Signed Copies of Wonders of the Invisible World

wonders coverIn just less than two weeks, my new novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, will be released. I’m incredibly excited for this book to find its way to readers. The local book launch event for the book will be held at Barnes and Nobles in Boardman, Ohio on September 11th, at 7 PM, where I’ll give a reading and then sign books for attendees. Please join if you can. If you want, you can RSVP on the Facebook invitation to the event, so B&N has a general idea of headcount for the event.

For those of you who aren’t local but would still like a signed copy of the novel, you can pre-order signed copies from the loveliest bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin, A Room of One’s Own, who will be sending books with signed bookplates to readers who order the book through them.

You can call or use a special pre-order page on their website. Info is here:

To pre-order via the bookstore’s website, click here. 

By phone:
608.257.7888

Thanks very much for your pre-orders, wherever you may be ordering from. Every copy helps!

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Being on Set for Jamie Marks is Dead

At the end of this past week, I took a spontaneous trip to upstate New York to visit the film set for the movie “Jamie Marks is Dead” which is based on my first novel, One for Sorrow. The director and script writer, Carter Smith, had sent me an email earlier in the week inviting me to come see things in action if I had the chance, and since it was Spring Break week at my university, I hurried to finish up some other tasks I had on my desk, then got in the car to head across the great sea of hills and endless highway of Pennsylvania.

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It’s an interesting thing, visiting a film set. They’re another world entirely, in a couple of different ways. For one, it was a foreign thing to me, a writer, who is used to spending the majority of his life behind the screen of a computer in a room with his door closed. But beyond that, film sets are a created world, where personal assistants pick you up at the hotel to drive you to that day’s location, a double wide trailer in a rural area that has seen better days, much like my own hometown, and when you get to that location, there is a dead deer’s carcass hanging from a basketball hoop. Which, honestly, wasn’t really surprising, and seemed the perfect detail. The novel I wrote was set in a rural town like the one I grew up in, and though my dad, an avid hunter, never hung his deer from a basketball hoop, they did hang to drain out in our garage.

But there were no personal assistants back then like I had taking me to the set, where we had to wait outside on the front porch because they were filming at that very moment inside. When they were finished, a chain of command that originated somewhere deep in the house circulated the word “cut” through a variety of channels, mostly through audio receivers attached to various crew members’ belt loops, and the door was opened for me to enter into the living room of the doublewide, which was were I was given a headset and placed in front of a monitor to watch as they began immediately to film again.

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In front of me, I saw two teenage boys, one standing up from his unmade bed to go over and discover that the ghost of a former almost-friend who had recently been found dead was half-naked and hiding in his closet. I knew those boys immediately, and the lines they were saying in that moment. They were words I’d written nearly ten years ago, as I worked on the first draft of One for Sorrow as a 27 year old, and hearing those words performed in front of me on the monitor, all I could do was stand there and feel my jaw drop open in shock.

I’d known, obviously, that my book was being adapted into a film for several years now, but knowing something and realizing something are two different things. One is cerebral knowledge, the other is knowledge incorporated into one’s integral reality. I was just then, seeing all of this manifest in front of me, realizing that my book was really being made into a movie.

When the scene was done a second time, a break was taken, and the director came out to meet me. Carter and I had spoken on the phone five or six times in the past couple of years, and had exchanged emails at various times between phone calls, so we had a passing familiarity with each other’s voices, at least. But it felt good to finally stand in front of him, this other writer and director who had read my book when it first came out in 2007 and loved it so much he became determined to make it into a film. We talked briefly, I smiled a lot, feeling a bit like a kid getting a wish made into reality, and then the filming began again.

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Carter Smith and Madisen Beaty, who plays the ghost of Frances Wilkinson.

I took a dinner break with the cast and crew (which was actually their lunch break). They work 10-12 hours days, and take breaks every six hours like clockwork. Meals are served in what seemed like a horse camp’s mess hall, and I ate with Carter and the two main leads, Cameron Monaghan and Noah Silver, who play Adam McCormick and Jamie Marks respectively. They were all really welcoming, and we talked about the movie, the book, their work as actors. Noah wanted to know what my high school life had been like, because the story they were playing out is a bit, well, I guess intense? I laughed. I’m used to that question. My growing up was not as intense as Adam McCormick’s and Jamie Marks’, but there’s an emotional truth from what being a teenager felt like in the book that I was able to talk about. The ghosts and talking shadows and dead space of the novel are all, for me, metaphorical extensions of my interior adolescent world.

