Westeros

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain

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Cyanide Goes Behind the Wall

The Game of Thrones RPG is rapidly approaching, and Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive—perhaps taking a page from HBO’s many behind the scenes videos—has released a video taking us “Behind the Wall”:

We’ve also updated our gallery with a heap of new screen shots.

The RPG hits shelves on the 15th of May in North America, and Junest 1st in the rest of the world. And if you’re in the US and interested in winning a copy for XBox or PS3? Look here!

Win the Game of Thrones RPG

May 15th is the date in the U.S. for the release of Atlus USA’s and Cyanide Studio’s Game of Thrones RPG for XBox and PS3 (as well as PC, via Steam or Amazon downloads)... and we have a contest to win one of four copies for those of you lucky to be in the US!

We have four copies to give away, winner’s choice as to XBox or PS3 (sorry, no PC copies to give away) and these include the exclusive pre-order art book. The competition is US only (sorry! we’ll see if we can’t offer one for those elsewhere in the world nearer the release date) and we want to to give everyone a couple of entries… so here’s how you do it:

We’ll have a drawing for 2 copies for Facebook commenters and 2 copies for Twitter followers/RTers.

One entry per social site, please—multiple entries beyond that will be disqualified! Winners will be announced on Monday following the contest close at 12PM Eastern Time, and we’ll get in touch as quickly as possible to get your address and preference as to whether you prefer the XBox or PS3 version. Once we have addresses, the copies will be mailed out some time on or after May 15th.

Good luck!

Westeros Fundraiser

It’s that time of year again, folks, to support the Westeros.org community. It’s not just the forums and website, that have seen far more activity and membership than they ever have, but it’s also the Wiki of Ice and Fire (the premiere ASoIaF wiki on the web) which is one of the most visited parts of the site—well over a million unique visitors per month, coming by to look up all the details that you, the community, have put up there to share your knowledge and love of the series.

If you’ve ever used the resources of Westeros.org, discussed a theory on the forum, browsed the wiki—please consider chipping in a bit of money for the fundraiser! The funds raised will go directly to our wonderful server admin Sparks to defray the costs of hosting , and allow us to start looking into upgrades that might further improve the speed and stability of the servers.

Many thanks for your time, consideration, and (we hope) your donation! ChipIn allows payments through credit card or Paypal; sorry, we can’t take money orders, cheques, or cash, but we do appreciate the thought!

Game of Thrones RPG Approaches

The Game of Thrones roleplaying game will be released in just six short days (in the US—it’ll be June 1st for Europe and the rest of the world), and if you haven’t pre-ordered, it’s soon the last chance to do so!

Over at Amazon US, the XBox and PS3 versions include an art book as a pre-order bonus, or you can just go an preorder the downloadable PC version . All three versions are up for pre-order at Amazon UK as well (UK XBox, UK PS3, UK PC DVD)... and of course you can just go ahead and pre-order the PC game for download at Steam, although that seems to be set to the June 1st release date for Europe.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has released a terrific interview with the lead developers from Cyanide and—if you’ll excuse the fact that English isn’t their first language—it’s quite informative about some of their approach, including how they took a page or two from GRRM. Good stuff, and by the comments it looks like a few people find the game even more interesting. The interview also includes an amusing tidbit where we learn that GRRM says the death of a character was because of his assistant Ty Franck’s suggestion, and that Cyandie is already hard at work on DLC content for the game.

Atlus has also set up a Facebook page for the game, where you can find the latest images and videos, and keep abreast of the latest developments as the release approaches and fans start looking for the DLC content!

On top of that, Atlus has set up a Facebook page for the game

Dance with Dragons Locus Finalist

The annual Locus Awards—voted by subscribers to the SF/F genre’s leading industry magazine, as well by the public over the Internet—have announced their 2012 Locus Award finalists, and one familiar name is apparent: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin is among the five Fantasy Novel finalists. The winner of the award each year is the highest vote-earner, and later in the year the full results will be published. The award itself will be handed out at the Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle, on June 17th.

Another familiar name or two crops up as well: Best Artist finalist John Picacio, who created the amazing 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and the novel Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey—the pen name of writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (who is also known as GRRM’s personal assistant)—as one of the five finalists in the Science Fiction Novel category.

Congratulations to them, and to all the other deserving finalists.

Fifty Pages of Fevre Dream

Suvudu has posted the first fifty pages of George R.R. Martin’s Antebellum vampire horror novel, Fevre Dream (Amazon: Paperback, Kindle).

It’s one of Martin’s best novels outside of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and especially recommended for those who are fans of horror fiction. With a then-unique take on the vampire myth, the novel takes place largely on the Mississipi, and features meticulous research on areas such as New Orleans and Nachez in that era, as well as on the all-important steamboats; the title of the book comes from the fictional steamboat that features in the novel.

Game of Thrones MMO Survey

Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones and its source material, George R.R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire, have a chance to weigh in and make their voice heard in the development of Big Point’s official Massive Multiplayer game based on the TV series.

Bigpoint has put together a survey that they hope fans will spend some time with, to share their thoughts and feedback on what’s important to them in bringing the series to life in an MMO environment.

Completed surveys will be entered in a drawing for an Amazon gift certificate, but really, 10-15 minutes of your time to help the game be the best possible game it can be seems to us to be a no-brainer—if you love games, if you love Game of Thrones, you’ll want to take the survey!

