Not a Blog

Talking ‘Bout My Generation

June 11, 2019 at 8:22 am
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I’ve written a lot of things during my career: science fiction, fantasy, horror, various hybrids of all of the above.   And once upon a time, like many writers, I wrote a novel about the times and events I’d lived through… a story about my own generation, the Boomers, about our dreams and our disillusionments.   It was centered on the music.  Of course it was.   Rock n roll was as central to my generation as the Vietnam War, the counterculture, television, and the sexual revolution.   All those things wove together.   Of course, being who I was, I added a fantasy/ horror element.   The resulting novel was called THE ARMAGEDDON RAG.   It was nominated for the World Fantasy Award (but lost, alas) and got some great reviews.   I think it sold about twelve copies, but that’s another story.   Oddly enough, it also opened the door to television and film for me, when a produce named Phil deGuere optioned it for a feature film… (that never got made, alas again)… but that’s another story too.

This post is not about the RAG, not really.  It’s about another generational novel, one that has just been published, written by Lewis Shiner.   Lew is an old friend, one of my original Wild Cards writers, the creator of Fortunato, the Astronomer, and Veronica, among other characters.   He was a mainstay in the early Wild Cards books back in the 80s and early 90s.  His first novel FRONTERA was a Hugo finalist, and he was one of the rising stars of the “mirrorshades” movement when cyberpunk came along.  After that, however, Lew’s muse led him off in other directions.   He drifted away from science fiction and wild cards, and went on to write a number of mainstream novels… about skateboarding, about tango dancing, about race relations, and yes, about rock music (the excellent GLIMPSES, a World Fantasy Award nominee — unlike ARMAGEDDON RAG, it won).

And now Lew has written his magnum opus.   It’s a huge book, maybe five times as long as my RAG… much longer than anything Shiner has written before… but not a word is wasted.   It’s called OUTSIDE THE GATES OF EDEN.

EDEN starts in the 60s and goes all the way up to the present day and the near future.  Along the way it touches on the counterculture, the Summer of Love, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and so much more… it is, in short, the story of a generation.   Honestly, I really don’t know how Gen Xers or millenials will respond to it.   Maybe they’ll see it as a historical novel, as distant from themselves as a novel of the Civil War.   I can’t imagine a Boomer not responding to what Lew has done here.   I read this in galleys, long before publication, and I find myself thinking back on it often.   Let me give this one the ultimate compliment:  I wish I had written it.   I didn’t, though.  Lew did.

You can read it for yourself by grabbing a copy from SubPress at:

https://subterraneanpress.com/outside-the-gates-of-eden

 

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

All Hail Our Artists

June 2, 2019 at 8:04 am
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I am a lucky guy in a lot of ways… one of them being that I get to work with some of the greatest SF and fantasy artists in the world.

ASFA has just announced this year’s finalists for the Chesley Awards, and I’m thrilled to note that Wild Cards and A Song of Ice and Fire both have artists among this year’s finalists.

Michael Komarck has been doing spectacular Wild Cards covers for Tor for years now, with way too little recognition, so it’s great to see that his cover for LOW CHICAGO is a finalist for Best Cover Illustration, Hardcover.   Marko Kloos’s Khan is the featured character.

The redoubtable John Picacio has no fewer than three nominations on this year’s Chesley ballot… all great, but of course my favorite is the illustration he did for “EverNight,” a Wild Cards story by Victor Milan on Tor.com.   It’s been nominated for Best Interior Illustration.

John tells me he was especially pleased by this nomination.   “I want to celebrate Vic, and I want people to remember him and his story.”

I speak for the whole Wild Cards Consortium when I say how lucky we are to have amazing talents like John Picacio and Michael Komarck bringing our characters to life.

Meanwhile, that other series of mine is also well represented on the Chesley ballot, with a nomination for John Jude Palencar’s 2019 Ice & Fire calendar as Best Product Illustration.   You can see the cover here, but there’s a lot more stunning Ice & Fire art inside.  JJP is one of the premiere artists in the field, and a joy to work with.

 

The entire list of this year’s Chesley nominees can he found here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17afhGHSQ1c22ogC_LNr2wdx0qxD3SefO_90Sl94keqs/edit#

Congratulations to all the nominees.   I love fantasy art, and it’s nice to see some great work being recognized.

(Signed copies of LOW CHICAGO and the 2019 Palencar calendar are both available from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.  Vic Milan’s “EverNight” can be found and read on Tor.com, along with lots of other great Wild Cards stories).

