Not a Blog

Last Day

February 28, 2009 at 10:59 am
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… to nominate for the Hugo Awards.

… to order a signed WINDHAVEN hardcover at my sale price of $18.

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I Know Just How You Feel, Pat

February 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm
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Hey, looks like I’m not the only one…

I have received every one of those emails as seen in Pat’s cartoons. Many times over.

(I wasn’t going to comment anymore about DANCE, deadlines, and lateness, but a friend sent me this link, and I couldn’t resist. Somehow it is actually weirdly comforting to know that it’s not just me and my stuff).

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Time Is Running Out

February 25, 2009 at 11:29 am
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Time is running out to nominate for this year’s Hugo Awards. Nominations close on February 28, remember. Members of Denvention III (last year’s worldcon) and/ or Anticipation (this year’s Montreal worldcon) can nominate on line at:

If you’re not a member of either worldcon, you can’t nominate. However, it is easy enough to sign up for Anticipation, as either an attending or supporting member. Just go to:

Nominate now… or you can’t complain when the shortlist is announced and your own favorites aren’t on it.

(For MY favorites and recommendations, see the series of posts I made last week).

Time is also running out for my sale on signed copies of WINDHAVEN. If you would like to snag a WINDHAVEN hardcover for $18, book rate shipping included, act now. On March 1, the price goes up to $26.

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And Speaking of Limited Editions…

February 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm
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… Tom Canty has put up an online art gallery of all the images he created for the soon-to-be-released Subterranean Press limited edition of A FEAST FOR CROWS.

Links to the gallery, and the latest information about the book, can be found on the SubPress website at

(Sorry, both the limited and lettered editions of FEAST sold out months ago, though it is possible you might be able to find a copy from a dealer or an online bookstore that specializes in deluxe editions)

Also, as long as I’m talking about FEAST, this might be a good opportunity to clarify a couple points about the numbers and letters of previous volumes in this series. I’ve had a couple of collectors query me about this, and it is a bit confusing.

As many of you know, the illustrated limited editions of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE began with Meisha Merlin out of Georgia. Now, whenever I do a book, or even contribute to something like an anthology, my contract always guarantees me a certain number of author’s copies. One or two copies for an anthology that I just have a story in, more for one of my own titles, be it novel, collection, anthology, what have you. In the case of an edition that is issued in several different states, like the deluxe Ice & Fire books, I receive so many copies of the lettered state, so many copies of the numbered state, etc.

Meisha Merlin was still a relatively new publisher when we began the series, however, and they had never done a limited edition before. I had, back in the 80s with Nemo Press (THE ARMAGEDDON RAG) and Dark Harvest (SONGS THE DEAD MEN SING and PORTRAITS OF HIS CHILDREN), but it had been a long time. The common practice with such editions is for the writer, editor, artist, and publisher to take their own copies from the overrun. Such copies are marked “PC” on the limitation page, which either stands for “Publisher’s Copy” or “Presentation Copy,” depending on who you ask. This allows the publisher to sell all the letters and all the numbers, up to whatever limit was announced.

The folks at Meisha Merlin did not know this, however, being new to this particular game. I probably knew it at one point, but I’d forgotten. So when Meisha Merlin did its edition of A GAME OF THRONES, with the Jeffrey Jones artwork, and Steve asked me which numbers and letters I wanted set aside as my author’s copies, I blithely answered him. I asked for the letters G, RR, and M, and Parris received the letter PP. From the numbered state, I got numbers 1, 7, and (I think) 77, and maybe another, I don’t recall. It is also possible that the artists (Jeffrey Jones on A GAME OF THRONES, John Howe on A CLASH OF KINGS, Charles Keegan on both) received numbered and lettered copies as well, though I do not know that for a certainty.

With A STORM OF SWORDS, however, the series moved from Meisha Merlin to Subterranean Press. SubPress was an experienced small press and had done dozens of limited editions prior to mine, and they had their own practices in this area… practices more in line with industry standard than those at Meisha Merlin. Bill pointed out to me that if he pulled 5 letters from the lettered edition to give to me, that left him only 47 to sell (the lettered editions of these were limited to 52 copies, A through ZZ), a considerable loss of revenue given the expense and price of these. And if he also gave five letters to the artist, the impact was doubled. Ditto with the numbered state. “PC” copies are not intended for sale, however, so those would have no impact on his bottom line. I could not argue with his logic, so I agreed that henceforth I would take my copies as PCs.

