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[awards|events] The 2013 Locus Awards

Yesterday, Lisa Costello and I attended the Locus Awards. It was exhausting for me, and a lot of fun.

Not to bury the lede, my friend Nancy Kress won the Best Novella category where my story “The Stars Do Not Lie” was nominated. So no Locus Award for me. My heartfelt congratulations to Nancy.

Lisa had asked me the night before how the day was going to go. I said, “Well, the Earth rotates at slightly more than 1,000 miles per hour…” This earned me strong disapproval.

How the day actually went was that we started out having breakfast with Janet Freeman-Daily. She is a fellow writer and a fellow Stage IV cancer patient. We had one of those involved medical conversations that is of interest to no one but the principals, until various other people came along and we migrated to a larger table and more benign topics.

We then spent the morning loitering in the book room and the lobby, as I didn’t have the energy to attend the paneling. The book signing happened, wherein I shared a table with the effervescent and always fascinating Ted Kosmatka and was able to visit with about half of Seattle writerdom and fandom, or so it seemed. The banquet occurred thereafter. Claire Eddy had organized an impromptu lunch table with us, Kristine Scalzi, [info]torreybird and some other delightful folks.

Connie Willis cranked up the ceremony with some wit, some erudition, some recognition of folks in the crowd (including me), and much heckling from Nancy Kress. I wound up in the Hawaiian shirt contest, thanks to Stan Robinson, where I tied for third (I think) in the trivia portion. Various small prizes were handed out. We then proceeded to the awards, where Nancy won our shared category. About then I started musing that I’d wished I had thought to offer be an acceptor for some of the nominees, because then I’d get a chance to go up to the podium for a moment, and fondle an award.

Connie read out the award for Best Fantasy Novel, announced the winner was Charlie Stross for The Apocalypse Codex, then announced that accepting for Charlie would be Jay Lake. She caught the look of shocked surprise on my face, and asked if I’d know I was accepting.

Well, yes. Charlie had asked me a month or two ago. Unfortunately, we both forgot to do anything about an acceptance speech. Then I’d forgotten.

I manned up, stumbled to the podium with my cane in hand. There I confessed to having forgotten all about being Charlie’s acceptor. I offered the audience their choice of an extemporaneous acceptance speech or an interpretive dance.

Dancing ensued.

I shall draw the curtain of good taste over any descriptions thereof.

Later there was hanging out in the lobby, then at a bar, then a lovely dinner at the Palace Kitchen with Greg and Astrid Bear, Claire Eddy, John Pitts, Lisa and myself. A tiny bit of partying followed, and more visiting with many friends, then I stumbled back to the hotel to sleep.

That was my big day at the Locus Awards. It was a lot of fun, but like I said, exhausting.

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[awards] Sturgeon Award nomination, also, “When shall we three meet again?”

I am quite pleased to note that my Sunspin novella, The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future“, originally published at Subterranean Online, is a finalist for the 2013 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

I am quite amused to note that of the four major awards I have been nominated for this year, all in the novella category, I share the nomination in all four cases with Aliette de Bodard and Nancy Kress. Clearly we three shall need to meet at dawn upon a field of honor. Perhaps fountain pen nibs at ten paces. Nancy and I have been teasing one another about it since the Hugo nominations came out.

Aliette, we’re coming for you.

The lists, which make for interesting consideration:

Nebula Award finalists, Best Novella [ source ]

  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie,” Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
  • “All the Flavors,” Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)
  • “Katabasis,” Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
  • “Barry’s Tale,” Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)

Hugo Award finalists, Best Novella [ source ]

  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)
  • The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
  • San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

Locus Award finalists, Best Novella [ source ]

  • “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 1/12)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
  • The Boolean Gate, Walter Jon Williams (Subterranean)

Sturgeon Award finalists[ source ]

  • “Things Greater Than Love”, Kate Bachus (Strange Horizons 3/19/12)
  • “Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
  • “Scattered Along the River of Heaven”, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 1/12)
  • “The Grinnell Method”, Molly Gloss (Strange Horizons 9/3/12 & 9/10/12)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Taychon)
  • “The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future”, Jay Lake (Subterranean Spring 2012)
  • “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species”, Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12)
  • “Mono No Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future Is Japanese)
  • “Nahiiku West”, Linda Nagata (Analog 10/12)
  • Eater of Bone, Robert Reed (PS Publishing)
  • “The Peak of Eternal Light”, Bruce Sterling (Edge of Infinity)
  • “(To See the Other) Whole Against the Sky”, E. Catherine Tobler (Clarkesworld 11/12)

You can read my two nominated novellas online:

The Stars Do Not Lie
The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future

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[awards] 2013 Locus Awards Finalists

Our friends at Locus have posted their list of 2013 Locus Awards Finalists. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists, including the many friends of mine who are on the list.

I am pleased and proud to note that my Asimov’s novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie”, is on this ballot. That makes the third award nomination for this work, as it is already on the final ballot for both the Nebula and Hugo awards for Best Novella. If you’ve not yet read the piece, Asimov’s is currently hosting it as a free download here.

