Not a Blog

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.

Role Playing for Stagecoach

March 24, 2021 at 7:40 pm
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The Story of Wild Cards

January 22, 2021 at 9:31 am
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For those of you out there curious about Wild Cards, Jason Powell has written a great introduction to the series for Tor.com.

((But be warned.   There are some spoilers)).

You can find it at:

Catching Up With George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards

Signed copies of pretty much all the Wild Cards book are available from Beastly Books.   Some of them have multiple signatures.

Read and enjoy.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

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

Hammer and Tongs and a Rusty Nail

December 2, 2020 at 4:16 pm
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As promised, the latest Wild Cards original is now up on Tor.com.

Wild Cards fans… and the rest of you… head on over and have a look at Rustbelt’s entry into politics, co-starring the late Vic Milan’s Harlem Hammer, Mordecai Jones.   It’s by Ian Tregillis, and you can read it for free.

Hammer and Tongs and a Rusty Nail

Current Mood: amused amused

Vote Rustbelt

November 24, 2020 at 9:46 am
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Hey, Wild Carders…

Rustbelt is running for city council, and he needs your vote.

You can read all about it in the next Wild Cards original coming to Tor.com, a brand new story by Ian Tregillis.

You can read it — for FREE — on December 2.

Meanwhile, here’s an advance peek at the cover art, from Micah Epstein.   We all love it, and I think you will too.

 

Current Mood: amused amused

The Queen of Agents

November 11, 2020 at 4:37 pm
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A very dark year got even darker a few days ago, when I learned of the death of Kay McCauley in New York City.

Kay had been my literary agent for many many years, and a big part of my life for even longer.   I have been trying to recall the first time I met her, but the memories are blurry.   I suspect the first time we spoke was by phone.   I had signed on with Kay’s brother, Kirby McCauley, along about the mid 70s, when I was a struggling young writer and he was a struggling young agent.   Kirby had come out of Minnesota to set up shop in the Big Apple, and in the early days he flew solo, working out of his apartment, representing the estates of a few giants and a lot of upstarts and neopros like me.   But he climbed, he climbed.  His client list grew, and some of his clients became stars… in no small part due to Kirby.   To the best of my recollection, Kay came out from Minnesota to join him in the early/ mid 80s, to help him manage a business that had become ever larger and more chaotic.   She soon became an indispensable part of the agency that was variously known as Kirby McCauley Ltd, then the Pimlico Agency, then Aurous.

Kirby died in September 0f 2014.   Hard to believe that it has been six years.  The years go by so very swiftly now.   I made a long post about Kirby and all he did for me shortly after his death on my old LiveJournal version of Not A Blog.  It is still up, so I won’t repeat myself here, beyond posting a link to:
https://grrm.livejournal.com/382006.html 

The agency carried on after Kirby’s death, and so did Kay.   She had been pretty much running things for a decade or more in any case, with Kirby advising from the sidelines, semi-retired.   And if Kirby had been the King of Agents at his height, his sister was indisputably the queen.

I have been trying to write this tribute to Kay for two days now, but the words come hard.   She was such a big part of my life… and the life of all her clients, I think.   Hers was an old fashioned sort of literary agency.   She did not have a long list of clients, and… indeed… was not eager to take on anyone new, though from time to time she made exceptions.   She took on Gardner Dozois when he finally left the agency he had been with for decades, and did great things for him.   (Gardner, love him, was such an Eeyore that he tried to argue when Kay got him MUCH bigger advances than he had been getting previously, protesting “No, that’s too much,” but Kay was having none of that).   She took on Vic Milan when so one else would touch him and made him the biggest and best sale he had ever gotten.   She did amazing stuff for many of her other clients too… but I will let them tell you about that.   And of course she and Kirby did great things for me.

Being one of Kay’s clients was not an ordinary writer/agent relationship.   To Kay, we were all family.   She loved her clients, and her clients loved her back.    There is no one like her.

(Mind you, Kay could be fierce as well.   She did not forget, and she did not easily forgive anyone who she felt had screwed her, her brother, or any of her clients.   You messed with Kay McCauley at your own peril).

The news of Kay’s death came as a total shock to me, and… I suspect… to most of her clients.   Kay was older than Kirby, and a decade or so older than me, but you would never have known it.   Her energy was prodigious.   She seemed like a force of nature, indestructible, tireless; I figured she would go on for decades.   I think all of us did.   She was working hard for her clients right up until the end.   In fact, she had just closed a deal for three more Wild Cards anthologies for us.   The contract is sitting on my desk as I type, awaiting my review and signature.  Kay would probably have phoned or texted in another day or two to scold me for not dealing with it more quickly.

She always loved Wild Cards; the books, yes, the characters… and all the writers as well.   For a number of years, she would fly out to Santa Fe on or about September 15 (Wild Cards Day) and throw a big party for all the Wild Carders.   We had one at my theatre, and several of them at Meow Wolf.  None this year, alas, thanks to Covid… but I know Kay would have made up for that next year.   Though she did not often come to worldcon, she was planning to attend CoNZealand and throw a party there.  Covid put an end to that as well, sad to say.  (FWIW, I do not believe she died from Covid).

Of course, dinner with Kay was always on the schedule whenever I visited New York.   The last one — the last time I saw her — was a year ago in October, when Kay and me and Tom Doherty and Diana Pho and my assistant Sid had a marvelous steak feast at Keen’s Steakhouse in NYC.   Tom and Kay had secretly arranged for the restaurant to present to present me with one of the clay pipes that have decorated the walls and ceiling of Keen’s since colonial days.  A rare honor.   I have never smoked,  but I was thrilled all the same.


SID & KAY at KEEN’s, October 2019

I have so many other memories of Kay… she has been a huge part of my life and career for so many years.   I remember when she went to Ashford Castle in Ireland with me and Parris, the meals we shared together, the day the three of us went hawking.   I wish I had a photograph of Kay with her hawk.   We had such a great time there, we often talked of going back.   Being Irish, Kay often talked of wanting to retire and move to a cottage in Ireland… a fond dream, but I knew she would never do it.  She might have started as a Minnesota gal, but Manhattan was in her blood.   I remember the times we visited City Island with Kirby, to feast on seafood at one of the waterside restaurants there.   So many toasts… great bottles of wine, champagne, and of course prosecco.  And great meals.   Which she always insisted on buying…  unless there was an editor along she could give the check to.   I think I only managed to pay for her dinner once, during a visit to Santa Fe, and to do that I had to get to the restaurant twenty minutes ahead of her and speak to our waiter, make special arrangements so the check next came to the table… elsewise she would have ripped it from my hands.

I remember how we wept together, on the phone, when Roger Zelazny died.

And again, decades later, for Gardner.

She was a great agent too.   And unlike many literary agents of her generation, she was not afraid of new media.   Kay never played a role-playing game in her life, but the first time I was offered an RPG deal, she learned all she could about gaming, plunged in, and got me a terrific contract.

Ah… I hardly knew how to start this, and now I do not know how to stop…

It is going to take me a long long time to get over her passing.   Years from now, I suspect, part of me will still find myself wanting to text her, or pick up the phone and call her.   She was always just a phone call away.

And I damn well better get that Wild Cards contract signed soon, or I know that Kay will haunt me.

If there is an afterlife, Kay McCauley is with her brother Kirby right now, and the two of them are negotiating better places in heaven for their clients.

((I will leave comments open on this one, but ONLY for comments about Kay.   Those of you who knew her, and have memories and tributes to share, please do.   I would like to read them)).

 

 

Current Mood: sad sad

The Three Kings Return

October 29, 2020 at 8:54 am
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THREE KINGS is the twenty-ninth volume in the Wild Cards series, and the second to be set entirely in the British Isles, featuring a cast of English, Irish, and Scottish aces, jokers, and knaves.   It is a follow-up to KNAVES OVER QUEENS, but it is not necessary to have read KNAVES… or any of the preceding Wild Cards books… to enjoy it.   This one is a full mosaic, written by Peadar O Guilin, Peter Newman, Caroline Spector, Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Mary Anne Moharaj, and edited by Melinda, with me assisting.  The featured characters are Badh, the Green Man, the Seamstress, Double Helix, and Enigma.

Our British publisher, Harper Collins Voyager, released the hardcover edition in May.   Now the trade paperback edition is being released… TODAY.   Wild Cards fans in the UK should find it at their local bookstore.   Readers in the rest of the world can order it from their favorite online bookseller.

 

There’s a nice review of the book on LOCUS for those who would like to know more:

Paula Guran Reviews Three Kings, Edited by George R.R. Martin & Melinda M. Snodgrass

Current Mood: busy busy

Writing in a Shared World

October 24, 2020 at 11:25 am
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What’s it like to write in a shared world, like the Wild Cards universe?

Wild Carders Melinda M. Snodgrass, David D. Levine, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Paul Cornell, and Mary Anne Mohanraj will tell us, in a new (virtual) panel discussion sponsored by the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Check it out at:

Wild Cards Series Presents: Writing In A Consortium

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

Jetboy Lives!

September 30, 2020 at 8:43 am
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((Well, not really, but the memory of him survives)).

A few posts down I shared the wonderful Billy Joel / Wild Cards parody.

Here’s another Wild Cards song I stumbled on, from YouTube.   This one is an ode to the Kid Who Couldn’t Die Yet.

Enjoy.

And read on!

Current Mood: amused amused