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Signing, SIgning, Signing

I spent a goodly chunk of yesterday afternoon at the Jean Cocteau with pen in hand, signing books.

We'd sold out of our original stock of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, so we got a hundred more. I scrawled illegibly in all of them. I also signed copies of A GAME OF THRONES, A CLASH OF KINGS, A STORM OF SWORDS, A FEAST FOR CROWS, and A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, all of which are now available from the JCC in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market. We were down to about three copies of the adult coloring book, so we got more of that one too, and a big stack of FEAST OF ICE AND FIRE, the official Westerosi cookbook. All of these can be found on the Signed Books page of the JCC website.

Of course, we also have a lot of great books in stock by the other writers who have visited us. Here are a few of those:

All these, and many many more titles, can be found at http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/

Autographed books make great Christmas presents... but to be sure of getting your books by Christmas, it would be wise to order now.

More on the Refugees

John Oliver lays out the actual facts about the vetting process, and destroys the fearmongers in hilarious fashion.

Oliver nails the heart of the issue here. We should not allow ourselves to be ruled by fear. But there's no need for me to paraphrase, he says it all better than I could.


More Pain

Another woeful Jets loss this morning, this one to the Texans and their third-string quarterback.

Gang Green's defense hung in there valiantly, but the offense looked awful. Way too many dropped passes by our wideouts, a couple of them sure touchdowns. And Revis got hurt... after being beaten a couple of times.

Houston's offensive coordinator had a lot to do with the win. Very creative playcalling, mixing in the wildcat, and a couple trick plays that caught the Jets completely flat=footed.

I had feared that last week's painful (and unnecessary) loss to Buffalo might send the Jets into a tailspin, and so it proved. But this is a case where I hate to be proved right.

The Giants had a bye. Thanks for that much.


And Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, this was a hoot and a half.

My Position On the Syrian Refugees

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Those words, of course, are by Emma Lazarus. Her poem, "The New Colossus," appears in bronze on the base of the Statue of Liberty. A statue given to the United States by France, our nation's oldest friend and ally... a bit of history that seems especially important just now, in light of the recent horrors in Paris.

For me, Lady Liberty and the words on her base represent the best of what this nation of immigrants is all about. One has to wonder if all the governors (including our own governor here in New Mexico, I am ashamed to say) and congressmen voting to keep out the Syrian refugees have ever visited the Statue, or read the words on her base. If so, they surely failed to understand them.

Of course, most everyone knows the part about 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,' but let me draw your attention to some other lines of the poem:
-- a mighty woman with a torch... her name Mother of Exiles,
-- from her beacon hand, Glows world-wide welcome,
-- send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.

Emma Lazarus had it right. Donald Trump and thirty-one governors have it wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Syrian refugees are as much victims of ISIS as the dead in France.

Let them in. Santa Fe, at least, will welcome them.


Seveneves at the JCC

Next week should be epic at the JCC.

Yes, we have Sibel Kekilli and WHEN WE LEAVE on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday, well, Thursday is Thanksgiving. Turkey and football and (I hope) Melinda's epic apple pie. (Pumpkin pie has its fans, I know, but I'm an All American apple pie guy. With a slice of cheese on the side, please. 'Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze,' my mother used to say). That will be fun... but it won't be at the JCC.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we have another very special event. That afternoon, at 3:30, NEAL STEPHENSON will be dropping by for a visit, to talk about his new novel SEVENEVES.

I haven't had the chance to read SEVENEVES myself, though I am looking forward to it. There's been a lot of critical buzz about this one, and some great reviews; right now, it looks as if SEVENEVES will be a strong contender come Hugo time. Neal Stephenson is no stranger to that, of course. He's won (and lost) Hugos before, and his wins include 'the Big One,' the Hugo for best novel. We will also have a good selection of his backlist available for sale... and signing... at the JCC.

So if you're in New Mexico this Sunday, come by and meet him, enjoy a cocktail, and hear how it happened that the moon broke up.

Sibel Is Coming.... Back

Big doings at the Jean Cocteau next week.

Starting on Tuesday, when the amazing SIBEL KEKILLI visits Santa Fe once again. Last time she was here, I introduced her to margaritas and chile con queso, so of course she had to return.

GAME OF THRONES fans know Sibel best as Shae, of course, but she's much much more than that. In her native Germany, Sibel has twice won the prestigious Lola Award (the 'German' Oscar) as Best Actress.

