The key thing to know is that New Mexico hosts a large and fairly tight-knit community of science fiction and fantasy writers. Some of us older ones have been friends for decades.
George R. R. Martin and I have been friends since he moved to Santa Fe in the late Seventies. Since the mid-Eighties I’ve also worked with him on the abidingly popular Wild Cards shared-world anthology series, along with several other players of the role-playing game campaign GRRM ran which became that series, including Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos Miller, and Walter Jon Williams.
All of whom, along with a number of others including Sage Walker and her husband Hank Greenberg (and more I cannot recall), happened to be present at a party George threw in the summer of 2013 at Melinda’s beautiful house on an Alp south of Santa Fe. Also in attendance were David Nutter, his wife, and their teenage son, all of whom were charming people. David had directed an episode of George’s Game of Thrones HBO series called “The Rains of Castamere”—better known as “The Red Wedding,” which had blown up the Internet the week before.
George tongue-in-cheek announced that he and David were hiding out together from all the death threats—which they really had received over the show.
After an excellent catered dinner, a number of us sat out around a long table on Melinda’s back patio. In the daytime it offers a panoramic view of much of New Mexico to east and south, although since it was dark by then, mostly we saw the lights of the small town of Lamy below. A beautiful setting at any time.
I happened to be sitting at the head of the table, with George on one side and David Nutter on the other. Walter was also present, I recall.
George was fairly familiar with The Dinosaur Lords through the Critical Mass writers group, which he had co-founded with Melinda. Although George no longer participated directly, he frequently read the mailing list, and had talked about the novel with various current members—including Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (who are jointly James S. A. Corey), Ian Tregillis, Steven “S. M.” Stirling, and both Walter and Melinda—who had read numerous drafts of it, and given me invaluable help with beating into shape.
So George decided to tell David Nutter about the book. Looking for a way sum it up, he thought for a moment, and then uttered the magical words: “It’s like a cross between Jurassic Park and A Game of Thrones.”
It was as if the clouds opened (metaphorical clouds; I think it was clear), and a beam of golden radiance shone down upon me from the sky above.
What I mean to say was, it was great.
Being no fool, at least not right then, I did have presence of mind to blurt right out, “May I quote you on that?”
George pondered briefly, then nodded and said, “Sure.”
And so it came to pass.
When my editor Claire Eddy subsequently asked me for quotes about the book to take to Tor Marketing—of course I’d told her the story—I emailed GRRM to confirm Tor and I had permission to use it. And George, who has been an enormous help to me both with The Dinosaur Lords and in my personal life, again said yes.
Hearing George say those words, to a director from his show, was, in all truth, one of the high points of my life. Along with my first glimpse of The Cover by Richard Anderson, on which The Blurb features so prominently.
But that anybody can see for themselves.