SFWA Taking Applications for 2021 Nebula Conference Scholarships

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., (SFWA) are offering multiple scholarships for members of underserved communities to attend the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4–6, 2021. The scholarships and the conference are open to SFWA members and nonmembers alike.

Here are the categories of scholarships available and the quantity restrictions on those scholarships. With the exception of the scholarship for Black Writers, which will remain available for all Black writers until June 6, 2021, scholarship applications must be completed on this form by May 1, 11:59pm Eastern Time. From the applicant pool, the scholarship recipients will be selected by lottery.

  • Scholarship for Black Writers: A part of SFWA’s Black Lives Matter Initiative, this scholarship is open to Black writers in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about this initiative, visit this release on the SFWA.org website. 
  • Scholarship for AAPI Writers: A part of SFWA’s AAPI Initiative for 2021, this scholarship is available to Asian writers, Asian American writers, and writers from the Pacific Islands. To learn more about this initiative, visit this release on the SFWA.org website. (limited quantity: 25)
  • Scholarship for Writers Based Outside of the U.S.: In an effort to remove financial barriers that may exist for prospective attendees living abroad, we are offering a limited number of free tickets for writers living outside the U.S. (limited quantity: 25)
  • Workshop Scholarship: This scholarship is for writers who have been accepted to or attended a writing workshop from June 2020 through June 2021. (limited quantity: 25)

SFWA’s president, Mary Robinette Kowal, had the following to say about the available scholarships, “There are a lot of gatekeepers in the publishing landscape and with these scholarships, we’re hoping that SFWA can begin to open gates for writers.”

SFWA STORE. For the first time, SFWA is also opening a store for Nebula Conference-related gear and memorabilia. Proceeds from the store will go towards the Nebula Conference and SFWA’s other work.

The SFWA Store is branded as The Airship Nebula Gift Shop in keeping with the shared-world experience of the 2021 Nebula Conference Online. That shared world is one aspect of the “Airship Nebula” virtual socializing spaces that are intended to build community among attendees, offering the networking benefits of an in-person conference while hosting it fully online for a second year. Registered participants will receive $20 off their first purchase from the store.

NEBULA CONFERENCE REGISTRATION. For $125 registration, 2021 SFWA Nebula Conference participants will gain entry to professional development panels, mentorship opportunities, office hours with experts, an archive of the content, and access to ongoing educational events throughout the following year. 

Questions about the scholarships, the store, or the upcoming conference may be directed to the SFWA Events Team at events@sfwa.org.

[Based on a press release.]

SFWA Issues a Statement and Plan of Support for the Asian Diaspora Communities

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America today distributed “A Statement and Plan of Support for the Asian Diaspora Communities”:


SFWA offers its condolences and support to the Asian diaspora communities, both in the US and worldwide. According to the FBI, the number of anti-Asian hate crimes last year rose by 100% and in many places more. Anti-Asian racism has long been a part of America’s fabric from the Page Act to the Chinese Exclusion Act and includes our own SF/F communities. We’ve seen it in the tropes and stereotypes that fetishize Asian women as dragon ladies and butterfly maidens, portray Asian people as suspicious or perpetually foreign Others, and treat Asian cultures as exotic settings to be used and consumed for entertainment.

We condemn the anti-Asian racist hate and violence that has targeted some of the most vulnerable among us, including women, seniors, disabled people, sex workers, queer folks, low-income workers, and immigrants. These attacks are influenced by narratives put forth by elected officials, public figures, and by the stories that we tell. SFWA is committed to creating a safer, more equitable industry in SF/F for Asian and Asian American creators, and other marginalized communities.

These are the actions that SFWA is taking as first steps towards making our community safer for Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers.

We are hosting a free seminar on responsible representation in science-fiction and fantasy. (Sign up at this form to be notified about dates)

We are creating a free 5-part panel series by Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander creators starting with “Grief Goes Deep: on Public and Private Processing of Collective Trauma and Cultivating Mental Health.” (Sign up at this form to be notified about dates)

We are creating a dedicated liaison to outreach to Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writer organizations about applying for the additional grant money that we have available.

We are committing free registration for 25 Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers to attend the 2021 Nebula Conference.

For those who wish to learn more about what you can do to help, here is a list of resources:

Unanimously signed,

The Board of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America


[Based on a press release.]

SFWA Announces the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® Finalists

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) announced the finalists for the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® on March 15.

NOVEL

  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury US; Bloomsbury UK)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US & UK)
  • Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)
  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga; Solaris)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)

NOVELLA

  • “Tower of Mud and Straw”, Yaroslav Barsukov (Metaphorosis)
  • Finna, Nino Cipri (Tordotcom)
  • Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom)
  • “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon”, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aurelia Leo)
  • The Four Profound Weaves, R.B. Lemberg (Tachyon)
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom)

NOVELETTE

  • “Stepsister”, Leah Cypess (F&SF 5-6/20)
  • “The Pill”, Meg Elison (Big Girl, PM Press)
  • “Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 5-6/20)
  • “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com 6/17/20)
  • “Where You Linger”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Shadow Prisons”, Caroline M. Yoachim (serialized in the Dystopia Triptych series as “The Shadow Prison Experiment”, “Shadow Prisons of the Mind”, and “The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma”, Broad Reach Publishing + Adamant Press)

SHORT STORY

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math”, Aimee Picchi (Daily Science Fiction 1/3/20)
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, Solaris)
  • “The Eight-Thousanders”, Jason Sanford (Asimov’s 9-10/20)
  • “My Country Is a Ghost”, Eugenia Triantafyllou (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots 6/15/20)

THE ANDRE NORTON NEBULA AWARD FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION

  • Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko (Amulet)
  • Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
  • A Game of Fox & Squirrels, Jenn Reese (Holt)
  • Star Daughter, Shveta Thakrar (HarperTeen)

GAME WRITING

  • Blaseball, Stephen Bell, Joel Clark, Sam Rosenthal (The Game Band)
  • Hades, Greg Kasavin (Supergiant) 
  • Kentucky Route Zero, Jake Elliott (Cardboard Computer)
  • The Luminous Underground, Phoebe Barton (Choice of Games)
  • Scents & Semiosis, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Cat Manning, Caleb Wilson, Yoon Ha Lee (Self)
  • Spiritfarer, Nicolas Guérin, Maxime Monast, Alex Tommi-Morin (Thunder Lotus Games)

THE RAY BRADBURY NEBULA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DRAMA PRESENTATION

  • Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Christina Hodson, Warner Bros. Pictures (Clubhouse Pictures/DC Entertainment/Kroll & Co. Entertainment/LuckyChap Entertainment)
  • The Expanse: “Gaugamela”, Dan Nowak, Amazon Prime (Alcon Entertainment/Alcon Television Group/Amazon Studios/Hivemind/Just So)
  • The Good Place: “Whenever You’re Ready”, Michael Schur, NBC (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal)
  • Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Misha Green, Shannon Houston, Kevin Lau, Wes Taylor, Ihuoma Ofordire, Jonathan I. Kidd, Sonya Winton-Odamtten, HBO Max (Bad Robot/Monkeypaw Productions/Warner Bros.Television)
  • The Mandalorian: “The Tragedy”, Jon Favreau, Disney+ (Golem Creations/Lucasfilm)
  • The Old Guard, Greg Rucka, Netflix (Skydance Media/Denver and Delilah Productions/Marc Evans Productions)
SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal hosted the announcement ceremony.

The results of the final ballot will be announced at the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® ceremony on June 5, 2021, hosted by returning Toastmaster Aydrea Walden.  Walden has written for the series Yin Yang Yo! and created, written, and starred in the Webby-nominated series Black Girl in a Big Dress. She has worked in the animation department on the films The CroodsHome, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Walden also performs, appearing in her one-woman show, The Oreo Experience: A Total Whitey Trapped in a Black Chick’s Body, the short film Sci-Fi 60, and an episode of The Mandalorian.

The 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4–6, 2021 is open to SFWA members and nonmembers alike. The annual Nebula Conference is taking place entirely online for a second year. For $125, registered participants will gain entry to professional development panels, virtual socializing spaces dubbed the “Airship Nebula,” mentorship opportunities, office hours with experts, an archive of the content, and access to ongoing educational events throughout the following year.

Longshot Press Renews Trolling

Longshot Press, run by Daniel Scott White, opened a new round of trolling its critics this weekend.

One avenue of attack was the email some received today (click for a larger image).

Two of White’s magazines were the subject of complaints in February 2020, first publicly identified by Benjamin C,. Kinney. The opening paragraph of File 770’s roundup “Is This Practice Unreal or Unfit? It’s Both” recaps what the issues were at the time:

Unreal and Unfit magazines use Thinkerbeat Reader to “chart… the authors that we thought did really well with a story submission.” But these are not stories they bought – six days ago they tweeted out a link to the list of stories they rejected. The page had names, titles, and a rating between one and five stars. One problem: none of the authors had given them permission to do so.

SFWA followed up with a statement on Facebook warning about these practices in March 2020. After that, Longshot Press owner Daniel Scott White spent the rest of the year attacking SFWA in a series of eight posts on his personal blog The Land of Words. In other posts he contended the public rejection ratings were really a form of award. On the Longshot Press website itself he sought to discredit SFWA in “A Clear Bias at the SFWA” [Internet Archive link].

Unfit Magazine’s Twitter account has trolled Kinney and Jim C. Hines before (Hines, because in December he responded to the Longshot Press attack on SFWA in a Twitter thread that starts here.) Here are screencaps of Unfit’s new round of attacks.

People’s approach to trolls swings back and forth between denying them the oxygen of attention and exposing their abuses to the sunlight. This weekend the sun came out.   

Jim C. Hines tweeted:

Benjamin C. Kinney acknowledged the attempt:

56th Annual Nebula Awards® Finalists to be Announced
in March 15 Livestream

On Monday, March 15, at 5:30 p.m. PDT / 8:30 p.m. EDT, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) will livestream the announcement naming the finalists for the 56th Annual Nebula Awards®. The evening will be hosted by SFWA President and SAG-AFTRA performer Mary Robinette Kowal, and will livestream on SFWA’s YouTube and Facebook channels. It will include readings by SAG-AFTRA narrators, trailers, and sizzle reels for the nominated works.

