Area Elderly Overweight Man Angry People Are Concerned About His Health

'None of you seem to understand: I'm not locked in here with you—you're locked in here with me!' AP

George R. R. Martin kindly asks that you stop asking him if he's going to die before he finishes writing A Song of Ice and Fire.

On the one hand, I'm sympathetic to his complaint. And I have no doubt that it's messing with his head; for all you assignment editors out there, I have a long, rather uninteresting essay tucked away in the back of my head about how Stephen King's near-death experience on June 19, 1999 drastically altered (for the worse) his Dark Tower series. There's undoubtedly something similar at work here.

On the other hand, maybe the elderly, overweight man who takes many years to write each of his densely plotted books should finish writing his series if he wants fans of said series to stop expressing their concerns. I know, Neil Gaiman, I know: George R. R. Martin is not my bitch. But, you know what? If you're going to go around and do tons of interviews and write tons of material that has nothing to do with the main plot of the books that have made you a millionaire many times over, your fans are going to get anxious. Because the inverse of Gaiman's axiom is also true: "Your fans are not your slaves." You cannot command them to feel a certain way or to hide their concern for your well being. We are human, all of us.

So, everyone: a little patience, please. Fans, stop asking GRRM if he's going to keel over. GRRM, please don't get your blood pressure up* if fans ask you whether you're about to keel over. We just worry about you. And we're not a group of people well known for our social graces.

*Good God, that's the worst thing that could happen.