Saturday, April 11, 2015

Au Contraire 3, Wellington, 2016: Guest of Honour!

Another first!

I've been invited to be a Creative Guest of Honour at Au Contraire 3, the New Zealand national science fiction, fantasy, and geekery convention in Wellington, Queen's Birthday weekend, 2016.

I'm honoured that the New Zealand fandom and writing community believes I'm at a point in my career where I have something to offer as a GoH. I hope to be helpful and interesting, and live up to this belief.

New Zealand's cons are on the smaller scale since we're a small country with a small community, but we are mighty and proud and try to look after each other. It'll be good practise for when I eventually go to Wiscon, Worldcon, or one of the bigger events world wide.

What an interesting week in the life of.

Monday, April 6, 2015

So This Happened...

I won Best New Talent at New Zealand's Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015 last night.

This is the first award I've won for my writing (the X-Static FM Best Copywriter 1991 doesn't count coz it was a 7th form school ego-boo thing), so it has particular meaning. I'd like to say something meaningful and worthy about awards, but currently I can only come up with "Yay!"

Awards mean what you need them to mean. They're great for the CV. They're great because people are taking notice. They're also popularity contests which have always amused me - I disabused myself of the meritocracy of awards long ago.

But they also mean people care, one way or the other. I'm glad I have a little community of people here in New Zealand who care enough about me and my career that they'd nominate and vote for me. Thank you to the still anonymous person who wrote the nice nomination blurb for me. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you to my NZ team: Andi Buchanan, Liz Gatens, Cat Langford, Mark English, Paul Mannering, Lee Murray, Dan Rabarts, Debbie Cowens, Matt Cowens, Marie Hodgkinson, Helen Lowe. Thank you to Clarion UCSD. Thanks to all my incredible Clarion classmates. Thanks to my Clarion tutors Geoff Ryman, Gregory Frost, Cat Valente, Nora Jemisin, Jeff Vandermeer, and especially Ann Vandermeer who keeps checking in and cheerleading for me. Thanks to the editors who have taken a chance on me. Thanks to all the people who quietly cheer on the side lines (you know who you are). Thank you SpecFicNZ for their support. Thanks SFFANZ.

It's strange to say Best NEW Talent - I've been at this for five years now, and it's been a hard slog. But the only way is up. Here's to many more great writing years to come.

The Sir Julius Vogel Award Trophy,
a gold diamond shape inscribed with 
Maori and space motifs on a green base

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Links of Interest: The Tiptrees, #womenwritefantasy, Shortcuts, At The Edge, Sisters of the Revolution, Glittership

  • Women Write Fantasy. Yes we do.

    It's back onto the No We Are Not Invisible horse again, with this lovingly crafted "advertisement" for Game of Thrones season five that mentions NOT ONE woman fantasy writer. The response from the SFF community has been the usual sigh of annoyance and once again restart the conversation, this time with the brilliant #womenwritefantasy hashtag on social media. Lots of great recommendations and discussions going on there if you're looking for some interesting reading or to get involved.
  • This year's Tiptree Awards have been announced, and congratulations to Monica Byrne for "The Girl in the Road" *rushes to buy this book* and Jo Walton's "My Real Children". Also happy to see Jacqueline Koyanagi's "Ascension" get a nod, because I loved that book. And also happy to see many "Long Hidden" (Crossed Genres) stories make the Honours List, because Long Hidden is a game changing anthology.
  • Women in SF&F Month is on again at Fantasy Book CafĂ©, and as always they have lots of good posts, discussions, and recommendations. Here's the first post for the month "Some Assembly Required: Recommendation lists for more inclusive fandom" by Renay of Lady Business.
  • A few year's back, a Kickstarter was run to fund a feminist speculative fiction anthology, charting the history of the genre. Ann and Jeff Vandermeer were tapped as editors, and the anthology is almost ready for release. "Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology" is now available for pre-order. I'm really looking forward to this anthology, not just because it's my thing, but because the Vandermeers have an excellent eye for detail and quality stories.
  • More anthology goodness. New Zealand publisher Paper Road Press has announced "At The Edge". Continuing the recent history of excellent antipodean anthologies like "A Foreign Country", "Regeneration", and "Tales for Canterbury" (Random Static), "At The Edge" is set to explore the liminal of New Zealand speculative fiction. It will be edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, and submissions are open until July 31.
  • More from Paper Road Press! Introducing their "Shortcuts" series. Get a taste of New Zealand speculative fiction with a series of novellas being released over the next six months. The novellas are available in e-book format for a small $NZ3.33 per month. The first novella is "Mika", by Lee Murray and Piper Meija.
  • Here's another venue I'm happy to see get Kickstarter funding and off the ground with lots of support. "Glittership" is an LBGTQ science fiction and fantasy podcast. They have big plans to be a reprint venue, and if they can reach their stretch goals they'll be able to do original fiction too. Go Go Glittership!
  • Is talking about feminist, queer, and local speculative fiction my response to the bullying, stacked Hugo ballot this year? Could be. Anywho, congratulations to deserving people like Ann Leckie, G. Willow Wilson (OMG I love "Ms Marvel"), Julie Dillon, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples (OMG I love "Saga"), and the entire semi-prozine category (I love them all).

