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

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Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Blackwell, an imprint of leading academic publisher John Wiley & Sons, will next month be releasing a new entry in its Pop Culture and Philosophy series: Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than the Sword (Pre-order:  US, UK). The book is due to hit shelves on March 13th.

The series uses popular culture to give philosophers a platform to delve into topics of philosophical interest in a way that’s relevant and relatable to a general audience. Part of a series edited by William Irwin, editor Henry Jacoby has gathered together twenty essays covering a wide range of topics from a distinguished group of philosophers. Also included? A short foreword from Linda and I, which we were very honored to be asked to provide.

Signed Books from Swag for Charity Auction

The Huffington Post’s television critic Maureen Ryan runs an annual auction for charity called “Swag for Charity”, with items covering the range of swag she gets from studios and networks in her role as a critic. This year, GRRM contacted Mo and offered to throw in a number of signed books to the cause, so there’s an excellent chance to fans of his work to get their hands on a complete signed hardcover set of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, an amazing collection, the start of a superhero saga that’s lasted decades, and much more (including some Spartacus: Vengeance items).

Bid early, bid often, because all proceeds goes to deserving charities, including Partners in Health! The auction on the George R.R. Martin items ends on Sunday.

Hugo Nominations

Over at “Not a Blog”, GRRM has been making recommendations for this year’s Hugo Awards—the oldest and most well-known award for science fiction and fantasy—in various categories. His own work, A Dance with Dragons, is eligible for the Best Novel category, and of course Game of Thrones is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category… but, intriguingly, it’s also eligible for the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category. There’s some interesting discussion on that topic in comments.

The take out? I’d say fans of the show who nominate should all nominate it in the Long Form category, and maybe not vote for it at all in Short Form (a category which will, with 99.99% certainty, be won by the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife”, written by Neil Gaiman) so that the administrators have an easy choice to make as to category. It worked back in 2008 when fans nominated Heroes in Long Form and almost no votes were thrown in for Short Form. That’s what we intend to do, in any case, having gotten a supporting membership of our own.

All members of last year’s Worldcon, and current members of this year’s Worldcon at Chicon in Chicago provided they get their membership—any membership, even the $50 Supporting membership, which has a number of perks such as receiving e-books of all the finalist novels - on or before January 31st), can nominate. And you should do. And if you can actually attend the event, even better—five days of SF/F/H goodness, academic tracks and film tracks, parties and meeting many of the luminaries of the genre past, present, and future, parties, art dealers and memorabilia and books upon books, parties…

Did I mention the parties? The Brotherhood without Banner will be making a strong showing, and their parties are famous. And of course, George will be there, and as he always says, a con’s the absolute best setting to see him, not just at signings and readings, but also on panels and, yes, in the party rooms.

Super Bowl Book Sale

Over at his “Not a Blog”, GRRM has posted details of a book sale he’s holding through to the Super Bowl, in honor of his beloved New York Giants making an appearance there.

In brief:

And to quote instructions:

To get the discount, all you have to do is write GO GIANTS when you send your order.

Payments should be made via my PayPal address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Questions and queries should go to my assistant Ty at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As always, GRRM’s happy to personalize inscriptions on books sold through his official website. (At a guess, that GO GIANTS requirement may make this a non-starter for Pats fans…)

GRRM Visits Toronto in March

Thanks to Indigo Books, we’ve learned that George R.R. Martin will be speaking and signing books at the Indigo store at 55 Bloor Street West, at 7 PM on March 13th. Great opportunity for Canadian fans to meet GRRM. This appearance hasn’t apparently made it onto his Appearances page just yet, so it must have been recently finalized.

And we’ll just mention that his official page is a great way to see where he’ll be in coming months. Trips planned for this year include London in April for Eastercon, as well as such varied places as Portugal, Montana, Seattle, and Spain.

Subterranean Announces Dying of the Light Limited Edition

Subterranean Press has just announced that they’ll be producing a limited edition of George R.R. Martin’s first novel, Dying of the Light. A science fiction novel written at a time when Martin had made waves as one of the foremost short fiction writers in the genre, Dying of the Light is a personal favorite, in large part because of the evocative writing and the setting, the dying festival planet of Worlorn which is soon going to see its “dying of the light”. Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire may spot some characters or themes that are precursors to Martin’s bestselling fantasy series.

Pre-ordering is now available, and the pre-order page includes some samples of artist Tom Kidd‘s illustrations and paintings for the nove.

BenBella to Publish Beyond the Wall Essay Anthology

We mentioned this last night Twitter and Facebook, but it was quite late so we saved this post for today.

BenBella Books will be publishing Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in June of this year, as part of their Smart Pop series. Edited by James Lowder, the anthology collects critical essays from a number of writers that examine the novels from various perspectives. We’ve seen a partial list of topics, and there promises to be some very interesting material in there.

The full list of contributors or topics can’t be shared yet, but we can name a couple, at least: us.

