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

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.

GRRM Talks Winds of Winter

Over at EW, James Hibberd had the opportunity to talk with George R.R. Martin and get some exclusive details regarding the forthcoming The Winds of Winter, the sixth volume of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. According to the report, Martin remarks:

“We have more deaths, and we have more betrayals. We have more marriages.”

He has a few more things to say about the book in the piece which are significantly more spoiler-filled, so if you want them, go over there to check them out!

GRRM Fundraises for Charity

HBO has gotten into the act, helping to spread the word of the latest initiative from George R.R. Martin to help support two charities near and dear to him and his wife Parris McBride. The Prizeo website now has fundraiser running with proceeds going to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot. See below for Martin’s personal video describing what it’s all about:

That $200,000 goal is already most of the way to being met, with just $25,000 left to hit its goal. All those who donate are entered into a chance to win an exclusive prize: a trip for two to New Mexico (from anywhere in the world—yes, this is open to people overseas!) to meet George and join him in a helicopter flight to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. Definitely something to consider if you’ve just a few dollars—a minimum $10 donation will get you two chances to win.

World of Ice and Fire Cover

GRRM has just shared the cover of the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire  (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK). We’re very excited to share it here as well, co-written with Linda and myself.

As he notes, the text was originally contracted for 50,000 words…. but suffice it to say, it’s much, much longer than that (especially if one includes the text of the World of Ice and Fire app (Buy: iOs, Android) which was originally intended for the book. The book itself is now at the 330-odd page mark, and is chock-full of some truly gorgeous art, more of it being added as we speak. Lots of new information, about the ancient history of the world, about the various regions, about the Targaryens and the Lannisters, and even about the strange, far-off places of Essos, from the Free Cities to Asshai and the Summer Isles.

The process of settling on the exact cover design certainly took awhile, especially when you’ve seen some of the early mock-ups. The three-headed Targaryen dragon really fits, although as you might guess from the above, this isn’t a work exclusively focused on the Targaryens (though it has a great deal to say about them!)

And with that said, stay tuned next week, as we’ll have an exclusive excerpt from the world book to share concerning another group of people who arrived in Westeros, and weren’t necessarily welcome to begin with…

Rolling Stone Interviews GRRM

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine features a lengthy, very interesting interview with George R.R. Martin, covering some early formative experiences and getting into a number of topics related to his work, particular broader themes that he finds important. Short excerpts have been published to now, but the full interview can be read at the magazine’s website. Very worthwhile reading for those interested in the genesis of the series, and how he views certain topics that are very present in the novels.

A Taste of the World of Ice and Fire

George R.R. Martin has published an excerpt from The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), the guide to the setting and history that Martin has co-written with Linda and I.

The sample includes a piece of brand new art from the book, which will be extensively illustrated. The sample features the opening few pages of the section devoted to House Targaryen, describing briefly their time on Dragonstone… and ending with Aegon’s declaration of war against the kingdoms of Westeros, as he and his sisters prepared to invade.

An Update on Dunk and Egg

George R.R. Martin has updated “Not a Blog” with a lengthy post discussing the status of the Dunk & Egg novellas, set about 80 years prior to the time of the novels. Besides the fact that the fourth novella is partially complete but on hold for now, Martin notes he already has a fifth story roughed out in his head, with a prospective title of “The Village Hero” and its setting being the Riverlands. Perhaps more saliently for many who have patiently been waiting for the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection of the first three novellas is the explanation from Martin that the collection will arrive some time in 2015. But it won’t just be a straight-up collection: it will be richly illustrated by award-winning (and, frankly, legendary) artist Gary Gianni. Well-known for his work bringing Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Solomon Kane, and others to visual life, as well as many other pulp figures, most recently Gianni provided the artwork for the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar.

According to Martin, Gianni’s pitch for illustrating the collection is far beyond the initial handful of illustrations originally envisioned, and instead will feature much more artwork. Very exciting, for fans of Gianni’s work, as well as for fans of the novellas. Martin does not that some foreign language editions of an unillustrated version of the collection have already been published, but the English-language edition will have to wait until 2015 while Gianni finishes the work.

Below, a bit of speculation on “The Village Hero”.

ImagineFX Releases Game of Thrones-inspired Issue

ImagineFX, a leading fantasy and science fiction art magazine published in the UK, has revealed its May 2014 issue, featuring a spectacular depiction of Daenerys Targaryen by Mélanie Delon.

Delon provides a step-by-step breakdown of the work that went into the piece (the magazine is filled with tutorials for fellow artists), while Grzegorz Ruthkowsk does something similar with a battle sequence drawn from A Song of Ice and Fire. Best of all, a brand new interview with George R.R. Martin will be featured in the magazine.

The magazine can be purchased on newstands as well as via ordering at the ImagineFX site, where both print and digital copies are available.

World of Ice and Fire Completed

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).