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

Brotherhood without Banners

Gemmell Award Nominations

The David Gemmell Legend Award is a U.K.-based award for fantasy, divided into several categories according to the sub-genre. Presently, the Legend Award has opened up its polls to determine the short lists, and in the Legend category for Best Fantasy Novel of 2011?

You guessed it: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin, along with many other books besides. The polls close on March 31st, and then voting will open to determine the final winners in each of three categories. To vote, visit the poll (and make sure to check the radio button above the title you want to support).

Vote Now: Tor.com’s Reader’s Choice Awards

Tor has launched its 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, giving fans a chance to have their say in what their favorite works of the last year were. Voting’s easy: just sign up for a; make sure to follow the rules!

You can nominate as many titles you like in the following categories: Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Cover Art, Best Graphic Novel. You all probably have notions for what to suggest as your favorite novels last year, but I’d like to recommend comic book fans consider nominating Criminal: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker (for my money, one of the best writers working in the field right now) and Sean Phillips. If you’ve read it, you know how good it is as it mixes crime fiction with a deconstruction of the classic Archie comic characters (yes, really). And if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

Auction Update: Original AFfC Art and More

We’ve previously reported on the benefit auction for writer Terri Windling, with contributions of rare and signed items from various authors, artists, and more, including George R.R. Martin. Some more GRRM-related material has come in—including an original piece of art from the Subterranean Press limited edition of A Feast for Crows, drawn and donated by artist Thomas Canty (one of our very favorite artists, BTW!) so we’d thought we’d provide links to all the relevant items to make it easy to find:

There are many, many other things in there, from prints from Alan Lee to signed books by Neil Gaiman, and much more. All for a good cause!

GRRM Conquers New York

According to this article from the New York Post titled, “The Pen is as Mighty as the Sword”—and, anecdotally speaking, from various tweets I’ve seen over the last months—it seems that Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire mania has had a grip on New York City of late.

Benefit for Terri Windling

George R.R. Martin is among many other artists and authors besides have made contributions to Magick 4 Terri, a fundraiser to benefit artist, editor, and writer Terri Windling who’s hit a rough patch for herself and her family.

Windling has been a key player in pushing forward the writing of mythic fiction and taking inspiration from fairy tales. The Fairy Tale series of novels which she originated have seen some fantastic novels, such as Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin, Tanith Lee’s White as Snow, and Steve Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, while the many collections she’s co-edited with Ellen Datlow have been a showcase for many great stories both in the areas of mythic fiction and general fantasy and horror. Her role in founding Endicott Studio, which includes a diverse set of members from artists Thomas Canty, Alan Lee, and Charles Vess to writers Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, and Ellen Kushner, has helped foster the mythic arts in a wide range of mediums.

So far, it looks like GRRM has contributed three items to the auction, signed copies of Starlady/Fast-Friend, Fevre Dream #1, and Nightflyers. Possibly others will be added later. Items from Neil Gaiman will soon be added, to join the many amazing bits of art, rare books, crafts, manuscripts, tuckerizations, dedications, personalizations, and more.

It is a very good cause, and there’s bound to be something of interest for everyone, so please visit the Magick 4 Terri site.

New Podcast of Ice and Fire

The good folks at A Podcast of Ice and Fire have released a brand new episode after a two month hiatus, discussing various topics including GRRM signing a copy of Tuf Voyaging for Mimi, their views on A Dance with Dragons several months on, and more. And, about the 45 minute mark, they called me out of the blue and we chatted a bit more about the novels and the TV show.

It’s worth checking out, as is their extensive archive of prior episodes.

Philcon Panel

Just a quick note to share with fans in the vicinity of Philcon 2011, a long-running science fiction convention running through Sunday in Crown Hill, New Jersey. On Saturday at 7 PM, there’ll be a panel dedicated to A Song of Ice and Fire, moderated by the excellent Dave Axler (a friend of GRRM and Parris, and of the Brotherhood without Banners). The program description (not written by Dave, he notes) states, “This his series, now up to five books, has also spawned a hit HBO mini-series. What is so special about Martin’s work? Is it the “new Dune”?”

Having been to a couple of conventions in the past, I can recommend them as an excellent way to talk about genre works, meet authors and editors and fellow fans, and more. More details about the convention can be found at its website.

Happy Birthday, George R.R. Martin

On this day 63 years ago, one George Martin was born in Bayonne, New Jersey—and that, I’m sure we’d all agree, was a great thing! Many felicitations and well-wishes, not just from Linda and I, but from fans around the world are going out to GRRM on this special occasion.

