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Pugh Is Coming

September 22, 2015 at 6:02 pm
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Blank walls beware!

Is there anything as boring as a blank wall?

The windowless back wall of 418-420 Montezuma, the old building that houses the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the Wheelhouse Gallery, Wild Hair Salon, and a dozen assorted offices has been largely featureless… well, for decades, since they knocked down the building that once attached to it, way back when.

Here’s the way it looked when I acquired the building in 2013:

Pretty ugly, I think you’ll agree. The back of the building fronts on the tracks of the Railrunner and the Santa Fe Southern Railyard, so there are often trains back there… but nothing else, aside from weeds, stumps, and some garbage. Not the most attractive scene to greet visitors arriving in our City Different for the first time on the Railrunner.

Of course, we cleaned out the garbage, cut down the weeds, and re-stuccoed when we took over the building, two years ago. After that the back wall looked like this:

Better, I think you’ll agree. Cleaner. But still boring, still blank.

I couldn’t let that stand. To me, “blank” means “blank slate,” and that means art. So I commissioned John Pugh, the world famous muralist and trompe l’oiel master whose previous work I blogged about downstream, to paint a mural for the back wall at Montezuma.

John has been at work on it for a year and a half, and tomorrow he will arrive in Santa Fe to begin the process of installation. The official unveiling of the latest John Pugh “narrative illusion” will be next week, Tuesday, at 5:30 pm. Come and join us. There’s no charge, and a reception will follow in the Wheelhouse Gallery next door.

Coming into Santa Fe by train will never be boring again.

A New Record

September 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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Back from the Emmy Awards in LA.

A night to remember.

GAME OF THRONES set a new record for number of wins by a series in a single year. Eight last week, and four more on Sunday. That’s twelve.

Pretty impressive haul when you line them up like that.

The previous record was nine, set by WEST WING.

Anyway… I will have more to say about the Emmys and all that, but we’ve only been home a few hours, and I’m still pretty tired (celebrating is hard work, and so is travel) so it will have to wait until tomorrow. I do have more to say, and a lot of people to thank.

For now, let it suffice to say that the Emmy looks very good in my TV room, and while it IS an honor just to be nominated (as I have been, six times before), it’s even cooler to win.

Zombie Time on Z-Nation

September 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm
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As some of you may well know our grand friend and one of the producer/writers of Z-nation, The Marvelous Mister Mike Cassutt (He's also writing for Captain Cosmos and HBO), talked us into being Zombies for his show while we were at WorldCon in Spokane this year.

What fun!

Don't miss GRRMs most interesting singing to date, featured on Season 2 of Z-Nation.

Now Showing every Friday at 10/9c on the SyFy Channel.

Here's a fun Picture of GRRM and some of us crazy Minions really getting into character before filming.

This Message was brought to you by the Minions of Fevre River.


Book Signing and Interview with Melinda Snodgrass and Steven Gould

September 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm
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Ogre Jenni speaks to you! Hi.

First and foremost—I have to clarify something. This might disappoint a few of you, but I am not George R.R. Martin pretending to be a real human female pretending to be an ogre—although that would be hilarious. I am, in fact, just a real human female pretending to be an ogre who works for and loves the Jean Cocteau Cinema. All the opinions expressed by Ogre Jenni are, in fact, only Ogre Jenni’s.

Disclaimer aside, science fiction authors Melinda Snodgrass and Steven Gould will participate in a Q&A and book signing at the Cocteau on Thursday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available here! Snodgrass will read from her newest novel, Edge of Dawn, and Gould will read from his latest book, Exo.

Melinda Snodgrass’ Edge series takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The protagonists of Edge of Reason, Edge of Ruin, and the latest from the series, Edge of Dawn, are humanist individuals who stand for a rational and scientific approach to comprehending the universe. They are locked in a desperate conflict with the “Old Ones,” ancient—and Lovecraftian—beings who use religious extremists and their superstitious methods to carry out their designs. Apparently there are even worse monsters in Albuquerque than Walter White! Anyway, the Old Ones ultimately seek domination over humankind through the vehicles of magic and dogma. The series’ main protagonist, an APD cop named Richard Oort, fights to save humanity from these dark iuences.

