Not a Blog

Corporate Cowardice

December 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm
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This one is surreal.

 In a stunning display of corporate cowardice, Regal, AMC, and  every other major theatre chain in the United States have cancelled their plans to show the new Seth Rogen/ James Franco comedy THE INTERVIEW, because of — yes, seriously, this is not a SOUTH PARK sketch (though I expect it soon will be) —  threats from North Korea.

Not familiar with THE INTERVIEW?  Here's the trailer:

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 I mean, really?  REALLY??  These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because Kim Jong-Un objects to being mocked?

 The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me.  It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.

 Even Sony, which made the movie, is going along.  There are thousands of small independent theatres across the country, like my own, that would gladly screen THE INTERVIEW, regardless of the threats from North Korea, but instead of shifting the film to those venues, Sony has cancelled its scheduled Christmas rollout entirely.

 I haven't seen THE INTERVIEW.  I have no idea how good or bad a film it is.   It might be hilarious.  It might be stupid and offensive and outrageous. (Actually, I am pretty sure about the 'outrageous' part).  It might be all of the above.

That's not the point, though.  Whether it's the next CITIZEN KANE or the next PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.

For what it's worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema will be glad to screen THE INTERVIEW (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-DVD release), should it be made available to us.  Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we'll show your film for you.


Not content with pulling the film, Sony has now pulled the trailers as well, so the YouTube video I embedded above no longer works.

Here's a replacement from YouTube that's dead on point:

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I’m Number Three….

December 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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… again.

First the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me the third most powerful writer in Hollywood.

And now, yes indeed, Barbara Walters has included me as one of her Ten Most Fascinating People of 2014.  The third, actually.  Though I am not sure the order actually matters.

LiveJournal is not letting me embed the video, for some reason, but for those of you who missed the show, here's a link:

(Look closely, and you can catch a glimpse of Parris, of Gardner Dozois, of various other friends).

It is gratifying to know that I am as fascinating as I am powerful  (this year, at least).  Plainly it must be the Autumn of George (obligatory SEINFELD reference).

Sad to say, however, I failed to win the triple crown.  I may be fascinating, and I may be powerful, but somehow, unaccountably, PEOPLE magazine failed to name me Sexiest Man Alive to complete the sweep.  They went with Thor… er, Chris Hemsworth… instead.   And, yeah, okay, he's all rugged and muscle-y and stuff, and his hammer is bigger than mine, but really… PEOPLE did not even include me in the list of runners up, although Kit Harrington and Richard Madden were both included (and congrats to both of them).

But that's the way it goes with triple crowns.  The Belmont always breaks 'em.

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More Signed Books

December 14, 2014 at 11:52 pm
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The online bookstore at the Jean Cocteau website is up and running, and has received such a huge rush of orders that we are already running out of stock on some titles.  We will refill as soon as we can.  Be patient, my Cocteau team is new at this.

Meanwhile, they are busily adding new titles.  If you're looking for signed books by NEIL GAIMAN, by LEV GROSSMAN, by JUNOT DIAZ, by DENNIS LEHANE, well, look no further than

 In the very near future, we should be posting up books by ANNE PERRY, JOE LANSDALE, DANIEL ABRAHAM, HAMPTON SIDES, and other great writers as well, so check back often.

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When Winning Is Losing

December 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm
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Life is magical and full of…

No.  Sorry.  I can't do it.

The Giants and the Jets both won today.  The G-Men won a convincing victory over the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Peoples, despite RGIII coming off the bench to play pretty well.  Eli looked good, and Odell Beckham Junior continued to look great.  The Jets won a wafer-thin victory over a truly awful Tennessee Titans team (hate that name, they should be the Nashville Cats), the same squad that the Giants crushed just last week… and even then, they almost blew it with one second left when the Titans tried one of those dipsy-doodle seven-lateral plays and came within seven yards of the winning TD.  Even in victory, Geno Smith looked awful.

