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Beyond Cool 2: More Fan Art

I’ve got loads of things I should be doing, so of course it’s time for an Imperial Radch Fanart Roundup!

These are in no particular order, and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed something awesome.

Check out Isozyme’s awesome pic of Breq and Seivarden.

Tristanbewell also did a great Seivarden. Oh, and Breq too!

Rose-n-crantz did Anaander Mianaai. I love the hair and the jewelry!

They also did Breq!

Pilot-Star’s Breq. Did I already link to that one? I don’t know. Well, no harm linking again! And I totally dig the makeup and the earrings on this Anaander Mianaai.

Moomieswan gives us a lovely Breq and Seivarden, and a cool Anaander.

Lyricalt has done a few. Check them out, I love Translator Dlique.

Maelrok has done several pics–I admit a perverse fondness for the “college AU Breq carrying Seivarden high out of a shitty frat party” one. I know there are more, poke around in the tags.

Patreons!

So, a number of fabulous folks I’m acquainted with have set up Patreons. Or Patreon accounts? Or whatever you call it.

I’m intrigued by the Patreon thing. While I’m happy to support Kickstarters that are one-off things, I’m leery of the ones that are of necessity repeating–magazines, say, where the funding model is running a Kickstarter every year. I’m not condemning such efforts at all, I just find that particular model a bit odd and offputting. Editors and artists need money to produce things like magazines, there’s no question. Y’all do what works for you, right?

Patreon, though, is explicitly set up for ongoing support. I think it’s a pretty cool idea, and I’m curious to see how it works out in the long run. In the meantime, like I said, I know some people who have Patreons set up, ones that are, I think, worth your attention.

Cat Rambo’s patreon: Cat’s Patreon was an experiment, running over the last six months or so. She was putting up a story for supporters every two weeks, and as I understand it, she plans to continue to do so.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Patreon: If you’re not familiar with Silvia’s work, I highly recommend checking it out. Her fist novel, Signal to Noise, came out recently, and she has a collection, This Strange Way of Dying. The title story, as it happens, first appeared at GigaNotoSaurus.

Rose Lemberg’s Patreon: To support the creation of works in Rose’s Birdverse. For a taste of Birdverse, check out “Held Close in Syllables of Light” over at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, or the poem “I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz,” which appeared in Goblin Fruit.

Stone Telling: Stone Telling is a poetry zine edited by Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan. To be entirely honest, I don’t really know much about poetry, it’s not really my thing. I know what I like, is all. However, I more than liked Sofia Samatar’s “Girl Hours,” which first appeared in Stone Telling. If you’re a SF poetry fan, do check this out!

Misc. News: Ancillary Mercy, Ancillary Justice (Subterranean edition)

I’ve been awfully scarce around the internets lately. Part of that is just introvert crash (I went to way more cons and meetings last year than I ever have, and done much, much more socializing than usual, which was fabulous and I loved getting to meet people, but it’s exhausting), but part of it has been me trying to actually finish writing Ancillary Mercy.

I have finished Ancillary Mercy. And turned it in to my editors.

So, what’s next? Well, pretty much everyone wants to know that. Including me, myself. I’m not sure. Certainly I’ll have notes from my editors, and I’ll do revisions, and copyedits when those come around. After that, well, we’ll see!

I made a wordle of AM, which I am tempted to post, but I’m not sure if I should. Maybe I’ll wait a few months?

Next! You all may remember that Subterranean is doing a limited edition hardcover of Ancillary Justice.

The other day I got a look at a draft of the cover art. The cover is going to be by Lauren St Onge and it’s fabulous! But I can’t show it to you yet. I will as soon as I can, though!

In other news–there are now six Ancillary Justice-related playlists on 8tracks. Check them out!

Also–fairly trivial, but just to answer some speculation or questions I’ve seen here or there–I was an active member of a CJ Cherryh fan community under the name hautdesert, and I still count the folks in that community among my friends. Before that I was also–this is perhaps a bit less obvious, and a bit more random–the proprietor of a Peter Gabriel fansite, and during that period I went under the name “Eve.” I had a few moments of fan glory during that time, the biggest being the time a reporter interviewing PG presented him with printouts of part of my fansite for him to react to. Not that the site itself was anything special–if I tell you it was originally on Geocities, that will tell you all you need to know about that part of my internet career. Hey, we all have to start somewhere!

The folks from Shejidan already know I’m haut, but if you know me from Gabeweb, here’s a “hi!” and a friendly wave.

My 2014

2014 is nearly over–a bit more than twelve hours of it left, here–and that’s a time when a lot of folks think back over the ending year, and maybe spend a bit of time being hopeful for the coming one.

Usually I look back and think, “Really? Pretty much like most years.” Maybe there was some single big (even life-changing) event, but by and large things are pretty routine. I’ve always been a kind of slow writer, and so lists of how many stories completed or subbed or number of rejections didn’t necessarily make me feel like I’d accomplished a whole lot, excepting the occasional Years Best reprint. But, you know, it’s good to look back and see what you’ve done, because so often (at least, for me) it seems like I generally underestimate what I’ve done, and so even if the actual list of stories completed etc isn’t that impressive, it’s generally more than I thought without looking up the numbers. This holds true for non-writing things as well.

So, how was my 2014? Well, basically, my first novel won All The Awards. Well, all right, it didn’t win the PKD, the Compton Crook, or the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (the novel one, not the “not a Hugo” Campbell, for which I haven’t been eligible for several years). “Triple Crown” was a phrase that kept coming up, but really it was way more than three.

I seriously thought I would never sell Ancillary Justice, or if I did it might ultimately sell a few hundred copies. I had folks who had reason to know agree with my assessment. I went ahead and wrote it anyway, and submitted it anyway, because that’s what you do, when you’re a writer. The outcome is never guaranteed.

