Not a Blog

Meow Wolf Origins Revealed

November 29, 2018 at 5:51 pm
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Never been to Meow Wolf?

Come to Santa Fe and see what you’ve been missing.

In the meanwhile, however, MEOW WOLF: ORIGINS, the documentary about the group’s colorful history and exciting future, debuts today on screens from coast to coast.

https://originstory.mw/

Check it out, at a cinema near you.

Current Mood: excited excited

New York New York (And Jersey Too)

November 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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We are back home in the Land of Enchantment after ten epic days in the east, mostly in New York City, but with a few visits to my old stomping grounds in New Jersey, across the bay.

I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my sisters Darleen and Janet and my various nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, and a couple of new-born grand-nieces.  First time in more than a decade that I’ve been able to spend the holiday with family, so that was very special.   We were able to enjoy some Broadway shows and even a Giants game (the G-Men won, wonder of wonders), and of course I saw my various agents and editors and publishers, many of whom are based in the city.

It wasn’t all pleasure, though.  Most of the trip was business: the long-planned launch of my new Westeros book, FIRE & BLOOD.

I had barely gotten off the plane when I had to report to Random House to sign (ahem) “a few copies.”

a few copies

“A few” in this case translates to 1600 copies, all earmarked for the official FIRE & BLOOD launch on November 19 at Loew’s Jersey, an enormous 1930s movie palace in Journal Square, Jersey City.   I spent many a Saturday afternoon at Loew’s (and the other great movie palaces in Journal Square, the State and the Stanley), when I was a kid growing up in Bayonne.   It’s a magnificent theatre, a real treasure… and it came within a hair’s breath of being torn down a few years ago, before a group of cinema lovers and preservationists called the Friends of the Loew’s stepped in to save it.   Being featured on the marquee of this amazing theatre where once I saw films like BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was a real joy for me.

The evening was a HUGE amount of fun, in no small part thanks to my friend John  Hodgman, who hosted the event and conducted the interview.   If you weren’t able to get into Loew’s, you can find the entire thing on the net:

(The organ was amazing as well.  Another cool thing about the Loew’s).

The crowd was wonderful, the theatre was beautiful, John was a delight; all in all, it was a great evening, and the perfect way to introduce FIRE & BLOOD to the world.

It was not my only event, however.  The next night, I appeared on THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert (inside another historic theatre, the Ed Sullivan, the same stage where Elvis, the Beatles, and Topo Gigio once trod).   Stephen and I have a lot in common: we’ve both Northwestern alums and comic book fans, and he loves Tolkien even more than I do.   We could have talked for hours, but we had only a few minutes:

New York is indeed a helluva town, like the song says.   It’s always good to come back for a visit, and this trip was especially satisfying.  My thanks to all those who helped make it special: John Hodgman, Stephen Colbert and his producers, Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, David Moench and my wonderful team at Random House, my agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, my fearless minions Lenore and Sid, my family… and of course, Parris.

I hope all of you reading this had a great Turkey Day.   Gobble gobble.

(FIRE & BLOOD is now available from your favorite local bookshop or online bookseller.   If you want a signed copy and missed the Loew’s event, however, you can place a mail order with the Jean Cocteau Cinema).

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Farewell to a Marvel

November 16, 2018 at 9:49 am
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Unless you have been hiding in a cave somewhere… or down with the Mole Man in the bowels of the Earth… by now you will have read that Stan Lee has died, at the age of 95.

A good age, that.   Stan Lee lived a long life, and leaves a grand and glorious legacy behind him.   He has been part of my world for so long that it seems impossible that he is gone.

Not that I can claim to have been a friend.   I never had that honor.  Oh, yes, I met Stan a dozen times or so, at various San Diego Comic-Cons over the years.   Every time I did, it was like meeting him for the first time; he never remembered our previous meetings, and I don’t think he had any idea who I was.   It made no matter.   He was always genial and generous to me, as he was to all the fanboys who surrounded him at those cons.  And when I was in Stan’s presence, that’s just what I was: a fanboy, slightly tongue-tied and more than a little in awe.

