Not a Blog

It’s Publication Day…

February 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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… for the long-awaited Tor reissue of ACE IN THE HOLE, volume six in the Wild Cards series. Look for it on the shelves of your friendly neighborhood bookstore, among the trade paperbacks, or from whichever online bookseller you prefer.

Set during a dramatic week in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, as a religious fanatic and a secret psychopath struggle for the nomination, ACE IN THE HOLE is one of our full mosaics, featuring the work of Melinda M. Snodgrass, Victor Milan, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, and Walter Jon Williams, deftly edited and interwoven by yours truly.

The stars this time around are Dr. Tachyon, Mackie Messer, Demise, Puppetman, and Golden Boy. That’s Mackie coming through a Hartmann poster on the stunning new cover by Michael Komarck.

This is one of our best, if I do say so myself. The full mosaic form is incredibly demanding, for the writers and editor both, but I think the results are worth it.

Don’t be frightened, though, ACE IN THE HOLE is purely fiction. No way any presidential candidate so malicious and deceptive could ever be nominated by a major party in real life. Right?

Last Year (Publications)

January 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm
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I had lots of books come out last year. Old books, like the Tor reissue of the fifth volume of Wild Cards (DOWN & DIRTY), and new books like the Dunk & Egg collection A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, the GAME OF THRONES adult coloring book, the OLD VENUS anthology.

I talked about them all in my Famous Lost Post. To tell the truth, I don’t recall what I said. Maybe it wasn’t important.

Oh, wait… I did say something about A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS debuting high on the bestseller lists in both the UK and the US… and how gorgeous the Gary Gianni artwork was, what an absolutely lovely volume… oh, and what a hoot it was when A GAME OF THRONES ascended briefly to #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES mass market list. Quite a feat for a book originally published in 1996.

Anyway, that was some of my good stuff in 2015.

(And I have the nagging feeling maybe I’ve even forgotten a publication or two in this retelling. Which I did not do first time around. So be it).

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.

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!

Return to Venusport

March 3, 2015 at 11:48 am
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Remember Venus? No, no, not the hellhole that NASA found, with its acid rains and searing temperatures, but Old Venus, the Venus of our childhoods, the Venus of Burroughs and Moore and Bradbury and Brackett and Heinlein and Zelazny… the Venus that Astro hailed from… shrouded in clouds, mysterious, teeming with dinosaurs and endless swamps anmd furtive web-footed Venerians?

Who says you can’t go home again? Old Venus awaits you. OLD VENUS, the latest original anthology from me and my co-conspirator Gardner R. Dozois, goes on sale today at a bookstore near you, or from your favorite on-line bookseller.

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Here’s the table of contents:

The final lineup:

INTRODUCTION, by Gardner Dozois
FROGHEADS, by Allen M. Steele
THE DROWNED CELESTRIAL, by Lavie Tidhar
PLANET OF FEAR, by Paul McAuley
GREEVES AND THE EVENING STAR, by Matthew Hughes
A PLANET CALLED DESIRE, by Gwyneth Jones
LIVING HELL, by Joe Haldeman
BONES OF AIR, BONES OF STONE, by Stephen Leigh
RUINS, by Eleanor Arnason
THE TUMBLEDOWNS OF CLEOPATRA ABYSS, by David Brin
BY FROGSLED AND LIZARDBACK TO OUTCAST VENUSIAN LEPERS, by Garth Nix
THE SUNSET OF TIME, by Michael Cassutt
PALE BLUE MEMORIES, by Tobias S. Buckell
THE HEART’S FILTHY LESSON, by Elizabeth Bear
THE WIZARD OF THE TREES, by Joe R. Lansdale
THE GODSTONE OF VENUS, by Mike Resnick
BOTANICA VENERIS: THIRTEEN PAPERCUTS BY IDA COUNTESS RATHANGAN, by Ian McDonald

OLD MARS was a great hit with fans of old-fashioned space opera and planetary romance, and we think OLD VENUS is even better… and there’s one story in there that’s so bloody good that if it doesn’t win the Hugo and Nebula both, I’ll count it as a major injustice. Which one? Ah, I will leave you guys to figure that out. But first you’ll need to read the book.

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).

Wild Cards World Junket

January 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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Something old and something new… that's ACES ABROAD,  scheduled to be re-released by Tor in a new, expanded trade paperback edition on Tuesday (January 13).

The fourth volume in the original Wild Cards series of mosaic novels, ACES ABROAD is set in 1987, and tells the tale of a global fact-finding junket sponsored by the World Health Organization, to investigate the conditions of aces and jokers around the world.  The original book contained stories from Stephen Leigh (featuring Puppetman) , John J. Miller (Chrysalis), Leanne C. Harper (the Hero Twins), Gail Gerstner Miller (Peregrine), Edward Bryant (Wyungare), Walton Simon (Jayewardene and the Great Ape), Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), Victor Milan (Mackie Messer), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Dr. Tachyon), Michael Cassutt (Polyakov),  and my own linking interstitial "Journal of Xavier Desmond" (starring Xavier Desmond, of course).

All of those are here, for anyone who missed them first time around… but to sweeten the pot, we've added two brand new originals for this new edition.  Kevin Andrew Murphy takes center stage with the untold tale of Troll's adventures in Peru, and we visit Prague with Lady Black and Carrie Vaughn.

We also have a brand new cover, another spectacular piece of art from Michael Komarck.

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Old stories, new stories, great new art…  you can preorder a copy from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-IV-Aces-Abroad/dp/0765335581/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420919494&sr=1-1, or pick it up Tuesday from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer.

Back to Jokertown

November 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm
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There's trouble brewing on the mean streets of Jokertown once again.

