Not a Blog

THE EXPANSE Rules

August 24, 2020 at 10:34 am
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Jimmy Corey — aka James S.A. Corey — aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck — is another friend(s) who kicked ass and took names at CoNZealand’s Hugo Awards, taking home the rocket ship for BEST SERIES over some very worthy competitors.

Maybe you’ve seen the TV show.   It’s great.   But the books are even better…

… and we have signed copies of all of them at Beastly Books, beside the Jean Cocteau.

To order yourself a set head over the the Beastly Books website at  https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

And take a look at our other offerings while you are there.   The Jean Cocteau has hosted author events with some amazing writers, and ALL our books are autographed.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

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.

FIRE & BLOOD Comes to Paperback

August 17, 2020 at 8:59 am
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FIRE & BLOOD, the first volume of Archmaester Gyldayn’s history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, has just been released in trade paperback by my friends at Random House.   If you missed the hardcover (shame on you), here’s your chance to catch up.

But let me say, as I have a hundred times before, this is not a novel.   It is an imaginary history.   If you like reading history, real or fantastic, you will probably enjoy it.   If you go in expecting a conventional novel, you won’t.

We have autographed copies of the new trade paperback edition available from Beastly Books.  We also have some stock of the hardcover, for those of you who would prefer that.   Check them out — with all our other offerings — at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

Of course, the book is also available from your favorite online bookseller and your local brick-and-mortar bookshop.  (If they are open).   Those guys don’t have the signed copies, though.

FIRE & BLOOD covers the Targaryens from Aegon’s Conquest through the regency of the boy king Aegon III.

And if you’re curious as to what the new HBO show HOUSE OF THE DRAGON will cover… yeah, you want to pick this one up.

Happy history.

Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

Beastly Books Reopens

June 10, 2020 at 8:34 am
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New Mexico has begun to reopen — cautiously, step by step — from its lockdown, and that includes at least one of my own enterprises.

Beastly Books, my bookshop on Montezuma Street, opened its doors again on June 2, for coffee, hot chocolate, and — of course — signed books.   We are not doing any author events at present, except the virtual kind, and we are taking every precaution, with masks, sanitizers, limits on the numbers of people allowed in the shop at one time, and so forth.   We shall see how it goes.   All of us hope the worst is over.

Of course, our mail order department remains open as well, as it has throughout the pandemic.   Check out our offerings at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/     ALL our books are autographed, and we have some great titles on offer.

The Jean Cocteau Cinema, next door to Beastly Books, remains closed for the moment, but is showing new films every week via streaming video.  You can sign up for that via the JCC newsletter.   I am not sure when the theatre will reopen.  That depends in large part of the progress of the fight against coronavirus… but we are also looking at doing some major renovations to the old gal, down the line.

 

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

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

This, That, and T’Other Thing

April 14, 2020 at 3:41 pm
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No big news here, but it has been a week or so since my last blog post, so I thought I would say hi.   I am still up in the mountains, doing the social distancing rag, and writing WINDS OF WINTER.   I have good days and bad days, but I am making progress.

Most of the world remains closed, including my theatre and bookshop, the Jean Cocteau Cinema and Beastly Books.   I had originally announced that we would re-examine the situation come April 15.   That date is now upon us, and it is obvious that I was wildly optimistic in hoping we might even consider re-opening then.  No.  Won’t work.   We’re going to remain shut until JUNE 1.  Then, once again, we will revisit the question, once we see what state the world is in.

I am continuing to pay my staff during this closure, something I wish more small businesses would do.   Beastly Books is still selling signed books by mailorder.  Every order helps keep us afloat, so please take a look at our offerings: https://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/signed-books/

Along the same lines, though we cannot of course open our theatre to the public while coronavirus still rages, the JCC has gone virtual, and is screening new and old movies that way.  For details on our Virtual Feature of the Week, go to https://jeancocteaucinema.com/

Hollywood has largely closed down as well, at least as far as actual production is concerned.  (If this pandemic goes on long enough, I wonder if the pipeline will go dry, and we will start to run out of new films and television shows.  If so, sheltering in place is going to get an order of magnitude harder.  Television right now is doing a lot to keep us all sane — and no, not the news, which has the opposite effect).   But while nothing is being filmed right now, development is continuing apace, since writers can still write at home.  The only thing I am writing myself is THE WINDS OF WINTER, as I have said many times… but with my producer’s hat on, I am still involved in a number of exciting new shows for HBO, and a few film projects as well.  When and if any of these make it to the screen, well, that’s always the question… but I do know that Ryan Condal and his team are roaring ahead on the scripts for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and that one has a full season’s order from HBO.  As for the other stuff I may or may not be involved in, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you all.

