Not a Blog

Football, Fire, and Other Stuff

November 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm
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Tomorrow is the official publication day for TEXAS HOLD ‘EM, the latest original mosaic novel in the Wild Cards series.   Grab one from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller.   If you want an autographed copy, those will be available from my Jean Cocteau Cinema bookshop.

FIRE & BLOOD comes out on November 20.   There are two sources for autographed copies of that one: preorder from the JCC, or attend the launch event in Jersey City on November 19, at Loew’s Jersey in Journal Square.   We’ve sold more than a thousand tickets for that event and the rest are going fast, so act soon if you want to come.   The theatre is expecting a sellout.   Please note: personalizations and other inscriptions are not available either from the JCC or from Loew’s, just straight signatures.   No use asking, I just can’t personalize that many books, it would take forever.   Please understand.

That’s the cover of the trade hardcover from Bantam Spectra above, fyi; this is the edition that is being offered at Loew’s and the JCC.

Many other editions will be coming out on November 20 as well, however.   Some cool covers on those as well.

Here’s the cover for the Brazilian edition:

Here’s the British cover for those of you in the UK, from Harper Collins Voyager:

Here’s the German edition:

 

Feuer und Blut – Erstes Buch von George RR Martin

And this one is the Gary Gianni cover, for the Subterranean Press limited edition:

Speaking of the JCC… our November 12 NIGHTFLYERS premiere is now SOLD OUT, sorry.   We still have seats (and books) available for Lee Child on November 11 and Cixin Liu on November 14, however.  Reserve a book (and a place) now if you would like to attend, those two may sell out as well.

On other fronts… the Giants did not lose this week, because they did not play.  A mercy.   The Jets played, and lost.  Badly.   The score was close, but the game was painful to watch.   The defense played hard and looked good, as they have in several other games, but the offense could not move the ball, and our kid quarterback Sam Darnold threw four interceptions.   Darnold threw too many INTs in college, the biggest strike against him leading up to the draft, and he appears to be repeating that pattern in the NFL, which does not bode well for Gang Green’s future.   I don’t care how good a quarterback’s arm may be, if he throws INTs he will kill you.  Nothing hurts worse than a turnover.   Darnold was hailed as the new Joe Namath, but I would have settled for a new Chad Pennington… Chad was deadly accurate, and did not throw INTs.   Sam needs to stop doing that, or the future will be as painful as the past.   Oh, and what the hell is going on with the center?  All those bad snaps… c’mon, coach, isn’t there another center on the bench?  One who can deliver the snaps into Sam’s hands rather than three feet over his head?

As for the G-Men, Eli is getting a lot of blame, but not all of it is deserved.  Look at his numbers.   He is still throwing for a lot of yards, and Odell and Saquon are both playing great.  Our other receivers cannot seem to catch the ball, however, even when Eli delivers it right into their hands.  And the O line, shockingly, impossibly, seems to playing even worse than last year.   No QB can perform well when he is being sacked on every drive.   There are too many stupid pre-snap penalties as well.   The Giants seem to start half their drives at 1st and 15th rather than 1st and 10.  That doesn’t help.

Oh, I should also mention… HBO has informed me that the Jane Goldman pilot is not (yet) titled THE LONG NIGHT.   That’s is certainly the title I prefer, but for the moment the pilot is still officially UNTITLED.  So… mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.  Elsewise, the pilot is coming along well, with casting falling into place.   I could tell you more, but I am not supposed to.   We also have a couple of other successor shows still in development, but I cannot tell you about those either.   Sorry.   And some exciting things are happening with the Wild Cards television series, but I can’t talk about those.   Nor can I say much about WHO FEARS DEATH, based on Nnedi Okorafor’s wonderful novel.   Hush hush, it’s Hollywood, they like news to come through officially approved channels out there.

That’s all in television.  In feature films, one of my best known short stories is being developed, and another of my best known short stories may soon be under option for a big movie… and my team is doing its best to set up another of my novels with an actor I adore and a director I worship… but those are not yet ready to be talked about either, so all I can do is tease.   Consider yourselves teased.

