• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

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Win a copy of the Game of Thrones RPG for Xbox or PS3!

     You’ve read the books. You’ve watched the show on TV. Now A Song of Ice and Fire fans can dive right into Westeros and play as a character in the Game of Thrones RPG!  The RPG has its own storyline and you can play as either a member of the Night’s Watch or a rogue Knight as part of a detailed story full of political intrigue and twists overseen by George himself.
For your chance to win  a copy of the PS3 or Xbox360 version, Comment on this post and tell us in 25 words or less which character from the books you’d love to play as in a game and why. Don’t forget to let us know which version of the game you’d like too.
We’ll choose the winners next Thursday. Australian residents only, sorry!

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Game of Thrones net roundup

With the explosive success of the HBO adaptation of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire the net has seen a wide variety of interesting articles and creations inspired by both the show and the books, from the sublimely thought-provoking to the groan-inducingly silly.

Here’s a few choice picks we’ve came across so far:

i09 has a great array of sci-fi/fantasy/spec-fic/general geeky articles and these are just a few of the neat Game of Thrones themed articles they’ve had up. They’ve posted up concept art from the TV show, including some unused designs for The Eyrie and the Sept of Baelor. They’ve also posited some real-life scientific explanations for the unpredictable seasons of Westeros- perhaps their myth of the origin of Dragons has some truth to it! And here’s one for the old-skool D&D fans ( or perhaps those with a philosophical bent )!

If, like us, you’ve planned trips to New Zealand around locations used to shoot The Lord of the Rings, this article about the locations used in Game of Thrones is pretty useful for planning your next holiday! While we’ve posted it on the blog before, this speculative map of Westeros and beyond by SerMountainGoat is so spectacular its worth sharing again.

Several academics and professional political analysts have enjoyed speculating on the apparent political viewpoints portrayed both diagetically and non-diagetically by the series & the show. This rebuttal article is an interesting read, particularly as much of the speculation is based purely on the events of the first season ( and largely, the first book ) of the series.

While it’s far from specific to Game of Thrones, this BBC article provides some interesting theories as to the origins of the ubiquitous British accents in fantasy films & TV. Apparently it’s all Kevin Costner’s fault!

Best author photo ever.

And now for the silly stuff: Prepare to never take Bronn seriously again: here he is singing Unchained Melody on Top of the Pops in 1995 ( he’s the one on the right! ).
Have you ever wondered what Daenerys Targaryen would look like playing air guitar? Wonder no more!
In case you missed it, i09 has a link up to the Simpsons Game of Thrones intro sequence that’s pretty awesome.
A couple of keen Lego fans have put together some Game of Thrones scenes in plastic brick form, and one dedicated fan even re-created the opening sequence in stop motion!
Continuing the brick-theme, those crazy Minecraft kids have built some astounding recreations of the locations in Westeros, inspired more from the books & their own imagination than the TV show.
Lastly, GRRM’s US publisher put up this great April Fool’s news item. It also gave us possibly the best author photo of GRRM ever.

And we’ll leave you with this little gem of badly photoshopped wisdom.

If you’ve seen any other cool Game of Thrones articles or amusing tidbits, let us know!

George R.R. Martin interview with Jane Johnson – Part One

GRRM in conversation with UK publisher Jane Johnson At the Bloomsbury Theatre in London this Tuesday night, 500 George R.R. Martin fans had the opportunity to listen to the man himself in conversation with his UK editor (and Voyager Publishing Director, and successful author in her own right) Jane Johnson.  Here’s the first part of the conversation transcript!

Jane: I’ve heard you say that historical fiction and fantasy are “sisters under the skin”. Can you tell me more about what you mean by that?

George: Historical books are a little grittier, which is one of the things I wanted to do when combining the two; to take that sort of gritty realism you find in a historical novel and combine it with the imagination and wonder of Fantasy.

I have thought about writing historical fiction myself, when I interviewed Bernard Cornwell for Harper a few months ago we talked about this.  For me the frustration in writing real historical fiction is that if you know history you know how it comes out. You can write about the actual Wars of the Roses and you know what’s going to happen to those princes in the tower and you know what’s going to happen at the battle of Bosworth Field. With my books I like to keep them a little off balance. Ultimately you don’t know what’s going to happen to the kids in my books or who’s going to live or die or end up with their head on a spike.

