Not a Blog

I Do Not Live in Arizona

September 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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Arizona has a loyalty oath.

Typing that sentence boggles my mind. I thought loyalty oaths went out with Joe McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee.

But not in Arizona. Where Jim Sallis, a world-class mystery novelist who made his mark writing and teaching SF earlier in his career, resigned his teaching position at Phoenix College rather than consent to sign.

I’ve met Jim Sallis a few times over the years (most recently in Gijon, Spain a few years back, where we were both guests at Semana Negra). We’re hardly close friends, but he’s a good writer and a good man, and I applaud his stand.

A compulsory loyalty oath? In 2015? And… here’s the funny part… an oath that not only requires you to swear loyalty to the country, but also to the state. Presumably so they know they can count on you to defend the homeland if Arizona is ever attacked by Utah.

Only in Arizona. The state that led the way in making brown people show their papers on demand. Arizona is a beautiful state, and they have that really nifty canyon, and some great cacti, and an NFL team that looks pretty decent this year… but please, folks, do not confuse my own beloved New Mexico with ‘Zona (as people back east are always doing). If Donald Trump ever does become president, I have no doubt that Arizona will be the first state to sign up to build that Wall of his. New Mexico, I can assure you, will be the last.

Anyway… hurrah for Jim Sallsi! If I had a college or university, I’d be sending him a job offer right now. His students should be demanding a refund on their tuition.

As for all the other teachers… the hundreds who meekly signed the Arizona Offical State Loyalty Oath… all I have to say to them is, “Shame, shame, shame.”


Down & Dirty Once Again

September 30, 2015 at 8:20 pm
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Heads up, Wild Card fans. Tor’s reissue program continues next month with the release of a nifty new trade paperback edition of DOWN & DIRTY, the fifth volume of the original series. The official pubdate is OCTOBER 27.

As with the previous Tor reissues, DOWN & DIRTY will sport a brand new cover by the amazing Michael Komarck, one of field’s finest artists (REMEMBER HIM when nominating next Hugo time). The featured character is Leanne C. Harper’s Bagabond.

Have a look.

Or can preorder the book from Amazon at or from your favorite local bookshop and/or online retailer.

The lineup for this one:
“Only the Dead Know Jokertown” by John Jos. Miller
“All the King’s Horses” by George R.R. Martin
“Concerto for Siren & Serotonin” by Roger Zelazny
“Breakdown/ Takedown/ What Rough Beast” by Leanne C. Harper
“Jesus Was An Ace” by Arthur Byron Cover
“Blood Ties” by Melinda M. Snodgrass
“Addicted to Love” by Pat Cadigan
“The Second Coming of Buddy Holley” by Edward Bryant
“The Hue of a Mind” by Stephen Leigh
“Mortality” by Walter Jon Williams



September 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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Alas, alack… I’ve just been informed that work on the mural installation is going much more slowly than anticipated.

Which means we’ll need to cancel the big unveiling scheduled for this afternoon, and the reception that was the follow.

We may reschedule when the mural’s done. Or not. Depends on how long that takes.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

What Movie?

September 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm
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Don’t believe everything you read, boys and girls. Especially not on line.

I don’t know where this latest round of “there’s going to be a GAME OF THRONES movie” nonsense is coming from, but suddenly it is everywhere, and all of us connected with the show and HBO are being bombarded. But nothing has changed.

Let me review, for those who came in late.

The idea of ending GAME OF THRONES with one or more major feature films was first floated oh, three or four years ago. Let me say once again: this was NOT MY IDEA. However, I may have been the first one to mention the notion in public — where and how I no longer recall — so somehow I became associated with it.

I did say that I liked the idea. Of course I liked the idea. HOw not? This was back in the early days, where we couldn’t even afford to shoot the Battle of the Green Fork and had to knock Tyrion unconscious instead. When the king’s hunting party consisted of four guys on foot walking through the woods. At that time, in that context, the idea of big blockbuster movies with a LORD OF THE RINGS sized budget was powerfully attractive.

