If you missed Archmaester Gyldayn’s history of the Targaryen dynasty the first time around, have no fear.
Our friends at Bantam Spectra are bringing it back. On sale TODAY in both trade paperback and mass market, with new tie-in cover art from HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (scheduled to debut on HBO on August 21), and illustrations by Doug Wheatley.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON will tell the story of the Targaryen civil war known as “the Dance of the Dragons.”
FIRE & BLOOD will include that tale… as well as a lot, lot more. Aegon’s Conquest. Maegor the Cruel and his war with the Faith. The long reign of Jaehaerys the Conciliator and Good Queen Alysanne. Septon Moon, the Serpent in Scarlet, Elissa Farman and the stolen dragon eggs, the regency of King Aegon III… it’s all here, and much more.
(And yes, this is the first of two volumes. The second will follow… through not till the WINDS have blown).
Signed copies will be available from Beastly Books in Santa Fe… while they last.
THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MINIONS OF FEVRE RIVER
Last night in Hollywood at the WarnerMedia Day, HBO made it official. We have a green light for a GAME OF THRONES successor show… not just a pilot, but a full season order for ten episodes. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is the title of the new show, and needless to say it will be centered on House Targaryen, set a couple of centuries before the events of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE and based upon Archmaester Gyldayn’s imaginary history FIRE & BLOOD.
The new series will be helmed by a couple of great showrunners: RYAN CONDAL and MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK.
Miguel’s name will be well known to every GAME OF THRONES fan. One of the hottest directors in television today, he directed five episodes for GOT, and won an Emmy and a DGA Award for his work on “Battle of the Bastards.” Sapochnik will be directing the pilot… well, maybe it is more precise to call it “the first episode”… of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and doubtless a number of other episodes as well. There’s no one better.
Ryan Condal is new to Westeros, but not to me. I first met Ryan when he came to New Mexico to shoot a pilot for a fantasy western that was not picked up. I visited his set and we became friendly. Later Ryan created and served as showrunner for the SF series COLONY, and we had the honor of doing a premiere screening for the show at the Jean Cocteau. He’s a terrific writer… and a fan of my books since well before we met. He tells me that he discovered the series just after A STORM OF SWORDS was published, and “I’ve loved the books for 19 years.” (He is also a huge fan of my Dunk & Egg stories. In fact, that was the show he wanted to do initially, but I’m not prepared to bring Dunk & Egg to television until I’ve written quite a few more stories). Working with Ryan on the development of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has been a dream.
The news is all over the internet by now, of course, so I won’t rehash the basics here. But you can find good, informed accounts on a number of websites. Check here:
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process). It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016. If you’d like to know a bit more of what the show will be about… well, I can’t actually spill those beans, but you might want to pick up a copy of two anthologies I did with Gardner Dozois, DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES, and then move on to Archmaester Gyldayn’s history, FIRE & BLOOD.
(For the autograph collectors among you, signed copies of all these books are available via mail order from the bookshop at my Jean Cocteau Cinema, https://jeancocteaucinema.com/shop/ )
Ryan Condal has already done a considerable amount of writing on HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, but a lot of work remains ahead of us. There’s a writer’s room to be assembled, episodes to be broken down and scripted, a cast and crew to be assembled, budgets and production details to be worked out. As yet, we don’t even know where we will be shooting… though I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David & Dan used for GAME OF THRONES (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain). I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent… and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of GAME OF THRONES.
But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER. Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of HOUSE.
As exciting as the series order is, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the bad news. HBO also announced that it has decided not to proceed with the other successor show we had in development, the one I kept calling THE LONG NIGHT (though it was, and remains, officially untitled), the pilot for which was shot in Northern Ireland last spring and summer. Set thousands of years before either GAME OF THRONES or HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and centered on the Starks and the White Walkers, the untitled pilot was written by Jane Goldman, directed by S.J. Clarkson, and starred Naomi Watts, Miranda Richardson, and a splendid cast. It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. This was never an either/or situation. If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and CHICAGO shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows. Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to nought, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy… with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next.
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.
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).
I’m back from the Emmys and happy to be the first to share this exclusive look at my upcoming history of Westeros and the Targaryen lords in FIRE & BLOOD. I hope you’ll enjoy this tiny taste of what’s to come!
