OtherView Flashback: A Chat of Ice and Fire – 2000

Back in the year 2000, we had the pleasure of hosting a chat on OtherSpace with George R.R. Martin, author of a popular book series called “A Song of Ice and Fire” that would go on to spawn an HBO fantasy series sensation:

Brody greets George. “Welcome, Mr. Martin :)”

Volanta gives a warm and friendly “Yo” to Mister Martin.

George says, “<Hello. This the place?>”

Caspar arrives from Freewheeling <Tomin Kora>.

Caspar has arrived.

Volanta says, “<> are not required. Just there to confuse people.”

Dominique laughs lightly, and nods, “You probably got it right Mr. Martin”

Brody nods. “Welcome to OtherSpace.

Brody will give folks a couple more minutes to filter in, then we can get underway.

George says, “Sounds good.”

George says, “What is “Freewheeling?””

Brody grins. “It’s a shady town on a fairly shady planet.”

Dominique says, “Fairly?!”

George says, “I see…”

Brody says, “Ok, so I understate the scum and villainy quotient.”

Dominique avoids Tomin Kora at all costs πŸ™‚

George says, “Is this from a MUSH or a MUD, something like that?”

Caspar nods. “It’s a MUSH.”

Hikaru says, “This is a MUSH. Which are RolePlay focused where most MUDS are combat hack and slash focused.”

George says, “I say I have heard about MUSHing. A couple of my fans are gearing up to start a Seven Kingdoms MUSH”

Brody smiles. “That was actually going to be one of my questions – would that be a first for your stories? Or are there others?”

George says, “The first so far as I know.”

Volanta wishes he could read…

Hikaru says, “Nice, Mushing is a unique community.”

Brody peers in Volanta’s general direction.

Volanta just looks at the picture.

George says, “I must admit, when I hear “Mush” I think of the Iditarod.”

Guest looks guilty (being one of the fans — Elio here). “Hi, GRRM. :)”

Dominique pats Volanta on the head.

Brody grins and nods. “I thought of porridge. It’s okay.”

George says, “Hi, elio. You’re everywhere.”

George says, “Is the Conference Center a different place from here?”

Brody grins. “Nope, you’re in the right place.”

George says, “Good”

Guest is like Chun the Unavoidable that way. πŸ˜‰

Brody says, “Other folks are scattered around the MUSH – type listlocs.”

George says, “Ah, Chun the Unavoidable… what a guy”

George says, “I do love Jack Vance”

Brody waves to the group. “First, let’s all welcome George “R.R.” Martin to our humble corner of the Internet. Mr. Martin is the author of many novels – some of you may be familiar with a series called ‘A Song of Ice and Fire.’ He also developed the Wild Cards shared world, and he wrote for the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ TV series with Linda Hamilton.

Volanta decides to kill Korstyl, just for the hell of it, then shuts his mouth.

Dominique welcomes Mr. Martin – unsure of what exactly a welcoming movement would be – but just as glad to have him here anyways.

Korstyl claps and whistles.

George says, “Glad to be here”

Brody grins. “First of all, Mr. Martin, if you’d like, take some time to talk about your latest book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. What’s it called, what’s it about?”

George says, “It’s called A STORM OF SWORDS. It’s about 1500 pages (in manucript, anyway)”

Brody chuckles. “Not something you can read in one night – without a lot of caffeine.”

Brody says, “How would you classify the series? I’ve heard them referred to as political fantasy. Is that accurate?”

“Or controlled substances…” Volanta mutters.

George says, “Well, you can definitely read it in less time than it took me to write it.”

N’Sha-El pokes her tongue out at Brody. “Can too – being scared by you is enough to give ANYONE caffeine withdrawal.” Grins and settles to listen. “How long did it take to write, Mr. Martin? Just out of curiousity.”

Korstyl mutters, “Cool title. I’m liking it so far.”

Brody nods. “I bet. How long did it take?”

George says, “Epic fantasy or high fantasy are the terms I use.”

Hikaru nods

George says, “The writing… well, probably a couple of years, all told.”

George says, “SWORDS is the third volume of the series. I began the first in 1991.”

Brody nods. “How did you get drawn to writing epic fantasy? And why, do you suppose? Is it something you read as a youth, or did you get grounded in other forms of literature?”