And the idea is still powerfully attractive. Not just to me, but to many people connected with the show. Actors, directors, producers, writers. How not? It would be a great way to end.

Which doesn’t mean it is going to happen. There is great enthusiasm for the notion, sure, but not necessarily from HBO. They are in the TV business, not the feature film business. And those of you with long memories may recall all the rumors about a SOPRANOS movie… a ROME movie… a DEADWOOD movie. Rumors is all they were. And that’s all this one is too, at least for now.

Lately the rumors have gotten even more specific. The film will be about Robert’s Rebellion. It will be about Dunk & Egg. It will… oh, it’s all too silly.

It would still be cool, and I’d still love to see it… but nothing has changed since the last round of rumors. I am still writing THE WINDS OF WINTER. David & Dan are still filming season six. HBO is still in the television business.

Don’t take any of this stuff seriously. Clickbait journalism is to journalism as military music is to music.

Pugh Is Here…

September 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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[… and work is on progress on the mural that will adorn the hitherto blank wall of 418 Montezuma and the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Here’s a few sneak peeks at the work in progress.

Do come join us for our big unveiling on Tuesday at 5:30. Reception to follow at the Wheeler Gallery.

Oh, Well

September 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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Life is meaningless and full of pain.

The Jets have never beaten the Philadelphia Eagles. Never.

A record they kept intact today.

That 2-0 record was exciting, and I still think Gang Green will have a good season, maybe even make the playoffs. But this morning was a tough one. Especially the way it ended, on a stupid penalty just when the Jets were about the get the ball back. It still would have been very unlikely that they could have tied the score, but I would at least liked to have seen them get to try the Hail Mary.


The penalty that ended things wasn’t even the worst play of the game. That distinction goes to the “lateral” that Brandon Marshall tried after catching a first down pass.

Too many turnovers. I will give to the Jets for the way they fought back in the second half. For a little while I thought they might pull off a miracle comeback. The first half, though… the D played tough throughout, but the O was horrible for the whole first half. Three and out, three and out, three and out, three and out. The running game was going nowhere, and while Fitz was completing a lot of passes, they were all to receivers behind the line of scrimmage, who would then immediately be tackled for no game. VERY conservative play-calling. In the second half, the Jets finally began to throw down the field, which led to some INTs but also a TD and some first downs. I know the deep ball is not Fitz’s strong point, but even so, throwing for a loss gets you nowhere.

Next up for the Jets: the Dolphins, in London. That one should tell us whether Gang Green is for real or not.


The First Emmys

September 27, 2015 at 12:48 am
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Andy Samberg’s joke about my attending the first Emmy Awards ceremony made me curious about Emmy history. This year was the 67th Emmy Awards, and I turned 67 last Sunday, but until Andy appeared beside me I hadn’t actually connected the two. Pretty amazing.

For a few hours I entertained the amusing thought that they were perhaps giving out those first Emmys even as I was being born. Alas, that was not actually the case. Emmy and I may both be 67, but I actually came into the world a few months before her. The first Emmy ceremony took place on January 25, 1949, to honor work telecast during 1948.

Interestingly, those first awards were strictly a local matter: a Los Angeles award, for shows broadcast in the LA media market. Not at all national. The first winner — for “Most Popular Television Program” — was a show called PANTOMIME QUIZ. A drama called THE NECKLACE won for “Best Film Made for Television,” and Shirley Dinsdale won as “Most Outstanding Television Personality.” She was a ventriloquist with a dummy named ‘Judy Splinters.’

It is not recorded whether Judy also got a trophy, or whether she came on stage to accept the Emmy with Shirley.

They also gave an Emmy to the guy who designed the Emmy. And that was it. Four trophies, presented in LA, to local performers. Television was an art form in its infancy back then, and the world was different. (There was WAY more television production going on in New York than in California back in the 40s, but leave it to the Hollywood guys to be the first to think of giving out awards).

The past is another country, truly.

A Birthday to Remember

September 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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I turned 67 on September 20. So did the Emmy Awards.