Current Mood: happy happy

Long Is The Way

May 15, 2019 at 10:57 am
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Hey, Wild  Carders… we’ve got a brand new original Wild Cards novelette up this morning over at Tor.com.

The title is “Long Is the Way,” and its from the gifted pens of Sage Walker and Carrie Vaughn.

Best of all, it’s FREE.

So head over to Tor.com and enjoy.

Long is the Way

The artwork once again is by the one-and-only John Picacio, winner of the Hugo and Alfie Awards.

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Come Back to Jokertown

April 30, 2019 at 7:32 am
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A heads up for all you Wild Carders out there — another publication day has rolled around.

Check out your favorite local bookstore or on-line bookseller.  Today’s the day Tor releases its long-awaited reissue of JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE, volume nine of the overall series and the second book in the Rox/ jumper sequence.   Originally published in August, 1991, this one has been out of print for the more than two decades, available only from used book stores and auction sites at inflated prices… and that for a mass market.  The new Tor edition will be a trade paperback, featuring a lovely new cover paining of Lady Black by David Palumbo.

The original lineup of JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE (1991 edition) was:

STEPHEN LEIGH     “The Temptation of Hieronymous Bloat”
JOHN JOS. MILLER   “And Hope to Die”
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS          “Lovers”
VICTOR MILAN  “Madman Across the Water”
WALTER JON WILLIAMS  “Whilst Night’s Black Agents To Their Preys Do Rouse”
LEWIS SHINER  “Riders”
WALTON (BUD) SIMONS  “Nobody Does It Alone”

Featured characters include Bloat, Yeoman, Dr. Tachyon, Cap’n Trips, Black Shadow, Veronica, and Mr. Nobody.

But that’s not all.   Just as we did with volumes one, four, and eight, we’ve added some brand new original content to JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE in the form of two original stories from CARRIE VAUGHN and CHERIE PRIEST, starring Fort Freak’s joker detective Leo Storgman (Ramshead) and SCARE agent Joanne Jefferson (Lady Black).  So even if you’ve read the book in the mists of time, you haven’t read it all.   The new tales are entitled “The Unintended” (by Cherie) and “Unraveling” (by Carrie).  You won’t want to miss them.

[[Times have changed since 1991, so I had best mention here that JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE is probably the darkest volume of the original series and includes some very strong stuff, including sexual violence.  So consider this a trigger warning for those who prefer not to go there]].

So here’s your chance to complete your Wild Cards collection by filling in a long-missing volume… or maybe to start a Wild Cards collection.

And once you’ve read it, head over to Tor.com and join the discussion with Katy Rask and the Wild Cards reread:

Stolen Bodies, Warped Minds—Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle

The mean streets of Jokertown and the madness of the Rox await…

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Just Foolin’

April 2, 2019 at 10:00 am
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Okay, it’s April 2, time to fess up.

Yesterday’s Wild Cards post, the leaked footage and all, was our April Fools prank.

I hope we fooled some of you, and gave you a few moments of fun… or horror.

But no, we are not doing Wild Cards as a daytime soap opera.

What IS true is that we are developing two shows for Hulu… but we’re still a long way from letting the cameras roll, alas.

My thanks to Andrew Miller and his merry band of pranksters, who put together our little jape.  And to the talented actors who joined in the deception and helped him work up that fake footage.

 

Current Mood: mischievous mischievous

A Little Leak…

April 1, 2019 at 8:35 am
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This was not supposed to go public.

Everybody (well, everybody who has been paying attention) knows that we are developing two Wild Cards television series for Hulu.   Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.

What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world.

It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown.

Of course, there’s a lot of green screen there.   No SFX in yet.   Very early days.

Showrunner Andrew Miller has forwarded me this statement about the leak, and the footage:

Dear Wild Cards Fans,

This past week there was a security breach from one of our very own team members on the Wild Cards set. Although the PA in question was terminated, we were unable to stop the leaked footage from being disseminated online.

The premature and largely negative reaction is completely unfounded. As any intelligent Wild Cards fan will know, this footage is raw and incomplete, with a great deal of VFX work still to be done. Not to mention sound, editing, music and color correction. 

We have pledged to develop the Wild Cards book series into the greatest daytime soap opera ever produced and we stand by that pledge.

We know you have likely already seen the footage in question but in an effort to take hold of this unfortunate narrative we present the leaked clips here, unfinished but unashamed. Knowing that you, the discerning fan will be able to see the brilliant potential in what we’re creating.

