Folks: Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett, has arrived. Woohoo!
If you reserved a copy, we have one here for you. If not: come and get yours while they're fresh.
Until then, you can contact us here, via email, or on FB or Twitter.
ETA: 5pm Our phone is up and running and good to go, thanks to the best Bell repair tech we've ever dealt with.
by Caren Gussoff
Note: Part One appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 101
This may seem totally obvious, but is actually worth a deeper dive: if you want to market your speculative fiction to literary markets, it has to be significantly literary. Literary markets, though they may protest that they do not like/accept/read speculative fiction, actually do publish fiction with fantastic and futuristically elements all the time. But these stories are also, usually, highly literary. So, before you start packing up stories and entering them into the slush waiting room, you should really discern whether a literary audience is the appropriate audience for your piece…since this is the single most important thing editors will be subconsciously reading for.
Defining “literary” is slippery. If you search around, writers, teachers, and critics have written countless — often contradictory — descriptions of what makes something literary (verses mainstream or for a general readership/”popular”). They discuss everything from what the fiction looks like on the page to the authorial intent behind the piece as “qualifiers” (there’s also the derogatory saws about lit fic: that it is, by nature, self-indulgent, elitist in language and subject matter, or the cookie-cutter end-result of too many writer’s workshops and MFA programs).
In terms of speculative fiction, the shorthand has often been that anything far on either side of the continuum (sword and sorcery on one side, hard sci fi on the other) is usually not literary, while those in the muddy middle — such as urban fantasy, magical realism and soft sci fi, for instance — can be literary.
Did you catch that? Scott Lynch, author of Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and the recent Republic of Thieves, will be our special Guest of Honour. You can get books signed, have your deepest Gentleman Bastards questions answered, and harrass him about the next book in the series. He'd love that*.
Scott will arrive at 2pm; the party will go on all day. We'd love it if you could join us.
*Please don't. I bet he'd rather be pelted with marmots**.
**No pelting him with marmots either.
Year's Best SF 18, David G. Hartwell, ed.
Wild Fell, Michael Rowe
Chaos Crystal, Jennifer Fallon
Doctor and the Dinosaurs, Mike Resnick
Seven Sorcerers, John R. Fultz
Young Man Without Magic, Lawrence Watt-Evans
So... no new Pratchett book this Christmas. Bah, humbug.
In June, the SFWA Board announced the suspension of the SFWA Bulletin, allowing time to update our official publication’s distribution, content, and process. Over the past months, we have surveyed the membership, asking them what they see as the future of the Bulletin. We’ve also held Board and Task Force discussions and reviewed similar newsletters. We believe these things has helped us to understand the needs and wants of our members and given us direction for making change. One thing is unambiguously clear from our members’ responses: the Bulletin is an important service and must continue.
Using the survey results as a guide, we have written a job description for the editorial position which will be open to qualified applicants both inside and outside SFWA. When the position is filled, the new editor will begin work on a revamped Bulletin.
However, in the interim, we will publish a special edition of the Bulletin. This special issue will not represent either the Bulletin as it existed in the past, nor will it represent the future Bulletin that will be created by the new editor. Instead, this one-time, stand-alone edition will focus on describing SFWA and capturing its past, present and future. It will provide information about SFWA’s services and capacities, address questions about how SFWA can help members in their careers, and include articles on the state of the industry and of various SFWA projects. In addition to providing useful information for our current members, this issue will also be used in future to promote the organization at tradeshows, conferences, and other events.
This edition will be edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts with assistance from Jaym Gates, on behalf of the president and the Bulletin task force. The issue will be available in mid-Winter (Jan/Feb) 2014.
We thank you for your patience, and look forward to a long and bright future for the Bulletin. More announcements about its new editor and structure will be forthcoming.
Like SFWA, the Bulletin will draw on past and future alike.
Sílo Anor bo men lín!
you had hidden in the cashbox.
