Tower of the Hand

GRRM announces The Sons of the Dragon

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Jan 31, 2017, 7:46 PM ET
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George R. R. Martin has now confirmed that we will be getting a new short story from the world of Westeros this fall: "The Sons of the Dragon." As most expected, the story will be another historical account, rather than a traditional narrative, and it focuses primarily on the reigns of Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel.

Those of you who enjoyed "The Princess and the Queen" in DANGEROUS WOMEN and "The Rogue Prince" in ROGUES will probably like this one too. It's water from the same well. A history rather than a traditional narrative. A lot of telling, only a little showing. (The opposite of what I do in my novels). But if you're fascinated by the politics of Westeros, as many of my readers seem to be, you should enjoy it. As the title suggests, "The Sons of the Dragon" chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies, and rivals. If you're read something to that effect on the web, good, that much is right.

GRRM goes into greater detail about the new story and where it comes from:

Long-time lurkers on this site will recall that several years ago, when we were working on the gorgeous illustrated worldbook/ concordance that was eventually published as THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, I wrote a number of 'sidebar's about Westerosi history. Actually, I got rather carried away, until I found I had written 350,000 words of sidebars for a book that was supposed to have only 50,000 words of text (it ended up having a lot more that that, actually). Since I had only reached the regency of Aegon III the Dragonbane, and had largely skipped over Jaehaerys I the Conciliator, however, it became apparent that my sidebars were going to burst the book.

So we pulled them all out, including only severely abridged versions of the main events in THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE. The full versions, much longer and unabridged, will eventually be published in a fake history tome to be called FIRE & BLOOD (and sometimes just the GRRMarillion), but since that one is years away, I included excerpts (again abridged, though not as severely) in DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES. That's where "The Princess and the Queen" and "The Rogue Prince" came from.

"The Sons of the Dragon" came from the same place. Gardner asked me for a story. I told him I did not have the time to write a story. He asked if perhaps I had more like "The Princess and the Queen" lying about... as it happened, I did. So I sent him "The Sons of the Dragon," he liked it, and there we are. (Fwiw, though "Sons" has never been published before, some of you may have heard me read it at one convention or another. I think I've read it twice, though offhand I do not recall when).

"The Sons of the Dragon" will be just one of the stories in Book of Swords, a new anthology from Gardner Dozois that also features original works from Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Ellen Kushner, and many more fantasy authors.

GRRM would also like to clarify that he is not involved with Book of Swords, beyond contributing the already written "Sons of the Dragon." In the past, he and Gardner Dozois have been co-editors on massive anthologies like this, but Dozois gets sole credit as editor this time because, as GRRM writes:

The anthologies, much as I loved them, were taking too much of my time, so I stepped back from them... until I finish THE WINDS OF WINTER, at least. Once that's done, maybe I can sneak another one in...

Book of Swords is scheduled to be released October 10, 2017. You can preorder the book from Amazon now.

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