The big book news this weekend comes from TV; after years of trying to make it happen, A Game of Thrones (Bantam), the first in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic finally hits screens on Sunday, beginning a 10-episode run on HBO. Reviews are strong; USA Today says “It’s hard to imagine a better screen transfer.” Attests the San Francisco Chronicle, “Beyond violence and sex…[the] series pulls in viewers with intrigue and character and doesn’t let go.” For those who feel fantasy is not their cup of tea, series star Sean Bean says it has more in common with The Sopranos than Tolkein, albeit with a different landscape.

HBO clearly thinks it has a hit on its hands; they’ve ordered up yet another series based on a fantasy epic, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Martin fans got more good news recently; A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, which began with A Game of  Thrones, is coming on July 12th.

For those not already familiar with the story, helpful guides are already appearing online, raising the question of whether a series that needs elaborate scorecards will sit well with television viewers.

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