The New Year has begun, and Random House has informed us that this Friday—January 6—will be the last day they will be taking orders on the GRRM Box with its collection of collectibles and goodies for fans of both A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Thanks to Random House, we’re glad to say that fans can order any of the available boxes at 15% off with the code LASTCHANCE if they order here.
For more about the GRRM Box, you can read our announcement post sharing the full details.
Although the ultra limited edition of the GRRM Box, with a run of just 200 priced at $600 each, sold out almost instantly (the limited and deluxe limited sets are still available), publisher Random House has announced that they are donating the rarest of them all—Ultra Limited Edition Box #001—in an auction to benefit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.
Here’s the press release with the full details regarding the auction, which will be hosted on EBay and will begin tomorrow, December 2nd:
Random House donates George R. R. Martin Box ultra limited edition #001 to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
Box will be Auctioned Off by Wild Spirit to Raise Money for the Wolf Sanctuary
NEW YORK, NY ― December 1, 2016 — Today, Random House announced that it will donate GEORGE R. R. MARTIN BOX ULTRA LIMITED EDITION #001 to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary of Ramah, New Mexico. Wild Spirit will auction the box to raise money for rescuing and providing sanctuary for captive-bred wolves and wolfdogs. The auction will begin on December 2nd, and the winner will be announced at a red carpet premiere of a film about Wild Spirit at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico on December 13th. The auction will be held online at:
Linda and I are off to Eurocon 2016 tomorrow, and looks like we’re leaving at just the right time: we got our very first snowfall in our area today, so the contrast with balmy Barcelona will be quite interesting. We’ve just one panel at the convention: The Influence of European Authors and History in the Work of George R.R. Martin. Joining us will be the esteem Alejo Cuervo, founder of Gigamesh, and our friend Javi Marcos of Los Siete Reinos. For those who couldn’t make it to the con, the good news is that Eurocon 2016 will be streamed in full in association with the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona
In fact, they’ve already got our panel set up, so keep an eye out at 6.30PM (Central European Time):
Besides that, on Saturday we’ll be joining a host of authors and artists (Ian Watson, Adam Roberts, the amazing Enrique Corominas, and more) at an epic signing session at the Gigamesh store (one of the very best SF/F speciality stories in Europe). Should be fun!
There’s a lot of other guests—including Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon, The Steel Remains, Black Man), Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, The Way of Kings), Aliette de Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings), and more—and some very interesting panels on a wide range of topics (some in Spanish, some in English), so do check out the streaming schedule. And if you’re going to the con, do say hello!
ETA: And of course I forgot to mention that the winners of the Premio Ignotus—the awards of the Spanish national SF/F convention, similar to the Hugos—will be announced at the convention. The World of Ice and Fire is among the nominees in the translated work category, thanks to the fantastic efforts of Gigamesh and its translators (as well as Corominas for his amazing cover art).
Following in the footsteps of the recent The World Hobbit Project and The World Star Wars Project, a group of 40 university researchers have just launched The Game of Thrones Research Project, aiming to capture the views and opinions of thousands of viewers and fans of the series through an online survey.
“Winter is coming”. Game of Thrones’ most famous saying. But what does it suggest and mean to you? We’re trying to gather the views of thousands of followers of the series, on this and a series of other questions, via a web survey at this address: www.questeros.org. Please, help us by visiting and completing it – and then passing it on. Who are we? We are a gathering of university researchers sharing an interest in the changing nature of ‘fantasy’. We’re entirely self-funded. We’re not affiliated with HBO in any way, or with George RR Martin. All our results and findings will be made publicly available – that’s a promise. If you’d like to know more about us, about the project, and why we are doing it, you can find more information on our website. Take the quiz now at www.questeros.org!
The website, with the very clever domain name of questeros.org, offers more in-depth information about what they seek to learn from the survey and how they intend to publish the results. Looking at the survey, it is (as the name would suggest) focused on the TV series, but it does include some questions that relate to—or can be related to—the novels and the TV series relationship with them. They estimate that it takes about 20 minutes to take the survey, depending on how detailed you make your responses (there’s several questions which allow for longer answers), and we encourage all of our readers to take a look at it and contribute your opinions.
