April 28th, 2009


Monday Morning Blues cept it's Tuesday

I bought an older Girl Talk CD a couple of weeks ago and have been endlessly tweeting about how in love I am with a song called "Smash Your Head" which mashes rap with Elton John's Tiny Dancer. It is truly truly awesome. I think I am going to have to go back to JBHifi and get me the third Girl Talk album. I love this music so much.

I've made a resolution today that since The Biggest Loser is now finished (not that I watched it intently or anything), I am now going to put aside one hour a day for reading. I am most behind and there's a ton of stuff I really really want to get to. I so don't want to say this aloud but I think the internet is sucking up too much of my time. Sigh. I might have to do some tidying up of my friendslist and maybe not feel a need to catch up on twitter if I have been away for half a day. That sort of thing. My email inbox has not seen under 100 emails for two days straight for most of this year. And now I am just used to that which is horrid.

I'm still ploughing through BSG Season 3. I dunno. I have thoughts. Maybe I'll colate them. I did notice that the film colour for the very first few episodes was in a grey-blue and I think that really upset me and made in comfortable to watch Collapse )


Women in Science Fiction - Locus Short Lists

Slightly prompted but actually as a response to whilst, I do think it's a solid shortlist, I kinda think it's a bit boring too. A lot of the shortlists this year are looking the same which means probably last year was a bit lean near the top. And I was less enthusiastic in reading last year, maybe that wasn't burnout.

The 2009 Locus Awards Shortlist can be found here. The Locus Awards Ceremony will be in Seattle WA, June 26-27, 2009.

The top five finalists in each category of the 2009 Locus Awards are:

Science Fiction Novel-
Matter, Iain M. Banks (Orbit UK);
City at the End of Time, Greg Bear (Gollancz, Del Rey);
Marsbound, Joe Haldeman (Ace);
Anathem, Neal Stephenson (Atlantic UK, Morrow);
Saturn's Children, Charles Stross (Orbit, Ace).

No female writers

Fantasy Novel-
The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow);
Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt);
The Bell at Sealey Head, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace);
The Dragons of Babel, Michael Swanwick (Tor);
An Evil Guest, Gene Wolfe (Tor).

Traditionally the "female category" these days. Two female writers
. Not that female dominated, it seems.

First Novel-
Thunderer, Felix Gilman (Bantam Spectra);
Black Ships, Jo Graham (Orbit US);
Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory (Ballantine Del Rey);
The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann, Knopf);
Singularity's Ring, Paul Melko (Tor).

I think Jo Graham is female.

Young-Adult Novel-
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (Tor);
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, Bloomsbury);
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Knopf);
Nation, Terry Pratchett (Doubleday UK, HarperCollins);
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi (Tor).

Awesomely strong list, can't deny that. Really am loving Little Brother. And heard good things about the others. And if you really only read one book this year, I reckon you should go Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels which also got a nod in the Tiptrees this weekend.
But again, in a category with a lot of standout best selling female writers, just the one representing here. And arguably that book is NOT YA. Read it and then tell me if you're gonna recommend a kid to read it.

"The Erdmann Nexus:, Nancy Kress (Asimov’s 10-11/08);
"Pretty Monsters", Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters);
"The Tear", Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires);
Once Upon a Time in the North, Philip Pullman (Knopf);
"True Names", Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2).

Two female contenders in this list. Almost half! I just didn't actually like either of those stories :)

"Pump Six", Paolo Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories);
"The Ice War", Stephen Baxter (Asimov’s 9/08);
"Shoggoths in Bloom", Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 3/08);
"The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away", Cory Doctorow (Tor.com 8/08); "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08).

That "Pride and Prometheus" sure gets around. If you are liking Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you might like this one too.
Just Elizabeth Bear representing the female writers in this category.

Short Story-
"King Pelles the Sure", Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads);
"Boojum", Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette (Fast Ships, Black Sails);
"Exhalation", Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two);
"The Kindness of Strangers", Nancy Kress (Fast Forward 2);
"After the Coup", John Scalzi (Tor.com 7/08).

"Boojum" was on my Year's Best List over at LSS. So yes! I loved that story. Nancy Kress gets a second nod here to bring the female writers in this category up to 3, for 2 out of the 5 stories. 2 of the 3 writers are also nominated in other categories.
(Also side issue to cheer for the Ted Chiang. Cause, yo, new Ted Chiang. Go read it and love it like you know you want to.)

Realms of Fantasy;

Same old, same old, eh? Must be the part of me that's the young generation, always looking for something new and out there, challenging and pushing the boundaries. Probably just me.

Night Shade Books;
Subterranean Press;

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds. (St. Martin's Griffin);
Galactic Empires, Gardner Dozois, ed. (SFBC);
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin's);
Eclipse Two, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade Books);
The Starry Rift, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Viking).

A sad nod to the Years Best Fantasy and Horror series which is no more.
I reckon I'm a bit disappointed that with the reinvigoration of the anthology as a product in the last couple of years, two spots here are taken by reprint collections, likely with lots of the stories that were individually listed on these shortlists in the year before ie not new fiction.
Nice to see Jonathan Strahan, Aussie, getting two spots here. Both awesome collections. Galactic Empires is a nice novella collection - worth picking up if you like your stories longer.

Pump Six and Other Stories, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books);
The Drowned Life, Jeffrey Ford (HarperPerennial);
Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link (Viking);
The Best of Lucius Shepard, Lucius Shepard (Subterranean Press);
The Best of Michael Swanwick, Michael Swanwick (Subterranean Press).