I owe so much to Stan Lee.   He was, in a sense, my first publisher, my first editor.   “Dear Stan and Jack.”  Those were the first words of mine ever to see print.  In the letter column of FANTASTIC FOUR #20, as it happens.   My first published loc, a commentary on FF#17, compared Stan to… ah… Shakespeare.  A little overblown, you say?  Well, okay.  I was thirteen…

And yet, and yet… the comparison, when you think about it, is not entirely without merit.   There were plays before Shakespeare, but the Bard’s work revolutionized the theatre, left it profoundly different from what it had been before.   And Stan Lee did the same for comic books.  I had been reading comics all through my childhood, but by the late 50s I had started to drift away from them.   I was buying fewer and fewer “funny books” (as we called them back then), and more SF and fantasy paperbacks.   The DC comics that dominated the racks had become so formulaic and tired, they were no longer holding my interest as they had when I was younger.   I was “outgrowing” comics.

And then Stan Lee came along, and pulled me back in.   The first issue of FANTASTIC FOUR that I chanced on (#4, it was, the one where the FF met Prince Namor) caught my interest as nothing had for years.  A short while later, along came Spider-Man.   And then the rest, one by one, in an astonishingly short period of time.   The Hulk.  Thor.  Iron Man.   Ant-Man (and the Wonderful Wasp).  The X-Men.  The Avengers.   Wonder Man (who died in the same issue he was introduced).  Black Panther.   The Inhumans.  Galactus and the Silver Surfer.   And the villains… Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, the Vulture, the Sandman, Mysterio, Loki… and on and on.   (We will not talk about Paste-Pot Pete.   This is a tribute).

These characters had personalities.    Quirks, flaws, tempers.  The heroes were not all good, the villains were not all bad.  The stories had twists and turns, I could not tell where they were going.  Sometimes good guys fought other good guys.   The characters grew and changed… over at DC, Superman and Lois Lane had been locked into the same relationship for decades, but Peter Parker went through girlfriends like a real teenager, he graduated high school and went to college, people could and did die.

You had to be there to understand how revolutionary all this was.  Comics as we know them today would not exist except for Stan Lee.   They might not exist at all, if truth be told.

No, of course, he did not do it all  alone.   The genius of Marvel’s artists, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, should never be minimized.   They were a huge part of Marvel as well.   But Lee was at the center of it all.

That letter in FF#20 was only the first of many I sent to Stan and Jack, and Stan and Steve, and Stan and… whoever the artist was on the book I was writing to.  A number were published, with my full address attached.   Other comics fans around the country saw the letters, and began sending me fanzines and letters of their own.  My friendship with Howard Waldrop began thanks to those letters… him in Texas, me in Jersey.   And after reading some of those early ditto’d fanzines, I began to write for them as well.  My first published stories.  Heroes of my own creation.  Manta Ray.  Garizan the Mechanical Warrior.  The White Raider (who, like Wonder Man, died in his first story).  And, then, a little later, heroes created for STAR-STUDDED COMICS by my friends from the Texas Trio, Powerman and Dr. Weird.   I could not draw so I wrote “text stories,” superhero stories in prose.   Which people liked.   Which encouraged me to keep writing.   And as I wrote, I did my best to write like Stan Lee.

These days, in interviews, I am often asked which writers influenced me most when I started out.   There were a lot of them.   For SF there were Heinlein and Andre Norton and Eric Frank Russell, for fantasy Robert E. Howard and JRRT and Fritz Leiber, for horror the inimitable H.P Lovecraft.   Later on, when I was older, there was Jack Vance and Ursula K. Le Guin and Roger Zelazny and Samuel R. Delany and Alfred Bester, and later still William Goldman and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

But the greatest influences are the earliest influences, I think, and at the beginning there was only Stan Lee.

Comics have had a lot of great writers in the half century since the Marvel Age began.   Neil Gaiman, Len Wein, Alan Moore, and more and more and more… the list goes on and on.   But if not for Stan Lee and the worlds and characters and style he created, their own careers and accomplishments would have been very different, if not impossible.

Let me close with one last letter of comment.

Dear Stan,

You did good work.   As long as people still read comic books and believe in heroes, your characters will be remembered.  Thanks so much.   Make Mine Marvel.

George R. Martin
35 East First Street
Bayonne, New Jersey

 

 

 

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

Wild Cards Comes to Hulu

November 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm
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By now most of you… well, those of you who visit other areas of the internet beyond my Not A Blog… will already have heard the news: Wild Cards is coming to Hulu.   And not just with a single show, either.   We are developing two pilots to start with, but the eventual dream is to have three, four, five, six… many… series out there streaming.  As long time fans know, Wild Cards is not just a series story, but rather a world, a whole universe, with a half century of history, hundreds of stories, thousands of characters.

