You’ll never guess what I’m reading: a high-fantasy novel!

game of thrones.jpg

Yes, you read that correctly, I am reading a high-fantasy novel. The novel that I am reading, if it is not obvious from the image, is George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. I have been watching the new HBO series based on Martin’s novels and have been increasingly impressed by the storytelling. Yesterday, I downloaded a sample to my Kindle and started reading and was quite surprised to find how closely the HBO series follows the novel (so far). I was also impressed with the story, so far, so I plunked down the $8.99 and read the prologue and first three chapters yesterday–and I think I’m hooked.

I should point out that there are three things driving this:

  1. I really like the HBO series and I get impatient having to wait a week to see the next episode. Reading the book helps with that.
  2. All I have been reading since January is science fiction and I usually don’t take it in such heavy, sustained doses; having something different will be a welcome contrast.
  3. I haven’t had time to read anything else, but as I announced yesterday, I am switching to a biweekly schedule for the Vacation in the Golden Age posts, meaning I have two weeks to read each issue of Astounding, freeing up more time to write fiction and to read other stuff in addition.

I’ve said before that I am generally not a fan of high fantasy, in part because I thought that J. R. R. Tolkien set the bar so high and defined all that could be done in the genre; that all else was imitation.  Note I say “thought”. One thing I like about Martin’s book so far (and I know I’ve barely scratched the surface) is just how gritty it is. That is not something I’ve come across in fantasy and I must admit that so far, I like it.

We’ll see if it continued to hold my interest. It is a long with, with several books that follow on to it. You can be sure I’ll report back my thoughts on what I’ve read, whether or not I manage to finish the whole thing.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

9 replies on “You’ll never guess what I’m reading: a high-fantasy novel!”

  1. I, like you, have never read an epic fantasy, so, like you, I picked up A Game of Thrones about a week ago. I’m half-way through and loving it. The characters are so mind-bogglingly complex that it’s almost impossible to glimpse even a part of them without reading hundreds of pages from their viewpoints. It is truly a feat to behold and has made me an epic fantasy fan.

  2. Adam, I look forward to reading it. Everyone I know is giving it high marks.

    Also, I’ve got to say that we are of the same mind: I also was pulling for Michael A. Burstein’s “I Remember the Future”. (Michael is a good friend of mine.) I could nominate but not vote last year. This year was the first year I could vote. 🙂

  3. Paul, no kidding. If this keeps up I could soon be reading Jane Austen

    Well, there is that well regarded Mary Robinette Kowal fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey…

Comments are closed.