Not a Blog

New York New York (And Jersey Too)

November 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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We are back home in the Land of Enchantment after ten epic days in the east, mostly in New York City, but with a few visits to my old stomping grounds in New Jersey, across the bay.

I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my sisters Darleen and Janet and my various nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, and a couple of new-born grand-nieces.  First time in more than a decade that I’ve been able to spend the holiday with family, so that was very special.   We were able to enjoy some Broadway shows and even a Giants game (the G-Men won, wonder of wonders), and of course I saw my various agents and editors and publishers, many of whom are based in the city.

It wasn’t all pleasure, though.  Most of the trip was business: the long-planned launch of my new Westeros book, FIRE & BLOOD.

I had barely gotten off the plane when I had to report to Random House to sign (ahem) “a few copies.”

a few copies

“A few” in this case translates to 1600 copies, all earmarked for the official FIRE & BLOOD launch on November 19 at Loew’s Jersey, an enormous 1930s movie palace in Journal Square, Jersey City.   I spent many a Saturday afternoon at Loew’s (and the other great movie palaces in Journal Square, the State and the Stanley), when I was a kid growing up in Bayonne.   It’s a magnificent theatre, a real treasure… and it came within a hair’s breath of being torn down a few years ago, before a group of cinema lovers and preservationists called the Friends of the Loew’s stepped in to save it.   Being featured on the marquee of this amazing theatre where once I saw films like BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA was a real joy for me.

The evening was a HUGE amount of fun, in no small part thanks to my friend John  Hodgman, who hosted the event and conducted the interview.   If you weren’t able to get into Loew’s, you can find the entire thing on the net:

(The organ was amazing as well.  Another cool thing about the Loew’s).

The crowd was wonderful, the theatre was beautiful, John was a delight; all in all, it was a great evening, and the perfect way to introduce FIRE & BLOOD to the world.

It was not my only event, however.  The next night, I appeared on THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert (inside another historic theatre, the Ed Sullivan, the same stage where Elvis, the Beatles, and Topo Gigio once trod).   Stephen and I have a lot in common: we’ve both Northwestern alums and comic book fans, and he loves Tolkien even more than I do.   We could have talked for hours, but we had only a few minutes:

New York is indeed a helluva town, like the song says.   It’s always good to come back for a visit, and this trip was especially satisfying.  My thanks to all those who helped make it special: John Hodgman, Stephen Colbert and his producers, Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, David Moench and my wonderful team at Random House, my agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, my fearless minions Lenore and Sid, my family… and of course, Parris.

I hope all of you reading this had a great Turkey Day.   Gobble gobble.

(FIRE & BLOOD is now available from your favorite local bookshop or online bookseller.   If you want a signed copy and missed the Loew’s event, however, you can place a mail order with the Jean Cocteau Cinema).

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

FIRE & BLOOD draws nigh

November 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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FIRE & BLOOD, the first volume of my history of the Targaryen kings, will be published on November 20.

We will be launching it on November 19 with a big event at Loew’s Jersey in Journal Square, a grand old movie palace at the heart of Jersey City, just north of my old stomping grounds in Bayonne.   Judge John Hodgman will be hosting the event, and we’ll have signed books for all.

Alas, alack, if you’re just hearing this now, you’re too slow.  I’ve just been informed that the event is SOLD OUT.

(You can still get an autographed copy from the bookstore at my cinema, the Jean Cocteau.   The JCC has a newly designed website, by the way.  Check it out at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/  The new design is supposed to make ordering books easier.

We’re still uploading many of the signed book in stock, fwiw — we have a lot, so that will take a while.   But all of my own titles, new and old, are available.  We also have autographed books by NEIL GAIMAN, while the supply lasts.  Neil dropped by to sign a few hundred copies for us a couple of weeks ago, while passing through the Land of Enchantment.   And we have Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER novels as well, which recently finished second in the Great American Read.  This week the JCC hosted author events with LEE CHILD (creator of Jack Reacher) and CIXIN LIU (of THREE BODY PROBLEM).  Their books are not up yet, but will be soon.  Watch for them.. along with titles from John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, S.M. Stirling, Melinda Snodgrass, and many many many more).

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

Wild Cards Gets Wilder

May 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm
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There’s some cool new content out there for all of you Wild Cards fans reading this.

Over on Tor.com, Katie Rask has uploaded a wonderful piece on the archaeology of the Wild Cards version of New York City, post Jetboy and all that followed.  Katie is a professional archaeologist in her real life and knows whereof she speaks.   Check it out:

SFF Archaeology: Excavating the Superhero World of the Wild Card Series

((And while you’re there, check out the Wild Cards Reread posts as well, and weigh in with your own two cents.   The reread is up to volume seven, DEAD MAN’S HAND, with many more on the way)).

Meanwhile, on the official Wild Cards website, there’s an amazing and exhaustive new blog post by Kevin Andrew Murphy, creator of Rosa Loteria (and half a hundred other characters), about Rosa’s origins and the history of the  ‘Mexican bingo’ card game, loteria, that inspired her.   Lots of wonderful loteria art is included, some of it from the incredible deck that John Picacio has been working on these past few years.   It’s at:

http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/

Next month will be a big one for Wild Cards, with two new books being released:  LOW CHICAGO by Tor in the USA, KNAVES OVER QUEENS by HarperCollins Voyager in the UK.   Both of them are available for preorder now from your favorite online booksellers.

You can check out a FREE excerpt from LOW CHICAGO over at Tor.com at

Low Chicago

 

And do remember, signed copies of all the Wild Cards book (well, all the ones currently in print, anyway) are available from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.   All autographed by me… and in many cases by various of the contributing writers as well.

((Comments permitted, on Wild Cards only)).

 

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Hap & Leonard Are Coming…

February 23, 2018 at 6:39 pm
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Hap & Leonard are coming back to the Jean Cocteau Cinema, and they’re bringing Joe Lansdale with them.

Put it in your calendars. Thursday, March 1, 7:00 pm at the JCC. We’ll have a special screening of the premiere episode of HAP & LEONARD, season 3.

Joe Lansdale His Own Self will be joining us once again, to shoot some sh*t with me, answer your questions, and sign a bunch of his books.

Joe is always a hoot and a half, and we’re thrilled to have him back in Santa Fe. Come join the fun.

Current Mood: excited excited

Hats! Hats! Hats!

January 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm
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Hey, you guys missed it. We had a wonderful time last night at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, when Ellen Datlow and four of her writers arrived to promote Ellen’s new anthology of original Alice in Wonderland theme stories, MAD HATTERS AND MARCH HARES.

In honor of the occasion, we had a MAD HAT CONTEST, and some of the entries were just wonderful.

And of course, we had a signing after the hat contest… so for all the autograph hounds out there, you can pick up a copy of MAD HATTERS AND MARCH HARES, signed by editor Ellen Datlow and writers Stephen Graham Jones, Matthew Kressel, Katherine Vaz, and Kris Dikeman from the Jean Cocteau bookstore. The anthology is available in both hardcover and trade paperback.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

The Mad Hatters Are Coming…

January 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm
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… to the Jean Cocteau.

If you’re in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, or just passing through, mark Sunday evening down on your calendar. That’s when we’ll be hosting a special author event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema for the Hugo-award-winning editor and anthologist ELLEN DATLOW and her new book, MAD HATTERS AND MARCH HARES, featuring original stories set in the world of Alice In Wonderland.

It should be quite an evening. Ellen is always a delightful guest, and she’ll have four of her writers with her: STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, KRIS DIKEMAN, KATHERINE VAZ, and MATTHEW KRESSEL. Here’s your chance to get your copy signed by all five contributors.

Not only that, but we’ll also he having a MAD HAT CONTEST with prizes for the three maddest hats, as judged by our distinguished guests.

