Zoe’s Tale Review at io9

The science fiction blog io9 has taken it upon itself to review all the Hugo and Nebula nominees this year and has started with Zoe’s Tale, and happily for me has given it a pretty positive review, and even better makes a point that I think is salient about the book:

But Zoe’s Tale isn’t really about the clash of mighty empires or rescuing loved ones from monsters, exciting as those parts are — it’s about Zoë. It’s about that time in our lives after we’ve come to grips with how the world sees us but we are still not sure how we see ourselves. It’s not about what you are, but finding out who you are. This whip-smart, often funny, and deeply moving novel portrays that journey of self-discovery to the satisfaction of adults young or otherwise.

Yup. There’s a reason why it’s called Zoe’s Tale: Because it’s about her.

Also, for those of you who want to keep up with io9’s other Hugo/Nebula reviews, bookmark this: it’s the site’s “Book Awards 2009” tag.


If You Dare

Shaky cell phone video of me doing karaoke to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” at Millennicon.

I accept no responsibility for what happens to your eyeballs, eardrums, or brain if you follow that link. None. That’s the only warning you get from me.

Update: Even more horror.


Interview at

Look! It’s me! All arty with the glowy duck! This particular picture is being used to illustrate a fairly long interview I did, which is now up over at In the interview, I talk about the cliches of military science fiction, writing sequels, the teleological implications of getting a new body, consciousness or lack thereof, writing characters with ethnicities, and whether there are any more OMW novels coming down the pike. So, a lot of ground covered. Enjoy.


The Internet Has Just Justified Its Existence

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series — all 13 episodes — available for viewing via Hulu. I envy those of you who get to watch it for the first time.


Re: The Hugo eBooks Package: Patience, Please

I normally don’t ask people to forward on the posts I write but I’m doing it in this particular case, so feel free to point to this or repost it as you see fit.

I’m getting reports from various quarters that some folks have started to complain that the “traditional” Hugo Best Novel ebook package wasn’t available when the nominations were announced, like they were every year before, and that this is just another example of inefficiency/authors not caring/the violence inherent in the system/whatever.

My response to this:


This package isn’t “traditional” — it’s not even handled by the Worldcon or the WSFS. It’s been handled by me when I happen to be on the Best Novel ballot, and it’s brought to you not by the Worldcon, or by the publishers of the books, but by the individual authors of the novel, whom I have asked if they want to provide their texts. They are under no obligation by anyone to offer their texts; they do it because they want to make sure Hugo voters have a chance to see their works before voting. That’s it; that’s all.

Because this is organized by me, I tend not to know everyone who is on the ballot before the ballot actually comes out, so the assertion that these packages were available the same time as the nominations came out is just plain false. As it happens, organizing this package is not easy — even when an author wants to participate, they usually have to get the go-ahead of their respective publishers, some of whom are quite understandably twitchy about letting their product roam free in electronic form. Getting this permission is by no means assured, and it might take a little bit of time.

So: Yes, I’m working on putting a package together this year. No, it’s not ready yet. I’m working on putting it together as quickly as I can, with the help of some of the other nominees, but given that the Best Novels are put out by four different publishers, each with their own concerns and expectations, it’s taking a bit of time. Add to that the fact that I’m also trying to interest other participants in other categories aside from Best Novel to pitch in as well (because among other things, I’m nominated in more than one category), and that each of these require negotiations of their own, and you may begin to appreciate the co-ordination this Hugo package requires. It may be a week or two (or, hell, longer) until I get it squared away.

The point is: Please be patient, and please don’t just assume as potential Hugo voters this is something you’re owed; that seems a bit dismissive of the effort we’re making to get the package to you.



Mary Robinette Kowal Interviews the Campbell Nominees

Current Campbell Award tiara wearer Mary Robinette Kowal is interviewing this year’s Campbell nominees, one of whom will take the tiara (and cheeseboard) from her this August at Anticipation, this year’s Worldcon in Montreal. This week it’s David Anthony Durham, whose fantasy novel Acacia I admire quite a bit. Check out the interview, and then tune in to MRK’s blog every monday for the next Campbell nominee. Do it!


Updates on BigIdeaAuthors and Whateveresque

Quick notes on things:

* The publicist guide for is completed and I’ll be sending a URL for it to folks on the site’s mailing list in the next couple of days. If you’re not on the mailing list and would like to be, go to and sign up. We’ll also most likely begin programming the site in the next couple of weeks.

