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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July 2014
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GRRM Conquers Goodreads

... and it’s not just New York City where George R.R. Martin has been causing a stir. The Goodreads Choice Awards wrapped up recently… and the result are already in!

A Dance with Dragons won the Best Fantasy category, narrowly beating out Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus—just 11 votes separated them! And, look at that—ADwD also managed to place as #3 in the Favorite Novel category as well.

Tip of the hat to author Mark Lawrence, writer of Prince of Thorns, for pointing out that the results were in at the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum. His own novel was #10 in the Best Fantasy category, a good showing from a first-time novelist.

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.

European Publisher, New Screenshots for Game of Thrones RPG

Focus Home Interactive will publish in Europe Game of Thrones, the RPG based on the bestseller series of novels by George R.R. Martin, which has recently been adapted into a TV series by HBO®.

Game of Thrones is a big role playing game based on the famous series of novels by George R.R. Martin, which has already sold over 15 millions unit around the world, and which HBO has recently adapted into a critically-praised TV series. This is the most ambitious project of Cyanide Studio. Developed on Unreal Engine 3 and written under the supervision of George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” will allow fans of the series, and more generally adepts of role-playing games, to live an exceptional adventure in one of the most finely-worked universe from the medieval fantasy literature.


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.

Valyrian Steel Updates (and Dragonglass)

Valyrian Steel, official producers of replica weapons inspired by George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, have had a few updates of late that are worth noting.

Game of Thrones #3 Out Tomorrow

The comic book adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones continues, with issue #3 hitting shelves tomorrow. With art by Tommy F. Patterson and script by Daniel Abraham, it’s one of the most faithful adaptations from book to comic that we’ve seen. Well worth checking out!

If you’re not sure where your nearest comic shop is, the Comic Shop Locator is a handy service.

Liberty in A Song of Ice and Fire

Thanks to Volokh Online, we’ve come across this podcast—part of a series by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University—discussing the topic of liberty as expressed in A Song of Ice and Fire. The main speaker is Amber Taylor, a writer for The Atlantic. Some very interesting topics brought up in the course of the discussion, especially in regards to Sansa and Daenerys.

For those who aren’t fond of listening in to podcasts, a transcript can be found further down the page.

Wild Cards E-Book Sale

Last week, announced that four of the Wild Cards novels will be available for just $2.99 each in e-book editions available in the US.. Wild Cards is the oldest, still-active original shared world setting, created by George R.R. Martin and a number of fellow authors. Detailing an alternate history where an alien virus led to mass casualties, disfigurement, and a handful of individuals with superhuman abilities, the Wild Cards universe has seen 21 novels (a 22nd due next year), comic books, and roleplaying games, while being a playground for authors as varied as Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Carrie Vaughn, Melinda Snodgrass, and of course George R.R. Martin.

The four books that are part of the offer are the re-issue of the book that started it all, Wild Cards, and then the three novels of the “new generation” trilogy: Inside Straight, Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings. Again, to take advantage of these prices, you’ll have to be in the U.S.—Amazon members with foreign addresses will see the regular prices; possibly other stores may show the $2.99 price, depending on their policies.

The new trilogy’s a good read, while Wild Cards I is something of a classic in superhero fiction, introducing a range of memorable characters marked by an unusually realistic approach to dealing with their lives and travails.

2nd Edition of Game of Thrones Board Game

Fantasy Flight Games has released the second edition of its highly-regarded Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Amazon: US, UK). Ranking in the top 100 games at Board Game Geek (which lists and rates over 50,000 board games), it’s one of the earliest licensed products based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, being almost a decade old at this time.

The new edition presents revised and clarified rules, incorporates a number of popular elements from the two expansions released for the original edition, and more. For more details about the game, check out FFG’s official page.

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.

Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round

It’s the final round of the GoodReads Choice Awards!

A Dance with Dragons has survived the expansion of the field to twenty books and its collapse down to ten, final novels…. and not just in the Best Fantasy category, as it also remains in the overall Favorite Book category as well. And, as a cherry on the top, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (aka GRRM’s assistant Ty Franck and author Daniel Abraham) is up for Best Science Fiction.

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.

Goodreads, Round 2

The Goodreads Choice Awards have finished their first round of voting, so now’s the time to vote in round two. Just like last time, there’s a lot of interesting books in a number of categories. A Dance with Dragons has made the short list in both the “Best Book” and the “Best Fantasy Book” categories. Again, we should also note that George R.R. Martin’s assistant—Ty Franck—has the book he co-wrote with Daniel Abraham, Leviathan Wakes (written as James S.A. Corey), up in the “Best Science Fiction” category.

If you’re a Goodreads member (or are planning to join), give it a look, and vote for your favorite books of the past year!

Jon Snow & Ghost by Justin Sweet

Award-winning artist Justin Sweet has an exhibition of his work that opened on the 5th but is running through the 28th, at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. A number of his works—sketches, fantasy paintings featuring Robert E. Howard’s Conan and Kull, and more—are on display and on sale…

And among them is this rather terrific painting of Jon Snow and Ghost. Price? “Inquire”. (That probably means, “Expensive”.)

Unless I’m mistaken, I believe this is one of a number of paintings that Sweet has created for The World of Ice and Fire, which we’re writing with GRRM for Bantam with a prospective release some time next year.

If you’re a fan of fantasy art and are in the area, the gallery exhibition might be an excellent trip to make, if for no other reason than to get a closer look at that painting.

New Miniature from Dark Sword

It’s been a little quiet on the A Song of Ice and Fire front from Dark Sword Miniatures, but their latest update includes something they describe as a surprise for GRRM… and, boy howdy, it must be a real surprise. The legendary sculptor Tom Meier has been at work on this stunning new miniature of Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, in his tournament armor.

Unlike the previous Ser Loras miniature, this one will be sold as a 54mm figure, something that only two or three of the earlier miniatures have had the benefit of (the other two were Merei’s gorgeous Daenerys and the 54mm version of his Tyrion). The Knight of Flowers is also the only character besides Daenerys to receive a second figure, I believe.

According to Jim at Dark Sword, this Loras is the culmination of 160 hours of work, the longest that Meier has ever worked on a single piece. That cloak made out of forget-me-knots is simply amazing, especially when you consider the fact that the figure is about 2 inches tall.