Steven Gould’s Jumper series is a great set of sci-fi novels about people who can teleport. The first Jumper novel follows a teen named Davy who learns he can teleport, or “jump,” when he is about to be brutally beaten by his father. Narrowly avoiding the belt, Davy suddenly appears at his public library. After a few more harrowing experiences, he learns to control his ability and use it at will. Exo, the latest novel in the Jumper series, features Davy’s daughter, Cent, as the protagonist. To avoid the malintent of certain government agencies, Cent explores the possibility of “jumping” into outer space.

Besides some incredibly mind-melting fun with quantum entanglement teleportation (have a fun time going down that rabbit holeI’m stuck down hereSOMEONE HELP ME!!!), Gould knows that the teleportation of complex systems (like human bodies) isn’t really plausible. However, for the sake of awesome storylines and metaphorical possibilities, he develops an imaginative system for how teleportation could work in this world. This system is still based off of some very cool—and real—physics. If you’d like to hear a little bit more about how his jumpers jump, listen to this interview with Gould on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy via Wired. Otherwise, visit us at the Cocteau on the 17th and get yourself a personalized book!

Eight Is NOT Enough

September 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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HBO and GAME OF THRONES dominated last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys in LA.

HBO took home 29, way more than any other network. GOT accounted for eight of those, more than any other show.

Awards were given in every category. For the full list of nominees and winners:

The rest of this year’s Emmys will be given out this Sunday. I’ll be flying out to LA once more for the ceremony. GAME OF THRONES is nominated for directing, writing, and acting… and of course, for Best Drama. So cross your fingers, cross your toes.

Meanwhile, congratulations to all of our Emmy winners from last week. Well deserved! A hearty round of applause, please… and for the losers too. Not everyone can take home the trophy, but you all did great work.

The NFL Returns

September 15, 2015 at 10:24 am
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The NFL is back. Was I ready for some football?

Ah… er… not really. The season somehow snuck up on me. Too busy, I guess. I only managed to watch one preseason game, hardly paid any attention at all, and suddenly the first game was upon us.

The Jets were pretty impressive, thumping the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Football.

The Giants… oh, ghod, what can I say? That loss to the hated Cowboys was excruciating. I can’t deny that Tony Romo was brilliant on that final game-winning drive, especially in the absence of Dez Bryant… but Dallas did not win the game. It was given to them. First by the ref, who made an absolutely bogus pass interference call that resulted in a Cowboy touchdown. And then by Eli Manning, who lost track of the Dallas timeouts and actually told Rashad Jennings not to score when the G-Men had the ball on the Dallas one, first and goal, with under two minutes left.

One timeout, two timeouts, does it matter? Jennings gets that ball in, the game is over. A TD there makes it a 10-point game, and the Cowboys would not have had time enough to score twice.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Overall, the Giants D and the Jets O both looked better than anticipated.

I do wonder if the G-Men can bounce back from a gut-wrenching loss like that. One that they inflicted on themselves.


One Alfie, Two Hugos

September 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm
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John Joseph Adams was one of the winners at Sasquan.

As part of the LIGHTSPEED editorial team, he took home a Hugo for Best Semiprozine.

But he also won one of our Alfies as Best Editor, Short Form.

Though I searched for JJA in the aftermath of the Hugo ceremony in Spokane, I was never able to find him (he was in the bar, as it happens) to give him an invite to the Hugo Losers Party. So he was not on hand to accept his trophy.

We shipped it to him instead. It’s finally turned up on his end, and he was kind enough to send a picture of the Alfie sandwiched between his two Hugos (from Sasquan and Loncon).

The Alfie doesn’t have a name plate yet, you’ll notice. Since we had no way of knowing the winners until after the Hugo nominations were released, we could not get them engraved ahead of time. But the plates are being engraved now, and will be shipped out shortly.

John writes, “The Alfie just arrived — it looks so fabulous! Thanks again so so much! I’ve attached a picture of it in between my Hugos. It’s extra cool to win an Alfie for me — THE STARS MY DESTINATION is my favorite book, and is kind of responsible for becoming an editor in the first place. I even invoked it in the opening of the foreword to volume one of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY.”

