Not a Blog

Sharing A World

February 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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Back in the 80s, when Wild Cards was born, shared worlds ruled the racks.   THIEVES WORLD, ITHKAR, WAR WORLD, LIAVEK, HEROES IN HELL, GREYSTONE BAY, and on and on.  New series were popping up every month.  Today, only Wild Cards remains, still going strong after thirty-one years and twenty-seven volumes.

Writing for a shared world has some unique challenges, however.   In August 2017, a large group of Wild Carders assembled at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe for a mass signing, and we interviewed them about the up and downs of writing other people’s characters, and having other people write yours.

Enjoy.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

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

Editing with Gardner

June 17, 2018 at 9:00 am
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It has been a few weeks since Gardner Dozois died.   I’m still having a hard time coming to grips with it.   He was such a huge presence in the field, such a gigantic personality, it still seems inconceivable that he’s gone.  I posted about our friendship below,  about the laughter he brought with him wherever he went… but I wanted to write about his legacy as an editor as well.

It’s been harder than I anticipated.   Every time I start this post, it hits me all over again, and I realize that I will never see him again.

I need to say something, though.   Not for Gardner — there are dozens of memorials all over the net, speaking of his talents  — but for myself.

There’s really not much that I can say that has not already been said.   As an editor, I think, Gardner had few peers.   Over the decades our genre has been fortunate in having a succession of amazing editors: H.L. Gold, Anthony Boucher, Terry Carr, Damon Knight, Robert Silverberg, Donald A. Wollheim, Cele Goldsmith Lalli, Ellen Datlow, Ben Bova, Ted White, Fred Pohl, and Groff Conklin all come to mind, and many more.   But two figures tower above them all: John W. Campbell, the editorial genius who gave SF its Golden Age, for whom not one but two memorial awards are named… and Gardner Dozois.   His stint as editor of Asimov’s can rightly be compared only with Campbell’s decades at Astounding and Analog, and was similarly influential.  He discovered and nurtured more new talents than I could possibly remember or recount… among them, myself.   Not at Asimov’s, no.   I was already well established before Gardner got that gig.  No, he found me long before, in his first editorial job… reading the slush pile at Galaxy.  It was in that pile, in the summer of 1970, that he came across my short story “The Hero,” and passed it along to editor Ejler Jakobsson with a recommendation to buy.   That was my first professional sale, and came during the summer between my senior and graduate years at Northwestern, when I starting to seriously contemplate what I wanted to do with my life.   That sale, and the publication that followed, went a long way toward making that decision for me.   It’s no exaggeration to say that I might not be where I am today if Gardner had not fished me out of the slush pile in 1970.

Many decades later, I had the honor and privilege of working beside Gardner on a series of anthologies that I am still very proud of.    We were both huge Jack Vance fans, so the idea of a doing a Dying Earth anthology was a natural for us… and when Jack gave us permission, we were thrilled.   SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH was a tribute anthology as well, and the best kind: one that Jack Vance was actually able to read and appreciate while he was still with us.  I hope he liked reading that book (the tributes at least) as much as Gardner and I liked doing it.

I’ve never met anyone who was as well read in SF and fantasy as Gardner Dozois, but like me, that was never all he read.   He loved mysteries and thrillers and historicals as well; so long as the tales were gripping and well told, he never cared what the imprint was on the spine.   So the next thing we tackled after the Vance books were the crossgenre anthologies: massive books with very broad themes, featuring work from outstanding writers from a dozen different genres.   WARRIORS was the first.   It did so well that we soon followed it with DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES.   Those did even better.   They won awards, got great reviews, and even more importantly, introduced thousands of readers to some great new writers they might never have encountered, if we hadn’t put them between covers with their familiar favorites.   Gardner and I did a couple of fun genre mash-ups as well.   There was DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, crossing private eye stories with fantasy and SF, and SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, an SF/ fantasy/ romance hybrid.

Last, but definitely not least, were our two “retro SF’ collections, OLD MARS and OLD VENUS.   Damn, those were fun to do.  Gardner and I shared a deep deep affection for the lost solar system of our youth, the Mars of the canals and dead cities and vanished races, the Venus of endless swamps and dinosaurs and web-footed Venusians.  And we discovered, to our delight, that a lot of writers shared that love, and had been waiting all their lives for a chance to set a story on the Mars and Venus of yore.   Those books were easy to edit; we had to beat off writers with a stick.   Both books won awards.

