It’s that time again, folks: the World Science Fiction Convention is presenting the Hugo Awards, the oldest literary award for works of science fiction and fantasy. A number of the nominees may be of particular fans of George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, and HBO’s Game of Thrones:
Thanks to the latest “Not a Blog” update from GRRM, we’ve learned that Game of Thrones actor Ron Donachie—last seen playing Ser Rodrik Cassel—will be attending Chicon 7, the 70th Worldcon, as a representative of the show for HBO. Donachie also happens to be the audio book reader for the new audiobook of Fevre Dream—Martin’s award-winning horror novel set on the Mississippi in the Antebellum—which Martin announced back in June.
Martin has also shared his Worldcon schedule, which we’ll repost below, with an interesting possible caveat: in comments he mentions that instead of reading one of the chapters from The Winds of Winter that he’s read on previous occasions, he might instead read from The World of Ice and Fire (the book we’re co-authoring with him) as he did at Bubonicon (a report from which can be found here). GRRM asked for opinions. Personally, the chapters he’s read have generally been read several times, and there are extensive reports available on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” forum… whereas he’s only read once from TWoIaF, and there’s plenty of details from that reading that haven’t been shared with fans.
Here’s his schedule:
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has published his schedule for Bubonicon 44 in Albuquerque, New Mexico between August 24th the 26th. As usual at these convention appearances, there’s a reading ... and this time, the reading’s a surprise: rather than read the extract from The Winds of Winter that Martin has read at his last few appearances, he’s treating everyone to the very first public reading of an extract from The World of Ice and Fire, the setting guide that Linda, George, and I have been working on, on and half, for… well, awhile. ;)
As GRRM’s hinted in earlier “Not a Blog” posts, he’s recently written a few historical pieces for the book, pieces that answer questions that some fans have had about the history of the Seven Kingdoms and the early reign of the Targaryen dynasty from the very start of the series back in 1996. If you’re in the ABQ area and don’t have plans for that Friday, you can get yourself a day pass for $15. And, hey, evenings? Parties are where you’ll find GRRM hanging out. His advice for those going to Worldcon holds for Bubonicon, and will give you a sense of how approachable GRRM can be at an SF convention.
It’s quite remarkable to note that A Dance with Dragons, the fifth novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, holds the #10 place in the New York Times Hardcover Fiction bestseller list for http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-08-19/hardcover-fiction/list.html August 19th... and as one notes there, this marks the 52nd week that the novel has been perpetually on the short list for hardcover fiction.
Of course, the mass-market paperbacks continue to do well, with A Game of Thrones presently at #11, with the other novels ranging down to #18. They’ve all been on the bestseller list for a minimum of 44 weeks (for A Feast for Crows), while A Game of Thrones has been on the list for 69 weeks, and seems likely to be hanging on for a good while more.
Long in the making, at last we’ve our third and final part of our discussion of prophecies in “A Song of Ice and Fire”, in light of the events of A Dance with Dragons. There are, as you might guess, spoilers through the five novels in the series to date. This particular one actually deals with a very early prophecy—or prophecy-like utterance—from A Game of Thrones. Apologies for any syncing issues, by the way—it looks like our minor editing caused a slight slip in the sound syncing to the video.
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Two weeks ago, we reported that George R.R. Martin was being honored with a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award, shared with British fantasy author Alan Garner. And now we’ve learned that on the final ballot has been released, and Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, fifth novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, is nominated in the Best Novel category!
George R.R. Martin may be wrapping up his visit to Spain in the next day or so, but he has been busy with interviews and press conferences and Q&A’s. We’ve been collecting them over at the So Spake Martin collection, but we do have too make a particular note about this interview—translated from the Spanish, and sent to us by Jon Nieve of the leading Spanish fan site for A Song of Ice Fire, Asshai.com. It’s heavy on spoilers for A Dance with Dragons, and it touches on quite a few topics that hardcore fans will doubtless find very, very interesting indeed.
Many thanks to Jon and the fans at Asshai for coming up with these great questions and for letting us share the article at the SSM collection!
