Final Nebula Ballot

The final Nebula ballot for 2007 has been posted at SFWA.  Congratulations to everyone whose stories and books and scripts made it this far.  I myself am not holding out to win against the likes of that competition.  Seeing how it’s the Oscars time of year and all, I’ll risk saying I would be made ridiculously happy if they were funny and made silly jokes about the nominees like Ellen Degeneres did.  If an MC hasn’t already been selected, I vote for Gwenda Bond.  She can carry off a joke with the best of them. 

Now I have to figure out what to wear!  😉

Novels:

    The Privilege of the Sword – Ellen Kushner (Bantam Spectra, Jul06)
    Seeker – Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov05)
    The Girl in the Glass – Jeffrey Ford (Dark Alley, Aug05)
    Farthing – Jo Walton (Tor Books, Aug06)
    From the Files of the Time Rangers – Richard Bowes (Golden Gryphon Press, Sep05)
    To Crush the Moon – Wil McCarthy (Bantam Spectra, May05)

Novellas:

    Burn – James Patrick Kelly (Tachyon Publications, Dec05)
    “Sanctuary” – Michael A. Burstein (Analog, Sep05)
    “The Walls of the Universe” – Paul Melko (Asimov’s, Apr/May06)
    “Inclination” – William Shunn (Asimov’s, Apr/May06)

Novelettes:

    “The Language of Moths” – Christopher Barzak (Realms of Fantasy, Apr05)
    “Walpurgis Afternoon” – Delia Sherman (F&SF, Dec05)
    “Journey into the Kingdom” – M. Rickert (F&SF, May06)
    “Two Hearts” – Peter S. Beagle (F&SF, Oct/Nov05)
    “Little Faces” – Vonda N. McIntyre (SCI FICTION, 23 Feb05)

Short Stories:

    “Echo” – Elizabeth Hand (F&SF, Oct/Nov05)
    “Helen Remembers the Stork Club” – Esther M. Friesner (F&SF, Nov05)
    “The Woman in Schrodinger’s Wave Equations” – Eugene Mirabelli (F&SF, Aug05)
    “Henry James, This One’s For You” – Jack McDevitt (Subterranean #2, Nov05)
    “An End To All Things” – Karina Sumner-Smith (Children of Magic, Daw Books, Jun06)
    “Pip and the Fairies” – Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons, 3 Oct05)

Scripts:

    Batman Begins – Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (Warner Bros., released 17 Jun05)
    Howl’s Moving Castle – Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, and Donald H. Hewitt (Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Pictures, U.S. Premier 10 Jun05. Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones.)
    Unfinished Business – Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica, Dec06)
    The Girl in the Fireplace – Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, BBC/The Sci-Fi Channel, Oct06 (broadcast 10 Oct06))

Also awarded by SFWA: Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

    Magic or Madness – Justine Larbalestier (Penguin Razorbill, May05)
    Devilish – Maureen Johnson, Razorbill (Penguin Young Readers Group, Sep06)
    The King of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner, Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins, 2006)
    Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness – Scott Westerfeld (Eos, Mar05)
    Peeps – Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Razorbill, Sep05)
    Life As We Knew It – Susan Beth Pfeffer (Harcourt, Oct06)
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Oscars

I watched the first few hours of the Oscars last night, and I’m not sure why everyone in the blogosphere has been so critical.  I thought Ellen Degeneres was pretty funny, I liked a lot of the montage sequences for some reason, the shadow people were fun pauses in the show and the sound effects choir was cool.  Of course I hardly ever watch TV, so maybe it was just a feast for my TV deprived senses.  I did think the creative department missed an opportunity with the Best Foreign Language Film award, in which the presenters spoke in English instead of French and Japanese.  The presentations are all scripted, so why didn’t they have this award set up with subtitles in English and have the presenters speak their native languages?  Then they have the Italian guy accept an award that they also knew would be presented, and somehow Clint Eastwood is his translator…umm…it felt odd, especially as Clint wasn’t on with presenting anyway.  I think his presentation was the most garbled I’d ever heard. 

But other than this, before I gave up and called it a night, it was mostly fun to watch, considering I generally don’t turn on the TV for entertainment at all these days (except to watch DVDS, of course).

Book cover

SmileI’ve had a version of One for Sorrow’s cover up on the page I made for the book for a while now, but today my editor sent me the final version and I’m really really happy with it.  If you’re curious take a look at the One for Sorrow page and click on the cover image to enlarge it.  It captures a lot of the spirit of the book, I think, both a large part of the setting as well as the atmosphere and mood and the central dilemma the narrator, Adam, finds himself in.  And if you’re so inclined, you can pre-order the book following the Amazon link.  If you haven’t taken a trip to Adam McCormick’s myspace page yet either, or haven’t for a while, it’s been updated with a new blog entry torn from the pages of the novel, and figuratively from the pages of a notebook Adam keeps.  If you have a myspace yourself, add Adam to your friend list.  I’ll be posting more pieces of the book as it draws nearer and nearer to publication date, as well as posting bulletin announcements from there about readings or any other public events I may be doing in connection with the novel.

