All Sorts of Weird Stuff offers news and information about George R.R. Martin, in particular about his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
"When I was young, I read all sorts of stuff. One week it would be Lovecraft, the next Vance. It was all imaginative literature, or as my dad called it 'Weird Stuff.' It was all 'Weird Stuff.'"
George R.R. Martin
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
We’ve just received word that Random House’s A Game of Thrones comic book adaptation, written by Daniel Abraham> and drawn by artist Tommy F. Patterson, is now available through an app at the US iTunes Store. A faithful adaptation of the books, fans of the TV show will find scenes that never made it to the television series, while fans of the novels will get to see the world and characters visualized with George R.R. Martin’s input.
The app costs $3.99, but includes the first issue of the series for free. To learn more, check out our interview with writer (and author) Daniel Abraham shortly after the project was announced.
This is a nice bit of information (thanks to Olaf Keith for pointing it out: according to USA Today, every book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series were among the 100 top-selling novels of 2012. The highest placed on the list? The first and the oldest, A Game of Thrones, at #21. That’s quite a position for a book published 16 years ago!
We’ve posted a newly-available video to the So Spake Martin collection from TIFF. Although released in December, it was recorded at a private “Master Class” talk in March. It’s lengthy, and quite excellent, and contains hints of things to come later in the series.
Make sure to also watch the “In Conversation” public event that was hosted the following (or possibly the prior) day, if you’ve not seen it before.
A belated holiday gift from a very busy George R.R. Martin: a new chapter from The Winds of Winter. In this case, it’s the first Arianne Martell chapter from the novel, picking up from where A Dance with Dragons left off. Some interesting details, but spoilery (of course). You can read it at Martin’s official site, via the Ice and Fire Sample page.
[EDIT: Ah, in fact this is a brand new chapter that precedes the one GRRM has read], but lets just say a lot of details either missed being supplied in the reports, or have been added as he’s worked on the chapter.
We previously noted the “All-Century Poll” that Locus Magazine put together, which aimed to list the best SF/F of the 20th and 21st centuries respectively according to voters. In the novel categories, George R.R. Martin did quite well, with A Game of Thrones being voted the #2 fantasy novel of the 20th century (behind The Lords of the Rings, of course).
Now Locus has gone on to publish full results in the short fiction categories, and you’ll spot a few George R.R. Martin works along the way. Most notably, Martin’s famous science fiction/horror novellete, “Sandkings”, ends up at #5 on the 20th Century Novelette list. Just missing the top 10 on the Novella list, on the other hand, is Martin’s award-winning story “A Song for Lya”, at #12 in the 20th Century Novella list. A number of Martin’s other works appear in the extended list, and many of these can be found in the massive story collection Dreamsongs (Order: Volume 1, Volume 2, Kindle Bundle) which we always highly recommend to those who are fans of Martin’s writing. The second volume also contains “The Hedge Knight”, the first of the Dunk & Egg novellas set within the Seven Kingdoms about 90 years prior to the events of the novels—it’s well worth reading in its own right.
Awhile back, Locus Magazine—the venerable, award-winning SF/F publishing industries trade magazine —launched an “All-Centuries” poll regarding the best genre novels and writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The results are in, and they’re looking pretty good for the work of one George R.R. Martin:
Martin himself has remarked on the poll, adding his personal take on the 20th Century SF Novel list, which would have had Zelazny’s Lord of Light, Bester’s The Stars My Destination, and Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness in the top 3. Fantastic novels, all, well worth reading if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.
There’s quite a variety of wines mentioned in the course of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, most notably the golden wine of the Arbor and Dornish summerwine. Now, over at science blog The Last Word on Nothing, writer Sean Treacy looks into the science behind the wine in a world where seasons are erratic and can last years at a time. It’s a fun read, for those who wonder just how something like that might work in reality.
(Thanks to Ed Plocher for pointing it out.)
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin discusses various calendars, including Marc Simonetti’s 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar artist’s John Picacio’s own calendar, and the Literary Pin-up Calendar featuring literary characters from a number of fantasy novels, including ASoIaF.
