Not a Blog

Worldcon Time!

August 6, 2018 at 7:31 am
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It’s August, and that means that worldcon is coming around once again.   (In a properly ordered universe, worldcon would be coming on Labor Day weekend but sadly that seems to be a lost cause since Dragoncon stole those dates).

This year’s gathering is in San Jose, California.   It ought to be called ConJose II, but it’s not.   I like my worldcons to have names, not numbers, however, so I refuse to accede to this new twitch of numbering cons instead of naming them.   The SanJose folks keep insisting that this worldcon is not ConJose II, though.   So be it.   In the tradition of my Not A Blog, and of course the famous John W. Campbell Award (Not A Hugo), I shall henceforth refer to this year’s gathering as Not ConJose II.

I have cut way down on the number of cons I attend, due to the press of work, but there’s no way I’d miss a worldcon, by any name.   I’ve only missed one in the last thirty years.   Dragoncon and San Diego Comicon and GenCon and many other cons are now much bigger, but worldcon remains the original, and the best, the heart of the fannish community.   Worldcon is like a family reunion.   And yes, like any large family, we have our share of drunken uncles, loony cousins, and snot-nosed kids… but still, family is family.   I’ll be there for the whole con.  I hope to see many of you in SanJose.  Worldcon is great time for getting together with old friends and making new ones.

I know that some of you will be hoping to get your books autographed at the con.   There will be several opportunities for that.

My week will start on Tuesday, August 14, with a special fundraiser on behalf of LOCUS, an evening with John Picacio.   That event is not an actual part of the con, so tickets will be sold separately.  I will not be signing at the fundraiser, no… but we will have hundreds of pre-signed books available for purchase at the event.

https://foxrwc.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=210

I also have three scheduled signings at Not ConJose II itself.  Friday at noon and Sunday at 1pm, I will be signing in the official autograph area.   The lines will be capped, however; there’s a limit to how many books I can sign in an hour.   (No, my hand doesn’t fall off.   It’s my lower back that protests).  Sorry, I can’t do personalizations or inscriptions, and we have a limit of one book per person.   Mind you, if the lines are short, I will sometimes loosen the rules and sign a second book, etc.   Don’t count on that, though; my lines have not been short in years.   Oh, and yes, I will sign things other than books.   Games, cards, replica swords, photographs, program books, interesting body parts…. but still, only one item per person, and no personalizations.   And I don’t sign babies, pets, or books written by other authors.

Besides these two general signings, we also have the Wild Cards signing, scheduled for Saturday morning at 10am in the dealer’s room.   That’s a mass signing.  Melinda Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, Marko Kloos, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and several other Wild Cards writers and creators will be joining me, to deface your books with their illegible scrawls.  But at that event we will be signing ONLY Wild Cards books, so please don’t bring copies of any of my other works… those you can get signed at the general signings.

I do prefer to limit my autographing to these four scheduled events.   I want to enjoy worldcon like everyone else, without having to scrawl my way through it.  So please do not approach me before or after panels, at the Hugos, in the corridors, at the parties, while I’m having dinner (or breakfast, or lunch), or in the restrooms to ask for an autograph.   Your understanding would be much appreciated.

Aside from signing things, what am I doing at Not ConJoseII? you may ask.

At 5pm on Friday I will be part of the Gardner Dozois Memorial.   A sad event, but I think we’ll have some laughs as well.   Gardner was the funniest man in our field for half a century, he’d want to hear us laughing.

There’s also to be a Wild Cards panel, though I am not sure just when.   The present time is a conflict for me.   Depending on where the panel gets moved, I may or may not be on it.  But there will be a Wild Cards panel regardless.

Oh, and keep your eyes on Thursday.   We’re looking at doing a presentation and trailer screening for the new NIGHTFLYERS television series that debuts this fall.   Details are still being worked out   When we have more definite news, I will let you know.

And that’s it, so far as my public participation in Not ConJoseII is concerned.   But of course, I will be there all weekend, wandering the dealer’s room, drinking in the bar, visiting the art show… and, of course, hitting the parties.   That’s what worldcon is all about.