Kowal had the following to say about the upcoming event, “I look forward to introducing the outstanding works that comprise this year’s Nebula ballot to the larger science fiction and fantasy community. Our partnership with SAG-AFTRA gives us an opportunity to highlight the power of these wonderful finalists.”

The results of the final ballot will be announced at the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® ceremony during the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4–6, 2021. Open to SFWA members and nonmembers alike, the annual Nebula Conference is taking place entirely online for a second year. 

For $125 registration, participants will gain entry to professional development panels, virtual socializing spaces dubbed the “Airship Nebula,” mentorship opportunities, office hours with experts, an archive of the content, and access to ongoing educational events throughout the following year.

The Nebula Awards® are voted on and presented by Full, Associate, and Senior members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Founded as the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1965 by Damon Knight, the organization began with a charter membership of 78 writers; it now has over 2,000 members, among them many of the leading writers of science fiction and fantasy.

[Based on a press release.]

SFWA Names the 2021 Guest Editors for The Bulletin

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) announced today Sascha Stronach and Yilin Wang will be The Bulletin guest editors in 2021. Stronach will guest edit Issue #218, slated for September 2021, and Wang will guest edit Issue #219, slated for December 2021. L.D. Lewis was the first guest editor for The Bulletin, helming Issue #215, which was published in Fall 2020.

SFWA Editor-in-Chief Michi Trota said, “I’ve admired Sascha’s and Yilin’s work in SF/F and am excited they’ll be bringing their unique visions and perspectives to shape their issues of The Bulletin.”

Sascha Stronach is an author, editor, and poet based in P?neke, New Zealand. They are of Greek and K?i Tahu M?ori descent and also probably a little goblin. After training in bareknuckle underground web fiction deathmatches for close to a decade, they released their debut novel The Dawnhounds, which is about LGBT+ warlock pirates fighting the cops and won the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel. In their spare time, they can be found in the woods creating bizarre aggregates of sticks and dirt that hum with strange possibility. 

Stronach said, “I’m excited to be a guest editor for The Bulletin. One thing that’s always struck me about SFFH is how we care for each other, how willing we are to provide guidance and support. The publication [industry] (such a slow beast!) can often feel like an antique, but their slower pace is their strength: they allow for depth and reflection, they have a permanence and weight that’s vital to the sort of discussions writers, new and old, need to keep our blades sharp. I’ve benefited from them for years, and I’m honoured to help shepherd them into the world. Let’s make this a celebration of diversity, insight, and craft.”

Yilin Wang is a writer, editor, and Chinese–English translator. Her writing has appeared in ClarkesworldThe Malahat ReviewGrainCV2carte blancheThe Toronto StarThe Tyee, and elsewhere. She has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, a finalist for the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction, and longlisted for the Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award. Her translations have appeared or are forthcoming in PathlightSamovarLiving Hyphen, and The Temz Review, while her research on martial arts fiction has been featured on various gaming podcasts. She is a member of the Clarion West Writers Workshop 2020 and a former assistant editor for Room Magazine.

“I am very excited for this chance to work with Michi Trota and the team at SFWA as a guest editor for The Bulletin,” Wang added. “In this position, I hope to solicit writing from underrepresented voices on a range of topics such as international science fiction and fantasy translation, and game writing. I really look forward to working on this issue and to sharing it with readers.”

SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal said, “Sascha Stronach and Yilin Wang are brilliant and insightful people. I’m so pleased they’ll be leading these issues of The Bulletin in 2021.”

[Based on a press release.]

Connie Willis to Receive Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award

Connie Willis

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) will present the 2021 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award to Connie Willis at the 56th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards® for her outstanding work on behalf of the organization.

The Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award recognizes a member of SFWA who best exemplifies the ideal of service to their fellow members. Previous recipients of the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award include Victoria Strauss, Julia Rios, Bud Sparhawk, Lee Martindale, Vonda McIntyre, and Jim Fiscus. The award will be presented at the 56th Nebula Awards® Ceremony, the weekend of June 4–6, 2021.

SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal shared the following remarks, “Connie Willis is one of my favorite people. She’s been a tireless volunteer for SFWA for decades with clear, compassionate service. She makes every task lighter for those around her.”

Connie Willis is the author of Doomsday BookCrosstalk, and Passage, among many other fictional works. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards. In 2009, Willis was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. She was named a Damon Knight Grand Master by SFWA in 2012. Even with that remarkable career, Willis has consistently made time to volunteer for SFWA in a variety of capacities, including mentorship and several committee roles.

Over the years, Willis’s volunteer efforts have particularly focused on the Emergency Medical Fund (EMF) and the Nebula Awards Rules committees. She has served as a committee member on the EMF since 2014, providing confidential evaluation of applications for medical fund assistance for SFWA members. Willis is also the longest serving member of the Nebula Awards Rules committee, which she joined on its formation in 1995. The Nebula Awards Rules committee works to adjudicate questions on the rules governing the various awards presented by SFWA. During her tenure on the committee, SFWA reimagined the Best Script Award as the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and created the Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction and the Nebula Award for Best Game Writing. The committee also designated the Bradbury and Norton Awards as official Nebula Awards®.

