Two new collections of A Song of Ice and Fire artwork have come out this month, and we highly recommend them as they come from two of the greatest living artists to work in the fantasy genre.
First, the A Song of Ice and Fire 2020 Calendar illustrated by the legendary John Howe (recently revealed to be part of the creative team behind Amazon’s forthcoming 2nd Age Middle-earth series) is out today. Focused on the mystical side of the series, it primarily features the strange and exotic creates of Westeros and beyond, including giant krakens, mammoths, direwolves, and ice spiders(!) But it also has a surprise or two waiting within its covers. It looks spectacular.
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).
Fire & Blood, George R.R. Martin’s history of the Targaryen dynasty that grew out of The World of Ice and Fire, is among the finalists for the 2019 Locus Award. Hosted by the venerable Locus Magazine, the award has a large body of voters between its subscribers (whose votes are given extra weight) and the public who also take part in the vote, and is considered one of the three most significant awards in the genre alongside the Hugo and the Nebula.
With all the attention on Game of Thrones, it seems this great talk at the Jean Cocteau Cinema between George R.R. Martin and noted literary novelist (and now fantasist, with his Black Leopard, Red Wolf) Marlon James, moderated by Dr. Andrea L. Mays, slipped under the radar. While we’ve added it to the So Spake Martin collection, it’s worth having a post of its own so we’ve embedded it below.
Following in the footsteps of the recent The World Hobbit Project and The World Star Wars Project, a group of 40 university researchers have just launched The Game of Thrones Research Project, aiming to capture the views and opinions of thousands of viewers and fans of the series through an online survey.
“Winter is coming”. Game of Thrones’ most famous saying. But what does it suggest and mean to you? We’re trying to gather the views of thousands of followers of the series, on this and a series of other questions, via a web survey at this address: www.questeros.org. Please, help us by visiting and completing it â`“ and then passing it on. Who are we? We are a gathering of university researchers sharing an interest in the changing nature of ‘fantasy’. We’re entirely self-funded. We’re not affiliated with HBO in any way, or with George RR Martin. All our results and findings will be made publicly available â`“ that’s a promise. If you’d like to know more about us, about the project, and why we are doing it, you can find more information on our website. Take the quiz now at www.questeros.org!
The website, with the very clever domain name of questeros.org, offers more in-depth information about what they seek to learn from the survey and how they intend to publish the results. Looking at the survey, it is (as the name would suggest) focused on the TV series, but it does include some questions that relate to—or can be related to—the novels and the TV series relationship with them. They estimate that it takes about 20 minutes to take the survey, depending on how detailed you make your responses (there’s several questions which allow for longer answers), and we encourage all of our readers to take a look at it and contribute your opinions.
Random House have just announced that the first in a series of digital, enhanced editions of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has been released exclusively for Apple’s iBooks.
Featuring new cover art, numerous illustrations, enhanced maps, sigils, a glossary, and detailed annotations to provide a richer experienced for readers, and to help guide new readers through the dizzying number of characters and locations in the novels. As it happens, Linda and I have known all about this for awhile, since we’ve worked with Random House and Apple on the project—it’s been a really interesting, often very complicated, project!
There’s a lot more information, so here’s Random House’s press release. A tip, however, for those who simply can’t wait and read through it all: if you have iTunes installed, make sure to visit Apple’s launch site for an exclusive video interview with GRRM about the novels and the project, which features some really cool animation:
Last night, we posted about the Game of Thrones-themed Sports Illustrated Power Issue. We now have the podcast—hosted by Richard Deitsch—with GRRM, which you can find here along with a partial transcript of some of Martin’s remarks.
It’s very much sports-oriented, but there’s some remarks that touch on the characters and the setting (such as Martin’s comparison of knights to athletes).
We’ve placed this interview in the So Spake Martin collection, where you’ll find a great deal of links to interviews, correspondence, and reports from readings, panels, and conventions.
This past weekend, George R.R. Martin was at Boskone. A few reports have floated around since then, regarding his signing, the Q&A… and a reading he did of material from not one, but two chapters from The Winds of Winter. Thanks to a fan, we now have a pretty detailed rundown of what was contained in those chapters over at the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum. You can read it here, but in case it needs to be said, there are some definite spoilers therein!
For reports of other readings from Martin, and discussion of chapters he’s released on his website, you can go to our The Winds of Winter sub-forum.
We’ve noted this previously, but a new article in Texas A&M’s The Eagle provides some amazing insight into the forthcoming Deeper than Swords exhibition at the Cushing Library, focused entirely on A Song of Ice and Fire and the many things that have been born from it. George R.R. Martin was invited to have his life’s work archived at the library back in 1993, in recognition of his contributions to science fiction and fantasy fiction and television, and has been a “dream donor” ever since.
