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Where Am I Now?

And now the latest installment of, "If this isTuesday, that must be Whitechapel."

Jet lags rules, but I think I am in Los Angeles.  Beverly Hills, actually.  A different city, a different world.  But they treat me very well here.

Scotland was grey, wet, rainy, but the Fringe was in full roar.  Music everywhere, and some great shows that we did not have time to see.  (I was especially chuffed at having to miss the James plays, a triptych of quasi-historical dramas about the reigns of the Stuart kings James I, James II, and James III, all of whom came to bad ends.  You'd think the Scotts might have taken the hint and started naming their kings Graham, Rory, Duncan, Alister, Andrew.... anything but bloody James.  But no, the Scots are a stubborn folk.
When something isna working, by damn, they stick with it.

 But I digress. I missed the plays, and most of the Fringe, but I did get rained on, appeared in several hundred selfies with fans, strangers, and the occasional drunk who did not know who the hell I was but wanted a selfie anyway.
I also did two major interviews at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  You can find those on line.  I will post links when I get home.  Signed many books afterwards. I also saw many other terrific authors coming and going, but did not, alas, have time to talk.

In Edinburgh I heard about Robin Williams, which made me very sad.  Never met him, but I loved his work.  We will never see his like again.    We plan to offer free showings of some of his best films at the Cocteau in weeks to come.  DEAD POET'S SOCIETY is my own favorite.  Oh, captain, my captain...

Next was London.  Or rather the Docklands, which are to London as Jersey City and Port Newark are to NYC.  But who cares, it was worldcon... and not only that, but the BIGGEST worldcon in thirty years, finally breaking the attendance record set by the 1984 world com in LA.  (Well, Anaheim).  Worldcon cracks 10,000 at last... it comes twenty years too late, but better late than never.

Would that I could say the growth will continue, but next year's con in Spokane will be lucky to get 3,000.  And the Hugo Losers Party, traditionally hosted by next year's worldcon, was a dismal affair, the worst I've seen since I threw the first of those in 1976 at Big Mac in KC,  Does not bode well for next year.  In the old days a Hugo winner who dared show up at the Hugo Losers party, Hugo in hand, would have been thrown into the hotel pool, or at least had whipped cream sprayed in his hair.  Now all the winners get is... congratulations.

I was one one of them.  "The Rains of Castamere" won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.  David Benioff and Dan Weiss scripted that episode and came down from Belfast to represent, the first time they were able to get to a worldcon.  ORPHAN BLACK -- a terrific show -- also had an episode nominated, and a writer/ producer on hand to accept.  But we were both vast underdogs, since the other four nominees were all episodes of DOCTOR WHO, the 600-point gorilla that has ruled this category since its inception.  "Blackwater" did break the Doctor'es string last year, but that was at San Antonio.  No sane person thought that we had the slightest chance against the Doctor on his home ground, and on his 50th niversary to boot.  Even the BBC must have been dead certain they were going to win, since they sent David Tennant to accept... but when the envelope was opened, it was David and Dan who sprang from their seats and rushed to the stage to grab the rockets.  I don't think anything could have thrilled them more... well, aside from winning the Emmy on Monday, but the odds against that are long.

What they did afterward was even cooler.  D&D did eventually make their way to that dreary Hugo Losers' Party for a belated bow, but they did NOT hang around the empty auditorium for that endless round of group shots of winners and presenters that has somehow become de rigeur after the Hugos of later.  Instead they headed right down to the Fan Village where all the party tents were, and bought a round for all  the fans in the house, to share the joy and celebration.  Now there's a tradition I can get behind.

Anyway, that was cool.  GAME OF THRONES collected its third Hugo in a row, in a stunning upset over DOCTOR WHO.

And now I am LA, wondering if we can do it again in the Emmys, and somehow shock the world by coming up ahead of BREAKING BAD and TRUE DETECTIVE.  They are the overwhelming consensus choices... but so was DOCTOR WHO.

Tune in Monday night, and find out.


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Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
You must be exhausted with all of that traveling! Hope you get some good rest in! :)

Robin's death was definitely so tragic and sad. :(
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
Loncon 3's total membership was over 10,000, but that includes the no-shows and nearly 3,000 supporting members. The number of people at the convention was around 7,500, which was probably a bit less than L.A.con II had in 1984 (those thirty-year-old numbers are not necessarily entirely reliable, so we can't be sure).
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
I met David in the bar with his Hugo, which I thought was nice of him. A thrilling night for them I am sure!

David Tennant was not at the Hugos as an accepter, though I'm sure you are right that he would have accepted if Dcotor Who had won; he was there as a plus one of his father-in-law, Peter Davison.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Congrats and good luck for Monday! I know I will be watching..
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
2015 worldcon
Congratulations on the Hugo and good luck with the Emmys! Will you be attending the worldcon in Spokane, even with your misgivings?
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: 2015 worldcon
Yes, I plan to.
Re: 2015 worldcon - Bob Jenson - Aug. 24th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the Hugo.

All I can say is, I'm a fan of all the shows you're competing with, and were competing with (Doctor Who, Breaking Bad and True Detective), so the fact that 'Game of Thrones' is up against that kind of competition makes it a winner already.

Still though, this latest season of GoT was possibly the best yet.

Good luck!
Mary Ellen Wofford
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
Have always wanted to go to a World Con
But never got there. However, now that my financial responsibilities are getting a little lighter, maybe I can actually get to Spokane! And I won't have any comparison to make so it should be a great time for me.

Selfies seem to be getting out of hand!! hehe
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
Nice to see love for Orphan Black.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
George, if it will make you happy, I will gladly, gladly shove you & yours into a pool to help with this worldcon Hugo Losers nostalgia problem of yours. I'll travel as far as Detroit. Maybe Cleveland or Chicago. Just let me know. I like to help!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Emmy Odds
You weren't lying when you said the odds were long:

"Breaking Bad" - 1/10
"True Detective" - 33/1
"Game of Thrones" - 50/1
"House of Cards" - 50/1
"Mad Men" - 100/1
"Downton Abbey" - 100/1

Emmy's are a joke though and a popularity contest. Would take GoT season 4 over any of those shows in a heart beat!
Patrick Wagner
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
Welcome home
Hey George, glad you had a great trip, welcome back to the states. I was wondering, have you been following the preseason at all for the the NFL?? I know it is still preseason but your teams are winning. When are we going to get some bold predictions?
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Congratulations for acing out Dr. Who.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Robin Hobb Evening
Really enjoyed your interview with Robin Hobb on Tuesday evening. Didn't like to hear what you said about killing more characters in Game of Thrones in the future though!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
It was a pleasure to meet you briefly at Loncon, and I'm glad GoT won rather than Dr Who (and I say this as a longtime DW fan and writer for the franchise!) simply because it has won enough times.

I wish I hadn't had to leave Loncon before the Hugos because that *is* amazingly nice of Benioff and Weiss, and would have been cool to see.

I think you mean *un* chuffed to miss the James Triptych though- chuffed means delighted!

Otherwise, as I said to you on Saturday morning: just keep up the good work, man!
Sean Hall
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC)
As much as I and others love your series, Season 5 of Breaking Bad was some of the best television I've ever seen. They definitely deserve to win it.
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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