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desperance July 24 2014, 17:19

There is no end to what we can do together

Oh, lordie. Did I need this? There I am, innocently walking downtown and thinking about Mars, thinking about Kipling, as I should; and I walk past the bookstore, as you do, and there's a bloody book in the window, Lawrence in Arabia - and oh hell, of course bloody T E Lawrence would have gone to bloody Mars if that had been an option, when he was reinventing himself after everything went sour. And that's a whole nother book, and did I need yet one more...?
jemck July 24 2014, 14:53

Loncon3 – my worldcon programme.

Originally published at Juliet E. McKenna. You can comment here or there.

The short version? Lots of excellent topics for conversation with some splendid people!

A couple of quick notes. I’ll be arriving late-ish on Thursday as that’s A Level Results Day here in the UK and Junior Son will be heading up to the school in the morning to find out how he and his pals have fared. Then we’ll be coming into London, departing Tuesday morning.

You’ll see no mention of ‘signing’ below – that’s not a problem as far as I am concerned. Feel free to catch me in passing, though ideally not just as I’m about to go into a panel. Afterwards? Fine, as long as we make sure to clear the room for the next set of folk coming along.

Reading. Hmmm. What shall I read? One long thing? A couple of short extracts? What do you generally prefer?

And so to the detail –

Liveship Trading: Fantasy Economics
Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
You want to take an army of 10,000 to lay siege to Mordor; how exactly did you plan to provision this? You live by robbing caravans; how many merchants can you rob before they stop coming your way? You’re a merchant eyeing the road ahead warily; what are you carrying, and where and how are you going to sell it? Our panel discuss the economics of feudalism, quests, sieges, and market towns.
Dev Agarwal, William B. Hafford, Robin Hobb, Juliet E McKenna, Max Gladstone.

The Problem with Making a Living Writing SF&F: Have We Become Too Niche?
Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)
Many successful SF&F authors still maintain day jobs to make ends meet. Is this a new phenomenon, or has it always been this way? Are science fiction and fantasy too narrow for a vast numbers of authors to make a living in? How do we expand the markets available to genre authors? And what financial tips should authors bear in mind if they’re thinking of striking out into writing full-time?
Scott Lynch, Leslie Ann Moore , Tim Susman , Juliet E McKenna.

Scientists vs Authors Quiz
Friday 22:00 – 23:30, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)
After their narrow defeat at Eastercon, will the Authors get their revenge or will the supremacy of the Scientists go unchallenged? See what SF writers know about science and what scientists known about SF at the rematch!
Christine Davidson, Michael Davidson, Amanda Kear, Brian Milton, Charles Stross, Nichola J Whitehead , Juliet E McKenna, David L Clements, Ken MacLeod

Kaffeeklatsch
Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, London Suite 4 (ExCeL)
Guy Consolmagno SJ, Juliet E McKenna

Reading: Juliet E McKenna
Saturday 15:30 – 16:00, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)
Juliet E McKenna

Meet the New King, Same As The Old King
Saturday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)
Why is fantasy so often about making the world better by getting the rightful king on the throne, rather than by doing away with monarchy entirely? Where are all the revolutions? Why don’t wizards use magic to create indoor plumbing and better infrastructure?
Juliet E McKenna, Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett , Rjurik Davidson, Delia Sherman.

The Seriousness Business
Sunday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)
Perhaps the two most critically acclaimed SF series of the last decade are Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones, and in each case the most common reason for that acclaim is their supposed seriousness: here are SF and fantasy with depth and darkness. Why is this the kind of genre material that the mainstream has embraced? Does the presumed “realism” of this approach hold up to scrutiny? Has seriousness become a cliche? And to what extent do these shows, and their imitators, tell original stories, and to what extent do they reinscribe a normative straight white heroism?
Juliet E McKenna, Mélanie Bourdaa, Saxon Bullock , Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Amateurs talk tactics; professionals talk logistics
Monday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)
How are wars and other conflicts won? It doesn’t matter how good your troops and generals are if they don’t get the resources they need, so the logistics of warfare, and the economics that drive them, play a far larger role than usually appears in fiction. What is the real story from history and how can science fiction get it right?
Phil Dyson, Nigel Furlong, Glenda Larke, Juliet E McKenna.

desperance July 23 2014, 23:29

Smoke gets in your pork*

I should be typing up more of the thousand-and-one corrections, but I'm not. Instead I have lit the barbecue and cracked my first beer of a gorgeously sunny day (yes, yes, they're all gorgeously sunny around here, but what's your point? - just because it doesn't stand out, doesn't mean it don't deserve notice and applause; everybody has won, and all must have prizes). There's a hunk of pork smeared with my patent smear (ketchup, cider vinegar, dry mustard, cayenne, hot smoked paprika) and sinking slowly into the smoky heat of the grill; there's a sourdough loaf rising, and also a batch of sesame seed buns; there will be beans (from the freezer, labelled "Beans"; I know nothing more) and kale-and-mushrooms-and-dried-cherries, which is almost a recipe, almost. I was going to make a fruit tart as well, but I'm not now, because everything is behindhand and stuff.

And I should be typing up yadda yadda, but I'm not: so allow me instead to yell "Sale!" in yer delicate lug-'oles. Thanks to m'wife's insistence and Jaym's patience (I may have run a little late, and a little long), my story "Afterparty: or, Not Out Of The Woods" will be appearing in Genius Loci, edited by Jaym Gates, published by Ragnarok, financed through Kickstarter. I may have mentioned this story en passant before, as being the first Quin story not to feature Quin, and therefore possibly the last Quin story ever. Possibly. But what I'm really excited about is that table of contents: here is a great passel of friends and awesome writers, with whom I have never before shared covers. Look, there's Andy Duncan! And Laura Anne, and that Seanan, and sovay, and @geardrops ("Glasses!"), and and and...

Oh, and. While I'm posting, I have neglectfully failed to post this. What is this, you ask? This is the cover by Mark J Ferrari for my forthcoming short novel, Being Small. Which will be out next month. Next month!

perf5.000x8.000.indd


*Not a euphemism, no. What?
rosefox July 23 2014, 06:39

"Next!"

The last piece of IKEA furniture is DONE. DONE DONE DONE DOOOOOONE.

(Well, we may put knobs on the drawers at some point. But whatever, that's minor and easy to do and we may decide not to bother. Everyone seems happy to open the drawers from the side right now.)

The very last remaining things to do:

* I put the base and lids for our old blender up on Craigslist Free Stuff, and someone is coming to get them tomorrow.
* The IKEA boxes go out with the recycling on Friday.
* On Saturday J and I will haul two huge bags of fabric recycling to the farmer's market.
* Possibly there will be some vacuuming.

And then I will take photos of the living room/dining room/kitchen/library and you can all see what a splendid apartment we have, now that it's populated by furniture and books and appliances rather than boxes and boxes and boxes.

=====

My knees were feeling somewhat better today (yes, plural--I'm putting more weight than usual on the left to spare the right, so the left is complaining too), despite poor sleep. I've been trying to work from my very comfy office chair instead of in bed, and I think it's helping. After J and I met for dinner, we took a very small stroll in the park. I had the brace on my right knee and was careful not to overdo it, and my caution was rewarded by an almost pain-free climb up the subway stairs on our way home. I rested for a few hours and then got up and did a bit of tidying (no heavy lifting). So far so good.

I can feel my shin muscles aching now that I know what I'm looking for, and the heating pad helped a lot yesterday, so I'm increasingly certain that working from home in a one-flight walkup has simply made me too sedentary and my muscles have weakened to where they can't adequately support my joints. I also need new sandals, which I will hopefully get on the way home from the knee doc tomorrow. I don't like any of this season's Merrell or Timberland sandals, and I've been wanting something a bit more solid and butch, so I'm seriously considering my first Birkenstocks. Fortunately the knee doc is at 33rd Street, so I'll pop over to Eneslow and try on shoes there to get a sense of Birkenstock sizes and how they feel on my feet.

=====

Yesterday was a pretty rotten day for me and X, and we were both staggering a bit today from the emotional hangover. But we managed to pull through it with a great deal of support from the always amazing J, and there was even a bit of cuddling and laughing later in the evening. Tomorrow we inaugurate our weekly family date night, which is probably going to be like a typical night except with more snuggles. I think that sounds excellent.

=====

I didn't get to bed until 7 a.m. yesterday, so I've been groggy and fleh all day. Time to try the yoga nidra mp3 of [personal profile] norah's that [personal profile] rydra_wong pointed me to, and see if it can put me to sleep at something approximating my best bedtime.


You're welcome to comment on LJ, but I'd rather you leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry. The current comment count is comment count unavailable.
desperance July 23 2014, 02:01

The young visiter

"Karen?"
"Yes?"
"There's a little baby fledgling bird hanging out on the patio, and I don't know what to do..."

IMG_20140722_185146

The domestic consensus is that we should do nothing: not interfere, certainly not handle it. It may just be hangin' out after a long flutter. And if it is the child of mockingbirds, then at least one of its parents knows exactly where it is, because the bloody bird has not stopped making a ruckus all around our yard. It even threatened me this morning (tho' I do not think the baby was there this morning; I think I would have noticed), never mind the poor cats who wander through.

I dunno; of course I dunno, what do I know? We'll see. If you want to bubble over with advices, feel free - but as soon as two advisors start contradicting each other, I shall stop listening, because elves.

[Update: and it's gone, five minutes later. Yay! I wish I'd stayed to watch, but alas, I had to post...]
mevennen July 22 2014, 20:20

Short stories

If anyone has subscribed to the latest short story sub, and has not had a first quarter set of short fiction from me, could you let me know? At the moment, things are extremely fraught: my father is seriously ill and we are spending 2-3 hours at the hospital every day. Given this on top of everything else, I am conscious that I am not keeping up with correspondence: I am trying to do so, but it's going to be slow.

The next Chen novel is, however, being written, if somewhat intermittently, and it's going well. I'm on track for delivery to you in September, though possibly later in the month rather than sooner.
mouseferatu July 22 2014, 19:02

Urgent ArmadilloCon update!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Hey, folks.

I’m deeply sorry to say that I’m going to be absent from this year’s ArmadilloCon.

hate doing this, especially so last-minute and especially to a local convention of which I’m very fond, but a medical issue that was supposed to be cleared up by now… isn’t.

I should be fine fairly soon–don’t want to worry anyone–but it won’t be by this weekend.

My most sincere apologies to everyone, fans and fellow authors/artists, I was hoping to see. When all this is done with, I’ll try to arrange a couple of local signings of my own somewhere.

Thanks, everyone, for your understanding.

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desperance July 22 2014, 17:50

Totally fake tagine

In this new dispensation, it was fairly clear early on that no yogi were coming to bend last night, so I was only cooking for Karen and myself. Why in the world should this stop me having fun?

Back in the UK, I used to have a tagine. Lovely thing: red-glazed, almost too tall for the oven, with those splendid proportions that allow the conical lid to do its magic drippy thing and steam the food below. I doubt if I used it once a year, but it looked grand on the shelf there.

Out here? No tagine, and I'm not in active pursuit of one, because see above under "once a year". Granted it might be more often here, because I cook more dinners for numbers of people, bendy or otherwise, but even so.

Still, I am fond of tagine-type dishes, Moroccan spicings, that sort of thing: so last night I totally faked it.

Boneless chicken, sizzle-sizzle in olive oil to get some colour on. Chicken out of the pan, sliced onion in, sizzle-sizzle. Garlic, ginger. Ground ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon (less of the cinnamon, because a little is plenty). Fresh mint leaves. Chicken back in, sploosh of chicken stock, squeeze of honey, handful of dried apricots. Simmer simmer. Lots of chopped cilantro, scatter of toasted almonds. Done.

With herby saffron rice and roasted brussels? A feast fit for m'wife.
grrm July 21 2014, 21:47

Master Class

For those of you who were unable to travel to Switzerland for NIFFF, Livestream has uploaded my "Master Class" interview and Q&A.

NIFFF was great fun, all in all, though they kept me so busy that I was only able to see one film of the ninety-plus shown at the festival.  Most of the interviews covered the same old ground... but the masterclass got into some areas a bit more substantially, and you may find it interesting.

I had fun doing it, anyway.

