Today on Love Books Group books, we take a look at Windhaven (Graphic Novels) by George R. R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle. I was gifted a copy to review by Titan Books.
–From the back of the book.
A full-colour graphic novel adaptation of the first fantasy novel from the bestselling author of A Game of Thrones, co-written with Lisa Tuttle.
Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. But even after winning that bitter battle, Maris finds that her troubles are only beginning. Now a revolution threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join–and force her to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Lisa Tuttle, after selling her first short stories while still a college student, won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer in 1974. Subsequently, her short stories have won The British Science Fiction Award and the International Horror Guild Award, as well as being chosen for “Year’s Best” anthologies and nominated for Hugo and Nebula Awards. Windhaven, written in collaboration with George R.R. Martin, was her first novel (George’s second). Her novels include Lost Futures, Gabriel, The Pillow Friend, The Mysteries, The Silver Bough and, most recently, the first two in a series of supernaturally-tinged mysteries set in Victorian England: The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief and The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. She has also written non-fiction and books for children. American-born, she lives with her family on the west coast of Scotland, where the weather and scenery are similar to that of Windhaven.
• Where did the inspiration come from for your current book?
This most recent book is actually an adaptation into a graphic novel format (with artist Elsa Charretier) of my first novel, written with George R.R. Martin way back in the 1970s when we were both “promising young science fiction writers.” We met at a convention in 1973 and decided to write a short story together. George, who had more ideas than he knew what to do with, suggested the background. It would be set on a world of stormy seas and skies, an ocean planet with widely scattered islands which had been colonized by the survivors of a wrecked star-ship.
The vast sails of the starship had been repurposed as wings, and now an elite guild of flyers provided links between the islands by carrying news and messages. I loved the idea of flying and imagined a young woman, maybe not so different from myself (I was just twenty-one) who had learned to fly but now faced the prospect of losing her wings simply because she had not been born into an established family of flyers.
That short story grew and grew….and eventually became a book, published in 1981. It has remained in print and been translated into a dozen different languages, and now it’s been reincarnated as a graphic novel. I wrote the script – my first time writing for this medium – and while I hope I’ve done a good job and managed to transmit the drama, magic and emotion of the original novel, I can’t help feeling as nervous as any first-time writer about it. Luckily for me, the words don’t have to stand on their own, thanks to the brilliant artwork by Elsa Charretier.
Just looking at the cover makes me happy, and I think it will be her striking style and bold compositions as well as the wonderful colour work (shout out here to Lauren Affe) that will grab the reader. It looks wonderful, and I hope it will appeal to a whole new audience, as well as pleasing fans of the original novel.
• What has been your favourite read of 2018, so far?
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez – A collection of short stories by an amazing writer from Argentina. Her stories are shocking, powerful, horrific, intense and beautiful – absolutely unforgettable.
• If you could pick three books that have influenced your life, what would they be and why?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It was all about the importance of books and reading, and it was so beautifully written. I read it when I was thirteen, and Bradbury became my literary hero. I wrote a lot of very imitative Bradbury stories while trying to find my own voice. And I wrote him a fan letter – to which he replied! A dozen years later, I was lucky enough to meet him….but too awed to say much.
Joy in Our Cause by Carol Emshwiller. I bought this book in hardcover when it was published in 1974. Her experimental style, a mixture of the homely and the exotic, humour and weirdness was thrilling proof of how many ways there were to write good short stories and was very important to me as a young writer.
Margaret and I by Kate Wilhelm. I read this surprising and memorable novel, first published in 1971, while I was a student, and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of a science fiction novel that was not only about ideas but was psychologically complex, character-driven and set in the real world. You could say it explores not outer space, but inner space. For a long time, if you asked me what book I wished I had written, this was the one.
• If your book had its own theme song, what would it be?
I only have to listen to any of Kris Kristofferson’s songs from the early 1970s to be transported back in time to when George and I were first getting to know each other and writing Windhaven. Songs are important to the plot, and one character, Barrion, is our own version of Kristofferson. But I can’t think of just one really appropriate song that ties in with the whole theme of our book.
• If your book was made into a movie who would you like to play the main characters?
This is hard to answer, because I never imagine my characters looking like particular actors, and it is the performances not how closely they resemble an authorial description that determines how good the adaptation is. But after wracking my brains, I came up with Ellen Page to play the young Maris (since the book covers her whole life the character would require two or three different actors) – until I I realized I was thinking of Ellen Page in Juno and that came out about twelve years ago, so she’s too old, but not old enough to play old Maris. So for the older Maris, why not Meryl Streep? She is so great, she could do anything.
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