Oh, of course, I am doing a lot of reading these days.  Rereading too.  Some of my favorite writers are Robert A. Heinlein, Roger Zelazny, Tony Hillerman, Nnedi Okorafor, Howard Waldrop.  Oh, and that GRRM guy did some good stuff too, before he started that fantasy series.   Some of his old stories might even make good movies, donchaknow.  (No, seriously, you guys should check out DREAMSONGS.  Signed copies available from Beastly Books).

I have also been trading emails with my friends down in New Zealand.   CoNZealand, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, has also gone virtual in response to the crisis.   A prudent move, but a challenging one.   As this year’s Virtual Toastmaster, I am still going to be hosting the Hugo Awards… virtually.  That should be… interesting.  Especially for me, since I am one of the least tech savvy guys in fandom.   I still write my novels with WordStar 4.0 on a DOS computer, after all, and when I interface with the internet it is mainly through this blog.  (Good thing Howard Waldrop isn’t going to be hosting.  He still works on a manual typewriter).

Anyway, the Kiwis have some smart guys working for them, and they assure me everything will go fine.   They are working out the tech now, and we hope to have several trial runs before The Big Night.   We are all certainly going to try to do our best.  I expect there will be glitches and mistakes, many of them doubtless mine, but I do hope all those looking in will be patient and understanding.  In any case, the rockets will be handed out one way or t’other, though the actual delivery may have to be entrusted to DHL or Federal Express.

Some cool stuff happening with WILD CARDS that I should mention.   Check out our Wild Cards website, if you haven’t seen it in a while.  Lots of great content there for you to explore, including a new blog post every two weeks by a rotating cast of our amazing Wild Cards writers.  You will find it at https://www.wildcardsworld.com/   

We also have a brand new Wild Cards original coming out at the end of this month from Harper Collins Voyager in the UK.   The title is THREE KINGS, and it’s a full mosaic,  was edited by Melinda M. Snodgrass (yours truly assisting), and features contributions from  Peter Newman, Peadar O’Guilin, Caroline Spector, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Melinda herself.  It’s a sequel to KNAVES OVER QUEENS, and like that volume it is set entirely in the British Isles and features an English and Irish cast.   (More on that one in a later post).

There’s more, of course.   There’s always more.   But this post has grown long enough, and Westeros is calling.

Current Mood: busy busy

And Stranger Still

March 19, 2020 at 11:28 am
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The world is changing so quickly around us these days that it is hard to keep up.

New Mexico has requested that all non-essential businesses close, to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.   Accordingly, we are going to go ahead and shutter our bookstore, Beastly Books, on Montezuma Street in Santa Fe.   As with the adjoining theatre, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the store will remain closed until April 15, at which point we will re-evaluate and act accordingly.

 

I am going to continue to pay the Beastly Books staff during the closure, just as we’re going with the JCC.  I urge all small business owners… and all large business owners, for that matter… to do the same.   The economic consequences of the virus are going to be severe enough without throwing people out of work and cutting off their paychecks.

Although the brick-and-mortar side of Beastly Books will be closed, we will continue to sell books via mail order.   You can choose from among our large stock of autographed books in all genres at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/signed-books/

JCC and Beastly Books will be back as soon as it’s safe, better than ever.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.   And do keep safe, friends, wherever you are.

 

 

Current Mood: sad sad

Who Will Be the New American Hero?

March 3, 2020 at 10:34 am
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The year was 2007 when twenty-eight aces from all over the United States gathered in Hollywood to compete for a million dollars in the first season of the hit television series American Hero.  Men and women, young and old, all gifted with astonishing powers, they were divided into four teams: Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades.  Each week they were sent out to face an amazing array of challenges to test their courage, their resourcefulness, their teamwork, and their cunning.   The winning team won immunity for a week; the others were required to discard one of their members.

As every Wild Cards fan know, the show did not go entirely as planned.   Midway through that first season, a large group of discards and a couple of the contestants still in the fight abandoned Los Angeles for Egypt, where a community of jokers was faced with genocide.   Some of them would die there.   Their story was told in INSIDE STRAIGHT, volume  eighteen in the series.   But over the years, many readers have asked us — what happened to the rest of the contestants, the aces who stayed in Hollywood to finish the competition?  What challenges did they face, who excelled, who stumbled, who was betrayed and discarded, who won the million dollars?

Their stories can at last be told in full, in AMERICAN HERO, a new ebook from Tor.   Here is the flip side of INSIDE STRAIGHT, with material taken straight from the show’s official website.   Here is every challenge told in detail, from the first week to the last, supplemented by confessionals from the contestants themselves, and commentary by the show’s three judges.   Come revisit those halcyon days when a new generation of heroic aces stepped onto the national stage and showed their stuff.   Jonathan Hive, Toad Man, Brave Hawk, Jade Blossom, the Amazing Bubbles, Jetman, Hardhat, Dragon Huntress, Simoon, Gardener, the Candle, Lohengrin, John Fortune, and many more… they’re all here.

