Not a Blog

On the Road Again

July 9, 2024 at 3:51 pm
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We will be headed across the Atlantic in a week or so for the longest trip we’ve taken in a while, part business and part pleasure.

First stop will be Belfast, where I am planning to visit Ashford Meadow, catch a little jousting and maybe a puppet show, meet a certain hedge knight and his squire, and the rest of the cast of the Dunk & Egg show.   And of course we’ll be having a meal or three with Ira Parker, Owen Harris, and their team.   Really looking forward to that.

We have a few more stops planned after Belfast, including one in London, where I will be getting together with my British publishers from Harper Collins Voyager.

Let me say a few words about that, though.   Last year, when I mentioned seeing my Voyager editor in London, the internet went nuts, throwing up all sorts of theories about how this meant that WINDS OF WINTER was done and a huge announcement was at hand.   Uhhhh… sorry guys, but no.   That’s not how it works.  Making contacts… which often turn into friendships… is a huge part of publishing.  Most of my communication with my editors and publishers is conducted via emails, phone calls, zooms, and texts (in the old days, we had letters written on paper too).   There’s not a lot of face to face, especially when we’re talking about people who live across an ocean… so when I travel, if I have a day or two to catch up with one of my editors or agents, I jump on it.   Every time I travel to NYC, I  get together with my literary agents, and my editors at Bantam and Tor.. along with old friends, family, and the like.   That’s true everywhere I go.   If I fly to Germany for a con or book fair, I will see my German agents, publishers, and translators.  If it’s Italy or Spain or Finland, same thing.   If I ever find myself in Brazil or Japan or Egypt, I’d try and connect with my Brazilian or Japanese or Egyptian publishers.   This is just the standard way of doing business, guys.  It does NOT signify that some momentous announcement is at hand.   It doesn’t signify anything, actually… except a desire to touch base, catch up, renew old contacts or make some new ones… and enjoy a nice meal.  So calm down, please.   When WINDS OF WINTER is done, the word will not trickle out, there WILL be a big announcement… where and when I cannot say.

But back to our road trip…

We will have a week or so in London.   Besides the visit with Harper Collins Voyage,  I also hope to get together with the scriptwriter and director on our stage play… HARRENHAL was our first title, since it is set during the fateful Harrenhal tourney, but now we are leaning toward THE IRON THRONE.   It’s coming along well, I am told.   Young Ned, Young Robert, Lyanna, Rhaegar, Howland Reed… should be fun.  And jousting.   On stage.   The dream is to open somewhere on London’s West End in 2025… but there’s still a lot of work to do.

The writers’ room for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON season 3 is also meeting in London, but I have no plans to attend.

I will he going to Oxford on August 2, for an appearance at Oxford Writer’s House.  The topic will be “Writing Fantasy,” and I will be sharing the stage with Philip Pullman.   I am really looking forward to that.   I have never met Pullman, but I’m a huge fan of HIS DARK MATERIALS, so that will be a treat.   I have never been to Oxford either.   (I was especially eager to have a pint in the Eagle and Child, where Tolkien and the Inklings once drank, but alas, I read that it’s closed to renovations.   Guess I will need to come back again).   Was going to post a link to the event, but, alas, I see that it is already sold out.  Sorry about that.

The last stop on my tour will be Glasgow, for the World Science Fiction Convention.   This will be the first worldcon I’ve attended in a number of years, since the ill-fated New Zealand con in 2020.   I was toastmaster at that one, but covid descended on the world and the con was forced to go all virtual and… well, let’s just say things did not work out well.   (No more virtual panels for me, thanks).   Glasgow has hosted worldcons twice before, and we were at both of those and had a great time.   We are hoping this will be as good.

Anyway… I will be in Glasgow, attending the con, but whether you’ll see me, I don’t know.   I am not on any programming.   It is not for lack of trying, though.   I wrote the con’s programming chair back in January, and again in February, asking for his phone number so we could discuss the details.  No phone number was forthcoming, alas, just a form letter with a link to an application and a warning that while I was welcome to apply, I could not be guaranteed a place on the programme.

I did not give up there, however.   Several months later, when I learned how many of my Wild Cards writers would be at the con (about a dozen, all told), I wrote again and offered to organize a Wild Cards event for them.   (We have done Wild Cards events at a dozen past worldcons, everything from traditional panels to trivia contests to cage matches and the like), and they have always drawn a big crowd.   I got no reply to that one.   A month or so after that, I tried again.  Howard Waldrop died in January, and I thought it would be nice to do a memorial panel honoring the man and his work.   Several other friends of Howard will also be at Glasgow, and said they would be delighted to be part of such a panel.   Alas, no reply to that one either.

As regular readers of my Not A Blog know, I  have also been producing a series of short films based on some of Howard’s classic short stories.   NIGHT OF THE COOTERS was the first done, and won prizes in half a dozen film fests.   MARY-MARGARET ROAD GRADER is hitting the festival circuit this year, and has already won its first prize.   THE UGLY CHICKENS, adapted by Michael Cassutt from Howard’s Nebula-winning short, and starring fan favorite Felicia Day, will follow this year.   Just saw the final cut, directed by Mark Raso, and it’s just lovely.  The films are not in theatres yet, but I offered to screen them in Glasgow, as part of the film programme (if there is one) or that proposed Waldrop Memorial Panel.   No response to that offer either.

So… yes, I will be at Glasgow.   I will check out the art show, as I always do, maybe attend some bid parties, and I will be wandering the dealer’s room (the huckster’s room, as us old timers call it).   The rest of the time I guess I may hang out in the bar, drinking with friends both old and new,  toasting Howard and Gardner and all the other friends we lost.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Current Mood: restless restless