Also kind of old news, and adding to the persistent sense of unreality I’ve been experiencing lately–the Clarke Award shortlist. Ancillary Justice is on it. And look, it’s my Golden Tentacle buddy Ramez Naam on there, too! And Kameron Hurley, with previous Golden Tentacle winner God’s War! (Which was only this year released in the UK, which is what counts for the Clarkes.) It’s like a Golden Tentacle Reunion! And there other fabulous, non-tentacled books! In fact, below this paragraph please find convenient links through which you can purchase any of the books on this year’s shortlist:

God’s War by Kameron Hurley

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

Nexus by Ramez Naam

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Adjacent by Christopher Priest

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Machine by James Smythe

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Guardian ran a story on the shortlist in which Ramez, Kameron, and myself were referred to as “international debutantes” which sounds funny, but I guess “debutante” doesn’t have quite the same connotations over there, huh. Still, I was amused.

In some respects, this is old news, but.

It so happens that the good folks at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society have an award for the best first SF/F/H novel of the year. It’s the Compton Crook Award.

The Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award. The first Compton Crook Award was presented in 1983 for Donald Kingsbury’s debut novel Courtship Right, a work published in 1982.

I’m extremely pleased to say that Ancillary Justice is a finalist. It’s a great list of books–honestly, I’m continually amazed to find my book in such wonderful company.

The BSFS also recently held a panel on the state of short fiction. They had some great panelists, and the discussion is really interesting. By all means give it a listen. (I was personally thrilled to hear Benjanun Sriduangkaew namechecked, as an up and coming talent to watch. I agree completely!)

(Speaking of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, if you don’t already know why her name came up when those panelists were asked to name writers to watch, check out her latest story at Clarkesworld, “Autodidact.” If you just nodded your head and went, “yeah, I’d have been surprised if those editors hadn’t mentioned her,” well, heads up, awesome new story! )

 

NOTE: I personally dislike all but the most blantantly obviously silly of April Fools jokes. This post is one hundred percent serious–most of you probably already know that I’ve handed over GNS editorial duties, and will realize this isn’t meant to be an April Fool, but one of the things I so dislike about practical jokes is the way that you can start out thinking it’s of course totally obvious you’re joking and then find that it’s not actually obvious to anyone but you. (Link is to the infamous 1957 “Spaghetti Trees” April Fool) So I’m making that explicit up front.

So, this month’s GigaNotoSaurus story is my last as editor. From here on out, it’ll be Rashida Smith’s picks, with a few from Anna Schwind’s guest editing stint.

I started GNS pretty much on a whim. But I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out. I’ve published a bunch of stories that I love, by wonderful writers, and those stories have sometimes gotten nice comments and reviews. A few have gotten Nebula nominations! Which just goes to show that I was right, that there are awesome, longer stories out there–and people who want to read them.

Editing GNS has been a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. So I’m really, really happy that Rashida has taken that over. I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings us.

In the meantime, here’s my own last pick--”Three Partitions” by Bogi Takács. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Brain: We turned in revisions, and I am very tired. I think I deserve cake. Cake today? Today is the day I plan on eating cake, drinking tea, and staring at the television. I’m thinking if we search Netflix we’ll find a show about cake.

Me: Actually, Brain, we need to write an essay, and start working on some short fiction.

Brain: I like chocolate cake.

Me: Brain, there are still things to do.

Brain: Lemon cake? Coconut cake?

Me: Essay.

Brain: Look, I can compromise. The 14yr old makes really good cookies.

Me: Essay.

Brain: No essay. Cake.

Me: Essay.

Brain: …you know you’re not getting an essay without my cooperation, right?

Me: [headdesk]

On Tuesday SFWA announced this year’s Nebula ballot. And Ancillary Justice has been nominated for best novel. Alongside a bunch of really amazing books.

And it’s a great ballot overall. If you’re looking for something to read, check out the short fiction, much of which is available online for free.

So, by now this is old news. SFWA announced this year’s Nebula ballot, what, four days ago. But I’m mired in revisions right now, and there’s plenty of other stuff going on, and I’ve been saying, “Yes, tomorrow morning I’ll post to the blog…” and then when morning came, saying, “Ah, but I must write right now before I forget this solution to this problem I’ve been so frustrated with….”

Which kind of makes it sound like I’m blase about it, but you know, actually I’m just going “OMG” over and over when I’m not banging my head against the desk in despair over revisions.

I’m kind of amazed to find my book nominated alongside the others on the ballot. I mean, seriously, look at that list.*

I intend to go to San Jose, and hang with friends, and dress up (I have already consulted with the folks at the bead store about necklaces) and eat hotel banquet food and cheer for the winners and hang with friends some more and generally enjoy the heck out of myself.

____

*I am particularly happy to see A Stranger in Olondria on that list. If you haven’t read it, please consider doing so.

James A. Harre, my father in law, passed away early this Sunday morning. He had prostate cancer (those of you with prostates, please do not wait until you’re having severe problems to get checked) and was in hospice care, at home with his family.

He was a great guy, cheerful and friendly. He loved to fish, and days before he died he told us he was looking forward to the opening of trout season. We all of us knew he wouldn’t be doing any more fishing, but that’s the kind of cheerful guy he was.

He was also a voracious reader, particularly of science fiction. When he first came home from the hospital, he asked me if I could get my hands on a copy of the sequel to Rachel Bach’s Fortune’s Pawn, which he had read and enjoyed very much. I have to thank Rachel, and Ellen Wright at Orbit, for helping me get a copy of that, and the third in the trilogy, to give him before he died. He was very, very pleased to have them. The idea that he might actually be able to read them was, let us say, optimistic. But that wasn’t the point.

His obituary is here, and is as inadequate as all such things are.

So!

Con or Bust is still going on–it runs till the 23rd. Please consider consider bidding on something if that’s within your abilities and/or means! There are quite a lot of really awesome things. I started scrolling through to pick some out, but there are so many–handmade jewelry, handknit scarves, signed books….just lots of fabulous things.

You can, among other things, bid on a signed copy of Ancillary Justice.

***

The SFF neighborhood has been nonstop hilarity for the past week or two. Readers of this blog who follow such things (or who have had following such things thrust upon them) will have seen it already, and those who don’t, well, you’re probably better off for it. I will only say that there are some writers whom I have long admired, in whom I am now disappointed.

***

In a previous post, I said that I was looking forward to Alex Dally MacFarlane’s tor.com column on non-binary SF. Her first post was an introduction, and in her second she looked at Mission Child by Maureen F. McHugh. I read Mission Child several years ago, at someone’s recommendation (I don’t recall whose) and enjoyed it very much. I believe it’s (sadly) out of print, but my local library had it, and I’m sure you could find it used online. (When looking for used books, I have so far had good experiences with Better World Books and with Alibris.)

And this week, it turns out, she’s written about Ancillary Justice.

I admit I’m a bit surprised, because I honestly don’t think it’s a particularly good example of non-binary SF. For the most part, I think the pronoun thing does what I meant it to do. But I never did think that “she” could genuinely function as a gender-neutral pronoun. That wasn’t actually the point. Which, of course, has its own drawbacks–if I had been in a different place, when I began writing, I would no doubt have started with a slightly different aim. And while I might or might not have still used “she” as a default (my reasons for wanting to use it still stand) I almost certainly would have made some changes in my approach.

Still. Ancillary Justice is the absolute best I could make it at the time that I wrote it, and there really isn’t more I could ask for or do than that. Well, okay, I could add lots of readers who enjoy the book, and smart critics like Alex to write interesting, nuanced posts like the one on tor.com today.

I would also like to echo Alex’s call for “More like this!” The most awesome thing, I think, would be for a bunch of other writers to say “Wait, why didn’t she….” and then write stuff, and for publishers and editors to say “Huh, Leckie’s book did okay, let’s try this!”

That right there would be the awesomest.

There will be a couple of posts in quick succession today, since a lot has happened in the past couple weeks but it doesn’t seem like it should all be lumped together.

So. Awards! In chronological order!

Ancillary Justice was awarded the Kitschies Golden Tentacle for best debut. This is very much an honor. Just its being on the shortlist was amazing. Here’s that list:

  • A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock
  • Stray by Monica Hesse
  • Nexus byRamez Naam
  • Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • Those are some fabulous books! And someone (more than one someone!) thought Ancillary Justice belonged on that list. Chuffed doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    My awesome UK editor Jenni Hill attended the ceremony, and accepted my (completely adorable) tentacle trophy on my behalf.

    And then! Because that was somehow not sufficient awesome! The Tiptree winner and honor list have been announced. The winner is Rupetta by N.A. Sulway. Which I have not read, but I am looking forward to reading it. I generally try to pick up a copy of the Tiptree winner(s) when I’m at Wiscon, if I don’t already have one. Which I usually don’t–I look forward to the Tiptree announcement partly because it’s so often awarded to a book that I have never heard of and am glad to be introduced to.

    So that is, of course, its own kind of awesome, but cast your eyes over the honor list. Yes, Ancillary Justice is on it. Nicola Griffith’s Hild is too, and Electric Lady (my book is on a list with Janelle Monae!!!) and “Heaven Under Earth” by Aliette de Bodard and more things, some of which I am unfamiliar with but that won’t be true for long if I can help it.

    So, happy award dance!!!!

    Still head-down, mostly hiding from the internet. However!

    Con or Bust is an organization that helps fans of color attend SFF conventions. You can read about Con or Bust and its history and goals here.

    They hold an auction every year. There are lots of cool things you can bid on: a signed ARC of Genevieve Valentine’s upcoming novel; three months of the Wyrding Studios Earring Club; signed copies of three of Martha Wells’ books of the Raksura; a custom handspun, hand woven scarf… and that’s just scrolling down the first few pages. Go scroll through and see all the fabulous things on offer!

    It just so happens, though, that one of those things is a signed copy of Ancillary Justice. Or, two actually. The two top bidders will each receive a copy, if I understand correctly.

    Go on over and check it out! It’s a good cause, and I’m really pleased to be able to contribute something this year.