Zoe’s Tale an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award Nominee

This is a nice bit of news: Zoe’s Tale is a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee, in the category of science fiction. This is the third consecutive year I’ve had a book nominated in the category (I was previously nominated for The Android’s Dream and The Last Colony), and you may recall that TLC was last year’s winner in the category. So it’s very cool to have ZT nominated as well.

In addition to Zoe’s Tale, the other nominees in the science fiction category are:

Dust, by Elizabeth Bear

Galaxy Blues, by Allen Steele

Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross

Half a Crown, by Jo Walton

This is an excellent slate of nominees for the category, if you ask me — one of the great secrets of SF publishing is that Romantic Times reviews a goodly amount of science fiction and fantasy in each issue and the reviewers (mainly Natalie Luhrs for SF) have a solid grip on the genre. So I’m always honored to get on the slate because in my opinion the nominations come from people who really know their stuff.

The Romantic Times also features several fantasy oriented categories, and I’m happy to say that several fantasy authors I know are also nominees this year, including Kage Baker, Jim C. Hines, Michelle Sagara, Sharon Shinn, Brandon Sanderson, T.A. Pratt and Marjorie Liu (nominated twice!). Congratulations and best of luck to them (a couple of the fantasy award category slates are here).

The awards themselves will be announced on April 24 at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention in Orlando, which are, alas, inconveniently scheduled against SFWA’s Nebula Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles. Isn’t that always the way. Mind you, it’s not like I’ve ever gotten close to being nominated for a Nebula. And the Romantic Times has made me a nominee three years running. Hmmmm.


Fundraising Update

So, I put up today’s fundraising appeal + story at precisely the stroke of midnight, and here’s how much you’ve kicked in, as of 3:37pm Eastern time:


Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press promised to match the first $1,000 raised dollar for dollar — and he has. So this is how much we’ve actually managed to raise here at Whatever so far:


That is pretty damn excellent, my friends. I sincerely thank you for helping out a fellow SF writer.

There’s more good news in that aside from the amount we’ve raised here, there has been enough raised for Vera Nazarian to make the house payment that will keep the bank from foreclosing. But as it happens there are other immediate and critical expenses she has that the money we’ve raised here can go toward. For example, Ms. Nazarian’s sewer pipes need to be tended to, and the cost she was quoted was something on the order of $2,800. So congratulations, folks: Your money is going into the sewer. In the best way possible. Additional monies will go toward other medical and personal expenses, so that Ms. Nazarian will have a little wiggle room if emergencies strike again.

Remember also that there are a whole bunch of auctions of books and services going on over here, to also add to the amount raised. Check ’em out, you might see something you like.

Again, thanks for pitching in. You’re making a real difference for someone, and that’s always a good thing. And thanks again to Bill Schafer for letting me borrow the story I sold to him, and for kicking in a grand’s worth of matching funds. That earns him the “Cool Human” award for the week, if you ask me.


A Story For a Donation: Fiction to Help Save an SF Writer’s Home

Hey kids! I’m doing a holiday fundraiser! I’ll give a short explanation for those of you who can’t wait, and a longer explanation right after.

Short Explanation: Science fiction writer and publisher Vera Nazarian is about to lose her home due to various medical and legal expenses. Various folks are fund raising to help her make the payment on her home. My contribution is to offer you a free short story behind the cut below. If you like it, consider donating a small sum via PayPal, which I will send to Vera next Saturday. For the first $1000 sent to the PayPal via the address provided in this entry, Subterranean Press will match the contribution 1-for-1, effectively doubling your donation.

Longer Explanation:

Vera Nazarian is a Nebula-nominated SF writer and publisher of the small press Norilana Books. Due to a confluence of truly depressing economic issues (which are detailed here, but which include the costs of a frivilous lawsuit and her care of an elderly parent), Nazarian is far behind on her mortgage and will lose her home unless she comes up with $11,200 dollars by December 20. A number of her friends and colleagues have rallied behind her and are offering up auctions for books and other services and are helping her meet the shortfall; I decided I would try to help out too.

As it happened, I had very recently turned in a short story to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, for him to use at Subterranean Online, or in the Subterranean Press e-mail newsletter. When I asked him if I could use the story to help out Nazarian, he not only said yes and let me use it here (he’ll also use it again at some future point in time), but decided to pitch in himself by offering to match donations generated by me posting the story, up to $1,000. Because Bill and Subterranean Press are awesome like that, you see.

So, here’s the deal: below the cut in this entry, you’ll find my latest short story, a quick and funny Q&A on the state of super-villainy around the world. Think of it as a companion piece to “Denise Jones, Super Booker.” The story is free for you to read… but after you’ve read it, if you’ve enjoyed it, consider giving by following the donation instructions below. When you donate, your donation will go to me, and on Saturday, December 13, I will forward the entire sum raised by 6am 12/13/08 (less PayPal fees) to Vera Nazarian, to help her make her house payment, and if there is anything left, to help her address some other house issues (for example, she needs new plumbing in her home).

Why am I having you send the money to me rather than to Vera Nazarian directly? I need to keep track of how much money I raise because Bill Schafer and Subterranean Press have pledged to match the first $1,000 dollars we raise here. This is a fine way to make your contribution count twice as much, so even if you can only offer up a buck, it can still make a difference.

How to donate: Go to PayPal, click on the “Send Money” link, and then send money to the following address: “”. Please put “HELP VERA” somewhere in there so I can track the donations. Donate whatever you feel like.

Feel free to link to this and to let other people know about it and the other things folks are doing to help Vera Nazarian.

And now, the story, just behind the cut. Enjoy, and remember, if you like it, consider giving.

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