If the books and TV show seem to be revelling in the worst aspects of human nature, that’s partly because those aspects are what Westeros helps us to recognize in ourselves.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, George R.R. Martin discussed the past, present, and future of his mega-popular series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and its television adaptation, Game of Thrones. Some of the most interesting moments in the interview concern the future of HBO series and the potential that it might catch up with Martin’s work on the novels.
“The minute you have a series [of books] and a book comes out,” Martin explained (surprising no one), “people immediately begin asking, ‘Where’s the next book?’ And the more successful the series is, the more people ask that question, and the more pressure you begin to feel.”
Martin’s struggle against that pressure is one of the most publicized and scrutinized stories to hit SFF fandom is the past decade. Here’s a creator working on a seminal work of fantasy, adored by millions of people around the world, who is also crushed under the weight of his fame, criticized for his own fannish activities (such as watching football, or attending conventions) and condemned for not writing fast enough. As if works the calibre of those he’s producing can come over night.
Prominence of this issue hit its peak when Neil Gaiman, another writer who understands the intricacies of dabbling in many mediums, wrote an open letter to Martin’s detractors. “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch,” he famously said. “This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.
“People are not machines. Writers and artists aren’t machines.” Read More »
“This one was an enormous amount of fun. We’re got something for everyone in Rogues,” said George R.R. Martin of the anthology. “SF, mystery, historical fiction, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, comedy, tragedy, crime stories, mainstream. And rogues, cads, scalawags, con men, thieves, and scoundrels of all descriptions. If you love Harry Flashman and Cugel the Clever, as I do, this is the book for you.
“If there’s any bloody justice, some of these stories will contend for awards.”
I’ll say one thing, and one thing only: the Table of Contents is a hell of a lot more impressive than that cover.
- George R.R. Martin “Everybody Loves a Rogue” (Introduction)
- Joe Abercrombie “Tough Times All Over”
- Gillian Flynn “What Do You Do?”
- Matthew Hughes “The Inn of the Seven Blessings”
- Joe R. Lansdale “Bent Twig”
- Michael Swanwick “Tawny Petticoats”
- David Ball “Provenance”
- Carrie Vaughn “The Roaring Twenties”
- Scott Lynch “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane”
- Bradley Denton “Bad Brass”
- Cherie Priest “Heavy Metal”
- Daniel Abraham “The Meaning of Love”
- Paul Cornell “A Better Way to Die”
- Steven Saylor “Ill Seen in Tyre”
- Garth Nix “A Cargo of Ivories”
- Walter Jon Williams “Diamonds From Tequila”
- Phyllis Eisenstein “The Caravan to Nowhere”
- Lisa Tuttle “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives”
- Neil Gaiman “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back”
- Connie Willis “Now Showing”
- Patrick Rothfuss “The Lightning Tree”
- “The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother” by George R.R. Martin
With the announcement of the release date for the anthology, Martin also teased fans with information about his own contribution, “The Rogue Prince, or, the King’s Brother.” “[It] will tell the story of the years leading up to the calamitious events of ‘The Princess and the Queen’ during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, with particular attention to the role played by the king’s brother, Prince Daemon, a rogue if there ever was one.” Stop salivating, Westeros fans.
Rogues, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is set for release on June 17th, 2014, as is available for preorder.
We all love a good twist-on-formula, right? We also love interesting artwork? Imgur user Seiji recently published these wonderful (faux-) Japanese woodblock printing-style illustrations of iconic scenes from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (or, Game of Thrones, to you of the boob tube generation.)
“I thought it would be interesting to draw a retelling of the [A Song of Ice and Fire] universe as if it took place in feudal-era Japan,” said Seiji. “These drawings are inspired by the Ukiyo-e style (traditional woodblock printing).”
If you’ve not read the book, or seen the first season of the HBO show, Game of Thrones, beware spoilers. You can view the rest of Seiji’s woodblock-style renditions here.
Last month, I reported on a rumoured videogame adaptation of Game of Thrones by Adventure Game-kings Telltale Games. The developer, through CEO Dan Connors, confirmed the adaptation this week, indicating that it will be a
“multi-year, multi-title partnership” with Martin and HBO. The game(s) will be based on Game of Thrones, the television adaptation of Martin’s popular fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The first release will be an episodic narrative-driven adventure similar to Telltale Games’ other successful videogames such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. It is unclear whether “multi-title” refers to these various episodes, or if Telltale Games has more in the works beyond this initial offering.
Polygon reports on the announcement made during VGX 2013:
Telltale Games’ agreement to make a Game of Thrones game based on the HBO television series will be a “multi-year, multi-title partnership,” according to a media release from the studio.
The collaboration between Telltale and HBO Global Licensing was confirmed during VGX 2013 when Telltale Games CEO Dan Connors said the studio will be taking advantage of all of George R.R. Martin’s fiction “to make something great.”
The official teaser trailer for the Game of Thrones videogame is available for viewing through Telltale Games’ official YouTube page. The first episode will release in 2014 for “home consoles, Windows PC, Mac and mobile devices.” Polygon has an interesting opinion piece about how Telltale Games might take Martin’s narrative and create a successful adventure game out of it. “Game of Thrones is filled with more characters to keep track of than nearly any other similarly popular franchise,” says Jonathon Dornbush. “Yet this scope doesn’t mesh with Telltale’s style to focus on a single main character or two and a core cast of secondary players. While Telltale could follow just one family or a single character’s plight, this choice would take away from the series’ signature style. If this is the case, it may be in Telltale’s best interests to tackle another fantasy franchise with far less baggage if they need to forsake Thrones’ main storytelling conceit.”
At this point, it’s safe to say that Martin’s creation has moved well beyond a book series and into the realm of licensing juggernaut. With revenues for these tangential ‘side’ projects possibly set to exceed that of book sales (if they don’t already), it’s uncomfortable to think about the idea that Game of Thrones might soon supersede A Song of Ice and Fire as the flagship Westeros entity as the popularity of the HBO adaptation continues to soar. At what point does this happen? And at what point does the divergence in canon between the show and the novels become and issue? Interesting times ahead for Martin and his friends.
IGN has learned that Telltale Games, award-winning developer of the acclaimed videogame series based on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (considered by many to be one of the finest examples of videogame narrative), is working on a videogame adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Based on their previous work, which includes games set in the universes of Fables, Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future, it is likely that the game will tell a new story in Martin’s universe, rather than directly cover the events of the novels and/or television show. “It’s currently unclear what title Telltale will be using for its game,” IGN reports, “and whether the storyline will be based on the show, books, or something entirely new.”
Details about the story of the game are murky, however. IGN is confident it’s in development despite no confirmation from the developer. They have reports from ‘multuple sources’ confirming its existence. Expect an official announcement in the coming months.