The 56th Nebula Awards® will take place during the 2021 Nebula Awards Conference Online.

Pixel Scroll 2/10/21 You Spin Me Right ’Round, Breqi, Right ’Round Like Radchaai, Breqi

(1) ROBOT IN MY I. Louder revisits the Seventies to find out “How Alan Parsons made I Robot, his science fiction masterpiece”.

It was June 1977, and the US was being invaded by robots. Leading the charge were R2-D2, C-3PO and the glass-domed dynamo that stared from the cover of the Alan Parsons Project’s album I Robot

“It was impeccable timing by George Lucas,” Parsons recalls with a chuckle, “to be so considerate to bring out Star Wars at the same time as our album.” The previous year, Parsons, the audio engineer behind Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon, had turned auteur, mining the works of Edgar Allan Poe on his debut album Tales Of Mystery And Imagination (“It didn’t set the world alight,” Parsons says). 

Now, Parsons and his creative partner Eric Woolfson had found literary inspiration in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. The sci-fi writer’s morality-based story collection was built around his Three Laws of Robotics – robots must obey, protect and never harm humans. 

Woolfson had a “pleasant conversation” with Asimov, who loved the idea of musicalising his book. Unfortunately the author had already sold the rights to a film/TV company. Undeterred, the duo dropped the titular comma, then wrote their own version…. 

(2) FIRST REDWALL MOVIE. “’Redwall’ Animated Feature & Series Questing to Netflix”Animation Magazine says it’s in development. My daughter read the whole series.  

Brian Jacques’ Redwall fantasy book series will be reimagined in animation thanks to a rights deal between Penguin Random House Children’s U.K. and Netflix: A feature film based on Jacques’ first book in the series, Redwall, is currently in development with writer Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio), as well as an event series based on the character of Martin the Warrior.

The deal marks the first time that the film rights to the entire book series have been held by the same company and the first time a feature film of any of Jacques’ works will be made….

(3) SFWA STORYBUNDLE.  The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) released its newest StoryBundle, Expansive Futures, a curated collection of books offered at a steeply discounted price. Readers who purchase Expansive Futures can opt to donate part of their purchase price to support SFWA’s ongoing work. The Expansive Futures StoryBundle will be available from February 10 to March 4, here.

Readers choose what price they want to pay for the initial five books. Spending $15 unlocks thirteen more books that they can receive with their purchase. Further details about how StoryBundle operates are available here

The books in the bundle are:

  • Starship Hope: Exodus by T.S. Valmond
  • Raptor by John G. Hartness
  • The Chiral Conspiracy by L.L. Richman
  • Ganymede by Jason Taylor
  • The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • Eternity’s End by Jeffrey A. Carver
  • When You Had Power by Susan Kaye Quinn
  •  Annihilation Aria by Michael R. Underwood
  • The Solar Sea by David Lee Summers
  • The Cost of Survival by J. L. Stowers
  • Claiming T-MO by Eugen Bacon
  • The Hammer Falls by Travis Heermann
  • Warrior Wench by Marie Andreas
  • Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet by Philip Harris
  • Iron Truth by S.A. Tholin
  • Knight Errant by Paul Barrett & Steve Murphy 
  • A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams
  • Two Suns at Sunset by Gene Doucette

(4) COMEDY COMPANION. “Doctor Who’s Chris Chibnall: ‘John Bishop brings a different flavour’”, as he explains to Radio Times.

Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has praised comedian and actor John Bishop for “bringing a different flavour and a different humour” in his role as companion Dan in series 13 of the BBC sci-fi show.

Bishop was unveiled in a special teaser at the end of New Year’s special Revolution of the Daleks on January 1st and, according to the BBC, his character will become “embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures” in the now-filming series 13, where he’ll “quickly learn there’s more to the Universe(s) than he could ever believe”.

Explaining why he cast Bishop in the new series, Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine: “I’ve always got my eye out for performers who are loved, and wondering how good they might be as actors. There’s such a great history of performers who start out as comedians transitioning into becoming terrific actors – the best example being Robbie Coltrane in Cracker. John’s somebody I’ve been keeping a beady eye on for years….”

(5) D&D SURPASSED. “Horror RPG Call of Cthulhu is bigger than D&D in Japan”Dicebreaker delves into the numbers.

Horror roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu has overtaken Dungeons & Dragons’ popularity in Japan, with its success driven by an explosion in interest among younger fans and a growing audience of female players over the last decade….

According to the game’s production studio Arclight, most Call of Cthulhu players in Japan are women aged between 17 and 35. By way of comparison, Wizards of the Coast revealed last year that most Dungeons & Dragons players are under 30, with 40% aged 24 or younger and around a fifth aged between 30 and 34. The majority of D&D players – more than three-fifths – identified as male, with 39% identifying as female. Players who identified as non-binary or “other” comprised less than 1% of the audience.

(6) FOR THIS THEY GET PAID. Fox Meadows lights into Locus reviewer Katharine Coldiron in “Sequel Rights: A Review of Locus Reviews”.

