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Take a Bow

August 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm
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No, take two. You’ve nailed two more correctly.

“The bloody lash knows what it’s like to be dead. He’s met his waterloo and been a casualty, and seen his share of apparitions too.”

The bloody lash is Jhogo, one of Dany’s bloodriders. He’s the one she gives the whip too. In the series, he will be played by Londoner ELYES GABEL.

Gabel played Rob Cleaver in WATERLOO ROAD, ‘Guppy’ Sandhu in CASUALTY, and Vimal in APPARITIONS. In DEAD SET his character becomes a zombie, so he knows what it is like to be dead. You’ll enjoy watching him as Dany’s whip man. It is known.

(And for those of you who are keeping score, Dany’s other bloodriders will be played by extras or featured extras, at least in season one).

“The horny-headed hammerhand is older than you might have thought, but too young to need a pacemaker, though he might have ridden on the ferry with Gerry. Another friend of our kraken’s sister, he knows the doctor and the wizard too. Damned if he doesn’t play what he calls football (not the real kind).”

You got this one very fast. Yes, the horny-headed hammerhand is Gendry, the armorer’s apprenctice, who fashions a horned helm for himself, and is told that his hands were made for hammers. Portraying him in the series will be JOE DEMPSIE.

Yes, Dempsie is considerably older than Gendry in the books. David & Dan decided to age up the character, as with many of the children in the books (Robb, Jon, Dany, etc). Dempsie hails from Liverpool, on the Mersey, which is why you will find those references to Gerry and the Pacemakers in the clues (though he’s still so young I doubt he knows who Gerry and the Pacemakers were). He’s played in MERLIN and DOCTOR WHO, so he knows the wizard and the doctor, though he’s perhaps best known for his role as Chris in SKINS. He’s been on LILY ALLEN AND FRIENDS, and he was in THE DAMNED UNITED, a soccer movie. That’s “football” for those parts of the world that don’t know True Football.

So… two more bright young talents come to Westeros. I think you’ll like ’em.

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Whip and Hammer

August 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm
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The bloody lash knows what it’s like to be dead. He’s met his waterloo and been a casualty, and seen his share of apparitions too. The horny-headed hammerhand is older than you might have thought, but too young to need a pacemaker, though he might have ridden on the ferry with Gerry. Another friend of our kraken’s sister, he knows the doctor and the wizard too. Damned if he doesn’t play what he calls football (not the real kind).

(Ooops, screwed up the clues again. Fixed now. Resume).

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Three More for the Show

August 10, 2010 at 12:25 am
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I have fallen way behind in introducing you to the many of the wonderful actors and actresses that have been cast recently for HBO’s GAME OF THRONES. They’re hiring them faster than I can write about ’em.

There’s too many for me to catch up in one swell foop, but let me mention a few.

Playing Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, will be the distinguished British star of stage and screen CHARLES DANCE, O.B.E., who has been our dream casting for this role since the moment we were greenlighted.

Dance was one of the fan favorites for Lord Tywin as well, so he needs no introduction for many of you, I know. For the rest… he has been acting professionally since 1974, but the role that really brought him to widespead attention was Guy Perron in THE JEWEL AND THE CROWN, in 1984. You’ve seen him in GOLDENEYE, GOSFORD PARK, as Mr. Tulkinghorn in BLEAK HOUSE, and a million other films and television shows. You will shortly be seeing him YOUR HIGHNESS, the film that preceded our pilot in Belfast’s Paint Hall. His commanding screen presence and steely charisma should make him the perfect Lord Tywin.

The more feared of the many Lannister knights is the huge, brutal Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides. I did not exactly make it easy for David and Dan and our casting director Nina Gold when I described Gregor as being almost eight feet tall, but they came through as always when they filled the role with Conan… no, not Jason Momoa, and not the Governator either (way too old, way too small, and not a good enough actor), but Australian actor, bodybuilder, and stunt man CONAN STEVENS.