Our party was on TV. Andy Samberg gave me a shout-out. HBO gave me a cake. And the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave me an Emmy. Well, actually they gave one to GAME OF THRONES as tv’s Best Drama, but since I’m a producer on the show, I get one of the trophies.

In case you missed the moment:
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Truth be told, I almost missed the moment myself. While I was pleased that we had been nominated once again, I did not expect us to win… and with so much to do at home, so much pressure on so many fronts, I wasn’t sure I wanted to fly out to LA again, put on a monkey suit, and sit through another loss. The first few times you are up for an Emmy it is very exciting, yes, it’s cool and glamorous and all that… but this would be my seventh time. I had been nominated, and lost, six times before; four times with GAME OF THRONES, and twice more back in the 80s with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. No fantasy show had EVER won ‘the big one,’ the award for Best Drama, and with MAD MEN, a four-time winner, up for its final season, it did not seem likely that this would be the year. Great shows often get a valedictory award or three to celebrate their excellence after they have left the airwaves.

So I was seriously thinking of staying home this year. It was Paul Haas, my agent at WME, who changed my mind. He said he thought that GOT might have a shot this year. Yeah, yeah, I said, I’d heard that before. (I’d thought our third season, with the buzz of the Red Wedding behind it, might be the one to break through, but I’d been way wrong). Then Paul pointed out that if we did win, and I wasn’t there to be part of it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. He was right. So I came, and we won, and it was a birthday I will never forget.

Thanks, Paul.

The Emmy is sitting in my TV room right now, golden and shiny. Big thing. Very heavy. Very pretty. I smile every time I see it. (We ate the cake).

It was a great night for GAME OF THRONES, and for HBO as whole. VEEP dominated in the comedy categories, and OLIVE KITTERIDGE in miniseries… which just goes to show all of you who don’t get HBO, you are missing a lot… and as for us, we were up in five categories, and won four. David Benioff and Dan Weiss won for Writing, David Nutter for Directing, and Peter Dinklage took his second for Best Supporting Actor. All of us were pulling for Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke in Best Supporting Actress, but they lost out to Uzo Aduba from ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, whose Crazy Eyes is the most unforgettable character on an amazing and addictive show. And the came Best Drama… It IS an honor just to be nominated, yes it is. But let me tell you, winning is more fun than losing, and 1-6 beats the hell out of 1-7.

Unlike the Hugo Awards (where, if seven people jointly win some award, all of them get to yammer for as long as they like), the Emmy Awards have a strict time limit, and only one or two designated acceptors speak for the group. For us, that was David and Dan, just as it should be. They thanked a lot of people… and then ran out of time.

But there’s never enough time to thank everyone, of course. So I want to add my own thanks for some of those that D&D did not get to.

Starting with David Benioff and Dan Weiss themselves. Without them, there would be no show. Without their talent and dedication, there would certainly be no Emmy.

Also, I want to thank Bryan Cogman. He’s been there since the beginning too, the right hand man to D&D, and he’s written some of our best episodes. I am thrilled that when we finally won, it was for a year in which he’d finally snagged a “producer” credit, which meant that he got to take home a trophy as well.

And of course I want to thank Parris (so glad you were there with me, Phipps), and Paul Haas and the rest of my team at WME, and Vince Gerardis, and Kay McCauley, and Anne Groell and my team at Bantam, and Jane Johnson as my team at Voyager, and my leal minions Raya and Lenore and Jenni and Elias and Jo, and Pat (who left), and even Ty (who left even earlier).

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the dead. We have the best cast in television, as I have said a hundred times, and many of them were on the stage with us last Sunday. Thanks to all of them, of course, and thanks as well to Emilia and Kit and Dame Diana and Kristian and Natalie and Finn, who were off working and could not be there with us.

But there were ghosts standing behind us. Maybe you couldn’t see them, but I could feel their presence, and I know that without them none of us would have been holding Emmys. Yes, I know, I know, the award was for Season Five… but if you truly believe that the Academy voters did not take our first four seasons into account as well, then let me tell you about this lovely bridge over the Green Fork that Walder Frey would like to sell you.

