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Chicon Looms

August 28, 2012 at 8:53 am
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We’re off to the airport in a couple of hours, on our way to Chicago for worldcon.

And I’ve got some great news for the GAME OF THRONES fans who will be joining us there… HBO is sending in our own late, lamented Ser Rodrik Cassel, RON DONACHIE, and his lovely wife to represent the series at the con.

Ron tells me that he’ll be glad to sign autographs, do interviews, kaffeeklatches, and whatever, and I’ve passed that word along to the concom. It’s late, of course, and the program book is already at the printers, but they should be able to add him to some program items. Watch the daily newsletter for updates on that.

Looking forward to seeing him… and all of you.

Worldcon! Accept no substitutes.

Martians, Come Back

August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm
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One more down and done and in the pipeline.

OLD MARS, a new anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories about Old Mars (not the real post-Mariner Mars, but the one we all loved as kids, with the canals and the dead cities and the various flavors of Martian) is complete, and has been delivered to our editors at Bantam.
When we know the publication date, you will too.

The anthology will feature fifteen original, never-before-published short stories and novelettes, story notes and author intros by Gardner, and an introduction by yours truly. Here’s the lineup:

RED PLANET BLUES (Introduction) by George R.R. Martin
MARTIAN BLOOD, by Allen M. Steele
THE UGLY DUCKLING, by Matthew Hughes
THE WRECK OF THE MARS ADVENTURE, by David D. Levine
SWORDS OF ZAR-TU-KAN, by S.M. Stirling
SHOALS, by Mary Rosenblum
IN THE TOMBS OF THE MARTIAN KINGS, by Mike Resnick
OUT OF SCARLIGHT, by Liz Williams
THE DEAD SEA-BOTTOM SCROLLS, by Howard Waldrop
A MAN WITHOUT HONOR, by James S.A. Corey
WRITTEN IN DUST, by Melinda Snodgrass
THE LOST CANAL, by Michael Moorcock
THE SUNSTONE, by Phyllis Eisenstein
KING OF THE CHEAP ROMANCE, by Joe R. Lansdale
MARINER, by Chris Roberson
THE QUEEN OF NIGHT’S ARIA, by Ian McDonald

Gargoo and I had a lot of fun putting this one together, and I hope you folks will have as much fun reading it.

And now… fasten your seat belts and rev up those rockets, boys and girls, we’ll be blasting off for OLD VENUS next… arrival scheduled for about a year from now.

(We make no promises about OLD URANUS).

Me and Marvel

August 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm
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Here’s an interview I don’t believe I have linked to yet… mostly about my days as a comic book fanboy in the dawn of comics fandom, and my relationship with Marvel and comics in general.

http://marvel.com/news/story/18400/the_marvel_life_george_r_r_martin

Hard to believe how many decades have passed. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Writing

August 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm
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These worldbook “sidebars” are all threatening to turn into novellas.

Sure hope you guys and gals like fake history.

RIP, Harry Harrison

August 15, 2012 at 11:20 am
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We have lost another Grand Master, I fear. I’ve just learned that Harry Harrison has died.

I did not know Harry well, but I always liked him, and enjoyed his writing. BILL THE GALACTIC HERO, THE TECHNICOLOR TIME MACHINE, DEATHWORLD (the first one is the best), THE STAINLESS STEEL RAT (ditto)…

He was a hard-drinking, fun-loving guy. I remember him tending bar at the SFWA suite. When you asked Harry for a gin and tonic, you got a tumbler of gin with a splash of tonic. He kept his money on the Isle of Man, and would tell anyone who would listen that they should move their money there as well. And back before the Brits reformed their currency, he was famous for insisting that all his UK contracts be paid in guineas rather than pounds.

Farewell, Harry. It was good reading you.

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Bring Me the Head of Howard Phillips Lovecraft

August 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm
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Actually, TWO heads would be even better.

It occurs to me that I have been so busy lately that I have not yet gotten around to announcing that (1) A DANCE WITH DRAGONS has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award in the “Best Novel” category, and (2) the World Fantasy Award jury has also selected me as one of the winners of their Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

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The World Fantasy Award is one of the more complicated honors in our field. Here’s how it works. A five-person jury is selected. The members of the previous World Fantasy Con and the upcoming World Fantasy Con receive a nominating ballot, and nominate two finalists in each award category. The jury adds three additional nominees. Then the jury selects the winner from among the five finalists.

