Not a Blog

The Princess and the Queen

August 31, 2013 at 10:21 am
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The final story in DANGEROUS WOMEN will be my own, a 30,000 word novella entitled "The Princess and the Queen," a history (somewhat abridged) of the Dance of the Dragons, as set down by a maester of the Citadel. has  uploaded a sample to their site.  You can find it here:


(The full 80,000 word account of the Dance will eventually appear in a book, as yet untitled, that we're calling the GRRMarillion).

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Finland, Finland, Finland

August 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm
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In the comments section to the post immediately below, someone asked about voting for this year's Hugo Awards.  Alas, Hugo voting closed some time ago… for the 2013 awards, at least.

You can still cast your vote at LoneStarCon, however… not for the Hugo Awards, but for site selection.

It's the fans who nominate and vote for the Hugos, and the fans who decide where the world science fiction convention will be held. Unlike Dragoncon (always in Atlanta), Comicon (always in San Diego), or other megacons of their ilk, worldcon moves to a different city every year, just as it has since its founding in the 1930s.  Cities wishing to host worldcon must put together a concom, find a suitable site and hotels, and bid for the rights to hold the con.  Bidding, like American presidential elections, sometimes seems to go on forever, but the actual site selection ballot takes place two years in advance.

At this year's San Antonio worldcon, LoneStarCon 3, fans will decide where the worldcon goes for 2015.

(The site of the 2014 worldcon was determined at Chicon 7, last year's worldcon.  The winner was London, England).

There are three contenders for 2015: Spokane, Washington; Orlando, Florida; and Helsinki, Finland.  All three will be campaigning vigorously and throwing parties at Texas, I'm sure, selling pre-supporting memberships, and bending the ears of everyone who cares to hear about their wonderful cities, amazing facilities, and experienced committees.  So who to choose?

As it happens, I've been to all three cities.  Back in the mid 90s, I was GOH at a small regional con in Spokane.  Nice fans.  The city has its charms, and the surrounding countryside was lovely.   It's a small city, though, and it was a small friendly low-key con, which makes me wonder if the committee is ready to tackle something as large and contentious and complex as worldcon.

Orlando hosted the worldcon once before — MagiCon in 1992 — and was supposed to be the site once even earlier — SunCon in 1977.  But SunCon was a disaster, had to move to Miami Beach after the fans voted for Orlando, and still ranks as one of the worst worldcons ever.  MagiCon was much better… but hot, swelteringly hot.  I have fond memories of the Peabody Hotel, but the new Orlando bid isn't using the Peabody, instead they will actually be inside Disney World, using Disney facilities.  I like visiting Disney parks from time to time, and I love attending worldcon, but that does not mean I want to mix the two.  The Orlando convention set-up has some undeniable advantages… I love the idea of having all of worldcon under a single roof, without elevators… but if you've ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, you probably know that there will be drawbacks as well.  Under the Mouse's roof, the Mouse's rules apply.  And what with global warming and all, Orlando in 2015 will probably be even hotter than Orlando in 1992.  Just thinking about it makes me want to turn the air conditioner up to "ARCTIC BLAST."

Fortunately, I think there's one choice for 2015 that stands head and shoulders above the other two:

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No, no, no, NOT England.  England is next year.  I'm talking FINLAND!  Helsinki!

Singing, dancing, fish-slapping, reindeer, lingonberries…

Well, no, not really.  But Parris and I were guests at Finncon just a few years ago, and we had a great time.  Helsinki is a great, lively, historic city, and the Finnish fans are terrific… warm and friendly and hospitable.  They all speak English, by the way.  Every Finn we met spoke English.  So no one need worry about getting lost in a country where you cannot understand the language.  You can eat reindeer and lingonberries if you have a yen… but there's plenty of other types of food for those who'd rather not.  Saunas are omnipresent… but not compulsory, if you are the shy sort who would rather not take off your clothes around other people.  Helsinki's not quite north enough for a midnight sun, but we got a ten-oclock-at-night sun, and that was pretty cool too.   Hell, you could even find good pizza.  (I prefer never to go anywhere where you cannot find good pizza).