We’re still on track for a late April debut for, but may push back a week or two if we decide to fiddle and tweak more than originally anticipated. Best to get it right the first time. If that happens, we’ll continue to host the Big Idea pieces here and transfer them over later. Whatever does okay with the whole “people visiting” thing, so this should not be a hardship for the authors in question.

* Due to a number of commitments which take up a whole bunch of my time (including the big one noted in the paragraph above), I’m likely to close Whateveresque, or at the very least put it into a state of benign neglect, in which the current members are allowed to post but no new members are added. I’m still thinking about it and will come to a decision about it in the next week. Obviously, Whateveresque-ians are encouraged to post their thoughts on the matter, either here or there.


Paging Bobby Jindal

So, Governor Jindal, what was that you were saying about the wastefulness of volcano monitoring?


Correlation is Not Causation, Hugo Division

The entrail reading around the Hugo selections has begun, notably regarding the Best Novel candidates. One of the leading memes about this year’s batch of nominees is how the Internet is a prohibitively influential factor on the ballot. It goes a bit like this: “Look! Four of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have significant Internet presences. Therefore, the Internet is fiddling the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is be a big shot on the Internet.”

Perhaps. On the other hand:

* Four out of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have been on the Best Novel ballot before. Therefore the Hugos are fiddling with the Hugos and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to have been on the ballot before.

* Four out of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have won a Hugo before. Therefore the Hugos are fiddling with the Hugos (again!), and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to have won a Hugo before.

* Four out of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have been on a New York Times bestseller list within the last year. Therefore the New York Times is fiddling with the Hugos and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is be on the New York Times bestseller list.

* At least four of the five books on the Best Novel ballot were “lead titles” from their publishers in the months they were published; i.e., they got a significant publicity and media push by their houses. Therefore the publishers are fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to have your publisher buy you a slot.

* Four of the five books on the Best Novel ballot have teenagers as their main protagonists. Therefore teenagers and their inexplicable fondness for hanging out on my lawn are fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to have your lead character be a teenager.

*All of the books on the Best Novel ballot are from white, male authors within fifteen years of age of each other. Therefore the white male extended generational cohort is fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is be a white male within fifteen years of age of the other nominees on the ballot.

* At least four of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have been known to rock the facial hair. Therefore scruffy hirsuteness is fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to wear more facial hair than John Waters, but less than Billy Gibbons.

* Four of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot are known to have provided genetic material in the furtherance of the species, i.e., are parents. Therefore parenthood is fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is procreate successfully.

* Four of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have last names two syllables in length or longer. Therefore multisyllabism is fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is to have ancestors who identified their clan or profession with more than one syllable.

* At least four of the five authors on the Best Novel ballot have been (or will be) Guests of Honor at a science fiction convention in the last year. Therefore convention attendees are fiddling with the Hugos, and all you need to do to get on the Best Novel ballot is be a GoH and charm the pants off those easily impressionable fans.

What do we learn from the above list? Well, mostly, if you’re looking for patterns of commonality in a grouping, you will find them. Whether those patterns of commonality are significantly causative of that commonality is another matter entirely.

The Internet thing is a fine example of this. Is an author’s internet presence a factor in the presence of a book on the Best Novel ballot? It’s possible, and even probable, I would say (and I am in a position to say). But is it more significant than other factors? I think not, otherwise Cory Doctorow, with easily the largest Internet footprint of any of the Best Novel authors via his participation in Boing Boing, would be on his third Best Novel appearance rather than his first, while Neal Stephenson, whose Internet presence has been bare bones for a decade, wouldn’t be on the ballot at all, despite his previous two appearances (one of which resulted in a win). Likewise, an author’s Web site is not necessarily causative in their popularity; Neil Gaiman, as an example, was wildly popular long before he thought to put up his shingle on the Internet; one rather strongly suspects he would continue to be popular without it.

In point of fact, there is only one specific and verifiable reason that these five authors and their books made the Hugo Best Novel ballot this year: that out of the 639 ballots cast in the category by members of last year’s Worldcon and this year’s Worldcon, these were the five that garnered the most nominations. I suspect that if you were to ask the people who cast those 639 ballots why they chose the books they chose, the answer would not be because they were influenced by the Internet, or because the author made a bestseller list, or because the publisher had it as a lead title, or because the author had a snazzy goatee or whatever. The answer would be because the voter read that book, and liked it enough to say that it was one of the best science fiction novels they read this year.

