January 11th, 2016

space geezer

Rams on the Move

The latest news from the NFL: Los Angeles is getting the Rams back.

The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, who also wanted to move to LaLaLand, lose out... or maybe win, depending on how you look at this. The league chose the Rams and their plans for a new stadium in Inglewood over the Chargers and the Raiders and their joint scheme for a new stadium in Carson. They did say the Chargers could have a year to decide if they want to join the Rams in LA, presumably sharing the yet-to-be-built Inglewood stadium. (The Chargers would be fools to take them up on that, if you ask me. San Diego has faithfully supported the Chargers for half a century, while LA has not proven it can support one NFL team, let alone two).

I feel sorry for my friends in St. Louis. This is the second time they have lost a franchise. First the Cardinals, now the Rams. They deserve better. St. Louis is a great town (Archon is great con too, for what it's worth). A great sports town. LA isn't. If there is ever another round of expansion in the NFL, let's hope they get a new team.

Still... since the league was determined to get a team back to LA, and the candidates were the Chargers, the Raiders, and the Rams, I am glad they picked the Rams. "St. Louis Rams" never sounded right to me. "Los Angeles Rams" did, and does. (Yes, I know they started in Cleveland, but that was before my time). There is history there. And I'm old school, so I like history. Okay, true, the Chargers had history in LA as well, since they started there... but that was in the dawn of the AFL and they only played in LA for about five minutes. And the Raiders have history in LA too... but that was always wrong. The Raiders belong in Oakland... and the Chargers belong in San Diego, preferably in their powder blue uniforms.

Will LA support the Rams? Maybe at first. Novelty always counts for something. And after too, so long as they are winning. But if they start to lose? Don't count on it. There's a reason both the Rams and the Raiders left LA back in 1994. You know, during my years in TV, I went to a number of NFL games while I was out to LA. Mostly in the Coliseum, which is where the Rams will be playing until their new playpen is ready. How did I ever get tickets? you may wonder. Did I have a season pass? Not hardly. Did I buy them from a scalper? No need. I just walked up to the box office on game day and said, "I'd like a ticket." Good seats too. The Coliseum was always half empty at the games I attended (mostly when the Jets or Giants were visiting). And half of the people who were there seemed to be rooting for the visitors.

But maybe this time will be different. Maybe.

I don't know if the Chargers or the Raiders will stay put now, or try to move somewhere else. If they do move, however, I hope the NFL makes them change their names. If we have to shift franchises around, the way to do it is the way they did the Cleveland to Baltimore move, where the team moving leaves its original name with the city, and gets a new name for the new place. That's much to be preferred than the Baltimore to Indianapolis model. The Colts name should have stayed in Baltimore, just as the Browns name stayed in Cleveland.

Of course, the best model of all is Green Bay, where the team is owned by the city and the fans and will never move. Would that we had more of those... but I fear the NFL would never allow it.
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Listen To This

Got some exciting news for Wild Cards fans... and for fans of audiobooks.

We've got a new deal in place for Wild Cards audiobooks. This time we've signed with Random House Audio, the same good folks who have been bringing you the great audiobook versions of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, as well as ROGUES, DANGEROUS WOMEN, and my other anthologies.

Brilliance Audio did the audio editions of the first two volumes in the series, WILD CARDS and ACES HIGH, the last one coming out in 2011. Random House will be picking up the series with the third volume, JOKERS WILD, the first of our full-on mosaic novels.



Luke Daniels was the reader for the two Brilliance volumes, and did a fine job. But as long time fans of the series know, the Wild Cards books are team efforts featuring interwoven stories by a number of different writers set against a common background. Even in a shared world, however, not everything is shared; every writer has his own characters, and every character has his own voice.

Random House Audio wants to capture that with these new audiobooks. Instead of a single reader, therefore, JOKERS WILD and the volumes to follow will feature a multiplicity of narrators, a different voice for every viewpoint character.

JOKERS WILD, the first of our full mosaics, is a seven-way collaboration, set on the fortieth anniversary of the first Wild Cards Day in New York City. All the action takes place in twenty-four hours, and is seen through seven sets of eyes. The writers (and their respective viewpoint characters) were Lewis Shiner (Fortunato), Melinda M. Snodgrass (Roulette), John Jos. Miller (Wraith), Edward Bryant (Sewer Jack), Leanne C. Harper (Bagabond), Walton Simons (Demise), and your truly (Hiram Worchester).

We've assembled a very exciting group of readers to give them voice. You'll hear:

Prentice Onayemi, reading Fortunato,
Pam Grier, reading Roulette,
Molly Quinn, reading Wraith,
Ray Porter, reading Sewer Jack,
Felicia Day, reading Bagabond,
Stephen McHattie, reading Demise,
Ron Donachie, reading Hiram Worchester.

Recording is taking place in London, Edinburgh, Denver, Taipei, Toronto, Burbank, and Los Angeles; we went all around the world to assemble this team.

I can hardly wait to hear how this amazing group of actors bring our characters to life.