Geoff Ryman -- the brilliant science fiction author who curated last year's 100 AFRICAN WRITERS OF SFF project, continues to publish and curate excellent, exciting science fiction from across Africa. Read the rest
The novel tore my heart out in 1992: a contrafactual memoir of L Frank Baum; a desperately poor girl called Dorothy Gael from Manhattan, KS; and a makeup artist on the set of the classic MGM film. Read the rest
The Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego has announced its lineup of instructors for the 2014 session, and it's pretty spectacular: this year's writer-instructors are Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, N.K. Jemisin, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer.
Clarion is a six-week, intensive boot-camp for science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction writers. It counts among its graduates some of the very greatest writers in the field, from Octavia Butler to Bruce Sterling, as well as Lucius Sheppard, Kathe Koja, Nalo Hopkinson, Eileen Gunn, James Patrick Kelly, Ted Chiang, Tim Pratt, Tobias Buckell, and many others.
I'm an alumnus myself, as well as a frequent instructor and a member of the volunteer board of the Clarion Foundation, the nonprofit 501(c)3 that oversees the workshop. Clarion isn't the only way to become a better writer and to learn about the industry and how to earn a living in it, but it is absolutely one of the best. My own experience in 1992 was life-changing for me, and has left me committed to the workshop for life.
Applications close on March 1, 2014. Read the rest
Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 Nebula Awards, especially to Jo Walton, who won for her magnificent novel, Among Others (see my review, here). Also congrats to Delia Sherman for her best YA book prize for The Freedom Maze (my review).
* Novel Winner: Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
* Novella Winner: ”The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011)
* Novelette Winner: ”What We Found,” Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October 2011)
* Short Story Winner: ”The Paper Menagerie,” Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011)
* Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation Winner: Doctor Who: “The Doctor’s Wife,” Neil Gaiman (writer), Richard Clark (director) (BBC Wales)
* Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Winner: The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)
* 2011 DAMON KNIGHT GRAND MASTER AWARD: Connie Willis
* SOLSTICE AWARD: Octavia Butler (posthumous) and John Clute
* SERVICE TO SFWA AWARD: Bud Webster
Last night saw the announcement of the 2012 nominees for science fiction's prestigious Hugo Award. It's a particularly fine ballot, reflecting a record number of nominating ballots (wisdom of the crowds and all that). Included on the ballot are our own moderator Avram (as part of the team that publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction) and one of my all-time favorite books, Among Others. Also noteworthy: the much-deserved John W Campbell Award nomination (for best new writer) for the fabulous Mur Lafferty, a nomination for the indispensable Science Fiction Encyclopedia, Third Edition, a nomination for IO9's Charlie Jane Anders's story Six Months, Three Days, and a fourth nomination for much-favored Fables graphic novels.
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Best Novel (932 ballots) Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor) A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra) Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit) Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey) Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)
Best Novella (473 ballots) Countdown by Mira Grant (Orbit) “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction November/December 2011) “Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov's June 2011) “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov's September/October 2011) “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3) Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)
Best Novelette (499 ballots) “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov's July 2011) “Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four) “Ray of Light” by Brad R.
The Science Fiction Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2011 Nebula Awards, which are voted by the community of professional sf/f writers (in contrast to the Hugo awards, which are voted by readers). It's a very strong ballot, and includes two of my favorite books of 2011: Jo Walton's astounding Among Others, and Delia Sherman's brilliant YA novel The Freedom Maze.
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Novel Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor) Embassytown, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press) Firebird, Jack McDevitt (Ace Books) God's War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books) Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books) The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Novella "Kiss Me Twice," Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2011) "Silently and Very Fast," Catherynne M. Valente (WFSA Press; Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2011) "The Ice Owl," Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2011) "The Man Who Bridged the Mist," Kij Johnson (Asimov's Science Fiction, October/November 2011) "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary," Ken Liu (Panverse Three, Panverse Publishing) "With Unclean Hands," Adam-Troy Castro (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2011)
Geoff Ryman, author of the stellar novel The Child Garden (a book in which cancer is cured with the side effect of reducing human lifespan to 30 or so), needs your help:
I'm looking for a composer to collaborate on a podcast project, an audio version of my novel The Child Garden. The novel is in part about a musician who sets all of Dante's Divine Comedy to music. I'm hoping to provide excerpts from this fictional opera as part of the podcast, short interludes of contemporary classical music for orchestra and voice, to be sung in Italian. It would be used in key scenes and as signature music for the serial podcast.