… The absolute gall of any reviewer to start with the second book in a series and then complain that they don’t understand what’s going on, as though this is somehow the fault of the text! It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ve read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, a book whose plots and politics are both deep and intricate – as, indeed, one might expect from the first book of a projected series! Of course Coldiron had no idea what was going on. Which begs the question: why, if she had no intention of reading the first book in the series, did Coldiron feel the need to review the sequel – and why, even more pressingly, did Locus decide such an abysmal review was worth publishing in the first place?

With such a terrible starting point, it’s hardly a surprise that the full review – which is not yet available online – gets worse as it goes on. That Coldiron repeatedly gets a main character’s name wrong (Rayyan instead of Rayyal) is a minor sin in comparison to describing a book whose setting is explicitly based on the pre-colonial Philippines as a “richly imagined world [that] resembles England before the Norman Conquest.” That Coldiron somehow made this error this despite the customs, nomenclature and general everything about Villoso’s world is bizarre; to quote a different review, “This world isn’t your pseudo-medieval European world. It’s unequivocally Filipino with inspiration from other sources in Southeast Asia. Not once does Villoso allow you to believe this is anything but a fantasy set in a world inspired by the Philippines.”

Over and over, Coldiron talks about how difficult it is to keep track of various details of a narrative which – and I cannot stress this enough – is the sequel to a book she has not read, without ever stopping to consider that this is her problem rather than the author’s…. 

After Meadows analyzes several more examples of Coldiron’s reviews, Meadows says:

… If Coldiron was posting her reviews on a private blog, or at any venue less esteemed than Locus, it’s doubtful that I’d have bothered to write this piece; or at the very least, to have written this much. The real problem, though, is not Coldiron herself: it’s that Locus has failed to notice the regularity with which her reviews rebuke POC for things she either praises or lets pass when written by white authors; has allowed the inclusion of racism and microaggressions within her work without apparent editorial oversight; and has now seen nothing wrong with publishing a wildly unprofessional review that blames a sequel volume for the reviewer’s failure to have read the first instalment. It’s maddening and upsetting in equal measure, and at a time when both SFF and the wider literary community are ostensibly trying to do better by marginalised writers, it’s a sign of how thoroughly white privilege still blinds so much of the industry to its failings, even among those who consider themselves well-intentioned.

(7) EIGHT GREAT. Radio Times unveils the “RadioTimes.com Awards 2021 – Vote for the Best Sci-Fi Show”. Voting is open until February 14. The results of the RadioTimes.com Awards will be announced on 7th March 2021.

The choices on the ballot are —

  • Devs – BBC
  • Doctor Who – BBC
  • His Dark Materials – BBC
  • Lucifer – Netflix
  • The Boys – Amazon
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix
  • The Mandalorian – Disney Plus
  • The Umbrella Academy – Netflix

(8) PLENTY OF DOOMS TO GO AROUND. James Davis Nicoll singles out “Five Books Showcasing Humanity’s Talent for Self-Extinction” for Tor.com.

…To put it more simply, perhaps the Great Silence isn’t due to galactic civilizations shunning us, but rather due to the sad probability that no civilizations last long enough to communicate before they find some innovative way to remove themselves from the playing board….

Even the perennially upbeat Clifford Simak can see how it might happen!

City by Clifford Simak (1953)

Humanity at the beginning of the 21st century had so much promise. Famine and energy shortages were vanquished; humans had acquired the basic toolkit to construct a utopia. Yet a handful of centuries later, humans were all but extinct, save for one small, irrelevant city of dreamers in suspended animation. Between those two moments lies an endless cavalcade of good intentions gone horribly awry, each one leading well-intentioned humans towards total extinction.

(9) PRO TIPS. “Interview: Guest Lecturer Melissa Scott” at the Odyssey Writing Workshop Blog.

You have collaborated with several authors. What advice do you have for writers who are interested in collaborating on fiction? What pitfalls are there to avoid?

First, the obligatory practical advice: if you’re going to collaborate, get the terms of the collaboration down in writing. Assume that one or both of you will drop dead, and your heirs will hate each other, and put your arrangements into at least a letter of agreement that all parties involved sign. I have only had to invoke this once, and it was utterly crucial to have the signed letter. It made what could have been a protracted legal mess merely unpleasant and saved the project. Get things in writing. Always.

Beyond that, my most successful collaborations have been with people who shared the same approach toward storytelling. I focus on story and character over theme or message; I get excited about my work and can spend hours making notes on the possible plot(s) and figuring out the connections among the characters and the ways they work in their worlds. I work best with people who share that interest in story and character, and with people who are also enthusiasts. (For me, there’s nothing better than getting an email from a collaborator with six links to videos of reconstructed Renaissance transitional fencing styles to illustrate a point. Your mileage may vary.) It’s basically a matter of understanding your own working style and trying to find a collaborator whose style meshes well with yours.

(10) ONE-MINUTE READ. “‘I basically had a midlife crisis’: Author N.K. Jemisin explains why it’s never too late to quit your day job” at Fast Company.

I didn’t try to publish anything until I was 30, when I basically had a midlife crisis. I was in a city I didn’t like, had not reached various milestones I wanted to reach, and was in student loan debt up to my eyeballs…

(11) MEMORY LANE.

