Not a Blog

Hugo Recommendations – Editor

January 18, 2019 at 9:16 am
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As I was saying… nominations are now open for the 2019 Hugo Awards, to be presented this August in Dublin.   You need to be a member of either the Dublin worldcon, or last year’s gathering in San Jose, to nominate.

There are two rockets given for editing.   As with drama, the editorial awards are split into Long Form and Short Form.  In simple terms, the Long Form award is for those who edit books (novels, mostly), and the Short Form for magazine and anthology editors.   (Before they split the award, the magazine editors won everything, and the book editors got nothing).

Lots and lots of good editors out there.

In Long Form, I recommend you strongly consider two of my own editors:  ANNE LESLEY GROELL of Bantam Spectra/ Random Penguin in the US, and JANE JOHNSON of Harper Collins Voyager in the UK.   Anne and Jane have both been doing amazing work for decades, and have been criminally unrecognized.   Anne has only been nominated for a Hugo once, and Jane has never been a finalist at all… though she has been one of the major players in the British SF scene for as long as I can remember, and has built Voyager into one of the top UK genre publishers.   Last year, both of them did some incredible work… especially for me.   They were the editors on FIRE & BLOOD, my book of imaginary Westerosi history.   Let’s look beyond the usual suspects this year, and nominate these two amazing women.

In Short Form… well, we have the usual suspects here as well, in a category usually dominated by the editors of the major magazines, both print and electronic.   Anthology editors are eligible as well, however, so let me blush modestly and suggest that perhaps you might consider… well… me.

I have been editing the Wild Cards series since 1987, thirty one years and counting, and we’ve published some amazing stories over the years.  I’ve edited my share of reprint anthologies and theme anthologies (many with Gardner Dozois), demanding gigs both, but neither one is as tenth as hard as editing a shared world anthology and pulling it all together.   I did come in seventh on the long list once for my editorial work on Wild Cards (back when five works made the ballot), a decade or so back, but that’s the closest I’ve ever come.  (No matter, it’s a labor of love, I sure don’t do it for the money). Wild Cards had an especially strong year in 2018, I believe.  Though I’ve lost lots of Hugos as a writer, I’ve never lost one as a editor.   Maybe this is the year.

 

 

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

Season 8 Is Coming

January 17, 2019 at 6:51 am
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HBO has announced the premiere date for the eighth (and final) season of GAME OF THRONES.

Mark it down on your calendars: APRIL 14.

There’s a new teaser too (and a longer trailer in the works):

Current Mood: excited excited

Hugo Eligibility – Drama

January 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm
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Nominations are now open for the 2019 Hugo Awards, to be awarded this August in Dublin at the Irish Worldcon.

The Hugos (as most of you know) are the oldest and most prestigious award in science fiction and fantasy.   They’ve been giving them since 1953, and the list of winners… and nominees… is a Who’s Who of our genre.   Dublin 2019 will also be presenting the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, which dates to 1973, and the brand new Lodestar Award for YA fiction.

It is a huge honor to win a Hugo… and almost as great an honor to lose one.  I should know.   I’ve won a few, lost a lot more, and in 1976 Gardner Dozois and I started the Hugo Losers Party.   (It still feels like a punch in the gut to type Gargy’s name, knowing he is gone).   To nominate, you need to be a member of either Dublin 2019 or last year’s worldcon, Not ConJose II.

Paper ballots are available for those who want them, but these days most voting is electronic.   Worldcon members will be sent a link to the nominating ballot by email.   Nominations close on Friday March 15.

For more details about the awards, go to https://dublin2019.com/hugo-awards-wsfs/the-hugo-awards/

My most recent Hugo wins — and losses — have been in the Dramatic Presentation categories, where GAME OF THRONES has been been a strong contender.   However, there were no episodes of GOT telecast in 2018, so the show is not eligible this year (the seventh season was shown in 2017, and the eighth and final season debuts this April).   As it happens, however, I have another series for your consideration:  NIGHTFLYERS, SyFy’s sf/horror series based on my 1980 novella (a Hugo finalist, and Hugo loser, in its day), all ten episodes of which were shown between December 2 and December 12.

