Not a Blog

Dealer Takes Two

March 15, 2022 at 8:11 am
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Kings and deuces may not be as iconic… or ominous… a poker hand as aces and eights, but it’s not a bad hand to be dealt… and Tor will be dealing those cards to all the Wild Cards fans out there with the release of two more volumes on MARCH 15.

DEUCES DOWN will be released in trade paperback that day, with stories from Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, and John J. Miller… from the original iBooks edition, long out of print and hard to find… and brand new tales from Caroline Spector, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Carrie Vaughn, from Tor’s reissue.  Come join Puddleman and Chuckles, Cash Mitchell, Gary Bushorn, Father Henry Obst, the Jokertown Boys, the Myth Patrol, Aurora, Demise…and Croyd Crenson, the Sleeper.   I did the editing, with the able assistance of Melinda M. Snodgrass.

But we have more to offer than deuces.   Tor will also be releasing the first American edition of our new British adventure, THREE KINGS, in hardcover.  The twenty-ninth volume in the series, THREE KINGS is a full mosaic written by Peter Newman, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Peadar O Guilin, and Caroline Spector, featuring the Green Man, the Seamstress, Enigma, Double Helix, and Badh.   Melinda Snodgrass edited this one, with yours truly assisting… a reverse of the usual arrangement.

THREE KINGS and DEUCES DOWN will both be available at your local bookstore, and from your favorite on-line bookseller… and of course autographed copies can be had from Beastly Books in Santa Fe at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Random Updates and Bits o’ News

March 9, 2022 at 8:42 am
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I look around, and I don’t know where 2021 went.   I blinked and it was gone.   Not a year that I am going to mourn much, any more than 2020.  A global pandemic, so many deaths (including friends of mine, as well as celebrities of all sorts), politics grown increasingly toxic… it was a year best forgotten.   I did, however, get a lot of work done in 2021.  An enormous amount of work, in truth; I seem to have an enormous number of projects.

(I am not complaining.   I like working.   Writing, editing, producing.   There is nothing I like better than storytelling).

I know, I know, for many of you out there, only one of those projects matters.

I am sorry for you.   They ALL matter to me.

Yes, of course I am still working on THE WINDS OF WINTER.   I have stated that a hundred times in a hundred venues, having to restate it endlessly is just wearisome.      I made a lot of progress on WINDS in 2020, and less in 2021… but “less” is not “none.”

The world of Westeros, the world of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, is my number one priority, and will remain so until the story is told.   But Westeros has become bigger than THE WINDS OF WINTER, or even A SONG OF ICE & FIRE.   In addition to WINDS, I also need to deliver the second volume of Archmaester Gyldayn’s history, FIRE & BLOOD.   (Thinking of calling that one BLOOD & FIRE, rather than just F&B, Vol 2).   Got a couple hundred pages of that one written, but there’s still a long way to go.   I need to write more of the Dunk & Egg novellas, tell the rest of their stories, especially since there’s a television series about them in development.   There’s a lavish coffee table book coming later this year, an illustrated, condensed version of FIRE & BLOOD done with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson (my partners on THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE), and my Fevre River art director, Raya Golden.   And another book after that, a Who’s Who in Westeros.  And that’s just the books.

There are also the successor shows.   Those have taken a ton of my time and attention this year.    I have seen some comments out there questioning how much I am involved in these new series.   The answer is: a lot.   Deeply, heavily involved in every one of the new shows.  It’s my world, and while I have been working closely with some fantastic writers and showrunners, ultimately it is up to me to try to keep the canon… well, canonical… and to do all I can to help make the new shows great.  (And I love these stories too).

So far, I am very excited.   HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has wrapped in London and is now in post-production.   What I have seen, I have loved.    I am eager to see more.   I am excited about the other successor shows as well, however.   I am dying to tell you all about them, but I am not supposed to, so…

Well, maybe there a few things I can tell you.   Things that HBO has previously announced, or hinted at, or…

We are developing live action shows for HBO, and animated shows for HBO Max.   No, can’t tell you how many.   But it is my hope that a number of these shows will get on the air.  Not all, no, it is never all, but more than one.   I certainly hope so.  Some of the ideas we are working on are quite different in tone and approach than what has gone before, and that thrills me.   The world of Westeros (and Essos, etc) is huge, and there is room in it for many types of stories, about a wide range of characters.

What can I tell you?  Well, let’s see.   Bruno Heller, the creator and showrunner of ROME, is writing his pilot script for the Corlys Velaryon series.   That one started out as NINE VOYAGES, but now we’re calling it THE SEA SNAKE, since we wanted to avoid having two shows with numbers in the title.   The other one TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, the Nymeria series.   Amanda Segel, our showrunner, has delivered a couple drafts of that one, and we are forging ahead.   The third of the live action shows is the Dunk & Egg series, helmed by Steve Conrad.   My team and I have had some great sessions with Steve and his team, and we really hit it off.   He’s determined to do a faithful adaptation of the stories, which is exactly what I want; these characters and stories are very precious to me.   The first season will be an adaptation of the first novella, “The Hedge Knight.”   Contrary to what you may have read on line, the show will not be called DUNK & EGG, which could be mistaken for a sitcom by viewers unfamiliar with the stories.   We’re leaning toward A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS for the series title, though THE HEDGE KNIGHT has its partisans as well.

Over on the animated side… well, I am not allowed to talk about most of what’s happening, except to say that things are moving very fast, and I love love love some of the concept art I am seeing.   And.. wait, come to think of it, the news leaked several months ago that one of the animated shows would be set in Yi Ti.   That’s true.   Our working title is THE GOLDEN EMPIRE, and we have a great young writer on that one too, and I think the art and animation is just going to be beautiful.  I would tell you more if I could.   I don’t think I can say a word about the other animated shows.   Not yet.

So… there is lots going on.

And HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is coming soon.   That’s what you will see first.

And me?  I will continue to work with the writers and showrunners and directors and producers on all these shows.   Plus ROADMARKS for HBO, and DARK WINDS for AMC, and WILD CARDS for UCP and Peacock.   And NIGHT OF THE COOTERS should be finished this month.

And in addition to all that, let me say one again, yes, I am still working on WINDS OF WINTER.

 

 

 

Current Mood: tired tired

Turn That Card Again

September 27, 2021 at 8:14 am
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November 9 is going to be a big day for Wild Cards fans.

That’s the day that Tor is going to be releasing not one but two classic hard-to-find Wild Cards novels as reissues.   These are not the usual mosaics, but solo novels by two of the mainstays of the series, John Jos. Miller and the late great Victor Milan.

I have already blogged about John’s novel DEATH DRAWS FIVE (take a look downstream if you missed it).  Volume seventeen in the overall series, it was initially released by iBooks a week before the company went under, and later made available by Brick Tower Press as a print on demand title.  The new Tor hardback will be the first edition to get widespread national distribution.   This will be a great chance for all of you who missed DD5 the first time around to fill that hole in your Wild Cards collection.   And it’s a helluva ride.

But that’s only half the news.   Tor will also be releasing Vic Milan’s much sought after Cap’n Trips novel, TURN OF THE CARDS, as a trade paperback the same day, with a stunning new cover by Michael Komarck.

TURN OF THE CARDS was the twelfth volume in the series, and the last to be released by Bantam Spectra, our original publisher.   Our contract was up once Vic delivered the book, and rather than re-up for more volumes, we moved Wild Cards over to Baen Books.   (Which proved to be a huge mistake, but that’s a tale for another time.   Buy me a margarita at a con some day and maybe you can winkle it out of me).

Unsurprisingly, moving the series to a rival house did not endear us much to the old team, and when TURN finally came out as a mass market paperback, only a month before the first of the Baen volumes, promotion was pretty much non-existent, and sales declined sharply from the previous volume.

Which was a disappointment to all, and a real shame.  Vic was one of the stars of Wild Cards, the guy who started the whole thing when he gave me that SuperWorld game, and  TURN OF THE CARDS is some of his very best work.   Over the years Vic created a dozen characters for us, great and small… but the most memorable and popular of them all was Mark Meadows, a blond bearded scarecrow of a hippie who ran a head shop, wore a purple Uncle Sam suit, and went by the nom de guerre Cap’n Trips.   Despite the colorful costume, Trips seemed to have no actual superpowers.   Most of the people in Jokertown regarded him as a colorful eccentric rather than an ace.  Ah, but Mark was also a genius biochemist who had concocted a number of designer drug cocktails… and he had friends.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (that’s him above, on the cover).  Aquarius.   Starshine.   Moonchild.   Cosmic Traveller.   Monster.   Each with his (or her) own personality, quirks, passions, and powers.   And the Radical, the first and the last, who combined the powers of all of them.

Mark and his friends were among the most popular characters in Wild Cards, right from the start.

TURN OF THE CARDS is his novel, a globe-spanning adventure that takes him halfway across the world to Vietnam, with DEA agents, SCARE heroes, and all manner of other aces in hot pursuit.

Like as not, you missed it the first time around.   Don’t miss it now.

NOVEMBER 9.  From your favorite online bookseller or local brick-and-mortar bookshop.

 

 

 

 

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

New Wild Cards original on Tor.com

July 26, 2021 at 1:27 pm
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There’s a brand new Wild Cards original from a brand new Wild Cards author up on Tor.com.

“Skin Deep” is from Alan Brennert.   Who is not a new author at all, of course (( though he was back in the mid-70s, when he was a Campbell Award loser just a few years after me )) but he IS brand new to the world of aces and jokers.   I first had the honor of publishing Alan when I was doing NEW VOICES, the Campbell Award anthology that was my first foray into editing.  A decade or so later, he and I worked together when I got my first gig writing for television, and he helped teach me how to write a teleplay.   In more recent years he has been writing novels — his bestselling Hawaii series, and a really wonderful book about Palisades Park in New Jersey.

So go and check out “Skin Deep” on Tor.com.   It’s FREE.

Skin Deep

And after you’ve enjoyed “Skin Deep,” go check out the rest of the Wild Cards stories on Tor.com, and pick up a couple of Wild Cards books from your favorite bookseller.. along with a few of Alan’s novels.   They’re terrific.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Rockin’ With the Aces

July 12, 2021 at 9:16 am
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(And the jokers too)

Hey, Wild Carders.   Jason Powell has another of his excellent essays up on Tor.com, this one about the history of rock n roll in the world of the Wild Cards.   Check it out at:

https://www.tor.com/2021/06/28/music-making-mutants-rock-n-roll-in-george-r-r-martins-wild-cards-series/

Current Mood: geeky geeky

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.

The Deuces Return!

January 4, 2021 at 8:10 am
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The deuces are back.  Puddleman and Chuckles, Cash Mitchell, Gary Bushorn, Father Henry Obst, the Jokertown Boys, the Myth Patrol, and all their friends will be returning… with Croyd Crenson and Demise, and some brand new characters that Wild Card readers need to meet.  Come January 5, Tor will be releasing a brand new edition of DEUCES DOWN, one of the scarcer volumes in the Wild Cards series… with three brand new stories, published for the first time.

The wild card virus, as all readers of the series know, affects every victim differently.   Ninety per cent of those stricken draw the black queen, and die.   Those who survive their transformation are generally classified either as jokers, twisted and malformed by the xenovirus, or aces, who emerge with superpowers of one sort or another.   But there is a fourth category: the so-called deuces, whose powers are trivial, seemingly useless, sometimes ludicrous.   DEUCES DOWN tells their stories.

The Wild Cards series got its start in 1987 with a twelve-volume run at Bantam Spectra.   Then we moved to Baen for three books, the “Card Shark” triad.   After that, however, there was a seven year break in our publication history, until Byron Preiss picked the series for iBooks.   Preiss reissued a number of the early Bantam volumes in new editions, and also published two brand new installments in the series: DEUCES DOWN and John Jos. Miller’s solo novel DEATH DRAWS FIVE.   When Byron was killed in a tragic automobile accident, however, iBooks did not long survive him.    With the company going under, neither DEUCES DOWN nor (especially) DEATH DRAWS FIVE received much in the way of distribution.   Brick Tower Press later acquired the iBooks backlist, but the two iBooks originals have remained very difficult to find… so all of us in Wild Cards are thrilled that the two books will now reach the readership they deserve with these new Tor editions.