Among the holdings in their archives:
‘‘More than 900 of the author’s books line the wall. The shelves are filled with Martin’s collaborative work, books he has edited, articles about him, manuscripts and correspondence.
“Intermingled with the paper products are VHS mastertapes, tickets from the Emmy Awards, boxes of trading cards, HBO tchotchkes given to actors, board games and programs for conventions where fans congregate to play board games. Nestled with the loot are life-sized replicas of Ned Stark’s greatsword and Robert Baratheon’s warhammer.”
Concerning the event itself, here’s what The Eagle has to say:
“The library’s exhibit, “Deeper than Swords,” will run from March 22 through December and is free to the public. An exhibit and author signing will last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 22 at Cushing Library. Tickets for a priority signing line are sold out, but a limited number of first-come, first-serve fans will be granted an audience. Food vendors offering medieval treats will be located outside the library, along with actors from the The Texas Renaissance Festival, who will host games to win tickets to the fall event.
“At 6:30 p.m. Martin will give a lecture and answer questions at Rudder Auditorium. More than 1,100 of the 2,400 seats are taken, and reservations can be made for the free event at the MSC Box Office.”
(Many thanks to Olaf Keith for pointing this article out.)
Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted the fact that he and co-editor Gardner Dozois have delivered the cross-genre anthology, Dangerous Women. He has provided a full list of contents, and there’s a surprise in there for fans of the series:
INTRODUCTION, by Gardner Dozois
SOME DESPERADO, by Joe Abercrombie
MY HEART IS EITHER BROKEN, by Megan Abbott
NORA’S SONG, by Cecelia Holland
THE HANDS THAT ARE NOT THERE, by Melinda Snodgrass
BOMBSHELLS, by Jim Butcher
RAISA STEPANOVA, by Carrie Vaughn
WRESTLING JESUS, by Joe R. Lansdale
NEIGHBORS, by Megan Lindholm
I KNOW HOW TO PICK ‘EM, by Lawrence Block
SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL, by Brandon Sanderson
A QUEEN IN EXILE, by Sharon Kay Penman
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, by Lev Grossman
SECOND ARABESQUE, VERY SLOWLY, by Nancy Kress
CITY LAZARUS, by Diana Rowland
VIRGINS, by Diana Gabaldon
HELL HATH NO FURY, by Sherilynn Kenyon
PRONOUNCING DOOM, by S.M. Stirling
NAME THE BEAST, by Sam Sykes
CARETAKERS, by Pat Cadigan
LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME, by Caroline Spector
THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN, by George R.R. Martin
The Abercrombie is set against his RED COUNTRY backdrop, the Holland gives us Eleanor of Aquitaine, Jim Butcher returns us to Harry Dresden’s world, Lev Grossman contributes a tale of life at Brakebills, Steve Stirling revisits his Emberverse, Diana Gabaldon’s story features Jamie Fraser of OUTLANDER fame, the Spector is a Wild Cards story featuring Hoodoo Mama and the Amazing Bubbles, and mine own contribution… well, it’s some of that fake history I have been writing lo these many months, the true (mostly) story of the origins of the Dance of the Dragons. The stand-alone stories, not part of any series, feature some amazing work as well. For those who like to lose themselves in long stories, the Brandon Sanderson story, the Diana Gabaldon story, the Caroline Spector story, and my “Princess and Queen” are novellas. Huge mothers.
Emphasis mine, for those looking for details on Martin’s story.
This is a nice bit of information (thanks to Olaf Keith for pointing it out: according to USA Today, every book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series were among the 100 top-selling novels of 2012. The highest placed on the list? The first and the oldest, A Game of Thrones, at #21. That’s quite a position for a book published 16 years ago!
Awhile back, Locus Magazine—the venerable, award-winning SF/F publishing industries trade magazine —launched an “All-Centuries” poll regarding the best genre novels and writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The results are in, and they’re looking pretty good for the work of one George R.R. Martin:
Martin himself has remarked on the poll, adding his personal take on the 20th Century SF Novel list, which would have had Zelazny’s Lord of Light, Bester’s The Stars My Destination, and Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness in the top 3. Fantastic novels, all, well worth reading if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.
Mashable has the exclusive news that explains just what this was about: Random House is publishing an official companion app for the A Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with A Game of Thrones and including additional content to go through the rest of the series to date.
It’ll be hitting the Apple iTunes app store tomorrow (November 27th), while a version for the Nook (not Android, as the Mashable piece says) is coming in the near future. A demo version will be available to just give you a taste of the entries, which cover characters and places, and includes interactive maps to help orient you. It’s all quite lovingly put together… and as you may notice from the lead image, it seems there will, indeed, be art to accompany entries (those two particular pieces of art are by the amazing Michael Komarck for the sadly-hard-to-get Dabel Brothers 2009 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar).