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GRRM on Mice, TV, and Writing The Winds of Winter

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).

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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:

Game of Thrones Board Game Digital Edition to Launch Q3

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.

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Folio Society Releases A Clash of Kings Illustrated Edition

A year after the Folio Society revealed that it was publishing A Game of Thrones, they’ve already achieved that and now released A Clash of Kings with Jonathan Burton returning to provide illustrations.

This looks like another spectacular piece of work from the Folio Society. Below, we have two illustrations to feature, as well as the press release that the Folio Society has sent out with more details.

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Published in two volumes, this image featuring Meera and Jojen Reed playing with Summer in the godswood comes from the first volume of A Clash of Kings.

A Storm of Swords Illustrated Edition in November

George R.R. Martin and Random House have announced the November publication date of A Storm of Swords: The Illustrated Edition. The cover maintains the same style as the two previous editions, but art this time around is being provided by the fantastic Gary Gianni, who has previously illustrated the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection, the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and the Subterranean Press limited edition of Fire & Blood. The lithograph-style image below, published on GRRM’s Twitter account, is gorgeous:

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GRRM Updates on Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

George R.R. Martin has updated his “Not a Blog” page with a long post discussing the current state of affairs in the world, a number of which impact businesses and initaitives he is involved in: Meow Wolf has closed its doors for now, and GRRM has followed suit by temporarialy shuttering the Jean Cocteau Cinema as well as the Stage Coach Foundation (however, he notes employees of both organizations will be paid for the forseeable future). However, in the interim, the Beastly Books store that shares a location with the Jean Cocteau does remain open for the time being for those looking to take some comfort in the familiar act of browsing shelves and picking up something to read.

In the course of writing on this, however, George does touch on those who are concerned about his own well-being. Never fear, he says:

For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition.  But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions.  I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone.  Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day.  Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.

That certainly does sound foreboding.

A Clash of Kings Illustrated Edition

Today marks the release of the illustrated edition of A Clash of Kings, featuring the artwork of Lauren K. Cannon. Per Random House, this will feature over 20 new illustrations both in black and white and color from Cannon, previews of which can be found below courtest of Amazon.

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Stagecoach Foundation House Stark Vespa Raffle

The Stagecoach Foundation, founded by George R.R. Martin to help provide education, support, and facilities for film and television production aspirants in New Mexico, has a fundraising raffle going on right now that features a rather neat prize: a customized Vespa 946 scooter themed after House Stark, and signed by GRRM himself.

A one-of-a-kind, this Vespa 946 is inspired by the legendary 1945 MP6 that started it all with the classic design language (in fact, the name “Vespa” comes from the company founder’s response to the MP6 prototype that it looked like a wasp). With the additional Game of Thrones-inspired Stark detailings, such as the direwolf sigils and the leather-and-iron effects (unclear if it’s from paint or vinyl wrap), it’s a striking and unique vehicle.

The raffle runs through December 28th.

Worldcon and Eurocon Wrap Up

After a whirlwind of travel to Ireland from Sweden, then back for two days before going to Northern Ireland, I’m sufficiently recovered to try to (briefly) cover the amazing time Linda and I had at Dublin 2019 and that I then had at Titancon, the 2019 Eurocon. I probably spent more time chatting with George since ... hmm, maybe 2015 when George visited Sweden and Åland. Much to report, but I really, really want to try to be succinct. So as a general overview, I’ll just say it was fantastic, filled with meeting old friends from the Brotherhood without Banners fan group and making new acquaintances from the ASoIaF/GoT sphere. Many discussions were had—on the SF/F genre, on the Hugo awards past and present, on Worldcon bids, and of course on various matters related to ASoIaF.

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(Photo courtesy of Joey Yu, the inaugural winner of George’s Terran Prize writer’s scholarship.)