AMERICAN HERO will be distributed through Tor’s usual ebook retailers and can be purchased for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, eBooks.com, and Google Play.  Download to your platform and format of choice to read however you wish (iPad, ereader, computer, etc).

All of the buy links are listed here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765396402

And if by chance you missed INSIDE STRAIGHT and want to check that one out too, signed copies are available from Beastly Books… all of them autographed not only by me, but by several of the other contributing writers as well:

Wild Cards: Inside Straight

 

Current Mood: excited excited

BEASTLY BOOKS IS HERE

December 13, 2019 at 4:14 pm
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We’ve been doing amazing author events at the Jean Cocteau Cinema ever since we reopened the theatre in August, 2013.  Dozens of terrific, award-winning, bestselling writers have appeared at the JCC to speak, read, and sign their books… SF writers, mystery writers, historical novelists, romance writers, thriller writers, mainstream literary writers, YA authors, non-fiction writer and journalists… the list goes on and on.

And all of them have signed stock for us.   The only problem was the Jean Cocteau lobby was far too small for us to display all of these wonderful autographed books.

With that in mind, on November 30, we opened our own bookshop right next to the theatre.

BEASTLY BOOKS, we call it, in honor of Cocteau’s most famous film… and a certain TV show I worked on in the 80s.

 

You’ll find the Beast at 418 Montezuma in Santa Fe, right next door to the Jean Cocteau Cinema.   We’re open from 8 am to 8 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.  Closed on Mondays.

Needless to say, we have a huge stock of my own books — A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, WILD CARDS, and all the rest.  All signed.

But we have a lot of other fantastic books by other authors too, and all of them are AUTOGRAPHED as well.

We also offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and soft drinks, and plan to be adding pastries soon.

You can visit the Iron Giant as well… but no, he’s not for sale.

And yes, of course, we still do mail order… and autographed books make wonderful Christmas gifts.   If you’d like to check out our current stock, head over to our website at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/beastlybooks/

We have a huge stock of the wonderful 20th anniversary edition of A CLASH OF KINGS, magnificently illustrated and all signed… plus titles by James S.A. Corey, Leonard Maltin, Janis Ian, Diana Gabaldon, Walter Jon Williams (his QUILLIFER books are terrific), Melinda Snodgrass, Lee Child, Anne Perry, Carrie Vaughn, David Levine, John Scalzi, Joe Lansdale, Mary Robinette Kowal, Connie Willis, Marlon James, Marko  Kloos, Erica Jong, Jo Walton, S.M. Stirling, Michael Cassutt, Dennis Lehane, the late great Victor Milan, Ellen Datlow, Alan Brennert, Stephen Graham Jones, and many many many more.

Do come by and visit us the next time you come to the Land of Enchantment.  Beastly Books.  Hear us roar!

 

Current Mood: excited excited

King’s Anniversary

November 13, 2019 at 7:42 am
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Hard to believe (at least for me), but it’s been twenty years since A CLASH OF KINGS was first published, in 1999.

That being the case, however, we wanted to do something special to mark the occasion.  And we have.

The anniversary edition of CLASH from Bantam is gorgeously and lavishly illustrated by Lauren K. Cannon, with black and white line drawings and full color plates.   The new edition also contains a special introduction by Bernard Cornwell, father of Richard Sharpe and Uhtred son of Uhtred, a giant of historical fiction.   You should be able to find a copy at your favorite local bookstore or from any good online bookseller.

 

If you’re an autograph collector, signed copies are available for $50 from https://jeancocteaucinema.com/product/a-clash-of-kings-the-illustrated-edition-pre-orders/

This new edition to A CLASH OF KINGS is a matched companion volume to the 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of A GAME OF THRONES, released in 2016.   That one is also available, signed, from Beastly Books at the Cocteau.

 

With the holidays coming up fast, you might also wanted to check out some of the other goodies available from the Cocteau, where you’ll find titles by Diana Gabaldon, John Scalzi, Lee Child, Mary Robinette Kowal, Walter Jon Williams, Melinda Snodgrass, the late great Victor Milan, Leonard Maltin, Marko Kloos, Carrie Vaughn, Erica Jong, Janis Ian, Dennis Lehane, Richard Kadrey, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, the Suicide Girls, and many many many more.

And remember, ALL of our books are autographed.

https://jeancocteaucinema.com/shop/

 

Current Mood: happy happy