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.
Awhile back, Locus Magazine—the venerable, award-winning SF/F publishing industries trade magazine —launched an “All-Centuries” poll regarding the best genre novels and writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The results are in, and they’re looking pretty good for the work of one George R.R. Martin:
Martin himself has remarked on the poll, adding his personal take on the 20th Century SF Novel list, which would have had Zelazny’s Lord of Light, Bester’s The Stars My Destination, and Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness in the top 3. Fantastic novels, all, well worth reading if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.
There’s quite a variety of wines mentioned in the course of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, most notably the golden wine of the Arbor and Dornish summerwine. Now, over at science blog The Last Word on Nothing, writer Sean Treacy looks into the science behind the wine in a world where seasons are erratic and can last years at a time. It’s a fun read, for those who wonder just how something like that might work in reality.
(Thanks to Ed Plocher for pointing it out.)
We thought we’d provide a little background to the iOs app that Random House released, titled A World of Ice and Fire, for those who’ve been peppering the forums and ourselves with questions about them. We’re very pleased at all the excitement, to say the least! First up, here’s the official press release that followed the app’s release:
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin discusses various calendars, including Marc Simonetti’s 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar artist’s John Picacio’s own calendar, and the Literary Pin-up Calendar featuring literary characters from a number of fantasy novels, including ASoIaF.
And then, the real treat: the first look at the cover of the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order: Amazon US) with art by the award-winning Gary Gianni. Depicted on that cover is a scene from a later novel in the series, and we’ll just leave it at that for those spoiler averse… but see below for what we think it is. As GRRM notes, it won’t be available until July of next year, but we’re eagerly anticipating this. Gianni’s a fantastic artist, and if something of its style seems just a littlest bit familiar, bear in mind that Gianni drew the Prince Valiant comic strip for eight years. Some of the armor designs and poses very much evoke Hal Foster’s great medieval adventure series.
Mashable has the exclusive news that explains just what this was about: Random House is publishing an official companion app for the A Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with A Game of Thrones and including additional content to go through the rest of the series to date.
It’ll be hitting the Apple iTunes app store tomorrow (November 27th), while a version for the Nook (not Android, as the Mashable piece says) is coming in the near future. A demo version will be available to just give you a taste of the entries, which cover characters and places, and includes interactive maps to help orient you. It’s all quite lovingly put together… and as you may notice from the lead image, it seems there will, indeed, be art to accompany entries (those two particular pieces of art are by the amazing Michael Komarck for the sadly-hard-to-get Dabel Brothers 2009 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar).
Just in time for the holidays, the folks over at award-winning RPG publisher Green Ronin have announced a “Winter is Coming” sale featuring some great deals involving the Song of Ice and Fire Roleplay rule book and campaign guide (with their amazing covers by Michael Komarck) and various ancillary books, such as the narrator’s kit.
Also, if you missed it, The Night’s Watch is on a special pre-order deal for its PDF, with $5 off—and that one features another nice cover. We haven’t seen much more than the preview ourselves, but it looks like another well put together supplement from Green Ronin.
Nice. Cyanide has released a brand new DLC for the Game of Thrones RPG (X-Box, PC). Not just featuring new items, weapons, and armor, this DLC actually adds two hours of content to the game in the form of a quest that goes “Beyond the Wall”.
It’s presently available for the X-Box and PCs (I’m guessing this doesn’t mean it’s available on Steam yet). A few screenshots can be found here.
Although the game may not have been an unabashed critical hit, one thing worth noting is that just about everyone who’s ever played it seems very impressed with the story and its ability to capture the tone and themes of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. From the look of these screenshots for the new DLC, it looks like they may be adding a deal more depth to Mors Westford’s already-complicated history. Should be worth checking out.
By way of Tom Akel of MTV Geek, we’ve been pointed to MTV Geek’s latest interview with George R.R. Martin, and it’s an amusing one. Recorded at this year’s past Worldcon, the interviewer asks GRRM to give his views on various proposed match-ups between characters and creatures from A Song of Ice and Fire against characters an creatures from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It’s frivlous amusement, and one does learn a thing or three about some of the characters along the way, such as what level of prowess Martin accords to Jaime Lannister and who counts as a “real wizard”.