But it's hard to feel great about either win.  The season is over for both teams.  No one is going to the playoffs.  Lots of people will be getting fired at year's end.   Big Blue and Gang Green weren't even acting as spoilers; their opponents have awful records too.   The Giants at least had the satisfaction of beating a division rival.  The Jets?  Not so much.  No rivalry there.  The Jets are awful, the Titans are awfuller.  And by winning, the Jets dropped behind the Titans and four other teams in the draft, meaning their chances of getting Oregon's Heismann-winning quarterback just got a lot worse.  That's the Jets for you.  Even when they win, they lose.

The only real highlight of the day was the continued superlative play of Giants rookie wideout Odell Beckham Junior.  The G-Men have had a number of good receivers over the years, but they have not had a GREAT one since…  well, ever.  (Okay, maybe Homer Jones, but he was a long time ago).

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Signed Books For Xmas

December 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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Okay… at long last…

 I can't reopen the "Signed Book" page on my website.  I no longer have the time to answer the emails or fill all the orders.  But for all of you who have  been asking for autographed books, we do now have a way to fill your requests… through the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.  The site is now up and running.

If you would like signed books, as Christmas presents, or for your own collection, you will find a selection at:

Check it out.

And yes, we will be adding more books, including titles by many other writers, to the site over time.  But what is there now is all we have to offer at the moment, alas.  And only so long as the supply lasts.

And please note:  these books are all autographed (some of the anthologies may even include multiple signatures, if you're lucky).  They are not, and cannot be, personally inscribed.  Sorry, we can no longer provide that service.  Please don't ask us to make an exception in your case.  Yes, we know, it's Christmas, it's for a birthday, for an anniversary, for a graduation present… but lots of my fans have birthdays and anniversaries and graduations, and once we reopen that door…

Merry Xmas.  Happy New Year's.  Good reading to all, and to all a good book.

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Donato Is Coming Too

December 13, 2014 at 5:40 pm
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The Jean Cocteau Cinema is a movie theatre, first and foremost, but it is also a venue for live music, magic, and comedy, a meeting hall for community events, a bookstore offering a cool selection of autographed books… and an art gallery.

We have a new show every month, featuring painting and photography by an amazing and eclectic variety of local painters, photographers, cartoonists, and sculptors.  Sometimes we feature visiting artists from out of state as well.

And next week, we'll be thrilled and honored to present the work of the DONATO GIANCOLA.


Fans of science fiction and artist art need no introduction to Donato, who has been one of the field's leading cover artists for the past couple of decades.  A perennial Hugo nominee, he won the award for Best Professional Artist in 2006, 2007, and 2009.   He was also won the Chesley Award, the Spectrum award, and numerous other honors and citations.

AND Donato is the illustrator for the official Ice & Fire calendar from Random House, which made its debut last summer at the San Diego Comicon.  He did some really amazing work for that one.


 We're having an official opening for Donato's show at the Cocteau next Thursday, December 18th, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  We'll have wine, mead, cocktails, and munchies, and the artist himself… yes, Donato is flying in to join us.

Copies of the 2015 calendar will be on hand and available for purchase and autographing.

And, best of all, you will be able to feast your eyes on some of Donato's original paintings.  Amazing work from an astounding talent.

See you at the gallery/

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Sibel Is Coming

December 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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I think Sibel Kekilli has forgiven me for killing Shae.  🙂

She must have, surely, because she's coming to Santa Fe week after next.


Those of you who are GAME OF THRONES fans know Sibel best for her turn as Shae, of course… but this beautiful young German actress has done a great deal more of that.  Among her other honors, she's won the Lola Award — the 'German Oscar' — not once but twice.  In honor of Sibel's visit, we'll going to be screening the first of her Lola-winning performances.  For three nights only,  you can see HEAD ON on the big (well, medium sized) at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

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HEAD ON will be showing on December 18th, 19th, and 20th.  Tickets will soon be available through the Jean Cocteau website at    And circle the middle date on your calendars.  December 19 is the date that Sibel will be joining us at the theatre to introduce the film, talk about her life and career, and answer your questions… about HEAD ON, sure, but I imagine she'd be glad to take some GAME OF THRONES questions too.

(And we will have plenty of Ice & Fire books on hand for her to sign, including the new 'Making Of' book).


See you at the movies.

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Awards, Awards

December 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm
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Award season is at hand in Hollywood, and GAME OF THRONES is racking up the nominations.

