Not a Blog

ASCENT Ascending

April 30, 2013 at 11:14 am
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For you Facebookers out there…

HBO and Disruptor Beam have entered into a partnership with Zynga to distribute and promote the new GAME OF THRONES social media game, ASCENT.

Details can be found at

http://blog.zynga.com/2013/04/30/zynga-partners-with-hbo-and-disruptor-beam-to-bring-game-of-thrones-ascent-to-zynga-players/

Go ye forth and play.

Coming Next February

April 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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For all you Wild Cards fans, past, present, and future…

The next release in Tor’s ongoing series of Wild Cards reissues has been scheduled for February 2014 in trade paperback.

This time it is JOKERS WILD, volume three in the overall series, and the concluding volume of our first triad. Here’s the cover, another stunning piece of work by Michael Komarck (who really should have been on the Hugo ballot again this year, he wuz robbed), featured Wraith, John Jos. Miller’s glamorous librarian/ jewel thief:

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JOKERS WILD is one I am especially proud of; it was first of what we call our “full mosaics,” a completely interwoven mosaic novel with no separate stories, but rather seven intertwining storylines taking place simultaneously, written by seven different writers, and woven together by yours truly. No one had ever done anything like this before, and no other anthologist has even attempted it since (although we’ve used the same format again in Wild Cards, every third book or so… it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of work, so we can’t do it every book).

JOKERS WILD takes place in New York City on Septemner 15, 1986, the fortieth anniversary of the very first Wild Cards Day in 1946. The participating writers (and their viewpoint characteres) are Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), Melinda Snodgrass (Roulette), John Jos. Miller (Wraith), Walton Simons (Demise), Edward Bryant (Sewer Jack), Leanne C. Harper (Bagabond), and yours truly (Hiram Worchester). Other featured characters include Yeoman, Dr. Tachyon, Popinjay, the Astonomer and his merry band of Egyptian Masons, Kid Dinosaur, and Fidel Castro and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

If you’re new to the series, though, you should probably read WILD CARDS and ACES HIGH before you get to this one. But you’ll be glad you did. It’s the strongest of the first three, most would agree.

NFL Draft, Day 3

April 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm
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The Giants draft is looking very strong. No spectacular moves, but solid players who will make solid contributions. Grabbing Nassib in round four to back up Eli and groom as his successor was a great move.

The Jets draft… two defensive players in round one look okay, but considering how high they were taken, you had to hope for more. Neither one looks like a game-changer. And taking Geno Smith will set back the club years. Sanchez is likely to be released now, which means we are starting all over, and with a much iffier prospect than Mark was when he was first drafted.

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NFL Draft

April 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm
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Round two of the NFL Draft kicks off in about an hour. Rumors are flying on the sports sites that the Jets are trying to trade up from the seventh slot to draft a QB. Boy, I sure hope not. None of the QBs available this year impress me as being much of an upgrade over Sanchez and Garrard. Maybe if one fell into their laps in, say, the third round… but in the second? When the team desperately needs help at so many positions? And trading UP to get him, which means giving up a lower round pick? That would be as foolish as trading away Revis.

The Jets flourished when Rex could run a ground-and-pound O. They have lost Shonn Greene, their starting RB. They should stay where they are and take the RB out of Alabama if he’s still there at seven.

And don’t get me started on the first round picks. All the mock drafts had the Jets getting Mingo and Austin at #9 and #13 in the first round. Wrong and wrong. The Browns took Mingo, and the the Rams traded up into the #8 slot ahead of the Jets to get Tavon. Once more, another team drank our milkshake.

Let us not compound the problems by chasing any of these QBs. Not one of them is a sure thing. Give me Eddie Lacy instead, and bring back the ground-and-pound. Sanchez plays best with play action, and that requires a strong ground game.

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Jets Crash Again

April 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm
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It is hard to be a fan of the New York Jets.

