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
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
I recall reading in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien a letter where Tolkien responded to a query from an admirer hoping for more extensive maps. He remarked on how he received a great number of requests, all asking after the special interests of the requesters: botanists wanted detailed descriptions of mallornx and niphredil, archaeologists desired information on metallurgy and ceramics, musicians wanted musical notations and tunes, and so on. One thing that he noted among them were the desire from some to have more “geological indications” on the maps, rather than place names.
Doubtless there have been fans of A Song of Ice and Fire who have wondered all these things, and more… but I must admit that I never thought that the geology of the world of Ice and Fire would get such attention as it’s received from Generation Anthropocene, a group-blog hosted by Stanford University. Featuring researchers and writers working together to write about the ways that humanity impacts the geology of the world. Their latest work is something of a light-hearted diversion from their more serious study, as they’ve examined the geology of Westeros in tremendous detail. Drawing on details drawn from the novels, they’ve attempted to backward-construct the geological history of the world as far back as 500 million years prior to the present. It’s all quite a heady read, pointing out things that Martin himself—who, so far as I know, has no geological training to speak of—likely created in haphazard fashion, but which can be explained by the very learned academics at Generation Anthropocene.
Very much recommended for idle reading, simply to marvel at how much can be made out of passing background details!
Following up on our Season 4 impressions video, Linda and I have finally gotten around to posting a video discussing the new excerpt that GRRM posted on his official site. It’s lengthy, and a little rough around the edges as we’ve fallen out of practice with the whole filming deal, but we do cover a lot of ground both regarding the setting, the events, and the characters. Plus, lots of comments from viewers on the video itself, and some interesting thoughts, so be sure to check them out!
You’ll find the video below:
Delon provides a step-by-step breakdown of the work that went into the piece (the magazine is filled with tutorials for fellow artists), while Grzegorz Ruthkowsk does something similar with a battle sequence drawn from A Song of Ice and Fire. Best of all, a brand new interview with George R.R. Martin will be featured in the magazine.
The magazine can be purchased on newstands as well as via ordering at the ImagineFX site, where both print and digital copies are available.
Please, no spoilers in comments here, for those who choose not to read it!
George R.R. Martin has revealed over at “Not a Blog” that a brand new preview from The Winds of Winter will soon be up at his official website, replacing the current sample (do we have to say that following that link leads to spoilers?) Martin teases the fact that it’s in fact a chapter he’s written long ago, prior to any of the previous sample chapters, but it’s a chapter he’s rewritten many times indeed. He notes that it’s a chapter that very few have seen to date—his editors, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, Parris, a few others (*ahem*) number among them—and goes even further to tease it by revealing the name at the top of the chapter… which we’ll put in spoilers below:
It’s been in the work for a few months, and at last, those of you with iOS or Android devices have a good chance (regional availability aside) to get a hold of the latest update to the World of Ice and Fire app (not the same thing as the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire book), also known as the Game of Throens Guide for Android devices (Order: iTunes, Google Play). It’s a very substantial update, including dozens of new character entries, and scores of entries for many of the locations in the Lands of Ice and Fire maps. Especially all those new, never-before-mentioned locations found on the map of Essos, all taken straight from notes and details GRRM shared with us.
And for more casual fans who aren’t so interested in entries and the accompanying art? A Tyrion chapter from The Wind of Winter is included in the app, which is free to download (info packs—detailed entries that carry the app through the various books of the series—must be paid for as in-app purchases, but are unnecessary to get the excerpt).
Now, there’s lots of questions surrounding the app and its availability, so we’ll try and answer them below.
Although George announced his completion of work on The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) in a post on Not a Blog last week, Linda and I have held off a similar post because our side of things wasn’t yet quite done: a sidebar we felt was important needed adding, an afterword needed tweaking, and GRRM’s Iron Islands material needed trimming…
But now all that is done, and outside of art approvals, final copy edits, and the like, Linda and I are essentially done as well. From 2004, when the subject of such a book was first broached while having dinner with George and Parris in Santa Fe, to 2006 when bidding among publishers finally led to our signing a contract with Bantam in 2006, it’s been a long effort—not a continuous one, mind, after the initial discussion, outlining, and the very first draft, as the bulk of the work waited until A Dance with Dragons was more or less done and George had more time to consult. Consult he did, and he made a number of contributions which, as Tolkien before him said, “grew in the telling”. Some of these narratives have since been published in partially abridged form—“The Princess and the Queen” in Dangerous Women (Order: Amazon UK), “The Rogue Prince” in the forthcoming Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon UK).
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin provides some news on the forthcoming cross-genre anthology he’s co-edited with Gardner Dozois, Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK)... and in the course reveals that he has decided to contribute a story himself, another piece of the “fake history” of House Targaryen. Here’s Martin in his own words:
“The Princess and the Queen,” Archmaester Gyldayn’s somewhat abbreviated account of the Dance of the Dragons, got a great response from all the folks who read it in Dangerous Women, so we’ve dipped back into the archmaester’s somewhat disorganized piles of scrolls and crumbling manuscripts, and brought forth another piece of his unpublished history. “The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother,” will tell the story of the years leading up to the calamitious events of “The Princess and the Queen” during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, with particular attention to the role played by the king’s brother, Prince Daemon, a rogue if there ever was one. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as you did “The Princess and the Queen.”
