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Nightflyers to Series

Great news for fans of George R.R. Martin’s science fiction: Nightflyers will be going to series at SyFy, although the official announcement has not been made as the deals are still being worked out regarding broadcast rights both in the U.S. and overseas.

This follows news from back in May that SyFy was noted himself, this show is based on the rights he sold many years earlier that led to a low-budget film that did not find much success (you can see the poster for that film above). GRRM has no role in the production, as he is exclusively under contract with HBO, but he’s hoping for the best and in particular hopes that the show will look as good as SyFy’s The Expanse.

 

Launch of the Martin Studies International Network

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:

 

Discussing Fire and Blood

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.

Fire and Blood Approaches

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.

Per George:

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…

Nightflyers Moves Forward

Last week we shared reports that an adaptation of Nightflyers—based on the rights to the film made in the 1980s based on George R.R. Martin’s award-winning SF horror novella—was in the works. Now The Wrap reports that SyFy has gone ahead and ordered a pilot to produced based on the script by Jeff Buhler.

As Martin has noted, his overall deal with HBO means he has no involvement in this adaptation, but it’s clear that Martin’s work is a hot property in Hollywood right now. In his most recent “Not a Blog” post, Martin provided an update on progress on a number of adaptations:

LOTS of things going on with television and film. Season 7 of GAME OF THRONES will be here on July 16 (and we’re doing a season 6 marathon at the JCC), the five successor shows are moving forward at various rates of speed, and we’re talking with UCP about not one, not two, but three possible Wild Cards series. And there are a couple other TV projects that I can’t tell you about… how much of this will come to pass, nobody knows. Ah, the joys of development…

SyFy Developing Nightflyers

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that SyFy, the SF/F genre television specialist which has had a rather colorful repetoire of original programming over the years (B-movies such as Sharknado, paranormal “reality” series such as Ghost Hunters, dramas such as Battlestar Galactica and The Magicians), has moved to adapt George R.R. Martin’s award-winning horror-tinged science fiction novella, “Nightflyers”, into a television series.

Martin’s overall development deal with HBO means that he will not be involved in developing or producing the series. Instead, Jeff Buhler (writer for the remake of Jacob’s Ladder currently in post-production) will write the initial script and act as executive producer. Buhler will be joined by a number of others noted in the article from THR, including Robert Jaffe—who wrote the adaption for the 1987 film based on GRRM’s novella—as a producer.

Book of Swords Details Revealed

George R.R. Martin has provided new information on an anthology slated for October, Book of Swords, which will contain a never-before-published piece of “fake history” that was originally created for The World of ICe and Fire. We reported on it last week, but waited on reporting more as we knew GRRM was going to provide more information at his “Not a Blog”. Of particular interest to ASoIaF fans are the following:

GRRM Contributes to Book of Swords

George R.R. Martin’s friend and regular editorial collaborator, Gardner Dozois, has been working away at an anthology titled Book of Swords since 2015, inviting a host of authors to contribute. One of the invited authors, Matthew Hughes, posted a list of some of the authors that were then on board. The list included Ken Liu (whose contribution, “The Hidden Girl”, was optioned for film last year), Ellen Kushner, Scott Lynch, Robin Hobb, Daniel Abraham, K.J. Parker, Garth Nix, C.J Cherryh, Elizabeth Bear, and Cecelia Holland.

Hughes suggested there’d probably be some other significant authors, and as fans have now discovered, one of those names is George R.R. Martin himself. We don’t have a table of contents to share as of yet, but we’ll say that there’s a great deal of speculation among fans related to The World of Ice and Fire and Dunk & Egg.

We’ll see if we can’t shake that table of contents loose.

Wild Cards Official Site Launched

An official website for the Wild Cards superhero shared-world novels, whose origins lay way back in 1983 with a roleplaying game campaign that George R.R. Martin devised, has now been launched.

Of note are a number of initial blog posts from Martin and other members of the Wild Cards Consortium discussing various aspects of the shared world, from its inception and on down to recent days. It’s a good looking site, featuring a cover gallery, interviews, videos (including a 1988 recording of a Worldcon Wild Cards panel!), sample stories, and more.


The latest entry in the series is High Stakes, which was published this August.

Wild Cards Series in Development

Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has some exciting news for fans of the Wild Cards series: Universal Cable Productions (the studio behind shows like Mr. Robot, The Magicians, Battlestar Galactica, and more) has acquired the rights to adapting the series to television. Development work begins immediately, with Melinda M. Snodgrass (an originator of the Wild Cards series, and GRRM’s right-hand so to speak) attached to executive produce alongside Gregory Noveck.

Interestingly, GRRM notes that due to his development deal with HBO, he will not be working on the series.Of course, he cautions that as with all things, development is never certain to produce a series. Finally, Martin notes that he’s pretty sure that no matter when the series takes place, if it goes forward Croyd Crenson (“The Sleeper”, a beloved character created by the late, great Roger Zelazny) will almost certainly make an appearance.

Finally, it seems that there’s some fluidity in what the potential series will draw on from the many, many novels spanning decades. Martin asks fans to share their thoughts of which characters they’d like to see on the screen in the comments section of his post.

New Sample Chapters

Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has reminded fans that his official website, georgerrmartin.com, is alive and kicking… and if it hasn’t been as updated as it could be, well, he’s been busy. That said, there’s a significant update today as George shares two new sample chapters. The first excerpt is from the 23rd Wild Cards novel, High Stakes. The excerpt comes from Ian Tregillis, who wrote the excellent Bitter Seeds (a dark take on superheroes during WWII) and whose latest book The Mechanical has received rave reviews as the start of a new trilogy in a world where alchemy works and where automatons are nearly human.

