Tag: hugos

Hugo Awards nomination deadline

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Still snowed under, but I did want to make sure this was out there as people were filling out their ballots…

Hugo nominations deadline is on March 10th; I’ve already put up an awards recommendation post  (and supplementary recs here). But since the Hugos include non-fiction categories, I thought I’d add a few more recommendations in that direction:

Best Fanzine:

Both the World SF Blog and Europa SF have done a great job of taking SF past the Western Anglophone bias that still dominates the field: Europa SF is mainly focused on Europe whereas the scope of the World SF blog is a bit larger. Both have interesting and varied features, and I think their nominations would add diversity to the field.

Best Fan Writer:

Abigail Nussbaum and Aishwarya Subramanian are two blogs I read regularly. They both write fiercely intelligent, detailed posts on genre (and non-genre) books, and have led me to many an unsuspected treasure.

(btw, because people have asked: yup, On a Red Station, Drifting is eligible for the Best Novella Hugo; if you’re a Hugo or Nebula voter and you’re interested in reading it, contact me–for Nebula voters, it’s in the SFWA forums as part of the Nebula Awards voting packet).

Eastercon brief report

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So… don’t really have much to say, other than that the con was awesome: Heathrow remains one of my favourite locations because despite the weirdness of the con hotel, it’s *very* easily accessible from where I live (I’m already looking at Bradford next year in mounting dread). I had con crud pretty much as I walked into the hotel–my BA flight having kindly cranked up the air conditioning and worsened a pre-existing cold–and I spent the entire con trying not to run out of voice (the con bar was particularly bad for this, as it had ambiant music that made me speak louder just to be heard).

Organisation was great; I met lots of people old and new, hung around until impossible hours, and mostly wish I’d had more time to actually see everyone whom I wanted to see.
The non-Anglophone panel was great, though, as Rochita points out, it would have been nice to have an extra half-hour in which to move beyond the false problem of translation (which is admittedly difficult, but no more from English to another language than from another language to English), and tackle the power differential and the effects of globalisation (especially as I roped Rochita in, and she could attest to personal experience of growing up in a country vastly overwhelmed by US culture). My panel on Youth and Youthfulness in SF was great (Tom Pollock being one of the best moderators I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing), and we tackled lots of interesting problems on that. Highlight of the weekend probably goes to a panel I wasn’t on, though: “The Nature of Heroism” featured Tricia Sullivan, David Anthony Durham, Genevieve Valentine, George RR Martin and Joe Abercrombie, and Tricia raised some very pointed and valid questions about the “men’s club” nature of heroism and our excessive preoccupation with violence in epic fantasy. You can watch the whole thing here, and it’s definitely worth a look.

They also announced the Hugo nominees while I was at Eastercon (but stuck in a signing): there are lots and lots of friend on that list, and many congrats go to them all (I’m especially impressed that a lot of people are on the ballot twice in different categories). To single out just two of them, though: it will come as no surprise that Ken Liu’s short fiction is nominated both for Best Short Story and Best Novella (and I will be very miffed if he doesn’t take at least one of those trophies); and many congrats also go to Nancy Fulda, whose short story “Movement” is a Villa Diodati success story (not often that stuff we critique ends up on the ballot for the Hugos and the Nebulas!).

(I do have a few other links about stuff that went on… less well, shall we say, but I’m keeping them for tomorrow’s link roundup. There were many awesome things about this year’s con, and this is the post for them).

Awards season, redux

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Ha, that time of the year. I wish I’d had time to read more, but that’s always the case… I nagged the H into doing our Hugo ballot last weekend, when we realised that the nomination deadline was 11th March, and way closer than we both thought. His process went something like this: he filled in the headings that interested him most (best novel, best artist, best graphic story), and then turned to me as he hit the short fiction:

“Do you have anything this year?”
“Er, yeah, my short story Shipbirth that’s up for the Nebula.”
“Then I’m not nominating anything else in the short story category.”
I tried to make him change his mind (plenty of awesome short stories this year), but he wouldn’t budge. So I stuck my own recs in my ballot–do check them out here, plenty of awesome stuff!–and we sent the whole lot off. So, I’ve done my Hugo duty, and we’ve established the (strong) level of spousal support in this household 😀

Now I’ve got the BSFA shortlist to read before Eastercon, and the voting for the Nebulas to sort out before, er, end of March? I’ve downloaded the Nebula Voters’ packet: I’ve read everything except the novels and the novellas, so that’s next (and the novel shortlist is very tasty, plenty of stuff in there I wanted to check out. Big advantage of being a SFWA member is, first, that I get those in the voters’ packet, and second, that I get a good to-read list for this part of the year. Last year I didn’t have much time at all for reading the novels, but this time around I’m ready, and I have plenty of time. Should be nice. Except that for some reason, I can’t manage to make the copy of China Miéville’s Embassytown stop crashing on my computer, grr).

