Not a Blog

Last Year (Writing, Editing, Producing)

January 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm
Profile Pic

I do other things besides A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.

Nothing new about that. Since the very start of my career, in the early 1970s, I’ve always tried to keep several balls in the air. Sometimes one will plunk you in the head, to be sure, but it keeps life from getting dull.

My editing wound down a little in 2015. As much as I would like to do some more anthologies like ROGUES and OLD VENUS with Gardner Dozois, they were taking more of my time than I was comfortable with, given my other commitments. So Gardner is going on ahead solo with several exciting new anthology projects, but our team titles will need to wait. Apologies to all of you who were waiting for OLD URANUS.

Wild Cards is another matter. Wild Cards is in my blood, and I plan to continue with those books as long as someone will keep buying them. (And I desperately want to write more Wild Cards stories of my own, instead of just editing, but I don’t have time for that either). We delivered HIGH STAKES last year — the copyedited manuscript is on my desk as I type, waiting to be reviewed — and have signed with Tor for three more originals. Meanwhile, the reissues continue, and foreign publishers are picking up the series all over the world. We also have three Wild Cards graphic novels in the pipeline. Originals, not adaptations. The scripts are in — one from Carrie Vaughn, one from Melinda M. Snodgrass, one from the team of Kevin Andrew Murphy and John Jos. Miller — and the artists are hard at work on the pencils. They should be something.

Meanwhile, on the Hollywood front, I have three shows in various stages of development under the aegis of my overall deal with HBO. There’s CAPTAIN COSMOS for HBO (scripted by Michael Cassutt), there’s SKIN TRADE for Cinemax (to be scripted by Kalinda Vasquez), and there’s a third project in the very early stages that I am not allowed to talk about yet. There’s also WILD CARDS, but that’s at a different studio and I am not involved with it, except to license rights, sign the check, and distribute funds to my writers. Oh, and on the movie side, we seem to be moving toward production on IN THE LOST LANDS, an adaptation of three of my old stories.

Last year I also formed Kill Van Kull Productions, to develop and produce a series of low budget short films (twenty to thirty minutes long) of some classic SF short stories. Can’t say any more than that just now, but I will keep you posted as plans proceed.

I also turned down several interesting and potentially lucrative projects, on both the publishing and television/ film sides. Some of it was stuff I would love to do, but there’s just not enough time. I like to juggle, but you do need to keep the number of balls down.

So… plenty on my plate. Keep your fingers crossed, though, especially for the television and film projects. In Hollywood, nothing is ever real till shooting starts, and sometimes not even then. Remember William Goldman’s wisdom: nobody knows anything.

Last Year (Travel and Conventions)

January 1, 2016 at 6:19 pm
Profile Pic

I did a lot of travelling last year. Probably too much. You don’t have to chide me about that. I know, believe me, I know. I am trying to cut down on travel this year and in subsequent years, at least until Ice & Fire is done.

But it’s a struggle. I love travel — not the flying, but being there, seeing other parts of the world, meeting my readers. As a kid, I never went anywhere at all except in my imagination, so now, when I have the means, travel is hard to resist. It’s a big wonderful world.

Also, I am not getting any younger (some of you love to remind me of that). Travel is fun, but it can also be taxing. I am all too aware that if I don’t take some of these trips now, age and health may preclude my ever taking them. Who knows what awaits me (or you, or you, or you) five years or ten years down the road?

Some of the travel I did in 2015 was for business, or to attend conventions that I had committed to two, three, four, even five years ago. Other travel was more spontaneous. A nephew’s wedding. An invitation to the SuperBowl. The last Grateful Dead concerts. People keep making me offers I cannot refuse… and not just Don Corleone…

Anyway… I travelled, and mostly I am glad I did… I wrote a couple of pages about my various trips and conventions in the Lost Post, and included plenty of pictures. I am not going to bother redoing any of that. I fear that only a few of you are interested in my travels. Many would rather I never ever got up from my computer.

So no rehash of the rehash.

I will say that I had a great time in San Francisco at the GAME OF THRONES premiere parties, that ConQuest in KC was something special, and that my summer trip to Germany, Sweden, and Finland was one I will long remember and cherish. Stockholm is a gorgeous city that I want to see again, and I had a fantastic time in Hamburg hanging with the beautiful and talented Sibel Kekilli, her guy Andreas, and my old agent and friend Werner Fuchs. The con was fun too; Finnish fans are tops, and I look forward to Helsinki in two years.

