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Odds and Ends

I have been buried in work since getting back from England and Portugal. So much stuff piles up when I am away for any length of time, and there are only so many hours in the day. There were a number of subjects I wanted to make long Not A Blog posts about... but the time just wasn't there, and I needed my energy for other things.

Anyway, it's too late to do the posts now, but let me at least touch on a number of the things I would have talked about at length, if I had found the time.

The Hugos. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS made the Hugo shortlist for Best Novel. I am very pleased by that. DANCE has received a number of awards and honors since it was published, not to mention the best reviews of my career (and I have always been pretty well reviewed), but I'm an old fanboy, and the Hugo is special to me. It's the Big One: the oldest award in the field, and the most meaningful, since it's voted by the fans. So I am thrilled to be on the ballot. And I'm just as thrilled... well, no, not really, ALMOST just as thrilled... that one of the books DANCE will be contending against is LEVIATHAN WAKES, by James S.A. Corey, who is really my friends Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. LEVIATHAN's a terrific read as well. So congrats to Corey, and to the other books on the ballot. And to Anne Groell and Michael Komarck, nominated for the first time for Best Editor (Long Form) and Best Professional Artist, respectively. Long deserved. Finally, there's Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, where HBO's GAME OF THRONES is a finalist. I'm pleased by that as well. Congrats to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and their terrific team at HBO. Now all we have to do is beat four major motion pictures with budgets that dwarf ours... though that's probably an easier go than winning in Short Form, where I think the double juggernaut of the Neil Gaiman episode of DR. WHO will steamroller all opposition. Anyway... win, lose, or draw, it IS fun to have a horse in the race. Thanks to everyone who nominated.

The NFL. Yes, I did watch the rest of the draft. Every bloody round. Of course, since I do not follow college football, the deeper we get into the draft, the more the names are just names to me. Overall, I came away with the feeling that the Giants had a better draft than the Jets, but only time will tell. I was interested to see how many second generation players came out this year... the sons of players I once cheered on. Dave Meggett's son. Al Toon's son. And I see the younger son of Phil Simms has just been signed by the Jets as a free agent. Talk about making me feel old. I remember when their fathers were rookies. sigh

The TV show. I finished and delivered my script for season three of GAME OF THRONES. It's episode 307, with the working title "Autumn Storms." David and Dan seem to like it. Casting is in full swing for the new season, so I'm watching auditions every night. Froggy may be turning up soon, but don't hold your breath. I'm too busy to devote much time to whipping up obscure clues.

New deals. Gardner Dozois and I have sold three new original anthologies: a big crossgenre anthology called ROGUES, in the tradition of our old WARRIORS anthology, and a set of paired Retro-SF anthologies called OLD MARS and OLD VENUS. Or did I mention that already? Sorry, all you aspiring writers out there, they are by invitation only. I wish I had time to read unsolicited submissions, but I don't.

Old deals. Our DANGEROUS WOMEN anthology is edging toward completion. Waiting on some rewrites and one last major story. We'll likely be late delivering that one.

WILD CARDS. Close to a deal for a new original and four more reprints. Meanwhile, Melinda Snodgrass and I are working on volume twenty-two, LOWBALL, a sequel to FORT FREAK. And speaking of FORT FREAK, that one is out in paperback. Melinda is also scripting the Wild Cards movie for SyFy films. And a new Wild Cards comic miniseries is in the works.

Next trip. Seems like I just got home, and I don't believe all my suitcases are unpacked yet, but Miscon in Missoula, Montana is coming up soon, so I'll be hopping on a plane again in a couple of weeks. I hope to see some old friends there, and make some new ones.

Reading. I just finished THE KING'S BLOOD, the second volume of Daniel Abraham's "Dagger and Coin" series. Books like this remind me why I love epic fantasy. Yes, I'm prejudiced, Daniel is a friend and sometime collaborator... but damn, that was a good book. Great world, great characters, thoroughly engrossing story. The only problem was, it ended too soon. I want more. I want to know what happens to Cithrin, and Marcus, and Geder, and Clara. And I want to know NOW. God damn you, Daniel Abraham. I know for a fact that you are writing more Expanse books with Ty, and more urban fantasies as M.L.N. Hanover, and doing short stories for some hack anthologist, and scripting some goddamn COMIC BOOK, and even sleeping with your wife and playing with your daughter. STOP ALL THAT AT ONCE, and get to writing on the next Dagger and Coin. I refuse to wait.

(Yes, for the irony impaired, the paragraph above is me being snarky. I WAS disappointed when Daniel's book was over, though... and the moment the next volume is available, I intend to snatch it up at once. Meanwhile, there are other good books to read).

Calendar. Just got advance copies of the 2013 Ice & Fire calendar, illustrated by Marc Simonetti. My, but it's gorgeous. The rest of you will be able to buy calendars in July. As in previous years, the calendar will debut at the San Diego Comicon. And yes, I will be at the San Diego Comicon again. Not for the whole thing, no. San Diego was not on my schedule this year, but HBO wants me there for the GAME OF THRONES panel, so I'm going to squeeze in a quick visit on my way to Spain.

More calendar. I've been seeing some preliminary sketches from Gary Gianni for the 2014 calendar, and that one is going to be a knockout as well.

THE LANDS OF ICE & FIRE. Map book. In the pipeline. My part is done, now the mapmakers and artists are doing theirs.

THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. Concordance. Working on it. Just sent a big chunk to Bantam.

WINDS OF WINTER. Yes, I'm working on that too. At the moment, I am writing about the Dothraki. More than that, I sayeth not, you know I don't like to talk about this stuff.

Other stuff? Yes, lots of other stuff... but it's late and I'm tired, so this will have to hold you for now. More odds and more ends another day. Talk amongst yourselves.


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May. 12th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
It is so supernatural
It is really amazing to just imagine even some small flash-back out of such monstrous activity. And that was even without saying anything about all that mystic other stuff. Thank you for sharing all that information.

And don’t be so exhaustedly reckless. Please take at least some time for fine rest. You are so great but still a human being. No need to be on the constant rash just for the sake of us your greedy fans. We shall stay and wait as much time as it takes
Sren Aske Hjorth
May. 12th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Dagger And Coin
Sometimes great authors lose touch with the feeling of being a fan.
Good to see, not that I doubted, you on the other side of the (a bit ironic) waiting fence.

Now, I'm actually considering buying the Dagger And Coin books.
Mirella van der Made
May. 12th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
thank you for the updates, casting suggestion
Hi, thank you for the updates! I was wondering if for the TV series real singers will be cast for the singers, instead of (or next to) actors. If so, there is a long list of very good ones that are suitable. I am just mentioning, for male singers, Glen Hansard (is in Ireland already), Liam Finn, Eddie Vedder, Mike Patton, Chris Cornell, Trend Reznor, Patrick Duff (lived in the woods), or Jonathan Wilson. That would be cool :)

groetjes from the Netherlands,
Mirella :)
Mirella van der Made
May. 30th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: thank you for the updates, casting suggestion
I have to add I love that The National could contribute to the series :). (and on a totally unrelated side note: so cool that there are cats in your books)
May. 12th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for giving me something else to add to the ol' amazon wishlist! Good luck with the writing!
Laura Lavergne
May. 13th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Gave my mom the all of ASOIF to date for an early mother's day gift:D I got her hooked after forcing her to watch season 1 of GoT on HBO:D After seeing the first season (and not having HBO) she'd talk to me frequently about "spoilers" for the characters/story...so I corrupted her muhahaha!!! ...I'm about to go re-read the Arya parts, I'd forgotten how in love I was with Jaqen H'ghar until watching the latest season on HBO:P ***sniffles & holds out hope that red/white haired identity reappears at some point*** The thing I love most about your work is that the characters are so rich! Even the "minor" characters have such great details!
May. 13th, 2012 10:40 am (UTC)
Any news on the collected Dunk and Egg?
May. 13th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
While you were busy
Roy killed it on G.O.T as Hallyne. It was like a Stan Lee cameo. Jerome Flynn and Dotrice together was a wonderful gift.

More nominations on the way? Alfie's portrayal of Theon has been remarkable. The cast is so good, so it's tough to single out just one but Allen has been awesome this year.

Can't wait for[i]Dangerous Women[/i]. The Dunk and Egg stories have become big favorites of mine.
May. 13th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
gosh, you really ARE doing a lot of things!! well, hope they all turn out great, and it's lovley to see that the winds of winter is on it's way to us fans :) also great to hear the preparations for S3 are well under way!
May. 13th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Speaking of "other stuff," was hoping to hear your thoughts on Avengers. Melinda Snodgrass posted on Facebook that she saw it with you and Parris. She said she enjoyed it. You? Me, I loved every minute of it.
May. 13th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
I liked THE AVENGERS a lot... but maybe "loved" is too strong. I do have quibbles.

I definitely want to see it again, this time in 2D. I did not think the 3D added much, and the process made many of the scenes too dark. I am really not in love with today's 3D process. Yes, sometimes it works very well, as on HUGO, but mostly it doesn't.

Lots of lots of great stuff in THE AVENGERS, which most of the world has commented on, so I won't. The action scenes were spectacular, and overall I thought they did very well with Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Nick Fury. All great characters, all handled well, their interactions were one of the best part of the films.

However, I think they wasted the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hawkeye is actually one of my favorite Avengers, so that saddened me. I missed the dynamic from the comics, where it's Hawkeye who is the cynical smartass (not Iron Man), always in conflict with the super straight guy Captain America. I guess, having capitalized on the undeniable talents of Robert Downey Junior to create a terrific character in Movie Iron Man, they did not feel there was room for a second wise-cracking iconoclast. Fine, but it left Hawkeye without a personality. Or much to do.

Same's true of the Black Widow. Scarlett Johanssen looked great in that outfit, but she seemed to be there only as eye candy. The shot in the middle of the battle where she pulls out a pistol was silly. I don't know who this Black Widow was, and I don't think the screenwriter did either. She wasn't the original comic Black Widow, the Russian femme fatale who seduces Hawkeye into trying to kill Iron Man. She wasn't the later comic book Black Widow, who dons a costume, comes over to the good guys, and teams with first Hawkeye and then Daredevil. She was just... there.

My own golden rule for these Marvel movies is simple -- stay with the way Stan Lee did it, and you won't go far wrong. THE AVENGERS should have done that. Hawkeye was not actually a founding member of the group, he came in later... around the same time Iron Man and Thor were leaving. Black Widow came in even later than that. So I would have followed Stan's scenario, left them out of this first movie, and replaced them with... Ant-Man and the Wasp! Who WERE founding members of the Avengers. They wanted a woman in the group, sure, but the Wasp would have done just as well as Black Widow, and Ant-Man... hey, I love Hank Pym.

All that being said... these are, ultimately, just quibbles. I did really like the film. The Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form next year in San Antonio is really going to be a fanboy bloodbath, with AVENGERS, PROMETHEUS, and THE HOBBIT all contending for the same rocket.

'Nuff said.
Ant Man! - stephen1985 - May. 14th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - werthead - May. 17th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rawr_balrog - May. 17th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Ray Feighery
May. 14th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
Just bought tickets for your reading at TOWN HALL here in Seattle in July. We'll also be at Comic-Con so will see you twice in a two week period!
May. 14th, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
Wow! Definitely lots to cover there!

Awesome that you've finished the inital script for your season 3 episode...I'll need to go through Book Three again to see what happens when, so I may 'predict' where season 3 ends, and 4 begins.

Congrats on being listed for Hugo! It would definitely be amazing should you win that one :)

I've had the calendar pre-ordered for quite awhile now. It (as well as other items) will ship in July. Before I started getting the Ice and Fire ones, I quite enjoyed Tolkien ones by Alan Lee and Ted Nasmith.

good to know that Lands of Ice and Fire, and World of Ice and Fire are coming along well.

Winds of Winter - YES. I am glad to recieve an update from the next book. I won't pry you for details (I don't want to be spoiled..debating if I'll read the samples!) but I do hope writing it is going well for you and that there isn't as many bitches and bastards.

I've been following your blog for approx about a year now, not sure if this has been covered or not: could you enlighten us on what your first major con was like, when your readership had begun to take off? I've been to my first one over the weekend and am curious what it's like for the guests.

Glad that things are going well! I'll be sending you a letter through Bantam Dell once I finish 'Dance'.
Thom Roker
May. 14th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
Something that guy said
Daniel Abrahams is not your bitch!

Haha, I have been fielding criticism on your behalf about the vast distances of time between ASOIAF books lately. Even when I tell them that I have been reading/waiting 15 years they seem non-plussed. GRRM, you have waaaaaayyyyyy more fans than before, but they do not care an iota about your extracurricular activities.

Thanks for the update and congratulations on the awards noms. I'm assuming the new Dunk and Egg story will go in Rogues!?!?!?!?
May. 17th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Something that guy said
Dunk & Egg IV will appear in Dangerous Women, not Rogues.

So, so looking forward to that!
May. 14th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on all the good news. I actually just got back from Portugal a couple of days ago myself and was amused to see all the billboards advertising HBO and showing a picture of Joffrey. It felt like there was one on every second street corner in Cascais and Lisbon. It was also nice to visit bookstores and see large displays of your books all in Portuguese. It made having to wait to see the two episodes of Game of Thrones that aired while we were away a little easier to take. :)
May. 14th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
What about a globe of the planet that Westeros is on???
May. 14th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)

Really excited by the map book and everything! Yes, add me also to the list of readers who have been hooked since finding A Game of Thrones when it was the only one released so far, and who have been thrilled to read each new book, but are not at all bothered by a few years between each volume.

Had a great conversation last week with a delivery person at my house about Game of Thrones, and trying not to reveal too many spoilers to his colleague who was thinking about starting watching the show. It's quite fun to try to discuss a TV-MA rated show in front of my six-year-old son in very vague "You remember when.... Oh I can't wait to see the thing about the.... Hee hee!" terms. XD

"Have fun storming the castle!" as they say in The Princess Bride. :)
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George R.R. Martin
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