It was so stale,
My name is Michael Capobianco. Some of you may know who I am. I was President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for thee terms, 1996, 1997, and 2007. I’ve also served SFWA in a number of other capacities, including VP, Treasurer, and, currently, as one of SFWA’s representatives to the Authors Coalition of America.
In addition, I’ve worked with other SFWAns to oppose the Google Books Settlement, write SFWA’s Orphan Works white papers, and worked on various other copyright and contract related matters. I was married to Ann Crispin, and, while there’s no way I could replace her, with Victoria’s kind encouragement, I’ve decided to officially join Writer Beware.
I’ve already written a few blog posts for WB, mostly about legal copyright matters, but I’ve also helped with the April 1st posts from time to time. The Google Broccoli Kitten Settlement was my idea, for example.
My interests are somewhat more policy-oriented than WB tends to be, but WB has a very broad agenda, and I don’t believe I’ll be changing it much, if at all. My perspective is that of a non-lawyer author who is surrounded by technological and legal changes that call into question many of the ideas about copyright and authors’ rights that seemed to be fixed and immutable just a decade or two ago.
This is a time of tremendous upheaval, but it is only the beginning of a transition to a place we can only dimly perceive. Some of the changes over the last years are very good for authors, but others are eroding the underlying principles of copyright, and, in my opinion, that does not bode well for the future. I remember attending the “Electronic Book ’99: The Next Chapter,” sponsored the National Institute of Standards and Technology in September 1999. (Interestingly, Harlan Ellison was the keynote speaker, and I don’t remember much of his speech except that it didn’t have much to do with the topic of the conference.) Back then, a majority of the players were most interested in selling their new DRM schemes to publishers, because publishers were extremely fearful of the prospect of books that anyone could copy and “share.” Many publishers still feel that way, but I don’t think anyone at that conference could have predicted what the Internet has become, how the ebook marketplace functions, and the enormous changes created by a single corporation, Amazon. I don’t believe we can accurately predict what these things will look like in another fourteen years. But I think that, as in any chaotic system, a push in the right direction at the right time can affect the outcome in profound ways.
Topics I want to cover in future blog posts include the recent verdict in the Google Books case, why orphan works legislation needs to be tailored to the needs of authors, what to do in case your (small or medium-sized) publisher violates your contract, and some stuff about writers’ organization such as SFWA.
I’d like to beef up Writer Beware’s sections that are directed at what is currently being called “hybrid authors” – authors who had some success in the world of traditional publishing, but whose books are now mostly out of print and who have not been able to figure out how to self-publish, or have self-published but gotten nowhere. Since I am an explorer in that realm myself, I hope to bring some specificity to the discussion.
And finally, I hope to act to some degree as one of WB’s faces, appearing at conventions and conferences to help spread the word about literary scammers of all stripes.
I do understand that there are scammers and trolls out there who actively oppose Writer Beware, and I suspect I’m due for my share of the libel and innuendo. While I in no way want to engage in useless public diatribes with these people, I do intend to do something about them.
So, Victoria and Rich, thanks for letting me come aboard, and I hope I can help fulfill the mission of Writer Beware. I look forward to hitting the ground running.
Volume 6 – Issue 1
This is the season when we take a little time for rest and rejuvenation, so this year, we’re combining the November and December newsletters into a single edition. In other words, you didn’t miss one!
Thank you again to everyone who made our reunion year so special. There’s something undeniable about the chance to speak and listen, to be in the company of like-minded folks, and to celebrate women in fantasy, but that could never happen without your support. Thank you for presenting. Thank you for attending. Thank you, especially, to Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall for being our guests of honor. We hope you enjoyed Sirens in 2013 as much as we did!
2013 Deadlines: Compendium
If you presented in 2013, you received a reminder that compendium submissions were due December 1, 2013; if you thought you had a few more days, and require a short extension to prepare the written version of your paper, talk, roundtable, panel, or workshop, please write to us at (programming at sirensconference.org). Participation in the compendium is entirely optional! The current plan is for presentations from 2012, 2013, and 2014 to be published as one volume sometime in 2015. Please see emails from our programming team for more information.
