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Short Fiction: Another Word for World

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So, uh, this is a thing that happened. I mean, not just Ancillary Mercy being a finalist, which is super awesome (and thank you to the readers who voted for it!), but also, look at the novelette category.

Yeah, my story “Another Word for World” is a finalist for the Locus Awards this year. Like novel, the other works in the category are pretty amazing stuff, so I’m counting them just being on that finalist list as wins on my personal scoreboard. But “Another Word for World” has the distinction of being the very first time any short fiction of mine has been shortlisted for any sort of award. I mean, I’ve seen individuals say, here and there, “Oh, I’m going to recc/nominate “[Shortfic]” by Ann Leckie this year, I really loved it” (and enjoyed the heck out of seeing that, and tucked those away to remind me to keep going during long spells of rejection), but this is the first time a story of mine has actually made the cut.

So, I’m kind of giddy about that!

“Another Word for World” appeared in Future Visions, by the way, which is full of great stories by amazing authors. You can download the whole thing for free and read them all, not just mine!

Vericon Schedule

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Sheesh, I haven’t posted my schedule for Vericon this weekend!

I got into Boston yesterday, and had a lovely time at Pandemonium Books and Games. I read a bit from Ancillary Mercy, and answered lots of interesting questions, and signed books, and it was just a tremendous amount of fun.

Vericon itself begins today–this evening, I think. And here’s what I’m doing:

Friday
8-8:45 PM reading
 
Saturday:
10 AM-11 AM: Fictional Politics
Lois McMaster Bujold has described SF as “fantasy of political agency”. People have argued seriously that there are so many kings in fantasy because democratic politics is too hard to explain to the reader. How do we write political stories and make them interesting?
Seth Dickinson, Ada Palmer, Ann Leckie. Moderator: Malka Older
 
11 AM-12 PM: Designing Futures
Starting from now, how do we extrapolate the trends to come up with a science fiction future that hasn’t already been done to death?
Malka Older, Ann Leckie, Wesley Chu. Moderator: Ada Palmer
 
12-12:45 PM: Guest of Honor Speech (Ann Leckie)
 
1-2 PM Book Signing
 
Sunday:
10-11 AM: Awards — What Difference Do They Make?
People talk about the importance of awards in the field, but are they just a nice sign of appreciation or do they really make any difference to your career? Our panelists have won enough that they ought to know.
Ann Leckie, Wesley Chu, Greer Gilman. Moderator: John Chu.
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11 AM-12 PM: Glory and Death
What keeps us coming back using these things to power our stories, and on what levels is it realistic?
Ann Leckie, Seth Dickinson, Fran Wilde. Moderator: Jo Walton

It sounds like a fun weekend, I’m looking forward to it.

Ancillary Mercy Audiobook

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You all probably know that I think Adjoa Andoh is pretty fabulous, and that I was super thrilled that she was doing the narration for the audiobook of Ancillary Mercy.

Well, it turns out, I’m not the only one. Yesterday AudioFile Magazine announced the shortlists for the Audie Awards. And the science fiction category looks like this:

 

  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, narrated by Adjoa Andoh, published by Hachette Audio
  •  

  • Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, narrated by Ali Ahn, published by Hachette Audio
  •  

  • Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, published by Recorded Books
  •  

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick, published by Brilliance Audio
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  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! by Tom Angleberger, narrated by Marc Thompson, published by Listening Library/Penguin Random House Audio
  • So, those other readers must be pretty amazing too, is what I’m thinking. Because, I mean.

    Hooray for the awesome Adjoa Andoh!

    Stockholm Visit–more details

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    Do you want more information about my visit to Stockholm this month? Check out this link.

    If you scroll down, you’ll see this:

    Vinn en middagsdejt med Ann Leckie!
     
    SF-Bokhandeln bjuder på en middag med Ann Leckie och representant från SF-Bokhandeln efter hennes signering hos oss. Vill du passa på att prata rymden, sf och allt annat med en av sf-världens intressantaste hjärnor?
     
    Mejla [davidb at sfbok.se] och bifoga ett exempel på en fråga du vill ställa till Ann!

    Which the “translate this” button renders as

    Win a dinner date with Ann Leckie!
     
    Sf Bookstore to buy me a dinner with Ann Leckie and representative from sf bookstore after her signing with us. Do you want to take the opportunity to talk space, sf and everything else with one of the sf-the world’s most interesting brains?
     
    E-mail [davidb at sfbok.se] and attach an example of a question you would like to ask Ann!

    I know, probably everyone who would be able to enter the contest could read the Swedish, but.

    Anyway, check it out!

    Twitter Policy Part 2

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    I just got an email from a person–who shall remain nameless–curious about why I might have blocked them on Twitter. I had a spare moment while tea was brewing and decided to reply. Having done so, I thought it might be worth linking to my blog post about Twitter and also posting my reply (without any identifying information).

    [Name],
     
    I don’t block people for not liking my book. In fact, I’m friends with several people (on Twitter and in real life) who don’t like my book.
     
    I block people who annoy me or who strike me as potential annoyances, not just people who tweet at me. I make no apology for this–I’m on Twitter to hang with my friends, not be annoyed. And with the exception of my friends and family, no one is entitled to any more of my attention than I wish to give them, on Twitter or anywhere else, and in the past few years the number of people demanding my attention has increased tremendously. My experience of Twitter is much more pleasant for me since I began blocking very freely.
     
    I don’t recognize your name, so I have no idea what you might have tweeted that would have led to my blocking you. It might easily have been a random tweet in a conversation that I happened to see while I was in a bad mood. I honestly don’t know–though your putting “award winning” in quotes in your email, as though the awards weren’t legitimate or real, suggests some possibilities to me.
     
    You are, of course, perfectly entitled to whatever opinion you might have about my book and its many awards. You are also perfectly entitled to express those opinions. I have no obligation to pay attention to them.
     
    May your next read be more congenial to you.
    Ann Leckie

    TLDR–I block people on Twitter who annoy me. If I’ve blocked you and you’re curious as to why, this is why. It might have been a trivial thing, it might have been something big, who knows? It isn’t necessarily any sort of judgement about you as a person, just me curating my twitter stream for my own use and convenience.

    February travel: Oslo and Stockholm

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    Heads up! I’ll be in Oslo on February 19 and 20, and Stockholm on February 21.

    The Oslo stop is at Outland Comic Book Store, February 20, 2016 at 2pm, like it says on the blog sidebar. I’m probably also going to be at the public library talking about AI on the 19th, but I don’t have details about that yet. Then the next day, the 21st of February, I go to Sweden! Or specifically, Science Fiction Bokhandeln in Stockholm at 3pm.

    Check out the links for more complete information. I plan to try to bring pins with me, by the way. I’m looking forward to this, it should be great fun!

    I Can Haz ConFusion Schedule!

    Like it says in the sidebar on my website (look to the right if you’re reading this on annleckie.com), I’ll be at ConFusion! And I have a schedule:

    Friday 7:00:00 PM Opening Ceremonies
    Welcome to Back to the ConFusion! Meet our GoHs and special guests!
    Anna Carey, Jessica Zerwas, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ann Leckie, Cameron McClure, Gordon Smith, Kelley Armstrong
     
    Friday 8:00:00 PM Dessert Reception
    A meet and greet with our GoHs. Mix, mingle, and enjoy some sweet treats.
    Kentaro Toyama, Anna Carey, Jessica Zerwas, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ann Leckie, Cameron McClure, Gordon Smith, Kelley Armstrong
     
    Saturday 10:00:00 AM Science Fiction vs. Fantasy: Who Prospers?
    Ted Chiang once postulated that the difference between science fiction and fantasy is who has access to the impossibility. Does a knowable universe whose laws anyone can learn, and everyone has to work within, offer a more egalitarian vision than a world of destiny and fate? Or is it difficult to imagine even a science fictional world in which the future is evenly distributed?
    Douglas Hulick, Bradley P. Beaulieu (M), Andrew Zimmerman, Ann Leckie, Kentaro Toyama
     
    Saturday 3:00:00 PM Interview: Ann Leckie
    Ann Leckie, Subterranean Special Guest and recent New York Times bestseller, interviewed by her first editor–John Scalzi
    John Scalzi (M), Ann Leckie
     
    Saturday 4:00:00 PM Autograph Session 1
     
    Saturday 6:00:00 PM It’s the Economy Stupid
    National economies are complicated. Far more complicated than Dark Lords and Evil Queens. Nevertheless, books like James SA Corey’s The Expanse series and Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor manage to use economic pressures to create compelling motivations and narrative tension. What are the essential parts for a story built around economics? What’s appealing about these kinds of stories and do the resonate more today than they did a decade ago?
    Carl Engle-Laird, Max Gladstone, Kameron Hurley (M), Ann Leckie, Brent Weeks
     
    Sunday 12:00:00 PM Repudiating the Replicator
    Driven, perhaps, by Star Trek’s replicator and the utilitarian mush of NASA space travel, food in a science fictional setting has been criminally overlooked and underdeveloped. Why has this become the dominant narrative? How should food be used to world build a science fiction story? What stories have used food effectively?
    Lawrence Schoen, Elizabeth Shack (M), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ann Leckie, Adam Rakunas
     
    Sunday 3:00:00 PM Closing Ceremonies
    Time to bid another ConFusion good-bye. Join us to wrap up an amazing weekend.
    Anna Carey, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jessica Zerwas, Ann Leckie, Kelley Armstrong

     
    Actually I’m not a hundred percent sure about the Closing Ceremonies, given the timing of my flight home. We’ll see.

    At any rate, I look forward to seeing folks there! I plan to have pins and badge ribbons, so stop by and say hi!

    2015

    This has been a pretty excellent year for me! When I list the stuff of mine that’s been published, it doesn’t look like a lot. But I did a lot this year!

    First and foremost, of course, Ancillary Mercy came out. It finishes the trilogy, though I’m not done with that universe, which is a nice large one and suitable for nearly anything I feel like doing in.

    Ancillary Mercy has gotten a lot of nice reviews, and much to my delighted amazement it hit the New York Times Best Seller List. It is, of course, available at fine booksellers everywhere. But none of that is news to regular readers of this blog.

    Also published this year, the novelette “Another Word for World” in the anthology Future Visions. You should be able to download the antho for free at that link. The story is also going to be reprinted in a few Years Best anthologies, including Neil Clarke’s new entry into the YB field and the volume edited by Gardner Dozois. There… might be another one but I haven’t seen that ToC announced yet, so.

    Also published in 2015 (but not for the first time) Uncanny Magazine reprinted my fantasy story “The Nalendar”, which originally appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine in 2008.

    And Forever Magazine reprinted “The Endangered Camp,” which first appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 2 in 2008.

    Other things that happened this year: Ancillary Sword won the BSFA! That was super exciting, actually. I figured most voters, no matter how much they liked Sword, would figure I got more than enough recognition last year. And to be entirely honest, that’s a completely valid position to hold. I was super chuffed at the nomination. And that wasn’t all–Sword was nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo as well! And the Hugo nom–well, that was in circumstances that made it clear that a flattering number of readers had a very high opinion of it. So I got to enjoy the Nebs and the Hugos in a very low-stress way–I was pretty sure my book wasn’t going to win–and to happily applaud the results of both.

    I went on an actual tour! Thankfully Orbit sent me along with Greg Bear, whose book Killing Titan came out the same day as Mercy. I cannot tell you how glad I am of that. Greg and Astrid were great fun to travel with, and on top of that I got to tour with someone who’d done it before and knew how it all went. I got to meet lots of readers, some of whom gave me lovely gifts in addition to just being their wonderful selves. It was exhausting but wonderful.

    I was an actual invited GoH at ICON! I meant to write a post just about ICON and what a great time I had. They took fabulous care of me, everything went wonderfully and I had a great weekend. I met quite a few people I had wanted to meet in person for a while, met even more people who I hadn’t known I wanted to meet but absolutely did, and it was just a lovely convention all around.

    I haven’t been keeping the blog post with the list of translations of Ancillary Justice up to date, and I really need to. Quite a few were published in the last year, including Japanese, which came out just a few weeks ago and I gather has already gone for a second printing.

    And there’s fanfic! I don’t read the fanfic, but I have to admit that I check the number every now and then. It’s up to fifty-four! And there’s fan art.

    So, all in all a really exciting and wonderful year! Much of it due to my readers, who are fabulous. Honestly I can’t thank you all enough.

    I will leave you with this holiday-appropriate Origami Tauroctony that my daughter made quite a few years ago:

    OrigamiTauroctony

    Happy Dies Natalis Solis Invicti!

    Me and Twitter

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    Here, have some tweets from me.

    This didn’t used to be an issue for me, as I say in the first of those tweets. I spent most of my first year or two on Twitter talking to my friends, or maybe making some new ones–mostly friends of friends, right? I had maybe a couple hundred followers, who I mostly also followed. And even at that level it was difficult to keep up.

    Then Ancillary Justice came out. I now have nearly eight thousand followers. It would be beyond pointless for me to follow all or even most of those–I couldn’t possibly pay attention to even a significant fraction of that, and I’d likely entirely miss anything from my actual friends–which is mostly what I follow Twitter for to begin with.

    Now, I do look at my mentions, and not infrequently reply to those in some way. I do enjoy doing that. But every now and then, someone will turn up in my mentions in some way that’s very clearly designed to get my attention in a particular way–the tweeter wants me to notice their book, or asks explicitly that I follow them back (and they’re not someone I already know). I’m going to be honest, this irritates me. No offense, right? They’re obviously using Twitter as a promotional tool, where I’m using it to hang with people. This is mostly fine with me, in the abstract, I’ve got no problem with publicity or promotion. In the concrete and specific, I’d suggest that approaching promotion on Twitter as largely a question of amassing a lot of followers who you can then tweet to about your book is, perhaps, not as effective as you imagine it might be. I’ll also suggest that, if you want to engage the interest of someone with a lot of twitter followers, whose retweets or conversations with you might bring you the visibility you’re after, you might want to do your research about who that person is and why they have those followers, and not try to engage them with generic questions, let alone passive-aggressive tweets meant to guilt or provoke that person into replying or following back. But, you know, it’s your call, your life, your Twitter feed. And I’m totally okay with using the block and mute buttons whenever it seems convenient. (That would be the way the “react badly” mentioned in the tweets above usually manifests itself.)

    I do follow people back who I know in real life (though not always, sometimes I have a reason for not following back or I’ve missed the follow). And I do often respond to mentions, even if only to heart something that amuses me. But I don’t always respond, and I don’t consider myself to have any particular obligation to respond, to be entirely honest, and nothing will take the shine off someone’s @ing me like their acting as though they are entitled to my attention.

    And–this ought to go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway–I block the tweeters of abusive or offensive tweets, without saying anything more about it. To be entirely honest, I’ll block the senders of such tweets even if they haven’t sent them to me, and I’ve just happened across them in a conversation. The begging for follow-backs I describe above doesn’t fall into this category, of course, but I still ignore or mute it.

    Seriously, I tweet to hang with my friends, and I enjoy answering questions or hearting or retweeting comments from my readers when I have a chance to. I love sharing things my readers have made, like fan art, or silly jokes. Occasionally I’ll tweet announcements about my stories or books. That’s how I use it, and you’re free to use Twitter however you like. Just don’t expect that I’ll play along.