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Odds and Ends and More Odds

We leave on Monday for Ireland. Seems like I just got back from Australia. Damn, but I'm tired. And still not caught up on all the stuff that piled up here while I was travelling.

Ah, well. I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Got a million things going down, on a number of fronts. Let me touch on a few.

For those of you who like to hear me pontificate, there's a new podcast with me up on io9 where I talk with John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtly, holding forth on a wide variety of topics, including the HBO show, Wild Cards, fandom, my comic book projects, the anthologies I've been editing with Gardner Dozois, and of couse A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, even the infamous Meereenese knot. You can give a listen at http://io9.com/5656513/ -- though I should mention that the interview was recorded last spring, and parts of it are already outdated.

On other fronts, got some cool news from my editors at Bantam Spectra. The mass market paperback of A GAME OF THRONES has just gone back to press for its 34th printing. Which normally would not be worthy of note -- but as it happens, this new print run will push the paperback over the 1,000,000 copy mark. A lovely round number, I think.

Oh, and for Wild Cards fans, I should mention that Pat (wretched Cowboys fan that he is) of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist is doing one of his famous giveaways for the Tor reissue of the first volume in the series. Check it out at http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-copy-of-wild-cards-1-edited-by.html This new edition will include some extra added content: three brand new stories, never before published, by Carrie Vaughn, Michael Cassutt, and David D. Levine, plus all the text of the original 1987 edition.

SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, our Jack Vance tribute anthology, was a finalist for the British Fantasy Award and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award. If you missed the Subterranean limited edition and the Voyager trade hardcover, and have been waiting for a cheaper edition, wait no longer. Harper has just released SONGS in a trade paperback:

Pick up your copy from Amazon UK, or any other online UK bookshop.


Oct. 6th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
One million copies is astonishing - congratulations. And Songs of the Dying Earth deserves all the praise currently being heaped on it.

I'm currently in a quandary deciding which book to read next. See my poll here:

Feel free to vote or comment, although I suspect that most people here will vote for Fevre Dream...
Oct. 7th, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
That's one million paperback copies in the USA alone. Worldwide sales, including foreign languages (ASoIaF is published in 20+ other languages), American hardcover sales, the limited editions and so on will likely push that up much higher.

Interesting this figure came out now, though, as it means we have a basis of comparison for how many more copies will be sold off the back of the HBO series (a TV tie-in edition of GoT is released in February). Charlaine Harris saw her sales figures increase by something ridiculous (over 300% in the first year, IIRC) just after TRUE BLOOD started.

For your poll I voted for MYTHAGO WOOD. Awesome book, very impressive, by Robert Holdstock, a great author who sadly passed away a few months ago. I met Robert a few times and on the last occasion he told me a story about going to play arcade games with GRRM at a British con in the late 1970s or early 1980s (presumably one of the Brighton worldcons) :-)
Oct. 7th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
Interesting. Another connection between Holdstock and the world of computer gaming is the novella he wrote that came free with the classic game 'Elite'.

Thanks for the vote (and the comments).
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
Increased sales would be great.
I introduced several of my friends to the series, some enjoy it, some couldn't get into it (the sissies!) I really could use more people to talk to about the series.

I am surprised Charlene Harris' readership increased so drastically. I am a frequent poster on the True Blood Imdb forum, and while I LOVE the series, the books DO NOT interest me. From my time on the boards, I think I am in the majority.

I wonder what percentage of True Blood watcher who were not familiar with the books started reading them. That would be a very interesting stat.
Oct. 7th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
from WiCnet on Twitter:
"Sounds like GRRM may go back and change Robert Arryn's name in the books to match the show (Robin)."

Any truth to this?
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)

The name change that was being contemplated (as mentioned in the podcast) was for Marillion, to avoid confusion with the band.

HBO decided it was not necessary.

The Marillion thing has annoyed me for years. So far as I knew at the time, I'd made up the name. It was never meant to refer to the band of the same name.
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Just out of interest, I don't suppose you could tell us what you were considering changing the name to?
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Hadn't really given that much thought.
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
I have to say though, it's a great band and one of my favorites. I've been listening to them for years. They originally got their name from Tolkien's Silmarillion, which (of course) makes me love them even more.
Oct. 8th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I sincerely thank you.

I was bummed out when the decision was made to officially name Robert "Robin" in the HBO series, but I understand the reasoning. This Twitter comment concerned me more...

The first thing that made me realize the extent of the babying of Robert Arryn was that nickname Sweetrobin. To have him simply renamed would be tragic.
Oct. 7th, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
I think I know most of those 1,000,000 who have a copy of that paperback.
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC)
Congrats on the million, GRRM!
I wanted to tell you that I saw the Twilight Zone "Camelot" episode last week. I haven't seen it since I was a kid, and I remember wishing at the time that there was more fantasy on tv. The only thing going was that short lived show on CBS called Wizards and Warriors. Anyone remember that?

Oct. 7th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Wild Cards
Really would have loved to see hardbacks of the Wild Cards series, but other than that disappointment, look forward to the new material and hope the re-release brings lots of new fans to this excellent series
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:35 am (UTC)
One Million! Nice round number indeed. :)

If someone gives you grief about taking so long on Kong...just point to that number and say the wait is worth it! Magic takes time otherwise the book might read, Klaatu...Verata...N*cough*cough*cough* unless you are given time to finish it...and we know how that would turn out if you don't finish the last word properly.
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC)
Oh, and if anyone doesn't have the Jack Vance tribute, "Songs of a Dying Earth" then snatch up that paperback before they are all gone cause it's priceless.
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
It's turning out to be a very GRRM week. Listening to the podcast now, been getting caught up on Fevre Dream comic (my girlfriend is up to date), and Archon was last weekend, which always makes me think of you.
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
So is this new paperback that just went to press the HBO tie-in version (perhaps with a new cover)? Or will there be yet another printing in the near future?
Oct. 9th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
This is just a new printing, not a new edition. The cover art will be unchanged.
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Bantam have listed a new edition of AGoT for release in February 2011 in their catalogue, which will apparently be a HBO tie-in edition. Presumably this will have a new cover (a photo of Sean Bean holding Ice? Something along those lines) and will use the TV series logo and so on.
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
nice interview!!!!
The interview is great!
I liked the "booksigning story" with Clifford the Big Red Dog and what the "Meereenese Knot" is :)
So, we can expect HBO prodcast GoT in March or April?
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Mr Martin
You are the best! Please rest and rejunenate and get better before you consider another crazy trip around the world.

And how bout them JETS! woo hoo! Can Sanchez keep this up?
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Congratulations. Just out of interest, how many copies of Wild Cards have you sold?
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: 1,000,000
Well, much less, obviously... but WILD CARDS itself, the first volume, had about 150,000 copies in print in six English language editions (Bantam mass market paperback, Titan, SF Book Club hardcover, Bantam reissue, iBooks trade paperback, iBooks mass market paperback), and is about to be released in a seventh English edition by Tor. There were also Japanese and German editions. Italian and Spanish editions are in the works.

And that's just the first volume. There have been nineteen other volumes in the series since then, and volume twenty-one will be out next year.
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Copies Sold
1 million paperbacks is pretty rocking.

I wonder how many digital copies you've sold? I owned the first couple in paperback, then didn't move most of my library with me when I moved from the East to the West coast, so I re-bought it on my Kindle... I wonder how many Kindle copies have been sold?
Oct. 7th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Good travels
Have a safe trip George.

Please hurry home and finish DANCE. The message boards are getting pretty out there with ridiculous theories. And I am salivating in hopes for a 2010 announcement that DANCE gets done.