George says, “Of course, in the early years I was doing a lot of TV and film work too”

Weslak arrives from Freewheeling <Tomin Kora>.

Weslak has arrived.

Brody waves to Weslak.

George says, “Yes, I read Tolkien in high school, and folks like ERB, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E. Howard even earlier.”

Weslak says, “Hiya”

Korstyl pats the seat next to him. “Sit here wes!”

Weslak nods to Korstyl and takes a seat.

Brody nods. “How did you get involved with ‘Beauty and the Beast?’ And what other TV and film projects have you worked on?”

George says, “Before B&B I was on staff on the new TWILIGHT ZONE. I was hired for B&B on the basis of my TZ work, and maybe for my books too, but to a lesser extent.”

Brody says, “How was the B&B experience? Is it something you’d like to see more of?”

George says, “See more of? You mean more of B&B?”

Brody nods. “Right.”

George says, “There was talk of a film once, but I think the time has passed.”

Korstyl raises his hand, waiting to be selected for a question. πŸ™‚

George says, “The show never recovered from Linda Hamilton’s abrupt departure.”

Brody nods. “How about Twilight Zone? Anything in the pipe there?”

Brody waves at Korstyl. “Once he answers the TZ question, go for it.”

George says, “I have heard talk of another TZ revival, but if so, I won’t be connected with it. My books keep me plenty busy.”

Korstyl says, “I may have missed something but, do you only write fantasy novels? Or have you also written sci-fi or something?”

George says, “I have written everything — SF, fantasy, horror, comics, TV, films, you name it”

Korstyl grins, “What comics have you written?”

George says, “I wrote for Epic’s WILD CARDS comic, and also for the X-Men benefit issue. And back in my teenaged days, I broke in with stories in comics fanzines.”

Brody looks around. “Anyone else with questions? I don’t want to hog the man’s time myself, so if you have any, just raise a hand.”

Nilan raises his hand.

Brody nods to Nilan.

Korstyl smiles, “I’ve read the Wild cards stuff. I enjoyed it alot.” πŸ™‚

Nilan says, “What do you enjoy reading for yourself?”

George says, “WILD CARDS is coming back. We have a deal to reprint the first eight books and do two new ones.”

George says, “Sure, I read voraciously. All kinds of stuff.”

Korstyl nods, “I’ll look for em'”

Brody cheers, re: Wild Cards. “My wife introduced me to those books.”

Nilan says, “As a sci-fi writer, how do you rate our most recent election?”

Brody grins.

Zarith smirks

Dominique laughs, thinking this ought to be good…

George says, “The recent election made me ill. The end result, anyway…”

N’Sha-El heees! “Good fer y’wife Bro!” She then glances about and drops a question. “So of late, Mr. Martin, what’s been reading material that you’d recommend?” She then tousles the son’s hair and settles back.

George says, “Recent material? Ok….”

Kip screws his face up petulantly at having his hair tousled.

George says, “Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders series”

George says, “Steven Pressfield’s GATES OF FIRE”

N’Sha-El grins at Kip. “You can pay me back later son.” Gets out the pen to make notes. “Oooh.”

George says, “Arturo Perez-Reverte — THE CLUB DUMAS and THE FLANDERS PANEL are bothe great”

N’Sha-El OOOHS. “I /loved/ those. The Fencing Master is good too.”

Dominique smiles as Slyfox enters, and indicates a seat next to her.

Slyfox slides in next to Dominique.

Brody grins. “Mr. Martin, what are your thoughts on the Internet and its role in the future of SF/fantasy publishing?”

George says, “I haven’t gotten to that one yet, but I am looking forward to it”

N’Sha-El was just rereading the Seville Communion recently. “It’s a little odd but good. And yeah, I think you’ll enjoy it. But the Club Dumas was really good.”

George says, “I think it’s too early to say the impact the Internet will have”

George says, “There’s great opportunity, but also great danger.”

George says, “The problem of piracy in particular is very threatening.”

Brody nods. “Copyright violations, reprints without permission, etc.?”

George says, “Yes”

Brody says, “Have you had to cope with that much yourself, with your work?”

George says, “Old pirates were just in it for the money. These new writers all think they are revolutionaries. They have a Robin Hood complex, but writers like me are the “rich” they mean to steal from.”