This year’s finalists for Best Novel are:

!¢ THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER, Christopher Buehlman (Ace)
!¢ 11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
!¢ A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
!¢ OSAMA, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
!¢ AMONG OTHERS, Jo Walton (Tor)

A very distinguished list. My congratulations to all the other finalists.

The rest of the ballot can be found here:

http://www.wfc2012.org/pr-wfawards01.html

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a different deal. That one is announced ahead of time. I was rather startled to learn that the jury had announced ME. After all, my lifetime is not nearly over, and I have lots more achieving ahead of me, I hope… (unless the World Fantasy Award knows something that I do not). I am such a young lad, and devilishly handsome as well.

However, it is a HUGE honor, and I am very thrilled to receive it… especially as the jury also named Alan Garner as the other Lifetime Achievement receipient. If you don’t know Garner’s work, well… you should, damn you. He’s the author of THE OWL SERVICE and THE WEIRDSTONES OF BRISINGAMEN and ELIDOR and all sorts of other great stuff, and was writing terrific fantasies long before fantasy was either popular or fashionable. It’s great to see Garner get some long overdue recognition for his contributions to our genre. Now I’d love to see someone put all his books back into print again.

Past receipients of the Life Achievement award include Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, Richard Matheson, Jack Vance, Jack Williamson, Stephen King, Fritz Leiber, Gene Wolfe, and many of my other heroes and role models, so I am going to be in very good company indeed with this one.

The awards will be presented at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Toronto over Halloween weekend. Alas, I do not think I will be able to attend. My schedule is already pretty full for the rest of 2012, and this one came on me unexpectedly. (Also, I just appeared in Toronto early in the year). But I am sure it will be a great con.

(I do have one of Howard’s heads already, for my werewolf novella “The Skin Trade” from way back when. He proudly wears a Jets cap).

Land o’ the Flea, Home o’ the Plague

August 14, 2012 at 11:57 am
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So… I have already posted my schedule for the worldcon in Chicago (see below), but I neglected to mention that the next con on my schedule is actually our hometown convention, Bubonicon, down the road in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Land o’ the Flea and Home o’ the Plague, as con mascot Perry Rodent will be glad to tell you).

I will be at that one too. My schedule:

FRIDAY AUG 24

8:30 pm – READING (I will probably read from THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE) Acoma
10:30 pm – CHARITY AUCTION (will be donating various signed books and collectibles)

SATURDAY AUG 25

1:00 pm – HOLLYWOOD TALES panel w/ SNodgrass & Cassutt Salon E
5:30 pm – MASS SIGNING (all the writers at the con, defacing books)

SUNDAY AUG 26

12:15 noon – SIGNING (me and Brandon Sanderson, defacing books)

Of course, I will be hanging around the bar and cruising the parties as well.

Same rules as worldcon: always glad to meet you and converse, but I will sign stuff only at the designated signings on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks for understanding.

Bubonicon only draws about a tenth as many people as worldcon, so if you’re in driving distance of Albuquerque, there’s no better place to hang with your favorite writers and fellow fen. A link with all the necessary info can be found on my Appearances page.

See you there.

Coming to Chicago

August 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm
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Leaving for Chicon TOMORROW, so I figured I’d bump this one back up to the top.

Should be a great con! See you there, boys and girls.
===================================================================

Worldcon is coming up soon: Chicon 7, to be held in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend (worldcon’s traditional weekend, where it AND IT ALONE belongs). I’ll be there. Hell, I’ve only missed one worldcon in the last thirty years. Of course I will be there.

Just finished nailing down the details of my programming at the con.

Here’s where you will find me:

THURSDAY August 30
3:00 – 4:30 pm autographing, dealer’s room

FRIDAY August 31
1:30 – 3:00 pm autographing, dealer’s room
4:30 – 6:00 pm WILD CARDS panel, Crystal A

SATURDAY September 1
12:00 – 1:30pm GAME OF THRONES discussion w/ Mo Ryan of THE HUFFINGTON POST,
Columbus EF
3:00 – 4:30pm SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION panel w/ Resnick, Dozois, Silverberg,
Crystal B

SUNDAY September 2
1:30 – 3:00pm reading from THE WINDS OF WINTER, Columbus EF
8:00 pm HUGO AWARDS, Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom

MONDAY September 3
1:30 – 3:00pm autographing, dealer’s room

Of course, I will also be found partying in the evenings. Look for the Brotherhood Without Banners bash. It will be the best party at the con, it always is. If I’m not there, I likely will be soon. I will also be at the Hugo Loser’s Party and Keith’s chili party, but you probably can’t get into those… the BWB parties are open. And if Kansas City throws a bid party (I expect they will), I will be there too.

