January 12th, 2015

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Win Some, Lose Some

Well, at least the Cowboys lost.

Otherwise the results of this weekend's various contests were pretty depressing, from where I stand.

Seahawks beat the Panthers pretty soundly, as most people expected.  No big surprise there.

For a few minutes at the start, and a few minutes in the middle, the Ravens were two touchdowns up on the Patriots, and it looked as though Evil Little Bill might go down as well.  But New England and Tom Brady rallied, not once but twice... once, admittedly, aided by what the Ravens coach called a 'substitution trick,' which wasn't illegal but probably should be.  No one ever said Evil Little Bill wasn't clever.  And in the end Joe Flacco threw a killer INT, and the Pats moved on.  That made me mad and sad.

But not as sad as Jerry Jones and Chris Christie probably were when the Cowboys lost.  Last week TV showed up the two of them high-fiving and hugging when Dallas won, it was a pity we didn't get a good shot of them this week when the 'Boys went down.  (And honestly, the very idea of the governor of New Jersey rooting for the Cowboys instead of the Jets or the Giants or even the Eagles... never mind Bridgegate, Christie should be impeached for that alone).

Andrew Luck and the Colts upset Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  Peyton did not look at all like himself, and this morning all the talking heads are speculating that he might be near the end of the line.  I hope that's not so... but if he does retire, well, it was sad to see him go out with such an underwhelming performance.  What's doubly sad is that I don't think the Colts have a chance in hell of beating the Patriots next week at Foxboro, which means Brady and Belicheck will be heading to another Superbowl, pfui.

As for the Cowboys and the Packers... it was a lot closer than I thought it would be, and I have to give props to Jason Garrett, who did a helluva job of coaching and showed real guts at a couple of key spots, and Tony Romo, who played an amazing game and did not make the patented Tony Romo Mistake that all of us Cowboy haters were waiting for.  But in the end, the game belonged to Aaron Rodgers, who gave the most heroic  performance by a one-legged limping star that the world has seen since Hopalong Cassidy.

And then there was the dagger through the heart: Dez Bryant and the catch that wasn't a catch.  Sorry, Dallas, them's the rules.  Ask Calvin Johnson.  Oh, and that sound you hear -- that's the city of Detroit, laughing their asses off.  Karma's a bitch.  The refs giveth, and the refs taketh away.

As for the non-football contests, yes, of course, GAME OF THRONES lost another Golden Globe.  This one to THE AFFAIR.  Nothing unexpected there, and I am glad I saved myself some time and money and stayed home.  Sad to say, I don't think any fantasy will ever win a Golden Globe.  The prejudice against genre shows runs too deep.  I did think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were great, however, and I liked Allan Cummings in his peach suit-shirt-tie ensemble.

But never mind.  The Cowboys lost, so I went to sleep with a smile on my face.
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Wild Cards World Junket

Something old and something new... that's ACES ABROAD,  scheduled to be re-released by Tor in a new, expanded trade paperback edition on Tuesday (January 13).

The fourth volume in the original Wild Cards series of mosaic novels, ACES ABROAD is set in 1987, and tells the tale of a global fact-finding junket sponsored by the World Health Organization, to investigate the conditions of aces and jokers around the world.  The original book contained stories from Stephen Leigh (featuring Puppetman) , John J. Miller (Chrysalis), Leanne C. Harper (the Hero Twins), Gail Gerstner Miller (Peregrine), Edward Bryant (Wyungare), Walton Simon (Jayewardene and the Great Ape), Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), Victor Milan (Mackie Messer), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Dr. Tachyon), Michael Cassutt (Polyakov),  and my own linking interstitial "Journal of Xavier Desmond" (starring Xavier Desmond, of course).

All of those are here, for anyone who missed them first time around... but to sweeten the pot, we've added two brand new originals for this new edition.  Kevin Andrew Murphy takes center stage with the untold tale of Troll's adventures in Peru, and we visit Prague with Lady Black and Carrie Vaughn.

We also have a brand new cover, another spectacular piece of art from Michael Komarck.

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Old stories, new stories, great new art...  you can preorder a copy from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-IV-Aces-Abroad/dp/0765335581/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420919494&sr=1-1, or pick it up Tuesday from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer.