A few days ago, Random House and George R.R. Martin revealed the A Song of Ice and Fire 2022 Calendar (affiliate link), which will be illustrated—and gloriously so, by the looks of it—by Spanish artist Arantza Sestayo. As has become a tradition with these calendars, it will feature 12 paintings for each month, plus a bonus, double-page image to make 13 in total.
The calendar will be published on July 27th, but pre-orders are now available
Our friends at the Shire Post Mint, who are the only licensed purveyor of coins based on A Song of Ice and Fire, have launched their first ever “12 Days of Giving” event. It began on the 21st but will run through December 2nd. From their enormous catalog of coins and jewelry from ASoIaF as well as other fantasy settings (particularly licensed coins based on The Lord of the Rings), they’ve put together a special collection where many of the items are discounted by as much as 50%... and with the special promotional code, “FOREYULE2020”, you’ll get an additional 25% off the lowest-priced item in your cart.
Best of all, it’s for a good cause, as for every item you purchase $1 will go to No Kid Hungry, a charity devoted to helping make sure that children don’t go hungry by extending access to meals at school and after school, as well as providing education, advocacy, and research to reduce child nutritional deficits in the United States.
Lots of great ASoIaF designs. The Tywin Lannister “Half-dragon” design is particularly interesting, and the coin of the Faceless Men is particularly popular.
This month has had its joys and its sorrows, and we’re not even half way through. In the latter column, we must add the very sad news of the passing of Kay McCauley, long-time agent to George R.R. Martin and a host of other writers. George has posted a touching remembrance of the “queen of agents” who did so much to represent his work as part of, and then head, of the agency that her late brother Kirby McCauley founded.
George mentions in passing her parties for the Wild Cards authors, and indeed, it was at one of these—at the swanky Chateau Marmont, during the 2006 Worldcon in Anahiem where we signed the contracts for The World of Ice and Fire—that we first met her. She had negotiated the contract for the book, and had helped us out with various questions including who to talk to at Random House’s royalties department to sort out a problem, and advising us on other matters. She was extremely kind and welcoming to two neophytes such as ourselves, and over the years she always found the time to send a congratulations our way whenever Random House let us know of some new milestone with the book, whether a placement on a bestseller list or a new printing.
She will be much missed.
Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted a new update on various topics, including HBO’s House of the Dragon as well as where he’s at with the greatly-anticipated The Winds of Winter. Along the way, he gives some hints about what he’s been working on on the “big, big book”:
“Of late I have been spending a lot of time with the Lannisters. Cersei and Tyrion in particular. I’ve also paid a visit to Dorne, and dropped in to Oldtown a time or three. In addition to turning out new chapters, I’ve been revising some old ones (some very old)… including, yes, some stuff I read at cons ages ago, or even posted online as samples. I tweak stuff constantly, and sometimes go beyond tweaking, moving things around, combining chapters, breaking chapters in two, reordering stuff.”
(The newly-released A Storm of Swords (affiliate link) anniversary edition, featuring new illustrations from Gary Gianni.)
Once again, stellar work from the Folio Society. Fans of George R.R. Martin, and bibliophiles generally, should appreciate these. Thanks to the Folio Society, we also have two images to share from the two-volume A Storm of Swords which we’ll include with the press release below!
Robb Stark preparing to execute Lord Karstark in the godswood of Riverrun.
(Illustration © Jonathan Burton 2020 from The Folio Society edition of George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords, exclusively available at foliosociety.com)
Continuing the series of guides to various regions of Westeros, made in collaboration with Random House, we’re back with a new one: the Iron Islands. We draw from The World of Ice and Fire, of course, but you’ll see images and details drawn from The Lands of Ice and Fire map collection and the A Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook. Enjoy the video below:
On October 6th, Asmodee Digital and Dire Wolf Digital‘s A Game of Thrones: The Board Game - Digital Edition will launch, but until then Asmodee has offered a substantial discount of 20% for those who pre-order the game on Steam.
Based on the well-regarded, popular board game from Fantasy Flight Games, the game will support single-player (with up to five AI opponents) as well as full multi-player with up to six players. A new trailer has been released for the game, showing a deal of gameplay, which you can see below.
Last week, it was reported that George R.R. Martin has filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Blackstone Manor, LLC, the company that holds the rights to producing “The Skin Trade”, his award-winning 1988 horror novella. According to reports of the suit, it’s alleged that on the day before its option lapsed, Blackstone Manor threw together a skeleton crew and filmed “a few scenes” to try and claim rights to “The Skin Trade” in perpetuity, an act which Martin’s lawyers suggest is tantamount to an “artifice”, a “token production” insufficient to retain the rights.
The second in the series of travelogue videos we’ve made in collaboration with Random House—you can see the first here if you missed it—is now out! Leaving the far North, Linda and I now discuss the royal city of King’s Landing, with some notes on notable architecture and cuisine!
Three more to come in the coming weeks!
George R.R. Martin has posted a new entry to his Not a Blog, titled “Back in Westeros”, which discusses the self-imposed isolation he’s been in for much of the year. In a mountain cabin somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, George has been making progress on The Winds of Winter, and reflects on how the periods in his career where he’s been the most isolated have also been among his most productive.
Towards the end, he gets a little more specific about what he has been working on lately in terms of point of view characters, and one of the one he names is a bit of new information as their presence as a POV had not been confirmed until now.
(No, this is not actually his cabin!)
George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood has now been released in paperback both in the US and the UK. This history of the Targaryens from the Conquest to the end of the regency of Aegon III has seen some updates to it in this new edition, most notably through the addition of five new images from artist Doug Wheatley.
The 2021 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustrated by Sam Hogg, is now available at Amazon, other online booksellers, and retail bookstores! With thirteen illustrations from Hogg, one for each month plus a bonus, this is another entry into the now-venerable A Song of Ice and Fire calendar series from Random House, with the first calendar having been Ted Nasmith’s 2011 calendar.
Before Linda and I headed out on vacation, we were approached by our publisher to record a brief series of travelogue videos focused on The World of Ice and Fire. The first of these was very recently unveiled, highlighting the people, sights, and cuisine of the North:
A few more of these to come in the coming weeks!
In a new Not a Blog post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, GRRM has written from his cabin hideaway about his isolation during the global pandemic. In the course of being up there, his assistant captured two mice that they’ve now made into pets named Timmy and TomTom, and George notes they have not been too helpful in advising him on The Winds of Winter...
... but he actually has a deal to say about the progress he has made, even if he thinks he won’t be able to recapture the blazing rate of speed in which he wrote A Storm of Swords (which peaked at about 150 manuscript pages a month).
Here’s what he has to say:
“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”
And below the fold, here’s some additional details that are slightly spoilerish in nature:
First announced last year, the Asmodee Digital‘s and Dire Wolf Digital‘s PC and Mac adaption of the popular A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (originally created by Fantasy Flight Games) now has a release date, namely the 3rd quarter of this year. Along with the announcement, they’ve dropped a number of new screenshots showing off what looks like a beautiful, faithfully-rendered map of the Seven Kingdoms with all the bells and whistles you can expect from a digital version of a board game.