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QB for Trade

March 31, 2009 at 11:22 pm
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So the other shoe has finally dropped in Denver, and it’s now official: quarterback Jay Cutler is available for trade. No big surprise. Everybody but the Broncos has seemed to know that Cutler and Denver were done a month ago.

That decision to fire Mike Shanahan is looking worse and worse.

Big question from my end is whether the Jets should go after Cutler, now that he’s officially on the market. I admit to having mixed feelings about that.

With the NFL draft only a month away, all the draft gurus have been beating the drum about how the Jets need to draft a quarterback. Myself, I think their collective analysis is faulty. Right now the Jets have three QBs on the roster: Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliffe, and Eric Ainge. Between the three of them, they have a total of eight NFL starts. That’s why the draft gurus keep saying the Jets need a QB.

But say the Jets listen, and draft Sanchez (if he falls to 17), or Freeman, or one of the other college QBs. Now they will have four quarterbacks on the roster, and between they will still have a total of eight NFL starts. So what’s changed? Clemens, Ratliffe, and Ainge are all young, raw talents with big arms and zero experience. Any college kid the Jets can draft is going to be exactly the same. There’s no guarantee that Sanchez or Freeman is going to be any better over a career than Clemens, Ratliffe, or Ainge.

So I’ve been against this draft-a-QB drumbeat. The Jets need more help on defense, is what they need. A big wide receiver to take the place of Laveranues Coles would also be good.

Cutler is a different proposition, however. This is no raw recruit coming out of college, this is an established NFL quarterback, one that many commentators are saying is the best of his draft class. He could be “Broadway Jay,” I suppose, and lead the Jets for the next decades. He has a big arm too, and that’s an important asset in the windy Meadowlands.

But — and here’s where the doubts creep in — he’s also shown himself to be temperamental and thin-skinned. That’s the part that worries me. If his feelings could be so badly bruised by his new coach’s attempt to trade him, what’s going to happen if he comes to New York and has a bad game, and the NYC media start in on him?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

But it should be interesting to see how it all works out.

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Random Thoughts at Midnight

March 28, 2009 at 12:07 am
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Just a few days left in March. When the month ends, so does our foreign edition sale, so if you want $5 off the foreign translations of any of my books, this is the time to act.

I really don’t know where the time goes. It seems like yesterday I was watching the Superbowl, and a few days before that I was just getting back from Spain and Portugal. The days and weeks and months seem to go by so quickly now… and the pages come so slowly…

Speaking of Spain and Portugal, I meant to post a lot more about my travels there last summer, and to post some pictures too. Another good intention swallowed by the demands of work and the lateness of the hour. I may still post a few things, though. Better late than never, I suppose… and it was a wonderful trip.

I need to post about WATCHMEN (which I loved) and the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA finale (which I pretty much hated) too. In my copious spare time. But I really do have a lot to say about both. The Watchmen/ Wild Cards compare-and-contrast exercise is an essay in itself…

Subterreanean Press sent me an Advanced Reading Copy of the Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, a few days ago, and I’ve been dipping into it. I’d read all the stories before, of course, but it’s still fun to revisit them. I even reread my own story, “A Night at the Tarn House,” and thought it held up pretty well. That’s always a relief. Sometimes I hate my own stuff when I reread (sometimes I love it, too, I’m a moody sonofabitch).

I hope Jack Vance likes the book. The impact he’s had on the field, and especially on the writers in the anthology, has been immense.

I’ve also just received a couple of advance copies of the limited edition FEAST FOR CROWS from Subterranean. Oh my, oh my. What a beautiful book. Tom Canty is amazing. FEAST is shipping now. Unfortunately, this is a limited edition, and it was long ago sold out. The lettered and numbered editions of the Vance book are also sold out, but copies of the trade hardcover are still available from the Subterranean website… and the trade will still feature the gorgeous interior artwork by Tom Kidd.

Some cool new stuff from Green Ronin Games as well. Their first Wild Cards adventure, ALL IN, has been released, and so has their new Ice & Fire role playing game. I need to write a story about those for my website news page… so much to do, so little time… but here’s some pictures of the cover art, to whet your taste, at least:

Visit the Green Ronin website for more information for the games.

Oh, and my new Library Tower is almost complete. Another week, and the renovations should all be done. It’s cost a fortune and there’s been a lot of noise and dust and disruption, but it will all have been worth it. The tower is gorgeous. I’ll try to post pictures, if I can ever find my camera. I took it to the Page One signing for BUSTED FLUSH, snapped lots of pics there, brought it home, and haven’t seen it since.


The Library Tower should help with that too. Finally, some organization.

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Tax Time

March 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm
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It’s that time of year again, and Ty and I have spent two days pulling together all my tax records for my accountant.

Help, help, I’m drowning in little bits of paper!!!

How I hate this time of year.

(It’s snowing, too).

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Wild Cards Xmas

March 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm
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Make it a Wild Cards Xmas this year.

Tor informs me that SUICIDE KINGS has been scheduled for release in December.

So this year, stuff Rustbelt, Gardener, Double Helix, the Amazing Bubbles, Jonathan Hive, and the Radical in your stocking.

