No Draft For Me
I am looking forward to having a great time this weekend at Stokercon... but I am a little bummed that it's happening on the same weekend as the NFL Draft, which I usually watch gavel to gavel.
I guess the members of the HWA are not into NFL football. Feh. How can they understand the true nature of horror unless they're fans of the New York Jets?
I guess I will need to get by this year without my annual dose of Chris Berman and Mel Kiper. I do plan to check in from time to time. Surely the Queen Mary has ESPN.
If wishes were fishes, both of my teams would land running backs. I want the Jets to draft Leonard Fournette with the sixth overall pick, and the Giants to take Christian McCaffery. I loves me a good running game. Smashmouth football rules!
Many of the mocks are projecting that both teams will get tight ends instead: OJ Howard to Gang Green, David Njoku to Big Blue. That would be good as well. A great TE can make a huge difference.
What the G-Men need most of all, of course, is a huge road-grinder of an offensive lineman.
The Jets need everything.
A Horrifying Announcement
A long long time ago, in the projects of Bayonne, New Jersey, I fell in love.
I fell in love with comic books and superheroes, thanks to Stan Lee and Julie Schwartz. I fell in love with science fiction, thanks to Robert A. Heinlein, Andre Norton, and Eric Frank Russell. I fell in love with fantasy, thanks to Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, and J.R.R. Tolkien. And I fell in love with monsters and scary stories (later in life, I'd learn to call them 'horror' or weird fiction, but as a kid, they were just monster stories to me)... thanks to a gentleman out of Providence who had died before I was born.
I first encountered the work of H.P. Lovecraft in a paperback anthology entitled BORIS KARLOFF'S FAVORITE HORROR STORIES. I knew Boris from his Frankenstein movies and from TV's THRILLER, the scariest show on television at the time, but I had never heard of HPL until I read "The Haunter of the Dark" in that volume. I had never read a story that scared me more... so of course I sought out more Lovecraft wherever I could find it (not an easy task in those days). No werewolf, no vampire, no thing going bump in the night could give me chills to equal those provided by the cosmic horrors that Lovecraft evoked in tales like "The Whisperer in Darkness," "The Colour Out of Space," "The Shadow Out of Time," "The Rats In the Walls," "The Strange High House in the Mist," and so many more. I have read a lot of horror since, some good, some bad, some indifferent... but only the best work of Stephen King has ever equalled Lovecraft, and that in a very different way.
Our world of imaginative fiction is fortunate in having several terrific writer's workshops specializing in science fiction and fantasy, where aspiring authors can hone their talents and learn from established professionals... but New Hampshire's Odyssey workshop is one of the few that gives equal emphasis to horror, to the monsters and scary stories.
I'm excited to announce that I will be funding a new horror-writing scholarship for the Odyssey workshop. Founded 22 years ago, Odyssey’s six-week program is held each summer on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Combining intensive, advanced lectures with in-depth feedback on students’ manuscripts, Odyssey has become legendary for the challenges it sets for students and the enthusiasm with which they meet those challenges. And all that writing, learning, critiquing, and sweat yields great results. Among Odyssey's alumni are New York Times bestsellers, Amazon bestsellers, and award winners.
It’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.
The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. Let us be clear: we are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory... though if some candidates choose to include them, that's fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that HPL displayed in his day, something that goes beyond the tired tropes of werewolves, vampires and zombies, into places strange and terrifying and never seen before. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.
The Miskatonic will be a full scholarship, given annually, and covering tuition, fees, and lodging for a single student each year. The award will not be limited by age, race, sex, religion, skin color, place of origin, or field of study. The only criteria will be literary. A panel of three judges will select the winner from among the applicants who have demonstrated financial need, solely on the basis of their story samples. Since this year's class of students has already been selected from among the pool of applicants, the Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded for the first time next year, to a student from the class of 2018.
H.P. Lovecraft himself during his lifetime gave generously of his time and talent to many a younger writer, including Frank Belknap Long, Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, and many more. It is our hope that the ongoing annual Miskatonic Scholarship will provide the same sort of encouragement and inspiration to a new generation of writers, for all the long dark nights ahead.
George R.R. Martin
I am off to California tomorrow.
First stop will be Long Beach, for Stokercon, the annual gathering of the Horror Writers Association and the presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards. (That's the one that looks like a creepy house, as opposed to the new World Fantasy Award, which looks like a creepy tree). This year's Stokercon will be on the Queen Mary, which I last visited for a Nebula Awards banquet in... ohmigod, could it really have been 1996? Where do the years go? (Thinking back, that must have been a few months before A GAME OF THRONES was published. Little did I dream how much my life was about to change).
I love old ocean liners (modern cruise ships not so much), so banqueting with my brothers and sisters in horror on the Queen should be a hoot and a half.
After that, it's down to San Diego for a fundraising event for Clarion. I'll be having a conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson.
Alas, I'm told the event is already sold out.
And, sorry, no, I will not be signing... just talking.
We've updated the video page of the Jean Cocteau website, and you can now view my interview with John Scalzi at http://jeancocteaucinema.com/exclusive-video/ -- along with a number of the older author events, for you poor benighted souls who live beyond the borders of the Land of Enchantment.
All the videos are also available on the JCC's new YouTube channel.
