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Stolen Scripts

Parris and I have always been big supporters of the various charities, both fannish and mundane, that raise funds through auctions at SF and fantasy conventions. It's a great way to raise money for worthy causes, have a little fun, and get some unique items into the hands of collectors. In fact, I just finished shipping off five huge boxes of books, games, t-shirts, and other collectables to our hotel in Reno, to donate to the various charity auctions at worldcon.

(Some items will go to SFWA Emergency Medical Fund auction, some to the BWB fund-raising drive to pay for their party, some to the worldcon's own charity).

Unfortunately, there are a couple items that won't be auctioned at worldcon. We had hoped to bring a couple of signed scripts from the first season of the HBO series GAME OF THRONES with us, and the good folks in Belfast were kind enough to donate them. Dan Weiss sent them across the pond (registered and priority, signature required).

All that arrived was a battered envelope and Dan's cover letter.

The US post office delivered the envelope in a plastic baggie with a pre-printed note apologizing for the "damage." But this was no error in handling. The envelope was torn open at one end, and both scripts were gone, though Dan's letter remained.

I am convinced the scripts were stolen.

Last year we donated a signed STAR TREK script to a charity auction and it brought $1200. These two scripts may not have gone for quite that much, but they would have brought home some significant bucks. Someone in the US Post Office (we believe the package made it across from Belfast relatively unscathed) recognized their value and removed them.

So... I am putting out the word to all my fans and readers. Whoever sold these scripts will presumably try to cash in at some point. So if any of you ever see scripts fitting this description turn up on ebay, one of its competitors, or on some dealer's table -- notify me at once, and report the stolen property to whatever local authorities are appropriate.

Here's what was taken: two teleplays, final shooting scripts for episodes nine and ten of season one, "Baelor" and "Fire and Blood," autographed by writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and director Alan Taylor, printed on white paper.

Like Bloodraven, I have a thousand eyes and one. So let's keep 'em all peeled, boys and girls.


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Aug. 17th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
I agree with those that suggest opening an investigation. Just last month I had a money order sent to me and it hadn't arrived after three weeks. I initiated an investigation and two days later the missing letter was in my mailbox, opened with a letter opener. Luckily the contents were intact, so it all worked out. I daresay had the money order not been pre-addressed, I wouldn't have seen it.
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
I will spread the word. I'll send the thief straight to you for justice if I find him/her. (I sort of feel bad for the thief. Doesn't he/she know you've got your own personal army?)
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
stolen scripts
welcome to the world of super popularity! It sucks! In the future might I suggest that addresses (and return addy also) be as mundane and nondescript as possible so that handlers could not hazard a guess as to what treasures might be inside. I am sorry for this to happen to you as i am a true fan from afar, but you have entered the world of recognition by even casual thieves and caution is now imperative in any normal transaction. I hope this is the last bothersome contact that ever happens to you.
Stavros Tsiakalos
Aug. 18th, 2011 07:40 am (UTC)
Hmm reminds me of my stolen iPad. Though the postman who stole it actually came to reimburse me with the words "You can't prove it was me who stole it, so just take the money and don't make a fuss..."

Hope the scripts do reappear somewhere and someone who knows about their theft is there to "make a fuss" and have them secured.
Aug. 20th, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
The automated equipment used by the British and U.S. postal systems aren't infallible; they often mangle and destroy items sent through them (hence those systems' refusal to accept packages tied with string or covered with loose paper wrappers, which were both commonly used in decades past to wrap packages).

A couple of questions also need to be asked: how would any potential thief know what was in the envelope sent by George Martin?

Why would such a thief not simply take the whole envelope, instead of leaving it and the cover letter behind?

It's easy to think the worst and assign blame to a thief, but there's frankly no evidence that that's who was responsible. The fact is that there are envelopes available from the Post Offices of both countries (for free) that are virtually indestructible. The fault, then, most likely rests with Martin's failure to ship the scripts in an envelope that could resist the postal machines' sometimes voracious appetites.

There was NO thief.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)

Mr. Martin, I used to work for USPS and can attest to the fact that there are thieves who steal mail. I had a present for my nephew stolen out of the mailstream. Never caught the guy but it could only have been an employee, probably a temp.

So first off, file a theft report with the US Postal Inspection Service. It won't do anything other than give you a number for your complaint, but that will be useful for future correspondence.

You than need to write to the Postmaster General for where you receive mail and file a complaint about it. It's probably best to refer to it as a mis-handling. it is very important to emphasize the items were destined to be used in a charity auction.

Copies of the complaint should be provided to local news media outlets as well as your appropriate Federal Congress Critters.

(And for those who claim "How would the thief have known what's inside?", a thief doesn't always know. That's why they break into things, to find things to steal!)
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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