Pre-purchase Game of Thrones RPG on Steam

The licensed Game of Thrones action roleplaying game, developed by Cyanide Studio and published by Atlus USA (in the US) and Focus Home Interactive (Europe), is approaching with a June 1st release date. The PS3and XBox versions have been available for pre-order for awhile, and include an incentive in the form of an art book… but finally, the PC version can be readily ordered thanks to Steam’s pre-purchase option.

We’ve given the game extensive coverage in the past, that’s worth checking out, plus make sure to visit the official site for more information!

Thanks to Adam Whitehead for pointing out the pre-purchase option now being available.

Empire Magazine Webchat with GRRM

Ah, this reminds me of the late 90’s, when web and IRC chats were the way to chat with authors on-line. These days it’s all interviews with a few sent in questions at times, which has its advantages and disadvantages, but it certainly feels a bit less participatory. I wonder if HBO might ever borrow a page from Starz, where at several points

In any case, Empire Onlne—the portal of the UKs Empire Magazine, which covers film and television with a particular interest in genre—will be hosting a live web-chat with George R.R. Martin this coming Monday at 1PM British time (that’d be 8AM Eastern, 5 AM Pacific). Only room for 500 people to sit in on the chat, which will be moderated by Empire Online’s staff. Some of them have even read the books, so one hopes they’ll grab some excellent questions which aren’t so often asked (please, please, Empire: skip the “Which character is most like you” and “How did you start the series” questions that seem to be a staple of these things!)

Forum and Wiki Downtime

Please read for more information about the issues the forum and the wiki have been having lately.

As you probably know, the TV show leads to spike in traffic that lead to intermittent outages. We have slowly been working to reduce the frequency of these. However, last Friday new problem cropped up: msnbot spiders were slamming the server with hundreds of requests per second. If you Google, you’ll see that this is a common problem that other webmasters have had to deal with for their own servers, but it was a new experience for us. We thought we had mostly fixed the problem… only to have something new crop up, which may be connected to potential hardware failure.

The last few days we and our host have been spending a huge amount of time trying to track down what is going wrong, but as of yet we have not found a solution. We’ll keep trying, but right now we do not have an ETA for when the problems may be fixed.

Eastercon Panel: Nature of Heroism

It’s almost done, alas, but catch the last minutes of this panel from Olympus Eastercon featuring George R.R. Martin—as well as David Anthony Durham, Tricia Sullivan, Joe Abercrombie, Genevieve Valentine—as they discuss the nature of heroism in genre literature:

They should be posting the full recorded panel soon after it ends, so we’ll update accordingly when that’s available.

GRRM Interview at Eastercon

More amazing streaming from Eastercon! This time, George R.R. Martin is being interviewed for about an hour and a half, with questions coming from blogger Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone.

Hugo Award Nominees Announced

The annual World Science Fiction Society awards—the Hugo Awards—are to be revealed in September, and at Eastercon we’ve found out just who the final nominees are in the categories. And of course, some of the nominations will be interesting to fans:

  • Best Professional Artist: John Picacio—multi-award winning artist who illustrated the stunning, best-selling 2012 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar—is up for the Hugos yet again. And a newcomer, as well, one that George has championed: Michael Komarck. His most recent A Song of Ice and Fire, a depiction of Robert and Rhaegar at the Trident, can be seen here as it graces Green Ronin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition.
  • Best Dramantic Presentation, Long Form: After looking at the rules, it was generally thought that HBO’s Game of Thrones ought best be placed in the Long Form category, as it is—after all—an adaptation of a single continuous story. And it seemed a lot of voters agreed, as Game of Thrones gets a nomination. Its competition includes Captain America, Hugo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and Source Code.
  • Best Editor, Long Form: A Song of Ice and Fire editor-extraordinaire, Anne Groell—our editor, for that matter, on The World of Ice and Fire, and we’ve been working with her on our bit for The Lands of Ice and Fire—has scored a nomination. She actually edits quite a few other books—she’s the editor on Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, for example—but the jewel in the crown is certainly Ice and Fire.
  • Best Novel: Last, but not least, of course A Dance with Dragons received a nomination! Not unexpected, but a thrill as always. Adding extra reason to celebrate is the fact that Leviathan Wakes—written by James S.A. Corey, a shared pen-name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (aka GRRM’s assistant)—has also landed a nomination. There’s stiff competition in this category, with China Mieville’s Embassytown, Mira Grant’s Deadline, and Jo Walton’s Among Others are also in the running.

Congratulations to one and all! For a full list of the nominees, see here.

Wild Cards Panel at Eastercon

Tune in now to UStream to watch George R.R. Martin,  his wife Parris McBride, Gail Gerstner-Miller, John Jos. Miller, Pat Cadigan, Paul Cornell, and David Anthony Durham discus the origins of Wild Cards in the old Superworlds RPG, and where it is today.

Good stuff!

Talking Games with George R.R. Martin

Joystiq has published a good interview with GRRM regarding the work being carried out by Cyanide Studio to develop the Game of Thrones action RPG (Pre-order: Amazon US Xbox, Amazon US PS3)  that’s due to be released May 15th for XBox, PS3, and PC.

Some interesting thoughts, and GRRM reveals his level of involvement (in brief: the plot and dialog is all Cyanide, but he’s been involved in making sure that the story works in a way that works with established canon) in the project. Below, check out the latest trailer from Atlus USA (the publisher in the US; Focus Home Interactive publishes it in Europe) to get a taste of that story: