Me, Interviewed on Fast Forward

Because wouldn’t you like to see me interviewed about writing, of all things? Sure you would!

Another Publishing Lawsuit

Indie Booksellers Sue Amazon, Big Six over E-book DRM

I know nothing about this suit other than what I’ve read in that linked article, but I suppose it’s not entirely surprising that indie booksellers would want to get in on the eBook action — heck, I want them to get in on it too, since I would be happy to send some of my eBook purchasing cash to my local bookseller — and see DRM as a way of locking them out.

Likewise, I would be curious as to how Macmillan’s DRM-free stance (via Tor, which is my primary fiction publisher) has an influence on things.

This would also be the place where I note that in the US, at least, the two biggest publishers of my fiction, Tor and Subterranean Press, have no DRM on any of my eBooks at this point. So buy with the confidence that comes from knowing you can put my fiction on any e-reader you damn well please. Because we love you, dear reader. Yes we do.

This Year’s Nebula Award Nominees

Getting to tell you all who the year’s Nebula nominees are is one of my favorite things to do, and not just because I’m president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the organization that hands out the Nebulas. It’s also because these are awards from writers, to writers. It’s always lovely to be recognized by one’s peers.

Now, without further ado, this year’s Nebula Award nominees, straight from the press release. Congratulations to all the nominees, and I hope I will see them at the Nebula Awards weekend in May! (P.S.: You can attend Nebula Weekend even if you are not a nominee — see the details below).

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announces the nominees for the 2012 Nebula Awards (presented 2013), nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
“All the Flavors”, Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)
“Katabasis”, Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
“Barry’s Tale”, Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)

“The Pyre of New Day”, Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)
“Close Encounters”, Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
“The Waves”, Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
“The Finite Canvas”, Brit Mandelo ( 12/5/12)
“Swift, Brutal Retaliation”, Meghan McCarron ( 1/4/12)
“Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia”, Rachel Swirsky ( 8/22/12)
“Fade to White”, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)

Short Story
“Robot”, Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12)
“Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
“Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes”, Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12)
“Nanny’s Day”, Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
“Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream”, Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12)
“The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species”, Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12)
“Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain”, Cat Rambo (Near + Far)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight )
The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray writers), (Lionsgate)
John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Alice A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)

The Forty-Eighth Nebula Awards Weekend will be held May 16-19th, 2013, in San Jose at the San Jose Hilton. Borderland Books will host the mass autograph session from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17th at the San Jose Hilton. This autograph session is open to the public and books by the authors in attendance will be available for purchase. More information about the Nebula Awards Weekend is available at


The Big Idea: Karen Heuler

How to tell the truth in fiction? Author Karen Heuler considered the question for The Inner City, her collection of stories, and in the end drew inspiration from one of our greatest poets. Here she is to explain.


The stories in The Inner City are about the way the world works, about the way people work, about the dodges and twists and sneaky surprises of life as we know it—whether it looks like our life or not. One of Emily Dickinson’s poems goes, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.” The slant is what I’m after.

People have confidence in what they see, what they believe, what they do; and confidence comes from a sense of normality. But what’s normal? And what happens when the “normal” is different for you and for the rest of them?

And it’s not so much the outsider/insider thing as it is how strange the Other can be. Occasionally strange and interesting, as in “The Large People,” where a retired office worker finds people growing out of the ground, and follows them into the city where they start doing things you wouldn’t think a retired office worker would approve of—but then again, why not? Why not take note of the newest order of things and consider what it all means? Or just watch it? Those poor people in “Landscape with Fish”—when nature starts throwing them curve balls, all they can do is keep their eyes open. Something new is coming.

No two people live in the same world, and that’s why we have cults—someone beguiling us with the belief that all can be shared emotionally and physically. It can’t. People may come together and try to predict their lives, as in “The Great Spin,” about the wrong people being gathered in the Rapture. Or they may find a new and frightening form of existence in “Thick Water,” but it’s not for everyone. It’s not for most. It involves losing some of the particularities that like it or not make you into you.

And to be honest, you don’t want to be too different; it might attract attention.  But my neighbor’s conspiracy theory is nowhere as credible as my own. Their reason for paranoia is not as good as my reason for paranoia. In fact, there is “The Inner City” sneaking around and doing things to mess me up. I know this to be a fact. I know that certain things are done just to annoy me—trains pulling out as I run for them; lost Metrocards that magically reappear after I’ve bought a new one; another missing sock.  You would think that, if I’ve lost 30 individual socks in my lifetime, I must have found someone else’s 30 individual missing socks, but I haven’t. I don’t know if there’s one person who ends up with all of them. Is this the reason for Sock Monkeys?

Who hasn’t felt at some point that change was getting out of control, that it was going on despite you? Some things you can opt out of; some things you can refuse; but you won’t always know if it was the right decision or not until it’s too late.

So why not get hooked, roped, nailed into a change because, after all, it’s different? We all evolve, going through life in distinct phases, even as our minds and bodies adjust from the clumsiness of toddlers to the grace of adults and then back again. Isn’t there a metaphor for that, for the process of radical change we go through? Like the children in “The Difficulties of Evolution,” who knows what our offspring will become? Or us? Are we ever done with it?

Who knows what we will become? We can fight against it, the modifications of life, until a brilliant mind somewhere crosses a girl with a dog for a new breed of servants. Is that wrong? As wrong as creating a cow out of meat, for instance, and finding it has gone bloodthirsty? What would you do with what you’ve created at that point?

And despite all our advances in science, have we forgotten that things aren’t necessarily right just because they can be done? If it’s possible to breed girls and dogs to get a special servant class—well, should we do it?

Of course we’ll do it.

And of course we have to accept it. But then again, why should we accept it?

There are tough choices here. One explorer on a distant planet finds her team has gone out and gone native in a  new and terrifying way; should she join them?  A worker finds that a new employee has not only stolen her hair, but is out for her job and much more.

It’s not always recognizable.

Sometimes you can see something coming—but when it gets near, it’s not exactly what you thought it would be. The Rapture approaches, but who will be blessed? Your wishes are granted, but are they what you wanted? That doubt, of course, is in the nature of wishes as well as of life—there’s a catch somewhere, a little bit of snickering, if not downright buffoonery.

We ask for something, and we get it slant.


The Inner City: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Visit the book’s page. Follow the author on Twitter.