Inhuman Swill : Writing : Page 15

King of Zembla takes Jeff Ford, Rick Bowes and me to the Zemblan Literary Thunderdome.

Nebula final ballot

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As many other folks have pointed out, SFWA has released the final ballot for this year's Nebula Awards.

No surprise that [info]paulmelko and [info]mabfan and Jim Kelly and I all made it since there was no first round of voting in our category! But apparently the jury declined to add an additional work in our category, so the four of us now duke it out. I call dibs on rayguns!

ShunnCast #38

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Epidode #38 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill gets booked into Calgary's big downtown jail, encounters hardened criminals and guards, revises his opinion of both, and begins questioning some of his life's basic assumptions. Longest episode yet! (As if that's any reason for pride.)

See also [info]shunncast.

ShunnCast #37

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Epidode #37 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, as threatened, pays tribute to late jazz great Michael Brecker. A special all-music edition!

See also [info]shunncast.

Locus recommendations

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Other folks round these here parts have pointed out that the Locus Recommended Reading List is online this year. Let me congratulate the folks I know more than glancingly whose work appears on the list, including Laird Barron, Beth Bernobich ([info]beth_bernobich), Rick Bowes, Toby Buckell, Alyx Dellamonica ([info]planetalyx), Cory Doctorow, Gardner Dozois, Jeff Ford ([info]14theditch), Daryl Gregory, Joe Haldeman, Alex Irvine, John Kessel, Justine Larbalestier, Ken Macleod, Jack McDevitt, Paul Melko ([info]paulmelko), Richard Parks ([info]ogre_san), Tim Pratt ([info]tim_pratt), Robert Reed, Karl Schroeder, Jack Skillingstead, Greg van Eekhout ([info]gregvaneekhout), and Scott Westerfeld!

"Inclination" made the list too. In fact, here's a bit of Rich Horton's year-end roundup of short fiction from the February Locus:

There were quite a few fine novellas—enough that I'm not sure I can reliably define a Hugo ballot. At the top are "Inclination," by William Shunn, about a young man from a strict religious enclave on a space station, and his encounter with the radically different wider world; and "A Billion Eves," by Robert Reed, concerning the ramifications of serial colonization of numerous alternate Earths, beginning with a sexually-repressed inventor kidnapping a sorority, but leading to a more ecological than gender-related point. Paul Melko's "The Walls of the Universe" is another look at traveling across parallel worlds, and about how character is affected by circumstances; and Brian Stableford's "The Plurality of Worlds," very weird stuff about an alternate Elizabeth era with space travel. Ysabeau S. Wilce returned to the story of Hardhands with the lovingly exotic "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire."
"Inclination" also makes Horton's list of the top ten works of all the year's short fiction.

Which reminds me—if you're a Locus subscriber, be sure to fill out the 2007 Locus Poll & Survey. And that reminds me, if you're an Asimov's subscriber, don't forget to fill out your 2006 Readers Award Ballot.


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Since John Klima will want me touting my chapbook at every opportunity—

Okay, no, I can't shuffle my toe in the dirt and put this off on John. I have in hand an introduction from Cory Doctorow that will appear in my chapbook An Alternate History of the 21st Century, to be published by Spilt Milk Press this summer.

The intro made me beam. It made my wife get misty-eyed. We are stoked. Thanks, Cory!

ShunnCast #36

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Epidode #36 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, rather than beating a hasty and prudent retreat, takes more bad advice from the same wrong people and runs afoul of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Will the Mounties get their man? Snarkily recorded in stunning Rhinoviraphonic sound!

See also [info]shunncast.

I don't often post about my writing progress here, because usually it inches along with such dismal slowness. I have been unusually disciplined working on projects over the past few months, though, and am feeling good about it all this morning.

My normal writing routine, even most weekends, is to get up at 5:00 a.m., fire up the laptop, pour the coffee that is automatically brewing for me, and try to write for as long as I possibly can before the needs of the day force me to stop. I have for years paid lip service to this schedule. The times I've managed to stick to it have been the overall (though not overwhelming) exceptions.

Part of it is that, though I usually do my best work if I can get started first thing in the day, it's always hard for me to get up at that hour. I have a lifetime's practice at ignoring my alarm clock, and Laura gets justifiably annoyed at the expectation that she will kick my ass out of bed at five. Thank goodness for the BlackBerry my in-laws gave me for my birthday in August. For some reason, its alarm gets me up almost without fail.

For the past three weeks or so, I've been working on a fresh draft of this ghost story Derryl Murphy and I have been tossing back and forth like a cold potato for probably three years now, "Cast a Cold Eye." He may be terrified to learn that it has just this morning edged into novella territory. I regret that a bit myself, but I am thrilled to report that since five this morning I've done about 2,400 new words. This, for me, means I'm well into the stretch and racing toward the tape. I should wrap up this draft tomorrow or thereabouts and toss it back to Derryl.

Full entry

Rollick this

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If I never again hear the word "rollicking" employed to describe a novel, it will be too soon.

ShunnCast #35

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Epidode #35 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, against his better judgment, accompanies a runaway Elder Finn to the airport, where he experiments with phrases you must never use whilst frequenting such establishments. In other words, this is the episode you've been waiting for!

See also [info]shunncast.

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William Shunn