  • 2001 — Twenty years ago, China Miéville ‘s Perdido Street Station wins the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The other nominees that year were Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Talents, Mary Gentle’s Ash: A Secret History, Ken MacLeod’s Cosmonaut Keep, Alastair Reynolds’s Revelation Space and Adam Roberts’ SaltPerdido Street Station would also win a BFA and be nominated for the BSFA, Otherwise and Nebula Awards.  (CE)

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born February 10, 1904 – Lurton Blassingame.  Literary agent to John Barth, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, William F. Nolan.  More letters to him in Grumbles from the Grave than anyone else; some from him too.  Loved fishing, hunting, playing bridge, watching opera and ballet.  After half a century his firm sold to Eleanor Wood’s Spectrum Literary Agency, 1979.  His wife died the next year.  His papers are at Univ. Oregon.  (Died 1988) [JH]
  • Born February 10, 1906 Lon Chaney Jr. I certainly best remember him as  playing Larry Talbot in The Wolf Man but he has a lot of other roles as well: The Ghost of Frankenstein as The Monster (look, correct billing!), The Mummy’s Tomb as The Mummy Kharis or Son of Dracula as Count Dracula, he played all the great monsters, often multiple times. (Died 1973.) (CE) 
  • Born February 10, 1920 Alex Comfort. No smirking please as we’re supposed to be adults here. Yes he’s the author of The Joy of Sex but he did do some decidedly odd genre work as well. Clute at EoSF notes  that his “first genuine sf novel, Come Out to Play (1961), is a near-future Satire on scientism narrated by a smug sexologist, whose Invention – a potent sexual disinhibitor jokingly called 3-blindmycin (see Drugs) – is accidentally released over Buckingham Palace at the Slingshot Ending, presumably causing the English to act differently than before.” ISFDB lists only a few genre works by him but EoSF has a generous lists of works. (Died 2000.) (CE) 
  • Born February 10, 1920 – Robert P. Mills.  Edited The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (managing editor since F&SF began; editor, after Tony Boucher; succeeded in turn by Avram Davidson) and Venture.  Ten years managing editor of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.  Five F&SF anthologies: Best of F&SF 9th, 10th, 11th Series; A Decade of F&SFTwenty Years of F&SF (with Edward Ferman).  Also The Worlds of SF.  Three Hugos (Best Magazine to F&SF under RPM).  One short story.  After F&SF, a literary agent; sold firm to Richard Curtis, 1984.  Papers at Univ. Texas.  (Died 1986) [JH]
  • Born February 10, 1934 – Fleur Adcock, age 87.  Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.  Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.  Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.  Fellow, Royal Soc. Literature. Cholmondely Award.  One short story for us.  A score of poetry collections; tr. The Virgin and the Nightingale (medieval Latin poems); ed. (with Jacqueline Simms) The Oxford Book of Creatures (verse & prose).  [JH]
  • Born February 10, 1935 Terrance Dicks. He had a long association with  Doctor Who, working as a writer and also serving as the programme’s script editor from 1968 to 1974. He also wrote many of its scripts including The War Games which ended the Second Doctor’s reign and The Five Doctors, produced for the 20th year celebration of the program. He also wrote novelization of more than sixty of the Doctor Who shows. Yes sixty! Prior to working on this series, he wrote four episodes of The Avengers and after this show he wrote a single episode of Space: 1999 and likewise for Moonbase 3, a very short lived BBC series that I’ve never heard of. (Died 2019.) (CE)
  • Born February 10, 1953 John Shirley, 68. I’m not going to even attempt a complete précis of his career. I read and much enjoyed his first novel City Come A-Walkin and oddly enough his Grimm: The Icy Touch is damn good too in way many of those sharecropped novels aren’t. I see that to my surprise he wrote a episode of Deep Space Nine, “Visionary” and also wrote three episodes of the ‘12 series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (CE)
  • Born February 10, 1953 – Tom Whitmore, age 68.  Three decades a partner in “The Other Change of Hobbit” bookshop.  Chaired Potlatch 2, SMOFcon 2 (SMOF is Secret Master Of Fandom, as Bruce Pelz said a joke-nonjoke-joke); co-chaired ConJosé the 60th Worldcon, Fan Guest of Honor at Denvention 3 the 66th; also Fan GoH at Westercon 36, Loscon XIV, Boskone 26 (as Special Guest, Boskone has no Fan GoH; anyway, see Debbie Notkin’s appreciation), Capclave 2006.  Book reviews in Locus.  Morris dancer.  [JH]
  • Born February 10, 1967 Laura Dern, 54. I’m going to note she’s in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet as Sandy Williams which is not genre but which is one fucking weird film. Jurassic Park where she is Dr. Ellie Sattler is her first SF film followed by Jurassic Park III and a name change to Dr. Ellie Degler.  Such are the things movie trivia is made of. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has her showing as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.  I think her first genre appearance was on Shelley Duvall’s Nightmare Classic. (CE)
  • Born February 10, 1970 – Robert Shearman, age 51.  Fourscore short stories.  Two of them Doctor Who; ed. The Shooting Scripts (with Paul Cornell, Russell Davis, Mark Gatiss); Rob and Tony’s Marathon Watch of “Doctor Who” vols. 1-2 (with Toby Hadoke).  Interviewed in Nightmare.  [JH]
  • Born February 10, 1976 Keeley Hawes, 45. Ms Delphox/Madame Karabraxos in the most excellent Twelth Doctor story “Time Heist”.  It wasn’t her first genre role as that would’ve been Tamara in that incredibly awful Avengers film. She also played Zoe Reynolds in MI5 which is at least genre adjacent given where the story went. She has also provided the voice of Lara Croft in a series of Tomb Raider video games.  (CE)
  • Born February 10, 1987 – Cody Martin, age 34.  Four novels, three shorter stories, with Mercedes Lackey (whose name, incidentally, means servant of mercy); five novels and a shorter story in the Secret World Chronicles (which is also a podcast) with Lackey, Veronica Giguere, Dennis Lee, Steve Libby.  Eagle Scout.  Gamer.  “After I started writing him, John Murdock drifted away from me….  It surprised me, pleasantly.”  [JH]

