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Signing Up A Storm

September 8, 2017 at 5:55 pm
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It’s been a while since I visited the Jean Cocteau to sign books, so my staff dragged me down there yesterday, thrust a pen into my hand, and confronted me with a couple mountains of books.

For you Wild Cards fans, I signed a hundred or so copies of the new trade paperback reissue of DEAD MAN’S HAND, the Wild Cards noir mystery story I co-authored with John Jos. Miller.

And if you’re fond of funny books, I also signed several towering piles of the new Dunk & Egg graphic novel, THE MYSTERY KNIGHT, scripted by Ben Avery with art by Mike S. Miller, the same terrific team who did the HEDGE KNIGHT and SWORN SWORD graphic novels.

Both titles, and dozens of others — by me, and by a host of other writers — are available via mail order from the Jean Cocteau at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/merchandise/

Speaking of signing, though… I think I may have set a personal record in Russia when I signed 900 books in two hours at my St. Petersburg event. I have signed more, at events in Slovenia and Dijon, France, but those of those events lasted a LOT longer than Russia. Four hours in France, seven in Slovenia. I barely survived the last…

More about Russia in another post.

Current Mood: tired tired

For My German Fans

July 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm
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The German edition of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, my Dunk & Egg collection, came out several years ago, from my main German publisher. Nice book, and it did well.

Thing is, though, my German publishers wanted to get the book out as soon as possible, so they published before the American and British editions, which meant that their edition could not include any of Gary Gianni’s gorgeous interior illustrations.

Have no fear, though. My favorite German small press, FanPro, has come to the rescue. They’ve issued a new, limited edition German hardcover edition, with all the amazing artwork.

Copies are available by mailorder from FanPro’s online shop:

http://www.fanproshop.de/epages/62065983.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/62065983/Products/41012

They do beautiful books. Enjoy.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Here Comes The Mystery Knight

December 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm
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The long-awaited… and much requested… graphic novel of THE MYSTERY KNIGHT, the third of my Dunk & Egg novellas, is on its way at last.

The good folks at Random House have assembled the same great creative team who gave us the comic book adaptations of THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SWORN SWORD — Ben Avery on script, and Mike S. Miller for the artwork.

Here’s the cover:

THE MYSTERY KNIGHT will be released in hardcover on July 4. (No, sorry, no individual issues this time around). It’s 148 graphic pages, and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s gorgeous!

KotSK Limited Edition from Subterranean Press

January 7, 2016 at 12:11 am
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Minion Raya here, reaching out to let everyone know a little about Subterranean Press's limited edition of The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection.  Bound in an oversized hard cover limited edition and lavishly illustrated by the talented Gary Gianni.

Some of the proposed features of this stunning edtion are:

* The Full color endsheet as a wraparound dust jacket;
* A completely new set of endsheets;
* 8-10 of the full-page interior illustrations featured in color;

Visit the link below to preorder:

KOTSK BY SUB PRESS

There are only 750 numbered hardcovers available and the special lettered edition is already sold out,
so get one while you still can.

This message has been brought to you by the Minions of Fevre River  🙂

Hedge Knight In the Lists

October 16, 2015 at 3:11 am
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Cool news from both sides of the Atlantic.

The new illustrated hardcover of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has debuted on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list as #2 in hardcover fiction. Over in the UK, the British edition has landed as #3 on the TIMES list (Bernard Cornwell’s new Uhtred novel is number 1, of course).

   

Pretty good for a collection of three previously published novellas.

My thanks go out to all my friends at Bantam Spectra and Harper Voyager… and of course to Gary Gianni, whose gorgeous artwork helped make the book such a rousing success.

Dunk & Egg Are HERE

October 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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Big day, big excitement. It’s publication day for A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, with simultaneous hardcover releases scheduled for the US (Bantam Spectra) and the UK (Harper Collins Voyager).

This will be the first collection of the three Dunk & Egg novellas that I have published to date: “The Hedge Knight” (originally published in Robert Silverberg’s anthology LEGENDS), “The Sworn Sword” (from LEGENDS II), and “The Mystery Knight” (from the anthology WARRIORS, edited by Gardner Dozois and yours truly). All together in one place for the first time, so you no longer need to track down three separate (and in some cases, out of print) books.


