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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GRRM

A Visit to the Westerlands

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Now, one note of caution: this is an unedited, unpublished text.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 Until it’s in a fixed format—as in, published in a book or an anthology—it’s not canonical, as all unpublished details are entirely subject to change at George’s whim.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!

GRRM on Season 5, Cancelling Appearances

George R.R. Martin has been quite loquacious these past few days on his “Not a Blog” personal site, to the point that the media has been taking notice of his remarks. Among them have been his reiteration of his intention (but not his promise) to have the A Song of Ice and Fire series completed in seven books, his struggle to decide whether he’ll be providing a script for season 6 of Game of Thrones (he passed on writing a script for season 5), his thoughts on the “how many seasons” question, and even some passing remarks on a once-proposed feature animated adaptation that he passed on prior to HBO coming into view.

Most recently, however, George’s post on cancelling his attendance to the World Fantasy Convention and San Diego Comic-Con, stating that he simply had too many things to do. It’s worth noting that these weren’t the only events on his schedule (though as he notes, SDCC was never noted as an official appearance), and in particular it seems like he’s still set to appear at conventions and fairs where he’s a Guest of Honor. Still, freeing up some time and space in his schedule sounds like something he feels will be helpful to him given the various tasks he’s dealing with.

But all that said, it’s the last note in his post that has caused wild speculation:

Last Chance for Hugo Nominations

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”.

A Peek at What Was

Thanks to Harper Collins Voyager, GRRM’s UK publisher, and UK bookseller Waterstones, we have a glimpse at George R.R. Martin’s very early description (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3) of his plan for the then-trilogy A Song of Ice and Fire series. Suffice it to say, it presents a very different story than what we have had so far. In a letter sent to the late Ralph Vicinanza, a literary agent who was one of GRRM’s representatives, George very loosely outlines the three prospective novels of the series, while giving a more detailed description of his plans for the first book, A Game of Thrones.

It’s quite the eye-opener, showing how much the narrative evolved from its earliest beginnings.

Three Short Stories to be Adapted

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).

Dangerous Women Wins World Fantasy Award

The Dangerous Women anthology (US, UK) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois and containing (among other things) George’s “The Princess and the Queen”, has just been announced as the winning anthology at this year’s World Fantasy Awards. The awards are determined by a jury, drawing from a selection of nominees drawn in part from the jury’s own selections for consideration and by nomination from attendees. With a strong field, including entries by perennial favorites Ellen Datlow (recipient of a Lifetime Achievent Award at the convention) and Terri Windling, Jonathan Strahan, and more, this is a particularly noteworthy win for the anthology.

Many hearty congratulations to George and Gardner, as well as to all the contributors to the anthology!

Aftermath: Appearances and Interviews

It’s been a hectic three days since the release of The World of Ice and Fire, and Linda and I are only just now getting a chance to catch our breaths. Below, we’re going to give a run down of what we—and George—have been up to in terms of appearances, interviews, and more that have been released surrounding the book.

First, the morning on the 28th opened for Linda and I with the realization that the book was #1 on Amazon.com—that was pretty amazing in and of itself. But we couldn’t sit and marvel at it because that was the morning of our marriage, as well. For those who knew about it, many thanks for your felicitations and support! We’ve been engaged *ahem*sixteen*ahem* years and for various reasons we never quite pulled the trigger on it… so lets just say we’re glad it’s done, once and for all.

No honeymoon for us, however: later that day we had our very first signing of the book, at Gothenburg’s own SF Bokhandlen. A good time was had, as we answered questions and chatted with fans. We signed a few additional copies that should be on the shelves, for anyone looking for a copy with our scrawls in it. Linda will be appearing tomorrow at Comic Con Gameex outside of Stockholm tomorrow to sign more books at SF Bokhandlen’s booth, between 2PM and 4PM.

We’ve done various interviews as well: a two part Reddit AMA (part 1, part 2) was the first big thing we did, although it was just prior to the release of the book so stays more general. A post-release interview followed shortly after, however, at the Podcast of Ice and Fire where we discuss certain new details offered up in the book with host Amin Javadi. We’ve been guests on the podcast several times before, and it’s always been great fun.