Linky linky

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I haven’t done this for a bit, so here’s me catching up on a few links over the internet:

-Over at Chimeras, Elena Giorgi interviews me on Writing, Science and Language
-Jason Loch interviews me for Toonari Post, and blogs about his love for Obsidian and Blood
-I blog over at Juliette Wade’s Talk to You Universe on French convivial meals such as raclette, pierrade and fondue
-Erin M. Hartshorn posts about me in her A to Z of female SF writers, and in particular about “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”
-Tony’s Thoughts reviews Servant of the Underworld
-A medley of reviews for D’Obsidienne et de Sang (in French): Noosfere, Les Chroniques de Madoka, Mythologica, another one at Mythologica, Kawell of BOOKS EN STOCK at YouTube, Madoka, Dup at Book en Stock , Anesidora at Terre Des Mille Lieux. Mostly all positive, if not outright dithyrambic. Wow.

And because a post like this is missing pictures, here’s the H and I at the Hugo Awards ceremony, courtesy of Richard Man (you can see all his Hugo pictures here):

Hugo Awards

Worldcon brief report

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So we had a great romp in the US (except for the bit where we burst the tyre landing, see earlier post): we got to stay with the amazing Dario Ciriello and his wife Linda; to meet up with Keyan Bowes, Jason Ridler, Erin Hoffman, Nick Mamatas, Katherine Sparrow, Kate Kligman, and Mike-whose-last-name-I-keep-blanking-out-on (sorry. If you’re around in comments and want to amend, I’d very much appreciate it).
And I had a great worldcon altogether, meeting with many many friends, and staying up far too late. I got to see good friends T.L. Morganfield, Chris Kastensmidt and Ken Scholes, met a whole bunch of people I only knew from online (or didn’t know at all) and spent a lot of time hanging out with awesome people, which is always cool. Many thanks to Patty Wells and her organising team –it is truly a massive labour of love to organise those events, and I don’t think I’m near aware enough of the enormous quantity of work that goes on behind the scene to give us this wonderful space in which to share our love of genre.

I had a lovely time on panels as well, though in retrospect I should have taken on more programme load (I wanted to avoid the Montreal burnout, but I ended up on too few items). The panel on non-European fantasy we had with Chris Kastensmidt, Ken Scholes and Saladin Ahmed had a great discussion going on, and many insights (and it was filmed, too, which means you should be able to see it on the internet somewhere…) I mostly played wallflower on the Minorities on Covers one (though I should really have registered my opposition to the notion that the reason Hollywood movies were so racist was because of foreign demand. Uh, I’m sorry? We don’t particularly care about White Americans over in Europe either, and I’m pretty sure most of Asia would rather have Chinese-Americans than middle-aged White dudes. Please stop using us non US-ians as excuses for all-Hollywoodian failings). And I ended up cancelling the Cross-Cultural Influences one because I was so nervous about the Hugos (which was stupid, I freely admit. I could have managed it). Reading and kaffeklatsch went pretty well, and so did autographing session. And I came home with lots of books (OK, not so many. Got Warbreaker, my fave Brandon Sanderson book, and a load of Shlock Mercenary comics).

It’ll come as no particular surprise that not only did I not win a Hugo, I also ranked pretty much last on most people’s ballots… [1] Not complaining though. It is truly an honour to be a nominee, especially for a Hugo, aka the award which defined so much of my science fiction reading. And it was a very strong ballot, and I am truly humbled by the number of people who read, enjoyed, and voted for “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”. Also, I got to show off my lovely dress, which counts for something [2] 🙂 (and the Hugo nomination was an excuse to do the California roadtrip with the H–on which more later, when we upload the pictures–, so pretty good there as well).

Many congrats to the Hugo winners, in particular to Mary Robinette Kowal for picking up her first Hugo, to Clarkesworld for their second (NOTE: Neil posted they were retiring from contention for next year, in the interests of the category)–and especially many many congrats for Sheila Williams for her well-deserved win: given the number of Asimov’s stories on the Hugo ballot/who won a Hugo in recent years, not having her win Best Editor for Short Form seemed downright odd. A bit miffed that the following wins didn’t happen: Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House (plus, Ian in kilt was awesome), N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (yes, it’s two in the same category. I’m allowed to be schizophrenic), Alastair Reynolds’ “Troika” (Alastair hasn’t exactly been recognised by the Hugo voters before, and it’s a crying shame…), and Lauren Beukes (who is very much made of awesome. Definitely looking forward to her next book). But you can’t win every time…

The H and I were also fairly puzzled by the Japan video at the Hugo Awards: we loved the glimpse into other cons in another country, but listing only the Western Anglophone winners on the Seiun Awards felt… oddly self-centered? We kind of wanted to see what was cutting edge in Japan, as well [3] (and I have to admit neither of the two names meant much to us except in a “oh, I’ve seen this name before” way, so seeing a few Japanese names and publication covers wouldn’t have been so conceptually different for us).

