Not a Blog

Stonemaiden Is Back

May 27, 2022 at 8:32 am
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There’s a brand new treat for Wild Cards fans over at Tor.com.

“Hearts of Stone” is a terrific new novelette from Emma Newman.   It marks the return of Stonemaiden, the Cornish ace first introduced in KNAVES OVER QUEENS.   That was her origin story.   She also appeared, in a supporting role, in THREE KINGS, but that was decades later.   Emma’s new story is more of a follow-up to her debut, dramatizing her introduction to the Order of the Silver Helix.

Hearts of Stone

Stonemaiden is a great new addition to the Wild Cards universe, and “Heart of Stone” is a wonderful story.

Check it out.   It’s FREE.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Here Come The Dragons

May 5, 2022 at 5:43 pm
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Are those dragons I see?

Yes indeed.

It’s May, which means the August 21 premiere of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is only a few months away.

And HBO has just released a new trailer, to give you another taste of what you’ll be seeing.

Enjoy.

Current Mood: excited excited

Random Bits of This and That

April 29, 2022 at 11:13 am
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Lots of things going on.  Good things, bad things, big things, small things.   No time for a long blog post just now, but here are a few random comments about all and sundry, some of which may interest some of you.

Looks like the Jets and Giants both did very well in the first round of the NFL Draft.   But you never know.   Both teams desperately need help, so I hope they picked the right people.  My Sundays in the fall have been a weekly kick in the gut the past few years.

DARK WINDS debuts on June 12 on AMC and AMC+.  The trailer is everywhere, so check it out if you have not seen it yet.   I was one of the executive producers on this show, a six episode adaptation of the Navajo detective novels by the late great Tony Hillerman.   Graham Roland wrote the pilot, and Chris Eyre directed.   Zahn McClarnon stars as Joe Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee.   They all did great work.   Chris, together with Robert Redford, were the ones who brought me into this project a few years back, and I am glad that I was able to help get this made… but if you love the show, and I hope you will, credit belongs to Bob and Chris and Tina Elmore and their team, to our amazing actors, and of course to Tony.

Parris and I really enjoyed the new HBO Max series MINX, a sexy sitcom about a feminist porn magazine in the 70s.   The clothes, though… I swear, I owned some of those clothes.   Might be I still do, I never throw anything away.   Watching MINX did give me flashbacks to the 70s, though.   Which is good and bad.   The 1970s were my own Dickens Decade: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Or is that now?   Yeah, maybe now.   A lot of good things have happened for me, undeniably, but so many of my friends have died over the past two/three years… we have a war in the Ukraine which could turn into a nuclear holocaust… public discourse has turned poisonous and toxic, along with much of social media, free speech is under attack, our democracy is under attack… the news is profoundly depressing.

There was an article in THE ATLANTIC recently about how social media is making us all stupid.   An impressive piece, though it was also profoundly depressing, since the author does not see a lot of hope.   You can check it out at  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/social-media-democracy-trust-babel/629369/ There’s a lot to think about there.

My people tell me that the renovations have been going well on the Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe’s original art house.   We hope to reopen soon, with a renovated auditorium and brand new seats.   Big comfortable seats.   Fewer of them, mind you — our capacity will shrink from 130 down to 78 — but hey, we only filled the place up a few times a year, usually when Neil Gaiman or Janis Ian was in town.   We will let you know when we reopen.

We are getting some great reviews for Sky Railway, and selling out a lot of trains.   We still have some more coaches to restore, so we can run more trains and longer consists, but that will come.

THE WINDS OF WINTER is going to be a big book.   The way it is going, it could be bigger than A STORM OF SWORDS or A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, the longest books in the series to date.   I do usually cut and trim once I finish, but I need to finish first.

I saw rough cuts of a couple more episodes of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and was just as pleased as I was with the earlier episodes.   Ryan and Miguel and their cast and crew are doing great work.    Those of you who like complex, conflicted, grey characters (as I do) will like this series, I think.   There will be plenty of dragons and battles, to be sure, but the spine of the story is the human conflicts, the love and the hate, character drama rather than action/ adventure.

And I did I mention?   NIGHT OF THE COOTERS is done!   Trioscope delivered the final cut last week.   It’s a short film, about thirty minutes long, based on one of Howard Waldrop’s wonderful short stories.   Joe R. Lansdale wrote the screenplay.   Vincent d’Onofrio directed and starred, with a terrific cast of supporting players.   We shot it in Santa Fe, entirely on greenscreen.   The wizards at Trioscope did the rest, providing the sets, the aliens, the special effects, pretty much everything except the actors and the horses.   We will be rolling it out at a series of film festivals through the rest of the year.   My staff is working out that schedule now.   Once we have some confirmed dates and places, we will share the details here.

Meanwhile, we hope to start shooting a second Howard Waldrop film in about two weeks.   Completely unrelated.   H’ard (as Gargy used to call him) never wrote the same story twice.    This may be the Year of Waldrop.

There’s more, there’s more, there’s always more.   But that will need to do for now.

 

 

Current Mood: busy busy

Words For Our Times

April 23, 2022 at 9:48 am
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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

The Winds of June

April 20, 2022 at 8:46 am
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The Dark Winds will start blowing in June.   June 12, to be precise.

That’s the day that DARK WINDS, a new series based on the classic bestselling Navajo detective novels by Tony Hillerman, will premiere on AMC and AMC+.   I have blogged about the show before, but this is the first time we have had a release date.

Tony was one of the first friends I made when I moved to New Mexico in 1979, and it’s an honor to be able to help to bring his stories and characters to the screen.   And what a terrific team we put together to work with.   Robert Redford and Chris Eyre were the ones who invited me into the project, five or six years ago.   We’re all executive producers on the project, and Chris, best known for his groundbreaking film SMOKE SIGNALS, directed the pilot and three other episodes.   He’s just an amazing talent (and long past due for an Emmy nomination).  Robert Redford needs no introduction, of course.   Hey, if you don’t know the Sundance Kid, you don’t know movies.   Tina Elmo, Bob’s right hand, was also an executive producer, and was there on the set every day during the filming.  Graham Roland, of JACK RYAN fame, scripted the pilot for us, and served as executive producer as well.

Zahn McClarnon stars as Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo tribal police, with  Kiowa Gordon as his partner Jim Chee.  Jessica Matten is Bernadette Manuelito, and we have Deanna Allison as Emma Leaphorn, Noah Emmerich agent Whitover of the FBI, and Rainn Wilson as Devoted Dan.  The show was filmed right here in the Land of Enchantment, in and around Santa Fe, on the Navajo reservation and other tribal lands, and at Camel Rock Studios.   The young writers and directors in our writers’ room were all Native American, and I think you will be hearing a lot from some of them in the years to come… maybe for their work on DARK WINDS (fingers crossed).

The first season of DARK WINDS is six episodes, based largely on Tony Hillerman’s novel LISTENING WOMAN, with a bit of PEOPLE OF DARKNESS mixed in for good measure.   Do go out and grab those books (we have copies at Beastly Books)… and pick up four or five of Tony’s other novels as well.   We’re hoping they will be the basis for future seasons.   Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee had some amazing cases.

AMC has released the first trailer.  Here, have a taste.

Hope you enjoyed that.

If so, mark JUNE 12 on your calendars, and tell your friends.   AMC has some good television coming your way.

 

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

Bayonne Goes Hollywood

April 7, 2022 at 3:45 pm
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I have lived in Santa Fe since 1979, more or less, (I spent a lot of time in LA during the 80s and 90s, but Santa Fe always remained my primary residence), but I was born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, just across New York Bay from Manhattan.   In fact, I hardly left Bayonne until I went off to college in 1966, and I still return whenever I can to see my sisters and their families, check in with a few old friends, grab a sprinkle donut from Judicke’s, and have a slice or three of the world’s best pizza, the Jersey bar pie.

There’s still a lot of Bayonne in me, and always will be.

So a few days ago, when my sister Darleen sent me a link about a major film studio being built in my old home town, I was very excited.

This is just so cool.

Bayonne Planning Board approves 1888 Studios at former Texaco site

The site they have picked, the old Texaco plant in the shadow of the Bayonne Bridge, is just a few blocks west of the federal housing projects where I lived from age four until I left for college, at First Street across from Brady’s Dock.   You can see the bridge from the park across the street from our apartment.   And if a film studio had been there when I was a kid… instead of Texaco… who knows what effect that might have had on my life and my dreams?   If they can actually get the 1888 Studio built, it will be an incredible thing for all the young dreamers in Bayonne, and the rest of Jersey.

It would be so so so cool if the studio gets built, and one day I return to shoot a film or television show there.   Probably not a Westeros show, as Bayonne has a notable lack of castles… but hey, maybe Wild Cards!   The Great and Powerful Turtle lived in the same apartment I did at 35 East First Street, and had his junkyard hideout on the Hook.

Bayonne, hard as it is to believe, was an early center of the infant film industry.

Congrats to all those who conceived of this project, and spearheaded the effort.   I hope you get it done!

 

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

The Dragons Are Coming…

March 30, 2022 at 6:45 pm
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… they’re on the wing, and will be arriving in August.

Details here:

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/game-of-thrones-house-of-the-dragon-premiere-date-1235215983/

Current Mood: excited excited

This, That, and t’Other Things

March 21, 2022 at 10:13 am
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Too much to do, too much to do.

Things are hopping, as my frogs told you down below.   I could be writing long posts here about a dozen things, but I am sure most of you would sooner I were writing fiction, producing films and television shows, editing anthologies.   Y’know.

But let me say a few quick words about matters various and sundry.

We have a new book coming out from Ten Speed in October: THE RISE OF THE DRAGON, an illustrated history of the Targaryen dynasty from Aegon the Conquerer to the regency of the boy king Aegon III.   I could show you the covers (British and American) but my mighty minions have already done that in the post below.   Just scroll down and enjoy.   The official announcement lays out the basic facts about the book as well, so I won’t repeat that here.   I just want to clear up a possible areas of confusion.   In my blog post of 3/9 (scroll further down), I made mention of “a lavish coffee table book coming later this year, an illustrated, condensed version of FIRE & BLOOD done with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson (my partners on THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE).”   Yes, I was speaking of THE RISE OF THE DRAGON.   The same book.    There has been some mention of RISE being an “encyclopedia,” but I do not think that is accurate… not unless the definition of “encyclopedia” has broadened considerably.   It’s a history… covering the same years and events as FIRE & BLOOD… but not written “in world” by Archmaester Gyldayn, and much condensed  from Gyldayn’s original text.   My friends Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson of WORLD OF ICE & FIRE fame handled the abridgement.

We needed a shorter book to make room for all the art.   That’s the big thing about THE RISE OF THE DRAGON:  it’s not an encyclopedia, it’s an art book.   And a gorgeous one, I think.   RISE will include 180 brand new illustrations from some of the finest fantasy artists in the world.   Some of them will be full page.   Many will be in gorgeous living (and dying) colors.   Dragons, knights, battles, lords and ladies, castles… all the good stuff.    So if you’re a fan of fantasy art, you may want to pre-order your copy now.

The other book  mentioned in that post of 3/9, the Who’s Who of Westeros, is coming as well, but not this fall.   That one is a way off.   Might be a year or two.   Lot of work to be done.   (As my editors complain, it is hard to do a who’s who when I keep inventing characters).

There will be a second book coming out this year, to tie in with the debut of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.   But it won’t be a new book, just an old one with a new cover.   That’s FIRE & BLOOD, of course, the original (unabridged) version by Archmaester Gyldayn, with new cover art from the HBO series.   When I have seen the new cover, I will be sure to post it here.

Oh, and as long as I am setting stuff straight, there’s a weird story all over the internet about how I “hid” my initials in ELDEN RING because… ah.. some of the characters have names beginning with R, or G, or M.   To which I say, “Eh?  What?  Really?”   This was news to me.    I have been writing and publishing stories since 1971, and I suspect that I have been giving characters names beginning with R and G and M since the start.   Along with the other twenty-three letters of the alphabet as well    Coming up with names is hard, especially since A SONG OF ICE & FIRE uses so many of them, and I am fond of giving family members and close kin names that have something in common… but really, why would I have to hide my name inside the game?   My name is right there ON the game, as one of the creators.    Hey, ELDEN RING is exciting enough, no need to make up stuff.

