Practically everyone at the SF Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia was clutching a copy of this humorous board-game from Silvercon.su, which is a kind of Candyland-style game lampooning the dreams of "hot young writers" who yearn to make it big. Some of my hosts were good enough to translate the gameplay for me:
1. You've decided to become a SF writer.
2. You're writing a short story. Miss a move
3. Your mother likes your story very much!
4. You've received a comment "Drink a cup of poison!" on a fan fiction site
5. You've registered a LiveJournal account. Start the game from the beginning.
6. You've written a novel. Five moves forward.
7. You've started saving your small change in order to participate in some con.
8. Your first publication in Orkneys Pixies and Zombies Magazine.
9. Your novel is accepted by the publisher.
10. Your short story is accepted in Asimov's. Make the second move.
11. You're writing a short story for the relatively obscure Internet contest. Miss a move.
12. You must read the 70 short stories of the relatively obscure Internet contest. Miss a move.
13. SF Con. You've chosen the right con and the right hotel and the right room next to George R.R. Martin.
14. Your favourite publishing house has gone bankrupt.
15. The relatively obscure but very demanding Internet critic praised your novel. Make the second move.
16. You've received the proposition to become the ghost writer. Miss a move.
17. Your novel's sales were a disaster. Miss a move.
18. You're writing a new novel. Miss a move.
19. Your novel is published in Russia! And Japan.
20. You're in the middle of the existential crisis. You drink. And drink. And drink.
21. The movie based on your book was made by Uwe Boll.
22. You are the best author of the EuroCon.
23. You're the star of the talk shows and con panels. 20 steps back.
24. You are the SF writer number one in Russia.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.