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Hugo Recommendations - Best Related Book

LoneStarCon 3, this year's World Science Fiction Convention, has opened Hugo nominations for 2012.

The nominating ballot can be found here: http://www.lonestarcon3.org/hugo-awards/

You do need to be a member to nominate. A member (attending or supporting) of LoneStarCon, this year's worldcon, or Chicon 8, the 2012 worldcon in Chicago, OR LonCon, the 2014 worldcon in London. Any one of the three will do. All works first published or broadcast in 2012 are eligible. Nominations close on March 10.

What works you choose to nominate is, of course, entirely up to you, but as in past years, I would like to use my bully pulpit here to bring some worthy choices to your attention. In some categories I have eligible works of my own, so I will not pretend to be a disinterested party in those cases. In other categories, my recommendations are just that -- shout outs for books, stories, and writers I've enjoyed during the past year.

I am going to start with the grab-bag category of "Best Related Book" this time around. This category is always an odd one, taking in all the stuff that does not fit comfortably in the other categories. Non-fiction of various sorts, mostly; art books, collections of critical essays, biographies and autobiographies, and other, stranger stuff. Not normally a category in which I have a horse in the race... but this year two of the possible candidates are books to which I contributed introductions, and a third was about my work.

Brian Cogman's INSIDE HBO'S GAME OF THRONES is a "making of" book, of the sort generated by every major feature film and television show these days... but I happen to think Brian went way beyond the usual puffery, and produced a really terrific volume. (And yes, there's an intro by me). Brian has been part of the HBO series since the start (he was the first person hired by David and Dan when they got the green light), giving him much greater insight into all the behind-the-scenes stuff than most "making of" writers, who are more commonly journalists brought in on a work-made-for-hire basis. INSIDE HBO'S GAME OF THRONES is a gorgeous volume too, and the boxed limited edition set with all its extras is truly fantastic, a real treat for the collector.


There were a number of books about A GAME OF THRONES (the HBO series) and A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (the books) published last year, some as actual print volumes, others as ebooks. The quality of the criticism and essays contained therein varied greatly, to be sure. I haven't seen all of these, by any means, and haven't read all of those I did see (some publishers send me copies, some don't). Of the critical books I did chance upon, however, the one that impressed me most was James Lowder's BEYOND THE WALL.

Beyond the Wall_final prelim

As the subject of these essays, I will be the first to admit that I have a skewed perspective here. Nonetheless, I think Lowder put together a strong, balanced, and diverse collection of essays, and the quality of writing here was distinctly higher than in some similar volumes. I think I would have enjoyed reading this one even if it WASN'T all about me myself and I. Read it for yourself, and decide.

A more unusual... but equally worthy contender... for a nomination this year is another Ice & Fire spinoff: A FEAST OF ICE AND FIRE, the incredible Westerosi cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sarianne Lehrer. Great recipes, and a great looking book, FEAST grew out of their blog, the Inn at the Crossroads. And yes, this is another one to which I contributed an introduction. Seemed only fair, since Chelsea and Sarianne and their minions plied me with lemon cakes all through my DANCE WITH DRAGONS tour. A good read, and some yummy eating... and so far as I know, there has never been a cookbook nominated for a Hugo Award before. Why not make this one the first?

Feast Finals

So... when making your nominations for Best Related Book, do consider these three. And whether you nominate them or not, do NOMINATE. You have until March 10.


Jezabel Nightroad
Feb. 24th, 2013 02:04 am (UTC)
I'am buying the Game Of Thrones cook book.
Feb. 24th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Does the cookbook have a recipe for Frey Pies? :D
Feb. 24th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I have all of those books, but haven't started reading Beyond the Wall yet. Looking forward to it.

I adore HBO's book. It is truly beautiful. I hope they do another edition after season 3 or 4.

And Feast of Fire and Ice is a lot of fun, although I haven't tried any of the recipes.
Feb. 24th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
The cookbook is so utterly fantastic that I've spent hours and hours and hours just poring over it. The recipes I've tried have also been wonderful and/or fascinating (such different flavors!). It's *so* worthy of a Hugo!
Feb. 24th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
My favourite isn't in that list, it's the maps book. Those maps are gorgeous! I cannot wait to move out so I can laminate some of them and hang them throughout my home.
Feb. 24th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
Hey... holy crap... you're right, the map book is also eligible!