The sad part is, it ended there.   I didn’t want it to.   Neither did Gardner.    I loved working with him, and we had more anthologies we wanted to do.  We wanted to follow OLD MARS and OLD VENUS with OLD LUNA, and maybe down the line OLD MERCURY, or a book set in the asteroids.   Done retro, like the first two.  We talked about doing more crossgenre books.  A second WARRIORS, a second ROGUES, a second DANGEROUS WOMEN, maybe one called VILLAINS or HEROES or (this would have been fun) SIDEKICKS.   The publishers were interested.  The earlier books had sold very well.   Gardner was interested.   I was the one who demurred.   As proud as I was of those books, as much as I enjoyed working with Gardner, I did not have the time.   WINDS OF WINTER was late and getting later, and the editing had taken more of my time and energy than I thought it would.   “I can’t take on anything more right now,” I told him.  “We’ll do them later, once I’ve delivered WINDS.”   So Gardner went on to edit THE BOOK OF SWORDS and THE BOOK OF MAGIC by himself (he could have edited all these books by himself, he never actually needed me, we just enjoyed working together).    I contributed stories to both books (a reprint to MAGIC, since I did not have the time).    There would be plenty of time to do ROGUES 2 and OLD LUNA and SIDEKICKS and all the rest, after all.   All the time we needed.   Just as soon as I got King Kong off my back… we even kicked around the notion of a reprint anthology we wanted to call THE HUGO LOSERS.   After all, we were the guys who founded the Hugo Losers Party… just yesterday, in 1976….

We’d do all these books tomorrow.  Next month.   Next year.   Real soon now.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

He’s gone now, and I fear he has taken all those books with him.   I may edit other anthologies in the future (in addition to the Wild Cards series, which I imagine I’ll be editing till I join Gargy at the Great Worldcon in the Sky), but I could never bring myself to edit those particular books, the ones we had talked about doing together.   It just wouldn’t feel right.

Gardner Dozois won fifteen Hugo Awards as Best Editor, a record that will never be broken, I expect.   He and I won some Locus Awards and a World Fantasy Award as well, and I will always cherish those.   It was an honor to know him, and to work with him.   I miss him so much.

 

 

 

 

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

Coming In October

March 24, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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This is going to be an epic year for all you Wild Cards fans out there.

Let’s see. In June we have LOW CHICAGO, coming out from Tor in the US, and KNAVES OVER QUEENS, scheduled for release from Voyager in the UK. But that’s not the end of it. On October 23, look 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. In fact, it’s not even necessary to have read MISSISSIPPI ROLL and LOW CHICAGO (though we hope you will).

The table of contents:

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”

That gorgeous cover is by Michael Komarck, who has been doing stunning work for Wild Cards since Tor relaunched the series. I hope you guys remembered to nominate him for a Hugo, he certainly deserves one. (And I hope to remembered to nominate Wild Cards for Best Series too. Thirty-one years, twenty-seven books, we’re all pretty proud of the work we’ve done, and will continue to do).

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is available for preorder now.

On other Wild Cards fronts, check out the latest post on the WC blog at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/ where Miss Wild Cards answers your questions. And keep an eye out for new Wild Cards stories over at Tor.com. If you haven’t read Vic Milan’s “EverNight” yet, you should… and we have new original WC tales coming up from Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton, Max Gladstone, and Marko Kloos. All FREE!

Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

The British Are Coming!

March 12, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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The British are coming! The British are coming!!

The British Wild Cards, that is. Aces, jokers, deuces, and a few knaves too.

Oh, and an Irish guy as well.

They will be here on June 28. That’s when HarperCollins Voyager has scheduled the hardcover release of the latest Wild Cards anthology, KNAVES OVER QUEENS, edited by yours truly (with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrasss, as usual) and featuring all new stories by veteran Wild Carders Kevin Andrew Murphy, Caroline Spector, Melinda Snodgrass, Paul Cornell, and Marko Stross and newcomers Charlie Stross, Peter Newman, Emma Newman, Mark Lawrence, and Peadar O Gulian.

The one is something new for Wild Cards: the first time that the British edition of one of the books will be published in advance of the American edition. But it’s only fitting in this case, since KNAVES OVER QUEENS harkens back to our very first volume (WILD CARDS, of course), and tells the story of the entire history of the Wild Cards universe in the UK and Ireland, starting back in 1946 and going right up to the present day.

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.”

June will be a huge month for Wild Cards, actually, since we also have LOW CHICAGO scheduled for hardcover publication that month from Tor, on June 12. LOW CHICAGO will be available only in the US edition, and KNAVES OVER QUEENS will be available only in the UK, so completists and first edition collectors are going to have a challenge (yes, there will eventually be a British edition of LOW CHICAGO and an American edition of KNAVES OVER QUEENS, but those will be a bit down the line). Fans of the Wild Cards universe will have a great time, though. Just thing of all those great new stories!

Keep reading, friends. You can’t die yet, you haven’t seen the Jolson Story.

Current Mood: excited excited

The Mad Hatters Are Coming…

January 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm
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… to the Jean Cocteau.

If you’re in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, or just passing through, mark Sunday evening down on your calendar. That’s when we’ll be hosting a special author event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema for the Hugo-award-winning editor and anthologist ELLEN DATLOW and her new book, MAD HATTERS AND MARCH HARES, featuring original stories set in the world of Alice In Wonderland.

It should be quite an evening. Ellen is always a delightful guest, and she’ll have four of her writers with her: STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, KRIS DIKEMAN, KATHERINE VAZ, and MATTHEW KRESSEL. Here’s your chance to get your copy signed by all five contributors.

Not only that, but we’ll also he having a MAD HAT CONTEST with prizes for the three maddest hats, as judged by our distinguished guests.

Admission is free with the purchase of a book. The madness starts at 7pm.

Current Mood: excited excited

The Swords Are Drawn

October 10, 2017 at 11:58 am
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Today is the day: publication day for THE BOOK OF SWORDS, the mammoth new sword & sorcery anthology edited by my old friend (and sometime partner in crime) Gardner Dozois.

There’s an impressive table of contents, including brand new stories by giants of the genre like Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, the criminally underrated Matthew Hughes, Scott Lynch, Daniel Abraham, Cecelia Holland, Lavie Tidhar, and many more.

Including yours truly. I’m here too, with “Sons of the Dragon,” another installment in the Fake History of Westeros, this one chronicling the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer’s two sons, Aenys and Maegor. Not a conventional story, no, more in the vein of “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince,” but perhaps of some interest to those fascinated by the blood-soaked annals of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

THE BOOK OF SWORDS should be available today at your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller.

You can find it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Book-Swords-George-R-Martin/dp/0399593764

And if you’ll wait a few days, hardcover copies signed by yours truly (but not, alas, by any of the other contributors) will be available from the Jean Cocteau Cinema Bookshop at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

The Swords Are Drawn

July 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm
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For all you fans of sword ‘n sorcery, and/ or my own ‘fake histories,’ the new anthology from Gardner Dozois, THE BOOK OF SWORDS, has been scheduled for release on October 10, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Book-Swords-Gardner-Dozois/dp/0399593764 and many other online booksellers. I imagine your favorite local bookseller is taking orders too.

This is NOT one I co-edited with Gargy (people keep getting that wrong), so I haven’t read any of the other stories yet, but it looks to have a helluva lineup, with originals by Lavie Tidhar, Daniel Abraham, Scott Lynch, C.J. Cherryh, Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, Cecelia Holland, Walter Jon Williams, and many more. And of course it also includes “Sons of the Dragon,” a chronicle of the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer’s two sons, Aenys I Targaryen and Maegor the Cruel, for those who cannot get enough of my entirely fake histories of Westeros. That one has never been published before in any form, though I did read it at a couple of cons.

Speaking of fake history… regulars here may recall our plan to assemble an entire book of my fake histories of the Targaryen kings, a volume we called (in jest) the GRRMarillion or (more seriously) FIRE AND BLOOD. We have so much material that it’s been decided to publish the book in two volumes. The first of those will cover the history of Westeros from Aegon’s Conquest up to and through the regency of the boy king Aegon III (the Dragonbane). That one is largely written, and will include (for the first time) a complete detailed history of the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. My stories in DANGEROUS WOMEN (“The Princess and the Queen”) and ROGUES (“The Rogue Prince”) were abridged versions of the same histories.

No publication date has been set yet, but it’s likely that we will get the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert’s Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.

