Neil Gaiman once told an impatient Song of Ice and Fire fan that fantasy author George R.R. Martin "is not your bitch." Musician John Anealio has mined Gaiman's zinger for comedy gold and turned his quote into a piano ditty.
First off, a little background on this song (that preceding link leads to the mp3 from Anealio's Sci Fi Songs blog). On May 12, 2009, a reader named Gareth wrote to Gaiman's blog to get the Sandman author's opinion on A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin's inconsistent release schedule.
When writing a series of books, like Martin is with "A Song of Ice and Fire" what responsibility does he have to finish the story? Is it unrealistic to think that by not writing the next chapter Martin is letting me down, even though if and when the book gets written is completely up to him?
And here's Neil's hilariously candid response. It's rather long, so I've picked out the relevant portions. You can read Gaiman's entire entertaining rejoinder at his blog.
Yes, it's unrealistic of you to think George is "letting you down".
Look, this may not be palatable, Gareth, and I keep trying to come up with a better way to put it, but the simplicity of things, at least from my perspective is this:
George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.
This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.
People are not machines. Writers and artists aren't machines.
You're complaining about George doing other things than writing the books you want to read as if your buying the first book in the series was a contract with him: that you would pay over your ten dollars, and George for his part would spend every waking hour until the series was done, writing the rest of the books for you.
No such contract existed. You were paying your ten dollars for the book you were reading, and I assume that you enjoyed it because you want to know what happens next.
It seems to me that the biggest problem with series books is that either readers complain that the books used to be good but that somewhere in the effort to get out a book every year the quality has fallen off, or they complain that the books, although maintaining quality, aren't coming out on time.
Gaiman ends with a clarion call to super-fans everywhere: chill.
And Gareth, in the future, when you see other people complaining that George R.R. Martin has been spotted doing something other than writing the book they are waiting for, explain to them, more politely than I did the first time, the simple and unanswerable truth: George R. R. Martin is not working for you.
A couple months later, John Anealio turned Gaiman's response into a rocking admonition to overzealous fans everywhere - "George R.R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch."
If you think the books are entertaining
It's best you stop complaining
Writers just aren't machines
George Martin never signed a contract
To just work on that project
So find something else to read
Have you tried Fevre Dream?
George RR Martin is not your bitch
No matter how much you gripe
George RR Martin is not your bitch
So you might as well go get a life
Mur Lafferty at the Tor blog has a neat breakdown of Anealio's other songs (including paeans to Batman and Roger Zelazny). You can also purchase Anealio's album Sci-Fi Songs if his tunes strike your fancy.
Hey, musical inspiration can come from anywhere. I wonder what George R.R. Martin thinks about a total stranger melodiously immortalizing him as "not a bitch?"