Stevens is actually about ten inches shorter than the Mountain… but still a good half foot taller than Rory McCann, who will be playing his “little brother” Sandor Clegane. He first came to our attention when he read for the part of Khal Drogo. He was not right for that role, but he’s perfect for this one, with the acting chops to go with the great physicality he brings to Gregor.

Stevens has his own website at and is also a blogger. At last report, he was already in Belfast, being fitted for his armor and meeting the other members of the cast. You can read more about that on his blog. He seems to be an amiable fellow, from what he writes, not at all like Ser Gregor. But on screen he’s very different, and I can’t wait to see the Mountain and the Hound square off at the Hand’s tourney.

And to round out the gang from the westerlands, we’ve tapped another talented young English actor, EUGENE SIMON, to play the role of Lancel Lannister, King Robert’s squire, eldest son of Ser Kevan Lannister, cousin to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion.

Simon made his acting debut in 2003 in MY DAD’S THE PRIME MINISTER. He has also played Young Ben-Hur in the recent remake of BEN-HUR and Young Casanova in CASANOVA, and co-starred as Gerald Durrell in MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, where he shared the screen with the lovely Tamzin Merchant. Like Conan Stevens, Simon initially read for another role, one that went to someone else, but he impressed David and David (and me, FWIW) so much that we knew we’d found our Lancel.

(For those of you keeping score, no, we won’t be casting Robert’s younger squire, Tyrek “Wet-Nurse” Lannister, at least not for season one. We may be able to bring him in for season two. Assuming we get one, of course).

Three more great choices, I think. I’m a happy camper.

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Memories of Semana Negra

August 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm
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Just stumbled across these on YouTube, and thought some of you whackaroonies might get a hoot out of them.

Here’s me having entirely too much fun at Semana Negra two years ago:

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And here’s me still having fun at Semana Negra, and doing a panel with Scott Bakker and Paco Taibo II:

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Semana Negra — for those who don’t know — is an annual “literary conference meets a state fair” held in Gijon, a colorful seaside city in the north of Spain. Writers come from all over the world to talk about their books. Readers come from all over Spain to meet them and get those books signed. And thousands and thousands of other Spaniards come to ride the ferris wheel and tilt-a-whirl, drink the sangria, dine at midnight, play the games of chance, and party all night. I’ve been to two, and loved them both. Nothing like it!

(And believe it or not, Gijon also sports a world-class pizza place, called Vesuvius).

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Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You…

August 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm
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… if you happen to live in Brazil.

September 1 is the official release date for the first Brazilian edition of A GAME OF THRONES, to be published by Leya.

The Brazilian editions will sport the beautiful Marc Simonetti art from the recent French reissues. Just thought I’d give you all a peek:

This will be the first of my books to be published in Brazil. Or, indeed, anywhere in South America. A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is now on five continents. I only need to conquer Africa and Antarctica to have the whole set…

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Sorry, New York

August 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm
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I wanted to announce — just in case anyone reading this was making plans on going there to see me or get a book signed — that I am scrapping my plans to attend this year’s New York City Comicon.

Hey, it’s still a great show, with lots of terrific guests. So attend, by all means. But not just for me… I won’t be there.

It’s nothing about the show, and certainly nothing about the city. New York is one of my favorites cities in the world, and I like to visit whenever I can. And I will try to get there sometime in the next year. Maybe in February.

This is purely a time crunch. I have two huge international trips coming up within the next couple of months. In less than two weeks, we leave for Australia for the World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne. We will be doing some promotion and travel afterward, so I won’t be home from that until late September. Then, in mid October, we’re off to Ireland, where I am GOH at Octocon, the Irish national SF con in Dublin. After the Dublin con, I will be visiting Belfast (guess why), London (my publishers), and possibly Malta (same guess). The New York City Comicon fell square in between those two dates.

And, of course, I have this book to finish.

