Once upon a time and a very good time it was there were a great many readers eagerly awaiting the sequel to Lev Grossman’s bestselling novels The Magicians and The Magician King. The weeks became months, and the months became years, and still no third book appeared. The readers grumbled and griped, and finally settled down in a sullen sort of silence. “Such is the plight of the fantasy reader,” the wiser ones would say. “Look at Lynch. Look at Martin. It’ll be done when it’s done. Calm down already. Don’t make me paraphrase that Neil Gaiman thing at you.”
But then, eighteen months into The Wait, a message appeared. Grossman fans blearily looked up from their umpteenth reread of The Magicians. Noting the date, some of them muttered: “Really, people. It hasn’t even been two years. Bringing Martin and Lynch into this conversation was maybe pushing it a little, don’t you think?” To which the more bitter ones replied: “Would you look at who wrote the damned message already?”
For yes, it was George R.R. Martin who, while announcing Dangerous Women on his famed Not a Blog, heralded the new Lev Grossman story “The Girl in the Mirror” (excerpt here). The sizable contingent of Grossman fans who also hoped that Martin would deliver his next novel sooner rather than later groaned. (It is said that, if you hold a copy of the Game of Thrones DVD set to your ear, you can still hear faint whispers of “Oh man, Martin isn’t writing what he’s supposed to be writing again.”) Until, that was, they all noticed the paragraph below the new anthology’s Table of Contents, which described the new story as a “tale of life at Brakebills.” And there was much rejoicing.