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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Reviewing A Feast of Ice and Fire

In his introduction to A Feast of Ice and Fire (Order Now: US, US Kindle, Amazon UK), George R.R. Martin writes that he has been accused of writing “food porn” with his lengthy, detailed descriptions of what his characters eat. Fortunately, it is this very habit of his that inspired the mouthwatering exploration of the food of A Song of Ice and Fire that this book represents.

The two women behind it all, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, started their foray into the food of Westeros—and Essos!—by way of a blog, Inn at the Crossroads, around the time of the first season of Game of Thrones. Their attempts to recreate favourite dishes from the books eventually caught the attention of George R.R. Martin and this led to the book that now has been released, just in time for your Game of Thrones season finale parties.

Official Site Update

A bit belated on our part, as personal stuff has kept us busy these last couple of weeks, but GRRM has a number of updates at “Not a Blog” which we thought we’d make note of, with comments. See them below:

Game of Thrones RPG Winners

The Game of Thrones RPG contest grew to a close yesterday, and now I can name the winners!

From the competition for our Twitter followers:

From the competition for our Facebook followers:

  • Christopher VeRn Varney
  • Valeria Vianes

Congratulations to the winners! They’ve all been contacted via Twitter or Facebook, and will see their copies of the Game of Thrones RPG sent to them once we have the mailing addresses. The Game of Thrones game has been released in the US today (XBox, PS3, PC Download) and will be available in the rest of the world from June 1st (UK XBox, UK PS3, UK PC DVD).

Cyanide Goes Behind the Wall

The Game of Thrones RPG is rapidly approaching, and Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive—perhaps taking a page from HBO’s many behind the scenes videos—has released a video taking us “Behind the Wall”:

We’ve also updated our gallery with a heap of new screen shots.

The RPG hits shelves on the 15th of May in North America, and Junest 1st in the rest of the world. And if you’re in the US and interested in winning a copy for XBox or PS3? Look here!

Win the Game of Thrones RPG

May 15th is the date in the U.S. for the release of Atlus USA’s and Cyanide Studio’s Game of Thrones RPG for XBox and PS3 (as well as PC, via Steam or Amazon downloads)... and we have a contest to win one of four copies for those of you lucky to be in the US!

We have four copies to give away, winner’s choice as to XBox or PS3 (sorry, no PC copies to give away) and these include the exclusive pre-order art book. The competition is US only (sorry! we’ll see if we can’t offer one for those elsewhere in the world nearer the release date) and we want to to give everyone a couple of entries… so here’s how you do it:

We’ll have a drawing for 2 copies for Facebook commenters and 2 copies for Twitter followers/RTers.

One entry per social site, please—multiple entries beyond that will be disqualified! Winners will be announced on Monday following the contest close at 12PM Eastern Time, and we’ll get in touch as quickly as possible to get your address and preference as to whether you prefer the XBox or PS3 version. Once we have addresses, the copies will be mailed out some time on or after May 15th.

Good luck!

Dance with Dragons Locus Finalist

The annual Locus Awards—voted by subscribers to the SF/F genre’s leading industry magazine, as well by the public over the Internet—have announced their 2012 Locus Award finalists, and one familiar name is apparent: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin is among the five Fantasy Novel finalists. The winner of the award each year is the highest vote-earner, and later in the year the full results will be published. The award itself will be handed out at the Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle, on June 17th.

Another familiar name or two crops up as well: Best Artist finalist John Picacio, who created the amazing 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and the novel Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey—the pen name of writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (who is also known as GRRM’s personal assistant)—as one of the five finalists in the Science Fiction Novel category.

Congratulations to them, and to all the other deserving finalists.

Game of Thrones MMO Survey

Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones and its source material, George R.R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire, have a chance to weigh in and make their voice heard in the development of Big Point’s official Massive Multiplayer game based on the TV series.

