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Finish the poem, maybe win a prize

Or, more accurately, the limerick.

Those of you who have read Ancillary Sword may remember that at a certain point, Breq asks someone to tell her, in verse, how God is like a duck. And that person replies,

There once was a duck who was God,
Who said, “It’s exceedingly odd.
I fly when I wish
and I swim like a fish,

And she couldn’t get any further. Well, readers, neither could I. And it’s summer in this hemisphere of Earth, and I’ve got some tea to give away. So!

By June 30th, send me your proposed last line for the duck limerick to My panel of judges will choose three winners. First place will get: one genuine four inch high stuffed Lieutenant Peepsarwat!



(All right, that’s actually a genuine stuffed purple Peep from Easter that I could not resist purchasing for precisely this occasion.) First place will also get one three ounce bag of an Imperial Radch themed tea from Adagio.


Winner’s choice, though sometimes availability is weird so particular blends may be out of stock at the end of June. I am also throwing in a tea infuser, just in case you’re not set up to do loose leaf tea conveniently. (Loose leaf tea is quite convenient once you’ve got a pot and/or removable infuser.)

The plant and the cup aren’t included, they’re just in the picture to look pretty.

Second and third place will get one bag each of an Imperial Radch themed tea! Same conditions as above–winner’s choice, but obviously I can’t send you a blend that’s not available. Oh, and a tea infuser.

So fire up those rhyming engines! Start playing with what might scan. Ponder that deep, ageless philosophical question: How is God like a duck? And send me your conclusion by June 30 of this year.

Editing to add, what I should have remembered to say at first–I will send prizes anywhere. There are no geographical restrictions.

Nebula Weekend!

Sorry for the delay in posting–I’ve been back in St Louis since Sunday, but I’ve spent the last three days on jury duty, about which I will at the moment say nothing else.

Today I plan to lounge around drinking tea in my jammies!

So. Apologies again to the folks who came to the mass signing Friday night hoping to meet me. I wanted so badly to be there and there was just no physical way I could do it. For anyone who missed my previous post, the train in front of the train I was on hit a semi filled with seventy thousand pounds of bacon. I got into Chicago a good ten hours later than I was supposed to. Blame the bacon. (Someone suggested at breakfast the next morning that I pin a piece of bacon to my shirt, and that led me to discover that etsy has quite a lot of listings under “crocheted bacon.” Yes, that’s just a random piece of trivia.)

So, the Nebula Awards! Congratulations to all the winners, especially Jeff Vandermeer for Annihilation. I am completely unsurprised at the result, and wholeheartedly approve.

Yeah, I had a novel on the ballot. And I’m not saying that winning another Nebula wouldn’t have been awesome–sweet Mithras, it would have been. But because I won last year, I know exactly how awesome it feels to hear your book named, how shiny that block of lucite is when it’s got your name on it. So I’m sitting here vicariously enjoying Jeff’s win. I would admonish him to enjoy it, but I know that’s pointless, he already is.

It really was a wonderful ballot filled with awesome work by awesome writers. I’m so happy to have been there to hang with the folks I already knew, and meet a few who I didn’t know yet, and enjoy the evening. My only real regret is that Jeff Vandermeer was unable to be there so I couldn’t congratulate him in person.

Oh, and a big thanks to Nick Offerman (who I’m pretty sure doesn’t read my blog, but still) for taking time out during dinner to speak briefly with the 15yr old, who is a big fan and who’d been planning to be at the mass signing while I was signing books. I really appreciated that a lot. It was very generous of him, and he was kind and funny. Thank you, sir!

Congratulations again, everybody!

I won’t be at the Nebula/SFWA mass signing tonight

Not because I don’t want to be–on the contrary, I made sure to leave bright and early this morning so I could get to Chicago in plenty of time! And since St Louis is pretty close to Chicago and I love riding the train, I hopped on train 302, the Lincoln Service, leaving at 6:40am and supposed to get in to Chicago at 12:20.

