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Cinemax Orders SKIN TRADE Script

I am very excited to announce the Cinemax (HBO's sister company) has optioned the television rights to "The Skin Trade," the offbeat "werewolf noir" novella I penned back in the late 80s. The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end... but if they like the script, we'll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we'll get a series on the air.

Which would be very cool. I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade. Those of you who know the story of DOORWAYS, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early 90s, may even recall that it was SKIN TRADE that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to LA for a round of pitch meetings. So we're a few decades late...

"The Skin Trade" has had a storied, and complex, publishing history. It was originally written for NIGHT VISION 5, the fifth volume of the prestigious annual horror anthology from the late lamented small press Dark Harvest, where it appeared together with original contributions from Dan Simmons and Stephen King, some stellar company. The novella was very well received, and went on to win that year's World Fantasy Award.

It was subsequently reprinted several times, most recently (and notably) in an illustrated edition from Capclave, where I was Guest of Honor, with a cover and interior art by the amazing Rick Berry.

There's also been a comic book miniseries and graphic novel from Avatar. Daniel Abraham did the adaptation and script, while Mike Wolfer provided the art.

More recently, the novella was purchased by Mike the Pike Productions, who played a big part in taking the project to Cinemax. To handle the adaptation, script the pilot, and produce the show (should we get a greenlight), we've tapped a terrific talented young scriptwriter named KALINDA VAZQUEZ, whose previous credits include work on PRISON BREAK and ONCE UPON A TIME. That was not an easy choice. Cinemax and my agents set me up for meetings with close to a dozen different Tv writers, many of them very impressive, but Kalinda's take on the story and the characters blew me away. She loves the story and the world, and really seems to get Willie and Randi, and her pitch to Cinemax was one of the most polished and professional I've ever heard. I love her enthusiasm, and look forward to working with her.

(And no, while I would have loved to write the script and run the show myself myself, that was never really in the cards. I have this book to finish. You know the one).

So... THE SKIN TRADE... coming to your TV set, er, eventually. Maybe. Howl for it.

Cocteau Website Back Up

For various complex reasons that I won't go into (mainly because I don't actually understand them, being semi-literate where computers are concerned), the Jean Cocteau website has been down for a couple of days. But I am pleased to say that I just checked, and it's back up.


Yay, Raya. Round of applause, please.

This means that, yes, once again you can buy online tickets to the Wes Craven Retrospective that we are presently screening, to the Royal Shakespeare Company's streaming performance of OTHELLO from Old Blighty, and reserve books (and seats) for Andy Weir's visit a week from tomorrow (which looks as if it its going to sell out, by the way).

Also, for all you autograph hounds out there, let me draw your attention to our Signed Books page. All the books we sell are autographed, and we've had some great authors passing through of late. So, while supplies last, we have signed copies of titles from Elln Datlow, Steven Gould, Joe Lansdale, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Felicia Day, S.M. Stirling, Dennis Lehane, Anne Perry, William Gibson, and many many others.

((FYI, some of the titles -- like THE CHANGE and THE DOLL COLLECTION -- have multiple signatures, including some of the contributors as well as the editor)).

Oh, and of course, we also have a bunch of titles by that GRRM guy. We expect to be offering hardcovers of A KNIGHT OF SEVEN KINGDOMS as well, though they're not up yet. Soon.

The Last Kingdom

Regular readers of this Not A Blog will know that I am a big fan of historical fiction, especially medieval historical fiction. Nigel Tranter, Maurice Druon, Thomas B. Costain, Sharon Kay Penman, Cecelia Holland... and especiall Bernard Cornwell, who writes the best battles of any writer who has ever lived.

Cornwell is best known for his Sharpe series, mainly because that's the one that was made into a TV series (starring a young Sean Bean, who did not die). But now he's got a second show coming: THE LAST KINGDOM, based on his novels about Uhtred of Northumbria.

The opening title sequence is pretty cool too... graphics like GAME OF THRONES meets 300 meets BONANZA.

