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Worldbook Rides High

sword
The reports are in from both sides of the Atlantic, and I'm thrilled to be able to report that THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE has debuted at #2 on the bestseller lists in both the US and the UK... though, somewhat oddly, in two different categories.

 In the United Kingdom, the worldbook turned up as #2 in hardcover fiction in the SUNDAY TIMES for November 2.

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Over on this side of the pond, however, the NEW YORK TIMES does not appear to consider the worldbook fiction, so instead we've crashed onto the lists in the rather odd category of "Advice, How To, and Miscellaneous."

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2014-11-16/advice-how-to-and-miscellaneous/list.html

Our maesters would no doubt be outraged, and insist their work was entirely non-fiction.  Me, I'd call it fiction.  Fake history isn't precisely FACT, after all.  Then again, THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE is an art book too, so maybe "miscellaneous" is a good place to put it.

WOIAF cover

 Truth be told, I don't care what they call it.  Categories have never mattered much to me.  Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, an art book... call it what you like, so long as you read and enjoy it.  This one was a LOT of work, and I am thrilled to see it doing so well.

 My thanks and congratulations to our crack teams at Harper Voyager and Bantam Spectra, to the designers and artists who made the book as gorgeous as it is, and of course to my partners in fake history, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson.

 

Win One, Lose One

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I woke up this morning expecting a long day of pain in front of the television.  The Jets were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and their red-hot quaterback, Big Ben, and the Giants were facing the world champion Seattle Seahawks.  Given the way both New York teams had been playing of late, I figured we were in for two more soul-crushing defeats.

Turns out I was only half-right.

The Jets shocked everyone, including me, by upsetting the Steelers.   As Gang Green came into the game at 1-8, no one could have seen that coming.  But that's why they play the games, as Boomer likes to say.  (I expect he'll be saying it tonight on Primetime).  Truth be told, though the Jets played much better than usual, the Steelers really beat themselves, with turnovers.  And it is kind of a Pyrrhic victory, since it is way too late to make a playoff run.  It is certainly more fun to watch the Jets win than to watch them lose, but if they start racking up victories now, all it will do is ruin their chances of getting a real franchise QB in the draft.  So that's probably just what they will do, watch and see.

I can bemoan that later, however.  For the moment, I will enjoy the win, and wonder what might have happened if Rex had only benched Geno Smith earlier.  (I was distressed to see Geno back as second string, and Matt Simms inactive.  Simms showed more in his brief appearance last week than Geno has all season).   Some good play there by Percy Harvin, Erik Decker, and Chris Ivory.  And the D line.  Gang Green DOES have some good players, if only they could get a quarterback.

The Giants game started off promisingly as well.  Big Blue gave the world champs all they could handle in the first half, and even held the lead at certain points... but they couldn't stop the Seattle running game.  Marshawn Lynch is a beast, the kind of RB I love and wish we had, and Seattle's elusive  QB  Russell Wilson kept fooling the Giants D with fake handoffs and scampering around end for ten or twenty yards before any of the Giants even realized he still had the ball.  "Get him," I kept shouting, "he's right there, get him, get him, get him."  But they didn't.

Still, the Giants held in there for three quarters, and were about to take the lead again when a long bomb from Eli caromed off Odell Beckhem's hands to a Seahawk DB for a freak interception.  After that things fell apart quickly.  The last ten minutes of the game were ugly.

The season is over for the Giants as well, alas.  Their record is slightly better than the Jets', but not enough to make a difference.

 sigh

(And yes, for those who will ask, I will continue to watch, week after bloody week.  A true fan remains a fan in defeat as well as victory).

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Signed Books

cocteau
Oldtimers here may recall that my old website once included a Signed Books page, where I offered autographed copies of some of my older, out of print books and foreign editions for sale via mailorder.  Mostly as fan service.  The books were usually hard to get, and of course many of my readers lived far away from my various tour stops and cons, making it unlikely that they'd ever get an autograph by any other means.  In the beginning, we never got more than a few orders a week.  I used to fill them myself, once upon a time.  Later my minions took that over.

But as the years passed, the number of orders rose and rose, and the number of queries grew even faster.  Signing and shipping those books ate up more time every week.   So much so that when we redesigned the website a year or so back, we closed the Signed Books page.   That was intended to be temporary.  I figured I'd open a new and improved version of the page, with a shopping cart system, to make things easier on all concerned... but somehow we never got around to it.

Last year, at Christmas season, I got a lot of emails about that.  Readers wanting to buy autographed books as gifts, as they had in previous years.   And now Christmas approaches again, and once more we are getting the same sort of emails.

This year, though, we have an answer.  Of sorts.  No, I am not going to reopen the old Signed Books page on the website.  I don't have the time to personally inscribe dozens of books every week, and my office staff no longer has the time to pack and ship them.  I need my loyal minions for other tasks, alas.

