Not a Blog

A Rare Honor

September 5, 2019 at 9:55 am
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I received a number of awards and honors during last month’s trip to London, Dublin, and Belfast.   I want to say a few words about all of them… but not all at once and not all today.  I will address them all individually, and in no particular order.

Starting with the last, then… on the day before we left Ireland to return home to the Land of Enchantment, I was awarded the Burke Medal for “Outstanding Contribution to Discourse Through the Arts” by the College Historical Society at Trinity College, Dublin, the oldest surviving undergraduate society in the world.

The society’s auditor told me, “The College Historical Society, more commonly known as the Hist, is dedicated to the promotion of discussion and thought. Founded by Edmund Burke in 1770, the Society retains a deep interest and affinity to the field of social activism and continues its tradition of elevating civic discourse in the College. For 250 years the Society has recognised the efforts of great women and men who promote discussion and discourse. Pattie Smith, Sinéad O’Connor, W.B. Yeats, Natalie Dormer, Dame Hillary Mantel, Bob Geldof, and Ralph Fiennes have received the Burke Medal.”

That’s pretty heady company.   I am very pleased and proud to be numbered among them.   And for a noble reason — promoting discussion and discourse.   In times like ours, when the toxic mobs on the internet seem to set the tone for debate, that is needed more than ever.

The medal itself was struck from the same molds that the Hist has been using for centuries.   The president mentioned to me that he’d noted I had once won the Bram Stoker Award (as indeed I have), and that the medal they were giving me had once been awarded to Bram Stoker himself.   I think that is so cool.   Here’s a look:

In awarding the medal, the Hist said, “As a celebrated author, your exploration of difficult themes has inspired countless people worldwide to examine, more-closely, the fabric of our society. Through you, the reader has encountered new concepts, ideas, and emotions. From the magical children’s tale The Ice Dragon and the dark yet playful “A Night at the Tarn House” to the unprecedently popular A Song of Ice and Fire your work has made you a global phenomenon. And with your rise to greater prominence has come an increase in public dialogue around the major themes of your work. Your sublime writings have engendered intense debate on duty and honour, faith and cowardice, parricide and governance in readers world-wide. Our former member Oscar Wilde wrote that “It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection”. Through your art the general public have explored new themes, new ideas, and bettered themselves. This is precisely the contribution to public discourse that the Burke Medal aims to recognise.”

Since the Hist is devoted to discourse and discussion, those so honored are expected to say a few words.   I was glad to do so.  The good folks at Trinity recorded my speech and the Q&A that followed.   YouTube has it up for those who are interested and could not be in Dublin to attend… but be warned, I got into some pretty heavy current issues in this one, not just my own life and writing and the world and SF and fantasy (though of course I touched on those as well).

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Shout Out for Milford

September 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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Damon Knight created the legendary Milford Writers Conference in the 1960s.  It was named after Milford, Pennsylvania, where Damon lived… though it later moved on to Colorado and other distant climes.   A decade or so later, the British writers decided they wanted a Milford too, and even found a town called Milford to hold it in.   (I attended it in 1981, during my first visit to the UK).   The original American Milford expired many many years ago… but as it happens, the British version is still going strong, though they are no longer in Milford.

Just this morning, I received an email from Jacey Bedford, their current secretary, who asked for me to help spread the word about the conference, and some scholarship opportunities.   She writes:

“This will be our third year of offering funding for two SF writers of colour wishing to attend Milford for the first time. We have our two writers this year, but we are always trying to reach a wider audience to solicit applications from all over the world. So far we’ve had writers from the UK, USA, Nigeria, and the Philippines via The Netherlands. Applications have just opened for the two available places in September 2020 and we want to get the word out to as many eligible writers as possible.

“Could we please ask you to give it a shout-out on your blog? As a previous attendee of Milford, it would be great coming from you. Our bursaries cover the full cost of attending Milford (approximately £650 per person), but not the cost of travel.

“Milford has now settled at a lovely venue in North Wales, close to Mount Snowdon and the Snowdonia National Park.

