Game of Thrones returns to screens for a seventh (and penultimate) season this summer, but that's not the only thing on the horizon for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire. HBO has revealed that they are discussing the possibility of a spinoff series, with a strong possibility of that being a prequel series, to come to TV after Game of Thrones wraps up in 2018. George R R Martin has also said that he believes that the next book in the series, The Winds Of Winter will be released sometime in 2017. However, the author himself admits that he thought the same thing last year, so this isn't a done deal just yet.
Now, we have learned that there is another short story set in the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire that will be released this year, as part of an anthology series. The series, titled 'Book Of Swords', is a collection of "fifteen original tales celebrating fantasy’s golden age of sword and sorcery," and will include a new story from Martin set in the same world as Game of Thrones.
The book, due to be released on October 10 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon (via Watchers on the Wall), is edited by Gardner Dozois, a science fiction author who is known for his editing work on anthologies, including multiple cross-genre anthologies, themed anthologies, and an entire series of anthologies inspired by the writing of Issac Asimov. Beyond the basic description (quoted above) and the confirmation of a story by Martin set within the universe of A Song Of Ice And Fire, we don't know much else about the collection.
Other authors contributing include K J Parker (Devices And Desires), Scott Lynch (The Lies Of Locke Lamora), Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy), Garth Nix (The Keys To The Kingdom), C.J. Cherryh (The Faded Sun), Elizabeth Bear (Ink And Steel), Ellen Kushner (Riverside), Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty), Daniel Abraham (The Dagger and the Coin), Cecilia Holland (The Soul Thief) and Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn).
This is an impressive line-up of sci-fi and fantasy authors, and it's particularly interesting to see Daniel Abraham, who has worked on the graphic novel adaptation of Game Of Thrones, added to the mix. With an editor as experienced as Dozois and such a variety of talented writers, this has the potential to be a phenomenal collection -- and a great way for fans to discover new authors to enjoy while we wait for Martin to finish writing A Song Of Ice And Fire. We don't know exactly how this new series will connect to the storyline of Game Of Thrones, but some fans are speculating that it could be an excerpt from the planned Fire And Blood, a complete history of House Targaryen.
Of course, it is perfectly possible that this new story will be completely unrelated to the current events of Game Of Thrones, and simply exist within the same world. Martin has created such a complex and detailed universe that it is possible for him to create a story from any point in thousands of years of history. If this is the case, it may be a disappointment to some fans if there is no direct link to any of the families that we have become so invested in over the course of the HBO series. Still, it's sure to be a fantastic read for fantasy fans, and we are happy to hear that there should be at least one new Martin story out in 2017.
Game of Thrones season 7 is set to premiere in the summer of 2017.
- Game of Thrones release date: Dec 15, 2018