One week behind schedule for Camp Nanowrimo, I have finally completed a first draft novel, tentatively titled Red Soil Through Our Fingers! This is a major milestone for me. I’ve tried many times, via Nanowrimo and otherwise, to finish even one draft of a novel, but have never made it through the “murky middle”. Having made it to the other side, wow. It really does get better after roughly the 80% mark. Here’s what it means for what I’ve got and where it’s going.
Three days ago, I submitted my votes for the 2014 Hugo Awards. If you’ve never voted for the Hugos before, I highly recommend it. For $40, you get:
nomination and final voting for the current year’s Hugo Awards
nomination for the following year’s Hugo awards
e-copies of all of the top five nominees in every category (some of the novel-length items are novella-length excerpts)
The Hugos are supposed to be a democratic representation of what the fans of the genre find compelling and worthy of praise. Say what you will about the state of the genre and how far we still need to go on many issues, but the Hugos are one way of making your voice heard. Don’t complain about what gets accolades if you don’t vote!
I didn’t submit votes for all categories, since I didn’t have time to read through everything. (You will recall, of course, that I was and still am working on finishing a novel draft this summer as well.) I also confess to voting for Best Novel based only on the first 1-2 chapters of each nominee. Here are my top ranked selections for each category that I actually submitted a vote:
Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Best Novella: “Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)
Best Novelette: “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)
Best Short Story: “Selkie Stories Are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013
I think the category in which I was most conflicted about my final vote was Best Novelette. Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars” as well as Ted Chiang’s “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” were both lovely stories as well. I liked all three for different reasons. Kowal’s won out in the end I think because all else held equal, I think I’d rather promote a story about humanity looking outward into space again than anything else.
This anthology will call for and publish speculative fiction stories that interrogate issues of disability—along with the intersecting nodes of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both the imagined physical and virtual spaces of the future. We want people of all abilities to see themselves, as they are now and as they want to be, in our collective human future.
Accessing the Future will be a collection of speculative fiction that places emphasis on the social, political, and material realms of being. We aren’t looking for stories of “cure,” that depict people with disabilities (or with other in/visible differences) as “extra special,” or that generally reproduce today’s dominant reductionist viewpoints of dis/ability as fixed and a problem to be solved. We want stories that place emphasis on intersectional narratives (rejection of, undoing, and speaking against ableist, heteronormative, racist, cissexist, and classist constructions) and that are informed by an understanding of dis/ability issues and politics at individual and institutional levels. We want to hear from writers that think critically about how prosthetic technologies, new virtual and physical environments, and genetic modifications will impact human bodies, our communities, and the planet.
I just became a backer this morning. If you’re interested in expanding the diversity of perspectives within science fiction, this is a great opportunity to get behind a project on the front lines of imagining a more socially-just humanity.