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Another Monkey Off My Back

September 30, 2010 at 10:23 am
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No, not Kong. Sorry.

However, I’m pleased to report that Gardner Dozois and I have completed work on our original anthology DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS and delivered it to our editors at Penguin Putnam. The final lineup:

THE BASTARD STEPCHILD (introduction), by George R.R. Martin
DEATH BY DAHLIA, by Charlaine Harris (a True Blood story)
HUNGRY HEART, by Simon R. Green
STYX AND STONES, by Steven Saylor (a Gordianus story)
THE LADY IS A SCREAMER, by Conn Iggulden
HELLBENDER, by Laurie R. King
SHADOW THIEVES, by Glen Cook (a Garrett story)
NO MYSTERY, NO MIRACLE, by Melinda Snodgrass (an Edge story)
LORD JOHN AND THE PLAGUE OF ZOMBIES, by Diana Gabaldon (a Lord John novella)
BEWARE THE SNAKE, by John Maddox Roberts (a SPQR story)
IN RED, WITH PEARLS, by Patricia Briggs
THE ADAKIAN EAGLE, by Bradley Denton (novella)

DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS is another of our crossgenre projects, this one a mix of fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, hardboiled mystery, historicals, and private eye stories. We’ve got some great stories in the book, and I think you’ll all enjoy the read. No word yet as to when the book will be released, but I’ll be sure and let you know once it’s scheduled.

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September 29, 2010 at 1:24 am
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Last night I received some sad and sudden tidings. My friend and agent Ralph Vicinanza died on Sunday night, quite unexpectedly, from a cerebral aneurysm. He was only 60 years ago, and seemingly in great health — fit, sharp, full of energy. This comes as a total shock.

An obituary is available on the LOCUS website here and I sure that many more obituaries and appreciations will follow. In the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing, Ralph Vicinanza was a giant.

Ralph began his agenting career with the venerable Scott Meredith Agency, handling foreign rights for Meredith’s list, but in the late 70s my own agent, Kirby McCauley, lured him away to establish a foreign rights department for Kirby McCauley Ltd. It was in that capacity that I first met Ralph. Up to then, only a handful of my stories had ever been translated (mostly to German), but Ralph changed all that, and all of sudden my books were being published in a dozen different languages throughout the world. It was as a foreign rights man that Ralph first made his name, and no one has ever been better at it. He established a network of affliates and co-agents all around the world, in every country great and small where books were published, and sold translation rights in places where no one had ever sold them before… for Scott Meredith’s clients, for Kirby’s clients, and finally for his own list. Science fiction and fantasy are global genres today, and my own books and stories have been published in close to forty different languages… thanks to Ralph Vicinanza.

In the 1980s, Ralph and Kirby parted ways, and Ralph established his own agency and began to represent clients on the domestic market. He soon became one of the most important literary agents in New York. Myself, I stayed with Kirby and his sister Kay McCauley for my domestic representation, while Ralph continued to handle all of my foreign language and overseas rights. If you’re one of the millions who have read A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE or any of my other works in a language other than English, it was Ralph who helped to bring it to you. There was never a better foreign rights man.

In the 90s, looking for new words to conquer, Ralph established a west coast operation when he founded the management company Created By with partner Vince Gerardis, to develop feature films and television shows based on the works of Ralph’s clients. When I split from ICM late in that decade, I turned to them, and Created By has represented my work in Hollywood ever since. The HBO series that we are all so excited about would not exist without the efforts of Created By; it was Ralph and Vince who brought the books to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and spearheaded the complex rounds of negotiation that followed. Ralph was to be co-exec producer on the series. It saddens me to think that he will never get to see it.

He was a man of incredible intelligence, endless energy, and quiet competence. A good guy and a great agent. The world of publishing will not be the same without him. Everyone who ever knew or worked with Ralph is feeling devastated today, myself included.

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News on the HBO Series

September 29, 2010 at 12:39 am
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There has been all sorts of news on the HBO series during the month that I was attending worldcon and travelling in Australia.

I am probably the last person in the world to upload these… but for any of you who don’t watch TRUE BLOOD, and have somehow missed these elsewhere… here’s the new GAME OF THRONES trailer that HBO premiered before the TRUE BLOOD season finale, and a short “behind the scenes” feature as well.

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Parris and I saw these on her laptop in Sydney, in the middle of the Australian night, the night they aired, but it was not until we returned home that we were able to see them on a full-size screen. I hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.

The clips will be old news for most of you, I know. So here’s a few tidbits about the series that might be new to you.

We have a couple new castings to announce. The part of Rickon Stark will be played by ART PARKINSON, a Belfast native son. Rickon will be older than he is in the books, but still the youngest Stark. And MIA SOTIRIOU has been cast as the maegi Mirri Maz Duur. Also, a small change for Elyes Gabel. He will now he playing Rakharo rather than Jhogo. It was felt that Jhogo and Drogo sounded too much alike when spoken aloud, and might cause confusion.

