Tag: shipbirth

Awards season, redux


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).

Heart Attack of the Day


The latest issue of Locus contains Gardner Dozois’s review of “Scattered Along the River of Heaven”, which he very kindly calls the story one of the best of the year so far, and compares it to Ursula Le Guin’s “The Day Before the Revolution”. (in case you’re curious and not a Locus subscriber, Sean Wallace posted the full text of the review here)

Given that Le Guin is basically one of my heroines, who got me into feminism, and got me into SF at a time when most (hard) SF left me cold; and that “The Day Before the Revolution” is one of her stories that still stick with me, years after reading it… you’ll understand why I’m pretty much floored at that point.

(bonus links: Adam Callaway’s take on the Nebula Awards finalists, aka I’m floored again; and just for a contrast, VarietySF’s take, which basically lists “Shipbirth” at the bottom of the list as completely incomprehensible and unreadable)

“Shipbirth” nominated for a Nebula for Best Short Story


Er, so, I would seem to be on the Nebula final ballot (along with a great many fabulous people–special shoutout to Nancy Fulda, Tom Crosshill, and Ken Liu, whose main occupation seems to be taking over awards lists. Also, bonus mention to Dario Ciriello, editor and publisher of Panverse Volume Three, who edited and published Ken Liu’s awesome nominated novella).

Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the Nebula Awards Weekend (I would so totally have gone, especially since I have yet to meet so many of the people on that list; but a close friend of mine is getting married the same weekend). Many many congrats to my fellow nominees, and my most profound thanks to everyone who voted in the nominating process (especially those who voted for me–goes without saying–but it’s the number of voters who make awards, and I’m glad we’ve been having more and more online discussions of worthy stories and novels. Only makes the awards stronger). And many thanks as well to everyone who recommended stuff to me–reading stuff this year has been cumbersome because of RL, but so totally worth it.

Below is the complete listing. Meanwhile, I’ll be over there in the corner, comatose (partly from shock, partly from sheer jetlag, my body being utterly convinced it’s still in Vietnam and therefore that it should be in bed). More later.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is proud to announce the nominees for the 2011 Nebula Awards (presented 2012), the nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.




Short Story

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

  • Attack the Block, Joe Cornish (writer/director) (Optimum Releasing; Screen Gems)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (writers), Joe Johnston (director) (Paramount)
  • Doctor Who: “The Doctor’s Wife,” Neil Gaiman (writer), Richard Clark (director) (BBC Wales)
  • Hugo, John Logan (writer), Martin Scorsese (director) (Paramount)
  • Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen (writer/director) (Sony)
  • Source Code, Ben Ripley (writer), Duncan Jones (director) (Summit)
  • The Adjustment Bureau, George Nolfi (writer/director) (Universal)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book

The winners will be announced at SFWA’s 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, to be held Thursday through Sunday, May 17 to May 20, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, near Reagan National Airport. As announced earlier this year, Connie Willis will be the recipient of the 2011 Damon Knight Grand Master Award for her lifetime contributions and achievements in the field. Walter Jon Williams will preside as toastmaster, with Astronaut Michael Fincke as keynote speaker.

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 on voting is available here.

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.

Author’s Notes for “Shipbirth”


Second installment of Author’s Notes, this time for “Shipbirth” (in the February 2011 issue of Asimov’s).

Hmm, first off, this one requires an apology: the tonalli, the life-force according to the Aztecs, is of course not located in the heart but in the head. I realised I made this mistake only after the issue of Asimov’s went to the printers, when it was already too late to correct this.
The Aztec medicine system was fairly complicated, admitting the presence of no less than three entities in the body: the tonalli (in the head), which is the lifeforce, and, when chased out of the body by a fright or a spell, can result in catatonia; the teyolia (heart), which is the closest to what we think of as a soul (in particular, it’s the part that survives into the various afterlives), and the ihiyotl (liver), which is more numinous. See Mexicolore for more information, if you’re interested.

(more after the cut, though spoilery)

Continue reading →



Very literally, in this case….
My Aztec steampunk weird alt-hist “Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders” has sold to Interzone (with mechanical creepy man, imprisoned god, blood magic, and a mining town in the Old West). Many thanks to the VD6 crew, Nancy Fulda, Stephen Gaskell, Sara Genge and Ralan Conley, for the crits that helped me fix the ending of this.

And I would also seem to have sold my Aztecs-in-space SF story “Shipbirth”, part of the Xuya continuity, to Asimov’s (do you detect a trend in story themes? :=) ). Many thanks to everyone who took a look at it on OWW: Allison Starkweather, Cécile Cristofari, Terra LeMay, L.K. Pinaire, Christine Lucas, and Ilan Lerman. And an extra dose of thanks to Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, who read it in record time and helped me fix a very important plot point.

I will be going for a liedown and more novel brainstorming.