Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Michael Brand's character sketches ...

Some concept art for a Face of Night project J.D. Ray is trying to put together. I quite like it.

More here.

There's been a nibble of interest on All Possible Worlds, too, and The Hotel California is in front of an actual publisher at the moment. (I've had half a dozen people read the Hotel outline -- Steve Perry said people were going to absolutely love or hate it, and so far I'm 4 & 2 on love vs. hate, so I guess he was right.)

~~~~~

We watched the last episode of the BBC's Life On Mars about two hour ago. It's shockingly good. Not all the BBC work I've seen has been brilliant -- the recent Torchwood miniseries would have had to crawl up out of the gutter to get to bad -- but on balance, there's not much on American tv I'd trade for it. (OK, Dexter is maybe the best thing ever broadcast on television -- I'm not kidding. But I'd rather watch 35 year old episodes of The Rockford Files, or 50 year old episodes of Maverick, than anything else being broadcast over the airwaves in this day and age, in this country.)

25 comments:

jj sutherland said...

Awesome news on Hotel California...if it's the outline you showed me a while back I agree completely it's a love/hate thing. I loved it.

Steve Perry said...

Seen Saving Grace? Not for kids, but, oh, Holly Hunter is so bad ...

Dan Moran said...

jj -- yeah, same story, though recast somewhat -- lot of it went to third person and the first and second books got collapsed together.

Most interesting thing is the gender split. 4 men -- love. 2 women -- hate. Not counting Amy, who bought my first novels back when she didn't love me yet and at least likes pretty much everything I've ever written. Though she is my harshest critic, by a lot.

Steve -- Nope, I haven't seen Saving Grace. I'll give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I totally agree with you about Dexter. It's some of the best TV ever.

-- Dave

Anonymous said...

I've got my fingers crossed for Hotel California. I've been hoping it would someday become a real book ever since you posted the first few chapters way back when!

neil said...

Dear Mr. Moran,........AI War? Update, Please, I've been waiting since I was 15....was that 12 years ago.

Jeff Mott said...

I suspect that update requests are not helpful. Let us not poke our favorite author with pointed sticks - things will be done when they are done. I refer you to http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html not to harsh your day but in hopes you will be enlightened :)

J.D. Ray said...

It's hard to say when or how well this project will go off, but I'm pushing it as hard as I can with the resources I've got. Michael's sketches are a huge help, particularly in the area of costuming (uniforms for the military, etc.). I told Dan that I've been waiting twenty years to see his work, particularly something from The Continuing Time, on the big screen. If I can help make it happen, I'm going to do it.

I read the script for the pilot of All Possible Worlds, and thought it played much better than a lot of the sci-fi drama on TV these days. I'm still waiting for Defying Gravity to show more than a little promise. I'm going to get bored quickly with it if it doesn't do something in the next couple episodes. Beyond that, we've got upcoming series for Stargate and Battlestar Galactica (Caprica, which may or may not be worth watching; the pilot left me a little cold). It ain't looking good.

Speaking of more fiction, Dan, any chance to see another chunk of Hell Next Five Exits? Seems like an easy win to me... ;)

neil said...

No harshness taken Mr. Mott. Mr Gaiman's post was actually quite enlightening. It was much nicer to be schooled, second-hand, in the polite way the British do by Mr. Gaiman. After reading some of the posts in which Mr. Moran has used firm language, I would prefer to not receive the same type of schooling from him. :) Thank you Mr. Mott.

Sean Fagan said...

I didn't care for Life on Mars. I didn't watch the American version as a result.

I miss The Middleman.

Doc Nebula said...

We thought well of DEADWOOD while it was on, and I, at least, am pretty fussy about what I put in front of my brain. If you haven't checked it out, you might give it a shot.

I also like a well done police procedural, and as such, am fond of both HILL STREET BLUES and NYPD BLUE.

And I'm a BUFFY fan, although, really, the show is only worth watching up through the first 2/3s of the Fifth Season. I hesitate to recommend BUFFY to someone as grumpy as you, though. You'll probably find it... arch... or something.

Beyond that, though, yeah, TV's pretty much been a wasteland most of my life.

Doc Nebula said...