If you would like to check it out, go to:

http://new.livestream.com/nifff/GeorgeRRMartinMasterclass

Enjoy.

grrm July 21 2014, 16:43

Comicon Is Coming

It seems like I just got back from France and Switzerland... maybe because I just did... and now San Diego Comicon is on top of us.

I'll be there for the whole weekend, doing promotion for HBO, Bantam Spectra, and my various other publishers.  Flying in Wednesday, departing on the following Monday, so if you're going to comicon, you should have plenty of chances to see me, hear me, and get me to scrawl illegibly on your book, graphic novel, Blu-Rays, or body parts.

My schedule:

Wednesday evening, 6pm to 7pm, I will be doing a signing at the AVATAR PRESS booth, autographing copies of the SKIN TRADE graphic novel and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM comic.  (Only those, please.  There will be other places and times to get my other stuff signined).

Thursday, 2:30 to 3:30, I will be appearing in the main autograph area (the Sails) at Table 3, with DONATO GIANCOLA.  The two of us will be signing copies of the 2015 Ice & Fire calendar, which will be making its debut at the convention.

Thursday, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, you can catch me in the Indigo Room, where I'll be joining William Christensen of Avatar to talk about THE SKIN TRADE and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM.  (No signing here, this is just a talk).

Friday, we have the GAME OF THRONES panel in Hall H.  I'll be there, with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss and various members of our cast.  This year CRAIG FERGUSON will be moderating.  Hall H seats 7,000 people... but of course 150,000 people attend comicon, so if you want to see the panel, best get in line... ah... now.  Afterward I will join the cast for interviews and a poster signing and more interviews.

Saturday, 11:00 am to 12 noon, I return to the Sails for a Random House autograph session.  This time I will be at Table 7.  This is the time and place to get your books signed.  Copies will be on sale in the autograph area, if you don't want to drag your old ones to San Diego.

Saturday, 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm, I'll be in Room 6A for a panel on epic fantasy, part of an all-star lineup of panelists with Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, and others.

Sunday, 12:30 to 1:30, back to the floor for another signing.  This time I will be signing copies of the HEDGE KNIGHT and SWORN SWORD graphic novels at the ComiXology booth, on behalf of Jet City Comics.

Sunday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, I will be judging a costume contest sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.

Monday I go home.

Given the sheer numbers of people in San Diego for comicon, I regret to say that I sign autographs ONLY at the designated signings.  There are, you will note, five of them, which means I'll be scrawling my name for five hours at various points through the weekend.  That's about all I can manage.  So if you should happen to see me walking the floor, riding a pedicab through the GasLamp, having a drink or eating my dinner, feel free to smile or wave or say hi, but PLEASE do not ask me to sign anything.  I can only do so much, and I do need some time just to enjoy the con and chill with friends.

Thanks.

See you in San Diego.
rosefox July 20 2014, 06:15

"Achy breaky"

My right knee has been cranky for the last couple of weeks. The pain feels like it's directly under my kneecap. I didn't twist it or fall or anything; it's just started complaining when I go up and down stairs or spend more than about 15 minutes on my feet. I've been PRICEing and NSAIDing to no avail. J says it's a sign that I'm getting old. In 11 months I'll be able to say "I'm 37, I'm not old!" at him; for now I just roll my eyes.

...okay, I admit, it's more like PICE. I don't know how to rest. I certainly didn't rest it much last weekend; Readercon = lots of walking around the hotel + lots of driving. And when I have a brace on it doesn't hurt, so then I run errands and do dishes and so on. I'm sure I should rest it more.

I just don't know how to treat joint things. I am a tendon injury treatment expert. Muscle aches are easy to work out or soak away or ignore until they get better. But joints... I feel like the ice isn't even really getting through to the part that's sore, because my patella is in the way. Advil doesn't touch it (though I may still have an Advil tolerance from back when I took 2400 mg/day for my arms) and more troublingly, Celebrex doesn't either. And I hesitate to wear the brace all the time because that's counter-indicated for tendon injuries and (like any pain relief) it encourages overuse rather than rest. So I'm kind of stuck on what to do, other than literally sitting around with my leg up on a couple of pillows.

I have an appointment with a sports medicine doctor for Wednesday. In the meantime, joint pain sufferers, any suggestions?


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rosefox July 19 2014, 19:24

"Cash dollars"

I just got my first royalty check.