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) MILESTONES. In “The Animation That Changed Cinema” on YouTube, Lewis Bond and Luiza Liz Bond look at how great artists like Lotte Reininger, Jan Svankmajer, and Brad Bird changed and improved animation.

(15) WORLD OF TOMORROW KICKSTARTER. Don Hertzfeldt’s Kickstarter to fund “World of Tomorrow: The First Three Episodes” on Blu-ray has raised $218,446 of its $30,000 goal in the first two days. People who pledge $20 get a copy. There are incentives for higher pledges.

WHAT WILL BE ON THE NEW BLU-RAY?

  • the first three episodes of the series: “world of tomorrow”, “world of tomorrow episode two: the burden of other people’s thoughts”, and “world of tomorrow episode three: the absent destinations of david prime”
  • “intro”, a short cartoon that was created for the 2017 tour and has only ever been seen in theaters
  •  a 32 page booklet, including brand new liner notes for all the titles
  •  additional bells and whistles TBD 

(16) HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD. “Wynonna Earp: New trailer shows her back on the hunt in Purgatory”: SYFY Wire sets the frame:

…“All I want is to stop feeling guilty for what I am, when what I am is necessary,” Wynonna, played by Melanie Scrofano, says at the beginning of the clip. The trailer then goes on to show Wynonna on a bit of a bender — killing demons, getting drunk, hooking up, and passing out, all with Peacemaker back by her side.

(17) DERAILED BY DISNEY DEAL. Disney bought the studio, Blue Sky, that was making the Nimona cartoon (and other things) and has fired all the staff on Nimona and other projects. “Nimona Movie Cancelled by Disney Less Than a Year Before Release”Comicbook.com has the story.

Fans of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power creator Noelle Stevenson and her original comics were saddened today when news came that Disney is shutting down the former 20th Century Fox animation studio Blue Sky and with it cancelling their feature film adaptation of Stevenson’s Nimona. The movie was less than a year away and had been in development since around 2015, with a release date already scheduled for release on January 14th of 2022. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, sources indicated that the movie was “about 75% complete” and theorized that perhaps another studio could step in and finish the project.

… This marks the latest project that was in development at Fox or one of its subsidiaries that had fans excited and was subsequently cancelled by Disney….

(18) WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES PRINTED WITH THAT? In the Washington Post, Laura Reiley says that Israeli firm Aleph Farms says it has a process for 3-D printing steaks, and discussed other companies that are coming up with “cultivated: meat and fish. “The world’s first lab-grown rib-eye prompts questions about how cultivated meat will be regulated”.

… Aleph Farms’ new 3-D bioprinting technology— which uses living animal cells as opposed to plant-based alternatives — allows for premium whole-muscle cuts to come to market, broadening the scope of alt-meat in what is expected to be a rich area of expansion for food companies.

Several other companies are sprinting to capture what is expected to be a robust appetite for what is often called “cultivated meat.” San Diego-based BlueNalu has announced its intent to bring cell-based seafood products to market in the second half of this year; Israel-based Future Meat Technologies and Dutch companies Meatable and Mosa Meat aim to have cultivated meat products in the market by 2022, each with proprietary methods of growing meat tissues from punch biopsies from live or slaughtered animals.

But the lack of a regulatory framework could stymie the companies’ race to market. In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the world’s first head of state to eat cultivated meat, and that same month Singapore became the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval for the sale of cultivated meat. It remains unclear when other countries will follow suit. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has not set a date for when it will rule on the matter….

(19) AREN’T YOU SHORT FOR AN IMPERIAL WALKER? SYFY Wire shows “Walking car proven possible by Hyundai TIGER concept”.

It’s probably safe to say that Hyundai is betting big on the future of transportation. Last week, we got wind of their plan to build the world’s smallest airport for flying cars, and then yesterday, the South Korean company just went even more futuristic by presenting its “walking car” concept, TIGER, aka the transforming intelligent ground excursion robot.

Branded as the company’s first uncrewed ultimate mobility vehicle (UMV), TIGER is meant to transform from a four-wheel drive vehicle to a four-legged walking machine….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, N., Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, Betsy Hanes Perry, James Davis Nicoll, John Hertz, JJ, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

SFWA’s Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards Go to Ben Bova, Rachel Caine, and Jarvis Sheffield

Kate Wilhelm’s Solstice Award (2008).

