All Sorts of Weird Stuff: News

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

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Sites of Interest

A Song of Ice and Fire

New GRRM Interview

Amazon.com’s Omnivoracious blog has a brand new interview with George R.R. Martin, discussing aspects of his work as the writer of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, as well as the Game of Thrones TV series. Note that it’s vaguely spoilerish, so if you’ve not read through at least the first three novels and your extremely paranoid regarding even the vaguest of potential spoilers, best avoid.

Martin Interviewed by Sports Illustrated

Last night, we posted about the Game of Thrones-themed Sports Illustrated Power Issue. We now have the podcast—hosted by Richard Deitsch—with GRRM, which you can find here along with a partial transcript of some of Martin’s remarks.

It’s very much sports-oriented, but there’s some remarks that touch on the characters and the setting (such as Martin’s comparison of knights to athletes).

We’ve placed this interview in the So Spake Martin collection, where you’ll find a great deal of links to interviews, correspondence, and reports from readings, panels, and conventions.

2015 Ice and Fire Calendar Announced

Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin reveals that the success of the 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and the very promising work in Gary Gianni’s 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order) , has led Bantam to contract the amazing Donato Giancola to illustrate a 2015 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. One of the foremost artists working in SF/F, he has won multiple Chesley and Hugo Awards for his artwork.

We’ve always hoped Donato would illustrate characters and scenes from the novels in a more substantial body of work than he has previously—his Melisandre painting (Melisandre painting for the cover of Dragon Magazine2 #307 has been his lone piece of ASoIaF art for far too long. Finally, that’s being rectified. We’ve been fans of his work since his gorgeous “Joan of Arc” painting was used for the cover of Mary Gentle’s Ash: A Secret History (a fantasy series we very much recommend to fans of ASoIaF, by the way).

Report from Boskone

This past weekend, George R.R. Martin was at Boskone. A few reports have floated around since then, regarding his signing, the Q&A… and a reading he did of material from not one, but two chapters from The Winds of Winter. Thanks to a fan, we now have a pretty detailed rundown of what was contained in those chapters over at the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum. You can read it here, but in case it needs to be said, there are some definite spoilers therein!

For reports of other readings from Martin, and discussion of chapters he’s released on his website, you can go to our The Winds of Winter sub-forum.

World of Ice and Fire Price Change

For those who may have thought a $50 cover price was a bit steep for The World of Ice and Fire—the book we’ve co-written with George R.R. Martin—it looks like Amazon.com has received some corrected information: it’s now priced at $40, which is presently discounted down to under $28 presently (Preorder).

For that matter, the book appears to have picked up a new subtitle: “The Official History of Westeros and The World of A Game of Thrones”. This is actually news to us, since those are decisions outside of our purview.

By the by, speaking of Amazon, they’re now shipping the Game of Thrones Complete Second Season Bluray and DVD sets (Order: US Bluray, US DVD) , with the Bluray down to $29.99—more than 50% off the retail price! If you’ve missed it, I’ve written up a review discussing some of its features. I even came across a fourth dragon’s egg since that review, featuring a Littlefinger and Varys scene that fans will doubtless enjoy.

Upcoming Exhibition at Texas A&M

We’ve noted this previously, but a new article in Texas A&M’s The Eagle provides some amazing insight into the forthcoming Deeper than Swords exhibition at the Cushing Library, focused entirely on A Song of Ice and Fire and the many things that have been born from it. George R.R. Martin was invited to have his life’s work archived at the library back in 1993, in recognition of his contributions to science fiction and fantasy fiction and television, and has been a “dream donor” ever since.

Among the holdings in their archives:

‘‘More than 900 of the author’s books line the wall. The shelves are filled with Martin’s collaborative work, books he has edited, articles about him, manuscripts and correspondence.

“Intermingled with the paper products are VHS mastertapes, tickets from the Emmy Awards, boxes of trading cards, HBO tchotchkes given to actors, board games and programs for conventions where fans congregate to play board games. Nestled with the loot are life-sized replicas of Ned Stark’s greatsword and Robert Baratheon’s warhammer.”

Concerning the event itself, here’s what The Eagle has to say:

“The library’s exhibit, “Deeper than Swords,” will run from March 22 through December and is free to the public. An exhibit and author signing will last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 22 at Cushing Library. Tickets for a priority signing line are sold out, but a limited number of first-come, first-serve fans will be granted an audience. Food vendors offering medieval treats will be located outside the library, along with actors from the The Texas Renaissance Festival, who will host games to win tickets to the fall event.

“At 6:30 p.m. Martin will give a lecture and answer questions at Rudder Auditorium. More than 1,100 of the 2,400 seats are taken, and reservations can be made for the free event at the MSC Box Office.”

