Jan 23 2013 3:30pm

George R. R. Martin to Debut New Song of Ice and Fire Novella

George R. R. Martin to Debut New Song of Ice and Fire Novella: The Princess and the Queen

George R. R. Martin recently unveiled the table of contents for Dangerous Women, the upcoming anthology edited by him and Gardner Dozois, and revealed that it will include a new novella set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire.

The novella, titled “The Princess and the Queen,” will reveal the origins of the Targaryen Civil War, otherwise known as “The Dance of the Dragons.” A war that split a then fledgling Westeros in two, pitting Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon.

The Dangerous Women anthology also contains new stories set in a number of your favorite worlds. The list of included stories:

  • Introduction by Gardner Dozois
  • “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie - A Red Country story
  • “My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
  • “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
  • “The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
  • “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher - A Harry Dresden story
  • “Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
  • “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale
  • “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
  • “I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
  • “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson
  • “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman
  • “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman - A Magicians story
  • “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
  • “City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland
  • “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon - An Outlander story
  • “Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon
  • “Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling - An Emberverse story
  • “Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
  • “Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
  • “Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector - A Wild Cards story
  • “The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire story

The Dangerous Women anthology was originally supposed to include the fourth Dunk & Egg adventure, which would have featured a tale about the history of Winterfell. Martin admits on his site that the tale of the Dance of the Dragons conflict was another monkey he had to get off of his back. Which makes us wonder... might we see the events in this story referred to in forthcoming seasons of Game of Thrones?

More info on the anthology is available on Martin’s site. Dangerous Women is forthcoming from Tor Books.

1. XenaCatolica
Forthcoming WHEN???
Sanctume Spiritstone
2. Sanctume
It seems little reason to finish the main novel at the moment since milking the existing story is cash cow.

Are these fac-fics that are approved?
3. decgem
That's pretty cyncal, Sanctume. I've never gotten any impression from GRRM except that the world of SoIaF is one that he loves to explore and express for us, from the main novels to these novellas to episodes of the TV series, etc. I think the aforementioned TV series is providing him enough income, and will be for some time to come, that he doesn't have to stoop to authorial selling-out to make a quick buck.

And if he were only interested in money, I think he'd bang out a book a year, rather than agonize over how best to tell the story for over a decade. This man cares about his craft.
Eugenie Delaney
4. EmpressMaude

considering that he has been writing short story/novellas set in the back history of Westeros interspersed with the books of main saga for almost a decade now, I'd say no.

How exactly would creating a novella set apart from the main saga to be tucked into anthology be a cash cow to be milked, anyway?
Chris Nelly
5. Aeryl
I'm excited and disappointed. I'm still waiting for Dance W/Dragons to come out in paperback, and I was hoping the Dunk and Egg anthology would be out by then so I could read it first.

But I am excited for more back story!
Shelly wb
6. shellywb
I'm very happy to see the ratio of female to male authors in this.
Eugenie Delaney
7. EmpressMaude
any suggestions who the Princess and the Queen are - I am guessing the then Princess Rhaenyra and her stepmother, Viserys' second Queen who would probably be seeking to propel her own son to the throne.
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
Maybe its the same person, a story of her as a Princess and a Queen?
9. Kroms
@shellywb --

Does it matter what sex the writer is? The story's the thing.
Adam Whitehead
10. Werthead
considering that he has been writing short story/novellas set in the back history of Westeros interspersed with the books of main saga for almost a decade now, I'd say no.
A lot more than a decade. A GAME OF THRONES came out in 1996 and THE HEDGE KNIGHT was written in 1997, published in early 1998 in Robert Silverberg's LEGENDS collection (it came out before even A CLASH OF KINGS).
11. MynameisDrake
I think it's more likely that the events in The Princess and the Queen will be more important to The Winds of Winter than the next season or two of Game of Thrones. George has already said that A Dance with Dragons barely covers what he originally intended it to when A Song of Ice and Fire was going to be a trilogy, so I think it's likely he wanted the history out there before we see another Targaryen civil war in the main series.
Drake Stephens
12. MynameisDrake
And to add to the conversation you guys are having in the comments, the short stories seem to be just as loved as the main series amongst most fans. I was at one of George's signings after Dance was released, and a lot of people were talking about how their favorite Ice and Fire story was The Hedge Knight. I for one am super excited about The Princess and the Queen.