Which is a point of some significance, and which appears often overlooked in the reading of the Hugo nomination entrails. The Internet might help an author get known, a publisher will strive mightily to get a book into a reader’s consciousness, fans might have favorite authors to read. All of these as well as other factors might put a book into the hands of someone who will nominate for a Hugo. But at the end of the day, it’s that book that has to perform; it has to be good enough relative to everything else that voter reads — and one suspects that Hugo voters, as a class, are heavy readers of the genre — to recommend itself for the ballot. Internet fame, publisher marketing, author popularity, etc may still have some effect, of course. But not nearly as much as the book itself. Suggesting otherwise is to suggest the Hugo voters are easily mislead by inessential trivia. Which, while possible,  doesn’t sound much like the people I know who nominate and vote for the Hugos.

None of this is an exact process, and no matter what gets on the ballot, in the Best Novel category or elsewhere, someone somewhere will sigh heavily and complain about the state of science fiction, or at least the state of the fans who nominate for Hugos, and will then search for patterns that explain their dissatisfaction (alternately, someone somewhere will squee happily, exult at the nominations and then search for patterns that explain why their vision of SF/F is now suddenly ascendent). But ultimately it really is simple: certain people make the effort to nominate. They nominate works they like. If enough people who nominate like a work, it gets on the ballot. That’s what’s causative.


That Thing I’m Working On

If you missed it, the teaser trailer for Stargate: Universe.

Whee! Creative consulting is fun.


What You Missed By Not Being at Millennicon

Me, making an ass of myself doing karaoke. Yes, I know, I do not need karaoke to make an ass of myself, thanks much. Even so. For those of you either fascinated or horrified enough to wonder what songs I slaughtered, they were “Tainted Love” (shown above), “Let’s Dance,” “Superfreak” (with Tobias Buckell and Kaza Kingsley) and “Sledgehammer” (with Kaza again). Hey, I was guest of honor, I needed to make multiple appearances. And no, I didn’t do any versions of “Purple Rain.”

Oh, stop looking at me like that. We had fun.


Pick Some Toes

For reasons I can’t explain at the moment, you must choose between these two feet:

Take your time. This is important stuff. BUT YOU MUST CHOOSE. That is all.


Eventually We Ran Out of Bits and Someone Had to Have “Or Death”

But until that time, the cake was lovely.

As has been Millennicon so far. We had cake and cookies, and did my usual ranty thing at my Q&A, which is always fun, and at opening ceremonies the Millennicon folks both gave me a cool Guest of Honor shirt (which I am wearing today), and also honored my local public library with one of its Hal Clement awards for literacy, and a nice check. Which was was really quite good of them. And then I hung out in the lobby with friends and pretty acted like a slug. Which I am oddly good at. Today I have signings and panels and then, as I’ve talked about karaoke so damn much, I will have to actually go and show up to that. Pray for the eardrums of con-goers.

How are you?


Love Your Indie Bookstore, Apply for a Grant, Promote Something NOW

But enough about me. Let me tell you about some cool stuff other people are doing.

* Joe Hill, aside from someone whose writing is a slice of awesome generously slathered with awesome sauce with a sprig of awesome as a garnish (and that’s a lot of awesome, friends), strongly believes that you should support your local indie book store. He believes it so much that he’s running a contest: Between now and the end of March, buy a book (or two, or seven) from your local indie book store, e-mail Joe a picture of the receipt, and he’ll enter you to win cool and valuable and rare stuff from him and other authors (including me, as it happens). So you’ll be a) getting books you want, b) supporting local indie bookstores, and c) having a chance to win stuff that will make all your friends jealous. There is no downside.

Here are the details. Good luck and happy reading.

* The Speculative Literature Foundation wants me to help them get the word out on their Older Writer’s Grant, so here’s the word:

The deadline for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers’ Grant is fast approaching! The grant of $750 is available to any writer of speculative literature of 50 years or older at the time of application who is just beginning to work professionally in the field. There are no restrictions on the use of the grant money.

Applicants are asked to submit a brief autobiographical statement, a writing sample, and a bibliography. For full details on how to apply for the grant, please see the SLF web site:, or email Applications must be received by March 31st 2009. The successful applicant will be announced on June 1st 2009.

