George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Credit Grayson Schaffer for NPR /
The Cocteau theater was dark for seven years until Martin purchased and renovated it. It reopened in early August.
Credit Helen Sloan / HBO
Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in HBO's Game of Thrones. The show's most recent season covered roughly the first half of the third book; Martin has published five of a projected seven novels so far.
George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.
But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews the honor guard upon arrival from the U.S. at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 28. Iranians from across the political spectrum hailed the historic phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, reflecting wide support for an new tone between the two nations.
Credit Pete Souza / White House
President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013.
Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.
Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.
This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.
One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.
Sasha Ballen and Dee Spagnuolo (far right) are party to two of five lawsuits filed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in June. Attorney Robert C. Heim (left) is helping to represent them.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.
Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.
Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.
"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.
"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."
Christina Bellantoni is the politics editor for "PBS NewsHour." She joins us to talk about the latest from Washington. Christina, welcome.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Thanks for having me.
RATH: So first, let's talk about how this is playing out politically. There's been a lot of talk about who's to blame for the shutdown. Polls are showing most Americans blame the Republicans in the House. But do you think that's going to continue, if the shutdown drags on?