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.
Although George announced his completion of work on The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) in a post on Not a Blog last week, Linda and I have held off a similar post because our side of things wasn’t yet quite done: a sidebar we felt was important needed adding, an afterword needed tweaking, and GRRM’s Iron Islands material needed trimming…
But now all that is done, and outside of art approvals, final copy edits, and the like, Linda and I are essentially done as well. From 2004, when the subject of such a book was first broached while having dinner with George and Parris in Santa Fe, to 2006 when bidding among publishers finally led to our signing a contract with Bantam in 2006, it’s been a long effort—not a continuous one, mind, after the initial discussion, outlining, and the very first draft, as the bulk of the work waited until A Dance with Dragons was more or less done and George had more time to consult. Consult he did, and he made a number of contributions which, as Tolkien before him said, “grew in the telling”. Some of these narratives have since been published in partially abridged form—“The Princess and the Queen” in Dangerous Women (Order: Amazon UK), “The Rogue Prince” in the forthcoming Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon UK).
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin provides some news on the forthcoming cross-genre anthology he’s co-edited with Gardner Dozois, Rogues (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK)... and in the course reveals that he has decided to contribute a story himself, another piece of the “fake history” of House Targaryen. Here’s Martin in his own words:
“The Princess and the Queen,” Archmaester Gyldayn’s somewhat abbreviated account of the Dance of the Dragons, got a great response from all the folks who read it in Dangerous Women, so we’ve dipped back into the archmaester’s somewhat disorganized piles of scrolls and crumbling manuscripts, and brought forth another piece of his unpublished history. “The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother,” will tell the story of the years leading up to the calamitious events of “The Princess and the Queen” during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, with particular attention to the role played by the king’s brother, Prince Daemon, a rogue if there ever was one. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as you did “The Princess and the Queen.”
Best of all, though originally slated for quite a late publication, it looks like all the stories are in and ready to go… so Rogues will hit shelves in the US on June 17th.
Fans of “The Princess and the Queen” will be in for a treat. As we’ve told fans on our forum in the past, Prince Daemon was one of the most remarkable men of his age, and what you saw of him in “The Princess and the Queen” is only a taste of the enormities and feats of which he was capable.
You can find the full table of contents for Rogues below:
While New York may get a lot of the interesting events around Game of Thrones—the “Epic Fan Experience” at the Barclays Center being a case in point—it’s not the only thing going on out there. Of particular note for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Seattle’s LTD Art Gallery current exhibition: “Winter is Coming”, a presentation of artwork influenced by the novels, presented by George R.R. Martin and put together with his direct input. All the works on display in the gallery are available for sale, in some cases as originals, in many cases as prints. There’s an amazing trove of treasures, including original works of art by Ted Nasmith and Donato Giancola, and prints from the likes of Amok (with an awesome depiction of Aegon and his sisters), Marc Simonetti, Jim Burns, Jen Zee, and many more.
An excellent preview of the exhibit, including interviews with the gallery’s owner and participating artists, can be found over at Wired.com. The exhibit runs through March 23rd.
Via EW, fans can now read a paragraph—yes, a whole paragraph!—from The Winds of Winter. This is actually a clever means of noting a unique approach that Random House has decided to use to promote the World of Ice and Fire app (Buy: iOS, Android): the next big update (which, yes, Linda and I have worked on and teased, due next month, will also include the full chapter that is being previewed here.
As I said in the tease, the update will be of particular interest to fans of The Lands of Ice and Fire (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), as it will provide some new information on some of the new lands and places that the map has revealed, as well as additions of a number of characters that previously weren’t covered in the update.
Earlier this month, we noted the upcoming fundraising drive for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, sponsored by none other than George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride. As promised, we’d note when it went live… and it now has. A massive amount of A Song of Ice and Fire-related books and memorabilia, as well as Wild Cards books and other works by Martin, is in the offering, with various packages available at different funding levels.
The proceeds will go to support the Westeros Pack—named after characters from the novels—by providing them a larger habitat, which sounds excellent. All funding levels include signed “adoption” certificates, showing your sponorship of a particular wolf (or wolves) in the pack.
Dark Sword Miniatures, official license holders of A Song of Ice and Fire miniature figures, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get more figures out, more quickly. The new expansion—featuring figures such as an armored Barristan Selmy, mounted versions of Loras Tyrell and Khal Drogo, Arianne Martell, Prince Joffrey, and many more—are all sculpted by the truly amazing Tom Meier, one of the very finest miniature sculptors now or, indeed, ever.
And to gild the lily, as Dark Sword Miniatures founder Jim Ludwig notes, every one of Meier’s sculpts is created with the direct involvement and approval of Martin, so in many ways these figures are probably as close as anyone will ever get to seeing Martin’s own vision of his characters and the way they should be clothed, armed, or armored (case in point: Drogo’s arakh is indeed more or less a saber, which fits Martin’s remarks on the subject.)
Launching yesterday with a $10,000 goal, the Kickstarter was fully founded in just over two hours. Since then, it’s nearly hit $25,000, and two stretch goals have been reached. More stretch goals are likely to come, and given the length of time which remains, it could go very far indeed.
Titancon—a convention by the fans, for the fans based in Belfast—has announced that it will be returning for 2014! Having started as a small effort to bring a convention to Belfast with Game of Thrones as a part of its theme, its expanded its scope to include a focus on SF/F literature, with many noted authors as past guests… and of course, a few actors from HBO’s hit TV show besides.
The convention will be based out of the Wellington Park Hotel, and will run from September 12th through Sept 14th. Besides the literary event on that Friday, the Game of Thrones-focused event on Saturday will be sure to feature a number of actors (guests not yet determined, as it depends on their shooting schedules), and Sunday will see the return of the ever-popular guided bus tour of key Game of Thrones locations.
For more information about the convention, visit the Titancon website!
George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride have long been supporters of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and provide a sanctuary for captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and othe related animals. The establishment of the Westeros Pack at the sanctuary—each wolf named after a character (or direwolf!) from A Song of Ice and Fire—is a natural extension of that. George and Parris have previously helped raise over $7,000 for the sanctuary by donating A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones memorabilia for a fundraising auction, and now they’re at it again—this time by supporting another charity auction on behalf of the pack.
The auction itself hasn’t launched yet, but in the interim you can learn about all the members of the pack, and even donate directly to adopt one of the wolves (or the whole pack of them).
When the auction goes live, we’ll be sharing a reminder…. but in the interim, Leyton Cougar, director of Wild Wolf Spirit Santcuary, answers a very important question:
Via George R.R. Martin, we learn that Dangerous Women (Order: US, UK) has been an absolutely smashing success for an original fiction anthology, placing on several bestseller lists. Most notably, the December 22nd edition of the New York Times hardcover fiction list, where it reached the extended list’s 18th position. As Martin notes, the book has also placed on the Ingram’s and USA Today lists.
Many congratulations to Martin and fellow editor Gardner Dozois, as well as all the involved authors, and the publisher, Tor Books!
This is still not 100% confirmed, but according to CVG, the earlier reports that Telltale Games was preparing a Game of Thrones game appear to be true. CVG’s reporter was among those watching the rehearsal broadcast of Spike’s VGX Awards, and in the course of it it was revealed that Telltale was going to discuss the new game. Other announcements meant for tomorrow’s live broadcast also slipped through into the rehearsals, until the award show’s producers pulled the plug on the rehearsal stream.
The VGX awards will be streaming tonight, so we’ll be keeping an eye on it to see if the report holds true.
The Dangerous Women anthology, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois and containing stories from Martin, as well as the likes of Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson, has been released in the US. The highlight for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Martin’s novella “The Princess and the Queen”, telling a part of the tale of the destructive civil war called the Dance of the Dragons, 170 years before the time of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Filled with intrigue, family feuds, murders, and many, many dragons in violent, deadly battle, it reveals just how powerful and dangerous dragons (and Targaryens) truly were.
There’s a lot to be said about the novella, as our spoiler-filled discussion thread on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum reveals. Linda and I intended to have a video ready to discuss it—including its connection to the World of Ice and Fire that we’ve co-written with George—but winter has heralded a distinct lack of snow for us (so far)... but a cold did come to pay a visit. So we’ll have to wait on that until we’re less under the weather.
Until then, get the book, ready the novella, and share your thoughts!
George R.R. Martin is one among a number of notable SF/F authors—including Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Joe Haldeman, Michael Swanwick, and Jone Yolen—who have contributed rare books, memorabilia, and other items to the Pearl Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by award-winning musician Janis Ian that funds scholarships for returning students. The biggest item going right now in their present auction? That would be a script from the first episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, signed by all the Stark actors. Notice the blades symbol under Sean Bean’s signature—he really is a a hardcore fan of Sheffield United!
With 4 days left to go, the script has encouraged 34 bids, and is presently sitting at a whopping $3,750. Also of note is a signed presentation copy of the limited edition of A Dance with Dragons with art by Marc Fishman, and a full set of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels signed by Martin.
The Pearl Foundation is definitely a worthy cause, so examine what’s on offer and see if anything might be of interest ... or just go ahead and make a direct donation!
IGN has reported that “multiple sources” have informed them that Telltale Games is “developing a game based on George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.” While still a rumor—one that Telltale refuses to confirm at this juncture—the notion of Telltale, who has recently won a great deal of acclaim for their The Walking Dead adventure game (Order: Amazon US), creating a game based on the setting will certainly set many gamers to eager expectation.
Interestingly, IGN emphasizes that it’s not clear whether this rumored title would be based on the television show, or if in fact it’s based on A Song of Ice and Fire. However, given our understanding of the licensing arrangements between Martin and HBO, it seems extremely likely that the basis will be the television adaptation; the two previous computer games made by Cyanide were licensed prior to the HBO deal, and “grandfathered” in (and even then, the RPG worked out a license with the TV show to use its visuals and include vocals from actors), but going forward we believe HBO has exclusive rights to computer games.
It is, of course, a rumor, even if it comes from multiple sources. But IGN makes a case—if one reads between the lines—that Game of Thrones could well be the “dream IP” that Telltale executives have hinted at.
(Many thanks to @realcozur for the tip.)
George R.R. Martin has been visiting the lands Down Under, and in the course of it has met thousands of fans and signed thousands and thousands of books for said fans. But he’s been doing something else: giving interviews to the eager local media who seem as excited as the fans to have the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones on their shores. We’ve been dutifully collecting the interviews as they appear over at the So Spake Martin collection, but we’re going to include some of the more interesting ones below.
For fans of Game of Thrones. undoubtedly the most interesting will be Martin’s appearance with Lena Headey and Michelle Fairley at the Sydney Opera House. Martin enters at about the 34 minute mark, before which the actresses have the audience eating from their hands:
Another interview, from SBS 2, is shorter—but include Martin’s remarks on the Game of Bones pornographic parody film, as well as a reference to yours truly here at Westeros.org:
This week has seen two books hit shelves that fans have been waiting for. Notably, the U.S. mass market paperback x of A Dance with Dragons (Order: Amazon US) was at least released after the hardcover had an astounding 88 week run on the NY Times Bestseller list.
For those of you who’ve been waiting for the paperback to read the book, now’s your chance. And for those of you who’ve already read it? You’ll find at the back of it a never-before-published chapter from The Winds of Winter. For those who bought e-book editions, there are some reports that the iBooks edition has been updated with the excerpt, so fire up your iOs device and check that out (no word yet as to whether the Kindle edition has been similarly updated).
Besides that, fans in the US will be able to get their hands on The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister (Order: US, UK), a slim volume of Tyrion’s aphorisms illustrated by noted British cartoonist Jonty Clark. It will be available next week in the UK, as well.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.