This is a really great opportunity for newer older writers — and proof it’s never too late to start writing speculative fiction.

* As I haven’t done it in a while — and as I have to travel today to Millennicon and then be at Millennicon and thus will probably not be around here a lot for the rest of the day — this is an excellent time to hereby declare this an open pimp thread, in which you (yes, you! You, there!) share with the rest of the class something you think is worth promoting to others. It can be something you are doing, if you’re one of them there creativey types, or it can be something one of your creativey type friends is doing, or it can just be something you think is cool. Share! Share!

The usual reminder: One link per post is generally best; put too many links in and you might get sent to the moderation queue on an automatic basis. If this happens, relax: I’ll come through at some point and release the moderated posts.

Now: Promote!


Hugo Followup Q&A

To follow-up on some me-centered Hugo-related questions folks have asked via Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and here (and damn if my Internet presence isn’t diffuse these days):

1. Think you’ll win?

My answer to this at this moment was the same answer I had at the same time last year: Don’t know, don’t care.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But look: you don’t know how true “it’s an honor just to be nominated” is until it happens to you. It really is possible to be happy with a place on a ballot, especially when the ballot is as excellent as it is this year. Also, you know. I already have a Hugo. Pressure to win: not so much. Which is not to say I wouldn’t like to win this year; it’d be nice to take one home (winning two wouldn’t suck, either. Winning three might be greedy). But it is to say I’m not going to worry about it right now. Right now, I’m going to enjoy being in the club.

2. Is it some sort of record to be nominated three times in one year?

No. It’s unusual, but it happens. Locus has a list of people with three/four nominations in a single year, so you can see who’s pulled it off before. Note, incidentally, that by Locus’ own manner of accounting, the METAtropolis nomination does not accrue to me, since as the magazine’s web site states, regarding the Dramatic Presentation categories, “the Locus Index to SF Awards notes credits listed on Hugo ballots as comments, but does not compile them as nominees.” Which is fine; on the other hand the Hugo awards folks sent along the nomination to me as the editor to accept or decline, so I feel the actual Hugo folks trump Locus in deciding these things. That said, I happily, necessarily and quite properly share the Hugo love with Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and Steve Feldberg (the project’s producer at This was and is a group endeavor. If METAtropolis wins the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Hugo, you can expect that the Hugo in question will be shuttled, Stanley Cup-style, between us. Unlike the Stanley Cup, however, none of us is likely to use it to eat cereal. At least, I hope not.

3. Two years ago you were nominated for one Hugo, last year for two, this year for three. Four for next year, you greedy bastard?

Really, no. For one thing, the day you start expecting to be on the Hugo ballot, rather than hoping to be on it, is the day your ego is officially out of control and you must be stopped. Preferably with knives. I’m not there yet, thank God. For another, I have no novel coming out this year, save for the paperback release of Zoe in April, and the limited edition of The Last Colony. The only things officially on the schedule for this year are the print release of METAtropolis this July, a short story in the New Space Opera 2 anthology in June, and if I can finish it in the next couple of weeks, a fantasy novella which will be printed as a stand-alone book by Subterranean Press late this year. I may write up a couple of other short stories as well. But at the end of the day, I suspect the 2010 nominators will have other works on their minds, and I will be forgotten and alone, weeping silently in the corner as the genre passes me by, a dried-up husk, a has-been, if you will. Woe, oh, woe.

4. You won the Best Fan Writer category last year and this year you weren’t even nominated. How do you feel about that?

I feel really good about that, actually. Some of you may recall that when I won that Hugo, I stood up on the Denvention 3 stage, thanked everyone for the award and then asked them not to vote for me next year, and instead to spread the award around among the fan writers to let the award reflect the vitality of the field. They did the first part, since I didn’t get a nomination this year; whether they’ll do the second part and give the award to someone who’s not won this particular award before is something we’ll find out. With no aspersions toward the recent former winners of the award (who, after all, include me), let’s hope the voters this year see the quality that the other nominees bring to the field as well, and vote accordingly.

Thank you once again to everyone who has sent in congratulations and their good wishes about this year’s Hugos. It’s a good feeling to be nominated, and a great feeling to be nominated with such excellent company in Best Novel, Best Related Book, and Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. One is known by the company one keeps, and I’m really happy to say that the company I’m in is some of the best I could have hoped for.