More interviews are forthcoming, but in the interim, there’s of course all the things George R.R. Martin has been up to in the run up and following the release. George appeared at Brown University with Tor publisher Tom Doherty to recieve the Harris Literary Award; there they talked about a variety of things, from Robert Jordan to The World of Ice and Fire, the future of publishing, and more. Then George appeared at the 92Y where he spoke at length about the book, followed by an appearance two days later on Late Night with Seth Meyers (where Meyers was knighted in the fine tradition of the Brotherhood without Banners fan group).

With our editor Anne Groell, George discussed the world book further for a promotional video, as he did for HarperCollins Voyager. Most recently, George appeared at the WSJ Cafe for a private appearance where interviewer Christopher Farley asked a number of very interesting questions about George’s career. George notes at his Livejournal that more interviews are to come, and we’ll be sure to share them at the So Spake Martin collection when they’re published.

92Y Livestream of GRRM This Sunday

The 92Y, which will be hosting George R.R. Martin in a public discussion on October 26 at 8PM EST, is offering a livestream of the event over at its Tumblr page. Journalist Laura Miller, who has previously profiled George, will be joining him on stage and interviewing him as he discusses his work on A Song of Ice and Fire, the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire that hits shelves on Tuesday (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK).

Speaking of the 28th, George will also be appearing on the Seth Myers show that day (or at least, he’ll be filming his appearance, we’re not sure if it means it’ll air that same day or not).

GRRM on The World of Ice and Fire

Day by day, the release of The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US Amazon UK) draws nearer. It’s currently hit #14 on Amazon’s Top 100 Books, which is just sort of mind-boggling for us.

To help promote the release of the novel in the UK, Harper Voyager sat down with George back in August for a brief promotional video discussing his thoughts on the importance of setting in a fantasy, the interest fans have in learning about the world, and our collaboration with him on the book:

The book hits shelves in the US and UK (and, I’m told, Italy and Germany; possibly some other countries as well) on October 28th.

To GRRM, on His 66th Nameday

Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones—or of Wild Cards, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Tuf Voyaging, The Dying of the Light, Beauty and the Beast, or dozens of short stories, novellettes, and novellas—should feel free to lift a glass to celebrate George R.R. Martin’s 66th birthday.  May there be many more birthdays to come!

(Also on this day in history: the aftermath of the Battle of Poitiers during the Hundred Years War, which has a bit of influence on the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Curious coincidence!)

Win Tickets to an Evening with GRRM and Robin Hobb

We have two pairs of tickets to see George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb on Tuesday 19th August at the Freemasons Hall in London! This event is a once in a lifetime chance to see to two of the world’s greatest storytellers discuss how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality,  their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes. A must-attend for all fantasy fans. To enter the competition, just answer two simple questions:

* The Stark children aren’t the only people in the fantasy genre who have a close association with a wolf. In fact, Robin Hobb has a particularly notable example of this in her Farseer trilogy. What’s the name of Fitz’s wolf in that series?

* Which of the Stark direwolves is your favorite, and why?

You can leave your answer in comments below. The contest closes Thursday evening, so be quick ... and be ready to keep an eye on your Facebook messages in case you’re a winner as we’ll need your contact information!

If you would like to hear more about HarperVoyager’s authors including George and Robin, why not subscribe to their newsletter http://harpervoyagerbooks.co.uk/subscribe/ “>here.

And tickets for the event, which includes a signed copy of Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb, are available

Evening with GRRM and Robin Hobb Tickets Available

Fans who can make it to London on August 19th, take notice: tickets for the Harper Collins Voyager and blinkbox-sponsored evening with George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb now on sale. It’s a world exclusive event, on the eve of the publication of Hobb’s continuation of her landmark Farseer series with Fool’s Assassin, and the two authors will likely discuss their respective works, the fantasy genre in general, and much more. It’s definitely an exclusive opportunity for genre fans!

GRRM on the Winds of Winter Prologue

In the course of yesterday’s Game of Thrones panel, George dropped a bomb shell for fans eager to hear about the next entry in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, revealing a character who’ll be making an appearance in the prologue. Terri Schwartz of Zap2it managed to get a hold of him right after the panel, and tried to get a bit more information out of him. Those questions, and more—including another confirmation from GRRM that he will not be writing a season 5 script—can be seen here.

Some thoughts on it after the cut.

GRRM Special Appearance in London

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.

GRRM Upcoming Livestream

George R.R. Martin will be streaming live from the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland, while he holds a masterclass discussing his work, his inspirations, and more.

The live stream starts at 3PM Central European Time (in other words, in one hour from the time of this post):

For more about NIFFF, visit the festival’s official site.