Not a Blog

Shae and Sibel

June 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm
Profile Pic

Never judge a book by its cover, or an actor by the character he or she portrays.

Most of you only know Sibel Kekilli for her portrayal of Shae in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.   In her native Germany, of course, Sibel is recognized for a wide variety of other roles, including a long stint on the popular police procedural TATORT, the German LAW & ORDER.  She is also a two-time winner of the Lola Award (the German Oscar) for Best Actress for her starring roles in WHEN WE LEAVE and HEAD-ON.

Sibel is more than just a gifted actress, however.   She is a kind and gentle and compassionate person as well, one that I am proud to know… and she is a woman of rare courage.  In these dark and highly politicized times, when the safest course for any public figure is silence and smiles, Sibel has never hesitated to speak her mind, giving of her time, her money, and her fame to help others.   Every time she speaks up, she subjects herself to another flood of abuse, slurs, death threats, and the like… but she persists, nonetheless.

Sibel Kekilli is a true hero.

She has worked for years for Terre des Femmes, fighting violence against women all around the world.

Terre des Femmes

Now Sibel has a new venture: working with PAPATYA to rescue girls (from the ages of 13 to 21) threatened with forced child marriages and abductions.  Sibel has recently used her own funds to buy computers for the girls.   She’s also lent her support to an on-line counseling site, SIBEL ( named after her character from HEAD-ON) to offer advice and help to those who need it.

Homepage

She has my admiration and support.  I hope she has yours as well.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

Old Friends

November 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Profile Pic

The first SF convention (as opposed to a comicon) I ever attended was the 1971 Disclave in Washington, D.C. The first person I met at the con was Gardner Dozois, who was working the registration table when I walked in. When he wasn’t volunteering at cons, Gardner was the slushpile reader for GALAXY… and the very same guy who had fished my story “The Hero” out of said slush pile several months previously, leading to my first professional short.

In other words, Gargy was the first friend I made in fandom, and my first editor as well.

He’s still a fan, he’s still a pro, he’s still the best editor out there… and in the decades that followed, he’s been my editor, my collaborator, and my partner in crime, the guy who founded the Hugo Losers Party with me in 1976… before going on to win, like, thirty-seven Hugos in a row.

I had the chance to catch up with him last week in New York City, and I’m pleased to report we’re both going strong.

Friends like the Great Gargoo are the reason I love fandom.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

Another Sadness

September 14, 2017 at 6:40 pm
Profile Pic

I’ve been trying for several days to write something about the death of Len Wein.

It’s been hard. The words stick in my throat. Len was not just a professional colleague, as Jerry Pournelle was. Len was a friend. An old, dear friend. He lived in LA and I lived in Santa Fe, so we never saw each other more than a few times a year, but I cherished all the time I spent with him and his wife, Chris Valada. I don’t have a bad memory of Len, and I doubt that anyone does. He was a sweet, kind, funny man, and a joy to be around, to share a meal with (even though he always refused to “eat anything that looked like itself”).

Len and I went way way back. We were both there when comics fandom was being born, and we met for the first time in a place called the Workingman’s Circle, at the 1964 New York Comicon. The first comicon… and Len Wein was one of the kids who made it happen, one of the organizers, while I was the first fan to send in $1.50 for a membership. We were both in high school at the time. Many years later, at a San Diego Comicon with its 150,000 members, I turned to Len and sad, “See what you did?” He just laughed and replied, “Who knew?”

You don’t need me to tell you about his career, his professional accomplishments, his creations. If you don’t know who Len Wein is, you’ve never read a comic book. He created Wolverine, the New X-Men, Swamp Thing, the Human Target, Lucius Fox, and, oh, about five hundred other characters. Maybe a thousand. Most of those were created under the old work-made-for-hire contracts so common in the comics industry when Len stared out, so he had no ownership of any of them, and made very little, if anything, from all the movies and TV shows that featured them. (Lucius Fox was the exception to that, since he was created later, under a contract that gave the creator more rights, In one of the little ironies of life in the comics biz, Len made more money from Lucius Fox than he ever saw from Wolverine). If it had been me, it would have made me incredibly bitter to see my creations making billions while I got some loose change, but Len never bitched about it. He knew the rules when he signed the contracts, he would always say. And he loved seeing his creations on the big and little screens. There was no bitterness in the man, and no anger that I ever saw.

He loved comics, and he loved life, and I’m just one of the many who loved him.

((Comments allowed, but only about Len)).

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

EXPANSE Debut

December 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm
Profile Pic

Just a reminder… THE EXPANSE premieres tonight on the SyFy channel.

For those who came in late, this is the big new space series based on a terrific series of novels by James S.A. Corey, who is really my friends Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck in disguise.

I’ve seen the first two episodes, and they’re terrific.

But don’t take my word for it.

<lj-embed id=”641″/>

If you like episode one tonight, you won’t have to wait long for episode two. SyFy plans to broadcast that one tomorrow night. Then you’ll be all caught up on what the fans at the Jean Cocteau Cinema saw December 3 at the Official Red Carpet Premiere (how could you miss it?)

Pinto Vortando says, “This is a very brave show. Pinto will be watching, and you should too.”

P.S> If you like the show, you will like the novels even better. And you can order signed copies of all five from the Jean Cocteau at http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/

Three Cheers For Snod

October 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm
Profile Pic

Wanted to take a moment here to congratulate my old friend, sometimes collarborator, co-editor, and general partner in crime MELINDA M. SNODGRASS on her new gig. Melinda is headed back to LA to head up the writing staff of STAR TREK: RENEGADES, a new fan-funded Trek web series that features Walter Koenig as Chekov. Melinda will be an executive producer.

Of course, Snod is no stranger to Trek. She was one of the writers on NEXT GENERATION, where she scripted, among other episodes, “Measure of a Man,” still widely regarded as one of the best five Trek episodes of all team. She’ll do a great job on this new show, I have no doubt.

You can read all about this on Melinda’s own blog at:
http://melindasnodgrass.com/star-trek-renegades

((I know a lot of you Trek fans out there will be excited about this, and there will doubtless be lots of questions… that’s the place to ask ’em, not here. Thanks.))

Also, here’s the link to the Kickstarter page funding RENEGADES:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/145553614/star-trek-renegades-episodes-2-and-3

Sounds like a fun series. Go get ’em, Weeds.

In Hamburg With Sibel

July 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm
Profile Pic

Sibel Kekilli sent me some nice pictures of my visit to Hamburg. I thought I’d share them.

ON STAGE

DINNER WITH FRIENDS

SIDEWALK CAFE (it was chilly)

Fun times. I hope to get back.

Back In The USA

July 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm
Profile Pic

So we’re back home in Santa Fe, after ten days on the road in Germany, Sweden, and Finland.

A wonderful trip, all in all. Yes, much of it was work… I did numerous interviews in Hamburg, more in Stockholm, still more on the Alands, yadda yadda yadda… but in between we had some fine old times.

Some highlights:
— touring MiniatureLand in Hamburg. Wow. Biggest toy train set in the world, but the landscapes and miniatures dwarf the trains. Very glad my hosts took me to see this.
— the big public event in Hamburg, 3000 fans, sold out months ago.
— hanging with Sibel Kekilli and her boyfriend, and my German publicist, Sebastian. Sibel fed me Turkish food and showed me some of Hamburg’s nightlife, to reciprocate for the tour of Santa Fe I gave her on INTO THE NIGHT. Hamburg stays up later than Santa Fe, you will be surprised to learn, but chile con queso is nowhere to be found. We drank White Russians while huddled under blankets in an outdoor cafe. Took a canal boat tour as well.
— Stockholm. What a gorgeous city. Comes of not having a major war since Napoleon. That way your gorgeous old buildings don’t get bombed into rubble.
— the Vasa Museum. Okay, the ship never made it our of the harbor, but it makes a great centerpiece for a museum,
— the Royal Armory, where you can actually see the bloodstained clothing that Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII were wearing when they died,
— Marieham, on the Aland islands. Just a lovely place.
— the Aland Vikings, who fed us pancakes and mead and hammered at each other with axe and sword and spear for our amusement. They are building a very cool Viking village, definitely worth a visit if you visit the islands.

And of course Archipelacon was great fun as well. The Finnish fans are second to none, and we had plenty of Swedes on hand as well, and a strong BWB contigent who taught them all how to party. It is events like this that remind me what fandom is all about — a celebration of science fiction and fantasy, of friendship and family.

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

November 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm
Profile Pic

So, who likes dinosaurs?

What, all of you?  Well, of course.  I mean, who doesn't like dinosaurs!

I fell in love with them as a kid, on my first visit to the Museum of Natural History in New York City.  I had a great collection of toy dinosaurs back then (long since lost, alas — unlike my spacemen, who I hung onto).  I used to make them fight my toy knights.   I never thought to write up those adventures, however (I did write up stories about the space pirates, however — also lost, alack alas).

My friend Vic Milan was smarter.  His new novel, THE DINOSAUR LORDS, will be out next June.  First of a trilogy.  It's got dinosaurs, and it's got knights.  What more can you ask?  (And why the hell didn't I think of it first??)  For those of you who don't know him, Victor Milan has been one of my Wild Cards mainstays since the very beginning, back in 1987, the creator of Cap'n Trips, the Harlem Hammer, Mackie Messer. and more.   THE DINOSAUR LORDS is his best book yet… and damn, but Tor gave him a KICKASS cover:

DINOLORDS Cover

Be sure and check out DINOSAUR LORDS when it hits the shelves in June… or better yet, pre-order.

And speaking of dinosaurs, a couple of other friends also have a cool dinosaur Kickstarter going.  Tess Kissinger and Bob Walters , old friends from Philadelphia, have a great dinosaur book out as well.

9781604334968_p0_v1_s600

Bob Walters has been one of the world's leading dinosaur artists for decades, and the book is full of his gorgeous art.

(No knights, though).

And he and Tess have a new dream as well:  THE DINOSAUR CHANNEL.

But I will let them tell you all about it themselves, on their Kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/210659515/dinosaurchanneltv

Cool cause, and some cool incentives as well.  Check it out.

Happy Halloween

October 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Profile Pic

Speaking of things that go bump in the night….

1391733_10151883961102900_94947274_n

If a creature who looks like this shows up at your door trick or treating, don't be fooled.  It's not me.  That's my friend and associate and co-editor Gardner Dozois dressed up in his GRRM costume for Halloween.

You can give him candy if you want, but not cheese doodles or, god forbid, jellybeans.  He puts those up his nose.

misc122

Actually, though, Gardner looks so good as me that I am thinking of sending him to Australia next month in my place, to make all my public appearances while I stay home and write.  (Don't everyone agree at once, please).  So if you run into "me" in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide… well, you better take care that it's really me.  (If he rips open his shirt to expose his breast, it's Gardner).

Lone Star GRRM

April 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Profile Pic

For those of you who couldn’t make it to Texas for Aggiecon and Deeper Than Swords last month, the good folks at Texas A&M and the Cushing Memorial Library have thoughtfully videotaped my speech and uploaded it to YouTube.

So if you’d like to hear more about how a Jersey boy came to deposit his papers and manuscripts in College Station, you can hear all about my strange connection to Texas here:

<lj-embed id=”351″/>

Enjoy.