I have been busy catching up these past couple of weeks, dealing with the thousand-odd emails that accumulated while I was over the Pond in London Towne for two-and-a-half weeks. (Most of that was spam, though, and quickly dealt with).
It was a busy trip. I have not been to London since before the Dublin Worldcon a few years ago. That trip was largely for fun, this one was mostly work… though we did find time to see a few plays on the West End. CABARET was amazing, but oh, so dark. I love love love the film version with Liza Minelli, one of my favorite films of all time, but the stage production has a whole different feel. Brilliant, but gut wrenching, especially considering the times we are living through right now. We also caught the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE. A wonderful book, but so much of it depends on internal monologue and Neil’s rich, evocative prose that I wondered how they could possibly bring it to the stage. I need not have worried. They did a masterful job. I hear they may be bringing it to Broadway soon. If so, don’t miss it. Finally, we went to see THE MOUSE TRAP, the Agatha Christie whodunit that has been playing on the West End since 1952. That was a fun evening as well.
And since we are talking theatre… one of the meetings I had in London was with Dominick and Duncan, the director and scriptwriter of our own stage play, the one we have been working on for the past few years. Originally we were calling it HARRENHAL, but we have now settled on THE IRON THRONE as a title… until we think of something better. Regardless, things are coming well, I think, and we are hopeful of being able to open in late 2024. Maybe. But you never know. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
I also found time to meet with my British publisher, and my other British publisher, to talk WILD CARDS and A SONG OF ICE & FIRE and (of course) THE WINDS OF WINTER.
And… of course, of course… I also spent three days with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Starting with a visit to the studio where HOT D is being shot. (I had originally planned to visit there months ago, but the WGA strike put an end to that, and instead I stayed here in Santa Fe, working on WINDS OF WINTER and walking a picket line). All I have to say about that is… ohmigod! I am no stranger to film sets. I have worked off and on in television and film since 1986, where I joined the staff of the TWILIGHT ZONE revival at CBS. I still recall the rush where I saw them building Stonehenge on the sound stage behind my office, for an episode I’d written. And of course I visited the GAME OF THRONES shoots in Belfast, Scotland, Morocco, and Malta. Those were incredible too. But nothing I have ever seen can compare with the Red Keep and Dragonstone sets they have built at Leavesden Studios in London. HUGE, stunning, and so damned real that I felt as if I had gone through a time portal to medieval Westeros. I love castles and have visited dozens of actual medieval castles, keeps, and towers in my time, and none of the real castles I’ve ever seen can hold a candle… or a torch… to our Red Keep.
It was not all tromping through sets, though. I also spent two days locked in a room with Ryan Condal and his writing staff (Sara Hess, Ti Mikkel, David Hancock, and Philippa Goslett) talking about the third and fourth seasons of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. They were lively, fun discussions, and we got some good work done… though two days was not nearly enough. There is so much ground to cover that I am not sure twenty days would have been enough.
The highlight of the trip, though, had to be the sneak preview that Ryan gave me of the first two episodes of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, season two. (Rough cuts, of course). Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet). Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did). Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all).
We also got to spent Halloween in London. My minions made me dress up. They are very bossy minions.
Also got to spend some time over there with friends old and new: Lisa Tuttle, Paul Cornell, Meredith Glynn, Jane Johnson, Mark Lawrence, Maisie Williams.
A lovely trip, all in all. We even got to see some fireworks on the Fifth of November.
But now I am back, and there is so much work to be done.
Current Mood: tired