(( As an ironic footnote, Bester won his Hugo for THE DEMOLISHED MAN, though many people consider THE STARS MY DESTINATION his masterpiece. Including me and John Joseph Adams, clearly. However, the year that THE STARS MY DESTINATION would have been eligible, worldcon was in London, and for reasons incomprehensible to me they dropped the Best Novel category. So Alfie was a Hugo loser too, and in a unique manner. ))

Anyway, John, congrats, and thanks for sending the picture.

Trompe l’oeil

September 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm
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Any other fans of trompe l’oeil out there?

I love the work of John Pugh, master of the art style called “narrative illusionism.”

Take a look:

I have seen the one in Winslow, Arizona in person.

Lots more examples of his work can be found on his website at:



Blacklist Burlesque Presents “Burlesque is Coming: A Tribute to the Works of George R.R. Martin.”

September 11, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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Hello again from Ogre Jenni!

A Virginia-based burlesque company, Blacklist Burlesque, will perform at Santa Fe’s hometown theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, on Monday, September 14th and Tuesday, September 15th. Blacklist Burlesque promises a hilarious and sexy parody of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. View the specific times and purchase tickets here:

Here are some silly quotes from Blacklist Burlesque:

    “For the night is dark and full of rhinestones.”

    “Arya gonna come see us? Aw, c’mon, you gotta have a Sansa humor!”

Blacklist Burlesque refers to themselves as the "first name and last word in Richmond, Virginia and beyond for neo-burlesque and nerd-lesque shows." They already had me at "Burlesque," but they won my tiny black heart with "nerd-lesque."

Holy fishnets, Batman! I did not know that “nerd-lesque” was even a thing until we booked Blacklist Burlesque’s Game of Thrones-themed act at the Cocteau. Apparently, in the world of nerd-lesque, there are Star Trek cabarets, super hero acts, high fantasty burlesque shows, and—quite frighteningly—Cthulhu strip-teases. There are just some things in this universe that the human mind shouldn’t be exposed to. Or maybe I should just get out of my lair every once in a while.

For those who don’t know the basic history of burlesque, it is an art form that has thumbed its nose at upper-class cultures and social conventions for hundreds of years. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the umbrella term “burlesque” covered many varieties of theatrical lampooning or “travesty.” In the 19th century, burlesque producers and performers would take specific arias and oratorios from famous operas, and rewrite the lyrics for comedic effect—just like “Weird Al” Yankovic! In other words, the middle and lower classes got to knock “serious” art off of its pedestal from time to time.

But what about the strip-tease, the feather costumes, and the pasties, you ask? Strip-tease, an important aspect of modern and neo-burlesque, became standard around the 1930s. Think of the bawdy cabaret culture of the 1930s—and then the pin-up girls of the 1940s and 1950s. Now this is just a brief overview from a humble ogre, so if any of you readers have any interesting or tantalizing tidbits to add about burlesque, please leave a comment—and see you at the show!

Coming at the Cocteau

September 9, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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We have a cool week coming up at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, for all of you in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and environs, or anyone who just happens to be in the neighborhood.

On Friday and Saturday, we’ll be featuring live magic by the amazing JOEL WARD. See the post below by Jenni (who insists that she is an ogre, not a minion).

On Sunday, September 13, we’ll have the one-and-only FELICIA DAY, queen of the geek girls, here for an author event, interview, and signing. She’s on tour, promoting her new bio YOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET (almost), and of course we’ll have stacks of copies on hand.

And come Monday and Tuesday, for those two nights only, the Cocteau will be presenting BURLESQUE with a GAME OF THRONES theme.

Advance tix for all of these available at the Cocteau website:

Do move fast if you want tickets. Especially for Felicia, whose show is almost sold out.

Oh, and we still show movie too.

((More detailed announcements about Felicia’s appearance and the GAME OF THRONES burlesque will be appearing here soon, courtesy of Ogre Jenni)).

(((I will leave this open for comments, but please, STAY ON TOPIC. The post about Joel Ward just below drew a bunch of off-topic comments and questions, all of which have been deleted. No questions about my books or the Tv show here, please, and no more Puppy poop.)))