They have hardly done anything right since Joe Willie Namath won SuperBowl III, and every time you think maybe they are finally turning the corner, they find some new way to screw things up.

Today the Jets traded Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the NFL and far and away the best player on the team. It is never a good idea to trade the best player on your team. The Jets desperately need a shut-down corner, since they do not have a real pass-rush threat, and the only way they ever get any pressure on the opponent’s QB is by shutting down his receivers long enough for the rushers to get there. Revis was a huge part of the reason why Rex Ryan’s defense has been so good (ups and downs, sure, but still one of the better defenses in the league). So they get rid of him Right.

Only the Jets. They have a pretty good defense and a godawful offense, so what’s their big offseason move? “Hey, let’s get rid of our best player, bring the D down to the same level as the O.”

Now, maybe, MAYBE, you can make a case for trading Revis if you get a “Herschel Walker” deal. That is, a deal as rich as the one where the Dallas Cowboys traded RB Herschel Walker to the Vikings, and got so many players and draft choices that it won them three SuperBowls. And it is worth noting that Herschel Walker, while a damn good player, was neither the best player on the Cowboys nor the best running back in the NFL at that time.

But the Jets did not get a Herschel Walker deal. Revis is going to Tampa Bay. In return, the Jets get Tampa’s first round draft choice this year (#13 overall, not even a top ten pick) and a conditional fourth round pick next year. Yeah, NEXT YEAR. Yeah, I said FOURTH round. Maybe it becomes a third. Whoop-de-doo.

The Jets, in short, got rooked. Congrats, Tampa Bay GM, you drank our milkshake.

And what about the new Jets GM? Fire his ass now. Bring back Mike Tannenbaum. Bring back the guy before Mike Tannenbaum. Hell, bring back Harry Wismer.

The best theory about this trade is that the Jets want the #1 pick overall in the 2014 draft. Cause this next season is going to be bloody painful. After which our new whizz-bang “let’s give away our best player for a bag of old jockstraps” GM is going to fire Rex Ryan because, after all, that 2 – 14 record is clearly Rex’s fault.

The year after that is likely to be even worse, even with that swell fourth-round-maybe-it-becomes-a-third we’ll be getting from Tampa Bay. That is, assuming Kal-El Son of Jor-El isn’t coming out in next year’s draft. And even if he was, the Jets wouldn’t take him. All that green would remind him too much of kryptonite.

Sigh.

Excuse me, while I go weep into my beer.

(It is not all bad. I will always have Paris. And Parris. And the Giants)

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Jean Cocteau and Me

April 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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I had not intended to mention this until somewhat further down the line, when my plans were a bit more advanced, but the Santa Fe NEW MEXICAN got wind of a recent real estate transaction of mine and ran the story this morning, so the cat is now out of the bag. (The cat in this case perhaps being Jean Cocteau’s original Beast? No, not really, but it’s an amusing coincidence, considering my years on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST).

Anyway, I don’t intend to say much here, since there is as yet not much to say… but I will fess up to basics, since I see the story is already out on the internet and I would rather not be bombarded with hundreds of “is it true?” emails.

Yes, it’s true. I’ve bought a movie theatre.

Here it is:

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The Jean Cocteau is a small Santa Fe art house, with a single screen and 127 seats. It was built in the early 70s as the Collective Fantasy, became the Cocteau later in that decade, went through several local owners who ran it well, and finally became part of the Trans-Lux chain. They closed it in April, 2006, when they shut down their entire chain of theaters. After that it supposedly became the site of the New Mexico Film Museum, but the museum was never funded and never had any exhibits, so that was more in theory than in practice. Aside from a few special showings for the state film commission, which used to have its offices upstairs, the theater has been dark since 2006.

Before that, however, it was one of the city’s nicest film venues. It offered coffee and pastries, and had the best popcorn in town, fresh-popped with real butter and parmesan cheese. I saw a lot of movies at the Cocteau between 1979, when I moved to Santa Fe, and 2006, when it closed. I like the idea of bringing it back, better than ever.