Audible.com Q&A with George R.R. Martin

About a week and a half ago, we saw a tweet from someone who worked at the same building in which Audible.com is housed who noted that they had gone downstairs to the cafeteria and found George R.R. Martin holding forth. We had figured it was something to do with the A Feast for Crows audio book being re-released with Roy Dotrice reading it, but had assumed it’d be something included in that.

In fact, Audible’s released it straight to Youtube, and we’ve embedded it below. As well, we’ve linked it over at the So Spake Martin section of the Citadel, which collects interviews, correspondence, and more from GRRM.

Auction Update: Original AFfC Art and More

We’ve previously reported on the benefit auction for writer Terri Windling, with contributions of rare and signed items from various authors, artists, and more, including George R.R. Martin. Some more GRRM-related material has come in—including an original piece of art from the Subterranean Press limited edition of A Feast for Crows, drawn and donated by artist Thomas Canty (one of our very favorite artists, BTW!) so we’d thought we’d provide links to all the relevant items to make it easy to find:

There are many, many other things in there, from prints from Alan Lee to signed books by Neil Gaiman, and much more. All for a good cause!

Wild Cards E-Book Sale

Last week, Tor.com announced that four of the Wild Cards novels will be available for just $2.99 each in e-book editions available in the US.. Wild Cards is the oldest, still-active original shared world setting, created by George R.R. Martin and a number of fellow authors. Detailing an alternate history where an alien virus led to mass casualties, disfigurement, and a handful of individuals with superhuman abilities, the Wild Cards universe has seen 21 novels (a 22nd due next year), comic books, and roleplaying games, while being a playground for authors as varied as Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Carrie Vaughn, Melinda Snodgrass, and of course George R.R. Martin.

The four books that are part of the offer are the re-issue of the book that started it all, Wild Cards, and then the three novels of the “new generation” trilogy: Inside Straight, Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings. Again, to take advantage of these prices, you’ll have to be in the U.S.—Amazon members with foreign addresses will see the regular prices; possibly other stores may show the $2.99 price, depending on their policies.

The new trilogy’s a good read, while Wild Cards I is something of a classic in superhero fiction, introducing a range of memorable characters marked by an unusually realistic approach to dealing with their lives and travails.

Vote for Goodreads Favorite Books

Goodreads, the massive social book site, is running their annual Choice Awards, and wouldn’t you know it? A Dance with Dragons is on the shortlist, not just in Best Fantasy but also the overall Favorite Book of 2011 category. Many other fine works are on both lists, so checking it out (and voting!) is certainly a good idea if you want to support your favorite books of the last year.

As an aside, GRRM’s assistant Ty Franck and writer Daniel Abraham, who together write as James S.A. Corey, are also up for an award in the Best Science Fiction category with the novel Leviathan Wakes. Congratulations to the both of them—it’s well-deserved for a book that’s been quite well reviewed indeed.

More Wild Cards Film Details

During the weekend, news broke that SyFy Films (a joint venture of the SyFy Channel and Universal Studios) and had optioned theatrical and television rights to Wild Cards, the original shared-world superhero series concocted by George R.R. Martin and the Wild Cards Consortium of writers. We’ve done some digging, and we have a handful of additional details to share.

Skin Trade Official Site

We’ve previously covered Mike the Pike Productions, who are developing George R.R. Martin‘s award-winning horror novella, “The Skin Trade” (found in Dreamsongs Volume 2, which also contains the first Dunk & Egg novella “The Hedge Knight”, set in Westeros, and many other excellent stories) for film. Now they’ve decided to ratchet up the visibility of the project by launching an official site.

The site offers hints as to the story and the production team currently in place, including noting that Filmworks FX—a post-production company that’s worked on Red Riding Hood, Knight and Day, The Tourist, and other Hollywood film projects—is on-board to handled VFX and is intimately involved at an unusually early stage in development.

Besides the official website, Mike the Pike Productions have also launched a Facebook Page—named Blackstone Manor, after a key location in the novella—which features news, updates, and the occasional query to readers. Right now, the page asks fans who they’d like to see direct The Skin Trade, and I’ve chimed in with British director Neil Marshall, who recently wrapped up filming on the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones... and who first rose to the attention of horror fans thanks to his cult classic, Dog Soldiers.

Wild Cards Developing for Feature Film

The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reveals that Wild Cards had been optioned for development by Syfy Films—the theatrical division of the Syfy channel—and Universal Studios, with the screenplay set to be handled by there-from-the-start author Melinda Snodgrass, who (like GRRM) has TV writing experience.

New GRRM Interview

An interesting interview at NY Magazine cropped up. It starts out discussing Game of Thrones—revealing for the first time that while Sean Bean may have been the first choice for Ned, the producers hedged their bets (probably due to uncertainty at the actor’s availabiity) by auditioning additional actors—but then shifts to some very interesting questions regarding A Dance with Dragons... particularly one bit in it which appears to have given Martin significant pause before he answered it. Hrm….

Well worth reading, and not just because Westeros.org and the in-progress World of Ice Fire world book are mentioned! Also, for those new to the site, this interview—and many, many others over the years—are linked at the So Spake Martin collection.