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Limited Editions

From time to time I get emails from readers wanting to know how they can purchase copies of the signed, illustrated limited editions of the Ice & Fire books published by Meisha Merlin and Subterranean. The short answer is, they can't. Those were limited editions, they were fully subscribed, Meisha Merlin is out of business, and SubPress has no extra copies for sale.

(Yes, I have a few extra copies myself, but they are not for sale).

However, I've just happened to notice that there are presently not one but two (2!) sets of said limited up for bid on ebay. These are the numbered editions (not the rarer lettered), and both have matching numbers.

The ebay item numbers are 221012911878 and 150806055324.

I don't know the sellers, and I can't vouch for them or the condition of their books. (I will vouch for the fact that these are gorgeous books, lavishly illustrated by Jeff Jones, John Howe, Charles Vess, and Tom Canty, respectively). These ebay sales have nothing to do with me, and I cannot tell you more than I just have. If you have questions, you will need to contact the sellers. But considering how often I get asked about those books, I thought I'd mention it, if any of you are interested.

Please be advised: these sets are not cheap. The books have appreciated quite a bit in value since publication.


May. 5th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
Not interested at this time but thanks for posting about them, I hope you do so in the future when I might be looking to purchase!
May. 5th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
It looks like they are gone already. I couldn't find them
May. 5th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Re: and....
No, they're still there.

Let me find the links, I'll add 'em to my post (above).
Aman Senna
May. 6th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
They're still online, but damn, these are really for wealthy fans... I can only say "bravo" to those who will afford them and feel a little bit jealous. =D
May. 6th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
The Writing Lifestyle
Greetings, Mr. Martin

I dont have your email so I thought this would be a good place to post this. Sorry if it isnt.

I was wondering if you were going to put back up the page The Writing Lifestyle, on the Life and Times section of your website. Really curious whats in there.

It says " Under Construction" right now.

-Cameron McLeod, of House McLeod ( Thought that was fitting :) )
May. 6th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: The Writing Lifestyle
Eventually, yes. But at the moment it's on the back burner. I've too much else to do.
Cintia Faria
May. 6th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
Oh gosh, I want this so bad ! I find them but is really not cheap. Poor me ! I Like Lannisters but I don't poop gold like they do ! :(
Katz Brown Thames
May. 10th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
They DON'T poop gold, Cintia... "It is known!"

Jamison Sheehan
May. 6th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
I have my own set of these and they look fantastic so get them if you can!

May. 6th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, holy crap! Why can't I be independently wealthy??
Eric Porter
May. 6th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
If anyone runs across a copy of the Meisha Merlin Game of Thrones #121 or knows the owner, I'd love to buy it to round out my set!
Robert Neumann
May. 6th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Limited Editions
Wow, you really have devoted readers. There are currently some auctions ending of rare first prints of Sir Terry Pratchett and they are in much less demand - looks like you are much more popular now than the British knight!
Dobromir Uzunov
May. 6th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
Were these sold in Europe?
May. 6th, 2012 11:43 am (UTC)
I would have to sell a kidney to buy these ! LOL

But thanks for telling us, it's always interesting. :D
May. 6th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
I want them soooo badly
if I could afford them I would have already purchased a full set. I don't even care if they match, because I know I would never get rid of them (not in my lifetime, anyway). I luckily bought a Meisha Merlin CoK about 6 months ago on Ebay, and was just outbid at last second on a SoS limited edition...I was fortunate enough to get in on one of the pre-orders on a DwD limited that is yet to be released from Sub Press, so hopefully I am one day going to be able to piece together a non-matching set...unless of course I fall bass ackwards into a large sum of money, then of course I would not hesitate to drop several thousand dollars on a matching set, because if you think about it,these books are read throughout the world and there are just over 500 of these books printed (counting the Publisher's Copies and such) and they are highly sought after, so owning ones makes it quite an exclusive club. Also you have to think *most* people buying these are buying them to keep and cherish and not to resell for profit (unless they fall on hard times). Damn, where is a time machine at when you need one? Lol, it would have been so much easier to buy these when they were initially sold...it will be interesting to see what happens to the availability and prices of the Meisha Merlin books when the new Sub Press editions of GoT and CoK comes out. I am going to be keeping my CoK limited regardless. I just hope that it will make some owners start unloading their Meisha Merlin GoT books. I know I will definitely pre-order a Sub Press GoT, but I am still going to have lifelong want and desire to find a Meisha Merlin GoT as well.
May. 7th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
Seller of the last set
Mr. Martin, thank you for calling everyone's attention to my auction. Every little bit helps.