There are two Drama categories in the Hugos, Long Form and Short Form, as determined by running time.   Feature films usually dominate Long Form, and television shows Short Form.   You can nominate a TV show in Long Form, but in that case you are nominating the entire season (GAME OF THRONES won its first Hugo in Long Form, as it happens).   In Short Form, you need to nominate a specific episode.   So if you’re a fan of NIGHTFLYERS, you can nominate the entire first season in Long Form, or one or more of the following episodes in Short Form:

01    “All We Left Behind”
02   “Torches and Pitchforks”
03   “The Abyss Stares Back”
04   “White Rabbit”
05   “Greywing”
06   “The Sacred Gift”
07    “Transmission”
08   “Rebirth”
09   “Icarus”
10    “All That We Have Found”

I expect the competition to be very tough in Dramatic Presentation, Short Form this year.  This is a golden age for science fiction on television.   Not all that long ago, we were lucky to have one or two genre shows worthy of nomination, but today, in this age of max tv, there are science fiction and fantasy shows everywhere you look — on the broadcast networks, on cable, on the streaming services.   Recent winners THE GOOD PLACE and THE EXPANSE both had new episodes in 2018.   Fans of superheroics had the Marvel shows on Netflix and the DC shows on the CW to choose from.   Zombie lovers had THE WALKING DEAD and Z NATION.  Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS had a fun third season.  If starships and aliens were your thing, there was a new STAR TREK show and Seth McFarlane’s THE ORVILLE.   And of course there is always DOCTOR WHO, a perennial powerhouse, this year with a brand new Doctor, the thirteenth.   I’d be very surprised if there were not at least two episodes of DOCTOR WHO on the final ballot (recent rules changes make it impossible for there to be more than two).    I’ve undoubtedly forgotten some other shows as well, and there may well be British and Irish shows of which I am entirely unaware… there’s just so much out there, that even someone deeply involved in television on a professional basis, like myself, cannot keep up.

I would like to recommend one series that has never been nominated, but IMNSHO deserves to be:  OUTLANDER, based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novels.   I have a feeling that Hugo nominators tend to overlook the series because they think of it as a historical or a romance rather than science fiction.  It IS both those things, of course, but it is also a time travel show… and more importantly, it’s superb.   Amazing production values, well written (and quite faithful to Diana’s books), well directed, and well acted.  The cast is doing fantastic work, especially the leads.   If you haven’t watched OUTLANDER, you should check it out… and nominate your favorite episode, if you like it as much as Parris and I do.

Whatever you watch, whatever you like, NOMINATE.   It IS a singular honor just to be nominated, and far fewer people nominate than vote on the final ballot, so this is your chance to let your voice be heard.

I will talk about some of the other categories in subsequent posts, over the next few weeks.

 

Current Mood: busy busy

Twenty Years?

December 19, 2018 at 7:43 pm
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It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.   But for the guys in the band, it probably did not seem that long.

A GAME OF THRONES was published in 1996.   In 2016, to celebrate the twentienth anniversary, Bantam Spectra published a special deluxe leatherbound edition of the novel, lavishly and beautifully illustrated, with an introduction by John Hodgman.

The anniversary edition was a big success, and is still selling strongly two years later.   (If you’d like to snag an autographed copy, you can get one from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau.   We are out of stock at the moment, but we have more on order, and I will be defacing them with my illegible scrawl as soon as they come in — which will, alas, probably not be in time for Xmas).

So… drum roll please… we’ve going to do it again.

The second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, A CLASH OF KINGS, was published in 1999.   (Seems like yesterday, honestly.  And I still recall the three years between books, when readers would email me to ask what was taking so long for book two, since Other Fantasy Author [fill in your choice] put out a book a year, rain or shine, and why was I taking so long?  Sigh.   Those were the days, when I was only two years late).  Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of its release, so Bantam Spectra will be doing a deluxe leatherbound edition of CLASH as well.

As with GOT, the anniversary edition will be lavishly illustrated with both color plates and black and white.

Our artist this time around will be an amazing young talent named LAUREN CANNON.   You can see some samples of her work on her own website, here:  http://navate.com/   I love her paintings, and we’re all looking forward to working with her, and seeing her unique take on my world and characters.

