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grrm July 21 2014, 21:47

Master Class

For those of you who were unable to travel to Switzerland for NIFFF, Livestream has uploaded my "Master Class" interview and Q&A.

NIFFF was great fun, all in all, though they kept me so busy that I was only able to see one film of the ninety-plus shown at the festival.  Most of the interviews covered the same old ground... but the masterclass got into some areas a bit more substantially, and you may find it interesting.

I had fun doing it, anyway.

If you would like to check it out, go to:



grrm July 21 2014, 16:43

Comicon Is Coming

It seems like I just got back from France and Switzerland... maybe because I just did... and now San Diego Comicon is on top of us.

I'll be there for the whole weekend, doing promotion for HBO, Bantam Spectra, and my various other publishers.  Flying in Wednesday, departing on the following Monday, so if you're going to comicon, you should have plenty of chances to see me, hear me, and get me to scrawl illegibly on your book, graphic novel, Blu-Rays, or body parts.

My schedule:

Wednesday evening, 6pm to 7pm, I will be doing a signing at the AVATAR PRESS booth, autographing copies of the SKIN TRADE graphic novel and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM comic.  (Only those, please.  There will be other places and times to get my other stuff signined).

Thursday, 2:30 to 3:30, I will be appearing in the main autograph area (the Sails) at Table 3, with DONATO GIANCOLA.  The two of us will be signing copies of the 2015 Ice & Fire calendar, which will be making its debut at the convention.

Thursday, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, you can catch me in the Indigo Room, where I'll be joining William Christensen of Avatar to talk about THE SKIN TRADE and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM.  (No signing here, this is just a talk).

Friday, we have the GAME OF THRONES panel in Hall H.  I'll be there, with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss and various members of our cast.  This year CRAIG FERGUSON will be moderating.  Hall H seats 7,000 people... but of course 150,000 people attend comicon, so if you want to see the panel, best get in line... ah... now.  Afterward I will join the cast for interviews and a poster signing and more interviews.

Saturday, 11:00 am to 12 noon, I return to the Sails for a Random House autograph session.  This time I will be at Table 7.  This is the time and place to get your books signed.  Copies will be on sale in the autograph area, if you don't want to drag your old ones to San Diego.

Saturday, 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm, I'll be in Room 6A for a panel on epic fantasy, part of an all-star lineup of panelists with Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, and others.

Sunday, 12:30 to 1:30, back to the floor for another signing.  This time I will be signing copies of the HEDGE KNIGHT and SWORN SWORD graphic novels at the ComiXology booth, on behalf of Jet City Comics.

Sunday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, I will be judging a costume contest sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.

Monday I go home.

Given the sheer numbers of people in San Diego for comicon, I regret to say that I sign autographs ONLY at the designated signings.  There are, you will note, five of them, which means I'll be scrawling my name for five hours at various points through the weekend.  That's about all I can manage.  So if you should happen to see me walking the floor, riding a pedicab through the GasLamp, having a drink or eating my dinner, feel free to smile or wave or say hi, but PLEASE do not ask me to sign anything.  I can only do so much, and I do need some time just to enjoy the con and chill with friends.


See you in San Diego.
calendula_witch July 21 2014, 06:05


We dashed up to Seattle briefly, just an overnight. Went to one of the unofficial Clarion parties, and spent the night with Madame Reverend E, who drove us to said party in her shiny new Tesla-car. Very exciting! She showed off its acceleration. We might have potentially exceeded the speed limit, a time or two. Don’t tell anyone.

Also we spent a lot of time talking about the wedding ceremony, which Madame Reverend E will be performing, or officiating, or celebrating, or whatever you want to call it. She also showed us all her marvelous minister-swag, which is fun and marvelous.

Then we rushed back home and spent the rest of the day working on wedding stuff. Including contacting All The Peoples to get mailing addresses. Well, not All of them…but we made a good start anyway.

And lo, now I am tired.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

grrm July 19 2014, 17:46

Six Days Left

Only six days remain on my big Prizeo fundraiser on behalf of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe.  We've raised some $459,000 as I write, but we're still short of our half-million dollar goal.  So if you have some spare change and/or folding green in your pocket, come help push us over the top with a late surge!


Many of the special incentive prizes have been snapped up... but some remain.

You can still book a brunch with me at San Diego Comicon, a week from Sunday.  (Hand at the Table).

You can still buy my red flame suspenders... yes, the pair I am wearing in the avatar pic above.  (Khaleesi).  They're worn, but they have done good service, and I am sure many of you would look better in 'em than I do.

