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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Sites of Interest
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.

King Rob’s Hammer

For those who’ve been keeping an eye on Valyrian Steel—the only official producer of replica weapons based on A Song of Ice and Fire, with direct input from George R.R. Martin—their latest creation, King Robert’s warhammer, is finally up for pre-order. It’s a massive thing, and there’s a nicely illustrative video that gives a sense of how hefty it is and what sort of damage it could do (note: no, you shouldn’t actually use this to hit anyone!)

Besides the warhammer, they’ve created Longclaw and Needle, as well as Ice (including an extremely limited “Damascus” version). I believe their future plans include Khal Drogo’s arakh, an obsidian dagger, and more.

Dark Horse Licenses Game of Thrones

The first hint of this was when AKA_Qthulhu tweeted that Dark Horse was being provided as the source of a number of new Game of Thrones items, according to Big Bad Toystore, which led to my asking HBO... and they confirmed, and said a press-release would be out within the week.

And don’t you know it? Here it is:

Game of Thrones RPG Official Site

Hot on the heels of the USA Today report that revealed details of the browser-based MMORPG and social game, the publisher of Cyanide‘s official Game of Thrones RPG has sent out a press release and unveiled the (sparse) official site for the game.

Here’s the press release below:

Vote for Goodreads Favorite Books

Goodreads, the massive social book site, is running their annual Choice Awards, and wouldn’t you know it? A Dance with Dragons is on the shortlist, not just in Best Fantasy but also the overall Favorite Book of 2011 category. Many other fine works are on both lists, so checking it out (and voting!) is certainly a good idea if you want to support your favorite books of the last year.

As an aside, GRRM’s assistant Ty Franck and writer Daniel Abraham, who together write as James S.A. Corey, are also up for an award in the Best Science Fiction category with the novel Leviathan Wakes. Congratulations to the both of them—it’s well-deserved for a book that’s been quite well reviewed indeed.

UK Hardcover Preorders

As previously reported, the publishers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in the UK, Voyager, have finally gotten into a position where they can re-release the first four novels of the series in matching hard-covers. This is the first time that the novels have been made available in hardcover since their initial releases (my understanding is that the first edition of the A Game of Thrones hardcover is very valuable, in part due to this fact).

You can order A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings presently, with A Storm of Swords (in one volume, no less!) and A Feast for Crows due in December.

Hedge Knight II Soon Out of Print

Via Bleeding Cool, we’ve learned that Marvel Comics—famously stingy with its back catalog of trades, apparently due to Scrooge-like marching orders from CEO Isaac Perlmutter—is letting a large catalog of trade paperbacks go out of print. That means that for the foreseeable future, no more trades will be in print, limiting supply to what’s currently out there.

On the list of titles to go OOP? The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword, the Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller adaptation of Martin’s second Dunk & Egg novella, “The Sworn Sword”. As Bleeding Cool notes, Marvel’s habit of letting titles go out of print means that in many cases, the titles may eventually sell for many times the original retail price… so now may be a good time to get a hold of the comic, if you’re at all interested. “As New” copies of the first graphic novel, which is out of print, are being listed starting from $95, so who knows where this book will go after major resellers run out of copies. With increasing interest in Martin’s work thanks to the TV show, and the occasional fan hope that the Dunk & Egg stories might end up being optioned by HBO as between-season miniseries or HBO Go-exclusive original content, it’s probably a good time to buy.

Dance with Dragons Limited Edition Preorders

Subterranean Press reports that they’ll begin taking pre-orders of A Dance with Dragons from next week. Those who’ve purchased A Feast for Crows previously had first shot at pre-ordering, and it looks like “a handful” of the deluxe limited lettered editions and about 80 of the numbered editions remain. Dance‘s art comes by way of artist Marc Fishman, who has continued to post illustrations and paintings from the book to his gallery (including one as recently as yesterday); note that the illustrations can be rather spoilerish, and in some cases may be considered marginally not safe for work.

According to Subterranean, they’ll hold a lottery for the remaining lettered editions, as demand will certainly outstrip supply. As a further update, it looks like some more book design work is left, plus a final proof, and then it’s off to the printers. With that, they’ll start turning their eyes towards their own limited edition of A Game of Thrones to be illustrated by Ted Nasmith.

More Wild Cards Film Details

During the weekend, news broke that SyFy Films (a joint venture of the SyFy Channel and Universal Studios) and had optioned theatrical and television rights to Wild Cards, the original shared-world superhero series concocted by George R.R. Martin and the Wild Cards Consortium of writers. We’ve done some digging, and we have a handful of additional details to share.

A Game of Thrones #2 Sold Out

According to a press release, the second issue of Dynamite‘s George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones has sold out and has immediately gone into a second printing. This repeats the feat of the first issue, and given anedoctal reports, shows the high level of interest in the series.

Comic book fans and store owners have both noted via Twitter and Facebook that shops have been selling out, leaving some fans without any copies, so it looks like Dynamite has its work cut out for it when it comes to matching supply to demand. A few copies of various variant overs can be found, marked as high as $75, which either shows just how sought-after the comics are… or, perhaps, how avaracious comic book sellers can be; only time will tell!

For those who’d rather not bother with single issues, Bantam will be packaging the first six issues into the first volume of a graphic novel adaptation—presently the first novel is intended to be covered in twenty four issues, so that’ll be four collections over approximately two years.

Skin Trade Official Site

We’ve previously covered Mike the Pike Productions, who are developing George R.R. Martin‘s award-winning horror novella, “The Skin Trade” (found in Dreamsongs Volume 2, which also contains the first Dunk & Egg novella “The Hedge Knight”, set in Westeros, and many other excellent stories) for film. Now they’ve decided to ratchet up the visibility of the project by launching an official site.

The site offers hints as to the story and the production team currently in place, including noting that Filmworks FX—a post-production company that’s worked on Red Riding Hood, Knight and Day, The Tourist, and other Hollywood film projects—is on-board to handled VFX and is intimately involved at an unusually early stage in development.

Besides the official website, Mike the Pike Productions have also launched a Facebook Page—named Blackstone Manor, after a key location in the novella—which features news, updates, and the occasional query to readers. Right now, the page asks fans who they’d like to see direct The Skin Trade, and I’ve chimed in with British director Neil Marshall, who recently wrapped up filming on the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones... and who first rose to the attention of horror fans thanks to his cult classic, Dog Soldiers.