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This message comes to you from Ogre Jenni, not George R.R. Martin. I am but a prisoner within this green and Hulkish form.

The Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe is proud to host a film screening and fundraiser for Save the Elephants on Sunday, August 14th. We will screen Naledi: A Baby Elephant's Tale, and facilitate a discussion with Albuquerque's BioPark Elephant Specialist, Rhonda Saiers. Tickets are $20.00, and all ticket sales will be donated directly to Save the Elephants. If you cannot attend this event in person, consider making a donation this week—however big or small—to Save the Elephants or another charity of your choice.

THE SOAPBOX:

It is extraordinarily expensive trying to save elephants from poaching and habitat loss. I really wish they would just let me eat the poachers, but Save the Elephants tells me that's not productive, and it only addresses one part of the slaughter of elephants. I would have to somehow eat the circumstances that funnel people into the poaching business (poverty, the greedy ivory market, etc.), and also eat all of the issues that force humans to further encroach upon elephant territory (poverty again, growing populations, etc.). Through extensive research and direct intervention, Save the Elephants has made significant progress addressing and changing harmful international policies. But their work is far from over, and they need our help.

ABOUT THE FILM:

Naledi: A Baby Elephant's Tale is the incredible, true-life story of a baby elephant born into a rescue camp in the wilderness of Botswana. When she's suddenly orphaned at six weeks of age, it's up to the men who look after her herd to save her life.



Born on an incredibly starry summer night in 2013, Naledi (which means ‘star’ in Setswana) was orphaned just six weeks later when her mother passed away in January 2014. This meant that immediate action had to be taken to both comfort Naledi and save her life. It took a dedicated team of men working around the clock to nurse her back to health. Naledi has a rambunctious yet loving personality and deep bonds with the men at the rescue camp as well as the female elephants of the rescue camp herd.




See you at the Cocteau!

—THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE ELEPHANT-LOVING MINIONS OF FEVRE RIVER—

The Long Game... of Thrones

It was twenty years ago today... not when Sgt Pepper taught the band the play, no, that was much earlier... when GAME OF THRONES was first published. August, 1996. That was when the big glossy hardcover with the silver foil cover first hit the bookstores (though some comp copies had been handed out earlier at the ABA in Chicago).



Reviews were generally good, sales were... well, okay. Solid. But nothing spectacular. No bestseller lists, certainly. I went on a book tour around that same time, signing copies in Houston, Austin, and Denton, Texas; in St. Louis, Missouri; in Chicago and Minneapolis; and up the west coast to San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Portland, and Seattle. Turnouts were modest in most places. The crowds didn't reach one hundred anywhere, and at one stop (St. Louis, if you must know), not only was attendance zero but I actually drove four patrons out of the bookshop, allowing me to set my all time "bad signing" record at minus four (on the plus side, I had the time for long friendly talks with the readers who did show up).

But my oh my, things have changed a bit in these last twenty years.

My crowds are larger now (though, sadly, I can no longer chat for five or ten minutes with every customer). The novels appear on every bestseller list in the country, and most of those in the UK and the rest of the world as well. There's a successful television show that you may have heard of, with record ratings, record piracy, and a record number of Emmy Awards. There are games, miniatures, slot machines, pinball machines, cosplayers, dolls, action figures, coins, t-shirts, graphic novels, translations in more than forty languages.

It has been a helluva twenty years, twenty years that have transformed my life and career, twenty years during which the novel has never been out of print. And something like that has to be commemorated. So... well, let me quote the official announcement from my friends at Bantam Spectra.

"First published on August 1st, 1996, A Game of Thrones marks its twentieth anniversary today. In celebration of the fantasy masterpiece that started a cultural phenomenon, we’re excited to announce the publication of a special illustrated edition."



An anniversary like this requires something special, something more than just a reprint and a new novel. This new edition will be very special, I think. Same story, of course. But we've added an introduction by the World Famous Nebula Toastmaster John Hodgman... and a truly astonishing amount of artwork... a total of seventy-three (73) black and white interior illustrations, and eight (8) spectacular full color plates. Some of the artwork is drawn from the Ice & Fire calendars, from The World of Ice and Fire, and from the card and board games and RPGs... but forty-eight (48) of these pieces are completely new, never-before-seen artwork. Bantam says, "With gorgeous full-page illustrations to open every chapter, the mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure of this magnificent saga come to life as never before."

Here's a sample of some of the art we'll be including: one old piece, one new one.





The list of participating artists reads like an all star roster of fantasy illustrators, and includes such luminaries as John Picacio, Paul Youll, Gary Gianni, Didier Graffet, Victor Moreno, Michael Komarck, Arantza Sestayo, Magali Villeneuve, Ted Nasmith, Levi Pinfold, Marc Simonetti, and many more. We've had some stunning illustrated editions of A Game of Thrones before, to be sure, with the limited editions from Meisha Merlin and Subterranean Press... but each of those was illustrated only by a single artist. This will be the first edition to feature such a galaxy of talent.

