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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A Taste of the World of Ice and Fire

George R.R. Martin has published an excerpt from The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), the guide to the setting and history that Martin has co-written with Linda and I.

The sample includes a piece of brand new art from the book, which will be extensively illustrated. The sample features the opening few pages of the section devoted to House Targaryen, describing briefly their time on Dragonstone… and ending with Aegon’s declaration of war against the kingdoms of Westeros, as he and his sisters prepared to invade.

An Update on Dunk and Egg

George R.R. Martin has updated “Not a Blog” with a lengthy post discussing the status of the Dunk & Egg novellas, set about 80 years prior to the time of the novels. Besides the fact that the fourth novella is partially complete but on hold for now, Martin notes he already has a fifth story roughed out in his head, with a prospective title of “The Village Hero” and its setting being the Riverlands. Perhaps more saliently for many who have patiently been waiting for the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection of the first three novellas is the explanation from Martin that the collection will arrive some time in 2015. But it won’t just be a straight-up collection: it will be richly illustrated by award-winning (and, frankly, legendary) artist Gary Gianni. Well-known for his work bringing Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Solomon Kane, and others to visual life, as well as many other pulp figures, most recently Gianni provided the artwork for the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar.

According to Martin, Gianni’s pitch for illustrating the collection is far beyond the initial handful of illustrations originally envisioned, and instead will feature much more artwork. Very exciting, for fans of Gianni’s work, as well as for fans of the novellas. Martin does not that some foreign language editions of an unillustrated version of the collection have already been published, but the English-language edition will have to wait until 2015 while Gianni finishes the work.

Below, a bit of speculation on “The Village Hero”.

Martin Reveals Rogues Details, Own Story

Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin provides some news on the forthcoming cross-genre anthology he’s co-edited with Gardner Dozois, Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK)... and in the course reveals that he has decided to contribute a story himself, another piece of the “fake history” of House Targaryen. Here’s Martin in his own words:

“The Princess and the Queen,” Archmaester Gyldayn’s somewhat abbreviated account of the Dance of the Dragons, got a great response from all the folks who read it in Dangerous Women, so we’ve dipped back into the archmaester’s somewhat disorganized piles of scrolls and crumbling manuscripts, and brought forth another piece of his unpublished history.  “The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother,” will tell the story of the years leading up to the calamitious events of “The Princess and the Queen” during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, with particular attention to the role played by the king’s brother, Prince Daemon, a rogue if there ever was one.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as you did “The Princess and the Queen.”

Best of all, though originally slated for quite a late publication, it looks like all the stories are in and ready to go… so Rogues will hit shelves in the US on June 17th.

Fans of “The Princess and the Queen” will be in for a treat. As we’ve told fans on our forum in the past, Prince Daemon was one of the most remarkable men of his age, and what you saw of him in “The Princess and the Queen” is only a taste of the enormities and feats of which he was capable.

You can find the full table of contents for Rogues below:

Wolf Sanctuary Fundraiser Goes Live

Earlier this month, we noted the upcoming fundraising drive for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, sponsored by none other than George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride. As promised, we’d note when it went live… and it now has. A massive amount of A Song of Ice and Fire-related books and memorabilia, as well as Wild Cards books and other works by Martin, is in the offering, with various packages available at different funding levels.

The proceeds will go to support the Westeros Pack—named after characters from the novels—by providing them a larger habitat, which sounds excellent. All funding levels include signed “adoption” certificates, showing your sponorship of a particular wolf (or wolves) in the pack.

Dangerous Women Bestseller

Via George R.R. Martin, we learn that Dangerous Women (Order: US, UK) has been an absolutely smashing success for an original fiction anthology, placing on several bestseller lists. Most notably, the December 22nd edition of the New York Times hardcover fiction list, where it reached the extended list’s 18th position. As Martin notes, the book has also placed on the Ingram’s and USA Today lists.

Many congratulations to Martin and fellow editor Gardner Dozois, as well as all the involved authors, and the publisher, Tor Books!

Dangerous Women Hits US Bookshelves

The Dangerous Women anthology, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois and containing stories from Martin, as well as the likes of Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson, has been released in the US. The highlight for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Martin’s novella “The Princess and the Queen”, telling a part of the tale of the destructive civil war called the Dance of the Dragons, 170 years before the time of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Filled with intrigue, family feuds, murders, and many, many dragons in violent, deadly battle, it reveals just how powerful and dangerous dragons (and Targaryens) truly were.

The anthology has received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, while “The Princess and the Queen” has been separately reviewed in Entertainment Weekly.

There’s a lot to be said about the novella, as our spoiler-filled discussion thread on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum reveals. Linda and I intended to have a video ready to discuss it—including its connection to the World of Ice and Fire that we’ve co-written with George—but winter has heralded a distinct lack of snow for us (so far)... but a cold did come to pay a visit. So we’ll have to wait on that until we’re less under the weather.

Until then, get the book, ready the novella, and share your thoughts!

Visit Old Mars

The latest anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, Old Mars, has hit shelves. With a fine group of contributors—including award-winning authors such as Ian McDonald, Michael Moorcok, Mike Resnick, and Howard Waldrop—the collection presents science fiction tales inspired by the classic depiction of Mars as a place of ancient alien civilizations and great canals.

Over at Tor.com, Robert Bedford provides a review of the anthology, highlighting several notable original stories.

The Hedge Knight Returns

This summer, Amazon announced the formation of a new imprint dedicated to the publication of graphic novels: Jet City Comics.

With this news came the announcement of the initial slate of comics that would be published by Jet City, a slate which featured the works of George R.R. Martin quite heavily. First up among them is Meathouse Man, adapted by artist Raya Golden from Martin’s disturbing science fiction tale in an imagined future where corpses are reanimated as the servants, and playthings, of men. That’s due in October…

... but for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, it gets better: Jet City will be republishing The Hedge Knight graphic novel (adapted by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller) in November, and following that up with the republication of The Sworn Sword by the same team in January.

And then, to cap it off? The third Dunk & Egg story, “The Mystery Knight”, is due to finally be adapted to comics—once more by the team of Avery and Miller—for Random House, publishers of the A Song of Ice and Fire series and—with Dynamite—of the comic book adaptation of the same.

A Glimpse at the Dance of the Dragons

Tor.com has been busily posting excerpts from the George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois anthology, Dangerous Women (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), and today they have released the excerpt of Martin’s own entry, “The Princess and the Queen”.

The novella—which distills details Martin revealed for The World of Ice and Fire—recounts much of the Dance of the Dragons, the destructive civil war that tore the Seven Kingdoms apart from 129 to 131, and should provide some very interesting insights into the ancestors of Daenerys Targaryen. The excerpt is also accompanied by a longer, not too spoilerish review of the entire novella.

Dangerous Women will be published on December 3.

World of Ice and Fire Update

We’ve been receiving questions lately regarding The World of Ice and Fire, as there has been a shift in the publication schedule which has led to it being pulled for pre-ordering from Amazon and other retaliers (for now). We’ve made a few remarks on the forum, but it seem that George himself has discussed the book at his appearance at the ConQuest convention in Kansas City (we’ve one report—more coming—at the So Spake Martin collection from Professor Henry O. Jacoby, who edited the Game of Thrones and Philosophy), and provided some of the details we’ve been sitting on. In fact, the interest must be pretty high, because even the Guardian—one of the leading papers in the UK—has devoted some time to covering the book.

Pre-order Dangerous Women

The latest anthology from George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, Dangerous Women, can now be pre-ordered in the US (Amazon: Hardcover, Kindle). Among noteworthy contributors are Sharon Kay Penman, Brandon Sanderson, Lev Grossman, Diana Gabaldon… and GRRM himself, with a novella set in the Seven Kingdoms titled “The Princess and the Queen”. It will recount events leading up to and including the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons, when Rhaenyra Targaryen fought her brother Aegon over the Iron Throne.

It’s adapted from material written for The World of Ice and Fire, distilled down to a narrowed focus on the titular characters… but the world book, we promise, will provide a wider picture of the conflict, and the historical figures involved in it.

Rogues Delivered

According to George R.R. Martin at “Not a Blog”, he and co-editor Gardner Dozois have finalized and delivered Rogues, a cross-genre anthology featuring quite the list of contributors. The anthology, tied together by the titular concept, will be published by Bantam Spectra.

Martin provides a list of contributors and their stories, which include Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Abraham, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Scott Lynch, Carrie Vaughn, and many, many more. A full listing can be found below the cut.

The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion

Some rather unclear news came out of a HarperCollins show case, in which it was revealed that George R.R. Martin has licensed to them the publication of a small gift book collecting some of Tyrion Lannister’s more insightful and amusing quotes from the A Song of Ice and Fire series. As some might note, HarperCollins is not the publisher of the series in the US… but as it happens, they are in the UK, and it appears that the idea may have originated there. Now Thanks to HarperCollins UK, we now have the official press release:

HarperCollins is delighted to announce that we will be publishing a surprise Christmas gift book drawn from the works of George RR Martin.

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister will be a small gift hardback (978-0-00-753232-2 in Short Demy – 203x135 – £9.99 November) featuring quotes and quips from one of the central characters from the A Song of Ice and Fire series (on which HBO’s hugely successful television series, Game of Throens, is based).

It has been compiled by the HarperCollins George RR Martin’s UK editor Jane Johnson and will be illustrated by artist and caricaturist Jonty Clark. Although the book is authorized by George RR Martin no new material from the author is anticipated: he is hard at work on the sixth and penultimate volume of the series, The Winds of Winter.

Jane says: “The idea for a humorous gift book featuring quotes from Tyrion seemed irresistible. He is everyone’s favourite character from the series and George’s fondness for him is evident: he gets all the best lines, even though – perhaps because – he’s no one’s idea of a traditional hero. He’s a dwarf; he’s ugly and he has a penchant for whores. He’s not gallant or heroic, and he’s completely ruthless. But he’s also witty, self-deprecating and clever; and he’s both a reader and a thinker and in my view that makes him a properly modern hero and a great subject for a little book like this.”

UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights in the book were licensed from agent Christopher Lotts.

GRRM and Avatar Press

Thanks to Bleeding Cool, we’ve learned that Avatar Press executive Jim Kuhoric spoke at a panel at C2E2 about various Avatar Press projects, and in the course of it he discussed some of what’s coming from George R.R. Martin. First and foremost, of course, is the comic book adaptation of GRRM’s World Fantasy Award-winning novella The Skin Trade, to go along with their earlier adaptation of Fevre Dream. Thanks to that, Kuhoric revealed that GRRM will be at San Diego’s Comic-Con (which GRRM has previously announced), where he’ll make an appearance at Avatar’s booth and sign books.

The most intersting item, however, was Kuhoric revealing that there’s a “George R.R. Martin original” in the works, which “may” be superhero related. Kuhoric suggests this is a departure, as previously the works they’ve published have simply been adaptations. They’ll reveal more later, but what I suspect this is is a brand new Wild Cards original comic book story, which will almost certainly be scripted by someone other than GRRM (possibly Daniel Abraham, responsible for the adaptation of Fevre Dream and the Dynamic Entertainment comic Wild Cards: Hard Call?).

To see Kuhoric’s sremarks, watch below beginning at the 2:50 mark:

GRRM at Texas A&M

We previously reported that Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library had arranged for “Deeper than Swords”, an exhibition of material from their collection of material from GRRM that they have been archiving for many years. Martin himself was present for a couple of days of the event, and now those who missed out on the opportunity to attend can get a taste thanks to the university recording and placing on Youtube’s Martin’s speech and interview which was a centerpiece of the whole event:

For more from the event, see this post from author Martha Wells, who attended the events and took many photos of the exhibit and events.