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Locker Room Shuffle

January 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm
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So the Buffalo Bills have hired Rex Ryan as their new coach, and my New York Jets have hired Todd Bowles, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.

Ryan's opening press conference with the Bills was very impressive.  He seemed to be the old Rex again, brimming with confidence and swagger, all leavened with a healthy sense of humor.  He promised to make the Bills a "bully," a team that no one will want to play.  I believe him.

I have not seen Bowles address the media yet.  Must admit, I don't know much about him.  He has a good resume, and from what I hear, a very different persona than Rex.  They are both defensive coaches, but Rex is a so-called player's coach while Bowles is a disciplinarian.  Which might be great if the Jets suffered from a lack of discipline, but I really don't think that was their problem.  It was lack of talent, especially at the quarterback position, that doomed Gang Green.

Ryan and Bowles both face the same problem: neither the Bills nor the Jets has a NFL-calibre starting quarterback, in a league where you really need a star at that position.  Buffalo got by last year with journeyman Kyle Orton, who has since retired, leaving them only with E.J. Manuel.  The Jets have Geno Smith.  Manuel and Smith were both high drafts picks, and both appear to be busts.  Backing up Smith, the Jets have the aging Michael Vick.  The Bills… I have no idea, actually.

Unless Marcus Mariota falls to sixth in the draft, or the Jets pick up a new quarterback in free agency, I fear they are going to have another very bad year in 2015.  Neither Geno Smith nor Michael Vick is the answer.  And Rex may not fare much better in Buffalo.

But both teams should have hellancious defenses.  Maybe they will play a couple of 0-0 ties next season.

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January 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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As promised, my friends at the Jean Cocteau have added autographed copies of books by DIANA GABALDON and CARRIE VAUGHN to the cinema mail-order bookstore.  Check them out at

Of course, we also have signed copies of my own books available, as well as titles by NEIL GAIMAN, DENNIS LEHANE, JUNOT DIAZ, and more.

Many more to come.

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Odds and Ends

January 14, 2015 at 10:57 am
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Saw PREDESTINATION at the Cocteau on opening night, and thought it was terrific… and very faithful to the Heinlein story.  Ethan Hawke was very good, and Sarah Snook was great.  This one will be on my Hugo nominations ballot, for sure.  See it at the Cocteau if you're in Santa Fe, or at your own favorite movie palace if you're not, but see it… especially if you like time travel, SF, and RAH.

We had a great event with Carrie Vaughn on a very cold Monday night, and she signed a ton of stock for us before heading back Colorado way.  If you're looking for an autographed copy of LOW MIDNIGHT, or indeed, any of the Kitty books, we've got them.  They should be up on the Cocteau website "Signed Books" page very soon, and available for purchase.  For the Wild Cards fans out there, Carrie also signed copies of the INSIDE STRAIGHT and BUSTED FLUSH hardcovers with her stories.


We also expect to be adding some signed Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, and the Spanish language (Mexican) editions of my own Ice & FIre books, so watch the page, you'll see them soon.  Meanwhile, we have autographed books by NEIL GAIMAN, DENNIS LEHANE, JUNOT DIAZ, and LEV GROSSMAN, all currently available at the theatre, or by mailorder.

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Wild Cards World Junket

January 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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Something old and something new… that's ACES ABROAD,  scheduled to be re-released by Tor in a new, expanded trade paperback edition on Tuesday (January 13).

The fourth volume in the original Wild Cards series of mosaic novels, ACES ABROAD is set in 1987, and tells the tale of a global fact-finding junket sponsored by the World Health Organization, to investigate the conditions of aces and jokers around the world.  The original book contained stories from Stephen Leigh (featuring Puppetman) , John J. Miller (Chrysalis), Leanne C. Harper (the Hero Twins), Gail Gerstner Miller (Peregrine), Edward Bryant (Wyungare), Walton Simon (Jayewardene and the Great Ape), Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), Victor Milan (Mackie Messer), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Dr. Tachyon), Michael Cassutt (Polyakov),  and my own linking interstitial "Journal of Xavier Desmond" (starring Xavier Desmond, of course).

All of those are here, for anyone who missed them first time around… but to sweeten the pot, we've added two brand new originals for this new edition.  Kevin Andrew Murphy takes center stage with the untold tale of Troll's adventures in Peru, and we visit Prague with Lady Black and Carrie Vaughn.

We also have a brand new cover, another spectacular piece of art from Michael Komarck.


Old stories, new stories, great new art…  you can preorder a copy from Amazon at, or pick it up Tuesday from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer.

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Win Some, Lose Some

January 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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Well, at least the Cowboys lost.