Autographed copies of THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE, REDSHIRTS, and OLD MAN'S WAR are available for mailorder from the JCC website, along with hundreds of other signed books.
John was a great guest, and a terrific interview. Here's hoping we can lure him back to New Mexico again in the future, maybe as GOH at a Bubonicon.
Francis Menotti was at the Jean Cocteau over the weekend, and amazed us all. This is the third time we've had Francis at the JCC, and he always does a great show. He performed the trick that stumped Penn & Teller, of course, along with a lot of other tricks that stumped the rest of us, including me. Always a fun time when Menotti is in time.
Alas, alack, a couple of the other magic acts that we've been looking forward to -- the ones I blogged about here http://grrm.livejournal.com/528565.html -- have vanished from our schedule, at least temporarily.
The astonishing Misty Lee, one of our faves, was scheduled to return on June 9-10, but she's run into a scheduling conflict with a television appearance, so we're having to push her visit back until September. And the Naked Magicians, scheduled for May 30, are gone as well. We lost our venue and partner for that one, and the Aussies are too big for our tiny JCC stage and auditorium. We still want to bring them to Santa Fe, but right now we cannot say when and where. Watch this space.
So... there's a bit less magic on our schedule, for the none, but we still have some amzing special events coming up at the JCC. TERRY BROOKS will be here for an author event on June 17, and RICHARD KADREY on July 13. July 7 - 9 we have the GAME OF THRONES season 6 marathon.
But much soon, do not forget, Max Headroom will be coming for our M-M-M-MAXATHON! That's May 13 - 20, with Michael Cassutt, Steve Roberts, and Matt Frewer... and my own, never before seen or heard, Max Headroom episodes. Don't miss it.
More Author Videos
We've added two more videos from recent author events at the Jean Cocteau to the JCC website:
CONNIE WILLIS, interviewed by Melinda M. Snodgrass
JOHN NICHOLS, interviewed by Lorene Mills
If you weren't able to be with us in person, you can check them out at
Connie and I have known each other for decades, of course, and she's always a delight. John Nichols, however, I've only met once or twice previously, and the last time was probably twenty years ago at an event up in Colorado organized by Ed Bryant. Nichols is a fascinating man, however, and he had a lot to say. Even if you don't know his work, you should find him interesting.
The video of my own talk with John Scalzi is not ready yet, but should be up soon.
Autographed books by Connie Willis, Melinda Snodgrass, John Nichols, John Scalzi, and myself are all available from the JCC website, of course. Along with lots more from other authors.
A recent comment from a "fan" said, in rather strong words, that he was not interested in the Jean Cocteau or anything that went on there. Fair enough. No one said you had to be. Maybe you should skip the posts with the JCC icon on top.
Thing is, though, that Santa Fe cares about the Jean Cocteau... I've had many people tell me that they love our little theatre... and more to the point, I care as well. The Jean Cocteau doesn't bring me big wheelbarrows of money. Far from it. If we ever manage to get it into the black, I may die of shock. It is, however, a source of joy... for our patrons, for our city, and certainly for myself. And in the end, we all need some joy in our lives.
Wild Cards Dealt
Gregory Noveck, executive producer on the Wild Cards television series in development at Universal, weighs in on his love of the series in a new post on the WC blog at:
And over at Tor, you can weigh in yourself on ACES HIGH, the second volume of the series.
Scalzi in Santa Fe
Bestseller, Hugo Award winner, former SFWA president, blogger, bon vivant, and the world's leading expert on taping bacon to cats... John Scalzi is a man of many parts.
He made a whirlwind visit to Santa Fe yesterday, and the Jean Cocteau was thrilled to host him.
He did not actually sing in the rain. But he did play a ukulele. And he talked. And laughed. Ate a churro and some carne adovada. And signed a LOT of books.
(That's me and Steve Gould with him in the picture)
If you couldn't be there, hey, no problem. We'll be putting up a video of our talk. And we made him sign stock before we let him go, so you can get your autographed copies of THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE, OLD MAN'S WAR, and REDSHIRTS (winner of The Big One) from the Jean Cocteau website.
Next up: magician Francis Menotti.
Cool Times at the JCC
We had a great event on Saturday with John Nichols. Terrific writer and fascinating guy, whose work truly captures the sights, sounds, and spirit of Northern New Mexico. Lorene Mills did a wonderful job interviewing him. We should have the video up on the Jean Cocteau website soon.
And tonight, at 7pm, we have JOHN SCALZI flying in. John's touring for his new novel, THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE, and we're thrilled to have him.
See you at the theatre!
Last night's episode of THE EXPANSE was really strong, I thought. And I was pleased to hear that the show has been renewed for a third season.
Jimmy Corey's books and the TV series based on them have both gotten a fair amount of acclaim -- awards attention and the like -- but not nearly enough, imnsho. The show had a good first season, but it's only gotten stronger in season two. If it keeps on at this level, it deserves to be ranked among the best SF shows of all time. Acting, directing, writing... and my god, the look of it. The space stuff, in particular.
BABYLON 5, FIREFLY, and the various STAR TREK successor shows were all spiffy looking in their day, but THE EXPANSE is to those shows as they were to the original TREK, and as the original TREK was to ROCKY JONES: SPACE RANGER.
Speaking of Rocky, though, that is the one thing EXPANSE lacks: Pinto Vortando.