A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition goes on sale October 18, 2016.

And no, before someone asks, I had no idea when this all started where it would lead... or how long the road would be. That picture of me up above was taken in 1995 in Scotland, after I'd signed the contracts for the first three books but before I'd delivered any of them. Back then, I'd thought the whole story could be told in three books, and that it would take me three years to write them, a year per book. That picture was taken just a few weeks after I blew my first (bot not my last, oh no) deadline on the series. Ah, how innocent I was... little did that guy in the picture imagine that he would be spending most of the next two decades in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros with Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Sansa, Jon Snow, Bran, and all the rest.

But here I am, twenty years later... still working on book six... ((and no, sorry, I have no announcement to make on that front)).

Suicide Squad at the Cocteau #GRRMinion

Ogre Jenni here again (not George). I work for the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, and I'll eat human flesh if they let me! But they never let me...



Jean Cocteau Cinema will show Suicide Squad! It begins Thursday, August 4th, and our tickets are only $8.00 for regular shows, and $7.00 for matinees. Cosplayers rejoice! For better or for worse, we don't have rules barring costumes or masks in our cinema. You can go all out for this one. We will actually have a professional cosplayer at the cinema on Friday and Saturday, so stop by and take a picture with Harley! If they let me out of the basement FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE, I'm going to dress up as the Joker with roller skates. And, as always, we have presents for people who come to the movies in costume.



We will also have 44 ounce Suicide Squad cups availalbe for purchase. Logically, they come with a soda of your choice. We recommend kids make a "Suicide," which (for people who had sodaless/joyless childhoods) is a mixture of all the sodas available at the concessions stand. It's surprisingly drinkable unless you put Diet Coke in there. Anyway, good parents get their kids 44 ounces of soda.



See you at the Cocteau!

—THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MINIONS OF FEVRE RIVER—

The Chimes at Midnight

Today is the last day to get those Hugo Awards ballots in.

Vote now, or you'll only have yourself to blame in Kansas City when the envelopes are opened.

tick

tick

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(May the best stories win).

Hugo Deadline Approaches

Just a reminder for all of you who are members of this year's worldcon... the deadline for voting on the Hugo Awards is almost upon us.

Voting will be closing at the end of the month, so if you've been meaning to cast a ballot, this is the time to do so. Go here: https://midamericon2.org/home/hugo-awards-and-wsfs/2016-hugo-ballot/

The Hugo is science fiction's oldest and most prestigious award. These past few years, however, the awards have been under siege, and that's true this year as well.

Nonetheless, there are some worthy books and stories up for this year's rockets, along with some reprehensible shit. I will leave it to your own judgements as to which is which.

Vote your own taste.

Vote your own conscience.

But vote. Every ballot counts.

Three Years and Counting

Hard to believe, but we are coming up on the third anniversary of the re-opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema. Santa Fe's hometown movie theatre, and first art house, had been dark for seven years when we turned on the lights again and opened the doors in August 2013.

Needless to say, that calls for a celebration... a week-long celebration, in fact!!!

To mark the occasion, we are bringing back three very special films, movies that have a special significance in the history of the JJC, New Mexico's most eclectic movie theatre.

First up we will have PANDORA'S BOX, a classic of the silent cinema starring Louise Brooks, the first film to play the Jean Cocteau when the theatre first opened in 1984.



We will also show FORBIDDEN PLANET, the first film shown at the reborn Cocteau three years ago... and also the greatest science fiction film ever made, in my not so humble opinion.



And finally we will have DARK STAR, our first midnight movie from three years back, a hilarious SF comedy, and the movie that gave Dan O'Bannon and John Carpenter their starts.



Best of all, admission to all three movies will be FREE! (We will also be holding over a couple other films this week, and offering discount $5 admissions on those).

And, yes, ROBBIE THE ROBOT will be returning to the cinema for the celebrations, along with his friends Altaira, Commander J.J. Adams, and the Iron Giant.

We'll be celebrating all week... but the BIG party will be on Saturday at 7:00 pm, when we will be adding some cake to the mix. And our friends at Jambo are sending their foot truck around that night at well, for some delicious African treats.

ANNIVERSARY WEEK SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, JULY 29TH:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:30 PM: Showcase Karaoke (with Cyndi and Nanci) (FREE)

SATURDAY, JULY 30TH:
2:15 PM: The Fallen Idol ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Anniversary Party (Cake, Costumes, Games, Food Trucks, & More!) (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

SUNDAY, JULY 31ST:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
6:40 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)

MONDAY, AUGUST 1ST:
4:30 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
6:40 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 2ND:
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3RD:
2:30 PM: Presenting Princess Shaw (FREE)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4TH:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: The Fallen Idol ($5.00)
7:00 PM: Suicide Squad ($8.00)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

So come and join us and help us hoot and holler! We're three years old! And many more to come!

Ice Buckets!

Remember all the madness of the Ice Bucket Challenge that swept the world not so long ago?

Sure you do.