I can't wait! If the BBC did justice to Cornwell's books, this show should kick ass.

ADDENDUM, A FEW DAYS LATER: Saw the first episode, and thought it was terrific. Very faithful to Cornwell's book.

The Martian Is Coming

No, not the movie (curse you, Fox). The writer.

We had a great evening last night with William Gibson, but at the Jean Cocteau we like to keep the big nights coming... so we're bringing in ANDY WEIR on October 19 for a reading, a talk, and a booksigning.

We're not being allowed to show the film (but you can catch it down the street with our friends at the Violet Crown), but we'll have plenty of copies of the novel on hand, and Andy will be here to scrawl in them and answer all your questions about book, movie, and planet.

And hey, I will be there as well, so all you Martians can also pick up a signed copy of OLD MARS, if you like, and maybe an OLD VENUS for good measure.

Andy Weir is one of the few SF writers I've yet to meet, so I am really looking forward to hosting him at the Jean Cocteau. The fun starts at 7pm. Reserve your book and your ticket at our website, and come join us.

Dunk & Egg Are HERE

Big day, big excitement. It's publication day for A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, with simultaneous hardcover releases scheduled for the US (Bantam Spectra) and the UK (Harper Collins Voyager).

This will be the first collection of the three Dunk & Egg novellas that I have published to date: "The Hedge Knight" (originally published in Robert Silverberg's anthology LEGENDS), "The Sworn Sword" (from LEGENDS II), and "The Mystery Knight" (from the anthology WARRIORS, edited by Gardner Dozois and yours truly). All together in one place for the first time, so you no longer need to track down three separate (and in some cases, out of print) books.

British edition

Depending (of course) on which side of the pond you find yourself, one or the other of the two editions should be available today from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller.

The American edition is on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Fire/dp/0345533488/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154684&sr=1-1

The British edition can be found on Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knight-Seven-Kingdoms-Song-Prequel/dp/0007507674/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444154759&sr=1-1&keywords=a+knight+of+the+seven+kingdoms

For those of you who have yet to make the acquaintance of Dunk & Egg... these are stories set in Westeros about ninety years before the opening of A GAME OF THRONES, when the Targaryens still sat the Iron Throne.. They chronicle the adventures of the hedge knight called Ser Duncan the Tall and his young squire Egg as they travel across the Seven Kingdoms.

And yes, before those of you from other lands across the sea speak up, it is true that the book has already been published in a dozen other languages. That's because we wanted to do something rather special with the English-language editions, but many of my foreign publishers were not willing to wait.

For those who did wait, however, the "extra" is ART. Gorgeous, stunning, evocative, lovely illustration. We asked the amazing GARY GIANNI to illustrate the book, and Gary was so taken with the stories that he said he declined to do just the half-dozen pieces we originally asked for, insisting instead that he be allowed to illustrate the entire book. Needless to say, we LOVED the idea. I grew up and was weaned on the illustrated classics of my childhood with art by the likes of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, and the prospect of having one of my own books done the same way thrilled me no end.

And here it is, and believe me, it's everything I could have dreamed of. Here's just a sample, to whet your appetites:


Meow Wolf Roars

The House of Eternal Return, long adrift is time and space, is spinning back towards earth and its eventual landing on the south side of Santa Fe... courtesy of the madmen and madwomen of Meow Wolf, the City Different's wildest artist's collective.

Remember Silva Lanes? That derelict bowling alley I bought last winter? If not, go back to January and February on this very Not A Blog and read the old posts. Or just Google "Silva Lanes" and my name, and you'll find plenty of press coverage.

Anyway... work has been proceeding down on the south side ever since. My own construction crew has gutted the remains of the old structure, torn up the parking lot, and has been working day and night to bring everything up to code. Meanwhile, Meow Wolf's artists have been across the street, making magic... and now they've moved in and started the installations. The two construction crews are working side by side.

Here's some recent press coverage of the project, from the pages of the SANTA FE NEW JIXIOCAN and the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL.



