Not a Blog

Last Year (Winds of Winter)

January 2, 2016 at 12:24 am
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Just consider. Mago, Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree, Pyp, Grenn, Ser Barristan Selmy, Queen Selyse, Princess Shireen, Princess Myrcella, Mance Rayder, and King Stannis are all dead in the show, alive in the books. Some of them will die in the books as well, yes… but not all of them, and some may die at different times in different ways. Balon Greyjoy, on the flip side, is dead in the books, alive on the show. His brothers Euron Crow’s Eye and Victarion have not yet been introduced (will they appear? I ain’t saying). Meanwhile Jhiqui, Aggo, Jhogo, Jeyne Poole, Dalla (and her child) and her sister Val, Princess Arianne Martell, Prince Quentyn Martell, Willas Tyrell, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Lord Wyman Manderly, the Shavepate, the Green Grace, Brown Ben Plumm, the Tattered Prince, Pretty Meris, Bloodbeard, Griff and Young Griff, and many more have never been part of the show, yet remain characters in the books. Several are viewpoint characters, and even those who are not may have significant roles in the story to come in THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING.

GAME OF THRONES is the most popular television series in the world right now. The most pirated as well. It just won a record number of Emmy Awards, including the ultimate prize, for the best drama on television. It’s an incredible production with an incredible cast and crew.

WINDS OF WINTER should be pretty good too, when it comes out. As good as I can make it, anyway.

Which is a long way of saying, “How may children did Scarlett O’Hara have?”

Enjoy the show. Enjoy the books.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That’s all I know how to do.

((And yes, this is my final Cliff’s Note for the day. You can all go to bed now)).

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

November 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm
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So, who likes dinosaurs?

What, all of you?  Well, of course.  I mean, who doesn't like dinosaurs!

I fell in love with them as a kid, on my first visit to the Museum of Natural History in New York City.  I had a great collection of toy dinosaurs back then (long since lost, alas — unlike my spacemen, who I hung onto).  I used to make them fight my toy knights.   I never thought to write up those adventures, however (I did write up stories about the space pirates, however — also lost, alack alas).

My friend Vic Milan was smarter.  His new novel, THE DINOSAUR LORDS, will be out next June.  First of a trilogy.  It's got dinosaurs, and it's got knights.  What more can you ask?  (And why the hell didn't I think of it first??)  For those of you who don't know him, Victor Milan has been one of my Wild Cards mainstays since the very beginning, back in 1987, the creator of Cap'n Trips, the Harlem Hammer, Mackie Messer. and more.   THE DINOSAUR LORDS is his best book yet… and damn, but Tor gave him a KICKASS cover:

DINOLORDS Cover

Be sure and check out DINOSAUR LORDS when it hits the shelves in June… or better yet, pre-order.

And speaking of dinosaurs, a couple of other friends also have a cool dinosaur Kickstarter going.  Tess Kissinger and Bob Walters , old friends from Philadelphia, have a great dinosaur book out as well.

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Bob Walters has been one of the world's leading dinosaur artists for decades, and the book is full of his gorgeous art.

(No knights, though).

And he and Tess have a new dream as well:  THE DINOSAUR CHANNEL.

But I will let them tell you all about it themselves, on their Kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/210659515/dinosaurchanneltv

Cool cause, and some cool incentives as well.  Check it out.

Home From the Apple

October 31, 2014 at 12:22 am
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Amazing week back east.

Thanks to our friends at HBO, we got to see Alan Cummings in CABARET.  Incredible.  The movie is an all time favorite of mine, but this was the first time I've seen it live on stage.  Hard to believe anyone could equal the performance of Joel Grey as the emcee, but Cummings does it… thought his take is very different.  We had great seats too.  A night to remember.

Next day I took off to Providence with Tom Doherty, for an evening at Brown University, where both of us were honored with their new literary award.  I have passed through Providence dozens of times on the Acela, travelling from Boston to NYC, but this was the first time I got off the train.  It's a beautiful city, though, and the Brown campus is gorgeous.  For those of you were not able to attend, here's a video:

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 My thanks to the good folks at Brown, and all the students who attended the event and the reception afterwards (which was great fun, albeit too short).  While in Providence, I also got to visit the grave of H.P. Lovecraft… who, sadly, failed to rise from the dead to greet us.

Then it was back to New York, with a brief stop in New Haven for pizza.  This trip we tried Modern Apizza, which has its fans.  Pretty good, I thought, but not as good as Frank Pepe's.

Come the weekend, I spent Saturday with my family in Bayonne.  On Sunday, we had tickets to the Jets game.  The horror, the horror.  What can I possibly say about the Jets game?  The Jets turned over the ball six times.  Could have been eight, but they recovered two of their own fumbles. Geno Smith threw three interceptions in the first quarter alone.  Geno is hopeless.  Rex finally went with Michael Vick, who was better… but Vick is not the answer either.  He's on the downside of his career.  Rex should give Matt Simms a shot.   I miss Sanchez.  I miss Chad Pennington.  I miss Joe Willie Namath.  Anyway, it was a painful morning, made worse by the fact that we seemed to be sitting among the Buffalo fans, all of them cheering wildly every time the Jets screwed up.  (That being said, two of the Buffalo fans were fans of mine.  They said hello when I finally gave up and got up to flee… and refrained from pouring salt in my wounds, which was very kind of them).

