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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August 2016
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Worldcon Schedule

George R.R. Martin has posted his schedule for this year’s Worldcon, AussieCon 4 in Melbourne, Australia. Here’s GRRM’s schedule and comments on it below:

3:00 pm A GAME OF THRONES on television - the HBO series (I do not want to disappoint anyone, so please note, this will just be me talking and answering questions, I do NOT repeat NOT have any footage, trailers, teasers, or even slides to show).

11:00 am reading from A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

12 noon signing

1:00 pm interviewing Melinda M. Snodgrass about her career in books and TV

12 noon panel: Jack Vance and the Dying Earth

1:00 pm kaffeeklatsche (advance signup required)

2:00 pm panel: Zombie v. Vampire Smackdown

This just covers the official programming during the days. The real heart of any worldcon are the parties at night, so those of you attending your first con will want to keep that in mind, and plan on hanging around until the wee hours.


Writing Fred

After having been out of commission due to a nasty computer virus that was making a mess of his Windows machine, GRRM posts an update on “Not a Blog”. He touches on a number of topics, from the recent news that Charles Dance has joined the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones in the role of Tywin Lannister to the availability of the amazing 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar with art by the renowned Ted Nasmith. He also makes note of the novelette of his that Lightspeed Magazine has reprinted.

At the end, he touches on progress on A Dance with Dragons, stating that he’s finished a chapter for a character that he dubs “Fred” (suggesting giving his identity may be semi-spoilerish). As he writes:

“Finally, might mention that I finished a chapter of the DANCE today. I had one last chapter about this particular character—I will call him Fred—to finish, and then I am done with him for the book. Of course, in the writing, it turned into three chapters. So I finished a Fred chapter a week ago, and a Fred chapter an hour ago, and yet I STILL have one Fred chapter to finish. Sigh. The horizon recedes continuously before me.”

Game of Thrones Republication

In the run up to the release of HBO’s Game of Thrones, we’ve previously reported that Bantam Spectra would be republishing the first novel in the series with a new cover. Having spoken with GRRM when the news first came out, he stated that at that time the exact details of the cover had not been hashed out. It seems they’ve concluded that a tie-in cover to the HBO series will indeed be best, according to the spring catalog from Random House (of which Bantam Spectra is a subsidiary). Note that the catalog is quite a massive PDF download.

Thanks to raijap for the tip.

Official Site Update

George R.R. Martin has updated his “Not a Blog” with a new post catching up on what’s going on of late. Of course, with the recent release of the teaser for HBO’s adaption, that heads off the list. He notes casting continues for many roles, and amusingly complains about having invented so many characters. Roles mentioned are, “Mycah, Janos Slynt, Gendry, Tobho Mott, Old Nan, Shagga, Syrio, Marillion, Doreah, Alliser Thorne, Grenn, Pyp, Rast, Osha..:” He also states that Nina Gold, the casting director, is finding some great choices, and the work continues for those who they have not quite settled on.

In other news, GRRM states that the cross-genre anthology he’s editing with Gardner Dozois, Down These Strange Streets, looks likely to be deliverable to the publisher in a month. “Kong”—A Dance with Dragons—on the other hand continues to be a battle. He states he’s been working on the epilogue, not entirely satisfactorily, before switching to rewriting a Tyrion chapter which has gone much better. He cautions that just because he was writing the epilogue does not mean he is done—he often writes chapters out of order.

Finally, he mentions forthcoming appearances: the Clarion writer’s workshop in San Diego in July, a signing at Mysterious Galaxy, but San Diego Comic-con is not likely to happen ... On the other hand, New York Comic-con in October seems a likely bet, according to George. And why not? As the east coast’s answer to SDCC, it’d be an excellent venue for a panel and full-blown promotion for HBO’s new series, as well as the various comic book properties being developed based on his work…

GRRM on C2E2

George R.R. Martin has returned home from C2E2 and has a post up about the experience. Some interesting pieces of news for fans of his work. Besides the release of Fevre Dream #1 by Avatar Press, he notes that Avatar is still hard at work on adapting his story, In the House of the Worm, script by Wild Cards-collaborator John Jos. Miller and art by Ivan Rodriguez, and they’re still trying to nail down an artist for the comic book adaption of his Bram Stoker Award-winning novella, “The Skin Trade”; Daniel Abraham has already written the adaption.

The above items were all previously known, more or less, however. For something completely new, GRRM announces that IDW has acquired the rights to producing a miniseries based on his science fiction television pilot from the early 90’s, Doorways. If it does well, there’s the potential for it to go forward for a longer period of time, as six back-up scripts were readied, including one written by GRRM himself. And if it takes off? Original stories are a definite possibility. As Martin notes, very few people have seen the pilot, which ended up released on video in Europe at one point but which was never aired in the U.S., so this is a fine chance to see what his show—which some believe inspired Fox’s Sliders from the same period—could have been like.

In other news, some half a dozen publishers met with Martin over the weekend to discuss the possibility of adapting “A Song of Ice and Fire” to comics. He’s uncertain of approving this still, but some formal proposals may follow on from these meetings and he’ll consider it. He cautions, though, that these comics would then be based on the novels, and not be an adaption of the HBO series or its scripts, due to separation of rights.

