Not a Blog

It’s Not Easy Being Green

July 31, 2020 at 8:38 am
Profile Pic

Life is hard when you’re a Jets fan.

Kermit knows the truth.

The New York Jets, having not won a SuperBowl since 1969 or been in the playoffs since 2010, often have very high draft picks.

Sometimes they select a bust.  In those cases, the players are cut.

Sometimes, however, they get a really terrific premium talent, the kind of generational player you can build a contender around.  In those cases, the Jets get a few years out of the player… and THEN trade him away.

For more draft picks.

Which they then use to select more players, who will either be busts, or terrific players.

Who will then be traded away.

For more draft picks.

Darrell Revis.   Chad Pennington.   And now Jamal Adams.

If Sam Darnold turns out to be a franchise quarterback, an All Pro player, a future Hall of Famer… one wonders where they will send him, and what draft picks we’ll get.

If he turns out to be a bust, of course, we’ll keep him… just until we draft the next franchise quarterback.

The New York Jets.   Building For The Future Since 1969.


Current Mood: discontent discontent


Worldcon… Virtually

July 28, 2020 at 8:03 am
Profile Pic

CoNZealand is almost upon us.

As everyone knows (except perhaps the fellow who has been quarantining is his bomb shelter all these months, cut off from human contract), we are not actually gathering in Wellington, New Zealand this year, thanks to the pandemic.  Instead we are having the very first virtual worldcon.

The virtual Nebula Awards went pretty well, so I am hoping that Virtual Worldcon will as well.   But worldcon is a much bigger undertaking, so no one knows.  Least of all me.  Yes, I am the Toastmaster this year, but I am also one of the least tech savvy science fiction writers on the planet.   Aside from Howard Waldrop, anyway.   If the panels could somehow be conducted on the old GEnie platform, I would be fine.  I was very comfortable and quite active on GEnie.   But I gather we are using something called Zoom, and my every attempt to use Zoom hitherfore have been disasters.  This time I will have tech help from the con, however, so maybe it will go better…

I will be a small part of Opening Ceremonies, and I have a couple of panels as well… but my main contribution to the Virtual Worldcon will be as the host of the Hugo Awards.   Something I was looking forward to eagerly since the day the Kiwis asked me to be their Toastmaster.  Of course, that was when I thought I’d be performing on stage, with an audience.   Doing it up in my cabin in front of a video camera was… ah… not quite the same.  Sic transit gloria.


Anyway, here is how the Hugos are going to work…  I have already pre-recorded all of my opening remarks, introductions of the guest presenters (we will have several), amusing (one hopes) anecdotes and bits of history, discussions of each category, and readings of the names of the finalists (in the cases where I am presenting myself, rather than throwing the ball to a guest presenter).  ConNZealand has all those videos.  The rest of it will be live streamed from my theatre in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau, where a member of worldcon’s tech team will be helping me Zoom.   I will have the envelopes with the names of the winners sealed therein.  I may actually have a Hugo to wave about.

So the drill will go like this: for each category, you will get a pre-recorded video of me as a lead-in.  Then I will either read the finalists, so throw it to another presenter who will do the same.  Most of their remarks are pre-recorded as well.  Then back to me, this time live at the JCC, where I will rip open the envelope and announce the winner.  Then we cut to the happy winner, somewhere in the world…  assuming they are in front of their computers and know how to Zoom and all.  (No, unlike the other major awards shows, we have no plans to show the fake smiles on the faces of the sad losers).  The happy winner will make an acceptance speech, long or short as may be, that is entirely up to them.  Then back to me… either live me at the JCC, or pre-recorded me for the next category.

And on and on, starting with the Lodestar and ending with Best Novel.

That’s the plan.   Nothing could possibly go wrong, he said fearlessly.

I do not envy the director and tech team who will be doing all the cutting.  They deserve a Hugo themselves.   Maybe I will nominate them next year, in Best Related Work.   Assuming everything works…

I do hope some of you log on and watch, come Hugo time.   For good or ill, it will be one for the ages.

(There will be no Hugo Losers Party.  Sorry).

Current Mood: anxious anxious

Words For Our Times

July 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm
Profile Pic

Current Mood: quixotic quixotic


July 19, 2020 at 10:20 am
Profile Pic

This writing stuff is hard.

Even so, it has been going well of late.   Three more chapters completed this past week.   And good progress on several more.

Still a long long way to go, though.   Do not get too excited.

In my copious spare time, have been doing some editorial groundwork on three new Wild Cards books as well:  PAIRING UP and SLEEPER STRADDLES and the mosaic HOUSE RULES, where Agatha Christie, H.P. Lovecraft, and P.G. Wodehouse have a wild weekend.   They should be fun… but we are in early early days, so you won’t be reading any of them until 2022, I would guess.

(But there is lots of other Wild Cards stuff already in the pipeline for 2020 and 2021, have no fear).

Anyway… be good, kids.   Me and the Frog are headed back to Westeros.

Current Mood: busy busy


The Knaves Are Back

July 14, 2020 at 7:20 am
Profile Pic

Hey, Wild Carders!   Did you miss KNAVES OVER QUEENS, the first book in our British triad, and the twenty-sixth in the overall series (or possibly the twenty-seventh, depending on whether you go by the British or American release dates)?

Have no fear.  The knaves are coming back.   TODAY is the official release date for Tor’s trade paperback edition.

Come meet the Seamstress, Enigma, the Green Man, Charlie Soper, Badh, Stonemaiden, Archimedes, the Visitor, Allen Crippen, Jenny Three Arms, Pygmalion, Banger & Mash, and Jiniri.   Renew your acquaintance with Double Helix, Captain Flint, and Winston Churchill.

Available TODAY from your local bookshop (if they are open), or your favorite online bookseller.


Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

Words For Our Times

July 11, 2020 at 10:02 am
Profile Pic

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Our New Train Set

July 8, 2020 at 10:52 am
Profile Pic

Just moved a locomotive and a couple cars from down Lamy way to Santa Fe, behind the Jean Cocteau.

Still a lot to do before we will be able to reopen the railroad.   Track and trestle work, for starts.  Refurbishing the cars.  Lots more.

We may also be looking to change the name of the line.   When people hear “Santa Fe” in connection with trains, they think of the old Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe — which is now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and owned by Warren Buffet.   And “Santa Fe Southern” was an odd name in any case, since Santa Fe is definitely in northern New Mexico.

What the new name might be, I have no idea.   I only know that we won’t invite the public to vote.   My partners and I do not want to end up owning a railroad named Trainy McTrainface.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Spring Time :D

July 4, 2020 at 10:00 am
Profile Pic

Life within the heart of a dragon!

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful