Up Close: George R. R. Martin

Martin Is Coming

By Nancy Bilyeau

“There’s a lot happening these days, so much that some days it feels as if I cannot even keep up with my own life,” George R. R. Martin wrote a few weeks ago.

Add to the list of happenings,  George R. R. Martin’s first ever-appearance at Thrillerfest.

Martin will be the Thrillermaster at Thrillerfest XIII in New York City this month, following a period of several years in which he appeared at few conferences. The author of the bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire will be interviewed onstage by Anne Groell, Executive Editor for Penguin Random House, and the following evening, he’ll receive an award from Lee Child.

Among the exciting project news Martin is sharing is that HBO has greenlit the first of the “successor shows” to its top-rated Game of Thrones series. Martin created the untitled series with producer Jane Goldman, best known for the comic book films Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” according to HBO. “And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.”

Martin explained on notablog.com that none of the characters or actors from Game of Thrones will appear in this new show.

Martin wrote: “All of the successor shows we’ve been developing have been prequels, as I have mentioned before. This one really puts the PRE in prequel, since it is set not ninety years before Game of Thrones (like Dunk & Egg), or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years (well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long).  We’re very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don’t have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title. (My vote would be The Long Night which says it all, but I’d be surprised if that’s where we end up. More likely HBO will want to work the phrase “game of thrones” in there somewhere. We’ll know sooner or later.)”

The next, final season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to appear on HBO in 2019.

Also buzzing on the web is the newly released trailer for Martin’s Fall 2018 series on Syfy, Nightflyers. In the trailer a frightening young girl chants, “Feel. Kill. Hate. Burn. Time. Death.”

Martin has described the series as “A haunted house story on a starship. It’s Psycho in space.” According to Syfy, the show follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark “an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer—a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain—in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other—and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.”

The series is based on Martin’s novella, originally published in 1980 in Analog Science Fiction and Fact. In 1985, Martin put out a short-story collection of his work that included Nightflyers.

“Some of the fans of A Song of Ice and Fire seem to believe that I burst onto the writing scene full-grown with the publication of the first book of the series,” Martin wrote in the “Oldies But Goodies” section of his official website, “but actually I had been a professional writer for twenty-five years when A Game of Thrones was published in 1996.”

Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau, Editor in Chief of The Big Thrill, has worked in the magazine business for more than 20 years, with staff jobs at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and InStyle and is currently the deputy editor of The Crime Report, at the Center on Media, Crime and Justice.She is the author of The Crown, The Chalice, and The Tapestry, a series set in 16th century England published by Touchstone in the U.S., Orion in the UK, and eight other countries. Her new historical thriller, THE BLUE, set in the art and porcelain world of 18th century England and France, will be published in the U.S. and the UK in December 2018. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com

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