As I ponder my own review of George R.R. Martin’s latest volume in A Song of Ice and Fire, I stumbled across this interesting blog that chronicles Stefan Sasse’s experience as he re-reads A Dance with Dragons, a novel that’s found enormous success commercially, but a very critical response from many readers. It’s similar to what Tor.com’s doing with Robert Jordan’s A Wheel of Time, but looks more critically and in-depth at the novel on a chapter-by-chapter basis. It’s my own opinion that A Dance with Dragons (and, to an extent, A Feast for Crows) is unfairly maligned, and analyzing the novel without any of the anticipation and expectations that are loaded upon a first read might give a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses in the narrative.
You can find Sasse’s re-read project HERE and his original review of A Dance with Dragons HERE.
Not only is this a decent way to re-cap the novel, Sasse has some good point about the narrative and it’s place in the overall scheme of A Song of Ice and Fire. He’s nearly done the novel, now, and I’ll be curious to see if he goes back and gives a similar treatment to the earlier novels in the series.
Via Winter is Coming:
We have some exclusive casting news for you, the House Gatewatch faithful. British actor Patrick Malahide has been cast as Lord Balon Greyjoy.
This probably completes the casting for Ironborn speaking roles this season as it looks like Aeron and Victarion will be shuffled off to later seasons. Malahide looks to be a solid choice for the role, being an experienced character actor and one that tends to play the villainous roles. Balon isn’t a villain per se, but he definitely has an edge to him. As a Greyjoy fanboy, I approve of this casting.
For the rather small role he’ll play in season two of Game of Thrones, I don’t have much to say. Looks scary and angry enough.
I made some waves earlier this year when I posted my thoughts on the nominations for the 2011 Hugo Awards. Bottom line, it’s an old men’s club that rewards the same people too consistently, doing the entirety of the genre an injustice. The awards are exclusionary in their ruling (just look at some of the changes being made to force StarShip Sofa out of the ‘Best Fanzine Award’). In any case, here are the winners, plus some thoughts on a few of the sections.
Best Fan Artist
Winner: Brad W. Foster
Winner: The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon
Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Challenger, edited by Guy H. Lillian III
File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
StarShipSofa, edited by Tony C. Smith
Don’t recognize any of these names? That’s because they’re almost all (with the exception of the aforementioned StarShip Sofa) print or pdf ‘zines’ that you probably didn’t even know existed. Since my first complaints a few months ago, I’ve followed File 770′s blog with regularity, but none of the other publications have held my interest. Yeah, there’s some good writing there, but this category needs to change in a way that encourages people to also include online only publications (like this blog, for instance) in the voting. ‘Fanzine’ is an outdated term. If the ‘zine scene is afraid of the online/blog scene, perhaps we could all agree to create a new category at the Hugos that encompasses ‘Online Fan Publications’. This category needs to grow up and become more inclusionary, to celebrate all reaches of fandom regardless of whether it falls under the umbrella of ‘fanzine.’ Unfortunately, the old men’s club wouldn’t even know where to begin. The Drink Tank hasn’t won a Hugo before this year, which at least shows some progress being made, but perhaps it’s time for some of the mainstays (File 770, 6 wins, 28 nominations; Banana Wings, 5 nominations; Challenger, 14 nominations; though a case can be made for those with several nominations and no wins) to follow in the steps of John Scalzi and Clarkesworld Magazine (in 2012) and consider withdrawing themselves from nomination in favour of exposing new and exciting fan publications. There’s no harm in spreading the love, is there? But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a blogger.
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Do you pine for the days when RPGs were simpler? Do you look back fondly on grinding against T-Rexes in Final Fantasy VI (or III or whatever you want to call it these days), or the time-travelling antics of Chrono Trigger? Now you’re all grown up, though, and can’t get enough of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire or HBO’s Game of Thrones, right? Well, have you ever been curious what the videogame version of A Game of Thrones might’ve looked like if the series had found superstardom when it was first released in 1996? Thanks to College Humor, we don’t have to ponder any longer!
It’s a terrifically funny little homage (which has its tongue planted firmly in cheek); the absolute highlights being Jaime Lannister’s infamous run-in with Bran Stark, Dany and Drogo’s rhythm-based mini-game, and the MIDI rendition of the Game of Thrones opening theme song.
As with all things Game of Thrones- or College Humor-related, it’s NSFW!
This article was originally posted on Tor.com.