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) announced today that Ben Bova, Rachel Caine, and Jarvis Sheffield will be honored with the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award at the 56th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards®. Bova and Caine are posthumous honorees, having died in 2020.

The Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award is given by SFWA for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community. Bova, Caine, and Sheffield join the ranks of previous Solstice Award winners, including Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr., and Carl Sagan. The awards will be presented at the 56th Nebula Awards®, the weekend of June 4–6, 2021.

Ben Bova

Ben Bova

A prolific and award-winning author, Ben Bova took over the editorial chair for Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact following the death of John W. Campbell and helmed the magazine for seven years. He established Omni Magazine in 1978, where he served as editorial director and provided a new market for short science fiction. Bova’s work ranged beyond the genre; he is the only SFWA president who also served as president of the National Space Society. Bova is a recipient of the Solstice Award for his long history of editorial work, including his efforts to nurture new authors and to advance the use of science in science fiction.

SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal remarked, “Ben Bova was so deeply immersed in science fiction that having his name on a project was a stamp of quality, be that as an editor or as a writer. More than that, Ben was kind. He knew how hard breaking into the field was and created new opportunities for early career writers.”

Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine was the bestselling author of several fantasy, science fiction, and thriller series. She was dedicated to supporting newer authors, not only financially, but also mentoring them to successful careers. Caine was a champion of independent bookstores and classrooms, aiming to ensure that teachers had the tools needed to educate their students and that independent bookstores could remain in business in the face of corporate competition. Even after her passing, Caine’s dedication to supporting others continued, including directing donations in her memory toward SFWA’s Emergency Medical Fund and the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Institute.

SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal noted, “Rachel Caine was a prolific and wonderful writer, but also dedicated herself to using her platform to lift up others. From mentoring to fundraising efforts, Rachel was always there for the community.”

Jarvis Sheffield

Jarvis Sheffield

Jarvis Sheffield has a long history of working to help diversify the science fiction community, among authors and fans. He helped establish and manage the Diversity Track at Dragon Con as the track’s director. He is also the founder of the Black Science Fiction Society and has served as the editor for Genesis Science Fiction Magazine. Sheffield’s work has helped strengthen and expand the scope of science fiction by welcoming Black authors into the field and providing them venues to express their voices in the speculative fiction community.

SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal said, “The work that Jarvis Sheffield has been doing through the Black Science Fiction Society has created a dedicated home for promoting Black SF. The knowledge that he’s shared about independent publishing has created a path for many authors to do an end-run around the roadblocks created by systemic biases within traditional publishing. Many of the voices we celebrate today came into the field because of his efforts to create a safe space.”

The 56th Nebula Awards® will take place during the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, an annual professional development conference organized by SFWA for aspiring and established members of the speculative fiction industry. Registration is $125 and may be purchased at events.sfwa.org.

[Based on a press release.]

The Nebula Awards
Showcase #54 Released

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) spotlights some of the best science fiction and fantasy published in 2018 with the release of The Nebula Awards Showcase 54.This latest volume of the prestigious anthology series contains works that were nominated for or won the 54th Annual Nebula Awards, as voted by SFWA members. Nibedita Sen, a Hugo, Nebula, and Astounding Award-nominated writer and editor, edited the volume and contributed an introduction. 

The Showcase’s table of contents includes the following material (winners are noted by an asterisk):

  • Introduction by Nibedita Sen
  • “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone” by Kate Dollarhyde 
  • “Into the Spider-verse: A Classic Origin Story in Bold New Color” by Brandon O’Brien 
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark* 
  • “Interview for the End of the World” by Rhett C. Bruno
  • “And Yet” by A. T. Greenblatt 
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of  Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow 
  • “The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker 
  • “The Only Harmless Great Thing” by Brooke Bolander*
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly
  • “An Agent of Utopia” by Andy Duncan 
  • “The Substance of My Lives, The Accidents of Our Births” by José Pablo Iriarte 
  • “The Rule of Three” by Lawrence M. Schoen 
  • “Messenger” by R.R. Virdi & Yudhanjaya Wijeratne 
  • Excerpt: “The Tea Master and the Detective” by Aliette de  Bodard* 
  • Excerpt: “Fire Ant” by Jonathan P. Brazee 
  • Excerpt: “The Black God’s Drums” by P. Djèlí Clark 
  • Excerpt: “Alice Payne Arrives” by Kate Heartfield 
  • Excerpt: “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach” by Kelly Robson 
  • Excerpt: “Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries” by  Martha Wells 
  • Excerpt: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal*

Anthology editor Nibedita Sen is a Hugo, Nebula, and Astounding Award-nominated queer Bengali writer from Calcutta and a graduate of Clarion West 2015 whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anathema: Spec from the MarginsPodcastle, Nightmare and Fireside. “The works nominated in 2019 represent a broad range of topics and perspectives that reflect the diversity in science fiction and fantasy being published today,” Sen said. “It was an honor to edit this showcase to represent so many voices.”

The Nebula Awards Showcase #54 is available at all major online retailers for $19.99 for the print edition, $9.99 for the digital version, and for library borrowing through Overdrive. For the complete list of retailers, visit the The Nebula Awards Showcase #54 webpage at the SFWA website here.

[Based on a press release.]