Linda and I are very soon off to our very first book tour ever, invited by Spanish publisher Gigamesh to tour for the release of El Mundo de Hielo y Fuego, the Spanish translation of The World of Ice and Fire. We’ll be there for the better part of a week, and very much look forward to meeting fellow ASoIaF fans.
Below is our current schedule of public events:
Back in 2006, GRRM did an appearance in Second Life (he posted about it here and there’s a brief video of it as well). He did a reading and there was a surprise appearance by David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as the event followed not too long after the announcement that HBO would be producing Game of Thrones. Elio and I both created avatars to attend the event and as it happened, we stuck around. Since then, Second Life has developed enormously—not the least visually—and today the MMO is home to a wide array of thriving communities, from fashionistas to fantasy fans. One activity that brings many of its avatars together are events that raise money for various causes. In particular, several events are hosted each year that are part of the Relay for Life and one of these is the Fantasy Faire.
This year, the Fantasy Faire includes a Literary Festival and on Sunday the 26th of April at 6am to 8am Pacific time I will be making an appearance to speak about (and perhaps read from) The World of Ice and Fire.
After much delay—our apologies for that—the Links database has gone live on the site, meaning that any submissions should be quickly and easily dealt with. We will also get to work on adding links to certain types of resources ourselves, but for pure fan sites we will leave it up to just outside submissions for a while. However, one does not have to be the site owner to submit a site, so anyone can ensure that a missing resource is added.
The display is pretty basic at the moment and we will probably develop this a little further, probably adding tags in addition to the categories. If you have any suggestions for other changes, do let us know.
For those who follow us here at Westeros.org—whether it’s at our own site, or on Sky’s Thronecast—you may be interested to know that Elio (that would be me) will be a guest at this year’s Titancon in Belfast, which takes place next week at the Wellington Park Hotel. Other guests of the convention include Game of Thrones actors Kerry Ingram, Aimee Richardson, and Eugene Simon.
There’ll be panel discussions, book readings, and more. In my case, I’ll be reading short excerpts from the upcoming The World of Ice and Fire (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), taking part in a couple of Game of Thrones panel, and will discuss the making of The World of Ice and Fire on stage with Irish writer Peadar Ã“ GuilÃ%ADn.
Should be fun!
One of the original parts of Westeros was A Ring of Ice and Fire, a webring that sought to bring together all A Song of Ice and Fire fansites when the fandom still was in its infancy. Over time, webrings grew rather obsolete and outdated as a way of connecting similar sites and eventually the third-party solutions disappeared. We did attempt to make our own within the software we use to run Westeros, but it was poorly suited to it, and as a result the webring has been defunct in all but name for several years. We have now finally pulled the plug on it and removed that section from the site.
However, we are still very much interested in seeing the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom thrive and given the amount of traffic that we do get at Westeros, we thought that we might at least replace the webring with a simpler, more straight-forward solution in the shape of a Links database. Now, if you click through to that page, you will notice that it is as of yet very much in its infancy. However, the submission page is up and running and we hope that we will start getting a few submissions so that we can shape the rest of the page around the content once it starts appearing.
Occasionally, our running of Westeros.org leads to opportunities only tangentially related to A Song of Ice and Fire, but they can lead to some very interesting things (such as the contest we’ll be announcing further below…)
In the past, I’ve made some noise about an independent comic book series, Artesia, written and illustrated by Mark Smylie. Inspired by, among other things, A Song of Ice and Fire, Smylie set out to create an epic fantasy following the eponymous character and the world-changing events around her. His “Known World” setting grew to enormous proportions, spanning continents, containing dozens of gods and recounting events over thousands of years (and multiple dating systems, while he was at it). The scope of it was on par with what one sees in literary epic fantasy, but in comic book form? Pretty much unheard of in the English-language market. Smylie’s terrific watercolor artwork was paired with a formal, Shakespearian sort of prose and an extremely earthy, gritty setting. There’s high magic, there’s ghouls and demons and vampires, there’s incredibly-realized battles between armored knights, there’s intrigue and murder, there’s sex and sexual politics—it has it all.
As it’s now been running live for a week without incident, we thought we’d share the news that those of you with mobile devices—Android or iOs (and soon Windows Mobile)—who’ve enjoyed the Flipboard app’s presentation of personalized magazines filled with the latest content from around the web now have one more magazine they can add to their collection: The World of Ice and Fire, curated by none other than… well, me. Launched in collaboration with Random House (publisher of the A Song of Ice and Fire series) and Flipboard, I’ll be currating content, leading fans of ASoIaF and Game of Thrones to the latest news and tidbits that might be of interest, as well as some of the more wonderfully interesting fan writing, artwork, and more.
