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.
George R.R. Martin revealed on his Not a Blog that he had decided to go and update his book samples pages at his official site with a new The World of Ice and Fire sample… but it’s not quite a sample from the book: “The Westerlands” is in fact George’s original write up of Westerlands history, one of a number of such write-ups he did as his contribution for the book. Due to size constraints, Linda and I then worked with our editor Anne Groell to compress it down to fit the book.
Now, one note of caution: this is an unedited, unpublished text. In fact, purusing it, it’s a very close match for the original text George sent, before we turned it around with some comments pointing out some continuity issues. George is aware of them and will doubtless incorporate them in the future if he decides to publish it, but in any case there are differences between the two texts because we incorporated those necessary changes and fixes into TWoIaF. Some have asked us if we can at least consider all details not contradicting the books and TWoIaF as “canon”, but I’d again underline the fact that this isn’t really a published text. Until it’s in a fixed format—as in, published in a book or an anthology—it’s not canonical, as all unpublished details are entirely subject to change at George’s whim. I’d guess very little of it will change if George did decide to publish it, beyond those things already fixed for The World of Ice and Fire, but that’s where it stands.
In any case, go read it!
In January, nominations opened for the 2015 Hugo Awards, which will be presented at the Worldcon in Washington, Sasquan. The ballots will close on March 10th, so if you’ve yet to nominate but are eligible to do so, best get cracking. Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading List is always a good place to start reviewing some of the literature from last year… but we’ll focus on things connected to GRRM, one way or the other:
George is again each eligible this year for Editor- Short Fiction, thanks to Rogues, and co-editor Gardner Dozois is eligible several times over due to other collections and anthologies he’s edited in the previous year. And speaking of Rogues, all the stories therein are individually eligible in their respective categories. The Locus list linked above notes several of them, by writers such as Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, and Scott Lynch, but it’s worth noting that Martin’s novelette “The Rogue Prince” is also eligible. (And as to Best Editor - Long Form, Jane Johnson of HarperCollins Voyager and Anne Groell of Random House should be perennial nominees.)
Also eligible, of course, would be Game of Thrones in the Dramatic Presentation - Short Form category; we’d recommend nominating “The Watchers on the Wall”, the spectacular Neil Marshall-directed penultimate episode, and GRRM’s own contribution, “The Lion and the Rose”.
Thanks to a Facebook update by artist Magali Villeneuve—one of the many artists contributed beautiful artwork to The World of Ice and Fire—we see that Random House has released some official information (including a cover image) regarding the 2016 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order: Amazon.com). Due for release on July 28th, there’s one particularly interesting detail about her work on the calendar:
That should be quite interesting, especially if it were to be from a chapter that no one has gotten a glimpse of yet.
According to Variety, it looks like more George R.R. Martin work is going to hit the silver screen. According to the report, In the Lost Lands will go into production in the fourth quarter of this year and may potentially star Milla Jovovich, who is said to be in talks. The film’s story appears to be based on three of Martin’s short stories: the eponymous “In the Lost Lands”, featuring a sorceress called Gray Alys (the role Jovovich will prospectively play); “The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr” (available online at Fantasy Magazine); and a personal favorite of mine, “Bitterblooms”, one of a number of GRRM’s stories inspired by songs (in this case, Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”).
All three share certain themes—there’s a deep sense of melancholy in all three, and love and betrayal runs through them all—but are otherwise unconnected, so it does raise the question as to whether the film will rework them as being part of a single narrative (which seems to be what’s implied), or whether it will instead be more of an anthology film with some sort of bridging material connecting them together. Some details can be found at Constantine Werner’s page for Rusalka Films, including some character designs and “concept designs” (actually more like design inspirations).
Although the A Game of Thrones Guide app has been around for just about as long as the iOS version, A World of Ice and Fire, it has not quite received all the features that the iOS version had… until now, that is, as Random House is happy to release an updated, rebuilt app on the US Google Play store. Included in this update are the following:
Unfortunately, at least for the time being, the Android app is only available in the U.S.
Here’s a pleasant surprise: the Inn at the Crossroads has announced that they’ve partnered with Random House to publish From the Sands of Dorne: A Feast of Ice and Fire Companion Cookbook (Amazon US), an e-book expansion to the original A Feast of Ice and Fire (Amazon US, Amazon UK) cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. This book, authored by Monroe-Cassel alone, will focus on cuisine inspired by Dorne. Random House has provided a list of the included recipies:
• Succulent starters: Lemon-Egg Soup; Spicy Shrimp; Roasted Chickpeas.
