March 31st, 2012 by Dunc · 3 Comments
The night is dark and full of terrors. The second season of the hit series based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire debuts tomorrow! (I’m so excited, even though I can’t actually remember where A Clash of Kings ends and A Storm of Swords begins.) Among the must-reads is this interview with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. There’s also been a lot of attention paid to the shows’ female characters. And is the mainstream finally paying attention to fantasy? Well, sort of.
If you want to gorge on more Thrones news, reviews, and interviews ahead of the premiere, head over to the dedicated fan blog Winter is Coming.
Authors behaving badly. Christoper Priest, author of The Prestige, is not very happy with the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist. Take it, Cleolinda.
Preach it. I haven’t been much impressed with his books, but I think Patrick Rothfuss hits things right out of the park on how fantasy needs to move past aping the Tolkien elves-and-dwarves formula.
The Hunger Games. Everyone loves it! Except the people who somehow missed that Rue was black in the book, and think that diminishes the character’s impact. (Um, spoilers.) Not enough facepalm in the world. Actress Amandla Stenberg said in a statement: “It was an amazing experience; I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire Hunger Games community for their support and loyalty.”
Will The Hunger Games mark a sea change in Hollywood’s willingness to greenlight more female-lead action movies? The experts are skeptical.
And finally, here’s something not-so-serious: Capitol propaganda posters.
The Lame Files. Is 50 Shades of Grey taking fan fiction mainstream? Considering what what I got in my mailbox yesterday… Yes. Yes it is. Here’s a look back at the book’s fanfic past.
Also: Ten books every fantasy author should read – Why the Wheel of Time series is so long – Highlights in the history of space opera – Harry Potter genderswap – Stakes in fantasy novels – Why old books smell so good
Filed: fiction · tv
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · game of thrones (tv) · grrm
July 14th, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
The Emmy nominations came out this morning, and HBO’s fantasy series is among most nominated. Game of Thrones received 13 nods, most notably Best Drama and a Supporting Actor nomination for Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion.
For Best Drama, the show is up against Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, The Good Wife and last year’s winner Mad Men. Dinklage’s competition includes John Slattery of Mad Men and Alan Cumming in The Good Wife.
Thrones other nods include writing (for ‘Baelor,’) direction, casting, costumes, hairstyling, visual effects and Main Title Design.
Meanwhile, A Dance With Dragons is actually selling better in print than in eBook.
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · awards · emmys · game of thrones (tv) · grrm
July 11th, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
It’s been a while since we’ve had any releases at all, but this week thankfully bring a few! First off, on Tuesday, you pick up the Robot Chicken: Star Wars III DVD or Blu-Ray. Hilarity we haven’t seen since Robot Chicken: Star Wars II! io9 catches up with creator Matt Senreich on why there’s no Robot Chicken Star Trek and gets an exclusive deleted scene about Princess Leia.
If you’re a fantasy fan, there’s also A Dance with Dragons, the long-awaited fifth volume of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. (You know, the one that began with Game if Thrones Which is now an HBO series? Yeah.) But more on that later.?
Meanwhile, there’s an actual comic in stores on Wednesday. A new storyline launches with Invasion: Revelations #1.
And come Saturday, it’s also time for the annual summertime wish-it-were-cooler tradition of the Hallmark Ornaments Premiere Weekend.
Next week? Choices of One! SDCC attendees and/or San Diego natives can enter a contest to win lunch with Tim Zahn and editor Shelly Shapiro while they’re in town for the con.
Filed: expanded universe · star wars on tv
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · comics · contests · grrm · hallmark · invasion · releases · robot chicken · sdcc · the old republic (comics) · timothy zahn
April 27th, 2011 by Dunc · 2 Comments
Yes, George R. R. Martin finished the book. The fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire got a July 12th publication date last month, but he still wasn’t quite finished with the manuscript, leaving many to doubt that the long-awaited book would actually become a reality. Well, worry no longer, because Martin posted today that Kong has been slain. For those not up on GRRM’s lingo – ‘Kong’ is the book’s nickname – his editor, Anne Groell, has confirmed in plain English.
Meanwhile, HBO’s Game of Thrones TV show has been doing well – ratings held steady for the second episode, and it’s already been renewed for a second season. And you’ll certainly want to check out Time’s four-part interview with Martin about the show, including his thoughts on how the next few volumes should be split up for filming.
Awards. Nominees for the 2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards were announced the other day, and I’m still a little in shock that two of my 2010 favorites – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Feed – are up for best novel.
Tolkien. The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will be in theaters this June. Individually, thankfully.
Dark Tower. And for new adaptations, it appears that Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has signed on to play Roland in Ron Howard’s take on Stephen King’s epic fantasy series.
Recs. Thanks to Jo Walton, I now want to give Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet a swing. And while I was already planning to try Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique, but Charlie Jane Anders’ review has made me even more intrigued.
Filed: fiction · film · tv
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · lord of the rings · other worlds · stephen king
April 17th, 2011 by Dunc · 7 Comments
HBO’s adaption of Game of Thrones premieres tonight amid a new storm of controversy about women and fantasy. What could possibly have soiled the premiere of what is probably the biggest fantasy literature event of the year? (Well, the biggest one that doesn’t involve boy wizards and horcruxes, anyway.) Why, yet more false assumptions about women and what they watch and read, of course!
It was all sparked by Ginia Bellafante’s New York Times review. Behold this bit of ‘wisdom:’
The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
Uh-huh. There’s plenty one can say to this, but since I am the absolute last fantasy-loving female in the blogosphere to address it, here are a few selected responses:
The reality check. Emily of The Discriminating Fangirl responds to many of Bellafante’s misconceptions. Key quote: “…How can the show require MENSA-member viewers and be too stupid/silly for HBO?”
The feminist. Sarah Louise of Bleeding Cool takes on the gender normative tone of the review. Key quote: “The main thing I find shocking about all these sweeping remarks is the fact that the piece was written by a woman. Aren’t we all supposed to be in this thing together?”
The ally. Alan Kistler wonders where the actual review was in his Newsarama Op-ed. Key quote: “We didn’t get an informed opinion on the show. In fact, in her whole review, the story premise is barely touched on and not one character, plot point or scene is mentioned. ”
The snarky: Annalee Newitz of io9 asked (with spoilers) why would men want to watch Game of Thrones? Key quote: “Who but a woman would even be able to keep all those Stark children’s names straight, let alone all the other people connected to the Stark family?”
The full package. Amy Ratcliffe of Geek with Curves talks about what she really wants to see in the series. Key quote: “I’m not tuning into the television show to see sex either. I won’t lie – I’m not unhappy about seeing Jason Momoa shirtless as Khal Drogo, but that isn’t the primary reason I’m watching. I want to see Westeros on screen.”
The author. George R. R. Martin breaks his own rules to say something about the review. Key quote: “…if I am writing ‘boy fiction,’ who are all those boys with breasts who keep turning up by the hundreds at my signings and readings?”
And naturally, amid all this? A Today piece on how ladies power viewership for SF/F TV. How long must we have to harp on this before the Ginia Bellafantes of the world catch on?
UPDATE: Bellafonte responds. What does she take from this? ‘People on the internet are mean?’ So much facepalm.
Filed: fiction · film · geek life
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · diversity · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · lady business
April 12th, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
Now on the failed adaption shortlist… Pern, yet again? This time sees Copperheart Entertainment hook up with with X-Men scriptwriter David Hayter. Is [mumble] times the charm for Anne McCaffrey’s dragonriders, or will this project vanish into between? But since Peter Jackson doesn’t seem in much rush to utilize the rights to Naomi Novak’s Temeraire, this might be fantasy fans best hope for an actual dragon movie franchise. Just, you know, don’t hold your breath.
The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is profiled in The New York Times, and the actors playing Peeta and Gale have been announced.
A Song of Ice and Fire. Game of Thrones debuts this weekend! For those of you not poring over Winter is Coming, here’s a character cheat sheet. Meanwhile, Tor.com is running a series on the women of the series, and George R. R. Martin is interviewed by the NYT.
Recommended. What are the 80 greatest science fiction books for kids? Online Colleges and Universities has some suggestions, helpfully sorted by age group.
Cover art. A threefer: Terry Brooks The Measure of Magic, N.K. Jemisin’s The Kingdom of Gods and Lev Grossman’s The Magician King. As unimpressed as I was by The Magicians, I must admit that both books have gorgeous covers.
Filed: fiction · film
Tagged: anne mccaffrey · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · hunger games · kids · lists · other worlds · terry brooks
March 17th, 2011 by Dunc · 2 Comments
Is it… Robot Elvis? What kind of pose is Nathan Fillion doing on the cover of the new Entertainment Weekly? Topless Robot readers have many, many answers. Your reward: Looking at Nathan Fillion.
Shocking facts! A survey of 5,041 Star Trek fans found that 57% of them were female. Fascinating.
Brain a moose. Check out the manuscript for George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons. Or check out the HBO features on House Stark, House Baratheon, House Lannister and House Targaryen.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… A funny Regretsy post involving Roseanne Barr, Carrie Fisher and (of course) a puzzling crafted object.
Your indie moment(s) of zen. Mario and a trailer for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off recut as an Sofia Coppola-esque coming-of-age film.
Filed: fiction · people · tv
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · carrie fisher · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · lady business · nathan fillion · star trek · video
March 3rd, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
We’ve been waiting six years for the next installment of George R. R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series and now – finally – Entertainment Weekly has the scoop: A Dance With Dragons will come out July 12. And at more than 900 pages, it’ll probably be big enough to brain a moose.
With the Game of Thrones TV series (there’s a new trailer for that, too) debuting on April 17, I’m sure that the folks at HBO and Bantam are dancing in their respective hallways.
Though actually, I’m not even sure I believe it myself, yet. Is this real life? Someone pinch me. Is July even enough time to reread?!?
BUT! On his website, Martin says he’s not done yet. What gives?
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · other worlds
March 1st, 2011 by Dunc · 7 Comments
Tor.com has wrapped up their reader’s poll, naming the top ten science fiction and fantasy novels of the decade:
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Blindsight by Peter Watts
- Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
- A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
- Anathem by Neal Stephenson
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
- Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
I’ve read half of them: I could see American Gods, Kushiel’s Dart, and A Storm of Swords among my own top reads, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by The Name of the Wind and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. (I’ve been putting off Old Man’s War – it’s in the pile!) What are your thoughts?
Tagged: grrm · john scalzi · lists · neil gaiman · other worlds
January 9th, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
From shelves to HBO. Game of Thrones has a premiere date: April 17th. If you’re a big A Song of Ice and Fire fan than Winter is Coming’s summary of the show’s 15-minute press peek is worth a read. (GRRM was also on hand to talk about the series.) And last of all, new set photos!
In other adaptation news… There’s an interview with Hunger Games director Gary Ross in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly that’s definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the books. Meanwhile, Elijah Wood has signed on for The Hobbit. Frodo doesn’t appear in the book, but EW speculates that Jackson may use the character in a narrative framing device.
Anticipated books of 2011. I linked Erika’s yesterday, but also taking a look forward are Blastr’s Paul Di Filippo, Suvudu’s Shawn Speakman and Fantasy Book Critic’s Liviu Suciu.
Bookstores. Things aren’t looking too good for the Borders, while rival Barnes & Noble is reporting record holiday sales. Now I generally prefer B&N, but hope Borders is able to pull through; The loss of such a large chain could have disastrous effects.
Relevant media. Locus, the leading magazine of the genre, is now offering a digital subscription option.
People. Author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline) and musician Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) tied the knot last week. Naturally, they both blogged about it. Congrats!
Craft time. Paul Atreides riding a sandworm. In crochet.
Tagged: a song of ice and fire · dune · game of thrones (tv) · grrm · hunger games · neil gaiman · other worlds · the hobbit