“We need to publicise the availability of funding as widely as possible. The quality of our applicants is high, but we don’t get many of them. I’m happy to write a piece for your blog, or just to supply you with as many details (and Images) as you can use if you prefer to mention it yourself.

“Applications for September 2020 bursaries open in September 2019 and close at the end of February 2020. (We usually have our recipients announced at Eastercon.) It would be ideal if you could throw something onto the interwebs in September / October.

“This is Milford now: http://www.milfordsf.co.uk/
And this is our bursary page: http://www.milfordsf.co.uk/bursaries.htm

“This will be our third year of funding two writers of colour to attend Milford. Our recipients so far have been Suyi Okungbowa (Nigeria) who has just had the novel published that he brought to Milford (Yay!), Dolly Garland (UK), Nisi Shawl (USA), Rochita Loenen Ruiz (Philippina via the Netherlands), and this year we have Russell Smith (Black British), and Mbozi Haimbe (Zambia, resident in the UK). We hope to be able to continue the bursaries annually. Currently, due to the generosity of private (writer) donors and two previous Eastercons, we are funded up to 2022.”

Milford UK was a wonderful experience for me in 1981, and I don’t doubt that the current version will be as well.

Spread the word.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Author Events

June 10, 2019 at 9:09 am
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If you’re not fortunate enough to live in the Land of Enchantment, you’ve missed out on all of the wonderful author events we have at the Jean cocteau Cinema.  But of late, we’ve started recording the events for streaming and later viewing.

Here are three of our most recent events, with

— LEE CHILD (Thrillermaster, and creator of Jack Reacher),

— ALAN BRENNERT (from my days on TWILIGHT ZONE, author of DAUGHTER OF MOLOKAI).

— MARLON JAMES (author of BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF)

Author Events

Autographed books from all of our featured writers are available from the Jean Cocteau website.

Enjoy.

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Wahls Wins Sense of Wonder

June 6, 2019 at 7:04 am
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Back in 2017, I announced that I would be sponsoring an annual scholarship to the Clarion Writers Workshop in San Diego.   I named it the ‘Sense of Wonder’ scholarship.  This is what I said then:

” I’ve made my life in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy, and an awful lot of people helped me along the way.    I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.   But if I may echo something that Robert A. Heinlein once said, you can never pay back the people who helped you when you were starting out… but you can pay forward, and give a hand to those coming after.

 “With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce that I will be funding a new scholarship for the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop.  Held every summer at the University of California San Diego under the auspices of the Clarion Foundation, the workshop’s roots go back the 1960s and Clarion College in Pennsylvania, where it was founded by Robin Scott Wilson, Damon Knight, and Kate Wilhelm.  Its alumni include more professional sf and fantasy writers than I can possibly hope to name, and the list of Clarion instructors over the years is a veritable Who’s Who of our genre.

 “Many of the students at Clarion already  receive financial aid through a variety of existing scholarships and grants that cover all or part of their expenses, but there’s always need and there’s never enough money, and it’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to one more worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the experience.   It will be a full scholarship, given annually, and covering tuition, fees, and lodging for a single student for the full six weeks of intensive writing and criticism that is Clarion.  

” We’ll be calling it the Sense of Wonder scholarship.

 “The award will not be limited by age, race, sex, religion, skin color, place of origin, or field of study.   The only criteria will be literary.

 ” The first science fiction novel I ever read was Heinlein’s HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL, a book that begins with a boy named Kip in a used spacesuit standing in his back yard, and goes on to take him (and us) to the moon, and Pluto, and the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, along the way encountering aliens both horrifying (the Wormfaces)  and benevolent (the Mother Thing), as well as a girl named Peewee.  In the end it’s up to Kip and Peewee to defend the entire human race when Earth is put on trial.   I had never read anything like it, and from the moment I finished I knew I wanted more; more Heinlein, more science fiction, more aliens and spacesuits and starships… more of vast interstellar vistas that had opened before me.

 “Since then I have read thousands of other science fiction novels, and written a few myself.   Modern imaginative fiction is a house with many rooms, and I’ve visited most of them.   Cyberpunk, New Wave, magic realism, slipstream, military SF, dystopias, utopias, urban fantasy, high fantasy, splatterpunk, the new weird, the new space opera, you name it. I’ve sampled all of it, and I’m glad it’s all there, but when it comes right down it, the SF I love best is still the SF that gives me that sense of wonder I found in that Heinlein book almost sixty years ago, and afterwards in the works of Roger Zelazny, Jack Vance, Alfred Bester, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jack Vance, Andre Norton, the early Chip Delany, Jack Vance, Frank Herbert, Robert Silverberg, Jack Vance, Eric Frank Russell, Cordwainer Smith, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, and so many more.  (Did I mention Jack Vance?)   I love the aliens, be they threatening or benevolent, the more alien the better.  I dream of starships, strange worlds beneath the light of distant suns.   I want the sights and sounds and smells of times and places and cultures colorful and exotic.  That was the sort of science fiction that I tried to write myself with the Thousand Worlds stories that made my name in the 70s, when I was just breaking in as a writer.   

 It’s my hope that this new Clarion scholarship will help find and encourage young aspiring writers who dream the same sort of dreams, that it will give a small boost up to the next  Roger Zelazny, the next Ursula Le Guin, the next Jack Vance. “

#

This year’s winner of the Sense of Wonder is JAMIE WAHLS.

Here’s the official press release from Clarion:

Clarion Workshop Announces George R.R. Martin’s

’Sense of Wonder’ Scholarship Recipient

BERKLEY, Calif. — Jamie Wahls had his plans in order after receiving his acceptance to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop. Then George R. R. Martin picked up his tuition by awarding Jamie this year’s Sense of Wonder Scholarship.

The scholarship, administered by The Clarion Foundation, seeks to encourage aspiring writers who strive to capture that sense in stories which cross the vast vista of interstellar space. The workshop, now in its 51st year, is hosted at the Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego.

Wahls’ short fiction about transhumanism, regret, people falling in love with spaceships, galactic stewardship, and the dangerous security flaws in our mental architecture can be found in places like Strange Horizons and Clarkesworld.  He works at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in Berkley, Calif., a nonprofit that researches the question of how to make super-intelligent machines safe and useful.

His day job sounds challenging enough. When asked about why he also writes science fiction, Jamie responded:

“Why do I write? I grew up reading 1950s science fiction, and I am very glad I did. It had its flaws, sure — our culture is now more progressive in many wholesome and clearly good ways — but that era had an underlying sense of possibility and determination that I found noble; a deep, unembarrassed belief that the future could and would be brighter than today, and the raw, bastard resolve to seize that future and bring it to all humanity.

“Nowadays, few of us had our formative years in the shadow of total war. This era’s Great Causes are important, still, terribly so — but they’re subtler, and therefore harder to feel certain about. It makes us … embarrassed to care too deeply about something. It makes us shy to believe in something truly wondrous.

“But! As text conveys knowledge, fiction conveys experience. I want to show characters fighting for things that are actually worth fighting for — such as a really, really good future for all of humanity. I want the next generation who grow up reading this to say ‘yes, that’s the sci-fi future I demand — that’s the one that’s anywhere near good enough.’

“Because settling for anything less will mean we, as a civilization, will slouch onward into one of the boring dark corporate dystopia futures, if we get a future at all.”

 

Kim Stanley Robinson, celebrated science fiction writer and board member of the Clarion Foundation, said of Wahls, “One of the great delights of reviewing stories during application season for Clarion is coming across talents like Jamie’s. For George R.R. Martin to support up-and-coming writers through his ‘Sense of Wonder’ Scholarship is a tremendous gift to the next generation of science fiction authors.”

Find more about Wahls at what he describes as his “brutally minimalist” website jamiewahls.com. His twitter account is @Jamie Wahls.

The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop is an annual six-week immersive workshop taught by a rotating staff of renowned science fiction and fantasy writers. The application period for the 2020 workshop opens in December. More information is available at theclarionfoundation.org.

DE WAAL WINS MISKATONIC AWARD

May 27, 2019 at 8:00 am
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I am pleased to announce that KYLE DE WAAL is the winner of this year’s Miskatonic Scholarship to the Odyssey Writers Workshop in New Hampshire, given each year to a student working in the area of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.

 

Here’s the press release from Odyssey:  

George R. R. Martin. . . created the Miskatonic Scholarship to provide financial support to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror attending the Odyssey Writing Workshop.  Martin said that, reading the works of H. P. Lovecraft as a boy, he “fell in love with monsters and scary stories.”  With the ongoing Miskatonic Scholarship, Martin would like to encourage a new generation of writers to explore Lovecraftian cosmic horror.  He hopes the scholarship “will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.”

Odyssey Director Jeanne Cavelos said, “We were thrilled at the number and quality of the applications for the Miskatonic Scholarship this year.  The scholarship is definitely encouraging writers to explore the fascinating genre of cosmic horror.  Of course, that made choosing a winner more difficult.  But everyone on the judging panel was drawn to one story, which we found suspenseful, involving, intense, and frightening.”

This year’s winner is Kyle de Waal, who loves to write anything with a monster in it, especially cosmic horror with a bent towards YA-lit. He also enjoys tabletop games, mountain biking, and Greek and Roman history. He lives in Canada with his border collie who is named after a poetic device: Volta.

Of de Waal’s winning story, “What We Took from the Old Country,” scholarship judge Carrie Vaughn, a New York Times bestselling author,  said, “A great urban fantasy/horror set up.”  Scholarship judge Ti Mikkel shared this feedback with de Waal:  “Beautifully written.  You’re on solid footing with your craft and have great instincts for storytelling.”

De Waal explained the genesis of his story:  “‘What We Took from the Old Country’ draws inspiration from the works of   H. P. Lovecraft (because cults, monsters, and malevolent entities from beyond our world are cool) as well as my questions of family heritage and finding a place in the context of history.”

 

About Odyssey

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is widely considered one of the top programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Writers from all across the world apply to the six-week program held each summer in Manchester, New Hampshire. Fifteen are admitted.  Top authors, agents, and editors serve as guest lecturers. Intensive instruction in advanced writing techniques, in-depth feedback on manuscripts, and one-on-one guidance help students to make major improvements. Graduates include New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.

To learn more about Odyssey, visit www.odysseyworkshop.org.  Odyssey offers many programs and resources for writers, including online classes, webinars, a critique service, consultations, coaching, free podcasts, author interviews, writing tips, and a monthly online discussion salon.

 

 

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Thanks, New Zealand

May 21, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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I was surprised last night when Air New Zealand went to the internet to invite me down for a visit… to help me finish my book.

I cannot say I was not tempted.  New Zealand is a beautiful place.   As it happens, I have already visited there a number of times.   I’ve been to Auckland and Wellington and Christchurch and Rotoroa… and Hobbiton, of course.   I’ve gone whale watching (we never saw a whale, but there were hundreds of dusky dolphins), checked out the Te Papa, the Weta Workshop, the aquarium in Auckland, and a cool automobile museum somewhere near Wellington.   From Rotoroa I took a helicopter out to White Island, with its boiling mud pools and lovely lake of sulfuric acid.  (With Hobbiton and Mordor on the same island, you really ought to change your name to Middle Earth).   I’ve been to a few hangis too, and my minions have a video of me attempting to do a haka that they periodically use to blackmail me.

In short, I love New Zealand.  You don’t need to convince me.

And as it happens, I already have plans to return.   In the summer of 2020, Wellington is hosting the World Science Fiction Convention, the oldest and most important con in the SF/ fantasy calendar, and they’ve asked me to serve as Toastmaster for the Hugo Awards.   Writers, fans, and artists from all over the world will be headed down to check out all of your wonders.   I hope lots of you Kiwis will join us.

www.conzealand.nz

Of course, I was especially moved by your offer to bring me to New Zealand “on us.”  How wonderfully generous.   As it happens, I do have enough money to make it to New Zealand on my own… but there are many American writers, fans, and artists who do not.   If you’d care to fly, say, twenty or thirty or fifty of them to Wellington in place of me, I have no doubt they would instantly accept, and fall in love with Middle Earth.. er, New Zealand… just as I have.   And you have such big planes, I’m sure you could squeeze them in.

As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much.   Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce.   But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.   Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.

 

 

Current Mood: amused amused

STARPORT Is Coming

March 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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A million years ago when the world was young and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I spent the best part of a decade working in Hollywood.   In television, mostly, though I did a few feature scripts as well, for films that never got made.   My television career began on the CBS revival of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, along about 1985-1986.   After that I wrote a couple of MAX HEADROOM scripts, but they never got made either.  The show was cancelled when one of them was still in pre-production.   Then I spent three years on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.   Not the recent one, of course, the first one, the good one, with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton and Roy Dotrice and Jo Anderson and Jay Acovone.

By the time B&B wrapped up I had climbed the television ladder from freelancer to staff writer to story editor to executive story editor to co-producer to producer to co-supervising producer to supervising producer, and was in line to be showrunner.   But B&B got the axe too before that could happen.   But I’d now accumulated enough credentials and credit to take the next step, and I moved into development, pitching ideas for shows of my own and writing pilots.

In Hollywood they call it “development hell,” and for good reasons.   You work just as hard, you make even more money, you pour your sweat and blood and tears into your creations… but most of what you create never gets aired.   I stuck it out for five years, pitched more series concepts than I can count, and wrote a half-dozen pilots, everything from a medical show about the CDC (BLACK CLUSTER) to an alternate world adventure called DOORWAYS, the only one of my pilots that was actually filmed.   We did that one for ABC and they loved it, enough to order six back-up scripts in anticipation of a series order.   The scripts were written, but the series order never came, and DOORWAYS died unborn, like the rest of my pilots.

Not long after that I left television.   I had an overall deal at Columbia, I was making good money, but I’d had enough of development hell.   There were things about working in television I liked a lot, but spending a year or more developing a world and creating characters and writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting a pilot for four guys in a room (sometimes three guys and a gal) that the world never got to see… that was not for me.   I wanted an audience.  Needed an audience.   Writing scripts for TZ and B&B, that was one thing.   Hard, challenging, stressful, demanding work, but at the end of the road the cameras rolled and a few weeks later millions of people were watching what I’d written.  The audience might like it or hate it, but at least they got to watch it.   Writing for the screen, be it the small screen or the big one, that’s fun.  Writing for a desk drawer, not so much.    So I put Hollywood behind me and returned to an unfinished novel I’d begun in 1991 and shelved for a few years because of film and tv deadlines, a book called A GAME OF THRONES, and… well, you all know how that turned out.

Which brings me back to STARPORT.

STARPORT was one of those pilots I wrote during my years in development hell.   In some ways it was my favorite.   When pitching a television series, there is a certain shorthand where you describe your new show by comparing it to existing shows (preferably successful ones).   Gene Roddenberry sold STAR TREK as “Wagon Train to the stars.”  HBO bought GAME OF THRONES as “the Sopranos in Middle Earth.”   I knew how to play that game too, so I pitched STARPORT as “HILL STREET BLUES with aliens.”   The idea was that, in the very near future (that would have been the late 90s, since I wrote the script around 1993-94), a great interstellar civilization called the Harmony of Worlds decides that humanity has finally advanced sufficiently to be admitted to the ranks of civilized races, and reveals themselves to us.   After first contact, they build three great starports for purposes of trade and diplomacy: one in Singapore, one in Copenhagen, and one in Chicago… out in the lake, where Mayor Daley always wanted to build an airport.   But the focus of the show was smaller than that: our viewpoint characters would be the cops and detectives of the police division closest to the Starport, who suddenly had to deal with all sorts of strange aliens coming and going, and with the sorts of problems they had never previously imagined.

It was a fun show to write.  Fox wanted a 90-minute pilot, which was all the rage back then.   My first draft came out closer to two hours, so of course I had to go back in and cut a lot of stuff, but that was pretty much par for the course for me.   My first drafts were always too long and too expensive.   The development process was pretty much the old Hollywood cliche: they loved it, they loved it, they loved it, they decided to pass.   We shipped it around to other networks, but there were only four back then, so finding a second buyer was a long shot.   No dice.   STARPORT went in the drawer.   Years later, I included one version of the script in QUARTET, a small press collection from NESFA Press to mark my being GOH at a Boskone.   But aside from that, the story remained untold.

