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Where Am I Now?

And now the latest installment of, "If this isTuesday, that must be Whitechapel."

Jet lags rules, but I think I am in Los Angeles.  Beverly Hills, actually.  A different city, a different world.  But they treat me very well here.

Scotland was grey, wet, rainy, but the Fringe was in full roar.  Music everywhere, and some great shows that we did not have time to see.  (I was especially chuffed at having to miss the James plays, a triptych of quasi-historical dramas about the reigns of the Stuart kings James I, James II, and James III, all of whom came to bad ends.  You'd think the Scotts might have taken the hint and started naming their kings Graham, Rory, Duncan, Alister, Andrew.... anything but bloody James.  But no, the Scots are a stubborn folk.
When something isna working, by damn, they stick with it.

 But I digress. I missed the plays, and most of the Fringe, but I did get rained on, appeared in several hundred selfies with fans, strangers, and the occasional drunk who did not know who the hell I was but wanted a selfie anyway.
I also did two major interviews at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  You can find those on line.  I will post links when I get home.  Signed many books afterwards. I also saw many other terrific authors coming and going, but did not, alas, have time to talk.

In Edinburgh I heard about Robin Williams, which made me very sad.  Never met him, but I loved his work.  We will never see his like again.    We plan to offer free showings of some of his best films at the Cocteau in weeks to come.  DEAD POET'S SOCIETY is my own favorite.  Oh, captain, my captain...

Next was London.  Or rather the Docklands, which are to London as Jersey City and Port Newark are to NYC.  But who cares, it was worldcon... and not only that, but the BIGGEST worldcon in thirty years, finally breaking the attendance record set by the 1984 world com in LA.  (Well, Anaheim).  Worldcon cracks 10,000 at last... it comes twenty years too late, but better late than never.

Would that I could say the growth will continue, but next year's con in Spokane will be lucky to get 3,000.  And the Hugo Losers Party, traditionally hosted by next year's worldcon, was a dismal affair, the worst I've seen since I threw the first of those in 1976 at Big Mac in KC,  Does not bode well for next year.  In the old days a Hugo winner who dared show up at the Hugo Losers party, Hugo in hand, would have been thrown into the hotel pool, or at least had whipped cream sprayed in his hair.  Now all the winners get is... congratulations.

I was one one of them.  "The Rains of Castamere" won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.  David Benioff and Dan Weiss scripted that episode and came down from Belfast to represent, the first time they were able to get to a worldcon.  ORPHAN BLACK -- a terrific show -- also had an episode nominated, and a writer/ producer on hand to accept.  But we were both vast underdogs, since the other four nominees were all episodes of DOCTOR WHO, the 600-point gorilla that has ruled this category since its inception.  "Blackwater" did break the Doctor'es string last year, but that was at San Antonio.  No sane person thought that we had the slightest chance against the Doctor on his home ground, and on his 50th niversary to boot.  Even the BBC must have been dead certain they were going to win, since they sent David Tennant to accept... but when the envelope was opened, it was David and Dan who sprang from their seats and rushed to the stage to grab the rockets.  I don't think anything could have thrilled them more... well, aside from winning the Emmy on Monday, but the odds against that are long.

What they did afterward was even cooler.  D&D did eventually make their way to that dreary Hugo Losers' Party for a belated bow, but they did NOT hang around the empty auditorium for that endless round of group shots of winners and presenters that has somehow become de rigeur after the Hugos of later.  Instead they headed right down to the Fan Village where all the party tents were, and bought a round for all  the fans in the house, to share the joy and celebration.  Now there's a tradition I can get behind.

Anyway, that was cool.  GAME OF THRONES collected its third Hugo in a row, in a stunning upset over DOCTOR WHO.

And now I am LA, wondering if we can do it again in the Emmys, and somehow shock the world by coming up ahead of BREAKING BAD and TRUE DETECTIVE.  They are the overwhelming consensus choices... but so was DOCTOR WHO.

Tune in Monday night, and find out.


Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
You must be exhausted with all of that traveling! Hope you get some good rest in! :)

Robin's death was definitely so tragic and sad. :(
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
Loncon 3's total membership was over 10,000, but that includes the no-shows and nearly 3,000 supporting members. The number of people at the convention was around 7,500, which was probably a bit less than L.A.con II had in 1984 (those thirty-year-old numbers are not necessarily entirely reliable, so we can't be sure).
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
I met David in the bar with his Hugo, which I thought was nice of him. A thrilling night for them I am sure!

