I love to read. I love to watch great TV. The experience of reading a great book or watching a great show is nearly matched by introducing a friend to the same experience. In the years since I originally picked up A Game of Thrones, the first book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin, I have convinced about six people to read the series. All of them have loved it as much as I have. It is THE best fantasy series I have ever read. I love it more than Tolkien’s classics. I love it more than Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series, which fell off the rails nearly a decade ago. And every time I see or hear of someone writing it, I get a little thrill. It allows me to recall the wonderful experience of reading the book for the first time…. sort of a vicarious thrill.
The Martin series is fantastic because it combines the epic grandeur of Tolkien with incredibly well-developed characters that readers fall in love with… Everyone I’ve introduced it to, whether they are fantasy fans or not, has loved these books.
Then there is Battlestar Galactica (the reboot). The TV series was perhaps the greatest hard scifi television program I have ever watched. From beginning to end, I loved it. It had its ups and downs, sure. And many were unhappy with the finale. But the show remains the standard for scifi television, and its departure from the airwaves has left a gaping wound in many fans’ hearts.
For many geeks, Battlestar and Ice and Fire stand at the pinnacle of their respective genres. Many fans still mourn the loss of Battlestar and they despair at Martin’s years-long delay in writing the fifth installment in the Ice and Fire series.
As a fan with a deep emotional connection to both of these franchises, I was struck mightily by a tweet I saw on Twitter recently. Tricia Helfer, the actress who played Six, the leggy blonde cylon on Battlestar tweeted from a hospital waiting room:
Almost 1/2 way thru A Storm of Swords. I wonder if I’ll get thru the rest of it on this long day of waiting. Prob not, it’s 1180 pages!!
A Storm of Swords is the second book in the Ice and Fire series. Not only did I get the usual thrill of knowing that someone else is reading these books for the first time. She was someone who was connected to one of the other great scifi/fantasy franchises I’ve experienced. These two worlds collided in a fun way that fanboys all over could buzz about. Helfer even tweeted a photo of her book, along with a lunch she was munching on, while sitting in a hospital waiting room. I guess this is a mix of nerdy fanboy exhilaration, voyeurism, and a sense of joy that yet another person is experiencing these wonderful books for the first time.