( list )
Comments: I have literally never heard of Sawyer's novel nominee, but otherwise this looks . . . not bad. Some stuff I nominated, only one category completely without women if I'm counting right (Pro Artist), at least two people of color in the fiction categories (which AFAIK is one more than last year, um, yay?) and another in the Campbell, some newer/younger/not-the-same names.
I do hope that the short fiction nominees will be able to post their stories online, not just make them available to voters, because I think it's important to the community's discussions and the reputation of the Hugo Awards.
ETA: also up at AussieCon's website, with at least formatting & ballot numbers, though no links.
"Three Twilight Tales," Jo Walton, Firebirds Soaring (mostly not in bookstores any more, but try your local library)
"The Pirate Captain's Daughter," Yoon Ha Lee, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
"A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc -or- A Lullaby,", Helen Keeble, Strange Horizons
"And Their Lips Rang with the Sun," Amal El-Mohtar, Strange Horizons
Still reading . . .
And a recommendation: Readability, a browser bookmarklet you can customize to, well, make web pages readable.
This is a draft of my ballot for the Fan Writer category in this year's Hugo nominations.
- Abigail Nussbaum, who blogs at Asking the Wrong Questions (there are links to her reviews at other sites in the sidebar).
- coffee & ink, who blogs at coffeeandink.
- K. Tempest Bradford, who blogs all over but principally, for these purposes, at her own site and at The Angry Black Woman.
- Possibly James Nicoll, who blogs at james_nicoll; as much as I enjoy his LJ, I tend to think of it more as a news source and discussion place than a source of his writing.
- Possibly Deepa D., who blogs at deepad; she doesn't post as much as any of the rest of the people on this list, but her posts in January 2009 alone were beautifully written and important.
And though I feel deeply awkward in saying this, the nomination stats indicate that I have previously been nominated in the Fan Writer category by more people than just Chad. So I feel obligated to point out that while my writing here and at my sadly-neglected booklog is non-professional, my writing for Tor.com is professional and thus should not be considered in this regard.
So I'm trying to actually read some short fiction before nominating for the Hugos this year, partly because I don't have a lot of time and partly because I'm not very enthusiastic about 2009 novels as a whole.
- The Nebula ballot;
- Niall Harrison's draft ballot;
- Abigail Nussbaum's draft ballot and links therein;
- The recommendation thread at Scalzi's.
I have a copy of the anthology Federations which I am slowly working my way through. I've put in a library request for Firebirds Soaring because papersky's story in it is getting a lot of attention.
So: What have you read that you've liked? What have you published that's eligible? (If you're modest, you can post your eligible lists separately from your recommended lists. I want to know what my friends have published.) Either links or names of things I can get from the library, please. I'm not going to go buying back issues of magazines at this point.
Things I've read so far that I've liked—not a draft ballot, note, and I still have a lot of things left to read even from the above-mentioned sources:
- "Carthago Delenda Est," Genevieve Valentine, Federations
- "Bespoke," Genevieve Valentine, Strange Horizons (dilemma! I think I like "Carthago" better, but "Bespoke" is getting more buzz, so, strategy-wise . . . )
- "Different Day," K. Tempest Bradford, Federations
- "Élan Vital," K. Tempest Bradford, Sybil’s Garage No. 6
- "Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin, Clarkesworld
So: go read those, and tell me what to read!
(If you absolutely can't stop yourself, go ahead and rec novels too, but I think I'm pretty well up on the possibilities there (things I have read or am reading but have not booklogged yet are in this LibraryThing collection) and I'd really prefer you focus on short fiction.)
A post-script to this open letter:
The offensively harrassing, insulting, clueless, privileged, and generally massively FAIL-y behavior of Will Shetterly, documented by deepad here [updated link] and vom_marlowe here, and of Shetterly and Kathryn Cramer, documented by coffeeandink here?
So very much not helping.
I'm turning comments off because I don't have the time, energy, or patience to engage in discussion of this right now; but it was important to me to put my feelings about this on record. For more substantive discussion, see rydra_wong's linkspam roundups for March (2nd-4th to date, but pessimistically, I imagine there will be more because the FAIL, it just keeps coming).