As for entitlement issues, and Neil Gaiman:

It's interesting that Gaiman opens that essay complaining because American Airlines won't provide him with what he considers to be a necessary tool to facilitate his writing while on one of their flights, at a price he thinks is reasonable. American Airlines provides him with a service (getting him from point A to point B within an acceptable time frame) for a price he's willing to pay. Gaiman seems to feel there's a contract between him and AA, that they will also, for the price of his ticket, facilitate his word processing while he's in their care, just like, apparently, all the other airlines he normally flies with do. But, as he points out later on, the contract doesn't exist. His sense that they should give him this thing that he wants cheaply, that is not part of the service they render, is, er, hm, what should we call it... oh, yeah... an 'entitlement issue'.

Then he goes on to say this, in re: the astonishingly lazy George R.R. Martin:

You're complaining about George doing other things than writing the books you want to read as if your buying the first book in the series was a contract with him: that you would pay over your ten dollars, and George for his part would spend every waking hour until the series was done, writing the rest of the books for you.

No such contract existed. You were paying your ten dollars for the book you were reading, and I assume that you enjoyed it because you want to know what happens next.


Yeah. We want to know what happens next. And the author isn't telling us. Know what he's doing instead? He's taking the money we've paid him to tell us this story and he's spending it doing pretty much every other thing in the world except what we're paying him to do, which is, finish the story.

There is a contract, when you pay your money to the storyteller in the marketplace, that he tells you a story. Now, I'm willing to accept that when I toss a shekel in his upturned turban, maybe I won't LIKE the story, but unless the motherfucker dies before he chokes out the ending, at the very least, I believe that the implicit contract betwixt him and me that came into existence when he said "I'll tell you a story for a shekel, my good man" and I said, "Very well, here is your shekel, prate onward, o scribe", encompasses him telling me the ENTIRE story. Not just half or two thirds of it, at which point, he'll decide it's much much more important for him to watch a Giants' game, or go off to some storyteller's convention where people will kiss his ass for a week or so, or head back into his hotel, where he can sign a lot of merchandising and film contracts regarding the half or 2/3s of a story I've paid him to tell me and that he hasn't finished yet.

(cont'd)

Doc Nebula said...

(cont'd from previous)

I'm not paying for a book, I'm paying for a STORY. He hasn't finished the story yet. And sure, if it's a long story he's entitled to breaks and meal time and some rest & recreation, but when I keep coming back to the marketplace looking for him to pick up where he left off and he's still over by the fountain under an awning watching the Punch & Judy show while good looking matched Swedish twins put butter on his toes, and it's pretty obvious that the operators of the Punch and Judy show and the good looking Swedish twins are both being sponsored by my shekel, I'm going to start feeling a little bit put upon, a little bit aggravated, a little bit as if someone is failing to live up to their end of the unstated contract.

But there is a contract, and the contract is this: You start a story, you finish it, and if you're having trouble finishing it, you at least show that you're making an effort to do so, that your contract with me is a priority for you, that it matters, that it's important.

You want to break that story down into increments and charge me for each increment, that's fine, but I want to see that you're making progress. I want to see good faith. And if I don't, I'm going to scream my head off about it, and why? Because that's really all I can do. If the storyteller is indeed so feckless and faithless that, while continuing to take my shekels through all his merchandising contracts and such, he still puts every other thing in his life ahead of continuing to tell me the story I'm paying for, well, there's not much I can do, except scream my head off, which I'm going to do.

(cont'd)

Doc Nebula said...

(cont'd from previous)

This is one of those things where you're either a paying audience member or a story teller. If you're one, you simply have no sympathy for the POV of the other. I can understand this, vaguely; there are only six people in the world who have read my first novel UNIVERSAL MAINTENANCE, but I regularly hear from all six of them, wondering when I'm going to write the sequel. And I tell them all the same thing: when someone wants to pay me a realistic amount of money to set aside a year or so of my finite lifespan to turn out that sequel, I'll write it. Which I think is fair.

George R.R. Martin has been fairly compensated for not only the entire projected SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, but, most likely, at this point, for every single other thing he's ever written in his life, and, most likely, he's been compensated at a pretty high rate for every football game he's ever going to watch again before he dies, too. The contract is for the story, not the increments of the story. If he can't finish it, he can at least keep working on it. He can show us it's a priority for him.

And if he can't do that, then, at the very least, while he's living in the million dollar home the Ice and Fire fans bought for him, watching football on the big screen high density TV the Ice and Fire fans bought for him, jetting to various exotic foreign lands using tickets that his Ice and Fire fans bought for him, and staying at hotels that his Ice and Fire fans are paying for, and going to cons to receive the adulation of his Ice and Fire fans, when we ask him "say, George, when's the next Ice and Fire book coming out", he could not whine and shriek and stamp his feet and wave his arms and cry like a giant fucking grey haired baby and call all of us names because, you know, we've given him millions of dollars for this story and he doesn't even want to bother pretending he's actually working on finishing it.

There is a contract. There is. I'm sorry if you take all this personally, but there is. And it's not for the book, it's for the story. You start a story, you need to at least make a pretty game attempt at finishing it. George R.R. Martin not only wants to cop out on his contract, but he also demands universal respect, admiration, and adulation from his fans while he takes our money with one hand and flips us off with the other.

Having said all that, it seems to me you're working much harder on completing your unfinished story than Martin is on his, and the stuff that is keeping you from working on it seems to be rather more significant than watching football games and getting your ass kissed at cons all over the world. And I'm pretty sure you aren't living a millionaire's lifestyle off the money me and a few hundred thousand other people have paid you for EMERALD EYES, either... although you should be.

Beyond all that, let me say this: Nobody, not one single Ice and Fire fan, has ever assumed that George R.R. Martin is our bitch. That's a straw man, and an egregiously dishonest, ludicrously stupid one, at that. We just think George R.R. Martin undertook to tell us a story, and he's fucking off, on our dime. And it pisses us off.

Or at least, it pisses me off.

Here endeth the lesson.

ditmars1929 said...

Wow, that was some rant, Doc.

But by your logic, Dan owes us 30 more Continuing Time novels and the last one was published over 10 years ago. Granted, he's not sitting on his ass sipping margaritas all day at an exclusive resort, as for as I know, but he still owes us the full story, doesn't he?

What say you about that?

Doc Nebula said...

Wow, that was some rant, Doc.

But by your logic, Dan owes us 30 more Continuing Time novels and the last one was published over 10 years ago. Granted, he's not sitting on his ass sipping margaritas all day at an exclusive resort, as for as I know, but he still owes us the full story, doesn't he?

What say you about that?


I say, read the rant you're disrespecting before you disrespect. Here's the specific grafs I direct towards Mr. Moran:

There is a contract. There is. I'm sorry if you take all this personally, but there is. And it's not for the book, it's for the story. You start a story, you need to at least make a pretty game attempt at finishing it. George R.R. Martin not only wants to cop out on his contract, but he also demands universal respect, admiration, and adulation from his fans while he takes our money with one hand and flips us off with the other.

Having said all that, it seems to me you're working much harder on completing your unfinished story than Martin is on his, and the stuff that is keeping you from working on it seems to be rather more significant than watching football games and getting your ass kissed at cons all over the world. And I'm pretty sure you aren't living a millionaire's lifestyle off the money me and a few hundred thousand other people have paid you for EMERALD EYES, either... although you should be.


Beyond all that, Continuing Time is an odd thing. Yes, I think DKM owes me the remainder of the story of Trent and Denise, as he has offered to tell me that story and I have accepted and payment has changed hands and will continue to change hands, should I be offered the ability to pay him for future installments.

On the other hand, the Continuing Time hasn't rescued a mediocre career from languishing in the doldrums, like Ice and Fire did for Martin. Continuing Time hasn't (unfortunately) been so successful that all 30 of DKM's other books, long out of print, have been successfully brought out in new editions everyone is buying solely because of Continuing Time, some of which are being deceptively marketed as being part of the Continuing Time. And, as I've mentioned and you yourself note, DKM isn't sitting around on his ass watching football games, or going to cons, or spending all his time selling the rights to Continuing Time miniatures, a Continuing Time cartoon series, or Genuine Trent The Uncatchable Computer Accessories, while constantly screaming at anyone who brings up the subject of AI WAR in his comment threads, or banning them from his blog.

I get that there is some controversy as to whether or not any kind of contract actually exists between a creative content producer and their avid audience. I do. Here's what is, to me, incontrovertible: If you take the position that there is no contract, and you can take people's money for an unfinished work and then never finish it and that's okay, that's fine. But there is no way you're entitled to do that and then be rude about it.