And don't forget that George isn't one of those writers who will write a throwaway story about the history of his world just to indulge himself. He always writes great character studies, and I'm sure the characters introduced in this story will be just as fleshed out as those in the series proper. And I'm certain the events in the story will be important to the main series. As the Dunk & Egg stories have continued it's become obvious that those two are just as important to the story as Jon Snow or Dany.
Chris Nelly
13. Aeryl
@9, Yes it matters. Women tend to write women better, lived experiences and all that, and they tend to make women three dimensional characters not appendages, as male writers have a tendecy to do. So yes, when it comes to people who want more and better women characters than we get now(hint: THERE ARE A LOT OF US) the gender of the writers matters.
Drake Stephens
14. MynameisDrake
@Aeryl and Kroms

I think how well a writer writes characters of the opposite gender tends to reflect more on how good of a writer they are, and less on whether or not they're just the same sex. There are plenty of woman writers who write horrible female characters, and there are plenty of male writers who write horrible male characters. With that said, I also like the large variety of different kinds of writers. I like that there are men and women, and that not all of the authors in the collection are Fantasy authors. It makes it fit better in to the idea of an anthology.
15. ColdDrake
I wonder why he's had to postpone Dunk and Egg 4. Writer's block? Did he have this story written for the Worldbook and just decided to use it here instead?
16. Caitlin C.
I came to this post partly to check the gender ratio for this anthology (very good IMO!) and have to add to the comments above - would you really not be skeptical of an anthology called "Dangerous Women" that had mostly male writers? That wouldn't set off any red flags that stories in this anthology might be exploitive or fetishizing "dangerous women" as a type designed not for character but for the pleasure of male readers?

I don't think men are bad at writing women, I don't think only women should or can write women, or anything ridiculous like that, but you're kidding yourself if you think women in genre fiction aren't often depicted as stereotypes for male fantasies. The fact that a good number of women writers were involved is a good sign to me that this anthology will avoid that pitfall.

(plus G.R.R.M. writes women very well, as does Lev Grossman, in my opinion - you could probably critique either of them, but overall, very good.)
Maiane Bakroeva
17. Isilel
Caitlin C @16:
but you're kidding yourself if you think women in genre fiction aren't often depicted as stereotypes for male fantasies.
True, yet at the same time I find that female writers often fall in problematic stereotypes as well - i.e. a heroine written by a woman is nearly always saddled with a lengthy romance resulting in HEA and a love interest that is effectively a co-hero, because if he is not as good/powerful/important as she is or more, really, she would be "settling".
So, female heroes written by women are often denied the chance to unabashedly be a hero of their own story and/or to refrain from romance or have romance be tangential to the plot, like it usually is with male heroes. This irritates me a lot.u
18. Kroms
@ Aeryl
"Women tend to write women better, lived experiences and all that"

That's just sexist.

As MynameisDrake said, there are plenty of writers of either sex that write the other sex well. Wouldn't you say that Philip Pullman's female characters, or Terry Pratchett's, were well-defined and three-dimensional?

Similarly, JK Rowling writes good, well-defined male characters.

Finally: on the one hand, there are terrible female characters in some books written by men. My current read, Corum, has a female character that comes-off as wish-fulfillment. It's sad. On the other hand, as Isilel said, plenty of women get male characters hilariously wrong. Mysterious, brooding, broken, sexy males populate a lot of these books.

