Not a Blog

R.I.P. Kage Baker

January 31, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Profile Pic

Kage Baker has passed away this morning, from cancer.

I was saddened to hear the news. I did not know Kage well, but I had the chance to meet her a couple of years ago, when the two of us were Guests of Honor together at a small con in Madison, Wisconsin, and she was great company. Lively, intelligent, good-humored, full of life.

She was also a damn fine writer. She contributed a Cugel the Clever story, “The Green Bird,” to SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, the Jack Vance tribute anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois, and captured Cugel perfectly, no mean feat. I would have loved to have had the chance to buy more stories from her for future anthologies.

Check out her books, if you’re not familiar with them. Flowers and donations and tributes are all well and good, but I’ve always felt that the best way to remember any writer is to read their work. Kage’s work deserves to be read and reread for many years to come. It’s sad to think there won’t be any more of it.

Goodbye, Kage. We hardly knew ya.

Current Mood: null null

And Speaking of Snow…

January 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm
Profile Pic

… here’s a peek at the latest painted miniatures from Dark Sword, Tom Meier’s lovely sculpt of Sansa building her snow castle, painted by the incomparable Marike Reimer.

The figure… along with all the other Dark Sword miniatures… is available at your favorite gaming store, or direct from Dark Sword at Of course, they come unpainted. To get a painted version for your shelf, you either need to pick up the brushes your own self, or hired one of the many talented painting services out there.

Current Mood: null null

Don’t Go Wiggy On Me Now…

January 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm
Profile Pic

… but I have indeed finished that Jon Snow chapter, and I think it doesn’t suck.

That doesn’t mean the book is done. Still more to write. Just sayin’

Santa Fe has warmed up some and the snow is starting to melt here. I think that may mean I have to go back to Meereen again, at least until another storm blows in.

(Who says writers are superstitious?)

Current Mood: null null

No, No, No

January 30, 2010 at 11:04 am
Profile Pic

Jeez, guys. Calm down.

This is why I hate to do updates.

I say I have good day, and immediately I have a hundred people deciding this means that DANCE is finished.

I’m not the oracle at Delphi. Whatever casual comments I make on this Not A Blog are just that, and should not be subjected to analysis, interpretation, or decoding.

When I finish DANCE, you’ll know it. I will write something like this: “I have finished A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.” You won’t need to parse any hints.

For the record, I have not finished A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. I just had a particularly good day yesterday. I hope to have another one today.

Current Mood: null null

A Good Day, With Snow

January 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm
Profile Pic

’nuff said.

Current Mood: null null


January 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Profile Pic

Snowing like hell in Santa Fe today. I feel like Jon Snow on the Wall. White everywhere I look, and still coming down.

Of course, I’m writing about Meereen, where the weather is hot and muggy, oppressive. If the snow keeps falling, I better take it as an omen, switch to a Jon chapter tomorrow.

The good news: finished a chapter today.

The bad news: it’s one I’ve finished at least four times before.

This time, though, I think I finally got it right. We’ll see. Still whacking at the Meereenese knot.

I took an especially vigorous hack two days ago, by switching to a new POV. It seems to have helped. Helps to have a pair of eyes on the inside rather than the outside here. And back story works better in recollections than in dialogue.

Let’s hope that when next week comes, I still like what I did this week.

Writing, writing…

Current Mood: null null

More Tor Blogging

January 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm
Profile Pic

This week Ian Tregillis is taking a stint as guest blogger at Tor, with more reflections on the complex and sometimes frustrating experience of writing for Wild Cards.

Check it out at

And then go out and get SUICIDE KINGS at your favorite bookstore.

Current Mood: null null

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

January 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm
Profile Pic

Well, all good things must come to an end.

The Jets mounted a great playoff run this year, but it ended today in Indy the way all the Jets playoff runs have ended since Superbowl III… with a painful loss, and elimination. They played a great first half, and for a while I thought they might pull it off, but that TD drive that Eli’s Big Brother led just before halftime was an ominous sign, and in the second half it all fell in… just as it did in Denver the last time Gang Green played in an AFC Championship. That time it was Elway and Jets mistakes. This time it was just Peyton. He really is that good. Best QB of this era, and one of the best of all time. The Jets did a good job of containing his main weapons, Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne, but Peyton just found other weapons in Garcon and Collie, and shredded us with them. Matters weren’t helped when a couple of players in the Jets secondary went down… and then when we lost Shonn Green at the start of the second half, I could hear the bell tolling. Thomas Jones is a good RB, but Green was the more explosive back, and the one with fresh legs. With him out, our offense lost its punch.

Also, we missed two field goals. And I know why. Last week in the Chargers game, you may recall, San Diego’s kicker Nate Kaeding missed three field goals. After the game, when the players were shaking hands on the field, Jets kicker Jay Feely went up to console Kaeding, and put his arm around his shoulder while commiserating with him. This was a kindly and humane gesture, but ill considered. By touching Kaeding, Feely obviously contracted kicker cooties. They are highly contagious.

Still… I’m sad, but I can’t be too devastated. The Jets flew a lot further than anyone ever expected (including me), and gave us some great playoff victories to cherish. And there’s hope for the future. We have a great coach in Rex Ryan, the best defense in the NFL, Shonn Green is only a rookie… and Mark Sanchez played very well today. I think this kid is a keeper. With more experience, there’s no limit on how good he can be.

So. One last time, for a great season:

<lj-embed id=”28″/>

Despite being in mourning, I watched the Vikings/ Saints game as well, though with no particular rooting interest. I like both these teams and both these cities. It was an exciting game, lots of big plays and back-and-forth… but once again it made my teeth grind to hear some commentators calling it a “great game.” It was close and tense, good entertainment, but the play was sloppy at best. Fumbles, interceptions, untimely penalties. For a long while it seemed as though neither team wanted to go to the Superbowl. Sorry, I will never concede that Adrian Peterson is a great running back until he learns to hold on to the ball. And Brett… I like Favre, and I wish him well, but damn, that last interception was a dagger through his team’s heart. And sad to say, he keeps doing that. Witness the INTS that ended the overtime between the Packers and Giants two years ago, or the one that ended the playoff contest between Green Bay and Philadelphia a few years before that.

Anyway, congratulations to the Colts and the Saints. I will look forward to the Superbowl, where I will likely be rooting for New Orleans… though I think the Colts will win.

Current Mood: null null


You Can’t Go Rome Again

January 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Profile Pic

I still miss HBO’s wonderful series ROME, and my weekly dose of Titus Pullo, Lucius Vorenus, Octavian, Antony, Atia, and the rest of that wacky gang.

So much so that last night I watched the debut of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND on Starz.

Learn from my mistake, boys and girls. Don’t go where I went.

Starz is not HBO, and this SPARTACUS is not ROME. Hell, it is not even SPARTACUS. Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Laurence Olivier are nowhere in sight. The writing and acting here are pretty much on a par with the historical accuracy. The visual style, especially in the action scenes, attempts to borrow from 300… but the slow-mo slaughter gets old really fast, and the giant gouts of blood being splashed around at every opportunity soon become silly, and began to remind me of nothing so much as the Black Knight sequence in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. There’s one scene near the end where a gladiator who has had both legs cut off is trying to drag himself away across the sand, and I was half expecting him to pop up, proclaim it just a flesh wound, and try to continue the fight.

I am going to have to watch all of I, CLAUDIUS again to get the taste out of my mouth. Pfui.

Current Mood: null null

The Future of Air Travel

January 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Profile Pic

/><lj-embed id=”24″/>

We’re moving rapidly toward this, after the over-reaction to the guy who set fire to his pants.

America is a free country. Except at its airports.

Current Mood: null null