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STARPORT Is Coming

March 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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A million years ago when the world was young and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I spent the best part of a decade working in Hollywood.   In television, mostly, though I did a few feature scripts as well, for films that never got made.   My television career began on the CBS revival of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, along about 1985-1986.   After that I wrote a couple of MAX HEADROOM scripts, but they never got made either.  The show was cancelled when one of them was still in pre-production.   Then I spent three years on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.   Not the recent one, of course, the first one, the good one, with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton and Roy Dotrice and Jo Anderson and Jay Acovone.

By the time B&B wrapped up I had climbed the television ladder from freelancer to staff writer to story editor to executive story editor to co-producer to producer to co-supervising producer to supervising producer, and was in line to be showrunner.   But B&B got the axe too before that could happen.   But I’d now accumulated enough credentials and credit to take the next step, and I moved into development, pitching ideas for shows of my own and writing pilots.

In Hollywood they call it “development hell,” and for good reasons.   You work just as hard, you make even more money, you pour your sweat and blood and tears into your creations… but most of what you create never gets aired.   I stuck it out for five years, pitched more series concepts than I can count, and wrote a half-dozen pilots, everything from a medical show about the CDC (BLACK CLUSTER) to an alternate world adventure called DOORWAYS, the only one of my pilots that was actually filmed.   We did that one for ABC and they loved it, enough to order six back-up scripts in anticipation of a series order.   The scripts were written, but the series order never came, and DOORWAYS died unborn, like the rest of my pilots.

Not long after that I left television.   I had an overall deal at Columbia, I was making good money, but I’d had enough of development hell.   There were things about working in television I liked a lot, but spending a year or more developing a world and creating characters and writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting a pilot for four guys in a room (sometimes three guys and a gal) that the world never got to see… that was not for me.   I wanted an audience.  Needed an audience.   Writing scripts for TZ and B&B, that was one thing.   Hard, challenging, stressful, demanding work, but at the end of the road the cameras rolled and a few weeks later millions of people were watching what I’d written.  The audience might like it or hate it, but at least they got to watch it.   Writing for the screen, be it the small screen or the big one, that’s fun.  Writing for a desk drawer, not so much.    So I put Hollywood behind me and returned to an unfinished novel I’d begun in 1991 and shelved for a few years because of film and tv deadlines, a book called A GAME OF THRONES, and… well, you all know how that turned out.

Which brings me back to STARPORT.

STARPORT was one of those pilots I wrote during my years in development hell.   In some ways it was my favorite.   When pitching a television series, there is a certain shorthand where you describe your new show by comparing it to existing shows (preferably successful ones).   Gene Roddenberry sold STAR TREK as “Wagon Train to the stars.”  HBO bought GAME OF THRONES as “the Sopranos in Middle Earth.”   I knew how to play that game too, so I pitched STARPORT as “HILL STREET BLUES with aliens.”   The idea was that, in the very near future (that would have been the late 90s, since I wrote the script around 1993-94), a great interstellar civilization called the Harmony of Worlds decides that humanity has finally advanced sufficiently to be admitted to the ranks of civilized races, and reveals themselves to us.   After first contact, they build three great starports for purposes of trade and diplomacy: one in Singapore, one in Copenhagen, and one in Chicago… out in the lake, where Mayor Daley always wanted to build an airport.   But the focus of the show was smaller than that: our viewpoint characters would be the cops and detectives of the police division closest to the Starport, who suddenly had to deal with all sorts of strange aliens coming and going, and with the sorts of problems they had never previously imagined.

It was a fun show to write.  Fox wanted a 90-minute pilot, which was all the rage back then.   My first draft came out closer to two hours, so of course I had to go back in and cut a lot of stuff, but that was pretty much par for the course for me.   My first drafts were always too long and too expensive.   The development process was pretty much the old Hollywood cliche: they loved it, they loved it, they loved it, they decided to pass.   We shipped it around to other networks, but there were only four back then, so finding a second buyer was a long shot.   No dice.   STARPORT went in the drawer.   Years later, I included one version of the script in QUARTET, a small press collection from NESFA Press to mark my being GOH at a Boskone.   But aside from that, the story remained untold.

Until now.

Enter RAYA GOLDEN.   My friend, my minion, the art director for my Fevre River Packet Company, and a very talented comic artist in her own right.   A few years ago she adapted “Meathouse Man,” one of my darker and more twisted short stories, as a comic.  It earned a Hugo nomination in the Best Graphic Novel category (did not win, alas).   But she was only warming up with that.   Afterward I gave her a much bigger challenge: STARPORT, both drafts.   And she’s been hard at work at it for the past two years, adapting the teleplay to comics format, fixing all my dated 90s references (the jokes about VHS tapes did not work so well any more), and penciling and inking it.

