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

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

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!

Locus Online Poll

John Picacio, artist of the 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, reminds us that tomorrow is the deadline for getting your nominations into the Locus Magazine Poll. Locus is the chief trade magazine for SF/F publishing, and for many years it’s been polling subscribers—and the general public—about the works most deserving of attention.

There’s quite a bit you can nominate, but we’ll particularly note that Warriors was nominated, GRRM’s “The Mystery Knight” also nominated, and several writers published in his anthologies (Warriors and Songs of Love and Death) are also listed. Get to it!

As a write-in, we’d recommend Ted Nasmith for his gorgeous 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire work.

Chuck vs. A Game of Thrones on Hulu

Sort of!

The latest episode of the spy adventure sitcom with a fervent cult following, Chuck, has a juicy reference to A Game of Thrones in its latest episode, “Chuck vs. the family Volkoff”. And better yet, it’s now on Hulu.com! Watch for the reference around the 1:50 remark, as Chuck is reading the A Game of Thrones novel (interestingly, it’s one of the earlier reissue hardcovers, which incorporated Stephen Youll’s paperback art) and remarks with a laugh, “Eddard, you don’t let your kids keep a direwolf! That’s a terrible idea.”

Whether the TV show’s writers are showing their fandom, or if it’s just a clever bit of product placement from Random House or HBO, we don’t know, but we like it either way.

Now, just to get a Community or Robot Chicken parody…

The New Yorker Profiles GRRM

The New Yorker has profiled George R.R. Martin, looking both at his work and his relationship with his fans. It’s a several pages-long piece, including comments from Parris, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss from Game of Thrones, GRRM’s editor, and your humble web admin, among others. There’s also an audio portion to the interview.

Only an excerpt is available on the web, but we note a digital subscription trial is entirely free.

Defend the Wall, Vote Jon Snow!

6 hours left to go in the Suvudu cagematch between Jon Snow and Vin! Vin’s 4,000 vote lead has whittled down to just under 1,000, but Vin’s supporters are rallying more support and the rate of gain has slowed down. Time to redouble our efforts in a final push to get Jon over the top! Despite the current standings in the Quick Ben vs. Perrin match, it seems to us that once Jon contest is decided, WoT fans everywhere will turn their attention to that contest and quickly swamp the wily, many-souled mage…

Which would then mean Perrin could face Jon in the final, a contest so even, so well-matched, that it seems like destiny!

In the first Cagematch, Jaime Lannister only had his wits and his not-very-good swordhand to deal with the Dragon Reborn himself, Rand al’Thor, and that was neck and neck until it ended in Rand’s favor. The following Cage Match, Gregor defeated all the villains ... only for The Powers that Be to decide Rand could go out a second time, and it simply was no surprise whatsoever that the Dragon Reborn crushed the Mountain that Ride.

Are we going to let that happen again? I didn’t think so. Take the black and defend the Wall:  Vote Jon!. Get your friends, family, co-workers in on it—and casual strangers, people you accost at the local internet café, captive audiences in the elevator, and anywhere else you can find them, for that matter…

Vin delenda est... because Winter is Coming.

(Image © Jenny Dolfen)