Today the fifth book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire arrived at my doorstep. I am just home from my vacation to the east coast but I did not get to read the previous 4 books during my vacation and I planned very badly ahead of time so now I have a terrible decision to make; read the fifth book now and not have a full grasp of the story or desperately tear through the earlier books to get to the shiny new thing. This series is the best fantasy series ever written and me being an unabashed geek it seems almost criminal to not sink into it right away. I wrote so many crappy fantasy stories in my youth sitting in friend's basements throwing dice and slaying monsters that I *must* devote myself body and soul to the greatest example of the craft.
If you have not seen the HBO tv series of the first book you simply must do so - it is a great retelling of the story and lacks only a $100,000,000 budget for each episode like a big movie might have. When they were recruiting actresses for this show they must have had a poster like this:
Looking for actresses.
Must be young. (Story consistency.)
Must be pretty. (There are plenty of ugly people in the story but they don't get the headline roles or the nude scenes... surprise!)
Must be unknown. (So the actress will stay around for later seasons.)
Must be willing to be naked constantly. (The book has plenty of sex... much like real life... and HBO takes great pleasure in keeping true to that part of the book.)
I can't argue with the best story being retold well in a tv format, especially with the above notes. Sue me, I'm a man.