"pablo defendini"

2019 Hugo Award finalists announced

The 2019 Hugo Award nominees have been announced; the Hugos will be presented this summer at the 2019 World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland. Read the rest

Kickstarting the Mexicanx Initiative Anthology, spotlighting Mexicanx creators who won scholarships to this year's Worldcon

Pablo Defendini (previously) writes, "Fireside Magazine’s editor, Julia Rios, is part of The Mexicanx Initiative, a scholarship fund John Picacio put together for sending Mexicanx and Mexican-American sf/f authors to Worldcon. A few of the Mexicanx Initiative authors decided to create an anthology to commemorate the occasion, and had been planning on subsidizing the cost of printing and shipping themselves. When Fireside got word of this last week, we decided to pitch in, and we put together a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $1500 they needed.

"Well, we blew past our funding goal, and we decided that any money left over would be split evenly among all the participants (Fireside isn't making a cent off this). So now we're trying to reach a stretch goal of $7500 by the end of the campaign this Friday, so that we can not only cover their production costs, but pay every author, artist, designer, translator, and editor who donated their work a SFWA-qualifying pro rate."

Mexicanx Initiative Anthology [Fireside/Kickstarter] Read the rest

2017 Hugo nominees announced

The 2017 Hugo nominees were announced yesterday; attendees at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California will choose from among them to pick this year's Hugo Award winners. Read the rest

Hurricane Relief Bookstore: DRM-free science fiction ebooks to benefit Houston, the Caribbean, and Florida

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has set up the Hurricane Relief Bookstore as a mechanism for all of us to funnel money over to people who need it. 100% of the profits from sales of ebooks on the store will go to three organizations: one for the Caribbean, one for Houston, and one for Florida. The store features DRM-free ebooks from Fireside Magazine, as well as Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Mothership Zeta, Angry Robot Books, Apex Books, and many more individual authors who have contributed independently. Read the rest

Fireside Fiction is back: The Resistance meets science fiction

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Magazine has just relaunched their website, with a focus on fiction for the resistance. Their latest short story, Andrea Phillips' The Revolution Brought to You by Nike, tells the story of what happens when a corporation turns its brand marketing into a tool for societal change. In light of the actual Nike's recent TV spots celebrating Arab female athletes, Andrea's story reads more like near-future prognosticating, rather than speculative fiction." Read the rest

Report on the dismal state of black sf/f writers in the short fiction markets

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has released a report detailing the dismal state of representation of black writers in the science fiction and fantasy short fiction market . Despite increasing efforts to boost representation of people of color generally, the prospects for black writers, specifically, have not been improving. According to the data (which is available in a publicly accessible Google spreadsheet ), out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black authors. The report is accompanied by a series of essays in reaction to the report by Nisi Shawl , Troy L. Wiggins , Mikki Kendall , Justina Ireland , and Tobias Buckell ; as well as an interview with N.K. Jemisin . Fireside's editor, Brian White, has also written an editorial detailing some steps that Fireside is committed to taking to counter our own biases and help fix this huge problem." Read the rest

Kickstarting a fiction magazine that pays well

All round e-publishing genius Pablo Defendini sez,

Fireside Magazine is a multigenre fiction magazine. Our goal is twofold: to publish great storytelling and offer fair pay for writers and artists. We published three issues last year, each funded by its own Kickstarter. That wasn’t really a sustainable way to make a magazine, and we want to create more certainty for our readers and for the magazine.

So we came up with a new plan for Year Two: a monthly subscription website and ebook (epub and mobi). Each issue in Year Two will have two pieces of flash fiction (1,000 words or less), one short story, and one of 12 episodes of a serial fiction experiment by Chuck Wendig. Each issue will also have artwork by Galen Dara. The website is being rethought and is being designed responsively, which means it will adjust to display an optimum reading experience on screens of any size. We are aiming to provide a clean, simple way to read our stories without any clutter or distractions, just the words and the artwork. But in order to do all this work up front and pay the creators their fair share, we need to raise the money ahead of time, so it's back to Kickstarter!

Fireside magazine: Year Two Read the rest

Notes towards a practice of responsive comics

Here's the very talented Pablo Defendini -- developer, designer, artist, digital guy -- describing how "responsive" comics can be made using HTML and CSS that intelligently format themselves for a variety of devices, and addressing the writing and illustration challenges this gives rise to. He's not talking about "motion comics" -- he's talking about comics where the layouts and writing take into account a range of screen-sizes and aspect ratios.

Responsive design works for websites, why not for digital comic books? Read the rest

Kickstarter project to fund another volume in Tobias Buckell's Xenowealth series

Pablo Defendini writes, "Caribbean-born sf author Tobias Buckell is crowdfunding The Apocalypse Ocean, the fourth installment in his Xenowealth series (Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose, which I pitch to prospective readers as 'Rastas fighting zombies—in space!'), using Kickstarter. I love these books, so I asked him if he wanted some artwork for the project. He said yes, and we quickly worked out a funding scheme where I'd provide cover art, a map, a poster, and a few other goodies, depending on the levels of funding. Aside from wanting to see this book come into the world as a reader, I'm really excited to work with Tobias—it's something we've been discussing for a while—and the way he's structured the funding is pretty cool: in addition to ebook and hardcover editions, depending on your level of funding, you can get to see the book as its being written, as well as engage with Toby as he's writing, or get characters, planets, or starships named after you. It will be a fun, fun project all around."