No. It was the show to date that won, I believe, and our ghosts were a huge part of that. So my thanks go out to Sean Bean, to Mark Addy, to Rose Leslie, to Pedro Pascal, to Michelle Fairley, to Richard Madden, Gethin Anthony, Harry Lloyd, Ron Donachie, Mark Stanley, Esme Bianco, Kate Dickie, Jack Gleeson, Amrita Acharia, Charles Dance, Donald Sumpter, Josef Altin, Peter Vaughn, Margaret John, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Oona Chaplin, Stephen Dillane, Francis Magee, Roxanna McKee, Kerry Ingram, Ian McElhinney, Jason Momoa, and of course Sibel Kekilli… along with all the other noble and ignoble dead that I’ve certainly forgotten, and I’m sure that there’s a lot of them.

Some of you are dead in the books, others only on the show. But if it was up to me, all of you would have been up on the stage beside us. Every one of you played your part, large or show, in making GAME OF THRONES the record-smashing hit it is.

Thank you all.

A Win for Big Blue

September 25, 2015 at 1:54 pm
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The Giants won their first game of the season last night.

About time, I say. At this point they should actually be 3-0, since they went into the fourth quarter of the Dallas and Atlanta game with double-digit leads, only to blow both contests. Last night, thankfully, they hung on and won convincingly.

But I am not reading that much into this. It was a win, yes, but a home win over Washington, and the G-Men have owned the Redskins in recent years. Eli looked good last night, and Odell Beckham Junior continues to look great. Reuben Randal came up big as well, thank ghod. But I still have questions about the defense. In the fourth quarter, they had not one but two chances to end the game by stopping Washington on fourth-and-long, but gave up first downs both times. And the pass rush is just not there. Will JPP ever return? If he does, will he be the player he was, minus a finger and half his thumb? Who knows? But boy, the G-Men need him.

Victor Cruz will return next week, they say. That will be great, and should lift the offense to the next level. But how Spags gets the D to the next level, I don’t know.

Even at 1-2, the opportunity is there for the Giants, with the Eagles reeling and the Cowboys suffering devastating injuries to Dez and Romo. Whether they will be good enough to take advantage of the chance remains to be seen. There are sterner tests a-coming.


Coming to the Cocteau

September 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm
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For all you New Mexican out there… and for travellers passing through the Land of Enchantment… we have lots of cool stuff coming to the Jean Cocteau Cinema these next couple of months, starting this Friday when we open EVEREST.

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We also have some cool special events and booksignings coming up.

On October 6, WILLIAM GIBSON, the father of cyberpunk, will be here for an interview and Q&A, and to sign copies of new novel THE PERIPHERAL. Reserve your copies early; we expect a sellout, as with many of our author events.

From October 9 through October 14, we’ll be hosting a WES CRAVEN RETROSPECTIVE, to honor the late great director whose death on August 30 saddened millions of his fans. I had the honor of working with Wes once — he directed one of my TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, though sadly the episode was gutted by CBS before broadcast. A great guy, and an immense talent. We’ll be showing several of his best known films, and hope to bring in some special guests via Skype.

On November 8, another author event. This time we are bringing in bestselling author DEBORAH HARKNESS. Harkness was originally scheduled a few months ago, but flight delays forced a cancellation… but this time we hope the airlines will be more helpful, and get her to Santa Fe on time.

We had sold-out houses for our burlesque performances earlier this month, so we’re going to do it again… this time with the SUICIDE GIRLS!

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Alas, our small (very small) stage at the JCC isn’t big enough to accomodate all the Suicide Girls, so we’ll be offering a somewhat downscaled version of their usual show… but that should still be pretty kickass, and there is something to be said for an intimate setting. And as everyone who has seen them knows, the Suicide Girls never disappoint.

That one should be a sellout too. Tickets are $35 (18 and over, please) and can be bought on the JCC website at . A portion of every ticket will be donated to our friends at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary down in Candy Kitchen.

See you at the show!