You can read all about it in LOWBALL, the latest volume in the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels, released in hardcover by our friends at Tor on November 4, and now available at your local bookstore or your favorite online retailer.

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The cover is once again by the amazing Michael Komarck, featuring David Anthony Durham's character IBT, aka Infamous Black Tongue.

The table of contents:

“The Big Bleed,” by Michael Cassutt, starring STUNTMAN,
“Those About to Die,” by David Anthony Durham, starring INFAMOUS BLACK TONGUE,
“Galahad in Blue” by Melinda Snodgrass, starring FRANCIS XAVIER BLACK of the NYPD,
“Ties That Bind” by Mary Anne Mohanraj, starring MICHAEL STEVENS of the NYPD,
“Cry Wolf” by David D. Levine, introducing THE CARTOONIST,
“Road Kill” by Walter Jon Williams, starring GORDON THE GHOUL,
“Once More, for Old Time’s Sake” by Carrie Vaughn, starring EARTH WITCH, CURVBALL, DRUMMER BOY, and JOHN FORTUNE,
“No Parking… “ by Ian Tregillis, starring RUSTBELT.

Special thanks this time around to Melinda Snodgrass, who stepped in heroically to help with the editing on this one when I was being crushed beneath the weight of other deadlines. I could not have pulled this puppy together without her.

LOWBALL is  the second volume in our Jokertown triad, and the twenty-second in the overall series.  And no, before someone asks, you don't need to start at volume one… though volume one is pretty swell.   INSIDE STRAIGHT (volume eighteen) and FORT FREAK (volume twenty-one) also make great entry points for a new Wild Carder.

The twenty-third volume, HIGH STAKES, is in the works.

Comicon Coolness, Part the First

August 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm
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Lots of cool stuff went down in San Diego at Comicon… parties, panels, parties, signings, parties, meals with friends, and much much more.

Too much to relate here, at least.  But I can mention a few highlights.

For me, one of the highlights was the appearance of a couple of copies of THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.

The worldbook won't be released until October, so it wasn't for sale at San Diego, but Bantam had a couple of advance copies hot off the presses at the Random House booth, for lucky fans to open, peruse, and drool over.  Not mock-ups, either.  This is the real book.

Alas, the crowds at Comicon make it impossible for me to walk the floor anymore without a cordon of security, so I never made it to the Random House booth… but I was able to snag one of the samples and take it home with me.

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It's everything I hoped for!  A bloody gorgeous book.  Wait till you see it.

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Years back, when my editors at Bantam first approached me about doing a concordance for Westeros and its history, I was initially reluctant.  I had seen a number of these 'worldbooks,' and, well, some were pretty good, but others were awful, cheaply made collections of previously published material with lots of bad art.  If we do one of these, I declared, I want it to be the best one ever published.  A coffee table book, big and beautiful, with lots of original content, histories and tales never previously published anywhere, plus maps and heraldry and family trees, all of it lavishly illustrated by some of the best fantasy artists in the world.

That's what we got.  It took WAY longer than we thought it would, and required much more time and effort from everyone concerned, but I think the end result is worth it, and hope you all will agree.  Hey, even Robby the Robot loves the book.

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Will THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE answer every question you ever had about Westeros and its history?  Hell, no… I need to save SOMETHING for the novels and the Dunk & Egg stories.  But it will answer a lot of questions, including some you never knew you had, and there are long meaty histories of all the major regions and great houses of the Seven Kingdoms, plus the Lands Beyond — the Nine Free Cities, the Summer Isles, the grasslands of Essos, even the Further East, beyond the Bones.

And the art… the art will knock you on your ass… Justin Sweet, Magali Villenueve, Marc Simonetti, Michael Komarck, Jae Drummond, Chase Stone, Ted Nasmith, and many many more.

My thanks go out to all the great folks at Bantam, in particular my editor Anne Lesley Groell and production manager Erich Schoenweiss, who labored long and hard to bring the worldbook to fruition. Also, a lot of credit goes to art director Dave Stevenson, and to Delia Greve and Rosebud Eustace at Becker & Mayer… and of course to my collaborators and partners in crime, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, without whose efforts THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE could never ever have happened.

I wanted to give my fans the best fantasy concordance ever published.  I think we did.

If you want to see for yourself, Amazon is offering it at a considerable presale discount right now

http://www.amazon.com/World-Ice-Fire-History-Westeros/dp/0553805444/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407035564&sr=1-1

and, of course, it is also available for preorder at many other online booksellers, and your favorite local bookstore.

I'm very proud of this one.  Maybe you can tell…

The Dragons Are Here

October 29, 2013 at 10:14 am
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It's publication day!

The long-awaited mass market paperback of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS hits the bookstores today.  (Yes, we know you folks in the UK, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, and like places have had the UK mass market for ages, thanks, you can stop gloating now).

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And yes, the paperback of DANCE does include a sample chapter from THE WINDS OF WINTER.  A lot of folks have been clamoring to know which one, and now it can be revealed: we've included the first Ser Barristan chapter from the novel-in-progress, wherein we glimpse the beginning of the Battle of Meereen.  I hope you will all enjoy it.

The dragons are not flying alone, either.  Also hitting the racks (and virtual racks) this morning in both the US and the UK is THE WIT AND WISDOM OF TYRION LANNISTER, a little hardcover stocking stuffer collecting most of the Imp's best (and worst) lines from the five novels published to date, illustrated by Jonty Clarke.

This one is meant as a Christmas book of sorts, small enough to slip into a stocking (if you have very big feet).    We hope you get a kick out of it.

US edition
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UK edition
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And who knows, if our little venture meets with favor, perhaps next year we will do THE WIT AND WISDOM OF HODOR.

DANCE and WIT & WISDOM are both available at a bookstore near you, or from your favorite online retailer.