Absolutely not. Just to clear up, there’s been no movement on film rights etc. However, I do get asked (must do a FAQ some time) and I do think about what such a film would look like. Or better still, a GoT-style series. That would be very nice.

I’m overjoyed that the Game of Thrones is doing so well, not only because it seems to be a faithful adaptation of an extremely good series, but because, on a selfish note, it might open the door to more fantasy on TV. Secondary world fantasy very seldom gets an airing on TV, because such worlds are usually fairly high concept – you have to clear a lot of basic assumptions to get your head round the world, whereas a series set in the real world with an added fantasy element doesn’t require the same level of exposition or work on the part of the viewer.

Game of Thrones has a secondary world with a number of high fantasy elements – the long winter, the undead, the dragons – but Martin does a very masterful job of introducing these gradually, and you don’t need to understand any of them to start off in the world. The world that the viewer/reader must assimilate straight off is hustorical in inspiration, its important concepts already accessible.

With that mix of easy-intro that then builds into high fantasy, GoT is an ideal introduction to the genre for a viewing audience – especially an audience already on board with previous HBO series like Rome (and the mainstream/fantasy borderland was always going to be historical fiction).

Shadows of the Apt is higher concept from the start (1) with Aptitide, Art and kinden all having to be cleared from a standing start before anything about it makes sense. However, with GoT opening the door, who knows what might lie in the future?

I seem to have got entirely sidetracked at this point. What I did want to do was make the movie/series pitch.

I reckon most people would agree that a lot of adaptations are not grand – there are gems, but they’re gems because they’re rare. Films run the gamut from making necessary, respectful changes to the source material to producing some piece of stock tripe that happens to share some character names with the original.

However, it does occur to me that SOTA basically comes with its own epic prequel not specifically covered in the books, but continually drawn on and hinted at – being the Twelve-year War between the Empire and the Commonweal. There is a clear cinematic appeal here: heroic doomed cavalry-charging princes and peasants against the mechanised army of the Wasps. The story could draw on Ironclads and other Commonweal shorts, on related events like the Battle of Masaka where the Sixth Army got smashed, and on material in Heirs of the Blade, much of which takes place in that war’s aftermath in the Commonweal. Any adaptation would be able to have its own raft of characters and plot against that backdrop, without constantly treading on the toes of the actual series. There are even characters like Drephos just cutting their teeth during that war, and the conceptual hurdles would probably be lower because the politics are simpler. Makes you wonder why I didn’t write that one, really…

Anyway… mere pipedreaming, of course. But still.

(1) I can’t stress that I am not saying “better” in any sense. That would be sheer hubris.

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