Not a Blog

Life Is…

December 28, 2009 at 9:56 am
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… meaningless and full of pain… but sometimes it gives you an unexpected gift.

The Giants game was a disgrace. Bill Sheridan has to go. How he could destroy the Giants defense in a single year, when he had all the players Steve Spagnuolo had and then some, is a mystery for the ages.

And the Jets… well, yeah, I’m glad they got the W, but really… call me old school, but I believe a team should play hard every week, no matter what. What Caldwell did was a disgrace. A nice late Xmas present for Gang Green, sure, but all the other teams contending for the AFC wild card must be steaming, and Peyton and the other Colts first-stringers looked none too happy on the sidelines either. I would not be the least surprised if the Happy Horseshoes make an early exit from the playoffs after this. Disgraceful.

Meanwhile, back in the Meadowlands, I can only hope that the final Jets home game in Giants Stadium has a happier result than the final Giants home game.

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Merry Christmas

December 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm
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Here’s hoping all my friends and readers have a merry Christmas.

And you other people too.

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Odds and Ends

December 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm
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SUICIDE KINGS is out in hardcover (see below) and BUSTED FLUSH has been released in mass market. Meanwhile, I’ve delivered the additional content — three new stories — for the first volume of this storied series, WILD CARDS itself, which Tor will be reissuing later in the year. Since the first volume was historical in nature, telling the story of the wild card from 1946 to 1985, adding some original material to cover some of the “lost years” seemed like a natural.

The three new tales:
— “Captain Cathode and the Secret Ace,” by Michael Cassutt,
— “Powers,” by David D. Levine,
— “Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan,” by Carrie Vaughn.

No publication date yet. You’ll know when I do.

As for FORT FREAK, the twenty-first volume in the series that WILD CARDS began, first drafts are all in, I’ve given the usual editorial note, and the writers are all off revising. This one looks to be a lot of fun. The Class of 2009 is doing some great work, and the old-timers ain’t half bad either.

On other fronts, Gardner Dozois and I are very close to delivering our original cross-genre anthology STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, to Pocket Books. We’re waiting for some minor revisions from one writer. Once those are in hand, the book will be delivered. Only it’s not STAR-CROSSED LOVERS any longer. Pocket’s sales force did not like that title, so the anthology has now been rechristened SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH. Got a great line up of writers for that one, including Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, M.L.N. Hanover, Peter S. Beagle, Marjorie Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, and many more.

Everybody’s talking about AVATAR, which I haven’t seen yet… but I have been going to movies. While the crowds queue up for Cameron, I’ve been catching up on some of the other films now in release. I enjoyed THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, and liked INVICTUS as well, but the one that really impressed me was ME AND ORSON WELLES. The guy who plays Welles should get an Oscar nomination for that performance.

As usual, I am way behind on my Xmas shopping.

Where does the time go?

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Now On Sale

December 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm
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Today was the official publication day for the latest Wild Cards book, SUICIDE KINGS.

Run, don’t walk, to your favorite bookstore and getcha copy now. And hell, while you’re there, get copies for all your friends as well. All you Xmas shopping in one swell foop.

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Giants Crush

December 21, 2009 at 11:42 pm
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Well, that was fun. If only every game was like this…

(Maybe it is, if you’re a Colts fan).

These were the Giants I remember. The swarming aggressive D, the sacks, the knockdowns, the hurries, the interceptions, runners tackled at the line of scrimmage. And on offense, long time-consuming drives ending in touchdowns. Eli looked terrific, spreading the ball around. Nicks, Smith, Manningham, and Boss all had big catches, and even Derek Hagan scored a touchdown. The running game was back, especially when Ahmad Bradshaw had the ball. The O line opened gaping holes, and the D line was so relentless that our wafer-thin secondary was never threatened.

Yeah, these were the real G-Men.

I have no idea who those clowns in the Redskins uniforms were.

That fake field goal the Skins tried at the end of the first half had to be one of the most bizarre plays I’ve ever seen. Watching Steve Young talk about it in the postgame was hilarious.

I do feel sorry for Jim Zorn, whose postgame press conference was… well, obviously, no one ever taught the guy Coachspeak. Poor guy is not long for D.C.

But it was a great win.

Now we need two more like it, coupled with a Cowboys loss.

(Or a Packers loss, maybe… but while I know the G-Men have the tiebreaker over Dallas, no one has ever mentioned who wins a tie between New York and Green Bay).

Next week, the Panthers. Who beat the Vikings yesterday. Let’s hope the real G-Men show up.

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Jets Crash

December 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm
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Life is meaningless and full of pain.

I saw this one coming. Three missed field goals will always come back and bite you in the ass.

Great D, but Mark still has a lot of maturing to do.

With the Colts and the Bengals yet to come, I think we can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

And I’m not feeling good about the Giants game tomorrow either.

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December 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm
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Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist is doing one of their famous contests, for two Advanced Reading Copies of SUICIDE KINGS signed by all of the contributors.

For details as to how to enter, go to

Good luck to all.