So that’s the story. Because of the change of publishers, I have lettered and numbered copies of the two Meisha Merlin books, PC copies of the Subterranean STORM OF SWORDS and (soon) FEAST FOR CROWS. And somewhere out there are collectors who own the G, RR, M, and PP copies of STORM and (soon) FEAST, who may be madly searching for the same letters of the Meisha Merlin volumes to complete their run. Alas, they won’t find ’em. I got ’em here. Ditto on the numbers.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion.

(Oh, by the way, Marc Fishman is already hard at work on the artwork for the Subterranean limited edition of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. So when that book is finally done, there’s a good chance the Subterranean edition may come out quite soon after the trade hardcovers from Voyager and Spectra, and a very slim chance that it might actually beat ’em into print).

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A Great Giant Falls

February 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm
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Brad Van Pelt is dead at 57.

Shocking and sad. He was a great linebacker and a great G-Man whose career, sadly, was squandered on some very bad Giants teams. But true fans of Big Blue remember him fondly. We didn’t have much to cheer about in those days.

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February 20, 2009 at 10:50 pm
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The flood of support I have received in the last day has been overwhelming.

More than four hundred comments on the DWD posting, and more every time I glance at it. I can hardly keep up with the unscreening. (My assistant, Ty, who normally handles that for me, has been out the last two days, sick with the same wretched flu that laid Parris low for a week and a half). Almost as many emails pouring in. By rough count, at least 99% of the messages are generous, understanding, supportive, and heartening.

There’s no way I can possibly answer all of them. It’s all I can do to read them.

But I do appreciate them, and I want every one to know that.

And, no, please, have no fear, there was never any danger that I would be so discouraged by the comments of trolls, critics, and detractors that I would stop work on the book. I am still pounding my head against that bloody keyboard daily. Today it was in service of… ah, no, you’re not supposed to know about that POV character yet. (Though I have hinted).

I also spent part of the day on email correspondence with a WARRIORS author about his story, talked to my editor and an artist about the ICE & FIRE concordance, traded some messages regarding developments on the HBO pilot, accepted an offer for that old issue of AMAZING I was looking for, paid my phone bill, and watched an episode of ER and one of MONK that I had TIVO’d earlier. That’s a pretty typical day, actually. I work on DANCE, but not to the exclusion of all else.

But I digress.

The main point of this is just to say thanks.

Yes, there are some dolts and loonies out there. But by and large, I have the best fans in the world.

(And who knew so many of them were Rick Nelson fans?)

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To My Detractors

February 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm
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(If you are not one of my detractors, this is not about you. Thanks for your support).

I have to admit, the rising tide of venom about the lateness of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS has gotten pretty discouraging. Emails, message boards, blogs, LJ comments, everywhere I look (and lots of places where I don’t), people seem to be attacking me, defending me, using me as a bad example of something or other, whatever.

I can and do avoid most of the online discussions, although I do regularly get emails from people eager to point out the latest URL where DANCE and I are being hashed over. I can do that, and I can screen the trollish comments here on LJ, but there’s no avoiding the emails.

Some of you are angry about the miniatures, the swords, the resin busts, the games. You don’t want me “wasting time” on those, or talking about them here.

Some of you are angry that I watch football during the fall. You don’t want me “wasting time” on the NFL, or talking about it here.

Some of you hate my other projects. You don’t want me co-editing WARRIORS or the Vance anthology or STAR-CROSSED LOVERS or any of the other projects I’m doing with my old friend Gardner Dozois, and you get angry when I post about them here. For reasons I don’t quite comprehend, the people who hate those projects seem to hate WILD CARDS even more. You really don’t want me working on that, “wasting time” on that, and posting about it here.

Some of you don’t want me attending conventions, teaching workshops, touring and doing promo, or visiting places like Spain and Portugal (last year) or Finland (this year). More wasting time, when I should be home working on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.

After all, as some of you like to point out in your emails, I am sixty years old and fat, and you don’t want me to “pull a Robert Jordan” on you and deny you your book.

Okay, I’ve got the message. You don’t want me doing anything except A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Ever. (Well, maybe it’s okay if I take a leak once in a while?)

Here’s my reply:

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A Dance With Dragons

February 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm
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No, it’s not done.