The first significant event with GRRM was the Wild Cards trivia panel with a host of writers: Walter Jon Williams from the original writers and roleplayers was teamed with Carrie Vaughn, the much-in-demand Wild Cards trivia guru and writer Kevin Andrew Murphy was teamed with Charles Stross and Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Peadar Ó Guilín was joined by Paul Cornell. It was very amusing!

 

GRRM & Westeros.org Appearances!

It’s just two weeks to the Dublin 2019 Worldcon, and three weeks to Titancon, Eurocon 2019, and there’s a lot of things to see as both conventions have now published their schedules. Below, we’re going to list appearances, events, panels, and so on featuring George (who actually has one public event taking place before Worldcon) as well as Linda and I, and others who have worked with him in adapting or illustrating his work at one time or another, or otherwise have some connection to the larger universe of Martin’s work. Among these others are the artists John Picacio, Charles Vess, and Raya Golden, actor Miltos Yerolemou

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Calendar and Art Book Releases

Two new collections of A Song of Ice and Fire artwork have come out this month, and we highly recommend them as they come from two of the greatest living artists to work in the fantasy genre.

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First, the A Song of Ice and Fire 2020 Calendar illustrated by the legendary John Howe (recently revealed to be part of the creative team behind Amazon’s forthcoming 2nd Age Middle-earth series) is out today. Focused on the mystical side of the series, it primarily features the strange and exotic creates of Westeros and beyond, including giant krakens, mammoths, direwolves, and ice spiders(!) But it also has a surprise or two waiting within its covers. It looks spectacular.

Elden Ring Interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki

George R. R. Martin‘s involvement in FromSoftware‘s newly-announced Elden Ring has created a lot of excitement, as well as questions about his contributions to what promises to be a highly-anticiapted, open world action RPG from the famed developer of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and more. Now some of those questions are answered in an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, who reveals he’s been a fan of GRRM’s work going back to Fevre Dream and Tuf Voyaging.

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Elden Ring Game Announced

At the XBox E3 briefing, where Microsoft highlights many games coming to their console as well as to PC, the rumored announcement of Elden Ring—a brand new fantasy game from From Software (Dark Souls, Sekiro)—came to pass. The company’s famed president, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is cited as creator of the world ... as is none other than George R.R. Martin, who recently revealed that he was consulting on a game out of Japan.

We haven’t seen an official press release as of yet (other than a vague, leaked one), but THR reports that “the new action role-playing game centers on Viking warriors in a fantastical reimagining of Norse mythology.”

No release date exists for the game, but it will reportedly release on PS4 as well as XBox and Windows PCs.

GRRM on the Show and the Books

Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has shared thoughts on the close of Game of Thrones, how it might be compared to his plans for the final two novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, and more. Well worth a read as a reminiscence and commentary for those who wonder about these things. It’s been a long road for George, for everyone who worked on or covered the show, and for the tens (hundreds?) of millions around the world who’ve watched it.

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I had the great privilege to accompany George and Parris to a visit to the set as the first season filmed (the image above comes from that visit, George and I moving down a dark hallway in the Paint Hall studio, led by Bryan Cogman to one of the several sets in that colossal space).

Fire & Blood Nominated for Locus Award

Fire & Blood, George R.R. Martin’s history of the Targaryen dynasty that grew out of The World of Ice and Fire, is among the finalists for the 2019 Locus Award. Hosted by the venerable Locus Magazine, the award has a large body of voters between its subscribers (whose votes are given extra weight) and the public who also take part in the vote, and is considered one of the three most significant awards in the genre alongside the Hugo and the Nebula.

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GRRM Talk with Marlon James

With all the attention on Game of Thrones, it seems this great talk at the Jean Cocteau Cinema between George R.R. Martin and noted literary novelist (and now fantasist, with his Black Leopard, Red Wolf) Marlon James, moderated by Dr. Andrea L. Mays, slipped under the radar. While we’ve added it to the So Spake Martin collection, it’s worth having a post of its own so we’ve embedded it below.