Werthead

The Factual History of A Song of Ice and Fire: including complete bibliography

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Hello fellow Asoiaf fans. I was wondering things like.. What did Martin base Westeros off of?

I know I've read that his Asoiaf series is based off the War of the Roses and The Hundred Years War.... But I'm curious

if that basis is just for the theme and settings and reality of the medieval society.. And not for the geography of Westeros and The free cities Etc. So to speak did he just start drawing a continent just from his imagination? (Which might be hard to know without asking him)

Or maybe my question is.. Is the medieval 'war of the roses' backdrop just for grasping the.. reality and brutality and greed that long ago existed? compared to his geography and Major and minor houses being made up?

Sorry if it seems confusing, I guess I'm wondering what of the series Asoiaf are based off real history, if any, and what parts aren't.

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A travesty!

I just read a list of all of the Hugo award winners, and what books they ran against, and this is one of their smallest slights. I disagreed with the VAST majority of their opinions.

Even though the Potter books do not hold a candle to the creativeness and workmanship that goes into ASOIF, they are at least a good ambassador into the world of sci-fi and fantasy.

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Thanks for this excellent and informative backstory.

I am hoping that Book 6 will be easier to write because there won't be any Meereneese knots and re-conceptualizations of the story arc. Fingers crossed.

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Thanks, I didn't know any of this lol I'm still reading AFFC but I can't wait to read a dance with dragons

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Brilliant post. Very interesting to see how it all developed.

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Thanks for the detailed post (I'm the first one to say that, I know...). Does anyone have any other fun facts about the genesis of characters, places or storylines/theology in the ASoF&I series? (I wonder if Casterly Rock is not an homage to Stephen King's fictional Castle Rock, although I am not sure if the two writers know each other's work or have spoken/written publicly about the other. I wonder if any of GRRM's upbringing or other personal interactions influenced any of the characters in his saga, and if so, how?) He's probably one of the most influential writers and pop culture influencers (w/ the help of the ongoing HBO series) of the latter 20th and 21st century, and if there's any additional information regarding his writing process and the creative origins of his world in this series, it would be much appreciated if anyone could share a web link or scuttlebucket regarding this.

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Long Ago

I don't think it would be off topic in 'Long Ago' to mention that George started as a well regarded science fiction writer.

Especially in the early 1970's.

That he won three HUGOs and a NEBULA between 1975 and 1986, and more awards later.

This is how I got to know his work ... as a fine science fiction writer.

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Now this is interesting. I'd always assumed that both Feast and this upcoming book were planned solely as the "five-year-gap-filler," even if it was no longer five years. Indeed I was wondering questions like "Why is he using the title A Dance of Dragons for a book that is just the second half of A Feast for Crows and not the original Dance of Dragons? And why is he saying it will be seven books when it will clearly be eight?" This explanation now sheds some light. I was hoping GRRM wouldn't be so clueless...

Still, wasn't the original plan for A Dance of Dragons to involve Dany's invasion of Westeros and the chaos that would ensue from that? Or am I not remembering that correctly? If that is case, then he hasn't written all of what he originally planned for A Dance of Dragons. So he has...what, two and a half books left?

Im new to the ASOIAF fandom but when i was reading alot of other sites when i was first learning about the series i had come across the same thing that ADWD would have been about danys landing with the dragons in westeros.

Obviously things have changed and it's gonna take more books for the truth to emerge. And i think 9 books is the magic number.

Edited by ICE CROW

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Good read.. Thank you.. Question to everyone.. Are his other books just as good?

Some of his short stories are arguably better. I haven't read Fevre Dream yet, although that's supposed to be quite good too.

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Excellent post, and makes one understand why so much time was spent on the previous two books. Great job :)

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Does anyone have any other fun facts about the genesis of characters, places or storylines/theology in the ASoF&I series?

GRRM's short story anthology, Dreamsongs (publshed in two volumes in paperback) contains autobiographical essays between each section. In one of these he talks about how R'hllor, Barristan, Dothraki and a few other terms and names originated in fantasy short stories he wrote as a teenager but never finished or published.

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Im new to the ASOIAF fandom but when i was reading alot of other sites when i was first learning about the series i had come across the same thing that ADWD would have been about danys landing with the dragons in westeros.

Obviously things have changed and it's gonna take more books for the truth to emerge. And i think 9 books is the magic number.

I thought that seven, was the magic number and now you talk of eight and even nine books!