Lots more going on besides, but I’m way out of the loop at the moment. So much to catch up on after a month on the road.

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Digging Out

September 27, 2010 at 10:38 am
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Crawling slowly back to health… and sentience…

The two Giants games I watched yesterday did not help. Gak. Gak. Life is meaningless and filled with pain. The Manning Bowl was a horror, and the Titans game, if anything, was worse. I have never seen a team shoot themselves in the foot so much. They should have won the game by 30 points, the way the offense was moving, but mistakes and bone-headed penalties did them in. I can’t believe my beloved G-Men are leading the league in turnovers. Tom Coughlin needs to bring out the chainsaw and rip a few new ones…

Haven’t watched the Jets/ Dolphins yet. I’ll get to that tonight, and then I will be caught up… at least on football.

Today, meanwhile, I have to take an axe and start hacking at the mountain of stuff that has accumulated while I was gone. All of which seems to be marked URGENT. sigh

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Home Again

September 25, 2010 at 11:53 pm
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Back in Santa Fe. Still sick, but feeling much better than I did. Digging through mail and catching up on football.

Today I watched the Jets loss to the Ravens (pathetic offense, and though the D looked great in spots, they could not seem to get off the field on third down) and the Jets win over the Patriots (terrific). Was that really that same team? Sanchez looked wretched against Baltimore and great against New England. And Tomlinson appears to have some legs left after all.

Next up in the Manning Bowl. We’ll try to squeeze that in tomorrow, before the Sunday games.

The amount of mail and packages that have arrived in my absence is truly terrifying.

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Back in the USA

September 24, 2010 at 1:36 am
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We’re back in the US, overnighting at LAX before flying home tomorrow.

Miserable trip. V-Australia is a great airline and did their best, but (1) I can’t sleep on planes, and (2) I managed to come down with some sort of crud the last day in Australia, so I felt wretched the whole way. At least I did not get food poisoning, as I did on my way home from Morocco last year. And getting sick at the end of a tip beats getting sick during the trip. I’ll recuperate at home, once I get there… there’s never been a cold or flu that could stand up to green chile.

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Back in Melbourne

September 21, 2010 at 8:40 am
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We have emerged from the depths of the Jenolan Caves and returned to Melbourne again to unwind for a couple of days before flying back to Santa Fe… and the mountain of work that awaits there.

Got back to Melbourne last night just in time for a birthday dinner with friends. Sixty two. Ghods. I am officially a geezer. Oh, well. I’ve been geezing for years, if truth be told. Expect me to continue to wave my cane vigorously at all you young’uns and tell you how much better things were in my day.

(The Jenolan Caves are very cool, by the way. Especially at night, when the coaches leave and the possums and marsupial mice emerge).

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Blue Mountains

September 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm
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G-Men Rule

September 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm
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Life is magical and full of joy!

The Giants opened their 2010 season by kicking some Panther ass, and I got up at three in the morning (Aussie time) to watch it all on Parris’s latop, courtesy of DirecTV and NFL Season Ticket.

(I will NOT be be able to do the same with tonight’s Jets game, so no talk about that here).

Not a perfect or dominating performance by any means but a convincing victory all the same. The G-Men looked especially good in the second half when their running game finally started to generate some yards. The defense bent a lot in the first half, allowing Carolina to drive deep, but never broke, holding the Panthers to field goals instead of touchdowns. In the second half the D really started to look good.

Sill, a lot of areas to work on. The special teams looked awful. This new punter is no Jeff Feagles, and unless he improves, that could be a real problem. And the WRs dropped way too many balls, letting them bounce off their hands to Panther defenders. None of the Giant INTs were actaully Eli’s fault… unlike the Panther INTs, which were all due to bad decisions by their QB.

But hey, it’s win. I’ll take it.

The first of many Big Blue victories at the new stadium, I hope.

And I had a great signing at Galaxy in Sydney as well.

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Leaving Lizard

September 12, 2010 at 10:53 am
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Our last morning on Lizard Island. We’re off in about an hour for Sydney. Signing there tomorrow at Galaxy Bookshop. See their website or mine for details.

Lizard was wonderful. Amazing snorkeling. And we made some new friends. Reginald the Gull, Larry the Lizard, Clem the Clam… parting is such sweet sorrow.

Not QUITE crossing paths with our friends Melinda Snodgrass and Ian Tregillis, who arrive here next week.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the NFL season is about to begin. We will try to catch the games via the internet, but I don’t know if we’ll uscceed. So please, no football spoilers here unless I post about the game results.

Oh, and I hear HBO is planning some sort of GAME OF THRONES promo in connection with the TRUE BLOOD season finale. No, I don’t know what it will be. I’m way way out of the loop here on the bottom of the world. Hope it’s cool.

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