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Feeling A Draft

April 7, 2018 at 11:26 pm
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The NFL Draft is still weeks away, but already the talking heads on the sports shows are talking about little else.

I always follow the draft, but this year, for a change, I won’t have to wait for four hours for my teams to make a pick.

The Giants were supposed to be Superbowl contenders last season.  Instead they finished 3-13, so they have the second overall pick in the draft.

The Jets were supposed to be really really really bad last season, go winless, and get the first overall pick.  Well, no, turns out they were just bad, not really really bad, so they got the sixth overall pick.  Last month, however, they made a trade with the Colts, gave up some picks, and move on up to #3… aiming for a quarterback, clearly.  This is supposed to be an unusually good quarterback class.

So my teams are picking second and third.  The hapless Cleveland Browns are first, where they usually are.  Also fourth.  So Gang Green and the G-Men are in a sort of Browns sandwich.

So… if I was  a GM (I’m not) or an owner, who would I pick?

Most of the mocks have Cleveland taking qb Sam Darnold with the first pick.   He’s the highest rated of the four big quarterbacks that year.  Assuming Darnold is off the table, I am hoping the Giants take running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick.  Yes, lots of folks want Big Blue to grab Eli’s successor, but I don’t.  Eli still has some good years.  He’s won us two Lombardi Trophies, I would rather see us build around him and make a run for a third than start rebuilding already.  Barkley is supposed to be a surefire Hall of Famer, a generational talent, better than Todd Gurley or Ezekial Elliott or any other RB to come out in the last decade… and gods know, Eli could benefit from a running game.   He hasn’t had one since Ahmed Bradshaw moved on.

There’s also a lot of talk that the Giants might trade down, and harvest a lot of extra picks from some team wanting to jump ahead of the Jets.  That would be okay too, provided (1) they get enough for it, and (2) they don’t go any lower than #6.  Given the likely run on QBs at the top of the draft, if the G-Men stay at #6 higher, they can land either Barkley, the monster DE pass rusher Chubb, or the road grader guard out of Notre Dame, Nelson.  Any of those would be fine.  If they go down below #6, though, they could miss out on all three, and no amount of second- and third-rounders would make that worthwhile.

As for the Jets… they definitely need to take a quarterback at #3.   Which one, though?  Darnold will be gone, so the choice comes down to the two Joshs (Allen and Rosen), and Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma.  I like Rosen, but he makes me nervous.  His injury history, especially the concussions, is worrisome.  The last thing the Jets need is another terrific, smart, accurate signal caller whose career is cut short by injuries.  Been there, done that.  See Pennington, Chad.  No, I’d take Baker Mayfield.  Yeah, he’s “short” (six feet is short?), but he’s accurate, he’s fiery, he has “intangibles.”  He reminds some people of Johnny Manziel, but that’s wrong.  He’s closer to Brett Favre.  I’ll take that.  Broadway Baker… why the hell not?  Bake us A SuperBowl!  The Jets have been waiting since 1969.

((And no, if I were the Giants, I would NOT trade Odell.  I am already pissed that they traded JPP.  Didn’t get enough for him either)).

((Comments welcome… on topic.  That means NFL football and the draft.  Off topic comments will be nuked)).

 

 

 

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

Cover Boy

April 6, 2018 at 7:16 pm
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Hot damn.

I’m a cover boy.

An ESQUIRE cover boy!

(On the Chinese edition of ESQUIRE)

Some fun pictures inside as well. And lots of text I cannot read.

Those of you who can read Chinese… enjoy.

Current Mood: amused amused

From Terra to Taos

April 3, 2018 at 11:20 pm
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(Actually, the Toolbox is now in Angel Fire, but Taos works better with Terran).

Walter Jon Williams has picked the recipient of the first Terran Prize, the scholarship I am offering to bring writers from overseas to our Land of Enchantment.

Here’s his official press release:

The 2018 Terran Prize, founded by George R.R. Martin and consisting of a full tuition scholarship to the Taos Toolbox master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy, has been awarded to Joey Yu.

Joey Yu was born in Taipei, educated in Vancouver, and now works in Shanghai as a freelance creator. He is the author of several novels published in China, including The Sunlight Trilogy of futuristic fantasy novels, The Mirrored Truth, and The Locus, which won the Excellence Award of the Taiwan Fantasy Foundation.