Last time she visited us, we screened the first of her Lola-winning films, her feature debut in HEAD ON. So this time it seemed only right that we show the second, WHEN WE LEAVE.

We'll be showing WHEN WE LEAVE only twice, on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday, and Sibel will be on hand to introduce the film and answer your questions afterward... about WHEN WE LEAVE, about GAME OF THRONES (yay Shae!), about her current starring role in the hit German crime series TATORT, about her work with Terre des Femmes, or whatever. You might even be able to persuade her to sign your GAME OF THRONES books, who knows?

Advance tickets can be purchased on the Cocteau website.

See you at the movies!

You Missed It

Hiya kids, hiya, hiya.

Hey, you missed the fun. Last night's appearance by the Suicide Girls at the Jean Cocteau was amazing. Sellout crowd, and an amazing sexy raucous nerdilicious show. Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Thriller, Rocky Horror... oh, and a bit with a girl and three dragons.

Tonight the Suicide Girls will be performing down in Albuquerque, at a much bigger venue... but they seemed to like the intimacy of the Jean Cocteau, and our audience certainly loved it.

After Albuquerque, they have dates in Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas (Nevada, not New Mexico), and San Diego before winding up their current tour.


If they come to a city near you, check it out. (And no, burlesque is not just for dirty old men any more. In fact, there were probably more women than men in our auditorium last night. Lots and lots of couples. And everyone went out hooting and hollering and smiling).

We hope to welcome to Suicide Girls back to Santa Fe again next year.

More Signed Books

Since my post last week, the JCC has sold out on its stock of autographed copies of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS. Sorry. But don't fret, we have ordered more, and I will be defacing them with my illegible scrawl as soon as they come in.

We do, however, still have signed copies of the coloring book and Andy Weir's MARTIAN still available by mailorder (while the supply lasts), along with lots of other cool titles.


These and many more available through the JCC website at http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/

Happy reading.

Punch In The Gut

When you take a step back and consider the issue logically, the degree to which the fortunes of our teams can affect a true sports fan is almost inexplicable. Yet it is also undeniable. After all, the teams we choose to root for are not OUR teams in any meaningful sense. The relationships are all one way, and entirely voluntary (false fans hop from one bandwagon to another all the time). A loss by one of my teams does me no real harm; a victory does me no real good.

And yet, and yet... some of the greatest highs of my life have come courtesy of the New York Mets, the New York Giants, and (a long time ago, in an era far far away) the New York Jets. And losses by those same teams have been known to send me deep into the slough of despond. Truth be told, a really bad loss by one of my teams has been known to depress me far more than some of the times I've lost a Hugo, a Nebula, or an Emmy. I've learned to shrug off my own defeats in life... but when Big Blue or the Amazin's or Gang Green go down, well...

Thursday night was a punch in the gut. Yesterday afternoon was another.

A loss for the Jets, a loss for the Giants. But not just any losses. BAD losses. The kind that really hurt. My guys should have won both games.

The victories were right there for the taking. So close I could taste them. But no, instead I had to choke down bitter defeats. What's worse, both teams lost the games in THE SAME WAY, with truly inexplicable play-calling when the game was on the line. Deep inside the opponents' territory, the goal line just a few feet ahead, the clock running down... all the Jets needed to do, all the G-Men needed to do, was RUN RUN RUN the ball, wind down the clock, make the opponent burn his final timeouts, then kick the winning field goal or score the winning touchdown.

Instead both the Jets and Giants chose to pass, pass, pass. Incompletions stopped the clock. The Jets did not manage to score at all, the Giants settled for a FG and a lead but left too much time for Tom Brady.

I guess they couldn't hear me screaming at my TV set.

Life is miserable and full of pain.

(I am not feeling good about the chances of either team going forward. Some losses can be shrugged off, while others do more lasting damage, and can send the team into the tailspin for weeks. This week's losses, I fear, are of that sort. The Giants, in particular, are going to have a hard time getting over what happened yesterday).

((I am also seriously despondent about Victor Cruz needing another season-ending surgery. A great player, and one of my favorite Giants. I've been looking forward to seeing him and Odell Beckham Junior on the field at the same time for more than a year. Now it seems that may never happen. Really sucks. Cruz seems a good guy, and he deserved better. The football gods are cruel).



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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