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sale: "Causeway", The Future Fire

Huzzah! I'm pleased to announce I've made my first sale for 2015.

The Future Fire will be publishing my post-apocalyptic weirdness "Causeway", date to be advised.

This is the third story TFF has picked up of mine, and it's always a pleasure to be published there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SJVs 2015 voting, blurbs, and whatnot.

The nomination list for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015 has been updated to include reading links, bios for the New Talent category (hi!), and online voting forms for those not attending Reconnaissance.

To be eligible for voting you must either be a member of SFFNZ or attending the national convention in Rotorua this coming Easter. Online votes are due by April 1st, in person votes at the con by April 5th. All the relevant details on how to vote are available at the above link.

I'm aware that only so much space is available for blurbing on the nomination page, and I left the kind wordage to someone else (still anonymous, I will find out who you are and hug you!). But there is more to my writing experience, which you can find out about here on my blog, or if anyone likes they can contact me direct (email address in About). I'm more than happy to discuss my style, influences, mentors (Hi AnnCatNoraJeffGeoffGregoryTheClarion17CLAMLovelyNZPeeps), and plans for the future.

As much as I would have loved to have these conversations in person in the con setting and at the bar, unfortunately I am unable to attend the con this year.  So feel free to drop me a line and/or spread the word. We can meet at the virtual bar.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015

The ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015 is now out, and I made the short list!

I have been nominated in the category of "Best New Talent".

The voting takes place during Reconnaissance, the national convention which takes place over Easter weekend in Rotorua, with the awards ceremony on the last night of the convention. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the convention this year (because of a certain major expense last year!).

Thank you to those who nominated me, and also wrote the very sweet blurb that accompanies my ballot. I hope I will live up to the expectations all my friends and supporters have in my writing ability.

I aksept dis ahward on behalving my gratist fans...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Awards Elibility...of a sort.

It's that time of year again where everyone is reminding everyone else about what their 2014 looked like publishing wise. The last couple of years I've done a fairly straight forward bibliographic list of stories published, but since I only had one original story published in 2014 I'm coming at my award eligibility from a different angle.

If you liked my story "The Dragon in the Wardrobe" (Betwixt, January 2014) enough to nominate it for something (probably the short story category for New Zealand's SJVs is a good place), feel free to do so. And thank you.

However, one of my friends in my New Zealand writer circles has been kind enough to nominate me for "Best New Talent" at the SJVs. I know I'm leaving this a little late to strengthen this nomination with my blurb (nominations close this Sunday), but here it is. Feel free to rearrange or use these words as you see fit if you're strengthening my nomination.

I started my speculative fiction writing journey in 2010, and my first publication was in the sorely missed Semaphore Magazine. I'm very pleased that my first speculative fiction story "My Dad, The Tuatara" had a New Zealand theme and was published in a New Zealand venue. The story was reprinted in the Christchurch Earthquake Fundraising anthology "Tales For Canterbury". I also had an earthquake inspired story published in the "Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction 2" in 2013.

I have had three professional short story sales - to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres Magazine, and Wily Writers. I often write along the axes of feminism, QUILTBAG, and underrepresented characters (eg: disability and race, of which I am still learning), and I have been published in such feminist and QUILTBAG friendly venues as The Future Fire, Khimairal Ink, and Expanded Horizons. I am proud that my story "Blood, Stone, Water" was reprinted in Lethe Press yearly anthology "Heiresses of Russ 2014" - it is nice to have my name attached to a collection that is named after one of my writing heroines Joanna Russ.

Other influences on my writing include James Tiptree Jr, Anne McCaffrey, Melanie Rawn, Catherynne M. Valente, and NK Jemisin.

My greatest achievement to date also includes the last two names on that list. In 2014 I was accepted to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop at University of California San Diego. An intensive six week writing summer boot camp highly respected by the speculative fiction publishing industry, I learned about technique and the business alongside 17 students from around the world and under the watchful eye of six big name authors Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, NK Jemisin, Ann Vandermeer, and Jeff Vandermeer.

So, if you think the last five years of my writing journey is worthy of "Best New Talent" (New Zealand wise), go for it. I appreciate everyones support. Here, have a kitten.

O hai, u thunk I haz teh skillz?