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Weeds On Line

My friend and sometime partner in crime Melinda M. Snodgrass has just launched her new website and blog. The site can be found at


and I encourage all of Melinda's friends to go and check it out and leave a calling card.

For those of you who may not be familiar with her work, Melinda has been my assistant editor and right hand on WILD CARDS since the series was first born back in the 1980s. She was the creator of Dr. Tachyon and Dr. Finn, two of our most popular characters, and has a great new character called Double Helix set to debut in the new Wild Cards book, INSIDE STRAIGHT, that Tor will be publishing next January. She and I also collaborated on a couple of screenplays back during my Hollywood days -- a WILD CARDS feature film featuring the Turtle and Dr. Tachyon, and an adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic, A PRINCESS OF MARS. Neither one ever made, alas, but that's the way it goes in Hollywood, and we did get wheelbarrows full of money, so it wasn't all bad.

Snod also wrote some great television and film all by her lonesome, including the now-classic "Measure of a Man" episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, some great episodes of REASONABLE DOUBTS and THE PROFILER, and the pilot for STAR COMMAND, her own SF show, which filmed in Germany (ask her about the robot than ran amuck and smashed the set) and should have been picked up for series, but wasn't. She's written a brand new WILD CARDS feature screenplay as well, and is deep in discussions with various Hollywood studios about getting it optioned and filmed, so cross your fingers.

She also has a big new novel coming out from Tor next year.

I shouldn't be telling you all her news, however. Give her a visit, say hi on her blog, and you can hear it all first hand.


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Waitasec. You guys wrote a John Carter script? As in, Barsoom, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, the whole shebang?

Who do I have to get, off or get off to get a copy of that? And why the hell wasn't it made?
Mar. 10th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
John Carter of Mars
Yeah, that's the story. John Carter and the incomparable Dejah Thoris.

It was all Melinda's fault. She grew up on those Barsoom books, and shanghaied me into the project.

It wasn't made because Jeffrey Katzenberg, on his last week at Disney before moving to Dreamworks, decided to move the projection from Hollywood Pictures / Touchstone (live action) to the animation division of Disney proper, so it could be done as a musical. Tars Tarkas singing and dancing! Anyway, our script wasn't considered suitable for that purpose, so it was thrown out and they started all over.

Nothing came of it, of course, and eventually Disney's option ran out and another studio stepped in, bought the book, and started developing it all over again with their own writers.
Mar. 10th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: John Carter of Mars
Jerks! Jerks a thousand times!

Yeah, last I heard they gave the project to some hack family-comedy director. Oh, to think of what might have been...
Mar. 12th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: John Carter of Mars
The word I picked up is that Princess if back at Disney. You can believe that's a call I want to have the manager make. I would so love to work on that project again. Striding across the dead sea bottoms of Barsoom. When I was a kid in Junior High I would pray to be transported to John Carter's Mars. Anything to get out of Junior High. :)

Mar. 10th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Holy Cats!
It's a shame that it never did get made. Although I heard the Harry Knowles' (of Ain't It Cool News fame) production company has optioned to produce a John Carter movie, with the director of Zathura as the director.

I could be wrong, of course.


Saint Dharma
Mar. 10th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Holy Cats!
Knowles was attached when Robert Rodriguez was, but Rodriguez left the project after he dropped out of the DGA due to the [i]Sin City[/i] debacle. It seems dead in the water right now, according to [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carter_of_Mars_(film)]Wikipedia[/url], as Paramount has apparently decided not to renew the option and is looking to other projects, and Jon Favreau is currently working on [i]Iron Man[/i].
Mar. 11th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Re: Holy Cats!
So I take it you didn't like Sin City. I liked it at first. I would have loved it if they'd stuck to one story instead of trying to tell all of them. Rodriguez would have done much better filming them back-to-back instead of doing them all in one story.

It is sad that they've given it up, but on the other hand Favreau doing Iron Man isn't a bad thing either.


Saint Dharma
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Holy Cats!
Oh, I actually liked it, though I found that a lot of the charm of it tends to wear off after a couple of viewings (but then, I feel the same about the Sin City comics).