Otherwise the results of this weekend's various contests were pretty depressing, from where I stand.

Seahawks beat the Panthers pretty soundly, as most people expected.  No big surprise there.

For a few minutes at the start, and a few minutes in the middle, the Ravens were two touchdowns up on the Patriots, and it looked as though Evil Little Bill might go down as well.  But New England and Tom Brady rallied, not once but twice… once, admittedly, aided by what the Ravens coach called a 'substitution trick,' which wasn't illegal but probably should be.  No one ever said Evil Little Bill wasn't clever.  And in the end Joe Flacco threw a killer INT, and the Pats moved on.  That made me mad and sad.

But not as sad as Jerry Jones and Chris Christie probably were when the Cowboys lost.  Last week TV showed up the two of them high-fiving and hugging when Dallas won, it was a pity we didn't get a good shot of them this week when the 'Boys went down.  (And honestly, the very idea of the governor of New Jersey rooting for the Cowboys instead of the Jets or the Giants or even the Eagles… never mind Bridgegate, Christie should be impeached for that alone).

Andrew Luck and the Colts upset Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  Peyton did not look at all like himself, and this morning all the talking heads are speculating that he might be near the end of the line.  I hope that's not so… but if he does retire, well, it was sad to see him go out with such an underwhelming performance.  What's doubly sad is that I don't think the Colts have a chance in hell of beating the Patriots next week at Foxboro, which means Brady and Belicheck will be heading to another Superbowl, pfui.

As for the Cowboys and the Packers… it was a lot closer than I thought it would be, and I have to give props to Jason Garrett, who did a helluva job of coaching and showed real guts at a couple of key spots, and Tony Romo, who played an amazing game and did not make the patented Tony Romo Mistake that all of us Cowboy haters were waiting for.  But in the end, the game belonged to Aaron Rodgers, who gave the most heroic  performance by a one-legged limping star that the world has seen since Hopalong Cassidy.

And then there was the dagger through the heart: Dez Bryant and the catch that wasn't a catch.  Sorry, Dallas, them's the rules.  Ask Calvin Johnson.  Oh, and that sound you hear — that's the city of Detroit, laughing their asses off.  Karma's a bitch.  The refs giveth, and the refs taketh away.

As for the non-football contests, yes, of course, GAME OF THRONES lost another Golden Globe.  This one to THE AFFAIR.  Nothing unexpected there, and I am glad I saved myself some time and money and stayed home.  Sad to say, I don't think any fantasy will ever win a Golden Globe.  The prejudice against genre shows runs too deep.  I did think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were great, however, and I liked Allan Cummings in his peach suit-shirt-tie ensemble.

But never mind.  The Cowboys lost, so I went to sleep with a smile on my face.

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Bowling for Art

January 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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The local newspapers have all broken the story, so I might as well acknowledge it here as well.

Yeah, I bought a bowling alley.

Except… well… not really.  I bought the former Silva Lanes property on Rufina Circle, a block off Cerrillos Road in south Santa Fe.  But there hasn't been any bowling there since 2009, when Silva Lanes went bankrupt.  And, indeed, all the lanes and interior furnishings were ripped out several years ago by a previous "buyer" who then failed to follow through with the purchase.  So essentially I bought a huge empty derelict building (some 33,000 square feet) and a big parking lot.


I also have acquired a very tall bowling-pin-shaped sign, for what it's worth (not much).


Sad to say (for bowling fans), I am not planning to bring bowling back to Santa Fe.  (Some other folks are doing that, supposedly, with brand new lanes in the Railyard District a few blocks from the Cocteau).  Nor will I be using the space for a karaoke bar.  The previous owner tried that too.

The building, instead, will be used for art… not a traditional gallery, now, but a very exciting and innovative interactive art space.   The exhibits will be designed and installed by Meow Wolf, a collective of forty-odd (some very odd) artists here in Santa Fe who have been doing some amazing things over the past decade, but have never had a permanent home before.

Meow Wolf will be announcing their plans in the next month.  Till then, here are some stories:

And check out the Meow Wolf home page, for a better idea of the kind of stuff they do.

I think this should be very exciting, and real boost to local tourism, the arts scene, something kids of all ages will enjoy.  But that's really up to Meow Wolf.  My phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from people wanting comments about this, but I'm not the guy to talk to.  Bottom line, I am just the landlord.  The dream, the vision, and the hard work all belong to Meow Wolf.

But it should be cool.

And yes, we're going to keep the big bowling pin.  I insisted.


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Weekend Contests

January 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm
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Some big big contests this weekend.