Toby is a top-notch sf writer and Xenowealth is really brilliant work -- see my review of Sly Mongoose, a novel of "exciting space opera, space-rastas, neo-Aztecs, and alien zombie hiveminds."

Pablo, of course, is the artist who designed the iconic posters for Little Brother and the most popular cover for With a Little Help. Read the rest

With a Little Help: first post-publication progress report

My latest Publishers Weekly column documenting my DIY short story collection With a Little Help has just gone up. It documents the first six weeks after publication -- what went right and what went wrong. The good news is that I'm heavily in the black, thanks, in large part, to the limited edition hardcovers. The bad news is that the paperback sales have been really lacklustre -- due to a too-high pricetag, lack of Amazon availability, and a paucity of reviews. Thankfully, these problems can be fixed -- and as always, I'm letting future experimenters know how and where I went wrong so that they can avoid the pitfalls that caught me.

First, the good news: I've made a ton of money on the $275 limited edition. I've already sold more than 50, and I get a new order every day or two, without news or advertising. The recipients have been universally delighted with their purchases and the packaging. The combination of a cardboard book mailer, a section of burlap coffee sack, and acid-free tissue paper is a huge hit, with some customers even producing lavish "unboxing" YouTube videos and Flickr sets.

The typo-hunting project has also been a smash success. My readers have sent in 123 typos to date, about the same as I turned in for the second printing of my first story collection, which was proofed by my editor. With a Little Help was proofed by my mother, who routinely scores on par with professional proofers who do my novels.

Read the rest

With a Little Help launch!

At long last, I have finally launched my self-published short story collection With a Little Help.

With a Little Help is my first serious experiment in self-publishing. I've published many novels, short story collections, books of essays and so on with publishers, and it's all been very good and satisfying and educational and so on, but it seems like it's time to try something new.

You see, I've always released my work under open licenses from the Creative Commons project, so that my readers could share and remix my works. A good number of these readers wanted to know why I didn't distribute the physical book as well, and see what a writer working on his own could do.

So here you have it. With a Little Help, consists of 12 stories, all reprints except for "Epoch," which was commissioned by the Ubuntu project's Mark Shuttleworth for $10,000 (this being the most expensive option for buying the book -- don't worry, there are cheaper editions). The book is available in many forms:

* Paperback, on demand from Lulu.com: $18. Available in four covers, with art by Frank Wu, Rick Lieder, Rudy Rucker, and Pablo Defendini (who also did the book's design, working from John Berry's wonderful typography). Every month, I add a new appendix to this edition, detailing my balance sheet for the project, as a service to others contemplating a similar venture. Read the rest

Juárez, Mexico: Amid escalating violence against press, local paper asks narcos, "What do you want from us?"

What do you want from us?: The title of a front-page editorial published this Sunday by the El Diario paper in Juárez, Mexico. The editorial is addressed to the drug cartels responsible for epic levels of violence in the area, including increasing incidents of torture, kidnapping, and murder of reporters—including two victims, just last week, from this same paper.

I will try to translate, please forgive any errors in my clumsy grasp of Spanish:

Gentlemen of the various [narco] organizations fighting in the square of Ciudad Juarez: the deaths of two reporters from this publication in less than two years represents an irreparable breakdown for all of us who work here, and in particular, for our families.

We want you to be aware that we are communicators, not psychics. Therefore, as information workers, we want you to explain what you want from us, what is it that you would intend we publish or not publish, so that we know what is expected of us.

You are, at present, the de facto authorities in our city, because the legally mandated institutions have not been able to do anything to prevent our colleagues from continuing to fall, although we have repeatedly demanded help from those institutions.

That is why, faced with this undeniable reality, we are compelled to write to you and ask directly, because the last thing that we want is for another one of our colleagues to again fall the victim to your gunfire.

¿Qué quieren de nosotros?

Image: mourners at the funeral of Luis Carlos Santiago, a photographer with El Diario in Juárez, shot to death last week. Read the rest

Hugo Award winners and statsporn!

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Hugo Awards ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention and of losing two Hugos to two of the nicest, most deserving people in science fiction: my friend and teacher Nancy Kress (Best Novella for "The Erdmann Nexus") and my friend and copyfight comrade Neil Gaiman (Best Novel for "The Graveyard Book"). Indeed, this may have been the strongest Hugo ballot in a decade. The pre-award reception was practically awash in awesomesauce, and the winners were, to a one, absolute mensches and geniuses.

I've pasted in the winners below, and thrown in a link to the Hugo Awards administrators' traditional infoporn dump of stats on who nominated and voted for what. My undying thanks to all of you who put Little Brother and True Names on the ballot. I've also thrown in the text of my undelivered Little Brother acceptance speech, because I can, and because it thanks a lot of people who deserve it.

Congrats to Boing Boing reader Jeremy Kratz on wiinning the Hugo Awards logo design competition!

Once I've got a fatter network pipe (this post is going out over the VIA Rail on-train WiFi), I'll upload my Hugo photos, which includes a shot of Neal Stephenson's undelivered acceptance speech for Anathem, which was translated into Ur by Jeremy Bornstein!

Best Novel: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)

Best Novella: ''The Erdmann Nexus'' by Nancy Kress (Asimov's Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette: ''Shoggoths in Bloom'' by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov's Mar 2008)

Best Short Story: ''Exhalation'' by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)

John W.

Read the rest

Sofanauts: new science fiction chat podcast

Tony from the StarShipSofa podcast sez, "The Sofanauts is a weekly SF news related show.

Joining me each week are a variety of guests from science fiction literature, SF blogs and publishing to bring you the latest news and gossip from the world of SF. Guests have ranged from science fiction writers, including Jeff VanderMeer, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jeremiah Tolbert and Gord Sellar (nominated for this year''s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer) to editors and publishers, like the anthologist John Joseph Adams and Pablo Defendini (mover and shaker over at Tor.com). And one day I hope to snag young Mr Doctorow!

"We are now in the 14th week of the show's conception and it seems to be going from strength to strength. You can always tell how popular a show becomes as guests now ask to be on the show. This week will see the Sofanauts blast full throttle into Worldcon 2009, bringing you all the daily gossip and titbits of what is going on at this year's convention."

StarShipSofa, The Audio Science Fiction magazine has just given birth to...

(Thanks, Tony!)

Previously: Every Nebula-award-nominated story as a free podcast - Boing Boing Ted Chiang short story in StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast ... StarShipSofa podcast becomes a full-fledged audio science fiction ... StarShipSofa science fiction podcast - Boing Boing British Science Fiction Award story nominees as podcast - Boing Boing Podcast of the story that Michael Bishop wrote for his son, Jamie ... Ben Rosenbaum's "The Ant King" as a podcast - Boing Boing Ted Chiang's Hugo nominated story Exhalation free download - Boing ... Read the rest

Little Brother camerahead papercraft from Cubeecraft

Christopher from Cubeecraft (purveyors of fine cubic papercraft people) was so impressed with the poster that Pablo Defendini made for my novel Little Brother that he whipped up this fantastic little papercraft feller based on it.

I love that Defendini poster -- and this is the second awesome thing it's inspired (the first was the Camerahead protest in Seattle against the CCTVs in public parks). It's really turning into quite a little muse for a lot of peoples' creativity.

Cubeecraft: Little Brother Read the rest

Cameraheads in Seattle protest CCTVs in public places

The Camerahead Project is a Seattle protest group upset about the growing prevalence of CCTV cameras there -- they're staging a bit of theater tomorrow in Cal Anderson Park, walking around with giant cameras on their heads to get people thinking about what it means to have their public spaces under constant surveillance.

Local artist Paul Strong, Jr. says he’s holding the demonstration, called the Camerahead Project, to remind people that video surveillance cameras are recording their every move at Cal Anderson Park and three other parks around town. “The project not only raises the questions of who is watching who and who is watching the watchers, but also … why we are being watched at all,” he says. “There is so much going on in the news about wiretapping and data mining, all these little thing that happen locally go right by.”

I met Paul at one of my signings in Seattle for Little Brother and loved his camerahead outfit -- he says it was inspired by Pablo Defendini's Little Brother poster.

Link Read the rest

Hand-bound one-of-a-kind Little Brother edition

Book-binder Abi Sutherland took one of the misprints from Pablo Defendini's limited edition prints of his concept art for a paperback edition of my young adult novel Little Brother and custom-bound a hardcover of the book with it. I am consumed with lust for this one-of-a-kind edition. I hope Abi will let me see it in person some day!

Oh, and while I'm on the subject: the book's just gone into its fifth week on the NYT bestseller list, and it's still on the Indie list (formerly the Book Sense list) and as of this week, it's also on Publishers Weekly's bestseller list! Ho-ah!


Update: Abi sez,

Slight corrections: it's a blank book rather than a copy of Little Brother, mostly due to printer constraints. Printing out a whole book double-sided on my printer would be soul-destroying, and I don't have signature-sewn editions to tear down.

The binding is a "sewn boards" binding, about halfway between hardcover and softcover. The paper that Pablo used for the prints has such a nice feel and weight; I wanted to work with its sensual qualities.

And I confess that it's not one of a kind. I plan to make five or six of this set, one of which will be heading your way in the very near future. I was going to surprise you with it, but that requires secrecy. I got too excited about how the book came out and had to show it off: secrecy fail.

Read the rest

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