Bigpoint has put together a survey that they hope fans will spend some time with, to share their thoughts and feedback on what’s important to them in bringing the series to life in an MMO environment.

Completed surveys will be entered in a drawing for an Amazon gift certificate, but really, 10-15 minutes of your time to help the game be the best possible game it can be seems to us to be a no-brainer—if you love games, if you love Game of Thrones, you’ll want to take the survey!

Pre-purchase Game of Thrones RPG on Steam

The licensed Game of Thrones action roleplaying game, developed by Cyanide Studio and published by Atlus USA (in the US) and Focus Home Interactive (Europe), is approaching with a June 1st release date. The PS3and XBox versions have been available for pre-order for awhile, and include an incentive in the form of an art book… but finally, the PC version can be readily ordered thanks to Steam’s pre-purchase option.

We’ve given the game extensive coverage in the past, that’s worth checking out, plus make sure to visit the official site for more information!

Thanks to Adam Whitehead for pointing out the pre-purchase option now being available.

Talking Games with George R.R. Martin

Joystiq has published a good interview with GRRM regarding the work being carried out by Cyanide Studio to develop the Game of Thrones action RPG (Pre-order: Amazon US Xbox, Amazon US PS3)  that’s due to be released May 15th for XBox, PS3, and PC.

Some interesting thoughts, and GRRM reveals his level of involvement (in brief: the plot and dialog is all Cyanide, but he’s been involved in making sure that the story works in a way that works with established canon) in the project. Below, check out the latest trailer from Atlus USA (the publisher in the US; Focus Home Interactive publishes it in Europe) to get a taste of that story:

New Details on the Lands of Ice and Fire

We’ve previously announced the news that Bantam will be publishing a poster map collection titled The Lands of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) that will provide the most extensive look at the setting yet, all of it based on George R.R: Martin’s own map designs. It’s presently scheduled to be published in October of this year.

Now we’ve some more information we can share, courtesy of Random House :

The centerpiece of this gorgeous collection is guaranteed to be a must-have for any fan: the complete map of the known world, joining the lands of the Seven Kingdoms and the lands across the Narrow Sea for the first time in series history. But this is just one of many unique maps that aren’t available anywhere else. There is an alternate version that tracks the movements of the series’ protagonists throughout their vast world, along with more detailed versions of the western, middle, and eastern thirds of the world; a full map of Westeros, combining North and South; one of the Dothraki Sea and the Red Wastes; and the Braavos city map. And here, too, are fan favorites detailing everything from urban sprawl to untamed wilds: maps of King’s Landing; The Wall and Beyond the Wall; the Free Cities; and Slaver’s Bay, Valyria, and Sothyros.

The maps will be drawn by the experienced, freelance cartographer Jonathan Roberts. Having seen his preliminary layout of Braavos based on a map from GRRM that was done quite early in writing A Feast for Crows and was consequently not entirely consistent with what he described in the novels, Roberts definitely knows what he’s about. Fans will have nothing to worry about as far as the quality of the presentation and illustration goes.

A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Out Tommorow

Tomorrow will see the Game of Thrones graphic novel—collecting the first six issues of the series, which were published by Dynamite Entertainment—hitting store shelves (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK). Adapted by the team of Daniel Abraham and Tommy F. Patterson, with covers by Mike S. Miller.

The first in four planned volumes, the collection will eventually contain all twenty-four issues of the A Game of Thrones adaptation, with plans to continue adapting the series if the audience is there for it—a potentially monumental effort, if each book takes a minimum of two years to adapt!

A Look at Game of Thrones RPG Combat

Atlus USA has provided a sneak peek of the combat system used for the Game of Thrones RPG being created by Cyanide Studios, due May 15th: (Pre-order: Amazon US Xbox, Amazon US PS3). It gives a look at both the class and leveling system, and a more detailed look at their combat mechanics which enter a “bullet-time” like mode whenever selecting options or issuing commands, rather than fully stopping the action.