 

 

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

2019 Odyssey Writing Workshop

December 16, 2018 at 8:38 am
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Thats right all you aspiring world builders, this years Odyssey Writing Workshop is now taking applications.  Check out their website for all the juicy details:

 

Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. Those who attend must be ready to put aside all their other concerns and make a single-minded effort to improve their writing. This is a serious, demanding program. I’m constantly told by graduates that they learned more at Odyssey than they learned in years of workshopping and creative writing classes. You should not apply unless you are ready to hear about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them. Class meets for over 4½ hours, 5 days a week, and students use afternoons, evenings, and weekends to write, critique each other’s work, and complete other class assignments. Students spend at least 8 hours on “homework” each weekday and 12 hours per day on the weekend. You should come prepared to write new material, either short stories or novel chapters. After the first two weeks, you will not be able to submit anything that was written before the workshop began, unless you have radically revised it since arriving at Odyssey. The only way to improve is to write new material that incorporates what you have learned.

 

For those interested in financial aid, several scholarships and one work/study position are available.

The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. It will cover full tuition, textbook, and housing. A separate application is required to demonstrate financial need. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. A few notes, “we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory…though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that H. P. Lovecraft displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.” For more information contact the Odyssey Writing Workshop at jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org for the Mistakonic application, which is due April 1.

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Hall of Fame?

December 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm
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It appears I have been nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

(So has Peter Dinklage.   And many other fine folks).

2018 Nominee Voting

No idea whether or not you need to live in New Jersey… or at least be from New Jersey, as I am… in order to vote.

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Meow Wolf Invades DC

December 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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Meow Wolf is conquering America, city by city.

First came Santa Fe, in 2016.

Las Vegas is scheduled to open next year, in 2019.

Denver will follow, in 2020… and Denver will be HUUUUUUUGE.

And now, the latest announcement: Meow Wolf is moving on the nation’s capitol, Washington D.C.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/meow-wolf-to-create-huge-exhibition-in-washington-dc-300763085.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2018/12/11/huge-multimedia-museum-meow-wolf-coming-to-fort.html

https://www.westword.com/arts/meow-wolf-breaking-ground-in-denver-breaking-news-with-dc-location-11056669

Lots more out there, if you need further details.   The story is everywhere.

And if you haven’t seen the Meow Wolf documentary yet, track it down!  You will even get a glimpse of me…

 

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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Two Weeks To Remember

December 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
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It’s been a couple of very exciting weeks for me and Archmaester Gyldayn.

My trip back east was a lot of fun, and hugely productive.   I got to have Thanksgiving with my family in Jersey for the first time in more than a decade, I checked in with my editors, publishers, and agents, I had a blast on LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT… and I signed 1600 copies of FIRE & BLOOD for the big launch at Loew’s Jersey.   Being on the stage of that magnificent old movie palace with my friend John Hodgman, seeing my name on the marquee of a theatre where I saw BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA as a kid in days gone by… there are no words for that.

And the fans were great as well.   Their excitement and enthusiasm was palpable.   My thanks to everyone who came out… and to all of you who were not able to get tickets as well.   Sorry about that.  (The Friends of the Loew’s hope to have their balcony restored for the next time I return, which will mean a thousand more seats).

FIRE & BLOOD was released the day after the Loew’s event, November 20… in the US, in the United Kingdom, and in various other countries around the world, where my translators had to work around the clock to get the translation done in time to allow simultaneous publication with the English editions.   A number of them did just that, and my hat is off to them.  Great work, folks.

No one really knew how well the book would do, least of all me.   It’s a Westeros book, yes… but not a traditional novel, and not part of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE/ GAME OF THRONES  sequence.   How would my readers react to a book of imaginary history?

I’m thrilled to say that they have reacted very well.

FIRE & BLOOD debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list, for hardcover fiction.

FIRE & BLOOD also debuted at #1 for the TIMES list in the United Kingdom.

I’m informed that we were also #1 in Brazil, #2 in Spain, #5 in Germany, and #8 in France.

(Other countries will need to wait on the translations).

Needless to say, I am thrilled.   My thanks go out to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, and David Moench, my team at Bantam Spectra, to Jane Johnson at Harper Collins Voyager in the UK, to my amazing agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, and to all my editors and publishers and translators around the world.    And thanks as well to the booksellers, without whose support those bestseller lists would not have been possible.

And most of all, my thanks go out to my fans and readers.   I know you want WINDS, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well.  Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me.