2014 Theme and Guests of Honor
While we’ve been quiet, we’ve been updating the Sirens website at http://www.sirensconference.org. Here’s a bit on the theme for 2014 from the home page:
Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.
In other words, we think that ghosts are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about hauntings. Past lives, future fears, dreams, visions, prophecy, spirits of all kinds, and persistent memories are just a few of the ideas we hope you’ll explore next year.
And while you’re pondering, please feel free to check out the programming section of the Sirens website. Proposals are due May 14, 2014.
Gift Certificates and Registrations
If you’d like a friend to attend with you October 16–19, 2014, you might consider purchasing a gift certificate. They can be given to friends, family, and even strangers so that they can attend Sirens. Gift certificates may be purchased in any amount, and may be given anonymously if the benefactor chooses. Gift certificates may be used only for Sirens registrations, and for Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets.
As a reminder, the registration price increases on January 1, 2014. Sirens registrations include access to all of our conference programming and events, including the keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as four meals or receptions. Neither our Sirens Shuttle nor our pre-conference Sirens Supper, however, is included in a conference registration; these must be purchased separately.
Volunteering and Reading
As we mentioned, this is a quiet time of year for us, but in the coming year, we’d love to have your help for Sirens. For example, in the lead up to Sirens, we have occasional research projects that can be completed online, and during the conference, we always, always appreciate having short-term help for setup, teardown, and room monitoring. (Helping out on-site is also a great way to get an idea of whether you’d like to become more involved year-round.) Please visit the volunteers page to sign up.
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).
If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).
What We’re Excited About
Here’s a peek at how books get from final manuscript to final printed copy.
And on book covers.
And on maps for books.
“Before they got watered down, [fairy tales] were women’s stories...” – Terri Windling interview. (Also of interest: a blog post on birds and the mythical.)
Newest Marvel superhero, Kamala Khan.
Trailer for Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge on USA Today.
New science fiction and fantasy imprint at Simon & Schuster.
Signups open for World Book Night 2014.
Strange Horizons focuses on Indian speculative fiction in a September edition.
Art by Erin/Bluefooted.
HonorsQueen Victoria’s Book of Spells is on the Kirkus Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2013 list.
Cold Steel by Kate Elliott is nominated for best fantasy novel of 2013 in Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall is on the 2014 Texas Lone Star reading list.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Inheritance by Malinda Lo, and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce are part of the 2014 Rainbow List nominees.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown are on Amazon’s 2013 best books for teens and young adults.
The 2013 World Fantasy Awards.
Recent ReleasesNight of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
“Freeze Warning” by Susan Kinard
Crown Duel (Audible edition) by Sherwood Smith
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran
Blythewood by Carol Goodman
Copperhead by Tina Connolly
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, links, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.
Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).
The Sirens November/December 2013 Newsletter is available on sirenscon — !
SFWA has named Samuel R. Delany, Jr. (1942– ) as the 2013 DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous books of science fiction, including Nova, Dhalgren, Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand, and most recently Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Two of his classic works of science fiction criticism, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw and Starboard Wine, have just been brought back into print by Wesleyan University Press, who will reissue a third, The American Shore, in the summer of 2014.
After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where for three years he was Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program. In 2010 he won the third J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction from the academic Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UCR Libraries. He is also a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature.
SFWA PRESIDENT, STEVEN GOULD:
One of the perks of being SFWA president is the option of selecting the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s next Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. One of the tragedies is we only get to select one a year. That said, from the grains of sand in my pocket, I am delighted to pull this star.
Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was, “He’s not already?”
Well he is now.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
This award astonishes me, humbles me, and I am honored by it. It recalls to me–with the awareness of mortality age ushers up–the extraordinary writers who did not live to receive it: Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Octavia E. Butler–as well, from the generation before me, Katherine MacLean, very much alive. I accept the award for them, too: they are the stellar practitioners without whom my own work, dim enough, would have been still dimmer. ~Samuel R. Delany
The DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.’ Delany joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, and Gene Wolfe. The award will be presented at the 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, CA, May 16-18, 2014.
More information on the award’s history and the Nebula Award Weekend can be found at: http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-w
To request interviews, or for questions concerning SFWA, the award’s history or the Nebula Award Weekend, please contact publicist Jaym Gates at email@example.com.
Send an email with your contact info and your dwarf, elf or hobbit name to: contest(at)bakkaphoenixbooks(dot)com. On Friday we'll pull a name and the winner will get a pass for two for a 7pm screening at the Scotiabank Theatre on Monday December 9th.
So this is the story: The Oregon state Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) is determining which services are covered by the Medicare-funded Oregon Health Plan. One of the proposals is to restrict access to test strips for people with type-2 diabetes.
The proposed guidance goes thusly: "For patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus not requiring insulin, home blood glucose monitors and related diabetic supplies are recommended for coverage only for those who have initial HbA1c levels greater than 8.0%, and in sufficient quantity to allow once a week testing. Such coverage should include a structured education and feedback program for self-monitoring of blood glucose..."
And the reasoning is this: "Given that there are 262,000 Oregonians with diabetes, a quick calculation assuming each patient testing 3 times a day would result in costs of about $300 million a year. It is a great cost without any clear evidence of effectiveness of reducing morbidity or mortality..."
Obviously all that money has to come from somewhere. I know close to nothing about Medicare funding to have an informed opinion on this, but if I understand correctly, they're only trading short-term expenses with long-term complications arising from folks not being able to stay in control.
(On the other hand, I read this argument too: "Evidence suggests over-testing leads to more hypoglycemia, on balance. As a clinician, he sees patients over-test and skip meals or take extra insulin as a result of test strip abuse, creating wildly fluctuating blood sugars...")
You can read more (HERC meeting minutes and the such) here.
I'm curious to know what folks here think.
1920: America's Great War, Robert Conroy
Dangerous Women, George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds.
Mars, Inc., Ben Bova
Rebel Spring, Morgan Rhodes
Something More Than Night, Ian Tregillis
Things Fall Apart, Harry Turtledove
Dance Of Mirrors, David Dalglish
Diviners, Libba Bray
Dr. Who: The Doctor's Lives And Times, James Goss
Dragon's Teeth, Mercedes Lackey
Let The Sky Fall, Shannon Messenger
Malice, John Gwynne
Man-Kzin Wars XIV, Larry Niven
Rain Of The Ghost, Greg Weisman
Seattle writer Laurie Frankel won the fifteenth Endeavour Award for her novel Goodbye For Now (Doubleday.) The Award, by Florida artist Ashley Harper, comes with an honorarium of $1,000.00. The other finalists were: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Seattle writer Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications); Amped by Portland writer Daniel H. Wilson, Doubleday); The Blinding Knife by Sherwood, Oregon writer Brent Weeks (Orbit US); and Costume Not Included by British Columbia Matthew Hughes (Angry Robot). The judges for the 2013 Award were Noreen Doyle, Susan Forest, and John Scalzi.
The Endeavour Award honors a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book, either a novel or a single-author collection, created by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. All entries are read and scored by seven readers randomly selected from a panel of preliminary readers. The five highest scoring books then go to three judges, who are all professional writers or editors from outside of the Pacific Northwest.
To be eligible for 2014 Endeavour Award, a book — either a novel or a single-author collection — must have been published for the first time in English during 2013. The majority of the book must have been written, and the book accepted for publication, while the author was living in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, or the Yukon.) Deadline to enter books published during 2012 is February 15, 2014. Full information on entering the Award is available on the Endeavour Web site: www.osfci.org/endeavour. The Endeavour Award is sponsored by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
First up is Gini Koch's eighth Alien series book, Alien Research!
