Not a Blog

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

Come On Back to San Antone, Y’All

April 19, 2020 at 6:25 pm
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Did you miss TEXAS HOLD ‘EM when it first came out in hardcover?

No problem.   Come APRIL 28, Tor will be releasing the book in trade paperback.   All the fun, for fewer dollars.

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is the twenty-seventh volume of the Wild Cards series, and the third in our America Triad… but it stands alone just fine, and you do not have to have read any of the preceding volumes to enjoy it.   It’s the story of a group of kids from Xavier Desmond High in Jokertown travelling to San Antonio for a jazz band competition, and all that befalls them there, starring an all star cast of favorite characters both old (Mr. Nobody, Jade Blossom, and Bubbles) and new (Rubberband, Bacho, Skeeter, The Darkness and The Dust).   Contributing writers on this one were Caroline Spector, William F. Wu, Walton (Bud) Simons, David Anthony Durham, Max Gladstone, Diana Rowland, and — in his last solo outing for Wild Cards — the late great Victor Milan, who helped launch the series back in 1987.  I edited, assisted by Melinda M. Snodgrass,

The Wild Cards universe is vast, and contains both darkness and light.  TEXAS HOLD ‘EM is one of our lighter outings, a good fun read.   If that’s what you are looking for during these grim days of isolation and quarantine, give it a try.   I think you will enjoy it.

You can reserve an autographed paperback, signed by yours truly, from Beastly Books, mailorder.   We also have a good stock remaining of the original Tor hardcover, with signatures by several writers as well.   All at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Knaves, Knaves Everywhere!

August 13, 2019 at 7:32 am
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The British are coming, the British are coming, the British are..

Oh, wait.  The British are HERE.

Today’s the official publication day for the release of the first American edition of KNAVES OVER QUEENS, in hardcovers from our friends at Tor Books.  ((The British edition came out a year ago, in June 2018)). Look for it at your favorite local bookshop, or order it from your favorite online bookseller.

KNAVES OVER QUEENS is the twenty-sixth volume in the Wild Cards series… and the first to be set (mostly) in the British Isles.  Like our very first volume, the action begins in 1946, when the wild card virus was first unleashed upon the world by Dr. Tod and those dastardly Takisians.   WILD CARDS spanned forty years, from 1946 to 1986, but the focus was on the U.S., and New York City in particular.   KNAVES OVER QUEENS covers an even longer time-span, right up to (almost) the present, but the view is from the other side of the Pond this time.

Our writers are a mix of English and Irish authors, many joining Wild Cards for the first time, and several American Anglophiles.   The lineup:

KEVIN ANDREW MURPHY: “A Flint Lies in the Mud” and “But a Flint Holds Fire,”
PEADAR O GUILIN: “The Coming of the Crow,” “Cracks in the City,” and “Feeding on the Entrails,”
CAROLINE SPECTOR: “Needles and Pins,”
PAUL CORNELL: “Night Orders,”
CHARLES STROSS: “Police On My Back,”
MARKO KLOOS: “Probationary,”
PETER NEWMAN: “Twisted Logic,”
MELINDA M. SNODGRASS: “Ceremony of Innocence,”
EMMA NEWMAN: “How to Turn a Girl to Stone,”
MARK LAWRENCE: “The Visitor.”

Long- time fan favorites Captain Flint and Double Helix return in KNAVES, but you’ll also be meeting some terrific new aces, jokers, and (yes) knaves, including the Seamstress, the blood-thirsty Badh, the Green Man, Stonemaiden, and the Visitor.

Come on in and make their acquaintance.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

Chicago Gets Low

July 16, 2019 at 7:02 am
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Hey, Wild Cards fans — did you miss LOW CHICAGO when it came out in hardcover last year?

No problem, you’ve got another chance.  Our friends at Tor are releasing LOW CHCAGO today in paperback.   You should be able to snag a copy at your favorite local bookstore (and if they don’t stock Wild Cards, find another favorite) or online bookseller.

An editor, like a parent, is supposed to love all his children equally… but c’mon, truth be told, parents have favorites and so do editors.   LOW CHICAGO is one of mine.   Maybe because I lived in the Windy City for several years when I was a starving young writer.   Whatever the reason, this one was a delight to edit, and (I think) a ton of fun to read.   Shared world books are the Rodney Dangerfield of anthologies; they get no respect at awards time (like shared world editors, though imnsho they are way harder to put together than an ordinary anthology).   Which is a pity, because I think there are several stories in  LOW CHICAGO that were worthy of Hugo and Nebula nominations.   But hey, I’m hardly objective.  You are all invited to read the book and decide for yourself.   In the end it doesn’t matter.   The awards are done, but the work remains, and it’s work that I am proud of… as are my contributors.

The lineup for LOW CHICAGO:

“A Long Night at the Palmer House”    by John Jos. Miller
“Down the Rabbit Hole” by Kevin Andrew Murphy
“The Motherfucking Apotheosis of Todd Motherfucking Taszycki” by Christopher Rowe
“A Bit of a Dinosaur” by Paul Cornell
“‘Stripes” by Marko Kloos
“The Sister in the Streets” by Melinda M. Snodgrass
“A Beautiful Facade” by Mary Anne Mohanraj
“Meathooks on Ice” by Saladin Ahmed

Oh, and if you’re one of those who prefers hardcovers to paperbacks, have no fear.   We have plenty of copies of the LOW CHICAGO hardback in stock at the bookstore at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, most of them AUTOGRAPHED… not just by me, but by many of the contributing authors.

Check out all the signed books at:

https://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/signed-books/

 

Current Mood: pleased pleased

Sharing A World

February 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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Back in the 80s, when Wild Cards was born, shared worlds ruled the racks.   THIEVES WORLD, ITHKAR, WAR WORLD, LIAVEK, HEROES IN HELL, GREYSTONE BAY, and on and on.  New series were popping up every month.  Today, only Wild Cards remains, still going strong after thirty-one years and twenty-seven volumes.

Writing for a shared world has some unique challenges, however.   In August 2017, a large group of Wild Carders assembled at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe for a mass signing, and we interviewed them about the up and downs of writing other people’s characters, and having other people write yours.

Enjoy.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy