A Game of Thrones • A Song of Ice and Fire NWN2 Persistent World • Low Magic Role Play

GRRM Live Journal

  • Run Fast, Jon Snow
    Jon Snow is running in the Melbourne Cup.

    Or so my Aussie friends inform me.

    https://www.justhorseracing.com.au/melbourne-cup/

    For those who don't live Down Under, the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world. Like our Kentucky Derby, but much much older.

    Phar Lap won it once.

    Can Jon Snow do the same?

  • Rest in Peace, Roy
    The world became a little poorer this week. Roy Dotrice has died. He was ninety-four.

    Roy first took up acting in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, and went on to become one of the giants of British stage and screen, decorated by the Queen. He set a record for his one-man play BRIEF LIVES, and performed the key role of Mozart's father in the film of AMADEUS, among a hundred other credits. He was a supremely gifted actor.

    He was also my friend. He lived in the United Kingdom and I lived in New Mexico, so we did not see each other often, but whenever we did get together, it was a delight. I will always treasure the memory of the dinner I shared with Roy and his wife Kay (who passed away a few years ago) at his club, the Garrick, a centuries-old haunt of the legends of the British stage. That was a truly amazing evening. The last time I saw Roy was in Los Angeles, however, at the party his daughter threw him on the occasion of his 90th birthday.



    Many of the news stories about Roy's death identified him as a GAME OF THRONES cast member. He was that, of course. He played the pyromancer Hallyne in two episodes during our second season... and, as with everything he did, he played him wonderfully.



    Truth be told, Roy might have had a much larger role in the series. When we first cast the show, he was our choice to play Grand Maester Pycelle, and I have no doubt that he would have been magnificent in that role. Sadly, health problems forced him to bow out. Julian Glover stepped up and performed admirably in his stead, but sometimes I still wonder at what might have been.

    Roy's association with GAME OF THRONES runs far deeper than the television series. He was also the reader of the audiobooks of all five volumes of the series... though calling him a "reader" does not truly reflect his work. Roy performed those books. He gave every character his (or her) own distinctive voice, despite the fact that there were hundreds of them. So many, in fact, that the Guinness Book of World Records recognized him for voicing the most characters in an audibook for his work on A GAME OF THRONES, a record he still holds today (though actually I suspect he broke it himself for his readings of the later books).

    I loved what Roy did on the audiobooks. He did not just read my words aloud, he brought them to life, in a way few actors could. And the fans agreed. Roy did the audiobooks for A GAME OF THRONES, A CLASH OF KINGS, and A STORM OF SWORDS, to great acclaim. When it was time to record A FEAST FOR CROWS, however, he was unavailable. Off doing a play in Birmingham, I was told. So my publishers used another reader. But the fans were having none of it. After the audiobook of FEAST was released, Random House received so many complaints that they had no choice but to go back and re-record the book with Roy, and release a second version. So of course when it was time to tape A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, there was never any question as to who would read it.

    With Roy gone, I have no idea who will can possibly get to do the audiobooks for THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING. But whoever it is, they will have a hard, hard act to follow.

    For all the great work he did on A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, my own memories of Roy Dotrice go back earlier, to the three years we worked together on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST for CBS. Great memories, for me; that was a wonderful show, and a joy to work on. We had an amazing team of writers, and of course a terrific cast, with the likes of Jay Acovone, Linda Hamilton, Jo Anderson, the incredible Ron Perlman... and Roy, of course, as Father. It was an honor and a privilege to write for him.



    Those years on B&B meant a lot to Roy as well. Just last month, he posted a farewell messages to all the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans around the world. You can find it on YouTube:



    Such a fine actor. Such a sweet man.

    Everyone who knew him is sad today.

  • The Swords Are Drawn
    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.

    You can find it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Book-Swords-George-R-Martin/dp/0399593764

    And if you'll wait a few days, hardcover copies signed by yours truly (but not, alas, by any of the other contributors) will be available from the Jean Cocteau Cinema Bookshop at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/

  • From Brazil, With Love
    LeYa, my Brazilian publisher, and a small army of my Brazilian readers sent me this video as a birthday greeting:



    I don't know what to say. I am astonished. Charmed. Flattered. And maybe just a little bit terrified.

    I really do need to make it down to Brazil one of these days.

    (And they used one of my favorite songs, too).

  • Wild Cards at the Jean Cocteau
    Heads up, Wild Cards fans! This weekend some of the your favorite Wild Cards authors will be gathering at the Jean Cocteau Cinema for an author event and mass signing.

    The list of attending authors will include (but not necessarily be limited to):

    GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (Lohengrin, Popinjay, the Great and Powerful Turtle)
    MELINDA M. SNODGRASS (Dr. Tachyon, Dr. Finn, Double Helix)
    WALTER JON WILLIAMS (Golden Boy, Modular Man, Pop Tart)
    VICTOR MILAN (Cap'n Trips, The Darkness, Dust)
    JOHN JOS. MILLER (Carnifex, Yeoman, the Midnight Angel)
    GAIL GERSTNER MILLER (Peregrine)
    CARRIE VAUGHN (Earth Witch, Curveball, Wild Fox)
    CAROLINE SPECTOR (The Amazing Bubbles)
    WALTON (BUD) SIMONS (Mr. Nobody, Mr. Dutton, Little Fat Boy)
    CHRISTOPHER ROWE (Theodorus, Hardhat)
    DANIEL ABRAHAM (Jonathan Hive)
    LEANNE C. HARPER (Bagabond)
    DIANA ROWLAND (The Mosquito Whisperer)
    DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM (Infamous Black Tongue)
    LAURA J. MIXON (Lamia, The Candle)
    SAGE WALKER (Zoe, the Animator)
    MICHAEL CASSUTT (Cash Mitchell, Stuntman)
    MARY ANNE MOHANRAJ (Natya)
    DAVID D. LEVINE (The Cartoonist, the Recycler)
    KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY (Captain Flint, the Jokertown Boys, Will O Wisp)

    and... last but certainly not least... the guy who started it all, Jetboy's daddy...

    HOWARD WALDROP (Jetboy)

    Here's your chance to get all your Wild Cards books signed... and signed... and signed.



    And we'll have plenty of stock of the non-Wild Cards books by our attending writers (yes, we let them write other things too), which they will be glad to scribble in as well.

    The fun will start at the JCC at 4:30 on the afternoon of Sunday, October 8.

    Aces, jokers, deuces, even nats: all of you are welcome. See you there!

    ((Comments welcome... about Wild Cards and the JCC. Off topic comments will be deleted))

  • A New Award for Old Words
    Saturday was fun. I drove down to the beautiful Tamaya Resort on the Santa Ana Pueblo, north of Albuquerque, to attend the annual gathering of the HWA... no, not that HWA (the Horror Writers Association, who had their own gathering in May on the Queen Mary), and no, not that other HWA (the Historical Writers Association) either... but the newest HWA, the Historical Writers of America. My faithful minions Lenore Gallegos and Marisa X. Jimenez came with me.



    Tamaya is just stunning, and the food was amazing for a hotel banquet. The company was great as well. I love a good historical, and I was pleased to meet some of the people who write them. And my dear friend Melinda Snodgrass was the featured speaker after the feast.

    And then they gave me an award: I'm the first (well, one of the first) recipient of the PastWords Award for Historical Fantasy. HWA had a rather handsome bronze trophy made up, with a writer and a reader flanking an hourglass. I'm told the award was designed by Gage Prentiss, the artist who designed the H.P. Lovecraft Statue that's to go up in Providence (for more info about that project, see here: http://www.weirdprovidence.org/statue.html )

    The other winners of this year's PastWords Awards were a distinguished lot, whose number included Larry McMurtry and Congressman John Lewis, both of whom I would have loved to meet. Alas, neither one was able to attend.

    Here's a shot of Melinda and me at the awards banquet with HWA founder Theresa Guzman Stokes (who goes by 'Soni'), and a close up of the award.



