Not a Blog

Accept No Substitutes

May 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm
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Ty has just informed me that there’s someone impersonating me on Twitter, using my name as their handle.

For the record, I’m not on Twitter and don’t intend to be on Twitter. Live Journal and my website are as much as I can handle. So whatever this clown says or does, ’tain’t me.

I am also not on My Space, Facebook, or any of the other usual internet watering holes.

Just here.

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Buried Treasures

May 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm
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With my library tower complete at last, we’ve finally started moving things out of storage. We were actually able to give up one of our three lockers, and get down to two. Some of the stuff has been in storage so long that we’d forgotten that we owned it, so finding it again is like bumping into an old friend you haven’t seen in years.

And some buried treasures are coming to light as well. To start with, we found another box of the deluxe limited edition hardcover of the GAME OF THRONES rpg from Guardians of Order. And since they were safe in storage, these copies are NOT horribly water-damaged.

I know that there more of you who wanted to get your hands on one of these, so I am pleased to offer autographed copies once again. Details can be found on my website at:

So far we have only found one box, so it will be first come, first served for as long as copies last. I do think there are more out there in the two remaining storage lockers, but I don’t know how long it will take us to uncover them. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year.

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Vance Book Goes to Press

May 19, 2009 at 11:48 am
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Subterranean Press has just announced that they’ve sent our Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, (which I co-edited with Gardner Dozois) to the printers:

This is the illustrated edition, with gorgeous interior artwork by Tom Kidd. The lettered and numbered states are sold out, but copies of the trade remain available at the SubPress website.

It’s going to be a real Jack Vance extravaganza over at Subterranean, since they are also rolling to press with his autobiography, IT’S ME, JACK VANCE, and the collection WILD THYME, GREEN MAGIC.

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feeling feisty

May 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm
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Much improved these last two days. I’ve even been writing well.

But damn, even a few days of being laid low puts me so far behind…

My life and career have developed a frightening momentum. I remember once, when I was out in Hollywood, someone described working on a weekly television series as being akin to madly laying rails as the locomotive roars full steam up the tracks just behind you. I’m not in Hollywood anymore, but life still feels like that some days. Lose a day here and a week there, and suddenly that damn train is rolling over you.

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fighting the crud

May 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm
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Still fighting the crud here. Feeling a little better this morning, but still not a hundred per cent. I did manage to stagger across to my office. We’ll see how long I last. If I take off too long, the mountain of stuff becomes overwhelming by the time I get back.

And now it appears I’ve passed on this cold/ flu / whatever to my assistant Ty, who has passed it on to his wife. A plague sweeping through New Mexico.

I hate feeling sick.

Hoping to be my old self by the weekend… there’s so much bloody work to do…

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still sick

May 14, 2009 at 1:06 am
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spent most of the last two days in bed, coughing and sleeping

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Back to Jokertown

May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm
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WILD CARDS is headed back to its roots.

The early volumes in our long-running shared-world anthology series largely centered around Manhattan, especially the parts of the Bowery and Lower East Side that became known as Jokertown. More recent entries, however, have been wider in scope, often international. But I’ve signed the contracts for another brand new, all-original Wild Cards mosaic novel, and I’m pleased to announce that with FORT FREAK the series is coming home again.

Manhattan’s 5th precinct has seen it all. Its historic precinct house on Elizabeth Street is the oldest in the New York City, and the cops and detectives based there are charged with keeping the peace in Chinatown, Little Italy, the Bowery, and parts of the Lower East Side.

In our alternate universe, the jokers !“ deformed, twisted victims of the alien virus known as the wild card !“ began moving into tenements of the Bowery and Lower East Side in the late 40s and early 50s, driving out the !œnats! (naturals) and transforming the area into a colorful, dangerous, and often surreal slum district that soon became known as Jokertown. The 5th precinct became the Jokertown precinct. It did not take long before the city’s police began calling the precinct house !œFort Freak.!

Fort Freak and its cops and detectives have figured in many of our older Wild Cards stories, albeit usually in the background. But with this new volume, we’re finally going to tell the stories of the brave men and women who walk the mean streets and strange alleys of Jokertown, and the unique and dangerous challenges that face.

FORT FREAK is the title, and Tor will once again be our publisher. The lineup of contributors for this one includes Cherie Priest, Melinda M. Snodgrass, David Anthony Durham, Stephen Leigh, Paul Cornell, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller. The featured characters will be a mix of old favorite and new creations.

This will be the twenty-first volume in the Wild Cards series, first launched in 1987.

Look for FORT FREAK in your favorite bookstore in late 2010 or early 2011. We’ve just started work on this one.

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Star Trek Made Me Sick

May 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm
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Literally. I have a cough that won’t stop, and a chest that’s so congested it feels like it’s made of concrete. And the phlegm…

And the only time I’ve left the house and computer for weeks was to see that wretched Trek film, so I am blaming Kirk, Spock, and J.J. Abrams.

If I die of swine flu, you know who to hold responsible.

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May 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm
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Saw the new STAR TREK movie last night.

No spoilers here, just a resounding thumbs down. Take a pass.

The actors do a very creditable job of creating young versions of all the familiar characters from Classic Trek, but the writing sucks start to finish, and the science fictional aspects are ludicrous even for STAR TREK. Fans of the old show might like the film… but then again, maybe not, since it’s a “reboot” (Hollywoodese for “retcon”) and pisses all over the original continuity.

Me, I think they should just let this tired, tired franchise die. STAR WARS too. I don’t ever need to see another wookie, or another klingon. (They won’t, of course. Not so long as there’s one more nickle to be made. I know how Hollywood works).

I love SF, and I love space opera, but can’t we have some new characters in a new universe? Even BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was a retread, albeit a much more interesting one than anything Trek or SW has done in decades. We did have FIREFLY, short lived as it was… but there’s room for more. Let’s have television versions of Honor Harrington and Miles Vorkosigan. Let’s have someone film the Praxis series by Walter Jon Williams, the best space opera I’ve read in years. Let’s have anything that isn’t Trek or STAR WARS.

If they really must remake old shows, screw it, let them remake Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, or Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. Pinto Vortando rules!!!

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Climbing Liberty

May 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm
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I climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty once.

Once was enough, believe me. The interior of the statue is stifling and hot, the winding metal steps are narrow and steep, and you’re in a long line of people, with someone on the step ahead of you and someone on the step behind. And once you reached the top, well, the inside of Lady Liberty’s head is pretty cramped as well, and the windows are thick and pitted and do not actually offer that great a view.

It’s not an experience I am eager to repeat…

Nonetheless, I am glad I did it, and I want others to have the chance to do it too. Which is why I was heartened today by the announcement that the Obama administration is once again opening Lady Liberty to visitors.

George W. Bush had, of course, closed the monument after 9/11 (visitors were still allowed on Liberty Island and could tour the museum in the statue’s base, but were not allowed inside the lady herself), citing possible terrorist attacks as the reason. Was that a danger? To some extent, sure. I have no doubt that Osama bin Laden would love to destroy the Statue of Liberty. But closing the statue was not the answer. It was, in fact, an act of cowardice, “letting the terrorists win.” Being able to climb up inside the Statue of Liberty is not, of course, a fundamental right like freedom of speech or freedom of religion… but it was something cool that many generations of Americans had been able to enjoy, and having it taken away “to keep us safe” always galled me.

And now it’s back. Hurrah, hurrah.

My mother, a child of another era, first visited Lady Liberty at a time when tourists were still allowed to climb up into her torch. Now THAT would be cool. Unlike the crown, the torch is open air, so the views would be spectacular. But the torch was closed to the public long before I first got to Liberty Island in the 50s. These days, I understand, no one goes up there but Superman… and the park rangers stationed at the monument, who rumor tells us like to climb up there to make out.

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