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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Sites of Interest

Game of Thrones

The BBC Visits Westeros

An article concerning the question of why British accents dominate fantasy takes a cool little detour to the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, where the journalist writing the article—Brian Wheeler—started a thread to query fans on the board on the topic. Rather neat, and an interesting question that ties into the general notion that the “past” sounds English, for whatever reason.

Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont in HBO’s Game of Thrones, also touched on the topic in our interview with him late last month.

Foreign Affairs on ASoIaF

These two essays are terrific reads, and they come from the the venerable Foreign Affairs magazine no less! The first from Charli Carpenter is a response to arguments that the series embodies political realism, noting that some of its features belong more in the realm of human security than realpolitik. Very interesting reading, and some trenchant remarks from Professor Carpenter regarding the subject of gender depiction in the novels (make sure to check out this amusing post on the topic of Drogo’s war speech that she wrote last year).

And the other… well, that one just had me amazed. Historian Kelly DeVries (whose Infantry Warfare in the Early Fourteenth Century is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in medieval society and warfare) looks at the series through a historical lens, noting that Martin has eschewed the general boring facets of medieval life (really, life in pretty much any time period is generally boring when looked at as a whole—the moments of terror tend to be few and far between for most people at most times) to dramatize things in a way that DeVries approves.

Two Travel-themed Interviews with GRRM

Something must be in the air, because as spring comes around, thoughts clearly turn towards traveling for some. And in this case, they seem to have informed two quite different (and quite good!) interviews from two travel sites. George R.R Martin is certainly no stranger to travel, and in fact is presently in the UK ahead of Eastercon and his appearance at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

First up, Josh Roberts conducts an excellent interview with George for Smarter Travel. As noted at the top of the interview, it has some major spoilers for all five novels in the series, but it’s noted when they’re crossing into the spoiler section. Here’s a favorite part from it:

Editor of Game of Thrones and Philosophy On Blog Talk Radio

The editor of Game of Thrones and Philosophy (Order: US Paperback, US Kindle, UK), Professor Henry O. Jacoby, will be interviewed on the Secret Lives of Men at 3PM Eastern—that’s about an hour from now—concerning the book and the source material that’s inspired its essays from a number of philosophers.

If you miss the interview, it should be in their archive shortly afterward… and while you’re waiting, here’s our own interview with Professor Jacoby regarding the book, for which we were honored to provide the foreword.

Last Part of TIFF In Conversation

TIFF has posted the very last part of the “In Conversation” interview with GRRM, at its Youtube channel. And for fans of the novels, this one’s particularly cool—the last nine minutes feature his reading a short excerpt from a The Winds of Winter chapter! Definite spoilers for those who’ve not yet read all five novels in the series:

GRRM In Conversation at TIFF Now Online

As promised, HBO Canada and TIFF have posted the “In Conversation” with George R.R. Martin, hosted by Teri Hart. Looking at it, it looks to just be the first part of the interview, but there’s definitely plenty to watch as Hart and Martin discuss his work, his fans, and the television show. You can see it below:




Other interviews, and reports about the full “In Conversation” interview, can be found at the March section of the So Spake Martin collection.

Martin on Strombo Tonight

We mentioned yesterday that GRRM was going to appear on the CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Hour, and to keep an eye out on the official site for the online video. But the show’s producers went the extra mile and posted the full, extended interview on Youtube. We’ve added it to the So Spake Martin collection, along with links to reports and interviews from the TIFF “In Conversation” and other media appearances by GRRM, but you can see it embedded below:

And for those of you in Canada? HBO Canada has the “In Conversation” video up already, and posted here, but it’s region-locked for Canadians only (for now—TIFF.net plans to post it on their Youtube channel next week).

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.

Game of Thrones and Philosophy Winner

Thanks to the scores of people who commented on our two posts regarding Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords (pre-order:  US Paperback, US Kindle, UK)!

The copy of the book, signed by Professor Jacoby, has now been won: congratulations to Natalia Nznk! The response on this contest was so great, we’re putting our minds towards a few others in the future.

Remember, the book is out next week, hitting shelves on May 13th.

Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Interview with Henry O. Jacoby

A couple of days ago we announced a contest to win a copy of Blackwell’s forthcoming Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords (Pre-order:  US Paperback, US Kindle, UK), and there we promised an interview with Professor Henry O. Jacoby, editor of the book and one of its contributors.

You can find it below, as we ask him seven questions (starting to feel like a “thing”, having seven questions!) about his work, the book, and some of his thoughts on questions that concern the series. And after you’ve read it, please feel free to leave a comment… not least because your comments will be entered into the pool for winning a copy of the book!

Win a Copy of Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Last month, we reported on the forthcoming release of Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords (Pre-order:  US, UK), part of the Blackwell Pop Culture and Philosophy series of popular philosophy books.

This week, we’re offering readers of Westeros.org a chance to win a copy, signed by editor and contributor Henry O. Jacoby.

All you need to do to enter? Leave a comment on this post, and we’ll select a winner at random! The winner will be announced on Friday, and the book will be dispatched soon after.

Keep an eye out in the next day or two, as well, as we’ll have an exclusive interview with Professor Jacoby and a chance to improve your odds of winning the signed copy by leaving a comment on the interview as well.

 

Big Point Reveals MMO Website

Bigpoint, creator of various free-to-play, browser-based games, has opened up its official website for the licensed Game of Thrones massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. At present, all it features is a place for interested fans and gamers to sign up for their e-mail updates…

But Venture Beat has the very first images from the game, showing off the third-person 3D action. According to the article, Bigpoint will be offering a sneak peek of the game at next week’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.

All in all, the graphics look pretty good, though the images seem small. But they’re fairly generic—nothing recognizably from Game of Thrones, not yet in any case, and we still know nothing about the gameplay. Something to keep an eye out on, though!

Support Your Foreign Language Wiki

As we run the largest English-language wiki (and the largest wiki, period, in terms of total number of articles) dedicated to A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, it seems appropriate to point out that efforts are being made in a number of other languages to bring the wiki content to as many fans as possible. Some of these are very far advanced, and are already part of our interwiki scheme, while others are just starting up and could really use more help.

First, the two wikis that we’re already interwiki linking:

  • French: Le Garde de Nuit, which until very recently was the largest wiki out there, and is hands-down an amazing resource that helped the Wiki of Ice and Fire get off the ground as quickly as it did.
  • Russian: 7kingdoms.ru

And now lets mention three nascent wikis that we’d love to see more support for:

Those that are being hosted at Wikia.com could not only use active participants, but we’d be glad to interwiki link them if Wikia would add the Wiki of Ice and Fire to their list of acceptable interwiki sites. Anyone who wants to learn more about that, or who would like to get advice about improving or even starting a foreign-language wiki is very welcome to visit the Wiki sub-forum where our wiki editors are happy to answer questions and provide advice.