By many measures, this has been my most successful piece of fiction ever. It has received multiple Year’s Best reprints, a fair amount of positive critical attention, and now a trifecta of award nominations. Like most writers, I am always surprised at which piece of my work do well, but this is a story I like a great deal, and so seeing it succeed in the world beyond even my high expectations is a great deal of fun.

Though I’d love to take home an award (or three), the magic has already happened. Given the trajectory of my life and health, I’m lucky to see this year of recognition for my work. I’ll be at the Nebula Awards Weekend, I’ll be at the Locus Awards Weekend, and health permitting, I’ll be at Worldcon in San Antonio for the Hugo Awards Ceremony.

So thank you. Thank you for reading the story, thank you for writing it, and thank you for supporting it. It doesn’t matter what happens at the ceremonies. I’ve already won the prize that counts.

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[awards] Commentary on the Hugos continues

I recently posted a link to Cora Buhlert’s roundup of Hugo commentary. [info]james_nicoll did so as well, leading to some extensive commentary on his LiveJournal. [info]kevin_standlee also linked to this piece by Jonathan McCalmont, itself quite critical of the Hugos in general and Kevin in particular. A fascinating comment thread there that dives quite deeply. Cora also provides an update and more links here, along with a discussion of the Clarke Awards.

For my own part, I’m not sure what to say except to note the discussions seem to be a little louder than usual this year. I suspect that’s as much an observer effect based on my paying more attention due to my own Hugo nominee status, as it is a reflection of real controversy. Hard for me to tell.

While I do understand a lot of the objections being raised to the Hugo process, I’m not sure I agree with them, either, as most of what’s being discussed seems to amount to suggesting replacing one form of imperfection with another. We have three major awards in this field, and each one has a distinctly different nominating and voting process, and thus distinctly different biases. I have been a nominee for all three at various times in my career, so my perspective is certainly biased as well.

Disputation is part of what fandom does. It’s part of what writers do. What I don’t doubt is the good faith of everyone involved. For my own part, having as I do a dog in this fight, except for noting the deep passion and manifold directions of the discussion, I will leave it at that.

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[awards|cancer] A few more thoughts on being nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula

…because my brain slowly unfolds.

Back in February, when the Nebula nomination was announced, I talked about how my novella “The Stars Do Not Lie” intersected with my cancer journey [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. As I said then:

I initially drafted this story in the throes of chemotherapy back in 2010. I did the rewrite after I finished chemo. So it’s definite “fuck you” to cancer to have this story do well.

This is even more true now as I continue to process my mortality, and are coming to grips with counting my future productive writing lifetime in months rather than years. (Two to four months right now, if anyone’s counting along with me.) The Hugo nomination announced this past Saturday just deepens my feelings.

This current month, April of 2013, is the 5th anniversary of my cancer. In those five years I have managed to write more than half a dozen first draft novels and on the order of 100 short stories, and publish about five novels and most of those short stories. But I keep slowing down as the cancer intensifies, as the treatments intensify, as my life keeps getting stolen away. I’ve commented before this is probably the last year I’ll be able to attend awards ceremonies, so it’s nice to go as a participant.

The timing is weird. Almost Hallmark movie-of-the-week weird. But I’m glad it’s happened this way, as opposed to posthumously, or not at all. This all sets up strange resonances in my head and in my heart. I have for years embraced this field professionally, socially, personally. It’s wonderful to be embraced in return.

Also, as several people reminded me after I failed to mention it when posting about this yesterday, Asimov’s has “The Stars Do Not Lie” available for free download on their site. Whether you’re an award voter, a fan, a friend, or just curious, go check it out.

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[awards|cancer] On being up for the Hugo and the Nebula

Yesterday, LoneStarCon 3 announced this year’s Hugo award nominations. I am proud and pleased that my Nebula-nominated novella “The Stars Do Not Lie” (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov 2012) is also nominated for the Hugo award for Best Novella.

This is the first time I’ve been a double-header nominee. It’s the first time I’ve been a Nebula nominee in any capacity. And thanks to my friend cancer, this is probably the last year I’ll be able to attend the ceremonies. Win, lose or draw, I can have fun and go out with a bang, so to speak. This means a lot to me. Good for my ego, good for my writing career, a loving validation from both my professional peers (the Nebula) and the readership in general (the Hugo).

So, yes. I am pleased and overwhelmed and thrilled and humbled all at the same time. And so glad I get to experience this at this point in my life.

Thank you.

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[awards] Some more thoughts on my Nebula nomination

This past Monday, I learned that my novella “The Stars Do Not Lie” (Asimov’s, 10/11, 2012) has been nominated for a Nebula. Yesterday, the Nebula ballot became official and public. My deep and abiding sense of squee continues unabated.

This is important to me for several reasons beyond the very obvious.

