Octavia Butler and John Clute the Recipients of SFWA’s Solstice Award

SFWA’s Solstice Award, given to recognize those “who have consistently had a positive, transformative influence on the genre of science fiction and fantasy,” is this year being given to Octavia Butler and John Clute. SFWA’s press release on this year’s awards is on the SFWA site; naturally I encourage you to click through and learn more. Naturally, I am delighted to have SFWA recognize both of these folks.

(Comments off here, per my standard practice with SFWA-related material; comments are open on the SFWA site.)

Reader Request Week 2012: Get Your Requests In!

51 weeks a year, I write here on whatever topics I want to write about, because, hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want. But one week a year I write here on whatever topics you want me to write about, because, hey, you read this blog, and sometimes I don’t always write about the things you’re interested in seeing me write on. I call that one week a year the Reader Request Week. Guess what? It’s going to start next Monday. This is where you get to suggest a topic for me to write about.

And what topics can you suggest? Any topic in the world — and indeed I like it when I get asked to write about topics that I don’t usually address. So ask away: Make your topic request silly or serious or sexy or obscure. Hey, you know what you want to know about better than I do. I don’t write on every request, but I do try to get a wide range of topics in over the week. So whatever you want me to write on, request it. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

With that said, let me post my usual admonitions:

One: Quality not quantity — I’d rather you request one seriously well-thought-out topic than blast out a laundry list of one-line topics. It’s not a race or contest, folks, and I’m more likely to entertain a request I think has some thought put into it.

Two: Questions on writing will not be a priority — Because, you know, I write about writing all the time. During Reader Request Week I like to address topics I wouldn’t generally think about. It’s not to say I won’t answer any writing topic request during the week, just that I’m rather less likely to, and the ones I’ll respond to aren’t going to be the basic-level stuff.

How to request a topic? I have two ways I prefer. The first is simply to drop the request in the comment thread here. That’s my favorite way, since it’s easy for me to scroll through and pick topics. The second way is through e-mail. I find that gets used by people who want to ask me questions they might not want to ask in a public comment thread (i.e., my thoughts on sex, etc), or whatever. If you send a question though e-mail, it will help me if you put “READER REQUEST WEEK” in the header.

I usually credit whomever asks a question, but on e-mailed questions people feel sensitive about I’m happy to employ a pseudonym (one may also of course use a pseudonym in the comment thread). I also prefer not to have requests sent via Twitter/Facebook/Google+, simply because the scrolly nature of their interfaces make it hard to keep track of the requests. Comment thread here or e-mail is the way to go.

Also, to help you not ask a question that’s already been answered recently, here’s the last five years of Reader Request Weeks. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a while:

From 2007:

Reader Request #1: Justifying My Life
Reader Request #2: Coffee, or Lack Thereof
Reader Request #3: BaconCat Fame
Reader Request #4: The Inevitable Blackness That Will Engulf Us All
Reader Request #5: Out of Poverty
Reader Request #6: Short Bits
Reader Request #7: Short Bits II: Electric Boogaloo

From 2008:

Reader Request #1: Homeschooling
Reader Request #2: Technological Gifts
Reader Request #3: Sex and Video Games
Reader Request #4: Where I Am Now
Reader Request #5: Professional Jealousy
Reader Request #6: Author Relations
Reader Request #7: Fame or Lack Thereof
Reader Request #8: Politics and the Olympics
Reader Request #9: Polygamy
Reader Request #10: Meeting Authors (and Me)
Reader Request #11 Athena and Whatever
Reader Request #12: Soldiers and Support
Reader Request #13: Diminishing Returns
Reader Request #14: Quick Hits, Volume I
Reader Request #15: Quick Hits, Volume II

From 2009:

Reader Request #1: SF YA These Days
Reader Request #2: OMW and Zoe’s Tale (and Angst and Pain)
Reader Request #3: Space!
Reader Request #4: Procreation
Reader Request #5: Having Been Poor
Reader Request #6: 80s Pop Music
Reader Request #7: Writing and Babies
Reader Request #8: Twitter
Reader Request #9: Can I Be Bought?
Reader Request #10: Writing Short Bits
Reader Request #11: Wrapping Up

From 2010:

Reader Request #1: Christianity and Me
Reader Request #2: Rewriting the Constitution
Reader Request #3: How I Think
Reader Request #4: Quitting Writing
Reader Request #5: Rural Ohio, Revisited
Reader Request #6: Depression
Reader Request #7: Writery Bits
Reader Request #8: Short Bits

From 2011:

Reader Request #1: Children and Faith
Reader Request #2: The End of Whatever

Reader Request #3: Middle Ages Me

Reader Request #4: Old Man’s War and the Best SF/F Novel of the Decade

Reader Request #5: Taking Compliments

Reader Request #6: Sociopathic Corporations

Reader Request #7: Unruly Fans

Reader Request #8: Short Bits ’11

Reader Request #9: Writery Bits ’11

Now: Get in your requests! I’ll start answering them next Monday. Thanks!

Movie Math and Science Fiction Films

This week over at FilmCritic.com, I do math — and discuss why it is that movies, in order to make a profit, have to make so much more than they cost to make. This is a real problem, if, like John Carter, the film cost $250 million to begin with. Come and take a look, and get the scoop on a lesser-known part of the movie money-making business.