Conclusion: the sex of the author doesn't matter - although, as Caitlin said, an anthology entitled Dangerous Women would be more comfortable to read if it had a sizable share of female writers.
Chris Nelly
19. Aeryl
I didn't saw it was law written in stone, I said tend to. I said women write women as three dimensional individuals, not as appendages, which men tend to.

Sure are there plenty of men authors out there that do write women well, but they are outweighed by the ones that don't. This isn't even up for debate. So until men authors, as a whole, start viewing the lived experiences of women as valid and engaging, trying to appeal to women readers with the use of women authors is gonna be a thing.
And the irritating thing is, you don't even disagree with me, you point out that women can write men just as badly. This reminds me of the fanboy freak out over the new XX X-Men launch, because for once men aren't the focal point of the story, its a FEMPOCALYPSE EVAHRYWHAR!!

Just once in an anthology that's not aimed at urban fantasy romance audience has a higher proportion of women authors, and that must mean there is something bad about it.
Maiane Bakroeva
20. Isilel
Kroms @18:
On the other hand, as Isilel said, plenty of women get male characters hilariously wrong. Mysterious, brooding, broken, sexy males populate a lot of these books.
Not what I was saying at all, though. IMHO, generally speaking, female writers write male characters better than male writers female ones, for obvious reasons - i.e. literature historically focussing on male characters and female readers having to develop a habit of identifying with them as a consequence.

What I said was that I find tropes prevailing in portrayal of female characters, and in particular female protagonists, by women problematic as well. In part, I know, it is publisher pressure - since female protagonists are/were supposed to be less popular, romance was manadated to make up for it, as part of the deal. Especially after the massive success of Twilight, etc.

But in part it is certainly writers' fault too, as they don't seem to realize that their female protagonists shouldn't always need a detailed romance to be interesting, that said romance doesn't really fit into world-saving plots, when things have to repeatedly grind to a halt to give the couple time to work through their miseunderstandings, and that chosing recurring supporting characters mainly on the grounds of romantic/sexual tension they can provide, while sidelining those that can't, often harms their stories in the long term.

Chris Nelly
21. Aeryl
What irks me, is when writers write a female protagonist, then make her the only woman in the book!

It's like, yay, great, women as leads, but it doesn't help much if the lead is such a special snowflake in her male dominated group that she is the only one who can hang with them, and the only other women are antagonistic. That's not really addressing the issue of tokenism, or writing well rounded women, if there is only one in your story.
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
Aeryl @21:

Oh, ya, another terrible, terrible trope and another way in which female heroes are treated differently and worse than male ones and predominantly by female writers, to boot!
I mean, partly it probably hearkens back to what I said in my previous post - marginalization of characters that can't provide at least one-sided sexual tension.
But partly it is an example of sad self-hatred, IMHO. Only super-special snowflakes can measure up to the men _and_ they shouldn't have to put up with any serious romantic competition. Sigh.
Drake Stephens
23. MynameisDrake

I think Dunk & Egg 4 was pushed back for two reasons. First, I think The Princess and the Queen will better reflect the concept of this anthology (that is, "Dangerous Women"), and I have a feeling that Dunk & Egg 4 is being saved to be packaged with the first three stories in a collection. Around the time A Dance with Dragons came out it was announced that the first three stories would be put together in to a single volume. I think the new story will be included in that to entice those who already own the first three stories to buy that.

Or maybe it's grown in to an awesome Dunk & Egg novel. Now that would be cool!
24. ColdDrake
That'd be nice, I've been waiting for a Dunk and Egg compilation. I dream of the day I can line it up on a shelf next time a complete ASOIAF set. Anyway these anthologies are cool and a nice way to sample a variety of authors.
Philbert de Zwart
25. philbert
So, will this anthology also be released as an ebook?
If so, will it be released at the same time or later than the dead tree version?
26. Gardner Dozois
The print version is scheduled to come out on December 3rd.

There will be an ebook version, although I'm not sure whether it will be released at the same time or later than the print version.

Eventually, there will be an audiobook version as well.

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