Oh dear. I blame Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, D Franklin, Gareth M Skarka and Mur Lafferty for this snippet. I just. I don’t know where this story is going or even if it’s worth writing. Only that it has unicorns.
They bury you at the bottom of the gardens–what’s left of you, pathetic and small and twisted so out of shape it hardly seems human anymore. The river, dark and oily, licks at the ruin of your flesh–at your broken bones–and sings you to sleep, in a soft, gentle language like a mother’s lullabies; whispering of rest and forgiveness; of a place where it is forever light, forever safe.
You do not rest. You cannot forgive. You are not safe– you never were.
ETA: and I have a first draft at 2600 words. And no idea what to do with a dark unicorn story 0_0
Aka, OMG OMG OMG I have been sitting on this for a week and it’s been killing me.
I’m very please to announce that my short story “The Breath of War” is up for a Nebula Award.
I am… humbled and overjoyed to be on the ballot, which looks truly fantastic (and very happy that some of my suggestions/suggested authors are on there, too–congrats to Alyssa Wong, Liu Cixin, Ken Liu, Tom Crosshill among many others–and I’m happy, though in a bittersweet fashion, to share the ballot with Eugie Foster, who left us far too soon). My deepest thanks to everyone who read the story and everyone who nominated it; and a special thanks to Scott H Andrews who had the good taste to publish it ^^ It’s a very special one for me, aka “the one with the snakelet in it”, and I’m very very glad it’s up there.
I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to attend the Nebula Awards Weekend–I would love to, but negotiations are in progress with the father of the snakelet on the subject…
Full list below:
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu (Tor)
Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)
We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)
“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert (Tor.com 4/30/14)
Calendrical Regression, Lawrence Schoen (NobleFusion)
“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)
“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes (Tor.com 7/9/14)
“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)
“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)
“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)
“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)
“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 4/2/14)
“The Breath of War,” Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/6/14)
“When It Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster (Daily Science Fiction 9/26/14)
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld 5/14)
“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)
“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide,” Sarah Pinsker (F&SF 3-4/14)
“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14)
“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (F&SF 5/14)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Edge of Tomorrow, Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Interstellar, Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures)
The Lego Movie, Screenplay by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (Random House)
Salvage, Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow)
Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King (Little, Brown)
Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Greenglass House, Kate Milford (Clarion)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (Candlewick)
Just a brief reminder that the Nebula Awards deadline is tomorrow, if you’re a SFWA member and want to suggest stuff (and make your voice heard, because the awards are about the voters and what they love), now is the time to go vote.
If you’re still looking for stuff to read, my awards consideration post has a lot of stories you can read online for free (and great, diverse stuff). It’s here.
Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’m revising the novel on a tight deadline, hence the lack of updates on this blog (revisions not making for fascinating blogging, though at some point I may well blog about my revisions process ^^).
(the featured image is totally the way I imagine Morningstar in his heyday, aka “I end fights just by showing up” ^^).
Also, the novel page has been updated with preorder information for the Roc edition (Kindle and Hardcover in the US, Canada and Philippines) in addition to the Gollancz hardcover–if you’ve preordered or are going to, hang on to your receipt, I’ll have some goodies for you closer to release date (when I can breathe feel the deadline pressure :))
I’ve finished a new Xuya short story, “In Blue Lily’s Wake”, which takes place in the Dai Viet Empire after the civil war (the one mentioned in numerous stories like On a Red Station, Drifting and The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile).
From the planet, the mindship’s corpse had seemed to loom large enough to fill the sky–hugged tight on a low orbit, held back from plummeting towards the surface only by a miracle of engineering–but, once in the shuttle, Yen Oanh realised that it was really quite far away–the pockmarks on its surface blurred and hazy, the distorted paintings on the hull visible only as splashes of bright colour.
“How long until we arrive?” she asked the disciple.
The disciple, Hue Mi, was a young woman barely out of childhood; though the solemnity with which she held herself made her seem older. “Not long, Grandmother.” She looked at the mindship without any sense of wonder or awe; no doubt long since used to its presence.
The ship, after all, had been dead for eleven years.
(FYI, I put longer snippets of stories in the newsletter, if you want to subscribe . Yes, totally shameless :p)
On the novel front, I’m on my edits marathon: I’ll post more when I’m done with said edits, but right now I’m a bit busy wrangling a manuscript that won’t behave and hoping to be finished as soon as I can. I’m posting tidbits on twitter , under the hashtags #amrevising #novel (I really should start a #shatteredwings hashtag…) and some hivemind questions on Facebook (it’s easier on FB because you don’t have the 140 characters limit). To give you an idea, my last question: “if a cathedral gets nuked and no masses are celebrated there any more, are the ruins still consecrated ground”? (yes, it’s Notre-Dame. A significant chunk of action takes place there!)
Have fun, everyone. Normal (well, sort of normal) service resuming ASAP.
Just a heads-up that, following further experimentation, the muffins: a. turned out much better, and b. came from a much simpler recipe (in essence, bread, yeast, water and salt). I’ve posted the process online, if you’re interested.
Just a heads up that I now have a newsletter, aka “irregularly I will tell you about new stuff and extras on the Xuya/Shattered Wings universes, and also about events I attend, etc.” You can sign up directly below, or here.
The first one is going out tomorrow, and has an excerpt from a new Xuya universe story, “In Blue Lily’s Wake”.