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Two Weeks To Remember

December 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
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It’s been a couple of very exciting weeks for me and Archmaester Gyldayn.

My trip back east was a lot of fun, and hugely productive.   I got to have Thanksgiving with my family in Jersey for the first time in more than a decade, I checked in with my editors, publishers, and agents, I had a blast on LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT… and I signed 1600 copies of FIRE & BLOOD for the big launch at Loew’s Jersey.   Being on the stage of that magnificent old movie palace with my friend John Hodgman, seeing my name on the marquee of a theatre where I saw BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA as a kid in days gone by… there are no words for that.

And the fans were great as well.   Their excitement and enthusiasm was palpable.   My thanks to everyone who came out… and to all of you who were not able to get tickets as well.   Sorry about that.  (The Friends of the Loew’s hope to have their balcony restored for the next time I return, which will mean a thousand more seats).

FIRE & BLOOD was released the day after the Loew’s event, November 20… in the US, in the United Kingdom, and in various other countries around the world, where my translators had to work around the clock to get the translation done in time to allow simultaneous publication with the English editions.   A number of them did just that, and my hat is off to them.  Great work, folks.

No one really knew how well the book would do, least of all me.   It’s a Westeros book, yes… but not a traditional novel, and not part of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE/ GAME OF THRONES  sequence.   How would my readers react to a book of imaginary history?

I’m thrilled to say that they have reacted very well.

FIRE & BLOOD debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list, for hardcover fiction.

FIRE & BLOOD also debuted at #1 for the TIMES list in the United Kingdom.

I’m informed that we were also #1 in Brazil, #2 in Spain, #5 in Germany, and #8 in France.

(Other countries will need to wait on the translations).

Needless to say, I am thrilled.   My thanks go out to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, and David Moench, my team at Bantam Spectra, to Jane Johnson at Harper Collins Voyager in the UK, to my amazing agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, and to all my editors and publishers and translators around the world.    And thanks as well to the booksellers, without whose support those bestseller lists would not have been possible.

And most of all, my thanks go out to my fans and readers.   I know you want WINDS, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well.  Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me.

Enjoy the read.   Me, I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros.   It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.  Meanwhile, you have the final season of GAME OF THRONES coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called THE LONG NIGHT being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.

Winter is not the only thing that is coming.

Current Mood: excited excited

New York New York (And Jersey Too)

November 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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We are back home in the Land of Enchantment after ten epic days in the east, mostly in New York City, but with a few visits to my old stomping grounds in New Jersey, across the bay.

I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my sisters Darleen and Janet and my various nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, and a couple of new-born grand-nieces.  First time in more than a decade that I’ve been able to spend the holiday with family, so that was very special.   We were able to enjoy some Broadway shows and even a Giants game (the G-Men won, wonder of wonders), and of course I saw my various agents and editors and publishers, many of whom are based in the city.

It wasn’t all pleasure, though.  Most of the trip was business: the long-planned launch of my new Westeros book, FIRE & BLOOD.

I had barely gotten off the plane when I had to report to Random House to sign (ahem) “a few copies.”

a few copies

“A few” in this case translates to 1600 copies, all earmarked for the official FIRE & BLOOD launch on November 19 at Loew’s Jersey, an enormous 1930s movie palace in Journal Square, Jersey City.   I spent many a Saturday afternoon at Loew’s (and the other great movie palaces in Journal Square, the State and the Stanley), when I was a kid growing up in Bayonne.   It’s a magnificent theatre, a real treasure… and it came within a hair’s breath of being torn down a few years ago, before a group of cinema lovers and preservationists called the Friends of the Loew’s stepped in to save it.   Being featured on the marquee of this amazing theatre where once I saw films like BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was a real joy for me.

The evening was a HUGE amount of fun, in no small part thanks to my friend John  Hodgman, who hosted the event and conducted the interview.   If you weren’t able to get into Loew’s, you can find the entire thing on the net:

(The organ was amazing as well.  Another cool thing about the Loew’s).

The crowd was wonderful, the theatre was beautiful, John was a delight; all in all, it was a great evening, and the perfect way to introduce FIRE & BLOOD to the world.

It was not my only event, however.  The next night, I appeared on THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert (inside another historic theatre, the Ed Sullivan, the same stage where Elvis, the Beatles, and Topo Gigio once trod).   Stephen and I have a lot in common: we’ve both Northwestern alums and comic book fans, and he loves Tolkien even more than I do.   We could have talked for hours, but we had only a few minutes:

New York is indeed a helluva town, like the song says.   It’s always good to come back for a visit, and this trip was especially satisfying.  My thanks to all those who helped make it special: John Hodgman, Stephen Colbert and his producers, Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, David Moench and my wonderful team at Random House, my agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, my fearless minions Lenore and Sid, my family… and of course, Parris.

