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Come to the Westerlands

March 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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An old/ new sample just went up on my website, for those who cannot get enough of Fake History.

I've uploaded the history of the Westerlands, from THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE.  This is the version I read last year at Loncon, slightly longer than the text that appears in the actual book, which was edited and trimmed a bit.  For those who want every last little nugget…

You will find it under Samples/ World of Ice & Fire, where it replaces the Aegon's Conquest sample that had been up there for a year.

And if that whets your appetite for more, the worldbook is still available from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer.

Best Books of the Year

January 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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Another year has come and gone, and all sorts of folks are putting out lists of their favorite books of 2014…

… including the editors at Amazon.

I am pleased to say that our Westerosi worldbook THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE and our anthology ROGUES both made the Top Twenty list in Science Fiction and Fantasy:

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_426357402_25?ie=UTF8&node=10207159011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&pf_rd_r=1MX64NEX9Q76GESKDKKX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1968735602&pf_rd_i=10207069011

Thanks, Amazon.  And thanks to all of you, my readers.  Hope you enjoyed the books as well.

Worldbook Rides High

November 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm
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The reports are in from both sides of the Atlantic, and I'm thrilled to be able to report that THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE has debuted at #2 on the bestseller lists in both the US and the UK… though, somewhat oddly, in two different categories.

 In the United Kingdom, the worldbook turned up as #2 in hardcover fiction in the SUNDAY TIMES for November 2.

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Over on this side of the pond, however, the NEW YORK TIMES does not appear to consider the worldbook fiction, so instead we've crashed onto the lists in the rather odd category of "Advice, How To, and Miscellaneous."

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2014-11-16/advice-how-to-and-miscellaneous/list.html

Our maesters would no doubt be outraged, and insist their work was entirely non-fiction.  Me, I'd call it fiction.  Fake history isn't precisely FACT, after all.  Then again, THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE is an art book too, so maybe "miscellaneous" is a good place to put it.

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 Truth be told, I don't care what they call it.  Categories have never mattered much to me.  Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, an art book… call it what you like, so long as you read and enjoy it.  This one was a LOT of work, and I am thrilled to see it doing so well.

 My thanks and congratulations to our crack teams at Harper Voyager and Bantam Spectra, to the designers and artists who made the book as gorgeous as it is, and of course to my partners in fake history, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson.

 

Something Old and Something New

November 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm
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I had two books released in October, an old one and a new one, and I'm thrilled to report that they both did rather well.

The  hardcover reissue of THE ICE DRAGON, with fantastic new artwork by Luis Royo, was released by Tor on October 21.  We've just learned that it will be debut this week at #5 on the NEW YORK TIMES young adult bestseller list.  Pretty damn good for a story that I originally wrote (albeit in a slightly different form) back in 1979.   That short story has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I am delighted that it's still pleasing new readers, decades after it was first published.

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A week later, on October 28, the long-awaited WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE was released by Bantam Spectra in the US and Harper Voyager in the UK.  Too early to know about the TIMES list yet — whether we'll make the list, or in what slot, or in even in what category — but the worldbook was in the top five on Amazon even before its publication date, based on pre-orders alone, and on the day of release it ascended to #1.  That's not number one in SF and fantasy, but number one BOOK, period.  Can't get better than that.  The Amazon ranks change constantly, of course, but as I write, WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE is still at #6 in books, and #1 in several sub-categories.

WOIAF cover

A lot of great people put a lot of great work in the worldbook, and it is really gratifying to see it generating so much excitement, enthusiasm, and success.  My thanks to all those who made it possible: Anne Groell, my wonderful editor, and all the other great folks at Bantam; all of the amazing talented artists who contributed (too many to list here, but they all have credits in the book); our terrific design team of Delia Greve and Rosebud Eustace, our tireless production manager Erich Schoenweiss, and of course my amazing collaborators, Elio Garcia Jr and Linda Antonsson.   Great work, all!  Time to pop the champagne…

More on the Worldbook

November 1, 2014 at 11:50 am
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Here's another piece I did on THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE, this one taped in the UK during my last trip over there.

