Under the Heading — Small World

I moved from the L.A. condo into a townhouse out in Westlake Village today.  Chris Valada had recommended ABC movers, and they were terrific.  I knew when I called to book that it was Russian owned and the crew of guys who turned up were fascinating.  I bought them lunch and while we sat out on the patio and ate our cheese burgers I quizzed them.  Vlad was from Ukraine, Robert was from Russia but had been living in Georgia (not the American one), and Baha or Baja (not sure how he spells it) was from Talas in Kazakhstan.  I suspected as much because despite speaking fluent Russian he had epicanthic folds.

This is where a large section of the Wild Card book Lowball takes place, and where much of High Stakes the upcoming Wild Card book is set.  He was delighted that I had not only heard of his country, but that I knew quite a bit about it.  I showed him a section in LOWBALL where one of our villains is talking about Talas.  He was grinning from ear to ear, and when he saw mine and George’s name on the cover he was even more delighted.

When the time comes to return home to NM for good I will be using ABC.  They were not only wonderfully efficient they were very reasonable.  And with what other company would you get to discuss the Silk Road, and the politics surrounding Ukraine?

6 Responses to Under the Heading — Small World

  • Christopher Long says:

    That *is* a small world.

    Glad to hear the title of the next “Wild Cards” book… I don’t suppose that there’s even a rough approximation of a hoped for release date, yet? (That cliffhanger that the end of “Lowball” was positively evil.)

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    George’s schedule meant this book really got delayed. I’ve delivered my rewritten story, and we’re hoping the rest come in within the next 2 weeks. Then we’ve got to weave them all together. I would say very late in 2015 if we’re lucky. More likely early 2016.

  • Christopher Long says:

    Well, that’s better than I’d feared.

    I realize that Mr. Martin’s success is a good thing, but there are days when I wish he didn’t have quite so many irons in the fire. Or at least that he didn’t object to fanfiction, or I wasn’t so personally strict about following creator’s wishes on that subject. Jack Braun’s accidental, unknown-to-him kid has wanted out of my head for years, and at this juncture, I doubt I’ll ever get published, noticed, and invited to play in the Wild Cards world.

    Which isn’t to say I’ll quit trying….

    Thank you for the prompt reply, Ms. Snodgrass. And even more for not trying to pad the estimate. (Though part of me hopes that you went to the Montgomery Scott School of Time-to-Completion Estimates.)

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Wild Cards is a labour of love for George. We created the world together and it’s very dear to both of us. As for fan fiction — it’s a very personal thing. I would be delighted if people wanted to write stories about Richard from the Edge books or any of my Wild Card characters. I just can’t read them because of what happened to Marian Zimmer-Bradley and because I’m a writer/producer and I have to be very, very careful. As for Wild Cards back in the day when people mailed us Wild Card stories I insisted we return them unopened because both GRRM and I were Hollywood people and we had to be purer than Caesar’s wife. Now with the Universal deal we again have to be very careful.

      You can’t keep people from writing for fun if they want to. If they charged money then we’d have to come after them, but otherwise… what we don’t know. I mean I wrote a Mass Effect story when they screwed the ending of game 3 so horribly. I didn’t send it to BioWare and rub their noses in it, but it’s up on the website under Writing for anyone to read.

  • Christopher Long says:

    Well… I mentioned that I have ambitions of publishing, and that ties to my unwillingness to write fanfiction when the creators don’t want it done– because, should I get published, *I* won’t want people writing fanfiction of my stuff. (Mostly because it’s %99.99987 garbage, and partly that I agree with those authors who feel that it’s the start of a slippery slope that leads to dilution of copyright.)

    So if a creator mentions that they don’t like the stuff– as Mr. Martin has– then I feel honor-bound to follow their wishes.

    I understand completely that no author can read fanfic of their works, and wouldn’t ask– I’ll probably use the Braun’s-kid-character as a major NPC if I get my Wild-Cards-universe-old-Mayfair-Games-DC-Heroes-rules RPG campaign off the ground. (I figure, given the origins of the Wild Cards universe, that nobody will object to that.)

    Thanks again, and I look forward to Wild Cards– and if the book budget opens up a little (or it pops up on sale for the Kindle), I’m definitely going to try “the Edge of Reason.” From the description, it will appeal to my anti-theist leanings.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I think it’s a very personal choice. Like I said, I’d be flattered that a world I had created was that inspiring. And yeah, it may be bad writing, but it’s fan fiction, and it’s giving people a lot of enjoyment. I had a blast writing my Mass Effect story. It was like play time rather than work. It doesn’t really dilute your copyright if you’re not formally authorizing it, and I think you can create a lot of bad feeling if you go trawling around the web looking for people writing in your universe and then you or your lawyer send them “cease and desist” orders. If you’re smart you turn a blind eye.

      Where Marion Zimmer-Bradley got into trouble was when she authorized these fans to write, and even put their stories in anthologies. She was looking at what they were doing, and eventually a women claimed that one of Marion’s last Darkover books was this fan writer’s idea. She sued and got to share credit on the novel with Marion, but again, Marion really asked for it by soliciting these stories and then publishing them in her Friends of Darkover books.

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