Not twenty minutes out of St Louis the train stopped and just sat for three or so hours. During which time, the Texas Eagle, train 21 that had departed St Louis for Chicago an hour after we had, sailed right on by us.

We got moving, but eventually it became obvious that we were running about four hours behind, but that would still be time to make the signing!

And then we stopped again. Because that line-cutting Texas Eagle? It ran into a semi. We have been sitting here for several hours, about an hour and a half outside Chicago. It is now 7:20pm and there’s no way in hell I’ll make it there by 8.

The good news is I’m hearing there were no serious injuries. The passengers of that train have been bussed to Chicago. Why we haven’t been is still a mystery to me. But.

Anyway. I’m very sorry, I won’t be able to make the signing tonight. I hope I don’t leave anybody hanging. If you see me Saturday, I’ll be more than happy to sign your book or just say hi.

Phoenix Comicon

I’m headed to Phoenix tomorrow for Phoenix Comicon! You can find my schedule here.


In the Beginning : Thursday 4:30pm – 5:30pm

What’s it like to get that first book published? Do first time authors still stand a chance? The book is written, what needs done to get a publisher? Then what? Experienced to newly first time published authors reminisce about their first time.

Author Signing Wesley Chu,Mel Odom,Alex Gordon,Stephen Blackmoore,Ann Leckie,Richard Kadrey : Thursday 6:00pm – 7:00pm


Here on Earth : Friday 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Science Fiction doesn’t always have to take place in unknown space on unknown worlds. This panel celebrates Science Fiction on our planet Earth. Discussions and comparisons on how Earth-centric Science Fictions compare to the typical space opera.

Here On Earth Author Signing:Jay Posey, Pierce Brown,Myke Cole,Jason Hough,Ann Leckie : Friday 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Ann Leckie Spotlight : Friday 7:30pm – 8:30pm


Who is Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association : Saturday 10:00am – 11:30am

Who is SFWA? Panelists describe the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America, its fifty year history, its future, and the shape of F&SF going forward.

Signing: Leanna Renee Hieber,Kevin Hearne,Jonathan Maberry,Mur Lafferty,Ann Leckie,Amy Nichols : Saturday 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Have Your Writing Critiqued – The First Page – Can You Make The Cut? : Saturday 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Agents/publishers may not get past a manuscript’s first page before giving it a chance or mailing that “not-what-we’re-looking-for” letter. Read your first page for suggestions to help make it past that first cut. Details at Books and Authors table. (81/2′ X 11″ sheet of paper, single side, minimum font size 10pt. 3 minutes maximum read time)


Space in Science Fiction : Sunday 1:30pm – 2:30pm

What is it like out there amonst the stars? Does it truely maatter what it’s really like? What do these authors see when they look at space through a science fiction filter?

Kelley Armstrong, Ann Leckie, M. L. Brennan, Paul Cornell, Sam Sykes, Myke Cole Signing : Sunday 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Note that the last item on the schedule, a signing (one of several, it looks like), I won’t actually be at, because of the timing of my flight home.

I’ve never been to Phoenix, or any of the several Comicons, and I’m looking forward to it.

Hugo Packet Now Available

As the post title says, the Hugo Packet is available for download.

You’ll need your Hugo voter PIN, which if you’ve forgotten it you can request here.

Like last year, Orbit has included the first hundred or so pages of Ancillary Sword in the Hugo Packet, rather than the full novel. And it looks like there are complete copies of The Goblin Emperor and The Three Body Problem, both of which I think you’ll enjoy (if you haven’t read either or both already).

You can still get a supporting membership, and with it the right to vote in the Hugos (and download the packet) and Worldcon site selection, by the way. If that’s something that interests you, well, click on over and sign up.

I sent in my site selection ballot this morning, as it happens. Helsinki 2017!!!!!!!!

2015 Schedule

So! It occurs to me that I should let folks know what conventions I’ll be at this year.

