Pleased to announce my Xuya short story “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile” has been published in Subterranean‘s Winter 2014 issue. It’s also a sequel of sorts to my novella On a Red Station, Drifting, with a cameo from one of the characters (and a mindship).
I’m inordinately pleased with this story, which was inspired by the animal guardians of the four cardinal directions in Vietnamese mythology, and typed while the snakelet was 2 weeks old (an achievement in and of itself ). You can read it here.
I’ve been sitting on this for a while, but I’m pleased and honoured that “The Waiting Stars” is up for a Nebula Award in the novelette category. Lots of familiar names on the list, but special congrats to fellow VDer Sylvia Spruck Wigley for her short story nomination for the heartbreaking “Alive, Alive Oh”, to Ann Leckie (about whose book I have been hearing awesome things), Veronica Schanoes (loved “Burning Girls”!), Sofia Samatar for her double listing, Ken Liu and Henry Lien for writing two awesome stories based on Chinese lore, and all my fellow nominees.
Full nominees below:
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)
‘‘Wakulla Springs,’’ Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages (Tor.com 10/2/13)
‘‘The Weight of the Sunrise,’’ Vylar Kaftan (Asimov’s 2/13)
‘‘Annabel Lee,” Nancy Kress (New Under the Sun)
‘‘Burning Girls,’’ Veronica Schanoes (Tor.com 6/19/13)
‘‘Trial of the Century,’’ Lawrence M. Schoen (lawrencemschoen.com, 8/13; World Jumping)
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)
‘‘Paranormal Romance,’’ Christopher Barzak (Lightspeed 6/13)
‘‘The Waiting Stars,’’ Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky)
‘‘They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass,’’ Alaya Dawn Johnson (Asimov’s 1/13)
‘‘Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters,’’ Henry Lien (Asimov’s 12/13)
‘‘The Litigation Master and the Monkey King,’’ Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/13)
‘‘In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,’’ Sarah Pinsker (Strange Horizons 7/1 – 7/8/13)
Best Short Story
‘‘The Sounds of Old Earth,’’ Matthew Kressel (Lightspeed 1/13)
‘‘Selkie Stories Are for Losers,’’ Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons 1/7/13)
‘‘Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer,’’ Kenneth Schneyer (Clockwork Phoenix 4)
‘‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,’’ Rachel Swirsky (Apex 3/13)
‘‘Alive, Alive Oh,’’ Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (Lightspeed 6/13)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Doctor Who: ‘‘The Day of the Doctor’’ (Nick Hurran, director; Steven Moffat, writer) (BBC Wales)
Europa Report (Sebastián Cordero, director; Philip Gelatt, writer) (Start Motion Pictures)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, director; Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, writers) (Warner Bros.)
Her (Spike Jonze, director; Spike Jonze, writer) (Warner Bros.)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, director; Simon Beaufoy & Michael deBruyn, writers) (Lionsgate)
Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, director; Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro, writers) (Warner Bros.)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Indigo)
When We Wake, Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin; Little, Brown)
Sister Mine, Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central)
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Hero, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
September Girls, Bennett Madison (Harper Teen)
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty (Levine)
Damon Knight Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany
Special Guest: Frank M. Robinson
About the Nebula Awards
The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. Voting will open to SFWA Active members on March 1, and close on March 30. More information is available from http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/how-to-vote/.
About the Nebula Awards Weekend
The 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held May 15-18th, 2014, in San Jose at the San Jose Marriott. The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Toastmaster Ellen Klages. Borderland Books will host the mass autograph session from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16th at the San Jose Marriott. This autograph session is open to the public and books by the authors in attendance will be available for purchase. Attending memberships, and more information about the Nebula Awards Weekend, are available at http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-weekend/. Membership rates increase on March 1. The Weekend is open to non-SFWA members.
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world. Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 2,000 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction. Media: For information on obtaining press passes, interviews with nominees, or questions about the event itself, please contact SFWA’s Communications Manager, Jaym Gates, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not going to do an ultra long post, because if you’re a reader of this blog you already know how I feel about the imbalance between Anglophone authors, who get massively translated into other languages, and non-Anglophone authors, who have a much harder time making it into English print…
However, Benjamin Rosenbaum rightfully reminded me that I could do my part to redress this imbalance , and I would like to make the same offer he does (except in different languages). Cribbing from his blog post:
Do you like my stuff? Have you read (or written) a short story in your own (or another) language which you think is a) totally awesome and b) very much of my sensibility? Does it have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting translated into English, and you don’t quite have the chops to get it right yourself? Is it under 7000 words, and previously published in a paying, prestigious, or otherwise gate-kept market in the source market (i.e., not slush)?
How about we collaborate?
If the source language is French, you can pretty much turn it over to me. If it’s Spanish, I can probably read it, but I’m going to need a bunch of help with understanding nuance. (if it’s Vietnamese, I’ll recognise some words but that’s about it ) I’m willing to tackle other languages, too; but really, for anything other than French and possibly Spanish, you’ll need to prepare a basic, literal, raw translation into English. It doesn’t have to sing, it can be full of question marks and notes; or it can be almost done — really, your version — and all you need is a hand with English nuance and euphony.
I have to like the story, which means you might send me it and I might say “sorry, I can’t get into this one.”
You handle the rights on your end — contacting the author and making sure they’re cool with the idea. I’ll try and sell the translation in an English market. The original author gets half and we split the other half — or whatever else seems reasonable. Or if you already know a publisher, that’s cool too. (I would waive my cut only for a noncommercial project) Or we blog it, go indie, whatever you like.
Edited to Add: One interesting thing about trying to fight an injustice in a complex oppressive society is that complex oppressive societies are good at pitting groups against one another, so that by allying yourself with one you always have to be careful not to squash another (hello intersectionality!)
Another group that the 3% thing sucks for are professional translators into English, and it’s been pointed out in the comments that it’s not the right symbolic gesture to imply that translation should be done for free. So Ben revised his offer to remove that; I’m doing the same.
I’m not a professional translator; even in French, I’m no more than a dilettante translator, and in any other language, I’m not even that! I’m willing to translate on spec, for a portion of the profits of any eventual sale, because I see this as an opportunity to collaborate rather than a service for which I’m charging a fee. But in solidarity with professional translators, I will expect us to divide up any profits in a way that makes sense given the labor done (my general assumption would be that my cut would be 25% of sales of the translation, maybe 33% for French/Spanish).
I’m not an editor, and this is not a market: I cannot promise a sale. This is an offer of collaboration.
I’m committing to do one of these, in the next 12 months. And I’ll probably continue after that.
A FAIR WARNING HOWEVER: I’m completely underwater for the coming year, so while I’m quite willing to translate for you, I can’t guarantee a fair turn of speed–you’ll have to put up with a bit of… slow answers from me, I’m afraid (novel plus snakelet plus work plus other commitments add up to a busy busy bee on this end).
Helping translate one story a year is obviously a tiny, symbolic gesture. But I expect it to be fun, and possibly to be useful. Maybe it can help someone break into the Anglophone market.
I’d like to see more authors do this. I’d like to see us in the English speaking world make translation a regular part of our literary practice, the way it is for authors most other places. It’s interesting, it’s invigorating, and it’s only right. You don’t have to be a specialized translator. You could just do one a year. Why not?
Other authors writing in English (especially but not limited to those who speak other languages): are you interested in this issue too? Want to join me? Comment below!
If you are an author or potential collaborator from the non-Anglophone world:
Find a story you think we should translate.
The story must be under 7000 words and previously published in a significant market.
You should specifically think that it is a fit for me because of what I write, rather than just “hey I heard there’s a guy who will translate stuff on spec”.
If you didn’t write it yourself, secure the rights: contact the author, see if they agree to us translating it on spec, on whatever terms.
Contact me in comments here, on facebook/twitter/email etc., and tell me:
about the story in brief
where it was previously published
why you think I’m specifically the right person to help translate it
why you’re the right person to help (if you wrote the story, that’s why)
what rights deal you’ve decided on
how to contact you.
If the story is in French or Spanish, you can just send it to me as is (if it’s in Spanish I will need quite a bit of help from you for nuance, and I might possibly get back to you and ask for a rough translation). Otherwise I will need a rough literal translation into English for starters, and we will be working together closely.
If you’re Anglophone and would like to join in:
Say what languages you can read in, and what lengths, terms, etc., you’d be willing to handle, and how to contact you.
Enjoy the richness of the world beyond the narrow confines of English.
Gentlepersons, start your literary engines.
Any signal boosting much appreciated, thanks in advance!
ETA: corrected the payment terms as I don’t want to suggest translation is invisible work that’s hardly worth the money Translators do a vital (and often unrecognised and under-appreciated) job; while I’m quite happy to donate some of my time here, I don’t want people to get the idea no payment is a standard thing (see Edward Gauvin’s comments below, at my original blog post).
Very pleased to announce that my story “Heaven Under Earth”, published in Electric Velocipede, has made the Tiptree Honor List. The Tiptree is a great award, and the Honor list always makes for great reading, so I’m honoured to get that kind of nod, especially in the company of fine folks such as Ann Leckie, Nicola Griffith, and Alaya Dawn Johnson. And I don’t know N. Sulway, but <i>Rupetta</i> sounds fascinating. Many congrats to everyone!
In which I cook a lovely creamy soup, because it’s winter and because I need to test drive my new Braun hand mixer (I’ve had the mixer for a while, just never had a chance to do stuff with it before). And yeah, I know it’s hard to make pictures of a soup look good, especially with no herbs. You’ll just have to take my word for it, but it was truly scrumptious (and got H’s seal of approval!).
Pleased to announce I’ve sold “The Dust Queen” to Jonathan Strahan’s upcoming anthology Reach for Infinity. The full table of contents is here; quite pleased to be sharing with Al Reynolds, Hannu Rajaniemi, and Pat Cadigan, among other luminaries of the genre.
Many thanks for this are due to a sharp-eyed team of critters: Mary Robinette Kowal, Daniel Franklin, Max Edwards, and Joe Iriarte; and also to Ken Liu and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, who took a look at my very different first version of this and gave me plenty of ideas for the rewrite.
More info here on the anthology, and a snippet from the story here.
Another of my January project has gone live at Tor.com: a roundtable on The Food of the Future, with Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Fran Wilde. Check it out here.
Thanks to everyone who took part–it was a lot of fun, and especially many many thanks to Fran Wilde for masterminding it and sending me pointed reminders about fixing and submitting it in what has been a rather overwhelming month (well, OK. Lately all months have been overwhelming).