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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
And to quote instructions:
To get the discount, all you have to do is write GO GIANTS when you send your order.
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…)
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, 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.
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.
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.
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).
In their round-up of their plans for 2012, roleplaying game publisher Green Ronin spend a good deal of time discussing their Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game. The huge boom in interest in all things Ice and Fire thanks to HBO’s Game of Thrones has seriously depleted their stock of the Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying rule book. Instead of reprinting it, they’re announcing a brand new edition, called the A Game of Thrones edition, which will include the entirety of the Peril of King’s Landing adventure that was separately released.
Besides being full color, the RPG will feature a brand new cover from the amazing Michael Komarck, whose provided some of the finest artwork for “A Song of Ice and Fire” to date. Green Ronin’s plans extend past that May release of the AGoT edition, however.
Subterranean Press has just announced that they’ll be producing a limited edition of George R.R. Martin’s first novel, Dying of the Light. A science fiction novel written at a time when Martin had made waves as one of the foremost short fiction writers in the genre, Dying of the Light is a personal favorite, in large part because of the evocative writing and the setting, the dying festival planet of Worlorn which is soon going to see its “dying of the light”. Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire may spot some characters or themes that are precursors to Martin’s bestselling fantasy series.
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.
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?
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.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.