But no pressure, of course! Haha.
Oct. 8th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Interesting, I started reading A Game of Thrones at the same time that I really got into the band Marillion and I thought "wow, what a coincidence!" especially since the character was a bard. And a bit of trivia: Marillion originally called themselves Silmarillion but had to change it due to copyright reasons.

Are any of Martin Silenus' writings in Songs of a Dying Earth?
Oct. 8th, 2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
When we could see you in Spain?^^
Oct. 8th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Swords and Swordsmanship
Hello George,
John Clements here, Director of ARMA. Thanks for listing my book under your recommendations for Medieval resources. I'd love to chat with you re consulting on authentic historical close combat.

Oct. 8th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
G'day George! I apologize that I didn't watch your blog space in the last few months, and so therefore had no idea you where visiting Down Under! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed your stay here, and hope that you return when your schedule isn't so busy! My best mate and I where commenting last night that if we knew you where in the country, and if you had book signings on your list of things-to-do, we would have traveled ANYWHERE to get our books signed! We will be ready if that ever comes up in the future (hint hint)! All the best anyway, I look forward to "A Game of Thrones" HBO, and all of your future work!
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
George, do you ever take a day off?
I was just wondering if you end up working 7 days a week, or do you actually give yourself a day off. I hope you do take a regular day off, you work too hard as it is. Enjoy Ireland. I hope it's not all work for you there too. Are you going to see any filming of the HBO series?
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Re: George, do you ever take a day off?
I work six days a week during football season, taking Sundays off to watch the games. The rest of the year I work seven days a week. "Work" does not necessarily mean "write fiction," of course, though that's probably three-quarters of it. There's other things a writer needs to do beyond the writing itself: reviewing contracts, answering emails and mail, doing interviews and other promotion, dealing with editors and agents, editing, copyediting, researching, reading, reviewing and approving and commenting on spinoff products... it's endless, and has increased a hundredfold since the series became popular. Taking Ty on as an assistant has helped a lot, however, relieving me from a lot of this stuff and thus creating more writing time.

I do not write when away from home. I've tried. Doesn't work, at least not for me. (Other writers do better at this, I know).

Edited at 2010-10-09 07:07 pm (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Re: George, do you ever take a day off?
Well, I am certainly glad you can find time for your fans. Just don't burn yourself out!
Oct. 9th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Well I own 5 of those 1 million copies. Gotta have a good lending library. There are a few series I own multiples of the first book or two in so have a copy to lend.
Oct. 10th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Twitter stuff!
here's the post:

HBO's Game of Thrones Teaser Trailer: http://youtu.be/KvYCxnp7uis

Somebody asked what is that?!?

nerds are dying to help!

Friend was watching beauty and the Beast-and I had to tell him!

Watching College Ball.

Thanks, George!
Oct. 10th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
One million... truly impressing. Although your series deserves (and it probably will) to be sold ten times as much.

Good luck on finishing A Dance with Dragons!
Oct. 10th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
Off Topic
Mr Martin, Awesome to see that your rich characters you have created, have been listed once again, in the Suvudu cage match villains battle.

The always cheerful Mountain that Rides, Goes up against Bram Stokers Dracula in Round one.

Here's to a million more sales!
Oct. 10th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
Another Twitter Update.
You've asked us to be discrete, George, and I wish to honor that request.

So, instead of posting a link I will say head over to Io9 for an article about you. It's not bad, at all-that would be an understatement.

I'm new to Twitter-the darn thing is nuts. There is no need to print this reply-just let somebody (George) know. Feel free to block this post-No worries.


Oct. 11th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for a lovely day, which I spent in bed eating cinnamon rolls and reading A Game of Thrones :)
Matt Osgood
Oct. 20th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
only 1m copies?
do books sell so few copies? wow, would have thought it would have sold so many more - especially if on it's 34th printing run! the story, writing etc are so strong it should be on the school curriculum to help gets teenagers into reading and away from screens!

ps. please finish A Dance with Dragons soon :)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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