Not a Blog

May! Yay!

May 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm
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Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

What’s Up, Doc?

April 29, 2021 at 4:26 pm
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Come June, I won’t be able to play cards with Nelson Algren any more, I guess.

I am very pleased and proud to announce that my alma mater, Northwestern University, will be presenting me with an honorary doctorate at this year’s commencement, on June 14.   Here’s the official announcement about the event:

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2021/04/commencement-gwynne-shotwell/?utm_source=nnow_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=commencement

This year’s commencement will be virtual, so the presentation and my acceptance will be taped.

It is hard to believe that it has been half a century since my own commencement from Northwestern, in 1970.   Where have the years gone?

If I could go back in time and tell 1970 Me that this would happen one day, he would never have believed me.  (On the other hand, 1970 Me believed that one day he would vacation on the Moon, so… he may have written science fiction, but predicting the future was not his strong suit).

 

 

 

Comes A Swordsman

April 15, 2021 at 12:30 pm
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He is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven.   He has no claim to lands or titles, all he has is his honor and his skill with sword and lance.

He is a challenger, a champion, cheered by the commons, beloved of the ladies.

He is a lover (or is he?), a seducer (or is he?), a betrayer (or is he?), a breaker of hearts and a maker of kings.

FIRE & BLOOD readers know him as Ser Criston Cole.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON viewers will know him as FABIEN FRANKEL.

In some of his other roles, Frankel has been the son of Dennis Franz (NYPD BLUE) and the lover of Emilia Clarke (LAST CHRISTMAS).   And now he is getting tangled up with some more Targaryens.   We shall see how that goes.

Welcome to Westeros, Fabien.

And do keep that sword sharp.

 

 

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Not A Blogging

April 13, 2021 at 4:39 pm
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Way back when on LiveJournal, when I started this column or journal or whatever it is, I called it my “Not A Blog,” because I could see that regular blogging was a lot of work, and I didn’t think I had the time to devote to it.   I was late on a book even then, though I do not recall which one.  I figured I would just make posts from time to time, when I had an important announcement, when the mood struck me, whatever.

Somehow, though, over the decades, the Not A Blog became a blog, and what I had intended as a occasional pleasure and a way to stay in touch with my readers has become a Blog (ironically, at the same time as everyone else was abandoning their blogs for Facebook and Twitter), complete with a sense of obligation.   And when a lot of stuff happens very fast, I fall further and further behind.

I am hugely behind right now, and the prospect of trying to catch up is feeling increasingly oppressive.

My life has become one of extremes these past few months.   Some days I do not know whether to laugh or cry, to shoot off fireworks and dance in the streets or crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head.   The good stuff that has been happening to me has been very very very good, the kind of thing that will make a year, or a career.  But the bad stuff that is happening has been very very very bad, and it is hard to cherish the good and feel the joy when the shadows are all around.

If any of you read the stories about me on the internet, you will know my good news.   I have a new five-year deal with HBO, to create new GOT successor shows (and some non-related series, like ROADMARKS) for both HBO and HBO Max.  It’s an incredible deal, an amazing deal, very exciting, and I want to tell you all about it… although it seems the press has already done it.   There are stories in all the trades.   You can read about it there.    (These days I almost never get to break any news about myself, the Hollywood press is always ahead of me.   Some of their stories are even accurate).   I will blog about it, I expect, but not today.

On the other side of the coin… well, I am now fully vaccinated, hurrah hurray, that’s good.   However, I have now lost six friends since November.  (Only a couple to Covid.   Alas, I am old, and so are many of my friends.   Valar morghulis, I guess).   And a seventh friend, a very old and dear friend who has been a huge part of my life for a long time, is in the hospital, very sick, recovering from surgery… at least we hope he is recovering.

Honestly, it is hard to dance in the streets even for the deal of a lifetime when another loved one dies every two/ three weeks, and that has been going on for me since November, when my longtime editor Kay McCauley passed away.

There’s lots more going on as well.   Meow Wolf stuff.   Railroad stuff.   Beastly Books has reopened, but the JCC is still shuttered.   The Jets traded Sam Darnold away.   I am going to be leaving my cabin in a couple of months.    I am close to delivering  PAIRING UP, a brand new Wild Cards book.

I will tell you about some of this, I guess.   But not today.

Current Mood: tired tired

The Jokers Are Coming, the Jokers Are Going

April 9, 2021 at 4:48 pm
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Hey, Wild Cards fans… the moon is rising in July.

The JOKER MOON, that is.   The latest Wild Cards mosaic novel, volume thirty in the overall series (but you don’t need to read the first twenty-nine to enjoy it,  I promise).

Theodorus was a dreamer.   As a child, he dreamt of airplanes, rockets, and outer space. When the  wild card virus transformed him into a monstrous snail centaur weighing several tons, his boyhood  dreams seemed out of reach, but a Witherspoon is not so easily defeated.