 

Current Mood: busy busy

Nightflyers Panel at SDCC

July 31, 2018 at 1:28 am
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Here’s a video of the Nightflyers panel from San Dieago ComicCon

Pick up a signed editions from the Cocteau Cinema Bookstore:

Nightflyers Illustrated Edition

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Victor Milán Talks Wild Cards

July 27, 2018 at 9:00 am
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Follow the link below to check out this wonderful video hosted at Tor.com.

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Victor Milán Talks Wild Cards

More Nightflyers Goodness

July 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm
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Here’s another slightly different also compelling trailer for SyFy’s upcoming Nightflyers

 

Nightflyers At ComiCon

July 23, 2018 at 9:06 am
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Sadly, I was not able to attend ComiCon this year, but I hear the NIGHTFLYERS panel drew a huge crowd and was a rousing success.

Check out this New preview and poster the SyFy Channel dropped at the Con.

 

 

Current Mood: excited excited

WINDHAVEN gets a Graphic Novel make over!

July 10, 2018 at 9:06 am
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The classic fantasy novel co authored by GRRM and the talented Lisa Tuttle is being rereleased from Penguin Random House today in Graphic Novel form! 

Illustrated by Marvel Comics artist Elsa Charretier who has re-imagined the high flying political intrigue and sweeping sky scapes that will carry you away to the world of Windhaven. 

Get your beautifully illustrated hardcover edition of the Windhaven graphic novel today! 

FOR SOME DREAMS, THE SKY IS NO LIMIT.

Among the scattered islands of the ocean-bound world called Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers—humans borne on handcrafted wings who cross treacherous seas, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to Windhaven’s far-flung communities. Maris of Lesser Amberly is only a fisherman’s daughter, but as much a descendant of the star sailors who founded her world as the flyer family who adopted her. She yearns to soar high above the water on the sky’s buffeting currents.

But it is Maris’s stepbrother who stands to inherit the irreplaceable wings when he comes of age—though he dreams of pursuing a very different path. So Maris dares to challenge tradition and the law by demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. Determined to establish flying competitions and training academies for those not of the flyer-born classes, she wages a bitter battle for change. But even as she triumphs, a host of new troubles confronts her. For a brewing revolution now threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join, and crush her proud, rebellious spirit—unless she is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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Current Mood: artistic artistic

ThrillerFest XIII ThrillMaster

July 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm
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ThrillMaster 2018, George R. R. Martin will thrill you, chill you and if you’re lucky, kill you…not really, but ThrillerFest XIII promises to fulfill you with the blockbuster lineup of panels, workshops, awards, networking parties and special guests including Lee Child, Megan Abbott, Meg Gardiner and James Rollins.

Anne Groell, Penguin Random House Editor interviews ThrillMaster George R. R. Martin, Friday THE 13th at 12:20p.m. Ballroom I. Catch him if you can at the signing immediately following, but don’t dally…signing ceases at 1:40p.m. Saturday’s  schedule includes Jack The Ripper, Black Dahlia and Night’s King, oh my! This spine tingling panel starts at 1 o’clock in Ballroom I. Meet the Masters: Past & Present convenes in Ballroom I at 2p.m.  Jeff Ayers hosts ThrillMaster 2018, George. R. R. Martin and past ThrillMasters Heather Graham, Lee Child, David Morrell,  & R. L. Stine. Sure to be captivating.  thrillerfest.com

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Another Sadness

June 30, 2018 at 12:57 am
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Harlan Ellison died in his sleep the day before last.  He was 84.

It was a gentle ending for a turbulent soul.  Not entirely unexpected.  Harlan had been in very bad health since a stroke laid him low a couple of years ago.  For the world of science fiction and fantasy — he always preferred being called a fantasist to being called a science fiction writer, and he hated being called a “sci-fi writer” — this is another brutal loss in a year that has been full of them.   The same is true for the larger world of literature.   Harlan was not just a great fantasist and/or science fiction writer; he was a great writer, period.   When he was at the top of his form, from the late 60s through the 70s and well into the 80s, there was no finer short story writer in all of English literature.