Hugo Thoughts, 2009

Some early thoughts for you about the Hugos this year:

* So, uh, as it turns out, I have three Hugo nominations this year: Zoe’s Tale is in the Best Novel category, Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is in Best Related Book, and perhaps most remarkably, METAtropolis, which I edited, is in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category for its audio book form. My feeling about this all: Wow. Just, you know, wow. I’m still a little shell-shocked about that, so let’s table that for now and move on on some other points:

* First, the Best Novel Category, about which could be said: This is a good year. Doctorow, Gaiman, Stephenson and Stross: You’ve just pretty much named off my list of favorite contemporary authors. To be in their company, and specifically to have Zoe’s Tale in the company of Anathem, The Graveyard Book, Little Brother and Saturn’s Children, well. This most emphatically does not suck. I am especially delighted to be on the same ballot as Cory and Charlie; we are all good friends and to some extent have been coming up in science fiction together, and I’d often hoped we’d get to share a ballot at least once. That we three happen to share that ballot with Neal and Neil, well, that’s just extra topping on the sundae, if you know what I mean. I am extremely happy with this category, and I feel pity for you Hugo voters, because this is a hell of a slate to choose from.

I do want to say I think of the three Best Novel nominations I’ve been entirely floored to receive, this is the sweetest, for the simple reason that I worked so very hard on the voice and character of Zoë, and in doing so, I fell a little bit in love with her, like she was a second daughter to me. To see her story honored by fans like this makes me a very proud papa. Thank you. This really made my year.

* Second, I am absolutely freakin’ delighted that METAtropolis is on the ballot. My understanding is this is the first audio book ever to make any Dramatic Presentation ballot, and I believe the first audio performance on the ballot in close to 40 years 30 years, so there’s some history being made here, and I’m humbled to be part of it along with Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and Steve Feldberg, who was the project’s producer at We’re up against some tough competition, what with the Joker, Wall-E, Hellboy and Iron Man, but you know what, I think we just might surprise them all.

* Third: Hate Mail? A Hugo nominee? Double-plus awesome. This one is particularly cool to me, since I’ve always wanted a nomination in this category, possibly because I got my start as an author in non-fiction, so this feels a little bit like a homecoming to me. No, I don’t expect this will make sense to anyone but me. Just know this particular nomination makes me happy in a very giggly way, and I am pleased as the proverbial punch. Also, you know. It’s got a picture of me as a devil on it. How cool is that.

* Fourth, this really is a spectacular ballot all the way around, in all the categories, and I’m not just saying that because so many of the writers I admire and count as friends are on it. I’m saying it because everything’s good enough that I suspect most voters will have less hair coming out of the voting than they had coming in, because it’s so hard to choose. But, then, isn’t that what you want out of a ballot? Seriously, if anyone was under the impression our little genre isn’t at the top of its game right now, I invite you once more to look at the ballot. These are fine times for science fiction and fantasy; very fine times indeed.

* As I know it’s something some of you will ask: Yes, I intend to put together a Hugo Voters package again this year. It will feature at least my nominated work, although if I can convince the other nominees to go in on an overall package as we did in 2006 and last year, so much the better. It will take me a couple of days to get it squared away, though, since I’m off tomorrow to Millennicon. Patience for the next few days, please.

* Finally, why yes, I will be in Montreal for this year’s Worldcon, Anticipation. When you get nominated for three Hugos, if you don’t show up, I believe the Worldcon committee sends someone to kick your ungrateful ass. This will not be happening to me. I will be there. Oh, yes.

I will no doubt have more to say on all of this over the next few days, but for now, once again: Thank you everyone who nominated these works of mine. This is a good day. I am humbled by your generosity. Thank you.


Hugo Award Nominees, 2009

Here’s the list, from the Anticipation Web site. I’ll write further thoughts soon (update: Further thoughts here).

Best Novel

* Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Morrow; Atlantic UK)
* The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
* Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen; HarperVoyager UK)
* Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
* Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)

Best Novella

* “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
* “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008)
* “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
* “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
* “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette

* “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008)
* “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
* “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
* “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008)
* “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)

Best Short Story

* “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008)
* “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
* “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
* “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
* “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book

* Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press)
* Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art by Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books)
* The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold by Lillian Stewart Carl & John Helfers, eds. (Baen)
* What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon Publications)
* Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Best Graphic Story