Finally, GRRM notes that he had a good lunch with Maureen Ryan, TV writer for the Chicago Tribune (and unabashed Ice and Fire fan), the setting for an interview which Ryan has teased with a remark from GRRM regarding the difficulties the production team will face in turning his expansive vision—a reaction to his days in Hollywood, when budget and time constraints kept scaling down what he wanted to do—into televised drama with budget and time constraints. The interview should be published later this week or early next.

We’ll shortly have a full report on his Q&A session in the So Spake Martin collection.

Official Site Update

GRRM’s official site has been updated with a new update on “Not a Blog”. There he mentions he’s feeling mostly recovered from his recent illness, although his assistant Ty is now feeling under the weather, and then discusses various irons in the fire. Not only does work on A Dance with Dragons continues, but he’s wrapping up editing of Fort Freak (the 21st Wild Cards book) and will soon be gearing up to write his one script for HBO’s Game of Thrones. He also mentions some other news items—both good and, unfortunately, bad—that he may be able to share soon.

Random House on Ice and Fire

Random House (the parent of Bantam) has a trade publication (note: large PDF file) on-line, looking forward to their plans for this year. Down at page page 107 is an entry for the 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar, illustrated by John Picacio. It’s given a $16 price point ($19 in Canada), which is the first time we’ve had a recommended retailer price.

It’s projected that this will only be the first such calendar via Bantam, as they cite the popularity of the Tolkien calendars. Notably, they matter-of-factly state that if the HBO production goes forward, this will have a positive impact on the sales of the series as well as on related merchandise.Finally, they have adjusted their sales figures upwards for the series. Previously, the books were said to have had 2.2 million copies in print, and now it’s pegged at over 3.5 million.

Many thanks to Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone for pointing this document (which has other interesting things to say about out.

Belfast Signing

George R.R. Martin will be signing books at the Eason’s booksotre at 20 Donegall Place in Belfast. The signing starts at 1 PM on November 3rd. More information about the event, including a post-signing meetup, can be found at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. The meetup will include GRRM and his partner Parris, and possibly some members of the cast and crew of HBO’s Game of Thrones production.

One additional detail is that there will be a book raffle at the post-signing moot, in support of the Children’s Literacy Charity Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Prizes are listed at the link above, and it’s probable more prizes will be added by the day of the event.

Official Site Update

George R. R. Martin’s official site has a new post on “Not a Blog”, concerning his forthcoming travels which begin with a trip to Fargo for a convention this weekend, followed by his flight out to the U.K. two days after he returns from the event. He is looking forward to seeing Marrakesh after the Irish leg of his production visit. He also notes that he’ll be away from football much of that time, and expects to be back home sometime around Thanksgiving.

Irish Signing Dates

GRRM provides tentative signing dates in Ireland, in the run up to his visit for some of the filming of the pilot episode of Game of Thrones. He writes that on November 3, he’ll sign at Eason’s Bookstore in Belfast at 1 PM, and that David Benioff, Dan Weiss, and possibly some of the cast may attend the signing. There’s also a second signing on the 5th, at 5 PM, at Eason’s on O’Connell Street in Dublin. These are, again, tentative dates and not yet set in stone.

Serial Updates from GRRM

George R. R. Martin shares a number of updates on several different topics at his “Not a Blog” journal, ranging from current progress on the book (his attempt to defeat the problem he’s termed “the Meereeneese Knot” hasn’t succeeded and it’s back to the drawing board) to comics (“Skin Trade” and “In The House of the Worm” to be published by Avatar Press, while Wild Cards: The Hard Call has its final issue still undrawn and with no set completion date) and anthologies (Songs of the Dying Earth has sold out, Warrior is due for a March publication, Star-Cross Lovers is progressing, and a new cross-genre anthology called Down These Strange Streets—mixing private eye mystery with fantasy and SF—has been contracted to Penguin/Ace.)

There is also a brief update on the progress of the pilot, with one more role cast, another role being offered to an actor, and a third role (and its selected actor) having to be written out of the pilot.

GRRM Confirms Casting

After rumors have swirled across the internet the last few days, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that Sean Bean has been cast as Eddard Stark, the Lord of Winterfell, for HBO’s pilot of Game of Thrones that will begin shooting in Belfast, Ireland in October. GRRM mentions that the casting has gone global, with casting sessions held in New York, London, Los Angeles, Dublin, and most recently Australia.

Other roles have been cast, including Mark Addy as King Robert, a young Irish actor named Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey (he is about 17 or 18 years old now, for those who might wonder), Harry Lloyd (late of the BBC’s Robin Hood) as Viserys, and finally a theatrical actor, Kit Harington, as Jon Snow.

BBC Reports on the Paint Hall

Thanks to Rimshot, a member of the forum who works as an extra in Belfast, we’ve learned of this report on on-going production work at the Paint Hall studio where Game of Thrones will be filmed. While the program is primarily concerned with a medieval comedy film set to start shooting there in three weeks, the video does mention a “large American TV production” that will start shooting immediately after Your Highness wraps. The pilot episode of Game of Thrones is set to start shooting in October.

TIME TV Critic on Game of Thrones

James Poniewozik, TV critic at Time magazine, praises A Game of Thrones after reading it for the first time and makes the case for why it could be a great TV series on HBO. He continues discussing the series in comments, though asks for spoiler warnings as he wants to continue reading the series without knowing what’s coming next.

Game of Thrones On-going Casting

According to reports from fans of the series, such as the one here, casting is currently being carried out for Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Robb Stark. It seems that fresh faces are being sought for these particular roles which feature the younger characters, and the casting process may take a number of weeks before any actors are selected.