I spent the rest of the evening behind the screen of a monitor, watching another scene acted out over and over, from different camera angles. And no matter how many times I watched them do the same scene over, it was overwhelming for me. A lot to process. The second scene I saw made that night was the first time Adam gives Jamie a word, which in the magical logic of the book can help Jamie live a little longer, find meaning in his afterlife on earth for a little longer.

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But at some point in the evening, Carter’s assistant, Robin, took me over to a side room with a laptop to watch a roughly edited scene they had finished the day before. It was a scene that had the majority of the main cast in it–Adam and Jamie, Judy Greer playing the character Lucy, who has paralyzed Adam’s mother in a drunk driving accident, and Liv Tyler, playing Adam’s mother. It was a scene that was both desperately funny as Judy Greer’s shadow said all of the things Lucy herself wouldn’t say out loud (very cool special effect) and desperately sorrowful, as Liv Tyler’s Linda calls over her son, who seems to have gone off the rails completely, to make sure he knows that he’s the most important thing in her world.

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As I watched, I couldn’t help laughing, and then couldn’t help but tear up a little as Liv Tyler gave a gut-wrenching emotional performance amid Judy Greer’s darkly humorous ranting. Seeing that rough-cut, I knew that this film was going to be stunning, that Carter was making something magical with it.

It’s an adaptation, so there are some differences in the script from the novel itself, but that’s the nature of adaptations. But what I like about this adaptation so much is that even when there’s a scene that isn’t in the book itself (there are a few), Carter has taken dialogue or details from scenes original to the book and transplanted that material into the new contexts. So there’s something old and something new mingling together, the original and the adapted versions tied together. It’s smart and remains faithful to the novel in that way, even as it occasionally diverges from the novel’s sequences. I couldn’t feel like I have a more faithful and thoughtful adaptor.

I spent the night, then had breakfast with Carter the next morning, then headed home, though I could have stayed for longer. I was still a bit stunned by everything I’d seen the day before, and processing all of it, a little starry-eyed. Also, I had convinced myself I could find the set on my own and when it came time to find it on my own, it was trickier than I’d thought. Since I had a long drive home, though, I decided to turn the gps on and head in that direction, with my head still full of images from the night before.

I never thought I’d have a chance to be on a film set, let alone on the set for a book of my own being made into a movie. This life is surprising, even when you think it can’t surprise you any longer.

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I’m home again, and now it’s time to get back to writing. One thing the set visit gave me was a spark of inspiration. I’m working on one of the last revisions of my next novel. And who knows? I can’t say now that someday, I might have the chance to make another visit to a different set for a different book of mine being made into a movie. I’ll say it’s unlikely, but I’ve already had too many unlikely things happen to me in this brief life of mine to say with any certainty that something strange and wonderful won’t happen to me. I’ve learned that it’s really stupid to say the word “never.”

If you’re interested in seeing photos from the film set, go to google and search the term “#jmid”. You’ll find hundreds of photos from cast and crew and the director hash-tagged online, on Instagram mostly, but also attached to twitter etc.

Interfictions goes online

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Another new development for 2013 is that Interfictions, the anthology series that Delia Sherman launched first with co-editor Theodora Goss and then with me as co-editor of the second volume, will be moving into an online incarnation, including poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and hybrids forms.

Fiction editors are myself and Meghan McCarron.

Nonfiction and poetry editor is Sofia Samatar.

Submission guidelines and the submission portal can be found by clicking here. 

But here’s the skinny: We’ll be open for submissions in the month of February. Two issues will appear online annually, Spring and Fall. We’re paying 5 cents a word for fiction, 3 cents a word for nonfiction (preferably 9n the 2000-4000 word range) and poetry honorariums of 20 dollars per poem.

