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Starport Review
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(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.

Discussing Manuscript Culture in Fire and Blood

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!

Nightflyers Ends

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.

 

Fire and Blood Limited Edition

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).

Copyright Gary Gianni and Subterranean Press

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.

Fire and Blood Released

Fire and Blood is now out in the wild! Fans at our forum are already wading into it.

Two days ago, George R.R. Martin and John Hodgman appeared on stage to talk about the book and other matters (such as The Winds of Winter), and Random House has now posted the video:

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!

More Fire and Blood Excerpts

A trio of new Fire and Blood excerpts have been released since our last post, as well as a new #TargaryenThursday video from George R.R. Martin, one that bears commenting on.

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:

Wild Cards Franchise at Hulu

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.

New Fire and Blood Excerpt

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.

Fire and Blood Chapter List Posted

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)

Some of the material herein was originally written for The World of Ice and Fire, but most of it has only ever been seen in abridged form, sometimes very heavily abridged as with the material concerning the regency of Aegon III (we had to cut it down to about two thousand words). The exceptions are the history of Aegon’s conquest, which we published in full in TWoIaF, and the “Sons of the Dragon” which was published in full… but which George has since (slightly) expanded. And then there’s the new material, namely almost the entirety of the material concerning King Jaehaerys I and his sister/wife Good Queen Alysanne. We’ve seen it, and there’s a lot of meaty new details about their reign, their children… and, perhaps, a few things that might be of interest to those more concerned with their more recent descendants.
Seeing Unseen Westeros

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!

Adobe Features Unseen Westeros

The Unseen Westeros project is still fundraising, and the organizers have done something quite cool: they’ve teamed up with Adobe (the world’s leading maker of graphics software, particularly Photoshop) to provide a number of “making of” videos showing timelapses of several pieces being created from start to finish.

As an added feature,, there’s a pretty cool set of tutorial videos by Philipp Scherer using his depiction of Norvos toward the bottom of Adobe’s feature. Well-worth checking out if you’ve any interest in digital art!

If you like what you see, considering supporing the Kickstarter to help make the exhibition a reality!

Fire and Blood Event in Jersey City

The WORD bookstores and George R.R. Martin have announced a special event to promote Fire & Blood: George’s only ticketed event to promote the book, with John Hodgman interviewing him with a Q&A following. The event will take place on November 19 in Jersey City, at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Tickets will admit two people, and will include a signed copy of the book.

Besides that, a limited number of pre-signed books can be purchased without a ticket.

This is not the first time Hodgman has interviewed George—back in 2011, he interviewed GRRM for The Sound of Young America podcast.

Fire and Blood Excerpt

An excerpt from Fire and Blood volume 1, a history of the Targaryen kings from Aegon I to Aegon III, has now been posted at George R.R. Martin’s “Not a Blog”. Along with it, there’s a video from George discussing the book’s “author”, Maester Gyldayn, whom GRRM describes as a very distinguished scholar, but idiosyncratic with views that Martin doesn’t vouch for.

Also included is a portrait of King Jaehaerys I the Conciliator and his sister and wife, Good Queen Alysanne, by Doug Wheatley to go along with the excerpt recounting their famous progress to the North… a progress which did not go quite as planned, as the excerpt reveals. Among other things, it introduces the taciturn and “notoriously prickly” Alaric Stark, the Lord of Winterfell. Suffice it to say, F&B will provide a lot of surprises and nuances to the picture of Targaryen history that the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and even The World of Ice and Fire (which is “based”, in part, on “Gyldayn’s” writings).

 

Starport Graphic Novel Due Next Year

Starport, a massive 270 page graphic novel adaptation of an unproduced pilot script from George R.R. Martin, has just been announced.

Adapted and illustrated by Hugo Award-nominee Raya Golden, who was nominated for her adaptation of Martin’s Meathouse Man, this new graphic novel is a science fiction police procedural set in Chicago. Martin pitched the script in 1994 for the Fox Network; that year was particularly auspicious, despite the pilot not going anywhere, because it was the very same year that he began working in earnest on A Game of Thrones.

Here’s the blurb for the graphic novel:

GRRM at SF in SF

Last night, George R.R. Martin and John Picacio took the stage at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City for what turned out to be two and half hours of conversation and Q&A. We believe the SF in SF organization, along with co-sponsor of the event Locus Magazine, will be posting the audio (and perhaps video) of the full event at their site, but in the meantime there have been reports, and even a bit of video.

One of the detailed reports from the Q&A comes from Twitter user clintw, which we’ve threaded and posted to the So Spake Martin collection. In the course of the interview and Q&A, Martin remarks on the name of the latest Princess of Dorne, the whereabouts of the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister, hints about the various ideas HBO is still exploring for successor shows, and more.