Sunday night was much better.  That was the big event at the 92nd Street Y to launch THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE.  A full house, and all of them went home with a copy of the book.  Here's the video for that one:

http://new.livestream.com/92Y/GeorgeRRMartinLive

On our last day, I appeared on LATE NIGHT with Seth Meyers, which was a hoot and a half, especially since Amy Poehler was there as well.

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Of course, I also signed a thousand books, did interviews with New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Al-Jazeera America, and George Stephanopoulos, had dinner with my editors and publishers at Bantam, lunch with HBO, some Papaya King dogs with X-Ray and Mr X, breakfasts with friends from DC Comic, Barnes & Noble, and Simon & Schuster…

And while I was there, I had not one but TWO new books come out, and immediately hit the bestseller lists.

Weeks like that don't come very often.

(Nonetheless, as always, it is great to be back in Santa Fe.  Coming back to New Mexico is always a joy).

Dunk and Egg

April 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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An update on all things Dunk & Egg…

To date I have published three novellas about them.

"The Hedge Knight" was published in Robert Silverberg's anthology LEGENDS, "The Sworn Sword" in its sequel, LEGENDS II.  The third novella, "The Mystery Knight," was part of WARRIORS, the crossgenre anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.

The first two novellas were subsequently adapted into graphic novels, with scripts by Ben Avery and artwork by Mike S. Miller and Mike Crowell.  The GNs have had a complicated publishing history.  Originally they were published by the Dabel Brothers, in partnership with Image Comics and then Devil's Due.  Later Marvel picked them up and had them out in hardcover for a time.  Those editions are all out of print, however.  Last year, Jet City Comics reissued both grahic novels.  Meanwhile, a graphic novel of "The Mystery Knight" is currently in the works from Random House.  Ben Avery has done the script once more, and Mike S. Miller is doing the art.

Turning back to prose, however… it has always been my intent to write a whole series of novellas about Dunk and Egg, chronicling their entire lives.  At various times in various interviews I may have mentioned seven novellas, or ten, or twelve, but none of that is set in stone.  There will be as many novellas as it takes to tell their tale, start to finish.  But only the three mentioned have been published to date.  I did originally plan on including a fourth in DANGEROUS WOMEN, the crossgenre anthology Gardner and I put out last year, but the book was past due and the story was not finished, so I substituted an abridged version of "The Princess and the Queen" instead.

The unfinished novella was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed 'the She-Wolves,' but "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" was never meant to be more than a working title.  The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different.  There's also another Dunk & Egg novella that I've got roughed out in my head, with the working title "The Village Hero."  That one takes place in the Riverlands.   There's no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first.  I don't expect I will know more until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.

My original intent was to publish all the Dunk & Egg stories in a series of anthologies, and then collect them all together in one big book.  But by the time of "The Mystery Knight," it became plain that the stories were just too long, and there were going to be too many of them.  So instead of one big book, the plan now is for a series of Dunk & Egg collections, each comprised of three novellas.  The first one to consist of the three published stories, "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword," and "The Mystery Knight."   The obvious title would have been THE HEDGE KNIGHT, but there is already a certain amount of confusion between "The Hedge Knight" the novella and THE HEDGE KNIGHT the graphic novel, and we did not want to compound the difficulty, so the first Dunk & Egg collection was titled A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS instead.

Since the collection is comprised entirely of previously-published material, we wanted to add something extra for the fans who might already have read the stories in LEGENDS and WARRIORS.  Some illustrations would be great, I thought (my love of illustrated books is well known by now, I suspect) and my British and American publishers agreed.   We reached out to the amazing GARY GIANNI, who did all the artwork for the stunning 2014 Ice & Fire calendar, not to mention Prince Valiant and those absolutely gorgeous Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn collections from Wandering Star.   Gary was interested in the project… but after reading the stories, he decided he did not want to do just a small handful of illustrations.  He wanted to bring the whole book to life with his artwork.  Last year at San Diego Comicon, he presented my editor Anne Groell and myself with a mockup of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS as he envisioned it, with art on almost every page.  Even as roughs, Gary's sketches were gorgeous.  They blew us away.  Of course we said yes.

Gary Gianni has been drawing and painting away ever since.  Of course, it takes a long time to do so much artwork.  Bantam Spectra and Harper Collins Voyager still hope to publish their fully-illustrated editions  A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in 2015, in the US and UK respectively, but the precise pubdate depends on when Gary finishes the art.  Meanwhile, some of my other publishers around the world had acquired the rights to the Dunk & Egg collection, and decided that they did not want to wait.  Which is why A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has already been published in several foreign languages, and will shortly be forthcoming in others, while the English-language editions won't be out for another year or more.  This is an inversion of the usual publishing pattern, where the American and British editions come out first.  The foreign editions have no artwork.

