Some thoughts on the Hugo nominees


That’s a bit of a misleading post title, I’m afraid… I’m not going to comment at length because it’s a bit churlish to comment on a ballot one is part of, and also because my brains are fried (thanks to the snakelet, whom I think is secretly a zombie–has uncontrolled gestures, drools all the time, eats Mom’s brains, what more evidence do you need?). But, more seriously–broadly, I agree with John Scalzi on the matter: you may or may not agree with the particular people on the ballot, but insofar as I know everyone has full rights to be there.

As John points out, it doesn’t mean everyone gets automatic first place votes, or even votes above No Award. ETA: Where I disagree with John is that if you don’t want to read some or all of the nominees, that’s entirely fine by me. Yup, even if said nominees are me. I don’t think being on the Hugo ballot entitles you to equal, measured and fair consideration on the sole basis of your work. See the end of the post for more details.

Also, whatever your thoughts on the ballot, please read and vote? The Hugos won’t be a huge inclusive award unless there are lots of voters reflecting all walks of fandom, and this year is already on track to have a record number of voters–which is great. FYI, if you’re not attending Worldcon it’s not too late for a supporting membership, which nets you the voter’s packet–lots of good fiction–and voting rights. Remember it’s an Australian system, i.e. ranking by preference, which, by cushioning much of the effect of a splitting of votes, allows you to express several preferences, though it’s not a panacea.

Further reading, well worth consideration (on the Hugo ballot, but more generally on the issue of divorcing authors from their works and the old “let’s consider these solely on merit” chestnut):
Rose Lemberg

S.L. Huang

Ferrett Steinmetz

(slightly edited post)

“The Waiting Stars” up for a Hugo Award


Very very pleased to announce that “The Waiting Stars” is up for a Hugo Award for Best Novelette (though, given that other people on the ballot include Ted Chiang, I think I can safely skip the acceptance speech :p ). Particularly happy because Loncon3 is a special con: it’s the symbolic anniversary of the first Worldcon I went to (Interaction in 2005), with the H (who wasn’t the H at the time!), it’s my first con as mother of the snakelet, and it will also be my first English Worldcon as a writer rather than as a fan.

Many thanks to everyone who took time to read “The Waiting Stars” (and especially those who nominated it). And also very very pleased to see Benjanun Sriduangkaew on the ballot for the Campbell Award: I’m crossing my fingers very hard for her.

The full list of nominees is below:

Continue reading →

Belated sales announcement: the Moon over Red Trees to BCS


Belatedly announcing that I sold my short story “The Moon over Red Trees” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies (yeah, this is a BCS kind of year. Not that I’m complaning. It’s a great market, and, as evidenced by publication of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Seth Dickinson and Yoon Ha Lee  , Scott H. Andrews has got awesome taste).

It’s a bit of a change for me, as this is a historical fantasy set in colonial Indochina in the beginning of the 20th Century.

Snippet here.

I will now go back to my novel writing being the mother of the snakelet.

Quick update


Am still around, just very very busy (especially with the snakelet progressing at exponential pace towards toddlerhood. Babies are scary sometimes. The good scary, but still).

Still working on the novel that wouldn’t die. 73k words in, 18.5 chapters. 30 to 40k words to go, 6.5 chapters. I can do it. *deep breath*

In the meantime, I’m over at SF Signal, revealing which SFF character I would like to share a drink with.

Last day to nominate for the Hugos


Today is the last day to nominate for the Hugo awards.

I’ve updated my recs post here with two novellas and a short story. Wish I’d made more progress on the novels, but it’s been a slowgoing kind of year, reading wise (I think I’m possibly the only one who entetertained delusions that it was going to be a productive time).
The nomination form is here (you’ll need your member number and PIN, which should have been emailed to you). I would urge you to nominate even if you feel you haven’t read enough last year: it’s a huge field, and even something that feels like an incomplete, fragmented view of it is a valuable opinion (and experience has shown that the people who don’t vote because they feel they haven’t read enough are disproportionately women and other minorities, which has the implications you can guess on the shortlists. Vote vote vote, if you’re able to do so). I know I’ll be finalising my ballot tonight. What about you? Have you voted? Did you find new favourites this year?

“The Breath of War” published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies


Pleased to announce my science fantasy story “The Breath of War” is now published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘s special Science Fantasy month. You can read it here.

As the first few paragraphs indicate, this is tangentially connected to the Xuya universe (it’s a great big large universe out there :) ). Those with knowledge of Chinese/Vietnamese history will probably recognise the inspiration for this: it’s a mix of fairytales I read as a child, one about jade carvings (which are about whittling down the stone to the true shape it contains), and another about a painted dragon that came alive when the artist painted the eyes (the only missing part). Aka I continue to mine mythology for awesome SF. There are worse things :p

The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile published in Subterranean


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.