In the NFL, it's the divisional round.  On Saturday, Baltimore is at New England and the Carolina Panthers are at Seattle.   My former assistant Ty is a big Panthers fan, so my feelings for them are largely positive… but I like the Seahawks too.  I had a very pleasant breakfast with their owner a few months ago. I have no favorite in that game.  Of couse, I will be rooting hard for the Ravens to defeat Evil Little Bill and his Patriots.  Hey, they are named in honor of Edgar Allen Poe, a fellow writer… and while it is true they beat my Giants in a SuperBowl once, it's been a long time, I forgive them.

On Sunday, it is Dallas at Green Bay and Indianapolis at Denver.  I am for Denver in the AFC game; after all, Peyton is Eli's big brother.  And the Colts should never have left Baltimore besides, so pfui to the Irsays.  The early game, hey, no contest, I have hated and despised the Cowboys even longer than I have hated the Patriots, so I will be pulling hard for Green Bay and that baaaaad man Aaron Rogers.

(Meanwhile, I will also be rooting for the Jets to get a kickass GM and head coach, for Rex to get another head coaching job, and for my Giants to bring back Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator).

The NFL isn't the only contest this weekend.  This year's Golden Globe Awards will also be presented on Sunday night, and GAME OF THRONES is nominated in Best Dramatic Series.  The competition this time around is HOUSE OF CARDS, THE AFFAIR, THE GOOD WIFE, and DOWNTON ABBEY.   David Benioff and Dan Weiss and Carolyn Strauss and a number of our other producers and cast members will be on hand at the ceremony, though I won't be there myself this year.  But I will watching from home and cheering loudly for the show, and hoping that my friends and colleagues get a Globe (the GG rules are such that I would not get one myself, even if we win).

So in conclusion:



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More Cool Wild Cards Stuff

January 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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YouTube has a cool "making of" video for the German Wild Cards book trailer:

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The most interesting thing about this is that it seems to feature characters who do appear in the actual trailer itself:

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This suggests that there may be more trailers out there somewhere that I haven't found… or perhaps coming in future.

Either way, it's intriguing.

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Carrie Is Coming

January 8, 2015 at 11:55 am
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We have another cool author event Monday night at the Jean Cocteau.

CARRIE VAUGHN will be driving down to Denver to join us for the evening.  We'll be having an hour of conversation and taking some questions from the audience, after which we'll adjourn to the lobby so Carrie can sign books.

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Carrie is best known as the author of the bestselling urban fantasy series KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and its many sequels, about the adventures of a werewolf talk show host.  LOW MIDNIGHT, her newest book, is a spinoff of sorts from the Kitty series, featuring one of the most popular of Kitty's supporting cast.

She has also been one of the mainstays of the revived Wild Cards series, creator of Earth Witch and Curveball and the whole American Hero concept that launched the "next generation" WC books in INSIDE STRAIGHT.  If you haven't sampled any of her Wild Cards work, check out her Earth Witch story on

She also has her own "superpowers" universe, as seem in AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE and DREAMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, and has written some terrific stand-alone historicals for my anthologies DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES.

An amazing writer, an amazing person.  Come meet her Monday night at 7pm, at the Jean Cocteau.

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Heinlein at the Cocteau

January 5, 2015 at 6:57 pm
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They used to call Robert A. Heinlein "the Dean of Science Fiction."  For writers and readers of my geneation, and those before, Heinlein was a towering figure, the most important and iuential of the 'Big Three' of the Golden Age.

The first SF book I ever read was Heinlein's classic juvenile, HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL.   It made me a SF reader for life.  For decades thereafter, RAH was my favorite writer.  He was the first writer to win the 'Big One' — the Hugo Award for best novel — four times.  (A record later equalled, but still never surpassed).   But like many of his contemporaries, Heinlein did some of his best work at shorter lengths.

"All You Zombies" is one of those classic short stories.   Like time travel yarns?  Time paradoxes?   "All You Zombies" was… is… will remain THE last word on all those subjects.  And now, improbably, it has been made into a movie.

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PREDESTINATION opens this week at the Jean Cocteau.  I haven't seen it, but those who have (friends from Australia, where the film opened last summer) tell me that it's 1) quite good, and 2) quite faithful to the Heinlein story.

Must admit, I don't much like the title.  I can see why they changed it — "All You Zombies" would have had people thinking it was a George Romero picture or a WALKING DEAD ripoff, when actually the use of 'zombie' is entirely metaphorical — but I wish they would have changed it to something a bit catchier.

But a rose by any other name… I am looking forward to this one.  If you're a Heinlein fan, or a time travel fan, don't miss it.

See you at the movies.

(No spoilers in the comments, please).

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