Years and decades passed, and Theodorus grew to maturity and came into his fortune. . . but still his dream endured.  But now when he looked upward into the night sky, he saw more than just the Moon . . . he saw a joker homeland, a refuge where the outcast children of the wild card could make a place of their own, safe from hate and harm.

An impossible dream, some said. Others, alarmed by the prospect, brought all their power  to bear to oppose him. Theodorus persisted . . .  never dreaming that the Moon  was already inhabited.

And the Moon Maid did not want company.

 

 

Tor will be releasing the American hardcover (above) on July 6.

HarperCollins Voyager will release the British hardcover (below) on July 8.

JOKER MOON was edited by yours truly (that’s me, GRRM, and do not believe the assholes out there who are saying that I no longer edit these books), with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass.   Our contributing authors this time around are Christopher Rowe, Michael Cassutt, Leo Kenden, Steve Perrin, David D. Levine, Victor Milan, John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Walton (Bud) Simons, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Caroline Spector.

It’s a stellar line-up, and they’ve given us some ass-kicking stories.

So note the pub dates on your calendars, and get your pre-orders in now.

Violence in Turkey

March 28, 2021 at 3:45 pm
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My dear friend Sibel Kekilli — Shae, for all you fans of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES — emailed me recently to alert me to some distressing news out of Turkey.   (Sibel is German, born and raised in Germany, but of Turkish descent).    Turkey, under the Erdogan regime, has officially withdrawn from the Istanbul convention that combats violence against women.

Here are the details:
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/20/europe/turkey-convention-violence-women-intl/index.html

Sibel herself has first hand knowledge of what it means to experience violence, and she has long been an advocate fighting violence against women all around the world.   She is not only an amazing actress (she gave Shae a depth the character never had in my books), but a very brave woman, and a true hero.   I admire her immensely for all she has done, and continues to do.

And I would like to echo her message to the women and girls of Turkey:   Selam Ve Sevgiler.

Stay strong.

 

 

Current Mood: determined determined

Role Playing for Stagecoach

March 24, 2021 at 7:40 pm
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Words For Our Times

March 23, 2021 at 8:12 am
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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

We’ve Been Working on the Railroad

March 19, 2021 at 3:53 pm
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The Santa Fe Southern, that is!

The defunct railroad we bought had only one working locomotive,  number 7.   So one of our first orders of business was to get old number 93 rolling again.   She needed a new engine.

Thanks to John Howell and Daniel Dornbach and their crack team of railroaders, that’s now DONE.

 

Current Mood: excited excited

Horror in New Hampshire

March 12, 2021 at 3:47 pm
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For all you fans and aspiring writers of Lovecraftian cosmic horror… the Odyssey Writer’s Workshop in New Hampshire is open for applicants for their 2021 conference, and financial aid is available from a variety of sources, including my own Miskatonic Scholarship.

Here’s the official announcement:

 Publicity Release Writing Workshops Charitable Trust 

 P.O. Box 75, Mont Vernon, NH 03057 ◘ Phone/Fax (603) 673-6234 ◘ www.odysseyworkshop.org 

 Publicity Release 

February 2021 

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN SCHOLARSHIP 

AND FIVE OTHER SCHOLARHIPS FOR WRITERS ATTENDING 

THE ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOP 

The Odyssey Writing Workshop is widely considered one of the top programs in the world for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Fifty-nine percent of graduates are professionally published, and among graduates are award winners, Amazon bestsellers, and New York Times bestsellers. 

The 2021 workshop will be held from JUNE 7 to JULY 16; only twelve to fifteen writers will be admitted. For those attending, Odyssey is pleased to announce that six scholarships and one work/study position are available. 

Financial aid and scholarships are made available by supporters, alumni, various organizations, and Odyssey itself. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need, merit, or the specific criteria listed below. They range in size from several hundred dollars to over $4000. 

Several of the scholarships require that you fill out the Odyssey Financial Need Statement. Contact Director Jeanne Cavelos for the form, which is due APRIL 1. 

A NOTE ON COVID-19: The workshop is normally held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. If the world has returned to a post-COVID state of near normality, Odyssey will be held there as usual. If travel for many is not possible, the workshop will be held online, as it was in 2020 with great success. The application deadline is APRIL 1. 

ODYSSEY SCHOLARSHIPS 

The Miskatonic Scholarship 

Bestselling author George R. R. Martin created this scholarship for a horror writer attending Odyssey. The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. It will cover full tuition and housing. To be considered, you must complete the Odyssey Financial Need Statement by April 1 and indicate on the form that you are interested in the Miskatonic Scholarship. 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. George describes the criteria for the scholarship this way: “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, comic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.” Scholarship monies will be applied directly to tuition and housing for the 2021 workshop. 

