Not a Blog

The Sweet Taste of Victory

September 23, 2007 at 8:04 pm
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Life is magical and full of joy.

There’s nothing better than a Sunday on which both of my NFL teams win. (Well, okay, I take that back. There are a few things that are better. Finishing a book, winning a Hugo, kissing a hot babe, a new book by one of my favorite writers, a great pizza pie. Having both the Jets and Giants win is still pretty high up there, though).

Today’s games were both pretty exciting. In the morning game, the Jets had a commanding 31-13 lead and the game was well in hand. Then they decided to go into the infamous “prevent defense,” which, as every football fan knows, usually just prevents you from winning. The Dolphins came storming back and almost pulled it out, and the Jets had to recover a last moment onsides kick to hold onto the victory. They did, though. Phew.

The Giants game was even sweeter. The Redskins were leading them 17-3 at the half, and the G-Men looked thoroughly beaten. Plaxico Burress was playing as if he’d coated his hands in oleomargarine before sprinting onto the field. The second half was a different story, however. This time it was the Giants who came storming back. Plax was suddenly catching everything in sight, and the Giant defense woke up for the first time this season. It came down to the final seconds. The Skins had first and goal on the Giants one-yard line , but the defense kept ’em out of the end zone and the G-Men collected their first victory of the season.

A pizza, a Hugo, and a few hundred kisses would make this a perfect day.

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R.I.P. Robert Jordan

September 16, 2007 at 9:30 pm
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The world of high fantasy is poorer today.

James Rigney, better known to fantasy readers as Robert Jordan, has passed away. Although he had been fighting amyloidosis for several years, the news of his death still came as a shock to many, including me. He was so optimistic and determined that you had to think that if anyone could beat the disease, it would be him.

Jim was a good and gracious man, a pleasure to share a platform or a pint with, and his contributions to modern fantasy were many. His huge, ambitious WHEEL OF TIME series helped to redefine the genre, and opened many doors for the writers who followed.

He was also unfailingly generous towards other fantasists, always ready to offer them support and encouragement. My own ICE & FIRE series might never have found its audience without the cover quote that Jim was so kind as to provide, back when A GAME OF THRONES was first published. I will always be grateful to him for that.

The last time I saw Jim was at an Archon in Collinsville, Illinois. It was before his final illness. He was the convention Guest of Honor and I was the Toastmaster, and I introduced him by telling the audience that actually we were the same person. It was a gag that Jim himself had suggested in the Green Room beforehand. While I was doing the intro, and claiming credit for all his books, he slowly entered, walked up silently behind me, and stood looming over me, glowering like Zeus. We got a great laugh.

I had some great dinners with Jim and his wife Harriet there in Collinsville as well. We talked about other writers, editors, publishers, all the stuff that writers always talk about… oh, and a little about our own series as well… and Jim and Harriet invited me to visit them if I ever made it down to Charleston. Sad to say, I never did.

RIP, Jim. You will be much missed.

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More NFL

September 16, 2007 at 7:19 pm
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Life is meaningless and has no purpose.

And my teams both suck.

This could be a very long season.

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For Jack Vance Fans

September 14, 2007 at 12:51 am
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For any Jack Vance fans out there — and if you’re not a Jack Vance fan, why the hell not? — be sure to check out my news page for the official announcement of SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, the new Jack Vance tribute anthology that Gardner Dozois and I will be editing.

It’s a fun project, and we’ve got a great lineup of writers.

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Belicheat Gets Wrist Slapped

September 14, 2007 at 12:49 am
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One draft choice isn’t enough, even a first rounder.

And Belicheat himself should have been suspended for at least a few games.

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Evil Little Bill

September 12, 2007 at 12:38 pm
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I believe I was talking about how Bill Belicheat has no honor.


I rest my case.

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The Joy of Football

September 9, 2007 at 11:14 pm
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First the Jets, now the Giants. Life is meaningless and has no purpose.

The Giants and Cowboys did put on a barnburner, at least. I thought the G-Men were going to blow them out in the first quarter — and they might have, if Amani Toomer had only gotten his toes down on Eli’s second TD bomb. Then at the end, I thought maybe they’d somehow pull it out with a miracle finish. But it was not to be.

