Although it will do little to appease fans impatiently waiting for author George R.R. Martin to hurry up and finish The Winds of Winter already, Game of Thrones fans will at least have something really cool to spend their money on in the meantime.
Martin announced this morning that the first novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, titled A Game of Thrones, will receive a special illustrated edition to celebrate the book’s 20th anniversary this year. The book’s publishers Bantam Spectra also made an addition to the initial announcement, saying:
“In celebration of the fantasy masterpiece that started a cultural phenomenon, we’re excited to announce the publication of a special illustrated edition. With gorgeous full-page illustrations to open every chapter, the mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure of this magnificent saga come to life as never before.”
The illustrated edition will include a foreword from “world famous Nebula Toastmaster John Hodgman, as well as seventy-three black and white images and eight full color ones. However, only a little over half of these images are actually new (forty-eight to be precise), as the others have been taken from things like calendars, games, board games, and RPGs.
This isn’t actually the first time an illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones has been published, but it will be the first one to feature more than one artist. A variety of respected illustrators who work in the famtasy genre are making contributions, including John Picacio, Paul Youll, Gary Gianni, Didier Graffet, Victor Moreno, Michael Komarck, Arantza Sestayo, Magali Villeneuve, Ted Nasmith, Levi Pinfold and Marc Simonetti.
It’s nice to see Martin and his publishers putting out such a reverent and splendid edition of one of the best fantasy novels of the last few decades. That being said, this July makred the fifth anniversary of A Dance With Dragons’ release and we didn’t get any special edition of that (which, in this case, would have been The Winds of Winter. Nope, I’m not salty at all …)
A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition goes on sale October 18, 2016, which means it will miss its August 1996 anniversary by a couple months.
(Source: George R.R. Martin Blog)