The show scored three nods from SAG, the Screen Actors Guild.  Peter Dinklage was nominated as Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, along with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey of TRUE DETECTIVE, Steve Buschemi from BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and Kevin Spacey for HOUSE OF CARDS.   The cast as a whole was nominated for Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama, and our stunt team was nominated for Best Action Performance by an Ensemble.

Variety has the full list at


This year's Golden Globe have also just been announced.  The Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated GAME OF THRONES in Best Drama.  The competition is THE GOOD WIFE, DOWNTON ABBEY, THE AFFAIR, and HOUSE OF CARDS.  (Very surprised not to see BOARDWALK EMPIRE on that list; their final season was astounding.  MANHATTAN also deserved a nod, I think.  This is truly the Golden Age of television drama).


As ever, it is an honor to be nominated, to be part of the conversation.

(I remain skeptical about our chances of actually winning, the bias against fantasy being what it is).

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Rumors and Fabrications

December 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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It seems I need to clarify once more.

I am NOT on Twitter.  I am NOT on Facebook.  The only place I post myself, in my own words, is here on Live Journal.

I do have an official Twitter account, and an official Facebook account.  I established these in self-defense, because there were fake accounts out there, where people pretending to be me were making various spurious pronouncements… pronouncements that would then get picked up all over the internet and repeated as if they were gospel.

The official Twitter and Facebook accounts are maintained for me by my minions and my publishers.  I don't post there myself.  I don't even read them or check comments.  I have other stuff to do.  LOTS of other stuff.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Raya came to me and said the folks at Random House wanted to do a special promotion on Twitter, a "Twelve Days of Christmas" with a Westerosi twist.  Did they have the green light?  It sounded fun, and funny, so I said sure, and thought no more of it.  It was just a little Christmas celebration.

But then, somehow, from somewhere, the rumor arose that the "12 Days" were actually a countdown… not to Xmas, but to the publication of THE WINDS OF WINTER, or the announcement of its completion and/ or pub date.

Sorry.  Not true.  Look, I've said before, and I will say again, I don't play games with news about the books.  I know how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting, how anxious they are.   I am still working on WINDS.  When it's done, I will announce it here.  There won't be any clues to decipher, any codes or hidden meanings, the announcement will be straightforward and to the point.  I won't time it to coincide with Xmas or Valentine's Day or Lincoln's Birthday, the book will not rise from the dead with Jesus on Easter Sunday.  When it is done, I will say that's it is done, on whatever day I happen to finish.

I don't know how I can make it any clearer.

And while I am debunking rumors, let me also say that this story about me being inspired to finsh WINDS by STAR WARS is also utter bullshit, and I have NO idea where that one came from.  (I liked the first two STAR WARS movies, the third not so much, the prequels not at all, and the trailer for the new one had no impact on me one way or the other, and let's face it, even the best of 'em is no FORBIDDEN PLANET.  Robby is my robot ideal, not C3PO or R2D2).  Made up out of whole cloth, so far as I know.

It really stuns me how widely the STAR WARS thing has been disseminated.  Truly, internet journalism is an oxymoron.

As Mark Twain once said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is putting on its shoes."

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Power, Power, POWER!!!!

December 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm
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The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER says I am the third most powerful writer in Hollywood:

Mwaaaahahahahaha.  (Rubs hands together)   What shall I do with such awesome power?

Let me banish all reality shows from the air!

And these 'talent' shows too!  Instead of shows where assholes and audiences mack mock of wannabees who cannot sing and dance, let's bring back the variety show and feature really GOOD singers and really GOOD dancers.

Oh, and you movie studios… no more replacing screenwriters at the drop of a hat.  It should as hard to replace the writer as it is to replace the director.  And that "a film by" credit at the beginning of pictures should include the name of BOTH writer and director.  The film is by both of them, not just one.

And every TV series should be required to take X amount of pitches from freelancer writers and beginners.  That used to be mandated by the WGA, and way back when it was how a lot of newcomers got their foot in the door, but these days most shows find ways around it, and breaking in is harder than ever.

Since I am so so powerful, I know all this will come to pass!

(And if it does, I have a bride to sell you).

((BRIDGE! I meant bridge.))

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