 

It’s huge fun.   And now, at long last, it’s almost here.

Random House and Harper Collins will be releasing the graphic novel of STARPORT next week, on MARCH 12. 

You can order a copy by Clicking HERE

(I am amused to note that “Hill Street Blues with aliens” is now too dated, and has been replaced by “Law & Order meets Men in Black.”   The more things change, the more they stay the same).

Eventually, we will also have signed copies available for sale from the bookshop at my Jean Cocteau Cinema.

I hope you all enjoy it.   For my part, I am thrilled that one of my orphan children has finally escaped the desk drawer to wander out into the wide world.   If the book does well enough, I can see the possibility of further issues of STARPORT down the road.

And who knows?  Maybe someone will even want to turn it into a television series.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Hugo Recommendations – Best Professional Artist

February 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm
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Nominating for the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist is always especially difficult.   There are so many terrific talents working in science fiction and fantasy just now, it is next to impossible to settle on just four or five as being worthy of a nod.   Nonetheless, that’s the way it works, so…

Once again, I’ve had the honor of working with some astounding artists during the past year.   Let me bring a few of them to your attention.

MICHAEL KOMARCK, who has been the cover artist for most of the Wild Cards books since Tor revived the series, once again excelled this year, with knockout covers for both LOW CHICAGO and TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.   Take a look:

Komarck is a meticulous craftsman who always takes great care to get the characters right.  I can’t imagine anyone capturing Bubbles or Khan any better than he did on these covers.   It is truly past time that Komarck got another Hugo nod.

We had so many Wild Cards titles released last year that Tor brought in other artists to spell Komarck.   One of them was DAVID PALUMBO, who did the art for the reissue of ONE-EYED JACKS, featuring the Oddity.   Palumbo was also the artist for Bantam Spectra’s illustrated edition of NIGHTFLYERS: the cover and the gorgeous interior plates were all his.

Of course, no discussion of Wild Cards artists would be complete without a mention of JOHN PICACIO, who illustrates all of the stand-alone Wild Cards stories that appear on Tor.com.   Here are a couple of the pieces he produced last year, to illustrate Victor Milan’s “EverNight” and Max Gladstone’s “Fitting In.”

 

The biggest book I published during 2018 was not a Wild Cards mosaic, however: it was FIRE & BLOOD, the first volume of my imaginary history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros…. published on November 20 by Bantam in the US and HarperCollins Voyager in the UK in a stunning hardcover edition (still in the top ten on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list, some two months after publication, I am pleased to report).  The edition was extensively and lavishly illustrated by DOUG WHEATLEY.

 

Last… but certainly not least… let me draw your attention to JOHN JUDE PALENCAR, whose powerful (and disturbing) paintings for the 2019 SONG OF ICE AND FIRE calendar make it one of the strongest and most unforgettable in what I like to think has been a very distinguished series.  (Though the calendar covers 2019, it was first released at Comicon in July 2018, so the artwork therein is eligible for this year’s awards).   JJP’s take on Westeros and its denizens is like none other, and I have already arranged to buy several of his originals for my own walls.

(If you are one of the many who no longer uses wall calendars, but loves great art, you can get signed copies (signed by me, not the artist, alas) of the JJP calendar from the bookshop at my Jean Cocteau Cinema).

So there you are: Michael Komarck, David Palumbo, John Picacio, Doug Wheatley, John Jude Palencar.   Keep them in mind when making your Hugo nominations.   I know I will.

 

Current Mood: artistic artistic

Hugo Eligibility – Fire & Blood

February 2, 2019 at 8:09 pm
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I had a big new Westeros book published last year (official publication date November 20, 2018) — FIRE & BLOOD, covering the history of the Targaryen kings from Aegon’s Conquest to the regency of Aegon III.   It’s been doing rather well, thank you.   Debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and is still in the top ten two months later.  And just last week, we got a great review in KIRKUS, a notoriously tough journal.

The question of its Hugo eligibility is… well, trickier than usual.

FIRE & BLOOD is eligible, certainly.  But what category does it belong in?

There’s Best Novel, the “Big One”  A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, A FEAST FOR CROWS, and A STORM OF SWORDS were all nominated for the Best Novel Hugo in years past (they all lost, to be sure, but never mind).   In all of the promotional interviews I did leading up to the book’s release, however, I took pains to stress that FIRE & BLOOD was not a novel  but rather a work of imaginary history (I used to say “fake history,” but some of my readers objected).    I did not want anyone buying the book under the misapprehension that it was the latest volume in A SONG OF ICE & FIRE.   After saying over and over again “this is not a novel,” it would be rather disingenuous of me to accept a Hugo (should it win, which I must admit is rather unlikely) or even a nomination in the Best Novel category.

