Awards and Other Links

The 2012 Hugo award nominees were announced last week – I feel as though I haven’t really read enough SFF last year to be able to comment knowledgeably (same with the RITAs, I admit).  The most interesting aspect (to me) is that Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) had four nominations in different categories – wow.

Of the Best Novel nominations, I have James A Corey‘s LEVIATHAN WAKES in my TBR pile, and Hilcia recommends – I plan on starting it soon-ish (by the way, Hils got two Hugo nominees right, so I’m impressed!).  She also recommends China Miéville‘s EMBASSYTOWN – this has less appeal to me at the moment.  On the other hand, I’ve never read any of his works, so I could be missing out!  I’m probably not going to read George RR Martin‘s A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, as it’s the fifth in a long-ish series, and I don’t see myself reading the first four.  Similarly with Mira Grant‘s DEADLINE (despite my love for Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books), I’ve not read the first in the trilogy, so I’m not planning on picking that up.  That leaves Jo Walton‘s AMONG OTHERS, and again the premise doesn’t appeal to me (though I do like the articles she writes at Tor.com).

So that’s that for me and the Best Novel nominees – I’d love to hear your opinions on them if you’ve read any (or even if you haven’t!).

As for the Short Story nominees, they’re all available online and John Scalzi (who is one of them) has kindly provided links.  I need to check them out.

And finally, I have to say I’ve never heard of any of the John W Campbell nominees before this, which makes me feel as though I’ve been living under a rock.

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While we’re on the SFF theme, Fantasy Cafe has been hosting a Women in SF&F Month, with some great contributions from authors and readers alike.  I did the link-clicking thing and came across this list of female SF authors by Jessica @ Sci-Fi Fan Letter.  It’s a good resource, though I’m not looking to actively read books written by female authors.  If anything, I probably read too many female authors (by-product of being a romance reader, possibly?) – if I wanted to aim for more gender diversity, I would have to consciously try and read more books written by males.  Having said that, Jessica’s point was that while there are a lot of females writing SF, you may not always guess that from award nominee listings.

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And the pre-13 release buildup for Kelley Armstrong‘s final Otherworld book continues – remember when I had a bit of a moment about the free story only available in the hardcover versions?  She announces an e-only pack [ETA: new link], probably released in June – it’ll be $1.99 for this:

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

This is the promotion I’ll be running (me, not my publishers) for the bonus pack. With the e-book pack, you’ll receive:

1) something old – Stalked (the 10,000* word Elena & Clay honeymoon story reprinted from My Big, Fat Supernatural Honeymoon)

2) something new – a still-untitled 10,000* word Eve story set before Thirteen

3) something borrowed – first 50 pages of Thirteen/13

4) something blue – Xaviere is doing fun “police lineup” style character bookmarks, one for the gals (Elena, Paige, Eve, Jaime, Hope, Savannah) and one for the guys (Clay, Lucas, Kristof, Jeremy, Karl, Adam). The characters are dressed in blue (hey, I had to get it in there somehow!) I’m doing a limited print run of both. If you email me your receipt for the purchase of the bonus pack, I’ll mail you a pair of bookmarks, at least one of them signed. Because the bookmarks are a limited edition, I do have to “cap” this promo, but it’ll be a high cap, likely 1500, which shouldn’t be a problem if the only way to hear about it is through me

I’m on the fence – it’s nice in the sense she doesn’t have to do it and you know, I love Eve, but as I’ve already have MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL HONEYMOON, it’s really $2 for a short story.  I think I’ll wait and see.

Also, if you haven’t already heard, she has another new novella coming out with Subterranean Press – FORBIDDEN will be released in December.

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And finally, a couple of links I tweeted earlier this week:

The Vorkosiverse is a feast of relationships, not just romances. I love how cousins Miles and Ivan interact as evil brothers who nonetheless trust each other unconditionally. The way marriages mature and change. The way the boy emperor, Gregor, grows into his insanely demanding role. Cordelia, Aral, Gregor, Mark—there are so many marvelous characters who are defined as much by their relationships as by their actions.

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10 thoughts on “Awards and Other Links

  1. That’s interesting. I didn’t know that Mira Grant was also Seanan McGuire… Although I don’t really have any interest reading Deadline after some reviews ^_^;

    And I do think reading female authors is an indirect results of reading romance. I mean, not many male authors writing in this genre ^_^; then again, there’s all sort of lines when it comes to genre and the author’s genders I find. Pre-conception. I do think there’s a reason why it’s so hard to tell whether an author is male or female when it comes to SF…

    Going to take a look at the short story by Seanan McGuire 🙂 Who’s Jonathan and Fran again? There were so many family members names dropped in the first book, it was hard to keep track.

    Oh and thanks for letting me know about Kelley Armstrong. For some reasons, I stopped visiting her website and was never big on her forum… but I really should get back to it ^_^; I definitively think the promotion is fun and I wouldn’t be against getting those bookmarks LOL. Also, look on the good side, you’ll probably be able to use discount on her e-only pack 😛 That means you probably won’t be paying 2$… although in the scheme of things, 2$ isn’t that expensive.

