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Hugo Nominations 2015

March 3, 2015
Shadows

The nomination period for this year’s Hugo Awards closes in a week. I am slightly late to the party since I just started filling in my ballot today, but there’s still time. I thought I would share what I’m nominating and see if you folks had any other suggestions. There are several categories that I am terribly weak in.

indexing
Novel
– 40,001 words and up
Indexing  by Seanan McGuire
Valour & Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
Lock In by John Scalzi

courting

Novella – 17,500 – 40,000 words
Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis
 Ashes and Alchemy by Cindy Spencer Pape

Novelette – 7,500 – 17,5000
A Fire in the Heavens  by Mary Robinette Kowal

ShadowsBest Related Work

(honestly, for this one I’m just going to copy the description on the ballot, because I just don’t know.)

Any work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom appearing for the first time during 2014 or which has been substantially modified during 2014, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category.

Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, & Howard Tayler  

rat queensGraphic Story
Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch
Red Sonja, Vol, 1: Queen of Plagues by Gail Simone and Walter Geovanni
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddle
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
(I’m not actually sure if the last two are really eligible in the category. It depends on what is meant by “told in graphic form” means to the committee.)

winter
Dramatic Presentation
– Long Form (over 90 minutes)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Captain America: Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Maleficent
How to Train Your Dragon 2

librarians
Dramatic Presentation
– Short Form (90 minutes or less)
The Librarians – And the Apple of Discord
(I’m still debating about whether I want to nominate the entire run of Peggy Carter for long form next year or pick out an individual episode for short form. Decisions, decisions, decisions.)

Professional Editor – Short Form
Christie Yant – worked with Seanan on “Each to Each”
Lynne M. Thomas – editor at Uncanny Magazine
Ellen Datlow – editor of all the things including Tor.com and Women Destroy Horror

Professional Editor – Long Form
Shelia Gilbert – co-owner of DAW. Works with Seanan McGuire
Liz Gorinsky – works at Tor with authors like Mary Robinette Kowal, George Mann and Catherynne Valente

Mami Wata Medusa by Autumn

Mami Wata Medusa by Autumn

Professional Artist 

Sam Flegal
Autumn

tea

Fancast
Tea & Jeopardy by Emma Newman
Sword & Laser by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt

Aaaand that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. Categories that remain:
Short Story 
Semipro Zine
Fanzine
Fan Writer
Fan Artist
John W. Campbell Award 

Do you have any suggestions? What have I overlooked? What did you love the F/SF field in 2014?

Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire

February 24, 2015

Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid #4) by Seanan McGuire
Publication Date: March 3
Publisher: DAW

pocket apocalypseI got an ARC of this book very early because my Penguin rep loves me. (Hi Betty! You’re the best!!!)

Seanan has done it again! In Pocket Apocalypse Alex Price, herpetologist and cryptozoologist, is on his way to Australia. His girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, a cryptozoologist in her own right, has requested his help with a werewolf outbreak back home. Since Australia is a closed ecosystem, the introduction of a feral, highly contagious, apex predator is a very dangerous thing. One werewolf could infect the entire continent in a matter of months. However, the only thing more dangerous to Alex than the werewolves could be Shelby’s family. They aren’t at all happy to have their oldest daughter dating anyone, much less an American who happens to be a Price boy. This book packs a wonder for the natural beauty of Australia in with high action, and a humorous reminder that everything in Australia wants to kill you. No, really. EVERYTHING. And that’s just the things that the normal folks know about.

ragnarokI love this book so much! There are sad things and funny things, and downright silly things. The Aeslin mice continue to be one of my favorite parts of the series. (I wonder what would happen if the Aeslin mice from the InCryptid books got together with Oberon from the Iron Druid books? Probably bloodshed, but they might bond over a shared love of food.) If you haven’t read any of the InCryptid books, you can start with Half-Off Ragnarok and then come on to Pocket Apocalypse.
The first two books focus on Verity Price, the middle child of the Price family, while these two focus on Alex. I’m assuming Antimony (the baby) will also get a run. Seanan has stated that the InCryptid series is a mult-generational story, so I think we’ve got lots of time to spend with the Prices and the Healeys.
Seanan has also, in her infinite awesomeness, given us loads of InCryptid material on her website. For free! I highly recommend you swing by there and look around. The link takes you straight to the short stories, but there is a field guide, wallpapers, and info on the novels.

Happy reading!

