Not a Blog

Twenty Years?

December 19, 2018 at 7:43 pm
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It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.   But for the guys in the band, it probably did not seem that long.

A GAME OF THRONES was published in 1996.   In 2016, to celebrate the twentienth anniversary, Bantam Spectra published a special deluxe leatherbound edition of the novel, lavishly and beautifully illustrated, with an introduction by John Hodgman.

The anniversary edition was a big success, and is still selling strongly two years later.   (If you’d like to snag an autographed copy, you can get one from the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau.   We are out of stock at the moment, but we have more on order, and I will be defacing them with my illegible scrawl as soon as they come in — which will, alas, probably not be in time for Xmas).

So… drum roll please… we’ve going to do it again.

The second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, A CLASH OF KINGS, was published in 1999.   (Seems like yesterday, honestly.  And I still recall the three years between books, when readers would email me to ask what was taking so long for book two, since Other Fantasy Author [fill in your choice] put out a book a year, rain or shine, and why was I taking so long?  Sigh.   Those were the days, when I was only two years late).  Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of its release, so Bantam Spectra will be doing a deluxe leatherbound edition of CLASH as well.

As with GOT, the anniversary edition will be lavishly illustrated with both color plates and black and white.

Our artist this time around will be an amazing young talent named LAUREN CANNON.   You can see some samples of her work on her own website, here:   I love her paintings, and we’re all looking forward to working with her, and seeing her unique take on my world and characters.



Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

2019 Odyssey Writing Workshop

December 16, 2018 at 8:38 am
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Thats right all you aspiring world builders, this years Odyssey Writing Workshop is now taking applications.  Check out their website for all the juicy details:


Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work. Those who attend must be ready to put aside all their other concerns and make a single-minded effort to improve their writing. This is a serious, demanding program. I’m constantly told by graduates that they learned more at Odyssey than they learned in years of workshopping and creative writing classes. You should not apply unless you are ready to hear about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them. Class meets for over 4½ hours, 5 days a week, and students use afternoons, evenings, and weekends to write, critique each other’s work, and complete other class assignments. Students spend at least 8 hours on “homework” each weekday and 12 hours per day on the weekend. You should come prepared to write new material, either short stories or novel chapters. After the first two weeks, you will not be able to submit anything that was written before the workshop began, unless you have radically revised it since arriving at Odyssey. The only way to improve is to write new material that incorporates what you have learned.


For those interested in financial aid, several scholarships and one work/study position are available.

The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. It will cover full tuition, textbook, and housing. A separate application is required to demonstrate financial need. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. A few notes, “we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory…though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that H. P. Lovecraft displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.” For more information contact the Odyssey Writing Workshop at for the Mistakonic application, which is due April 1.


Current Mood: null null

Hall of Fame?

December 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm
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It appears I have been nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

(So has Peter Dinklage.   And many other fine folks).

2018 Nominee Voting

No idea whether or not you need to live in New Jersey… or at least be from New Jersey, as I am… in order to vote.


Current Mood: pleased pleased

Meow Wolf Invades DC

December 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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Meow Wolf is conquering America, city by city.

First came Santa Fe, in 2016.

Las Vegas is scheduled to open next year, in 2019.

Denver will follow, in 2020… and Denver will be HUUUUUUUGE.

And now, the latest announcement: Meow Wolf is moving on the nation’s capitol, Washington D.C.

Lots more out there, if you need further details.   The story is everywhere.

And if you haven’t seen the Meow Wolf documentary yet, track it down!  You will even get a glimpse of me…


Current Mood: bouncy bouncy


Two Weeks To Remember

December 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
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It’s been a couple of very exciting weeks for me and Archmaester Gyldayn.

My trip back east was a lot of fun, and hugely productive.   I got to have Thanksgiving with my family in Jersey for the first time in more than a decade, I checked in with my editors, publishers, and agents, I had a blast on LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT… and I signed 1600 copies of FIRE & BLOOD for the big launch at Loew’s Jersey.   Being on the stage of that magnificent old movie palace with my friend John Hodgman, seeing my name on the marquee of a theatre where I saw BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA as a kid in days gone by… there are no words for that.

And the fans were great as well.   Their excitement and enthusiasm was palpable.   My thanks to everyone who came out… and to all of you who were not able to get tickets as well.   Sorry about that.  (The Friends of the Loew’s hope to have their balcony restored for the next time I return, which will mean a thousand more seats).

FIRE & BLOOD was released the day after the Loew’s event, November 20… in the US, in the United Kingdom, and in various other countries around the world, where my translators had to work around the clock to get the translation done in time to allow simultaneous publication with the English editions.   A number of them did just that, and my hat is off to them.  Great work, folks.

No one really knew how well the book would do, least of all me.   It’s a Westeros book, yes… but not a traditional novel, and not part of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE/ GAME OF THRONES  sequence.   How would my readers react to a book of imaginary history?

I’m thrilled to say that they have reacted very well.

FIRE & BLOOD debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list, for hardcover fiction.

FIRE & BLOOD also debuted at #1 for the TIMES list in the United Kingdom.

I’m informed that we were also #1 in Brazil, #2 in Spain, #5 in Germany, and #8 in France.

(Other countries will need to wait on the translations).