Of course, we’re well into 2015, and I’ve already attended ICFA (which was a great time! Met lots of awesome new folks and got to hang with awesome folks I already know) and the Arkansas Lit Fest, which was a blast.

Next up, Phoenix Comicon. That’s in Phoenix, right? From May 28-31. I’ve seen a draft schedule, and it looks like I’ll be having a lot of fun and meeting cool new people.

After that, I’ll be at the Nebula Awards in Chicago.

I’m spending the summer mostly at home! On July 11 I’ll be talking to the St Louis Writers Guild. I think it’s at 10am at the Kirkwood Library. Watch this space for more specific information as the date approaches.

I also plan to be at Worldcon, in Spokane. I’ll only be there Saturday and Sunday.

And then in October, the 16th to the 18th to be exact, I’ll be at ICON.

For 2016 I’m already planning to be at ConFusion, Vericon, and Penguicon.

I will try to keep a pocketful of Awn Elming memorial pins on me, so if you want one and see me at any of these events, I’ll be happy to give you one.

Hugo Voting Is Open

As the subject line says. Hugo voting is open, and there are instructions at that link for how to recover your voting PIN if you’ve misplaced it.

This is also a reminder that if you are at all interested in the outcome of the Hugo Awards (not everyone is, that’s cool, scroll on by), a supporting membership of this year’s Worldcon comes with voting rights, and nominating rights for next year. It also, by the way, comes with voting rights for site selection for 2017 (though an extra payment does apply if you want to vote for site selection), and just personally I think a Helsinki Worldcon would be hella fabulous. Just saying, you vote how (or if) you like.

Supporting memberships to this year’s Worldcon are available at this link.

When I first voted for the Hugos, several years ago, I didn’t fully understand the voting system, or how No Award fit into things. But I’m going to be entirely honest, I have felt the need to use No Award in at least one category every single year that I’ve been eligible to vote. No, I’m not going to say what I’ve No Awarded over the years. Nor am I going to tell you whether or how to deploy No Award yourself, if you’re a Hugo voter. That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, for your own reasons.

What I am going to do is provide you with a link to Kevin Standlee’s explanation of how No Award works in Hugo Voting. The more information you have, the better your choices can align with your aims.

Con or Bust Auctions!

Y’all are familiar with Con or Bust? If not perhaps you should be. The aim of Con or Bust is to help fans of color get to conventions, and they fund their endeavors with an annual auction.

If you just go to their front page and start scrolling, or browse the tags, you’ll find all kinds of cool things to bid on. Quite a lot of signed books so far, but there are other things as well. Go check it out!

And as it happens, there are some auctions posted that have been donated by my publisher, Orbit.

  • There’s this Science Fiction Grab Bag, which includes a copy of Ancillary Justice, a copy of Leviathan’s Wake, a copy of Fortune’s Pawn and an ARC of Kim Stanley Robinson’s newest book, that’s out in July.
  • There’s tea and memorial pins! This one is kind of donated by me and Orbit both. The winner will get some Justice, Propriety, and Benefit, along with two memorial pins that read “Awn Elming.”
  • And last of all, you could bid on a signed, first chapter of Ancillary Mercy. I want to be very clear, this is just the first chapter. It is not the entire book.
  • And if none of those things intrigues you, I don’t doubt there’ll be other things posted as time goes by that might.

    About those pins–I had them made up and they arrived here about a week ago. I have quite a few. I figured I’d post a few at a time to my Etsy shop, at cost plus shipping (if it were only a few I’d eat the shipping, but this is way too many for that) and I threw a batch of twenty up and tweeted and tumbled and figured I’d blog when I had a chance, but they all sold out in about five minutes. The next batch took about an hour. Same for batch number three. I don’t have time to mail out all the ones I have all at once, so I’m posting them in batches of twenty, mailing those off, and then posting another batch. The next one will probably go up next Monday. And if you miss it, and want a pin, just keep an eye on my shop, there will be more.

    And if you see me in person at a convention, I might well have some on me and would be happy to give one to you.