Interfictions was originally published in anthology format, and included work from writers like myself, Theodora Goss, Catherynne Valente, Jeffrey Ford, M. Rickert, Alan DeNiro, Vandana Singh, William Alexander, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Brian Slattery, and Lavie Tidhar.

interfictions2The second volume of Interfictions was an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year.

Send us your best work, your strangest work, your most uncategorizable work, to consider.

We’re in the midst of putting together a fantastic first issue that will release in spring of 2013. See you soon!

 

 

Before and Afterlives Coverings

I’m so excited to see my full length collection of short stories, Before and Afterlives, coming together in advance of its March 2013 release. Below is the pre-visualisation for the cover, front, back and spine, by the book’s designer.  It will of course later have a description of the contents added to the back and blurbs, but this is the general look. I’m really excited to see it out.  Can. not. wait.

You can click to make the image larger, of course.

Writing with Remedios Varo

I stumbled upon Remedios Varo‘s art by accident.  A happy accident.  While I was in grad school (the first time, back in the early 2000s), I came across a surrealistic novel by Leonora Carrington called The Hearing Trumpet.  The book’s cover was amazing:

So I looked into the cover artist’s background.  It turned out that the writer of the novel had also painted the cover.  I’d never heard of Leonora Carrington before, so I quickly began looking through the university library stacks to investigate further.  It was in one of the books about her and her work that I discovered Remedios Varo, who was one of Carrington’s best friends.  Before I knew anything else about Varo and her work, I knew her by the image of just one of her paintings that the writer of the book on Carrington had included when she made mention of their friendship.  It was called “Creation of the Birds”:

And it was after I saw this painting that I quickly forgot about my research on Leonora Carrington.  For a while at least.

I had never seen surrealist art that looked like this before:  so precise, as if the artist was not so interested in tearing apart reality, but creating a new reality instead.  Modernist surrealism was more about distortion and alienating effects.  It walked the line of grotesquery, transfiguring reality and the received notions of reality we all have into a strange, often uncomfortable scenes of breakdown.  I’m thinking of Dali at the moment, and his famous melting clocks in a desert landscape, for instance.  An arid world where time no longer matters.  That, in a way, was really typical of surrealist art at the time.  But Varo, who was making art at the same time, didn’t seem interested in the breakdown of concepts like time or landscape or the human body.  She seemed interested more in the creation of new notions of time, landscape, and in the invention of character and narrative in her paintings.

I was immediately hooked by her, and my research on Carrington went to the side temporarily, so I could seek out more and more of Varo’s work.

As mentioned, I was working on a Master’s degree at the time, and was in my second semester, taking a poetry workshop with the poet William Greenway, who had focused his workshop on the process of ekphrasis:  the writing of poetry in response to paintings or visual art.  I spent a lot of time that semester looking at paintings and writing (mediocre) poems in response.  But I was really invested in the process I was learning.  I was excited, even if my poems wouldn’t have seemed exciting to anyone who read them.  I’m not a poet, and while I appreciate and love poetry, I always feel like I’ve been strait-jacketed whenever I’ve tried to write a poem.  I’m more inclined to prose and narrative, and so, when it came to the final project for the class, I asked Will Greenway if I could write a short story in response to the visuals of Remedios Varo, rather than doing a series of poems.  Will gave me permission, and it was then that I started to put together a story in a very different way than I ever had prior to that course.

Because Varo’s work is so character and place based, with inferred narratives clearly occurring within each painting, I felt like I could easily access those stories.  I’d been looking at her paintings for several months by that point, and several revealed themselves to me as somehow being connected (though, really, all of Varo’s paintings feel connected to me, as if they are simply windows onto different personages and places in the fabulist landscape she created).

The first was “Creation of the Birds,” pictured above.

The second painting that felt like it was the inverse of “Creation of the Birds” was “The Star Catcher”:

In the first painting, it was clear to me that the Owl or Bird Woman of the painting was using celestial light to create, whereas in this one, the Star Catcher was imprisoning and collecting celestial bodies.  They seemed to me like the perfect oppositional personages.  They would be my protagonist and antagonist, respectively.