As for worldcon… I have been going to worldcons since 1971, it is always one of the highlights of my year, and Sasquan was no different, despite the whole state seemingly being on fire, and the tensions created by the Recent Unpleasantness With Young Dogs. The Hugo Awards were… ah… a mixed bag, but I was pleased to reclaim my Hugo Losers Party. We kicked ass there, yes we did, and I’m only sorry Gardner Dozois was not with us in Spokane to be part of it.

Travel and cons. ‘Nuff said.

Last Year (Santa Fe)

January 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm
Profile Pic

My Lost Post also contained some reports on the other projects I’m involved with here in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Biggest one is Meow Wolf’s ongoing transformation of the Silva Lanes, a derelict bowling alley, into a fantastic interactive art exhibit called the House of Eternal Return. I bought the bowling alley last January, and construction has been ongoing ever since. Of course, we’re behind schedule. Originally hoped to open in September. Then November. Then January.

Now it’s March, but March is looking solid. And really, boys and girls, if you pass through New Mexico any time this century, you will really want to stop and visit the House of Eternal Return. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Besides, we have a giant robot and a giant spider in the parking lot.

Rather than recap, let me just link to all my previous blog posts about Meow Wolf. That should catch everyone up well enough.

Besides Silva Lanes, my other ongoing project is Dragonstone Studios, the former Desert Academy prep school that we’ve been converting to artist studios and offices. Work is still ongoing there (and way behind schedule, like everything else I am connected with, it seems), and there’s less to say since this is not intended for the public… but the building has been filling up nicely with artists, a real creative community seems to be developing, and I’m stoked.

There’s also some cool stuff going on down in Candy Kitchen, New Mexico at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. But more on that in the future, when the work is done.

And there’s something else… but no, can’t talk about that one yet…

I love Santa Fe, and it pleases me no end that I am able to given something back to the community that has nurtured me since 1979.

Last Year (Jean Cocteau)

January 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm
Profile Pic

I had a whole page about the Jean Cocteau on my Lost Post. A look back at an amazing year. All the author events, the magic shows, the concerts and comedy acts, the burlesque shows, the special events, the film festivals, the retrospectives, the television premieres, the marathons… and of course the movies.

With picture. Lots and lots of pictures.

Sorry, but I don’t have the patience to re-create it all again.

Suffice it to say that we had a great time at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in 2015, and we’re hoping that 2016 will be even more exciting under our new general manager, David Sidebottom.

We are certainly off to a good start. HATEFUL 8 opened with a sellout. Yay!

Oh, though I won’t rehash the entire year, I do want to mention some things we’re especially proud of. The Jean Cocteau dared to show THE INTERVIEW when all five of the country’s major chains caved in to threats from North Korea. Not only did we pack the house for weeks, we received a special unanimous commendation from the New Mexico state legislature for defending free speech.

Oh, and several weeks later, we defied the local prudes by showing Lina Esco’s film FREE THE NIPPLE, though we had to fight to get our ads published. (We also freed some nipples in the theatre on opening night). Plus we were the only theatre in New Mexico to show INTERSTELLAR the way director Christopher Nolan wanted it shown, on 35mm film.

So I am proud of all that. And of the Cocteau in general. Come visit us if you’re ever in Santa Fe. Our popcorn is great too.

Oh, Speaking of Awards…

January 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm
Profile Pic

[… I have been promising my fans on Reddit to post a picture of the Stabby Award they so kindly bestowed on ROGUES, but somehow it kept slipping my mind.

But I finally got a half-decent pic, courtesy of my minion Raya.

So here ’tis.

The Stabby really is a striking award. And no doubt will prove very useful come the zombie apocalypse.

Last Year (Awards)

January 1, 2016 at 3:49 pm
Profile Pic

2015 was a great year for me as far as awards and other honors were concerned as well.

It did not start out that way. Last February I flew to LA for the Writers Guild Awards. I was up for two: one for my season four episode “The Lion and the Rose,” and one as part of the writing staff on GAME OF THRONES. Lost both, alas. That was disappointing. Oh, it was a honor to be on the shortlist, to be sure, especially since I had only been nominated for a WGA Award once before, for a TWILIGHT ZONE script way back when. But there’s something special about recognition from one’s peers, and a win would have been cool. I doubt I will be getting another shot at that one.

