George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood has now been released in paperback both in the US and the UK. This history of the Targaryens from the Conquest to the end of the regency of Aegon III has seen some updates to it in this new edition, most notably through the addition of five new images from artist Doug Wheatley.
The 2021 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustrated by Sam Hogg, is now available at Amazon, other online booksellers, and retail bookstores! With thirteen illustrations from Hogg, one for each month plus a bonus, this is another entry into the now-venerable A Song of Ice and Fire calendar series from Random House, with the first calendar having been Ted Nasmith’s 2011 calendar.
Before Linda and I headed out on vacation, we were approached by our publisher to record a brief series of travelogue videos focused on The World of Ice and Fire. The first of these was very recently unveiled, highlighting the people, sights, and cuisine of the North:
A few more of these 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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel.
More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others:
(Above: A photo from the season 1 set visit, taken in the bowels of the Paint Hall as Bryan Cogman led George R.R. Martin, Parris McBride [the photographer], and I between sets.)
A very interesting post at the Wild Cards World official website from veteran TV writer and producer Michael Cassutt (a long-time member of the Wild Cards Consortium, and heavily involved in the present work on the two Wild Cards being developed at Hulu) discusses what goes on in the writing room when shows are developed and seasons are broken down, but one particular detail caught our eye as he turned to discuss a number of genre-fiction writers who have become involved in TV shows:
“And some novelists have made the leap. Michael Chabon – Michael Chabon! – is showrunning DISCOVERY for CBS All-Access. Charlie Jane Anders is in L.A. right now, working in a room. Close to home, novelists Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck have worked in the room for THE EXPANSE, one of the most acclaimed SF TV series ever, for five seasons now. And other members of the WC consortium have been blessed with these opportunities, including David Anthony Durham on one of the GAME OF THRONES prequels, and Saladin Ahmed on FOUNDATION. Max Gladstone did time in three different mini-rooms, not for the four big TV drama markets listed above, but for the vital and growing world of web series, such as WIZARD SCHOOL DROPOUT.”
Durham has written numerous novels, most of them historical, but also a well-reviewed fantasy trilogy, Acacia. He’s also been part of the Wild Cards Consortium since 2011, when he contributed to Fort Freak. Because of this connection to the sphere of George R.R. Martin collaborators, we suspect that Cassutt has let slip that Durham has been added to the writing staff of House of the Dragon following its series order. As some will recall, an initial team of writers was named by George as having helped develop the series prior to the order, but it would not be strange if others came onboard after that stage.
That said, it’s also possible that Durham was involved in the now-cancelled Long Night pilot, or perhaps one of the pitches for other successors that have now been put on indefinite hold. Currently, Durham’s own website and Twitter have no further information on the subject, although his new Twitter account does note that next year will see the publication of a new novel for him, a fantasy YA set in ancient Egypt titled Shadow Prince.
Last night, the trades had word from the HBO’s session at the TCA Winter gathering, with executive Casey Bloys discussing the status of post-Game of Thrones successor shows and the fact that he expected House of the Dragons would not premiere before 2022.
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.
News is moving fast. We posted just a little while ago about Condal’s series getting a rumored pilot order… and now word is that the show, titled House of the Dragon, now has a full series order for ten epiodes, according to Variety. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will be co-showrunners, with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis as executive producers alongside.
This is an amazingly fast news day, to say the least.
In all the reactions to the news that Jane Goldman’s pilot has gotten a pass from HBO, we missed Michael Ausiello of TV Line—who we know has a lot of sources in the industry—reporting that the Ryan Condal-helmed Fire & Blood-based project has an official order for its pilot. To quote Ausiello:
According to Deadline, the Jane Goldman-led pilot set in the era leading up to the Long Night is not getting a series pickup from HBO. While there’s no official statement from HBO to this end, reporting has it that Goldman has been contacting cast and crew to inform them of this.
As we noted at Worldcon, Linda and I did some consulting work on the project. Our interaction with Jane and fellow executive producer James Farrell impressed us with their dedication and interest in the setting and its history.
Some guessed this might be the outcome after word spilled last month that a new pilot was nearing an order from HBO, one somehow based on the Targaryen history in the Targaryen history presented in Fire & Blood (Amazon) and being developed by Ryan Condal. At his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin spoke very approvingly of the bible and pilot script Condal had put together, but so far there has been no clear confirmation that this is the next pilot to be filmed.
Addendum: Over at EW, James Hibberd shares more news about the pilot being passed on, including a quote from one of the actors prior to the news discussing it, as well as Hibberd’s information on Condal’s proposed pilot which Hibberd indicates will lead into the Dance of the Dragons.