Joey has also written indie comics, mobile games and is the co-author, with Dr. Weiru Chen, of the nonfiction bestseller Platform Strategy, about the internet era and the evolution of business models.

Joey says, “I believe storytelling— the science and art of developing immersive metaphors and symbolism— is an important way (maybe the only way)— to bridge cultures and inspire empathy. In all met works I talk about the importance of unlocking an individual’s potential through challenging and reshaping the system.”

Taos Toolbox will take place over two weeks this June in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and will be taught by award-winning writer Nancy Kress and Walter Jon Williams, along with guests speakers Carrie Vaughn, George RR Martin, and E.M. Tippetts.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Hugo Nominations Announced

March 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm
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The San Jose Worldcon has announced this year’s list of nominations for the Hugo Awards and the John W. Campbell Award.

LOCUS has the full list of finalists at:

http://locusmag.com/2018/03/2018-hugo-and-campbell-awards-finalists/

The Hugo is the oldest and most prestigious award in SF and fantasy. If you want your voice to be heard, there’s still plenty of time to join the San Jose Worldcon and cast your vote. There’s Attending memberships, if you actually plan to attend, and Supporting memberships, if you can’t, but either way you get a Hugo ballot.

Congratulations to all the nominees. Some of you will carry home a silver rocket come August. More of you will be Hugo Losers, but that’s almost as good. (I’ve lost lots of them myself).

Sad to say, Wild Cards did not get any love this year (sob)… but I was very pleased to see that our Wild Cards editor, Diana Pho, is one of the finalists for Best Professional Editor. You go, Diana. Win it for Jetboy!

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Yowza

March 26, 2018 at 5:49 pm
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Hiya, kids, hiya, hiya.

Never mind The Count. Here’s counting the Gremlin’s Way.

OFF WE GO!

Even better!

Ooops, ouch, ouch ouch ouch.

Bing bang boom!

One for all and all for one.

The dragon has three heads.

Plunk your magic twangers.

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

Current Mood: amused amused

Coming In October

March 24, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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This is going to be an epic year for all you Wild Cards fans out there.

Let’s see. In June we have LOW CHICAGO, coming out from Tor in the US, and KNAVES OVER QUEENS, scheduled for release from Voyager in the UK. But that’s not the end of it. On October 23, look for TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is the final book in the America Triad, and the twenty-seventh volume of the overall series… but no, it’s not necessary to have read the first twenty-six to enjoy this one. In fact, it’s not even necessary to have read MISSISSIPPI ROLL and LOW CHICAGO (though we hope you will).

The table of contents:

Caroline Spector “Bubbles and the Band Trip”
Max Gladstone “The Secret Life of Rubberband”
William F. Wu “Jade Blossom’s Brew”
Diana Rowland “Beats, Bugs, and Boys”
Walton Simons “Is Nobody Going to San Antone?”
Victor Milan “Dust and the Darkness”
David Anthony Durham “Drop City”

That gorgeous cover is by Michael Komarck, who has been doing stunning work for Wild Cards since Tor relaunched the series. I hope you guys remembered to nominate him for a Hugo, he certainly deserves one. (And I hope to remembered to nominate Wild Cards for Best Series too. Thirty-one years, twenty-seven books, we’re all pretty proud of the work we’ve done, and will continue to do).

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is available for preorder now.

On other Wild Cards fronts, check out the latest post on the WC blog at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/ where Miss Wild Cards answers your questions. And keep an eye out for new Wild Cards stories over at Tor.com. If you haven’t read Vic Milan’s “EverNight” yet, you should… and we have new original WC tales coming up from Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton, Max Gladstone, and Marko Kloos. All FREE!

Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

NIGHTFLYERS Trailer Debuts

March 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm
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SyFy has rolled out the first trailer for the NIGHTFLYERS tv series, scheduled to debut this fall.

Check it out:

I am amused to see my own appearances in the promo. SyFy sent a film crew to Santa Fe last month, and we spent most of an afternoon taping a long interview about “Nightflyers,” its inspiration and publication history, my Thousand Worlds, horror v SF v hyrbids, and so on. I hope at some point they will use some of that material, beyond the two sentences that made it into the trailer.