I CAN plug the Meow Wolf documentary at least.   That will be opening on hundreds of screens nationwide by month’s end, be sure to catch it if it turns up near you.   It tells the whole history of the crazy bunch of wild dreamers who call themselves Meow Wolf, and I turn up in there as well.

I better go.  Lots more to do today.   Believe it or not, I am working hard on a lot of things (yes, including WINDS), even though I am not allowed to talk about most of them.   Eventually, I hope, you’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of my labors.  I hope…

Current Mood: busy busy

Jets Crash

October 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm
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Life is meaningless…

At least for Jets fans.   Just when the team had won a couple in a row and looked as if it has turned a corner, reality set in with a painful loss to the Vikings.   The Jets hung in there for a long time and looked as if they actually had a chance, only to collapse in the second half.   The defense played hard throughout, despite the absence of three starters in the secondary.  By the end of the game, however, they were plainly exhausted from having been on the field so much.

The offense, however, was inept from start to finish.  Our kid quarterback, Sam Darnold, threw three interceptions, which will kill you every time.   He was turnover prone in college as well; that was the biggest black mark against him in the draft.  Unless he can get that under control and stop throwing the ball to the other team, all the talk about him being the next Joe Namath may be way premature (though, to be fair, Broadway Joe threw quite a few INTs himself).  He may not even be the next Chad Pennington (I still miss Chad, who is way underrated).  The offensive playcalling was pretty questionable as well.   Way too conservative.

And next week, the Bears await.

Meanwhile, I have the Giants game to “look forward to” tonight.   Hoo boy.   The G-Men look terrible.

This looks as if it is going to be another long, painful year.

((Comments permitted, but ONLY about football))

 

Current Mood: morose morose

NFL Woes

October 4, 2018 at 7:23 am
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Yes, I have been watching the NFL this year, when my schedule permitted it… which has not been every week, alas.

What can I say?  Life is cruel and full of pain.

The Jets and their new kid quarterback looked like world-beaters in week one.   Oh, sure, Darnold threw a pick-six on his first pass in the league, at which point I texted to my brother-in-law, “Please just kill me now.”  But he shook it off and turned things around and for the rest of the game he looked like the second coming of Joe Willie.   For a whole week I had hope.

Then the Jets played another game.

Unfortunately, league rules prohibit them from playing the Detroit Lions every week.   Against other teams, Darnold has looked like what he is — a rookie quarterback.  And losses have followed losses.

As for Big Blue, I really thought that last year’s record was a freakish aberration, and the addition of Saquon Barclay and the new studs on the OL would make the Giants much much better.   So far, that has proved utterly untrue.   Barclay looks as good as advertised, but the O line is still a turnstile and Eli is getting smacked in the face way too often.

It looks to be a long long year.

((Comments permitted ON FOOTBALL ONLY))

Current Mood: gloomy gloomy

Feeling A Draft

April 7, 2018 at 11:26 pm
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The NFL Draft is still weeks away, but already the talking heads on the sports shows are talking about little else.

I always follow the draft, but this year, for a change, I won’t have to wait for four hours for my teams to make a pick.

The Giants were supposed to be Superbowl contenders last season.  Instead they finished 3-13, so they have the second overall pick in the draft.

The Jets were supposed to be really really really bad last season, go winless, and get the first overall pick.  Well, no, turns out they were just bad, not really really bad, so they got the sixth overall pick.  Last month, however, they made a trade with the Colts, gave up some picks, and move on up to #3… aiming for a quarterback, clearly.  This is supposed to be an unusually good quarterback class.

So my teams are picking second and third.  The hapless Cleveland Browns are first, where they usually are.  Also fourth.  So Gang Green and the G-Men are in a sort of Browns sandwich.

So… if I was  a GM (I’m not) or an owner, who would I pick?

Most of the mocks have Cleveland taking qb Sam Darnold with the first pick.   He’s the highest rated of the four big quarterbacks that year.  Assuming Darnold is off the table, I am hoping the Giants take running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick.  Yes, lots of folks want Big Blue to grab Eli’s successor, but I don’t.  Eli still has some good years.  He’s won us two Lombardi Trophies, I would rather see us build around him and make a run for a third than start rebuilding already.  Barkley is supposed to be a surefire Hall of Famer, a generational talent, better than Todd Gurley or Ezekial Elliott or any other RB to come out in the last decade… and gods know, Eli could benefit from a running game.   He hasn’t had one since Ahmed Bradshaw moved on.

There’s also a lot of talk that the Giants might trade down, and harvest a lot of extra picks from some team wanting to jump ahead of the Jets.  That would be okay too, provided (1) they get enough for it, and (2) they don’t go any lower than #6.  Given the likely run on QBs at the top of the draft, if the G-Men stay at #6 higher, they can land either Barkley, the monster DE pass rusher Chubb, or the road grader guard out of Notre Dame, Nelson.  Any of those would be fine.  If they go down below #6, though, they could miss out on all three, and no amount of second- and third-rounders would make that worthwhile.

As for the Jets… they definitely need to take a quarterback at #3.   Which one, though?  Darnold will be gone, so the choice comes down to the two Joshs (Allen and Rosen), and Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma.  I like Rosen, but he makes me nervous.  His injury history, especially the concussions, is worrisome.  The last thing the Jets need is another terrific, smart, accurate signal caller whose career is cut short by injuries.  Been there, done that.  See Pennington, Chad.  No, I’d take Baker Mayfield.  Yeah, he’s “short” (six feet is short?), but he’s accurate, he’s fiery, he has “intangibles.”  He reminds some people of Johnny Manziel, but that’s wrong.  He’s closer to Brett Favre.  I’ll take that.  Broadway Baker… why the hell not?  Bake us A SuperBowl!  The Jets have been waiting since 1969.

((And no, if I were the Giants, I would NOT trade Odell.  I am already pissed that they traded JPP.  Didn’t get enough for him either)).

((Comments welcome… on topic.  That means NFL football and the draft.  Off topic comments will be nuked)).

 

 

 

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

Season’s End

January 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm
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The NFL has wound up its regular season. Both of my teams had miserable years and are out of the playoffs. The Giants managed to win their final game, but thankfully the Colts won too, so the G-Men held on to the second overall pick in the draft. The Jets got crushed by the Pats, as usual.

Big Blue already has a new general manager and will be getting a new coach soon. I want a new Bill Parcells. Though I’d gladly take the old Bill Parcells if someone could coax him out of retirement. As for that draft pick, most of the mocks have the Giants taking a QB… but we still have Eli, and we don’t even know what Davis Webb will be yet. I’d prefer to see them trade down for multiple picks, and maybe take that stud running back out of Penn State. Let Eli play another year and bring Webb along before bringing in another QB.

The Jets, on the other hand, should take Baker Mayfield if he’s still on the board.

As for the playoffs, I don’t much care. In the AFC, I will be rooting for whoever is playing against Evil Little Bill and the Pats. In the NFC, no strong preference, but maybe a slight inclination toward the Saints. Love the city of New Orleans, and Drew Brees has been a class act.

((Comments left open for football talk only))

Current Mood: discontent discontent

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Two More Down.

December 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm
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Life is meaningless and full of pain.

The Giants and Jets both played hard yesterday, but they both lost. Again.

The G-Men almost pulled off a stunning upset of the NFC-leading Eagles, but a bullshit non-call on pass interference in the endzone robbed them of the win. Eli passed for more than four hundred yards, showing why he should remain the Giants’ qb until he hangs it up.

At least the G-Men tightened their grip on that second overall draft choice.

It’s the Jets who need to draft a QB this year, though, not the Giants. Bryce Petty, filled in for the injured Josh McNown, did not impress.

Ah, the bleak December…

Current Mood: depressed depressed

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Eli Benched???

November 29, 2017 at 1:29 pm
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The Giants season is lost, plainly. Whether they win or lose the rest of the way is meaningless. So, yes, it makes a certain amount of sense to see what they have for the future. Eli Manning is aging… though this year’s failures are hardly his fault, given the injuries to the wideouts, the lack of a running game, and the porous offensive line that gives him little or no time to throw. Big Blue has a rookie quarterback on the roster, the third round draft choice Davis Webb, and the team needs to know if he is the answer for the post-Eli era, so they can determine whether or not to spend what will likely be a very high draft pick on one of the quarterbacks coming out of college this year.

All that being said…. benching Eli Manning in the manner the Giants did yesterday was classless and inexcusable.

And benching him to start Geno Smith is insane.

GENO SMITH??? Really????

Nobody knows whether or not Davis Webb is a scrub, a journeyman, an NFL calibre starting qb, or a potential Hall of Famer. To find out, he needs some playing time, some experience. Geno Smith has had plenty of playing time, however. Geno Smith was not the answer on the Jets, and he is not the future of the Giants either.

This move smacks of desperation, and Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese have good reason to be desperate. They were on shaky ground before this, given Reese’s poor drafts and the way McAdoo has handled this disaster of a season. Come the off-season, I expect McAdoo, Reese, and Geno Smith will all be gone. I certainly hope so.

The sad part is that Eli may well be gone as well.

Eli may be aging, but he is not yet old. He is younger than Tom Brady or Drew Brees, both of whom are still going strong, and he has never missed a start. He has two or three more good seasons in him, I think. Whether his successor is Davis Webb or a college qb yet to be drafted, the best course for the Giants would be to identify that successor and then let him sit and learn from Eli, the way Brady sat behind Drew Bledsoe, Chad Pennington sat behind Vinnie Testaverde, and Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre. But that may be impossible now.

Instead….

Oh, life is miserable and full of pain.

Current Mood: angry angry

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Sunday Woes

November 7, 2017 at 10:46 am
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The Jets are playing better football than anyone could have expected.

And the Giants are unbelievably bad. Before the season began, some people had them picked as SuperBowl contenders. Instead they are contending for the number one draft pick.

“That’s why they play the games,” Chris Berman used to say.

(And damn, do I miss Chris Berman. ESPN’s Sunday COUNTDOWN has become unwatchable without him and Tom Jackson. I’ve deleted my season pass).

Weirdest NFL season I can remember.

(Comments allowed. FOOTBALL ONLY).

Current Mood: confused confused

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Pfui

October 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm
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Life for a Jets fan is an unending torment.

Last week the refs gave the Pats an win over Gang Green with a bullshit reversal of a touchdown, one of the worst calls in the history of the NFL.

This weeks the Jets did it to themselves, blowing a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter to lose to the Fins. Total choke job.

Josh McCown finished the choke with a horrible INT with seconds left. He’s a decent quarterback, but he’s not the answer. He’s too old to be the future. He’s Fitzmagic the Second. The Jets need to bench him and play Petty and Hack to see if one of those might offer hope.

But they won’t. They will keep on playing McCown, and win just enough games to make sure they don’t get a good QB prospect in the draft, thereby assuring us of another decade of mediocrity.

That’s the Jet Way.

Current Mood: bitchy bitchy

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Win One, Lose One

September 24, 2017 at 6:19 pm
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Life is… messy… on this football Sunday.

The Jets won. To the astonishment of all, or at least of me. What’s more, they won in dominating fashion over the Miami Dolphins. Does this mean they are a much better team than expected, and a contender for the playoffs? Hoo hah. If you believe that, perhaps I can interest you in buying the Bayonne Bridge. What it really means is that there is no team team in the NFL so bad that Jay Cutler cannot make them look good.

So Gang Green won’t go 0 – 16 after all. Instead, hey, maybe they will make it to 4 – 12. Thing is, at 0 – 16 they would have the first overall pick in the draft and a shot at the franchise qb they have been looking for since Joe Namath. At 4- 12, all the good qbs will be gone and the Jets will be facing the future with the same cast they have now.

That being said, it is always nice to watch the Jets beat the Fins, our original rivals.

As for the Giants game… Big Blue could very well finish 4 – 12 as well. After trailing 14 – 0 and looking lifeless, they came roaring back to take the lead, but could not hold it. When the defense plays great, the offense does nothing. When the offense comes alive, the defense fails. And really Odell, the catches were great, but what the hell was with that first “celebration?” Stupid.

No, not a good Sunday in football land. A gut-wrenching loss, and a win that will hurt more than it helps. This looks like a looooooooooooooooooooooong season.

Current Mood: morose morose

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