As we’ve noted in our recent Game of Thrones news roundup, Linda and I were away to Northern Ireland this past weekend on a trip sponsored by Tourism NI to see the Winterfell Festival at the beautiful Castle Ward estate that served as a filming location for Winterfell and much, much more. It marks my fourth visit to Northern Ireland, and each time has been a pleasure from the very first visit to look at the set and watch some of the filming with George to the previous visit thanks to Tourism NI to see the beautifully carved Doors of Game of Thrones, and now on to this one.
We’ve captured a lot of photos and video footage from the junket, just over 30 gigabytes. Keep an eye out over the coming days for posts and videos featuring some of the iconic locations, and even actors—we met with Mark Addy and Ian McElhinney when they were there at Castle Ward, and filmed a lengthy interview McElhinney held before an audience that we’ll publish soon.
And as it happens, some of the treasures are still coming—such as the following treat from Boyd Rankin, weaponmaker-extraordinaire responsible for many of the iconic weapons on the show who also served as Mikken on season 1 on the show (he says it was his well-worn, slightly charred leather apron that was cast) . We’ve already shared a couple of photos on our Instagram from seeing Boyd at Castle Ward, featuring an image of the original Longclaw before it was burned, bear’s head-pommel and all, and another of a new memento for us in the form of a knife made for season 4 that was never used…. but this is a bit different.
Boyd happens to have been involved with the show right from the pilot, and was on hand for filming in Morocco where the original meeting and wedding of Daenerys and Drogo was filmed (that’s when Tom McCarthy was directing, and Tamsin Merchant was playing Daenerys). As fans may know, George R.R. Martin had a cameo during the filming, a cameo that was never repeated… and never made it to air, as the Dany role was recast and the whole of her sequences were reshot. There have been one or two leaked photos from the pilot since then, but none has ever shown George in his costume for his cameo…
... until now, that is. Taken by Mr. Rankin, and used with his permission, this is the first time that we know of that anyone outside of the production has seen this:
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:
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.
This year’s World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced, and The Book of Swords anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and the late Gardner Dozois is nominated in the anthology category. The award winners, which are juried (but include a popular component in that two finalists in each category are chosen by popular vote), will be announced during the World Fantasy Convention taking place on November 1st through 4th in Baltimore, Maryland.
For the full list of finalists in all categories, see this post over at Tor.com.
At SDCC, Random House has made a poster available featuring the Targaryen family tree that will appear in Fire and Blood, and provided a signup link for their mailing list that leads to a PDF of the same. We don’t have that handy, but what we do have is an image of the poster:
Fans have already starting poring over it, and we thought we’d comment on a couple of things that have been pointed out
San Diego Comic-Con remains a place for launching trailers for series and films, as SyFy reveals its first trailer for
Nightflyers, a science fiction horror series “from the mind of George R. R. Martin” thanks to its being a loose adaptation of his award-winning novella of the same name.
You can see the trailer below:
Cast definitely seems larger than what’s in the novella, and there’s some very different motivations for the Nightflyer’s mission, but you can pick out moments that are drawn from the original story as well. As Martin has recently stated in an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, the show is not part of the broader Thousand Worlds far-future history in which the story was set, and in fact will take place within our solar system.
UPDATE: We have the Netflix trailer for the series below, and it makes some things a fair bit clearer while including a number of additional glimpses of the show.
Yesterday, the 2019 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar was published, containing art by award-winning artist John Jude Palencar.
Just before the release, Palencar shared a preview of the artwork over at the excellent Muddy Colors blog, including some initial sketches for pieces that you’ll have to get the calendar to see in finished form.
While Linda and I were in Spain for Celsius 232, George R.R. Martin was in New York City for ThrillerFest, where among other things there was an interview and Q&A (we’ve embedded the video!) with editor Anne Groell. Topics discussed include the new Nightflyers TV show from SyFY, the history of The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood, and more.
At the close of the festival, Martin was named that year’s Thriller Master, the lifetime achievement award from the International Thriller Writers association. Here’s a press release, and the video of the awards ceremony below!
Sadly, it has just been reported by author Michael Swanwick that Gardner Dozois—a close friend of George R.R. Martin, and frequent editorial collaborator—has passed away unexpectedly following a minor illness. Dozois, winner of multiple genre awards as a writer, was best known for his work as an editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine (which he co-founded) and of numerous anthologies.
It’s with these collections, in particular, that he returned to collaborating with GRRM as they worked together to produce a number of anthologies including Old Mars, Old Venus, Rogues, Dangerous Women, and quite a few others. In 2017, Dozois’s continuing and influential contributions to the genre led to his receiving the 2017 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, awarded by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Our sincere condolences to his friends and family. We know he’ll be much missed.