Admission is free with the purchase of a book. The madness starts at 7pm.

Current Mood: excited excited

Aliens In Taos

January 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm
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When astronauts look down on Earth from orbit, they don’t see borders, national boundaries, or linguistic groups; they see one world, a gorgeous blue globe spinning in space, streaked with clouds. I don’t know if humanity will ever reach the stars (though I hope we will), but if we do, it won’t be Americans who get there. It won’t be the Chinese or the Russians or the British or the French or the Brazilians or the Kiwis or the South Africans or the Indians or the folk of any other nation state either. It will be humanity; in the language of the SF of my youth, it will be Terrans or Earthlings or Earthmen. The future belongs to all the peoples of the world.

With that in mind, I want to announce that I am sponsoring a new scholarship, to bring an aspiring SF writer from a non-English-speaking country to the Taos Toolbox, the graduate level writing workshop that Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress run every summer in the mountains of northern New Mexico. The TERRAN AWARD, as I am calling it, will be given annually, and will cover all tuition and fees to the Toolbox (travel and meals not covered, alas). Applicants will need to speak and write in English, but must be from from a country where English is not the primary language. Walter Jon and Nancy and the Toolbox staff will select the winner. For more information on applying for the workshop, and the scholarship, check out the Toolbox website at http://www.taostoolbox.com. If you have further questions, you can contact WJW at wjw@taostoolbox.com

Oh, and while we’re speaking about Walter Jon Williams… he’s got a new book out, volume one in a new fantasy series, called QUILLIFER, and he’ll be signing copies of it on Sunday at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.

The event starts at 3:00 pm on Sunday. I’ll be there as well, so we’ll open with an interview and discussion, then open for some questions from the audience, then put Walter to work signing.

See you at the JCC on Sunday… and in Angel Fire come summer.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Publication Day…

December 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm
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… was yesterday for MISSISSIPPI ROLL, the latest volume in the Wild Cards series.

At least in the USA and Australia. The rest of the world will need to wait a little longer.

MISSISSIPPI ROLL features the work of Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Carrie Vaughn, Cherie Priest, David D. Levine, and Kevin Andrew Murphy, edited by yours truly with the assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass. You’ll be rolling on the river from New Orleans to Cincinnati with old favorites like Carnifex, the Midnight Angel, Hoodoo Mama, Ramshead, Sewer Jack, Wild Fox, and the Jokertown Boys, and making the acquaintance of Steam Wilbur and the haunted steam packet Natchez. Although this IS the twenty-fourth book in the Wild Cards series, still going strong after thirty years, let me stress that it is not necessary to have read the first twenty-three to understand it. MISSISSIPPI ROLL stands perfectly well on its own, and the story it tells is complete in one volume

MISSISSIPPI ROLL can be preordered from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller. Amazon has it at https://www.amazon.com/Mississippi-Roll-Wild-Cards-novel/dp/0765390523

Collectors who would like an autographed copy can order one from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/ (Signed by yours truly, you will need to track down the writers yourself).

Keep your steam up, boys and girls!

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Christmas Sale at the JCC

December 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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Autographed books make wonderful Xmas presents for the readers among your family and friends (and if you have family and friends who aren’t readers, well, plainly, you need new family and friends).

With that in mind, the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema is offering $5 off on half a dozen great titles, from now till Christmas… or while the supply lasts.

Take your pick, or get all six:

All books are signed. The two Wild Cards books and the WHEEL OF TIME COMPANION have multiple autographs.

It has come to our attention that certain autographed books from the JCC are being purchased by dealers who then double or triple the prices and resell the books. For that reason, we are limiting these sale books to no more than TWO (2) per customer.

And yes, we will ship overseas… though given the date, to get the books there by Christmas may require costly expedited shipping.

We have lots of other titles available as well… my own books, and those by many other award-winning and bestselling writers who have done events at the JCC. You can see the full list at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/

Happy holidays… and happy reading.

Current Mood: happy happy