Not a Blog

San Diego

July 26, 2006 at 12:26 pm
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Comicons have certainly changed a lot since I attended the very first one, back in 1963 in New York. That one all took place in one room in a seedy Greenwich Village hotel. The “dealer’s room” was a couple of tables in the back of the panel room, where some of the organizers were selling their doubles out of cardboard boxes.

This year’s San Diego Comicon pretty much filled up the entire city of San Diego. Huge, overwhelming, exhausting, a bit scary… one runs out of adjectives. The concom took very good care of me, however, and I had a great time signing, speaking, sweating (it was bloody HOT in San Diego), and tromping up and down the length of the San Diego Convention Center, past hundreds of booths and displays, a giant Lego Batman, and other sights too numerous to mention. There was a very hot Wonder Woman wandering around one day, and an equally hot Mazda RX-8 on display at the Top Cow booth, both of which I lusted after, and I had the thrill of doing a panel with Peter S. Beagle, whose work I have admired for a long long time (if you have never read THE LAST UNICORN or A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, don’t call yourself a fantasy fan).

The parties were wild as well. The posh Sci-Fi Channel party on the pool deck of the swank Solamar Hotel and the Conan party with its sword-swinging dancing girls were both great and the goth/ vampire bash X-sanguine was unforgettable. An old abbey, stained glass windows, video screens, pillowed alcoves, and swarms of hot young women in leather and corsets… I could swear that I spent part of the evening talking with Jack Black, but I think that was just the drinks they kept thrusting into my hands.

It wasn’t all fun and games, however. I had a lot of business meetings in San Diego as well, and a number of them are going to result in new deals and projects and comics and toys and other good stuff somewhere down the line, I hope… but I can’t talk about any of that until the contracts are signed.

I also had a great brunch with some stalwarts from the Brotherhood Without Banners, who seem to be everywhere these days. I hadn’t enjoyed brunch at the Westgate since 1987 or so (it used to be the headquarters hotel for DC Comics, back when comicon was still in the old convention center next door), but it was just as fabulous as I remembered.

That’s all the fun I will be having for a while, however. I’m home again and it is time to get going on the novel once more. I have less than a month until worldcon, and I would like to get a big chunk of DANCE done before I take off for Anaheim.

This, That, and The Other Thing

July 14, 2006 at 12:21 am
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Life is really busy here at the moment, but after my last post I thought I had better update to say that the rain has finally stopped… long enough for my contractors to put on the first layer of my wonderful new pitched roof, at least. So with any luck when the rain returns it will remain outside, where we need it, instead of pouring down into my living room.

This is not to say that all my construction woes are done, however. I have several more months of fun and expense to look forward to. Most recently the plumber has been in, ripping down walls and installing my new plumbing. It turns out that none of my old plumbing was actually up to code. The developer who built my house in 1979 cut a few corners, it would seem. The scamp.

I don’t know what to think about all these comments. The last time I was here, I happened to look at my friend Daniel Abraham’s blog, and I noticed people commenting on his posts. That seemed like a nice feature. “I wonder if I could do that too?” I thought, so I dug around a bit and found the comment switch and turned it on. Now I’m frightened. Daniel gets like ten comments. I had forty within a few hours, and now it seems I have a hundred, just on my latest post. And there are comments on the older posts too, including some people who want to argue politics. Sigh. I hate to leave some of their statements unanswered, but I really don’t have time for extended political discussions. I don’t know. I am starting to wonder if turning on the comments was such a good idea…

On other fronts, well, lots is happening, but not much that I can talk about. I have a big conference call tomorrow about one project that cannot yet be announced, I have started some preliminary discussions with my partners on a second project that cannot be announced, I am waiting patiently for the company involved with the third project that cannot be announced to tell me that time has come for an official announcement, and… well, like that. Watch my news page, that’s all that I can say.

Oh, but I can tell you that we have officially started work on the first volume of the new WILD CARDS triad, which will be titled INSIDE STRAIGHT. Eight stories, featuring a cast of great new characters, and a terrific lineup of veteran Wild Card writers and talented young newcomers. Look for it some time in 2007… and if you haven’t tried a Wild Cards book before, you might want to pick up a few of the old volumes from Amazon or ABE to give yourself a taste,

I can also mention that I’ve signed a deal with Fantasy Flight Games to put together an official SONG OF ICE AND FIRE calendar. We’re a little too late in the year to have a 2007 calendar ready on time, so our first year will be 2008. Still in the early stages on that one, but when we know more I’ll post a story on my news page.

I did finish and deliver a short introduction / appreciation for the forthcoming JACK VANCE TREASURY today. This a big new book from the good folks at Subterranean Press, a career-spanning collection of the short fiction of Jack Vance, our greatest living SF and fantasy writer. It should be a gorgeous book, comparable to my own RRETROSPECTIVE collection from Subterranean (if not quite as big, Bill Schafer having regained his sanity).

Parris is returning to Ireland next week, and I am off to the San Diego Comicon. I am looking forward to that, although my schedule looks to be a killer. If I seem pale and dazed as I stagger past you in San Diego, please forgive me. I attended the San Diego Comicon a few times back in the early 80s, when it was about the size of worldcon. Now it’s TWENTY TIMES the size of worldcon. The mind boggles. A hundred thousand people all in one room.

(I attended the very first comicon ever held, incidentally. It was all in one room too, in a Greenwich Village hotel in 1963. Steve Ditko, Fabulous Flo Steinberg, and twenty or thirty high school kids, myself among them. If we only knew where it would lead… )

Rain

July 9, 2006 at 3:31 pm
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New Mexico needs rain. I know, I know. New Mexico almost always needs rain. So much so that Parris has taught the children of her Irish friends to chant, “Rain, rain go away, go and rain on Santa Fe.” This is a dry state at the best of times, and the last few years we have been in the middle of a long drought. Not much snow in winter, not much snowmelt in spring, raging wildfires during the long, hot, dry summer. So rain is much to be desired.

But did we have to get so much of it just now?

It has been raining for a week and a half now. Sometimes steadily for hours, sometimes fiercely in a sudden deluge. Most days, and always at night. Which would be fine, except that I am plunk in the middle of major home renovations, including adding on a new, pitched roof to replace my old flat tar-and-gravel “pueblo style” roof. So they took the old roof off and carried it away, but they haven’t put the new one on yet. I have tarps on top of my home, and we’ve had wind as well as rain, so they are doing a lot of flapping. Water is coming in. And the contractor says he can’t put the new roof on until the rain stops.

That’s at the house I live in (usually). At the moment Parris and I are living across the street in the house that is (usually) my office. That one has a roof, but it’s a flat Santa Fe style roof, and so of course it’s leaking.

Arrrgh.

All you kids in Ireland, STOP THAT DAMNED CHANTING!!!