guys honestly think all that anger is going to get that book into your hands faster? Do you think that making him suffer, bread and water, sackcloth and ashes, is going to motivate him to finish?

Of course he’s working on it; he can hardly walk away from it. He wants it finished as much as anyone — more, I suspect. It’s taking longer than he thought it would. Shit happens. Deal.