Cons, as I have said many a time, are a MUCH better place to meet and hang with your favorite author (or me, if your favorite isn’t there) than any booksigning.

Do please note, however: I have scheduled myself for three ninety-minutes autograph sessions, so I will be defacing books for four and a half hours at this worldcon. If you want your book signed, come to one of those. PLEASE do not ask me to sign outside of those scheduled events.

If you come across me walking through the hall, visiting the art show, browsing in the dealer’s room, attending a program item, leaving my panel or rushing to the next one, waiting for a cab, eating dinner, eating lunch, eating breakfast… by all means say hi, but don’t ask me to sign anything. That’s what those autograph sessions are for.

And at parties, or in the bar, hey, by all means, come up, say hi, introduce yourself, start a conversation, offer to buy me a drink (I may or may not accept), flirt with me (I may or may not respond)… but DON’T ask me to sign stuff, okay? And while I certainly don’t mind talking about my books or the TV show, remember, I have done a thousand interviews on these subjects, and asking me about my favorite character or telling me who YOUR favorite character is will likely just send me slouching off to find someone who wants to talk about Jack Vance, sing old TV theme songs, or argue whether Sanchez or Tebow should QB the Jets.

’nuff said.

See you in Chicago, I hope.

Me and Captain Jack

August 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm
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For all you TORCHWOOD and DR. WHO fans, here’s my comicon interview with John Barrowman:

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It was great fun. Enjoy.

Thank You

August 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm
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The NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list for August 19 has been released. Here ’tis:

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/hardcover-fiction/list.html

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is on the list, hanging in there at #10 in hardcover bestsellers. Which is not news by itself. DANCE has been on the list for a long time, moving down, moving up, but never quite falling off. For 52 weeks.

That’s the news. DANCE has been on the NYT list for one full year.

I never could have imagined this, not in my wildest dreams.

Copy of DWD5

This is a terrific moment for me, of course, but it is nothing I could ever have achieved without the help of others… so very many others…

I owe them thanks.

Thank you to me editors and publishers, past and present, to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, Nita Taublib, Jennifer Hershey, Irwyn Applebaum, to my valiant and tireless publicists David Moench and Chris Artis, and to all the other great folks at Bantam Spectra and Random House.

Thank you to all the critics and reviewers, who gave the book such outstanding notices, not to mention all sorts of cool awards. I have never had a book better reviewed.

Thanks for all the journalists and feature writers and bloggers who conducted interviews, ran contests, and helped spread the word.

Thanks to Parris, who was with me through every page, and to Ty, my acerbic assistant, who helped crack the whip and spurred me on and kept the trolls at bay. One of these days he may even teach me to say, “no.”

Thanks to the Brotherhood Without Banners. Fans and friends, AND they throw the best party at worldcon.

Thanks for all the booksellers and librarians everywhere. You’re all heroes.

Thanks to Mike Lombardo and Sue Naegle and Richard Plepler and Mara Mikilian and all the rest of the great folks at HBO, and thanks especially to Brian Cogman, David Benioff, and Dan Weiss, to Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Jack Gleeson, Nicholaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kit Harrington, Maisie Williams, Conleth Hill, Michelle Fairley, and the rest of the greatest cast on television, and to our amazing cast and phenomenal directors. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS would likely have made the NYTimes list without the GAME OF THRONES series, but beyond doubt, it is the show that has kept the books riding high for so long. You’ve all done amazing work.

But most of all, thanks to you, my readers. You were the ones who bought the book a year ago when it first hit the shelves, and you are the ones who are still buying it today, and pressing copies on your lovers and kin, and telling your friends to buy their own copies. Luck can get a book on the list, even keep it there for a week or two… but only a long, sustained passion and great word of mouth can keep a title on the TIMES list for one solid year. So take a bow, readers. I owe it all to you.

All I can say is… keep reading. The best is yet to come.