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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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David Rosenblatt
Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
Some formidable questions!
Hi George,

I always love your openness to praising other peoples' work outside your own. It is truly telling of your humility and I'm always glad to see it on your [not a] blog. I've been following Orphan Black since the beginning, and adore it ever so much, so I'm glad you do as well. I know that you love Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, and True Detective (as do I), and was wondering a few things:

A. What do you think of their odds of winning the Emmys, and what do you think of them in general? I suppose you're biased, being the mastermind beyond Game of Thrones' conception, but being as objective as possible, can you justify a show other than Game of Thrones winning the Emmy? I regrettably also realize that the odds are heavily stacked against us with the unstoppable force of Breaking Bad's final season, and the immovable object of True Detective's debut season, but hey...it could happen. However, if it doesn't, do you feel the others would be justfiied in their winning?

B. Shorter question. What other shows do you currently love, and perhaps why? As a writer, I'm sure that plays a heavy factor for you, but are there any other aspects of film, or TV making that tend to draw you in?

If you get around to answering these at all, thank you!...I have loved your work for years before the show landed on our TVs, and will continue to do so long after it is concluded.

Thanks again, George!!

Aug. 22nd, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
Orphan Black is such an incredible TV series. A small show doing really big things. Tatiana Maslany is a serious force to be reckoned with. So much talent. And she seems like such a sweet, down to earth, gracious, nice person too. The whole cast is amazing, though. :)

Major congrats on Game of Thrones winning against Doctor Who. There's no way I would have ever guessed that outcome either!
Aug. 22nd, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you had a great time. I'm so happy life is going so well for you, George!!! *hugs*
Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
At least in the UK, thisdoes notmean what you think it means, at least from context. In the UK chuffed means "pleased" not "annoyed". You seem very chuffed with the Hugo win. It looks like GoT is becoming the default winner for the BDP, over Dr Who, despite the greater number of DrWho episodes on the finalists ballot.
Aug. 23rd, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
this last 2 year have been so great for tv series lovers. It not only had great new seasons like game of thrones, house of cards, doctor who and breaking bad, but also some new series like true detective, peaky blinders, penny dreadful and, for me one of the best series i've ever seen, FARGO. Did you have the chance to see it? When we think it can't be as good as the movie, surprise surprise, masterpiece reporting for duty :D
Deegan Klimowicz
Aug. 23rd, 2014 05:09 am (UTC)
Congratulations on beating out Doctor Who on their home turf. I really loved season 4 of GoT and while I'm so excited that you beat the odds on the Hugo I have to root for Breaking Bad because if GoT puts on a season like BB 5.5 did I think that it will win the Emmy against any odd. I wish you the best of luck on Monday though.
Kelsey Preiss
Aug. 23rd, 2014 05:48 am (UTC)
Congrats on the wins! And will be rooting for you for the Emmy's of course! I'd sure say you all deserve those!
Aug. 23rd, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
Ah, thank you for sharing your adventures with us and big congrats on the win! Doctor....who?? :)
Nicholas Packwood
Aug. 23rd, 2014 01:20 pm (UTC)
This word 'chuffed'... I do not think it means what you think it means.
chuffed, adj.(UK, informal) Very pleased or satisfied.
Aug. 23rd, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
Curious minds wanna know
What will you do with your Emmy swag bag. ;-)
Aug. 23rd, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Enjoy the party George!

Also, congrats to yourself and the Thrones crew for the big win. I feel like I am the only one on the planet who does not like Dr. Who so double yay!
Daniel Lucas Pacheco
Aug. 23rd, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
You should include Brazil in your next travel destinations. Here, you rarely meet an young adult who doesn't enjoy GoT, be it the books or the show!
Aug. 23rd, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC)
A Song of Ice and Fire
It is an amazing story in its complexity. A joy to contemplate and read. Hints left here and there of things unsaid. For those who know the path the story will take, the joy is in how the twists and turns get us there. That's where the fun is. Who sits the Iron Throne when it's over is of little concern compared to what happens in between.
MeLlamo Irma
Aug. 23rd, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Emmys: def GOT is going to win

I'm truly convinced that Game of Thrones is going to win the Emmy. It is true I haven't had the chance to watch True Detective but for 15 minutes or so, but (and let me tell you Breaking Bad is so good) Game of Thrones has got everything! The actors are god, scenes are great, everything is so perfectly detailed and the plot is amazing.

The big thing about GOT for me, apart from the fact that you never know who is going to die (I still can remember the shock of Ned Stark's death), it's that this is almost the only fantasy series that can approach to many different people: even my old aunt likes it!!

So, definitely, it's a win for GOT.
Frank Probst
Aug. 24th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'm still miffed that Pedro Pascal didn't get nominated.
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George R.R. Martin
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