Fans of George R. R. Martin’s mega-hit series Game of Thrones are pretty accustomed to waiting a long time for new additions to the story. The next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, was supposed to be released sometime last year and has since been pushed to an unspecified time this year. With so many rabid fans chomping at the bit for anything out of Martin’s sadistic mind, it’s a bit surprising to learn that he is working on a short story set to be released later this year. Don’t freak out and slam the message boards just yet though, he is still working on The Winds of Winter and this appears to be a side-project fans of the series will likely enjoy.
The story will be released as an anthology titled Book of Swords and will consist of “fifteen original tales celebrating fantasy’s golden age of sword and sorcery.” The stories will take place in the same universe as A Song of Ice And Fire and you can even preorder the book now on Amazon. Because this is an anthology series compiled into one book, it will feature stories by several authors. Those providing a story for Book of Swords are:
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).
Fans are already speculating on what time period and which characters might be seen in the anthology, but no details have yet been released. HBO has been kicking around rumors related to a spinoff series of the hit television show, implying a prequel series, so while it’s possible Book of Swords might offer something to this future project, all indications at this point suggest it will be a standalone anthology set in the existing world and may have nothing to do with the events of the novels or television show.
Book of Swords is set to be released on October 10th, 2017 and is edited by Gardner Dozois (Escape From Earth: New Adventures in Space, Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History, and Worldmakers: SF Adventures in Terraforming) who is no stranger to the field of anthology editing.