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GRRM Live Journal

  • A New Award for Old Words
    Saturday was fun. I drove down to the beautiful Tamaya Resort on the Santa Ana Pueblo, north of Albuquerque, to attend the annual gathering of the HWA... no, not that HWA (the Horror Writers Association, who had their own gathering in May on the Queen Mary), and no, not that other HWA (the Historical Writers Association) either... but the newest HWA, the Historical Writers of America. My faithful minions Lenore Gallegos and Marisa X. Jimenez came with me.



    Tamaya is just stunning, and the food was amazing for a hotel banquet. The company was great as well. I love a good historical, and I was pleased to meet some of the people who write them. And my dear friend Melinda Snodgrass was the featured speaker after the feast.

    And then they gave me an award: I'm the first (well, one of the first) recipient of the PastWords Award for Historical Fantasy. HWA had a rather handsome bronze trophy made up, with a writer and a reader flanking an hourglass. I'm told the award was designed by Gage Prentiss, the artist who designed the H.P. Lovecraft Statue that's to go up in Providence (for more info about that project, see here: http://www.weirdprovidence.org/statue.html )

    The other winners of this year's PastWords Awards were a distinguished lot, whose number included Larry McMurtry and Congressman John Lewis, both of whom I would have loved to meet. Alas, neither one was able to attend.

    Here's a shot of Melinda and me at the awards banquet with HWA founder Theresa Guzman Stokes (who goes by 'Soni'), and a close up of the award.



    It was a fun evening.

    If you'd like to know more about the Historical Writers of America, they have a website here: http://historicalwritersofamerica.org/

    I do think they need to change their name, though. All these HWAs are confusing. Way back when, I was actually a founding member of the horror writers group under its original name: the Horror and Occult Writers League, or HOWL. A much more original and creative name, I thought, but they got stuffy and opted for 'dignity.' They should go back to HOWL, I say... and maybe one of the historical groups should call itself the Historical Authors instead of writers, which would make them HAA... but then they'd get confused with a comedy writers organization... oh, well, I don't know.

    In any case, I appreciate the award, and all the kind words about my work. It's kind of cool to learn that even writers of honest to god real historical fiction and non-fiction enjoy my own fake histories.

  • Meow Wolf Conquers Las Vegas
    Meow Wolf invaded Las Vegas last weekend.

    No, not the historic old railroad town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, where Doc Holliday and Hoodoo Brown once prowled the streets, but that gaudy newcomer in the desert, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    As part of the weekend festival called Life Is Beautiful, Meow Wolf took over an defunct motel and redid the courtyard and all the rooms in their own surreal and inimitable style.

    You can see some of the rooms here:
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/see-21-interactive-rooms-at-art-motel-for-life-is-beautiful-video/

    Alas, alack, I gather that Life Is Beautiful only lasted the weekend (life, it would seem, must go back to being whatever it is the rest of the year), and the Meow Wolf installation was only temporary, so if you missed it, you're out of luck.

    (I would have told you earlier, but I did not know myself).

    There's still plenty of time to come to Santa Fe and see the original Meow Wolf, however.

    And if you can't, well, cross your fingers -- Meow Wolf may soon be coming to a city near you.

  • Win One, Lose One
    Life is... messy... on this football Sunday.

    The Jets won. To the astonishment of all, or at least of me. What's more, they won in dominating fashion over the Miami Dolphins. Does this mean they are a much better team than expected, and a contender for the playoffs? Hoo hah. If you believe that, perhaps I can interest you in buying the Bayonne Bridge. What it really means is that there is no team team in the NFL so bad that Jay Cutler cannot make them look good.

    So Gang Green won't go 0 - 16 after all. Instead, hey, maybe they will make it to 4 - 12. Thing is, at 0 - 16 they would have the first overall pick in the draft and a shot at the franchise qb they have been looking for since Joe Namath. At 4- 12, all the good qbs will be gone and the Jets will be facing the future with the same cast they have now.

    That being said, it is always nice to watch the Jets beat the Fins, our original rivals.

    As for the Giants game... Big Blue could very well finish 4 - 12 as well. After trailing 14 - 0 and looking lifeless, they came roaring back to take the lead, but could not hold it. When the defense plays great, the offense does nothing. When the offense comes alive, the defense fails. And really Odell, the catches were great, but what the hell was with that first "celebration?" Stupid.

    No, not a good Sunday in football land. A gut-wrenching loss, and a win that will hurt more than it helps. This looks like a looooooooooooooooooooooong season.

  • Dare I Eat A Peach?
    Yesterday another birthday came and went.

    (And thanks to all those who sent me cards and emails. You're very kind. Love you all).

    I had a good day with family and friends, but...

    69

    Really.

    Urk.

    How did that happen?

    Seems like only yesterday I was one of the Young Turks of Science Fiction.

    What a long strange trip it's been...

    And I still have a ways to go, I hope. Lots of stories still to tell.

    (And yes, Mr. Prufrock, I still eat peaches).

  • And Then There Were Five...
    ... GAME OF THRONES successor shows, that is.

    Truth be told, we've had five scripts in various stages of development for months. Which I believe I mentioned...



    But now at last all the deals are signed, and it can be told. BRYAN COGMAN has come on board to pen the fifth of the successor shows. James Hibberd broke the news on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

    http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/20/game-thrones-bryan-cogman-5th-prequel/

    Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He's been part of the show since the beginning... since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer. Less formally, he has also been GOT's "Keeper of the Lore," the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that). He's written more episodes of GAME OF THRONES than anyone but Dan & David... including some of our very best ones. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone.



    I'd love to tell you more about the series Bryan will be working on... but we haven't done that for the other four successor shows, so we shouldn't for this one either. All in good time.

    I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff. Bryan's series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I'll be working with him every step of the way; we're going to be co-creating the show.

    Meanwhile, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein, and Carly Wray are all at work on the other four successor shows. I've been working with them as well (some more closely than others), and I'm excited by some of the ideas they're coming up with. HBO should have a wealth of material to choose from. (And that's not even counting the four weird-ass series concepts I've come up on my own, just for the hell of it. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and maybe ten times as many in Westeros and the lands beyond the narrow seas).

    You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network... but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020... and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe... but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me.

    For now, suffice it to say that Bryan Cogman has signed on, and we're thrilled.



  • Emmy Winners
    Congratulations to all the winners of this year's Emmy Awards. And especially to my friends at HBO, which once again led all other networks in number of nominations and number of victories.

    It was a great show this year, I thought. Yes, even without GAME OF THRONES. Stephen Colbert made a terrific host. I especially enjoyed his opening number.

    A strong lineup of nominees this year gave us some great winners... though, as always, that also means some equally deserving finalists wound up as losers. WESTWORLD especially was robbed, as was STRANGER THINGS. But it IS an honor just to be nominated, and the time will come for both of those shows, as it finally did for GAME OF THRONES. The big winners this year were Hulu's HANDMAID'S TALE (adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood) and HBO's BIG LITTLE LIES (adapted from the novel by Liane Moriarity). ((Notice the common denominator there? BOOKS! Do a faithful adapatation of a great book, and you can't go wrong)). I was also pleased to see BLACK MIRROR get some love, especially for its brilliant "San Junipero" episode.



    GAME OF THRONES, of course, was not eligible this year, having shifted from April to August. Which meant that, for the first time in seven years, I was not actually at the awards in LA. Instead Parris and I watched from home. It felt kind of strange not to be there, truth be told. Not bad, just strange. It was actually sort of relaxing. The Emmy weekend can be very exciting, but it is also exhausting, even the parties... the heat, the crowds, the noise. The red carpet seems to get longer (and hotter) every year. Maybe that's an ordeal that should be left for the younger and more photogenic members of our television community.

    Will I be back next year, or the year after, or the year after that? Time will tell. Emmy is a fickle goddess who bestows her kisses where she will. But either way, I'm good.

    ((Comments on the Emmys welcome. Off topic comments will be deleted)).

  • Tea at Worldcon
    That Finnish Worldcon wasn't all vodka and beer. It was also tea!

    Maybe you missed the fun in Helsinki. If so, you certainly missed my guest appearance on TEA & JEOPARDY, Emma and Peter Newman's Hugo (and Alfie) Award winning podcast.

    But have no fear, it's on line now:

    http://teaandjeopardy.geekplanetonline.com/podcast/bonus-episode-live-tea-and-jeopardy-show-worldcon-75/

    Enjoy. I know I did.

  • Sunday Blues
    Football sucks. At least this season.

    It is becoming clear that I am not going to get much joy from watching the NFL this year. The Jets lost again yesterday, 45-20, in humiliating fashion. They managed to hang with the Raiders for most of the first half, until muffing a punt in the last minute of the first half. It was all downhill from there. Oakland repeatedly ran the ball right up the gut of our D, through the zones where David Harris and Sheldon Richardson once patrolled. I think 0 - 16 is a real possibility.

    I have more hope for the Giants, but judging by last week's loss to the Cowboys, it may be a false hope. We will see what happens tonight against the Lions.

    And I can't even enjoy the pregame show any more, sad to say. For years... decades... I have been a devoted fan of ESPN's NFL COUNTDOWN show on Sunday. But last season the show lost Tom Jackson, and with it much of its appeal. And this season they have retired Chris Berman as well. After two weeks, I've had enough. I say it's spinach, and I say to hell with it.

  • Another Sadness
    I've been trying for several days to write something about the death of Len Wein.

    It's been hard. The words stick in my throat. Len was not just a professional colleague, as Jerry Pournelle was. Len was a friend. An old, dear friend. He lived in LA and I lived in Santa Fe, so we never saw each other more than a few times a year, but I cherished all the time I spent with him and his wife, Chris Valada. I don't have a bad memory of Len, and I doubt that anyone does. He was a sweet, kind, funny man, and a joy to be around, to share a meal with (even though he always refused to "eat anything that looked like itself").

    Len and I went way way back. We were both there when comics fandom was being born, and we met for the first time in a place called the Workingman's Circle, at the 1964 New York Comicon. The first comicon... and Len Wein was one of the kids who made it happen, one of the organizers, while I was the first fan to send in $1.50 for a membership. We were both in high school at the time. Many years later, at a San Diego Comicon with its 150,000 members, I turned to Len and sad, "See what you did?" He just laughed and replied, "Who knew?"

    You don't need me to tell you about his career, his professional accomplishments, his creations. If you don't know who Len Wein is, you've never read a comic book. He created Wolverine, the New X-Men, Swamp Thing, the Human Target, Lucius Fox, and, oh, about five hundred other characters. Maybe a thousand. Most of those were created under the old work-made-for-hire contracts so common in the comics industry when Len stared out, so he had no ownership of any of them, and made very little, if anything, from all the movies and TV shows that featured them. (Lucius Fox was the exception to that, since he was created later, under a contract that gave the creator more rights, In one of the little ironies of life in the comics biz, Len made more money from Lucius Fox than he ever saw from Wolverine). If it had been me, it would have made me incredibly bitter to see my creations making billions while I got some loose change, but Len never bitched about it. He knew the rules when he signed the contracts, he would always say. And he loved seeing his creations on the big and little screens. There was no bitterness in the man, and no anger that I ever saw.

    He loved comics, and he loved life, and I'm just one of the many who loved him.

    ((Comments allowed, but only about Len)).

  • Who Fears Death Finds Its Scriptwriter
    We've found our scriptwriter for WHO FEARS DEATH, the television series we're developing for HBO based on the award-winning novel by Nnedi Okorafor.

    His name is SELWYN SEYFU HINDS. He's written television, film, comics, journalism, history. He's a producer as well, and will be a co-executive producer on WHO FEARS DEATH, as well as writing the pilot. We're very excited to have him aboard... and to finally be able to announce it, now that his deal has closed (these things take a while).





    You can find out more about him on IMDB, or hear him speak (though not about WHO FEARS DEATH, not yet) here: http://www.blackisonline.com/2015/02/the-jam-ep-15-w-selwyn-seyfu-hinds/

    It was not an easy selection. We considered dozens of terrific writers, finally winnowed it down to half a dozen strong finalists, and interviewed each of them at length. I was not able to be in LA for the interviews myself, thoughI took part by phone... but executive producers Michael Lombardo and Angela Mancuso, our development executives from HBO, and of course Nnedi Okorafor were all in the room for every interview. All of us loved what Selwyn had to say about WHO FEARS DEATH, and how he would like to bring it to the screen. It's a powerful book, but not an easy adaptation by any means... but we think we've found the right writer for the assignment.

    I was also pleased to see Michael Lombardo and Angela Mancuso finally credited in the news stories about Selwyn and WHO FEARS DEATH, since the last round of stories made it sound as if I was doing it all by myself. Even now, though, some of these stories are getting it backwards, talking about how I "added" Lombardo and Mancuso. Ah, no... rather, they (and Nnedi) added me. This was their project from the start, I'm the new guy in the boat. But I'm thrilled to be here, and I'm excited to be working with Michael, Angela, Nnedi, and now Selwyn. We all share the same goal: to make this extraordinary novel into an extraordinary television series.



    ((I will leave comments open, but only for discussion of WHO FEARS DEATH. All off topic comments will be deleted)).