At the risk of raising your ire at this nations health care structure, and to address wcbryan80's comment about about "not resell for profit (unless they fall on hard times)", I enjoyed having this book series in my possession since 2003. I looked forward to each new book being published. After some rather heavy medical bills I simply could not justify having something like these sitting on the shelves. I am glad they are going to a good home because these books are really beautiful.

Thanks again, GRRM!
May. 8th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: Seller of the last set
Sorry to hear about your recent medical problems...I know firsthand how expensive medical bills can get and run up astronomical amounts in relatively no time at all. It is a shame for someone to have to sell their beloved items as a means of coping with medical treatments, but material things are always something one can live without (no matter how hard parting with them might be)...I am sure it was not a decision you came to overnight and they were hard to part with...but now on the positive side at least someone else now gets to share in their enjoyment.

I hope the money you received from their sell makes a significant difference in your medical bills and things improve in the future for you sir.
May. 7th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
I have XX ACOK.
I have XX (double X), lettered copy of Clash of Kings if anyone is pulling out their hair looking for it. I was too broke when the rest came out and missed the boat on AGOT XX so it is all I have as far as lettered go.
May. 7th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Re: I have XX ACOK.
I suspect you will be swamped with inquiries. The Meisha Merlin books are in high demand, especially the lettered. If you want to sell, take your time, don't jump at the first offer.

Unfortunately, there are many "broken sets" out there, and have been right from the beginning. When Meisha Merlin published A GAME OF THRONES, illustrated by Jeff Jones, many copies were bought by collectors of Jeff's artwork. Then when it was announced that the second volume of the series was to be illustrated by John Howe, they let their options lapse... their interest had always been the art, not the story.

Later on, the switch from MM to SubPress caused a second hiatus, and broke even more of the runs.

So I fear there are many people like you, who have only one or two of the books, rather than a set.
Clay James
May. 7th, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: I have XX ACOK.
What are the odds, when you have completed the series, of a nicely bound and illustrated hardback set of the whole thing? I know it won't be as valuable as your early editions, but it be a real keepsake.
May. 7th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: I have XX ACOK.
Hi there - I bet if you really do have a XX ACOK you will be getting inquiries from a lot of people. Maybe you can post a picture and share your good fortune with the rest of us!
Riley Westgaard
May. 7th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
Never knew about these! Wish I had, I would love to have them on my bookshelf! Maybe in a few years when I have money to spend like that I can start collecting them! One can only wish
May. 7th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
One set is still together!!
I am delighted to have #124 for all four volumes. All purchased as they were released from the publishers. I am curious though as to what George thinks the effect of the new SubPress GoT and CoK will have on the Meisha Merlin editions.
May. 7th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: One set is still together!!
That remains to be seen. I have had various collectors and dealers make persuasive arguments both ways -- that the new SubPress books will bring down the prices of the older MM editions, or that they will have no effect on those prices.

I incline toward the latter view. At least one dealer I questioned said pointedly, "well, I won't be lowering MY prices." There are so few of the MM books out there available for sale that really, all it will take is a few like him and the prices will hold. These values are all ultimately arbitrary anyway. The value of the book is whatever someone is willing to sell it for, and someone else is willing to pay.