Reading Challenge Progress

January 29, 2015

The last time I checked in with the Popsugar Reading Challenge I had read three books for it.
A book set in a different country – The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood
A book by a female author - Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie
A book with nonhuman characters – The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Thanks to my trip to PAX South and a kerfuffle at the airport, I’ve managed to check off a few more from the list:
jigA book you can finish in a day – Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines
Jig is a slightly smarter, but slightly smaller than average goblin. He has terrible eyesight, which means he spends most of his time doing children’s chores instead of going out with the raiding parties or patrols. When he finally does get tapped to go on a patrol he runs into a group of adventurers. Adventurers are the worst! They look at goblins as a minor annoyance to be dispatched and forgotten. However, these adventurers decide that Jig could be of use to them and proceed to drag him on their adventure with them. Before he knows it he’s facing down hobgoblin traps, necromancers, dragons, poisonous fish, and magical possessions. And frankly, he’d really rather just be back in his tunnel eating some mystery stew and avoiding anything that smacks of adventure.
This book kept me relatively sane and happy during a three hour flight delay, so props to it for that!

dangerousA mystery or a thriller – A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
I’m not going to talk too much about the next few books since they aren’t out for a bit yet. I’ll have fuller reviews closer to publication.
This is the eleventh Maisie Dobbs book. I will say that there is a bit of a time jump. Maisie finds herself in Gibraltar as the Spanish Civil War is heating up. A Jewish man has been murdered on the grounds of the fanciest hotel in town and Maisie, of course, discovered the body. She finds herself unable to continue her travels while the man’s murder remains unsolved.
A Dangerous Place will be out from Harper on March 17.

pocket apocalypseA book published this year – Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
This is Book 4 of the InCryptid series. This time Alex follows Shelby home to Australia where everything, including Shelby’s family, wants to kill him. There is a werewolf outbreak in Australia. This is potentially disastrous to an island ecology. Werewolves are not only apex predators, but during their change they are mindless killers. They could completely unbalance the Australian ecosystem in a matter of weeks if they get a secure foothold.
Since no one in the Thirty-Six Society, Australia’s cryptozoological organization, has ever dealt with a werewolf before Shelby asks Alex to come home with her and lend his expertise.
His presence is not received well. And then the werewolves show up and it all goes to hell.
Pocket Apocalypse will be out from DAW on March 3.

So, how are you guys doing with your reading goals for the year? Is anyone else doing the Popsugar Challenge or do you have other challenges that you’ve set for yourselves?

I went to a video game convention and found the books

January 27, 2015

I spent the weekend at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. PAX, for those of you who don’t know, stands for the Penny Arcade Expo. Penny Arcade is an incredibly successful web comic about video games. It is written and drawn by two men in the Seattle area. In 2004 they started their own convention as a place for fans of video games to gather, see new content, talk with developers, and generally geek out about games. The original show, PAX Prime, has grown into four yearly shows; Prime, East, Australia, and now South.

So, I went there for video games. And I saw plenty of video games, but I also found books! I had flagged two of the Indie Tabletop games that were being featured at the convention as things I wanted to look into. And then, as I was coming down the escalator into the expo hall I saw it!

Photo from  Do Better Games Facebook page

Photo from Do Better Games Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/DoBetterGames

There was a BOOKSHELF in the middle of the expo hall! The bookshelf was part of the booth for a game called Bring Your Own Book. The game is kind of like a literary scavenger hunt. Each player has a book, yes, a real, paper book. They draw prompt cards from the deck and then everyone races each other and the clock to find the best match to the prompt within their book. There are several different rule sets depending on how challenging you want the game to be. There are infinite variations. What about playing with only romance novels? You could play with only non-fiction or only sci-fi. You could all rotate books every round. The possibilities are endless!
The game is available online right now as a print and play, but there’s also a Kickstarter running for lovely boxed versions of the game. I highly encourage you to check it out! I’ve already backed the Kickstarter and basically pledged myself to do anything I can to help the game be a success. So, fair warning, I’ll probably bug you about it over the next 27 days.

paperbackRight next to Bring Your Own Book there was another book related game called Paperback. They had a typewriter. It was how you put yourself on their mailing list. They are my favorites!
The point of the game is to draw cards and form words. You also have to finish your novel. I picked up a copy of the game and as soon as UPS delivers it I’ll tell you all about how much I enjoyed playing it. They also had these fantastic postcards with pulp covers. I picked up a full set of those too, because how could I not? Paperback is available now and can be purchased from the website.

