Not a Blog

Not A Casting

March 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm
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Just a puzzle, for them as like those things.

To keep the doctor away, Jean Marais.

David Letterman.

To keep the doctor away, Robbie Benson.

Id, id, id.

To keep the doctor away, Ron Perlman.

No black monoliths, not here.

I know lots of you will have your own favorites.

Tomorrow morning, with trumpets.

NOT a casting. NOT about the DANCE. NOT about the show.

Just a bit of geeky fun.

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Calendar Update

March 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm
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John Picacio has now completed all twelve paintings for the offical 2012 Ice & Fire calendar.

I can’t show them to you, of course, that would spoil all the fun. I can tell you that the twelve months will show Ned (as seen here, on the cover), Arya, the Kingslayer, Sansa and the Hound, Melisandre, Bran, Daenerys, Jon Snow and Ghost, Robb the Young Wolf, Tyrion at the Battle of the Blackwater, the Mountain v. the Viper, and the Others.

I think you’re going like it, kids.

The 2012 calendar will go on sale at the San Diego Comicon in July. John Picacio will be on hand to sign your calendars, and it’s possible I may be there as well. Watch my Appearances page for more details on that. For those of you who can’t make San Diego, the calendar is available for preorder on Amazon (although those copies won’t be signed, obviously), and should be turning up at your favorite local bookstore by August.

Meanwhile, Marc Simonetti is already hard at work on the 2013 calendar.

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Suvudu Cage Match

March 30, 2011 at 11:30 am
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I’ve been too busy working on these last few chapters of DANCE to follow the progress of this season’s Suvudu cage matches much. Jon Snow won his opening round, the one I blogged about a few weeks back, and then defeated Beowulf (!) in the next round. I believe he came out on top of a few more contests after that as well.

We’re now up to the… quarter finals? semi finals? quasi-finals? Something like that. But this time around Jon seems to be losing badly to another damned magic user.

If any of you guys want to strike a blow for truth, justice, and the Night’s Watch, you can cast your vote at

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Watch the Skies!

March 30, 2011 at 10:47 am
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A reader named Christian Johannesen has pointed out that in my announcement of the publication date of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, I wrote: “Barring tsunamis, general strikes, world wars, or asteroid strikes, you will have the novel in your hands on July 12.”

Christian goes on to say:

“March 11, 2011: Big Tsunami – Ohh No! I hope release date hasn’t gotten pushed back again!!!!!!!……

“March 11, 2011 NFL CBA talks break down. Seems like a general strike in the NFL is eminent.

“March 19, 2011 On top of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the US along with 20 other countries attack Libyan forces loyal to Gadhafi. World War?

Please remove the asteroid strikes from your update before you become quadrupley prophetic. I’m too young to die.”

To which I can only reply:

(1) I am writing as fast as I can. Finished a Meereen chapter yesterday, hope to finish another one today, and


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Dark Sword Bonanza

March 28, 2011 at 12:18 am
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Dark Sword Miniatures have just rolled out five new figures in their Ice & Fire range, all sculpted by the incomparable Tom Meier. I thought I’d give you guys a peek.

First off we have Benjen Stark, younger brother of Lord Eddard, and First Ranger of the Night’s Watch.

Next up is Bronn, sellsword, sometime companion to Chiggen, occasional henchman of a certain Imp of House Lannister.

Then there’s Young Robert: which is to say, Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End, wielding his warhammer at the Battle of the Trident.

Next, Lady Lysa Arryn, sister to Catelyn and Edmure, wife to Jon Arryn, mother of Sweetrobin.

And finally (for now), Maester Luwin, tutor, healer, and counselor to House Stark of Winterfell.

What you’re seeing here are Tom’s original sculpts, done in the sculpting medium called “greenstuff.” When cast, all these miniatures will be in pewter, in 32mm scale.

For more information about these, and the rest of Dark Sword’s figures, check out their website at

More figures are already in the works, from both Tom Meier and Jeff Grace.

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March 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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Two more [short] chapters done. More to come.

Kong grows bigger and bigger. Past 1600 pp in manuscript now. Oy.

Certainly the biggest monkey ever to climb on my back.

(Okay, okay, the biggest ape).

Keep climbing, Kong. The biplanes are on their way. Listen? Is that their engines?

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Hugo Reminder

March 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm
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Just a reminder. Today is the last day to nominate for this year’s Hugo Awards.

The Hugo is the oldest of the (now myriad) SF and fantasy awards, and for my money, it is still the most meaningful and prestigious. Where the Nebula is a peer award, given by the members of the SFWA, and the World Fantasy Award is decided by a jury, the Hugo is given by the fans.

By you guys, in other words. By the readers. No one matters more.

To be eligible to nominate, you must be a member of either last year’s worldcon (Aussiecon IV, in Melbourne, Australia) or this year’s (Renovation, to be held in Reno, Nevada in August). Membership in both is not required, please note. Either one will do. And if you can’t make the Reno convention, you can still nominate and vote. Only a supporting membership is required, not the more expensive attending membership.

I urge everyone to support worldcon every year, whether you can attend or not. Other cons have become much larger (see Dragoncon, or just about any comicon or gaming con), but worldcon is the original, the one where it all began, where all the traditions started. It remains the single most important SF and fantasy con, just as the Hugo is the most important award.

