George R.R. Martin is keeping busy — at everything except for writing, it seems. The A Song of Ice and Fire author is executive producing a TV series adaptation of “his friend and mentor” Roger Zelazny‘s sci-fi novel Roadmarks for HBO, bringing more dragons to the premium cable channel which completed Game of Thrones before Martin did.
Deadline reports that George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels spawned HBO’s flagship fantasy series Game of Thrones, is executive producing a TV adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s Roadmarks for HBO. Kalinda Vazquez, who has written for Star Trek: Discovery and was a co-executive producer on Fear the Walking Dead, will write, executive produce, and showrun the adaptation. Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer of Game of Thrones and executive producer on the upcoming spin-off House of the Dragon, will also executive produce alongside Martin and Vazquez.
The Roadmarks TV series adapts Zelazny’s book, which was published by Del Rey in 1979. The novel, per GoodReads, is about a highway called “The Road,” which “runs from the unimaginable past to the far future, and those who travel it have access to the turnoffs leading to all times and places – even to the alternate time-streams of histories that never happened. Why the Dragons of Bel’kwinith made the Road – or who they are – no one knows. But the Road has always been there and for those who know how to find it, it always will be.”
Of course, the presence of dragons is immediately associated with Martin in today’s pop culture landscape, considering how Game of Thrones made the fantastical flying creatures cool again. Which is likely why Martin was drawn to this project, in addition to being friends with Zelazny, after meeting him at a writer’s workshop in Bloomington, Indiana in the ’70s. In a memoriam for Zelazny, who passed away in 1995, Martin said the author was a kind and generous man who helped him out when the Song of Ice and Fire author was broke.
“My career in television started in 1985 when I adapted Roger Zelazny’s Last Defender of Camelot for The Twilight Zone,” Martin said in a statement. “Roger was a friend, a mentor, and one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived. It was an honor to be able to bring his work to television. That is why I am so thrilled to be a part of adapting Roger’s novel Roadmarks for HBO. We have a great book, a great screenwriter in Kalinda Vasquez, and the makings of a wonderful, original show. I look forward to a long and thrilling journey.”
The sentiment is sweet, and it’s clear that Martin is earnest in wanting to do justice by his friend’s vision. And it’s no surprise that HBO would want a new fantasy series to fill the hole left by Game of Thrones since it went off the air in 2019 — more dragons and Martin as executive producer were just the cherry on top. But I won’t be alone in pointing out that Martin has long promised the next book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, and even joked that quarantine would finally force him to finish it. As we near 10 years since the last book, A Dance with Dragons, was published, it’s becoming less likely we’ll see the end of the book series in his lifetime. I hope Martin’s pile of money that he earned off Game of Thrones is comfy.
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