The other excerpt, of course, is a chapter from The Winds of Winter. It’s one he’s read before, so there have been scattered reports, but he’s never posted it directly to his website. Here’s how George describes its contents:

“You want to know what the Sand Snakes, Prince Doran, Areo Hotah, Ellaria Sand, Darkstar, and the rest will be up to in WINDS OF WINTER? Quite a lot, actually. The sample will give you a taste. For the rest, you will need to wait.”

(Coincidentally, Linda and I have returned to doing A Song of Ice and Fire videos between episodes of Game of Thrones, and we just happened to have made our first video a question of the political situation in Dorne in the novels, including information from the two relevant chapters from The Winds of Winter that George released. We’ll embed that video below. Specific discussion relevant to The Winds of Winter, and this excerpt, starts at the 32 minute mark)

The World of Ice and Fire Nominated for Ignotus Award

Here’s a pleasant surprise: the Spanish translation of our The World of Ice and Fire, El mundo de Hielo y Fuego (published by one of the very best SF/F publishers in Spain, Gigamesh), has been nominated for the Ignotus Award!  The full list of the nominees can be found here; amazing to see our names on a list that includes the great John Clute.

The premiere Spanish SF/F award, the Ignotus winners are announced at the annual Hispacon Spanish national convention… which, this year, also happens to be this year’s Eurocon.
As it happens, Linda and I are likely to go, because we adored our visit to Barcelona last year, but knowing we’ll be in attendance as nominees is kind of remarkable.

Many thanks to everyone involved in making this book happen, both in the U.S. and in Spain (especially the team of translators with the thankless task of getting such a massive tome translated, and the inestimable Corominas for his striking covers!)

(Thanks to Spanish fan blog el Caballero de la Arbol Sonriente for the tip about the nominations!)

Wild Cards Full Steam Ahead

We’d be remiss not to note that the popularity of the Wild Cards series of superhero stories has continued unabated, so much so that Random House Audio has signed on to continue the release of audio books of the original series of shared-world anthologies that started it all. As reported by George R.R. Martin at his “Not a Blog”, Random House started with the third volume, Jokers Wild, after the first two volumes had been released earlier by Brilliance Audio.

Random House’s first entry features a pretty noteworthy cast of readers: Pam Grier (Jackie Brown, Smallville, Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Guild), and Ron Donachie (Game of Thrones) are among the contributors.

More recently, George has noted that Aces Abroad —the fourth volume in the series, expanded with two newer stories—has just finished recording, and it has an even larger cast including Selma Blair (Hellboy), Adrian Paul (Highlander), and Armin Shimmerman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Deep Space 9). Shimmerman will be reading the parts of the joker Xavier Desmond, and as it happens Aces Abroad is best known for George’s interstitial “From the Journal of Xavier Desmond”. This should be quite good! Next to get the audio treatment will be the fifth book, Down & Dirty.

In related news, GRRM has shared that the latest book in the new Wild Cards series, High Stakes, will be published in hardcover by Tor on August 23rd. George has also pointed to the latest Humble Book Bundle for fans interested in getting two of the more difficult to acquire Wild Cards novels, Deuces Down and Death Draws Five, as well as other works by the likes of the great SF writers Alfred Bester (a personal favorite of mine), Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Roger Zelazny. The Humble Bundle uses a “pay what you want” model, though certain levels are required to get certain works. Best of all, those who pay can decide how to divide up their contribution between the publisher, the Humble Bundle group, and a selection of three worthy charities.

Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Limited Edition

Subterranean Press, one of the premiere small publishers in the SF/F world, has been noted for their handsome limited editions of George R.R. Martin’s works—not just A Song of Ice and Fire, but also books such as Dying of the Light and Fevre Dream—has stepped once more into the breach by producing a limited edition of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Featuring Gary Gianni’s gorgeous artwork from the wide release—but augmented by new end-papers, richer paper and binding, and eight of the interior illustrations presented in color (as shown here)—the lettered edition sold out immediately (doubtless fueled in part by the fact that the books would be custom bound, a first for Subterranean), while the limited edition of 750—priced at $295—is still available.

For the die-hard fans of GRRM, the Dunk and Egg novellas, or Gary Gianni’s work, this seems like a genuine must-have!

Skin Trade Optioned

As revealed by George R.R. Martin at his “Not a Blog” site, his award-winning novella “The Skin Trade” has been optioned by Cinemax—sister company of HBO—and a pilot script is being written by writer and producer Kalinda Vazquez. Vazquez’s experience includes working as a staff writer on Prison Break, and as a producer on shows such as Nikita and Once Upon a Time. “The Skin Trade” is a well-regarded horror novella by Martin, featuring a cowardly werewolf and a no-nonsense detective who are drawn into a supernatural investigation. As Martin remarks, there always seemed to be potential for a TV series in the basic concept, and he notes that the creation of his Doorways pilot was an unexpected result of his pitching “The Skin Trade” as a TV show back when he was a screenwriter for television.

Also noteworthy is the fact that this deal with Cinemax is cited as being partly due to the efforts of Mike the Pike Producttions, who optioned the novella almost six years ago. Sometimes it’s a very long road forward for literary properties. As GRRM indicates, it’s no certainty that it will go into production at this time, but it’s a big step forward.