Very cool to see the show coming together.

Current Mood: curious curious

The British Are Coming!

March 12, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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The British are coming! The British are coming!!

The British Wild Cards, that is. Aces, jokers, deuces, and a few knaves too.

Oh, and an Irish guy as well.

They will be here on June 28. That’s when HarperCollins Voyager has scheduled the hardcover release of the latest Wild Cards anthology, KNAVES OVER QUEENS, edited by yours truly (with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrasss, as usual) and featuring all new stories by veteran Wild Carders Kevin Andrew Murphy, Caroline Spector, Melinda Snodgrass, Paul Cornell, and Marko Stross and newcomers Charlie Stross, Peter Newman, Emma Newman, Mark Lawrence, and Peadar O Gulian.

The one is something new for Wild Cards: the first time that the British edition of one of the books will be published in advance of the American edition. But it’s only fitting in this case, since KNAVES OVER QUEENS harkens back to our very first volume (WILD CARDS, of course), and tells the story of the entire history of the Wild Cards universe in the UK and Ireland, starting back in 1946 and going right up to the present day.

The lineup this time around:

KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY: “A Flint Lies in the Mud” and “But a Flint Holds Fire,”
PEADAR O GUILIN: “The Coming of the Crow,” “Cracks in the City,” and “Feeding on the Entrails,”
CAROLINE SPECTOR: “Needles and Pins,”
PAUL CORNELL: “Night Orders,”
CHARLES STROSS: “Police On My Back,”
MARKO KLOOS: “Probationary,”
PETER NEWMAN: “Twisted Logic,”
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS: “Ceremony of Innocence,”
EMMA NEWMAN: “How to Turn a Girl to Stone,”
MARK LAWRENCE: “The Visitor.”

June will be a huge month for Wild Cards, actually, since we also have LOW CHICAGO scheduled for hardcover publication that month from Tor, on June 12. LOW CHICAGO will be available only in the US edition, and KNAVES OVER QUEENS will be available only in the UK, so completists and first edition collectors are going to have a challenge (yes, there will eventually be a British edition of LOW CHICAGO and an American edition of KNAVES OVER QUEENS, but those will be a bit down the line). Fans of the Wild Cards universe will have a great time, though. Just thing of all those great new stories!

Keep reading, friends. You can’t die yet, you haven’t seen the Jolson Story.

Current Mood: excited excited

See Ya Later, Kids

March 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm
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All’s good, boys and girls… lots of exciting things going on.

LOTS of exciting things.

Maybe too many. I am buried in work, so much that it is starting to overwhelm me. Even with my army of loyal minions.

So I am going to step back from blogging — okay, from NOT-a-blogging — for a while, till I get a few of these monkeys off my back.

In the near future, you’ll likely see fewer posts here. And some of those will be by my minions.

I’ll return eventually. Just don’t know when.

See ya later, alligators.

Current Mood: stressed stressed

Wild Cards Artwork

March 2, 2018 at 11:21 am
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The Wild Cards series has been blessed with some really amazing artwork since we’ve been published by Tor. Let me introduce you to some of our artists.

MICHAEL KOMARCK Has been our main cover artist since INSIDE STRAIGHT, and he’s still hitting it out of the ballpark. Here’s his cover for LOW CHICAGO, due out in hardcover in June.

The amazing JOHN PICACIO has been doing all the “cover” art for the Wild Cards stories on Tor.com. Here’s his two latest, for Vic Milan’s “EverNight” and Melinda Snodgrass’s “When the Devil Drives.”

David Palumbo has been building quite a buzz for his recent cover work. If you haven’t seen his cover art for Nnedi Okorafor’s BINTI, look it up, it’s stunning. We’re thrilled to have snagged him for Wild Cards. Here’s his cover for the forthcoming reissue of ONE-EYED JACKS.

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme is another artist new to Wild Cards, but he did a knockout cover for our most recent mosaic, MISSISSIPPI ROLL. See below. We want to get him back for more covers!

Remember those four names when you are making out your Hugo nominations for Best Professional Artist: Michael Komarck, John Picacio, David Palumbo, Bastien Lecouffe Deharme. You can find lots more examples of their art on their respective websites.

Current Mood: excited excited