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.
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.
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.
Dark Sword Miniatures, official license holders of A Song of Ice and Fire miniature figures, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get more figures out, more quickly. The new expansion—featuring figures such as an armored Barristan Selmy, mounted versions of Loras Tyrell and Khal Drogo, Arianne Martell, Prince Joffrey, and many more—are all sculpted by the truly amazing Tom Meier, one of the very finest miniature sculptors now or, indeed, ever.
And to gild the lily, as Dark Sword Miniatures founder Jim Ludwig notes, every one of Meier’s sculpts is created with the direct involvement and approval of Martin, so in many ways these figures are probably as close as anyone will ever get to seeing Martin’s own vision of his characters and the way they should be clothed, armed, or armored (case in point: Drogo’s arakh is indeed more or less a saber, which fits Martin’s remarks on the subject.)
Launching yesterday with a $10,000 goal, the Kickstarter was fully founded in just over two hours. Since then, it’s nearly hit $25,000, and two stretch goals have been reached. More stretch goals are likely to come, and given the length of time which remains, it could go very far indeed.
This is still not 100% confirmed, but according to CVG, the earlier reports that Telltale Games was preparing a Game of Thrones game appear to be true. CVG’s reporter was among those watching the rehearsal broadcast of Spike’s VGX Awards, and in the course of it it was revealed that Telltale was going to discuss the new game. Other announcements meant for tomorrow’s live broadcast also slipped through into the rehearsals, until the award show’s producers pulled the plug on the rehearsal stream.
The VGX awards will be streaming tonight, so we’ll be keeping an eye on it to see if the report holds true.
IGN has reported that “multiple sources” have informed them that Telltale Games is “developing a game based on George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.” While still a rumor—one that Telltale refuses to confirm at this juncture—the notion of Telltale, who has recently won a great deal of acclaim for their The Walking Dead adventure game (Order: Amazon US), creating a game based on the setting will certainly set many gamers to eager expectation.
Interestingly, IGN emphasizes that it’s not clear whether this rumored title would be based on the television show, or if in fact it’s based on A Song of Ice and Fire. However, given our understanding of the licensing arrangements between Martin and HBO, it seems extremely likely that the basis will be the television adaptation; the two previous computer games made by Cyanide were licensed prior to the HBO deal, and “grandfathered” in (and even then, the RPG worked out a license with the TV show to use its visuals and include vocals from actors), but going forward we believe HBO has exclusive rights to computer games.
It is, of course, a rumor, even if it comes from multiple sources. But IGN makes a case—if one reads between the lines—that Game of Thrones could well be the “dream IP” that Telltale executives have hinted at.
(Many thanks to @realcozur for the tip.)
This week has seen two books hit shelves that fans have been waiting for. Notably, the U.S. mass market paperback x of A Dance with Dragons (Order: Amazon US) was at least released after the hardcover had an astounding 88 week run on the NY Times Bestseller list.
For those of you who’ve been waiting for the paperback to read the book, now’s your chance. And for those of you who’ve already read it? You’ll find at the back of it a never-before-published chapter from The Winds of Winter. For those who bought e-book editions, there are some reports that the iBooks edition has been updated with the excerpt, so fire up your iOs device and check that out (no word yet as to whether the Kindle edition has been similarly updated).
Besides that, fans in the US will be able to get their hands on The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister (Order: US, UK), a slim volume of Tyrion’s aphorisms illustrated by noted British cartoonist Jonty Clark. It will be available next week in the UK, as well.
The latest update brings Jonathan Roberts‘s The Lands of Ice and Fire (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) maps to the app, including the map of the Known World which depicted the world in unprecedented detail for the very first time. All of these maps are based on George’s hand-drawn maps, and were made with his direct oversight.
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.
We’re very happy to report that the Shire Post‘s effort to create real gold dragon coins, using Kickstarter to raise the seed funding to acquire the necessary gold, is now a reality! Today, the Kickstarter crossed its $10,000 goal. Many congratulations to Tom at Shire Post, and to those who’ve contributed towards making this happen.
Last year, George R.R. Martin and Subterranean Press revealed that the new, limited edition of A Clash of Kings was to feature the art of noted artist Richard Hescox. With this year’s Worldcon approaching, Hescox has noted that he’ll be in attendance and will be displaying some of his artwork for the limited edition at the convention…
... but he’s shared a sample of that work, over at his gallery page for the book. The gallery features over a dozen artworks, both in color and black and white, out of the total of sixteen paintings and over sixty black-and-white illustrations that he’s provided for the book.
Pre-orders for the book began in July, with exclusive rights to pre-order to those who’ve purchased A Dance with Dragons previously. As noted by Subterranean, this limited edition release actually precedes the planned A Game of Thrones limited edition, as the artwork for that one has not yet been completed. Pre-orders on remaining, unclaimed volumes of A Clash of Kings will take place in October.
Tom Maringer of the Shire Post Mint, official licensed producers of replica coins based on those described in A Song of Ice and Fire, has been on a roll lately with the coins he’s been making and selling… and he’s now reveal a plan that he’s long been dreaming of: replica gold dragons using genuine 22k gold. But it’s a very costly endeavor, acquiring the gold to produce the coins, so he’s reached out via c to get the initial seed funding to realize the dream.
Via the project, Tom shares:
We are currently rolling out the new Game of Thrones “Dragons of Westeros” brass Dragon coins! These are about the size and weight of the old $10 gold piece, about 1-1/16” diameter and weighing 14 grams in brass. The actual gold ones will be more like 16.9 grams of 22k gold such that they contain exactly 1/2 troy ounce. Both types will be officially released at WorldCon, down in San Antonio, Texas, at the end of August.
Support levels for the project range from a thank you from Tom and co., to copies of the brass versions of the dragons (as well as the very popular Faceless Man coin), all the way up to the top level including the three new coins both in brass and gold. The Kickstarter project page has many, many images of the coins to admire. Tom’s shared some great videos and background information in his project updates, so make sure to check them out!
The 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustrated by the incomparable Gary Gianni, was released last month (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) to great acclaim… and already, another fantastic artist is hard at work at next year’s calendar.
This time, it’s Donato Giancola, who’s just as legendary an artist as Gianni, Nasmith, and all the other remarkable artists that have tried their hand at depicting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire setting and world. Giancola has posted an early sketch (note: technically NSFW) for one of the paintings, with some commentary. He seems to find the novels a great source of inspiration, as he laments there being only twelve months in a year.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.