One, I initially drafted this story in the throes of chemotherapy back in 2010. I did the rewrite after I finished chemo. So it’s definite “fuck you” to cancer to have this story do well.

Two, it has done well. The novella ran in Asimov’s, for Pete’s sake. It has been picked up in several different Year’s Best volumes. There’s an audio version coming out. It’s on the Locus Recommended Reading List. People have really liked it. Asimov’s will shortly be making the novella available on their Web site for Nebula voter consideration, which will conveniently also make it widely available for potential Hugo nomination consideration as well.

Three, at this point in the arc of my struggle with cancer, this is likely the last year I’ll be able to attend awards ceremonies in any capacity. It’s also quite possibly the last year I’ll get much writing done of any kind. Health permitting, I will be going to the Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose. Win, lose or draw, it will be fun to spend a little more time as part of the glorious and entertaining pageant we can sometimes make of our field.

At the beginning and at the end, it’s all about the writing. But some of the stuff in the middle can be pretty cool.

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[awards] In which I am a Nebula finalist

The 2012 Nebula Awards final ballot has been announced. I am very pleased to note that I am on the ballot for Best Novella, for “The Stars Do Not Lie,” (Asimov’s 10-11/12).

This is a huge career milestone for me.

My congratulations and best wishes to all my fellow nominees. And my I say, :: squee ::.

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[awards|writing] The Audie Award arrives at Neuvo Rancho Lake

Yesterday, my friend and editor/publisher Steve Feldberg of Audible.com sent me this:

IMG_0002

As some of you may remember, METAtropolis: Cascadia won the Audie award last spring for Best Original Work. The follow-on volume to the John Scalzi-edited METAtropolis, this was edited by me, and contains the warm prose stylings of Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes, and Karl Schroeder, as well as myself.

So this is pretty darned neat. I hadn’t realized I’d eventually be getting a gorgeous doodad for my brag shelf. And such a gorgeous doodad it is, albeit hard to photograph. Also a nice little bit of ego boo, as well as additional incentive to finish the first draft of “Rock of Ages”, my METAtropolis: Green Space story in progress. (Which, yes, I should be able to put the wrap on this coming week.)

This also makes me reflective. Thanks to my illness, my career as it has been constituted is effectively over. None of my books ever caught fire enough to keep me on the upward growth trajectory required to maintain shelf space in trade publishing these days. Cancer has kept me too sick to do a redirect in a timely fashion. My ability to write more books — in any genre or sub-genre ‐ is significantly at risk, given my treatment courses and life expectancy. More to the point, my ability to deliver them in a contracted, timely fashion is significantly at risk.

At this point, unless I make a full recovery from cancer and can take half a dozen years to make a serious run at a restart, the writing career I’d dreamed of and was at least somewhat on track for a serious attempt at is gone. I’m not finished, not by any stretch. I’ll continue to at least produce short fiction until I’m too sick to do even that. I have books in my head, some of which may get written collaboratively. And I’ve already done a hell of a lot. Six novels from Tor, four independent novels, more short stories than I can count, dozens of Year’s Best appearances. Won the Campbell Award. Won the Audie Award. Been nominated for a boatload of stuff from the topline down. Hosted both the Hugo Awards and the World Fantasy Awards. (If I could toastmaster the Nebulas, that would be the trifecta.)

It’s really hard to complain. I regret nothing, except for the future that is being stolen from me week by week, month by month, cell by cell.

I want to live. I want to watch my daughter grow up. I want to write more and be read. Those things are slowly becoming too much to ask.

Still, I am proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished. Thank you, Steve Feldberg and Audible.com, for sending me this bit of memory.


Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[awards|repost] Obligatory story pimpage

As today is the last day for Hugo nominations to be submitted, I am reposting this one last time.

I didn’t publish much short fiction last year, due to the effects of my cancer journey on both my productivity at the keyboard and on my focus on marketing. Such writing time as I’ve had has remained focused on my novels. Nonetheless, a few things have squeaked out into the marketplace.

For my own part, I think the best of these is my Sunspin novelette, “A Long Walk Home”, which has been selected for Year’s Best Science Fiction volume 29. If you’re a Hugo or Nebula voter, I hope you’ll give it consideration.

Anyway, here’s the list.

Novels
Endurance (Green, volume 2), Tor Books

Novelettes
A Long Walk Home“, Subterranean Online
“The Decaying Mansions of Memory”, Untold Adventures

Short Fiction

“The Blade of His Plow”, Human for a Day, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek
“A Critical Examination of Stigmata’s Print Taking the Rats to Riga” The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists, ed. Jeff and Anne VanderMeer
‘Hello,’ Said the Gun“, Daily Science Fiction
“A Place to Come Home To” (with Shannon Page), When the Hero Comes Home, ed. Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood
“They Are Forgotten Until They Come Again”, River, ed. Alma Alexander
“Unchambered Heart”, ChiZine
You Know What Hunts You“, The Edge of Propinquity

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