Digital Culture

Reading: Song of Ice and Fire

So, on the advice of my friend Trav, I picked up the audiobook for the first book in George RR Martin‘s series “A Song of Ice and Fire“. The book, A Game of Thrones, really took me by surprise. As we all know, 90% of everything is crap, and genre fiction can sometimes have a higher percentage than that.

Well, I’ll eat some crow on this one..I’m completely hooked. I finished the audiobook, and I’m now 536 pages into the second book, A Clash of Kings. The series deals with politics in ways that I’ve never seen in a fantasy novel, with complex characters and a seeming disregard for many of the typical genre rules. As well, the Wikipedia article on the series says:

Numerous parallels have been seen between the events and characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and events and people involved in the Wars of the Roses. Two of the principal families in A Song of Ice and Fire, the Starks and the Lannisters, are seen as representing the historical House of York and House of Lancaster, respectively.

I’m going to finish this book easily this week, and hopefully begin on a Storm of Swords. So for anyone that hasn’t discovered them, and has a soft spot in their heart for good fantasy that’s light on magic and heavy on story, character, and plot…pick up Game of Thrones, and see what you think.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

4 replies on “Reading: Song of Ice and Fire”

I’m hooked as well, but I have some reservation about the series. First is that he is already show a Robert Jordan-esque inability to keep both his books and the series to a reasonable length. Second, that he he seems a little too happy to kill off characters both major and minor. At times characters seem to fall by the dozen, sometimes with barely a mention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *