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Aces Assemble!

October 26, 2017 at 10:35 am
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Lots of cool new stuff coming down on the Wild Cards front of late.

Earlier this month we had our big Wild Cards event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, hosted by yours truly. Local New Mexico authors Melinda Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, Victor Milan, Sage Walker, Daniel Abraham, and Walter Jon Williams were joined by out-of-towners Diana Rowland, Christopher Rowe, Caroline Spector, Walton (Bud) Simons, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, David D. Levine, Leanne C. Harper, David Anthony Durham (and his son Sage), Carrie Vaughn, Michael Cassutt, and… last but not least… the one and only Howard Waldrop, father of Jetboy, the kid who never saw the Jolson Story.

It made for an amazing evening, for those lucky enough to be there. And for those of you who weren’t, hey, no problem. We’re put the whole thing up on YouTube:

After the interviews, the whole WC crowd adjourned to the lobby for a mass signing (which included not only the Wild Cards books, but also their own non-series novel), where they were joined by Ian Tregillis and Laura J. Mixon. The result being that we have TONS of autographed books on hand, the WC mosaics often with multiple signatures. While the supply lasts, you can pick up copies of WILD CARDS, INSIDE STRAIGHT, ACES HIGH, JOKERS WILD, SUICIDE KINDS, BUSTED FLUSH, FORT FREAK, LOWBALL, HIGH STAKES, DOWN & DIRTY, DEAD MAN’S HAND, ACE IN THE HOLE, ACES ABROAD, and many other titles at the Jean Cocteau bookstore http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/

We’ve also added a number of new posts to the Wild Cards blog at http://www.wildcardsworld.com/blog/ , with the most recent contributions coming from David D. Levine, Victor Milan, Laura J. Mixon, and John Jos. Miller. Check it out.

((Comments welcome, but ONLY ON WILD CARDS))

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

NIGHTFLYERS at the JCC

October 23, 2017 at 3:53 pm
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The SyFy channel will start filming their new NIGHTFLYERS series late this year or early next, I am informed. The series is based on my novella “Nightflyers,” first published in 1980.

“Nightflyers” was one of my Thousand Worlds stories, part of the future history that formed the background for most of the science fiction I wrote and published in the 1980s. The earliest version of it was a 23,000 word novella originally published in ANALOG, with a gorgeous cover by Paul Lehr.

That version of the story was a finalist for the Hugo Award at Denvention II (that’s me and Parris at Denvention in the pic). It lost our to a Dorsai story by Gordy Dickson, but as always it was great to be nominated… and it did get me back in the Hugo Losers Club, after I’d disgraced myself my winning two the year before. ūüėČ

The story had a lot of fans, though. One of them was editor Jim Frenkel, who was doing a new series called ‘Binary Stars,’ a sort of revived Ace Double concept with two ‘short novels’ sharing a single book. He wanted to use “Nightflyers,” but needed it to be longer. I was thrilled to oblige, since I’d always felt the original needed a bit more room to breeze. I happily expanded the novella to 30,000 words, and in that form it was paired with Vernor Vinge’s “True Names” in a Binary Star, and later reprinted as the lead story in one of my collections from Bluejay Books.

((I kinda hate that cover. For various seasons, which I will explain at the JCC)).

I don’t know where screenwriter/ producer Robert Jaffe first encountered the story… in ANALOG, or via my collection… but somehow he did, and reached out to be in 1984 to option, and then purchase, film and television rights. The movie was filmed in 1986 and released in 1987.

NIGHFTLYERS… the movie… was not a huge hit. But it’s a film that I have very warm feelings toward. NIGHTFLYERS may not have saved my life, but in a very real sense it saved my career, and everything I have written since exists in no small part because of that 1987 film.

Tomorrow night we’ll be screening at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, with Robert Jaffe flying in from Los Angeles to talk about the making the film with me.

Come join us.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Pfui

October 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm
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Life for a Jets fan is an unending torment.

Last week the refs gave the Pats an win over Gang Green with a bullshit reversal of a touchdown, one of the worst calls in the history of the NFL.

This weeks the Jets did it to themselves, blowing a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter to lose to the Fins. Total choke job.

Josh McCown finished the choke with a horrible INT with seconds left. He’s a decent quarterback, but he’s not the answer. He’s too old to be the future. He’s Fitzmagic the Second. The Jets need to bench him and play Petty and Hack to see if one of those might offer hope.

But they won’t. They will keep on playing McCown, and win just enough games to make sure they don’t get a good QB prospect in the draft, thereby assuring us of another decade of mediocrity.

That’s the Jet Way.

Current Mood: bitchy bitchy

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Run Fast, Jon Snow

October 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm
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Jon Snow is running in the Melbourne Cup.

Or so my Aussie friends inform me.

https://www.justhorseracing.com.au/melbourne-cup/

For those who don’t live Down Under, the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world. Like our Kentucky Derby, but much much older.

Phar Lap won it once.

Can Jon Snow do the same?

Current Mood: amused amused

Rest in Peace, Roy

October 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm
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The world became a little poorer this week. Roy Dotrice has died. He was ninety-four.

Roy first took up acting in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, and went on to become one of the giants of British stage and screen, decorated by the Queen. He set a record for his one-man play BRIEF LIVES, and performed the key role of Mozart’s father in the film of AMADEUS, among a hundred other credits. He was a supremely gifted actor.

He was also my friend. He lived in the United Kingdom and I lived in New Mexico, so we did not see each other often, but whenever we did get together, it was a delight. I will always treasure the memory of the dinner I shared with Roy and his wife Kay (who passed away a few years ago) at his club, the Garrick, a centuries-old haunt of the legends of the British stage. That was a truly amazing evening. The last time I saw Roy was in Los Angeles, however, at the party his daughter threw him on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Many of the news stories about Roy’s death identified him as a GAME OF THRONES cast member. He was that, of course. He played the pyromancer Hallyne in two episodes during our second season… and, as with everything he did, he played him wonderfully.

Truth be told, Roy might have had a much larger role in the series. When we first cast the show, he was our choice to play Grand Maester Pycelle, and I have no doubt that he would have been magnificent in that role. Sadly, health problems forced him to bow out. Julian Glover stepped up and performed admirably in his stead, but sometimes I still wonder at what might have been.

Roy’s association with GAME OF THRONES runs far deeper than the television series. He was also the reader of the audiobooks of all five volumes of the series… though calling him a “reader” does not truly reflect his work. Roy performed those books. He gave every character his (or her) own distinctive voice, despite the fact that there were hundreds of them. So many, in fact, that the Guinness Book of World Records recognized him for voicing the most characters in an audibook for his work on A GAME OF THRONES, a record he still holds today (though actually I suspect he broke it himself for his readings of the later books).

I loved what Roy did on the audiobooks. He did not just read my words aloud, he brought them to life, in a way few actors could. And the fans agreed. Roy did the audiobooks for A GAME OF THRONES, A CLASH OF KINGS, and A STORM OF SWORDS, to great acclaim. When it was time to record A FEAST FOR CROWS, however, he was unavailable. Off doing a play in Birmingham, I was told. So my publishers used another reader. But the fans were having none of it. After the audiobook of FEAST was released, Random House received so many complaints that they had no choice but to go back and re-record the book with Roy, and release a second version. So of course when it was time to tape A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, there was never any question as to who would read it.

With Roy gone, I have no idea who will can possibly get to do the audiobooks for THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING. But whoever it is, they will have a hard, hard act to follow.

For all the great work he did on A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, my own memories of Roy Dotrice go back earlier, to the three years we worked together on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST for CBS. Great memories, for me; that was a wonderful show, and a joy to work on. We had an amazing team of writers, and of course a terrific cast, with the likes of Jay Acovone, Linda Hamilton, Jo Anderson, the incredible Ron Perlman… and Roy, of course, as Father. It was an honor and a privilege to write for him.