That was the only (small) down note, however. After that, awards and honors came fast and furious the rest of the year. ROGUES, the latest of the crossgenre anthologies I’ve been editing with Gardner Dozois, won two: a LOCUS and a Stabby. It was also a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, but lost that one (no surprise, as DANGEROUS WOMEN had won the year before). Gardner and I was also gratified that two of our ROGUES contributors won prizes of their own for their stories in the book: Joe Abercrombie took a LOCUS award and Gillian Flynn an Edgar.

I was also thrilled to receive an Alumni Achievement Award from my alma mater, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. They gave me a Northwestern football helmet too. And I got to return to Evanston for the first time in decades. All cool.

Then, of course, there was my birthday present. You guys remember that, yes?

That was as unexpected as it was exciting. Having lost the Emmy six times before (twice for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, four times for GAME OF THRONES), I was pretty pessimistic going in. I was never so glad to be so wrong.

Of course, I can’t really take too many bows: it was David and Dan and Bryan, the great folks at HBO, and the best cast and crew in television who really brought hold the Emmy gold. The first time a fantasy or SF show has ever won… but not, I hope, the last.

One sometimes hears it said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. So maybe it is only fitting that my favorite award of 2015 was not one I won, but one I gave to others. I am, of course, talking about the Alfies.

I am as proud of the Alfies as of anything I have ever done in fandom, and I will always treasure my memories of that night, and especially the words of those who won these old hood ornaments. Sometimes it feels good to do good.

(I said all of this, at somewhat greater length, in the Lost Post).

PS ((Oh, and now that I’ve uploaded this, I realize I forgot that I also received a New Mexico Governor’s Award for contributions to the art, and a PiePlate award from the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. I did include those in the original update, but missed them in the Cliff’s Notes version. And who knows what else I’ve forgotten? It was a good year for honors)).


Last Year (Publications)

January 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm
Profile Pic

I had lots of books come out last year. Old books, like the Tor reissue of the fifth volume of Wild Cards (DOWN & DIRTY), and new books like the Dunk & Egg collection A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, the GAME OF THRONES adult coloring book, the OLD VENUS anthology.

I talked about them all in my Famous Lost Post. To tell the truth, I don’t recall what I said. Maybe it wasn’t important.

Oh, wait… I did say something about A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS debuting high on the bestseller lists in both the UK and the US… and how gorgeous the Gary Gianni artwork was, what an absolutely lovely volume… oh, and what a hoot it was when A GAME OF THRONES ascended briefly to #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES mass market list. Quite a feat for a book originally published in 1996.

Anyway, that was some of my good stuff in 2015.

(And I have the nagging feeling maybe I’ve even forgotten a publication or two in this retelling. Which I did not do first time around. So be it).

Last Year (the Cliff’s Notes version)

January 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm
Profile Pic

My giant Review of the Year Post got eaten by Live Journal.

That was very vexing. I had spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon working on that post. It was very long. Lots of graphics too, book covers and party photographs, all sorts of stuff I had to find on my hard drive and load. And in an instant it was gone.

I don’t have the time to energy to recreate it. I probably could not even if I tried. Nothing is as onerous as trying to rewrite something you’ve already written and lost.

So all I can give you, on this fine 2016 afternoon, is a sort of Cliff’s Notes version.

And to make sure I don’t lose a lot of stuff again, I will break this up into a number of shorter posts rather than one epic one.

So… where was I? Oh, the lost post. Well, the title was simply “2015.” It was meant to be a review of my entire year, personal and professional. And yes, I talked about WINDS, but I talked about a lot of things as well. That was the sort of year it was.

My opening statement was a crib from Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Which pretty well sums up 2015 for me. Lots and lots and lots of amazing stuff happened, and I felt that I wanted to stress that… most writers could only dream about the kind of year I had… but it was a year full of frustration and disappointments as well, a year of lows as well as highs…

So let me get into that.

In smaller posts.


January 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm
Profile Pic

I just got finished watching the Outback Bowl.

For a Northwestern alum, that was not a pleasant way to begin a new year.

Congratulations to the Volunteers and all, but… I think I had better go back to watching pro football.

One last Sunday. Go Jets. Go Giants.

((I did have a great party last night. Happy New Year, everyone)).