The second enhanced edition of the A Song of Ice and Fire series—e-books exclusive to Apple iBooks, filled with glossaries, annotations, illustrations, and more—has now been released and can be purchased on iTunes. As we’ve said previously, these enhanced editions are really aimed at readers who find the mass of characters, locations, and incidents daunting, as the embedded information really helps with keeping track of what’s going on. However, the added art and some of the more obscure trivia in the annotations may well appeal to hard-core fans, so feel free to give it a look as well!
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:
Tomorrow is the official release date for A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition, which is being released to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Of course, the book has hit shelves in some stores—check your local bookshops!—and there have already been some early reviews. One of these comes by way of our friends at A Podcast of Ice and Fire, and they’ve gone ahead and shared their thoughts on the book. For our part, Linda and I had an early chance to look at the book, and we have to say there’s some fantastic new art from Levi Pinfold, Magali Villeneuve, and Aranzta Sestayo. There’s also the welcome republication of some of Michael Komarck’s beautiful artwork based on the series that he’s done over the years. Definitely worth checking out, and we hope we’ll see more illustrated editions down the road!
For a recent preview featuring some of the artwork, make sure to take a look at Vanity Fair’s article from last month.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of A Game of Thrones, Random House and HBO has teamed up to create a box containing a special collectible version of the A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition as well as a selection collectibles and exclusive items. The box will be available in three versions—Special, Limited and Ultra—though sadly only in the US and Canada. The full press release has been included below.
Today we say Happy 10th Anniversary, Blood of Dragons MUSH! If Elio and I had not met on Elendor MUSH back in 1995 and if we had not decided that we wanted to start a MUSH of our own, Westeros.org would not exist. Of course, the site has grown far beyond our original intentions—which was simply to provide information to players of our game—but it all started with the weird and wonderful hobby of on-line roleplaying.
And if anyone wants to give it a try, we always welcome more converts to the world of text-based gaming. Or “collaborative story-telling” as we sometimes describe it as, because it is a lot more about shaping stories together than rolling dice and beating up monsters. If that makes you curious, try out our web-based guest client to visit Westeros in the time of Baelor the Blesed.
Random House have just announced that the first in a series of digital, enhanced editions of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has been released exclusively for Apple’s iBooks.
Featuring new cover art, numerous illustrations, enhanced maps, sigils, a glossary, and detailed annotations to provide a richer experienced for readers, and to help guide new readers through the dizzying number of characters and locations in the novels. As it happens, Linda and I have known all about this for awhile, since we’ve worked with Random House and Apple on the project—it’s been a really interesting, often very complicated, project!
There’s a lot more information, so here’s Random House’s press release. A tip, however, for those who simply can’t wait and read through it all: if you have iTunes installed, make sure to visit Apple’s launch site for an exclusive video interview with GRRM about the novels and the project, which features some really cool animation:
We are currently in the process of a long overdue website update. You have undoubtedly noticed that the layout has changed (and continues to fluctuate somewhat) and we are also reorganising the site somewhat. For our regulars, we wanted to provide a brief overview of what we’ve done so far and what we plan to do within the coming weeks.
We have more or less completed a transition to a more responsive design. There are still elements that do not work on mobile, such as the fixed navigation at the top of the screen and various images, but we’re working to try and sort these problems out. We have also removed the All Sorts of Weird Stuff section of the site; you will now find news at http://www.westeros.org/News/ instead.
Relating to the removal of All Sorts of Weird Stuff we are working on creating a new Gallery at http://www.westeros.org/Gallery/ which will merge the contents from All Sorts of Weird Stuff and the Citadel. We are also creating a new home for the book reviews at http://www.westeros.org/Books/. While we are setting up these new sections and moving data around, you may run into broken links and other problems, but hopefully this won’t take us too long.
Vanity Fair has a brand new interview with series editor Anne Groell regarding the soon-to-be-released A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition due to hit shelves next month. The interview also includes a gallery of ten images from the book—some which fans will have seen before, but also a number of new pieces by Magali Villenueve, Levi Pinfold, and Arantza Sestayo. The interview goes into some detail of how Groell and Martin have each worked with artists to develop the artwork Random House has commissioned over the years… and of course also touches on the as-yet-unknown release date of The Winds of Winter.
Check out the interview, and let us know what you think of the featured artwork!
Valyrian Steel, who have created a range of officially licensed replica swords and other items based on both the books and the TV show, have announced a new replica weapon—or two of them, rather—based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books. Daario’s Ladies are a recreation of the notorious arakh & stiletto set worn by the equally notorious Daario Naharis. Designed with input from George R.R. Martin—meaning that we now know what an arakh is supposed to look like—the swords come with a certificate of authenticity personally autographed by GRRM. The set will be produced as a limited edition of 5000 pieces where each item will be engraved with the edition number.
Preorders for Daario’s Ladies open on the 27th of August and the estimated shipping date is late Winter or early Spring 2017. The price for the set will be $350.
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.
20 years ago today, the first book in a new fantasy epic was released. Its rather striking-looking hardcover, with a silver-foil wrapper embossed with a throne, made a decent but hardly spectacular debut. Two decades later, it is a different story altogether.
When the anniversary edition of A Game of Thrones is released this autumn (October 18), it is likely to sell as well as everything else does these days that is connected to A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones.
GRRM has posted about the book’s long journey on his livejournal and in the post he also gives some information about the upcoming anniversary edition. To quote:
An anniversary like this requires something special, something more than just a reprint and a new novel. This new edition will be very special, I think. Same story, of course. But we’ve added an introduction by the World Famous Nebula Toastmaster John Hodgman… and a truly astonishing amount of artwork… a total of seventy-three (73) black and white interior illustrations, and eight (8) spectacular full color plates. Some of the artwork is drawn from the Ice & Fire calendars, from The World of Ice and Fire, and from the card and board games and RPGs… but forty-eight (48) of these pieces are completely new, never-before-seen artwork.
Make sure to check out the rest of GRRM’s post, not the least as he includes two of the art pieces, one of them a brand new image of Bran and Hodor.
At Balticon, George R.R. Martin finished his highly anticipated reading where he offered fans one of three chapters to read: the “Sons of the Dragon” material from The World of Ice and Fire, and two chapters from The Winds of Winter . . . but one of those George has released previously, while the other was one that he had offered to read only once before and fans had turned it down. This time, they chose otherwise.
For those who are concerned about spoilers, won’t say anything more here, but you’ll find the discussion thread—with links to various reports—on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. It even inspired some speculation from us!
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)
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!)
Some say you haven’t really made it in popular culture until Epic Rap Battles of History features you alongside the greatest figures of modern and present history. Well…
(Of course, George would never battle Tolkien. He admires his work far too much!)