matociquala: (criminal minds garcia technopeasant)

Congrats, all!

Now back to the word mines.

2015 Locus Awards Finalists

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the top five finalists in each category of the 2015 Locus Awards.

Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 26-28, 2015; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Additional weekend events include author readings with Willis and Daryl Gregory; a kickoff Clarion West party honoring first week instructor Andy Duncan, Clarion West supporters, awards weekend ticket holders, and special guests; panels with leading authors; an autograph session with books available for sale thanks to University Book Store; and a lunch banquet with the annual Hawai’ian shirt contest, all followed by a Locus party on Saturday night.


The Peripheral, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu (Tor)
Lock In, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)
Annihilation/Authority/Acceptance, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
Steles of the Sky, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway; Jo Fletcher)
The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman (Viking; Arrow 2015)
The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot US)

Half a King, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Voyager UK)
The Doubt Factory, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
Waistcoats & Weaponry, Gail Carriger (Little, Brown; Atom)
Empress of the Sun, Ian McDonald (Jo Fletcher; Pyr)
Clariel, Garth Nix (Harper; Hot Key; Allen & Unwin)

Elysium, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct)
A Darkling Sea, James L. Cambias (Tor)
The Clockwork Dagger, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager)
The Memory Garden, Mary Rickert (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley (Tor; Tor UK)

“The Man Who Sold the Moon”, Cory Doctorow (Hieroglyph)
We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Regular”, Ken Liu (Upgraded)
“The Lightning Tree”, Patrick Rothfuss (Rogues)

“Tough Times All Over”, Joe Abercrombie (Rogues)
“The Hand Is Quicker”, Elizabeth Bear (The Book of Silverberg)
“Memorials”, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 1/14)
“The Jar of Water”, Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House #62)
“A Year and a Day in Old Theradane”, Scott Lynch (Rogues)

“Covenant”, Elizabeth Bear (Hieroglyph)
“The Dust Queen”, Aliette de Bodard (Reach for Infinity)
“The Truth About Owls”, Amal El-Mohtar (Kaleidoscope)
“In Babelsberg”, Alastair Reynolds (Reach for Infinity)
“Ogres of East Africa”, Sofia Samatar (Long Hidden)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-first Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Press)
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, Rose Fox & Daniel José Older, eds. (Crossed Genres)
Rogues, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, ed. (Bantam; Titan)
Reach for Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
The Time Traveler’s Almanac, Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Head of Zeus; Tor)

Questionable Practices, Eileen Gunn (Small Beer)
The Collected Short Fiction Volume One: The Man Who Made Models, R.A. Lafferty (Centipede)
Last Plane to Heaven, Jay Lake (Tor)
Academic Exercises, K.J. Parker (Subterranean)
The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume Nine: The Millennium Express, Robert Silverberg (Subterranean; Gateway)


Angry Robot
Small Beer

John Joseph Adams
Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois
Jonathan Strahan
Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Jim Burns
John Picacio
Shaun Tan
Charles Vess
Michael Whelan

Ray Bradbury Unbound, Jonathan Eller (University of Illinois Press)
Harry Harrison! Harry Harrison!, Harry Harrison (Tor)
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore (Knopf)
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better: 1948-1988, William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
What Makes This Book So Great, Jo Walton (Tor; Corsair 2015)

Jim Burns, The Art of Jim Burns: Hyperluminal (Titan)
The Art of Neil Gaiman, Hayley Campbell (Harper Design)
Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, John Fleskes, ed. (Flesk)
Brian & Wendy Froud, Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales (Abrams)
The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era, Ron Miller (Zenith)

matociquala: (bad girls firefighters)
There are a number of proposals being brainstormed in the various fandom internets (remember: anarchy--lots of people working and talking in tandem) towards amending the Hugo voting procedures to prevent slate voting from completely dominating the award. I don't think any of them are particularly workable***. One of them, the idea of presenting an opposing state, is not just an awkward kludge, but a radically bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least of it being that it's still unethical to game the system even when people I like are gaming it.

But there are more practical reasons to avoid slates. One is that when you create a slate you participate in shutting out the popular voice and the emergent story. You're turning the Hugo Awards into an echo of American two-party politics, completely divorced from the actual desires of the electorate and creating a "less of two evils" approach that will be even more effective at removing any actual value from the shortlist than a single slate does.

And then the next thing you know, everybody is making slates, and I'm pretty sure you can see the non-constructive anarchy that results, and as the apocryphal said, "Fuck that noise."

So I reiterate: I will never participate in a slate, and I will never vote for a work that is nominated as a result of a slate. Slates are a wrecking tool, and I don't see how they can be used in a constructive fashion. The Hugo Awards are designed to be a consensus process. It's why they use Instant Runoff Voting rather than first-past-the-post.

See [ profile] kevin_standlee, one of the more experienced Hugo administrators around, for details on how the process works to prevent abuse here. The Hugos are designed to take the five (or four, or six) most popular candidates and choose the least generally disliked among them.

Maybe we should change the award name to "Least Generally Disliked Novel," but that's neither here nor there.

I have a more basic reason for feeling that twiddling with the Hugo system is a patch at best. And it's this: as a tabletop gamer and game-master of 32 years, I can tell you that the munchkins and the min-maxxers will always be with us, and attempts to build an ungameable system actually result in more gaming of it. They also result in the social normalization of gaming, because what you wind up with is systems that are so complex that only people really dedicated to min-maxxing them can get functionality out of them at all.

What does work to prevent gaming the systems?

Community standards.

I've said for years that if anybody wanted to spend $4000, and were clever about it, they could have a Hugo award. Less, in certain categories. It's been tried. (I refer you to Peter Nicholls' cogent writeup of the New Era Publications/Black Genesis Hugo-fixing conspiracy* of 1987. That was not the first time.)

Why don't we all do it?

I have four Hugo awards. Two are for fiction; two are for fan work.

I actually did pay for one of them, the 2013 Best Fancast Hugo, because Lonecon (the San Antonio Worldcon) could not afford bases for all the winners, so several of us shelled out of pocket after we learned we'd won because the award meant that much to us.

A Hugo award isn't cheap, by the way.

But it cost me considerably less than $4000.**

There are people in this world who make a very fine living from their novels who would love a Best Novel Hugo. Some of them could buy and sell my entire family. Some of them are smart enough to get away with it, unlike New Era Publications.

Hell, I'd like to win a Best Novel Hugo one day. I know for a fact that [ profile] scott_lynch would.

So why don't they do it? Why don't I do it?

Because for the award to mean something, it has to be earned. It has to mean the respect and the admiration of our fellow fans****. *****

Hugos don't come with any money. (Many other major genre awards, such as the Tiptree and the Dick, do come with a nice check.) They don't really boost your sales. (A Best Novel Hugo will sell a few more copies of that particular book, and they can certainly get some translation action going over the long term.)

So why do we treasure them?

We treasure them (and I treasure my fanac Hugos as much as my fiction Hugos) because they mean that fandom noticed we did something pretty damned okay. They're a shiny gold star, and they're peer-awarded. It's a big deal.

I'd hate to think I'd been awarded that shiny gold star not because of the merits of my own work, but because somebody twisted arms to get it for me.

But when we try to game the system through slates (which are a form of minmax, oh yes), we violate community standards and we also create the twin unethical situations of depriving others of their voice (in the sense of having their votes count) and their just rewards (in the sense of having votes for them counted).

I consider slate balloting to be a form of theft, albeit one that's within the rules******.

So. How does the gaming community respond to munchkins?

Well, we make fun of them. We refuse to play with them. We refuse to share our resources with them. We volunteer to do jobs that the lazy bastards who want to game the system are too lazy to do, and thereby we enter the conversation of the community. We make ourselves useful. We join the Worldcon and we vote and do work to support that community in the long run.

(The Worldcon is a community, by the way. There's a reason you buy memberships to a Worldcon-or any fan con--and not "tickets." You're not paying for the privilege of attending an entertainment or to vote in an award: you are paying to support a community. A Worldcon membership is dues, not admission.)

Human society works in general because it's useful, and because it has been useful in the past. There are those who take advantage of the general good-will of others, and our societal defense against those people is to deny them the benefits of association with the rest of us.

Shunning, mockery, and volunteerism are also well-established strategies for dealing with troublemakers in any situation that is mostly governed by consensus, be it a tribe, a family, or a fandom. Or a gang of kids in the local park. I believe that in the long run, fandom and the Hugos will come out of this fine.

Or at least as fine as we always are, complete with moon men and obstructionists and contrarians galore.

*Actual conspiracy, not hyperbole conspiracy

**Hundreds for bases, not one red cent for votes.

***Some disenfranchise long-term voters (no); some are overly complex or just as open to concerted gaming as the current system.

****Or at least that you're the least-disliked of the best.

*****Now, minmax and munchkining are not against the rules. If they were against the rules, the Hugo Committee could take action to remove the cheaters from the ballot. The entire goal of minmaxxing is to get away with exactly as much as the rules permit.

******What is permitted and what is ethical do not always intersect. This is why we have judges.
matociquala: (criminal minds garcia plan b)

Here's a thing about science fiction fandom that a lot of people who are new to the community may miss, SF prodom is an industry, yes--it's a group of interrelated sole proprietors and corporations and nonprofits all working in the same word mines.

I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a small business, in point of fact.

But I'm also a fan. And fandom intersects with prodom on a thousand different levels, not the least of which is that most SF pros are also SF fans.

And SF Fandom is a functioning, self-sustaining, multi-generational anarchy.

There is no central governing body. There is no system of government. There is no set of checks and balances, no higher authority to whom we can appeal when something hinky is going on, if it's an abusive fan, an unethical writer, or an editor who engages in harassment.

We are it. Fandom. And fandom is you and me and that guy over there who is horrible to everybody.

Fandom is an emergent property of a large group of fans. Nobody planned it. Nobody guided it. It just happened.

And it happened--and continues to happen--in large part because a whole fuckload of people decided to serve it. Not exploit it. Not attempt to co-opt it. But to serve it, with things like fanzines and Fan Funds and fan-run conventions (which are entirely staffed by volunteers, by the way, and the pros who attend them are generally not paid. If we are guests, we may get a per diem for food, a hotel room, and our travel covered. We may get a membership comped if we do program even if we're not guests of the convention, but in those cases we're paying our own expenses to be there. That's it. For a general loss of about a week's working time, and remember--nobody pays us if we don't work.).

They also serve it with the Worldcon, and with the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Awards. Which are (again) administrated by volunteers. There's no glory in administrating awards, and a huge pile of backbreaking and thankless labor, and often a great deal of annoyance and wank and farmed or native drama.

Fandom happens because people take care of it, nurture it, and make it a fun place for people to be. Preferably, an inclusive place. If anything, we often err too far on the side of putting up with assholes, because we're bad at excluding people.

There are plenty of people in fandom who I think are jerks, idiots, pains in the ass, complete eye-rolling cramps, and/or moon men. Some of those people do valuable work for the community, even while I'm facepalming over their opinions.

All of them got into it the same way I did--by being volunteered or (as is very common) voluntold.

These people refer to themselves as SMoFs as a joke, you understand. Jobs often get done in haphazard ass-backward ways because they are done by anybody willing, and often on limited time, in the cracks of a busy life, and with little or no funding.

Some people in the community do not contribute in any meaningful way. But its awfully hard to actually run those people off, because we are--as I mentioned above--an anarchy. Fandom has no Office of Asshole Removal*.

Nobody is in charge, is what I'm saying. Fandom therefore demands both patience and personal responsibility of us all.

What we do have, though, are antibodies. We have ways of spreading information, and dealing with problems, and we have very long institutional memories. We have an understanding that any scalpel can also be used as a knife, and so--even though we make mistakes, and a lot of them, we tend to be self-correcting in the long run.

This is not the first time All Fandom Has Been Plunged Into War. It will not be the last.

But it's also not going to break fandom.

Because the great thing about anarchies is that they are very resilient, and they are also very good at establishing customs of the tribe, which is pretty much how anarchic, egalitarian, tribal societies usually organize themselves.

There's a new custom circulating in my tribe, and I think it's a good one, so I will be adopting it.

I have not in the past and I will not in the future participate in any popular award voting slate, public or private. I will not vote for any story or person or institution that is nominated for a popular award after agreeing to be on such a slate.

I believe that slate-voting is unethical and perverts the purpose of the awards--and disadvantages almost everyone, quite frankly--and I am personally invested in making sure my fandom does not decay into a series of cage matches.

That is the ethical decision I am making for myself.

I have no problem with recommendations, with Hugo discussion, with eligibility lists, with people saying "I think this is my best work last year and if you are nominating and care to read it, it's available here." (I do not particularly like the "I will send a copy to any nominator who wants one," practice, but I don't think it's unethical, just cheap.)

I have, however, a big problem with the party lever. Because I'm not much of one for parties at all.

There are some friends of mine on the Sad Puppies slate, and some people who I consider very good at their jobs. I'll be leaving them off the ballot, not merely placing them under "No Award."

Because this is how fandom's antibodies work. We each make a personal decision what we will and won't participate in, and then we stick to it.

At least the Hugo voting will be easy and fast this year**.

It usually takes me weeks to make my decisions. 

*(And in those cases where there is an organization with an Office of Asshole Removal (or, as some people call it, an H. R. Department, or a con grievance committee) that's often even more thankless work--because H.R. Departments and volunteer organizations move at the speed of Lawsuit Prevention, not the speed of the Court of the Internets.)

**Someday we'll have the 2014 Retro Hugos, though, and I'm going to be chewing my pencil over that.

Replies are turned off because I am a busy woman, and there are plenty of well-curated places to discuss the issues.

matociquala: (criminal minds morgan garcia gotcha)
As I write this, Karen Memory is the #12 steampunk book on Amazon. I learned this morning that it's already been sent back for a rush reprint. because the first run sold out, and honestly, I'd love for Karen to be the #1 steampunk book on Amazon. So if you are an Amazon shopper, and you were planning on buying the book anyway,

If you are not an Amazon shopper and you want to read Karen Memory, please do order it through your library, preferred online retailer, or--best of all!--local retailer!

It formally goes on sale tomorrow, though there are scattered reports of it being on some bookstore shelves already.

You can read an excerpt here.

Yesterday I also learned that I had four things on the Locus recommended reading list for 2014.

Those four things are The Steles of the Sky, "The Hand is Quicker," "Covenant," and "This Chance Planet."

[ profile] truepenny's glorious The Goblin Emperor is on there, too, and [ profile] scott_lynch's delightful "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane."

And a lot of other really awesome stuff as well.

And [ profile] stillsostrange and I ran 13.1 miles in Galveston yesterday, and then went out dancing last night with Austin friends.

matociquala: (writing softcore nerdporn _ heres_luck)
Also on the morning wire--actually, this is a couple of days old, but I was at Windycon trying to be charming when it broke--Steles of the Sky is one of the Kirkus 100 Best Books for 2014!

Is this what it's like to have a healthy relationship with Kirkus?

I like it. I really like it.

matociquala: (bear by san)
This is shameless shilling post where I urge you, Citizen In Good Standing Of The Internets, to go vote for the Locus Award and the Gemmell Award.

Possibly even for my work.

Or for somebody else's work that you think is awesome.

The Gemmell Award closes at midnight GMT, 13 April 2014, and you can vote here.

The Locus Award closes on tax day (USA) and you can vote here. I'm a write-in candidate on this one.

The future is in your hands.

Go vote.
matociquala: (criminal minds boom)
I have finished the draft of "No Place to Dream, but a Place to Die." It needs the thematic and character arc shored up a bunch on the revision, but the plot is there, and that's all I care about right now. More to follow.

But first, I have my edit letter for Karen Memory, and starting tomorrow that needs to be happening. Wow, it's such a damned nice feeling to get things off my desk.

Often, working on a novel feels like spinning your wheels for months and months and months--because there's work, endless work, and it's all on the same thing, and it never feels like you will get to get your brain back and do something new. But the end is in sight, here.

And not to bury the lede, but! Shattered Pillars is longlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award! (So is a book by that boy I like, ahem.) And EVERYBODY ON THE INTERNET CAN VOTE ONCE.

matociquala: (comics invisibles king mob)
And to complete my heaviest blogging day in years, I think, a couple of cool things!

First off, Kirkus starred review of Steles of the Sky!!

Spoilers for the whole freaking series, so be cautious of your clickthrough. But the takeaway makes it all worthwhile:

Considering the trilogy as a whole,
the overused term masterpiece justifiably applies.

*mic drop*

The other cool thing is that two audio anthologies I was part of are nominated for Audie Awards!

One is Rip Off!, edited by Gardner Dozois, featuring a suite of stories that borrow their first line from a classic work. (Mine is from Christopher Marlowe's Edward II. ;) )The other is METAtropolis III: Green Space, edited by Jay Lake and Ken Scholes--third in a series of shared-world anthologies about a possible adaptive, non-apocalyptic future for Earth and the human race.

They are both nominated for the Best Anthology Award. So I'm competing against myself, and the best bit is that Mary Robinette Kowal is also in both. Maybe she can win one and I can win... crap, that won't work. :(

Oh, and the best bit is, That Boy I Like is nominated for the best audiobook in the Fantasy category for The Republic of Thieves, along with reader Michael Page!
matociquala: (literature charlotte some spider)

(Photo credit Andrew Williams, via flickr)

The SF Squeecast has won its second and final Hugo*! I don't think I could be more pleased, quite frankly. Thank you, fandom, for justifying the underpinnings required by that dress... not to mention what I went through packing it. ;-)

Worldcon was insanely busy and stressful but also awesome in many ways. Thank you, San Antonio, for chili verde enchiladas and prickly pear margaritas and the blessed shade of the Riverwalk. Congratulations to all the other winners, condolulations to the nominated (there really are no losers here), and remind me never, ever, ever to accept a 9 pm Friday panel at a Worldcon again.

In other news, I'm afraid that publication of One-Eyed Jack is going to be delayed until next year, for reasons beyond the control of Prime Books or me. Further updates as I know what the new timeline is. I'm really sorry for everybody. I know some of you have been waiting for this book for a very long time indeed.

Now I'm at [ profile] scott_lynch's place in Wisconsin, and we are both about to submerge into a deep dark tunnel of book writing.

*we have recused ourselves from further consideration in the Fancast category.
matociquala: (bad girls firefighters)
Concerning the latest round of Hugo gatekeeping cloud-yelling...

You know what? Pretty much anything I would have said on this topic has already been said by Scalzi, Seanan, or Cheryl.

Except this: I hear a lot about the graying of fandom. I hear a lot about the death of science fiction. I hear a lot about how SF is getting old, and not enough young people are coming in.

Dudes. I just got back from Space City Con. It was crawling with twenty-somethings. I can go to any anime convention in the land and be the oldest person in the room. Steampunk conventions are full of youthful faces. DragonCon, which is four times the size of a Worldcon, also skews about twenty years younger.

Have you been on Tumblr?!

Fandom is not graying. Fandom is evolving. Maybe our friends are graying, but fandom is not just our friends.

And that's what this is about. Fandom is not just our friends anymore, and the ideas and people we grew up comfortable with. And rather than finding that threatening, maybe what we need to do is make room for lots and lots of new friends and new ideas. Listen to some new music. Get out and dance.

Make some room in the Hugo balloting process for new kinds of fans, and young people on a budget. And then live with the results, which, I am sorry to say, is going to be girls and queers and brown people all up in the awards along with the straight white cis dudes.

It's okay. It's a good thing.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.
matociquala: (lion in winter broken because you're bri)

So... while I was at ALA, I seem to have won a Locus Award. Best Collection, for Shoggoths in Bloom. *sparkles*

The complete list is here, and I'm thrilled both to be included and by the winners. (I totally voted for Aliette's story over my own. Don't tell.)

Congratulations, everybody!

In other news, two and a half reprints!

"The Death of Terrestrial Radio" is reprinted in the Alex Dally MacFarlane-edited Aliens: Recent Encounters, which has an utterly amazing ToC that I think brilliantly reflects the diversity of voices comprising the Rainbow Age of science fiction:

An Owomoyela – Frozen Voice
Ken Liu – The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species
Catherynne M. Valente – Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy
Zen Cho – The Four Generations of Chang E
Vandana Singh – The Tetrahedon
Paul McAuley – The Man
Ursula K. Le Guin – Seasons of the Ansarac
Molly Gloss – Lambing Season
Desirina Boskovich – Celadon
Genevieve Valentine – Carthago Delenda Est
Caitlín R. Kiernan – I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light
Jamie Barras – The Beekeeper
Robert Reed – Noumenon
Elizabeth Bear – The Death of Terrestial Radio
Sofia Samatar – Honey Bear
Karin Lowachee – The Forgotten Ones
Jeremiah Tolbert – The Godfall’s Chemsong
Alastair Reynolds – For the Ages
Brooke Bolander – Sun Dogs
Nisi Shawl – Honorary Earthling
Samantha Henderson – Shallot
Sonya Taaffe – The Boy Who Learned How to Shudder
Eleanor Arnason – Knapsack Poems
Gitte Christensen – Nullipara
Indrapramit Das – muo-ka’s Child
Jeffrey Ford – The Dismantled Invention of Fate
Karin Tidbeck – Jagannath
Pervin Saket – Test of Fire
Nancy Kress – My Mother, Dancing
Greg van Eekhout – Native Aliens
Lavie Tidhar – Covenant
Yoon Ha Lee – A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel

And I'm just as thrilled to say that both "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns" and "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward" (that latter with Sarah Monette) have been reprinted in the Gardner Dozois-edited Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection. Here's the ToC for that:

WEEP FOR DAY, Indrapreamit Das
THE MAN, Paul McAuley
HOLMES SHERLOCK, Eleanor Arnason
NIGHTFALL ON THE PEAK OF ETERNAL LIGHT, Richard A. Lovett and William Gleason
ASTROPHILIA, Carrie Vaughn
OLD PAINT, Megan Lindholm
KATABASIS, Robert Reed
THE WATER THIEF, Alastair Reynolds
FIREBORN, Robert Charles Wilson
TYCHE AND THE ANTS, Hannu Rajaniemi
THE WRECK OF THE CHARLES DEXTER WARD, Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
INVISIBLE MEN, Christopher Barzak
SHIP’S BROTHER, Aliette de Bodard
EATER-OF-BONE, Robert Reed

Which, while a little less diverse, also does a pretty bang-up job of giving an overview of those writing in the field currently, both new and established. I am really looking forward to my copies!

matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
4th Street, Readercon, Gemmell Award, BOOK OF IRON, and shameless self-promotion is shameless.

I came home from the convention to the news that Range of Ghosts has been longlisted for the Gemmell Award (formally, the David Gemmell Legend Awards), which is (1) thrilling! and (2) ironically wonderful, since I just finished reading Legend last week.

The way this works is that publishers nominate for the long list, and then the short list is determined by fan voting, open to all. The page on which to read the pre-nominations and cast your own votes is here.

Speaking of the con, 4th Street Fantasy has been survived, and enjoyed, and despite the drama of hurricane-force winds during a thunderstorm that uprooted trees, blew away steel patio furniture, and left the con without power for 24 hours, we had a fabulous time. Highlights for me included room parties by nerdlight, serving as Skyler White's noble steed during her jousting competition with Ellen Klages, and arm wrestling Cathy Hindersinn for charity.

Also, 4th Street's reliably fabulous local restaurants and excellent mostly grad-seminar-style panel track.

The con went on as scheduled despite the lack of power; drinks were warm, but there were plenty of them, and everybody I talked to was brave about the hardship. Especially once the hot water came back on. (It preceded the power by a few hours.) I suspect if it had taken 48 hours, we would have been less willing to camp.

The park across the way looked like Hartford did after Hurricane Gloria. Ten to twenty percent of the trees were down, and I mean full-grown trees.

Here's a Minnesota Public Radio photo gallery on the storm damage.

Here's the Weather Underground write-up of the storm.

Here's where I arm wrestle Cathy:

I now have three more conventions (ALA, CONvergence, and Readercon) on the next three weekends, and then a brief two-weekend gap before Space City Con. I hope to see a bunch of you in those various places.

And I have a Readercon prelim schedule, which looks like this-ish:

Friday July 12

2:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch.

5:00 PM ME Writing (Hot and Heavy) Action. Elizabeth Bear, Nicholas Kaufmann (leader), Margo Lanagan, John Shirley, Cecilia Tan. Good action scenes and good sex scenes have a surprising amount in common. This panel will discuss the best ways of approaching both. Expect the discussion to get raunchy and specific.Proposed by Wesley Chu.

6:00 PM E Autographs. Elizabeth Bear, Daniel José Older.

Saturday July 13

6:00 PM F Readercon Blog Club: "The Uses and Value of Realism in Speculative Fiction". Elizabeth Bear (leader), John Crowley, Rose Lemberg, Scott Lynch. In response to the Readercon 23 panel "Why Is Realistic Fiction Useful?", Chris Gerwel wrote a blog post exploring the aesthetic uses of realism in spec fic and other literature. He says, "To be effective, fiction must communicate or reveal something true.... That truth is not necessarily factual (such-and-such happened), but is rather more nebulous and insightful (such-and-such could have happened)." Gerwel goes on to argue that "realistic" descriptions of fantastic things can be a way to help the audience to deal with these concepts, giving them better access to the underlying metaphors of a dragon or a spaceship. He closes by saying, "I believe that quotidian speculative fiction has its place in the genre. And that is precisely because it speaks to different truths than most speculative fiction: it speaks to the little heroisms of daily life, and to the practical challenges that arise from our human and social natures" an idea that echoes discussions of early science fiction stories written by women, and offers an alternative to the conflation of "realistic" and "gritty." We'll discuss the place of the quotidian in speculative fiction and other aspects of Gerwel's complex and intriguing essay, which resides at

Sunday July 14

11:00 AM VT Reading: Elizabeth Bear. Elizabeth Bear. Elizabeth Bear reads from the in-progress novel Karen Memory.

12:00 PM F Pining for the Fnords: The New Nostalgia. Elizabeth Bear, John Benson, Andrea Hairston, Elizabeth Hand (moderator), Robert Killheffer, Scott Lynch. Well-received novels like John Scalzi's Redshirts, Jo Walton's Among Others, and Ernest Cline's Ready Player One pointedly allude to the SF of decades past. In a controversial review in the Los Angeles Review of Science Fiction, Paul Kincaid suggested that contemporary SF is suffering from a feeling of exhaustion; “the genre is now afraid to engage with what once made it novel, instead turning back to what was there before” or reverting “to older, more familiar futures.” Others view this type of SF as celebrating its heritage. What's driving this backward-looking urge, and to what extent is it positive or problematic?

So there's that.

Also, as previously noted, Publishers Weekly gave me a really stunning review for the forthcoming Eternal Sky novelette Book of Iron, which is now available for pre-order from Subterranean Press.

matociquala: (me at wfc)

I have my first pair of new glasses since 2009. I can see leaves on trees! And freckles on the lovely person who helped fit my glasses!

In other news, I am apparently nominated for four separate Locus awards in four separate Locus award categories: Novella, novelette, short story, and collection. All three of the short fiction offerings are available in their entirety, for free, online. You may read them here, if you like:

Novella: "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns"

Novelette: "Faster Gun"

Short Story: "The Deeps of the Sky"

Congrats to all the other nominees! Here's the complete list:


  • The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • Caliban’s War, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)


  • The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
  • Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Hide Me Among the Graves, Tim Powers (Morrow; Corvus)
  • The Apocalypse Codex, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)


  • The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown; Atom)
  • Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen)
  • Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
  • Dodger, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, Catherynne M. Valente (Feiwel and Friends; Much-in-Little ’13)


  • Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
  • vN, Madeline Ashby (Angry Robot US; Angry Robot UK)
  • Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
  • The Games, Ted Kosmatka (Del Rey; Titan)
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove; Corvus)


  • “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 1/12)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
  • The Boolean Gate, Walter Jon Williams (Subterranean)


  • “Faster Gun”, Elizabeth Bear ( 8/12)
  • “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity)
  • “Close Encounters”, Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
  • “Fake Plastic Trees”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (After)
  • “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Rip-Off!)


  • “The Deeps of the Sky”, Elizabeth Bear (Edge of Infinity)
  • “Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
  • “Mantis Wives”, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 8/12)
  • “Elementals”, Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House Fall ’12)
  • “Mono No Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future Is Japanese)


  • After, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (Hyperion)
  • The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-ninth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin; Robinson as The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 25)
  • The Future Is Japanese, Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington, eds. (Haikasoru)
  • Edge of Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade)


  • The Best of Kage Baker, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
  • Shoggoths in Bloom, Elizabeth Bear (Prime)
  • At the Mouth of the River of Bees, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
  • The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth and Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands, Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
  • The Dragon Griaule, Lucius Shepard (Subterranean)


  • Asimov’s
  • F&SF
  • Clarkesworld
  • Subterranean


  • Tor
  • Subterranean Press
  • Orbit
  • Baen
  • Angry Robot


  • John Joseph Adams
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer


  • Donato Giancola
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Michael Whelan


  • An Exile on Planet Earth, Brian Aldiss (Bodleian Library)
  • Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010, Damien Broderick & Paul Di Filippo, eds. (NonStop)
  • Distrust That Particular Flavor, William Gibson (Putnam)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn, eds. (Cambridge University Press)
  • Some Remarks, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)


  • Spectrum 19: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
  • Trolls, Brian Froud & Wendy Froud (Abrams)
  • Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, Scott Tracy Griffin (Titan)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, eds. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Steampunk: An Illustrated History, Brian J. Robb (Aurum)

And I'm interviewed at Amazon's Omnivoracious regarding the awards.


matociquala: (writing eternal sky rog)
I'm thrilled that Range of Ghosts is the 2012 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy! The other SF/F category winners are John Scalzi and N. K. Jemisin.

Yay books!
matociquala: (writing eternal sky rog)

Range of Ghosts is a Tiptree Honor Book!

And also the recipient of an awesome review over at A Dribble of Ink.

This year's Tiptree Award winners are:

The Drowning Girl, a Memoir, by Caitlin R. Kiernan (my personal choice for the best SFF novel published last year!) and Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam.

The Honor List:

Elizabeth Bear, Range of Ghosts
Roz Kaveny, Rituals
M. J. Locke, Up Against It
Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312
Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath
Ankaret Wells, Firebrand
Lesley Wheeler, "The Receptionist"

matociquala: (genuine risk)

S.F. Squeecast has been nominated for a Hugo in the "Best Fancast" category, which is one of the most exciting things to happen to me so far this year.

Thank you so much, everybody who listens... and everybody who voted.

Or, basically, what Jim said.

And congratulations to all the nominees, especially [ profile] seanan_mcguire, who has just tied Michael Swanwick for most nominations on a single Hugo ballot, with four--three two as Seanan, and one two as her brunette alter-ego Mira Grant.

matociquala: (comics invisibles king mob)
Nebula award list is in. And it's a good one. Congrats to all!

I'm really pleased by the diversity of the list. It tells me people are reading more widely than before, and that can only be good.
matociquala: (loose tea for loose women)

I woke up to very good news this morning. Chill is on the Philip K. Dick award shortlist, along with these other fine novels:

  • Yarn, Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
  • The Reapers Are The Angels, Alden Bell (Henry Holt & Co.)
  • Song Of Scarabaeus, Sara Creasy (Eos)
  • The Strange Affair Of Spring Heeled Jack, Mark Hodder (Pyr)
  • Harmony, Project Itoh, translated by Alexander O. Smith (Haikasoru)
  • State Of Decay, James Knapp (Roc)

Kind of a thrill!

Now I need to see if I have the gumption to take the dog for a walk before the snow turns into rain icy death falling from the sky. Maybe we'll just do yoga today. It could get ugly out there fast.

matociquala: (comics bone stupid stupid rat creatures)
Today, my plans are: clean as much of the house as possible, make dinner for friends, conquer the universe.

Starting with the office and my bedroom.

I will do this while listening to Car Talk. Sometimes brainless work is nice, and I am tired and stupid and slow-moving today.

At least there's tea--Carribean blue lady (the coconut kind) and Kousmichoff Prince Vladimir.

In award-related news, [ profile] aliettedb points out that oh, by the way, podcasts ARE eligible for the Hugo. And congrats to everybody who came home with a Nebula nom. Good work, guys!

In me-related news, there's an interview with me at Outer Alliance Spotlight, focusing on the constructions of gender and sexuality in my work.
matociquala: (me and sunil)
Birthday party for [ profile] ctwriter and [ profile] webwyrm at the [ profile] netcurmudgeon/[ profile] ashacat household last night, and a good time was had by all (except #2 Godson, who is colicky, and #1 Godson, who is (a) 2 and (b) adjusting to a new baby brother). It was an intimate gathering of about ten. I can tell we're old: I brought a bottle of red wine and [ profile] ctwriter brought a bottle of champagne, and we finished neither. Nor did we eat all the pizza, and the cake only went because several people threw themselves on the last few unexploded pieces. Also saw [ profile] taichigeek and spouse, [ profile] kriz1818 and spouse and spawn, and The Jeff. 


I was a remarkably good bear, and with the exception of a glass of wine (which is marginal: the grape juice part is okay, though the alcohol is technically off limits) I stuck to The Discipline. Of course, I was rewarded this morning with a half-pound weight gain anyway. Apparently all it takes is the mere presence of refined carbs. *g*

I brought my spinning and finished the last of the teal merino--although I have half a bobbin left to ply once I wind it into a ball, since I did not divide it up well. Next I get to try the alpaca, which matches the Giant Ridiculous Dog.

Jonathan Strahan informs me that Eclipse 3 has won the Aurealis award for Best Anthology. Congrats, Jonathan, and my co-contributors.

This morning, another scene on The Unicorn Evils, which is, I think, quite finished. While I was out partying last night, [ profile] coffeeem did yeoman's work on making the awful bits even awfuller and the poignant bits more poignant, and in the process opened up an opportunity for another spot of denouement, which I dove on the way my friends dove on that ice cream cake. So I am tentatively declaring that a revised draft, and await the screaming hordes response of the copyeditors.

Then, after I exercised the dog and made tea, I had a major plot piece of Grail fall into my head while buttering bread. That was exceedingly satisfying, and I am making notes on it now. Then, back to staring at walls.

Today I have a lunch date. Around that, I will be working. I really need to find a couple of days to crawl into my hole and not see anybody next week. Sadly, it's looking like those days will be Thursday and Friday.

Temperature this morning was 23 degrees; tea is pueh erh vanilla; teacup is the yellow rimmed one with the pink roses and yellow sunflowers.

Really glad today is a rest day. My hip still hurts from overdoing yoga three days in a row.

And now, back to the coal mines. Here, have a puppy break. They're a week old and figuring out what their flippers are for:

March 2017



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