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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Game of Thrones

Tower of Joy Fan Film

A fan film project that raised over $15,000 dollars to recreate the tower of joy flashback from A Game of Thrones has successfully completed filming and post-production. You can see “Tower of Joy” below:

It’s pretty much a word-for-word recreation of the scene as described in the novel. And there are aerial shots, to. Pretty amazing what can be done with drones and commercially-available digital cameras!

GRRM Reveals More About Upcoming Twist

Almost a year ago, George R.R. Martin revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that he was contemplating a twist to the story of a character—and a group of characters connected with them—that he had never contemplated before and which, more notably, was something HBO’s Game of Thrones could not do because of choices the show had made that precluded it:

In one intriguing new wrinkle, Martin says he just came up with a big, revealing twist on a long-time character that he never previously considered. “This is going to drive your readers crazy,” he teases, “but I love it. I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist… But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.”

The fandom was abuzz with it—it sparked several threads on our forum, for one—as people puzzled over who it might be. As I recall, at the time speculation was centering on Sansa Stark because of signs that the show was going to diverge heavily from her storyline in A Song of Ice and Fire (as it indeed did). However, a brand new interview with George from IGN revisits the topic and reveals some significant new information:

GRRM Updates Status of The Winds of Winter

As George sometimes does at the close of a year, he set to writing a long, contemplative post listing down notable personal events for the previous year. Unlike these other times, however, that long post was lost to the ether thanks to an apparent glitch with Livejournal. Dispirited, GRRM said he’d try to give a “Cliff’s Notes” version of his post afterward, and over the past day he’s done so. For many fans, of course, the primary topic of interest was the status of the highly anticipated sixth novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, The Winds of Winter.

George’s final post in his “Cliff’s Notes” round up of the past year was indeed on The Winds of Winter, and it was a long and frank discussion of what’s happened in the novel. The brief version is that while GRRM aimed to finish by the end of the year, the deadlines for getting the book out in time for the sixth season of Game of Thrones have come and gone. He believed at the start of the year he could finish by Halloween, and that was incorrect; he also believed in August that he could finish by January, and that too was incorrect.

GRRM describes in some detail why the progress has been fitful at best, and admits that the pressure of a specific deadline (something he eschewed with his novels prior to “A Song of Ice and Fire”) proved a particular burden, and so going forward he intends to write without a specific deadline in mind—it will be finished when it is finished, and not before. He notes there are dozens of chapters completed, and hundreds of pages done, but “there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well.”

At the end, Martin tackles the elephant in the room, whether season 6 of Game of Thrones will “spoil” the novel. The answer? “Yes and no.” He explains in some detail that the show’s many divergences will mean that there’ll be events and characters depicted that will be very different—perhaps entirely different—from his own plans, and he includes a lengthy list of characters who are dead in the show who live on in the novels, and another lengthy list of characters who have never appeared on the show, all of whom may have important roles to play in the novels. It seems clear that the novels and shows will continue the trend of diverging significantly from one another.

The post closes (besides a small post-script confirming that this was his last “Cliff’s Notes” post), with the following:

“Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That’s all I know how to do.”
Upcoming Appearances—GRRM and Westeros

For those in Europe, here’s some news regarding George R.R. Martin’s appearances starting this weekend, as well as our own!

First up, George will be in Hamburg for the Harbourfront Literature Festival, where he’ll be reading a chapter from The Winds of Winter, and likely to be answering questions as well. Despite early reports that this event would be livestreamed, this event is apparently not being streamed at all. It’s not impossible there’ll be an after-the-fact video from the event (as there have been with a number of GRRM’s public speaking events), but we’ve no information as yet whether that will be the case.

From there, George is off to Stockholm—and so are we! On Tuesday, the SF Bokhandeln bookstore has invited George to speak at the Royal Armoury. Although this event is sold-out, it’s worth noting that SF Bokhandeln’s three branches—Stockholm, Malmö, and our own Göteborg—will all offer livestreams to customers who could not attend the event. So far as we know, there will be no internet-wide stream, but again, there may be post-event videos. And for those in Stockholm, prior to the event—at 5PM—Linda and I will be at the bookshop to sign copies of The World of Ice and Fire, for those who want us defacing their copies!

After that, we’re all off to Åland for Archipelacon, the SF/F convention (sold out, alas!) where George is Guest of Honor, and his partner Parris is the Fan Guest of Honor. The convention has posted its schedule, and there’s a deal of interest for fans—we’ll share the highlights below:

GRRM Talks Winds of Winter, Captain Cosmos

A brief but excellent interview with George R.R. Martin—hot on the heels of his release of a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter—discusses his efforts on that book (and why it’s taken so long), a major twist that he’s deciding on (and whether the TV show can replicate it or not), and a series in development with HBO that’s currently having its pilot script written.

Absolutely worth checking this one out, not least for the key piece of information that GRRM is making all efforts to have The Winds of Winter published before season 6 of Game of Thrones airs.

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”.

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).

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

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.

Titancon Returns in September

Titancon—a convention by the fans, for the fans based in Belfast—has announced that it will be returning for 2014! Having started as a small effort to bring a convention to Belfast with Game of Thrones as a part of its theme, its expanded its scope to include a focus on SF/F literature, with many noted authors as past guests… and of course, a few actors from HBO’s hit TV show besides.

The convention will be based out of the Wellington Park Hotel, and will run from September 12th through Sept 14th. Besides the literary event on that Friday, the Game of Thrones-focused event on Saturday will be sure to feature a number of actors (guests not yet determined, as it depends on their shooting schedules), and Sunday will see the return of the ever-popular guided bus tour of key Game of Thrones locations.

For more information about the convention, visit the Titancon website!

Telltale Game of Thrones Title Announced at VGX?

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.

GRRM Contributes to Charity Auction

George R.R. Martin is one among a number of notable SF/F authors—including Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Joe Haldeman, Michael Swanwick, and Jone Yolen—who have contributed rare books, memorabilia, and other items to the Pearl Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by award-winning musician Janis Ian that funds scholarships for returning students. The biggest item going right now in their present auction? That would be a script from the first episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, signed by all the Stark actors. Notice the blades symbol under Sean Bean’s signature—he really is a a hardcore fan of Sheffield United!

With 4 days left to go, the script has encouraged 34 bids, and is presently sitting at a whopping $3,750. Also of note is a signed presentation copy of the limited edition of A Dance with Dragons with art by Marc Fishman, and a full set of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels signed by Martin.

The Pearl Foundation is definitely a worthy cause, so examine what’s on offer and see if anything might be of interest ... or just go ahead and make a direct donation!

Telltale Games Developing Game of Thrones Title?

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.)