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!
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:
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.
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.
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).
(Disclosure: Linda and I have known Raya Golden since she she gave us a ride to and from the Chateau Marmont for a party during the 2006 Worldcon in Anaheim. Surviving the inevitable L.A. traffic jam and wondering who that starlet who passed us at the entrance was was a bonding experience never to be forgotten.)
Starport, a massive 272 page graphic novel, is Raya Golden‘s adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s unproduced pilot script of the same name. Featuring the travails of Chicago’s police force and the many different alien species who come to visit its starport (one of three built on Earth by the league known as the Harmony of Worlds). Martin himself pitched it to studios as “Hill Street Blues meets aliens”, while Golden has suggested more contemporary pairings—“Brooklyn 99 meets Babylon 5... the cast of NYPD Blue on acid, playing laser tag with Alf,” and those are all pretty apt comparisons for the tone of this adaptation. Humor comes first, but as with all of Martin’s work there’s other elements—drama, romance, and even a wee bit of horror.
Yes, finally, a video about Fire and Blood ... and it’s about a topic that, I suspect, was not an obvious one to talk about for most. But for me, this particular detail is potentially the single biggest piece of world-building in the entirety of the text. And it’s all because of A Caution for Young Girls.
If you already know the gist of what the Caution is, and what manuscript culture is, jump to the 14 minute mark where I attempt to pull all the pieces together to explain why I think this is such a noteworthy expansion of our understanding of the setting. Also, as noted, the second segment had a recording issue and so I had to use a secondary audio source which doesn’t sound as nice as the rest; apologies about that!
According to a report from Deadline, the SyFy/Netflix production of Nightflyers, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s award-winning science fiction-horror novella, has come to an end after a single season.
Per Deadline, this seems quite final—it’s unlikely to see any last-minute saves by Netflix or some other streamer or network picking it up:
Nightflyers had been conceived as an ongoing series but I hear that following its freshman season run, Syfy brass concluded that it was better off as a one-off limited series. The options on the cast were let to expire, and one of the stars, David Ajala, was just cast as a lead in the CBS pilot Under the Bridge.
After having revealed a few months ago that a Fire and Blood limited edition was in the offing, Subterranean Press has now made pre-orders available for this exclusive edition of George R.R. Martin’s history of House Targaryen (part 1).
This limited edition—52 lettered (all sold out) and 750 numbered—includes some bonuses over the standard edition that was published last month. It contains all the same art from the talented Doug Wheatley, but augments it with full-color artwork (such as the piece above) by the legendary Gary Gianni. Well-worth grabbing if you are a collector, or simply a fan of Gianni’s renderings of Westeros. His illustrations for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms show just how amazing his work can be.
Also timed with the launch of the book, a last promotional video from George discusses how useful Fire and Blood could be for Daenerys, but alas, she has no access to it. The video was posted exclusively at Esquire.
Linda and I are planning at least a couple of videos about the book, and we’re even considering doing a livestream to interact with viewers directly, answering questions or discussing ideas they may have. Keep an eye on the site as well as Twitter and Facebook for news on that!
The first of the new excerpts actually comes from the Russian publisher, published on the website of the Russian edition of the magazine Maxim, and of course is all in Russian. But Google Translate can help make it understandable, even if there are some quirks. One thing I will note is that it’s clear that the translator had to work off an earlier draft of that particular material, as there’s at least one detail that was changed by the final version of the book.
The second excerpt comes from Entertainment Weekly, and covers material already published for the most part in “The Princess and the Queen” and The World of Ice and Fire, but contains some new details that had been edited out.
And finally, the Times of London has another excerpt, although it is behind a paywall. The text makes it sound like it, too, will largely contain material already previously seen, but again some new details may slip out.
Below, you’ll find George’s Targaryen Thursday video, and our comment on it:
While George and other members of the Wild Cards Consortium have been hinting that big things are afoot with the Wild Cards universe, including in GRRM’s recent “Not a Blog” covering a wide range of matter including a status update on The Winds of Winter (yep, still working on it!), they have been quite cagey about the specific details.
But now The Hollywood Reporter and Variety have revealed a substantial amount of information, namely that streaming giant Hulu and Universal Cable Productions are on the verge of a deal to bring not one, but two, Wild Cards series to the streamer. When the deal is struck, Andrew Miller—tapped to be the showrunner—will lead the opening of a writers’ room for the projects to develop the ideas further and produce scripts. x
So far as we know, this is the closest that Wild Cards has come to seeing production, although it’s not entirely there yet. However, the THR article frame this as being part of Hulu’s play for a franchise, because franchise television is becoming an increasingly major aspect of the broadcast and streaming portfolio (as Game of Thrones fans know very well; the other obvious example is The Walking Dead on AMC, which has revealed plans for more spin-offs, including feature-budgetted films). Wild Cards presents a unique opportunity as one of the most developed superhero universes outside of the major comic publishers, with stories spanning from 1946 on to the present to draw from.
For my part, I hope one of those series would closely track to Wild Cards, the original novel that started it all. It rapidly covers the period from the release of the alien virus in 1946 to the early 80’s, which the books that follow use as their starting point. Seeing the stories of Dr. Tachyon, Golden Boy, Croyd Crenson, and more would work very well as a way to quickly build the reality that a series set more in the present day might exist within.
The Hollywood Reporter has released an exclusive excerpt from the forthcoming Fire and Blood. This excerpt is from a piece originally written for The World of Ice and Fire, providing some details regarding Aegon I’s reign after the Conquest, including the development of King’s Landing as the royal capital and the founding of the Kingsguard.
The book will be released on November 20th. If you missed it, we have an exclusive interview, as well as exclusive art, from Doug Wheatley who provides the book’s interior illustrations.
The full chapter list Fire & Blood (on shelves from November 20th) has been posted at GRRM’s official Facebook page for the forthcoming. The book, the first of two planned volumes covering the history of the Targaryen dynasty from its beginning to its end, is over 709 pages long.
Here’s a sneak peek of Fire & Blood’s Table of Contents, including the Targaryens who will be featured in the upcoming book (available Nov. 20)
The Unseen Westeros art project is still raising funds, and with the help of the organizers we’ve gotten the opportunity to look at the art they’ve collected from the forty talented, professional artists (many who have worked on Game of Thrones!) for their planned art exhibition in Berlin. In the video below, we selected five of the many locales the artists have depicted to give some information and share our thoughts.
If you click through to Youtube, you’ll see timestamps to each of the particular places we talk about, but they are a Rhoynish town, Lorath, the Rhoynish festival city of Chroyane (before its ruin), the Summer Isles, and the mysterious Stygai within the Vale of Shadows. Let us know what you think in the comments, and remember to check out the Kickstarter!