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Some News About the Hugo Voter Packet

It has become customary in recent years for authors of Hugo-nominated works to provide the members of the World Science Fiction convention who get to vote for the awards with electronic copies of their stories. The ball started rolling a few years ago when John Scalzi kindly took the initiative in preparing the first Hugo voters packet; since then it has become almost mandatory to distribute shortlisted works this way.

Unfortunately, as professionally published authors, we can’t do this without obtaining the consent of our publishers. We are bound by contracts that give our publishers the exclusive rights to distribute our books: so we sought their permission first.

This year, Orbit—the publisher of Mira Grant’s “Parasite”, Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice”, and Charles Stross’s “Neptune’s Brood”—have decided that for policy reasons they can’t permit the shortlisted novels to be distributed for free in their entirety. Instead, substantial extracts from the books will be included in the Hugo voters packet.

We feel your disappointment keenly and regret any misunderstandings that may have arisen about the availability of our work to Hugo voters, but we are bound by the terms of our publishing contracts. The decision to give away free copies of our novels is simply not ours to take. However, we are discussing the matter with other interested parties, and working towards finding a solution that will satisfy the needs of the WSFS voters and our publishers in future years.

Finally, please do not pester our editors: the decision was taken above their level.


( Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire, Charles Stross)


So, just the other day I was thinking to myself about what an amazing year this has been, and that no matter what happened over the next months, I had essentially already won–and won BIG.

How many people finish writing an entire novel? Fewer than don’t. That’s an accomplishment in itself. Of those, how many go on to hook an agent with that novel? Far, far fewer. If I never got any farther than that, well, I’d still gotten pretty far.

How many people then actually sell that novel? The numbers are dropping, and yet again if I got that far, and no farther, I’d be doing pretty darn awesomely, thank you very much.

Wait. Award nominations? Now we’re talking an easily countable number, at least in a given year. And at the first nomination, I’m way beyond anything I ever thought was likely, or even possible. It doesn’t really matter if I win or not at that stage, because, I mean, seriously. That’s just spectacular, so unexpectedly and wonderfully so.

I’ve thought various stages of this at various times during the last year, and yes, I was thinking this again yesterday morning. Because, yes, the Clarke Award was going to be announced and I knew I wasn’t going to win. How could I? I knew what else was on the shortlist–five other other books, as it happens, truly fabulous books.

And I found that didn’t bother me at all. I mean, yes, it would have been completely awesome to have a trophy to put next to my (completely adorable) Golden Tentacle, sure. But seriously, the year I’ve been having. It’s been so amazing. And in fact, I was looking forward to congratulating whoever did win, because awesome folks being happy makes me happy. So I pulled up Twitter, so I would be ready to do that, and I sat there in my bathrobe chatting with people.

Um. You guys. Turns out, Ancillary Justice won the Clarke. Jenni Hill, my UK editor, accepted for me, and then called me to congratulate me but I’m afraid I was more or less incapable of speech.

I still mostly am. I mean, I can talk easily about what I did yesterday morning, or what I had for dinner last night.* But when I get to the part about winning the Clarke, I mostly just say Oh, my God a lot, with an occasional Holy fuck.

I guess I’ll get it processed eventually, but oh, my God. I won the freaking Clarke.


*Sweet-potato crusted salmon with grilled asparagus, some “gourmet” macaroni and cheese and kale chips off the 14yr old’s plate cause no way was he eating kale & there was a lot of the mac & cheese. It was all amazing.


The third hill on this roller coaster weekend was the BSFA Awards. Ancillary Justice was nominated, alongside several other fabulous books.

Ancillary Justice did, in fact, win. I couldn’t be there, sadly, but the lovely Daniel Franklin stood in for me, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Adding to the excitement–there was a tie, so Gareth L Powell’s Ack Ack Macaque ALSO won, which I think is fabulous. Basically for two reasons: first, I’m all for glory being spread around. Glory for all! There is enough for everyone! And second, apparently this is a sort of historic thingy for the BSFA awards–the first ever tie. Apparently, voting runs during the convention itself (that would be Eastercon), and so they didn’t actually know who any of the winners were until yesterday morning. Surprise! They only had one trophy made up, I gather, which is of course entirely reasonable, and you can see it (and my co-winner!) here.

I am beyond pleased. I am, truth be told, a bit delirious, though that may just be all the peeps I have consumed this weekend.


Hill number two is, of course, the Hugo nominations.

They tell you in advance, presumably so you can turn a nomination down if you’re so inclined.* So I’ve known for about a week but now I can finally say it! Ancillary Justice has been nominated for a Hugo.

I’ve been trying to think of something coherent to say about that, but mostly I’ve just been going “OMG OMG OMG.”


Tomorrow’s hill is the BSFA awards. And, you know, while I absolutely hope I win, I can also think of non-Ancillary Justice results that would please me. So I plan to enjoy tomorrow afternoon, whatever happens.

*And then you’re supposed to not tell anyone else until the public announcement. But of course, there’s a bit of backstage whispering, and cryptic tweets from other SF&F folks take on a whole new dimension if they’re posted shortly after you get that email, or you’ve gotten an excited “Don’t tell!!!” from a friend.


This weekend is like a rollercoaster with three big hills. Hill number one–the PKD awards! The results were announced last night at Norwescon.

