Not a Blog


May 12, 2018 at 9:10 am
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Just saw online that SyFy has cancelled THE EXPANSE.   Season three is now running, and after that, they are pulling the plug.

It’s a damn shame, especially for fans of space science fiction… of which I count myself one.

THE EXPANSE was a terrific show in all regards.   It looked magnificent, but that’s true of a lot of big budget space shows these days.   It was also really well written and well directed, with an amazing and talented cast.   That’s not always true for some of the other SF shows out there.

There’s still a lot of great science fiction on TV right now… WESTWORLD comes to mind… but for hardcore SF geeks like me, there’s nothing quite like a space show.   Weird worlds, alien protomolecules, gritty asteroid miners, cool spaceships, that’s the stuff I was weaned on.  (Rocky Jones, anyone?)

THE EXPANSE was the best space show on television, far and away.   Nothing else even comes close.

I hope its producers can find another home for it.

If not, then this is a sad day for science fiction.


Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

SF in SF Presents an Evening at the Fox Theatre AUG. 14th

May 8, 2018 at 9:40 am
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Our buddies over at Locus Magazine have organized a special one night event being held the Tuesday before this years World Con. Our dear overlord (AKA GRRM) will grapple in conversation with multiple-award winning artist, John Picacio.  John has worked in the Fevre River world on numerous projects such as Wild Cards, House of the Worm and the SoI&F calendar, as well as being quite the entertainer.


The event will take place at the beautiful and historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City <>, and since seating is assigned, you’ll want to get your tickets as early as possible!

Locus Magazine has a wealth of other invaluable information including news, interviews, event listings, reviews and much more.   

Use the link below to join Locus’s mailing list which is the only way to access tickets to this event a full day before they go on sale to the general public.



Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

Morpho Girl Takes Wing!

May 5, 2018 at 9:30 am
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Hey, Wild Carders, we’ve got a brand new story for you up on  “The Flight of Morpho Girl,” by Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton.

The Flight of Morpho Girl

The artwork, as ever, is by the amazing John Picacio.

This one features the Amazing Bubbles, Rustbelt, Ghost… and of course the unstoppable Morpho Girl herself.

Go, check it out, and leave a comment!

And keep your eye on   We have a couple more Wild Cards originals coming your way soon, from the pens of Max Gladstone and Marko Kloos.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

First Miskatonic Scholarship recipient Announced

May 2, 2018 at 10:00 am
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We are proud to announce the winner of the first annual Miskatonic Scholarship for horror writers. 

The Miskatonic Scholarship was founded to help a horror writer with financial need attend the new Odyssey Writing Workshop; the acclaimed, six-week residential writers training program. 

Awarded to Valerie San Filippo

Here’s a portion of the press release:

 This year’s winner is Valerie San Filippo, a poet and writer from Lindenhurst, NY. She is pursuing her MFA in Fiction from Stony Brook Southampton. Her poetry has appeared in Noble / Gas Qtrly, Typehouse Magazine, The Long Island Literary Journal, and others. She is currently a teaching assistant at Stony Brook University, and an assistant editor for The Southampton Review. 

“The best writing is that which allows its characters to be human, where character is story, ” says San Filippo. “I am very excited to be attending Odyssey and to have the chance to write what I love.” 

The panel of judges included Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn, and Ti Mikkel. 

 Valerie’s winning story, ‘The Glow,’ builds from small, everyday details that are just a little bit off to deeply disturbing horror beyond human understanding, and it carries the reader along every step of the way. The story does a wonderful job of fulfilling the criteria George Martin set for the scholarship: ‘What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come. 

About Odyssey 

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Writers from all across the world apply to the six-week program held each summer in Manchester, New Hampshire. Fifteen are admitted. Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Intensive instruction in advanced writing techniques, in-depth feedback on manuscripts, and one-on-one guidance help students to make major improvements. Fifty-nine percent of students go on to professional publication. 

To learn more about the Odyssey Writing Workshop visit The Odyssey site also offers many programs and resources for writers, including online classes, webinars, a critique service, consultations, coaching, free podcasts, author interviews, writing tips, and a monthly online discussion salon. 