I hope all of you reading this had a great Turkey Day.   Gobble gobble.

(FIRE & BLOOD is now available from your favorite local bookshop or online bookseller.   If you want a signed copy and missed the Loew’s event, however, you can place a mail order with the Jean Cocteau Cinema).

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Another Night, More Flyers

February 1, 2018 at 2:51 pm
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With the NIGHTFLYERS television series deep in the throes of pre-production and set to start filing over in Limerick soon, my original novella will soon be available again… twice.

Tor is going to reissuing NIGHTFLYERS & OTHER STORIES, the short story collection we released originally in 1985. More details on that one in my post of January 18, below.

Bantam Spectra is also going to be publishing NIGHTFLYERS, as a stand-alone deluxe illustrated hardcover. The text will be the original novella, in its expanded 30,000 word version. The Bantam edition will also include fifteen interior illustrations and two endpapers from the astonishing and talented David Palumbo, printed in four color. Release is scheduled for May 29.

The cover is by Larry Rostant:

A few months later, in late August, Bantam will release a trade paperback tie-in edition, featuring key art from the TV series on the covers, with Palumbo’s interior illustrations in black & white.

If you haven’t read “Nightflyers” yet, you will have plenty of opportunity. Hope you enjoy it.

((Comments permitted, but stay on topic)).

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Not in San Diego

July 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm
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I hope that everyone in San Diego is having fun at Comicon. HBO has a big presence there, I know, and a lot of our cast are on hand for the GAME OF THRONES panel and the usual endless rounds of signings and interviews. Also, Bantam is bringing out the 2017 ICE & FIRE calendar, which is always a great event. And Gary Gianni, who illustrated THE KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, has a table and is selling a cool new sketchbook of his artwork.

Makes me wish I could be there as well.

But I’m not.

Now, normally, I would not feel the need to post about where I’m not and what I am not doing… only I am getting reports from friends in San Diego, and friends of friends, that I have been sighted at the con.

It’s not me.

Really. It’s not. It’s some other old fat guy in a Greek sailor’s cap and pair of suspenders, maybe. Who may or may not be consciously cosplaying as me.

((And you have no idea how weird it feels to be typing that sentence. Way back when the show was first starting, there were a couple of Daenerys Targaryen cosplayers at San Diego, and I thought that was way cool. Fans dressing up as my characters, hey, hot damn! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that anyone would ever want to dress up as me. But now I seem to encounter it wherever I go. Witness this picture from my 2013 trip to Australia.

Anyway… just for the record… I have a big Wild Cards event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema this weekend, with nineteen writers turning up from all across the country, so as much as I would like to be at comicon, I am not there. Accept no substitutes!!

((And just to be clear, no, I do not disappove of fans cosplaying as me. I do find it surreal, but hey, what they hell, have fun… so long as they don’t actually pretend to be me)).

Moving right along… one thing that is at comicon is the new ICE & FIRE calendar, with art by Didier Graffet. It’s gorgeous. Grab a copy if you’re at the con. And if not, the calendar should be available at your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller, and will certainly be available through the Jean Cocteau.

Hedge Knight In the Lists

October 16, 2015 at 3:11 am
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Cool news from both sides of the Atlantic.

The new illustrated hardcover of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has debuted on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list as #2 in hardcover fiction. Over in the UK, the British edition has landed as #3 on the TIMES list (Bernard Cornwell’s new Uhtred novel is number 1, of course).

   

Pretty good for a collection of three previously published novellas.

My thanks go out to all my friends at Bantam Spectra and Harper Voyager… and of course to Gary Gianni, whose gorgeous artwork helped make the book such a rousing success.

Dunk & Egg Are HERE

October 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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Big day, big excitement. It’s publication day for A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, with simultaneous hardcover releases scheduled for the US (Bantam Spectra) and the UK (Harper Collins Voyager).

This will be the first collection of the three Dunk & Egg novellas that I have published to date: “The Hedge Knight” (originally published in Robert Silverberg’s anthology LEGENDS), “The Sworn Sword” (from LEGENDS II), and “The Mystery Knight” (from the anthology WARRIORS, edited by Gardner Dozois and yours truly). All together in one place for the first time, so you no longer need to track down three separate (and in some cases, out of print) books.


British edition

Depending (of course) on which side of the pond you find yourself, one or the other of the two editions should be available today from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller.

The American edition is on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Fire/dp/0345533488/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154684&sr=1-1

The British edition can be found on Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Prequel/dp/0007507674/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154759&sr=1-1&keywords=a+knight+of+the+seven+kingdoms

For those of you who have yet to make the acquaintance of Dunk & Egg… these are stories set in Westeros about ninety years before the opening of A GAME OF THRONES, when the Targaryens still sat the Iron Throne.. They chronicle the adventures of the hedge knight called Ser Duncan the Tall and his young squire Egg as they travel across the Seven Kingdoms.