And, yes, I know you all want to know about THE WINDS OF WINTER too. I’ve seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by ‘journalists’ who make their stories up out of whole cloth. I don’t know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I’ve been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both ‘reports’ are equally false and equally moronic. I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that’s all I care to say. Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream…

Meanwhile, you’ll have Gardner’s anthology to fill the time. Keep your swords sharp!

Current Mood: quixotic quixotic

A Bit More (Fake) History

January 31, 2017 at 5:06 pm
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I had intended to write this post a few days ago, when Bantam gave me the green light, but I got busy, and we had Carrie Vaughn coming to town, and a worldcon/ Hugo deadline approaching, and all that seemed more time-sensitive, so I wrote those instead. Unfortunately, that meant the news below broke from other sources, and inevitably, all sorts of weird distortions crept in, and now the internet is rife with rumors and false reports and misinformation. Pfui. I need to set the record straight.

My friend Gardner Dozois, long-time anthologist and winner (many many times) of the Hugo Award for Best Professional Editor, has a big new fantasy anthology coming out this fall. It’s called THE BOOK OF SWORDS, and it’s about… well… swords. Y’know. “Stick ’em with the pointy end.”

I have a story in the book. “The Sons of the Dragon” is the title. Those of you who enjoyed “The Princess and the Queen” in DANGEROUS WOMEN and “The Rogue Prince” in ROGUES will probably like this one too. It’s water from the same well. A history rather than a traditional narrative. A lot of telling, only a little showing. (The opposite of what I do in my novels). But if you’re fascinated by the politics of Westeros, as many of my readers seem to be, you should enjoy it. As the title suggests, “The Sons of the Dragon” chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies, and rivals. If you’re read something to that effect on the web, good, that much is right.

However, there is a lot that’s wrong out there as well. THE BOOK OF SWORDS is not my book. I didn’t write but a small part of it, and I didn’t edit it, nor even co-edit it. Gardner is one of my oldest friends and he and I have co-edited a number of anthologies together. We did OLD MARS and OLD VENUS together. We did SONGS OF LOVE & DEATH and DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS together. We did the huge award-winning cross-genre anthologies WARRIORS, DANGEROUS WOMEN, and ROGUES together. But we did not do THE BOOK OF SWORDS together.

SWORDS is all the Great Gargoo. I mean, it’s not as if he hasn’t edited a hundred other anthologies all by himself, before he did a few with me. We’re friends, but we are not attached at the hip. I edit Wild Cards without any help from Gardner, and he edits lots of great stuff without any help from me… including THE BOOK OF SWORDS and next year’s THE BOOK OF MAGIC (which will also have a story from me, a reprint).

Truth be told, I loved editing those anthologies with Gardner, and we want to do more together. We’re talked about MORE ROGUES and EVEN MORE DANGEROUS WOMEN, since those two books were hugely successful, and we have definite plans for OLD LUNA and, who knows, maybe eventually OLD MERCURY and OLD PLUTO and OLD URANUS. But we’re not doing any of that NOW. The anthologies, much as I loved them, were taking too much of my time, so I stepped back from them… until I finish THE WINDS OF WINTER, at least. Once that’s done, maybe I can sneak another one in…

The point is, just because I had to step back did not mean Gardner had to. And he hasn’t. Hence THE BOOK OF SWORDS, which I expect to be just as good as ROGUES or DANGEROUS WOMEN.

The lineup of THE BOOK OF SWORDS is an impressive one:

Introduction by Gardner Dozois
THE BEST MAN WINS, by K.J. Parker
HIS FATHER’S SWORD, by Robin Hobb
THE HIDDEN GIRL, by Ken Liu
THE SWORD OF DESTINY, by Matthew Hughes
“I AM A HANDSOME MAN,” SAID APOLLO CROW, by Kate Elliott
THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE, by Walter Jon Williams
THE MOCKING TOWER, by Daniel Abraham
HRUNTING, by C.J. Cherryh
A LONG, COLD TRAIL, by Garth Nix
WHEN I WAS A HIGHWAYMAN, by Ellen Kushner
THE SMOKE OF GOLD IS GLORY by Scott Lynch
THE COLGRID CONUNDRUM, by Rich Larson
THE KING’S EVIL, by Elizabeth Bear
WATERFALLING, by Lavie Tidhar
THE SWORD TYRASTE, by Cecelia Holland
THE SONS OF THE DRAGON, by George R.R. Martin

There’s some amazing writers there. Some of the stories, I expect, will contend for the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award. But I wouldn’t know which, since I haven’t read any of them yet, since I am not the editor. Unlike, say, ROGUES and OLD MARS and the like, where I read every word, because I was the co-editor.