* The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle Written by Jim Butcher, art by Ardian Syaf (Del Rey/Dabel Brothers Publishing)
* Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
* Fables: War and Pieces Written by Bill Willingham, pencilled by Mark Buckingham, art by Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy, color by Lee Loughridge, letters by Todd Klein (DC/Vertigo Comics)
* Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic Story and art by Howard Tayler (The Tayler Corporation)
* Serenity: Better Days Written by Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, color by Michelle Madsen, cover by Jo Chen (Dark Horse Comics)
* Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores Written/created by Brian K. Vaughan, pencilled/created by Pia Guerra, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr. (DC/Vertigo Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

* The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
* Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
* Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
* METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
* WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

* “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
* Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
* “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
* “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
* “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form

* Ellen Datlow
* Stanley Schmidt
* Jonathan Strahan
* Gordon Van Gelder
* Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

* Lou Anders
* Ginjer Buchanan
* David G. Hartwell
* Beth Meacham
* Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist

* Daniel Dos Santos
* Bob Eggleton
* Donato Giancola
* John Picacio
* Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine

* Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
* Interzone edited by Andy Cox
* Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
* The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
* Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine

* Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
* Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
* Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
* The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
* Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
* File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer

* Chris Garcia
* John Hertz
* Dave Langford
* Cheryl Morgan
* Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

* Alan F. Beck
* Brad W. Foster
* Sue Mason
* Taral Wayne
* Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

* Aliette de Bodard*
* David Anthony Durham*
* Felix Gilman
* Tony Pi*
* Gord Sellar*

Congratulations to all the nominees!


You Need Some New Music

So, here you go. The band is called Ume, and this is their song “The Conductor,” off their new Sunshower EP:

An alternate version of the video, with a high quality option, is here. Hat tip to my pal Doselle Young for hipping me to these wacky cats.


Okay, One More

Since you asked.

There, I’m done.

Once again, illustrated by my friend Richard Polt.


Millennicon Schedule

As you all know, I’m the guest of honor at this year’s Millennicon science fiction convention, in Cincinnati. This weekend! Where where I be and how will I be embarrassing myself while I am there? Here’s my official schedule (via the handy-dandy online pocket program):

Friday, 7pm: Opening Ceremonies. Your chance to pledge eternal fidelity! Or, well, fidelity for the following 48 hours or so. And maybe fidelity is too strong a word. It’s okay if you want to see other authors. We can have an open relationship that way. Because, you know, I’m going to be seeing other fans. I kinda have to.

Friday, 8pm: GoH Reception. Let’s make awkward, halting conversation together! Do you like cheese? I like cheese. It’s, like, cheesy. Um, okay. I understand if you have to go talk to some other people now.

Friday, 9pm: GoH Q&A. You have questions. I have answers. Let’s see if we can get them to match up.

Friday, 10pm: 9pm Cookie Party. No, I don’t know why it’s called the “9pm Cookie Party” when it takes place at 10pm. I’m just going by what they tell me in the pocket program. Also, the cookies will actually be cake. I just made that last part up. Either way, come watch me get fatter as I shove cookies and/or cake down my piehole.

Saturday, 11am: Autographing. Come get everything you want autographed autographed. By me, even.

Saturday, 2pm: Autographing. Everyone who wanted to get something autographed will have done it at the 11am autographing session. I will be sitting at this session, alone, contemplating my mortality.

Saturday, 7pm: Mixed Marriages. It’s true I’m in a mixed marriage, as my wife is HAWT, and I am distinctly of the non-hawt species. She loves me anyway. However, the “mixed marriage” in this case is the one where one of the partners is a science fiction geekwad, and the other is not. How do you make it work between a geek and a non-geek? The answer: Puppets! But I figure we’ll stretch out the answer a bit more than that, because we have an hour to fill.

Sunday, 11am: Build Your Own World. All you need is some modeling clay, some glitter, and a DNA sequencer. I’ll be bringing two out of three to the panel. Which two? You may be surprised.

Sunday, 2pm: Closing Ceremonies. Thank you so much for coming. Now leave.

When I’m not doing these things, I will be, in no particular order, hanging out in the lobby, going to a panel here and there, eating food, despairing over the inevitable heat death of the universe and my part in increasing its overall entropy, and maybe karaoke. Seriously, they have karaoke. Dude, it’s Saturday night, starts at 11, goes to 2, and I’m going to go in there and sing all I want because I’m the Guest of Honor, and who’s gonna stop me, right? So get ready for six different and increasingly maudlin versions of “Purple Rain.” It’s gonna be magic.

See you there.

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