I will not be doing it myself, of course. So please, readers, fans, don’t get nuts. I am a novelist and a screenwriter, not a theatre manager, it won’t be me standing at the concession stand asking if you want butter on your popcorn. My job remains the same as before: editing anthologies, creating and producing television and writing the occasional script, and… first, foremost, always… completing A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. This does not change that.

I love movies and old movie theatres, and it broke my heart to drive past the Jean Cocteau for these past seven years and see it sitting there, dark and decaying. Bringing this beloved theatre back to life is my small gesture at giving something back to Santa Fe, the community that has been my home since 1979. Might be that I will lose my shirt… but, hey, I’ve been very lucky, I have other shirts.

For those of you who want to read the story that broke the news, the link is here:

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/article_11f41778-724e-5d42-9fbe-40e5b56ae400.html

We’re having a press conference on Tuesday to detail our plans for the Cocteau to the local media, FYI. If anyone reading this is local media, you’re welcome to attend.

More than that, I cannot say at this time.

Golden Boy Comes to Brazil

April 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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My Brazilian publisher LeYa is moving like lightning in their plans to bring the entire Wild Cards saga to my fans in Brazil (and Roger Zelazny’s fans and Howard Waldrop’s fans and Carrie Vaughn’s fans and Daniel Abraham’s fans and Walter Jon Williams’s fans and the fans of the other thirty-odd writers who have been and continue to be a part of Wild Cards).

LeYa has hired the amazing Marc Simonetti to paint the covers for their editions. Marc’s work is well known to my Ice & Fire readers, of course, since he did this year’s official Ice & Fire calendar.

Here’s the cover of the first volume of the Brazilian WILD CARDS, featuring Jack Braun, aka Golden Boy, the strongest man in the Wild Cards universe.

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I’ve seen Marc’s roughs for the covers of ACES HIGH and JOKERS WILD, and those are pretty cool as well.

Here’s a fun addendum. Marc has uploaded of video of the process of bringing Golden Boy to life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeWdRyXXf18

Email Fixed

April 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm
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My email woes are over, at least for now. I managed to get Thunderbird working again, and everything is now fine… well, aside from the fact that I am about three thousand emails behind, but that’s the usual state of affairs.

Thanks to everyone who commented or emailed or otherwise offered help. I appreciate all your suggestions.

I will be taking steps next week to make certain the problem does not recur.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

April 18, 2013 at 11:46 am
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The Seven Kingdoms as baseball teams…

http://extramustard.si.com/2013/03/29/a-song-of-ice-and-fire-and-baseball/

As a long-suffering Mets fan, the one about them made me winch

Baseball in Westeros is, of course, much different. The ball is a severed head.

Email Woes

April 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm
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My e-mail is down again. Happened last week for most a day, then somehow fixed itself. Now it’s happening again, and does not seem inclined to get better.

I get my email through Mozilla Thunderbird. When I log onto Thunderbird, I can see that I have lots and lots of new mails, but whenever I try to open one… or scroll down, or do anything else… Thunderbird freezes and goes non-responsive. It has happened over and over again. Nor will the damn thing unfreeze unless I turn off the computer and reboot. A real pain. I’ve rebooted a dozen times, run half a different virus checks, and nothing. Tried booting up Thunderbird in safe mode, no help.

And of course this happens when Ty if off. Ty is my in-house computer guru. The computer always breaks down when he’s away, never when he’s here. And he won’t be here again till Monday.

So if you’ve sent me an email, don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer. You won’t get one. Not till Monday, best guess. Unless a miracle occurs.

I hate this damn machine. And Windows. And Thunderbird.

If only I could send email with DOS. DOS never fails me.

FIXED. For now, at least. Thanks to Stephen, the Gandalf of Computer Wizards, from Oz.