It has... a lot more digits than I was expecting. Four of them. BEFORE the decimal point.

My first thought was "Eeeeee!". My second thought was "This means my book is helping to keep Crossed Genres afloat". I am really, really glad to be part of something that's doing so well for CG.

And now I'm going to scan it before I deposit it. :D


You're welcome to comment on LJ, but I'd rather you leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry. The current comment count is comment count unavailable.
grrm July 19 2014, 17:46

Six Days Left

Only six days remain on my big Prizeo fundraiser on behalf of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe.  We've raised some $459,000 as I write, but we're still short of our half-million dollar goal.  So if you have some spare change and/or folding green in your pocket, come help push us over the top with a late surge!

https://www.prizeo.com/prizes/georgerrmartin/a-wolf-sanctuary-tour-and-helicopter-ride

Many of the special incentive prizes have been snapped up... but some remain.

You can still book a brunch with me at San Diego Comicon, a week from Sunday.  (Hand at the Table).

You can still buy my red flame suspenders... yes, the pair I am wearing in the avatar pic above.  (Khaleesi).  They're worn, but they have done good service, and I am sure many of you would look better in 'em than I do.

Also.. some of you may recall that Bantam Spectra changed the cover design of A FEAST FOR CROWS before the book was released, and never used the beautiful Jaime Lannister artwork that Stephen Youll had painted.  But we have some copies of the never-used original covers, and we're offering those as well.   (Stag)

youll

These cover flats have never been used.  A rare collectible, a few of them have turned up on ebay in recent years, sometimes with minimum bids in the thousands of dollars.  And those are unsigned.  Buy one for the wolves, and I'll autograph/ deface it (or not), as you please.  And the money will go to feed the homeless and shelter the wolves... plus buying you more tickets for the grand prize.

The grand prize, of course, remains the same: a trip to Santa Fe from anywhere in the world, a day with me, and a helicopter visit down to Candy Kitchen, New Mexico to see Wild Spirit and visit the wolves.

So join in... and do watch the site closely.  We plan to add a few more last minute incentive prizes on Wednesday, before the fundraiser closes down on Friday.

rosefox July 18 2014, 23:18

"Pay a heavy price for it"

Shorter Wiscon: In recognition of the possibility that a harasser may eventually learn to behave himself like someone who graduated kindergarten, we will guarantee that a minimum of two people (the ones he harassed) will no longer feel comfortable at our convention.

Good job, folks. That is some solid community-minded thinking right there. When you have loads of people saying "As long as this dude is at your convention, I will not feel safe there" the OBVIOUS feminist position to take is that the dude's potential rehabilitation matters more than the feeeeeeelings of all those laaaaaadies. They're probably just being oversensitive. They'll come back. After all, there are no other soi-disant feminist conventions for them to go to!

All sarcasm aside, I suggest that any con that has ever permanently banned a harasser begin labeling itself a feminist convention, as the claim to the term is clearly pretty wide open at this point.

I wrote about redemption narratives and convention harassment in 2012. I could write about it again, but why bother? It's clear that the people who needed to read it the first time around either never did or forgot it as soon as they closed the tab. And we're right back where we started, following some guy through his sin-repentance-redemption story while ignoring all the women who will be going to other conventions or just staying home.

(Incidentally, if you want to help mitigate the financial costs to Elise for having to stop selling her gorgeous handmade jewelry at Wiscon, please consider buying some of her wares for yourself or someone else.)

Note that Frenkel can appeal the decision in case he thinks it's too harsh, but no one else can appeal it for being too lenient. That's a very clear sign as to which way the committee thinks it's erring. And it's dead wrong.

The subject line of this post is from Dan Harmon's plot embryo:

1. A character is in a zone of comfort
2. But they want something
3. They enter an unfamiliar situation
4. Adapt to it
5. Get what they wanted
6. Pay a heavy price for it
7. Then return to their familiar situation
8. Having changed

That's the Frenkel story. He's supposed to pay a price for getting what he wanted--the opportunity to harass a couple of women--but all he loses is four years of Wiscon. However, anyone who doesn't want to be around harassers loses Wiscon forever. And Elise and Lauren pay the highest price of all for having spoken up: the price of being told, almost in so many words, that their pain and sorrow don't matter as much as Jim Frenkel getting a second chance. They don't get to return to their familiar situation. They don't get what they wanted. They don't get the neat episodic story arc. They're left to make new stories for themselves, with so much less cultural and community support than they need and deserve.

