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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Interview with George R.R. Martin

Unless I’m misunderstanding, I believe this interview was actually recorded in the summer of 2011 during GRRM’s book tour for the release of A Dance with Dragons, but in any case, it was posted two days ago. We’ve linked it in the Citadel’s So Spake Martin collection of correspondence, interviews, and signing reports, but will embed below.

No real spoilers to speak of, and no discussion of the TV series, but some interesting reflections on his work both past and present… as well as one rather inexplicable question.

Vote Now: Tor.com’s Reader’s Choice Awards

Tor has launched its 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, giving fans a chance to have their say in what their favorite works of the last year were. Voting’s easy: just sign up for a; make sure to follow the rules!

You can nominate as many titles you like in the following categories: Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Cover Art, Best Graphic Novel. You all probably have notions for what to suggest as your favorite novels last year, but I’d like to recommend comic book fans consider nominating Criminal: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker (for my money, one of the best writers working in the field right now) and Sean Phillips. If you’ve read it, you know how good it is as it mixes crime fiction with a deconstruction of the classic Archie comic characters (yes, really). And if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

Ice Melts Away

Valyrian Steel, makers of officially licensed replica weapons based on “A Song of Ice and Fire”, have noted via their Facebook page that their stock of Ice—the Stark heirloom sword—has just dipped under 50% of the limited run of about 2,000 weapons.

They have also just noted that a low-numbered case of Arya’s Stark sword Needle turned up, and the next five orders will get numbers 49, 51, 52, 53, or 54. Here’s Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) with an example of Needle that George sent to her as a gift last year.

GRRM Interviews Bernard Cornwell

George R.R. Martin mentioned the interview with noted historical fiction author Bernard Cornwell—creator of the Sharpe series of novels, which were famously brought to television with Sean Bean in the title role (a fact that Martin mentions, in light of Bean’s role in Game of Thrones)—on his Not a Blog, but noted that Amazon could only post an extract. He’s made an update, however, noting that the full interview can now be found on his website in the News section.

As Georged noted earlier, Cornwell’s familiar with “A Song of Ice and Fire”, so there’s some references to them from him scattered across the interview—quite cool!

Official Cookbook Appears on Amazon

Last night, we spotted the fact that A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Cookbook Companion to A Game of Thrones was now available to pre-order, with a June 26th publication date.

BenBella to Publish Beyond the Wall Essay Anthology

We mentioned this last night Twitter and Facebook, but it was quite late so we saved this post for today.

BenBella Books will be publishing Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in June of this year, as part of their Smart Pop series. Edited by James Lowder, the anthology collects critical essays from a number of writers that examine the novels from various perspectives. We’ve seen a partial list of topics, and there promises to be some very interesting material in there.

The full list of contributors or topics can’t be shared yet, but we can name a couple, at least: us.

New RPG Screenshots

Thanks to Focus Home Interactive, the European publisher, we have a few new screenshots from the officially licensed Game of Thrones roleplaying game, created by Cyanide. We’ve had a lot of new information of late, so check that out if you want to know a bit more about the game.

These screen shots provide a little additional mystery to the storyline, hinting at curious turns of the plot, some mysterious new figures, a bit of new heraldry, and a glimpse at what combat will look like in terms of information on display as you fight. Also, a couple of shots of Dog—ugly as sin, but he’s surprisingly cute; I think it’s because I expected some sort of direwolf-sized mastiff, and instead he’s… well, not anything that big (very pointy teeth, though).

Ice and Fire in 2011

Thanks to @olafkeith, we were pointed to the fact that some end-of-year information had come out for the publishing industry… and as it happens, “A Song of Ice and Fire” left its mark on the lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

First up, Publisher’s Weekly recaps 2011 in the US market. When discussing how long paperbacks stayed on their bestseller list, this is what they had to say:

“It was a hard scramble to get to double digits in this category unless your name was George R.R. Martin. Four of his books did just that.”

 

New Year Concert Inspired by Game of Thrones

This is a bit late, but neat. Via our forum, we learned that Furthur—a band founded by former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lash—held a concert on December 31st… and their “midnight moment”? Daenerys riding a dragon,  to the tune of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up”, followed by “Sugar Magnolia” after midnight. Quite cool! Besides “Dany”, a “Jorah Mormont” is also present for the 8-minute spectacular.

As noted on the forum, the audio of the concert was recorded and is now available at Archive.org.

Below is an embed of the “midnight moment”, and some discussion of how the Grateful Dead were almost involved in a film adaptation of one of Martin’s novels.

Discussing the New Chapter

Some time after midnight, and still quite awake, Linda had the idea that perhaps we should get around to recording a new Westeros.org video... and what better topic to discuss than the chapter from The Winds of Winter that George released as a holiday gift for his readers.

It’s sparked quite a lot of discussion on the forum, and in our 15 minutes of video we just touch on several of the more discussed topics. Hope you like it! And apologies for the quick sign off—we only just discovered afterwards that Youtube had graciously allowed us to record videos longer than 15 minutes. Which means we can be more expansive in the future.

Suffice it to say, there will be spoilers!

Nasmith Paints Eastwatch-by-the-Sea

Ted Nasmith, one of the “Big Three” Tolkien artists (along with John Howe and Alan Lee), turned his hand to depicting castles of the Seven Kingdoms for the World of Ice and Fire worldbook, which ended up being published in the 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. But that was, we knew, not the last work of his we would be seeing for the world book… not least when it was announced that he had been hired to produce the art for the new limited edition of A Game of Thrones.

So it was with some pleasure that it was pointed out by Finnish fan raijap that there was a new entry in his gallery of George R.R. Martin. It is, I think, now one of my very favorite depictions of the Wall, right up there with his Castle Black painting. I believe this piece is also intended for the World of Ice and Fire.

GRRM’s Holiday Gift: The Winds of Winter Sample Chapter

Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin revealed that he had a holiday gift up on his site for fans: the first sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series! A very pleasant surprise, to say the least, and it has some juicy details that hint towards some of the upcoming events Martin has hinted at.

Although this is the first sample chapter he’s posted at his official website, he has read one chapter at a convention, a detailed report and discussion of which can be found at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum.

It goes without saying that there are spoilers. For extensive discussion and speculation, see this thread over at Westeros.org’s A Song of Ice and Fire forum.

USA Today Names GRRM Author of the Year

Selected for the TIME 100, named one of EW’s entertainers of the year, and so on and so forth—it’s been a banner year for George R.R. Martin and his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. And as we come to the close of 2011, another plaudit: USA Today has named Martin their Author of the Year, citing the booming popularity of the novels and the success of HBO’s adaptation. Congratulations to GRRM!

USA Today has been quite interested in the series, having published a cover feature back in July just before A Dance with Dragons hit the shelves.

Deep Discount on Game of Thrones: Genesis

Amazon.com is offering quite a few deals on downloadable games, and this one caught our eye: A Game of Thrones: Genesis from Cyanide Studio for just $10, a 75% saving!

For those who don’t mind paying more and prefer Steam, the game is also available there at a more modest 50% off as part of the Steam daily holiday sales. The Steam sale price ends tomorrow, but we’re not sure how long the Amazon.com sale lasts.

BioWare Considered Game of Thrones MMO

We’ve already posted extensively about the single-player Game of Thrones: The Roleplaying Game, and we’ve also reported on the development of a licensed MMO and Facebook social game.

However, for various reasons, some fans have been disappointed, having really hoped a really large, well-known studio tackled the license. But not necessarily for lack of interest. EA and Bethesda have considered it at some point… and now we learn that BioWare did as well.