Belated News: Awards and a Reprint

This past year has been hectic, so this post is more than belated.

Cat for contrast!

First of all, shiny awards! Icefall won the Aurealis Best Science Fiction Novella Award for 2018, while my story Pinion (published in Aurum) won the short fiction category of the Norma K Hemming Award.

Icefall has also been reprinted! You can find it in The Year’s Top Hard Science Fiction Stories 3 (and seriously, go and check out that TOC!). This anthology is currently available in paperback and ebook, and audio is coming soon.

Defying Doomsday is in the wild!

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Defying Doomsday, containing my story, To Take Into the Air My Quiet Breath, is now officially released.  You can nab yourself a copy over at Twelfth Planet Press, and other book retailers, in ebook or paperback versions right now.  I’ve read through the anthology, and though I’m obviously biased, I can highly recommend grabbing a copy.

I’d also like to link to a very nice article about the anthology, originally published in the West Australian, in which Tsana Dolvicha and I talk about the anthology and I get cranky about inspiration porn.  You can read the article here.

2015: The obligatory year end post

2015 has, overall, been a very successful year for me.

Healthwise, for the first time in a long time, things seem to be improving.  New medication is making a huge difference, and while I’m still not able to work a “normal” full time job, I am generally doing better than I have been for the last handful of years.  It’s kind of awesome, and I am frantically knocking on wood, lest it end.

I’ve got to watch my son keep on growing into an amazing individual.  He finished his first full year of school, and has done incredibly well with it all.  There have been some hiccups along the way, but such is life.  Sometimes I find myself just watching him do things and just be utterly floored by the fact that he exists.  Parenthood (or more precisely, parenting a baby and toddler) has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I am so grateful that I’ve had the chance to do it.

Writing wise, it’s been a slower year in terms of getting things finished than I’d like, but there’s been forward motion.  A few years ago, I sat down and wrote out a list of achievements that I would like to make in my writing career.  This year, I achieved three of them.  The last one I can’t talk about yet (but hopefully soon, for I am incredibly excited about this project).  The others?  I had a story, Escapement, nominated for both a Tin Duck and a Ditmar (my first non-fan writing nominations) and had the same story reprinted in a Year’s Best anthology).  I am so thankful to the good folks at Ticonderoga Publications and editor extraordinaire for publishing my weird steampunk dystopia story.

I do feel like I’ve levelled up a bit as a writer, and I am really happy with the works I’ve had published this year – Broken Glass in Hear Me Roar and The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth in Bloodlines, both from Ticonderoga.  Huge thanks as always to my brilliant critique partner, Pia van Ravestein, without whom none of my stories would be what they are.

In terms of reviews, I’m less than happy.  I did manage to finish my Australian Women Writers Challenge pledge, but I have fallen way behind on my Netgalley reviews.  Next year, I really want to tackle them and try to increase my review percentage.

Overall, though, a fairly good year.  Only a few more days, and then we’re onto 2016.

July in review

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July books

Writing

  • I made the decision partway through this month to stop writing every day, after having written daily for over a year.  I was feeling burned out and utterly exhausted, and wanted my weekends back.  I’m not making any commitments to keeping this writing pattern permanently, but for now, it’s a relief to have the weekends for myself and my family.
  • I am a squeak away from reaching 80k on this draft of Never.  I’m basically totally redrafting the last third, so it’s slower and harder going than the first two thirds.  I’m at the point where I’m looking forward to this draft being done.  Mostly so I can start editing it.

Reading and Reviewing

  • I voted in the Hugos.  Which translates mostly as slapping No Award on most of the categories.  I’m looking forward to seeing the stats after the winners are announced, though I anticipate anger at the good works which got pushed off the ballot.
  • One review written for the Australian Women Writers Challenge: Insert Title Here, edited by Tehani Wessley.
  • One Netgalley review: Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Miscellaneous

  • This has been a hard month health-wise, with many arthritis flares, as usual for me in winter.  I’m coping, but the constant pain equals a lot of exhaustion.

Some recommendations for writers, especially short story writers

First, this is somewhat relevant to the panel I was on at Swancon about what makes a good short story, today’s daily writing kick from David Farland which discusses how to judge a story.  And for anyone who’s trying to work their way up in the writing field, I can highly recommend subscribing to David Farland’s daily kicks emails.

Second, something I actually meant to mention on that panel was Forever magazine, a reprint-only magazine recently launched by Neil Clarke (of Clarkesworld).  I’ve been a long-time subscriber of Clarkesworld and subscribed to Forever when it first came out.  And I have been utterly astonished at the brilliance of the stories that have been reprinted.  You want to know what makes a good story?  This is a really good place to start looking.  It’s subscription-only, but cheap and in my opinion, worth the money.

And third, I’d also like to recommend the new podcast by Mur Lafferty (of I Should Be Writing and the Shambling Guide books) and Matt Wallace – Ditch Diggers.  I’ve listened to every episode of I Should Be Writing and highly recommend it for all writers (and especially beginning writers, it’s very worth getting access to the archives by supporting Mur on Patreon and listening to all the episodes).  Ditch Diggers aims to explore writing as a business, and is highly entertaining besides.  Kameron Hurley and Chuck Wendig have guested, and the latest episode has an interview with Brianna Wu.  Go and listen and learn.

 

AWW14: Completed

This year for the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge I signed up at the Franklin level – read at least 10 books, reviewing at least 6.

My stats for the year:

Female Australian authors read: 52.

Reviews written: 7.

 

Links to reviews:

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina.

The Other Tree by D.K. Mok.

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres.

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott.

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko.

 

Musings on the challenge

Overall, I’m really happy with my reading year in terms of this challenge.  The total number of books was easy to achieve, since I was judging for the Aurealis Awards both at the beginning and end of the year.

I had originally set up a mental challenge to myself to review at least one book a month, but that unfortunately fell by the wayside.  I feel fairly happy with the seven reviews I got written, though.  I’m especially glad that I picked up more books by Indigenous writers this year, and hope to extend that into my challenge for next year as well.  Of particular note is Mullumbimby, which I picked up specifically because it was linked from the AWW Goodreads page, and was probably a book that I wouldn’t have normally come across otherwise.

Many thanks to the organisers of the challenge, and if you’ve never given it a go, I encourage everyone to.  Even if it makes you pick up one book by a female Australian author, I consider that a worthy accomplishment.