Last week I had a tour of the former Silva Lanes. Some amazing stuff is going on in there. The House of Eternal Return should be interactive art like you've never seen it. Kids are going to love this, I think. (A few lucky ones already do).

Here's some more fun pictures from an email that Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek sent out last week to investors.

Besides the house itself (think of it as a giant TARDIS in a Victorian mansion), there's also going to be secret passages, a cave system, a haunted forest, a performance space, a video arcade, a gift shop, a children's learning center (for art, no longer taught in New Mexico schools), a gallery, artists' workshops... oh, and a giant robot and steel spider in the parking lot (just visiting, those last two). (And yes, the neon bowling pin remains).

The hope is everything will be ready for a grand opening in JANUARY. Watch this space for further details.

Of course, all this costs money. To raise some more of that, Meow Wolf is offering one thousand (1000) limited edition boxed set Lifetime Pass Memberships. They come with an actual box, which looks very cool. But I will let them tell you about that themselves:


The House of Eternal Return is going to be like nothing you've ever seen before, and we hope it will be a permanent part of the scene here in Santa Fe for decades to come, and a "must see" for every tourist visiting the City Different.

One thing for sure... it will be much more exciting than bowling.

Cyberpunk Comes to Santa Fe

Hugo- and Nebula-winning author William Gibson, the father of cyberpunk and author of NEUROMANCER, will be coming to Santa Fe tomorrow night (October 6) for a reading, Q&A, and booksigning at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Bill will be signing copies of his latest novel, THE PERIPHERAL. Admission is free with the purchase of a hardcover book, $5 with the purchase of a paperback, and $10 sans book purchase.

Reserve your copy and your seat at the Cocteau website http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/ or by phoning the theatre at 505-466-5528.

The event starts at 7:00 pm.

See you there.

Win One, Win One

Hey! Cool! The Jets and the Giants BOTH won this week.

That doesn't happen very often.

Sometimes life IS magical and full of joy.

The Jets flew to London to play the Miami Dolphins. The Hapless Dolphins, as it turned out. The final score was 27-14, but the game was not nearly as close as that would suggest. The Jets pretty much dominated from start to finish, even with the refs doing all they could to help the Fins. (That first Miami touchdown was a gift, coming after a 'drive' that consisted of two phantom pass interference calls that took Miami almost the length of the field).

Miami was supposed to be good this year with the addition of Ndomukong Suh -- some pundits were even picking them to topple the Pats in the AFC East -- but it appears that was mirage. Suh was a fearsome run-stuffer in Detroit, but in Miami he has been a total non-factor. Yesterday the Jets ran all over the Fins; inside, outside, up, down, and through. Chris Ivory is a good running back, yes, but he had a career day yesterday, and looked like the second coming of Jim Brown. And who knew that Ryan Fitzpatrick could run? (Hint: I don't think he can. Except against Miami).

Gang Green is now 3-1. I don't think they are as good as they looked yesterday, but they may just be good enough to mount a playoff run. We'll know for sure when they face Brady and the Pats and Evil Little Bill. Meanwhile, the Dolphins just fired Joe Philbin, their head coach. After what they showed in Wembley, that's no big surprise.

Back home in the US, the Giants went up to Buffalo and beat Rex Ryan 24-10 in a game that all the talking heads picked the Bills to win. The G-Men appear to be better than most of the pundits predicted going into the season, and the Bills worse. Buffalo did a lot to beat themselves yesterday with 17 penalties... including a number of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness calls that speak to a startling lack of discipline.

As dominant as the Jets looked in London, the Giants looked ever MORE dominant in Buffalo... for the first two and a half quarters. Eli and the offense were passing and running up and down the field, and the D would not even allow the Bills a single first down. But, as happens all too often with the G-Men, all those yards did not necessarily translate into points, and when Buffalo finally started to come to life midway through the third period and into the fourth, I started having nightmares of another game slipping away. The Giants, after all, had blown double-digit fourth quarter leads to Dallas and Atlanta in the first two games of the season. For a while, it looked as if that might happen again. All the momentum had shifted.

