Jun 03, 2009
David Nickle's short story collection is creepy and fun. You'll want it
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say right off the bat that I've written an award-winning short story and a novel with David Nickle. I consider him one of the finest horror writers around, and in combination we've crafted some pretty weird stuff; but by temperament David's always been a short fiction writer. His best pieces are small, intricately-crafted, and often disturbing glimpses of humanity's dark side. Now, he's finally collected some of them into a book you can buy. The book is Monstrous Affections.
David's work is by turns horrific, touching, and wickedly funny--sometimes all at the same time. (Consider a vampire-as-special-needs-kid story where the poor misunderstood vampire toddler is swarmed by righteous preschoolers and--well, you can imagine.) David's got a blog you can check out, The Devil's Exercise Yard, which is lots of fun, and of course you can still find copies of the novel we wrote together, The Claus Effect, which is basically a James Bond thriller with Santa Claus as the super-villain.
Monstrous Affections is available now for pre-order from the Horror Mall (as warm and cuddly a website as you can imagine). The book will be released on Halloween of 2009; but by ordering it now, you send a strong signal to the publisher and other interested parties that you're interested in David's work. And, if you later forget that you've put in the order, you'll have a pleasant little surprise in your mailbox around Halloween (and it won't be a stick or somebody's left ear! Although, who knows, you might get that too).
Apr 11, 2008
Anyone can vote, but the deadline is April 15
I just found out that Book II of my Virga series, Queen of Candesce, is on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Locus Award! (I should have known this--aren't all the Locus Recommended Reading titles on the ballot?) In any case, I'm quite proud of the company this puts Queen in, next to books by Brian Aldiss, William Gibson, Joe Haldeman, and Charlie Stross. The downside to being on such a prestigious list is that my chances of winning are miniscule, but the ballot is of the Australian Rules type, where you can choose your top five works in order of preference. (The ballots hold a kind of run-off election against each other that allows a candidate who's nobody's first choice, but everybody's second choice, to win.) So, who knows, maybe Queen will be everybody's second-favourite book of last year! (Venera would fall to the ground and gnash her teeth at that thought.)
One oddity of the ballot is that the web page makes it look like you have to be a Locus subscriber to vote. You don't. Anybody can vote, you just have to include some identifying contact information, which Locus will keep confidential.
There are a lot of categories for this award, including short story, novelette, best art book etc. So zip on over and vote; it's painless and at the very least will let you settle in your own mind what your favourite works were last year.
Feb 29, 2008
Run, don't walk, to http://www.denvention.org/hugos/08hugonomballot.php
What more's to be said? Hugo nomination season was brief this year; it's highly likely as a result that you wield disproportionate power if you nominate and vote because nomination numbers are always very low. Literally, every single nomination counts for this award, and books can get on the ballot with as few as 30 nominations.
Nomination for this award is perhaps the most concretely effective thing you can do to support the career of writers you like. Of course I'm shamelessly cadging for Queen of Candesce here, but there's plenty of other award categories that would benefit from your opinion, such as best short story, best novella, dramatic screenplay etc.
That said, if you're not already a member of Denvention, you're out of luck. I suspect this sort of draconian membership is part of the reason the nomination numbers are so low (doubtless there's a flame-ridden discussion thread about that around somewhere)--but hundreds of people who could nominate don't, and I'm sure many of them intend to but are caught with their pants down when the deadline passes.
Feb 08, 2008
Because nomination is the sincerest form of flattery
Yes, there is an alternative! It's awards season again, and my latest novel Queen of Candesce is eligible--for the Hugo, the Aurora, and others. If you were a member of Worldcon last year, or are already this year, you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo--but better do it soon, because the deadline is the end of February!
Similarly, Canadians can nominate for the Aurora online, but be quick about it. Nominations close March 17.
And why do I think you should nominate Queen? Well, don't take my word for it:
With Queen of Candesce, Karl Schroeder's Virga saga establishes itself as an SF saga of the same order as LeGuin's Earthsea stories, Asimov's Robot stories, and Niven's Ringworld stories.--SF Revu
Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley’s Gaean trilogy and Jack L. Chalker’s Well of Souls series, Schroeder’s saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building.
Queen of Candesce . . . offers a generous abundance of reading pleasure, and its confirms that Karl Schroeder belongs in the front ranks of SF world-builders.
SF remains the home to some of the most visionary writers of the day, and to some of the most overlooked. With Queen of Candesce, [Schroeder] has achieved a clockwork balance of deftly paced adventure and humour, set against an intriguing and unique vision of humanity's far future.
--The Globe and Mail
Vote Venera in '08!