'A Song of Ice & Fire' author to visit A&M
Early episode screening, Cushing exhibit accompany writer's stay
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 01:03
Brace yourselves, sci-fi fans — Deeper Than Swords has arrived.
Cushing Memorial Library will host Deeper Than Swords, a two-day event beginning Thursday that will display and honor the works of George R. R. Martin — author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of fantasy novels, which inspired the 2011 HBO television series “Game of Thrones.”
Kaitlin Coker, senior engineering major and curator of Cushing Library’s science fiction collection, has been preparing for the event for the last two years. Cushing has been the official repository for Martin’s work since 1993 and will showcase the collection to help fund the continuation of the exhibit.
“Partially what this does is it lets people know who we are and what we do,” Coker said. “When we are making things like this everything is basically being done on donor dollars.”
The two-day event will begin with a dinner with Martin and serving themed dishes from Martin’s novels. Cushing has collaborated with Chef Tai’s Mobile Bistro, which will be making the dishes for the event and will serve similarly themed foods on campus for students Friday.
“It’s kind of in keeping with the ‘Westeros’ theme of the event and it’s a way of supporting the collection, which is very limited,” said Todd Samuelson, curator of rare books and manuscripts for Cushing Library, who has been collaborating with Coker on the event.
Those with tickets to the sold-out dinner will also be able to see a preview of the exhibit that will be open to the general public Friday. The exhibit will present items and manuscripts from Martin's career, including early letters and stories. Samuelson and Coker wanted to select items for the exhibit that would showcase the full range of Martin’s work.
“We wanted things that would be visually interesting,” Samuelson said. “Things that were unique and things that would really show people who are getting into his work for the first time, and people who have been fans for a long time, a picture of the richness of the collection.”
During the exhibit on Friday Martin will be available to autograph up to two items from 4 to 6 p.m. He will give a short lecture on his life as a writer with a moderated question-and-answer session at Rudder Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. An advanced screening of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season three premiere will follow.
“I think that the author being invited to do a meet-and-greet with the fans is really superb and classy,” said junior poultry science major Kyle Smith. “I believe it will give a more personal touch to the audience since we know that Mr. Martin is a real person and actually cares about his fan base. As a reader, I want to know that the author cares about the ideology he is creating in his works.”
Cushing Library approached Martin with the proposition of being a repository for his work in 1986. Martin continuously donates new material to the repository and has a variety of media that will be displayed at the exhibit, including works beyond the five written novels in “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Coker said exhibiting Martin’s work provides much more than just entertainment for the public.
“Martin’s not just a fancy author,” Coker said. “He is constantly commenting on what is going on in contemporary culture right now and so I think that teaching people how to not just reconsider how they view work, but to reconsider it within that academic framework, is one part of what we do.”