Best of all, though originally slated for quite a late publication, it looks like all the stories are in and ready to go… so Rogues will hit shelves in the US on June 17th.
Fans of “The Princess and the Queen” will be in for a treat. As we’ve told fans on our forum in the past, Prince Daemon was one of the most remarkable men of his age, and what you saw of him in “The Princess and the Queen” is only a taste of the enormities and feats of which he was capable.
You can find the full table of contents for Rogues below:
While New York may get a lot of the interesting events around Game of Thrones—the “Epic Fan Experience” at the Barclays Center being a case in point—it’s not the only thing going on out there. Of particular note for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Seattle’s LTD Art Gallery current exhibition: “Winter is Coming”, a presentation of artwork influenced by the novels, presented by George R.R. Martin and put together with his direct input. All the works on display in the gallery are available for sale, in some cases as originals, in many cases as prints. There’s an amazing trove of treasures, including original works of art by Ted Nasmith and Donato Giancola, and prints from the likes of Amok (with an awesome depiction of Aegon and his sisters), Marc Simonetti, Jim Burns, Jen Zee, and many more.
An excellent preview of the exhibit, including interviews with the gallery’s owner and participating artists, can be found over at Wired.com. The exhibit runs through March 23rd.
Via EW, fans can now read a paragraph—yes, a whole paragraph!—from The Winds of Winter. This is actually a clever means of noting a unique approach that Random House has decided to use to promote the World of Ice and Fire app (Buy: iOS, Android): the next big update (which, yes, Linda and I have worked on and teased, due next month, will also include the full chapter that is being previewed here.
As I said in the tease, the update will be of particular interest to fans of The Lands of Ice and Fire (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), as it will provide some new information on some of the new lands and places that the map has revealed, as well as additions of a number of characters that previously weren’t covered in the update.
Earlier this month, we noted the upcoming fundraising drive for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, sponsored by none other than George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride. As promised, we’d note when it went live… and it now has. A massive amount of A Song of Ice and Fire-related books and memorabilia, as well as Wild Cards books and other works by Martin, is in the offering, with various packages available at different funding levels.
The proceeds will go to support the Westeros Pack—named after characters from the novels—by providing them a larger habitat, which sounds excellent. All funding levels include signed “adoption” certificates, showing your sponorship of a particular wolf (or wolves) in the pack.
Dark Sword Miniatures, official license holders of A Song of Ice and Fire miniature figures, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get more figures out, more quickly. The new expansion—featuring figures such as an armored Barristan Selmy, mounted versions of Loras Tyrell and Khal Drogo, Arianne Martell, Prince Joffrey, and many more—are all sculpted by the truly amazing Tom Meier, one of the very finest miniature sculptors now or, indeed, ever.
And to gild the lily, as Dark Sword Miniatures founder Jim Ludwig notes, every one of Meier’s sculpts is created with the direct involvement and approval of Martin, so in many ways these figures are probably as close as anyone will ever get to seeing Martin’s own vision of his characters and the way they should be clothed, armed, or armored (case in point: Drogo’s arakh is indeed more or less a saber, which fits Martin’s remarks on the subject.)
Launching yesterday with a $10,000 goal, the Kickstarter was fully founded in just over two hours. Since then, it’s nearly hit $25,000, and two stretch goals have been reached. More stretch goals are likely to come, and given the length of time which remains, it could go very far indeed.
Titancon—a convention by the fans, for the fans based in Belfast—has announced that it will be returning for 2014! Having started as a small effort to bring a convention to Belfast with Game of Thrones as a part of its theme, its expanded its scope to include a focus on SF/F literature, with many noted authors as past guests… and of course, a few actors from HBO’s hit TV show besides.
The convention will be based out of the Wellington Park Hotel, and will run from September 12th through Sept 14th. Besides the literary event on that Friday, the Game of Thrones-focused event on Saturday will be sure to feature a number of actors (guests not yet determined, as it depends on their shooting schedules), and Sunday will see the return of the ever-popular guided bus tour of key Game of Thrones locations.
For more information about the convention, visit the Titancon website!
George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride have long been supporters of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and provide a sanctuary for captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and othe related animals. The establishment of the Westeros Pack at the sanctuary—each wolf named after a character (or direwolf!) from A Song of Ice and Fire—is a natural extension of that. George and Parris have previously helped raise over $7,000 for the sanctuary by donating A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones memorabilia for a fundraising auction, and now they’re at it again—this time by supporting another charity auction on behalf of the pack.
The auction itself hasn’t launched yet, but in the interim you can learn about all the members of the pack, and even donate directly to adopt one of the wolves (or the whole pack of them).
When the auction goes live, we’ll be sharing a reminder…. but in the interim, Leyton Cougar, director of Wild Wolf Spirit Santcuary, answers a very important question:
Via George R.R. Martin, we learn that Dangerous Women (Order: US, UK) has been an absolutely smashing success for an original fiction anthology, placing on several bestseller lists. Most notably, the December 22nd edition of the New York Times hardcover fiction list, where it reached the extended list’s 18th position. As Martin notes, the book has also placed on the Ingram’s and USA Today lists.
Many congratulations to Martin and fellow editor Gardner Dozois, as well as all the involved authors, and the publisher, Tor Books!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.