Even more than the charms of the city, however, it was the competence and experience of the committee that impressed me.  We have had too many badly-run worldcons in recent years (need I mention Montreal, anyone?).   The Finncon we attended was huge, drawing something like 30,000 people to Helsinki as I recall.  That's six times as large as any worldcon since the 80s, yet the con ran smoothly start to finish, and everyone seemed to have a great time.  I have no doubt that a Helsinki worldcon would be well run as well… and I know the Finnish fans would love to show your their city, their castles, the herds of reindeer wandering the streets.   Oh, there's vodka too.  And saunas.  Did I mention the saunas?

But seriously… if you'd like to know more about the Finnish bid, check out their website here:

Anyway, those of you who will be attending LoneSTarCon should be sure to visit the site selection booths, check out the literature for the competing bid, then sign up for 2015 and cast your ballot.

Me, I'll be voting for Helsinki… to put the "world" back in worldcon.

(And for KANSAS CITY IN 2016 as well, but that vote is next year, in London).


Alas, Helsinki did not win the rights to host the 2015 worldcon.  The Finns threw the best parties and had the most first place votes, but after leading on all the early ballots, they lost out in the end when Orlando was finally eliminated, and their votes swung en masse to Spokane.  The vagaries of the Australian ballot.

The Finns will rise again, I hope.  But it's Spokane in 2015.

(Future bids announced or rumored at the con included New Orleans, Washington DC, and Dublin.  I like the sound of all of those. ]]> Con Time!2013 Aug 18 13:10:00worldcon, conventions, signings, fandom, signed books==========
Friday Aug 23        7:30 pm            READING
Saturday Aug 24  12:00 noon         Dark Fantasy discussion, w/ Tim Powers
                               5:20 pm            mass autographing
Thursday Aug 29       4:00pm          signing
Friday     Aug 30        5:00pm          READING
Saturday Aug 31        4:00pm          Howard & George Show, w/ Howard Waldrop
Sunday   Sept 1         8:00pm          HUGO AWARDS
Monday   Sept 2       11:00am          signing Some will observe that this schedule looks light.  Hoo hah.  These are only my public events.  What's not showing here are all the parties, lunches, parties, breakfasts, parties, dinners, business meetings, and… did I mention the parties?  The parties are the heart of any good con, and I expect to be at several.  I am, alas, not the party animal I was twenty years ago, but I still love hanging with others writers, and my fellow fans.  And yes, I still consider myself a fan. I have been going to SF cons since 1971 (and comic cons since 1964).  Some are better than others, mind you, and I've seen a lot of changes over my years… some of which are cool, others that I really hate, but cons are still are important part of my life.  Especially worldcon.  I've said this a hundred times, but let me say it once more — bookstore signings are great if all you want is to get your book signed, but if you really want to meet me (or any of the other SF or fantasy writers whose work you have enjoyed), hang, talk, flirt, drunkenly debate the state of the field or the nature of the universe, you need to come to a convention. Speaking of signing, though… if you look at the schedule above, you'll see that I've got an autographing at Bubonicon (the mass signing, a truly terrific concept, where all the writers at the con are available to sign in the same room at the same time, a collector's nirvana), and two dealer's room signing for LoneStarCon.  If you want your books defaced with my illegible scrawl, you should try to get yourself to one of those.  I am not going to be signing in the hallways, before or after panels, while eating dinner (or lunch, or breakfast), and I am REALLY not going to be signing books at parties.  Parties for partying, not autographing.  It is a major lapse of con etiquette to ask me (or any other writer) to sign your books at a party.  The only worse no-no is is thrusting a manuscript or screenplay — or these days, a self-published book — into my hand for me to read and/or blurb.  So don't.  Please. The big excitement at any worldcon is, of course, the Hugo Awards, the oldest major honor in our field, and still the most important.  (I hope you all nominated.  I hope you all voted).  GAME OF THRONES is up this year in the "Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form" category, for the season two episode "Blackwater," which I scripted.  Last year we won in "Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form," but this year the competition is fierce, since we're up against an episode of FRINGE and three, count 'em THREE, episodes of DOCTOR WHO.  The Doctor has pretty much owned the Short Form category ever since it was created, and it remains to be seen if we can prevail against three Doctors at once.  I'd rate us as underdogs, but we shall see.  If we do somehow prevail over the Doctor, his companions, and all those legions of Daleks, Time Lords, and Whoovians, however, I will have some terrific help in accepting the award.  HBO is flying in our very own Hound, Rory McCann, to accept the award on behalf of Dan and David and the rest of the cast and crew (all of whom are very busy at the moment filming season four), should we win.  Parris has been been trying to convince him to wear his kilt to the awards ceremony.  Come to the Hugos and find out if she's been successful. (And if we lose, feel free to buy me a drink afterward and tell me 'you wuz robbed.'  You'll need to find me at the secret chili party first, though, drowning my sorrows in a bowl of Keith Kato's hottest red).