Built using the Unreal 3 engine, the game follows two characters—Mors Westford and Alester Sarwyck—in a campaign that starts just before the first novel, taking them to various locations including the westerlands, the riverlands, King’s Landing, and the Wall. For more information, check out our most recent post which links to the Podcast of Ice and Fire’s recent interview with two members of Atlus.

Atlus Talks Game of Thrones RPG

Cyanide’s Game of Thrones RPG is nearing release, with its publication (both in North America via Atlus and Europe via Focus Home Interactive) set for the middle of May. We’ve been covering the news of the game over the course of the last months, including the most recent news regarding a free art book with pre-orders, but I have to say, the good folks at the Podcast of Ice and Fire have gotten a real scoop: an interview Aram and Scott from Atlus to discuss the game. Good stuff—Amin and Mimi are gamers and they (and their forum members) ask the questions many gamers would like answers to.

Make sure to give it a listen!

And from late last month, here’s another of the taste of the game, with a look at another new location: the seat of Castlewood, where part of the game plays out.

More MMO Details

Thanks to Massively, we’ve gotten quite a few more details concerning Bigpoint‘s officialy licensed Game of Thrones massively multiplayer roleplaying game. They had a chance to sit down with some of the developers of the game during the San Francisco Game Developers Conference, and certainly got some interesting details out of them that expand on our previous report.

Details of the game’s combat system are expanded on, as are its skills-based system. One of the most important points for many players when considering a free-to-play MMO is the fact that there’s a fear players with deep pockets can “buy” their way to the top of the pile… but Bigpoint insists that the game is not balanced that way, and skilled players are always going to trump less skilled players, regardless of what perks the less skilled players have. It’s probably true that when looking between players of equal skill, those bought-for perks are going to give them the edge… but it’s at least a good move to make sure those perks don’t destabilize competition across all levels of play.

The territory-gain system sounds interesting, with three classes of battle—ranging from 20 v 20 fort battles to big, 50 v 50 castle battles to secure a territory for your side. The voting for a Hand each week, on the other hand, does sound sort of strange on the face of it. Who will vote, and how is this mechanic explained in terms that make sense? It’ll be interesting to learn more as the game develops. On the whole, this seems very much a combat-focused game with a secondary political element (which seems largely to be about deciding when to jump ship to a different faction), but it seems to have potential according to what Massively and other gaming sites who were at GDC have to say.

We’ve also added a sub-section in our gallery for the MMO, with the six high-resolution images that Bigpoint has released so far. The game uses hte Unity engine, which provides very robust graphical performance inside the browser, and it certainly does look quite good from these images.

Announcing The Lands of Ice and Fire

For awhile now, we’ve been sitting on some information regarding one of the upcoming, Ice and Fire-related things that George and we are involved in. But now, in the last days, things have been moving quite quickly, and it’s time to pull back the curtain.

Some have seen a listing for a product named Maps of Ice and Fire at Random House’s sites. But this is not, in fact, the final title. We can exclusively reveal that the final title is The Lands of Ice and Fire, which will be a boxed collection of posters featuring quite a few different maps, covering everything from the Seven Kingdoms we all know and love, to the lands Across the Narrow Sea… including the fabled Yi Ti, the lands of the Jade Sea, and the mysterious Asshai-by-the-Shadow. There’ll even be maps of a city or two.

This will be the most accurate and complete maps of the world of the setting ever published, featuring lands and places that we’ve never even heard of before—including long-dead kingdoms, half-forgotten cities, and more. I’m not presently certain as to who the artist(s) is/will be… but I’ve been looking over George’s own, hand-drawn maps (we’ve been asked to help proof them and do some of this and that for the final product—and no, don’t ask us for any details!), and suffice it to say, there’s plenty there to fire the imagination for any artist.

The poster collection is due to be released on October 30th or thereabouts, and you can pre-order it now.