"ted chiang"

Aspiring sf writers: Clarion workshop closes to applications in two weeks

Aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers have two weeks left to get their applications in to this summer's Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego. I'm a Clarion grad, instructor and board member, and yup, I really believe in it. The Clarion format -- a mix of intense writing and critiquing, along with extended personal instructions from six instructors in six weeks -- is a great way to bootstrap your understanding of how to write sf, along with detailed business and professional advice.

Established in 1968, the Clarion Writers' Workshop 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.

Our 2012 writers in residence are Jeffrey Ford, Marjorie Liu, Ted Chiang, Walter Jon Williams, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego Read the rest

Clarion Workshop accepting applications from aspiring sf/f writers

The Clarion Writers' Workshop is a sort of bootcamp for science fiction and fantasy writers. You write something like six stories in six weeks, critique your fellow students' stories for several hours every day, and get a new instructor every week who combines lectures, workshops and one-on-one meetings. It's all held on UC San Diego's beautiful La Jolla campus.

The workshop has is open for applications, and this year's instructors are Jeffrey Ford, Marjorie Liu, Ted Chiang, Walter Jon Williams, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I'm a Clarion grad (1992) and instructor, and I am a volunteer board member for the Clarion Foundation, which oversees the workshop. Clarion isn't for everyone, and you can certainly develop your writing without Clarion, but when Clarion works for a writer, it really works. It really made me the writer I am today.

You've got until March 1st to send in two short stories and a letter explaining your reasons for applying.

Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego Read the rest

Hugo winners, 2011

Last night's Hugo Award ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno were just great, and some damned fine writers, creators, editors and books were nominated and won. Some of the balloted works/writers you've seen reviewed here this year include:

* The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Campbell Award for Best New Writer, winner) * Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Campbell Award for Best New Writer, nominee) * Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Best Novella) * The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Best Novel, nominee) * Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Best Related Work, nominee)

The winners were: * Best Novel (1813 ballots): Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra) * Best Novella (1467 ballots): The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean) * Best Novelette (1469 ballots): “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010) * Best Short Story (1597 ballots): “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010) * Best Related Work (1220 ballots): Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian) * Best Graphic Story (1263 ballots) Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment) * Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (1755 ballots): Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner) * Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots): Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales) * Best Editor, Short Form (983 ballots): Sheila Williams * Best Editor, Long Form (898 ballots): Lou Anders * Best Professional Artist (1304 ballots): Shaun Tan * Best Semiprozine (1112 ballots): Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker * Best Fanzine (870 ballots): The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon * Best Fan Writer (814 ballots): Claire Brialey * Best Fan Artist (993 ballots): Brad W. Read the rest

Read the Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities and win a Jake von Slatt Somnotrope

Steampunk maker Jake von Slatt built a "Mooney & Finch Somnotrope" as part of the promotion for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (the followup to The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, a collection of fictitious and whimsical illnesses); writer Charlie Jane Anders wrote a "microfiction" (see below) to accompany it. You can win the von Slatt original by buying a copy of the book.

Contributors include Holly Black, Greg Broadmore, Ted Chiang, John Coulthart, Rikki Ducornet, Amal El-Mohtar, Minister Faust, Jeffrey Ford, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Caitlin R. Kiernan, China Mieville, Mike Mignola, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, James A. Owen, Helen Oyeyemi, J.K. Potter, Cherie Priest, Ekaterina Sedia, Jan Svankmajer, Rachel Swirsky, Carrie Vaughn, Jake von Slatt, Tad Williams, Charles Yu, and many more.

Mooney & Finch Somnotrope - These sleep simulators have become rare artifacts--even though they were mass produced in the Mooney & Finch Sheffield facility, each one of them emerged as a unique object due to the pressures of the oneiric centrifuge. However, they were only sold for three months, prior to the first reports of somnambulance addiction and peripatetic insomnia. The idea of experiencing four or five hours of sleep within a mere few minutes held almost unlimited allure for the world's busiest captains of industry and harried matrons. But few were prepared for the intoxication of the Somnotrope's soothing buzz, the sheer pleasure of watching its central piston raise and lower, gently at first and then with increasing vigor, until your mind flooded with dream fragments and impression of having sailed to the nether kingdom and back, all in a few minutes.