FIRE & BLOOD will be fully illustrated by Doug Wheatley and written from the perspective of Archmaester Gyldayn.
Portions of the book have previously appeared here and there. The chapter about Aegon’s Conquest was published, pretty much as written, in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. But although much has been previously seen there are still hundreds of additional pages of new material which has never appeared before in any form, abridged or unabridged.
Madness, and Fire and Dragons OH MY!
FIRE AND BLOOD EXCERPT
Several years had passed since the king had last made a progress, so plans were laid in 58 AC for Jaehaerys and Alysanne to make their first visit to Winterfell and the North. Their dragons would be with them, of course, but beyond the Neck the distances were great and the roads poor, and the king had grown tired of flying ahead and waiting for his escort to catch up. This time, he decreed, his Kingsguard, servants, and retainers would go ahead of him, to make things ready for his arrival. And thus it was that three ships set sail from King’s Landing for White Harbor, where he and the queen were to make their first stop.
The gods and the Free Cities had other plans, however. Even as the king’s ships were beating their way north, envoys from Pentos and Tyrosh called upon His Grace in the Red Keep. The two cities had been at war for three years and were now desirous of making peace, but could not agree on where they might meet to discuss terms. The conflict had caused serious disruption to trade upon the narrow sea, to the extent that King Jaehaerys had offered both cities his help in ending their hostilities. After long discussion, the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos had agreed to meet in King’s Landing to settle their differences, provided that Jaehaerys would act as an intermediary between them, and guarantee the terms of any resulting treaty.
It was a proposal that neither the king nor his council felt he could refuse, but it would mean postponing His Grace’s planned progress to the North, and there was concern that the notoriously prickly Lord of Winterfell might take that for a slight. Queen Alysanne provided the solution. She would go ahead as planned, alone, whilst the king played host to the Prince and Archon. Jaehaerys could join her at Winterfell as soon as the peace had been concluded. And so it was agreed.
Queen Alysanne’s travels began in the city of White Harbor, where tens of thousands of northerners turned out to cheer her and gape at Silverwing with awe, and a bit of terror. It was the first time any of them had seen a dragon. The size of the crowds surprised even their lord. “I had not known there were so many smallfolk in the city,” Theomore Manderly is reported to have said. “Where did they all come from?”
The Manderlys were unique amongst the great houses of the North. Having originated in the Reach centuries before, they had found refuge near the mouth of the White Knife when rivals drove them from their rich lands along the Mander. Though fiercely loyal to the Starks of Winterfell, they had brought their own gods with them from the south, and still worshipped the Seven and kept the traditions of knighthood. Alysanne Targaryen, ever desirous of binding the Seven Kingdoms closer together, saw an opportunity in Lord Theomore’s famously large family, and promptly set about arranging marriages. By the time she took her leave, two of her ladies-in-waiting had been betrothed to his lordship’s younger sons and a third to a nephew; his eldest daughter and three nieces, meanwhile, had been added to the queen’s own party, with the understanding that they would travel south with her and there be pledged to suitable lords and knights of the king’s court.
Lord Manderly entertained the queen lavishly. At the welcoming feast an entire aurochs was roasted, and his lordship’s daughter Jessamyn acted as the queen’s cupbearer, filling her tankard with a strong northern ale that Her Grace pronounced finer than any wine she had ever tasted. Manderly also staged a small tourney in the queen’s honor, to show the prowess of his knights. One of the fighters (though no knight) was revealed to be a woman, a wildling girl who had been captured by rangers north of the Wall and given to one of Lord Manderly’s household knights to foster. Delighted by the girl’s daring, Alysanne summoned her own sworn shield, Jonquil Darke, and the wildling and the Scarlet Shadow dueled spear against sword whilst the northmen roared in approval.
A few days later, the queen convened her women’s court in Lord Manderly’s own hall, a thing hitherto unheard of in the North, and more than two hundred women and girls gathered to share their thoughts, concerns, and grievances with Her Grace.
