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BANTAM TO PUBLISH THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE

September 2, 2006

I’ve had readers writing and emailing me for years asking for some sort of “encyclopedia” or concordance for Westeros and the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, so it thrills me no end to announce that a few hours ago I signed a contract with Bantam Books for just such a companion book. We’re calling it The World of Ice and Fire. . . mainly because The World of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is too long and cumbersome to put on a cover, and way clunky besides.

The “world book” will be a big undertaking, and much too complicated for me to tackle alone, especially since I have this novel still to finish (you know the one), but I’ve been lucky enough to find some splendid help in persons of Elio M. Garcia, Jr. and Linda Antonsson., who will be my co-authors on the project. Elio (sometimes known as “Ran”) and Linda are the hosts and webmasters at Westeros.org, with its terrific concordance and colorful rolls of arms, and I have long had the feeling that both of them know a lot more about the Seven Kingdoms than I do.

With the ink not quite dry on the contracts yet, I can’t tell you much about the contents of The World of Ice and Fire, but we do know that it will include a lengthy section on the history of the Seven Kingdoms, and a “who’s who” of characters past and present, living, dead, and legendary. Heraldry and genealogy will also be included. Oh, and maps. Lots of maps. You asked for them, and we’re going to give to them to you.

This will be a large and splendid coffee-table sized book, with full color throughout and artwork on every page. Some of the illustrations will, of necessity, be reprinted from among the best of the work seen in the art book, the card game, the board game, the RPG, and various books and comics, but a lot of it will be original, commissioned especially for the world book. More details when we have them.

As for the rest of the contents… we want to know what you would like to see in an encyclopedia/ concordance/ companion book. However, PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ME your suggestions. What you should do instead is go to the bulletin board that Elio and Linda maintain at Westeros.org and post your ideas there. This book is for the fans, so tell us what should be in it.

There’s no way to project a firm publication date at this time, but my best guess is that The World of Ice and Fire will be released in late 2007 or early 2008, after A Dance With Dragons but before The Winds of Winter.

(And yes, this was one of the “secret projects” that I referred to in some earlier news stories and on my live journal. It has been in the works for some time, but I don’t like to announce projects until contracts are signed. Watch this page for news about the other “secret projects,” when the time is ripe to announce them).

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