How many such interludes and how long they are would be up to you as I can't pay anything. I'm hoping that the project would appeal to someone needing to compose music for a dissertation or doctorate. The music would of course remain your copyright; my site would link to yours, provide a biography and help to maximise publicity and PR value for you. The Child Garden won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the John W Campbell Award (first place) and an excerpt from it won the British Science Fiction Association Award.
I fell in love with this book when Jeff VanderMeer gave it to me for my birthday when we were both at Clarion in 1992. I've thought about it more or less constantly ever since. I only wish I was a musician so that I could work on this. Read the rest
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced this year's Nebula finalists. There's some really superb work on the ballot this year -- the new Nalo Hopkinson novel, "The New Moon's Arms"; Ted Chiang's novelette "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate"; Geoff Ryman's novelette "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter"; Delia Sherman's "The Fiddler of Bayou Teche"; Bruce Sterling's novella "Kiosk" and many more.
Novel: Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell, The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman, The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson, Odyssey by Jack McDevitt
Novella: "Awakening" by Judith Berman, "The Helper and His Hero" by Matthew Hughes, "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress, "Stars Seen Through Stone" by Lucius Shepard, "Kiosk" by Bruce Sterling, "Memorare" by Gene Wolfe
Novelette: "The Children's Crusade" by Robin Wayne Bailey; "Child, Maiden, Woman, Crone" by Terry Bramlett; "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang; "The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change" by Kij Johnson; "Safeguard" by Nancy Kress; "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter" by Geoff Ryman; "The Fiddler of Bayou Teche" by Delia Sherman
Short Story: "Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse" by Andy Duncan, "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler, "Titanium Mike Saves the Day" by David D. Levine, "The Story of Love" by Vera Nazarian, "Captive Girl" by Jennifer Pelland, "Pride" by Mary Turzillo
I'm still on paternity leave, but a couple of matters have come up that are too important to wait (important enough to blog while my daughter naps on my chest!). Here's one from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' workshop, on whose Board I sit (I'm also a graduate and a former instructor):
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Applications are now being accepted for the 2008 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop at U.C. San Diego. Established in 1968 by Robin Scott Wilson, Kate Wilhelm, and Damon Knight, Clarion is the oldest workshop of its kind and is widely recognized as a premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction. The 2008 workshop will take p lace from June 29 to August 9 on the UCSD campus. This year's faculty features Kelly Link, James Patrick Kelly, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson, and Geoff Ryman. Scholarship aid is available. Deadline for applications is March 1. For further details, please see our website.
The Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop has announced its instructor lineup for summer 2008 -- and it's a stellar bunch! Clarion is a kind of six-week boot-camp for sf writers (I'm a graduate, sometime instructor and member of the Board of Directors for The Clarion Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees the workshop), and this year's teachers are: Kelly Link, James Patrick Kelly, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman.
Not to be outdone, the Clarion West workshop (a kind of sister workshop, but located in Seattle instead of San Diego) has announced its lineup for this summer: Paul Park, Mary Rosenblum, Cory Doctorow, Connie Willis, Sheree R. Thomas, and Chuck Palahniuk.
Yes, I taught Clarion this past year and will teach Clarion West next year. There's a pretty good chance I'll end up doing another (undisclosed) Clarion the year after, and then I'm taking a several-year hiatus. These things are incredibly rewarding, but man, they're hard work!