Enjoy the read.   Me, I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros.   It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.  Meanwhile, you have the final season of GAME OF THRONES coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called THE LONG NIGHT being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.

Winter is not the only thing that is coming.

Current Mood: excited excited

2020 Calendar Artist REVEALED!

December 9, 2018 at 6:37 am
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It’s December and the 2019 Song of Ice and Fire Calendar is NOW available and as our tradition goes it’s time to share some of the art for NEXT years 2020 Calendar.  We’re proud to be featuring John Howe as our 2020 SoI&F calendar artist.  John will be focusing mainly on the beasts of Westeros bringing you a whole new year of lush imagery.  Here’s an official sneak peak of his cover art featuring his vision of the legendary ice spiders which haunt old Nan’s scariest bedtime stories.  Stay tuned for upcoming news concerning John Howes calendar, and till then check out 2019 SoI&F calendar featuring John Jude Palencar!  

 

 

THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MINIONS OF FEVRE RIVER

 

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Good Stuff to Watch

December 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm
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This really is the Golden Age of Television.   So many great shows, more than anyone can possibly keep track of… especially anyone as busy as I am these days.   But I love TV (and movies, and books), and when I find something I really enjoy I like to spread the word (“boost signal,” I think they call it nowadays on this interweb thing).  Word of mouth is still the best advertising there is, and with so many choices out there, every word helps.

Regular readers of my Not A Blog will know that I’m a huge Bernard Cornwell fan.   His Sharpe series was classic (and the television version was the first place I ever encountered the talents of Sean Bean), and more recently I have been loving his Saxon novels, set during the days of the Danelaw and Alfred the Great and featuring another unforgettable Cornwell hero, Uhtred son of Uhtred (who also had an older brother named Uhtred and a couple of sons, one of whom was named Uhtred and the other… uh… Uhtred.   It’s complicated).  I’ve also enjoyed the hell out of THE LAST KINGDOM, the television series based on the Uhtred books, the third season of which recently appeared on my television.   Loved that one too.   The show has a great look to it, all mud and blood and dark age squalor.  The writing and acting are both first rate.   So are the action scenes, though the battles could use a bigger budget.   The characters are vivid and memorable and… importantly, to my mind… very true to the novels and the time, not 21st century people dressed up in chain mail and boiled leather.   Love that.  I am already jonesing for season four.

I am also a big fan of Elmore Leonard, so when I recently stumbled on a series based on his novel GET SHORTY, about a Mafia hitman who goes to Hollywood and becomes a movie producer, I had to check it out.   There was a film version of the Leonard novel a few years ago, featuring John Travolta and Danny DeVito, and that was entertaining enough, so…  This new television series has almost nothing to do with either the film or the novel it was based on.  It does not even include Chili Palmer, the hero of the novel (there is a nod to him when a “Mr. Palmer” drives through a studio gate), and the only “Shorty” in sight is a teenaged girl rather than the famous-but-short film star of the original.   In fact, GET SHORTY takes almost nothing from the novel and the movie beyond the basic premise.  Normally, I would HATE that, but this show surprised the hell out of me.   Truth be told — hold your breath, this is something you will almost NEVER hear me say — in this case the television show is BETTER than the book.   It’s darkly funny, brutal, suspenseful, full of twists and turns, and its cast of characters are way more interesting and fully realized than the rather one-dimensional Chili Palmer.   Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano star, and they are both terrific, as is the supporting cast.

Looking at IMDB, I see that this show was actually released in 2017.   I had never even HEARD of it until I stumbled onto it by accident a few weeks ago, which just proves the truth of what I said: there are so many good shows out there, you cannot keep track of them all.   (It also goes to prove that I am very busy and somewhat out of touch, but never mind that).  I have only seen the first season of GET SHORTY, but I hear there is a second season out there already, which I will need to track down (that may not be easy, since season two is on a streaming service I have never heard of).   I hope it’s as good as season one.   In any case, kudos to writer Davey Holmes, who did the adaptation, and to Alan Arkin, who directed a lot of the episodes.   Nice work.

Oh… and I should also mention NIGHTFLYERS, which I hope some of you are watching as it rolls out on SyFy.   But I’ve posted a lot about that one already.  See below.  I hope you are all enjoying it.

These are great times for television viewers.

Current Mood: pleased pleased