Everything in between is best forgotten.

Best game I’ve seen from Plax. Eli should just have thrown to him every play. Derrick Ward showed some good stuff too, and Amani Toomer came back bigtime from last season’s injury. The Giants O-line held up better than expected, but their D-line generated absolutely no pressure. Strahan decided not to retire, I know, but you couldn’t tell it by his presence on the field today. Where were the sacks?

I know most football fans love games like this, with all the scoring, but not me. I like good defense. I didn’t see one on the field today. Neither the Giants nor the Cowboys seems to have a defense. Neither team could stop the other. Both have lots of high-priced defensive stars, but that doesn’t seem to translate to actual stops.

The Giants injuries are more worrisome than losing the game. Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, Osi Umenyoira… that’s our starting QB, starting RB, and best pass rusher. Losing all three in the first game is no way to begin a season.

(And all my best wishes are going out to that poor TE on the Bills)

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September 9, 2007 at 3:19 pm
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Well, the NFL season got off to a rocky start for me with today’s Jets – Patriots game.

Poor Chad. I really feel for the guy.

Another victory for Evil Little Bill, I fear. The Patriots offensive line played an awesome game. The Jets pass rush never got close enough to Tom Brady to muss his hair.

And Thomas Jones, the Jets’ big off-season acquisition, showed nothing. I hope this is not an omen of things to come. If so, it could be a long season. Chad is most effective when he’s faking handoffs in play-action, and you can’t play-action without a running attack.

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Free Books!!

September 7, 2007 at 12:23 am
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DREAMSONGS is on the way this fall, in two big volumes, and the good folks at Bantam Books have donated a couple of ARCs (that’s Advanced Reading Copies, for those of you who don’t speak Publishing Lingo, a fancy sort of bound galley put out in advance of a book’s publication to generate buzz and blurbs and reviews) to Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist. Pat will be giving them away to some lucky winner in his latest contest, and I’ve agreed to autograph ’em, even add a personal inscription if you like.

If you would like to enter, get yourself over to for details of how the contest works. Pat has all kinds of other giveaways going as well. So if you don’t win DREAMSONGS, maybe you’ll pick up a free copy of the Subterranean Press limited edition of HUNTER’S RUN (written by me and Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham, and illustrated by Bob Eggleton, winner of many Hugos and Lord of the Hair), or perhaps a new book by Neil Gaiman, by Stephen R. Donaldson, by Ian MacDonald… Pat runs a lot of contests.

Even beyond the giveaways, Pat’s is a cool site to visit for anyone with an interest in fantasy. It’s one of the most lively and literate blogs on the internet, and seems to feature new content almost every day. If he keeps it up, this is a site that deserves serious consideration for a Hugo nomination next year.

But that’s next year. Right now, go win yourself a DREAMSONGS.

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Missing Worldcon

September 1, 2007 at 6:35 pm
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I wish I was in Yokohama.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I made the logical, adult, sensible decision, and stayed home to work on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS and my myriad other projects. It wouldn’t have made much sense for me to fly to Japan just for the con, not with the trip being as grueling and expensive as it is, and I certainly couldn’t afford to take off the month or six weeks it would have required for me to do worldcon, and make promotional appearances in Japan, Korea, and China as well, as my various Asian publishers wanted. And no matter how long or short the trip was, the mails and emails and bills and deadlines would have piled up monstrously in my absence, and I would have returned to find myself buried, and it would have taken another two weeks just to dig myself out, and I can’t afford that time, I really can’t.

I know all that.

All the same, not being at worldcon is killing me. I was okay at first, when I just knew in a kind of abstract way that the con was going on, but now con reports and pictures are starting to show up on various blogs and listservs that I frequent, and every time I read one it bums me out a little more. Maybe if everyone was writing, “this is the worst damned convention in worldcon history,” and “Japan is unbearable,” I would feel a little better about staying home, but that’s not what they are writing at all.

Today the Hugo results came in, salt in the wound. Not only have I missed worldcon and the chance to visit Japan, but I have missed the Hugoes for the first time in twenty-one years.

And THEN I hear that Montreal has won the 2009 worldcon over Kansas City. Sucks.

Ah, what can I say…

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