Posts Tagged: George R.R. Martin

Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner DozoisGeorge R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, recently spoke about his series and HBO’s television adaptation, Game of Thrones, at ConQuest 44. More specifically, Martin revealed details about his contribution to the upcoming companion book, The World of Ice and Fire, which was recently delayed by a year, now set for a Fall 2014 release.

Martin revealed that he was required to provide 50,000 words for the companion book, but, in the end, wrote nearly 250,000 words, which is nearly equivalent in length to A Game of Thrones. The average fantasy novel clocks in at around 120,000 – 150,000 words. So, it’s a lot. You can claim many things about Martin, but, with word counts like that, it’s difficult to take many of the various tired criticisms, such as the idea that Martin spends too much time enjoying life (Football games, conventions, editing anthologies, not being a hermit) and not enough time writing, are phooey. He writes a lot of words. They just aren’t the words that a lot of his fans and followers necessarily want him to write. At the end of the day, 250,000 extra words of A Song of Ice and Fire lore is great news, I’d say. Tower of the Hand describes the book, based on Martin’s comments:

The premise of the “World” book is that it is a copy of a tome presented to Robert just after the Rebellion. The “article” he read was written by a Maester Glyndon. Glyndon distilled his work from three other accounts of the conquest: one from a septon, one from a Grand Maester, and one from “The Tales of Mushroom” a court fool. George actually wrote all three of these pieces as well.

The extra words, a large novel’s worth, will be saved for “a project they are now calling the ‘GRRM – arillion.'” No real word on what this means, but presumably it would be a similar companion book released after the series is finished.

In addition, Martin also discussed ‘The Princess and the Queen,’ his contribution to an anthology called Dangerous Women, edited by Martin and Gardner Dozois and published in December 2013. ‘The Princess and the Queen’ is speculated to be the story of Rhaenyra Targaryen and the first Dance of Dragons, many years before A Song of Ice and Fire proper takes place. Like The World of Ice and Fire, Martin wrote significantly more for this story than he expected, submitting 80,000 words (to himself?), and editing it down to about 30,000 words in its final form. Further, he said that he hopes to write five or six more novellas about Dunk and Egg, one of which includes The She-Wolves, which places Dunk and Egg at Winterfell, with some likely crossover with some events that occur in A Dance with Dragons, so fans of the series, like me, have much to look forward to.


I happened across these maps a couple of weeks ago on the Fantasy sub-Reddit (enter at your own risk), and they haven’t left my mind. So, like any thought that won’t escape, I felt it’d be best to set it free so I can move on.These maps are hand-made, and gorgeously textured. The map-fetishist in me (and, frankly, the ol’ Warhammer fan) is madly in love. It’s been discussed to death, but there’s something magically tangible about a good map, one on paper, or leather and hung on a wall, and I’d love to see how these models appear in person. Read More »

The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. MartinErr… winter isn’t coming? At least for another year. That’s the appropriate joke, right?

It’s been reported by Elio Garcia, co-author of the book, that The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book/encyclopedia about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, slated for a Fall 2013 release, has been delayed by a year. Garcia says,

Yes, [The World of Ice and Fire] won’t be out this year… but that’s because it’s becoming rather cooler. More pages, more new history and details, more art. Like the story of the fall of the Tarbecks and the Reynes, the surprising person from whom the Lannisters are descended, more history of the Vale and the arrival of the Andals, and a good deal more. We’re working quick as we can, but there’s also more art to commission and that means it’d be safest to aim for next year.

In the past, these volumes, related to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and Terry Brooks’Shannara series, have been released to some criticism, much directed toward the poor art included inside. In addition, these books were published midway through the series and feature large gaps and lack coverage of the later volumes, which is a shame. This will, of course, be the same here for A Song of Ice and Fire, but an additional year will at least give contributors some extra room to wriggle and, hopefully, allow the book to age a little better than its predecessors.

Adam Whitehead of the Wertzone suggests that the twelve month delay, rather than a shorter delay simply to complete the extra content, is to ensure that the book remains in its pre-Christmas publication slot, when coffee table-style books have the best chance of selling copies. With Game of Thrones continuing to break records for HBO, one can’t see the popularity of Martin’s work waning anytime soon, so, hopefully, this delay is for the best for everyone involved. Except those salivating fans who have to wait another year to get the book in their hands.

Cover Art for THE HEROES by Joe Abercrombie

The conversation in the genre blogosphere lately has been leaning heavily to grittiness, grimdark, and whether they serve a purpose—and whether there’s any difference between the two. A lot of bloggers and commenters seem to be settling on the idea that “grimdark” is the pejorative, so perhaps that is how I will use it here.

Now, I love a good tragedy as much as the next guy. If the next guy is William Shakespeare.

I believe in fiction where actions have consequences, and sometimes terrible prices are paid, and sometimes good people meet fates you wouldn’t wish on Count Rugen. I would argue that darkness and uncertainty are a needful thing; that without them, there are no stakes, no emotional engagement. Read More »

How big is Westeros compared to Earth?

File this one under: amusing, irrelevant, irreverent.‘s Chris Lough, using some trusty math remembered from High School, has analyzed a map of ‘The Known World,’ from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which holds Westeros, Asshai, Valyria and all of our other favourite locations from the series, and compared it agains the size of the planet you sit on while reading this. (Unless you’re Commander Hadfield or another member of the Space team aboard the ISS at the time this article was written.)

He details the process:

In inches, the distance from the wall to the south coast of Dorne is a very convenient 12, making each inch equivalent to 250 miles. The Known World map is 2 feet and 11 inches wide, minus the ornamental borders, totaling 8750 miles from east to west and 5750 miles from north to south.

The next thing we need to do is decide where the equator is on Planet Westeros. For the purposes of the forthcoming measurements, I’ve chosen the former site of the city of Valyria as being right on the equator. The lands to the north and south of it are clearly equatorial desert, jungle, and savannah, and there’s a certain poetry to having Valyria—the former center of civilization in A Song of Ice and Fire’s developed world—be literally in the center of the world.

Lough’s final tally? Whatever planet holds Westeros, it’s smaller than Earth, by about 10%. His conclusion:

The distance between Planet Westeros’ “Arctic Circle” and equator is 4125 miles. On Earth, the distance between the Arctic circle and equator is 4608 miles (give or take).

If you accept the equator and “Arctic Circle” where they are, this means that the planet that Westeros is on is smaller than Earth! To put it in numbers, Planet Westeros is only 89.51% the size of Earth.

I’m note sure if his math holds up to much scrutiny (I can’t even remember high school math these days), but it’s fun to think of the world in these terms, and also to wonder at the vast areas of the planet that haven’t yet been revealed. The map used in this experiment was published in The Lands of Ice and Fire, an official companion book to Martin’s series.

And, yes, I know that Westeros is a continent, not a planet.