• Mediterranean-style mains: Lamb with Honey, Lemon, and Fiery Peppers; Eggs and Spicy Sausage; Green Peppers Stuffed with Cheese; Spicy Flatbread.
• Tasty treats: Blood-Orange Granita; Candied Kumquats; Figs Stuffed with Nuts.
From the Sands of Dorne: A Feast of Ice and Fire Companion Cookbook is set to to have an exclusively digital release on February 25th.
The A World of Ice and Fire app (as it’s called on iTunes; it’s called the A Game of Thrones Guide on Android, although we’re uncertain if the update has reached that platform yet) has been updated with an excerpt from the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US Amazon UK). The excerpt is drawn from the section of the book devoted to the ancient history of the Vale up to the point in which the conflict between the Andals and the First Men culminated in the Battle of Seven Stars, where the last First Man king fell and the Arryns came to rule the Kingdom of Mountain and Vale.
The app is free to download, and with the latest update includes all the offiically released excerpts from The Winds of Winter, as well as the World of Ice and Fire excerpt.
Just 29 days to go before the publication of The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), and we admit, we’re getting excited as well by the flurry of activity that’ll follow on the forum and elsewhere concerning all the new setting information (and a few little details relevant to various mysteries in A Song of Ice and Fire).
Contrary to what Amazon UK says at the moment, by the by, it will be out on October 28th in the UK—HarperCollins Voyager is sorting that error out with Amazon. We can say that a number of publishers around the world will be bringing out translated editions, including our native Sweden, as well as Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia, and more—but those will be released at various points in time as they complete their translations and print their editions. In total, a dozen countries will be publishing it so far, with negotiations ongoing in a number of others.
Not really sure what The World of Ice and Fire is? Earlier this year, Linda and I did a video about it that can help with that:
Back in March, Linda and I were invited to the grand opening of the Power Games (Maktspel) exhibit in Stockholm’s Royal Armory, featuring a replica of the Iron Throne as well as numerous costumes from Game of Thrones alongside with historical costumes from Sweden’s royal history as well as costumes from the award-winning Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It was a fine occasion, and the quality of the exhibit itself was exceptional.
Now, we’ve been invited back on October 4th for a special event built around the exhibit. Beginning at 11AM, with a chance to have a photo taken by a professional photographer as attendees sit on the Iron Throne, the event will include guided tours of the exhibit, as well as a couple of seminars which begin at 3:00PM. One will focus on on the burgeoning popularity of fantasy, featuring the founder of Sweden’s excellent SF Bokhandlen SF/F bookstore… and the other will be all about The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order:US, UK), Westeros.org, and history in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, featuring Linda andme as well as genre experts from SF Bokhandlen.
Hope to see some fellow A Song of Ice and Fire fans there!
Right after Loncon 3—this year’s World Science Fiction Convention—wraps up, George R.R. Martin and fellow fantasist Robin Hobb will be making a special appearance in central London on August 19th. The news, from Martin’s UK publisher Harper Collins Voyager, notes that seating will be limited so tickets are running at £45… but in partnership with sponsor Blinkbox, the event will be streamed on Blinkbox’s Facebook page for all of those who couldn’t get tickets (or live on the wrong continent to consider getting them!)
On a related note, Voyager has recently revealed the UK cover for the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire, which Linda and I have co-written with George. It’s a variation on the American cover, with a black background and some distinctive flames as well other things like font choices to bring it in line with the U.K’s editions of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
A new social reading app for iOs, Booke, is in the works, and an Indiegogo campaign aims to both help promote the app and generate some exclusive content for the George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois edited Rogues, containing Martin’s “The Rogue Prince”, a historical account of the reign of Viserys I and of his troublesome brother Prince Daemon Targaryen.
Rather than being an e-book reader, Booke is an adjunct to the printed word, a way for publishers, creators, and fellow readers to curate content around books and magazine articles. A book may have had the publisher highlighting quotes and linking to images or videos, or it could have fans providing short annotations and commentaries. Booke has received the support of Random House, publisher of Rogues, to use that book as a particular test case—if the Indiegogo goal is met, they’ll bring aboard artists such as Dagmara Matuszak,Ted Nasmith, Marc Fishman and Marc Simonetti so that they can provide exclusive art to illustrate excerpts from the stories contained in the volume; not just Martin’s own contribution, but also works by Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Connie Willis, Daniel Abraham, and more.