In an exclusive, Deadline Hollywood reveals that Warner Animation Group (part of the Time-Warner multimedia conglomerate which also happens to own HBO) has struck a deal with George R.R. Martin to produce an animated version of The Ice Dragon, his 1980 fantasy novella.
Despite marketing claims otherwise, The Ice Dragon is not part of the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, although Martin has obviously made references to it in his more recent writings, much as he’s made nods to others of his past stories and characters.
Martin is noted to have a producer credit, which is fairly standard for such adaptations.
A big, but very pleasant, surprise for fans of Dark Sword Miniatures and their GRRM Masterworks line of officially-licensed A Song of Ice and Fire miniatures: DSM and the legendary sculptor Tom Meier have put together a 15th Anniversary package of eighteen new miniatures. There’s an amazing gallery of images of the figures at Dark Sword’s order page that we highly recommend fans checking out.
Among the characters depicted? Maester Aemon, Darkstar, Grey Worm, Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Dunk & Egg, Rhaegar at the Ruby Ford, Syrio Forel, the Blackfish, and ... well, more, including a spectacular Cersei Lannister piece. Plus, on top of that, Dark Sword has thrown in five additional figures to the bundle, also sculpted by Meier, to help fill out the cast of a tavern or inn where some of the most memorable scenes in the novels have taken place.
Supplies are limited, according to Dark Sword, so don’t delay on ordering if you’re a fan of miniatures or a collector of ASoIaF memorabilia—these are really amazing works of art, as Tom Meier is one of the very best miniaure sculptors in the world.
Worldcon 76 is coming to San Jose in August, but a couple of days prior to this the SF in SF organization has put together a special event: an evening with George R.R. Martin and award-winning artist John Picacio.
Organized as a benefit for Locus Magazine, the chief trade magazine of SF/F publishing, the event promises to feature “a discussion on literature, art, and life” between the famed writer and artist. Signed copies of their works will be available for purchase.
The event takes place at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City on August 14, the Tuesday before Worldcon. For more information, see the event site.
One of the details that we learned not long ago—but couldn’t share—is that the book was going to be illustrated throughout by a single artist, Doug Wheatley, who had contributed some of the art of The World of Ice and Fire.
As fans will notice, this book is big—listed as 640 pages on Amazon! George goes into some detail on what will be contained, largely expanded material that had been initially written for our book, but a great deal is brand new in the form of material concerning Jaehaerys I the Conciliator. Having read it through, we can say there’s a deal of very interesting details revealed therein. (And, yes, we’ve helped George sort out a few inconsistencies that had appeared in “The Sons of the Dragon”, “The Princess and the Queen”, and so on!)
The book is due to launch in the U.S. and U.K. on November 20th, and will likely see simultaneous release in some other regions.
SyFy has released the first look video for their forthcoming Nightflyers science-fiction horror series, based on George R.R. Martin’s novella “Nightflyers”. Watch it below, including comments from GRRM himself about the story:
Certainly seems like the producers have gone for a very cinematic look, and have spared no expense in terms of the sets they’ve built to represent the ship.
As previously reported, SyFy has moved forward on a series order for Nightflyers, based on George R.R. Martin’s award-winning science fiction horror novel focused on a scientific mission to explore a mysterious, space-faring object. Last week, Irish press shard the news that production had begun at Troy Studios in Limerick shortly. Casting calls for extras—an interesting detail in and of itself, as the original novella only features a limited number of characters—went out late last month.
Thanks to the forthcoming show, the Nightflyers novella that started it all is being republished—not once, but twice. On May 29th, Tor will be publishing the Nightlyers & Other Stories collection that was first published in 1985. The five other stories are “Override” (the second of “Corpse Handler trilogy” of stories), “Weekend in a War Zone”, “Nor the Many-Colored Fires of a Star Ring” (the 2nd of two “Star Ring” stories), “And Seven Times Never Kill Man”, and “A Song for Lya” (these last, with “Nightflyers”, fall within the Thousand Worlds setting, the most substantial future history Martin created).
And then, most surprisingly, Bantam will be publishing Nightflyers: The Illustrated Edition on May 29th as well, which (per GRRM) will be expanded version of the novella (which has a complicated history) with 15 interior illustrations and 2 endpapers from artist David Palumbo. Palumbo has recently come into Martin’s orbit as an artist, providing the cover for the reprint of the Wild Cards book One-Eyed Jacks.