We’ve placed this interview, along with many others, over at the So Spake Martin collection. Enjoy, and if you have any quibbles with Martin’s take on the various match-ups, feel free to comment!
A couple of updates from GRRM at “Not a Blog” point out that Subterranean Press—one of the best genre small presses—has issued a couple of his books in limited editions recently. One of these, of course, is A Dance with Dragons, with art by Marc Fishman. At the time of Martin’s posting, it seems a handful of the numbered books remained ... but that seems to no longer be the case. Linda and I received our copies recently, and they’re as handsome as you can expect; the book has been split in two volumes, which share slipcase, and Fishman’s art is very fine (you can see much of it at Fishman’s Facebook gallery).
Besides that, a few copies remain of the limited edition of Martin’s first novel, Dying of the Light, with art by award-winning artist Tom Kidd. Dying of the Light is an interesting novel in that it’s set in Martin’s first detailed setting, the “Thousand Worlds” science fiction setting, and it contains clear signs of the influence of Jack Vance as well as themes and ideas that would remain central to Martin’s work right through the A Song of Ice and Fire series. There’s even one character who combines elements that would later be seen in the Hound and the Knight of Flowers. It’s a melancholy, romantic work of science fiction, and very much recommened.
Had meant to post this one last week, but this, that, and the other (including behind-the-scenes work involving upgrading our CMS to a shiny new edition which is taking a lot of time) delayed it. But, now, here it is, a video that’s something of an addendum of addendum to our last video as I give a rundown of the military strength of the various regions of the Seven Kingdoms, according both to what is explicitly said in the books and what can plausibly be deduced:
After a long absence, a new video from Westeros.org on one of the many topics that occupy the minds of fans at the forum! This time, I discuss a particularly geeky topic, but it seems pretty topical with the forthcoming release of the Lands of Ice and Fire: just what is the population of the Seven Kingdoms?
We’ll have a related video up next week, and after that… who knows. Depends on how busy The World of Ice and Fire and related things are keeping us!
For our third and final preview image from the Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), we’ve placed over on our official Google+ page a glimpse of a slice of Essos never before seen, nor ever even hinted at in the novels:
I know enough about the new lands that Martin created in the course of making these expanded maps to say that the choice of this area for this image was very deliberate on my part. There’s a couple of neat things hinted at herein that expand the world-building for Essos quite a bit. But as to what that is… well, maybe The World of Ice and Fire will reveal more, or perhaps GRRM will in some interview or Q&A down the road. We shall see!
UPDATE: Io9 also has a preview with a number of small slices. A bit more of Braavos, a glimpse at Asshai and the Shadow, and a snippet of the journey map that Linda and I helped with are among the items. And Tor.com has a few more.
Awhile back, George R.R. Martin reported that his publishers were preparing brand new audiobooks of some of his earlier novels, and of special interest to Game of Thrones fans would be the fact that actors from the hit HBO series—Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont), Ron Donachie (Ser Rodrik Cassel), and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)—would provide the reading.
Those books are now out… but somewhere along the way, it seems Michelle Fairley didn’t actually read (guessing a scheduling conflict came up), and so Windhaven (a science fiction novel co-written with Lisa Tuttle) has been read by British actress Harriet Walter instead.
Links to the books at Audible.com and samples can be found below:
Following up from last week’s first preview of The Lands of Ice and Fire, the collection of a dozen poster maps featuring all-new maps of Westeros and Essos (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), here is our second preview: a key slice of the Free City of Braavos!
I call this a “key” section because, if you look at it, it features a number of locations mentioned in the course of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, all of them based both on Martin’s own map of Braavos checked against the published texts for any changes or inconsistencies that Bantam, the artist Jonathan Roberts (FantasticMaps on Twitter, and yours truly could find. Looks nice, right?
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.