Well, this is nice: Noreascon refunded me my membership fee, on account it made a profit (or some such). I have rolled it over for an Interaction membership, so now the net cost of the Interaction membership will be about $30. Thanks, Noreascon!

In other news, I just bought my Interaction membership and booked a room at the Best Western Glasgow Milton Hotel & Spa, so y’all can expect to see me in Glasgow in early August.

In other other news, I’ll also be at Penguicon in April, mostly to see how jittery Cory will be ahead of the Nebula Weekend, which will be the next weekend in Chicago. I had given some thought to being at Nebula weekend — I love Chicago — but I’m going to skip out of that.

So, then, my convention schedule: Penguincon, Wiscon, Interaction. And then I suspect that will be that for 2005, except, possibly, Context. That’s five conventions in a year, up from one for each of the previous two. That’s more than enough conventioneering for one person, I’d say.


2004 Nebula Nominees

As I was on the Nebula short fiction jury this year, it behooves me to post the final list of Nebula nominees (list gacked from Gwenda Bond):

2004 Final Nebula Ballot

Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos, Oct 2003)
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow (Tor, Feb 2003)
Omega, by Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov 2003)
Cloud Atlas: A Novel, by David Mitchell (Sceptre, Jan 2004)
Perfect Circle, by Sean Stewart (Small Beer Press, Jun 2004)
The Knight, by Gene Wolfe (Tor, Jan 2004)

“Walk in Silence,” by Catherine Asaro (Analog, Apr 2003)
“The Tangled Strings of the Marionettes,” by Adam-Troy Castro (F&SF,
Jul 2003)
“The Cookie Monster,” by Vernor Vinge (Analog, Oct 2003)
“The Green Leopard Plague,” by Walter Jon Williams (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov
“Just Like the Ones We Used to Know,” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s, Dec

“Zora and the Zombie”, by Andy Duncan (SCI FICTION, February 4, 2004)
“Basement Magic,” by Ellen Klages (F&SF, May 2003)
“The Voluntary State,” by Christopher Rowe (SCI FICTION, May 2004)
“Dry Bones,” by William Sanders (Asimov’s, May 2003)
“The Gladiator’s War: A Dialogue,” by Lois Tilton (Asimov’s, Jun 2004)

Short Stories
“Coming to Terms,”by Eileen Gunn (Stable Strategies and Others, Tachyon
Publications, Sep 2004)
“The Strange Redemption of Sister Mary Anne,” by Mike Moscoe (Analog,
Nov 2004)
“Travels With my Cats,” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s, Feb 2004)
“Embracing-The-New,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum (Asimov’s, Jan 2004)
“In the Late December,” by Greg van Eekhout (Strange Horizons, Dec.
22, 2003)
“Aloha,” by Ken Wharton (Analog, Jun 2003)

The Incredibles, by Brad Bird (Pixar, Nov 2004)
The Butterfly Effect, by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress (New Line
Cinema, Jan 2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by Charlie Kaufman & Michel
Gondry (Anonymus Content/Focus Features, Mar 2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien (New Line Cinema, Dec 2003)

I’m personally excited for Cory Doctorow, who is a friend of mine, that he made the final list, and of course I wish all the rest of the nominees good luck as well.

If you’re curious as to what I did on the Nebula short fiction jury, well, I and my fellow jury-mates looked through material to see if there was any story/novelette/novella we thought was overlooked, and if so, we had the ability to add one title in each category. Long-time observers of the Nebula process will see if we did, but otherwise I prefer not to note if we added a nominee or not; every Nebula nominee should be evaluated on his/her writing, not by the process through which he/she landed on the ballot.


Scalzi’s Overloaded Minestrone

Every now and again I get it in my head to make dinner — not just phone in a pizza order or heat up some ravioli, but actually make something. In those cases I tend to make either chili or minestrone. I’ve already posted my Random Chili Recipe, so here is the recipe for Scalzi’s Overloaded Minestrone. The basic idea is to take minestrone soup and pile on until its consistency is actually somewhat closer to a stew than a soup. This may or may not be heresy if you love minestrone. But, I’ll tell you what, it’s good.

Scalzi’s Overloaded Minestrone

4-5 thick bacon slices, chopped (optional for the vegetarian-oriented)
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
3 large leaves of chard, chopped
28-oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 cans pinto beans
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 spring rosemary
1 cup orzo pasta
8 – 9 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)

Get a big pot. In that pot drizzle in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Dump the bacon in and fry the bacon until it is cooked but not crisp. Then add celery, carrots, onion, cabbage, chard, garlic, basil and parsley and cook until the green begin to wilt. Drain your tomatoes and then break them up into the pot; cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Drain the beans and squish them with your hands before adding them to the pot; cook another 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken/vegetable stock and bring to a boil; then put to simmer. Add the rosemary spring and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Then remove the rosemary spring and then add the cup of orzo. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how al dente you like your orzo; stir occasionally. Serve. Makes 8 – 10 cups.

Like I said, this will give you an unusually thick minestrone. See if you like it.

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