Alas, there is no Hugo category for “Best Imaginary History.”

It has been pointed out to me that the publication of FIRE & BLOOD makes me eligible for nomination in the new (relatively) Best Series category.   Well, yes, I suppose.  It depends on one’s definition of what constitutes a series.   Worldcon’s definition is considerably broader than my own, for what it’s worth.   Many SF writers have set their stories against a common background or “future history,” a term originated by Heinlein and popularized by Campbell.  My own Thousand Worlds stories fit that template, but I don’t consider them a series.   They share a background, but that’s all; except for the Tuf stories, there are no recurring characters, and the tales are set hundreds of years and hundreds of light years apart.   (The Haviland Tuf stories, a subset of my Thousand Worlds, ARE a series, as I define the term).  At the other extreme, you have what I’ll call “mega-novels,” stories spread across many books because of length.   Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS was not a series, as I see it, but one long novel published in three volumes.

Those are my definitions, however.   Not worldcon’s.   The Hugo rules are much looser, and would seem to include future histories, mega-novels, and true series all in the same Best Series category.

For what it’s worth, I do not consider A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE to be a series.   It’s one story.   A huge complicated story, admittedly, one that will take seven volumes to tell (once I finish the last two).  And in any case, FIRE & BLOOD is not strictly speaking a part of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.   It’s imaginary history set hundreds of years before any of the characters in SONG were born.   Yes, I suppose if you bundle FIRE & BLOOD, the five ASOI&F novels, and the three Dunk & Eggs novellas (collected as A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS) together, you have a series of sorts.   I wouldn’t even know what to call it.   The Westeros series?  The Seven Kingdoms series?  Not GAME OF THRONES or ICE & FIRE, certainly.   So…

I don’t know.

So… if not Best Novel, and not Best Series, where would FIRE & BLOOD fit on the Hugo ballot?  If anywhere?

My suggestion: Best Related Work.

That seems to be the best description of what the book actually is.   It’s an imaginary history, related to five published ICE & FIRE novels, but not a novel and not a part of that story.   A WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, the concordance we published several years ago, was its closest precursor.   That volume got some nominations in Best Related Work, though it did not come close to making the final five.  But there’s a precedent of sorts, so…

If you read and enjoyed FIRE & BLOOD and would like to nominate it for a Hugo, I would urge you to consider Related Work rather than Novel or Series.   (If you haven’t read it yet, hey, you can still get autographed copies from the bookshop at the Jean Cocteau Cinema).

And while I am the subject of the Best Related Work Hugo, let me make a recommendation that has nothing whatsoever to do with my own work (though my name is mentioned once, fwiw): ASTOUNDING, by Alec Nevala-Lee, an amazing and engrossing history of John W. Campbell Jr and his authors, Isaac Asimov, L. Ron Hubbard, and Robert A. Heinlein.   Insightful, entertaining, and compulsively readable, it brings Campbell and his era back to life.   I thought I knew a lot about Astounding, Campbell, and his authors, but Nevala-Lee goes way way deeper than any previous history I’ve read, and his book is full of stuff I never knew.  Of course, I’d love to have my own book nominated (I value the Hugo more than any other award), but I suspect that ASTOUNDING will win the rocket in the end.   It certainly deserves to.

 

Current Mood: confused confused

Twenty Years?

December 19, 2018 at 7:43 pm
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It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.   But for the guys in the band, it probably did not seem that long.

A GAME OF THRONES was published in 1996.   In 2016, to celebrate the twentienth anniversary, Bantam Spectra published a special deluxe leatherbound edition of the novel, lavishly and beautifully illustrated, with an introduction by John Hodgman.

The anniversary edition was a big success, and is still selling strongly two years later.   (If you’d like to snag an autographed copy, you can get one from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau.   We are out of stock at the moment, but we have more on order, and I will be defacing them with my illegible scrawl as soon as they come in — which will, alas, probably not be in time for Xmas).

So… drum roll please… we’ve going to do it again.

The second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, A CLASH OF KINGS, was published in 1999.   (Seems like yesterday, honestly.  And I still recall the three years between books, when readers would email me to ask what was taking so long for book two, since Other Fantasy Author [fill in your choice] put out a book a year, rain or shine, and why was I taking so long?  Sigh.   Those were the days, when I was only two years late).  Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of its release, so Bantam Spectra will be doing a deluxe leatherbound edition of CLASH as well.

As with GOT, the anniversary edition will be lavishly illustrated with both color plates and black and white.

Our artist this time around will be an amazing young talent named LAUREN CANNON.   You can see some samples of her work on her own website, here:  http://navate.com/   I love her paintings, and we’re all looking forward to working with her, and seeing her unique take on my world and characters.

 

 

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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!