(Picture: Fran Wilde, Navah Wolfe, Alyssa Wong and me)
Just a quick note that I’m still around but completely completely buried in explody real life (aka “not serious, but time consuming” events).
I had a lovely time at the Nebulas; and finally got to see Mad Max: Fury Road with Navah Wolfe, Fran Wilde, Alyssa Wong and her boyfriend Don (and it was great, OMG. First off, the last movie I saw was Interstellar, which a. wasn’t *very* good from my point of view, and b. was a long time ago! *sigh* toddlers). Now I feel like I’m all caught up with what everyone was saying on the internet! Also, it’s a fantastic 2-hour chase movie with a couple great leads (Charlize Theron is badass awesome, and Tom Hardy too, in a different way!).
And then there was this:
(Kat Tanaka Opoknik, Alyssa Wong, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, and me)
Yes, there was tailcoat goodness (for those who haven’t been following the adventures of the tailcoat: I basically got it for my book launch, aka “cosplaying my own characters”, in this case Selene, the head of House Silverspires and a dab hand with tailcoats, men’s clothes and general bad-assness. This was my first serious spin with it, and it went very well. Except I had to google how to tie a cravat because it’s been so long since I last did it ^^)
Didn’t actually win a Nebula, but had a great time at the banquet (Sheila Williams organises awesome table seating!) and was very happy for the winners.
Now I’m back in Paris, looking with apprehension at the mass of things I’m supposed to be doing (do not overcommit do not overcommit etc.), and gearing up for the summer before book release (*gulp*). More when my head is above water (hahaha who am I kidding).
Have been up to a number of things (including baking and preparing for the upcoming Nebula Awards, aka “eep, my first over-the-pond flight in 2 years! ). BTW, I don’t know how much I can publicy say about that, but there’ll be shiny book-related stuff at the Nebulas, so if brace yourself if you’re attending :p (also me in a Gothic tailcoat, looking snazzy. And jetlagged).
Not much book stuff, but I’ve been focusing on shorts: answering proofreader’s queries to the upcoming “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” (in the Oct/Nov. issue of Asimov’s (the short version of this is that one should never put the simu-ghosts of 24 dead emperors in the same story unless one is prepared to do a lot *more* work to keep them straight and separate), and writing a couple new pieces!
Among them is this one, which is, er, mostly a retelling of this legend as a Xuya story (it’s always fascinated me. Mostly because I can’t imagine wasting away on an obsession, I guess).
In Da Trang’s nightmares, Pearl is always leaving–darting away from him, towards the inexorable maw of the Sun’s gravity, going into a tighter and tighter orbit until no trace of it remains–he’s always reaching out, sending a ship, a swarm of bots–calling upon the remoras to move, sleek and deadly and yet too agonisingly slow; to do anything, to save what they can.
Too late. Too late.
Yes, there are remoras. And crabs. And er. Angst. A lot of angst
Also, a brief reminder that today is the last day for getting a signed ARC of The House of Shattered Wings, my Gothic dark fantasy of a devastated Paris, fallen angels and political intrigues (and dead bodies, because this is a Bodard book :p): enter here!
 I think of it as prep for this summer, where I’ll be flying to Spokane on a *much* longer journey aka 3 connecting flights and 17 hours of zombie-inducing state…
Just a quick reminder that tonight (11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time) is the deadline for the Hugo Awards. You can nominate here.
If you’re still looking for something to put on your ballot, my awards consideration post is here, with a list of stuff I’ve liked in the past year. I’ve tried to focus it on online and diverse works–would be quite honoured and grateful if you had a look at some of it.
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.
2014 was a busy year, but mostly because I spent it taking care of the infant (and running after him in the last quarter of 2014)!
It’s very appropriate that out of all the stuff I published in 2014, my favourite is “The Breath of War”, my science fantasy story with spaceships, stone people and pregnancy. It was, hum, heavily inspired by September 2013 experiences, although of course I didn’t give birth in the middle of a space war :p
(if you read this blog, you’ll already know my position on the presence of women and positive depictions of pregnancies in fiction, so I won’t belabour it here–but it is part of why I’m putting this particular story forward).