Those years on B&B meant a lot to Roy as well. Just last month, he posted a farewell messages to all the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans around the world. You can find it on YouTube:

Such a fine actor. Such a sweet man.

Everyone who knew him is sad today.

Current Mood: sad sad

The Swords Are Drawn

October 10, 2017 at 11:58 am
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Today is the day: publication day for THE BOOK OF SWORDS, the mammoth new sword & sorcery anthology edited by my old friend (and sometime partner in crime) Gardner Dozois.

There’s an impressive table of contents, including brand new stories by giants of the genre like Robin Hobb, Ken Liu, the criminally underrated Matthew Hughes, Scott Lynch, Daniel Abraham, Cecelia Holland, Lavie Tidhar, and many more.

Including yours truly. I’m here too, with “Sons of the Dragon,” another installment in the Fake History of Westeros, this one chronicling the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer’s two sons, Aenys and Maegor. Not a conventional story, no, more in the vein of “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince,” but perhaps of some interest to those fascinated by the blood-soaked annals of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

THE BOOK OF SWORDS should be available today at your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller.

You can find it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Book-Swords-George-R-Martin/dp/0399593764

And if you’ll wait a few days, hardcover copies signed by yours truly (but not, alas, by any of the other contributors) will be available from the Jean Cocteau Cinema Bookshop at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/author/

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

From Brazil, With Love

October 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm
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LeYa, my Brazilian publisher, and a small army of my Brazilian readers sent me this video as a birthday greeting:

I don’t know what to say. I am astonished. Charmed. Flattered. And maybe just a little bit terrified.

I really do need to make it down to Brazil one of these days.

(And they used one of my favorite songs, too).

Current Mood: silly silly

Wild Cards at the Jean Cocteau

October 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm
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Heads up, Wild Cards fans! This weekend some of the your favorite Wild Cards authors will be gathering at the Jean Cocteau Cinema for an author event and mass signing.

The list of attending authors will include (but not necessarily be limited to):

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (Lohengrin, Popinjay, the Great and Powerful Turtle)
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS (Dr. Tachyon, Dr. Finn, Double Helix)
WALTER JON WILLIAMS (Golden Boy, Modular Man, Pop Tart)
VICTOR MILAN (Cap’n Trips, The Darkness, Dust)
JOHN JOS. MILLER (Carnifex, Yeoman, the Midnight Angel)
GAIL GERSTNER MILLER (Peregrine)
CARRIE VAUGHN (Earth Witch, Curveball, Wild Fox)
CAROLINE SPECTOR (The Amazing Bubbles)
WALTON (BUD) SIMONS (Mr. Nobody, Mr. Dutton, Little Fat Boy)
CHRISTOPHER ROWE (Theodorus, Hardhat)
DANIEL ABRAHAM (Jonathan Hive)
LEANNE C. HARPER (Bagabond)
DIANA ROWLAND (The Mosquito Whisperer)
DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM (Infamous Black Tongue)
LAURA J. MIXON (Lamia, The Candle)
SAGE WALKER (Zoe, the Animator)
MICHAEL CASSUTT (Cash Mitchell, Stuntman)
MARY ANNE MOHANRAJ (Natya)
DAVID D. LEVINE (The Cartoonist, the Recycler)
KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY (Captain Flint, the Jokertown Boys, Will O Wisp)

and… last but certainly not least… the guy who started it all, Jetboy’s daddy…

HOWARD WALDROP (Jetboy)

Here’s your chance to get all your Wild Cards books signed… and signed… and signed.

And we’ll have plenty of stock of the non-Wild Cards books by our attending writers (yes, we let them write other things too), which they will be glad to scribble in as well.

The fun will start at the JCC at 4:30 on the afternoon of Sunday, October 8.

Aces, jokers, deuces, even nats: all of you are welcome. See you there!

((Comments welcome… about Wild Cards and the JCC. Off topic comments will be deleted))

Current Mood: excited excited