One play changed all that. On third and three, Eli made a short toss to RB Rashad Jennings in the flat, and Jennings escaped what looked like a sure tackle for a loss and took the ball all the way down the field for a TD, blasting through two more Bills en route. A great run by Jennings, poor tackling by the Bills, and it should have iced the game.

But, you know, it didn't. The Giants still made it way harder than it should have been. Later that quarter, with less than four minutes left, a series of flagrant fouls by the Bills had the G-Men all the down inside the ten, first and goal. They were up 24-10 by that point. A field goal would have given them a three-score lead. All they needed to do was run the ball, run the ball, run the ball... either blast in for a TD, or, if stuffed, kick the FG to go up 27-10. Buffalo would have burned its time outs. Game over.

But no. Instead Ben McAdoo decides to get cute. No runs to burn the clock. Instead Eli attempts a pass to Odell Beckham Jr that went incomplete, then fires a pass to Reuben Randel that gets intercepted. No time run off the clock, no Buffalo timeouts burned. Hey, let's give the Bills another chance, why don't we?

It was Eli's first INT of the season... but why the HELL was he throwing in that situation? No good reason. A FG is just as good as a TD in that situation. The playcalls were as inexplicable as those at the end of the Dallas game. Fortunately, this time it did not come back to bite the Giants in the ass.

With Dallas losing, the Giants, Cowboys, and Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Peoples are all 2-2, and the NFC East is up for grabs. Here's hoping the Giants grab it.


October is here, and it's going to be a busy month for me and my publishers.

The new Wild Cards reissue, DOWN & DIRTY, comes out on October 27, as detailed below. But as it happens, that's not the only book I have coming out that day.

October 27 is also the day Bantam will be releasing the new Ice & Fire Coloring Book.

Yes, I said "coloring book." Not just for the kiddies either. No, it seems that of late adult coloring books have become quite the thing, so Bantam wanted us to do one too. And since I love seeing good fantasy art, I was of course thrilled by the idea.

Here's a look at the cover:

You can preorder this one from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer, or from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Official-Game-Thrones-Coloring-Book/dp/1101965762/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443722280&sr=1-2

Anne Groell tells me there are also plans for a COLORING CONTEST down the line, with some cool prizes for the winners. No details yet, but I'll post them here when I've got them.

I have seen the (uncolored) art for this one, and it looks spectacular. Probably will look even better once colored. So stock up on your colored pencils, boys and girls (or your crayons, if you dare), you're going to need them.

I Do Not Live in Arizona

Arizona has a loyalty oath.

Typing that sentence boggles my mind. I thought loyalty oaths went out with Joe McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee.

But not in Arizona. Where Jim Sallis, a world-class mystery novelist who made his mark writing and teaching SF earlier in his career, resigned his teaching position at Phoenix College rather than consent to sign.



I've met Jim Sallis a few times over the years (most recently in Gijon, Spain a few years back, where we were both guests at Semana Negra). We're hardly close friends, but he's a good writer and a good man, and I applaud his stand.

A compulsory loyalty oath? In 2015? And... here's the funny part... an oath that not only requires you to swear loyalty to the country, but also to the state. Presumably so they know they can count on you to defend the homeland if Arizona is ever attacked by Utah.

Only in Arizona. The state that led the way in making brown people show their papers on demand. Arizona is a beautiful state, and they have that really nifty canyon, and some great cacti, and an NFL team that looks pretty decent this year... but please, folks, do not confuse my own beloved New Mexico with 'Zona (as people back east are always doing). If Donald Trump ever does become president, I have no doubt that Arizona will be the first state to sign up to build that Wall of his. New Mexico, I can assure you, will be the last.

Anyway... hurrah for Jim Sallsi! If I had a college or university, I'd be sending him a job offer right now. His students should be demanding a refund on their tuition.

As for all the other teachers... the hundreds who meekly signed the Arizona Offical State Loyalty Oath... all I have to say to them is, "Shame, shame, shame."



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

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