Feel free to subscribe, share, and comment
Last week we posted about our fundraiser. Happily, the fundraiser is now complete! We met our goal in just a couple of days, and decided to keep it open after requests from users who would be able to contribute later in the week. The fundraiser is now done, with a hair over $2500 raised—a terrific amount! Many, many thanks to one and all, both those who contributed and those who’ve made Westeros.org their destination for all things A Song of Ice and Fire related!
After a pretty hair-raising Game of Thrones season, with traffic levels that blew away what we saw last year, the server actually handled itself pretty well—certainly, better than last year! The new server’s much more capable than our prior, two-server situation, and thanks to hard work from our friendly host Sparks, it became much more stable. And we’re not resting on our laurels: we hope that next year’s traffic will be a relative breeze, as we look into solutions involving leveraging the cloud to help take some of the load off the server when the traffic spikes.
But of course, all this costs money, so we bring you once again to our annual fundraiser to help cover the yearly costs of having the server about:
This will cover a part of the yearly cost, the rest of which Linda and I will cover ourselves.
Many thanks for visiting the site, making it the #1 site for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones discussion and commentary, and (we hope) for your donation!
Very recently, Linda and I were interviewed by Andrew Burns for the UK’s The Big Issue, a widely-circulated magazine that will likely be familiar to many in the UK.
Not sold on newstands, it’s only sold by homeless men and women who are given a means to work and an opportunity to improve their lives. You’ll find it being sold in many of the UK’s cities.
We’d been told that they needed a picture of us for the feature they’re writing on Game of Thrones... ... but it was quite the surprise to discover that we’re on the cover! The magazine will be on sale this week, and besides our interview, it also features a broader look at the series and show, and an editorial piece on fantasy literature and its appeal in the current economic climate.
If you’re in a UK, definitely give it a look if you’ve the opportunity. And if you see it, let us know what you think!
This morning, Linda was on Swedish national radio station P3, on the PP3 program, to discuss Game of Thrones. For Swedes—and Scandinavians and others who can understand Swedish—you can listen in to the program here. Linda’s appearance starts 18 minutes into the program.
Well, hot on the heels of our NewNowNext Award nomination, we can reveal that the latest issue of Rolling Stone has a brief profile of yours truly (aka Elio). Yes, rather a surprise when they contacted us! It was nice to discuss our involvement with the website and the fandom and so on, although I do see that the hour-long conversation lost some things in translation when it was boiled down to the smaller article…
We learned this news last week, and it looks like we can finally share it with all and sundry: Westeros.org has been nominated in the “Superfan Site” category of LOGO’s televisied NewNowNext Awards. To say the least, it’s an honor to be recognized by those who selected the nominees! For those wondering, LOGO is an LGBT-geared entertainment channel,a sister channel to MTV. The NewNowNext Awards have been running since 2008, and have seen the likes of Lady Gaga on their stage. The awards show don’t take themselves too seriously, suffice it to say!
Linda and I were invited to the award show, but alas, we won’t be able to make it (and we’re quite gutted—not often one gets invited to a red carpet event!) That said, since we’re in the running, it’s up to the fans and visitors to the site to take the time and vote for us! You can vote in one of two ways:
Go through this here image ....
Or if you’re on Twitter, just tweet a message containing the hastags #NNNAWesteros and #NNNAwards (must include both) and they’ll automatically register your vote.
Just a quick note that the last week or so of our time has been taken up by the extensive work needed to upgrade Westeros.org’s content management system—Expression Engine—from the 1.x we’ve been using since around 2004, to 2.x—and we’ve finally brought up the site live.
You likely already know that we have a Facebook page, but you may have found that notifications of new items there have become rarer… or, worse still, that when you investigate the page directly, you find a lot more content being posted than you’ve seen in your news feed.
The reason for this are certain changes Facebook has made to how updates are sent along to those who like your page. Where before 100% of all updates were shared, now only 10 to 20% of followers see any particular update at any particular time. There is, however, a way around this that Facebook has made available: interests.
To add Westeros to your Interests, and get all updates in your stream, you can either create and populate an interest list as per the linked instructions. A more direct and immediate way to do it, however, is to go to the page in question, , or alternatively you can visit the page, hover over the liked buttons, and select “Interests..” Name your interest list, add the site, and you’re done—you’ll get all of our updates, at least for as long as Facebook allows interested followers to see them all via this method.