Australia and Ireland are conventions that I committed to years ago. Worldcon is the biggest date on the SF calendar, and I have only missed one in the last thirty-five years (Japan, 2007, which I still regret). The comicon, on the other hand, was a recent addition to my schedule. In fact, it’s not actually on my schedule, as you can see on my Appearances page. It was never more than tentative. I am not a guest of the convention (unlike Dublin, where I’m the GOH), and my presence has never been officially announced or advertised, so it’s the most painless of the three cons to scratch. My publishers had initially brought up the idea of bringing me there, but more recently seem to have cooled on that… which, to tell the truth, comes as a bit of a relief. Sandwiching in NYC between Australia and Ireland was always a bit of a push. I can accomplish more (I hope) here at home.

So… sorry, New York. I still love your football teams and your pizza. See you in 2011?

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August 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm
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Okay, all this is news to me, especially the bit about the magazine.

Which, y’know, I’m figuring is more wishful thinking than an actual fact.

But I’ve got to admit, it would be COOOOL.

Dr. Hook put it much better than I can.

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August 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm
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Another chapter done.

And another character. This wraps up Yogi for the book. The Meereenese knot is hanging by a thread. One more good slash and it may finally part.

That’s eight characters completed. Not counting the prologue or epilogue.

Course, there’s still more to due. Got to get back to shoveling Snow soon, and there’s still Fred hanging on, but first I need to hack at that blasted knot some more.

(Some year all this will make sense to you. Assuming anyone still cares).

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August 4, 2010 at 12:06 am
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August? August? AUGUST??? How the hell did it get to be August? What happened to July? Who took June?


Well, I had to turn over the page on my World Wildlife Fund calendar. The big gorilla has been replaced by elephants. But Kong is not yet subdued. So much for omens.

Perhaps for the next month it is my fate to wrestle Dumbo. How am I gonna beat Dumbo? He FLIES.

I actually had a very good day today, writing about a character who wasn’t originally supposed to be a POV, but has turned out to be sharpest sword I’ve got for slicing through the Meereenese knot. I’d feel very good about that, except somehow it has become AUGUST. With worldcon bearing down on me like a freight train.

Sorry. Sorry. Don’t mean to rave. Got to remember my mantra. One page at a time. One sentence at a time. One word at a time.

Here’s a nicer memory of August, from the old 2009 calendar:

Would that it were actually August 2009 instead of August 2010.

Bye for now. I have to feed the elephant.

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Jetboy Flies Again!

August 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm
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Coming in November…

For all those Wild Cards fans, both old and new, who have been complaining that the original series is impossible to find, and too damn expenseive when you do find it, I’m pleased to announce that Tor will be releasing a new edition of the first volume in the series, WILD CARDS, this November.

Here’s an advance peek at the cover mock-up, which once again features the gorgeous art of Michael Komarck.

The new edition will be in trade paperback format.

If you’ve enjoyed INSIDE STRAIGHT, BUSTED FLUSH, and SUICIDE KINGS (and if not, you should), and wanted to know how it all began, here’s your chance to start at the beginning.

Longtime fans of the series will recall that WILD CARDS is our historical volume, with stories that took us all the way from Dr. Tachyon’s arrival on Earth in 1946 right up to the Wild Card “present” — which was 1986 back when the book came out in 1987. We had forty years to cover, and we covered it pretty well… but of course, there were gaps. Years and even decades of Wild Card history that we simply did not have the space to dramatize.

Tor’s new edition will help rectify that. We’re not just reprinting volume one as it was first published; we’re adding three brand-new, original, never-before-published stories set during some of the “lost years” we couldn’t cover last time around. So this edition of WILD CARDS will be fortified with original content, extra fiber, and three news tale:
– Michael Cassutt will take us back to 1956 with, “Captain Cathode v the Secret Ace,”
– David D. Levine will visit 1960, to tell us about “Powers,” and,
– Carrie Vaughn will show us 1981, as “Ghost Girl Takes Manhattan.”

We think these will be three terrific new additions to the Wild Cards saga, and we’re excited about the chance to present them to you.

November is looking to be a big, big month for me. In addition to WILD CARDS, that month will also see the release of SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, the big new cross-genre romance/ fantasy anthology that Gardner Dozois and I have edited. AND I’ll be showing up in Minnesota for Fantasy Flight’s “Days of Ice and Fire.”

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