Yes, I am aware that more than a year has passed since my last update. A lot of you have been emailing me to point that out. Thanks, but really, I did know. Unlike many of you out there, I got my copies of the Song of Ice & Fire calendar, so I knew what date it was.

No, I’m not planning to update the update, for reasons stated in the update itself. Until such time as I can write, “It’s done,” it will remain the last update… aside from what I may say here from time to time, on my Not-A-Blog.

I made a lot of progress on the book in the first half of 2008. So much so that I was optimistic that I would be done by the end of the year. Unfortunately, I did not make much progress on the book in the second half of 2008. Indeed, I made some regress. (That Sansa chapter I talked about finishing, for instance. It’s still finished, but my editor and I decided it belongs in THE WINDS OF WINTER, not A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, so it’s been moved into the next book. Sansa will not appear in DANCE.)

Some of the reasons were literary, arising from problems in the narrative itself. I’m not going to discuss them here, because I really do not like talking about questions I am still wrestling with on a work in progress. It never helps. Art is not a democracy, and these are problems I need to solve myself. Having a few hundred readers weigh in with their thoughts and opinions — which seems to be what happens whenever I post here about DWD — does not advance the process. I’m sorry, but that’s true. I know that many of you would like to help me, but you can’t. I have editors and I have two capable assistants, and that’s sufficient. I’m the only one who can dance this dance.

Some of other reasons for the delay have nothing to do with the book itself. They’re extra-literary, arising from other things in my life. I could sketch out some of them here, sure, but what good would it do? Those who are inclined to understand would send me messages of sympathy and support. Those are not so inclined would dismiss them as “excuses,” or even “feeble excuses.” A few will even go so far as to accuse me of lying.

That’s the part that really bothers me. For the record, I have never lied about anything having to do with A DANCE WITH DRAGONS or the series as a whole. I have been wrong, yes. I have been wrong lots of time, especially when I’ve tried to predict how long it will take me to complete the book, or when it will be published. Being wrong is not the same as lying. Since the very beginning of this series, I have been guilty of being over-optimistic about how long it would take me to finish the next book, the next chapter, or the series as a whole. I cannot deny that. I have always been bad with deadlines… one reason why I did my best to avoid them for the first fifteen years of my career. That’s an option I no longer have, however. Or at least will not have until A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is complete.

That’s the main reason why I no longer want to give any completion dates. I am sick and tired of people jumping down my throat when I miss them.

This latest flood of emails has worn down my resolve, however. So in hopes of quieting it, once more I will step into the breach —

I am trying to finish the book by June. I think I can do that. If I do, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will likely be published in September or October.

(Yes, I am aware that I have previously said that I hoped to finish by the end of 2008. And before that, I said that I hoped to finish by June 2008, before I went to Spain and Portugal. And before that, I said I hoped to finish by the end of 2007. I know, I know, I know. No, I was not lying. I was wrong. And wrong again. And wrong before that. This time I hope that I am right. But you know, I can’t swear that in blood. I write one chapter at a time. One page at a time. One word at a time. And then the next.)

That’s all I have. But it’s more than Amazon has, or anyone else.

The INSTANT that I finish the novel and put it in the mail to Bantam, I will post that fact here, just as I did for SUICIDE KINGS a few days ago. Until and unless you read that announcement here, believe nothing you hear from any other source.

Thanks for your continued support… and for your patience.

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Wild Cards Discussion

February 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm
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I got an email from a reader who wanted to know if there was a site out there where the Wild Cards books were being discussed and debated the way the Ice & Fire books are on the Westeros board. The short answer, alas, is “no.” There is no ‘Wild Card Westeros.’

There are a half-dozen different sites where the books have been discussed. The liveliest of them is Captain Comics, at

There is also Tor’s official Wild Cards site at . No message boards there, but plenty of bios, author interviews, special “outtatkes” and exclusive content, even some links to old Wild Cards panels at worldcons past.

And last but not least, there’s the wonderful UK fan site Wild Cards OnLine, with a wealth of detail about the books and characters. That one can be found at

All of them are well worth checking out.

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But Enough About the Hugos

February 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm
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Moving right along, I wanted to mention that all my copies of the Guardians of Order RPG book are now gone, including the remaining copies that were water-damaged in the floor.

It’s possible that I may have a box or two of additional copies in my storage locker, but I won’t know that until work is complete on my Library Tower, and I can empty out the locker and start unpacking long-lost books.

Thanks for the interest, everyone. I hope those of you who got the books enjoy ’em.

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