This year's Hugo nominees are out -- congrats to all the great nominees! It's amazing to see great books like "Glasshouse," "Rainbows End," and "Blindsight" on the ballot, along with stories like Ian McDonald's "The Djinn's Wife," Bill Shunn's "Inclination," Geoff Ryman's "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter," Ben Rosenbaum's "The House Beyond Your Sky" not to mention Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," Tim Pratt's "Impossible Dreams" -- and the list goes on! An art book by Picacio, a bio of Alice Sheldon, a memoir by Chip Delany; badass movies like Children of Men and V for Vendetta, and a really top-flight list of Campbell nominees! Christ, it's going to be hard to pick favorites this year.
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Novel Michael F. Flynn, Eifelheim (Tor) Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon (Del Rey) Charles Stross, Glasshouse (Ace) Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End (Tor) Peter Watts, Blindsight (Tor)
Novella “The Walls of the Universe” by Paul Melko (Asimov’s, April/May 2006) “A Billion Eyes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, October/November 2006) “Inclination” by William Shunn (Asimov’s, April/May 2006) “Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s, December 2006) Julian: A Christmas Story by Robert Charles Wilson (PS Publishing)
Novelette “Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Asimov’s, December 2006) “Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth” by Michael F. Flynn (Asimov’s, December 2006) “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald (Analog, July 2006) “All the Things You Are” by Mike Resnick (Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2006) “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman (F&SF, October/November 2006)
Short Story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things) “Kin” by Bruce McAllister (Asimov’s, February 2006) “Impossible Dreams” by Timothy Pratt (Asimov’s, July 2006) “Eight Episodes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, June 2006) “The House Beyond Your Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum (Strange Horizons, September 2006)
Related Book Samuel R.
The 2005 Nebula ballot is out!
Air - Geoff Ryman (St. Martin's Press, Sep04) Camouflage - Joe Haldeman (Analog, Mar-May 04, also Ace book Aug 2004) Going Postal - Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, Oct04) Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, Sep04) Polaris - Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov04) Orphans of Chaos - John C. Wright (Tor, Nov05)
The Sunburst Award for Best Canadian Science Fiction Book has been awarded to my fellow UK-residing expat Geoff Ryman for his novel Air. Geoff's written many fantastic novels, such as The Child Garden (about a world where curing cancer restricts cellular division and reduces the average lifespan to 30) and WAS, the World Fantasy Award winning mean and dreamlike retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the point of view of the abused and downtrodden little girl in Kansas whom L Frank Baum used as his model for Dorothy.
'Mae lived in the last village in the world to go online. After that, everyone else went on Air.' So begins Geoff Ryman's AIR, a moving novel about change, tradition, information, power and transformation. Ryman brings us to a remote Asian village one heartbeat in the future, introduces characters who live on the page and linger in the mind, and, in graceful, powerful prose, explores the challenges of negotiating both technological change and everyday life in the human community."
I was honoured to win the Sunburst last year for my short story collection, A Place So Foreign and Eight More -- many congrats to Geoff for his well-deserved victory!
As I mentioned earlier this morning, it's been ten years (!) since I attended the Clarion science fiction writers' workshop (though it hardly seems it!). Patrick Nielsen Hayden, my editor at Tor, has just left for the MSU campus at East Lansing, MI, to be the guest editor there.
My year at Clarion was really the first wired year of the workshop. Nearly everyone had a computer -- those who didn't bring their own got brand-new loaner 486s from the college -- the sole exception being Nathan Ballingrud, who insisted on his beloved manual typewriter. I remember how expressive his manuscripts were, dark vivid keystrokes where he was on a roll, tentative, faint characters where he'd slowed down, faint hand-written corrections on the photocopies. We critiqued three or four stories a day, five days a week, for two to six hours, and I wrote a story every week. Our instructors varied from wonderful to ineffectual to out-and-out abusive. I had a modem and I spent a fair bit of time dialed up to GEnie, a primitive online service, keeping online track of what was going on at the workshop.
There was a fair bit of handwringing from the instructors over the idea that students were "wasting time online," gossiping and spilling the beans about the politics at the workshop. This theme continued in subsequent years as students continued to keep online Clarion journals, sometimes quite intimate ones that were critical of or wounded at the instructors. An interesting feedback loop developed one year, when instructor Lucius Shepard read a student's online journal and commented on it in person, prompting another journal entry and another conversation, which prompted another journal entry, and so on. Read the rest