Harlan was fifteen years older than me.  He was part of a generation of writers who emerged in the late 50s and early 60s, a generation that included such giants as Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Algis Budrys, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Samuel R. Delany.   They were the New Wave generation, and they remade the genre in their own image, none more so than Harlan, whose anthology Dangerous Visions and its sequel Again, Dangerous Visions not only outraged and delighted tens of thousands of readers, but had an enormous influence on the writers of the generation that followed, my own generation.  Those books blew the doors off the hinges in ways that might seem incomprehensible to those who did not live through those times; they opened doors to worlds and worlds of possibilities, to lands of the imagination that John W. Campbell and H.L Gold never dreamt of, and I rushed on through, together with most of my contemporaries.   Writers of the Golden Age wanted to impress JWC; writers of my youth wanted to impress Harlan.   He was a hero to us.

The first time I met Harlan in person was at 1972 Lunacon at the old Commodore Hotel above Grand Central Station.   He read “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs,” a powerful story made even more powerful by his reading (no one read better than Harlan, ever),  and gutted the entire audience.   A few hours later, he moderated the New Writers Panel.   The new writers in question included Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, a couple of Haldemans (I think), and Geo. Alec Effinger.   Harlan did the panel as if it were the old tv show Queen for a Day, and had the whole ballroom howling with laughter.  I’ve seen half a dozen panels as funny as that one in the half century since, but never one that was funnier.   Laughter and tears; he could evoke them both.

I was a new writer myself in ’72, with maybe four or five sales under my belt, but nowhere near the stature to be invited to be on any panels.   (I would have to wait another three years for that.  I actually won my first Hugo before being asked to be on my first panel.  In those days, you were expected to pay your dues before they put you on stage).  Nonetheless, I screwed up my courage enough to approach Harlan in the hall and introduce myself.  To my surprise, he knew who I was; he’d seen the handful of stories I had published by that point.   But when I asked him if I could submit a story to him for The Last Dangerous Visions, he shot me down quickly and firmly.  The book was done, he said, and would be out that Christmas.   (Years later, Harlan did write me and ask me to send him something.  I sent him an early draft of my story “Meathouse Man,” the darkest and most dangerous story I had in me at the time.  He rejected it almost by return mail, with a scathing letter that ripped it to shreds.   He was completely right about everything he said.   So I gnashed my teeth, muttered curses under my breath, and rewrote the story from beginning to end, making it four times as long and a hundred times as good.   When I sent it back to him… he rejected it again.   He was not easy to please.   Eventually I sold the story to Orbit… but though Damon Knight published it, it was Harlan who edited it, and helped me make it what it is, for good or ill).

GRRM & HE at WFC 1983

Of course, I ran into Harlan many times in the decades that followed, at cons and awards banquets, and even at his fabled house in Sherman Oaks, which I visited for the first time when Lisa Tuttle was living there.   Lisa was only one of a succession of young writers that Harlan welcomed into Ellison Wonderland; Edward Bryant, James Sutherland, and Arthur Byron Cover preceded and followed her, and no doubt others I’ve forgotten.  They paid no rent.  All that Harlan demanded of them was that they write.   These days they’d call it mentoring, I suppose.  Things were less formal in those days, but the bottom line was, very few people ever went as far as Harlan when it came to encouraging and supporting young writers.   He taught at Clarion almost every year in those years, and when he found a talented newcomer, he went above and beyond the call of duty in promoting him or her.

Harlan Ellison was also deeply entwined in my own beginnings in television, as it happens.  It was Phil DeGuere, the executive producer and showrunner of the Twilight Zone revival of 1985-86, who first took a chance on me and gave me my first script assignment, but it was Harlan who suggested that I be given the rewrite of “The Once and Future King,” the Elvis episode that landed me a place on staff.   As irony would have it, Harlan himself took over the short story I’d originally brought to Phil, a Donald Westlake story called “Nackles,” which proved to be his undoing when the CBS censors tried to rip the heart of his script, the first he’d been slated to direct.   Harlan quit rather than let that happen.   Lots of people talk the talk, especially in these sad sick days of the internet, but Harlan always walked the walk as well.   Censorship was anathema to him.

Let there be no question; Harlan Ellison could be a difficult man.   He did not brook fools gladly, and he was quick to take offense at any slight, real or perceived.  Most people, as they go through life, make an enemy or two along the way… especially people who never learned to keep their voices down and their heads bowed, which was never Harlan.  Harlan was the only one I’ve ever known who had so many enemies that they actually formed a club, called… of course… the Enemies of Ellison.   But he had far more friends than enemies, as can be seen from all the heartfelt eulogies going up all over the internet.   He was a fighter, and fighters always make enemies.   He fought against censorship with the Dangerous Visions anthologies.  He fought for racial equality, marching with King at Selma.  He fought for women’s rights and the ERA.   He fought publishers, defending the rights of writers to control their own material and be fairly compensated for it.   He served on the Board of Directors of the WGA.   He gave of himself to Clarion, year after year.

Did he make mistakes?  Sure he did.   Was he wrong from time to time?  Definitely.   Who isn’t?   Was he loud, opinionated, sometimes obnoxious?  Oh, all of that… but he was also kind and caring and generous, and a relentless champion of excellence, free speech, and equal rights.  No one goes through this life without a stumble.  The question is not, “was he perfect in every way?” but rather “did he do more harm or good?”   Harlan Ellison was no perfect paladin, but he left the world… and our genre… a better, richer, fairer place than he found it, in half a hundred ways… and that’s why you are seeing such an outpouring of affection for this temperamental, exhausting, relentless, raging, loving, roaring giant who lived among us for a time.

He was a complicated guy, a genius in his own way, and his muse was an angry harpy… but oh, he could write.

And that’s the thing that matters, in the end.   Long after the enemies of Ellison and the friends of Ellison have all followed him to the grave, long after the criticisms and the paeans of praise have faded away and been forgotten, the stories will remain.

Current Mood: sad sad

Knaves Over Queens NOW AVAILABLE, well in the UK anyway ;)

June 28, 2018 at 8:40 am
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This is Minion Raya speaking, here to share some Wild Cards news on behalf of GRRM.

It’s June 28th and Harper Collins is releasing the Wild  Cards world on the United Kingdom!  That’s right- it’s Aces and Jokers across the pond. Knaves Over Queens will only be available in the UK until next year around this time when it will be released in the USA.   

KNAVES OVER QUEENS, is the first ever Wild Cards novel set in the UK, and a perfect jumping-in point for readers new to this shared world – features a stunning collection of original stories from luminaries of the world of science fiction and fantasy.

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.”

The return of the famous shared-world superhero books created and edited by George R. R. Martin, who has collaborated with an ever-shifting ensemble of science fiction and fantasy icons to create the amazing Wild Cards universe.

In the aftermath of World War II, the Earth’s population was devastated by a terrifying alien virus. Those who survived were changed for ever. Some, known as Jokers, were cursed with bizarre mental and physical deformities; others, granted superhuman abilities, are known as Aces. Now the virus has reached Britain…

Queen Margaret rules over a country in which such legendary figures as Herne the Hunter, Spring-heeled Jack and Babh, the goddess of war, roam at will. Her Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill – gifted with extraordinary longevity – together with the Enigma Ace – Alan Turing – set up a special organization named the Order of the Silver Helix. They will need all the wild cards they can find if they are to deal with the terrifying mutations thrown up by the virus.

Visit the Wild Cards World Official website and social media for more information about Knaves over Queens!

www.wildcardsworld.com

https://www.facebook.com/WildCardsWorld/

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Current Mood: energetic energetic

Find Your Super Self

June 20, 2018 at 10:13 pm
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What wild cards character are you?

Tor has a fun new quiz up at

What’s your superpower according to George R.R. Martin?

I am supposedly Dr. Tachyon.   But that can’t be right.  I am obviously the Great and Powerful Turtle.

Current Mood: amused amused