HOWEVER... as it happens I also have the Jean Cocteau Cinema now, and the Cinema is also the state's smallest and most exclusive bookstore, where ALL the books on sale are autographed.  Yes, needless to say, I drop by the Cocteau every so often, and sign piles of copies of my own titles... plus, we also have a wide stock of books signed by the many great authors who have appeared at the Cocteau for interviews, screenings, readings, and similar events.

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Up to now, those books have only been available to those who stopped by the theatre in person.   But after fifteen months in business, the stocks have built up, so we're going to try offering certain titles by mailorder.  See how that goes.  If we run into unanticipated problems, I may need to shut this down again... but my staff at the Cocteau are game to give it a try, so let's see how it works.

Let me stress:  ALL purchases, payments, and queries should go to the Cocteau.  Please do not email us here at the office.  I shut down the old Signed Books page because I did not have the time, and I still don't.  The theatre HAS the time, the personnel, and the books.

Please also note: the books on offer are all autographed, but they ARE NOT inscribed or personalized, and that is not a service we can offer.  I don't even personalize books at my booksignings any longer.  I did so for decades, and happily, but I've gotten older and the lines have gotten much, much longer, it's not something I can do any more.  You'll just need to settle for my illegible scrawl.

Anyway... let's try this out, see it it flies.

DANGEROUS WOMEN just won the World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology (yay!).  The Cocteau has 14 signed hardcovers in stock, I am informed, so we'll make that the first offering.

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The price is $32.50, plus $15 for shipping and handling (media mail) or $25 (priority), within the US.  Overseas and foreign, please enquire.

PayPal will be ONLY form of payment we can accept at present.  Payments, orders, and queries can be sent directly to the Jean Cocteau Cinema (and Bookstore!) at jeancocteausantafe@gmail.com

Yes, we will offer other titles soon.  My own books, and those by the other writers who have appeared at the Cocteay.  But let's start with this one first.  Call it a trial run.

A DAY LATER:  Okay.  Wow.  That worked.  All our signed hardcovers of DANGEROUS WOMEN were gone within four hours.  We got 45 orders for the 14 books.  (We will try to get more, but that may take a while).

So: no more DW orders for the time being.  We will offer some other books.  See my next post.

Banned In Turkey

hiya hiya hiya
It appears that GAME OF THRONES has been corrupting the morals of the Turkish military:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/11/11/why-turkeys-military-wants-to-ban-game-of-thrones/

Who knew?

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

passport
So, who likes dinosaurs?

What, all of you?  Well, of course.  I mean, who doesn't like dinosaurs!

I fell in love with them as a kid, on my first visit to the Museum of Natural History in New York City.  I had a great collection of toy dinosaurs back then (long since lost, alas -- unlike my spacemen, who I hung onto).  I used to make them fight my toy knights.   I never thought to write up those adventures, however (I did write up stories about the space pirates, however -- also lost, alack alas).

My friend Vic Milan was smarter.  His new novel, THE DINOSAUR LORDS, will be out next June.  First of a trilogy.  It's got dinosaurs, and it's got knights.  What more can you ask?  (And why the hell didn't I think of it first??)  For those of you who don't know him, Victor Milan has been one of my Wild Cards mainstays since the very beginning, back in 1987, the creator of Cap'n Trips, the Harlem Hammer, Mackie Messer. and more.   THE DINOSAUR LORDS is his best book yet... and damn, but Tor gave him a KICKASS cover:

DINOLORDS Cover

Be sure and check out DINOSAUR LORDS when it hits the shelves in June... or better yet, pre-order.

And speaking of dinosaurs, a couple of other friends also have a cool dinosaur Kickstarter going.  Tess Kissinger and Bob Walters , old friends from Philadelphia, have a great dinosaur book out as well.

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Bob Walters has been one of the world's leading dinosaur artists for decades, and the book is full of his gorgeous art.

(No knights, though).

And he and Tess have a new dream as well:  THE DINOSAUR CHANNEL.

But I will let them tell you all about it themselves, on their Kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/210659515/dinosaurchanneltv

Cool cause, and some cool incentives as well.  Check it out.

Pat Floats Away

froggy
Alas, alack, we've lost Pat.

My faithful minion Patricia Rogers, who has manned the phones here for lo these several years and done all manner of other things to keep the chaos at bay, took her leave of the office on November 1.



Thankfully, Pat departed for Albuquerque rather than the stratosphere.  She has gone to work for James S.A. Corey, made up in equal parts of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.   Yes, sad to say, she has turned to the Dark Side.  But the Dark Side is considerably closer to her house than the Citadel of Wisdom here in Santa Fe; it will save her three hours of commuting every day, so we can't blame her.

But we will miss her.

Lenore Gallegos has taken over most of Pat's duties.   Raya remains as well, and from time to time Jo pops in, so I am adequately minioned for the moment.  (In other words, DON'T SEND JOB APPLICATIONS, I am not hiring).   So long as I keep that skylight closed, they should remain safely stuck to the ceiling, and work will proceed as usual.

Back to Jokertown

wcposter
There's trouble brewing on the mean streets of Jokertown once again.

You can read all about it in LOWBALL, the latest volume in the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels, released in hardcover by our friends at Tor on November 4, and now available at your local bookstore or your favorite online retailer.

lowball big

The cover is once again by the amazing Michael Komarck, featuring David Anthony Durham's character IBT, aka Infamous Black Tongue.

The table of contents:

“The Big Bleed,” by Michael Cassutt, starring STUNTMAN,
“Those About to Die,” by David Anthony Durham, starring INFAMOUS BLACK TONGUE,
“Galahad in Blue” by Melinda Snodgrass, starring FRANCIS XAVIER BLACK of the NYPD,
“Ties That Bind” by Mary Anne Mohanraj, starring MICHAEL STEVENS of the NYPD,
“Cry Wolf” by David D. Levine, introducing THE CARTOONIST,
“Road Kill” by Walter Jon Williams, starring GORDON THE GHOUL,
“Once More, for Old Time’s Sake” by Carrie Vaughn, starring EARTH WITCH, CURVBALL, DRUMMER BOY, and JOHN FORTUNE,
“No Parking… “ by Ian Tregillis, starring RUSTBELT.

Special thanks this time around to Melinda Snodgrass, who stepped in heroically to help with the editing on this one when I was being crushed beneath the weight of other deadlines. I could not have pulled this puppy together without her.

LOWBALL is  the second volume in our Jokertown triad, and the twenty-second in the overall series.  And no, before someone asks, you don't need to start at volume one... though volume one is pretty swell.   INSIDE STRAIGHT (volume eighteen) and FORT FREAK (volume twenty-one) also make great entry points for a new Wild Carder.

The twenty-third volume, HIGH STAKES, is in the works.

Windhaven Comes to Comics

torcon
Maris of Lesser Amberly, hero of the popular (Hugo-nominated) series of Windhaven novellas that I wrote with my friend Lisa Tuttle back in the late 70s and early 80s, will soon be taking wing again.  I am delighted to announce that we've closed a deal with Random House to adapt WINDHAVEN as a graphic novel.

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Lisa Tuttle herself will be scripting the book, based on our original stories.

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Lisa has already delivered the script... and we're excited to reveal that we've just signed the amazing French artist ELSA CHARRETIER to illustrate the graphic novel.  Check out her website at http://elsacharretier.blogspot.com/  for links to her work.  She's fantastic, and we cannot wait to see how she brings the world of Windhaven and its fliers to life.

Something Old and Something New

thumbs up
I had two books released in October, an old one and a new one, and I'm thrilled to report that they both did rather well.

The  hardcover reissue of THE ICE DRAGON, with fantastic new artwork by Luis Royo, was released by Tor on October 21.  We've just learned that it will be debut this week at #5 on the NEW YORK TIMES young adult bestseller list.  Pretty damn good for a story that I originally wrote (albeit in a slightly different form) back in 1979.   That short story has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I am delighted that it's still pleasing new readers, decades after it was first published.


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A week later, on October 28, the long-awaited WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE was released by Bantam Spectra in the US and Harper Voyager in the UK.  Too early to know about the TIMES list yet -- whether we'll make the list, or in what slot, or in even in what category -- but the worldbook was in the top five on Amazon even before its publication date, based on pre-orders alone, and on the day of release it ascended to #1.  That's not number one in SF and fantasy, but number one BOOK, period.  Can't get better than that.  The Amazon ranks change constantly, of course, but as I write, WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE is still at #6 in books, and #1 in several sub-categories.

WOIAF cover

A lot of great people put a lot of great work in the worldbook, and it is really gratifying to see it generating so much excitement, enthusiasm, and success.  My thanks to all those who made it possible: Anne Groell, my wonderful editor, and all the other great folks at Bantam; all of the amazing talented artists who contributed (too many to list here, but they all have credits in the book); our terrific design team of Delia Greve and Rosebud Eustace, our tireless production manager Erich Schoenweiss, and of course my amazing collaborators, Elio Garcia Jr and Linda Antonsson.   Great work, all!  Time to pop the champagne...

Jets Crash Again

jets 1
Life is meaningless and full of pain.

Watching the Jets week after week has become an exercise is masochism.

I will grant that Michael Vick looked better today than Geno Smith has all season... but he's still not a long term answer at QB.  Matt Simms did get to play for a couple of series, and showed some real promise, I thought.  His numbers won't look good, but the line gave him no protection and his receivers dropped a number of balls.  At least his passes were on target.

This season is a lost cause.  The worst things the Jets could do now would be to start winning.  They don't have a prayer of making the playoffs, and every win will just push them down on the draft chart.  Rex would do well to start Simms the rest of season.  See if he is the answer at QB.  Geno Smith is a bust, face it, and while Vick might win more games than Simms short term, he doesn't have enough years left.  The Jets need a younger QB to build around.

Anyway, being a fan, I will continue to watch every game I can.  Even if it does feel like being beaten weekly with baseball bats.

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