But the reading experience can be quite similar. Jane has been reading the Accursed Kings series by the great Maurice Druon – a wonderful series of historical novels.  One of the great things for me when I read them was that I didn’t know a lot of the history. You know, French people may know all of this but for me it wasn’t something that was covered on our history courses, nor presumably, in history courses here. I didn’t know who these people were, even only the most abstract terms, or how this was going to come out. That was a very similar reading experience to a fantasy novel.

Jane: They read incredibly fresh. We’ve just bought the world rights to publish them because they’ve been out of print since the sixties, I think it’s going to be great fun to make them available to people. They read as if they were written yesterday, they’re really sharp and funny, as well.

The brothers Goncourt said: “History is a novel that has been lived…” I think that’s a really good quote but I feel also that with A Game of Thrones, you feel that every character in your books has a life that goes on behind the scenes: they’re not just walking out on stage and playing out what you want them to play out. You do see them as real people. How much of that elaboration do you have in your head before you set out writing your characters?

George: I’m not actually deluded enough to think that they are real people. I know that I’m making them up. It seems obvious but I’ve met some writers over the years that have peculiar views on the subject and seem to think they’re receiving emanations from other dimensions or something. I don’t buy into that but certainly when I’m writing these characters and living with them they achieve enormous reality to me.

You know, many years ago I wrote a short story, a novelette actually, that won the Nebula award called “Portraits of His Children”. It is about a writer and his relationship with his characters. Its sort of a cliché that characters are a writer’s children but there’s a great amount of truth to it. At least for a writer like myself; the characters I have created over the years are a part of me, are a part of my life. They are not me, but they are created by me and are a part of me. The analogy with the children has a certain apt-ness to it.

Jane: Well you’re a cruel father

George: I take after the Romans; they had the whole “paterfamilias” thing going on there. If you were a disappointing son “I’m sorry son you’re disappointing me would you please commit suicide”…“Yes dad I’d be happy to”. We’ve lost some of these traditions over the years.

Stay tuned for the rest of the interview!

Game of Thrones Season 1 is out today!

Game of Thrones Season 1 on DVD and Blu Ray has hit the shelves today! If you haven’t seen it yet or were waiting to finish the book first, the wait is over! If you have seen it, tell us how you thought it compared to the book- good adaptation? Was there anything you really missed from the book that didn’t make it?

In the Game of Food, you win or you wash the dishes..

Ever wanted to eat like a king? Or at least how George RR Martin thinks a king should eat? This is probably old news to some, but I think this blog is fantastic! The Inn at the Crossroads. They have nearly 160 recipes from the first 4 books of A Song of Ice & Fire alone! That said, there’s stuff even they won’t touch! Olives stuffed with Maggots? Pass!

There’s also nice writeup on BoingBoing that directed me there: http://boingboing.net/2011/10/31/inn-at-the-crossroads-a-game-of-thrones-cooking-blog.html

A Dance With Dragons hits Number One!

a_dance_with_dragons
A Dance with Dragons

The Number One Bestselling Fiction title!

In news that, I’m sure, will come as no surprise to all discerning Voyager readers, the long-awaited 5th book in George RR Martin’s epic Song of Ice & Fire has hit the number one spot in the fiction bestsellers this week! I personally witnessed at least 3 people reading A Game of Thrones on my train carriage alone this morning, so here’s hoping to a whole raft of new GRRM & Voyager fans. I’m sure some TV show may have had a little bit of an impact as well.
  So this got me thinking a bit- do you think that reading fantasy has gone mainstream? Speaking personally, it was always a niche for me growing up, a comfortable niche, but a niche nonetheless. With the mainstream popularity of Harry Potter, Paranormal Romance, Twilight, the LOTR and Hobbit movies..has this changed? How do you feel about this? Do the younger Voyagers out there feel there’s more mainstream acceptance for Fantasy, or genre fiction in general, amongst your friends?

A Dance with Dragons Extract!

Happy Friday Voyagers! The weekend is nearly upon us. We hope to see some of you at the Aurealis Awards tomorrow night. For those of you who can’t go – here is  a little treat to help make it better. Click through at the jump to read a special sneak peek of the most anticipated novel of the year – A Dance with Dragons. The countdown to July begins!  Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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