Read the rest

Time Travel web-lecture with Connie Willis and Ted Chiang

Tony C Smith from StarShipSofa sez,

Come along and listen to two award-winning SF writers at the top of their games, Connie Willis and Ted Chiang, as they give a live online talk/lecture on the idea and literature of time travel.

Connie Willis has a staggering ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards to her name; as an author of multiple time travel novels and stories herself, including Blackout/All Clear, which won the 2011 Nebula Award, she is especially well suited to address this fascinating subject. Ted Chiang is one of the world's leading SF short story writers, with stories like the Hugo-winning "Exhalation" and the Nebula and Hugo-winning time travel story "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" to his credit, and thus he is a key voice in any discussion of the subject of time travel.

Joining them is award-winning genre scholar Amy H. Sturgis, Ph.D., who will share her top picks for "Must Read" time travel fiction. Her most recent critical essay related to time travel will appear in the summer 2011 collection Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists.

You'll leave this event with fresh insights into the SF theme of time travel and a terrific reading list, as well!

Time Travel Lecture

(Thanks, Tony!) Read the rest

Locus Award winners

Locus magazine has announced the winners of this year's Locus Award:

* Science Fiction Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

* Fantasy Novel: Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey)

* First Novel: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)

* Young Adult Book: Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)

* Novella: The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

* Novelette: "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains", Neil Gaiman

* Short Story: "The Thing About Cassandra", Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)

* Magazine: Asimov's

* Publisher: Tor

* Anthology: Warriors, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor)

* Collection: Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)

* Editor: Ellen Datlow

* Artist: Shaun Tan

* Non-fiction: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)

* Art Book: Spectrum 17, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)

Announcing the 2011 Locus Award Winners Read the rest

Hugo Nominees 2011

Congrats to the nominees for the 2011 Hugo Awards, to be presented at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, NV. I'll be there and rooting for my favorites!

Best Novel Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra) Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr) Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Best Novella "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010) The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean) "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow) "The Sultan of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov's, September 2010) "Troika" by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)

Best Novelette "Eight Miles" by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010) "The Emperor of Mars" by Allen M. Steele (Asimov's, June 2010) "The Jaguar House, in Shadow" by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov's, July 2010) "Plus or Minus" by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's, December 2010) "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made" by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010)

Best Short Story "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010) "For Want of a Nail" by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov's, September 2010) "Ponies" by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, November 17, 2010) "The Things" by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)

Here's a telling stat for you: "1006 valid nominating ballots were counted, 992 electronic and 14 paper."

The Hugo Awards

(via John McDaid) Read the rest

Highly recommended: New Ted Chiang novella "The Lifecycle of Software Objects"

Subterranean Press has Ted Chiang's latest novella, "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a sweet, sad story about virtual pets and the lives they lead online. Ted Chiang is one of the greatest writers working in science fiction today, we're lucky to have him.

Blue Gamma has a customer liaison whose job is to read the forums, but Derek sometimes follows the forums on his own, after work. Sometimes customers talk about the digients' facial expressions, but even when they don't, Derek enjoys reading the anecdotes.

FROM: Zoe Armstrong

You won't believe what my Natasha did today! We were at the playground, and another digient hurt himself when he fell and was crying. Natasha gave him a hug to make him feel better, and I praised her to high heaven. Next thing I know, she pushes over another digient to make him cry, hugs him, and looks to me for praise!

Fiction: The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Thanks, Avisolo, via Submitterator!)

Ted Chiang on Writing Ted Chiang's Hugo nominated story Exhalation free download - Boing ... Ted Chiang's story Exhalation -- free podcast Podcast of Ted Chiang's THE MERCHANT AND THE ALCHEMIST'S GATE ... Ted Chiang short story in StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast ... Short-story collection of the decade if not the century Ted Chiang is a brilliant Read the rest

Ted Chiang on Writing

Avi: Could you introduce yourself?