(Many thanks to Olaf Keith for pointing this article out.)

Pre-order the World of Ice and Fire

German booskeller Olaf Keith brought to our attention the fact that The World of Ice and Fire—the work we’ve been co-writing with George R.R. Martin, providing a look at the history and lands of the setting of “A Song of Ice and Fire”—has made its first appearance on Amazon.com for those who’d like to pre-order it. We can’t remark on the publication date, page count, or even the price point at this time, but at least there’s now an ISBN and a chance to pre-order. It can also be preordered at Amazon Germany, for those who use that service.

This book is distinct from the A World of Ice and Fire iOS app from Random House, which we also provided the content for, although they both share some common origins.

Tuf Voyaging Reissued, TV Projects Discussed

Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin shares the news that his science fix up novel, Tuf Voyaging, has now been reissued by Bantam Spectra. A fix up is a novel that’s constructed from a number of short stories, and in this case these stories tell the tale of Haviland Tuf—a rather eccentric merchant in the far future (in the setting Martin has dubbed the Thousand Worlds) who becomes commander of the most powerful, dangerous ship in the galaxy. They’re alternately amusing and scary, and the final part always gives me chills.

In his post and in comments, Martin ends up responding to questions regarding his recent overall deal with HBO, which will see him pitching and potentially writing and producing new series’ for HBO. Here’s what he had to say about some of the possibilities kicked around (we’ve bolded text for key points):

Dangerous Women Delivered

Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted the fact that he and co-editor Gardner Dozois have delivered the cross-genre anthology, Dangerous Women. He has provided a full list of contents, and there’s a surprise in there for fans of the series:

INTRODUCTION, by Gardner Dozois
SOME DESPERADO, by Joe Abercrombie
MY HEART IS EITHER BROKEN, by Megan Abbott
NORA’S SONG, by Cecelia Holland
THE HANDS THAT ARE NOT THERE, by Melinda Snodgrass
BOMBSHELLS, by Jim Butcher
RAISA STEPANOVA, by Carrie Vaughn
WRESTLING JESUS, by Joe R. Lansdale
NEIGHBORS, by Megan Lindholm
I KNOW HOW TO PICK ‘EM, by Lawrence Block
SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL, by Brandon Sanderson
A QUEEN IN EXILE, by Sharon Kay Penman
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, by Lev Grossman
SECOND ARABESQUE, VERY SLOWLY, by Nancy Kress
CITY LAZARUS, by Diana Rowland
VIRGINS, by Diana Gabaldon
HELL HATH NO FURY, by Sherilynn Kenyon
PRONOUNCING DOOM, by S.M. Stirling
NAME THE BEAST, by Sam Sykes
CARETAKERS, by Pat Cadigan
LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME, by Caroline Spector
THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN, by George R.R. Martin

The Abercrombie is set against his RED COUNTRY backdrop, the Holland gives us Eleanor of Aquitaine, Jim Butcher returns us to Harry Dresden’s world, Lev Grossman contributes a tale of life at Brakebills, Steve Stirling revisits his Emberverse, Diana Gabaldon’s story features Jamie Fraser of OUTLANDER fame, the Spector is a Wild Cards story featuring Hoodoo Mama and the Amazing Bubbles, and mine own contribution… well, it’s some of that fake history I have been writing lo these many months, the true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons. The stand-alone stories, not part of any series, feature some amazing work as well. For those who like to lose themselves in long stories, the Brandon Sanderson story, the Diana Gabaldon story, the Caroline Spector story, and my “Princess and Queen” are novellas. Huge mothers.

Emphasis mine, for those looking for details on Martin’s story.

Game of Thrones Comic Hits iTunes

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.

Martin Rides High In Sales Charts

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!

New Video Interview with GRRM

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.

New Sample from the Winds of Winter

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.

Have it, and then join the discussion on forum, where we have a section devoted to the chapters previously released and those he’s read at conventions and signings. The

Arianne chapter has been read before

[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.

More Locus Polls

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.

Locus All-Century Poll

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:

  • 20th Century Fantasy Novel - A Game of Thrones is number 2, behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and just after Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, and Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes of Amber. Good company to be in. A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords also appear on the list, at 30 and 12 respectively.
  • 21st Century Fantasy Novel - A Feast for Crows lands at the number 5 position, with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell at the top two positions—and, quite interestingly, both are also looking to be adapted to the television as A Song of Ice and Fire has been (with American Gods being developed at HBO and a Jonathan Strange BBC mini-series in the works). Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and China Meville’s The Scar were number 3 and 4 respectively.

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.