I try to maintain a fashionable air of detachment about most of my geeky pursuits, but I admit it — I'm a hopeless George R.R. Martin fanboi. The Song of Ice and Fire series is that rare cult favorite that lives up to its hype. I've read the series through an embarrassing number of times and have never been disappointed with the experience. In addition to checking the update page for the next book compulsively, I've been keeping an eye out for other developments. A few cool ones I've noticed follow:
- The HBO series is still moving forward — though probably left in Limbo by the writer's strike. The screenplay has been delivered, though, and Martin clearly knows why writers go to HBO: "And there's a lot of sex and violence, which is one reason I couldn't look too seriously at the broadcast networks. HBO can do it the way it would have to be done."
- Martin has released two novellas in the Song of Ice and Fire world, both set generations before the books. Beware, spoilers follow if you haven't read them. The two novellas, The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, feature Ser Duncan the Tall (an upjumped squire) and his squire Egg (who, we learn, is actually Aegon Targaryen, later Aegon V, called The Unlikely). The first two novellas have everything that make the books great. I was quite impressed with Martin's ability to distill what he does in lengthy books into short novellas without losing atmosphere. The fun part of the novellas is that they help fill in the amazingly rich and imaginative world Martin has created, dropping bits of history alluded to in the books. At any rate, Martin has revealed he's working on the third novella, tentatively titled The Mystery Knight, to be released in a new anthology "The Warriors." Not until 2009 or even 2010, unfortunately.
- The "World of Ice and Fire" sourcebook is apparently still in the works. This is one of the few fantasy series where I would care to read more about the world. One of Martin's techniques is to drop tantalizing and oblique references to historical events, places, and people that make you hope to learn more. Here's a note about the sourcebook.
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