And then, the real treat: the first look at the cover of the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order: Amazon US) with art by the award-winning Gary Gianni. Depicted on that cover is a scene from a later novel in the series, and we’ll just leave it at that for those spoiler averse… but see below for what we think it is. As GRRM notes, it won’t be available until July of next year, but we’re eagerly anticipating this. Gianni’s a fantastic artist, and if something of its style seems just a littlest bit familiar, bear in mind that Gianni drew the Prince Valiant comic strip for eight years. Some of the armor designs and poses very much evoke Hal Foster’s great medieval adventure series.
Just in time for the holidays, the folks over at award-winning RPG publisher Green Ronin have announced a “Winter is Coming” sale featuring some great deals involving the Song of Ice and Fire Roleplay rule book and campaign guide (with their amazing covers by Michael Komarck) and various ancillary books, such as the narrator’s kit.
Also, if you missed it, The Night’s Watch is on a special pre-order deal for its PDF, with $5 off—and that one features another nice cover. We haven’t seen much more than the preview ourselves, but it looks like another well put together supplement from Green Ronin.
Nice. Cyanide has released a brand new DLC for the Game of Thrones RPG (X-Box, PC). Not just featuring new items, weapons, and armor, this DLC actually adds two hours of content to the game in the form of a quest that goes “Beyond the Wall”.
It’s presently available for the X-Box and PCs (I’m guessing this doesn’t mean it’s available on Steam yet). A few screenshots can be found here.
Although the game may not have been an unabashed critical hit, one thing worth noting is that just about everyone who’s ever played it seems very impressed with the story and its ability to capture the tone and themes of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. From the look of these screenshots for the new DLC, it looks like they may be adding a deal more depth to Mors Westford’s already-complicated history. Should be worth checking out.
By way of Tom Akel of MTV Geek, we’ve been pointed to MTV Geek’s latest interview with George R.R. Martin, and it’s an amusing one. Recorded at this year’s past Worldcon, the interviewer asks GRRM to give his views on various proposed match-ups between characters and creatures from A Song of Ice and Fire against characters an creatures from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It’s frivlous amusement, and one does learn a thing or three about some of the characters along the way, such as what level of prowess Martin accords to Jaime Lannister and who counts as a “real wizard”.
We’ve placed this interview, along with many others, over at the So Spake Martin collection. Enjoy, and if you have any quibbles with Martin’s take on the various match-ups, feel free to comment!
A couple of updates from GRRM at “Not a Blog” point out that Subterranean Press—one of the best genre small presses—has issued a couple of his books in limited editions recently. One of these, of course, is A Dance with Dragons, with art by Marc Fishman. At the time of Martin’s posting, it seems a handful of the numbered books remained ... but that seems to no longer be the case. Linda and I received our copies recently, and they’re as handsome as you can expect; the book has been split in two volumes, which share slipcase, and Fishman’s art is very fine (you can see much of it at Fishman’s Facebook gallery).
Besides that, a few copies remain of the limited edition of Martin’s first novel, Dying of the Light, with art by award-winning artist Tom Kidd. Dying of the Light is an interesting novel in that it’s set in Martin’s first detailed setting, the “Thousand Worlds” science fiction setting, and it contains clear signs of the influence of Jack Vance as well as themes and ideas that would remain central to Martin’s work right through the A Song of Ice and Fire series. There’s even one character who combines elements that would later be seen in the Hound and the Knight of Flowers. It’s a melancholy, romantic work of science fiction, and very much recommened.
Had meant to post this one last week, but this, that, and the other (including behind-the-scenes work involving upgrading our CMS to a shiny new edition which is taking a lot of time) delayed it. But, now, here it is, a video that’s something of an addendum of addendum to our last video as I give a rundown of the military strength of the various regions of the Seven Kingdoms, according both to what is explicitly said in the books and what can plausibly be deduced:
After a long absence, a new video from Westeros.org on one of the many topics that occupy the minds of fans at the forum! This time, I discuss a particularly geeky topic, but it seems pretty topical with the forthcoming release of the Lands of Ice and Fire: just what is the population of the Seven Kingdoms?
We’ll have a related video up next week, and after that… who knows. Depends on how busy The World of Ice and Fire and related things are keeping us!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.