The original iBooks edition of DEUCES DOWN was pretty much a straight anthology: a collection of stories about deuces largely unrelated to one another, save by theme.   The contributing authors were Melinda M. Snodgrass, Walton (Bud) Simons, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, and John J. Miller.

The new Tor edition will include all that and more.   We’ve added new stories from Mary Anne Mohanraj and Caroline Spector… and an original linking interstitial narrative from Carrie Vaughn than brings all the tales together, to transform the book into a true Wild Cards mosaic novel.   I loved the new content, and I hope you will as well.

DEUCES DOWN will be on sale at your local bookstore, and from your favorite on-line bookseller… and of course autographed copies can be had from Beastly Books in Santa Fe at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Back in Print Again

December 29, 2020 at 9:24 am
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I have been an editor almost as long as I have been a professional writer (I have been a writer since forever, but I was not a pro until I made my first sale to GALAXY in 1970).

The first anthology I ever edited was NEW VOICES IN SCIENCE FICTION, featuring original stories by the finalists for the very first John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  (I was one of those finalists.  I lost, but editing the book made up for that).   That came out in hardcover in 1975.  I would ultimately edit six of those annual (well, in theory) Campbell Award anthologies.   Five were actually published.

My longest running editorial gig is, of course, WILD CARDS, which started in 1987 and is still going strong today.   (We did have a seven year hiatus in there, but never mind).   Over the decades, twenty-nine volumes of Wild Cards have been published, and I’ve edited twenty-seven-and-a-half of them.  (Melinda Snodgrass edited THREE KINGS, and we co-edited LOWBALL).   The thirtieth book in the series, JOKER MOON, will be released in 2021, and the thirty-first, a collection of stories from Tor.com, will follow in short order.   Three more volumes are under contract and I am working on them now; look for them in 2022 and 2023.   Wild Cards is a shared world.   Editing the mosaics, weaving the stories together, is the most difficult and demanding sort of editing there is, in my opinion, but I love it.

The most enjoyable editorial work I’ve ever done, however, was on the crossgenre anthologies I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.

Gardner was an old friend, and a dear friend, the first person I ever met at the very first SF con I ever attended, and the guy who fished me out of the slushpile.  He was also one of the greatest editors in the history of science fiction and fantasy.   He edited ASIMOV’S for decades, and put together his massive landmark BEST volumes annually.   He won the Hugo for Best Professional Editor sixteen times, a record unlikely to be broken.   Working with him was always such a joy.   Gardner and I had hoped to do many more anthologies together… but he was taken from us in 2018.

I still miss him, still mourn him.   I always will.

Editors, like writers, survive in their work, however, and I am pleased to announce that one of the books we did together, SONGS OF LOVE & DEATH, has just been re-released in a new edition.

This one was Gardner’s idea, as I recall.   He wanted to title it STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, which I rather like, but the publisher wanted “Death” in there, and of course the “Songs” in the title evoked many of my own collections.   A rose by any other name, however…. whatever the title, it was a fun book to edit, and we put together a wonderful lineup of contributors.   As with WARRIORS, ROGUES, and DANGEROUS WOMEN, this was a crossgenre book, featuring writers from many different fields.   We were very pleased with how it came out.

If you have not read it, check it out.  Copies available from your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller… and, of course, from Beastly Books at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/ 

Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

The Amazing Ellen

August 22, 2020 at 8:23 am
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Ellen Datlow won another Hugo at the Virtual Worldcon that was supposed to be in New Zealand, but wasn’t.   For Best Editor, Short Form.    I have lost track of how many rockets Ellen has racked up at this point, but it’s a hell of a lot, and all very well deserved.  She’s an amazing editor and anthologist.

If you want to see her editing prowess at work, check out our selections at Beastly Books.   We’ve had the honor of hosting Ms. Datlow on several occasions, and we still have a few AUTOGRAPHED copies of some of her anthologies in stock.

Mad hats and creepy dolls, what could be more fun!  Both terrific books, and signed.

For those, and many many many more titles, check out the Beastly Books website at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

We have a fabulous selection of titles, and almost ALL our books are autographed.

The Knaves Are Back

July 14, 2020 at 7:20 am
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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