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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Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Blackwell, an imprint of leading academic publisher John Wiley & Sons, will next month be releasing a new entry in its Pop Culture and Philosophy series: Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than the Sword (Pre-order:  US, UK). The book is due to hit shelves on March 13th.

The series uses popular culture to give philosophers a platform to delve into topics of philosophical interest in a way that’s relevant and relatable to a general audience. Part of a series edited by William Irwin, editor Henry Jacoby has gathered together twenty essays covering a wide range of topics from a distinguished group of philosophers. Also included? A short foreword from Linda and I, which we were very honored to be asked to provide.

Enhanced E-Book Maps

There were so many positive remarks at the glimpses of the maps in Harper Collins Voyager’s enhanced e-book of A Game of Thrones that we decided to pass on the praise to Voyager… and they kindly decided to release all three maps to us as PDF files. They’re watermarked, of course, but that’s no hindreance to getting the pleasure of looking at them, and they may well be useful for those with e-readers who’d like a reference:

And if you have an iPad, and happen to reside in the UK? Get a hold of the enhanced A Game of Thrones directly, which includes a dynamic map of Westeros showing the progress of characters as well as a character glossary.

Feast, Calendar Get Covers

A lot of movement, a lot of upcoming things of interest to fans of ASoIaF, this year. Among them? The 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar with art by Marc Simonetti has been up for pre-order a bit… but now a cover has shown up over at Amazon.com (Amazon UK preorder), and it’s very nice indeed.

Also vaguely spoilerish, as it represents a scene from A Dance with Dragons, but without context it should be fine.. Great choice of scene, though, and we’re eager to see what else Simonetti has in store!

 

Clash of Kings Limited Edition Artist Announced

Back in March of last year, it was announced that Subterranean Press was going to normalize its limited edition of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by going back to the first two novels and publishing them; they had previously skipped those two, having taken over the license from the defunct Meisha Merlin. A few months later, we learned that Ted Nasmith would illustrate the first novel, A Game of Thrones.

And now GRRM has announced the artist for A Clash of Kings: Richard Hescox, a past winner of the Chesley Award, among other honors. It’ll be awhile before we see his work, but in related news, George noted that Marc Fishman had turned in all of his art for the limited edition of A Dance with Dragons... and you can see most of it, or perhaps even all of it, at his Facebook gallery (naturally, spoilers galore!)

A Dance with Dragons, A Game of Thrones Win at SFX Awards

SFX, the U.K.‘s biggest magazine devoted to science fiction and fantasy, runs a yearly award with readers of the magazine nominating among a number of categories. They’ve now announced the results, and they are very nice indeed: A Dance with Dragons took Best Novel (with Joe Abercrombie’s The Heroes a well-deserved entry on the short list), and A Game of Thrones landed Best New Show while being shortlisted for Best TV Show (which, I suspect, is perenially won by Doctor Who).

And in a nice touch, SFX managed to get George to accept the award:

Signed Books from Swag for Charity Auction

The Huffington Post’s television critic Maureen Ryan runs an annual auction for charity called “Swag for Charity”, with items covering the range of swag she gets from studios and networks in her role as a critic. This year, GRRM contacted Mo and offered to throw in a number of signed books to the cause, so there’s an excellent chance to fans of his work to get their hands on a complete signed hardcover set of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, an amazing collection, the start of a superhero saga that’s lasted decades, and much more (including some Spartacus: Vengeance items).

Bid early, bid often, because all proceeds goes to deserving charities, including Partners in Health! The auction on the George R.R. Martin items ends on Sunday.

RPG Trailer: Riverspring

A new month, and now a new teaser from Atlus for XBox 360, PS3; PC forthcoming). This one features one of the new locations created for the game, Riverspring, the seat of House Sarwyck. One of the two playable characters from the game, the red priest Alester, hails from there.

The teaser certainly seems to be suggesting that political intrigues and currents are going to be an important part of the game’s narrative. More information about the RPG can be found at the official site, and in our earlier report.

A Game of Thrones Enhanced E-Book

We had an inkling of this awhile back, but now it’s official: an enhanced e-book of A Game of Thrones has come out from the UK’s Harper Collins Voyager, containing some really cool features that add to the experience such as a glossary of characters, a dynamic map tracking characters’ movements from chapter to chapter (note: the web-accessible version seems buggy, but one assumes it’s working just fine in the app), and exclusive audio clips from the audio book read by Roy Dotrice (who received a Guiness Book of World Records entry for most voices by an individual in a single audio book).

The e-book is an iOS exclusive, at least at this time, and is sold only from the UK bookstore.

Here’s the full details:

 

 

 

Hugo Nominations

Over at “Not a Blog”, GRRM has been making recommendations for this year’s Hugo Awards—the oldest and most well-known award for science fiction and fantasy—in various categories. His own work, A Dance with Dragons, is eligible for the Best Novel category, and of course Game of Thrones is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category… but, intriguingly, it’s also eligible for the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category. There’s some interesting discussion on that topic in comments.