And, bottom line, though the text will be same, the rest of the edition will be quite different. Starting with the artists. For GOT, Jeff Jones for the Meisha Merlin, Ted Nasmith for the SubPress. For COK, John Howe for MM, Richard Hescox for SubPress. Completists may well want both versions, which could drive the prices higher.

Ultimately, the biggest factor that could drive down prices is the HBO series. If and when it finally runs its course and goes off the air, I suspect demand will start to fade. (Many years from now, I hope). I think that will have more impact than the new SubPress editions.

But it's all just speculation. I don't know. No one knows.
May. 9th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: One set is still together!!
I agree that the HBO series will have the biggest effect on the prices - it already has, as prices for these books have really soared in the last couple of years. For that reason, if I sell my matched lettered set I'll do it during the show's run - probably right after a season premiere.

I've read that George owns the letters "G", "RR" and "M", which would be pretty cool if true =).

It's a pity MM went out of business - the Subterranean editions are very nice but the two Meisha books are even better IMHO. MM's delays were epic, but they turned out sweet editions. For that reason (among others), I believe the MM editions will hold their value for people who want a complete set, and might even become more valuable as rarities when the Subterranean versions of AGoT and ACoK come out.
Circe Medea
May. 7th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
hi there!!! I´m from Argentina, so please I´m sorry for a possibly horrible English. You always say your fans send you emails, I´d love to know what is your email link cause I want to send you a good one, incluiding the picture of my cat, her name is Nymeria. =)
Eric Vogeler
May. 7th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
GoT #178
I can vouch for George's statement that there are many broken sets. I have one. Just missing Meisha Merlin's Game of Thrones #178. One day, I hope it finds its home with the rest of its siblings. Until then, I continue to search.
May. 7th, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
Pricey but definitely worth it. Wish I had that kind of money.
May. 9th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
I hear you iwc_rexmod!
The only thing that has me worried about spending that kind of money on these books, as awesome as they arre, is that Mr. Martin doesn't get a share of the profit. Hardly seems fair for some book dealer to reap such a large reward for no work done.

Edited at 2012-05-09 12:12 am (UTC)
May. 9th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: I hear you iwc_rexmod!
Well, I have my own copies of these books... so in a sense I took will "reap" whatever profits are around for reaping... assuming, that is, that I want to sell my copies. Which I don't.

I did acquire some extra unsold copies after Meisha Merlin went under, and I did sell those. The ones I still have I mean to hold onto.
May. 9th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: I hear you iwc_rexmod!
First, just wanted to say you rock!

Second, I am glad to hear you've got your own copy of these, though I should have known. For me, even if I were a man of many means, I don't think I would need the picture versions. While the books are certainly gorgeous, I feel like all of that extra description might interfere with my imagination filling in the gaps. Of course, I doubt anyone will actually be reading these versions at those prices!

You're probably too busy to answer, but many of us are wondering how you feel about some of the changes made to your story by the HBO team. I love the new stuff, if only because it adds an element of surprise for the old school fan (like me), but some of my purist friends are a bit miffed. (Some are more than miffed!) Working in TV for so long, I am sure you realize that some of the Dany chapters that are so driven by internal monologue in Clash of Kings may not translate all that well to the screen.

We'd LOVE to hear your thoughts. Thanks, I know you're a very busy guy.

Edited at 2012-05-09 03:13 pm (UTC)
May. 9th, 2012 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: art or business?
Honestly speaking I think I will never spend so much money on something just for its collector’s value. Neither will I try to invest money and wait for even crazier rise in the selling prize.

It is indeed sad however thinking about some of the Old Maysters and Maestros, known and unknown Poets etc., who had created works of genius but lived their lives and eventually passed away in misery.
May. 8th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
The Hound
Sorry don't know where to put this but I just want to say that I find the Hound the most erotic character I have ever encountered. I know you have said you did not intend him to be this way - more so "dangerous" - and that of course is part of the eroticism! Just writing to say I hope so much that you keep his relationship with Sansa going and that it grows. I've never been more involved or invested in two characters from a book before. They are pure magic.
May. 8th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Some friends from a fan forum and I are putting together a pot to hopefully snag one of these before they disappear...