Somehow I'd failed to remember until now that as a member of Anticipation 2009, I'm eligible to nominate works for the Hugo ballot again.
I expect that Terry Pratchett's Nation will make my novel ballot, and I hope to get around to reading Half a Crown, Matter, and Sly Mongoose before February 28. Other recommendations, with reasons please, for works eligible for best novel—and, also, best graphic story?
You may recall, a couple of weeks ago, discussion of the repulsive behavior of William Sanders, editor of the online SFF magazine Helix. Now, Transcriptase has launched, which hosts reprints of stories and poems originally published there. If you want to read the stories and poems without giving hits to Helix—or, if you just want to read free SFF—check Transcriptase out.
1. Did Nancy Kress pretty much exhaust the field (or the functional equivalent) for speculative fiction regarding sleep or the lack thereof?
2. Someone could probably write a thesis tracking the distribution of reproductive methods in SF (pregnancies by genetic parents, pregnancies by non-genetic parents, and non-pregnancies) by time and by sex of author. (Brought to you in part by Kate having finally got around to writing up Excession.)
3. Oh, yeah, this is going to be a productive day . . .
There are some things I'm pleased about (The Arrival for Best Related Book! *waves rooting flag*), but my principal reaction to the Novel list is to be glad I'm not voting this year. I plan to read The Yiddish Policeman's Union and Brasyl, but my reaction to the other three—Rollback (Sawyer), The Last Colony (Scalzi), and Halting State (Stross)—is a collective "enh, more of the same." For personal, just finishing breakfast values thereof, though I suspect this is also affected by not seeing any of my novel nominees on the list.
(Post-shower clarification about the three S's: I'm allergic to Stross's fiction, and have decided not to read Scalzi's fiction for reasons that—trust me—have no application or relevance to anyone else. I don't think I need to explan about Sawyer.)
Screw flying cars. Where is my in-home custom clothing fabricator?
(Prompted by an unfun trip to get maternity clothes. Chad thought I was going to say "uterine replicator," but I pointed out that even if I wasn't needing maternity clothes now, I'd still have to buy clothes sometime.)
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The first four episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender were entertaining; pitched a little young, but that did make them undemanding after a long day. We'll probably keep watching.
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Hugo nominees update:
Ragamuffin (booklog) and The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice (booklog) for novel; honorable mention to The Secret History of Moscow (booklog), which I am allergic to. The Arrival (booklog) for related book, which you all have to go out and get right this minute, seriously, I mean it!
I may try and squeeze in Acacia, but am unlikely to get to Shelter (I'm sick of winter and am not much for dystopias at the best of times).
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Just a few links, because I've been spending all my delicious time on boskone reports.
( links )
Do not click the cut unless you've finished both volumes of The Orphan's Tales. You won't be able to answer the question and it will ruin your reading experience. Really.
Suddenly it's February, I have less than a month to get my Hugo nomination ballot in order, and so far my ballot consists solely of Shaun Tan's The Arrival (ETA: booklog entry) for Best Related Book. Eek!
( cut for lists )
What else? I did a very quick search for 2007 lists and tagged them on delicious, if you're looking for reminders. Recommend me novels: but, it should be accompanied with specific reasons that I, personally, would like it, and as much or more than I might like the three things I plan to read. I will either ignore or mock anyone who fails to follow directions.
World Fantasy Con: Urban Fantasy—Beyond the Usual Suspects
It seems as if most urban fantasy uses the familiar European myths. What other possibilities are there? Which authors have successfully exploited them?
Ekaterina Sedia, Ernest Lilley (m), Marie Brennan, Melanie Fletcher, Jenna Black
(In post-panel conversation, Sedia and Brennan noted the problems with using "exploited" in that description.)