If you like games and books I suggest you look into these two. They’re pretty spiffy. Also, if you’re in the Birmingham area, we’ll be playing both these games at Little Professor for TableTop Day in April. I’ll update you more on that as we get closer.

Popsugar’s 2015 Reading Challenge

January 11, 2015

REMINDER! You still have a week to enter my Kat, Incorrigible hot chocolate mug giveaway! Go to this post and follow the directions!

You all know I love a challenge, so I thought I’d participate in the Reading Challenge 2015 from Popsugar. This isn’t a website I really go to all that often, but every now and then I come across a link that sounds interesting.
I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year. I never stick to them and I always feel terrible about it. Instead, I set a couple of goals (yes, I know they’re basically the same thing, but labels matter.)
IMG_7374#1 – Do a #project365. Basically, I’m trying to post a piece of my jewelry or something related to my jewelry making every day in 2015. I’m making it so far, so that’s good. That’s something quick and easy, although I do have to make more jewelry in order to keep up, so it’s got an added benefit.
#2 – Be more disciplined with my creative pursuits. I need to spend more time writing, both here on the blog and my fiction. I also need to spend more time making jewelry and generally keeping my creative spaces clean.
Right now both my desk and my work table are disasters. It’s hard to get a good workflow going when there’s clutter all around, but I seem to be addicted to clutter. I’m not really sure how to deal with that one.

I also think participating in an external challenge could be fun. The Reading Challenge seems to be very do-able. I’ts almost more like a reading scavenger hunt.
For my own satisfaction, I’m going to say that it’s one category per book, so I can’t, for example, say that I read The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood and so I’ve read a book written by a woman and a book set in another country. If you decide to take the challenge you can do it any way you like! There are 50 items on the list, so that comes out to just under a book a week. I think it’s doable!
I think, to keep things fun, I’ll offer prizes to anyone who completes the challenge before January 1, 2016. You’re on the honor system. Just email me your address (medusasmirror@gmail.com) when you finish and I will send you a fabulous prize! (Prize to be determined when I have to mail them out ^.^)

So, here’s how I’m doing so far:
#7 A book with nonhuman characters : The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
#9 A book by a female author : Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie
#13 A book set in a different country : The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood

Not a bad start. Let me know if you’d like to participate too!
challenge

A New Year & A Kat, Incorrigible Giveaway

January 4, 2015

The New Year is here! I hope everyone rang it in in their preferred manner. I, myself, was tucked up at home in my pajamas and fuzzy slippers. I lead a crazy and exciting life. For New Year’s Day I lounged at home and then went to participate in Birmingham Art Crawl. It was a good night.

So, to start the new year off right, I’m going to have (another) giveaway!

kat-hot-chocolate-mug-by-sallyThis time, it’s for a mug. A beautiful hot chocolate mug. A Kat, Incorrigible hot chocolate mug!
The giveaway is US only this time (sorry guys!) I had the mugs shipped from the UK to start with, so sending them back over the pond seems a little counter productive. These mugs were made by Sally Jane Thompson who is lovely! But, she only did a limited run of them. Just enough to fill the pre-orders. So, I very cleverly ordered two. One for me and one for one of you lovely people.
So, to enter:
#1: Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite beverage to drink when you’re curled up with a good book.
#2: Click the Rafflecopter link and go nuts.
There are several ways you can earn entries, so have fun!
The contest will end on January 18th and I’ll ship the mug out as soon as I’ve got an address!
Thanks, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Holiday Gift Guide

December 10, 2014

My wrists are still bothering me, so instead of doing one or two giant gift guide posts, I’m just going to post a book a day from now until Christmas Eve (which I will be working at LP if anyone local needs a last minute gift.)
So, for December 10 my recommendation is:
WWIWorld War I in 100 Objects by Peter Doyle
The “—- in 100 Objects”  is one I fully support. As an anthropologist I really love material culture. I like to see the objects that permeated daily life. And WWI is so recent and yet so very, very different. Can you imagine being a nurse, wading through mud, blood, and debris in a floor length woolen gown? Can you imagine having water cooled guns that you had to pour any available liquid over to keep from overheating? It’s all so fascinating to me.
The very first object in the book is the car Archduke Ferdinand was riding in when he was shot. The rest of the objects range are usually more general like the patriotic badges from Britain or field equipment from the Americans. German material culture is also represented.
If you have someone on your list who enjoys history or artifacts I highly recommend this book.

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