In travel news, I knew this already, but I think I’ll never trust security checks again: we realised after we’d cleared security that we had a folded Opinel knife in the outer pocket of our backpack, in full sight–and that absolutely no one had seen it or commented on it. But, on the other hand, I couldn’t check in online with American Airlines because they couldn’t figure out that “Aliette Debodarddelajacopiere” and “Aliette de Bodard de la Jacopiere” were really the same person (hey, not my fault the reservation systems has limited space for my full name and insists on lumping it all together…); and we got the suitcase searched coming AND going. Which, at a guess, probably didn’t yield much of interest (except if you’re looking for fully licit Shlock Mercenary contraband, of which there was plenty), and got me fairly miffed when whoever repacked the suitcase broke all the cookies we were bringing to the con. Still wondering–was it the TSA-friendly lock that they saw as a challenge?

Anyway, more later (including a confession post, and California picture trips). Gotta cook dinner and go to bed, and then we can see about this writing thing tomorrow…


[1] Most people on the internet seemed to be complaining about the story not working for them, so I figured my chances ran pretty close to a snowball’s in Hell…
[2] And the rocket pin. Don’t forget the rocket pin. I now have a Nebula pin, a Hugo pin and a Campbell pin, and feel I can dazzle my way out of pretty much everything (and if it doesn’t work, I’ll just hit people with the BSFA trophy).
[3] And thanks to the magic of Google, here’s the list of winners, and nominees (nominees isn’t great, there seem to be info missing from it, but I don’t read Japanese, it’s the best I could find…)

Hugo voting

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The H and I just handed in our Hugo ballot. There’s until July 31st to read and vote, but we’re both really absent-minded, so better safe than sorry.

You can actually still register online, either as a full attending member, or as a supporting member if you’re not planning to attend the con. In both cases, you get the voters’ packet, which is chockfull of goodies, including awesome comics like Fables, and entire novels only available in hardcover. Well worth the (50$-) price of admission. Plus, of course, you get the right to vote for the Hugos–and, like any popular awards, the Hugos are determined by their voters. If you’re happy/unhappy/angry with the Hugos, now is the chance to make your voice heard!

(and, while you’re at it, if you have a moment to consider my story “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” for Best Novelette, I’d be really honoured and grateful)

Zoo City and the Clarke Award

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Huge congrats to fellow AR author Lauren Beukes for winning the Clarke Award for her novel Zoo City.

And, while you’re at it, you can go read her post on Writing the Other over at the World SF blog.

Writing The Other is a sensitive topic. It should be. Not least because it’s so often been done so very, very, badly.

But the truth is that unless you’re writing autobiography, any character you write is going to be The Other.

I am not a serial killer. (Unless my multiple personalities are hiding something from me.) I am also not a 50s housewife, a parking attendant, a car-jacking reality TV star, a Ugandan email scammer, a Tokyo mecha pilot, or a future-world stubborn-as-heck gay anti-corporate activist. And even though my novelist friends Thando Mgqolozana and Zukiswa Wanner like to joke that I’m a black girl trapped in a white girl’s skin, I’m not Zoo City’s hip, fast-talking, ex-journo, ex-junkie black Joburg girl protagonist, Zinzi.

(you can also see Lauren on the Hugo Awards shortlist, where she’s up for a Campbell Award)

Brief weekend wrapup, BSFA Award and Hugos

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So…

It was a very good Eastercon; and it was also a very frustrating one. Due to several other commitments, my roommate (the awesomely talented Rochita Loenen-Ruiz) and I arrived late on Friday evening, and as a result I ended up missing most of the action until Saturday morning (whereupon I had a brief moment for breakfast with Tricia Sullivan, Paul Cornell and Lauren Beukes, before I was whisked off for my signing, where I spent the rest of the afternoon). I watched the new Doctor Who episode, which was awesome but slightly frustrating–it’s all well and good for those who have BBC at home, but I’m going to have to wait for it to air in France or go to DVD before I can know the ending (interestingly, I prefer Matt Smith’s Doctor to Tennant’s Doctor, though Eccleston remains my favourite of those incarnations I’ve seen).

Then it was time for the BSFA Awards. As you can see, I hadn’t had much time to myself till then, so I wrote a very hasty and illegible speech on the back of a piece of paper while in the queue for Doctor Who, secure in the knowledge it wouldn’t ever be pronounced.

You can see this coming a mile off, don’t you. “The Shipmaker” won Best Short Fiction. Once I got past the OMG OMG moment, I just knew I was going to have to improvise something. I have no idea how it all went, because it’s a bit of a blur, but let me thank once again, everyone who voted in the short fiction category, the tireless people of the BSFA for organising the Awards, Paul Cornell and David Weber for presenting it to me, and Andy Cox, Andy Hedgecock, Roy Gray and the rest of the Interzone team for publishing the story in the first place. (I do have a shiny trophy, but due to various logistics problems it’s, er, temporarily elsewhere. Will take pics and display them when I have them). Major congrats as well to Paul Kincaid, Joey Hi-Fi and Ian McDonald for taking the prize in their categories; and finally, kudos to my fellow nominees, Nina Allan, Peter Watts and Neil Williamson. It was an honour to be with you guys.

Sunday, very fortunately, was quieter, allowing me time to browse in the dealers’ room, hang out with friends in the bar, and steel myself for the evening. Namely, something I had been sitting on for a couple of weeks–the Hugo nomination of “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” for Best Novelette.

The announcement is also a bit of a blur, but fortunately no speeches were involved. Very happy to see a number of friends on the ballot such as Lauren Beukes, Rachel Swirsky, Eric James Stone, Ian McDonald, and Mary Robinette Kowal. And very very happy to see Alastair Reynolds finally up for a Hugo (you’d think he’d have been nominated before, but apparently not). And also very happy to see so many women up for awards, especially in the fiction category. Though we were talking it over with the H yesterday, and we weren’t entirely sure that nominations would transcribe into wins due to the way the ballot was structured (not sure about the others, but I expect Ted Chiang to win the novella, and I also suspect that all the proponents of traditional science-driven SF–of which there are many–will vote for Ian McDonald, giving him a strong edge in terms of votes). I very much hope I’ll be proved wront there.

So, at any rate, the complete list of Hugo nominees is here; lots of good stuff to check out; and thanks to everyone who nominated me, or supported me, or cheered for me when the announcement came out. And if, you know, you happen to want Jaguar Knights to win the shiny rocket trophy, you know what to do 🙂

Other than that, it was a great but exhausting con. I did my reading (the cookies went down a treat at that one–and my deepest thanks to everyone who turned up to show support); got on a couple of last-minute panels on Monday about Race and Gender in SF and Self-Promotion for Writers; met lots of people–old friends, new acquaintances–and generally had tons of fun and many productive discussions. I’m only sorry it was so short, and that there were some people I managed to miss altogether. But hey, here’s to next year.

Hugo Awards nomination deadline

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So, day after tomorrow is the deadline for nominating for the Hugos–for which, like the Nebulas, I’m sadly behind, especially on the novels. But, as for the Nebulas, I read some awesome short fiction this year, so here are my suggestions again:

-“Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life”, by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Short Story): a great story of immigration, alienation and man vs. machine. Available on the SFWA forums, or in the e-edition of Interzone 229 (available at Fictionwise).
-“Flying in the Face of God” by Nina Allan (Novelette): about space explorations, its cost and its impact on those who are left behind. Available here as a PDF from the TTA press website.
-“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers from Beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Novella): a tale of a woman summoned again and again from beyond death to practise magic–dealing with loss, prejudice and the evolution of cultures and countries, and a great reversal on the “summoning demons” trope. Available here from Subterranean.
ETA: may I also recommend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz for the Campbell Award? In addition to the Interzone story, check out this awesome one at Fantasy Magazine.

(my own stuff is here if you feel like trying it out: “The Jaguar House in Shadow”, an Aztec alt-hist novelette on friendship, betrayal and honour, is on the Nebula Awards shortlist; and of course I’d be pretty darn honoured if you deemed it worthy)

Awards, awards

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So while I was at Eastercon (brief con report to come), the David Gemmell Legend Awards shortlist came up–and Pierre Pevel’s The Cardinal’s Blades (with cover by John Sullivan and Sue Michniewicz) did a clean sweep, being nominated in Best Novel, Best Newcomer and Best Artwork. W00t, let’s hear it for translated fiction!
(the website possibly has a textual version of the nominees, but I couldn’t find it. I direct you to this post instead)

And, of course, the Hugos were also announced Sunday evening–mega congrats to everyone, but special mentions for Eugie Foster for being on the novelette ballot with her fabulous “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” (first published in Interzone 220); to Rachel Swirsky with her equally fab “Eros, Philia, Agape” (Tor.com. I personally preferred “A Memory of Wind”, which is on the Nebula Ballot, but both are tremendous stories); and, finally, to Tony C.Smith and the StarShipSofa team for making the “Best Fanzine” category.

*happy writer*