    It was a fun evening.

    If you'd like to know more about the Historical Writers of America, they have a website here: http://historicalwritersofamerica.org/

    I do think they need to change their name, though. All these HWAs are confusing. Way back when, I was actually a founding member of the horror writers group under its original name: the Horror and Occult Writers League, or HOWL. A much more original and creative name, I thought, but they got stuffy and opted for 'dignity.' They should go back to HOWL, I say... and maybe one of the historical groups should call itself the Historical Authors instead of writers, which would make them HAA... but then they'd get confused with a comedy writers organization... oh, well, I don't know.

    In any case, I appreciate the award, and all the kind words about my work. It's kind of cool to learn that even writers of honest to god real historical fiction and non-fiction enjoy my own fake histories.

  • Meow Wolf Conquers Las Vegas
    Meow Wolf invaded Las Vegas last weekend.

    No, not the historic old railroad town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, where Doc Holliday and Hoodoo Brown once prowled the streets, but that gaudy newcomer in the desert, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    As part of the weekend festival called Life Is Beautiful, Meow Wolf took over an defunct motel and redid the courtyard and all the rooms in their own surreal and inimitable style.

    You can see some of the rooms here:
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/see-21-interactive-rooms-at-art-motel-for-life-is-beautiful-video/

    Alas, alack, I gather that Life Is Beautiful only lasted the weekend (life, it would seem, must go back to being whatever it is the rest of the year), and the Meow Wolf installation was only temporary, so if you missed it, you're out of luck.

    (I would have told you earlier, but I did not know myself).

    There's still plenty of time to come to Santa Fe and see the original Meow Wolf, however.

    And if you can't, well, cross your fingers -- Meow Wolf may soon be coming to a city near you.

  • Win One, Lose One
    Life is... messy... on this football Sunday.

    The Jets won. To the astonishment of all, or at least of me. What's more, they won in dominating fashion over the Miami Dolphins. Does this mean they are a much better team than expected, and a contender for the playoffs? Hoo hah. If you believe that, perhaps I can interest you in buying the Bayonne Bridge. What it really means is that there is no team team in the NFL so bad that Jay Cutler cannot make them look good.

    So Gang Green won't go 0 - 16 after all. Instead, hey, maybe they will make it to 4 - 12. Thing is, at 0 - 16 they would have the first overall pick in the draft and a shot at the franchise qb they have been looking for since Joe Namath. At 4- 12, all the good qbs will be gone and the Jets will be facing the future with the same cast they have now.

    That being said, it is always nice to watch the Jets beat the Fins, our original rivals.

    As for the Giants game... Big Blue could very well finish 4 - 12 as well. After trailing 14 - 0 and looking lifeless, they came roaring back to take the lead, but could not hold it. When the defense plays great, the offense does nothing. When the offense comes alive, the defense fails. And really Odell, the catches were great, but what the hell was with that first "celebration?" Stupid.

    No, not a good Sunday in football land. A gut-wrenching loss, and a win that will hurt more than it helps. This looks like a looooooooooooooooooooooong season.

  • Dare I Eat A Peach?
    Yesterday another birthday came and went.

    (And thanks to all those who sent me cards and emails. You're very kind. Love you all).

    I had a good day with family and friends, but...

    69

    Really.

    Urk.

    How did that happen?

    Seems like only yesterday I was one of the Young Turks of Science Fiction.

    What a long strange trip it's been...

    And I still have a ways to go, I hope. Lots of stories still to tell.

    (And yes, Mr. Prufrock, I still eat peaches).

  • And Then There Were Five...
    ... GAME OF THRONES successor shows, that is.

    Truth be told, we've had five scripts in various stages of development for months. Which I believe I mentioned...



    But now at last all the deals are signed, and it can be told. BRYAN COGMAN has come on board to pen the fifth of the successor shows. James Hibberd broke the news on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

    http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/20/game-thrones-bryan-cogman-5th-prequel/

    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.