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

A.V. Club on GRRM and Beauty and the Beast

There’s an excellent article in the Onion’s A.V. Club, written by Noel Murray, which sets the ground for a discussion of the television series Beauty and the Beast through the lens of a specific episode, “Ozymandias”... and through looking at that episode’s writer, none other than George R.R. Martin. It covers some very important views GRRM has on writing (“It’s all furniture”) that’s very much well worth looking at.

The show’s romantic side is something that I’d like to emphasize in particular—in all the popular media attention to the darkness, realism, and “grittiness” of the TV series, the fact is that at heart Martin identifies himself as something of a Romantic (as in art movement of the 18th and 19th centuries)  in his approach to writing and how characters express themselves. To a certain degree, the sacrifice pared some of this way as a lot of the more explicitly Romanticist aspects of the narrative lie in the past of the setting, but bits and piece still shine through. There’s no great shock that the epiode reviewed is titled after Shelley’s famed poem.

Roy Dotrice Interviewed

Roy Dotrice may have been cast as the pyromancer Hallyne in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but for most fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, he’s probably best known as the voice narrating most of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series for Random House’s audiobooks. In the course of that, he’s garnered a Guiness Book of World Records entry. Now, Random House Audio has an interview with the esteemed actor, discussing his work on A Dance with Dragons (which sounds like it may be rewriting that record book), with a few clips of his reading.

Plus, yes, he discusses his role in the TV show!

A Look at George R.R. Martin’s Doorways

SF Signal, one of the best blogs keeping a tab on what’s going on in the science fiction genre, has a guest post from Raz Greenberg discussing George R.R. Martin’s proposed Doorways series, which was an original science fiction drama/adventure series that Martin created and executive produced for ABC. They made a pilot which pleased the powers that be… but then the usual story of a change in management meant that it was put on the backburner and, ultimately shelved.

This disappointment wasn’t all bad, though, as it helped fuel part of George’s push to write Avalon... which in turn led to a vivid image of a dead direwolf and her pups, found amidst the summer snow; the rest is history.

Greenberg gives an excellent overview of the history of the project, reviews the pilot episode (which is extremely hard to find—I’ve tried to get a hold of the VHS in Europe and haven’t had much luck), and then discusses the IDW comic book adaptation which was recently collected as a graphic novel (US, UK). Well-worth checking out!

GRRM to Read from The Winds of Winter

Well, this is a nice surprise: according to George R. R. Martin’s post regarding this year’s Worldcon, Renovation, he’ll be reading an extract from the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, The Winds of Winter. This, and many other items, are on GRRM’s schedule for the convention.

We suspect that the reading on Thursday (scheduled for 2 hours, though we suspect a Q&A is part of it) is going to feature a room filled to capacity.

For those who are primarily interested in the TV show, the Game of Thrones presentation panel was extended from one hour to two hours, so it can accomadate a special screening of George’s episode, “The Pointy End”... with commentary from the author himself! Wow. Besides that, David J. Peterson—creator of the Dothraki language for the show—will be on hand for panels and workshops related to language creation, including a presentation on Dothraki; his schedule can be found here.

Having twice attended Worldcon, we have to really recommend paying a visit—even if just for one day—to get a look at a science fiction convention as the SF fandom community have developed to a high (if sometimes eccentric) art form. Thousands of fellow fans, well-stocked dealers and art rooms, costuming galore, and (literally) hundreds of program items featuring writers, editors, fans, scientists, academics, and even the occasional actor or screenwriter—there’s nothing quite like Worldcon out there. The price may seem steep, but the value’s quite high. Not least if you just want to hang out with George, who we guarantee will be hanging out with the fans at the convention during the nightly floor parties thrown at the convention hotel; make sure not to miss the Brotherhood without Banners parties!

And if you can’t make it… well, I’m pretty sure the forum is going to feature reports regarding these events within hours (perhaps even minutes) of their conclusion. Keep an eye out!

Renovation runs from August 17 to August 21. To learn more about memberships and day rates, see here.

Last Chance: Submit & Vote on Questions for GRRM

An hour and a half left before the submission of questions, and voting on same, closes for tomorrow’s live-streamed [email protected] chat with George R.R. Martin!

A lot of interesting questions in there. At this stage, unless you’ve a really amazing question, it’s unlikely that a new question will get enough up-votes to be in the top selection… but you can certainly influence which questions are likeliest to be asked, just by voting!

The event will be the first [email protected] event to ever be streamed live from the Googleplex. It will start at 12PDT on the 28th, via this URL.

Comic-Con Schedule

Lots and lots of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, and Wild Cards-related events at San Diego Comic Con. Below, we’ll try and pick out some of the most notable:

George R.R. Martin at Google

This is quite cool: George R.R. Martin will be visiting Google as part of the [email protected] series. This means about an hour of Martin speaking about his work (and, doubtless, the TV series based on it), and for the first time ever, this [email protected] appearance will be live-streamed on July 28th at 12PM PDT via the @Google Talks page.