After taking leave of White Harbor, the queen’s retinue sailed up the White Knife to its rapids, then proceeded overland to Winterfell, whilst Alysanne herself flew ahead on Silverwing. The warmth of her reception at White Harbor was not to be duplicated at the ancient seat of the Kings in the North, where Alaric Stark and his sons alone emerged to greet her when her dragon landed before his castle gates. Lord Alaric had a flinty reputation; a hard man, people said, stern and unforgiving, tight-fisted almost to the point of being niggardly, humorless, joyless, cold. Even Theomore Manderly, who was his bannerman, had not disagreed; Stark was well respected in the North, he said, but not loved. Lord Manderly’s fool had put it elsewise. “Methinks Lord Alaric has not moved his bowels since he was twelve.”
Her reception at Winterfell did nothing to disabuse the queen’s fears as to what she might expect from House Stark. Even before dismounting to bend the knee, Lord Alaric looked askance at Her Grace’s clothing and said, “I hope you brought something warmer than that.” He then proceeded to declare that he did not want her dragon inside his walls. “I’ve not seen Harrenhal, but I know what happened there.” Her knights and ladies he would receive when they got here, “and the king too, if he can find the way,” but they should not overstay their welcome. “This is the North, and winter is coming. We cannot feed a thousand men for long.” When the queen assured him that only a tenth that number would be coming, Lord Alaric grunted and said, “That’s good. Fewer would be even better.” As had been feared, he was plainly unhappy that King Jaehaerys had not deigned to accompany her, and confessed to being uncertain how to entertain a queen. “If you are expecting balls and masques and dances, you have come to the wrong place.”
Lord Alaric had lost his wife three years earlier. When the queen expressed regret that she had never had the pleasure of meeting Lady Stark, the northman said, “She was a Mormont of Bear Isle, and no lady by your lights, but she took an axe to a pack of wolves when she was twelve, killed two of them, and sewed a cloak from their skins. She gave me two strong sons as well, and a daughter as sweet to look upon as any of your southron ladies.”
When Her Grace suggested that she would be pleased to help arrange marriages for his sons to the daughters of great southern lords, Lord Stark refused brusquely. “We keep the old gods in the North,” he told the queen. “When my boys take a wife, they will wed before a heart tree, not in some southron sept.”
Alysanne Targaryen did not yield easily, however. The lords of the south honored the old gods as well as the new, she told Lord Alaric; most every castle that she knew had a godswood as well as a sept. And there were still certain houses that had never accepted the Seven, no more than the northmen had, the Blackwoods in the riverlands chief amongst them, and mayhaps as many as a dozen more. Even a lord as stern and flinty as Alaric Stark found himself helpless before Queen Alysanne’s stubborn charm. He allowed that he would think on what she said, and raise the matter with his sons.
The longer the queen stayed, the more Lord Alaric warmed to her, and in time Alysanne came to realize that not everything that was said of him was true. He was careful with his coin, but not niggardly; he was not humorless at all, though his humor had an edge to it, sharp as a knife; his sons and daughter and the people of Winterfell seemed to love him well enough. Once the initial frost had thawed, his lordship took the queen hunting after elk and wild boar in the wolfswood, showed her the bones of a giant, and allowed her to rummage as she pleased through his modest castle library. He even deigned to approach Silverwing, though warily. The women of Winterfell were taken by the queen’s charms as well, once they grew to know her; Her Grace became particularly close with Lord Alaric’s daughter, Alarra. When the rest of the queen’s party finally turned up at the castle gates, after struggling through trackless bogs and summer snows, the meat and mead flowed freely, despite the king’s absence.
Things were not going as well at King’s Landing, meanwhile. The peace talks dragged on far longer than anticipated, for the acrimony between the two Free Cities ran deeper than Jaehaerys had known. When His Grace attempted to strike a balance, both sides accused him of favoring the other. Whilst the Prince and the Archon dickered, fights began to break out between their men across the city, in inns, brothels, and wine sinks. A Pentoshi guardsman was set upon and killed, and three nights later the Archon’s own galley was set afire where she was docked. The king’s departure was delayed and delayed again.
In the North, Queen Alysanne grew restless with waiting, and decided to take her leave of Winterfell for a time and visit the men of the Night’s Watch at Castle Black. The distance was not negligible, even flying; Her Grace landed at the Last Hearth and several smaller keeps and holdfasts on her way, to the surprise and delight of their lords, whilst a portion of her tail scrambled after her (the rest remained at Winterfell).