Anyway, here's a big hello from some of your biggest fans!
May. 8th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Mayhaps could I join in with you guys? As of now I am not a regular poster on any forums but would love to be.
May. 8th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
to George R.R. Martin
Hi! I looked everywhere for your email... couldnt find it (You are probably happy about that! one less mail to read eheh). But hopefully you'll read it here! I'am absolutely in love with Game of thrones tv series... I don't know how you did it but all the greatest minds, actors and writers seem to have come together on this. I had never heard of HBO before and now I feel like thanking them. This is not simply a series this is pure epicness, this is the longest movie ever made and the damn BEST adaptation right there with LotR. If each episode was on theatre I would pay a ticket to see all of them (and I'm far from rich). Thats at least 15 (1.5hrs) movies! David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, actors, cloth, all deserve congratulations. Please keep seasons coming until the story is over.
I love your writing and the filming is doing it justice! Best regards from Portugal and know that this story and characters will stay with me.
Carl F Terwilliger
May. 8th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
bought one from sub press
if you're really interested and patient you may be as lucky as I. I checked sub press's website everyday last oct-nov to purchase ADwD. And don't you know, I was one of the lucky few. There was a little gripe from the West coast, bc they were released for sale early morning EST. But its possible. Unless you have 10 grand to lace someones pocket with...Ive only seen full sets available for purchase on Ebay
May. 9th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
Keisha Merlin, that publisher brings fond memories from junior high. I loved Robert Asprin's MYTH series, but lost track of it after book eight or so.
May. 10th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I've just discovered this not-blog.
Just wanted to tell you thank you for your masterpiece "a song of ice and fire"
I'm french, 32 and quite idealistic and dreamy.
You make my life better.
My heart thrills when I hear "winter is coming"
Sorry if my english is not so good but I really wanted to say thank you for this simple happiness you give me.
Hope you are and will be fine for still numerous nights Mr Martin.
May. 10th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
Was not sure where I could ask this, but is there a release date for Wild Cards III Tor reprint yet? Just finished the second one, it was great... Need my Wild Cards fix!
May. 10th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
Are Other Editions Available?
Hi George!

There's no way I can afford to pay that much money for a set of books but I would like to get copies of any other illustrated books you have available. How about Tuf Voyaging? Is there a copy of that one with pictures somewhere? I found some copies on e-bay but they don't say if they are illustrated. Now that there is a comic book of Ice and Fire out I'll just use that as my illustrated copy of that series. It's much cheaper!
May. 10th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Are Other Editions Available?
You can find copies of the limited, illustrated edition of TUF VOYAGING on my website. Check out the SIgned Books page, Limited Editions.

A few of my foreign editions are also illustrated.
May. 12th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
First Editions
I recently bought a first edition copy of A Storm of Swords and the map at the front was glued shut and I was told the manufacturer did that. Is this true?
May. 12th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: First Editions
American edition? British? What precisely was glued shut?
May. 12th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re: First Editions
American edition and the map at the front was glued so that the title page was the first page.
Paul Ashworth
May. 22nd, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Limited Editions - Full Set
I have the 4 copies of limited editions with Dance ordered and paid for. Given some large bills with daughters education i am interested in selling them. They are all the same number (436 i need to check) and i have never read but just looked at the excellent illustrations. If anyone in interested buying (live in the UK) i will consider any sensible offer.
May. 22nd, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Limited Editions - Full Set
You might want to offer these on ebay, or perhaps on Westeros.

Numbered sets have been going for more than $3000 lately, I believe. Do a search for completed auctions on ebay and you can find the actual prices.


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

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