Not a Blog

Shame On You, United

April 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Profile Pic

I don’t often comment on current events, but the story about the passenger that United Airlines beat bloody and dragged off a flight — for no reason but to accomodate some of their own deadheading employees, and despite the fact that he had a ticket that he’d bought and paid for and was doing nothing but sitting peacefully in his assigned seat — has me seeing red.

Jimmy Kimmel said it better than I could.

<lj-embed id=”917″/>

I stand with Jimmy, with Alan Grayson, and with millions of other ordinary Americans from coast to coast who were outraged by these videos, and by the mealy-mouthed corporate bullshit the United’s CEO chose to offer afterwards.

One point Jimmy did not raise: in what world does an airline employee’s need to get to his next flight take precedence over a doctor’s need to return to his hospital?

The “police” who dragged the man off the plane and beat him do not deserve the name of police officers, and should be fired immediately. “They were just following orders” is no excuse.

The United CEO should also resign. He’s a disgrace.

I am old enough to remember when airlines were regulated, and passengers had rights. But we deregulated the airlines, and now passengers are cattle. The present rule seems to be just what Kimmel says: do what we say, or else. You may have given us your money, but we owe you nothing.

And here’s the cherry for your (bloody) sundae: United has also announced plans to begin charging passengers for carry-on luggage.

Home Again… with Ick

June 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Profile Pic

I am back home again in Santa Fe, after two weeks on the road in Baltimore and New York City.

Great trip… but I seem to have brought the plague home with me.

Some kind of con crud was going around at Balticon. My assistant Jo was stricken with it, as was my friend Lezli Robyn, though in both cases it did not manifest until after the con. Coughing, fever, headache, congestion, more coughing.

I got it too, albeit a milder case. And then my assistant Lenore was stricken. (So far Parris has been spared, knock wood).

We’re all still under the weather, though recovering.

So I will keep this short. Lots to report on, lots to catch up on, but just now I don’t have the energy. More sleep and more fluids… I should be my old self shortly….

Tags:

A Few Quick Thoughts

May 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm
Profile Pic

I am off to Baltimore tomorrow for Balticon 50, which promises to be a real blast. In honor of half a century of great cons, the fans of Baltimore are bringing in lots and lots of their past GOHs, along with me, their current GOH, so we should have an amazing crowd on hand. Connie Willis, Joe Haldeman, John Varley… oh, the list goes on and on. Go to the Balticon website and see for your own self. And then come to the con. Panels, readings, parties… and there will be CRABS.

<lj-embed id=”738″/>

On other fronts… we had an amazing time at the Jean Cocteau last night, when a sellout crowd assembled to hear Joe Hill. Joe gave a dynamite reading from his new novel THE FIREMAN, led the audience in a kazoo concert, told us about all his forthcoming television and film projects, and signed stacks and stacks of books. Most of which were promptly carried off by his eager fans. But we did lay in extra supplies, so if you’re looking for autographed copies of THE FIREMAN, or HEART-SHAPED BOX, or LOCKE & KEY, or any of Joe’s stuff, it’s available — while the supply lasts — from the Jean Cocteau Bookshop at http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/ — along with signed books from Neil Gaiman, Stephen Graham Jones, Diana Gabaldon, Joe Lansdale, and many many more.

Heated discussions continue about this year’s Hugo ballot, and the various proposals being brought forth to reform the voting procedures to defend the integrity of the award against future attacks by Rabid Puppies and other varieties of fuggheads. Some of the proposals are worth considering. I have severe doubts about others. But I don’t have time to get into all of that now, so it will have to wait until I return.

Meanwhile, I am doing my Hugo reading, and I urge all of you who are members of Big MAC II to do the same. Read, consider, vote.

And if you’re not yet a member of Big MAC II… well, if there’s any chance at all that you can get to KC this August, you ought to join and attend. There’s nothing like a worldcon. And the original Big MAC in 1976 was, in my not-so-humble-opinion, the best worldcon that I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending, so I have high hopes for this year’s. The KC fans know how to party. And while they cannot match Baltimore for crabs, they do have BARBEQUE!

(I will keep comments open on this one only through tomorrow morning. I expect to be away from my computer while traveling, and don’t want hundreds of screened comments awaiting my return).

No Place Like Home

August 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm
Profile Pic

I am back in New Mexico, after an eventful week in Spokane.

Lots to report.

I will have more posts soon.

Tags:

Conventions and Cancellations

March 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm
Profile Pic

A couple of posts down, I announced that I had decided to cancel a couple of my planned appearances for 2015, namely the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga and the San Diego Comicon.

As seems to happen with everything I post these days, this was immediately misinterperted and misreported.  The usual game of internet telephone took place, and suddenly it was being said that I had cancelled ALL my planned appearances for 2015.  This immediately triggered a flood of emails, and comments here on the blog, from fans who had bought memberships in Norwescon or Conquest or Sasquan in order to see me, and were now worried that I was not coming.

No.  Not so.  Listen, please.  I am skipping San Diego Comicon and World Fantasy Con… but as of this writing, I am still planning on making all of my other scheduled appearances.  Okay?  Clear?  That means, yes, I will be in Seattle for Norwescon next week, and yes, I will be going to Kansas City for Conquest over Memorial Day.  And so forth.  And so on.

Please note that at both of these cons, I am a guest of honor. They invited me years ago, and have been advertising my participation for many months.  Fans and readers have planned accordingly.  I would not feel right in pulling out of an obligation like this, except perhaps in cases of medical or family emergency, and that does not apply here.  At San Diego and Saratoga I was not a GOH, just a program participant, attending largely on my own hook.  Makes it much easier to withdraw.

It is possible that I may withdraw from some other announced appearances later in the year… most likely in the summer and fall… but if I do, it won't be from cons where I am the featured guest of honor.  I would prefer not to have to cancel anything, but that depends on how the work is going.

And by "work," I mean WINDS OF WINTER, of course… but not exclusively WINDS OF WINTER.   When I say, "my plate is full," I don't just mean with WINDS.  I am still editing the latest Wild Cards volume, HIGH STAKES.   I have an overall deal with HBO, and three new television concepts in various stages of development, with a variety of collaborators and partners.   I am consulting on a couple of videogames.   There's the Wild Cards movie at Universal, where I'm a producer.  And I've recently formed a new production company to make low budget short films based on a trio of classic short stories by… well, no, not yet, that would be telling.  Premature telling.

(Many of these other projects may come to nothing.  Such is the dance of development as they do it in Hollywood.  If anything ever actually comes to fruition, you will read about it here.  Till then, don't hold your breath).

Anyway, I'm busy.  But please note, most of these other projects involve me editing, producing, consulting, or financing.  The writing I'm doing is all on WINDS OF WINTER.

Speaking of which… after wrestling with it for a month or so, I've decided not to script an episode for season six of GAME OF THRONES.  Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels.  And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again. Writing a season six script would cost me a month's work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks,  and I cannot afford that.   With David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman on board, the scriptwriting chores for season six should be well covered.  My energies are best devoted to WINDS.

So… back to it.

My Night With Sibel

March 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm
Profile Pic

The lovely and talented SIBEL KEKILLI — best known to all you GAME OF THRONES fans out there for her amazing portrayal of Shae — came to Santa Fe last December.  We celebrated her visit by screening HEAD ON, the breakthrough German film that gave Sibel her first starring role and won her the Lola (the German Oscar) for Best Actress, but that was not the main purpose of her visit.  She was here to film a segment of a popular German travel show DURCH DIE NACHT (roughly, INTO THE NIGHT), for the French/ German TV network ARTE.

The premise is the show is that each week, a celebrity visits some place they have never been before, and a local shows them the town, with an emphasis on the nightlfife.  Sibel asked me to show her Santa Fe, and I was delighted to say yes ( though I did warn her that Santa Fe, for all its charms, does tend to roll up the sidewalks at 9:00 pm or so).    So after a rather adventurous series of flight, and a six-hour drive through the night with a stranger in a car full of fish, Sibel made it to the Land of Enchantment, and I had the honor of playing her host.  We took in my own lair, a local gallery, a comic book shop, two restaurants, two bars, and of course the Jean Cocteau.  (With a film crew trailing us everywhere we went).

I had a great time.  Got to introduce Sibel to margaritas and chile con queso, two of my favorite things.  All in all, she seemed to enjoy the experience.  And driving around through the night, we talked about all manner of things, which was fun as well.

The segment has now been edited and broadcast.  For those of you not in France and Germany who did not get to see it, here you go:

<lj-embed id=”556″/>

I've met some wonderful people through GAME OF THRONES, and Sibel is one of them.  What an amazing, talented, courageous young woman.   And yes, I confess it: her Shae was better than my Shae.

Oh, and by the way, here's that song I had them sing for Sibel — Istanbul, Not Constantinople, by the Four Lads.

<lj-embed id=”557″/>

36 Hours in Santa Fe

December 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm
Profile Pic

If you have the chance to visit Santa Fe, but have only thirty-six hours to spend here, what should you see and do?

The NEW YORK TIMES has some suggestions for you.

(And of course a visit to the Jean Cocteau is a MUST).

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/travel/things-to-do-in-36-hours-in-santa-fe.html

Go check it out.

Home Again

August 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm
Profile Pic

Parris and I returned last night from LA, courtesy of Southwest Airlines Cattlecar in the Sky.

It is nice to be back.  We left August 7.  Scotland and the Edinburgh Book Festival, London and worldcon, the big Robin Hobb event at Freemason's Hall, a long (but very comfortable) flight direct from Heathrow to LAX on British Airlines, Hollywood, meetings, the Emmys, more meetings, parties and more parties.  Oh, and an Ice Bucket Challenge.  (Brrrrr).

Much of it was great.  All of it was tiring.

And this comes right on the heels of my trips to France and Switzerland (for the Dijon signing and the NIFFF film festival) and to San Diego (for comicon), with only brief visits home in between.

Way back when, it seemed like a good idea to concentrate most of my travel for the year into a single two-month period, leaving me the other ten months to stay at home and write.  Well, maybe not.  The trips, individually, were great, and I met some terrific people and had some amazing adventures, some of which I hope to tell you about here.  But taken as a whole, it was too much.  I need to face facts.  I am not thirty years old any more.  Airports, long flights, six-hour long signing sessions, and endless interviews take it out of me, in ways they never did before.  The spirit is willing, sometimes even eager, but…

I do have one more trip this year: a brief visit to NYC in late October to promote THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE and see editors, agents, and family.  Elsewise, I am home for the rest of the year… and well into next year, I hope.  Most of that time I plan to spend in Westeros.

Tags:

Happy Halloween

October 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Profile Pic

Speaking of things that go bump in the night….

1391733_10151883961102900_94947274_n

If a creature who looks like this shows up at your door trick or treating, don't be fooled.  It's not me.  That's my friend and associate and co-editor Gardner Dozois dressed up in his GRRM costume for Halloween.

You can give him candy if you want, but not cheese doodles or, god forbid, jellybeans.  He puts those up his nose.

misc122

Actually, though, Gardner looks so good as me that I am thinking of sending him to Australia next month in my place, to make all my public appearances while I stay home and write.  (Don't everyone agree at once, please).  So if you run into "me" in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide… well, you better take care that it's really me.  (If he rips open his shirt to expose his breast, it's Gardner).

Safe in Spain

July 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm
Profile Pic

San Diego Comicon was great fun… but exhausting beyond belief. Somehow I survived, however. Spent all day Sunday on airplanes crossing the Atlantic, and today finds me, jetlagged and weary, in Madrid. I arrived in the morning and slept all day. Just ate some dinner, and am about to go to bed again. By tomorrow morning I should be well-rested for my trip to Aviles.

See you all at CELSIUS!!!