I don't follow comics closely these days, but do buy an issue from time to time, and of course I do have still have huge affection for the characters of my lost youth. So I was puzzled recently when one of my readers emailed me to ask what I thought about what Marvel had done to Spider-Man. I didn't know what Marvel had done to Spider-Man, but I was curious enough to Google, and pretty soon I found out. Bloody hell. I hate this, and judging from the discussions I am seeing on various blogs, I am not alone. Retconning sucks. Leave the goddamned continuity ALONE, for chrissakes. What happened, happened. Take an old character in a new direction, fine, cool, but don't go back and mess around with the character's past. It's a breach of trust with your audience, as I see it. The DC universe has never really recovered from the Crisis on Infinite Earths, despite all the Crises that have followed, and I think the Marvel universe, and Spidey in particular, will be a long time recovering from this decision. So that's my two cents. In a nutshell: boo, hiss, shame on you, Marvel. If I had a rotten tomato, I would throw it.
And here's a promise you can write in blood. The Wild Cards universe will never be retconned. What happened happened, and will continue to have happened, no matter what might happen in the future.
On other fronts, there's a nice new review of HUNTER'S RUN up at http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2008/01/hunters-run-by-george-r-r-martin.html
The political season is well underway. I haven't made any political posts here as yet, but be warned, they will be coming. That's one of the reasons I started this Not-A-Blog, you may recall. So far, I haven't decided which Dem to support in this year's presidential contest. I was leaning toward Bill Richardson, who has been a superb governor for New Mexico, but Bill is out of it now, so I guess I'll have to find a new candidate. Obama and Edwards both interest me. I am lukewarm about Hillary. I wish she had come out stronger against the war.
The best thing about this election, no matter who wins, is that come 2009, we will finally be rid of the worst president in all of American history, that malignant moron George W. Bush.
The new Wild Cards book, INSIDE STRAIGHT, will be out in less than two weeks. The official pubdate is January 22. Here's a shout-out for all of you New Mexicans, and for readers in surrounding states as well -- we'll be having a big launch party and signing for INSIDE STRAIGHT at Albuquerque's Page One Bookstore on Saturday, February 2, at 2:00 pm. I will be on hand to autograph books, and so will Melinda Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, Ian Tregillis, Daniel Abraham, Caroline Spector, Carrie Vaughn, and Michael Cassutt. That's eight of the nine contributors to the book, and you can get your copy signed by all of us. Only the elusive and enigmatic S.L. Farrell will be missing. We understand that S.L. will be down in Brazil searching for his lost brother Matthew, who was last seen paddling up the Amazon in search of... oh, wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that.
Those of you who can't make it to Albuquerque for the INSIDE STRAIGHT signing can still get autographed copies of the book by mail order. Just give Page One a call, or order online through their website at http://www.page1book.com/ All of the attending authors (including me) will be pleased to sign copies of their other titles as well, but you will need to buy a copy of INSIDE STRAIGHT.
In Hollywood, the writer's strike goes on and on, but David Letterman's company has signed an independent deal with the WGA, as has United Artists, owned by Tom Cruise. So let's have a round of applause for Letterman and Cruise. And remember
Speaking of YouTube, all four segments from the Wild Cards panel at the 1988 Worldcon in New Orleans are now up there, so if you'd like to know the secrets of the Bandersnatch and the Howler Revenge Squad, head on over to YouTube and search for Wild Cards.
Who will be the new American Hero?