    You know, one complaint I’ve had about Kelley Armstrong though is that she seems to really stretch it everywhere ^_^; I mean, I’m just not a fan of the fact that she’s publishing at Subterranean Press. They’re hard to get and really expensive. I know they’re special, but still. Guess I should be glad that the comic book plan didn’t go through – is that mean of me? But seriously, Forbidden? I want to read!!! So I guess i’ll be getting it…

    • Hey Nath – oooh, plenty of points.

      Seanan McGuire uses Mira Grant as an open pseudonym as they’re very different types of books, from what I gather. Jonathan and Fran are Verity’s ancestors, though I’m not quite sure how far back! The short stories (there are two free on her website, and one in a DAW anthology which I haven’t read) are about how they meet – they’re short but rather sweet.

      I agree that a lot of authors use (or used to use) gender-ambiguous names in SFF, though you could argue that m/m romance authors are doing the same nowadays. Maybe similar drivers?

      No, $2 isn’t that expensive, but if you think about it, if I pay $4-6(?) more, I can get a full novel – so in that context…

      I’ve figured out that I’m not really into Kelley Armstrong’s current YA series, so I’m quite interested in seeing what she does next. I know she’s finishing off her Nadia books, but then I’m not quite sure what she’s writing next. I am hoping it is not YA…

      • I think she’ll have another adult series. Also, she has one more book to go with this YA trilogy, so I’m pretty sure she won’t start another YA before she’s done with this one.

        There were talks about a collaboration with melissa marr. wonder if that’s still on.

  2. Hey Li, thanks for the linkage. 🙂 I do hope you give these books a shot. Mieville is not for everyone, he usually writes some excellent cyberpunk, and I mean the book I read by him so far is unparalleled in my humble opinion, but Embassytown is straight scifi for a change. Leviathan Wakes is a space opera and if you like those, you’ll enjoy this one.

    I’m not reading the George R.R. Martin book either (nor am I reading the series), and Among Others by Jo Walton just doesn’t do it for me either. I’ll definitely give the short stories a shot, though. 🙂

    RE: SF female authors. I agree with both you and the article. I’m always looking for more male authors to add to my list, and I try to balance my reading but there are always more female than male authors in my read pile. But, it is true that when it comes down to nominations and awards in SF, female authors are often scarce.

    • You’re welcome! I love space opera – don’t think we get enough nowadays – so really looking forward to starting on LEVIATHAN WAKES. I’ve heard a lot of good things about China Mieville, I think I will have to explore his backlist in detail to figure out what appeals. And yeah, I’m going to try and read the short stories too!

      About the female/male author ratio, on the romance front, most, if not all, the authors I read are female (unless there are males lurking behind pseudonyms!). Even in the SFF genre, I read a lot more female than male authors – not a conscious choice though. I guess – and this may be a bias on my side – I find female authors more inclined to include romance (and good realistic ones at that) in their stories, even if it isn’t a straight romance. The male authors I read… it’s rare to come across a romance that works for me – and those are the kind of books I love.

  3. At 45 and being German, most of my teens and 20s were spent reading sf&f written by men. I was lucky enough to discover fantasy written by women in the 80s when I was an au-pair in the UK and a student of English (a few female authors made it onto the sf&f part of the university book store’s English shelf at incredibly high import prices). I basically discovered Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey simultaneously – but they were always the minority on the shelves.

    I don’t rue my days of reading David Eddings (we know by now that his wife Leigh was his co-writer, which I attribute to the fact that his women are fairly interesting – although I could have done without X’Nedra) and Raymond Feist (but my favourite Midkemia trilogy was the one co-written with Janny Wurts about the Tsurani homeworld, centered around a female heroine).

    I find that I get more and diverse and equally important female characters in books written by women. Considering my belief that the rest of our media also over-emphasizes the importance of men in action and competence, I have no problem at all with my bias. I only hype books by women in my recommendations.

    Occasionally I will try a new to me male author, but I’m much less likely to buy a second book if the first one didn’t make me happy – although, really, that goes for female authors, too, heh, when we’re talking debut writers.

    • The Feist/Wurts trilogy! Gosh, I remember loving that – one of the stronger ones, IMO. Did you ever read Margaret Weis’s SF Star of the Guardians books? I adored them. I loved the books she co-wrote with Tracy Hickman (I think I checked out the whole series from the library in one shot), but the Guardian books and the whole Maigrey/Sagan relationship stole my heart.

      It’s amazing when you think back to how difficult it used to be to get a wide range of SFF books, and now the internet and ebooks have changed the playing field completely.

      I’m happy to try debut authors regardless of gender, but I think because of my online haunts, I’m more likely to hear about new female authors? Even in the YA realm, it is predominantly female authors that get mentioned (either that or I’m missing a good chunk of the YA blogs).

  4. Interesting about the Kelley Armstrong e-book pack. I’m an Otherworld junkie, and just sad enough to see the series ending, that I’ll probably purchase the pack. Even though I’m in the same boat as you, in that I’ve already read the short story that was in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon.

    Very interesting essay from Putney! I really need to pick up a Lois McMaster Bujold book. I think I have about four of them sitting on my to be read shelf, so I really have no excuse for not having read one already. 😛

    • I *love* Bujold. The Vorkosigan series is one of my favourite-ever series, and that’s saying something. I’d love to hear what you think of the books (Vorkosigan ones?) when you get around to reading them.

      And gosh, decisions. I’m with you – I may cave and buy the e-only pack. But $2 for a short story is… well, slightly painful.

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