Given the above, not so surprising to see just Kelly Link representing the XX here. She wasn't the only female author with a collection out this last year though. Check out the Tiptree Awards list.

Ellen Datlow;
Gardner Dozois;
David G. Hartwell;
Jonathan Strahan;
Gordon Van Gelder.

Ellen sings it for the sisterhood, again!

Bob Eggleton;
John Picacio;
Shaun Tan;
Charles Vess;
Michael Whelan.

No women. None.
I am forced, again, to be torn between Shaun Tan and Bob Eggleton (who I met at WFC and is awesome and does fantastic cover art).

Non-Fiction/Art Book-
Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books);
What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction, Paul Kincaid (Beccon);
Rhetorics of Fantasy, Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press);
P. Craig Russell, Coraline: The Graphic Novel, Neil Gaiman, adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins);
Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia (Allen & Unwin; Scholastic '09).

2/5 again.
Tales from Outer Suburbian is utterly delightful. You need to own it.

So, really, when I break it down like this, it's not really at all surprising that I find this a bit boring. I'm not the demographic. I need to go away and recompile my list with discussion - I promised something for Drink Tank and I think I have thought about this enough to finally sit down and write it.

Good luck to all. It's a strong ballot.


The Tiptree Award Winners were announced this weekend as well.

A gender-exploring science fiction award is presented to Patrick Ness for The Knife of Never Letting Go and Nisi Shawl for Filter House.

Also from the website:

A panel of five jurors selects the Tiptree Award winners and compiles an Honor List of other works that they find interesting, relevant to the award, and worthy of note. The 2008 jurors were Gavin J. Grant (chair), K. Tempest Bradford, Leslie Howle, Roz Kaveney, and Catherynne M. Valente.

The Tiptree Award Honor List is a strong part of the award identity and is used by many readers as a recommended reading list for the rest of the year. This year's Honor List is:

* Christopher Barzak, The Love We Share Without Knowing (Bantam, 2008)
* Jenny Davidson, The Explosionist (HarperTeen, 2008)
* Gregory Frost, Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet: A Shadowbridge Novel (both published by Del Rey, 2008)
* Alison Goodman, Two Pearls of Wisdom (HarperCollins Australia 2008), published in the United States as Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Viking 2008), also Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye in the United Kingdom
* John Kessel, ?ride or Prometheus (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 2008)
* Margo Lanagan, Tender Morsels (Knopf, 2008)
* Ursula K. Le Guin, Lavinia (Harcourt)
* John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In (Quercus (UK) 2007), original Swedish title L? den r?te komma in (2004), first published in English as Let Me In, St. Martin's Press (2007), Translated by Ebba Segerberg)
* Paul Park, A Princess of Roumania (Tor, 2005), The Tourmaline (Tor, 2006), The White Tyger (Tor, 2007), The Hidden World (Tor, 2008)
* Ekaterina Sedia, The Alchemy of Stone (Prime Books)
* Ali Smith, Girl Meets Boy (Canongate U.S., 2007)
* Ysabeau S. Wilce, Flora's Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) (Harcourt, 2008)

Reading for the 2009 Tiptree Award will soon begin. As always, the Tiptree Award invites everyone to recommend works for the award. Please submit recommendations to nominate08@tiptree.org.


As part of the ASif! Podcast discussing Justine Larbalestier's work, late last year, we discussed the Tiptree Award and James Tiptree Jr. The discussion was really interesting - I was mostly listening - and made me want to work through previous recommended reading lists as well as get to Larbalestier's NF books which also sound interesting. I really need to get started on this goal! I might begin with some of the works listed above. In my *spare* time. Ahem.



I haven't nominated for the Ditmars yet. I'm surrounded by all the buzz and I believe in the awards and yet I can't make myself sit down and do my own noms.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a structured sort and I need a form to fill in. I'm good with those - they tell you how to do it and you just ... do it. I think this "email your nominations to a certain address" kinda takes away a certain ... je ne sais quoi ... formality from the process?

The Conjecture website is the best place, I think, to source your - what the hell are the categories now - information from and these are:

Professional Categories

* Best Novel
* Best Novella or Novelette
* Best Short Story
* Best Collected Work
* Best Artwork

Fan Categories

* Best Fan Writer
* Best Fan Artist
* Best Fan Production

Special Award (for works not eligible in existing categories)

* Best Achievement
* William Atheling Jr Award (for criticism or review)
* Best New Talent

Nominations can be made via email to ditmars@conjecture2009.org

ETA: Ok it's done. Note to self, I tag my posts in the LSS livejournal *specifically* to find my lists at Ditmar time! Use them!



Unproductive day today. I hate those. Faffed about tonight and didn't get much of anything done. I wish 'd just taken the night off and properly relaxed and read a good book or watched TV or gone out with friends. Pretending to do work or doing it halfarsedly is just a waste of time. GRR.

Had a good phonecall with jbaby77 which made me feel better as well as jonathanstrahan talking me back down from the ledge. I can work myself into such a state sometimes!

And I'm not convinced this dog is 2 years old. He's hungry all the time and I reckon might not have finished growing. And he's puppy playful - it's 11pm!! Go to bed puppy!!! On the other hand, he is toilet trained, as demonstrated by his interrupting this post to go outside.

Ahh well. Tomorrow is another day.