THE BOOK OF SWORDS is scheduled for release on October 10 in hardcover and ebook. (I don’t have the cover art yet, but when I do I will post it here).

As for my own story…

Long-time lurkers on this site will recall that several years ago, when we were working on the gorgeous illustrated worldbook/ concordance that was eventually published as THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, I wrote a number of ‘sidebar’s about Westerosi history. Actually, I got rather carried away, until I found I had written 350,000 words of sidebars for a book that was supposed to have only 50,000 words of text (it ended up having a lot more that that, actually). Since I had only reached the regency of Aegon III the Dragonbane, and had largely skipped over Jaehaerys I the Conciliator, however, it became apparent that my sidebars were going to burst the book.

So we pulled them all out, including only severely abridged versions of the main events in THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE. The full versions, much longer and unabridged, will eventually be published in a fake history tome to be called FIRE & BLOOD (and sometimes just the GRRMarillion), but since that one is years away, I included excerpts (again abridged, though not as severely) in DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES. That’s where “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince” came from.

“The Sons of the Dragon” came from the same place. Gardner asked me for a story. I told him I did not have the time to write a story. He asked if perhaps I had more like “The Princess and the Queen” lying about… as it happened, I did. So I sent him “The Sons of the Dragon,” he liked it, and there we are. (Fwiw, though “Sons” has never been published before, some of you may have heard me read it at one convention or another. I think I’ve read it twice, though offhand I do not recall when).

Anyway… that’s the story of the story. Don’t believe any other weird crap you may encounter on the web. It’s Gardner’s book, and it should be a fine one. You can’t go wrong with Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Lavie Tidhar, Daniel Abraham, Matthew Hughes, and the rest of the contributors that Gargy has assembled. You’ll love their stuff, I know. Maybe you’ll like my contribution as well… if you’re partial to fake history.

Wild Cards Take Texas

January 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm
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We’re calling the latest Wild Cards volumes the America Triad. First one up was MISSISSIPPI ROLL, which we completed and turned in back in October. Then came LOW CHICAGO, delivered in December. And now comes the third and final book in our cross country tour: TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.

Another one done. The manuscript went off to our editors at Tor yesterday. Hot damn!

The table of contents for this one:
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”

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is the final book in the America Triad, and the twenty-sixth volume of the overall series… but no, it’s not necessary to have read the first twenty-five to enjoy this one. In fact, it’s not even necessary to have read MISSISSIPPI ROLL and LOW CHICAGO (though we hope you will). The America books are not a triad in the traditional sense, like the ones we have done before; they are more in the nature of three stand-alones, linked thematically rather than by plot. Aside from a couple of double-dippers, each book of the three has a different roster of writers.

The cast in TEXAS HOLD ‘EM includes long time fan favorites like the Amazing Bubbles, Mr. Nobody, and Rustbelt, and brings back a couple of minor players from past books in much bigger roles (Jade Blossom from INSIDE STRAIGHT, the Darkness from SUICIDE KINGS), but you’ll meet a bunch of fun new characters as well. Diana Rowland and Max Gladstone are here making their Wild Cards debuts (Abandon hope, all ye who enter here). I think you’ll love their work as much as I do.

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is a departure for us in other ways as well. Like the Marvel and DC universes, the Wild Cards universe is huge, and allows for all sorts of different stories. Last summer’s HIGH STAKES was our horror outing, and one of the darkest we have ever done. TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is the other side of the coin; a romp, light-hearted and frenetic, with touchs of screwball comedy.

Which doesn’t mean it was easy. “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard,” someone once said (just who is a matter of dispute).

Look for TEXAS HOLD ‘EM sometime next year. At last word, Tor is slating MISSISSIPPI ROLL for publication in hardcover in the fall of this year, with Chicago and Texas to follow, but we don’t have hard dates for those two yet, but you’ll know when we do.

Meanwhile, we have further Wild Cards books in mind… and that TV series in the works…

Remember, we can’t die yet. We haven’t seen the Jolson Story.