Today has been great.  It’s sunny and I didn’t need a winter jacket and I got a beautiful cover for my novel and had wonderful classes with my students who were suddenly geniuses about a variety of social ills in the nation and the world.  I love days when I have a smile for everyone and everyone has a smile for me.

Judges needed

Judges are needed for storySouth’s 2007 Million Writers Award.  The award honors the best short stories published online in the previous year.  This is an award Richard Bowes, a noted speculative fiction writer, won last year with his story “There’s a Hole in the City”, which had been published in Scifiction.  Because the award considers stories of any genre, including scifi, fantasy, horror and romance, they would like to have judges who are well-read in a variety of genres.  If you’re interested, and I hope you are, more information can be found at storySouth.

Kant on peace

Lately I’ve doing some translation work for a Japanese publisher that is making a bilingual book on peace for teens, using Immanuel Kant’s philosophy and theory of how peace is established and maintained.  So I’ve been reading Kant in English and Japanese to do this. I’d read a little of Kant previously but not enough, so it’s been an enlightening experience for me, as it seems everything connected to Japan has been for me. 

I wish there were more recent books on peace published (if you know of any, please let me know what their titles are), especially ones that try to explain what it is and how it functions and what societies must do in order to maintain it, and why it’s important.  This all seems like common sense, but apparently these days it has left the realm of common sense and has been placed in the category of “merely speculative” by our current administration.  Reading through Kant, I see we’ve already failed at many of the tenets he observed are necessary in order to keep peace in the world.  Such as the need for no debt to be accrued in relation to a nation’s international or foreign disputes.  I think the U.S. must have passed by that stop sign a long time ago, according to what our congressmen and women have been saying for some time now.  I still can’t believe how out of control this administration is and how it simply gives everyone the finger when the majority of the citizens of the country, which *is* the nation, has told it to stop.  It’s no wonder why people feel so powerless and small these days.

March of the Penguins

PenguinHave you seen “March of the Penguins”? I missed it when it was released.  I was still in Japan.  But I’ve been watching lots of movies that came out in the two years I was gone lately, and tonight I remedied having missed this documentary about the mating life of penguins that it seems so many people were talking about when I got back.  My thoughts upon watching this movie went in this order:

 1. If I were born a penguin, I would pray to be captured and put in a zoo.

2. That’s not a march to mating grounds.  That’s a death march.

3. I’ve watched apocalyptic films that were less bleak than this is.

4. Throw yourself at the seal and let it put you out of your misery.

Then a moment of stunned silence as the credits roll.

More good news

lanternI found out yesterday my story, “In Between Dreams”, will be included in the Solaris Book of New Fantasy, which will appear in December 2007.  It’s another of the stories I wrote while in Japan.  It seems more of those will soon be appearing.  I’m beginning to get excited for others to read them.  I’ve kept them close to myself for a long time now, not sharing them with people that much, I think, because I wanted to keep everything I made in Japan, stories as well as memories, all to myself.  I’ve had a hard time this year figuring out how to hold on to that part of my life and how to let it go at the same time.  Balance and harmony is something I’ve become better at keeping because of Japan, but sometimes, for some reason, living here, it’s harder for me to keep that balance.  Maybe letting part of my Japan out into my America will help that.

Books do come true…

One for Sorrow is available for pre-purchase at Amazon.com now.  It is SO weird to have an entry to myself in an online bookstore.  I bet it’ll be even weirder to see the actual book on a store bookshelf at the end of this summer when the book comes out. 

There is even a page for me and the book at Random House’s website. 

Weird, weird, weird.  I still can’t imagine the book being a physical object yet.  Somehow the process of publication is like the process of giving birth, as they say, because something you’ve had inside you for so long takes on a physical being that can be seen and touched and smelled and heard.  And tasted, though I don’t recommend tasting books.  Ick. 

And if you haven’t seen it yet, a draft of the book cover (the final will look very similar to this one) is on this website’s “One for Sorrow” page.  The link is over in the “About” sidebar.  What do you think?

A view from inside

Snow dayThe university closed a bit ago, and I’ve come home early, thankfully, to a warm apartment.  Things are pretty cold out, and lots of snow is coming down.  Predictions that there’ll be more and more overnight.  Perhaps I’ll have a day off school tomorrow.  The university rarely closes, which is too bad because, just like when I was a little kid, I still highly anticipate snow days!