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Hard to believe that December is already upon us

December 1, 2001

Hard to believe that December is already upon us, with the end of the year just ahead. I hope all of you visiting this website had as pleasant a Thanksgiving as I did. There’s nothing like having turkey with friends… it certainly beats having turkeys for friends, an entirely different proposition. Fortunately, I have great friends, and they are one of the things I am most thankful for at this time of year. I’m also thankful for my readers, who have made A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE such a great success and enabled me to buy a lot more really nice toy knights and castles. Most of all, though, I’m thankful for Parris.

But enough of that, before I get too mushy.

It has been a while since I updated the front page of my website, but there’s not a lot of news to report… beyond the stories featured in the News column, which you’ll see off there to your right, all in purple.

A couple of new publications are worth mentioning, although my contributions to both are small. St. Martin’s Press has just issued MEDITATIONS ON MIDDLE EARTH, edited by Karen Haber, an assemblage of essays by a number of leading contemporary fantasists concerning J.R.R. Tolkien and the influence he had on their work. I wrote the introduction to the book, and John Howe provided the illustrations. MEDITATIONS has some good stuff in it; those of you with an interest in Tolkien might want to check it out.

Also published fairly recently is a new collection by Gardner Dozois, who is best known for winning Best Editor Hugos and sticking jellybeans up his nose. But the Great Gargoo is also a helluva writer, and STRANGE DAYS is a wonderful introduction to his work. Besides some first-rate fiction, the collection features one of Gargy’s infamous Trip Reports, about his travels in Scotland before and after the Glasgow Worldcon. I wrote the intro to the trip report, and also feature a character in same. Soo if you’re interested in learning about the Mad Scotsman who almost strangled me trying to get me to smile, pick up a copy of STRANGE DAYS.

Work continues on A FEAST FOR CROWS, the fourth volume in A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, despite all the disruptions caused by the remodeling of our kitchen. The kitchen is done now, the FEAST is not… but I am making progress. I read a few chapters from the book at Worldcon in Philadelphia, and a few more at Archon in St. Louis in October. The next con on my schedule will be ConFusion in Ann Arbor in January, and I hope to be doing a reading from AFFC there as well. Just what, I can’t say. Maybe some brand new chapters, if the audience has heard the old ones. The second Sansa chapter, or perhaps the first Jaime… maybe even the Prologue…

Speaking of cons, I do get a lot of mail asking me when I am coming to X city or Y state or Z country. The usual answer is, “I don’t know.” We try and keep the Appearances page of this website as up to date as possible, so it is worth checking that regularly if you want to meet me or get a book signed. We add new events just as soon as they are scheduled and confirmed. Two were added quite recently, in fact; the Williamson weekend in Portales, New Mexico, and a fantasy fair in Holland in the spring.

Before I close this update, let me tip my hat to Pati Nagle, my webmaster, who does a wonderful job on the site. She is always adding new covers to the Art Gallery, new articles and speeches to Musings, and new features as well. The latest addition is What I’m Reading (scroll down if you haven’t seen it), which is just what it sounds like. I read a lot, so expect that box to change frequently. I also plan to add a section on my Hobbies and Obsessions soon, which will tell you more about Richard Courtenay and Freddie Ping than you ever wanted to know. Probably not until after Xmas, though.

If I don’t update again until 2002, let me wish all my fans and friends a great holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Keep reading.

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