British edition

Depending (of course) on which side of the pond you find yourself, one or the other of the two editions should be available today from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller.

The American edition is on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Fire/dp/0345533488/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154684&sr=1-1

The British edition can be found on Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Prequel/dp/0007507674/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154759&sr=1-1&keywords=a+knight+of+the+seven+kingdoms

For those of you who have yet to make the acquaintance of Dunk & Egg… these are stories set in Westeros about ninety years before the opening of A GAME OF THRONES, when the Targaryens still sat the Iron Throne.. They chronicle the adventures of the hedge knight called Ser Duncan the Tall and his young squire Egg as they travel across the Seven Kingdoms.

And yes, before those of you from other lands across the sea speak up, it is true that the book has already been published in a dozen other languages. That’s because we wanted to do something rather special with the English-language editions, but many of my foreign publishers were not willing to wait.

For those who did wait, however, the “extra” is ART. Gorgeous, stunning, evocative, lovely illustration. We asked the amazing GARY GIANNI to illustrate the book, and Gary was so taken with the stories that he said he declined to do just the half-dozen pieces we originally asked for, insisting instead that he be allowed to illustrate the entire book. Needless to say, we LOVED the idea. I grew up and was weaned on the illustrated classics of my childhood with art by the likes of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, and the prospect of having one of my own books done the same way thrilled me no end.

And here it is, and believe me, it’s everything I could have dreamed of. Here’s just a sample, to whet your appetites:

Enjoy!

Dunk & Egg Ride Again

February 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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Circle October 6 on your calendar.

My friends at Bantam have just informed me that will be the day that A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in released in English, collecting all three of my “Dunk & Egg” novellas — “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight” — between one set of covers for the first time.

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Many of you, of course, will have read the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg in their original appearances in LEGENDS, LEGENDS II, and WARRIORS. But A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS will have a lot more than the three stories. We wanted this to be an illustrated book, so we went to the amazing Gary Gianni and asked him to do some art for us, thinking perhaps we could include seven or eight interior illustrations. Gary turned us down. He loved the stories, he said, but he’d only do it if he could illustrate the entire book, with art on virtually every page.

We said yes, of course, and Gary has been drawing for the better part of two years. Most fantasy fans know Gianni’s artwork from his work on PRINCE VALIANT, on the Wandering Star limited editions of SOLOMON KANE and BRAN MAK MORN, and of course for his stunning 2014 ICE & FIRE calendar, but we think A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS may be his best work to date.

This is going to be an amazing book, one I will be very happy to have my name on — beside that of Gary Gianni, surely among the very best fantasy artists of all time. (And damn it, folks, it is LONG past time that he was nominated for a Hugo).

Dunk and Egg

April 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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An update on all things Dunk & Egg…

To date I have published three novellas about them.

"The Hedge Knight" was published in Robert Silverberg's anthology LEGENDS, "The Sworn Sword" in its sequel, LEGENDS II.  The third novella, "The Mystery Knight," was part of WARRIORS, the crossgenre anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.

The first two novellas were subsequently adapted into graphic novels, with scripts by Ben Avery and artwork by Mike S. Miller and Mike Crowell.  The GNs have had a complicated publishing history.  Originally they were published by the Dabel Brothers, in partnership with Image Comics and then Devil's Due.  Later Marvel picked them up and had them out in hardcover for a time.  Those editions are all out of print, however.  Last year, Jet City Comics reissued both grahic novels.  Meanwhile, a graphic novel of "The Mystery Knight" is currently in the works from Random House.  Ben Avery has done the script once more, and Mike S. Miller is doing the art.

Turning back to prose, however… it has always been my intent to write a whole series of novellas about Dunk and Egg, chronicling their entire lives.  At various times in various interviews I may have mentioned seven novellas, or ten, or twelve, but none of that is set in stone.  There will be as many novellas as it takes to tell their tale, start to finish.  But only the three mentioned have been published to date.  I did originally plan on including a fourth in DANGEROUS WOMEN, the crossgenre anthology Gardner and I put out last year, but the book was past due and the story was not finished, so I substituted an abridged version of "The Princess and the Queen" instead.

The unfinished novella was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed 'the She-Wolves,' but "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" was never meant to be more than a working title.  The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different.  There's also another Dunk & Egg novella that I've got roughed out in my head, with the working title "The Village Hero."  That one takes place in the Riverlands.   There's no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first.  I don't expect I will know more until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.

My original intent was to publish all the Dunk & Egg stories in a series of anthologies, and then collect them all together in one big book.  But by the time of "The Mystery Knight," it became plain that the stories were just too long, and there were going to be too many of them.  So instead of one big book, the plan now is for a series of Dunk & Egg collections, each comprised of three novellas.  The first one to consist of the three published stories, "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword," and "The Mystery Knight."   The obvious title would have been THE HEDGE KNIGHT, but there is already a certain amount of confusion between "The Hedge Knight" the novella and THE HEDGE KNIGHT the graphic novel, and we did not want to compound the difficulty, so the first Dunk & Egg collection was titled A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS instead.

Since the collection is comprised entirely of previously-published material, we wanted to add something extra for the fans who might already have read the stories in LEGENDS and WARRIORS.  Some illustrations would be great, I thought (my love of illustrated books is well known by now, I suspect) and my British and American publishers agreed.   We reached out to the amazing GARY GIANNI, who did all the artwork for the stunning 2014 Ice & Fire calendar, not to mention Prince Valiant and those absolutely gorgeous Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn collections from Wandering Star.   Gary was interested in the project… but after reading the stories, he decided he did not want to do just a small handful of illustrations.  He wanted to bring the whole book to life with his artwork.  Last year at San Diego Comicon, he presented my editor Anne Groell and myself with a mockup of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS as he envisioned it, with art on almost every page.  Even as roughs, Gary's sketches were gorgeous.  They blew us away.  Of course we said yes.

Gary Gianni has been drawing and painting away ever since.  Of course, it takes a long time to do so much artwork.  Bantam Spectra and Harper Collins Voyager still hope to publish their fully-illustrated editions  A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in 2015, in the US and UK respectively, but the precise pubdate depends on when Gary finishes the art.  Meanwhile, some of my other publishers around the world had acquired the rights to the Dunk & Egg collection, and decided that they did not want to wait.  Which is why A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has already been published in several foreign languages, and will shortly be forthcoming in others, while the English-language editions won't be out for another year or more.  This is an inversion of the usual publishing pattern, where the American and British editions come out first.  The foreign editions have no artwork.

I am frequently asked whether or not there are any plans for Dunk & Egg movies or television shows.  There has been interest, yes, but the rights situation is complicated.  Film and television rights to the characters and the three published Dunk & Egg stories remain with me at present… but HBO, when acquiring the rights to the SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels, also acquired film and television rights to the world of Westeros.  So if we did Dunk & Egg with anyone else, we would need to remove all the references to House Targaryen, the Iron Throne, etc… not completely impossible, but certainly undesireable.  Whereas if HBO decided they wanted to make a Dunk & Egg miniseries or TV movies, they'd first need to buy the stories.  That's a much more attractive proposition for all concerned, I think… but if it happens, it will happen years from now, not tomorrow, and not next week.

So that's where things stand on all things Dunk & Egg.  Thanks for asking.

Dunk and Egg Return to Comics

July 9, 2013 at 9:19 am
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Big news in the world of comic books today!

The graphic novels of the first two Dunk & Egg adventures, THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SWORN SWORD, have been unavailable for several years, ever since the Marvel Comics editions went out of print. During that time, the prices for those books have steadily risen in the collector’s market, and I’ve received numerous emails from readers begging me to get them back in print.

Their wish is about to be granted.

Today, in Seattle, Amazon Publishing formally announced the launch of JET CITY COMICS, a new publishing imprint focused on producing comics and graphic novels in both electronic and paper formats. Jet City will be launching with titles from Hugh Howey (bestselling author of WOOL), Hugo-award winning novelist Neal Stephenson… and me.