Her first sight of the Wall from above took Alysanne’s breath away, Her Grace would later tell the king. There had been some concern how the queen might be received at Castle Black, for many of the black brothers had been Poor Fellows and Warrior’s Sons before those orders were abolished, but Lord Stark sent ravens ahead to warn of her coming, and the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Lothor Burley, assembled eight hundred of his finest men to receive her. That night the black brothers feasted the queen on mammoth meat, washed down with mead and stout.
As dawn broke the next day Lord Burley took Her Grace to the top of the Wall. “Here the world ends,” he told her, gesturing at the vast green expanse of the haunted forest beyond. Burley was apologetic for the quality of the food and drink presented to the queen, and the rudeness of the accommodations at Castle Black. “We do what we can, Your Grace,” the Lord Commander explained, “but our beds are hard, our halls are cold, and our food—”
“—is nourishing,” the queen finished. “And that is all that I require. It will please me to eat as you do.”
The men of the Night’s Watch were as thunderstruck by the queen’s dragon as the people of White Harbor had been, though the queen herself noted that Silverwing “does not like this Wall.” Though it was summer and the Wall was weeping, the chill of the ice could still be felt whenever the wind blew, and every gust would make the dragon hiss and snap. “Thrice I flew Silverwing high above Castle Black, and thrice I tried to take her north beyond the Wall,” Alysanne wrote to Jaehaerys, “but every time she veered back south again and refused to go. Never before has she refused to take me where I wished to go. I laughed about it when I came down again, so the black brothers would not realize anything was amiss, but it troubled me then and it troubles me still.”
Nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards have now opened, I am informed. If you are a member of last year’s worldcon in Helsinki, this year’s worldcon in San Jose, or next year’s worldcon in Dublin, you are eligible to nominate. You should be receiving an email with a link to the ballot. (I have not actually received mine yet, but I’m told that others have, so I expect mine Real Soon Now).
I have a few things eligible for nomination myself this year… more for editing than writing, however.
GAME OF THRONES is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation category, of course. The whole of Season 7 can be nominated in Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and any or all of the individual episodes can be nominated in Short Form. GOT has won in both categories in the past. Last year in Helsinki, three episodes actually had enough votes to make the ballot, but the new rule limits any series to no more than two places on the ballot, so we had to withdraw one. But you can nominate as many episodes as you like.
Wild Cards had a big year last year. We celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the series, and our twenty-fourth mosaic novel, MISSISSIPPI ROLL, was published in the fall. A couple of the older books were reissued, and we had two original Wild Cards story on Tor.com — “When the Devil Drives” by Melinda M. Snodgrass, and “The Atonement Tango” by Stephen Leigh. The two Tor.com stories are both novelettes and are eligible in that category. MISSISSIPPI ROLL is a more complex case. Like most Wild Cards books, it is a mosaic novel, with individual stories by half a dozen writers woven together to make a whole that is, we hope, more than the sum of its parts. One could argue that our mosaics are anthologies, I suppose… but they feel more like collaborative novels to me. If the former view prevails, the individual components of MISSISSIPPI ROLL are eligible in the short fiction categories, Steve Leigh’s “In the Shadow of Tall Stacks” in novella, the other stories as novelettes. If the latter, the volume as a whole could be nominated in novel.
In either case, I’m eligible for nomination in the editing categories. Short Form, most likely, for the stories in Tor.com as well as the book. (If you consider MISSISSIPPI ROLL a novel, then it counts for me as a Long Form editor, but I don’t think one book is enough to make me eligible in that category). My Wild Cards work was the only editing I did in 2017. The big cross-genre anthologies I co-edited with Gardner Dozois all came out in previous years.
Wild Cards as a whole is definitely eligible for nomination as Best Series. That’s a new category that first appeared on the ballot last year, as an experiment, but now it has been made permanent.