Until now.

Enter RAYA GOLDEN.   My friend, my minion, the art director for my Fevre River Packet Company, and a very talented comic artist in her own right.   A few years ago she adapted “Meathouse Man,” one of my darker and more twisted short stories, as a comic.  It earned a Hugo nomination in the Best Graphic Novel category (did not win, alas).   But she was only warming up with that.   Afterward I gave her a much bigger challenge: STARPORT, both drafts.   And she’s been hard at work at it for the past two years, adapting the teleplay to comics format, fixing all my dated 90s references (the jokes about VHS tapes did not work so well any more), and penciling and inking it.

 

It’s huge fun.   And now, at long last, it’s almost here.

Random House and Harper Collins will be releasing the graphic novel of STARPORT next week, on MARCH 12. 

You can order a copy by Clicking HERE

(I am amused to note that “Hill Street Blues with aliens” is now too dated, and has been replaced by “Law & Order meets Men in Black.”   The more things change, the more they stay the same).

Eventually, we will also have signed copies available for sale from the bookshop at my Jean Cocteau Cinema.

I hope you all enjoy it.   For my part, I am thrilled that one of my orphan children has finally escaped the desk drawer to wander out into the wide world.   If the book does well enough, I can see the possibility of further issues of STARPORT down the road.

And who knows?  Maybe someone will even want to turn it into a television series.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

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

Hall of Fame?

December 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm
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It appears I have been nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

(So has Peter Dinklage.   And many other fine folks).

2018 Nominee Voting

No idea whether or not you need to live in New Jersey… or at least be from New Jersey, as I am… in order to vote.

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Two Weeks To Remember

December 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
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It’s been a couple of very exciting weeks for me and Archmaester Gyldayn.

My trip back east was a lot of fun, and hugely productive.   I got to have Thanksgiving with my family in Jersey for the first time in more than a decade, I checked in with my editors, publishers, and agents, I had a blast on LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT… and I signed 1600 copies of FIRE & BLOOD for the big launch at Loew’s Jersey.   Being on the stage of that magnificent old movie palace with my friend John Hodgman, seeing my name on the marquee of a theatre where I saw BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA as a kid in days gone by… there are no words for that.

And the fans were great as well.   Their excitement and enthusiasm was palpable.   My thanks to everyone who came out… and to all of you who were not able to get tickets as well.   Sorry about that.  (The Friends of the Loew’s hope to have their balcony restored for the next time I return, which will mean a thousand more seats).

FIRE & BLOOD was released the day after the Loew’s event, November 20… in the US, in the United Kingdom, and in various other countries around the world, where my translators had to work around the clock to get the translation done in time to allow simultaneous publication with the English editions.   A number of them did just that, and my hat is off to them.  Great work, folks.

No one really knew how well the book would do, least of all me.   It’s a Westeros book, yes… but not a traditional novel, and not part of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE/ GAME OF THRONES  sequence.   How would my readers react to a book of imaginary history?

I’m thrilled to say that they have reacted very well.

FIRE & BLOOD debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list, for hardcover fiction.

FIRE & BLOOD also debuted at #1 for the TIMES list in the United Kingdom.

I’m informed that we were also #1 in Brazil, #2 in Spain, #5 in Germany, and #8 in France.

(Other countries will need to wait on the translations).

Needless to say, I am thrilled.   My thanks go out to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, and David Moench, my team at Bantam Spectra, to Jane Johnson at Harper Collins Voyager in the UK, to my amazing agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, and to all my editors and publishers and translators around the world.    And thanks as well to the booksellers, without whose support those bestseller lists would not have been possible.

And most of all, my thanks go out to my fans and readers.   I know you want WINDS, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well.  Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me.

Enjoy the read.   Me, I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros.   It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.  Meanwhile, you have the final season of GAME OF THRONES coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called THE LONG NIGHT being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.

Winter is not the only thing that is coming.

Current Mood: excited excited