Thanks to the Kosmopolis International Literature Fest, George R.R. Martin is involved in a Q&A in Barcelona, and it’s being live streamed. Apparently A Dance with Dragons is part of the focus on the conversation, so there may be spoilers for that novel. Also, bear in mind that Martin’s answers are translated and repeated in Spanish, so it takes a bit longer to get from one question to the next. Once a video archive is available, we’ll link it, just as we have been with others of Martin’s appearances in Spain via the So Spake Martin collection:
This was just announced today: the World Fantasy Convention has announced that this year’s World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievementwill go to George R.R. Martin and (the very excellent) Alan Garner. It’s an award that’s been given to a number of notable writers in the past, including Terry Pratchett, Jane Yolen, Peter Beagle, Urusula K. LeGuin, and more.
More information about the recipients can be found at the World Fantasy Awards site.
Garner is one of the writers Martin has admired, so it’s particularly nice that they are receiving the award in the same year. In fact, Martin has a noble house named after the British author, with the arms referencing his enigmatic, unforgettable novel The Owl Service (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK).
(Thanks to @olafkeith for noting this to us.)
In our latest entry in our video series, I discuss a minor “mystery”. It’s not one that we dealt with in our post-A Dance with Dragons little mysteries video because, well, we didn’t think it’s a mystery. But we’ve had enough people ask about it on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum that Sean T. Collins’ suggestion that we tackle it made sense. For those who already knew the answer, I do discuss some related topics that may be of interest.
It ought to go without saying, but this contains spoilers for A Dance with Dragons:
Now, a couple of notes. Firstly, Linda and I are on a long (working) vacation, and while we could in theory record more videos, our internet connection out here in the far reaches of Scandinavia is shaky enough that it would take issues to get them uploaded (and that’s if it’d be stable enough to allow a long video upload). So, probably no new videos until August. Secondly, some sort of Youtube behind-the-scenes code adjustments have made it that I can’t directly reply to any comments (and there’s been many good ones in the last week), so I’m sorry to say that until that’s resolved, I won’t be able to answer any questions offered in comments. But keep them coming! Once it gets fixed, I’ll try to catch up with everything.
After my video concerning the Kingsguard went up, a common question from commenters at our Youtube channel related to a throw-away comment I made, concerning a theory I have regarding Dawn, the ancient, magical greatsword of the Daynes, wielded by those men found worthy of bearing it and the title of Sword of the Morning. So, to answer those questions, here’s a video I put together pointing out a bit regarding what we know of the Daynes, the Sword of the Morning, and Dawn.
Having spotted this already on the shelves in our local SF/F speciality bookstore, I decided to check what the word is on Bantam’s 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), with art from Marc Simonetti.
It looks like July 10 is the official release date, though it may well be that some booksellers have already put it on the shelves (as our local shop did).
We’ve only seen a few preview images up to now, so getting a chance to at last look through the whole calendar was quite a pleasure. Particularly noteworthy was a fantastic image of Daenerys in the House of the Undying and a vivid landscape featuring the Rhoyne. Well worth sticking on your wall next year, but make sure to order one sooner rather than later—these tend to sell out their print runs within a couple of months, and after that finding them at reasonable prices can be difficult at times!
After a long, long delay—almost a year—Linda and I have finally put up the promised second part of our discussing prophecies in A Song of Ice and Fire in light of A Dance with Dragons...
... only to realize, after we posted it, that our promised second part was supposed to discuss an entirely different prophecy from the one we covered! So, you’ve got part three to look forward to. This, and many other videos about A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones can be found over at our Youtube channel.
Tonight at 7PM, George R.R. Martin will be reading—almost certainly from The Winds of Winter—at Town Hall Seattle, part of the Summer Reading Series hosted by Clarion West, one of the leading SF/F/H writer’s workshops. George will also be available for a Q&A.
Tickets are already sold out through the official outlet, but according to Brown Paper Tickets:
A small number of tickets may be available at Town Hall at 6:45 p.m. for those in the Stand By line.
So, worth a shot.
Thanks to Ben Bella, our essay in Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (Order: US, UK), “The Palace of Love, The Palace of Sorrow: Romanticism in A Song of Ice and Fire”, is now available in full via the Smart Pop Books site. It’s available for just one week, after which it’ll revert to an excerpt.