Posts Tagged: The World of Ice and Fire


Via George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog, we have what appears to be the final cover art for The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book to his popular A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin describes The World of Ice and Fire as “a big coffee table volume with lots and lots of stunning artwork, and tons of fake history.” HE also admits that his contribution, which was supposed to ring in at around the length of a novella grew in size. “We were supposed to provide 50,000 words of text,” he said, “but… ah… I got carried away.”

Sounds like fans have a lot to look forward to. Now, here’s hoping the artwork in the The World of Ice and Fire is of a higher quality cut than that in The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and Terry Brooks’ The World of Shannara. I still have nightmares about those books.

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.

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.

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin

The original, totally awesome badge, minus my facetious photoshopping, is by Storied Threads/Veronica Bailey

George R.R. Martin provided an update this weekend on progress for both The Winds of Winter and The World of Ice and Fire. He says:

We all know how long the last novel took. And now I am writing the “sidebar” (hoo hah) about the first Dance of the Dragons, the fratricidal civil war between King Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra, for THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE, and it’s turned into a monster too.

As of today, I have a hundred and three bloody manuscript pages (some VERY bloody) and still no end at hand. I had hoped to finish this one today, but… no, not even close. Lots more to write.

I think there’s some good stuff here, and judging by the reception my reading got at Chicon, most of you seem to like the fake history too. But DAMN, there a lot of it.

The ‘sidebar’ he’s referring to will appear in The World of Ice and Fire, an encyclopaedic volume collecting much of the history, maps, characters and vast backstory that Martin has created for A Song of Ice and Fire, but which will likely never appear in the novels themselves. I’m sure there will be much sniffing at the fact that he’s not dedicating all of his time directly to The Winds of Winter, but, hey, any A Song of Ice and Fire content is welcome to this fan.

UPDATE: As pointed out below, that’s 103 pages of manuscript for The World of Ice and Fire, not The Winds of Winter, which is further along.

Actual progress on the novel seems slow at 103 pages. By comparison, when submitted, A Dance with Dragons was 1510 manuscript pages. So, not even 10% of the way through. In other words, it’s going to be a long wait, fans. My suggestion? Go read some Daniel Abraham, then follow it up with some N.K. Jemisin, Greg Keyes, David Anthony Durham, Kate Elliott and Tad Williams. After that, you’ll still have to wait a while, but, hell, at least you’ll have experienced some damn fine novels.