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I also did a much longer interview with my editor Anne Groell for the US edition of the worldbook.  That one is coming up on line as well, though it seems to have been divided into smaller segments.

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More of that to come, I am sure.

And here's another of the interviews I did in New York on my latest trip, this one a sit down with Christopher Farley of WALL STREET JOURNAL that covers considerably more ground than just the worldbook.

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Enjoy.

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).

Does anyone want to win a free copy of The World of Ice and Fire?

October 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm
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Follow the link below to enter and win an exclusive HIGHLY RARE boxed edition of TWOIAF today

http://atrandom.com/WOIAFsweepstakes/?attribution=grrm_notablog

Sorry USA contestents only 🙁

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This Message was brought to you by the Minions of Fevre River

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.

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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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The worldbook will be here next month!

Comicon Coolness, Part the First

August 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm
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Lots of cool stuff went down in San Diego at Comicon… parties, panels, parties, signings, parties, meals with friends, and much much more.

Too much to relate here, at least.  But I can mention a few highlights.

For me, one of the highlights was the appearance of a couple of copies of THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.

The worldbook won't be released until October, so it wasn't for sale at San Diego, but Bantam had a couple of advance copies hot off the presses at the Random House booth, for lucky fans to open, peruse, and drool over.  Not mock-ups, either.  This is the real book.

Alas, the crowds at Comicon make it impossible for me to walk the floor anymore without a cordon of security, so I never made it to the Random House booth… but I was able to snag one of the samples and take it home with me.

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It's everything I hoped for!  A bloody gorgeous book.  Wait till you see it.

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Years back, when my editors at Bantam first approached me about doing a concordance for Westeros and its history, I was initially reluctant.  I had seen a number of these 'worldbooks,' and, well, some were pretty good, but others were awful, cheaply made collections of previously published material with lots of bad art.  If we do one of these, I declared, I want it to be the best one ever published.  A coffee table book, big and beautiful, with lots of original content, histories and tales never previously published anywhere, plus maps and heraldry and family trees, all of it lavishly illustrated by some of the best fantasy artists in the world.

That's what we got.  It took WAY longer than we thought it would, and required much more time and effort from everyone concerned, but I think the end result is worth it, and hope you all will agree.  Hey, even Robby the Robot loves the book.

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Will THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE answer every question you ever had about Westeros and its history?  Hell, no… I need to save SOMETHING for the novels and the Dunk & Egg stories.  But it will answer a lot of questions, including some you never knew you had, and there are long meaty histories of all the major regions and great houses of the Seven Kingdoms, plus the Lands Beyond — the Nine Free Cities, the Summer Isles, the grasslands of Essos, even the Further East, beyond the Bones.

And the art… the art will knock you on your ass… Justin Sweet, Magali Villenueve, Marc Simonetti, Michael Komarck, Jae Drummond, Chase Stone, Ted Nasmith, and many many more.

My thanks go out to all the great folks at Bantam, in particular my editor Anne Lesley Groell and production manager Erich Schoenweiss, who labored long and hard to bring the worldbook to fruition. Also, a lot of credit goes to art director Dave Stevenson, and to Delia Greve and Rosebud Eustace at Becker & Mayer… and of course to my collaborators and partners in crime, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, without whose efforts THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE could never ever have happened.

I wanted to give my fans the best fantasy concordance ever published.  I think we did.

If you want to see for yourself, Amazon is offering it at a considerable presale discount right now

http://www.amazon.com/World-Ice-Fire-History-Westeros/dp/0553805444/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407035564&sr=1-1

and, of course, it is also available for preorder at many other online booksellers, and your favorite local bookstore.

I'm very proud of this one.  Maybe you can tell…