The take out? I’d say fans of the show who nominate should all nominate it in the Long Form category, and maybe not vote for it at all in Short Form (a category which will, with 99.99% certainty, be won by the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife”, written by Neil Gaiman) so that the administrators have an easy choice to make as to category. It worked back in 2008 when fans nominated Heroes in Long Form and almost no votes were thrown in for Short Form. That’s what we intend to do, in any case, having gotten a supporting membership of our own.

All members of last year’s Worldcon, and current members of this year’s Worldcon at Chicon in Chicago provided they get their membership—any membership, even the $50 Supporting membership, which has a number of perks such as receiving e-books of all the finalist novels - on or before January 31st), can nominate. And you should do. And if you can actually attend the event, even better—five days of SF/F/H goodness, academic tracks and film tracks, parties and meeting many of the luminaries of the genre past, present, and future, parties, art dealers and memorabilia and books upon books, parties…

Did I mention the parties? The Brotherhood without Banner will be making a strong showing, and their parties are famous. And of course, George will be there, and as he always says, a con’s the absolute best setting to see him, not just at signings and readings, but also on panels and, yes, in the party rooms.

Super Bowl Book Sale

Over at his “Not a Blog”, GRRM has posted details of a book sale he’s holding through to the Super Bowl, in honor of his beloved New York Giants making an appearance there.

In brief:

And to quote instructions:

To get the discount, all you have to do is write GO GIANTS when you send your order.

Payments should be made via my PayPal address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Questions and queries should go to my assistant Ty at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As always, GRRM’s happy to personalize inscriptions on books sold through his official website. (At a guess, that GO GIANTS requirement may make this a non-starter for Pats fans…)

GRRM Visits Toronto in March

Thanks to Indigo Books, we’ve learned that George R.R. Martin will be speaking and signing books at the Indigo store at 55 Bloor Street West, at 7 PM on March 13th. Great opportunity for Canadian fans to meet GRRM. This appearance hasn’t apparently made it onto his Appearances page just yet, so it must have been recently finalized.

And we’ll just mention that his official page is a great way to see where he’ll be in coming months. Trips planned for this year include London in April for Eastercon, as well as such varied places as Portugal, Montana, Seattle, and Spain.

Subtext Updates App with Annotated Game of Thrones

Subtext, makers of the iPad free social reading app of the same name, have launched a completely overhauled version of their application. The UI is sleeker and more informative, a brand new book search tool has been set, and more.

Last summer, Subtext invited me to be one of three “experts”—joined by series editor Anne Groell (who’s also our editor on The World of Ice and Fire)  and Sean T. Collins of Boiled Leather)—to add notes to A Game of Thrones. It was a fun, interesting project, and we amassed something north of 1,000 notes covering the sublime (Sean’s entries are particularly thought-provoking) to the amusing (Anne has some good stories about the behind-the-scenes) to the trivial (well, that’d be my entries, filled with little facts and heraldry and quotes direct from GRRM). The feedback has been quite positive, I’ve been told.

A growing range of books are supported by the app, so that readers, experts, and writers can comment on and communicate with one another about the books they’re reading. It’s a fantastic way to bring books even further into the 21st century, by making them social. Want to argue why a character made a bad choice on page 633? Want to respond to an editor’s funny story about how the author worked his way to writing a particular scene as she did? Want to take argue with someone else’s gloss of the text? You can do all of that with the Subtext app. Or how about embed videos or images that you associate with particular characters, scenes, or events? You can do that, as well.

Books can be imported from various sources, or bought through the Google Books store, and there are nice, clear instructions for how to do it in the app. I believe an Android version is in development, so for now it’s just for iPad, and available only via the siTunes US store. If youv’e an iPad, I really recommend checking it out—I believe there’s a few 50 page previews, with the notes, so you can see what each book they have has to offer.

 

Kotaku Discusses Game of Thrones Board Game

Kotaku, the gaming-focused site that’s part of the Gawker Media empire, has an excellent write-up for A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Amazon: US, UK) from Fantasy Flight Games.

As the review indicates, it really is a fantastic game—runs a bit long and works best with a full complement of players, and the rules take some learning, but once you have it down, it’s extremely good. So good, that it’s just shy of the top 100 at BoardGameGeek, which ranks something like 5,000 board games. The new 2nd edition is said to be particularly good, bringing in rules from past expansions and marrying them to beautiful art and graphic design. If you’re a fan of deep, strategic board games, the Game of Thrones board game is a terrific choice.

Preorder the Beyond the Wall Survival Kit

Valyrian Steel has announced that pre-ordering of the Night’s Watch Dragonglass Dagger Set—also known as the “Beyond the Wall Survival Kit”—will begin from this Saturday.

This is one of the coolest things they’ve done in their line of officially-licensed “A Song of Ice and Fire” replicas—including Longclaw, Needle, and Ice, as well as the forthcoming King Robert’s Hammer (also available for pre-order)—and features a real obsidian blade crafted by hand (no two weapons will be exactly alike!), a belt pouch, five obsidian arrowheads, a sheath, and a collectible wooden storage box.

Bear in mind that there may be some restrictions depending on where you live, so read the details carefully at their site.

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).