The third painting that I decided to utilize for the creation of my story was “Spiral Landscape”:

This is a small image, so I’m not sure how easily viewable it will be on-screen, but essentially it presented me with my setting.  And because I’m often inspired by setting as more than just the background wallpaper of a story, but as a thematic or sometimes conflict-driven aspect of narrative, I was attracted to “Spiral Landscape” as a potential embodiment of the conflict of cyclically toxic relationships, which the story presents.  Opposites like the Bird Woman and The Star Catcher do attract from time to time, and they tend to have explosive relationships and histories that are hard to escape.  The setting for these two characters would itself become part of their conflict.  (I also just thought it would be pretty cool to live on a spiral shaped island).

So I had a setting and two characters with a relationship problem, which might have been enough.  But I wanted to do more with it.  I wanted to inject something into the narrative that also was indicative of modernist surrealism and the culture that surrounded it at the time.  Since I was going to write about an essentially bad romance and relationship issues, I thought it might be fun to dig into psychoanalysis, Freudian thought, etc, which was so prevalent in the circles these artists ran in.  And luckily, I discovered the fourth painting that I would work into the fabric of my story when I saw Varo’s “Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst”:

I loved the idea of leaving a psychoanalyst with his head (head shrinking), his thoughts, his interpretations of your problems, rather than your own.  In the painting, the woman’s hair is completely twisted, and she’s about to drop the psychoanalyst’s head (as I interpret it) into a well.  Good riddance.  I didn’t utilize this painting in a direct equation in my story, though.  I placed the Bird Woman instead in this position, and created a third character, the Psychoanalyst, who she seeks help from to resolve her relationship issues with the Star Catcher.  He serves to be a bit of a comic character in my story, and a good “extra” that allowed me to get outside of the Bird Woman’s interior space every now and then, as he literally becomes a “talking head” in my story.

I’d never conceived of a story in this way before, and it was really one of the most fascinating processes I’d ever gone through at that time in my experience as a writer.  I’d been used to writing from within my own interior/emotional imaginative landscape.  This process compelled me to absorb someone else’s world, to inhabit it, to figure out how it might “play” in a prose narrative.  I still needed to invent, but I had to work with materials borrowed from a visual artist.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, and I discovered that was pretty much true, though sometimes a picture can take more than a thousand words.  The story I made, “The Creation of Birds” (just a bit different from Varo’s original title), was a bit over six thousand words in length, made from these four paintings filtered through my imagination.

Note: I’ll be back in a couple of days to talk about Leonora Carrington, who I returned to after my research into Varo.

Turning Points

This post is short, but I wanted to point any of my readers over to the blog of writer Nova Ren Suma (author of the fantastic novel, Imaginary Girls), where I’ve guest blogged in Nova’s Turning Points series.

My turning point:  turning from writing the short story to the novel, and then from the novel to a novel-in-stories.

There’s also a giveaway for copies of both of my books, so do leave a comment to be entered!

Taking Stock: 2011

Well, it’s that time again.  End of the year and all.  Every year I try to write down the various things I’ve done–written, published, won, been nominated for, sold for the future, etc–and lay it out like I might in a proper journal.  It’s been a while since I’ve kept a proper journal, but most likely those who read this can tell I pop up regularly when university is not in session, and when it is in session…well, I’m usually up to my ears with work to sit down and gather my thoughts about myself and what I’m working on (or wishing I could be working on) as easily.

Still…I am on break (even though I need to write a loooooong document narrating just why exactly I should be tenured next year–still pretending I don’t have to do that for another day or two) and will take the time instead to write this, for myself.

This past year I published four short stories, each of which presented their own challenges, some due to the genre necessary to work within, some because I did that thing where I followed a voice–one line alone that set me going–and chased it until the end.  Which is a difficult and challenging sort of story to write, because you have to trust your instincts instead of toying with your knowledge of a particular genre and its conventions–that has its own challenges, but uncertainty is generally not one of them, because you have those conventions of a particular genre there, acting as sort of guideposts to the territory those genres have conquered and the rules they’ve established for the conduct of their citizens.