Hikaru nods, “Mr. Martin what motivated you into writing?

George says, “These new PIRATEs, I meant to say in my last”

Nilan says, “How do you feel about eBooks… publications solely online books…”

Volanta says, “The old pirates also had more parots.”

George says, “Hikaru, I always loved to tell stories”

Dominique nods, “Many more.”

George says, “The old pirates were cool. Arrrgh, Jim me boy…”

Volanta says, “Land ho.”

George says, “I wish I could make some of these Internet pirates walk the plank.”

Dominique does her best Arrrr, and it comes out sounding like a cat getting hit by a rather large omlette.

Brody chuckles.

MacDonald hehs..interesting image

N’Sha-El checks. “Nope. Not Genghis. He’d eat the omelette.”

Brody says, “What project are you working on these days, Mr. Martin?”

George says, “The fourth volume of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, mostly”

Volanta says, “He could tell you, but then he’d have to kill you.”

Brody nods. “When is that going to be done?”

Brody bets editors are often asking that.

George says, “Though today I am correcting proofs for the reprint of WINDHAVEN that Bantam is about to put out.”

Dominique raises her hand.

Brody nods to Dominique.

George says, “Fall 2001, I hope.”

Dominique says, “Just a comment – Just remembered, but there is quite a large roleplaying Mud, which is partially based on windhaven. Just popped into my mind,”

Guest says, “WINDHAVEN reprinted in Fall 2001? Or ADwD done . . . ?”

George says, “Really? Based on WINDHAVEN? Our WINDHAVEN?”

Dominique nods.

Guest says, “Is it World’s End MUD?”

George says, “WINDHAVEN in spring 2001, ADWD in fall 2002. Sorry about that. What year is it, anyway?”

Dominique squints, “Hmm… Ah, I believe It might be.”

Fulton raises hand.

Brody nods to Fulton.

N’Sha-El grins. “Don’t worry about the year…it’s 3000 /here/ anyway.”

Fulton says, “Your books tend to be aimed for an adult audience given the language used in them and the lack of censorship with which you describe the scenes, wether they be combat-related or sexual, right? Has this ever posed a problem for you? Has the liberty which you use to write ever counteracted on you? Basically… ever had any problem with censorship?”

George says, “Hmmpf… I wish they had asked permission, at least, the way Elio and Linda did before beginning their Seven Kingdoms MUSH.”

George says, “No problem with anyone trying to censor my books, no.”

George says, “TV is another kettle of fish. Standards and Practices was always a pain in the neck.”

Brody says, “How does it feel, having someone like Elio work to bring to life in real-time the world you’ve created?”

George says, “Well, Elio and Linda have done a fantastic website, and that’s very gratifying. I love their heraldry pages in partciualr. As for the MUSH… that’s not going yet, and it’s all new to me. I’ll be curious to see how it works out.”

Brody nods. “Given the popularity of the books, it’s quite likely they’ll thrive.”

Guest says, “The progress . . . slowly but surely, sorta. The Red Keep gives us fits. Still haven’t built it. Heh.”

Brody says, “Elio, feel free to throw out the web address so we can have it online.”

Guest says, “BTW, Google reveals this page for the MUD’s background for Windhaven: http://cyberwizards.com/~hub/wind1.html”

George says, “It may be an odd feeling. Having others playing with my toys, so to speak…”

Volanta says, “We screw up Brody’s toys all the time.”

Brody chuckles

Hikaru chuckles

Brody says, “Yes, but I invented this place so you *could* :)”

N’Sha-El says, “Yes but he gets revenge in most unpleasant ways, neh? *ducks*”

Hikaru says, “I think Brody and I can understand that to a degree :)”

Brody says, “It’s a bit different when you’ve written a series of novels with your own vision, and then someone goes their own way with it.”

Korstyl says, “i’m back from dinner”

Guest says, “Oh, yeah.Β http://www.westeros.orgΒ — that’s our main site, which provides links to the Citadel (an informational resource for the series, including the heraldry), the Ring of Ice and Fire (a webring), and the Blood of Dragons page (BoD being the name of the game)”

Marson mutters, “And screwing up my coded toys too. ;)”

Hikaru nods, “True.”

Brody hopes Korstyl brought leftovers for us.

Hikaru says, “Mr. Martin what sort of advice do you have for folks like myself who are in process of trying to write a book. Like you I love to tell a story.”

N’Sha-El ooohs at the heraldry site. “Excellent!”

George says, “If you mean to make a career as a writer, I’d advise you to begin with short fiction rather than a novel.”

Korstyl shakes his head as he eats the last of the leftovers.

Hikaru nods, “Whys that?”

George says, “Write every day and read voraciously”

George says, “Short fiction is easier for a new writer to sell.”

Brody says, “Mr. Martin, anything we haven’t covered that you want to add, talk about? Questions *you* want to ask of us? The floor’s yours.”

Hikaru says, “That I do, from poetry, to shorter work… and reading voraciously has always been a fault :)”

George says, “And in the long run, you are better making a name for yourself in the magazines before throwing your first novel out there to sink or swim.”

Hikaru nods, “Thanks for the advice.”

N’Sha-El removes the cats from chewing on the piles of paper in the corner and sits with Kip, handing one mewling feline over to him for safe keeping.

George says, “Good luck with that.”

George says, “Why are you chewing cats?”

Brody chuckles

N’Sha-El grins. “I’m not so privileged. THEY chew the rest of everything. Even walnuts and Brody.”

Brody says, “Mr. Martin, thanks for joining us here tonight – I know you’re extremely busy, and we all appreciate you taking the time.”

George says, “Cats are like that. We have two. One is always eating our TV cable, so our satellite feed gets screwed up.”

Korstyl says, “Mr. Martin, can you somehow make a movie about otherspace? I think a great main character would be Corstyl. I’ll send you the script. :)”

George says, “Really interferes with my Sunday football”

Brody chuckles at Korstyl.

Hikaru laughs

N’Sha-El says, “Where I used to live, the main problem was squirrels.””

N’Sha-El says, “They ate every single dern cable in sight. Maybe they’re kin to your cat?”

Hikaru says, “My cats are a handful as well but they don’t chew the cable modem line as of yet :)”

Brody says, “Aren’t all cats kin?”

George says, “Squirrels are rats with fluffy tails”

N’Sha-El HEHEHES!

Hikaru chuckles

N’Sha-El says, “The ones up at Williamsburg musta been. They ate /everything/.”

Guest has gotten the impression that writers favor cats over dogs by a fair margin, as pets.

Brody says, “Any other questions, folks?”

George says, “Is that scenic Colonial Willisamburg?”

Fulton says, “Any plans to make A Song of Ice and Fire into a movie in the near future? You’ve probably been asked a million times, but hey.”

N’Sha-El grins at Guest. “They’re not as drooly as some dogs I think. And as to Colonial Williamsburg, no, this was another Williamsburg that ain’t even showing up on the map if it’s not large enough.”

N’Sha-El says, “But Colonial Williamsburg isn’t far from where I am now, and I /have/ seen a lot of squirrels.”

George says, “I am having some discussions about film and TV rights, but there’s nothing firm yet.”

George says, “Yes, I have a home page atΒ www.georgerrmartin.com.”

Brody nods.

George says, “The first pic you see there is the one to use. Photo credit to Parris, please.”

Hikaru says, “Squirrels rule the world we just don’t know it.”

Brody says, “Well, again, thank you very much for coming to visit with us. I’ll be sure to credit accordingly.”

Hikaru says, “Yes thank you, and for the advice.”

George says, “You’re most welcome. It was fun.”

N’Sha-El says, “Squirrels ate Teel’s cable modem line, Hikaru πŸ˜› And yeah it was a very enjoyable time. :)”

Brody grins. “You’re welcome back any time – and Elio, let us know how it goes!

Guest says, “Thanks again. πŸ™‚ And sure, thanks, Brody. :)”

George says, “Now go forth and read the books! Good night, all.”

Brody waves

Korstyl says, “thanks for coming George πŸ™‚ and thanks bro.”

N’Sha-El grins. “Enjoy Perez-Reverte!”

Guest says, “Again? Ack. πŸ˜‰ I’m actually a third of the way through SoS as I do the Concordance update. ;)”

George bows, waves, vanishes.

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