*sighs*, why do I star reading all those endless series that hooks you up, like soap operas hooks Housewifes :shocked:

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I just read a list of all of the Hugo award winners, and what books they ran against, and this is one of their smallest slights. I disagreed with the VAST majority of their opinions. Even though the Potter books do not hold a candle to the creativeness and workmanship that goes into ASOIF, they are at least a good ambassador into the world of sci-fi and fantasy.

There are a lot of people who would disagree with you on the Harry Potter stuff being a good intro to F&SF, but that one I’ll let ago. The important thing to realize is there are three major sets of awards:

  1. The Hugo Awards, by the readers (fans)
  2. The Nebula Awards, by the writers
  3. The Locus Awards, by the critics

Actual details of who gets to vote for what aren’t quite as simple as I’ve made them out ot be, but that’s a reasonable first approximation and general overview. I’m friends with one professional genre critic, and to her the Hugos are just a big and silly popularity contest, one that often says little about the technical quality of the work. She really barely looks at them. In that circle, the Locus Awards are the most important and the Nebulas come in second, with the Hugos hardly worth a mention.

Here is how Martin has done in each of those three awards:

  • Hugo: 4 wins out of 16 nominations
  • Nebula: 2 wins out of 12 nominations
  • Locus: 11 wins out of 54 nominations

One reason there are so many more Locus nominations is both because there are more categories and because each category there gets more nominations. If you think of Locus as a sort of advisory feeder to Hugo and Nebula, this makes sense.

Here is the breakdown first by award and then by year of Martin’s nominations and wins. I think you will see that the works he lost to are more reasonable in the Nebulas and unimpeachable in the Locus Awards.


Hugo: 16 nominations, 4 wins

Best Novel

  • 1989 nomination for Dying of the Light, lost to Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  • 2001 nomination for A Storm of Swords, lost to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  • 2006 nomination for A Feast for Crows, lost to Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

Best Novella

  • 1975 win for A Song for Lya
  • 1976 nomination (with Lisa Tuttle) for The Storms of Windhaven, lost to Home is the Hangman by Roger Zelazny
  • 1981 nomination (with Lisa Tuttle) for One-Wing, lost to Lost Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson
  • 1981 nomination for Nightflyers, lost to Lost Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson
  • 1983 nomination for Unsound Variations, lost to Souls by Joanna Russ
  • 1997 win for Blood of the Dragon

Best Novelette

  • 1976 nomination for And Seven Times Kill a Man, lost to The Borderland of Sol by Larry Niven
  • 1980 win for Sandkings (this also won the Nebula)
  • 1982 nomination for Guardians, lost to Roger Zelazny’s Unicorn Variation
  • 1984 nomination for The Monkey Treatment, lost to Greg Bear’s Blood Music
  • 1986 nomination for Portraits of His Children, lost to Harlan Ellison’s Paladin of the Lost Hour

Best Short Story

  • 1974 nomination for “With Morning Comes Mistfall”, lost to Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
  • 1980 win for “The Way of Cross and Dragon”

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • 1973 nomination, lost to Jerry Pournell


Nebula: 12 nominations, 2 wins

Best Novel

  • 1997 nomination for A Game of Thrones, lost to The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre
  • 1999 nomination for A Clash of Kings, lost to Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
  • 2001 nomination for A Storm of Swords, lost to The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro

Best Novella

  • 1974 nomination for A Song for Lya, lost to Born with the Dead by Robert Silverberg
  • 1975 nomination (with Lisa Tuttle) for The Storms of Windhaven, lost to Home is the Hangman by Roger Zelazny
  • 1982 nomination for Unsound Variations, lost to Another Orphan by John Kessel
  • 1996 nomination for Blood of the Dragon, lost to Da Vinci Rising by Jack Dann

Best Novelette

  • 1977 nomination for The Stone City, lost to The Screwfly Solution by Racoona Sheldon (alias of Alice Sheldon)
  • 1979 win for The Sandkings (this also won the Hugo)
  • 1985 win for Portraits of Her Children

Best Short Story

  • 1973 nomination for “With Morning Comes Mistfall”, lost to “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death” by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • 1979 nomination for “The Way of Cross and Dragon”, lost to “giANTS” by Edward Bryant


Locus 54 total nominations (46 in fiction), 11 wins (all in fiction)

Here the number in parentheses indicates the final ballot ranking for that non-winning nomination. I’ve only shown whom he lost to for the novels.

Fantasy Novel

  • 1983 nomination (3) for Fevre Dream, lost to The Sword of the Lictor by Gene Wolfe
  • 1984 nomination (3) for The Armageddon Rag, lost to The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • 1997 win for A Game of Thrones
  • 1999 win for A Clash of Kings
  • 2001 win for A Storm of Swords
  • 2006 nomination (2) for A Feast for Crows, lost to Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

SF Novel

  • 1978 nomination (10) for Dying of the Light, lost to Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  • 1982 nomination (2) for Windhaven [by GRRM & Lisa Tuttle], lost to The Many-Colored Land by Julian May

Novellete

  • 1976 nomination (3) for And Seven Times Never Kill Man
  • 1976 nomination (6) for .for a single yesterday
  • 1977 nomination (8) for Meathouse Man
  • 1980 win for Sandkings
  • 1982 win for Guardians
  • 1984 win for The Monkey Treatment
  • 1986 nomination (3) for Portraits of His Children
  • 1986 nomination (6) for Under Siege
  • 1987 nomination (3) for The Glass Flower
  • 1988 nomination (18) for The Pear-Shaped Man

Novella

  • 1975 nomination (2) for A Song for Lya
  • 1976 win for The Storms of Windhaven [by Lisa Tuttle & GRRM]
  • 1981 win for Nightflyers
  • 1981 nomination (13) for One-Wing [by Lisa Tuttle & GRRM]
  • 1983 nomination (2) for Unsound Variations
  • 1986 nomination (4) for The Plague Star
  • 1986 nomination (7) for Loaves and Fishes
  • 1989 nomination (7) for The Skin Trade
  • 1997 nomination (2) for Blood of the Dragon
  • 1999 nomination (3) for The Hedge Knight
  • 2001 nomination (3) for Path of the Dragon
  • 2004 nomination (4) for The Sworn Sword
  • 2005 nomination (9) for Shadow Twin [by Gardner Dozois, GRRM & Daniel Abraham]

Short Fiction

  • 1973 nomination (7) for The Second Kind of Loneliness
  • 1974 nomination (8) for With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • 1978 nomination (tie for 19) Bitterblooms
  • 1978 nomination (7) for The Stone City

Short Story

  • 1977 nomination (8) for “This Tower of Ashes”
  • 1980 win for “The Way of Cross and Dragon”
  • 1982 nomination (3) for “The Needle Men”
  • 1982 nomination (5) for “Remembering Melody”

Anthology

  • 1989 nomination (6) for Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad
  • 2010 nomination (3) for Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance [GRRM & Gardner Dozois, eds.]
  • 1980 nomination (7) for New Voices II
  • 1981 nomination (10) for New Voices III
  • 1982 nomination (4) for New Voices 4
  • 1985 nomination (tie for 11) for The John W. Campbell Awards, Volume 5
  • 1987 nomination (2) for Wild Cards

Author Collection

  • 1977 win for A Song for Lya and Other Stories

Collection

  • 1986 nomination (4) for Nightflyers
  • 1987 nomination (5) for Tuf Voyaging
  • 1988 nomination (6) for Portraits of His Children
  • 2002 nomination (15) for Quartet
  • 2004 nomination (2) for GRRM: A RRetrospective

Single Author Collection

  • 1982 win for Sandkings

Editor

  • 1989 nomination (13)

Edited by CrypticWeirwood

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If you haven't read his short stories you should buy Dreamsongs. I just finished it and it was excellent, reminded me how talented of a writer he is. Sandkings is honestly one of the best short stories I've ever read by far.

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Has anyone read The Armaggedon Rag? I've read the first few pages on Amazon and it hooked me, but it wouldn't be the first book I read that started well and ended up in the rubbish bin, so I'd like to hear what other readers have to say about it. What say you?

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I started reading the books after watching the HBO series. I powered my way through them back to back. I am worried that either GRRM or I might not make it through the conclusion. At this pace, are we done by 2025? How old us GRRM? Is anyone else concerned? He needs to fo some succession planning because after 1,000s of pages, he can't leave us hanging.

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I started reading the books after watching the HBO series. I powered my way through them back to back. I am worried that either GRRM or I might not make it through the conclusion. At this pace, are we done by 2025? How old us GRRM? Is anyone else concerned? He needs to fo some succession planning because after 1,000s of pages, he can't leave us hanging.

GRRM is 63. Discussions of his mortality on this board, which is frequented by his friends and family, is frowned upon as it is not a pleasant topic to raise. However, GRRM has said that he has given notes on how the series ends to HBO for their planning for the TV series, so an outline (however basic) of the remainder of the story does exist.

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On reading about the collection Legends I was hit by a sudden memory and ran into my old room to check my bookshelf. Sure enough, the book was there, bought by my Dad years ago (he was a huge Terry Pratchett fan). Although I'd never read it I picked it up and looked at it a fair few times, but the name GRRM meant nothing to me.

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