Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Dance With Dragons Waltzes Into View

Although it’s only March, 2011 could be a pretty tasty year for fantasy fans. The very long-awaited release of A Dance With Dragons (the latest instalment in the epic A Song Of Ice And Fire series, by George RR Martin) has been announced, for 12 July, with the UK release on the same date as in the US.

The book has been delayed for release many times, but it does sound likely that it will be out in July of this year. The series generally is tremendously popular, which is unsurprising as it’s brilliantly written and has the most immersive and detailed world I think I’ve ever read in fantasy. However, the last book, A Feast For Crows, did not live up to the high standards Mr. Martin had set for himself, and achieved with all previous books in the series. Fans will be very keen to see that he’s returned to his very best with A Dance With Dragons.

That’s not the only good news for fans of the series, though. In April, the TV series of A Game Of Thrones (the first book) is to air. I’m unsure how many episodes it’ll be, but given the US habit of making a score and the scale of the book I’d be unsurprised if it were 15-20 or thereabouts. It’ll be on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and if it gets good reviews I’ll probably buy the DVD.

In the future there will also be two A Game Of Thrones games released. One will be an RPG and the other will be a strategy game. Both will be out for the usual platforms (PS3, Xbox 360, PC), I think. It’ll be interesting to see whether they get the TV series’ stars to be voice actors for the games, and whether the games coincide more with the book or the TV series.

And that’s not all for 2011. In the next week or so, Dragon Age 2 (previewed here: is coming out, and The Witcher 2 (only for PC, alas) is out on 17 May.

Probably the biggest fantasy game release of the year, however, will be Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game will sell in droves, and the early trailers already make it look pretty fantastic. Hopefully they can stick to the release date of 11/11/11.

This year’s going to see major fantasy releases in the form of books, games and TV. Here’s hoping they live up to the hype.


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