By "debacle", I was just referring to the DGA rules not allowing Rodriguez to share directing credit with Frank Miller, so he left rather than comply. The rules are there to keep executive producers or stars from getting "co-director" credits for no better reason than that they want it, and while there can be exceptions (the Coen brothers, for example) Miller's lack of previous directing experience didn't make that a viable option as far as the DGA is concerned.
Mar. 10th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
Mrs. Snodgrass sounds interesting.
I'll google her novel. I'm always looking for a good read. ;)
Mar. 10th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Opera, history and dressage horses - her blog is so going on my blogroll. :) Thanks for providing the link.
Mar. 10th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Why such a hard time getting a WILD CARDS feature film made?
Mar. 11th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
Profiler episodes? The Ally Walker show back in the mid to late nineties? I loved that show...

Mar. 11th, 2007 08:04 am (UTC)
Any recomendations on where to track down old Wild Cards books? I've worked up to book VI by hook, crook and sneezing my way through old book shops but VII is nowhere to be found.
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
Books 1 through 6 are generally more widely available because they were reprinted in paperback. After that they're trickier to find, especially outside the US. I had to import most of mine from the US. Looking online is your best bet. If you're in the US, try abebooks or eBay: you ought to be able to pick up paperbacks for $5-$10 plus shipping.

The last two books were only ever printed in hardback and are quite rare. Even so, they're not outrageously hard to find or expensive.

I loved John Carter too... love to see that script sometime. :D
Mar. 12th, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
finding the Wild Cards books
At the moment the hardest Wild Cards book to find is BLACK TRUMP, the concluding volume in the Card Sharks triad, published by Baen Books. The relationship between Baen and Wild Cards had frayed badly by the time this book was published, due to what we felt was a mishandling of the first two books of the new cycle, so when the third was delivered Baen Books just threw it out there, with no promotion, and let it sink. Small print run, small sales. Twelve years later, that translates into scarcity, and BLACK TRUMP now seems to command anywhere from $50 to $100 from savvy rare book dealers. But maybe you can get lucky and find a copy for three bucks on the dusty shelves of some paperback exchange.

The two hardcovers from iBooks, DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE, are still widely available today at their original cover price, but in time they may become expensive as well. This is especially true of John Miller's novel, DEATH DRAWS FIVE, which was published only two weeks before iBooks went bankrupt. According to Bookscan, only 600 copies actually got out before the publisher went under. So if you're interested in getting all the Wild Cards books, that's one you would do well to snap up now, before the last copies vanish from circulation and the price begins to climb.

In time, of course, we would love to get all of the old Wild Cards books reissued, but that's not going to happen for a few years, if it happens at all. The sales on the new series will determine whether any of the older books get new editions, of course.
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: finding the Wild Cards books
George: holy heck, I had no idea Black Trump was so expensive. I paid John J. Miller less than half that price for a copy... bargain!
May. 16th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: finding the Wild Cards books
I actually sold my second copy of that on ebay to a guy in Germany a few months ago. Wish I saw this first. Is that what happened? Pre internet info era, us Australians had no idea what was going on. Just a random guess something odd like that was going on. I have seen that one around, here. Not much sign of X,XI or XII though.

I have tried to order Deuces Down from three different places, and no-one seems to be able to get it, any suggestions?

Also, thanks for all the fabulous Wild Cards stuff over the years, as well.
Mar. 11th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what the inventory situation is like right now, but bookfinder.com is a great way to search a ton of used bookstores instantly.
Mar. 11th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
apologetically negative
I really feel like a schmuck for saying this, but I'm propelled into it by a mix of bafflement and fan-fervour. The thing is, I have all of the Wild Cards series and the only sentences that I don't like are penned by Melinda Snodgrass. In particular, I couldn't even finish Double Solitaire, which made me feel angry and betrayed and dirty and then angry again. But I love all the rest of the series, and I adore GRRM's entire oevre, and I would happily marry most of HBO's output, so I just DON'T GET IT. A fine friend she may be, but does anyone really rate her work? What am I to do with my strong feelings that she's a low-grade mediocrity when she is promoted by my favourite author in the world? How do I get past this?
Mar. 12th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
Re: apologetically negative
Here's a valuable lesson. Whenever you have something to say that's going to make you feel "like a schmuck," DON'T SAY IT.

Hey, look, no one says that you have to like Melinda's writing. I am sure that if we ever sat down together and talked books, we'd find that there were a lot of writers I enjoyed that you didn't, and vice versa. We all have our own preferences in fiction.

That's still no cause for coming into my Live Journal and calling a close friend of mine a "low-grade mediocrity." Why not just say you don't enjoy Melinda's stories and leave it at that? If you were looking for a literary discussion, tossing around terms like that is not how you go about starting one. Your choice of language would suggest that, in fact, you're looking for a fight.

I have better things to do than indulge in flame wars, however. So I am going to ask you for an apology... not for not liking a particular book or writer, which is your right, but for your rudeness.

This place is my internet living room, in a sense, and if you want to continue to visit here, I expect a modicum of common courtesy.
Mar. 12th, 2007 08:55 am (UTC)
Re: apologetically negative
Please accept my genuine apologies; I badly misjudged the nature of this place. I was imagining myself bellowing like a fan into a football stadium, with the usual slightly deranged partiality that involves. I can see how that would go down badly in your living room.

I would be interested in a literary discussion, as I don't think that my views here are reducible to subjective judgements such as my taste in jam. But since - for fear of causing offence - I wouldn't have even that kind of discussion about a friend of yours in your own house, I would be grateful if you could point me to an appropriate place to go.

Oh dear. Usually when I say something that makes me feel like a schmuck it's because I've wound myself up to speak truth to power, not insult to talent. I apologise again.
Mar. 12th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
apology accepted
I appreciate the apology.

There's an active, ongoing WILD CARDS discussion board at Captain Comics, which you'll find at


A few of our Wild Cards writers drop in there from time to time to field questions and pass along the latest tidbits of news, but mostly it's a fan forum, full of strong opinions and lively arguments. If you want to have a literary discussion about favorite stories and characters -- and the ones who didn't like -- that's a good place to go.
Mar. 16th, 2007 11:20 am (UTC)
Re: apologetically negative
Good afternoon, Georges! When you add " Dance with Dragons "? Your devoted fans have a fear, that you can not be in time! A human life short, and you any more so are young... You will have time to add all 7 books?
Mar. 12th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Totally OFF subject...
I just noticed that you are holding a baby tiger in your default picture! That is too cute. When/where did this happen?! Is it an interesting story? Will you blog about it?
Mar. 12th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
Off Topic: GRRM have you seen 300???
I know this is off topic, but I just wanted to see what you thought of 300, if youv'e seen it. I thought it was pretty decent but a little like a videogame for me. But hey call me old fashioned.
Mar. 12th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Off Topic: GRRM have you seen 300???
Who knew the Persians had war rhinos?

And why didn't I think of them first?
Mar. 14th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
Re: Off Topic: GRRM have you seen 300???
I prefer your books and shows. "Real" is so much more than one day of slaughter.
Anything calling itself "historically accurate" involving Greeks and Persians I would tend to want to look in the mouth of.
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
The intro to philosophy class at the Winthrop University (We're an 11 seed in the NCAA this year) discussed "The Measure of A Man" at length. You say "War Rhinos" as though it might not be historicaly accurate. Didn't you know "300" was exhaustively researched?


Mar. 13th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
Alright, now that's not fair! Here I am stuck in Japan till friday and all my friends are going to see 300 tonight in NYC and now you guys are talking about it too!! AARGH! I can't even get a decent cup of coffee here much less a good up to the minute film that hasn't been dubbed over in Japanese. However, I believe that I did see a war rhino walking down the street in the Ginza. Could be jet lag-maybe it was a cool kimono...
Mar. 13th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
Mr. Martin,

I am not a writer nor do I role play your characters. I am just a regular reader. I am in the middle of A Feast for Crows. I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a reson for not needing cable television. And geez I hadn't realized readers were so demanding on you. I know that when you finish A Dance with Dragons I won't be disappointed. I hope you get this message, especially because I had to create some LiveJournal account which I don't understand and will probably never use again.

Jessica Minko
Mar. 14th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
Snodgrass, huh? Any relation to Fred Snodgrass centerfielder for the New York Giants of the early 1900s. You know the one who committed an error that helped them to lose the 1912 Series to the Boston Red Sox?
Mar. 14th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Snodgrass?
Ah, the infamous Snodgrass Muff, renowned in baseball lore!

Yes, I believe Fred and Melinda are indeed distantly related, though I am uncertain as to the precise degree of kinship.
Mar. 16th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Snodgrass?
[quote]Ah, the infamous Snodgrass Muff, renowned in baseball lore!

Yes, I believe Fred and Melinda are indeed distantly related, though I am uncertain as to the precise degree of kinship.[/quote]

The really strange thing is, she's also related to Fred Merkle and a distant cousin of Bill Buckner as well...

Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Snodgrass?
OW! What a family tree. Did you have to mention the B word though? I'm glad we exorcised those demons a few years ago.
Jun. 8th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
If the screenplay were produced the irony of the likely critical response would be funny but NOT unexpected.
"Well, gee aren't you ripping off "Heroes"?"
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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