David Tennant was not at the Hugos as an accepter, though I'm sure you are right that he would have accepted if Dcotor Who had won; he was there as a plus one of his father-in-law, Peter Davison.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Congrats and good luck for Monday! I know I will be watching..
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
2015 worldcon
Congratulations on the Hugo and good luck with the Emmys! Will you be attending the worldcon in Spokane, even with your misgivings?
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: 2015 worldcon
Yes, I plan to.
Bob Jenson
Aug. 24th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Re: 2015 worldcon
Well, I hope Spokane will exceed your expectations. I know I was vocally perplexed that my little city got Worldcon for 2015, but this town does love events like this (not a "nerd" town by any means, but the attention events like this generates is well loved). And the fan community is enthusiastic.
And here is something that would make your trip to our corner of Washington worth it for you for sure: The Robot Hut is only 30 miles away. Sure, Mr. Martin, you have your own Robby - but do you have his jeep? And there are several versions of him there, along with the B9, a Pal time machine, the drones from "Silent Running" and thousands of toy robots. And a whole lot more. Just Google "Robot Hut" and you can check out his place. Heck, I'd be willing to drive you up there to see it, along with anyone else you would want to tag along.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the Hugo.

All I can say is, I'm a fan of all the shows you're competing with, and were competing with (Doctor Who, Breaking Bad and True Detective), so the fact that 'Game of Thrones' is up against that kind of competition makes it a winner already.

Still though, this latest season of GoT was possibly the best yet.

Good luck!
Mary Ellen Wofford
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
Have always wanted to go to a World Con
But never got there. However, now that my financial responsibilities are getting a little lighter, maybe I can actually get to Spokane! And I won't have any comparison to make so it should be a great time for me.

Selfies seem to be getting out of hand!! hehe
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
Nice to see love for Orphan Black.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
George, if it will make you happy, I will gladly, gladly shove you & yours into a pool to help with this worldcon Hugo Losers nostalgia problem of yours. I'll travel as far as Detroit. Maybe Cleveland or Chicago. Just let me know. I like to help!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Emmy Odds
You weren't lying when you said the odds were long:

"Breaking Bad" - 1/10
"True Detective" - 33/1
"Game of Thrones" - 50/1
"House of Cards" - 50/1
"Mad Men" - 100/1
"Downton Abbey" - 100/1

Emmy's are a joke though and a popularity contest. Would take GoT season 4 over any of those shows in a heart beat!
Patrick Wagner
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
Welcome home
Hey George, glad you had a great trip, welcome back to the states. I was wondering, have you been following the preseason at all for the the NFL?? I know it is still preseason but your teams are winning. When are we going to get some bold predictions?
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Congratulations for acing out Dr. Who.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Robin Hobb Evening
Really enjoyed your interview with Robin Hobb on Tuesday evening. Didn't like to hear what you said about killing more characters in Game of Thrones in the future though!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Congratulations and thanks for my "Hugo Loser" ribbon.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
It was a pleasure to meet you briefly at Loncon, and I'm glad GoT won rather than Dr Who (and I say this as a longtime DW fan and writer for the franchise!) simply because it has won enough times.

I wish I hadn't had to leave Loncon before the Hugos because that *is* amazingly nice of Benioff and Weiss, and would have been cool to see.

I think you mean *un* chuffed to miss the James Triptych though- chuffed means delighted!

Otherwise, as I said to you on Saturday morning: just keep up the good work, man!
Sean Hall
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC)
As much as I and others love your series, Season 5 of Breaking Bad was some of the best television I've ever seen. They definitely deserve to win it.
David Rosenblatt
Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
Some formidable questions!
Hi George,

I always love your openness to praising other peoples' work outside your own. It is truly telling of your humility and I'm always glad to see it on your [not a] blog. I've been following Orphan Black since the beginning, and adore it ever so much, so I'm glad you do as well. I know that you love Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, and True Detective (as do I), and was wondering a few things:

A. What do you think of their odds of winning the Emmys, and what do you think of them in general? I suppose you're biased, being the mastermind beyond Game of Thrones' conception, but being as objective as possible, can you justify a show other than Game of Thrones winning the Emmy? I regrettably also realize that the odds are heavily stacked against us with the unstoppable force of Breaking Bad's final season, and the immovable object of True Detective's debut season, but hey...it could happen. However, if it doesn't, do you feel the others would be justfiied in their winning?

B. Shorter question. What other shows do you currently love, and perhaps why? As a writer, I'm sure that plays a heavy factor for you, but are there any other aspects of film, or TV making that tend to draw you in?

If you get around to answering these at all, thank you!...I have loved your work for years before the show landed on our TVs, and will continue to do so long after it is concluded.

Thanks again, George!!

Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
Orphan Black is such an incredible TV series. A small show doing really big things. Tatiana Maslany is a serious force to be reckoned with. So much talent. And she seems like such a sweet, down to earth, gracious, nice person too. The whole cast is amazing, though. :)

Major congrats on Game of Thrones winning against Doctor Who. There's no way I would have ever guessed that outcome either!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you had a great time. I'm so happy life is going so well for you, George!!! *hugs*
Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
At least in the UK, thisdoes notmean what you think it means, at least from context. In the UK chuffed means "pleased" not "annoyed". You seem very chuffed with the Hugo win. It looks like GoT is becoming the default winner for the BDP, over Dr Who, despite the greater number of DrWho episodes on the finalists ballot.
Aug. 23rd, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
this last 2 year have been so great for tv series lovers. It not only had great new seasons like game of thrones, house of cards, doctor who and breaking bad, but also some new series like true detective, peaky blinders, penny dreadful and, for me one of the best series i've ever seen, FARGO. Did you have the chance to see it? When we think it can't be as good as the movie, surprise surprise, masterpiece reporting for duty :D
Deegan Klimowicz
Aug. 23rd, 2014 05:09 am (UTC)
Congratulations on beating out Doctor Who on their home turf. I really loved season 4 of GoT and while I'm so excited that you beat the odds on the Hugo I have to root for Breaking Bad because if GoT puts on a season like BB 5.5 did I think that it will win the Emmy against any odd. I wish you the best of luck on Monday though.
Kelsey Preiss
Aug. 23rd, 2014 05:48 am (UTC)
Congrats on the wins! And will be rooting for you for the Emmy's of course! I'd sure say you all deserve those!
Aug. 23rd, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
Ah, thank you for sharing your adventures with us and big congrats on the win! Doctor....who?? :)
Nicholas Packwood
Aug. 23rd, 2014 01:20 pm (UTC)
This word 'chuffed'... I do not think it means what you think it means.
chuffed, adj.(UK, informal) Very pleased or satisfied.
Aug. 23rd, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
Curious minds wanna know
What will you do with your Emmy swag bag. ;-)
Aug. 23rd, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Enjoy the party George!

Also, congrats to yourself and the Thrones crew for the big win. I feel like I am the only one on the planet who does not like Dr. Who so double yay!
Daniel Lucas Pacheco
Aug. 23rd, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
You should include Brazil in your next travel destinations. Here, you rarely meet an young adult who doesn't enjoy GoT, be it the books or the show!
Aug. 23rd, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC)
A Song of Ice and Fire
It is an amazing story in its complexity. A joy to contemplate and read. Hints left here and there of things unsaid. For those who know the path the story will take, the joy is in how the twists and turns get us there. That's where the fun is. Who sits the Iron Throne when it's over is of little concern compared to what happens in between.
MeLlamo Irma
Aug. 23rd, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Emmys: def GOT is going to win

I'm truly convinced that Game of Thrones is going to win the Emmy. It is true I haven't had the chance to watch True Detective but for 15 minutes or so, but (and let me tell you Breaking Bad is so good) Game of Thrones has got everything! The actors are god, scenes are great, everything is so perfectly detailed and the plot is amazing.

The big thing about GOT for me, apart from the fact that you never know who is going to die (I still can remember the shock of Ned Stark's death), it's that this is almost the only fantasy series that can approach to many different people: even my old aunt likes it!!

So, definitely, it's a win for GOT.
Frank Probst
Aug. 24th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'm still miffed that Pedro Pascal didn't get nominated.
Joshua del Villar
Aug. 25th, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
Home fires burning
While you are out and about traveling I managed to get my family up to the Cocteau again last week to watch The Giver. It is such a beautiful little theater! Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Take care and take time to relax out there. And hurry home. They have already started roasting the chiles.
Aug. 27th, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say thank you for going to Worldcon, I know you've been exhausted and coming to this side of the Atlantic can be an ordeal, but you made the trip anyway, and did a signing and a very interesting reading. You contributed a large amount to my first Worldcon being a success, and all your fans appreciate the effort you make. Hard luck about the Emmys. If there ever will be fantasy show honoured there, my money would be on yours. Thanks again, and enjoy getting home when you do.


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

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