It was on Tangent Online’s Recommended Reading List for 2014, and you can read it here at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, where it was first published; there are also ebook versions [EPUB|MOBI|PDF|RTF]. And an audio version read by Tina Connolly if audio’s more your thing!
And now onto other people’s fiction: I’ll direct you to my Book Smugglers Smugglivius post for the fiction I loved this year, but here are a few additional things I forgot.
Ahead of everything (which is a lot this year), I’ll just put in a strong recommendation for Xia Jia? She’s been publishing a lot of good fiction (an excellent novelette in Clarkesworld about the festivals of the future, and another one in Upgraded on old age and technology), and I think it’s a shame she’s not getting the recognition she deserves in the West. Here’s an interview with her done by Ken Liu, too.
From my Smugglivius post:
-Zen Cho, Spirits Abroad. A series of wonderfully light and funny stories, from the troubles of getting a boyfriend when you’re a pontianak (Malaysian vampire), to the changes wrought on a family by generations of immigration.
Uh. I would appear to be the owner of a brand-new Nebula Award for Best Novelette, for my Xuya space opera “The Waiting Stars”.
Copy-pasting my acceptance speech here:
I am honoured–and vaguely shocked–that I get a repeat performance at the Nebulas this year. Many thanks to everyone who voted for me and helped spread the word, and to my co-nominees, who all made this category such a difficult one to vote in! This story wouldn’t have come to pass without the fabulous Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt and their awesome anthology project of female-dominated space opera. I am indebted, as always, to Rochita Loenen-Ruiz for the friendship, to Ken Liu for being such a great first reader; to Sylvia, who kindly accepted to deliver this speech; and, as always, to my family for the support and love. Many thanks.
Many many thanks as well to everyone working behind the scenes to make the awards possible; and in particular to Steven H. Silver (who, among many other things, bugged me for my acceptance speech and is making sure I get the award mailed home). I am sorry I didn’t make it to San José this year–I would have loved to meet everyone, but the thought of a 12-hour international flight with the snakelet in my arms was…. a little too much? :p (I’m a little miffed as well–I didn’t actually realise the time difference was so important and assumed the Nebulas were happening in the middle of the night for me; in reality, they must have been handing the award about 30 minutes before I got up this morning–though to be fair, I got up early because the snakelet didn’t want to sleep anymore…).
And many congrats to the other winners–Ann Leckie, Vylar Kaftan, Rachel Swirsky, Alfonso Cuaron and Nalo Hopkinson, and Grand Master Samuel Delany. It is an awesome slate this year, and I am very proud to be part of it (am now crossing my fingers Ancillary Justice gets a well-deserved Hugo).
Anyway, this is me in a state of shock. I will go off and see why the snakelet is screaming his head off… #proudmom
Meant to post about this earlier, but ran into a few website problems (now fixed, thank God, but had a pretty unfunny 24 hours on Thursday where I seriously contemplated complicated tech manoeuvres).
Very pleased to announce that “The Waiting Stars” is a finalist for the 2014 Locus Awards in the “Best Novelette” category. Many thanks to everyone who voted for it! (also, wow. The other people on the ballot kind of make me want to crawl up somewhere and hide).
Also, a very nice writeup of the story over at Tor.com by Niall Alexander.
The full list of finalists is as follows:
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart; Bloomsbury; Talese)
Abaddon’s Gate, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher UK)
Shaman, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
NOS4A2, Joe Hill (Morrow; Gollancz as NOS4R2)
River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay (Roc; Viking Canada; HarperCollins UK)
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton)
The Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch (Del Rey; Gollancz)
YOUNG ADULT BOOK
Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Indigo)
Homeland, Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen; Titan)
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Catherynne M. Valente (Feiwel and Friends)
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic, Emily Croy Barker (Dorman)
The Golden City, J. Kathleen Cheney (Roc)
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
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 (do read the rules, though, because they’re not always intuitive, especially with regards to the use of the ranking system and “No Award”, which can be downright confusing. Further info here, including in the comments. I certainly wish I had known this at my first Worldcon).
Further reading, below, 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). I don’t agree with everything, but this is stuff well worth keeping in mind.