Hey folks, quick update on the Kickstarter. First things first, as a number of people (didn’t forget you, Hardy and simsparkle) have been asking about this, I’ve reached out to my editor/publisher and we’ve figured out that **we can ship physical books to Europe!** We’re not sure how much the shipping will be, but since the printers are both in the U.S and Europe, it shouldn’t be too bad. So if you’re one of my European readers and you’d like a hard copy of one of my books, please contribute or adjust your contribution up to the reward level that comes with physical books.
We’re now at 20% of our goal, which is great for not even a full week in, and as a result, the following bonus essays have been unlocked and will be made available, initially by adding them as extra content for the e-books:
- Elections in A Song of Ice and Fire – while Westeros is indeed a feudal monarchy, there are still places in the series where we see political systems that involve elections. In this essay, I’ll be comparing how the Night’s Watch, the Ironborn, and the Citadel conduct elections, and how these procedures compare to elections in medieval history (yes, even before the advent of democracy, you still had some elections) and the more advanced procedures in place in Essos.
- George R.R Martin’s influence on the “deconstructionist” school of fantasy – while George R.R Martin himself has pointed to Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, as showing him that fantasy novels could do something different from Tolkein, Martin’s own work has had a substantial impact on the genre. Especially since the late 90s, we’ve seen a number of authors who came after GRRM write fantasy novels that hold up the fantasy genre and the generic medieval worlds that tend to clutter it to rather scabrous critique. I’ll be specifically focusing on R. Scott Bakker and Joe Abercrombie as examples of this subgenre.
- The influence of Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings series on GRRM – George R.R Martin himself has described these historical fiction novels, which follow the downfall of the Capetian dynasty of France and the causes of the Hundred Years War that nearly destroyed the French nation, as a major source of inspiration for ASOIAF. I’ll be exploring similarities and differences between the series to find exactly what GRRM borrowed from Druon’s work.
- Dunk & Egg – in what is a remarkable bit of good timing, George R.R Martin has just released a collected volume that brings together the first three Dunk & Egg stories just as the Kickstarter unlocked a bonus essay series on these beloved novellas. So in these essays, I’ll be examining these stories for what we can learn about the history of House Targaryen and the Blackfyre Rebellions, and what significance this history will have for ASOIAF as the Golden Company lands in the Stormlands.
The next unlock is at $5,000 raised, where I’ll write an essay series on the Great Councils of Westeros, their historical parallels with the rise of Parliamentary government in Medieval and Early Modern England, and how the history of Westeros could have changed dramatically had the votes gone the other way.
So if you’re curious about why Westeros never became a parliamentary monarchy, tell people to contribute to the Kickstarter!