The L.A. Weekly’s “Squid Ink” page, which focuses on “Food in Literature”, discusses the George R.R. Martin unofficial fan club, the Brotherhood without Banners, in relation to the traditional “quest” GRRM assigns fans at various conventions around the world. A leading light of the fandom, David McCaman (who really was the driving force behind the creation of the group) explains the origins of the quests, and gives some examples of past events.
But why is it on “Squid Ink”? Because the quests have inevitably involved tracking down some particular item of food, usually a local delicacy. Those who succeed in the quest—whether it was collecting burnt ends in Kansas City, tasting lamprey pie in Toronto, or finding haggis in Glasgow—were “knighted” by GRRM into a special order. It’s great fun. To add a bit of local color, David notes that at the Worldcon in Anaheim scores of fans participated in getting a hold of hot dogs from Pink’s Hot Dogs. The writer, Margy Rochlin, noted that that was a 70 mile round trip. Now I know why Linda and I didn’t tag along with anyone on that particular quest…
The next change to get knighted by GRRM? Renovation, the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention, held in Reno, Nevada. Having attended two Worldcons, if you’ve any interest in genre literature, or want a great opportunity to meet George and fellow fans, Renovation is going to be a great opportunity. And, you know, the knighthood ain’t bad!
To learn more about the Brotherhood without Banners, feel free to visit the forum at westeros.org