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AN AUDIO SONG OF ICE AND FIRE — UNABRIDGED!

November 22, 2003

I get a lot of emails. The question asked most often is “When will A FEAST FOR CROWS be done?” But second place probably goes to “Why isn’t A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE available as an audiobook?”

It’s a good question, and one that came across my desk often enough so that I decided to address it in my FAQ. There was an audiobook deal for A GAME OF THRONES on the table a few years ago, but it was for an abridged nine- hour version. Nine hours sounded like a long time when the proposition was first made to me, but when I received the abridged text of the novel for approval, I realized that it was hardly any time at all. The abridgement would have been a Cliff’s Notes version of the book, so I killed the project.

And that’s where the matter stood…till now.

But that’s all about to change. It thrills me no end to be able to announce that audiobook versions of the first three novels of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE are now in the works, and should be on the shelves next year. If they do well enough, the rest of the series will follow in due course. And best of all, these recordings will be completely unabridged! Audiobook fans will get the books, not a summary of the plot with a few scenes sprinkled in.

The tapes are being produced by Books On Tape, the nation’s largest producer of unabridged audiobooks (and a sister company to Random House Audio). Production is well underway. In fact, A GAME OF THRONES is in post-production as I write, and our reader has moved on to A CLASH OF KINGS.

Oh, and our reader? That’s the best part. The novels are being read by the magnificent Roy Dotrice. Roy and I worked together for three years on the television series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, where he played the part of Father. I can’t think of anyone that I would rather have reading my books.

A list of Roy’s credits would fill a sizeable book itself, but for those not familiar with his work, he is a classically trained British stage actor who has appeared all over the world in everything from Shakespeare to Xena: Warrior Princess. He was Mozart’s father in Amadeus, he still holds a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for his one-man show Brief Lives, he’s worked with everyone from Charles Laughton to Cheech and Chong, and he does such a marvelous range of voices and accents that you’d swear he was twenty different people. His previous narrations include the audiobook of Richard Adams’ masterpiece Watership Down. I can scarcely wait to hear what Roy does with A GAME OF THRONES. It’s a real pleasure to be teamed with him again.

As for the question of length… well, my producer at Books On Tape tells me that A GAME OF THRONES alone filled thirty-eight 90-minute cassettes… which should give you some small idea of how much that nine-hour abridgement would have cut. Sometimes it pays to wait.


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