The cast seen in these clips are just a few of the brilliant daytime actors we have lured to our adaptation. Daytime Emmy Award winner GREG RIKAART (Days of Our Lives, Young and the Restless), Daytime Emmy Award winner EDEN RIEGEL (All My Children, Young and the Restless) and multiple Daytime Emmy Award nominee THORSTEN KAYE (Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children).

We are so proud of their work and that of our brilliant crew. And are counting the minutes until we’re able to share the final results with you… Every single afternoon at 1pm.

Until then,

The Wild Cards Team

 

Another Ace from the Deck

March 27, 2019 at 10:00 am
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Hey, Wild Cards fans, we’ve got another brand new original story for you.

It’s by Marko Kloos, and it’s FREE on Tor.com.  The title is “How to Move Spheres and Influence People.”   Marko is introducing a brand new ace this time, and I think you guys are going to love her.

You can check it out at

How to Move Spheres and Influence People

Enjoy… and be sure to leave a comment.

And speaking of Wild Cards, there also some great new stuff on the Wild Cards website.

On our blog, check out William F. Wu’s post, “From Iron Fist to Wild Cards,” at https://www.wildcardsworld.com/from-iron-fistto-wild-cards/

And Ti Mikkel has another victim… ahem, subject, in Talking With Ti.   This time she’s interviewing Caroline Spector, mother of Bubbles.  You can read what they have to say at https://www.wildcardsworld.com/qa/caroline-spector/

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Hugo Eligibility – Best Series

February 21, 2019 at 9:41 pm
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I have seen here and there that some people are suggesting A SONG OF ICE & FIRE (by that name, or as GAME OF THRONES) as a possible nominee for the new(ish) Best Series category of the Hugo Awards.   It fits worldcon’s very broad definition of a series, I agree… but as I said below in my post about FIRE & BLOOD, I don’t consider A SONG OF ICE & FIRE a series, and even it was, FIRE & BLOOD is not really part of it.   More a Related Work, the category where it fits best.

WILD CARDS, however, IS a series by anyone’s definition, and is definitely eligible for nomination.

And for what it is worth, WILD CARDS had a hell of a year in 2018.

We published not one, not two, but three new original mosaic novels in the series:  LOW CHICAGO came out in June and TEXAS HOLD ‘EM in November, both in the US, while KNAVES OVER QUEENS was a June release in the UK.   I don’t know any other contending series that put out three new books last year.  And while I am admittedly far from objective, those three books rank among the strongest volumes in the history of the series.   I am very proud of them, and the fans seemed to love them too.

That’s not all, however.   We re-released one of the old books too: ONE-EYED JACKS, volume eight from the original series, was released in August, after decades of being out of print.   But it was not a straight reprint.   We also added two brand new stories to the original text, a Magpie story by Kevin Andrew Murphy and a tale of Lady Black from Carrie Vaughn.

In addition, we had three brand-new stand-alone Wild Cards stories published over on Tor.com:

— “EverNight,” by Victor Milan, published in February,
—  “The Flight of Morpho Girl,” by Caroline Spector and Bradley Denton, published in April,
—  “Fitting In,” by Max Gladstone, published in November.

That’s a huge amount of original Wild Cards content.   If you haven’t tried any of it, you should.   There’s some great stuff there.   I am a lucky editor, and I’ve assembled an amazing team of writers in Wild Cards.

And 2018 was our thirty-first year.   We now have twenty-seven volumes in print, with three more in the pipeline… and probably a lot more to come, especially if the TV shows take off on Hulu.   No other series comes close.

I hope the Hugo nominators will agree.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

Sharing A World

February 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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Back in the 80s, when Wild Cards was born, shared worlds ruled the racks.   THIEVES WORLD, ITHKAR, WAR WORLD, LIAVEK, HEROES IN HELL, GREYSTONE BAY, and on and on.  New series were popping up every month.  Today, only Wild Cards remains, still going strong after thirty-one years and twenty-seven volumes.

Writing for a shared world has some unique challenges, however.   In August 2017, a large group of Wild Carders assembled at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe for a mass signing, and we interviewed them about the up and downs of writing other people’s characters, and having other people write yours.

Enjoy.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

Eat Like An Ace

February 5, 2019 at 11:14 am
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Anyone who has ever worked in a Hollywood writer’s room knows that lunch is a big part of the day.

The writers on Hulu’s new WILD CARDS shows are bellying up to help.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/black-history-lunch-one-writers-rooms-quest-diversify-staff-meals-1182727

Current Mood: hungry hungry