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Amazon Exclusive

August 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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Looks like the folks at Amazon are planning something rather special for the Blu-Ray/ DVD of Season 3 of GAME OF THRONES.

Take a look at this spectacular packaging for the boxed set:


Do note: this is a LIMITED edition, and exclusive to Amazon.  Not sure how many they are making, but they are limiting sales to two per customer.

So if you'd like one, pre-order now at:

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Jean Cocteau Lives!

August 14, 2013 at 1:01 am
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The grand re-opening week at the Jean Cocteau has gone by in a blur.  Only two more days to catch ORPHEUS and FORBIDDEN PLANET… for free.  So far, everyone seems to love the new art deco look of the entryway and concessions area, and our famous popcorn.  And the crowds have been great.  Of course, you'd figure that, with admission being free and all.

This weekend will be our first true test.  On Friday we start charging for admission.

We're going to continue to offer an eclectic mix of films.  Something for every taste, we hope.

Next up are SHOUTING SECRETS and EUROPA REPORT.  Check 'em out.

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And for those of you who are allowed to stay up late, here's a taste of our Midnight Movie (11pm, actually) next Friday and Saturday.


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See you at the movies ((I hope)).

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Opening Night!

August 9, 2013 at 10:36 am
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Jean Cocteau Cinema'

418 Montezuma

6:30 pm

Pizza, popcorn, and



Be there or be square.

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Movies Are Coming

August 8, 2013 at 11:08 am
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One more day till the Grand Re-Opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Tickets for the first night screening of FORBIDDEN PLANET and ORPHEUS are "sold out" (well, given out, since all admissions are FREE this week), but we still have a few seats available for our midnight show, DARK STAR, which starts at 11pm.  Saturday and Sunday are filling up as well, but we still have plenty of tickets for the rest of the week, so if you'd like to see the new Cocteau, do come by.


Pictures of the grand re-opening to come.  Watch this space.

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Pizza of Thrones

August 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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Out from the wilds of Brooklyn, across the Long Bridge, comes

What can I say?

I want a slice of each.

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Yadda Yadda Yadda

August 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm
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Me again, talking.

Here's an inteview from the San Diego Comicon, done by the guys at Nerdist:

Be warned, it's mostly about stuff OTHER than GAME OF THRONES / SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. 

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For New Mexicans

August 3, 2013 at 11:24 am
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((… and fans from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and other surrounding states who have reliable cars and enough free time to drive to Santa Fe… or maybe just a bunch of frequent flyer miles they need to use up.))

  Tickets are now available for the first week's offerings at the revived Jean Cocteau Cinema.

  Here's our schedule for our first week:

630pm Forbidden Planet – SOLD OUT
845pm Orpheus
11pm  Dark Star

2pm Forbidden Planet
415pm Orpheus
630pm Forbidden Planet
845pm Orpheus
11pm Dark Star

2pm Orpheus
415pm Forbidden Planet
7pm Orpheus
9pm Forbidden Planet

7pm Forbidden Planet
9pm Orpheus

7pm Orpheus
9pm Forbidden Planet

7pm Forbidden Planet
9pm Orpheus

2pm Orpheus
415pm Forbidden Planet
7pm Orpheus
9pm Forbidden Planet

Tickets to all showings are absolutely FREE.  So come by the theatre — we're at 418 Montezuma, just off Guadalupe, near the Railrunner depot and Sanbusco — and pick up one, or two, or five.

And I'll see you at the movies.

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Seven Days And Counting…

August 2, 2013 at 8:56 am
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We're down to seven days till the grand re-opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.

[That sound you just heard was me gulping.  Work is proceeding apace, but there's still a lot to do, and that opening is bearing down on us like a damned locomotive.  I need to whip my minions harder.]

First up, the classic 1956 MGM big budget SF classic, FORBIDDEN PLANET.

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Tickets for FORBIDDEN PLANET… and Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS and John Carpenter's DARK STAR, our other featured attraction… will all be FREE, but they're going fast, especially for opening night.  If you're in Santa Fe, drop by the box office and get yours now.

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Oh, and we also hope to have signed copies of some of my books for sale at the theatre… and maybe other cool stuff as well.

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