Neither George R.R. Martin nor Neil Gaiman may be MY bitches... and God knows, I wouldn't want to have to feed either of them on a regular basis... but certainly, both of them are whining like somebody's bitches about this whole thing.

J.D. Ray said...

I think we paid for "The Story of Trent," which ends with A.I. War, now in the works and by pieces available on this very web site. The rest of the CT stuff has been released free, so by Doc's logic, we should all just take it as a series of gifts and be happy.

Not that I would discourage dear Mr. Moran from continuing to write in the CT universe, I'm just suggesting that you should set your expectations somewhat lower than having a bookshelf full of novels.

These are the things I tell myself, anyway...

ditmars1929 said...

Take it easy, Doc. I was agreeing with you on the whole contract issue, not being disrespectful to your rant. When I described it by saying "wow", I wasn't being sarcastic.

I was also, perhaps in a not so subtle way, expressing my desire to see the entire 33 volume Continuing Time series, as I've enjoyed the first three immensely. I don't think that's ever going to happen, no disrespect to Dan, but it is frustrating.

Doc Nebula said...

I think we paid for "The Story of Trent," which ends with A.I. War, now in the works and by pieces available on this very web site. The rest of the CT stuff has been released free, so by Doc's logic, we should all just take it as a series of gifts and be happy.

I paid for my CT stuff, other than what I've read of AI WAR, and when that's finished, I'm happy to pay for it, too, if given the opportunity.

See, that's the thing. I paid for EMERALD EYES and it remains probably my all time favorite Lee-Kirby Silver Age superhero comic without pictures (or Lee, or Kirby, for that matter). Yet the fact that I paid for it (three times, as I've picked up two other paperback copies to give to friends as gifts) doesn't mean I feel like DKM is obligated to continue the story of Carl or Malko. That story is over. It makes me sad, as I like Carl and Malko quite a bit, and would enjoy seeing more Carl and Malko adventures, but, I accept that DKM has told that story and it's over.

Trent and Denise's stories, however, are as yet unfinished, and I have paid for those stories and would like to read the rest of them, someday.

DKM has never been rude about it, though, and he hasn't made anything like as much money off his unfinished story as Martin has off ICE AND FIRE, and DKM seems to have legitimately better things to with his time than work on that story (like, earn a living). George R.R. Martin is wealthy enough (off the money paid for an unfinished story) to do whatever the fuck he wants to do with his time, and whatever the fuck he wants to do with his time seems to ostentatiously not include working on ICE AND FIRE. And then we get people like Gaiman, advising those of us who feel slighted and aggravated that we have no contract with GRRM and he's not our bitch. Which leads to stupid You Tube ditties and, you know, it's just aggravating.

Take it easy, Doc. I was agreeing with you on the whole contract issue, not being disrespectful to your rant. When I described it by saying "wow", I wasn't being sarcastic.

I sincerely apologize. 'Rant' is usually a negative word (one I note dryly is rarely applied to similar diatribes when they come from successful wealthy sorts like Gaiman and Martin) and I had no idea you weren't being sarcastic.

I'd like to see all the Continuing Time books come out, too, although I worry. DKM seems to feel that back when he was writing stuff like EMERALD EYES, he was a horrible, horrible writer, and as I think EMERALD EYES is a great, great novel, well, it troubles me. I've read much of DKM's more recent output, and I don't see that he's improved all that much, so I hope that if we get more Continuing Time novels, they'll still be as good as EMERALD EYES. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

ditmars1929 said...

OK, Doc, I'm glad we're back on the same page as well, and my apologies to you as well if I offended you. Nothing intentional, to be sure.

Emerald Eyes is an amazing book. One of my favorites too. And that 100-page section of Dvan's Tale in The Last Dancer is absolutely fascinating. It's one of the reasons I'm so hungry for more Continuing Time volumes.

And DKM has never ever been rude to me. In fact he graciously returns all of my emails, and has not yet accused me of stalking him. :-)

Subrata Sircar said...

To be honest, while I see the evolution in Dan's skills from Emerald Eyes to The Long Run to The Last Dancer, The Long Run is still my favorite by far.

The Last Dancer is a more complex story, with far more moving parts, details to keep track of, and realized characters. It doesn't feel like details were dropped, parts were jarringly fitted together or lots of characters were given short shrift ... but what it gained in technical acheivement it lost in straight-ahead, balls-to-the-wall storytelling.

The Long Run doesn't have a complex story - we're generally dealing with at most two points of view, or two "meanwhile back at the ranch" plot threads, at a time - and Trent is really the star of the show. Aside from Vance, most other characters are drawn in bold strokes and not as completely fleshed out as we see down the line.

But The Long Run grabs you from page 20 or so and doesn't let go. While I don't know what Dan was thinking/feeling when he was writing it, in retrospect it looks like a "I know I can do this, that and the other thing, and they matter for the big story ... but if I focus on this then I can make it great" process - paring away everything but the core story and making that roar. I'm probably projecting, but it feels like an "I know my limits and this isn't the story to push them with - this is the story to consolidate and polish things within those limits." story.

Which is probably completely backwards revisionist history - I could see Dan deciding to write the The Long Run at that point in his career precisely because he knew he could tell that story best and needed work to tell others, or because that was the story clawing at the inside of his head screaming to be let out, or any number of other things.

Ahem - sorry for the digression. I too would like more AI War please, when you're in a position to deliver it without sacrificing, y'know, food or family n'stuff.

Bobbe said...

This quote, which I put up on my blog a few months back, is loosely related to what's being discussed here. Because it's from Gaiman, I thought it relevant.

>"Normally, I'm the one marching up and down trying to explain to the world that writing is a job, and it's not romantic and it's not clever and it's not special.

But writing fiction isn't the same as say, carpentry, patrolling a border or animal husbandry. You're making stuff up. It's a kind of weird confidence trick you play on yourself, like the Roadrunner running across the air between two peaks, where if you stop and look down you can plummet like Coyote. And getting stuff done on time isn't the same as getting it right.

I'm not sure when The Graveyard Book was meant to have been delivered, under the original contract. I do know that I had a $50,000 delivery bonus, if I handed it in by the end of December 2007, which I definitely didn't collect even a penny of, what with finishing it in March 2008. I'm pretty sure that I could have bashed something out in 2007 and got it in on time and collected the money; I am also certain that that book wouldn't have won the Newbery, and probably wouldn't have been very good. And I suspect that people who read the book would have complained that I was just churning it out for the money, and they would most definitely have been right.

But, yes. The person or organisation the writer has a contract with definitely has every right to complain, and trust me, they do. The writer is, after all, working for them, if there is a contract.

Often, with a long series, there isn't. I suspect that Stephen King's deal on the Dark Tower was that he did them as and when he was ready. It took him 34 years. Readers died, not knowing how it ended. If Steve had been killed by that minivan in 1999, nobody would have known how it ended. It would have been a tragedy, for many reasons, but contract violation would not be one of them."<

Steve Perry said...

If you write a book that can stand alone -- that is, there is an arc with characters wherein you show a beginning, middle, and end for some part of their lives, but you leave loose ends that might be tied in in a sequel or another book down the line, then that's a valid deal, and fair to a reader.

Writer says: Here's a guy. Here's what happened to him on Tuesday and how it changed his life.

If you want to know what happened on Monday or Wednesday, there will be more, but as it stands, you can enjoy this for what it is, and it's the part I chose to tell.

If you start off on a long story and get to a spot five hundred pages down the road and just stop without concluding something other than you ran out of paper and you'll pick up where you left off when you get a new ream, that's a cheat.

Roger Zelazny, bless him, did that with the Chronicles of Amber. Took him what? Twenty-some years and ten books before he wrapped it up?

Those books I always thought of as I would Saturday morning serials at the local movie house -- and I (and a lot of others) all hoped he wouldn't get hit by a truck before he got to the end.

Eventually, he did finish 'em. Fortunate for his readers, because he did die too young.

Eventually, the books were all clumped together in one giant omnibus.

I loved the adventures of Corwin and his family; however, if you read them from start to finish, they are terrible. He spends much of each book after the first recapitulating the ones that came before, for those readers who came onboard in the middle of the ride, and the repetition at one sitting is more than a little distracting. You take all that out, you'd have one fairly long, but really good book.

Somebody should have done that. Roger would have been the guy, but he didn't hang around. A shame.

George RR Martin started out to write a trilogy. I interviewed him for the local paper right after the first novel hit the racks and he swore that he was going to do three books and stop. Joked at the signing that he if offered a fourth, somebody should shoot him. But along the way, he got caught up in the complex politics and characters and like a brush first that hits the trees, it got away from him.

Seven books in, the monsters haven't even come over the Great Wall yet. Biggest set-up in fantasy novel history. How ever can he possibly pay it off?

But while the overall story isn't done and might never be, the myriad small stories do have arcs, and have been told, so I'm of two minds about this:

One, I wish he'd finish the damn thing. Two, I'm satisfied enough with the sub-plots and stories to keep reading. I recognize that he might not make it to the end.

Dan is writing a book that will take him down a different road than CT. (And as somebody who is often badgered by fans to get back to a universe they enjoyed, and bag all these other books I'm doing, I know how it feels to have people making those suggestions. It's flattering, but it is also limiting. And sometimes, you want to take a shot at something you may or may not hit, even if you are pretty sure you can hit a familiar target all day long. I've always like the old adage, if you reach for the stars, you might not grab one, but at least you don't come up with a hand full of mud ...)

Doc Nebula said...

There are many things I deeply admire about THE LAST DANCER:

* the entirely implausible, yet simultaneously entirely feasible, prehistoric Galactic civilization of humans and their equally implausible/entirely feasible culture, worked out in so much intriguing detail

* the presence of many characters with realistically nuanced moral philosophies, including several undeniably evil characters who were, nonetheless, both likable and admirable

* the attention DKM pays to how things like space travel and zero gravity habitats should actually work, given our present knowledge of physics and extraterrestrial environments (it's nearly Heinleinesque)

* the amusing and delightful cameo appearance of one of my favorite American pulp fiction characters, who shall not be named here, but who used to live on a boat in Florida and get into trouble on a regular basis, an avocation he seems to still pursue, even in French dominated United Earth

* an entire sequence narrated by Neil Corona, whom I think is really cool, except that he seems to be gay, and I'm sorry about the homophobia, but I'm 47 years old, and I'm all about gay rights and gay marriage, but I still prefer my favorite male macho hero types to be straight,

* all the really cool fight scenes (DKM writes WONDERFUL fight scenes; the sequence where Obodi escapes from PKF custody is astonishing in its fluid lucidity)

* the detached perspective DKM manages; his third person narrative never so much as hints at the innate sympathy he nearly MUST feel for the Johnny Rebs, for example

However, there are other thinks I intensely dislike about the THE LAST DANCER, and they are as follows:

* There's very little Trent

* There's way too much Denise

* Carl is still dead

* Malko is still dead

* David turns into a wirehead, a sociopathic Goodfellas wannabe, and, finally, a corpse

* There's way, WAY too much Denise

* In the end, for all that I love the whole prehistoric Galactic human civilization thing, the whole Dvan/Obodi thing seemed forced into the ongoing story of The Birth of the House of November, for little reason except to establish that at some point, Trent will become a god, and be worshipped by nonEarthly humans from a civilization that exists some... I don't know, what, several hundred thousand years in the past?

* way way way WAY too much Denise

So I like THE LONG RUN more than THE LAST DANCER, but I liked EMERALD EYES more than THE LONG RUN. I'm looking forward to AI WARS, though, if only because to date, it seems like there isn't very much Denise in it, and that works for me.

I don't know why I dislike Denise so much, other than to say that it seems to me that there were a lot of Castanaveras telepaths at one time, and I liked most if not all of them, and now Denise and Trent are the sole survivors, and Denise is the only one that actually has telepathic powers, and that just seems lame some how. Heather and Ali were WAY cooler characters than Denise has ever been. Has Denise ever danced naked in the rain to a Jim Steinman song, and then schtupped the world's angriest and most powerful telepath, all at the age of 14? No, I don't THINK so. So why does she get to be the mother of the future? Sarah Conner is cooler than Denise.

Sorry, but that's how I feel.

Tom said...

I saw this a few days ago and was impressed by the artwork. I then read the comments and forgot all about it. I realized that something had been nagging me for a few days and it revolved around these comments.

Practically no one has said anything about how good the artwork from Mr. Brand is. Now, I know everyone wants A.I. War, and the new Ice and Fire book, but come on. How about some support for good concept art and the potential to see these characters in another venue. Mr. Ray, I hope things go well with this project, I'm glad that you have someone this talented working on the concept art.