Last night, George R.R. Martin and John Picacio took the stage at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City for what turned out to be two and half hours of conversation and Q&A. We believe the SF in SF organization, along with co-sponsor of the event Locus Magazine, will be posting the audio (and perhaps video) of the full event at their site, but in the meantime there have been reports, and even a bit of video.
One of the detailed reports from the Q&A comes from Twitter user clintw, which we’ve threaded and posted to the So Spake Martin collection. In the course of the interview and Q&A, Martin remarks on the name of the latest Princess of Dorne, the whereabouts of the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, hints about the various ideas HBO is still exploring for successor shows, and more.
This year’s World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced, and The Book of Swords anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and the late Gardner Dozois is nominated in the anthology category. The award winners, which are juried (but include a popular component in that two finalists in each category are chosen by popular vote), will be announced during the World Fantasy Convention taking place on November 1st through 4th in Baltimore, Maryland.
For the full list of finalists in all categories, see this post over at Tor.com.
Yesterday, the 2019 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar was published, containing art by award-winning artist John Jude Palencar.
Just before the release, Palencar shared a preview of the artwork over at the excellent Muddy Colors blog, including some initial sketches for pieces that you’ll have to get the calendar to see in finished form.
While Linda and I were in Spain for Celsius 232, George R.R. Martin was in New York City for ThrillerFest, where among other things there was an interview and Q&A (we’ve embedded the video!) with editor Anne Groell. Topics discussed include the new Nightflyers TV show from SyFY, the history of The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood, and more.
At the close of the festival, Martin was named that year’s Thriller Master, the lifetime achievement award from the International Thriller Writers association. Here’s a press release, and the video of the awards ceremony below!
A big, but very pleasant, surprise for fans of Dark Sword Miniatures and their GRRM Masterworks line of officially-licensed A Song of Ice and Fire miniatures: DSM and the legendary sculptor Tom Meier have put together a 15th Anniversary package of eighteen new miniatures. There’s an amazing gallery of images of the figures at Dark Sword’s order page that we highly recommend fans checking out.
Among the characters depicted? Maester Aemon, Darkstar, Grey Worm, Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Dunk & Egg, Rhaegar at the Ruby Ford, Syrio Forel, the Blackfish, and ... well, more, including a spectacular Cersei Lannister piece. Plus, on top of that, Dark Sword has thrown in five additional figures to the bundle, also sculpted by Meier, to help fill out the cast of a tavern or inn where some of the most memorable scenes in the novels have taken place.
Supplies are limited, according to Dark Sword, so don’t delay on ordering if you’re a fan of miniatures or a collector of ASoIaF memorabilia—these are really amazing works of art, as Tom Meier is one of the very best miniaure sculptors in the world.
Worldcon 76 is coming to San Jose in August, but a couple of days prior to this the SF in SF organization has put together a special event: an evening with George R.R. Martin and award-winning artist John Picacio.
Organized as a benefit for Locus Magazine, the chief trade magazine of SF/F publishing, the event promises to feature “a discussion on literature, art, and life” between the famed writer and artist. Signed copies of their works will be available for purchase.
The event takes place at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City on August 14, the Tuesday before Worldcon. For more information, see the event site.
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin’s assistant has revealed the cover of the A Song of Ice and Fire 2019 Calendar, with art from the great John Jude Palencar. This continues the trend of award-winning artists gracing the calendar series, making it one of the most vividly illustrated literary universes since Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
Interestingly, Palencar seems to have not done much SF/F genre work for the last four or five years—we’re going to guess he’s done personal projects and private commissions in the interim—so this calendar will mark an exciting return for the artist.
According to Amazon, the calendar has a July 17, 2018 release date.
We’re sad to share the news that actor Roy Dotrice, whose collaborations with George R.R. Martin began with Beauty and the Beast and continued right through providing his voice to the audiobook of The World of Ice and Fire, has passed away at the age of 94. Dotrice was well known on stage and screen, and genre fans will have seen him in a host of notable shows such as Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and (of course) as the pyromancer Hallyne in Game of Thrones.
Linda and I corresponded with him briefly, years ago, and remember him as a perfectly gracious, charming person who seemed amazed and pleased with the enthusiasm for his recordings of the novels. He’ll be much missed.
For those in the UK, I will be appearing at the QED conference devoted to discussions of skepticism, science, and rational thinking. Specifically, I’ve been invited to take part in a panel on October 15th titled “The Science of Game of Thrones”, inspired by the book of the same name by Helen Keen. Keen will be joining us, as well as a number of other panelists. Here’s the full details from the conference site:
Do dragons actually exist? Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands? What really happened when royal families interbred? How does wildfire win wars? Can you really kill someone with molten gold?
These burning questions (groan) will be bravely tackled by our crack team of Game of Thrones experts.
Join Maesters Helen Keen, Dr Gerardo García, and Elio García as they discuss the science behind the Seven Kingdoms under the skeptical eye of Grand Maester Deborah Hyde. With luck and careful analysis we may at last discover the airspeed velocity of an unladen Westerosi raven.
QED tickets are still on sale, and you can pick yours up today.
We’ve been referring to this for a couple of months as something in the works, but Linda and I are now very happy to join in making the official announcement of the launch of Martin Studies International Network.
What’s that, you may ask? See the press release below to learn more:
The Martin Studies International Network is the first scholarly association devoted to the work of George R.R. Martin. It is dedicated to academics and fans of the worlds created by George R.R. Martin. Its aim is to provide George R.R. Martin’s work with the academic and expert attention it deserves.
The founding members of the Network are active members of the fan and academic communities:
Launching just as we were in the midst of travels, we were remiss to make note of the fact that the long-awaited graphic novel adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “The Mystery Knight” has now been released.
Bringing back together the successful team of Ben Avery on script and Mike S. Miller on art, the graphic novel adapts the 3rd of the Dunk & Egg novellas, set about 90 years prior to the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Over at Unbound Worlds, Random House’s SF/F site, there’s an interview with Mike Miller regarding the Dunk & Egg adaptations over the years and some of the choices he’s made in the course of them.
Linda and I recently published a video on our Westeros.org youtube channel regarding annulments in Westeros. This is in reaction to something on Game of Thrones—Linda explains more in the video—but suffice it to say, it contains spoilers for season 7 of the series.
(And no, still not watching myself, but I know the general gist of what’s been happening so far, which is more than enough to confirm that I made the right choice for myself.)
While we’re away up north (north to us, anyways) for our vacation, Linda and I are getting back to doing semi-regular videos about A Song of Ice and Fire, to compliment the Game of Thrones post-episode videos she’s producing for our Episode guides.
The first one—shot on the OnePlus 5 (my first Android phone, after 5 years of my trusty Nokia 920) to make the process more convenient while we’re up here—ends with an unexpected guest star as we discuss.. well, Fire and Blood, which is coming to readers sooner than expected in part because the first volume is practically finished already. Find out how that works below:
Keep an eye on our channel for more videos in the coming days.
Answering the questions following his mysterious blog post from a few days back, George R.R. Martin has revealed that Fire and Blood is closer to publication than many thought. A book focused on the history of the Targaryens in Westeros, drawn in large part from material originally created for The World of Ice and Fire but which was largely redacted or severely compressed from that book, the amount of material is so sizable that it will appear in two volumes.
No publication date has been set yet, but it’s likely that we will get the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert’s Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.
And for those who wonder about the state of The Winds of Winter...:
Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream…
Update: We’re pleased to say that we’ve been invited by Casa del Libro to sign at their store at Gran Via 29 prior to the talk. The signing will be from 5pm to 6pm.
Linda and I will be speaking at Espacio Fundación Telefónica, who have kindly invited us with the collaboration of the Spanish publisher of A Song of Ice and Fire and our The World of Ice and Fire, Gigamesh, the organizers of the Celsius 232 convention, and streaming source of Game of Thrones in Spain Movistar+. A few years ago GRRM took part in a similar event.
Fans in Madrid can visit the event page for information regarding the time and details of the event, as well as reserving a free pass. For those who can’t make it, the website will stream the event live.
As always, we’re very much looking forward to visiting Spain. That said, since we’re traveling late Sunday evening, busy in Madrid on Monday, and traveling homeward on Tuesday, Linda’s coverage of the season premiere will likely be delayed and/or be briefer than normal.