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Another Monkey Off My Back

March 24, 2009 at 12:18 pm
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Music: Sixteeen Tons
Gardner Dozois and I have completed work on our WARRIORS anthology, and delivered it to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, our editor at Tor

This one is a monster, a gigantic “event” anthology with an all-star lineup of writers, most of them award winners and bestsellers in their own fields. The theme of the anthology is war and the warrior ethos… but what makes WARRIORS different from all the military SF anthologies that have gone before is that this one is a cross-genre anthology. Fantasy, SF, historical fiction, suspense, mainstream, romance, and more, all of it was welcome here.

Our final lineup:

Introduction: “Stories from the Spinner Rack,” by George R.R. Martin
“The King of Norway,” by Cecelia Holland
“Forever Bound,” by Joe Haldeman
“The Triumph,” by Robin Hobb
“Clean Slate,” by Lawrence Block
“And Ministers of Grace,” by Tad Williams
“Soldierin’,” by Joe Lansdale
“Dirae,” by Peter S. Beagle
“The Eagle and the Rabbit,” by Steven Saylor
“Seven Years from Home,” by Naomi Novik
“The Custom of the Army,” by Diana Gabaldon
“The Pit,” by James Rollins
“Out of the Dark,” by David Weber
“The Girls from Avenger,” by Carrie Vaughn
“Ancient Ways,” by S.M. Stirling
“Ninieslando” by Howard Waldrop
“Recidivist” by Gardner Dozois
“My Name is Legion,” by David Morrell
“Defenders of the Frontier,” by Robert Silverberg
“The Scroll,” by David Ball
“The Mystery Knight,” by George R.R. Martin

There’s twenty stories, all original and never before published, including a Forever Peace
sequel from Joe Haldeman, a “Lord John” novella by Diana Gabaldon, an Emberverse tale from Steve Stirling, and a major new Dunk & Egg novella from yours truly. Vikings, doughboys, Roman legionaries, knights, Buffalo soldiers, cybernetic infantry, WASPs, Cossacks — you’ll find them all in the pages of WARRIORS.

Look for the Tor hardcover in March 2010.

So far there’s no UK sale, nor any foreign deals on the table. Those may come later… but until and unless they do, if you want to read “The Mystery Knight” or any of the other stories, you’ll need to grab the Tor edition.

Buy early and often, and help us smash these genre boundaries! It’s the story that matters, not the label… at least that’s our mantra here.

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Hugo nominations

March 20, 2009 at 1:40 am
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Well, this year’s Hugo Award nominations are in. You can check out the full list at:

For several years now I have been beating the drum on this blog and elsewhere, urging more people to nominate.

The good news is, nominations are up sharply this year. Denvention III received 483 valid nominating ballots, Anticipation has announced 799. That’s a very impressive spike.

The bad news is, well, almost none of the stuff that I nominated made the ballot, and I’m not crazy about a lot of stuff that did.

But at least more people are nominating.

Now comes the vote. The categories have all been winnowed down to a short list. Go ye forth and read.

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The Twins, Again

March 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm
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I can’t resist sharing some more beautifully painted miniatures.

Here’s another set of the Lannister twins. These two were painted for me by the exquisitely talented Jen Haley of Paintrix Miniatures, whose website can be found at First up is Jaime, this time in crimson Lannister plate, wearing the black silk cape he wore the first time we see him, at Winterfell in A GAME OF THRONES.

The facial details are just amazing, I think. I used to try my own hand at painting, when I had a bit more time, but at this scale I count myself lucky when I can get both eyes on the same side of the nose, with the pupil inside the white. But take a look at this close up —

And of course, Ser Jaime hardly ever goes anywhere without his sis, so here’s Cersei in a stunning brocade gown, all freehand work by Jen.

Many of you are not collectors or painters, I know. You may not have any idea how very very HARD it is to do this. Just to put it all in perspective, this shot will give you some idea of the scale of these figures:

It really requires painting of this quality to bring out all of the astonishing details of Tom Meier’s amazing sculpts.

The twins, and the rest of the range, are all available from Dark Sword Miniatures at for those who want to try their own hand.

Good luck.

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Calendars Are Gone

March 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm
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Three huge boxes of signed calendars have been picked up, and are on their way back to the Dabels at DBPro. Everyone who paid for an autographed calendar should have it soon.

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Tom Meier Is Back

March 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm
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Music: Randy Newman, “Short People”
Miniature fans rejoice. Tom Meier has finally found enough time from all his other commitments to sculpt another figure for the Dark Sword range of Ice & Fire miniatures. And this is one you guys have been clamoring for… the Imp himself, Tyrion Lannister.

The figure won’t actually go on sale for another month or thereabouts, but here’s some advance peeks at Tom’s green.

This is the early Tyrion, as he is when we first meet him in A GAME OF THRONES, before he grows the beard and loses… well, no, that would be telling.

Next up for Tom will be Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides, but he has to fit him in among his toy work, so it may not be tomorrow. To make the time pass faster, Dark Sword has some other surprises in the works. But more on that some other day.

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The Calendars Are Signed

March 12, 2009 at 2:20 pm
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I’ve defaced ’em all. (See? Sometimes I finish SOONER than I estimate!!!)

The calendars are all signed, packed up in three big boxes, and waiting for UPS to come by, pick them up, and return them to DBPro for distribution.

Me, I’m going back to DANCE. Maybe I can even finish that bloody Tyrion chapter today…

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