This is really dispiriting.


You're welcome to comment on LJ, but I'd rather you leave a comment on the Dreamwidth version of this entry. The current comment count is comment count unavailable.
aliettedb July 18 2014, 14:05

Final Worldcon schedule

So, I got my final Worldcon schedule, and I’m going to be busy (in a pretty awesome way). As a reminder (taking a leaf from Kate Elliott’s book), I go to cons to meet people, so don’t be shy if you see me and want to talk. I’m also quite happy signing stuff and/or talking outside of panels (provided I’m not running on my way to elsewhere, of course!).

Below is where you can find me:

Autographing
Thursday 15:00 – 16:30, Autographing Space (ExCeL)
I will have signed postcards featuring the On a Red Station, Drifting artwork, and possibly a few other books: notably, I’m working on a POD edition of On a Red Station, but am not at all sure I’d have those with me.

Universal Language: Good or Bad?
Thursday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)
Is a universal language possible? How might that be achieved and would achieving it necessitate destroying our own languages and way of thinking? Would we want to create one in addition to our own languages and if so, should it be spoken or signed?
Michael Burianyk (M), Dr. Bettina Beinhoff, Aliette de Bodard, Anna Feruglio Dal Dan, Jesi Pershing

Feeding the Imagination: Food in SF/F
Friday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)
The food in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is described in such detail that cookbooks have been published in response. What other genre works have focused heavily on food to develop the world and characters? What does food say about an invented society? Are stories that lack an exploration of the diet of their characters lacking something?
Shana Worthen (M) , Aliette de Bodard, Gillian Polack, Jo Walton , Fran Wilde

Content and Form: Writing SF/F in non-Western Modes
Friday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
Sofia Samatar recently suggested that SF genre writers and readers have “a tendency to focus on content rather than form”, even or especially when engaging with marginalised perspectives. Does our genre inevitably tend towards the form and structure of western, English-language stories, regardless of what cultural tradition(s) are reflected in the content? How can a non-western or non-Anglophone writer engage with science fiction and fantasy while also operating outside of the conventions of western-style storytelling? Is it possible for western writers to engage with non-western traditions in an authentic way and produce a story that a wider audience will recognize as science fiction or fantasy? What are some of the different forms offered by non-western cultures that need to be told?
Amal El-Mohtar (M), Aliette de Bodard, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, JY Yang, Nick Wood

Kaffeeklatsch
Friday 17:00 – 18:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Reading
Saturday 10:00 – 10:30, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)
I haven’t made a firm decision on what I’m reading, but it’s likely to be an excerpt from the novel aka fantasy set in sideways version of Belle Epoque Paris–your chance to find out more ^^

Always Outside, Looking In?
Saturday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)
How do writers from non-Anglophone countries relate to so-called “traditional SF”, and the expectations of Anglophone publishers and readers? What are the processes and considerations behind writing in a language that is not your first, or in seeing your work translated into English? While it’s often assumed that non-Anglophone writers all want to see their work reach the English audience, are there any circumstances under which a writer might choose not to? In a 2013 interview on the World SF blog, UAE writer Noura al-Noman said about one of her novels: “The whole idea behind ‘Ajwan’ was to provide Arabic content for teens … The subject matter [sci-fi] made Arabic seem more approachable to them … I am going to wait a bit before I publish it in English.”
Thomas Olde Heuvelt (M), Jesús Cañadas, Aliette de Bodard, Ju Honisch , Floris M. Kleijne

Environmentalism in Anime
Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Images of environmental destruction — or the complete replacement of nature with metal and concrete mega-cities — are common in anime. But there is also a tradition of anime and manga that preserves and honours nature: think of MuShiShi, or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Where else are ecologically-aware narratives found, and what is their focus? Is the environmentalism of anime primarily one of nostalgia and conservationism, or technological conquest?
Anushia Kandasivam (M), Adrian (Ade) Brown, Aliette de Bodard, Ian Murphy

Sunday evening, from 6pm onwards: Hugo Reception, Hugo Awards and Hugo Losers’ Ceremony.
I am ready to deliver on my promise to bring a snakelet in a suit onstage, should I (against all odds) find myself in a position to give an acceptance speech.

Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard

Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.

jemck July 18 2014, 12:22

Waterstones & Gender Equality. The good, the bad & the business case for doing better.

Originally published at Juliet E. McKenna. You can comment here or there.

First, some context. Over the past year or more, I’ve repeatedly highlighted instances of all or majority male bookshop displays for SF&Fantasy. Back in May, I flagged up the monthly promotional email from Waterstones which featured the Everyday Sexism book. It was the first readily identifiable book by a woman in that email, half way down the page, and one of only five titles by women compared to eight featured men. That post prompted a lively exchange on Twitter and in comments on the blog with Jon Howell, PR chap for Waterstones. Check back here if you missed that or wish to refresh your memory.

In discussions elsewhere on this issue with concerned writers and readers, we soon realised that we need more data. Especially if Waterstones don’t keep records of how many women they promote compared to men, as was stated at the time. So I went away and searched my Gmail archive and managed to retrieve 23 of those monthly emails, from March 2012 to June 2014, while pals around the country went to do a promotional table count in their local branches of Waterstones. I got 20 surveys in all. Given Waterstones has 275 branches, that’s less than 10% so this cannot be considered definitive data. However I consider it strongly indicative and certainly a sound basis for discussion.

Because as Managing Director James Daunt has been saying, offering discoverability to readers will be the key to Waterstones’ survival. What all this flags up to me is key areas where that discoverability is seriously lacking and where Waterstones could improve, to offer customers something they will not get from Amazon whose ‘if you like, try..’ algorithm pretty much only offers clones, or from WHSmiths or the supermarkets who only offer a narrow choice of already high-selling titles.

Continued behind the cut since unsurprisingly, this runs long...Collapse )

Yes, gender equality is a feminist issue. When it comes to bookselling it is also a commercial issue. If Waterstones wants to offer customers the discoverability which they’re not going find elsewhere, surely extending the range and rotation of books promoted in their genre sections, by male and female authors alike, to equal the choices they already offer in general fiction, is simply good business?

grrm July 17 2014, 23:05

Martians and Women and Rogues, Oh My

Hey, lots of good news on the anthology front while I was traipsing around France and Switzerland these past couple of weeks.

OLD MARS led the way, winning the annual Locus Award as the Best Anthology of 2013:


Old Mars cvr rev

You can check out the details at http://www.locusmag.com/News/2014/06/2014-locus-awards-winners-2/    And congratulations to my pals Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as well.  As James S.A. Corey, they won the Locus Award for Best SF Novel of the year.  (Would that ABADDON'S GATE was on the Hugo ballot as well).  And of course, congrats to my co-editor Gardner Dozois, and our amazing lineup of writers, who made the anthology the delight that it is.  If you haven't checked out OLD MARS yet, you missed at lot.

((And for what it's worth, OLD VENUS will be even better)).

Next thing, the nominees for this year's World Fantasy Award were announced.  OLD MARS wasn't eligible, being science fiction and all... but DANGEROUS WOMEN, the big crossgenre anthology that Gardner and I released last summer, is one of the finalists for Best Anthology (against some mighty stiff competition, I might add).

91EWTSOg1IL._SL1500_

You can check out the full list of Wold Fantasy Award nominees here:
http://www.worldfantasy.org/awards/

To round out the triptych, in the midst of all this recognition for the books that Gargy and I did last year, our newest anthology, ROGUES, hit the shelves from coast and coast... and debuted at #7 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List.  No, not the anthology bestseller list, or the SF/ fantasy bestseller list, but the bestseller list for ALL HARDCOVER FICTION.  Which is pretty damned extraordinary for an anthology.

http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2014-07-06/hardcover-fiction/list.html

Rogues comp A March 17 lo res

So, all in all, it was a hell of a month.

My thanks to the LOCUS voters, the World Fantasy Con members and judges, and all the readers who snatched up ROGUES.

I love doing anthologies, and introducing great stories and new writers to my fans.  It's great to see the books being so well received.

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