I am frequently asked whether or not there are any plans for Dunk & Egg movies or television shows.  There has been interest, yes, but the rights situation is complicated.  Film and television rights to the characters and the three published Dunk & Egg stories remain with me at present… but HBO, when acquiring the rights to the SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels, also acquired film and television rights to the world of Westeros.  So if we did Dunk & Egg with anyone else, we would need to remove all the references to House Targaryen, the Iron Throne, etc… not completely impossible, but certainly undesireable.  Whereas if HBO decided they wanted to make a Dunk & Egg miniseries or TV movies, they'd first need to buy the stories.  That's a much more attractive proposition for all concerned, I think… but if it happens, it will happen years from now, not tomorrow, and not next week.

So that's where things stand on all things Dunk & Egg.  Thanks for asking.

We’re #18!

December 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm
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Which is a lot more exciting than it sounds.

 DANGEROUS WOMEN has come roaring out of the gate.  The hardcover will debut at #18 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list for December 22.

That's just a hair too low to make the printed list, which only lists through #15, but it's still a sensational showing for an anthology, especially one as massive and expensive as DW.  It’s also on the USA Today list (which aggregates all types of books, hard and softcover, fiction and nonfiction, into a single list) at #70.   And it’s #25 on Ingram’s internal “Hardcover Fiction” list.

 I love doing anthologies, but it is very rare than one of them sells really, really well.  There have been some, of course… DANGEROUS VISIONS way back when, DARK FORCES during the horror boom, LEGENDS and LEGENDS II more recently…  It's a short list, though, and Gardner and I are more than thrilled that DANGEROUS WOMEN is now on it.

It's our readers who put it there, of course.  So give yourselves a pat on the back, all of you who bought the book.  And if you haven't yet… hey, get on it.  Maybe we can climb up to #17 next week.

And my thanks go out to Gardner Dozois, world's best co-editor (he does all the heavy lifting) and our incredible lineup of writers.  Without you guys, nobody would be buying the book, since there wouldn't be one.   Melinda Snodgrass, Diana Rowland, Caroline Spector, Diana Gabaldon, Steve Stirling, Carrie Vaughn, Megan Lindholm, Sharon Kay Penman, Megan Abbott, Brandon Sanderson, Nancy Kress, Lawrence Block, Jim Butcher, Joe Abercrombie, Joe R. Lansdale, Lev Grossman, Sam Sykes, Cecelia Holland,  Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Pat Cadigan… thanks.

 

Thank You

August 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm
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The NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list for August 19 has been released. Here ’tis:

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/hardcover-fiction/list.html

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is on the list, hanging in there at #10 in hardcover bestsellers. Which is not news by itself. DANCE has been on the list for a long time, moving down, moving up, but never quite falling off. For 52 weeks.

That’s the news. DANCE has been on the NYT list for one full year.

I never could have imagined this, not in my wildest dreams.

Copy of DWD5

This is a terrific moment for me, of course, but it is nothing I could ever have achieved without the help of others… so very many others…

I owe them thanks.

Thank you to me editors and publishers, past and present, to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, Nita Taublib, Jennifer Hershey, Irwyn Applebaum, to my valiant and tireless publicists David Moench and Chris Artis, and to all the other great folks at Bantam Spectra and Random House.

Thank you to all the critics and reviewers, who gave the book such outstanding notices, not to mention all sorts of cool awards. I have never had a book better reviewed.

Thanks for all the journalists and feature writers and bloggers who conducted interviews, ran contests, and helped spread the word.

Thanks to Parris, who was with me through every page, and to Ty, my acerbic assistant, who helped crack the whip and spurred me on and kept the trolls at bay. One of these days he may even teach me to say, “no.”

Thanks to the Brotherhood Without Banners. Fans and friends, AND they throw the best party at worldcon.

Thanks for all the booksellers and librarians everywhere. You’re all heroes.

Thanks to Mike Lombardo and Sue Naegle and Richard Plepler and Mara Mikilian and all the rest of the great folks at HBO, and thanks especially to Brian Cogman, David Benioff, and Dan Weiss, to Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Jack Gleeson, Nicholaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kit Harrington, Maisie Williams, Conleth Hill, Michelle Fairley, and the rest of the greatest cast on television, and to our amazing cast and phenomenal directors. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS would likely have made the NYTimes list without the GAME OF THRONES series, but beyond doubt, it is the show that has kept the books riding high for so long. You’ve all done amazing work.

But most of all, thanks to you, my readers. You were the ones who bought the book a year ago when it first hit the shelves, and you are the ones who are still buying it today, and pressing copies on your lovers and kin, and telling your friends to buy their own copies. Luck can get a book on the list, even keep it there for a week or two… but only a long, sustained passion and great word of mouth can keep a title on the TIMES list for one solid year. So take a bow, readers. I owe it all to you.

All I can say is… keep reading. The best is yet to come.

One Million… and Counting

September 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm
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With all my travel, I never got the chance to hoot about my induction as the newest member of the Kindle Million Club.

So here’s my hoot, a little late.

Read all about it:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1607936

That’s some cool company. Or some hot company, as the case may be.