Some recent piece of development news regarding George R.R. Martin has slipped out the last couple of days. First, GRRM and Kalinda Vazquez are set to develop Roger Zelazny’s novel Roadmark for HBO. A science fiction/fantasy blend, the basic concept is of a mysterious, endless road that travereses time, space, and alternate realities that travelers can use to explore and even try to change the past, present, and future.
Martin has posted about it at his “Not a Blog”, noting that it was one of five pitches he made to HBO as part of his overall development deal with them, all of them based on notable works of science fiction and fantasy that he believed could work well adapted. Vince Gerardis, who helped package Game of Thrones, will also have a co-executive credit.
In a brief post at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin shares some thoughts on the previous year. A dark time, as he notes, with the global pandemic, and the loss of a number of friends such as Susan Ellison, Kay McCauley, Ben Bova, and Phyllis Eisenstein, while other friends are in poor health. Still, he is hopeful for the future, especially as one of the more positive developments last year was the best writing streak he’s ever had on The Winds of Winter.
In his own words:
“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020. The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.
“I need to keep rolling, though. I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion.
“That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”
We’ve reported previously that James Hibberd will be publishing an in-depth oral history of Game of Thrones—filled with new interviews and never-before-heard anecdotes from behind the scenes—titled Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. Over at EW, a lengthy excerpt has been posted sharing a wide-array of comments from producers (Benioff and Weiss first and foremost, as well as Bryan Cogman), actors (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, Iain Glen), and executives (most notable Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler) concerning the original pilot which was heavily reshot by Tim van Patten, including recasting of several key roles. There’s some decidedly new details just in this short excerpt, which bodes well for the rest of the book’s insights. Below are a couple of quotes from GRRM himself that are interesting.
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.
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.
At the end of September, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will perform at the Santa Fe Opera. Santa Fe happens to be George’s home turf, and as it happens this performance will be extra special because it’s being put on as the first major fundraising event for the Stagecoach Foundation, founded by GRRM to advance education and opportunities in the film and television field in New Mexico. Net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Stagecoach Foundation, and to entice attendees some very unique opportunities are being offered as part of various VIP packages which include a pre-show meet and greet with both George R.R. Martin and award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi as well as a photo opportunity. Some additional goodies listed below, according to the various tiers.
VIP Front Row Meet & Greet Tier: ticket, signed leather-bound set of A Song of Ice and Fire, two passes to Meow Wolf, and a Faceless Man coin.
VIP Gold Meet & Greet Tier : ticket, signed Fire & Blood, two passes to Meow Wolf, and a Faceless Man coin.
VIP Silver Meet & Great Tier: ticket, two passes to Meow Wolf and a Faceless Man coin.
Tickets are sold through Ticketmaster, and a handful of non-VIP tickets still remain.
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).
In his most recent Not a Blog entry, GRRM ran over various items of note—including Fire and Blood in getting back into the NYT bestseller list, the successful release of Starport (and the possibility that follow-ups may indeed be a possibility, which we noted in our review of the graphic novel), and even a touch of politics at the end—but for the Game of Thrones fans what must have turned out was his update on the status of various Game of Thrones successor shows.
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.
Musing on how time has flown since the series started, he also briefly has time to talk about the forthcoming pilot for a successor show, which GRRM has dubbed “The Long Night” despite HBO’s insisting that that’s not the official title.
Per the interview:
“The logline for the pilot tells us, “it’s not the story we think we know.” Years ago, you released The World of Ice and Fire, which covers a lot of history of Westeros and beyond. If we were to truly data-mine the book, would we have a clue about what you have up your sleeve for the pilot?
“(Pauses.) You might find a sentence or two in The World of Ice and Fire. You certainly won’t find 12 pages. A lot of this is based on that line or two, and Jane then took it and came up with something.”
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.