Not a Blog

New York New York (And Jersey Too)

November 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
Profile Pic

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

Football, Fire, and Other Stuff

November 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm
Profile Pic

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

Worldcon Time!

August 6, 2018 at 7:31 am
Profile Pic

It’s August, and that means that worldcon is coming around once again.   (In a properly ordered universe, worldcon would be coming on Labor Day weekend but sadly that seems to be a lost cause since Dragoncon stole those dates).

This year’s gathering is in San Jose, California.   It ought to be called ConJose II, but it’s not.   I like my worldcons to have names, not numbers, however, so I refuse to accede to this new twitch of numbering cons instead of naming them.   The SanJose folks keep insisting that this worldcon is not ConJose II, though.   So be it.   In the tradition of my Not A Blog, and of course the famous John W. Campbell Award (Not A Hugo), I shall henceforth refer to this year’s gathering as Not ConJose II.

I have cut way down on the number of cons I attend, due to the press of work, but there’s no way I’d miss a worldcon, by any name.   I’ve only missed one in the last thirty years.   Dragoncon and San Diego Comicon and GenCon and many other cons are now much bigger, but worldcon remains the original, and the best, the heart of the fannish community.   Worldcon is like a family reunion.   And yes, like any large family, we have our share of drunken uncles, loony cousins, and snot-nosed kids… but still, family is family.   I’ll be there for the whole con.  I hope to see many of you in SanJose.  Worldcon is great time for getting together with old friends and making new ones.

I know that some of you will be hoping to get your books autographed at the con.   There will be several opportunities for that.

My week will start on Tuesday, August 14, with a special fundraiser on behalf of LOCUS, an evening with John Picacio.   That event is not an actual part of the con, so tickets will be sold separately.  I will not be signing at the fundraiser, no… but we will have hundreds of pre-signed books available for purchase at the event.

https://foxrwc.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=210

I also have three scheduled signings at Not ConJose II itself.  Friday at noon and Sunday at 1pm, I will be signing in the official autograph area.   The lines will be capped, however; there’s a limit to how many books I can sign in an hour.   (No, my hand doesn’t fall off.   It’s my lower back that protests).  Sorry, I can’t do personalizations or inscriptions, and we have a limit of one book per person.   Mind you, if the lines are short, I will sometimes loosen the rules and sign a second book, etc.   Don’t count on that, though; my lines have not been short in years.   Oh, and yes, I will sign things other than books.   Games, cards, replica swords, photographs, program books, interesting body parts…. but still, only one item per person, and no personalizations.   And I don’t sign babies, pets, or books written by other authors.

Besides these two general signings, we also have the Wild Cards signing, scheduled for Saturday morning at 10am in the dealer’s room.   That’s a mass signing.  Melinda Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, Marko Kloos, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and several other Wild Cards writers and creators will be joining me, to deface your books with their illegible scrawls.  But at that event we will be signing ONLY Wild Cards books, so please don’t bring copies of any of my other works… those you can get signed at the general signings.

I do prefer to limit my autographing to these four scheduled events.   I want to enjoy worldcon like everyone else, without having to scrawl my way through it.  So please do not approach me before or after panels, at the Hugos, in the corridors, at the parties, while I’m having dinner (or breakfast, or lunch), or in the restrooms to ask for an autograph.   Your understanding would be much appreciated.

Aside from signing things, what am I doing at Not ConJoseII? you may ask.

At 5pm on Friday I will be part of the Gardner Dozois Memorial.   A sad event, but I think we’ll have some laughs as well.   Gardner was the funniest man in our field for half a century, he’d want to hear us laughing.

There’s also to be a Wild Cards panel, though I am not sure just when.   The present time is a conflict for me.   Depending on where the panel gets moved, I may or may not be on it.  But there will be a Wild Cards panel regardless.

Oh, and keep your eyes on Thursday.   We’re looking at doing a presentation and trailer screening for the new NIGHTFLYERS television series that debuts this fall.   Details are still being worked out   When we have more definite news, I will let you know.

And that’s it, so far as my public participation in Not ConJoseII is concerned.   But of course, I will be there all weekend, wandering the dealer’s room, drinking in the bar, visiting the art show… and, of course, hitting the parties.   That’s what worldcon is all about.

 

Current Mood: busy busy

Hats! Hats! Hats!

January 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm
Profile Pic

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
Profile Pic

… 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
Profile Pic

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

Wild Cards at the Jean Cocteau

October 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm
Profile Pic

Heads up, Wild Cards fans! This weekend some of the your favorite Wild Cards authors will be gathering at the Jean Cocteau Cinema for an author event and mass signing.

The list of attending authors will include (but not necessarily be limited to):

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (Lohengrin, Popinjay, the Great and Powerful Turtle)
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS (Dr. Tachyon, Dr. Finn, Double Helix)
WALTER JON WILLIAMS (Golden Boy, Modular Man, Pop Tart)
VICTOR MILAN (Cap’n Trips, The Darkness, Dust)
JOHN JOS. MILLER (Carnifex, Yeoman, the Midnight Angel)
GAIL GERSTNER MILLER (Peregrine)
CARRIE VAUGHN (Earth Witch, Curveball, Wild Fox)
CAROLINE SPECTOR (The Amazing Bubbles)
WALTON (BUD) SIMONS (Mr. Nobody, Mr. Dutton, Little Fat Boy)
CHRISTOPHER ROWE (Theodorus, Hardhat)
DANIEL ABRAHAM (Jonathan Hive)
LEANNE C. HARPER (Bagabond)
DIANA ROWLAND (The Mosquito Whisperer)
DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM (Infamous Black Tongue)
LAURA J. MIXON (Lamia, The Candle)
SAGE WALKER (Zoe, the Animator)
MICHAEL CASSUTT (Cash Mitchell, Stuntman)
MARY ANNE MOHANRAJ (Natya)
DAVID D. LEVINE (The Cartoonist, the Recycler)
KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY (Captain Flint, the Jokertown Boys, Will O Wisp)

and… last but certainly not least… the guy who started it all, Jetboy’s daddy…

HOWARD WALDROP (Jetboy)

Here’s your chance to get all your Wild Cards books signed… and signed… and signed.

And we’ll have plenty of stock of the non-Wild Cards books by our attending writers (yes, we let them write other things too), which they will be glad to scribble in as well.

The fun will start at the JCC at 4:30 on the afternoon of Sunday, October 8.

Aces, jokers, deuces, even nats: all of you are welcome. See you there!

((Comments welcome… about Wild Cards and the JCC. Off topic comments will be deleted))

Current Mood: excited excited

My Worldcon Schedule

July 26, 2017 at 10:40 am
Profile Pic

The World Science Fiction Convention is only a few weeks away. This is the oldest SF con, the one that started it all, and though it is no longer the largest, it’s still the one that matters, the heart and soul of SF fandom. And for me, it’s home away from home.

Here’s my schedule this year in Helsinki:

WEDNESDAY August 9
4:00 pm Tea & Jeopardy Podcast, w Emma & Peter Newman

THURSDAY August 10
12:00 NOON panel discussion: Invented Religions

2:00 pm autographing

FRIDAY August 11
8:00 pm HUGO AWARDS

SATURDAY August 12
2:00 pm panel discussion: Built Upon the Shoulders of Giants

4:00 pm autographing

SUNDAY August 13
1:00 pm panel discussion: Thirty Years of Wild Cards

Those are my official public appearances… but of course I will also be attending parties, checking out the art show, wandering the dealer’s room, lunching and dining with editors, agents, friends, and colleagues.

For those of you who want books signed, please, bring them to one of my two listed autograph sessions. I will NOT be signing before or after panels, at parties, during lunch or breakfast or dinner, at the urinal, in the elevator, on the street, in the hall. ONLY at the autograph table. If the lines are as long as they usually are, I’ll only be signing one book per person.

See you in Helsinki!

Current Mood: busy busy

Scalzi in Santa Fe

April 18, 2017 at 2:11 am
Profile Pic

Bestseller, Hugo Award winner, former SFWA president, blogger, bon vivant, and the world’s leading expert on taping bacon to cats… John Scalzi is a man of many parts.

He made a whirlwind visit to Santa Fe yesterday, and the Jean Cocteau was thrilled to host him.

He did not actually sing in the rain. But he did play a ukulele. And he talked. And laughed. Ate a churro and some carne adovada. And signed a LOT of books.

(That’s me and Steve Gould with him in the picture)

If you couldn’t be there, hey, no problem. We’ll be putting up a video of our talk. And we made him sign stock before we let him go, so you can get your autographed copies of THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE, OLD MAN’S WAR, and REDSHIRTS (winner of The Big One) from the Jean Cocteau website.

http://jeancocteaucinema.com/

Next up: magician Francis Menotti.

Authors on Video

April 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm
Profile Pic

We’ve been doing our author events at the Jean Cocteau Cinema since 2013, but until recently they’ve only been available to those who could attend in person.

This summer, however, in response to numerous requests, we’ve begun taping the events.

And now, for all of you who were not able to be there, we’ve uploaded some of the videos to the Jean Cocteau website. You can find them at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/exclusive-video/

There’s some fun stuff there, including my talks with Carrie Vaughn and Stephen King, our HAP & LEONARD event with Joe Lansdale, and — from last summer — the big big WILD CARDS event where an all-star lineups of Wild Cards authors try to play their characters.

Check it out.

And for those of you who ARE in New Mexico, don’t forget the events we have coming up this week: JOHN NICHOLS on April 15 and JOHN SCALZI on April 17. Reserve your books (and your seats) for those two early, if you haven’t done so already. They’re both filling up fast.