Man, this guy cannot be a fan of book purists right now. George R. R Martin seems to be doing anything he can besides write the next A Song of Ice and Fire book. Now he is in cahoots with Cinemax to develop his 1989 work SKIN TRADE. He will an executive producer of the story termed as werewolf noir and that would clearly occupy some of his time, especially if the concept goes to series.
THE SKIN TRADE is actually a short story that was found in a horror fiction collection entitled Night Visions. It later became part of a Martin collection entitled DreamSongs II and as a trade paperback and graphic novel of its own. The cover art for that latter adaptation is the one pictured here. The piece is an award winner and heralded as one of the best werewolf stories written. In it Randi Wade is a savvy survivor. She followed in the footsteps of her father, became a cop, and now is working the P.I. trade. But her past still haunts her. And the vicious animal attacks that took her father’s life have sprung up anew, claiming victims once again in this sleepy town. It appears a werewolf is on the loose!
Martin stated in his Not A Blog site:
I am very excited to announce the Cinemax (HBO’s sister company) has optioned the television rights to “The Skin Trade,” the offbeat “werewolf noir” novella I penned back in the late 80s. The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end… but if they like the script, we’ll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we’ll get a series on the air.
Which would be very cool. I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade. Those of you who know the story of DOORWAYS, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early 90s, may even recall that it was SKIN TRADE that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to LA for a round of pitch meetings. So we’re a few decades late…
“The Skin Trade” has had a storied, and complex, publishing history. It was originally written for NIGHT VISION 5, the fifth volume of the prestigious annual horror anthology from the late lamented small press Dark Harvest, where it appeared together with original contributions from Dan Simmons and Stephen King, some stellar company. The novella was very well received, and went on to win that year’s World Fantasy Award.
It is a waiting game to see if the pilot turns into a series for Cinemax. What do you think? Should it?