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.
Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studio have set the releae date for their forthcoming strategy game, A Game of Thrones: Genesis: September 29th. Mark your calendars! They’ve released a few new images—I’m fond of the shot that shows both Sunspear and Storm’s End, I admit; and unless I’m mistaken, they’ve worked further on the model of the Eyrie to make it more reminiscent of Ted Nasmith’s masterful depiction in the 2011 calendar—to go with the following press release, so be sure to check them out.
French Factor News’s exclusive interview with Cyanide’s Thomas Veauclin, project manager on the Game of Thrones roleplaying game that Cyanide Studio has been developing, has a pretty remarkable revelation: Cyanide has secured the rights to certain HBO Game of Thrones assets and are implementing as much of them as they can. This includes the appearances of actors, recorded dialog, the music, certain designs (such as the Iron Throne), and the like.
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.
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.
Alyssa Rosenberg has been doing a bang-up job over the past few months of discussing A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones from a critical perspective, so it’s no surprise when she responds at length (NOTE: there may be some ADwD spoilers) to a very criticil piece from Sady Doyle at Tiger Beatdown. It’s definitely worth reading if you’ve an interest in media criticism, and feminist criticism, at that.
I recall reading Doyle’s post and thinking that many of the characterizations of the text were things I’ve seen before written in a much more dialog-encouraging way (no surprise there, since I’ve read them on thethe forum). Are there reasonable points buried in that quagmire of an outlandishly exaggerated axe-granding exercise? I’m sure there are, otherwise Rosenberg wouldn’t have taken the time to give it enough serious consideration as to set about demolishing it.
In any case, if nothing else, Rosenberg’s response is worth reading in and of itself. Go and give it a look.
After a long hiatus, it appears that Swedish publisher Forum is giving the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series a third try in translation. Originally having published the first novel back in 1997, slow sales in Sweden led them to drop it until a few years ago when they published the first three novels in the series in translation. Again, however, slow sales—Sweden has a very high percentage of readers who read genre fiction in English rather than in translation—led them to stop. Now they’re back at it, republishing the first three books in paperback and then tackling A Feast for Crows.
Right when the TV series was in the offing, there were efforts to get Forum to bring the books back into print, including some e-mails from us urging them to that effect. The staggering popularity of the new novel, and the series in general following HBO’s television adaptation, seems to have finally swayed Forum to give it another chance.
Here’s their present publishing plan, with the first three novels being republished in paperback:
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!
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:
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!
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
Looking forward to seeing pictures and reports from the event!
Another announcement that came by way of George’s “Not a Blog” is the news that renowned fantasy artist (one of the “Big Three” Tolkien artists, alongside Alan Lee and John Howe) Ted Nasmith has signed on to illustrate the new, Subterranean Press limited edition of A Game of Thrones. Nasmith, of course, illustrated the gorgeous 2011 calendar, and will be providing illustrations for The World of Ice and Fire guide book that we are co-authoring with George.
Having helped Mr. Nasmith a little bit with research for the calendar, we know he’s going to do an amazing job realizing some of the scenes and locations from the novel. We’re particularly hopeful that we’ll get a glimpse of Pentos, Vaes Dothrak, and the Mountains of the Moon in his depictions.
George’s post explains the long history of the limited editions of his novels, including the start with Meisha Merlin until its bankruptcy and their being picked up by Subterranean Press. It’s an interesting read, and shows off a bit of the art along the way.
Cyanide Studio, who are developing the strategy game A Game of Throne: Genesis for release later this year, have also been (fairly quietly) working on another project: an A Game of Thrones roleplaying game. We’ve had some reports and images before in the French gaming media, but France’s Gamekult website now has an extensive video featuring the game’s lead designer, Sylvain Séchi, and a whole heap of shots from the game engine, including in-game cinematic sequences, level designs, and even a few glimpses of the combat.
See below for the video, and some comments:
We posted a couple of weeks ago about NPR asking SF/F readers to vote on a very long list (237 finalists in total) so they could narrow it down to a Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. The results are in, and it’s a great pleasure to see that George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series not only made the list, it went all the way to #5. Ahead of it were Frank Herbert’s Dune, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and at #1, what else? J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Congratulations to George, and to the other authors on the list, which is worth checking out (and lets give a special shoutout to Ursula K. Le Guin’s body of work, which really should have rated much higher, in our opinion… and may have done so, if only someone had thought to put the Earthsea quartet on the list!)
Well, if Tolkien got the Bored of the Rings treatment, why not? Once they start parodying you, you’ve hit a certain level of cultural currency.
According to The Wrap, Thomas Dunne Books have acquired the rights to A Game of Groans from pseudonymous author George R.R. Contanza. There’s a brief blurb of the novel attached to the report, which reads as follows:
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!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.