The only writing I had published in 2017 was “The Sons of the Dragon,” which was published in THE BOOK OF SWORDS, Gardner Dozois’s massive anthology of original sword & sorcery stories. Like “The Rogue Prince” and “The Princess and the Queen” before it, “Sons” is more of my (fake) history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros. By length, it is a novella… but it’s not a traditional narrative. By design, it reads like history, not fiction; but since the history is entirely imaginative, it’s still fiction, even if dressed up as (fake) non-fiction.
It has been pointed out to me that the publication of “The Sons of the Dragon” makes the entirety of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE eligible to be nominated as Best Series. I suppose that’s so. All I can say to that is : please don’t. If you like fake history and enjoyed “The Sons of the Dragon,” by all means nominate the story as a novella… but it’s really not part of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, and sneaking in the entire series by means of a technicality seems wrong to me.
If I may broaden the discussion a bit, while I think it is good that the Hugo Awards now have a category to recognize series books, I would quibble somewhat with how a “series” is defined. The rules were written very broadly, to include not only true series, like last year’s winner, the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, but also any grouping of stories set against a common background, what we used to call “future histories,” as well as what I’d term “mega-novels,” those massive epics too long to be contained in a single volume. Three-quarters of the SF I wrote back in the 70s was set against a common background, but I never considered that I was writing a series when I visited the Thousand Worlds; it was a future history, made up of stories set hundreds of years apart, on planets separated by thousands of light years (though within the future history there was a series, the Haviland Tuf stories). On the other extreme, I don’t consider A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE a series either; it’s one single story, being published in (we hope) seven volumes. FWIW, Tolkien wasn’t writing a series when he wrote LORD OF THE RINGS either. He wrote a big novel and his publisher divided it into three parts, none of which stands on its own.
Anyway, that’s my own perspective on the matter. Obviously, the good folks who drafted the Best Series rules disagree. Ultimately I think the fans will decide the matter by what they choose to nominate. Worldcon committees have traditionally been reluctant to overrule the fans, even in cases where a nominated work would seem to be ineligible for one reason or other.
FWIW, Wild Cards is a series, plainly, so if you want to consider any of my work for Best Series, that’s the one I’d ask you to look at. Thirty-one years and twenty=four books is something to be proud of, and I am.
Regardless of whether or not you nominate any of my own work, I do urge all the worldcon members reading this to be sure to nominate. There are a lot of awards being given in SF, fantasy, and horror these days, but the Hugo was the first, and it’s still the one that means the most. It is, of course, important to vote on the final ballot too… but you can’t vote for works that have not been nominated, and it is crucial to have widespread participation in the nominating stage.
((Comments and debate allowed, but ONLY on these subjects. Stay on topic)).
Today is the day: publication day for THE BOOK OF SWORDS, the mammoth new sword & sorcery anthology edited by my old friend (and sometime partner in crime) Gardner Dozois.
There’s an impressive table of contents, including brand new stories by giants of the genre like Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, the criminally underrated Matthew Hughes, Scott Lynch, Daniel Abraham, Cecelia Holland, Lavie Tidhar, and many more.
Including yours truly. I’m here too, with “Sons of the Dragon,” another installment in the Fake History of Westeros, this one chronicling the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer’s two sons, Aenys and Maegor. Not a conventional story, no, more in the vein of “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince,” but perhaps of some interest to those fascinated by the blood-soaked annals of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
THE BOOK OF SWORDS should be available today at your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller.
Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He’s been part of the show since the beginning… since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer. Less formally, he has also been GOT’s “Keeper of the Lore,” the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that). He’s written more episodes of GAME OF THRONES than anyone but Dan & David… including some of our very best ones. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone.
I’d love to tell you more about the series Bryan will be working on… but we haven’t done that for the other four successor shows, so we shouldn’t for this one either. All in good time.
I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff. Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I’ll be working with him every step of the way; we’re going to be co-creating the show.
Meanwhile, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein, and Carly Wray are all at work on the other four successor shows. I’ve been working with them as well (some more closely than others), and I’m excited by some of the ideas they’re coming up with. HBO should have a wealth of material to choose from. (And that’s not even counting the four weird-ass series concepts I’ve come up on my own, just for the hell of it. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and maybe ten times as many in Westeros and the lands beyond the narrow seas).
You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network… but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020… and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe… but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me.
For now, suffice it to say that Bryan Cogman has signed on, and we’re thrilled.