What’s one more Hugo nomination worth, you may ask? Quite a lot, actually. Hundreds of people vote for the Hugos every year, but far fewer take the time to nominate. In some categories, fifteen nominations are all it takes to make the ballot. In many categories, a single nomination may make the difference between being one of the final five, the shortlist, and just being another also-ran listed on the nomination sheet they hand out on Hugo night. Do you want your favorite story or book to miss out by a single vote? No? So NOMINATE.

Nominations can be made online here:

You will need your worldcon membership number and a PIN.

What’s worthy of nomination this year? That, of course, is something each individual voter needs to decide for himself.

Moi? Well, I did not publish a novel last year (you may have noticed). But I did have “The Mystery Knight” in WARRIORS, which is eligible in the Novella category. And Gardner Dozois and I co-edited two original anthologies, WARRIORS and SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, which means both of us are eligible in Best Editor/ Short Form.

All of the contents of WARRIORS and SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH are eligible in one or the other of three short fiction categories (Novella, Novelette, and Short Story). I’m very proud of both anthologies and think there’s some terrific award-calibre work in both books. I would mention my own particular favorites… but as editor, I really can’t. Editors, like parents, must pretend to love all their children equally. But please read both books, make up your own minds, and keep your particular favorites in mind when filling out your nominations ballot. `

Enough about my stuff. What about the other categories?

Let me mount some of the same pet hobbyhorses I ride every year around this time.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST. Every year we seem to get the same five or six usual suspects nominated in this category. They are all very talented artists, mind you… but there are other artists, equally gifted, who NEVER seem to get a nod. MICHAEL KOMARCK is one newer artist who is screamingly overdue for nomination, I think. And how about the great trio of Tolkien artists, John Howe, Alan Lee, and Ted Nasmith? I don’t think any of them has ever been nominated. Nasmith did the 2011 Ice & Fire calendar, published last year, so this would be an especially apt year to put him on the ballot. And Lee and Howe have been overdue for decades.

BEST EDITOR/ LONG FORM. Another usual suspects category. Let me recommend my own editor, Anne Groell, to your attention. She’s just as good as some of last year’s final five, and better than others. As fine an editor as I have ever worked with.

BEST FANZINE. Blogs and efanzines are supposedly eligible in this category, but none of them ever actually seem to get nominated. Instead the five slots are inevitably filled by old style paper fanzines, which have a tenth of their readership. I’d love to see some recognition for PAT’S FANTASY HOTLIST, for the WERTZONE, and, yes, for WINTER IS COMING and WESTEROS in this category. They’re just as fannish as anything done on a mimeo, full of e-versions of reviews, locs, trip reports, humor, SF/ fantasy news, and other faanish staples.

BEST FAN WRITER. Consider Adam ‘Wert’ Whitehead and Elio ‘Ran’ Garcia.

BEST NOVEL. If you don’t have your own favorites in this category, you’re not a fan.



So… who do YOU think deserves a nod this year?

Feel free to chime in with your own choices, for the consideration of your fellow readers.

But remember… there are only hours left before nominations close.

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Win a Trip to Westeros!

March 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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… or at least to Northern Ireland, which is about the closest we can come in the real world.

Sky Television has just announced a contest to help promote the April 18 debut of GAME OF THRONES in the United Kingdom.

The grand prize winners gets a week in Northern Ireland, with accomodation at the Killyleagh Castle Towers as well as a trip to Castle Ward and Tollymore Forest Park, major locations while filming the show. “Rumour has it that it contains magical woodland and mysterious medieval ruins!” sayeth Sky. (And maybe you can wheedle a visit to Castle Black as well, though that doesn’t seem to be on the itinerary).

Five runners up will win a tie in edition of Game of Thrones book and a set of all four titles in the Song of Fire and Ice series.

To sign up for the contest, go to:

I suspect the contest is only open to SKY subscribers resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, but I haven’t looked closely at the rules, so maybe someone who has can confirm that.

I have never stayed at Killyleagh Castle Towers myself, but Parris and I both loved Belfast. Where they once built the TITANIC… and, as all the Belfast cabbies will tell you, a lot of ships that didn’t sink.

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You Asked For It

March 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm
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And so did I, for that matter.

Good news for all you audiofans out there.

Bantam has informed me that world record holder Roy Dotrice has been signed to read the audiobook of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. Schedules are being set even as I type.

Roy has always been my first choice as reader, and always will be. He did a great job with the first three books in the series, setting that world record along the way, and I know he will delight us all with DANCE as well.

And it's in no small part thanks to all of you. After FEAST came out, I received hundreds of emails wanting to know why Roy was not the reader and demanding his return. So now he's back.

We aim to please.

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March 23, 2011 at 10:22 am
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The latest HBO trailer for GAME OF THRONES is titled “Power.”

It made its debut on Sunday, before the series finale of BIG LOVE. For those of you who missed it, here you go:

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So much is coming out of HBO these days that I can hardly keep up. Not and wrestle Kong into submission at the same time. For those of you who’d like more timely updates, and coverage of all the developments I never get to, check in regularly at Westeros ( ), Winter Is Coming ( ) and HBO’s own official GOT site ( )for more detailed discussions and reports on the series.

When you hear about some of the new stuff HBO is planning, it will just leave you hungry for more.

Back to Kong.

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