Bits, 1/25/10

A couple of notes:

* Serious stuff first: There’s an online initiative called 100 Stories for Haiti, in which writer Greg McQueen is hoping to very quickly gather up that number of short short stories (1,000 words or less) and put them together in a flash e-book anthology, all of the proceeds of which will go to the Red Cross for assistance in Haiti. My pal, bestselling author Nick Harkaway (The Gone-Away World), is penning a story and an intro. This is an all-volunteer effort (i.e., no one’s getting paid for the work), but it’s a good cause, so that’s worth a one-time pass from me. If you’re interested in contributing a story, they’d be interested in seeing what you have.

That said, there is a catch: The deadline is hella close — as in, today. BUT, McQueen, hoping to harness the awesome might of Whatever, sends along this note:

Please feel free to say that if someone puts SUBMISSION JOHN S in the subject line of their submission,  we’ll accept them as late as Wed/Thursday this week.

So there, I scored you an extension. Because I love you, man. So if you’ve got the urge to write something short and to help out Haiti, now you know where to send your stuff.

* There, that’s done, now let’s talk about me. Zoe’s Tale received a nice accolade on Friday when the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer list for 2010 was announced, and Zoe was on it. The Bloomer list, for those of you who don’t know, is “an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18,” and Zoe was of course written with younger readers in mind, even if it wasn’t marketed directly as YA. I’m delighted Zoe’s on the list; maybe she will pick up some more young readers as a result. I would be happy with that.

* Over in the UK, SciFiNow is listing its picks for “SF novels destined for the silver screen,” with Old Man’s War leading that pack, along with novels by Richard Morgan, Carrie Ryan, Terry Brooks and China Mieville. I can’t criticize any of their selections; I’d like to see the movies of each of those (and, you know, would mind OMW getting up there, too). There is that minor point that someone with access to millions of dollars and a film studio also has to want to see that movie. But really, that’s just fiddly detail, now, isn’t it.

* New review of The God Engines over at SF Site: “His writing is as good as ever, the tale moves along briskly, sex, violence and spaceship battles are featured. The story becomes darker with each revelatory twist, and ends up very dark and bloody indeed.” Yes. Yes it does.

* Apropos to absolutely nothing at all, and especially not the last note there, Aussiecon 4 sent me a press release yesterday noting that those of you who want to nominate works for the Hugo this year but are not yet Worldcon members this year have until January 31st to register. If you don’t register by then, you’ll be too late to have your nominations count (although if you are registered by that date, you can nominate works through March 13). So, you know. Register. Remember that even if you don’t plan to schlep yourselves to the Land Down Under for this year’s Worldcon, you can still become a Supporting Member for $50, which allows you Hugo voting rights and other neat goodies.

And there you have it.

20 Comments on “Bits, 1/25/10”

  1. * Over in the UK, SciFiNow is listing its picks for “SF novels destined for the silver screen,” with Old Man’s War leading that pack, along with novels by Richard Morgan, Carrie Ryan, Terry Brooks and China Mieville. I can’t criticize any of their selections; I’d like to see the movies of each of those

    Eh, I’m not all that partial to Brook’s work. I’d *love* to see Un-Lun-Dun filmed as a BBC style recurring TV special the way Neverwhere was. And The City and the City would work great as a police procedural/technothriller. Morgan’s first Takeshi Kovacs book would be a good follow on for Blade Runner fans if it’s done right. Just so long as they don’t cast The Rock as Kovacs.

    And of course, I’d go see an Old Man’s War movie on opening night. It’d be awesome. Has any of your stuff been optioned, John?

  2. Congrats on Zoe’s Tale, and the rest. Guess you know how this “young” reader liked it. It may be considered YA because of Zoe’s age, but it was a very adult story.

  3. Congrats on Zoe’s Tale making the ALA Bloomer list.

    Any thoughts on it making “an annual booklist of the best feminist books”? Because speaking as not-even-a-writer-wannabe, I would be not only pleased to make any ALA list but in some way I would be particularly pleased to make it on a list of feminist books.

  4. My wife is on the Amelia Bloomer Project. She read Zoe’s Tale in one night during last week’s conference, so they would have enough readers for the decision. I briefed her on some setting elements (I have read Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades), and she kept stopping to read me sections, prefaced with “I hope this isn’t a spoiler.” Reaction to the book was strongly positive.

  5. That’s certainly fair to say about The God Engines, yes. Good job with the defying people to determine whether the story is science fiction, fantasy or horror.

    I loved it to pieces, incidentally. The setting has so much texture you can practically chew it.

    Though it takes a fairly special sort of person to appreciate my commendatory outburst, “It’s like Warhammer 40K except not stupid!

  6. Speaking of neat WorldCon goodies, is anyone putting together a package of this year’s Hugo-nominated stories in ebook formats like you did last year?

  7. Speaking of helping Haiti, role-playing game e-media vendor DriveThruRPG has gotten together an amazing bundle of $1481 worth of role-playing game stuff (mostly PDFs and a few MP3s) that they will give you in return for a $20 donation to Doctors Without Borders. Includes a lot of great indy games, and also the Serenity (Firefly) RPG which would cost $30 all by itself. Gamers have kicked in $130,000 so far.

    Offer expires at the end of January.

  8. Actually, I want to babble about my love for TGE a little more.

    I once spent a couple of years learning to read the Old Testament in Hebrew, and I came away with this impression of the deity being described there as this insane horror who these people have struck up some kind of deal with, and they keep making it boxes and houses and hoping it’ll stay put, and the priesthood’s job is to prevent the thing from getting restless and busting out of its box and killing everyone, and the populace spends all this time singing to the thing about how kind and just and friendly it is in the desperate and forlorn hope that eventually it will start believing them. Alleluia translated as “please don’t kill me”.

    The God Engines felt like somebody had taken that creature and its relatives as the premise, and then done science fiction about the ages after they got their shit together and stopped fucking around with small potatoes. Very satisfying.

  9. Okay, I’ve been avoiding reviews of TGE more or less out of a desire to avoid potential spoilers. I’ve been pretty sure that I’d enjoy the heck out of it but, dang, Chaos, thanks to your post I don’t know if I’ll be able to survive the wait finally getting my hands on it. That is one hell of good blurb (type… thing :D ). I hope John gives you an internet cookie.

  10. May I recommend Tough Chicks for that “birth” demographic? The annotated list will have age ranges. Secretly, the infants will probably find all the books chewy, but at least Tough Chicks has cheery illustrations.

    Is it ever to young to start reading Scalzi to your children? Well, there might be some awkward questions about the orgy scenes in The Ghost Brigades.

  11. Members of last year’s Anticipation (Montreal) can
    also make nominations for this year’s Hugos, but they can’t vote for the awards. In fact I got a nomination ballot from Anticipation last week but have yet to receive anything from AussieCon4. I’m guessing the next progress report will have it.


  12. Re: an OMW film series.

    I was thinking about this recently, and couldn’t figure out how a film might portray the Special Forces’ ability to communicate faster than realborns. One scene that jumps to mind is in TGB, when Curie shows Jared how slow speaking to a realborn is.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  13. John, I’m sure you will, but keep us updated on whether you plan to ‘schlep’ Downunder and come along to Aussiecon 4, won’t you? Inquiring (Aussie, excited) minds want to know.

    As JohnOR says, Downunder IS a place worth visiting. We think so, anyway :).

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