[Note: This interview is done in conjunction with Daniel Abraham, writer on The Hard Call]
I was re-reading Dreamsongs and you mention in the "Siren Song of Hollywood" piece that you had had some of your works optioned even before The Armageddon Rag was optioned by Philip DeGuerre. Is there a list anywhere of which works those were?
No, not really. I remember some, though...
"Nightflyers" was optioned and actually filmed, of course.
"Sandkings" was optioned a bunch of times before it was finally done for television on THE OUTER LIMITS. The first time, it was optioned by the old character actor Elisha Cook, Jr, who wanted to play Simon Kress himself.
FEVRE DREAM was optioned once by Oprah's company, Harpo Productions, but they never did anything with it. Later on, Katherine Bigelow was interested in the book, though I don't recall that she actually bought an option.
"Remembering Melody" was optioned and filmed, as an episode of THE HITCHIKER. One of HBO's first original series.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE optioned "Portraits of His Children." Phil had a policy against allowing prose writers to adapt their own stories and books, so Alan Brennert was set to do the script, but CBS decided the story was too downbeat and killed it. It was under option for all of three days, as I recall, but I still got to keep the option money. Made like a thousand dollars a day there...
There were others I've forgotten, I'm sure.
"The Hedge Knight" is in my collection DREAMSONGS as well as the original Silverberg anthology LEGENDS.
"The Sworn Sword" is only in LEGENDS II.
Eventually I will collect the Dunk & Egg stories together and make a book (or two or three) out of them... but first I'll need to write and publish a bunch more of them.
Are any of these chapters getting bumped to Winds?
Well, it's possible, sure. If I knew they were going to get bumped into the next book, I wouldn't be writing them now, of course, so it's my intent that they be part of DANCE. But at some point, when the finished manuscript goes to my editors, it may be they will say, "this chapter would work better in the next book." Which is indeed what has already happened with the Sansa chapter, and with one Arya chapter I have completed as well.
One major factor will be how big the final book is. If I end up producing something longer than A STORM OF SWORDS, you can bet your firstborn that some chapters will get shifted. That's NOT the only factor, mind you... and don't worry, I am not there yet.
Though I am within spitting distance of 1200 pages.
When will "The Mystery Knight" novella be adapted to graphic novel form?
I do hope to do a MYSTERY KNIGHT eventually with the same team, but it will be at least two years after WARRIORS is released. That's the contractual period of exclusivity.
I recall Valyrian Steel fielding remarks on the sword's hilt being cruciform, whereas some people have imagined that the true bravo's sword is somehow different. I never had that impression, myself, but I admit to wondering if the bravo's swords are supposed to have more encompassing hilts (swept hilts, bell cups, and those other sorts you see on rapiers)..
No, I vetoed all the basket hilts, bell cups, etc. Those are artifacts of a much later period in the real world, and would not be appropriate for a blade made by a castle smith in Westeros.
Unfortunately, the HBO swords will use different designs. The show has its own armorers, who will do their own original designs on the weapons and armor as seen in the series.
As to why you might want to buy these... well, for the same reason you might want to buy a Valyrian resin of Ned that does not look like Sean Bean, or a Dark Sword mini of Jon Snow that does not look like Kit Harington. Do you want a keepsake of the books, or of the TV show? If the show goes forward, you will have your choice.
Also, in the specific case of these swords, I retained the right to license out high-quality steel replica swords, and that license is held by Valyrian Steel. HBO has the right to license inexpensive toy replica swords. So if you'd prefer something made of plastic that you can pick up at Wal-Mart, that may indeed be available at a later date... and will look just like the weapons in the series.
HBO also has exclusive rights to do lunchboxes, key rings, and bobblehead dolls, among other things. It was a VERY long and complicated negotiation.