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 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.)
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.
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):
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.
Courtesy of Tor.com, Daniel Abraham’s original story set in the WIld Cards shared-world universe is now available on-line. “When We Were Heroes” features Curveball and Bugsy, two characters introduced in the “new” Wild Cards trilogy that began with 2008’s Inside Straight. Tor.com suggests that this is the first of several stories George R.R. Martin has commissioned in the wake of the success of Fort Freak.
In further news, over at “Not a Blog” GRRM has noted that the follow-up to Fort Freak, Lowball, is nearly done, and that the third novel in this trilogy—High Stakes—will be in progress immediately after Lowball has been delivered to the publisher.
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.
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.
Awhile back, George R.R. Martin reported that his publishers were preparing brand new audiobooks of some of his earlier novels, and of special interest to Game of Thrones fans would be the fact that actors from the hit HBO series—Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont), Ron Donachie (Ser Rodrik Cassel), and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)—would provide the reading.
Those books are now out… but somewhere along the way, it seems Michelle Fairley didn’t actually read (guessing a scheduling conflict came up), and so Windhaven (a science fiction novel co-written with Lisa Tuttle) has been read by British actress Harriet Walter instead.
Links to the books at Audible.com and samples can be found below:
Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has posted about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which helps comic book artists, retailers, and more in defending against attempts to restrain their rights to free speech. It’s a good cause, as he writes:
The CBLDF is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of free speech and free expression in comics books, graphic novels, and related fields. My own roots as a “funny book” fan go all the way back to the letters of comment I published in FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, and other Marvel comics back in the early 60s. I also attended the very first comicon, and won my first writing prize for an amateur prose superhero yarn (an Alley Award, which I never received, sob), so comics are a medium dear to my heart… as anyone who has ever read my own long-running WILD CARDS series of mosaic novels surely knows.
And in support of it, he’s donated 100 signed hardcovers of Inside Straight, the first in the “new generation” Wild Cards series of superhero fiction, to the CBLDF. Signatures come from all contributors (including GRRM), excepting the “elusive” S.L. Farrell. It’s a worthy cause, and a good read to boot.
Thanks to the latest “Not a Blog” update from GRRM, we’ve learned that Game of Thrones actor Ron Donachie—last seen playing Ser Rodrik Cassel—will be attending Chicon 7, the 70th Worldcon, as a representative of the show for HBO. Donachie also happens to be the audio book reader for the new audiobook of Fevre Dream—Martin’s award-winning horror novel set on the Mississippi in the Antebellum—which Martin announced back in June.
Martin has also shared his Worldcon schedule, which we’ll repost below, with an interesting possible caveat: in comments he mentions that instead of reading one of the chapters from The Winds of Winter that he’s read on previous occasions, he might instead read from The World of Ice and Fire (the book we’re co-authoring with him) as he did at Bubonicon (a report from which can be found here). GRRM asked for opinions. Personally, the chapters he’s read have generally been read several times, and there are extensive reports available on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” forum… whereas he’s only read once from TWoIaF, and there’s plenty of details from that reading that haven’t been shared with fans.
Here’s his schedule:
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has published his schedule for Bubonicon 44 in Albuquerque, New Mexico between August 24th the 26th. As usual at these convention appearances, there’s a reading ... and this time, the reading’s a surprise: rather than read the extract from The Winds of Winter that Martin has read at his last few appearances, he’s treating everyone to the very first public reading of an extract from The World of Ice and Fire, the setting guide that Linda, George, and I have been working on, on and half, for… well, awhile. ;)
As GRRM’s hinted in earlier “Not a Blog” posts, he’s recently written a few historical pieces for the book, pieces that answer questions that some fans have had about the history of the Seven Kingdoms and the early reign of the Targaryen dynasty from the very start of the series back in 1996. If you’re in the ABQ area and don’t have plans for that Friday, you can get yourself a day pass for $15. And, hey, evenings? Parties are where you’ll find GRRM hanging out. His advice for those going to Worldcon holds for Bubonicon, and will give you a sense of how approachable GRRM can be at an SF convention.
Thanks to Ben Bella, our essay in Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (Order: US, UK), “The Palace of Love, The Palace of Sorrow: Romanticism in A Song of Ice and Fire”, is now available in full via the Smart Pop Books site. It’s available for just one week, after which it’ll revert to an excerpt.
Thanks to Boiled Leather Audio Hour hosts Sean T. Collins and Stefan Stasse, Linda and I spend some time discussing our essay in Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (Order: US, UK) which officially hit shelves on the 26th of June.
Over at “Not a Blog”, George has posted a lengthy update on various projects, from those that are done (The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection [Preorder: Amazon US, Amazon UK]) to those in-progress (such as The Winds of Winter, Dangerous Women and the fourth Dunk & Egg novella, the latest Wild Cards novel Lowball, and Old Mars), and on to those just in the planning stages (Old Venus).
One in particular might be of special interest to followers of Westeros.org, since it’s The World of Ice and Fire, the world book that we’re are co-authoring with George. Here’s what George has to say:
Speaking of that last stuff… yeah, there’s some really neat details in there, and perhaps a new mystery or two for fans to ponder. Some fans have long wondered just how Aegon’s Conquest was carried out, how the Vale of Arryn fell under their control, the status of Dorne in that time, even the order in which the Targaryens conquered each region… well, they’ll be wondering no more, on those topics, and quite a few others!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.