Let me see, what else?   Oh, I should mention that Sky Railway has reopened for its spring season, Santa Fe to Lamy, with all sorts of fun new adventures.   Check out the website at https://skyrailway.com/ and book your adventure now, if you’re coming to Santa Fe.    We are selling out.

Many of you reading this are fantasy fans, I know.   Waiting for WINDS OF WINTER, I know, I know… but looking forward to the new TV shows as well.  RINGS OF POWER on September 2, and HOUSE OF THE DRAGON on… well, you will know soon.   It’s only March, though.   What should you watch in the meanwhile?  I recommend THE LAST KINGDOM, based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon tales of Uhtred son of Uhtred.   The new season just went up, and Parris and I gulped it down in two days.   No, it is not fantasy, there is a notable lack of dragons and magic… but there are lots of battles and betrayals and swordplay, all that stuff.   And Uhtred is a warrior who could give the best of Westeros and Middle Earth a fight.   A good show, and we will miss it… but we have a feature film to look forward too, at least… and Cornwell has a new Sharpe book out too

There’s more, but I have other stuff to do, so I will sign off for now.   The horns are blowing, the frogs are hopping.

Current Mood: busy busy

THE RISE OF THE DRAGON

March 17, 2022 at 6:00 am
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We’re so excited to announce The Rise of The Dragon, a lavish visual history of House Targaryen – the iconic family at the heart of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon – featuring over 180 all-new illustrations!

For those of you who are wondering: What’s the difference between The Rise of the Dragon and Fire & Blood? Think of The Rise of the Dragon as a deluxe reference book, in which Westeros’ most infamous family – and their dragons – come to life in partnership with some truly incredible artists.

Fire & Blood was scribed as a grandmaesters’ account of events from Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros through to the infamous Dance of the Dragons, the civil war that nearly undid the Targaryen rule. The Rise of the Dragon will cover the same time period, but is written in a more encyclopedic style similar to The World of Ice and Fire. In fact, The World of Ice and Fire authors Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson have returned to help with this tome. 

 

The Rise of the Dragon is perfect for fans steeped in the lore of Westeros, as well as those meeting the Targaryens for the first time in the HBO series House of the Dragon. The book will be available in October 2022!

 

PRE-ORDER IN THE US HERE

PRE-ORDER IN THE UK HERE: Amazon UK, Waterstones UK

The US cover

The UK Cover

THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN BROUGH TO YOU BY THE MINIONS OF FEVRE RIVER

Dealer Takes Two

March 15, 2022 at 8:11 am
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Kings and deuces may not be as iconic… or ominous… a poker hand as aces and eights, but it’s not a bad hand to be dealt… and Tor will be dealing those cards to all the Wild Cards fans out there with the release of two more volumes on MARCH 15.

DEUCES DOWN will be released in trade paperback that day, with stories from Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, and John J. Miller… from the original iBooks edition, long out of print and hard to find… and brand new tales from Caroline Spector, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Carrie Vaughn, from Tor’s reissue.  Come join Puddleman and Chuckles, Cash Mitchell, Gary Bushorn, Father Henry Obst, the Jokertown Boys, the Myth Patrol, Aurora, Demise…and Croyd Crenson, the Sleeper.   I did the editing, with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass.

But we have more to offer than deuces.   Tor will also be releasing the first American edition of our new British adventure, THREE KINGS, in hardcover.  The twenty-ninth volume in the series, THREE KINGS is a full mosaic written by Peter Newman, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Peadar O Guilin, and Caroline Spector, featuring the Green Man, the Seamstress, Enigma, Double Helix, and Badh.   Melinda Snodgrass edited this one, with yours truly assisting… a reverse of the usual arrangement.

THREE KINGS and DEUCES DOWN will both be available at your local bookstore, and from your favorite on-line bookseller… and of course autographed copies can be had from Beastly Books in Santa Fe at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased