George R.R. Martin has posted a new entry to his Not a Blog, titled “Back in Westeros”, which discusses the self-imposed isolation he’s been in for much of the year. In a mountain cabin somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, George has been making progress on The Winds of Winter, and reflects on how the periods in his career where he’s been the most isolated have also been among his most productive.
Towards the end, he gets a little more specific about what he has been working on lately in terms of point of view characters, and one of the one he names is a bit of new information as their presence as a POV had not been confirmed until now.
(No, this is not actually his cabin!)
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.
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).
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.
(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.
Courtesy of Random House, we’re happy to present a few never-before-published examples of Gary Gianni’s artwork for the forthcoming A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a collection of the three “Dunk & Egg” novellas which introduced fans of A Song of Ice and Fire to the eponymous characters and their adventures in the Targaryen-ruled Seven Kingdoms almost a century prior to the events of the novels.
Gary Gianni needs very little introduction for anyone familiar with comics or SF/F illustration, but suffice it to say he’s one of the great illustrators working today, famous for his renditions of characters such as Solomon Kane and Conan the Barbarian from the oeuvre of Robert E. Howard, as well as his well-known eight-year run on the venerable Prince Valiant comic strip. He also provided the art the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. For A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, Gianni actually insisted on producing a tremendous number of illustrations rather than just doing one or two per story, with the end result being over 160 new pieces of art. By way of comparison, our own The World of Ice and Fire had over 170 images! You can see a selection of the art for the book below:
Thanks to Bleeding Cool, we’ve learned that Avatar Press executive Jim Kuhoric spoke at a panel at C2E2 about various Avatar Press projects, and in the course of it he discussed some of what’s coming from George R.R. Martin. First and foremost, of course, is the comic book adaptation of GRRM’s World Fantasy Award-winning novella The Skin Trade, to go along with their earlier adaptation of Fevre Dream. Thanks to that, Kuhoric revealed that GRRM will be at San Diego’s Comic-Con (which GRRM has previously announced), where he’ll make an appearance at Avatar’s booth and sign books.
The most intersting item, however, was Kuhoric revealing that there’s a “George R.R. Martin original” in the works, which “may” be superhero related. Kuhoric suggests this is a departure, as previously the works they’ve published have simply been adaptations. They’ll reveal more later, but what I suspect this is is a brand new Wild Cards original comic book story, which will almost certainly be scripted by someone other than GRRM (possibly Daniel Abraham, responsible for the adaptation of Fevre Dream and the Dynamic Entertainment comic Wild Cards: Hard Call?).
To see Kuhoric’s sremarks, watch below beginning at the 2:50 mark:
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.)
German booskeller Olaf Keith brought to our attention the fact that The World of Ice and Fire—the work we’ve been co-writing with George R.R. Martin, providing a look at the history and lands of the setting of “A Song of Ice and Fire”—has made its first appearance on Amazon.com for those who’d like to pre-order it. We can’t remark on the publication date, page count, or even the price point at this time, but at least there’s now an ISBN and a chance to pre-order. It can also be preordered at Amazon Germany, for those who use that service.
This book is distinct from the A World of Ice and Fire iOS app from Random House, which we also provided the content for, although they both share some common origins.
What does that mean? Per the article:
... has signed a two-year overall deal with the pay cable network.
Under the pact, Martin will continue as co-executive producer on Game Of Thrones, whose Season 3 premieres March 31. Additionally, he will develop and produce new series projects for the network.
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.
We’ve posted a newly-available video to the So Spake Martin collection from TIFF. Although released in December, it was recorded at a private “Master Class” talk in March. It’s lengthy, and quite excellent, and contains hints of things to come later in the series.
Make sure to also watch the “In Conversation” public event that was hosted the following (or possibly the prior) day, if you’ve not seen it before.
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.