Not a Blog

NIGHTFLYERS Trailer Debuts

March 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm
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SyFy has rolled out the first trailer for the NIGHTFLYERS tv series, scheduled to debut this fall.

Check it out:

I am amused to see my own appearances in the promo. SyFy sent a film crew to Santa Fe last month, and we spent most of an afternoon taping a long interview about “Nightflyers,” its inspiration and publication history, my Thousand Worlds, horror v SF v hyrbids, and so on. I hope at some point they will use some of that material, beyond the two sentences that made it into the trailer.

Very cool to see the show coming together.

Current Mood: curious curious

A Horrifying Announcement

April 26, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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A long long time ago, in the projects of Bayonne, New Jersey, I fell in love.

I fell in love with comic books and superheroes, thanks to Stan Lee and Julie Schwartz. I fell in love with science fiction, thanks to Robert A. Heinlein, Andre Norton, and Eric Frank Russell. I fell in love with fantasy, thanks to Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, and J.R.R. Tolkien. And I fell in love with monsters and scary stories (later in life, I’d learn to call them ‘horror’ or weird fiction, but as a kid, they were just monster stories to me)… thanks to a gentleman out of Providence who had died before I was born.

I first encountered the work of H.P. Lovecraft in a paperback anthology entitled BORIS KARLOFF’S FAVORITE HORROR STORIES. I knew Boris from his Frankenstein movies and from TV’s THRILLER, the scariest show on television at the time, but I had never heard of HPL until I read “The Haunter of the Dark” in that volume. I had never read a story that scared me more… so of course I sought out more Lovecraft wherever I could find it (not an easy task in those days). No werewolf, no vampire, no thing going bump in the night could give me chills to equal those provided by the cosmic horrors that Lovecraft evoked in tales like “The Whisperer in Darkness,” “The Colour Out of Space,” “The Shadow Out of Time,” “The Rats In the Walls,” “The Strange High House in the Mist,” and so many more. I have read a lot of horror since, some good, some bad, some indifferent… but only the best work of Stephen King has ever equalled Lovecraft, and that in a very different way.

Our world of imaginative fiction is fortunate in having several terrific writer’s workshops specializing in science fiction and fantasy, where aspiring authors can hone their talents and learn from established professionals… but New Hampshire’s Odyssey workshop is one of the few that gives equal emphasis to horror, to the monsters and scary stories.

I’m excited to announce that I will be funding a new horror-writing scholarship for the Odyssey workshop. Founded 22 years ago, Odyssey’s six-week program is held each summer on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Combining intensive, advanced lectures with in-depth feedback on students’ manuscripts, Odyssey has become legendary for the challenges it sets for students and the enthusiasm with which they meet those challenges. And all that writing, learning, critiquing, and sweat yields great results. Among Odyssey’s alumni are New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.

It’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.

The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. Let us be clear: we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory… though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that HPL displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.

The Miskatonic will be a full scholarship, given annually, and covering tuition, fees, and lodging for a single student each year. The award will not be limited by age, race, sex, religion, skin color, place of origin, or field of study. The only criteria will be literary. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, solely on the basis of their story samples. Since this year’s class of students has already been selected from among the pool of applicants, the Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded for the first time next year, to a student from the class of 2018.

H.P. Lovecraft himself during his lifetime gave generously of his time and talent to many a younger writer, including Frank Belknap Long, Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, and many more. It is our hope that the ongoing annual Miskatonic Scholarship will provide the same sort of encouragement and inspiration to a new generation of writers, for all the long dark nights ahead.

George R.R. Martin

Lovecraft in the Land of Enchantment

March 21, 2017 at 12:47 am
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We had a great time last week when H.P. Lovecraft returned from the grave to visit us here in the Land of Yig Enchantment.

If you missed it — shame on you — well, it turns out that HPL recorded a couple of segments of his “Ask Lovecraft” YouTube series while he was here in town.

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Seeing HPL at Meow Wolf was especially fun, since there are a couple of… ahem… decidedly Lovecraftian touches to be found in the House of Eternal Return.

If you ever get a chance to see Leeman Kessler perform as HPL, do catch him. It’s the next best thing to a shuggoth on your doorstep.

Cinemax Orders SKIN TRADE Script

October 13, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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I am very excited to announce the Cinemax (HBO’s sister company) has optioned the television rights to “The Skin Trade,” the offbeat “werewolf noir” novella I penned back in the late 80s. The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end… but if they like the script, we’ll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we’ll get a series on the air.

Which would be very cool. I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade. Those of you who know the story of DOORWAYS, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early 90s, may even recall that it was SKIN TRADE that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to LA for a round of pitch meetings. So we’re a few decades late…

“The Skin Trade” has had a storied, and complex, publishing history. It was originally written for NIGHT VISION 5, the fifth volume of the prestigious annual horror anthology from the late lamented small press Dark Harvest, where it appeared together with original contributions from Dan Simmons and Stephen King, some stellar company. The novella was very well received, and went on to win that year’s World Fantasy Award.

It was subsequently reprinted several times, most recently (and notably) in an illustrated edition from Capclave, where I was Guest of Honor, with a cover and interior art by the amazing Rick Berry.

There’s also been a comic book miniseries and graphic novel from Avatar. Daniel Abraham did the adaptation and script, while Mike Wolfer provided the art.

More recently, the novella was purchased by Mike the Pike Productions, who played a big part in taking the project to Cinemax. To handle the adaptation, script the pilot, and produce the show (should we get a greenlight), we’ve tapped a terrific talented young scriptwriter named KALINDA VAZQUEZ, whose previous credits include work on PRISON BREAK and ONCE UPON A TIME. That was not an easy choice. Cinemax and my agents set me up for meetings with close to a dozen different Tv writers, many of them very impressive, but Kalinda’s take on the story and the characters blew me away. She loves the story and the world, and really seems to get Willie and Randi, and her pitch to Cinemax was one of the most polished and professional I’ve ever heard. I love her enthusiasm, and look forward to working with her.

(And no, while I would have loved to write the script and run the show myself myself, that was never really in the cards. I have this book to finish. You know the one).

So… THE SKIN TRADE… coming to your TV set, er, eventually. Maybe. Howl for it.

Beware… the Dolls Are Coming

February 14, 2015 at 1:16 am
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Never understood why so many people are scared of clowns.

Clowns aren’t creepy.

DOLLS are creepy.

Look at these examples I found on the internet:

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Whether you love dolls, or are seriously creeped out by them, you will want to be at the Jean Cocteau Cinema on Sunday, March 15, when award-winning editor and anthologist ELLEN DATLOW comes to visit us, with her new book about… you guessed it.

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Watch this space. Tomorrow I will tell you about our CREEPY DOLL CONTEST!

For Lovecraft Fans

October 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm
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We've got a great lineup of scary stuff coming up for Halloween at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Including a real treat for H.P. Lovecraft fans (like me):

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This small-budget thrilled was made by the H.P. Lovecraft Society, and Cthulhu aficionados are giving it high marks.

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The Whispering begins on Friday.

See you at the movies!

Emergo Is Coming

September 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm
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… to the Jean Cocteau.

 Our midnight show (starting at 11pm) this Friday and Saturday will be William Castle's HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL.

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Do you dare enter?

(I would, but I have to go to the Emmys.  Darn).