With Game of Thrones now having made its mark at the Emmys, with A Dance with Dragons still flying high on the bestseller lists, with “A Song of Ice and Fire” propelling Martin into rare company, with the Game of Thrones comic book from Dynamite Entertainment about to hit shelves tomorrow, and A Game of Thrones: Genesis soon to be on sale (even as an RPG is in development, too), and Martin included on the TIME 100, and his having married the love of his life, and…

Well, lets just say that George has been having a very good year, and deservedly, and we can only wish him many more!

Guys Night Out the Threequel

It’s now live—the Podcast of Ice and Fire has its 63rd episode up, and it’s another “Guy’s Night Out”, featuring Amin and Dan of Podcast of Ice and Fire, Alex of Tower of the Hand, and FaBio/Tobias of Winter is Coming... oh, and me.

We discuss A Dance with Dragons, and spend a great deal of time arguing about various topics related to it, so beware spoilers (and off-color language, too)!

Listen to it here.

Hodgman References GRRM on The Daily Show

John Hodgman—writer, actor, comedian, and a gentleman who knows everything worth knowing—makes a nod to his George R.R. Martin fandom once again, this time on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Brought in to comment on the challenges of digital distribution for brick-and-mortar bookstores following the bankruptcy of Borders, Hodgman has some… thoughts on steps booksellers might take.

If you’re in the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere, can’t say for sure), here’s the clip from Hulu after the advert:

NYC Bookclub Offers Songs Inspired by Game of Thrones

If you’re in New York City, this one’s for you.

Have to love the fans and readers of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, because they keep coming up with amazing ways to share their fandom. The latest?

The Bushwick Book Cub of Brooklyn gathers each month to feature songs inspired by their latest book club selection, written by local songwriters and musicians who perform them at the Goodbye Blue Monday bar. And this month? They’ve been reading, and composing songs for, George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. The club will gather this Thursday at 8PM at Goodbye Blue Monday, and fans of books and music are invited to attend and share in the experience.

Here’s the address:

Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway (JMZ to Myrtle or J to Kosciusko)
Brooklyn, NY 11221
ph: 718 453 6343

According to organizer Susan Hwang, seven different musical acts are on the slate, including Sweet Soubrette, Dan and Rachel, and Natti Vogel.

Looking forward to seeing pictures and reports from the event!

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.

The Inn at the Crossroads Interview

There’s many neat fan sites out there for the books, but one of the new ones that absolutely knocked our socks off when we first came across them is the Inn at the Crossroads. The bloggers who run it have wowwed everyone (including GRRM) with their recipes, most of them drawn directly from the books and using medieval and Renaissance cooking techniques and recipes. With lovely photographs to go along with them, the Inn at the Crossroads—which already holds over 70 recipes, with more to come—is a great, engaging site for fans of the series.

And the hosts? They’re pretty engaging too! We’ve had the opportunity to interview them for Suvudu, with a bit of a focus on feasts and how to get a Seven Kingdoms-style to your meals. You can read the interview, “Like a Trencherman: Feasts and Feasting in the Seven Kingdoms”, at Suvudu!

Joplin Disaster Relief Charity Auction

The auction items are now up on EBay (the descriptions including the text ‘Charity Auction for Joplin Disaster Relief’). GRRM, Neil Gaiman, and others have generously contributed signed books, collectibles, and more to do their part to help with the recent devastation in Joplin, Missouri following a series of devastating tornadoes.

Check it out, and please bid generously! Among the books available are a signed copy of A Game of Thrones, signed copies of various Wild Cards books and RPG supplements, and more.

LA Weekly and the Brotherhood without Banners

The L.A. Weekly’s “Squid Ink” page, which focuses on “Food in Literature”, discusses the George R.R. Martin unofficial fan club, the Brotherhood without Banners, in relation to the traditional “quest” GRRM assigns fans at various conventions around the world. A leading light of the fandom, David McCaman (who really was the driving force behind the creation of the group) explains the origins of the quests, and gives some examples of past events.

But why is it on “Squid Ink”? Because the quests have inevitably involved tracking down some particular item of food, usually a local delicacy. Those who succeed in the quest—whether it was collecting burnt ends in Kansas City, tasting lamprey pie in Toronto, or finding haggis in Glasgow—were “knighted” by GRRM into a special order. It’s great fun. To add a bit of local color, David notes that at the Worldcon in Anaheim scores of fans participated in getting a hold of hot dogs from Pink’s Hot Dogs. The writer, Margy Rochlin, noted that that was a 70 mile round trip. Now I know why Linda and I didn’t tag along with anyone on that particular quest…

The next change to get knighted by GRRM? Renovation, the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention, held in Reno, Nevada. Having attended two Worldcons, if you’ve any interest in genre literature, or want a great opportunity to meet George and fellow fans, Renovation is going to be a great opportunity. And, you know, the knighthood ain’t bad!

To learn more about the Brotherhood without Banners, feel free to visit the forum at westeros.org