The first story to be in 2011 arrived in the April/May issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  “Smoke City” was one of those stories I chased after, by voice alone.  Here is its first paragraph:

One night, I woke to the sound of my mother’s voice, as I did when I was a child.  The words were familiar to my ear, they matched the voice that formed them, but it was not until I had opened my eyes to the dark of my room and my husband’s snoring that I remembered the words were calling me away from my warm bed and the steady breathing of my children, both asleep in their own rooms across the hall.  “Because I could not stop for death,” my mother used to tell me, “he kindly stopped for me.”  They were Dickinson’s words, of course, not my mother’s, but she said them as if they were hers, and because of that, they were hers, and because of that, they are now mine, passed down with every other object my mother gave me before I left for what I hoped would be a better world.  “Here, take this candy dish.”  Her hands pushing the red knobbed glass into my hands.  “Here, take this sweater.”  Her hands folding it, a made thing, pulled together by her hands, so that I could lift it and lay it on the seat as my car pulled me away.  Her hand lifted into the air above her cloud of white hair behind me.  The smoke of that other city enveloping her, putting it behind me, trying to put it behind me, until I had the words in my mouth again, like a bit, and then the way opened up beneath me, a fissure through which I slipped, down through the bed sheets, no matter how I grasped at them, down through the mattress, down through the floorboards, down, down, down, through the mud and earth and gravel, leaving my snoring husband and my steadily breathing children above, in that better place, until I was floating, once more, along the swiftly flowing current of the Fourth River. 

“Smoke City” was written after I’d read a bottom-up history of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called The Point of Pittsburgh, by Charles McCollester, which began at its geological foundations and moved forward to the present.  I read all 500 pages in a couple of nights, and because I took it in so quickly, I began to dream about the history of the place, but in that typically surrealist fashion that dreams take on.  I was mostly caught up with the Guilded Age, when the steel industry had both made the place wealthy and ruined at the same time.  The depiction of the city was mostly in line with what many imagine Hell to look like.  And while I was reading it, I kept thinking, this is the same time period that Steampunk often settles in, but most steampunk stories and books I’ve read seem to revolve around the lives of movers and shakers, people in power or who have access to power, rather than those on the bottom, toiling for others.  “Smoke City” came out of meditating on our connections to that period of time.  The writer Paul Cornell (of Dr. Who fame!) called it “a furious critique of Steampunk.”  Thank you, Mr. Cornell!

The second story was “Gap Year” in the Ellen Datlow/Terri Windling edited anthology, Teeth.  This was also a voice oriented piece for me, but because the anthology was dictated by the genre of vampire stories, and vampire stories specifically in the category of YA fiction, I had a lot of those guideposts I mentioned earlier to work with.  Working within particular genres and within particular age categories does create a certain amount of things to push off from, or interact with.  You know the type of story you’re telling, and even if it’s as diverse as vampire fiction is, it’s all still there to work with:  you’re not creating out of a void, you’re not following a voice and hoping it leads you to gold instead of nowhere.  Here’s the first paragraph of “Gap Year”:

When the vampires came to town, there was an assembly in the high school gymnasium.  Retta and Lottie sat next to each other on the bleachers, like they did every day in study hall, their hands folded between their pressed-together knees.  The three vampires who stood on the stage had something to tell them.  “We’re people, too,” said the head vampire, if that’s what you call a vampire who speaks for other vampires.  He couldn’t have been more than eighteen.  A splash of freckles on his face.  Mousy brown fauxhawk.  A tight, too-short Pixies concert t-shirt showing off a strip of skin above the waistband of his boxers.  He wore jeans with a snakeskin belt hanging loose in the loops.  If you saw him in the hallway, you wouldn’t suspect him of being a vampire.  Retta and Lottie weren’t sure if they suspected him of being a vampire now, even though he said he was.

You can probably tell that the voice of this piece is just a tad bit ironic.  I think I went for the ironic voice because so much YA vampire fiction takes itself sooooo seriously, to the degree that it sometimes hurts to read it.  And also because a lot of vampires in vampire fiction have seemed to have lost their sense of danger, and can come out in the daytime nowadays, I thought they’d lost a bit of their allure (for me).  So I began writing a story where vampires are out, and fairly boring to the rest of society.  Until Retta, the heroine of the story, discovers what being a vampire can mean for herself.

That’s the fun part of working within established genre conventions:  finding ways to twist what’s already there, to write against the grain instead of with it, looking for something new.

The third story of the year appeared in Holly Black’s and Ellen Kushner’s anthology Welcome to Bordertown.  The anthology is a reintroduction to the Bordertown world created by Terri Windling in the 80s and 90s for the new generation.  I was thrilled to be invited to write in this world, as it was one I entered into with great excitement as a teen reader.  The writing process for this story is somewhat related to how I went about writing “Gap Year”.  Instead of working with a particular genre and its conventions, however, working in Bordertown provided me with the conventions of a particular world to write within.  And with any world, there are rules and regulations.  They can be broken, or twisted, of course, but you have to know them in order to break and twist them.  When it came to writing this story, I wanted to approach some of the aspects of the race and class strife that was always part of the ambient energy in Bordertown–creatures of the fae world living side by side with humans, and those born of the relationship between the fae and humans–in a fairly direct way.  So I created the character of Marius, a late teen from the human world who came to Bordertown several years before the “Way” between Bordertown and the World closed off.  So any potential for him to return to the life he fled–rejection from his family after coming out to them–was closed off as well.  When the Way reopens, all sorts of newcomers from the World arrive, and one of them is Aleksander (or “Mouse” as he comes to be called), a young man who is ready to take on Bordertown and its various social ills almost like an Occupy Wallstreeter.   Here’s the first paragraph:

I saw him again tonight, while out walking the streets of Soho: Alek or Aleksander, whatever it is he’s called now.  He’s had plenty of names since I first knew him when he arrived almost a year ago, fresh and green from the World.  One of the newcomers after the Way reopened.  Mouse.  Alek.  Aleksander.  Voice of the Nameless, voice for those who drink from the river whose waters curse them to return to it daily to forget their troubles, those who came and didn’t find what they’d been told would be a glorious place free of the World’s restrictions, where they could be themselves more than anywhere and wouldn’t have to fight for it.

Right.

Clearly, Marius is a bit jaded and cynical.  But he has a happier ending than the one he expects.

Finally, the last story of the year appeared in Apex Magazine.  “The 24 Hour Brother” is, as reviewer Lois Tilton described it, “A strange and sad fantasy of children whose lives are like mayflies.”  It’s the story of Lewis, fifteen years old, whose mother gives birth to his little brother, Joe, who grows up and goes through the various phases of life all within 24 hours.  Here’s the opening:

My little brother Joe grew up too fast for his own good.  My mom was the first to see what we were in for.  Soon after Joe’s birth, when the nurse put him in her arms, the first thing he did, still pink and slimy, was smile the gummy, wry smile of a little old man.

     “Joseph, Joe, my baby boy,” said my mother, “we’ll try our best if you will.”  She kissed his cheek and handed him back to the nurse, trying to keep herself from falling in love with someone who she realized, at their very first meeting, would only break her heart.  The first sign was in that first smile:  the old man Joe would soon become, the old man Joe would become too soon.

This is a story more in line with “Smoke City”.  A story in which I create my own world, follow the voice of the narrator, and found my way through based on the rules I was making for myself.

That’s it for publications this year.  My story “Map of Seventeen” was nominated last spring for the Nebula Award for Best Novelette, which means I’ve been nominated for a Nebula three times now.  I can no longer say “Third time’s a charm!” unless I adopt a sarcastic tone of voice. 😉

Right now, I’m looking forward to putting 2011 behind me, and working into the future.  2012 and beyond.

Happy holidays, and happy New Year.

 

Nebulated

And now it can be told:  my novelette “Map of Seventeen” has been nominated for this year’s Nebula Awards.  This is the third time for me to be nominated for the Nebula.  The first time was in 2007, when I was also in the novelette category with my story “The Language of Moths”. The second time was last year, when my novel-in-stories, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was nominated in the novel category.  Is third-time’s-a-charm for real?  I don’t know, but I’m honored as always to be included as a writer in these awards.

Here’s the press release for the awards, along with all of the other nominees.  Congratulations to everyone.  See you in D.C. at the ceremony.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is proud to announce the nominees for the 2010 Nebula Awards.

The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. The awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet (http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-weekend/) on Saturday evening, May 21, 2011 in the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C.. Other awards to be presented are the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Science Fiction or Fantasy for Young Adults, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and the Solstice Award for outstanding contribution to the field.

Short Story
‘‘Arvies’’, Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine 8/10)
‘‘How Interesting: A Tiny Man’’, Harlan Ellison® (Realms of Fantasy 2/10)
‘‘Ponies’’, Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/17/10)
‘‘I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno’’, Vylar Kaftan (Lightspeed Magazine 6/10)
‘‘The Green Book’’, Amal El-Mohtar (Apex Magazine 11/1/10)
“Ghosts of New York’’, Jennifer Pelland (Dark Faith)
‘‘Conditional Love’’, Felicity Shoulders (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine1/10)

Novelette
‘‘Map of Seventeen’’, Christopher Barzak (The Beastly Bride)
‘‘The Jaguar House, in Shadow’’, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 7/10)
‘‘The Fortuitous Meeting of Gerard van Oost and Oludara’’, Christopher Kastensmidt (Realms of Fantasy 4/10)
“Plus or Minus’’, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine12/10)
‘‘Pishaach’’, Shweta Narayan (The Beastly Bride)
‘‘That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made’’, Eric James Stone (Analog Science Fiction and Fact 9/10)
‘‘Stone Wall Truth’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 2/10)

Novella
The Alchemist, Paolo Bacigalupi (Audible; Subterranean)
‘‘Iron Shoes’’, J. Kathleen Cheney (Alembical 2)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
‘‘The Sultan of the Clouds’’, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 9/10)
‘‘Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance’’, Paul Park (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1-2/10)
‘‘The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’’, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine Summer ’10)

Novel
The Native Star, M.K. Hobson (Spectra)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)
Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Echo, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Despicable Me, Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud (directors), Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul (screenplay), Sergio Pablos (story) (Illumination Entertainment)
Doctor Who: ‘‘Vincent and the Doctor’’, Richard Curtis (writer), Jonny Campbell (director)
How to Train Your Dragon, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (directors), William Davies, Dean DeBlois, & Chris Sanders (screenplay) (DreamWorks Animation)
Inception, Christopher Nolan (director), Christopher Nolan (screenplay) (Warner)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Edgar Wright (director), Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright (screenplay) (Universal)
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich (director), Michael Arndt (screenplay), John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, & Lee Unkrich (story) (Pixar/Disney)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
White Cat, Holly Black (McElderry)
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press; Scholastic UK)
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, Barry Deutsch (Amulet)
The Boy from Ilysies, Pearl North (Tor Teen)
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)
A Conspiracy of Kings, Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow)
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

For more information, visit http://www.sfwa.org/

About SFWA
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world. Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,800 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

Nebula Awards Interview

Last year I was a nominee in the category of Best Novel for the Nebula Awards.  An interview was conducted then, and has just recently been posted on the Nebula Awards site.  Please go over and give it a read.  I can’t even remember what I said now, though!

A photo of me singing karaoke in a Japanese karaoke pub is included.  I couldn’t resist, considering the interview centered around a novel set in Japan, which I wrote while living there (singing karaoke regularly). 🙂

You can read it by clicking here.

 

Map for a Forgotten Valley

As promised in earlier posts, my series of lyrical essayistic vignettes, Map for a Forgotten Valley, are now available to be read online at The New Haven Review.

I’m interested to see what readers might make of these dispatches on place, environment, history and local culture.  It’s a very different type of writing I’ve done in these pieces, and I found different muscles engaged while writing them than I usually use for fiction.  It was a good experience, and I’d like to write more of them, to continue writing in this series occasionally.  There is one other vignette in the series soon to be published in Muse, a Cleveland magazine.  I’ll post info on that one when it becomes available too.

The New Haven Review can be found by clicking here.

But you can click right to the pdf file of my pieces by clicking this link too.

Happy Holidays.