See below for a video describing Booke, and what it can do for you, in more detail!
As promised, Linda and I are very pleased to present a second excerpt from The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), following George’s excerpt from last month. Our own excerpt features the beginning of “The Ten Thousand Ships”, the section devoted to the events leading to the arrival of the Rhoynar in Westeros, beginning with the relationship—and eventual conflict—between the people of the Rhoyne and the Valyrians. Those of you who’ve looked at the other available glimpses of the book know, the book’s richly illustrated with beautiful artwork from many artists. Below, you’ll find one of those pieces of art, a depiction of Princess Nymeria by artist J.K. Drummond.
And as an added bonus, at the end of the extract is a video Linda and I recoreded from our Youtube channel, discussing the origins of the book, the writing process, and going over some of its content. Enjoy!
The last of the great migrations into Westeros happened long after the coming of the First Men and the Andals. For once the Ghiscari wars had ended, the dragonlords of Valyria turned their gaze toward the west, where the growth of Valyrian power brought the Freehold and its colonies into conflict with the peoples of the Rhoyne.
The mightiest river in the world, the Rhoyne’s many tributaries stretched across much of western Essos. Along their banks had arisen a civilization and culture as storied and ancient as the Old Empire of Ghis. The Rhoynar had grown rich off the bounty of their river; Mother Rhoyne, they named her.
It’s been in the work for a few months, and at last, those of you with iOS or Android devices have a good chance (regional availability aside) to get a hold of the latest update to the World of Ice and Fire app (not the same thing as the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire book), also known as the Game of Throens Guide for Android devices (Order: iTunes, Google Play). It’s a very substantial update, including dozens of new character entries, and scores of entries for many of the locations in the Lands of Ice and Fire maps. Especially all those new, never-before-mentioned locations found on the map of Essos, all taken straight from notes and details GRRM shared with us.
And for more casual fans who aren’t so interested in entries and the accompanying art? A Tyrion chapter from The Wind of Winter is included in the app, which is free to download (info packs—detailed entries that carry the app through the various books of the series—must be paid for as in-app purchases, but are unnecessary to get the excerpt).
Now, there’s lots of questions surrounding the app and its availability, so we’ll try and answer them below.
Although George announced his completion of work on The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) in a post on Not a Blog last week, Linda and I have held off a similar post because our side of things wasn’t yet quite done: a sidebar we felt was important needed adding, an afterword needed tweaking, and GRRM’s Iron Islands material needed trimming…
But now all that is done, and outside of art approvals, final copy edits, and the like, Linda and I are essentially done as well. From 2004, when the subject of such a book was first broached while having dinner with George and Parris in Santa Fe, to 2006 when bidding among publishers finally led to our signing a contract with Bantam in 2006, it’s been a long effort—not a continuous one, mind, after the initial discussion, outlining, and the very first draft, as the bulk of the work waited until A Dance with Dragons was more or less done and George had more time to consult. Consult he did, and he made a number of contributions which, as Tolkien before him said, “grew in the telling”. Some of these narratives have since been published in partially abridged form—“The Princess and the Queen” in Dangerous Women (Order: Amazon UK), “The Rogue Prince” in the forthcoming Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon UK).
While New York may get a lot of the interesting events around Game of Thrones—the “Epic Fan Experience” at the Barclays Center being a case in point—it’s not the only thing going on out there. Of particular note for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Seattle’s LTD Art Gallery current exhibition: “Winter is Coming”, a presentation of artwork influenced by the novels, presented by George R.R. Martin and put together with his direct input. All the works on display in the gallery are available for sale, in some cases as originals, in many cases as prints. There’s an amazing trove of treasures, including original works of art by Ted Nasmith and Donato Giancola, and prints from the likes of Amok (with an awesome depiction of Aegon and his sisters), Marc Simonetti, Jim Burns, Jen Zee, and many more.
An excellent preview of the exhibit, including interviews with the gallery’s owner and participating artists, can be found over at Wired.com. The exhibit runs through March 23rd.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.