The fabulous Ellen Brady Wright (attired in the awesomest dinosaur dress ever) stood in for me, reading a bit from the book and standing ready to accept in the event I won–which I did not. The award went to Countdown City by Ben H. Winters. Congratulations, Ben!

I was also super pleased to see Toh EnJoe’s Self Reference ENGINE get a special citation. Readers may recall that my 17yr old was undecided as to whether to root for Ancillary Justice or Self Reference ENGINE, which she had enjoyed very much. So basically, there was much rejoicing here at SRE getting props.

(Actually, the 17yr old hasn’t read Ancillary Justice. She has magnanimously informed me, however, that she will read it if it comes out in Spanish. I told her I couldn’t promise anything on that score, but you never know. I’m already looking at Russian, German, Hungarian, and Romanian. Who knows what wonders the future might bring?)


Also kind of old news, and adding to the persistent sense of unreality I’ve been experiencing lately–the Clarke Award shortlist. Ancillary Justice is on it. And look, it’s my Golden Tentacle buddy Ramez Naam on there, too! And Kameron Hurley, with previous Golden Tentacle winner God’s War! (Which was only this year released in the UK, which is what counts for the Clarkes.) It’s like a Golden Tentacle Reunion! And there other fabulous, non-tentacled books! In fact, below this paragraph please find convenient links through which you can purchase any of the books on this year’s shortlist:

God’s War by Kameron Hurley

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

Nexus by Ramez Naam

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Adjacent by Christopher Priest

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Machine by James Smythe

UK Book UK Kindle US Book US Kindle

The Guardian ran a story on the shortlist in which Ramez, Kameron, and myself were referred to as “international debutantes” which sounds funny, but I guess “debutante” doesn’t have quite the same connotations over there, huh. Still, I was amused.

Compton Crook!

In some respects, this is old news, but.

It so happens that the good folks at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society have an award for the best first SF/F/H novel of the year. It’s the Compton Crook Award.

The Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award. The first Compton Crook Award was presented in 1983 for Donald Kingsbury’s debut novel Courtship Right, a work published in 1982.

I’m extremely pleased to say that Ancillary Justice is a finalist. It’s a great list of books–honestly, I’m continually amazed to find my book in such wonderful company.

The BSFS also recently held a panel on the state of short fiction. They had some great panelists, and the discussion is really interesting. By all means give it a listen. (I was personally thrilled to hear Benjanun Sriduangkaew namechecked, as an up and coming talent to watch. I agree completely!)

(Speaking of Benjanun Sriduangkaew, if you don’t already know why her name came up when those panelists were asked to name writers to watch, check out her latest story at Clarkesworld, “Autodidact.” If you just nodded your head and went, “yeah, I’d have been surprised if those editors hadn’t mentioned her,” well, heads up, awesome new story! )


GigaNotoSaurus April Fiction

NOTE: I personally dislike all but the most blantantly obviously silly of April Fools jokes. This post is one hundred percent serious–most of you probably already know that I’ve handed over GNS editorial duties, and will realize this isn’t meant to be an April Fool, but one of the things I so dislike about practical jokes is the way that you can start out thinking it’s of course totally obvious you’re joking and then find that it’s not actually obvious to anyone but you. (Link is to the infamous 1957 “Spaghetti Trees” April Fool) So I’m making that explicit up front.

So, this month’s GigaNotoSaurus story is my last as editor. From here on out, it’ll be Rashida Smith’s picks, with a few from Anna Schwind’s guest editing stint.

I started GNS pretty much on a whim. But I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out. I’ve published a bunch of stories that I love, by wonderful writers, and those stories have sometimes gotten nice comments and reviews. A few have gotten Nebula nominations! Which just goes to show that I was right, that there are awesome, longer stories out there–and people who want to read them.

Editing GNS has been a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. So I’m really, really happy that Rashida has taken that over. I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings us.

In the meantime, here’s my own last pick--“Three Partitions” by Bogi Takács. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Nebula Nominations

On Tuesday SFWA announced this year’s Nebula ballot. And Ancillary Justice has been nominated for best novel. Alongside a bunch of really amazing books.

And it’s a great ballot overall. If you’re looking for something to read, check out the short fiction, much of which is available online for free.

So, by now this is old news. SFWA announced this year’s Nebula ballot, what, four days ago. But I’m mired in revisions right now, and there’s plenty of other stuff going on, and I’ve been saying, “Yes, tomorrow morning I’ll post to the blog…” and then when morning came, saying, “Ah, but I must write right now before I forget this solution to this problem I’ve been so frustrated with….”

Which kind of makes it sound like I’m blase about it, but you know, actually I’m just going “OMG” over and over when I’m not banging my head against the desk in despair over revisions.

I’m kind of amazed to find my book nominated alongside the others on the ballot. I mean, seriously, look at that list.*

I intend to go to San Jose, and hang with friends, and dress up (I have already consulted with the folks at the bead store about necklaces) and eat hotel banquet food and cheer for the winners and hang with friends some more and generally enjoy the heck out of myself.


*I am particularly happy to see A Stranger in Olondria on that list. If you haven’t read it, please consider doing so.

Ancillary Sword Cover

As the subject line says, I present to you the cover of Ancillary Sword.


No big surprises, really–John Harris did an awesome, wide painting that could be split into three, making one picture out of all three books. And Kirk Benshoff, who designed the Ancillary Justice cover, designed this one as well. Very pretty! I am unreasonably pleased with it.