And yes, before those of you from other lands across the sea speak up, it is true that the book has already been published in a dozen other languages. That’s because we wanted to do something rather special with the English-language editions, but many of my foreign publishers were not willing to wait.

For those who did wait, however, the “extra” is ART. Gorgeous, stunning, evocative, lovely illustration. We asked the amazing GARY GIANNI to illustrate the book, and Gary was so taken with the stories that he said he declined to do just the half-dozen pieces we originally asked for, insisting instead that he be allowed to illustrate the entire book. Needless to say, we LOVED the idea. I grew up and was weaned on the illustrated classics of my childhood with art by the likes of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, and the prospect of having one of my own books done the same way thrilled me no end.

And here it is, and believe me, it’s everything I could have dreamed of. Here’s just a sample, to whet your appetites:

Enjoy!

All Men Must Color (Inside the Lines, Please)

October 1, 2015 at 11:59 am
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October is here, and it’s going to be a busy month for me and my publishers.

The new Wild Cards reissue, DOWN & DIRTY, comes out on October 27, as detailed below. But as it happens, that’s not the only book I have coming out that day.

October 27 is also the day Bantam will be releasing the new Ice & Fire Coloring Book.

Yes, I said “coloring book.” Not just for the kiddies either. No, it seems that of late adult coloring books have become quite the thing, so Bantam wanted us to do one too. And since I love seeing good fantasy art, I was of course thrilled by the idea.

Here’s a look at the cover:

You can preorder this one from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer, or from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Official-Game-Thrones-Coloring-Book/dp/1101965762/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443722280&sr=1-2

Anne Groell tells me there are also plans for a COLORING CONTEST down the line, with some cool prizes for the winners. No details yet, but I’ll post them here when I’ve got them.

I have seen the (uncolored) art for this one, and it looks spectacular. Probably will look even better once colored. So stock up on your colored pencils, boys and girls (or your crayons, if you dare), you’re going to need them.

Dunk & Egg Ride Again

February 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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Circle October 6 on your calendar.

My friends at Bantam have just informed me that will be the day that A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in released in English, collecting all three of my “Dunk & Egg” novellas — “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight” — between one set of covers for the first time.

AKo7K comps 18 high

Many of you, of course, will have read the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg in their original appearances in LEGENDS, LEGENDS II, and WARRIORS. But A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS will have a lot more than the three stories. We wanted this to be an illustrated book, so we went to the amazing Gary Gianni and asked him to do some art for us, thinking perhaps we could include seven or eight interior illustrations. Gary turned us down. He loved the stories, he said, but he’d only do it if he could illustrate the entire book, with art on virtually every page.

We said yes, of course, and Gary has been drawing for the better part of two years. Most fantasy fans know Gianni’s artwork from his work on PRINCE VALIANT, on the Wandering Star limited editions of SOLOMON KANE and BRAN MAK MORN, and of course for his stunning 2014 ICE & FIRE calendar, but we think A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS may be his best work to date.

This is going to be an amazing book, one I will be very happy to have my name on — beside that of Gary Gianni, surely among the very best fantasy artists of all time. (And damn it, folks, it is LONG past time that he was nominated for a Hugo).

New York, New York… and Providence Too

October 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm
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October has arrived, the leaves are turning, and I am headed east.

The U.S. hardcover of THE WORLD OF ICE & F IRE is scheduled for release on October 28, and Bantam is bringing me to New York to help launch it.

WOIAF cover

I will be making an appearance on the Seth Meyers show on Tuesday, October 28 and doing an event at the 92nd street Y with Laura Miller on Sunday,October 26.

http://www.92y.org/Event/George-R-R-Martin.aspx

Tickets for the latter are still available, but they are going fast, so if you want one, move quickly. I will be signing a thousand copies of THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE for the Y, and the ticket price will include the autographed book.

((Sorry, no plans for other signings while in the city)).

I will also be turning up in Providence, Rhode Island on this trip. Brown University is honoring me with the Harris Literary Collection Award, and I'll be attending a dinner there on October 23 to accept. My friend Tom Doherty, esteemed publisher of Tor Books, is also being honored. It will be a real delight to share the journey, and the moment, with Tom. Brown students will have first dibs on tickets to that one, I am told… I'll add a link here as soon as I have one.

((Never been to Providence before, aside from speeding through it on the Acela. If I have time, I will try to make a pilgrimage to H.P. Lovecraft's grave, which I believe is required of anyone who has ever written horror)).

Seen on the Streets…

September 23, 2014 at 10:54 am
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… of New York City.

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2015 Chevy Tahoe driver_LOWRES-r2

2015 Chevy Tahoe back-LOWRES

2015 Chevy Tahoe roof - rev

The worldbook will be here next month!