Ted: My name is Ted Chiang. I'm a science fiction short story writer.

Were there any formative experiences that led you to become a science fiction writer?

Probably the most formative experience was reading the Foundation Trilogy when I was about twelve years old. That wasn't the first science fiction I had ever read but it's something that stands out in my memory as having had a big impact on me. Reading Asimov and then Arthur C. Clarke when I was twelve definitely put me on the road to being a science fiction writer.

When did you actually decide to go pro?

It depends on what you mean by going pro. I started submitting stories for publication when I was about 15, but it was many years before I sold anything. I don't make my living writing science fiction so in that sense I'm still not a pro. Writing for publication was always my goal, but making a living writing science fiction wasn't. When I was a kid I figured I would be a physicist when I grew up and then I would write science fiction on the side. The physicist thing didn't pan out, but writing science fiction on the side did. Read the rest

Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard!

Are you a pro sf/f/h writer? The Clarion Foundation, the 501(c)3 charity that oversees the original Clarion workshop wants your keyboard!

Like all nonprofits, we're always in fundraising mode, and to that end, I have a curious, easy-to-fulfil request for you for something that we're pretty excited about.

WHAT I'D LIKE FROM YOU IS AN OLD, BROKEN-DOWN KEYBOARD, from a desktop, laptop or even a typewriter. I'm guessing that you're like me and can't bring yourself to throw out your old keyboards even after they start sticking, lose keys, and are replaced by modern ones.

We're trying to get as many as 101 old keyboards from genre writers, and then we are going to send keys from each to Datamancer, a talented steampunk hardware hacker who builds beautiful retrofuturistic keyboards that normally retail for about $1000-$1500 (and he sells them as fast as he can build 'em!). Datamancer is going to build us a keyboard that we are going to auction off as the most totemic artefact in science fiction history, a keyboard whose keys have been used, in aggregate, to write hundreds of beloved novels, thousands of classic stories. A keyboard whose products have won Hugos and Nebulas by the bushel.

The keyboard will be auctioned off with a hand-bound book listing all the works written on its keys (so in addition to the keyboard, we'd like you to recall, as best as you can, which books, stories, teleplays, essays, etc you wrote on it).

Additionally, Catherine Cheek -- a talented visual artist who is also a Clarion alum and volunteer -- will be making a variety of sculptures and objets from the remaining keys, all to be auctioned. 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

Hugo voting deadline!

Diane from the World Science Fiction Convention sez, "Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that the voting deadline for the Hugo awards is this Friday. Eligible voters must vote online by July 3rd, 23:59PM EST. People should vote as early as possible in case of computer problems and to ensure their ballot is received before the deadline."

You get a vote if you're signed up to attend the WorldCon (it's in Montreal this year). It's one of the best Hugo ballots I've seen in all my years as an sf reader. And yes, I'm eligible twice, once for best novel (Little Brother) and again for best novella (True Names, with Ben Rosenbaum).

Final Ballot for the 2009 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award

Previously: Hugo nominations open! - Boing Boing Hugo-nominated webcomic The Body Politic as a free download ... Online Hugo nominating ballot is live! - Boing Boing Hugo Awards ballot is live - Boing Boing Design the Hugo Award logo, win $500 and a ticket to WorldCon ... Hugo Voters' Packet: practically every Hugo-nominated work as a ... Ted Chiang's Hugo nominated story Exhalation free download - Boing ...

Read the rest

2009 Locus Award winners

The 2009 Locus Award winners for best science fiction and related books published in 08, as voted by the general public, have been announced. A good place to start your reading if you want to read some of the best stuff out there.

Science Fiction Novel: Anathem, Neal Stephenson (Atlantic UK, Morrow)

Fantasy Novel: Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt)

First Novel: Singularity's Ring, Paul Melko (Tor)

Young-Adult Book: The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, Bloomsbury)

Novella: "Pretty Monsters", Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters)

Novelette: "Pump Six", Paolo Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories)

Short Story: "Exhalation", Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)

Anthology: The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin's)

Collection: Pump Six and Other Stories, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books)

Non-Fiction/Art Book: P. Craig Russell, Coraline: The Graphic Novel, Neil Gaiman, adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins) Editor: Ellen Datlow Artist: Michael Whelan

Magazine: F&SF Publisher: Tor

2009 Locus Award Winners

Previously: Locus award for best sf of 2008 -- shortlist published - Boing Boing Locus Award winners announced -- After the Siege is best novella ... Locus Magazine Award finalists - Boing Boing When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth wins the Locus Award! - Boing Boing Down and Out wins Locus Award - Boing Boing Cory's I, Robot wins the Locus Award! - Boing Boing Read the rest

Hugo ballot is up -- Little Brother up for best novel!

Hot damn! The 2009 Hugo Awards ballot is live and it's a doozy, and not just because I'm on it twice (Best Novel: Little Brother and Best Novella: True Names, with Ben Rosenbaum). No, it's better than that -- the entire ballot is just killer, especially my competition in the Best Novel category (hell, three quarters of the authors were invited to my wedding, and I'd have been delighted to have the remaining one in attendance). A million thanks to all of you who nominated both works!

I can't wait to see who wins (and no matter who wins, I can't wait for the annual Hugo Losers party, which is bound to be a hell of a thing and a half). I'm going to the WorldCon for the awards, of course -- my tux is hanging in its dry-cleaning bag awaiting its annual airing.

And hey, look at that, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who edited Little Brother, is also up for Best Editor!

Best Novel * Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Morrow; Atlantic UK) * The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK) * Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen; HarperVoyager UK) – Free download * Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK) * Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)

Best Novella * “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008) * “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008) – Read Online * “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires) * “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2) – Free download * “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette * “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008) – Read Online * “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2) – Read Online * “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008) * “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008) – Read Online * “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008) – Read Online

Best Short Story

* “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008) – Read Online * “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008) * “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two) * “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two) * “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Another thing about this ballot -- it's the copyfightingest ballots in my memory, filled with writers and editors who advocate for sharing, fanfic, and looser copyrights. Read the rest

Ted Chiang's story Exhalation -- free podcast

Avi sez, "StarShipSofa has made a podcast of Ted Chiang's amazing new story: 'Exhalation'. This is as good as it gets for quality SF." Ohmanohmanohman! New Ted Chiang fiction. We're all in for a treat.

Exhalation, MP3 link

(Thanks, Avi!)

Previously: Ted Chiang short story in StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast ... Podcast of Ted Chiang's THE MERCHANT AND THE ALCHEMIST'S GATE ... Ted Chiang is a brilliant - Boing Boing Short-story collection of the decade if not the century - Boing Boing Read the rest

Deadline looms for Clarion Writers' Workshop applications

There's a scant few weeks left to get your applications in to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop at UCSD, a six-week intensive boot-camp for would-be writers. Clarion students write and critique every day, and receive one-on-one and group instruction from six instructors. I graduated from Clarion in 1992, and it was an absolutely transformative crucible for me, teaching me more in six weeks of writing and critiquing that I'd learned in the past five years of working on my own.

Clarion instills good work habits, good artistic sensibilities, and good professional attitudes in its graduates, and has served as a springboard for the careers of writers like Bruce Sterling, Octavia Butler, Tobias Buckell, Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, Pat Murphy, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jeff Vendermeer, and many others.

I've been privileged to attend, teach and oversee Clarion. It's one of the best shortcuts I know for promising writers looking to turn their passion into a career.

The 2009 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop

June 28 through August 8, 2009

at University of California, San Diego

2009 Writers in Residence: Holly Black Larissa Lai Robert Crais Kim Stanley Robinson Elizabeth Hand Paul Park

The 2009 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop

Clarion West (similar workshop, in Seattle)

(Disclosure: I am proud to volunteer as a Director of the nonprofit Clarion Foundation, which oversees the workshop) Read the rest

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