If not, here are some reminders:







There were more. Hundreds more. Thousands maybe. But you get the idea.

Silly, right? Celebs, regular people, rich people, poor people, men, women, all dumping ice on their heads and squealing and shivering... and for what? Some cynics compared it to stuffing phone booths or swallowing goldfish or doing the macarena.

Well, not so fast. Turns out all that silliness made a difference.

Read it here: http://nydn.us/2arKgDf

All those buckets of ice may have helped put the freeze on ALS. No, it's not a cure... but it's one battle one in the war against a truly horrible disease.

And I am so pleased that my friends and I could do our tiny little bit, with all the others around the world, in bringing this about.

Tags:

Fire-Breathing Ants?

No, not quite.

But dragon ants nonetheless. And pretty cool, even if they don't breathe fire.

http://www.popsci.com/new-dragon-ant-species-named-after-game-thrones-character?src=SOC&dom=tw



I suspect there are dragon ants in my world as well... maybe out on the Dothraki sea...

Coming in August

We had an amazing, goofy, fun event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema yesterday, when more than a dozen Wild Cards authors got together and donned the personae of their characters, while my assistant editor Melinda Snodgrass (in the person of Noel Matthews, aka Double Helix) interviewed them. The whole thing was taped, so we hope to be able to upload it here soon.

Meanwhile, Tor has just sent us the final cover for the next original volume in the series: HIGH STAKES, scheduled for release on August 23 (though we will be launching it a little earlier in Kansas City at a special group signing event).



Cover art, as always, by the amazing Michael Komarck.

HIGH STAKES is the third and concluding volume in the triad that began with FORT FREAK and continued with LOWBALL. It's the twenty-third volume in the overall series, but don't let that intimidate you, boys and girls. It is NOT necessary to have read all of the preceding twenty-two volumes to make sense of this one... though it would help to have read the aforementioned LOWBALL and FORT FREAK.

This one is a "full mosaic," like many of the other climactic volumes of our triads; there are no individual stories per se, but rather six storylines featuring six different viewpoint characters, interwoven so as to create a full on collaborative novel. Which is a lot of work for all concerned, yes, but our fans and readers seem to think it's well worth it.

In HIGH STAKES, the participating writers (and their featured characters) are John Jos. Miller (the Midnight Angel), Caroline Spector (the Amazing Bubbles), Ian Tregillis (Tesseract), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Franny Black), Stephen Leigh (Babel), and David Anthony Durham (the Infamous Black Tongue). Editing by yours truly, assisted by Melinda Snodgrass.

Fair warning, this one is not for the faint of heart. HIGH STAKES is our Lovecraftian horror volume, and things get pretty dark. But it's when things are darkest that heroes are most needed...

FYI, while we won't have any copies of HIGH STAKES for another month, the Jean Cocteau Bookstore can now offer both hardcovers and paperbacks of many earlier Wild Cards books with lots of signatures from the authors. Me, yes, but not just me. We have WILD CARDS, ACES HIGH, JOKERS WILD, ACES ABROAD, INSIDE STRAIGHT, BUSTED FLUSH, SUICIDE KINGS, FORT FREAK, LOWBALL... and even the very scarce and hard to find volumes sixteen and seventeen, DEUCES DOWN and DEATH DRAWS FIVE. Email the JCC for details and prices.

Not in San Diego

I hope that everyone in San Diego is having fun at Comicon. HBO has a big presence there, I know, and a lot of our cast are on hand for the GAME OF THRONES panel and the usual endless rounds of signings and interviews. Also, Bantam is bringing out the 2017 ICE & FIRE calendar, which is always a great event. And Gary Gianni, who illustrated THE KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, has a table and is selling a cool new sketchbook of his artwork.

Makes me wish I could be there as well.

But I'm not.

Now, normally, I would not feel the need to post about where I'm not and what I am not doing... only I am getting reports from friends in San Diego, and friends of friends, that I have been sighted at the con.

It's not me.

Really. It's not. It's some other old fat guy in a Greek sailor's cap and pair of suspenders, maybe. Who may or may not be consciously cosplaying as me.

((And you have no idea how weird it feels to be typing that sentence. Way back when the show was first starting, there were a couple of Daenerys Targaryen cosplayers at San Diego, and I thought that was way cool. Fans dressing up as my characters, hey, hot damn! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that anyone would ever want to dress up as me. But now I seem to encounter it wherever I go. Witness this picture from my 2013 trip to Australia.



Anyway... just for the record... I have a big Wild Cards event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema this weekend, with nineteen writers turning up from all across the country, so as much as I would like to be at comicon, I am not there. Accept no substitutes!!

((And just to be clear, no, I do not disappove of fans cosplaying as me. I do find it surreal, but hey, what they hell, have fun... so long as they don't actually pretend to be me)).

Moving right along... one thing that is at comicon is the new ICE & FIRE calendar, with art by Didier Graffet. It's gorgeous. Grab a copy if you're at the con. And if not, the calendar should be available at your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller, and will certainly be available through the Jean Cocteau.

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