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Goodbye to Sgt. Pinback

December 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm
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RIP Dan O’Bannon

He’ll be best remembered for ALIEN, but DARK STAR has a fond place in my heart as well. I hope somewhere he’s surfing down like a meteor as “Benson, Arizona” plays on the cosmic soundtrack.

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Green Sunday

December 13, 2009 at 11:38 pm
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It was a good day to be wearing green in the NFL.

The Jets won their morning game convincingly, even with Mark Sanchez nursing his knees back in New York City and Kellen Clemens playing abysmally in his stead. Hardly mattered. Gang Green’s running game was hitting, and the defense played lights out. Of course, they were in Tampa Bay playing this year’s Bucs, so it hardly counted. Josh Freeman, the heralded Bucs rookie QB, looked just awful, but maybe some of that was Rex Ryan’s D. Still, these Bucs are so bad they ought to make them go back and wear the creamsicle uniforms until they start playing better.

The Jets are still in the playoff hunt, but just barely. They pretty much have to win out, and with the Colts and the Bengals on their schedule, I think that’s unlikely. And next week they have to beat Atlanta, who have a bad record but gave the Saints all they could handle today.

Green Bay won as well. Another “green” team.

And, sadly, this evening the midnight green Iggles of Philadelphia defeated my Giants in a heartbreaker. All the talking heads are saying what a great game it was. Pfui. It was an EXCITING game, yes. The G-Men came out stumbling and spotted the Iggles to a two touchdown lead, then battled back for the rest of the game. Every time they closed the gap to one score the Eagles would get punch in another one and widen it again. Finally the Giants managed to take a one-point lead at 31-30… only to have the Eagles get a long TD on the very first play after the kickoff. The scoring continued after that, and finally ended 45-38 in favor of Philadelphia. The Giants racked up a ridiculous number of passing yards, and both teams left points on the board. McNabb missed one wide-open receiver who was streaking downfield for what should have been a certain touchdown, receiver Mario Manningham of the G-Men had two endzone receptions disallowed for having one foot out of bounds, and his fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks had a couple of TD passes bounce off his hands. There was also a Giants linebacker who dropped what would have been a certain pick-six served up by McNabb. It too bounced off his hands. (And weirdly, it wasn’t a pass after all, but a forward fumble, but after our LB dropped it players on both teams just ignored the live ball lying there on the grass). There were fumbles, a punt return for a TD, an freaky pass broken up by an Eagle that caromed off his thigh into the hands of the Giants tight end… lots of crazy, colorful, thrilling stuff. Both teams played hard.

But a great game? Pfui. For fans like me, who appreciate defense, it was far from that. Neither team brought their defense, from what I saw. The Giants certainly proved themselves unable to stop the Eagles. After ranking as the best defense in the NFL at season’s start, our D has fallen apart. Especially the pass rush. McNabb had all day back there. Eli played one of the best games I have ever seen him play — his stats were off the charts, and would have been obscene if Manningham could have stayed in bounds and Nicks could have caught the balls that were bouncing off him — despite the fact that he was under pressure every snap. McNabb, on the other hand, could have filled out and filed his tax return in the pocket on a couple of those plays. What the hell happened to the Giants’ fearsome pass rush? We have the same players as last year and the year before. With added depth; by rights we should be better. But Bill Sheridan, our new defensive coordinator, does not have them playing the same agressive attacking style that Spags did last year, that has made a world of difference. Sheridan needs to go. I want my Big Blue D back. I like winning games 13-10 much more than losing them 45-38.

Oddly, despite the loss, the Giants may still have a better chance of making the playoffs than the Jets do, provided the Cowboys continue their traditional December collapse. But I am not holding my breath. Next week’s game against the Redskins has the look of a classic trap game. After getting up emotionally for the big games against Dallas and Phillie, the Giants are all too likely to suffer a bad letdown against the Skins and get upset, which would effectively end their season. I’ve seen it happen before. And Washinton is better than its record. And even if they get past the Skins, the Vikings are waiting at season’s end. The only silver lining in the clouds over the Meadowlands is the fact that the Giants own the tiebreakers over the Cowboys, so if both teams finish with the same record, New York goes to the playoffs and Dallas stays home. But right now Dallas is a game up.

Life is magical… but full of pain.

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Marvelous Miniatures

December 8, 2009 at 11:06 am
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Just wanted to share some more of the wonderful Ice & Fire miniatures from Dark Sword.

First, some lovely painted versions of Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne, and Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides, dueling for the life of Tyrion Lannister. Tom Meier did the sculpts, and Matt Verzani painted these for the Dark Sword studio collection.

Prince Oberyn:

The Mountain:

The Duel:

Tom is always so exacting about scale and size with his sculpts; I love how this pairing brings home Ser Gregor’s monstrous size in such a vivid and visceral way. And of course Matt has done a wonderful job with the paint, as always.

And while Matt’s been busy with his brush, Tom has been sculpting up a storm in his studio, and we have some great new greens to add to the range. These aren’t in production yet, but look for them soon.

Here’s Arya:

And Sansa:

Lady Catelyn:

And a personal favorite, Sansa building her snow castle at the Eyrie:

For more information and pictures, visit the Dark Sword website at And remember, miniatures make wonderful stocking stuffers for all the Ice & Fire fans in the family.

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