June 10th, 2015

tiger

Wars, Woes, Work

Life is impossibly busy right now. I am wrestling with the Son of Kong (that is, working on THE WINDS OF WINTER), trying to wrap up a final round of edits and revisions on the twenty-third Wild Cards book (HIGH STAKES), developing three new series concepts for HBO and Cinemax, hiring writers and directors for three short low-budget films I am hoping to produce based on some classic SF short stories (more on that in the months to come), making my way through the Hugo Packet to prepare to vote, looking forward to opening JURASSIC WORLD at the Cocteay and to hosting a ten-author special event for the release of Steve Stirling's new "Emberverse" anthology, THE CHANGE. In a week's time, we'll be flying off to Europe for long-planned appearances in Germany (Hamburg) and Sweden (Stockholm), en route to Archipelacon on the island of Aland, where I am to be the Guest of Honor...

In the midst of all this, wars old and new continue to rage all around me.

I had rather hoped that the Puppy Wars would have died down by now. Naive of me. Far from it, things keep getting worse. All the grisly details of this ongoing nastiness can be seen at FILE 770 over at http://file770.com/. ((Mike Glyer deserves the 2016 Best Fanzine Hugo for his even-handed and thorough coverage of Puppygate, linking to virtually everything posted on the subject anywhere on the internet)).

I want to single out the postings of Eric Flint. The latest, at http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2015/06/09/a-response-to-brad-torgersen/ , is a devastating point-by-point deconstruction and refutation of the latest round of Puppystuff from Brad Torgersen. Flint says what I would have said, if I had the time or the energy, but he says it better than I ever could. ((I will be nominating him for a Hugo too. For Best Fan Writer)). His earlier posts on Puppygate are all worth reading too. He is a voice of reason in a sea of venom.

I will add one point. The emptiness of the Puppy arguments is indicated clearly by how much time they seem to spend in coming up with new insulting terms for those who oppose them. The facts are against them, logic is against them, history is against them, so they go for sneers and mocking names. First it was SJWs. Then CHORFs. The latest is "Puppy-kickers." Next week, no doubt, they will have something else. Reading all the blogs and comments that Glyer links to from FILE 770 has convinced me that anyone who starts throwing these terms around can pretty much be discounted; you will find no sense in what they say, only sneers and talking points.

Meanwhile, other wars are breaking out on other fronts, centered around the last few episodes of GAME OF THRONES. It is not my intention to get involved in those, nor to allow them to take over my blog and website, so please stop emailing me about them, or posting off-topic comments here on my Not A Blog. Wage those battles on Westeros, or Tower of the Hand, or Boiled Leather, or Winter Is Coming, or Watchers on the Walls. Anyplace that isn't here, actually.

Yes, I know that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me "the third most powerful writer in Hollywood" last December. You would be surprised at how little that means. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, or make them stop saying or doing it, be it on the fannish or professional fronts. What I can control is what happens in my books, so I am going to return to that chapter I've been writing on THE WINDS OF WINTER now, thank you very much.
torcon

Podcast from Greywater

A million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I looked more or less like the guy in the picture there, (1972, actually), I took a train down from Chicago, where I was living and working at the time, to Kansas City. There, at the very first KC science fiction convention, MidAmericaCon (not to be confused with the later worldcon, MidAmericon), I met Howard Waldrop. H'ard and I had been corresponding for almost a decade, since the fall of 1963, when I bought a copy of BRAVE AND BOLD #28 from him for a quarter. But he lived in Texas, and I lived in New Jersey, and never the twain had met.

Till KC.

We were both fledgling sf writers at the time, each of us with a few short story sales under our belt. When we met, we did what fledgling writers often did in those days: we decided to write a story together. We actually left the Playboy Club atop the con hotel to begin it. (Probably just as well. Beers were real expensive up there, I recall -- a whole quarter).

We only wrote a few pages at the con, but we kept at it afterwards, sending the manuscript back and forth, until it was done. "Men of Greywater Station," we called it. Pretty much everybody in the field rejected it until it finally got to the lowest paying magazine, where it was purchased and, finally, published. The readers seemed to like it well enough.

Howard and I remain close friends to this day, but we never collaborated again. Our styles were just too different. But it was fun doing it once.

And now, all these years later, it's been done as a podcast by Starship Sofa:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2015/06/03/starshipsofa-no-389-george-r-r-martin/

Check it out for yourself. It's free, and I thought they did a nice job.