The storming success of the GRRM Box limited edition collection—Random House reports that only 4 of the initial 200 Ultra Limited boxes remain—has led to the publisher and HBO offering fans in the United States (and the U.S. only, alas!) to enter a sweepstakes with the chance to win limited-edition and collectible Game of Thrones prize packs! Three winners will be selected on Tuesday, November 15th. All you have to do to enter—besides live in the U.S. and meet the other rules and requirements—is enter your email address.
What’s in the prize pack? Some amazing stuff, we have to say:
A fan film project that raised over $15,000 dollars to recreate the tower of joy flashback from A Game of Thrones has successfully completed filming and post-production. You can see “Tower of Joy” below:
It’s pretty much a word-for-word recreation of the scene as described in the novel. And there are aerial shots, to. Pretty amazing what can be done with drones and commercially-available digital cameras!
Almost a year ago, George R.R. Martin revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that he was contemplating a twist to the story of a character—and a group of characters connected with them—that he had never contemplated before and which, more notably, was something HBO’s Game of Thrones could not do because of choices the show had made that precluded it:
In one intriguing new wrinkle, Martin says he just came up with a big, revealing twist on a long-time character that he never previously considered. “This is going to drive your readers crazy,” he teases, “but I love it. I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist… But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.”
The fandom was abuzz with it—it sparked several threads on our forum, for one—as people puzzled over who it might be. As I recall, at the time speculation was centering on Sansa Stark because of signs that the show was going to diverge heavily from her storyline in A Song of Ice and Fire (as it indeed did). However, a brand new interview with George from IGN revisits the topic and reveals some significant new information:
As George sometimes does at the close of a year, he set to writing a long, contemplative post listing down notable personal events for the previous year. Unlike these other times, however, that long post was lost to the ether thanks to an apparent glitch with Livejournal. Dispirited, GRRM said he’d try to give a “Cliff’s Notes” version of his post afterward, and over the past day he’s done so. For many fans, of course, the primary topic of interest was the status of the highly anticipated sixth novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, The Winds of Winter.
George’s final post in his “Cliff’s Notes” round up of the past year was indeed on The Winds of Winter, and it was a long and frank discussion of what’s happened in the novel. The brief version is that while GRRM aimed to finish by the end of the year, the deadlines for getting the book out in time for the sixth season of Game of Thrones have come and gone. He believed at the start of the year he could finish by Halloween, and that was incorrect; he also believed in August that he could finish by January, and that too was incorrect.
GRRM describes in some detail why the progress has been fitful at best, and admits that the pressure of a specific deadline (something he eschewed with his novels prior to “A Song of Ice and Fire”) proved a particular burden, and so going forward he intends to write without a specific deadline in mind—it will be finished when it is finished, and not before. He notes there are dozens of chapters completed, and hundreds of pages done, but “there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well.”
At the end, Martin tackles the elephant in the room, whether season 6 of Game of Thrones will “spoil” the novel. The answer? “Yes and no.” He explains in some detail that the show’s many divergences will mean that there’ll be events and characters depicted that will be very different—perhaps entirely different—from his own plans, and he includes a lengthy list of characters who are dead in the show who live on in the novels, and another lengthy list of characters who have never appeared on the show, all of whom may have important roles to play in the novels. It seems clear that the novels and shows will continue the trend of diverging significantly from one another.
The post closes (besides a small post-script confirming that this was his last “Cliff’s Notes” post), with the following:
For those in Europe, here’s some news regarding George R.R. Martin’s appearances starting this weekend, as well as our own!
First up, George will be in Hamburg for the Harbourfront Literature Festival, where he’ll be reading a chapter from The Winds of Winter, and likely to be answering questions as well. Despite early reports that this event would be livestreamed, this event is apparently not being streamed at all. It’s not impossible there’ll be an after-the-fact video from the event (as there have been with a number of GRRM’s public speaking events), but we’ve no information as yet whether that will be the case.
From there, George is off to Stockholm—and so are we! On Tuesday, the SF Bokhandeln bookstore has invited George to speak at the Royal Armoury. Although this event is sold-out, it’s worth noting that SF Bokhandeln’s three branches—Stockholm, Malmö, and our own Göteborg—will all offer livestreams to customers who could not attend the event. So far as we know, there will be no internet-wide stream, but again, there may be post-event videos. And for those in Stockholm, prior to the event—at 5PM—Linda and I will be at the bookshop to sign copies of The World of Ice and Fire, for those who want us defacing their copies!
After that, we’re all off to Åland for Archipelacon, the SF/F convention (sold out, alas!) where George is Guest of Honor, and his partner Parris is the Fan Guest of Honor. The convention has posted its schedule, and there’s a deal of interest for fans—we’ll share the highlights below:
A brief but excellent interview with George R.R. Martin—hot on the heels of his release of a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter—discusses his efforts on that book (and why it’s taken so long), a major twist that he’s deciding on (and whether the TV show can replicate it or not), and a series in development with HBO that’s currently having its pilot script written.
Absolutely worth checking this one out, not least for the key piece of information that GRRM is making all efforts to have The Winds of Winter published before season 6 of Game of Thrones airs.
George R.R. Martin has been quite loquacious these past few days on his “Not a Blog” personal site, to the point that the media has been taking notice of his remarks. Among them have been his reiteration of his intention (but not his promise) to have the A Song of Ice and Fire series completed in seven books, his struggle to decide whether he’ll be providing a script for season 6 of Game of Thrones (he passed on writing a script for season 5), his thoughts on the “how many seasons” question, and even some passing remarks on a once-proposed feature animated adaptation that he passed on prior to HBO coming into view.
Most recently, however, George’s post on cancelling his attendance to the World Fantasy Convention and San Diego Comic-Con, stating that he simply had too many things to do. It’s worth noting that these weren’t the only events on his schedule (though as he notes, SDCC was never noted as an official appearance), and in particular it seems like he’s still set to appear at conventions and fairs where he’s a Guest of Honor. Still, freeing up some time and space in his schedule sounds like something he feels will be helpful to him given the various tasks he’s dealing with.
But all that said, it’s the last note in his post that has caused wild speculation:
In January, nominations opened for the 2015 Hugo Awards, which will be presented at the Worldcon in Washington, Sasquan. The ballots will close on March 10th, so if you’ve yet to nominate but are eligible to do so, best get cracking. Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading List is always a good place to start reviewing some of the literature from last year… but we’ll focus on things connected to GRRM, one way or the other:
George is again each eligible this year for Editor- Short Fiction, thanks to Rogues, and co-editor Gardner Dozois is eligible several times over due to other collections and anthologies he’s edited in the previous year. And speaking of Rogues, all the stories therein are individually eligible in their respective categories. The Locus list linked above notes several of them, by writers such as Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, and Scott Lynch, but it’s worth noting that Martin’s novelette “The Rogue Prince” is also eligible. (And as to Best Editor - Long Form, Jane Johnson of HarperCollins Voyager and Anne Groell of Random House should be perennial nominees.)
Also eligible, of course, would be Game of Thrones in the Dramatic Presentation - Short Form category; we’d recommend nominating “The Watchers on the Wall”, the spectacular Neil Marshall-directed penultimate episode, and GRRM’s own contribution, “The Lion and the Rose”.
The 92Y, which will be hosting George R.R. Martin in a public discussion on October 26 at 8PM EST, is offering a livestream of the event over at its Tumblr page. Journalist Laura Miller, who has previously profiled George, will be joining him on stage and interviewing him as he discusses his work on A Song of Ice and Fire, the forthcoming The World of Ice and Fire that hits shelves on Tuesday (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK).
Speaking of the 28th, George will also be appearing on the Seth Myers show that day (or at least, he’ll be filming his appearance, we’re not sure if it means it’ll air that same day or not).
Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones—or of Wild Cards, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Tuf Voyaging, The Dying of the Light, Beauty and the Beast, or dozens of short stories, novellettes, and novellas—should feel free to lift a glass to celebrate George R.R. Martin’s 66th birthday. May there be many more birthdays to come!
(Also on this day in history: the aftermath of the Battle of Poitiers during the Hundred Years War, which has a bit of influence on the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Curious coincidence!)
We have two pairs of tickets to see George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb on Tuesday 19th August at the Freemasons Hall in London! This event is a once in a lifetime chance to see to two of the world’s greatest storytellers discuss how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality, their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes. A must-attend for all fantasy fans. To enter the competition, just answer two simple questions:
* The Stark children aren’t the only people in the fantasy genre who have a close association with a wolf. In fact, Robin Hobb has a particularly notable example of this in her Farseer trilogy. What’s the name of Fitz’s wolf in that series?
* Which of the Stark direwolves is your favorite, and why?
You can leave your answer in comments below. The contest closes Thursday evening, so be quick ... and be ready to keep an eye on your Facebook messages in case you’re a winner as we’ll need your contact information!
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