Today's Brew: 'Game of Thrones' -- Before & After, Part 1
I am no science-fiction or fantasy virgin. I've loved genre TV, books and movies since I was a kid, from "Star Wars" and "Star Trek," to "Battlestar Galactica" and "The X-Files," to "Alien" and "Outland," to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the "Dragonriders of Pern" and "Stainless Steel Rat" series, to lots of stuff by Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. LeGuin, Larry Niven and Ray Bradbury.
But you may notice that there's not a lot of high fantasy on that list ("Pern" has its fantasy elements, but it does have a science-fiction underpinning). I couldn't get past "The Hobbit" to any of the other Tolkien novels (though I have watched the movies -- can't resist awesome spectacle, pretty Orlando Bloom and prettier horses).
Loved LeGuin, but never went near the "Earthsea" books, and scrolling down a list of the collected works of George R.R. Martin, I appear to have quite possibly not read any of them.
(May have read the novelette "Sandkings" in a science-fiction and fantasy college course; can't remember for sure.)
But, I have seen Martin's "Twilight Zone" episodes, and I was an ardent fan of his work on the TV series "Beauty & the Beast."
Why should this be? I enjoy mythology and hero tales of all sorts, from ancient Egypt to Holy Grail (with and without "Monty Python"), but you put me in pure fantasy setting and throw Princess Silvermoon, or the Dark Lord of Shadow Mountain, or the Misty Marshes of the Far Reaches ... blah blah blah ... at me, and I just start to giggle.
Make me stay there too long, and I'll start to slide over sideways with my tongue lolling out (actually did this in the movie theater during the endless endings of the last "Lord of the Rings" movie).
As for "Game of Thrones," the Martin series of novels which has been made into an HBO series and premieres on Sunday, April 17, I not only have never read it, I had never even heard of it before the HBO announcement.
I now have it in my hot little hands, and while unable to rustle up the slightest bit of interest (despite the presence of, as you can see from the photos, the lovely Sean Bean and a pretty horse), even after seeing the trailer, I will watch it.
Later on this evening (or first thing tomorrow, if I get too sleepy to write coherently), I will return to give you my impressions of however much of it I can get through before I need to start watching "Dancing With the Stars."
Until then ...