FIRE & BLOOD : On The Way

April 25, 2018 at 4:46 pm
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No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least.   You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER.

You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year, as I suggested  back over on Live Journal.

Archmaester Gyldayn has at last completed and delivered the first half of his monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, FIRE & BLOOD, and Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager will be releasing the hardcover on November 20, I am thrilled to say.

I’ve seen the archmaester’s manuscript.  Since it was handwritten on vellum with a quill pen, he required my help in transcribing the text to a more modern format: WordStar 4.0, on a DOS computer.   Took a while, but a few weeks ago I was able to ship it off to my editors on both sides of the Atlantic, and to my foreign representatives for all my publishers around the world.   Some of my foreign publishers will be releasing their editions simultaneously with the US and UK hardbacks; others may need to wait for translation from the Common Tongue.

It’s a hefty book, almost a thousand manuscript pages (okay, 989, if you want to be precise).   That’s not quite as long as A GAME OF THRONES or any of the later volumes in A SONG FOR ICE AND FIRE, but there’s a lot of reading there, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.  This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters.   For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency).   Oh, and there are dragons too.

Lots of dragons.

Of course, the story doesn’t end with the regents of Aegon III.   There is a lot more history to come, and Archmaester Gyldayn will get to all that too, in FIRE & BLOOD, Volume Two.   But that one is a few years down the pike.   So don’t get impatient.  Gyldayn will get to it eventually, but he’s old, and so am I, and we both have other projects to tend to as well.   The Citadel puts a lot of demands on an archmaester’s time.

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part: FIRE AND BLOOD will be illustrated throughout.   No, it won’t be a huge coffee table book with art on every page, like A WORLD OF ICE & FIRE… but there will be lots of lots of interior artwork.   Think more along the lines of the special anniversary edition of A GAME OF THRONES that we did a few years ago, or the gorgeous hardcover of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, the Dunk & Egg collection.    We’ll have more than 75 black & white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.

And here’s a peek at the US cover, plus an illustration by Doug Wheatley:

And if I may set down Archmaester Gyldayn’s quill for a while…

Long-time fans and readers of my Not A Blog know the entire history of FIRE & BLOOD, but there may be some of you out there who do not.   This is the book that I used to jokingly refer to as the GRRMarillion (or the first half of it, at least); that is to say, my version of Tolkien’s mammoth history of Middle Earth.  In my case, the focus is on the Targaryens, from Aegon’s Conquest to Robert’s Rebellion (so, unlike JRRT, I will not be covering the creation of the world and any wars amongst the angels).   These histories began a few years back as a series of sidebars intended for THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, our huge illustrated concordance, but I got carried away (as I tend to do) and before long the sidebars got so long they were threatening to overwhelm the entire book, so we pulled them out of that volume… and saved them for this one.

Portions of the book have previously appeared here and there.   The chapter about Aegon’s Conquest was published, pretty much as written, in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.   The section about the reigns of Aegon’s sons Aenys and Maegor came out last year as “Sons of the Dragon,” in Gardner Dozois’s anthology THE BOOK OF SWORDS, and an abridged version of same was in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.   Material from the chapters about the struggle for succession after Jaehaerys I and the Dance of the Dragons after Viserys I was published in an abridged form as “The Rogue Prince” (in ROGUES) and “The Princess and the Queen” (in DANGEROUS WOMEN), and in a much more severely abridged form in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE… but FIRE & BLOOD will mark the first time that full, unabridged texts of Archmaester Gyldayn’s histories have been published.   In addition, of course, there are hundreds of pages of new material which has never appeared before in any form, abridged or unabridged.

I do want to stress… indeed, I want to shout… that FIRE & BLOOD is not a novel.   This is not a traditional narrative and was never intended to be.  Some of my fans have objected to the term “fake history” that I’ve bandied about in past blog posts and announcements in reference to “The Princess and the Queen” and “Sons of the Dragon” and the like.   Very well; let’s call this one “imaginary history” instead.   The essential point being the “history” part.   I love reading popular histories myself, and that’s what I was aiming for here.   Not historical fiction, not fantasy, no… but something more akin to Thomas B. Costain’s monumental (and wonderfully entertaining) four-volume history of the Plantagenets.   (But with dragons.  Did I mention the dragons?)

So: not a novel.   Everyone clear on that?   (Though there are enough stories here for twenty novels.  Battles, bloodshed, betrayals, love, lust, horror, religious wars, politics, incest, historical revisionism, all the fun stuff).

Oh, and I should also say… as most of you know, HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to GAME OF THRONES.   I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from FIRE & BLOOD.   It’s a logical question.   The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say.   So let’s move that to the side.

The important thing is: NOVEMBER 20.   Mark it down on your calendars.   (If you enjoy imaginary history).

Archmaester Gyldayn is hanging up his quill for a while.   As for me, I’m returning once again to THE WINDS OF WINTER.

For the retailer links to FIRE & BLOOD, click here.


Current Mood: creative creative

Time to Read!!!

April 22, 2018 at 5:27 am
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I cannot tell you how jazzed I am to be a part of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ.

PBS is out to find America’s most beloved novel.   (Note: not the most loved novel by an American writer, but rather the novel most loved by American readers, which is why a number of British books are on the list).  They’ve selected 100 finalists, and in the months to come the public will be encouraged to read all of them… or as many as they can… and vote for their favorite.

It’s Thunderdome for books; 100 novels enter, one emerges.

Of course, it’s all for fun… and to encourage reading, and conversations about books.  About fiction, specifically.

Check it out here: if you want to play.



And yes, if you squint at that poster, that’s A GAME OF THRONES you see, right in the middle of the fourth row from the top.

It’s a VERY eclectic list, one that runs the gamut from canonical classics of modern English literature to last year’s bestsellers and mega-sellers, touching every base in between.  Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Melville are there, together with Tom Clancy and James Patterson and E.L. James.   Genre fiction, I am pleased to say, is well represented, including SF and fantasy: not only my own work, but also books by Robert Jordan, Douglas Adams, Michael Crichton, Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many more.  And congrats to my friends Ernie Cline and Andy Weir, who made the list as well with READY PLAYER ONE and THE MARTIAN.   Mysteries, romance, erotica, literary novels…. it’s quite a list.

(Are there omissions?  Of course there are.   I can think of a dozen books I’d like to add myself, and a dozen I’d drop.  But that’s where the conversations can start.  PBS wants to get people talking about their favorite books, and so do I).

I don’t think A GAME OF THRONES has a chance in seven hells of winning the competition… but just being on the same list as LORD OF THE RINGS, THE GREAT GATSBY, GONE WITH THE WIND, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, LONESOME DOVE, CATCH 22, CHARLOTTE’S WEB blows my mind.  Those are favorites all, towering masterpieces, books that changed my life.

I can’t pretend to have read every book on the list… but I’m going to do my best to fill in the gaps in the months to come.

Oh, and besides the vote, there’s also an eight-part TV series devoted to THE GREAT AMERICAN READ.   I will be one of the guests on the show, talking about a couple of my own “most loved” titles on the list.   No, not  my own work.  Presumably one of the other guest authors or critics will talk about A GAME OF THRONES, but if so, I have no idea who that will be.

This should be great fun.

And remember:  The reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives only one.




Current Mood: excited excited

Hugo Sale

April 20, 2018 at 9:44 am
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This year’s Hugo nominees have been announced, and John Scalzi’s COLLAPSING EMPIRE is one of the finalists for the “Big One” — the coveted Best Novel Award.

Haven’t read it yet?  Looking for a first edition hardcover?  How about an AUTOGRAPHED first edition hardcover?


Hey, the Jean Cocteau has you covered… while the supply lasts.  And for the next month, we’re even discounting five bucks ($5) off the cover price.   You can use your savings to buy a burrito.

To order, go to the JCC website at

Limit two (2) to the customer, please.


Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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