The Walter & Kattie Metcalf Singing Spider Scholarship 

Funded by Pam Metcalf Harrington, Odyssey class of 2001, the Walter & Kattie Metcalf Singing Spider Scholarship is offered in honor of Pam’s parents, who encouraged a lifelong passion for reading and writing fantasy. The scholarship is also named for the infamous singing spiders, fictional characters who appeared in a novel excerpt submitted at Odyssey 2001. The scholarship will be awarded to a fantasy writer whose novel excerpt shows great skill and promise. A successful fantasy novelist spins a web of wonder, adventure, and intrigue that captivates readers and holds them spellbound through the lyrical flow of the prose. The novelist is, in essence, a ‘singing spider.’ To be considered for this scholarship, you must complete the Odyssey Financial Need Statement by April 1 and indicate on the form that you are interested in the Walter & Kattie Metcalf Singing Spider Scholarship. You must also use a novel excerpt as the writing sample for your Odyssey workshop application. A panel of three judges will select the winner using those novel excerpts. The scholarship covers full tuition. 

The Fresh Voices Scholarship 

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey graduate, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding writer of color each year. Those eligible include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, writers of color from outside the U.S., and others. The Fresh Voices Scholarship seeks to offer opportunities for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority writers to learn at Odyssey and enrich the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres as a result. To be considered, you must complete the Odyssey Financial Need Statement by April 1, indicate on the form that you are interested in the Fresh Voices Scholarship, and provide your race/ethnicity. A panel of three judges will select the winner using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. The scholarship awards $2,000 toward Odyssey tuition. 

The Enchanted Bond Scholarship 

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey supporter, this scholarship provides financial aid to an outstanding fantasy writer each year. When readers are immersed in a fresh, vivid, believable fantasy world; engaged with compelling characters; involved in a suspenseful situation; and living, moment by moment, through an experience that could never occur in reality, the author has succeeded in creating an enchanted bond between reader and story. To be considered for this scholarship, you must complete the Odyssey Financial Need Statement by April 1 and indicate on the form that you are interested in the Enchanted Bond Scholarship. A panel of three judges will select the winner using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward Odyssey tuition. 

The Quantum Entanglement Scholarship 

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey graduate, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding writer of science fiction each year. According to quantum mechanics, when a pair of particles interact, they become entangled. Entangled particles remain connected so that the state of one determines the state of the other, even when the particles are far apart. Albert Einstein famously referred to this as “spooky action at a distance.” Powerful science fiction not only presents a compelling novum (new idea) based on science and builds a world consistent with that novum; it draws readers in past the science to a moving human story with characters that readers can care about and a conflict in which every twist and turn has an impact on readers’ emotions. When that happens, the author has succeeded in entangling readers and story, an effect that may last long after the story is finished and put away. To be considered for this scholarship, you must complete the Odyssey Financial Need Statement by April 1 and indicate on the form that you are interested in the Quantum Entanglement Scholarship. A panel of three judges will select the winner using the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward Odyssey tuition. 

The Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship 

The Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship will be offered to a Canadian writer admitted to Odyssey. Chris, a 2013 Odyssey graduate, was an inspiration to many Odyssey alumni and a strong believer in creating systems and participating in events to increase his productivity, such as setting goals, attending workshops, and participating in NaNoWriMo. This scholarship, funded by alumni and friends of Chris, will cover $900 of tuition. A separate application is required and due April 1. Contact Director 

Jeanne Cavelos for the Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship application. A panel of three judges will select the winner using the information in the scholarship applications and the short story or novel excerpts sent with the workshop applications. 

OTHER AVAILABLE SCHOLARSHIPS 

Wollheim Memorial Scholarship Fund 

Applicants from the New York Metropolitan Area (including New Jersey) who are accepted into Odyssey are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Donald A. and Elsie B. Wollheim Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund was created in 1989 by the New York Science Fiction Society–the Lunarians, one of New York’s oldest and largest science fiction and fantasy clubs, to help developing writers attend major science fiction/fantasy writing programs affiliated with higher institutions of learning. The amount of the scholarship is variable depending on need and the availability of funds. Scholarship monies will be applied directly to tuition for the 2021 workshop. If you are accepted into Odyssey and would like to pursue this possibility, contact Director Jeanne Cavelos for the special Wollheim application form immediately upon your acceptance. 

Horror Writers Association 

If you write horror, you are eligible for one or more of the scholarships offered by the Horror Writers Association, which are worth between $500 and $2,500. The scholarship funds can be applied toward Odyssey tuition and housing. Applications open on May 1. 

Kurt Brown Prizes 

Since Odyssey is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, those accepted into Odyssey can apply for AWP’s three Kurt Brown Prizes, scholarships of $500 each for emerging writers. Applications are accepted from December 1 to March 30. 

Work/Study Position 

One work/study position is also available. The work/study student spends about six hours per week performing duties for Odyssey, such as photocopying, sending stories to guests, distributing mail to students, and preparing for guest visits. Odyssey reimburses $800 of the work/study student’s tuition, half at the end of Week 3 of the workshop and half at the end of the workshop. 

The work/study student will be expected to fulfill the regular requirements of Odyssey in addition to these duties. This will make for a very demanding six weeks, but for a student who needs the financial assistance, the work/study position offers a good opportunity. Contact Director Jeanne Cavelos for more details and a work/study application. Work/study applications are due April 30. 

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Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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