The vast majority of this panel was not about existing or possible non-European urban fantasies, but about cultural appropriation. The responsibility for this rests with the moderator. Not only did he seem to want to talk a lot about cultural appropriation, his comments—well, my most charitable interpretation was that his phrasing and manner were deliberately exaggerated to provoke discussion and, possibly, as an attempt at humor. (He specifically introduced his most offensive remark as a joke.) And they were certainly provoking.
This report is not about that part of the panel, because I do not want to host a discussion of cultural appropriation at this time. If the topic interests you, there's much to read already (try starting with International Blog Against Racism Week's posts), and of course you can always start a discussion in your own space. However, after the writing-and-cultural-defaults discussions this summer, well, I'd say I have PTSD on writing and race discussions except that it would trivialize actual trauma. Regardless: discussion of cultural appropriation: DO NOT WANT.
Here's what my notes boil down to, then:
Urban fantasies using non-European myths:
- Lilith Saintcrow, Dante Valentine series (Anubis features prominently)
- Neil Gaiman, American Gods ("mythology fanfic"—Brennan) and Anansi Boys
- Liz Williams, Detective Chen series (Chinese Heaven and Hell as two other locations that characters move between routinely)
- Sergei Lukyanenko, Night Watch trilogy (translated from the Russian and set in Russia; Brennan commented that the mythology felt much more generic than the mundane aspects)
- Paper Cities, an anthology edited by Sedia
- Jenn Reese, Jade Tiger (Chinese-American protagonist)
- C.E. Murphy, the Walker Papers, starting with Urban Shaman (American Indian themes, maybe protagonist? (first is on the to-read bookcase))
- Tim Powers, Last Call, Expiration Date (American fantasy; though Last Call is the Fisher King in Las Vegas)
- Sean Stewart's non-secondary-world fantasy [with varying degrees of urbanity, I think]
- Brennan: there are two extreme poles of approach: on one hand, there's the American Gods diaspora, and on the other, why can't I do urban fantasy set in India?
- Sedia: re: filing serial numbers off cultures: that's probably easier in secondary worlds, since urban fantasy takes place in urban, contemporary, real places.
- Brennan maintains an extensive list of multi-cultural fantasy.
After the panel:
- K.J. Bishop, The Etched City
- Catherynne M. Valente, The Orphan's Tales
- Ian McDonald, River of Gods (set in India)
So: let's do the panel here. Comments on the books listed above? Recommendations of other books? Really cool things that haven't been written yet but should be? And if people want to give their definitions of urban fantasy, go ahead—though I'm not particularly interested in picking a definition as long as I know what you're using.
(I started listening to an audiobook of it today, actually, read by the author, but he didn't make any effort to distinguish between different sides of a dialogue and it was too hard to follow.)
Before I disappear into reading Harry Potter—
Is there anyone reading this who is either from Cambodia or is knowledgable about contemporary Cambodian culture, and who's read Geoff Ryman's Hugo-nominated novellete "Pol Pol's Beautiful Daughter" (pdf)? Because I read it last night and its use of Cambodia is making me uncomfortable, but I am very ignorant on the subject.
ETA: I've now booklogged this story and the rest of the nominees in the category.
You have inconveniently scheduled books by two of this year's Campbell nominees, Sarah Monette's The Mirador and Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies, for release too late for me to read them before voting at the end of July.
This makes me sad, because reading those books might very well make a difference in my vote. And maybe it should make you sad, because I promise to write thoughtful reviews about them, as I did for the other books by the Campbell nominees that I've read so far. (It makes my dog sad, too. Look at that sad face.) Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be happy?
I'll be glad to provide you with a mailing address, or even an e-mail address to which you could send an electronic copy—I'm not fussy, and I promise to be well-behaved.
(My motives are entirely pure, of course, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I really really want to read them. Uh-uh. Nope. Nosiree.)
Very truly yours,
(To my deep annoyance, I see that Bantam was randomly giving out 20 copies of Red Seas, the due date for entering which was—yesterday. Well, at least I've finally finished re-reading and logging Mélusine and The Virtu, and can proceed to Elantris, and then to the Hugo nominees. I'm making progress, honest . . . )