George R.R. Martin has more to his name than just Game of Thrones, and Cinemax may help prove that to your average TV viewer. The premium cable network has begun development of a new series based on Martin’s ‘80s werewolf novella Skin Trade, and there’s nothing about the phrase “80s werewolf novella” we can’t get behind.

Martin himself confirmed talks over his trusty LiveJournal, noting that Cinemax has optioned a treatment script for the pilot under Once Upon A Time and Prison Break alum Kalinda Vazquez. So reads Cinemax’s official logline:

A collections agent who happens to be a werewolf and his friend, a private investigator, discover a dark secret behind a series of grisly murders in their decaying industrial city.

Says Martin of the adaptation:

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. […]

To handle the adaptation, script the pilot, and produce the show (should we get a greenlight), we’ve tapped a terrific talented young scriptwriter named KALINDA VAZQUEZ, whose previous credits include work on PRISON BREAK and ONCE UPON A TIME. That was not an easy choice. Cinemax and my agents set me up for meetings with close to a dozen different Tv writers, many of them very impressive, but Kalinda’s take on the story and the characters blew me away. She loves the story and the world, and really seems to get Willie and Randi, and her pitch to Cinemax was one of the most polished and professional I’ve ever heard. I love her enthusiasm, and look forward to working with her.

Martin also addressed the elephant (werephant?) in the room, specifically that he himself couldn’t contribute any writing or direction. You know, there’s this other thing on his plate right now. In any case, does Skin Trade sound like something worth Cinemax’s effort?