Inhuman Swill : Writing : Page 16

The 2006 preliminary Nebula Award ballot has just been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). My novella "Inclination" is up there in the novella category.

The preliminary ballot is essentially the Nebula longlist. SFWA members will now vote to narrow the ballot down to five nominees in each category. The resulting final ballot (a/k/a shortlist) will then be voted on in March, with the awards ceremony to be held the weekend of May 11-13 in New York City.

What? What's that you say? There are only four works on the preliminary ballot in the novella category? Well, don't that beat all? I guess that means those stories all advance automatically to the final ballot. Which would make me...

Holy shit! I'm a Nebula nominee again! (Er, somewhat unofficially.) <frantic work-inappropriate happy dance>

Congrats also to our own [info]paulmelko, whose deserving novella "The Walls of the Universe" enjoys the same fate as "Inclination"—all the cooler because our two pieces bookended the April/May issue of Asimov's. Paul, we will tear up Gotham come May.

Big congrats also to [info]bobhowe, whose excellent novelette "Do Neaderthals Know?" makes the prelim, and to [info]planetalyx for "A Key to the Illuminated Heretic"! And to [info]14theditch for his terrific novel The Girl in the Glass. What other LJers am I missing?

On art

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Actually, when one works, one comes to a solution much more quickly than when one sits and thinks.

—Jasper Johns, quoted by Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker, December 11, 2006

ShunnCast #33

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Epidode #33 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which the link between Mormonism and Masonry is explored, while Bill and his companion strike living gold in the last happy days they'll be destined to share.

See also [info]shunncast.

Attention, Asimov's readers!

Voting for the 2006 Asimov's Readers' Awards is now underway, with a convenient online form for your polling ease.

Please remember that my story "Inclination" is up for consideration in the novella category. If you wanted to rank [info]paulmelko's novella "The Walls of the Universe" somewhere up there too, that would be okay by me.

Also remember [info]gregvaneekhout's excellent and exciting short story "The Osteomancer's Son," Tim Pratt's short story "Impossible Dreams," [info]beth_bernobich's novelette "A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange," Kris Rusch's novelette "Except the Music," and anything published by Jack Skillingstead in 2006.

ShunnCast #32

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Epidode #32 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill and his companion engage in a war of practical jokes with the sister missionaries, with hilarious, painful, and sometimes terrifying results. And the zero hour creeps ever nearer...

See also [info]shunncast.


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Part One of a two-part interview with me is now up at Absolute Write.

ShunnCast #31

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Epidode #31 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill takes up the life of a more diligent missionary than has in the past been his wont, does battle with elderly Jehovah's Witnesses, and tries to get a few things off his chest, with embarrassing results.

See also [info]shunncast.

Bestered, you bet

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Wandering around the house this morning, trying to avoid writing, I plucked an Alfred Bester collection off the shelf and started reading at random. I fell into an essay from F&SF in 1961 where Bester evaluates some of the top SF writers of the time. He compares Heinlein to Kipling in terms of both virtues (craftsmanship) and vices (oversimplification of reality, xenophobia), then continues:

Despite these flaws, Mr. Heinlein remains the most powerful and original force in science fiction today; an author always to be reckoned with, never ignored. In fact, the latter would be impossible. Mr. Heinlein reaches out, takes the reader by the scruff of the neck, and doesn't let go until he's shaken the wits out of him. Some day we hope Mr. Heinlein will use his talent to shake a little wit into the reader.
Good advice for us all! Now back to work.

ShunnCast #30

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Epidode #30 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill receives a dire warning, meets his new companion, discusses biracial families, breaks more rules, and poses for blackmail photos. Plus, Laura picks a lock. Happy Thanksgiving!

See also [info]shunncast.

A relatively new science fiction podcast named "Retrieval Detachment" (part of the Radio Caravan podcast syndicate) features entertaining discussions of the concepts behind selected SF stories. This week they focus on my story "Observations from the City of Angels" and discuss the implications of full-sensory blogging:

Retrieval Detachment Episode 4 Subscribe to the podcast at the iTunes Music Store, or get the audio directly here.
I found the discussion very interesting, and in fact it gave me some ideas for the additional stories I plan to write in that milieu.

If you haven't read this story, you might want to before tuning in. You can hear Stephen Eley read it at "Escape Pod," or read it online (under a different title) at Salon.

"Observations from the City of Angels" will also appear in my chapbook, due next summer from Spilt Milk Press.

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