I am late to the party as far as announcing this, I know.  (What can I say?  I’m busy).  So let me link to just a few of the news stories that broke yesterday when Hulu and UCP went public.

https://deadline.com/2018/11/wild-cards-2-tv-series-george-r-r-martin-books-hulu-andrew-martin-1202501424/

 https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/wild-cards-george-rr-martin-hulu-series-1203027787/

  https://io9.gizmodo.com/george-r-r-martins-superhero-franchise-wild-cards-is-c-1830422891

 

Andrew Miller will be scripting the pilot(s) for Hulu, and will serve as showrunner for the series.   A huge fan of comic books and supers in general, and Wild Cards in particular, Andrew has been living and breathing Wild Cards for the past few months, and devouring the books one after another.

Melinda M. Snodgrass, a founding member of the Wild Cards Consortium and my assistant editor on the series since the very beginning, will also be an executive producer and part of the writing staff that is being assembled even now.  Melinda, of course, is no stranger to television, having been a writer/ producer on THE PROFILER, REASONABLE DOUBTS, and (of course) STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, where she wrote the classic episode “Measure of the Man.”   In the Wild Cards universe, she is best known as the creator of Dr. Tachyon, Noel Matthews the Double Helix, Franny Black, and Dr. Finn.

I will be an executive producer on the show(s) as well, though my on-going exclusive deal with HBO and the various book deadlines will preclude me from having any sort of day-to-day involvement.  But with Andrew and Melinda on board (and possibly more Wild Carders as well), Hulu will a great team.

Our dream is to bring you the best “supers” show (not really superheroes per se, Wild Cards fans know that our characters are not much inclined to dress up in spandex to fight crime) in the history of television.

(You have to dream big, or what’s the point?)

These are early days, so there’s still a lot to be done, but watch this space and we’ll keep you informed.   It ought to be a wild ride.

 

FIRE & BLOOD draws nigh

November 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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FIRE & BLOOD, the first volume of my history of the Targaryen kings, will be published on November 20.

We will be launching it on November 19 with a big event at Loew’s Jersey in Journal Square, a grand old movie palace at the heart of Jersey City, just north of my old stomping grounds in Bayonne.   Judge John Hodgman will be hosting the event, and we’ll have signed books for all.

Alas, alack, if you’re just hearing this now, you’re too slow.  I’ve just been informed that the event is SOLD OUT.

(You can still get an autographed copy from the bookstore at my cinema, the Jean Cocteau.   The JCC has a newly designed website, by the way.  Check it out at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/  The new design is supposed to make ordering books easier.

We’re still uploading many of the signed book in stock, fwiw — we have a lot, so that will take a while.   But all of my own titles, new and old, are available.  We also have autographed books by NEIL GAIMAN, while the supply lasts.  Neil dropped by to sign a few hundred copies for us a couple of weeks ago, while passing through the Land of Enchantment.   And we have Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER novels as well, which recently finished second in the Great American Read.  This week the JCC hosted author events with LEE CHILD (creator of Jack Reacher) and CIXIN LIU (of THREE BODY PROBLEM).  Their books are not up yet, but will be soon.  Watch for them.. along with titles from John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, S.M. Stirling, Melinda Snodgrass, and many many many more).

Wild Cards Take Texas

November 6, 2018 at 7:30 am
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The Jokertown Mob is heading for San Antonio, along with Rubberband, Rustbelt, and the Amazing Bubbles.

And yes, they will be in your favorite bookstore TODAY.   It’s publication day 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.   It’s a stand-alone, like MISSISSIPPI ROLL and LOW CHICAGO.   This one is lighter in tone than most Wild Cards books: a bit of a romp, if truth be told, blending Wild Cards action with a touch of screwball comedy.

The lineup this time:

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”

The spectacular cover is by Michael Komarck.

You can get TEXAS HOLD ‘EM from your favorite local bookstore on online retailer.   If you would like to snag an autographed copy, we will have some available from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.   (The JCC also has autographed copies of many of the earlier Wild Cards books available, most of the signed not only by myself but by several contributors as well).

 

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Football, Fire, and Other Stuff

November 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm
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Tomorrow is the official publication day for TEXAS HOLD ‘EM, the latest original mosaic novel in the Wild Cards series.   Grab one from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller.   If you want an autographed copy, those will be available from my Jean Cocteau Cinema bookshop.

