George R.R. Martin celebrated the 20th anniversary of his book A Game of Thrones by teasing the upcoming illustrated edition on his blog. He says the new edition will contain 73 black and white illusttrations and 8 full-color plates. Some of the artwork has been seen in other contexts, like board games and calendars, but there are 48 never-before-seen pieces of art.
Martin says the book will also have an introduction by "World Famous Nebula Toastmaster John Hodgman". Bantam Spectra will be producing the book and they state that "with gorgeous full-page illustrations to open every chapter, the mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure of this magnificent saga come to life as never before."
Martin lists a multitude of illustrators who wll be contributing to the book:
The list of participating artists reads like an all star roster of fantasy illustrators, and includes such luminaries as John Picacio, Paul Youll, Gary Gianni, Didier Graffet, Victor Moreno, Michael Komarck, Arantza Sestayo,Magali Villeneuve, Ted Nasmith, Levi Pinfold,Marc Simonetti, and many more. We've had some stunning illustrated editions of A Game of Thrones before, to be sure, with the limited editions from Meisha Merlin and Subterranean Press... but each of those was illustrated only by a single artist. This will be the first edition to feature such a galaxy of talent.
A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition will be released October 18, 2016. Martin provided a sample of the artwork on his blog as well (the artists are uncredited at this time):
Martin also muses about what a phenomenon his book series has become despite the first book not getting amazing reception when it came out. He says he never expected it to get this famous. He also jokes about his famous slowness in continuing the series, saying when he first started he naively thought it would be three books he could finish in three years.
A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition looks gorgeous. Are you planning on getting it?