Not a Blog

What’s Up, Doc?

February 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm
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“Never play poker with a man called Doc,” Nelson Ahlgren once warned.

Guess my poker-playing days are over.

http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/A-M-to-give-Game-of-Thrones-author-an-honorary-6815280.php

I am very pleased. Thanks to all my friends at A&M.

(When will I be returning to College Station to get the degree? Not till WINDS is done).

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The Horrors on Pluto

July 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm
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Mordor is on Pluto! Who knew?<br/><br/>Okay, got to admit, I think it is really cool that some of the features New Horizons is finding on Pluto (our ninth planet, dammit!!!) and its moon Charon are being named Mordor and Cthulhu. Who says science fiction and fantasy haven’t arrived? J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft have entered realms previously reserved for Greek and Roman gods.<br/><br/>Those ice mountains they’ve found are very cool too, and clearly need to be named the Mountains of Madness. And of course when New Horizons sails on, deeper in the black realms beyond the solar system and finds a sinister tenth planet, we MUST name it Yuggoth. Especially if it is covered in fungus. (Which would be mind-blowing).<br/><br/>I am disappointed that no alien ruins or black monoliths have turned up yet, but I don’t suppose you can have everything.<br/><br/>So hurrah for JRRT, hurrah for HPL, and hurrah for NASA and JPL. Nice to know they’re fans.

I’m Number Two…

December 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm
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… for the whole twentieth century!

LOCUS says so, so it must be true. They did their once-every-decade-or-so megapoll for the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of All Time, and A GAME OF THRONES finished in the second place for the Best Fantasy Novel of the twentieth century, behind this guy named Tolkien. Tolkien was third as well, followed by Le Guin and Zelazny. You don’t get into more rarified company than that.

(A STORM OF SWORDS and A CLASH OF KINGS showed up on the 20th century poll as well, further down).

I even made the Best Fantasy Novel of the Twenty-FIRST century top five, with A FEAST FOR CROWS in fifth.

((Actually, I tend to think that at least some of the people who voted for A GAME OF THRONES were voting for the entire series. Makes more sense that way. You will note that Tolkien’s first place winner was LORD OF THE RINGS… they did not divide his novel into its three component volumes, but mine did get sliced into five separate entries, maybe because its unfinished as of yet.

Anyway… you have to take these kind of polls with a whole shaker of salt, but still, it’s cool. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

You can peruse the full results here:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/12/locus-announces-winners-of-best-novels-of-20th-and-21st-centuryq-poll

(FWIW, Frank Herbert’s DUNE finished first in SF and ENDER’S GAME was second, but my own top three would have been LORD OF LIGHT (Zelazny), THE STARS MY DESTINATION (Bester), and THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (Le Guin).

Bring Me the Head of Howard Phillips Lovecraft

August 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm
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Actually, TWO heads would be even better.

It occurs to me that I have been so busy lately that I have not yet gotten around to announcing that (1) A DANCE WITH DRAGONS has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award in the “Best Novel” category, and (2) the World Fantasy Award jury has also selected me as one of the winners of their Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

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The World Fantasy Award is one of the more complicated honors in our field. Here’s how it works. A five-person jury is selected. The members of the previous World Fantasy Con and the upcoming World Fantasy Con receive a nominating ballot, and nominate two finalists in each award category. The jury adds three additional nominees. Then the jury selects the winner from among the five finalists.

This year’s finalists for Best Novel are:

!¢ THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER, Christopher Buehlman (Ace)
!¢ 11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
!¢ A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
!¢ OSAMA, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
!¢ AMONG OTHERS, Jo Walton (Tor)

A very distinguished list. My congratulations to all the other finalists.

The rest of the ballot can be found here:

http://www.wfc2012.org/pr-wfawards01.html

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a different deal. That one is announced ahead of time. I was rather startled to learn that the jury had announced ME. After all, my lifetime is not nearly over, and I have lots more achieving ahead of me, I hope… (unless the World Fantasy Award knows something that I do not). I am such a young lad, and devilishly handsome as well.

However, it is a HUGE honor, and I am very thrilled to receive it… especially as the jury also named Alan Garner as the other Lifetime Achievement receipient. If you don’t know Garner’s work, well… you should, damn you. He’s the author of THE OWL SERVICE and THE WEIRDSTONES OF BRISINGAMEN and ELIDOR and all sorts of other great stuff, and was writing terrific fantasies long before fantasy was either popular or fashionable. It’s great to see Garner get some long overdue recognition for his contributions to our genre. Now I’d love to see someone put all his books back into print again.

Past receipients of the Life Achievement award include Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, Richard Matheson, Jack Vance, Jack Williamson, Stephen King, Fritz Leiber, Gene Wolfe, and many of my other heroes and role models, so I am going to be in very good company indeed with this one.

The awards will be presented at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Toronto over Halloween weekend. Alas, I do not think I will be able to attend. My schedule is already pretty full for the rest of 2012, and this one came on me unexpectedly. (Also, I just appeared in Toronto early in the year). But I am sure it will be a great con.

(I do have one of Howard’s heads already, for my werewolf novella “The Skin Trade” from way back when. He proudly wears a Jets cap).

Odds and Ends

May 12, 2012 at 12:41 am
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I have been buried in work since getting back from England and Portugal. So much stuff piles up when I am away for any length of time, and there are only so many hours in the day. There were a number of subjects I wanted to make long Not A Blog posts about… but the time just wasn’t there, and I needed my energy for other things.

Anyway, it’s too late to do the posts now, but let me at least touch on a number of the things I would have talked about at length, if I had found the time.

The Hugos. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS made the Hugo shortlist for Best Novel. I am very pleased by that. DANCE has received a number of awards and honors since it was published, not to mention the best reviews of my career (and I have always been pretty well reviewed), but I’m an old fanboy, and the Hugo is special to me. It’s the Big One: the oldest award in the field, and the most meaningful, since it’s voted by the fans. So I am thrilled to be on the ballot. And I’m just as thrilled… well, no, not really, ALMOST just as thrilled… that one of the books DANCE will be contending against is LEVIATHAN WAKES, by James S.A. Corey, who is really my friends Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. LEVIATHAN’s a terrific read as well. So congrats to Corey, and to the other books on the ballot. And to Anne Groell and Michael Komarck, nominated for the first time for Best Editor (Long Form) and Best Professional Artist, respectively. Long deserved. Finally, there’s Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, where HBO’s GAME OF THRONES is a finalist. I’m pleased by that as well. Congrats to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and their terrific team at HBO. Now all we have to do is beat four major motion pictures with budgets that dwarf ours… though that’s probably an easier go than winning in Short Form, where I think the double juggernaut of the Neil Gaiman episode of DR. WHO will steamroller all opposition. Anyway… win, lose, or draw, it IS fun to have a horse in the race. Thanks to everyone who nominated.

The NFL. Yes, I did watch the rest of the draft. Every bloody round. Of course, since I do not follow college football, the deeper we get into the draft, the more the names are just names to me. Overall, I came away with the feeling that the Giants had a better draft than the Jets, but only time will tell. I was interested to see how many second generation players came out this year… the sons of players I once cheered on. Dave Meggett’s son. Al Toon’s son. And I see the younger son of Phil Simms has just been signed by the Jets as a free agent. Talk about making me feel old. I remember when their fathers were rookies. sigh

The TV show. I finished and delivered my script for season three of GAME OF THRONES. It’s episode 307, with the working title “Autumn Storms.” David and Dan seem to like it. Casting is in full swing for the new season, so I’m watching auditions every night. Froggy may be turning up soon, but don’t hold your breath. I’m too busy to devote much time to whipping up obscure clues.

New deals. Gardner Dozois and I have sold three new original anthologies: a big crossgenre anthology called ROGUES, in the tradition of our old WARRIORS anthology, and a set of paired Retro-SF anthologies called OLD MARS and OLD VENUS. Or did I mention that already? Sorry, all you aspiring writers out there, they are by invitation only. I wish I had time to read unsolicited submissions, but I don’t.

Old deals. Our DANGEROUS WOMEN anthology is edging toward completion. Waiting on some rewrites and one last major story. We’ll likely be late delivering that one.

WILD CARDS. Close to a deal for a new original and four more reprints. Meanwhile, Melinda Snodgrass and I are working on volume twenty-two, LOWBALL, a sequel to FORT FREAK. And speaking of FORT FREAK, that one is out in paperback. Melinda is also scripting the Wild Cards movie for SyFy films. And a new Wild Cards comic miniseries is in the works.

Next trip. Seems like I just got home, and I don’t believe all my suitcases are unpacked yet, but Miscon in Missoula, Montana is coming up soon, so I’ll be hopping on a plane again in a couple of weeks. I hope to see some old friends there, and make some new ones.

Reading. I just finished THE KING’S BLOOD, the second volume of Daniel Abraham’s “Dagger and Coin” series. Books like this remind me why I love epic fantasy. Yes, I’m prejudiced, Daniel is a friend and sometime collaborator… but damn, that was a good book. Great world, great characters, thoroughly engrossing story. The only problem was, it ended too soon. I want more. I want to know what happens to Cithrin, and Marcus, and Geder, and Clara. And I want to know NOW. God damn you, Daniel Abraham. I know for a fact that you are writing more Expanse books with Ty, and more urban fantasies as M.L.N. Hanover, and doing short stories for some hack anthologist, and scripting some goddamn COMIC BOOK, and even sleeping with your wife and playing with your daughter. STOP ALL THAT AT ONCE, and get to writing on the next Dagger and Coin. I refuse to wait.

(Yes, for the irony impaired, the paragraph above is me being snarky. I WAS disappointed when Daniel’s book was over, though… and the moment the next volume is available, I intend to snatch it up at once. Meanwhile, there are other good books to read).

Calendar. Just got advance copies of the 2013 Ice & Fire calendar, illustrated by Marc Simonetti. My, but it’s gorgeous. The rest of you will be able to buy calendars in July. As in previous years, the calendar will debut at the San Diego Comicon. And yes, I will be at the San Diego Comicon again. Not for the whole thing, no. San Diego was not on my schedule this year, but HBO wants me there for the GAME OF THRONES panel, so I’m going to squeeze in a quick visit on my way to Spain.

More calendar. I’ve been seeing some preliminary sketches from Gary Gianni for the 2014 calendar, and that one is going to be a knockout as well.

THE LANDS OF ICE & FIRE. Map book. In the pipeline. My part is done, now the mapmakers and artists are doing theirs.

THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. Concordance. Working on it. Just sent a big chunk to Bantam.

WINDS OF WINTER. Yes, I’m working on that too. At the moment, I am writing about the Dothraki. More than that, I sayeth not, you know I don’t like to talk about this stuff.

Other stuff? Yes, lots of other stuff… but it’s late and I’m tired, so this will have to hold you for now. More odds and more ends another day. Talk amongst yourselves.

Author of the Year

December 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm
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Who, me?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2011-12-29/george-r-r-martin-is-author-of-the-year-2011/52256412/1

Hot damn.

What fine intelligent gentlefolk they are at USA TODAY.

Forgive me, whilst I blush prettily.

If I had a football to hand, I would gladly spike it.

Stud of the Year

December 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm
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And speaking of awards and honors and such, Peter Dinklage has another laurel to go with his Emmy and Scream Awards. GQ has named him “Stud of the Year.”

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Congratulations to Peter. For more details, check out the GQ website:

http://www.gq.com/moty/2011/peter-dinklage-gq-men-of-the-year-issue

I am sure Tyrion would be delighted for him.

((As magazine awards go, GQ clearly beats the Locus Awards, I must say))

Ten Best List

November 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm
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What good taste the folks at LIBRARY JOURNAL have.

They’ve included A DANCE WITH DRAGONS on their list of the Ten Best SF and fantasy books for 2011:

http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2011/11/best-of/best-genre/best-books-2011-sf-fantasy/

Jimmy Corey’s LEVIATHAN WAKES also made the list. Congrats to that scoundrel Jimmy,

I love librarians.