FIRE & BLOOD comes out on November 20.   There are two sources for autographed copies of that one: preorder from the JCC, or attend the launch event in Jersey City on November 19, at Loew’s Jersey in Journal Square.   We’ve sold more than a thousand tickets for that event and the rest are going fast, so act soon if you want to come.   The theatre is expecting a sellout.   Please note: personalizations and other inscriptions are not available either from the JCC or from Loew’s, just straight signatures.   No use asking, I just can’t personalize that many books, it would take forever.   Please understand.

That’s the cover of the trade hardcover from Bantam Spectra above, fyi; this is the edition that is being offered at Loew’s and the JCC.

Many other editions will be coming out on November 20 as well, however.   Some cool covers on those as well.

Here’s the cover for the Brazilian edition:

Here’s the British cover for those of you in the UK, from Harper Collins Voyager:

Here’s the German edition:

 

Feuer und Blut – Erstes Buch von George RR Martin

And this one is the Gary Gianni cover, for the Subterranean Press limited edition:

Speaking of the JCC… our November 12 NIGHTFLYERS premiere is now SOLD OUT, sorry.   We still have seats (and books) available for Lee Child on November 11 and Cixin Liu on November 14, however.  Reserve a book (and a place) now if you would like to attend, those two may sell out as well.

On other fronts… the Giants did not lose this week, because they did not play.  A mercy.   The Jets played, and lost.  Badly.   The score was close, but the game was painful to watch.   The defense played hard and looked good, as they have in several other games, but the offense could not move the ball, and our kid quarterback Sam Darnold threw four interceptions.   Darnold threw too many INTs in college, the biggest strike against him leading up to the draft, and he appears to be repeating that pattern in the NFL, which does not bode well for Gang Green’s future.   I don’t care how good a quarterback’s arm may be, if he throws INTs he will kill you.  Nothing hurts worse than a turnover.   Darnold was hailed as the new Joe Namath, but I would have settled for a new Chad Pennington… Chad was deadly accurate, and did not throw INTs.   Sam needs to stop doing that, or the future will be as painful as the past.   Oh, and what the hell is going on with the center?  All those bad snaps… c’mon, coach, isn’t there another center on the bench?  One who can deliver the snaps into Sam’s hands rather than three feet over his head?

As for the G-Men, Eli is getting a lot of blame, but not all of it is deserved.  Look at his numbers.   He is still throwing for a lot of yards, and Odell and Saquon are both playing great.  Our other receivers cannot seem to catch the ball, however, even when Eli delivers it right into their hands.  And the O line, shockingly, impossibly, seems to playing even worse than last year.   No QB can perform well when he is being sacked on every drive.   There are too many stupid pre-snap penalties as well.   The Giants seem to start half their drives at 1st and 15th rather than 1st and 10.  That doesn’t help.

Oh, I should also mention… HBO has informed me that the Jane Goldman pilot is not (yet) titled THE LONG NIGHT.   That’s is certainly the title I prefer, but for the moment the pilot is still officially UNTITLED.  So… mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.  Elsewise, the pilot is coming along well, with casting falling into place.   I could tell you more, but I am not supposed to.   We also have a couple of other successor shows still in development, but I cannot tell you about those either.   Sorry.   And some exciting things are happening with the Wild Cards television series, but I can’t talk about those.   Nor can I say much about WHO FEARS DEATH, based on Nnedi Okorafor’s wonderful novel.   Hush hush, it’s Hollywood, they like news to come through officially approved channels out there.

That’s all in television.  In feature films, one of my best known short stories is being developed, and another of my best known short stories may soon be under option for a big movie… and my team is doing its best to set up another of my novels with an actor I adore and a director I worship… but those are not yet ready to be talked about either, so all I can do is tease.   Consider yourselves teased.

I CAN plug the Meow Wolf documentary at least.   That will be opening on hundreds of screens nationwide by month’s end, be sure to catch it if it turns up near you.   It tells the whole history of the crazy bunch of wild dreamers who call themselves Meow Wolf, and I turn up in there as well.

I better go.  Lots more to do today.   Believe it or not, I am working hard on a lot of things (yes, including WINDS), even though I am not allowed to talk about most of them.   Eventually, I hope, you’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of my labors.  I hope…

Current Mood: busy busy

Next Tuesday get out and VOTE!

November 4, 2018 at 7:57 am
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Current Mood: awake awake