Texas A&M University is well known for being a hub for agriculture. Being in College Station, TX, that certainly makes sense for the demographic of students flocking to the campus- over 60,000 annual enrollees, in fact. Another demographic that flocks to Texas A&M every year is, unusually, Sci-Fi and Fantasy nerds. Since 1969 a school group known as Cepheid Variable has been hosting an event at the school known as “AggieCon”, where lovers of multi-fandoms come together to celebrate their obsessions, meet authors, attend panels and connect with like-minded individuals. Affectionately referred to as a “congloma-con,” for its inclusion of many fandoms, it is the oldest, largest, fan convention in the world and has attracted huge supporters- such as George RR Martin.
Martin began his relationship with AggieCon in the 1970’s, and quickly became a devout attendee and contributor. He was so impressed with their ‘Cushing Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection,’ that he decided to house his personal letters, manuscripts and more there. Since 1993, three years before the release of Game of Thrones, he has been depositing his materials for safe keeping. The Song of Ice and Fire collection alone has amassed over 50,000 documents and pieces, contained in over 300 boxes, which the library staff affectionately refers to as “The Wall.” It is free to view any piece of the collection- just visit the library’s finding aid, and request the items for viewing.
To top off Martin’s relationship with A&M, the college has offered him an honorary PhD. Martin has declined to accept the honor until after the launch of his latest installment of A Song of Ice and Fire. The book in question, The Winds of Winter, has been pushed for launch consecutively over the last three years. The last book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011, and fans have grown anxious, awaiting the stories end. Though Martin has declined to give any updates until he has a concrete release date, fans are hoping to have a surprise new read by the end of the year. The acclaimed HBO adaptation of the series has surpassed the book storyline with their most recent season. Though this has been disappointing to fans, Martin has confirmed that there will be some stark differences between book and show- so we’ll all have to wait and compare the progressing events. Whether or not Martin pulls through and gives us a white Christmas with this penultimate novel, fans can rest assured knowing that winter is coming, at some point. Hopefully. Until then, get your fix at the Texas A&M Library, and dive deep into the history of Westeros.
Originally published on GoRead.com