Needless to say, I am thrilled.   My thanks go out to Anne Groell, Scott Shannon, and David Moench, my team at Bantam Spectra, to Jane Johnson at Harper Collins Voyager in the UK, to my amazing agents Kay McCauley and Chris Lotts, and to all my editors and publishers and translators around the world.    And thanks as well to the booksellers, without whose support those bestseller lists would not have been possible.

And most of all, my thanks go out to my fans and readers.   I know you want WINDS, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well.  Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me.

Enjoy the read.   Me, I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros.   It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.  Meanwhile, you have the final season of GAME OF THRONES coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called THE LONG NIGHT being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.

Winter is not the only thing that is coming.

Current Mood: excited excited

2020 Calendar Artist REVEALED!

December 9, 2018 at 6:37 am
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It’s December and the 2019 Song of Ice and Fire Calendar is NOW available and as our tradition goes it’s time to share some of the art for NEXT years 2020 Calendar.  We’re proud to be featuring John Howe as our 2020 SoI&F calendar artist.  John will be focusing mainly on the beasts of Westeros bringing you a whole new year of lush imagery.  Here’s an official sneak peak of his cover art featuring his vision of the legendary ice spiders which haunt old Nan’s scariest bedtime stories.  Stay tuned for upcoming news concerning John Howes calendar, and till then check out 2019 SoI&F calendar featuring John Jude Palencar!  





Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Good Stuff to Watch

December 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm
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This really is the Golden Age of Television.   So many great shows, more than anyone can possibly keep track of… especially anyone as busy as I am these days.   But I love TV (and movies, and books), and when I find something I really enjoy I like to spread the word (“boost signal,” I think they call it nowadays on this interweb thing).  Word of mouth is still the best advertising there is, and with so many choices out there, every word helps.

Regular readers of my Not A Blog will know that I’m a huge Bernard Cornwell fan.   His Sharpe series was classic (and the television version was the first place I ever encountered the talents of Sean Bean), and more recently I have been loving his Saxon novels, set during the days of the Danelaw and Alfred the Great and featuring another unforgettable Cornwell hero, Uhtred son of Uhtred (who also had an older brother named Uhtred and a couple of sons, one of whom was named Uhtred and the other… uh… Uhtred.   It’s complicated).  I’ve also enjoyed the hell out of THE LAST KINGDOM, the television series based on the Uhtred books, the third season of which recently appeared on my television.   Loved that one too.   The show has a great look to it, all mud and blood and dark age squalor.  The writing and acting are both first rate.   So are the action scenes, though the battles could use a bigger budget.   The characters are vivid and memorable and… importantly, to my mind… very true to the novels and the time, not 21st century people dressed up in chain mail and boiled leather.   Love that.  I am already jonesing for season four.

I am also a big fan of Elmore Leonard, so when I recently stumbled on a series based on his novel GET SHORTY, about a Mafia hitman who goes to Hollywood and becomes a movie producer, I had to check it out.   There was a film version of the Leonard novel a few years ago, featuring John Travolta and Danny DeVito, and that was entertaining enough, so…  This new television series has almost nothing to do with either the film or the novel it was based on.  It does not even include Chili Palmer, the hero of the novel (there is a nod to him when a “Mr. Palmer” drives through a studio gate), and the only “Shorty” in sight is a teenaged girl rather than the famous-but-short film star of the original.   In fact, GET SHORTY takes almost nothing from the novel and the movie beyond the basic premise.  Normally, I would HATE that, but this show surprised the hell out of me.   Truth be told — hold your breath, this is something you will almost NEVER hear me say — in this case the television show is BETTER than the book.   It’s darkly funny, brutal, suspenseful, full of twists and turns, and its cast of characters are way more interesting and fully realized than the rather one-dimensional Chili Palmer.   Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano star, and they are both terrific, as is the supporting cast.

Looking at IMDB, I see that this show was actually released in 2017.   I had never even HEARD of it until I stumbled onto it by accident a few weeks ago, which just proves the truth of what I said: there are so many good shows out there, you cannot keep track of them all.   (It also goes to prove that I am very busy and somewhat out of touch, but never mind that).  I have only seen the first season of GET SHORTY, but I hear there is a second season out there already, which I will need to track down (that may not be easy, since season two is on a streaming service I have never heard of).   I hope it’s as good as season one.   In any case, kudos to writer Davey Holmes, who did the adaptation, and to Alan Arkin, who directed a lot of the episodes.   Nice work.

Oh… and I should also mention NIGHTFLYERS, which I hope some of you are watching as it rolls out on SyFy.   But I’ve posted a lot about that one already.  See below.  I hope you are all enjoying it.

These are great times for television viewers.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

NIGHTFLYERS premiers tonight on SYFY!

December 2, 2018 at 10:56 am
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Here comes the heart pounding horror of the Nightflyer!  Don’t miss the premier tonight on SyFy at (10/9 CT Sunday, Dec. 2,) with a new episodes to air every day this week!

Here’s a little bit about the show:  On a mission aboard the Nightflyer, the most advanced ship ever built, a team of scientists embark on an expedition to make first contact with alien life. Set in the year 2093, their mission takes them beyond the edge of the solar system, farther than mankind has ever gone before. But when terrifying and violent events start to occur, the team and crew begin to question themselves, each other, and their reclusive captain. They soon come to realize that the true horror isn’t waiting for them in outer space — it’s already on their ship.


Current Mood: cheerful cheerful