I blush to admit, I forgot all about it.

But that's THE LANDS OF ICE & FIRE... and thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked it.
Feb. 24th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
I've got a copy too - one of the gifts my girlfriend gave me for Christmas! Very well done. I'm curious to see if there will be any additional maps in "The Winds of Winter" or "A Dream of Spring".

Last week I pre-ordered "The World of Ice and Fire". That book, as well as season 3 of Game of Thrones should tide me over until "Winds" is ready :)
Feb. 24th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
Beyond the Wall
Hey George, thanks for the mention of Beyond the Wall. It was great fun to contribute to it, and James put together a terrific collection.

Are you going LoneStarCon?
Feb. 24th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Beyond the Wall
Sure. Never miss worldcon. (Well, hardly ever).
Feb. 26th, 2013 12:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Beyond the Wall
I came so close to using your book for my thesis! The only thing stopping me was my lack of funds (poor college student here) and the fact that I wasn't sure there was an essay that was relevant to my thesis. Regardless, it is a book I want to purchase sometime in the near future. Good luck with the Hugos!!
Bryan Cogman
Feb. 24th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I'm honored and delighted, George, that you would put my little book forward for Hugo consideration. So honored and delighted I'll forgive the misspelling of my name!

As ever, it's the greatest privilege imaginable to be your friend and colleague.

BrYan. :)
Feb. 24th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you
Ooops. Sorry about that.

Just hope they don't misspell it on the Hugo if you win.
Bryan Cogman
Feb. 26th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you
Not to worry.

Personally, if I were voting, I'd go with LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE anyway. Absolutely beautiful book.

Feb. 25th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
Those Inn at the Crossroads girls are awesome. God are those pictures in the book amazing. I get hungry just thinking about them. As soon as I finish college in the next few months and have time for anything, we might have a feast of our own at my house during one of the episodes. I might even wear my Three Wolf Moon Tee just to get into the Stark spirit.
Carl J Speed II
Feb. 25th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
I own all three.
The amount of work put into the recipes in the cookbook is amazing. I look forward to 3/31, and being part of a potluck where we've all picked our favorite. Who couldn't love beef n bacon pie?

I love Bryan Cogman's book. From just the material the book is made with, to the explanations and logistics of some of the sets, to the absolutely beautiful photographs inside, any ASOIAF/GOT fan should add this as a must-have. I seriously want to quit my job in San Antonio, travel to Belfast, and beg for a job, any job on that set :P.

Beyond the Wall - Despite many of the lower reviews by alleged intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals on Amazon, the essays inside are an intriguing read.
Feb. 25th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
I've cooked five or six recipes from A Feast of Ice and Fire, and each one has been solid gold -- a real accomplishment for a cookbook! One has even joined my regular fall-back repertoire. Made a New Years' feast for our evening tabletop gaming crowd that was amazing. They definitely deserve some kudos!
Feb. 25th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the nomination support, George! It means a great deal to have your seal of approval on almost two years of hard work. And wouldn't it be so cool to make Hugo/cookbook history? :)

*fingers crossed*


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

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April 2018



  • grrm
    5 Mar 2018, 19:17
    Still working on that. When we have a final, I will share it.
  • grrm
    5 Mar 2018, 05:32
    All the Wild Cards books under Tor have had absolutely stellar covers. I'd frame them and hang them on my wall if I could.
  • grrm
    4 Mar 2018, 03:28
    Are all these examples digital artwork? It doesn't look like traditional oil on canvas. I miss the fantasy/sci-fi covers of the '70s and '80s. Even the paperbacks had amazing covers.
  • grrm
    3 Mar 2018, 17:49
    Whatever anyone can get their hands on is, I suspect, the right answer.

    At the last party, it was an open bar with pretty much everything you can imagine on offer. There were some special drinks as…
  • grrm
    3 Mar 2018, 00:07
    Any chance you could tell us who’s doing the cover art for Fire and Blood? And maybe when we can expect a glimpse of it. Thank you!
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