Best of all, Google’s accepting questions from fans out on the internet, with a nifty use of their Google Moderator system to allow people to vote questions up or down. If you’d like to submit a question, or weigh in on questions that are already there (you’ll even find one from Linda and I, under the user name Balerion300) , you can find the submission and voting page here through the 27th at 12PM PDT.

GRRM on NPR

NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered recorded an interview with George R.R. Martin concerning his work which will be broadcast shortly, generally at 5 P.M. (check your local listings). The audio will be added to this article soon, but if you want to listen live, it looks like WAMU streams live and will be carrying the program shortly.

Considering Masterminds at Tor.com

Linda and I have cooked up our latest article for Tor.com, this one dealing with masterminds—characters that fans generally love to hate, or in some cases fawn over and admire! It’s definitely spoiler material, so avoid it if you’ve not read the books. There’s also a few notes comparing the “masterminds” to their representation in HBO’s Game of Thrones, because the show has taken a different tack with some of them, at least in regards to certain aspects of their scheming.

GRRM at the Time 100 Gala

With the big announcement today of the completion of A Dance with Dragons (preorder: US, UK), it might be easy to forget that just last week GRRM was named on the Time 100 list. Last night, Parris and GRRM attended the gala event for those honored on the list, and NY Magazine’s Vulture has an exclusive conversation with GRRM from the gala.

Featured in it? The fact that he and Carlton Cuse (of Lost) fame had a chat about George’s remarks concerning the show’s finale which started a “feud” with Damon Lindelof. Sounds like it went quite well. Also notable is the fact that Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) is a fan of Game of Thrones, and in particular of Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. To quote the article:

Poehler: I like the blondie!
Martin: She’s straight out of drama school.
Poehler: You can tell. I think she left all her shirts and bras at drama school.

Free 1st Episode E-book

Suvudu.com, the SF/F gateway produced by Random House (of which Bantam Spectra, publishers of A Song of Ice and Fire, is an imprint), has teamed up with Scribd to offer an exclusive e-book excerpting the “first episode” of HBO’s Game of Thrones—in this case, the first 80 pages of A Game of Thrones, covering almost all the events covered in the premiere episode of the series.

It can be read online (we’ve embedded it below), or even downloaded (in PDF format) for readying an appropriate mobile reading device. Have a friend who’s leery about watching the series or reading the books? Get them to read this preview and see if they can keep themselves from reading more when they get to that last page!

TitanCon Announces First Thrones Guest

TitanCon, a convention in Belfast that’s grown out of the very successful Moots, has announced its first confirmed guest from HBO’s Game of Thrones: KristianNairn, the actor playing the beloved Hodor. TitanCon is trundling along with their plans, and to promote the convention, “Game of Thrones Joe”—Joseph Campo—has created a promotional video for the convention with his usual good-humor.

Speaking of Campo, he’s created a last video entry in his “Get Joe On the Show” campaign, and this may be the best one yet. Good luck to Joe on his quest to join the production!

Feud Ends Before it Starts

The Lindelof-GRRM “feud”—which was mostly Lindelof sharing some tongue-in-cheek “salvos” while highlighting that he took a bit of issue with some of GRRM’s remarks—seems to have wound up with nary a casualty following some coverage. James Poniewozik shared an excerpt from his forthcoming interview with Martin in which his views of Lost were touched upon when Poniewozik asked him if he watched the show. As Poniewozik notes, he himself has often compared the two, which may have prompted the question.

This ultimately led to James Hibberd’s interview with Lindelof, which cleared the air (such as it was). Particular kudos must go to him for admitting that his appreciation of GRRM dates back to reading Wild Cards (he even remember the Ace-Joker-Black Queen distinction!), which made use start day-dreaming about a Lindelof-Martin co-produced Wild Cards TV series…

In any case, that seems all quite well settled. GRRM himself has made no public remark on the matter, although we’re told he is aware of it.

For a good summing-up of the storm in a tea cup, check out Maureen Ryan’s piece at AOL’s TV Squad.

Back on Bestseller Lists

The re-release of A Game of Thrones in the U.S. has led the book to climb up onto the bestseller lists again, this time breaking into the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly top 10 lists in paperback, in the highest placement that the first volume series has ever had. Previously, it briefly reached #24 back in January.

Thanks to Olaf Keith for pointing it out.

Westeros on the Podcast of Ice and Fire

I was invited back to the second “Guys Night Out” podcast from the fine folks at the Podcast of Ice and Fire, along with Apocalypse Dan of the Movie Night Podcast and Winter is Coming’s Fire and Blood (aka FaBio), joining regulars Amin, Kyle, and Chase.

We cover a diverse range of topics: beverages in Westeros, some actual news discussion concerning Cyandie Studio‘s RTS and RPG, various characters and events, the TV show, and ... well, a lot more. Quite a lot more; it ran some 3 hours, I’m told (haven’t dared listen to the whole thing!)

Being a “guys night out”, I suppose it’s fair to say it may on occasion be crass, bawdy, and occasionally juvenile… but all in good fun, and there’s some interesting theories and speculations bandied about.