When rumors of a new super-drug surface, the FBI comes to Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini for help. It becomes quickly apparent that the drug is merely the tip of a deadly iceberg and a much more insidious plan is underway involving Titan Security, Gaultier Enterprises, and YatesCorp.
As newly discovered A-Cs and hybrids begin to surface, each with expanded and deadly talents, more and more signs point to a new evil genius who’s using the A-Cs and their enemies both as guinea pigs. Then Area 51 and the Dulce Science Center go silent while Alpha Team, Airborne, and most of the worldwide A-C Security team are there for training. And if that’s not bad enough, Centaurion Division is hit with more bad, and deadly, news: Chernobog the Ultimate, isn’t a hacker myth, he’s a real person--and he’s on the bad guys’ side.
Now Kitty and company must find the real Dr. Feelgood and stop him or her before the latest version of Surcenthumain hits the streets and more people they love are harmed, or worse. But when the inconceivable happens, Kitty’s focused on two things only: reviving the ACE entity before their enemies realize Earth’s best protection isn’t actually active . . . and revenge.
Next up, we have the second novel in Deborah J. Ross's Seven-Petaled Shield, Shannivar.
Shannivar is a young warrior, skilled in horsemanship and archery and raised by her uncle, the clan chieftain. When all the other young warrior-women have set aside their bows and arrows for husbands, she still dreams of glory.
Desperate to resist the imperialistic arm of the nearby growing empire, all of the clans of her nation are gathering to propose an alliance with each other and nearby, still-independent countries. As Shannivar and her fellow delegates travel to the meeting, they encounter a stranger, Zevaron, heir to the magical Seven-Petaled Shield. Zevaron also seeks to halt the empire’s expansion on behalf of his own fallen lost nation and joins forces with Shannivar. Shannivar has never met anyone like Zevaron, with his aura of power and quiet assurance.
Soon the clan gathering is ready, except for the mysterious absence of the clan from the far north. When the ragged band of the missing delegates finally arrive, they tell strange and ominous stories of wolves running mad, reindeer turning cannibal, and man-sized, upright lizards, called stone-drakes.
Zevaron, bestowed with the ancient central petal of the mystical Seven-Petaled Shield, feels a great emanation of danger from the north upon learning this news. Together, he and Shannivar set out on a journey to discover the source of these dangers--a quest even the prophets believe will fail.
And lastly, we have another Elemental Masters anthology, edited by Mercedes Lackey, Elementary.
In March 1987, Mercedes Lackey, a young author from Oklahoma, published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. No one could have envisioned that this modest book would be the beginning of a fantasy career that would span decades and more than a hundred novels, with no signs of slowing yet.
And among Ms. Lackey's many novels, few are as critically-acclaimed and beloved as those of the Elemental Masters. The novels in this series are loosely based on classic fairy tales, and take place in a fantasy version of turn-of-the-century London, where magic is real and Elemental Masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Now the voices of other authors join Mercedes Lackey to add their own special touches to this delightful alternate history, in a world where magic is always just around the corner . . .
And those are the December DAW releases! Which ones are you dying to get your hands on? Check back later this month for the book discussions of each one and weigh in on what you thought!
A few nights ago, I had a low bloodsugar to end all others. I don't remember it, but my boyfriend said he gave me enough glucose to get me to come back conscious. I guess that was when the problem started-I don't remember.
My memory of the past few months is GONE. I don't remember the boyfriend moving in with me, I don't remember Halloween, or much of the past summer. I get bits and pieces, but nothing substantial. I wish I had the money to go to the doctor, but I just don't. I can barely afford my test strips. I fear that this is a bigger issue than it seems, and it's pretty frightening. I am hoping someone out there knows something that could have happened to cause this or something that could have set these actions in effect. I'm missing huge gaps from my life/memory and am not sure where to turn-Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance, and I hope you have a fantastic holiday season.