Also.. some of you may recall that Bantam Spectra changed the cover design of A FEAST FOR CROWS before the book was released, and never used the beautiful Jaime Lannister artwork that Stephen Youll had painted.  But we have some copies of the never-used original covers, and we're offering those as well.   (Stag)


These cover flats have never been used.  A rare collectible, a few of them have turned up on ebay in recent years, sometimes with minimum bids in the thousands of dollars.  And those are unsigned.  Buy one for the wolves, and I'll autograph/ deface it (or not), as you please.  And the money will go to feed the homeless and shelter the wolves... plus buying you more tickets for the grand prize.

The grand prize, of course, remains the same: a trip to Santa Fe from anywhere in the world, a day with me, and a helicopter visit down to Candy Kitchen, New Mexico to see Wild Spirit and visit the wolves.

So join in... and do watch the site closely.  We plan to add a few more last minute incentive prizes on Wednesday, before the fundraiser closes down on Friday.

calendula_witch July 18 2014, 07:09

Progress Report

It was a very productive wedding-planning trip to California last week, including bonus! visits with all my immediate family. Yay!

Then we drove home all day Monday, including an unplanned but quite fortuitous stop at a winery which, it looks like they will be not only supplying some of the wine for our wedding, but doing it with personalized labels at no extra charge. Double yay!

Then, having gotten home, we discovered that zucchini is sort of an all-or-nothing proposition.
Mah Zucchini
I am demonstrating that they are bigger than my head.

We cut most of both of those up and made them into zucchini-feta pancakes, for an old friend who was coming through town, and some of her friends, who are now our friends too. Much yum and fun!

And meanwhile, Mark has been designing our wedding invitations, while I went out today with my local bridesmaid and tried on Wedding Related Smallclothes. And found something which, though not particularly sexy or anything, does solve the problem of being able to read the small print in my belly button through my wedding dress.*

Oh and also-meanwhile, we have a new temporary roommate. Miss C moved in Tuesday; she is going to be living here for a few months. She is cash-poor and talent-rich, and therefore she will be paying in massages. To me. As I am also too cash-poor to pay for massages, this works out well for everyone.

And that might sort of catch you up!


*Hyperbole. My belly button has no small print.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

grrm July 17 2014, 23:05

Martians and Women and Rogues, Oh My

Hey, lots of good news on the anthology front while I was traipsing around France and Switzerland these past couple of weeks.

OLD MARS led the way, winning the annual Locus Award as the Best Anthology of 2013:

Old Mars cvr rev

You can check out the details at http://www.locusmag.com/News/2014/06/2014-locus-awards-winners-2/    And congratulations to my pals Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as well.  As James S.A. Corey, they won the Locus Award for Best SF Novel of the year.  (Would that ABADDON'S GATE was on the Hugo ballot as well).  And of course, congrats to my co-editor Gardner Dozois, and our amazing lineup of writers, who made the anthology the delight that it is.  If you haven't checked out OLD MARS yet, you missed at lot.

((And for what it's worth, OLD VENUS will be even better)).

Next thing, the nominees for this year's World Fantasy Award were announced.  OLD MARS wasn't eligible, being science fiction and all... but DANGEROUS WOMEN, the big crossgenre anthology that Gardner and I released last summer, is one of the finalists for Best Anthology (against some mighty stiff competition, I might add).


You can check out the full list of Wold Fantasy Award nominees here:

To round out the triptych, in the midst of all this recognition for the books that Gargy and I did last year, our newest anthology, ROGUES, hit the shelves from coast and coast... and debuted at #7 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List.  No, not the anthology bestseller list, or the SF/ fantasy bestseller list, but the bestseller list for ALL HARDCOVER FICTION.  Which is pretty damned extraordinary for an anthology.


Rogues comp A March 17 lo res

So, all in all, it was a hell of a month.

My thanks to the LOCUS voters, the World Fantasy Con members and judges, and all the readers who snatched up ROGUES.

I love doing anthologies, and introducing great stories and new writers to my fans.  It's great to see the books being so well received.
grrm July 15 2014, 23:10

Home Again

Got home late (LATE) last night from Switzerland.  The journey back from Neuchatel, via Zurich and O'Hare, ended up taking us twenty four from when we took to when we toppled into bed again, thanks to a long layover and even longer delays in Chicago, so Raya and I were both zombies when we arrived.  The flight on Swissair from Zurich was a delight.  The flight from Chicago to Albuquerque on American Eagle was a nightmare.  I really hate these crappy little planes that United and American have put on their domestic routes.

Anyway... very tired now, and of course a thousand emails awaited me... but I am catching up, and hope to be able to say a few words about my adventures in Europe later.  It was an amazing trip.
calendula_witch July 13 2014, 16:29

Still Alive

It remains hard to blog! But this time I have a very good excuse–travel.

We drove all day Tuesday, and got to my mom’s house in time for a delicious BBQ dinner. Spent the night, went to the health club with Mom & Stepdad the next morning, then headed over to the coast after lunch.

Once here, we’ve been running around making all sorts of wedding arrangements and doing research. Fortunately, it’s lovely here.
Westport view

Lari horses

Though you can certainly see evidence of drought. Beyond just all the yellow grass everywhere. This used to be a pond:
Dry Pond

Dad & Stepmom and both my brothers have now joined us here–impromptu family party!

Tomorrow, the long drive back…to hundred-degree weather.

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

davidlevine July 10 2014, 17:31

Quantum questions

This article provides an explanation I haven't seen before for the difficult-to-wrap-one's-head-around concept that in quantum mechanics it's "observation" that causes the quantum wave form to collapse.

"...if you take a picture of an electron, its probability cloud evaporates and leaves it at one exact place. The light that bounced off the electron to hit your camera forced the electron to appear! The resolution to this troubling idea is that if you leave the light off, no photons hit the electron. The watching camera sees nothing, the electron remains ethereal. The electron will still be forced to resolve in a lit place while watched by a camera with its lens cap on." (emphasis added)

Or, to put it another way, it's not "observation" but "interaction" that collapses the wave form. If a particle isn't interacting with any other particle, it might be anywhere. Only when two particles bounce off each other (or otherwise interact) do their positions and states become clear.

I find this explanation compelling. It makes the whole concept much more comprehensible to me. But it also implies that the whole concept of quantum uncertainty is an entirely theoretical mathematical abstraction, because in reality every particle is interacting with other particles nearly constantly. Even a single hydrogen atom floating in the near-vacuum of interplanetary space is struck by photons from the sun and interacts gravitationally with the planets.

If my understanding is correct, quantum uncertainty never really happens in real life -- all particles are in a constant state of waveform collapse. This makes quantum uncertainty as relevant to the real world as those massless, frictionless ropes we use in physics problems. (By which I mean that it is a useful theory with great predictive power, but doesn't actually describe anything that exists in the real world.)

If you are familiar with quantum theory, does this explanation and its implications match your understanding? If not, can you help me to understand where it differs?

Also, if you are familiar with the history of quantum theory, do you know why the term "observation" was used rather than "interaction"? Because if my understanding of this explanation is correct, the term "interaction" would be a much clearer way of explaining what's happening (and would have avoided a lot of the meaningless woo-woo that's attached itself to the term "quantum physics").
davidlevine July 9 2014, 21:15

I'm the Westercon Fan Guest of Honor in 2016!

IMG 3972I'm very pleased to announce that I will be the Fan Guest of Honor at Westercon 69, to be held in Portland, Oregon on the Fourth of July weekend in 2016. The other GoHs are John Scalzi and Charlie Stross. (The committee assures me that there will be at least one additional GoH who is not a balding white male.)

I'm totally thrilled about this. I've never been a GoH before!

In other news, I recently received my 20-year medallion for attending 20 annual gay square dance conventions. (See photo.)

Also, as long as I'm blogging, I urge you to check out the Cosmic Sci-Fi Bundle over at storybundle.com. Pay what you will for a big bundle of science fiction ebooks, and benefit the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, Jay Lake's chosen charity. But hurry! This offer ends at midnight EST tonight!
calendula_witch July 8 2014, 06:03

And There Again

Why is it so hard to blog these days? The end of the day comes too quickly, and so many things are undone, and…I go to bed.

Except tomorrow we’re heading to California at oh-dark-early, for a wedding-planning trip and some family visiting (my family this time), and who knows when I’ll have time at the keyboard again?, so, here we go.

I think part of the trouble is, I’m so busy doing things NOT at the computer–reading manuscripts, working in the garden, proofreading, errands–it’s not like I’m just sitting here anyway and can make a quick blog post.

So let’s see…what’s new?

Light bulbs are exploding again. I wish that wouldn’t happen.

We’ve really been enjoying our deck–have had every meal possible out there, including entertaining.
Dinner on the Deck
And I continue to master the barbecue–I successfully conquered spare ribs, which OH MY GOD YUM. And broccolini, and cauliflower, and LETTUCE yes lettuce.

We had our first zucchini this morning (scrambled into eggs, not on the grill), and we allllllmost have tomatoes! Seriously, one is probably going to ripen tomorrow. Oh well, we’ll enjoy them in a few days when we get back.

Mark did a handful of book covers over the last few days, one or two of which I’ll post when it’s okay to.

But mostly it’s just been work, work, work…which, I think that about catches you up. Tomorrow: on the road!

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

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