First up (from me) will be MEATHOUSE MAN, the graphic novel, based on the most twisted and disturbing story I ever wrote, wonderfully adapted, penciled, inked, and colored by the amazing Raya Golden. That’s scheduled for release in October

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Dunk and Egg will follow. Jet City will be putting both THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SWORN SWORD back into print. . . and releasing ebook versions for the Kindle, making both titles available electronically for the first time.

New Jet City issues will publish on Kindle as standalone comics, as serialized comics released over multiple episodes, and as bundled graphic novels, with print editions available at amazon.com and other comics retailers.

According to Amazon’s official press release, Jet City will publish the following comics in 2013:

• An original comic adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and a re-release of “The Hedge Knight” by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the universe of Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series (the inspiration for the hit HBO program Game of Thrones). “Meathouse Man” will be released as a single issue comic in digital format in October 2013; “The Hedge Knight” will be released as a collected graphic novel in print and digital formats in November 2013; and its sequel, “The Sworn Sword,” will follow in early 2014.

• An adaptation of Hugh Howey’s bestselling dystopian novel Wool by comics veterans Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and illustrator Jimmy Broxton, where the remnants of humanity live in a massive silo hundreds of stories below the surface of the ruined and toxic landscape of Earth. Wool was a #1 bestseller in the Kindle store and is one of the most-reviewed science fiction novels on Amazon, with almost 6,000 customer reviews. It will be released as a Kindle Serial, as six individual comics issues starting in October 2013, followed by a collected graphic novel in 2014.

• Six original comics from The Foreworld Saga, the bestselling alternate history series that began with The Mongoliad (a serialized novel collaboratively written by a team of authors led by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, and Mark Teppo). The first Foreworld comic, “Symposium #1” by author Christian Cameron and Illustrator Dmitry Bondarenko, details the origins of the Shield-Brethren in Ancient Greece in the days following Athens crushing defeat to Sparta in 394 BC. It goes on-sale today, with new installments releasing monthly before being collected in a series of graphic novels in 2014.

In the official press release, Alex Carr, Senior Editor at Jet City, says, “It’s a dream to work with superstar authors like George, Hugh and Neal on the launch of a new imprint. Millions of fans have read and loved their novels, and with Jet City we look forward to opening up these iconic worlds to new audiences. We’re working with an incredible, hand-picked team of comics professionals, writers, artists, and translators, who have done an amazing job developing and expanding these inventive stories. I’m looking forward to the response from comics readers and fans.”

“Comics and graphic novels, especially in digital format, represent a unique area for innovation,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon Publishing. “Our focus will be on adapting great books for this medium as a means of expanding the audience for our authors, pushing boundaries with new ideas that combine visual and narrative storytelling, and creating compelling new experiences for readers.”

I’m excited to be published by Jet City, and delighted that they will be putting THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SWORN SWORD back into print, for all those fans who have been asking for them.

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“Ah, but what about THE MYSTERY KNIGHT? “ I hear you asking. The third Dunk and Egg novella, originally published in my anthology WARRIORS, has not yet been adapted to comics.

But that’s about to change. I’m delighted to say we’ve put the old gang back together. Dunk and Egg are returning to comics. Ben Avery will be scripting, and Mike S. Miller will once again be doing the art. This time it will be Random House, the publisher of the SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels and the on-going GAME OF THRONES graphic novel adaptations, doing the book.

With Jet City and Random House behind them, Dunk and Egg could not be in better hands.

The Mystery Knight Rides Again

October 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm
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If you’re one of the sad unfortunates who missed the third Dunk & Egg novella when it appeared in WARRIORS, the big cross-genre anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois, here’s another chance to read “The Mystery Knight.”

Demon anthologist John Joseph Adams is reprinting the novella, along with lots of other swell stories by the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, and other kickass epic fantasists.

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Check out JJA’s site for more info on EPIC: http://www.johnjosephadams.com/epic/

Meanwhile, I will get back to work on the fourth Dunk & Egg novella (as yet untitled), which is scheduled to appear in DANGEROUS WOMEN aka FEMMES FATALE aka The Next Giant Cross-Genre Anthology by Martin and Dozois))