There is fanfiction. There is fan art. This is right up there with the awards, in my mind. In some ways, it’s even better.

In October of this year, my second novel came out. It is, of course, impossible that its reception would equal the first. It is a very different sort of book, and some readers are pleased by that and some not. Which is as it should be. I think my favorite compare/contrast pair is still “this book is like Sense and Sensibility in space. BORING!” vs. “This book is like Sense and Sensibility in space–it’s AWESOME!” Paraphrases, but both namechecked S&S, which I thought was hilarious. Actually, Ancillary Sword isn’t very Sense and Sensibility-like, but I knew what they meant. Maybe more on-target (and I suppose retaining the Austen connection) was the friend who emailed me that it put them in mind of Patrick O’Brien. Hah! Guess what I did between turning in the final ms of AJ and beginning AS in earnest? Yep. Read the entire series, one right after the other.

Anyway. I’m tremendously pleased with reactions to Ancillary Sword so far. Now I’m in a struggle to the death with Ancillary Mercy, and Mithras willing I’ll be victorious soon. Then I’ll have time to read some of the books people have sent me hoping for blurbs! The ones that haven’t already been published so it’s too late now, I mean. Sorry! Turns out struggles to the death with book three of your trilogy don’t leave you much reading time.

Once AM is turned in I’ll need to spend some time thinking what’s next. I’ve been living with these books for a long time, and I’ll need to find some way to switch gears. It should be interesting!

So, that was my year, and who knows what next year will bring? Nothing like 2014, for me, but that’s all right, because, wow. The awesome from 2014 is going to last me a while.

Happy new year, everybody! I hope your 2015 is full of wonderful surprises for you!

Strange Horizons Fund Drive

So, Strange Horizons. It’s been running since 2000. It is, I think, one of the longest running internet venues for short science fiction and fantasy. And not just fiction, but also poetry, essays, and reviews!

They’ve run some amazing stories–I’d be hard-pressed to narrow it down to just a few, but recent events suggest I point out that World Fantasy Award winning writer Sofia Samatar’s Hugo and Nebula nominated story “Selkie Stories Are for Losers” appeared at SH.

That’s just the merest beginning. And it’s all available for free.

Strange Horizons not only pays writers, they pay SFWA pro rates. They do this by asking for donations once a year. And right now, we’re most of the way through the annual SH fund drive. And they’ve raised just a touch more than half of their goal.

Now, like last year, they’re offering a special bonus issue. Bits of that issue become available as more money is raised. We’ve already seen some pieces of it–most recently an interview with Iain Banks and Cassandra Khaw’s review of Apocalypse Now Now and Kill Baxter by Charlie Human.

Next up? Is part one of a story called “She Commands Me And I Obey.” It’s by…me! And not only is it set in the Ancillary-verse, I actually wrote it while I was working on Ancillary Justice. You can see a preview of the fab illustration by Tory Hoke over at i09. And yes, AJ fans, elements of that illustration might look familiar, and might suggest why I felt I needed to write that story before finishing AJ.

So, if you’re able to, please consider donating to Strange Horizons, and help them continue to bring us amazing fiction, poetry, and essays. If you’re in the US, I’m given to understand a donation would be tax-deductible, by the way. And whether you’re able to contribute financially or not, if you find something at Strange Horizons that really resonates with you, or that you really love, let people know! Tweet, blog, whatever. Money isn’t the only way to support the venues that you love. But support is essential.

Domestic Conversation

Me, sitting on the couch folding laundry. Mr. Leckie, bringing me another basket up from the laundry room.

Me: You know what I did yesterday? I poached eggs. Like, actually poached them without using any of those floating cup things, or a tray.

Mr Leckie (who is not much into cooking): What? How do you poach eggs?

Me: So, you boil water and then you just crack the egg and dump it in the water and if you’re, like, magic, it comes out as a nice round thing with a dippy yolk in the middle.

Mr. Leckie: (with a “don’t give me that crap, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday” look) That’s impossible.

Me: But I did it! And in theory, I could do it again. Except we’re almost out of eggs.

Mr Leckie: I’ll be right back.

****
Bonus “I should have thought of that while he was still here” line,: “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than poached eggs.”

Monday Morning Misc (feat. Locus!!)

Stuff!

Last Wednesday I had a lovely G+ Hangout visit with the SF1 Science Fiction Book Club. (Link goes to a Facebook group.) It was a delightful meeting, we had some lovely conversation, some of it even aboutAncillary Justice. I had a great time.

I have also recently acquired a box of bookplates. Now, they’re nothing fancy. They’re these ones, in fact. I’ve had a few emails from people who have copies of Ancillary Justice who want them signed, but who have very little chance of getting their books into my hands. So. If you are one of those people, and you’re in the US, send me a note–nothing fancy, “May I please have a signed bookplate” will suffice–and a self addressed stamped #10 envelope, and I’ll sign a bookplate, put it in the envelope, and drop it in the mail. Sound good? Here’s the address:

PO Box 190308
St Louis MO 63119

If you’re not in the US–Orbit has actually been sending me batches of bookplates to sign for the UK. I just sent back a fresh batch. If you can’t find any of those, and you don’t run across me at Worldcon, email me and we’ll figure something out.

Last, but absolutely not least, Saturday the Locus Awards were announced. I couldn’t make it to Seattle–which made me kind of sad, I’d have loved to have gone. Instead Rashida Smith represented me, and had a speech all ready to read for me, saved to her phone. Ancillary Justice was up for Best First Novel. Which it won! I really cannot tell you how pleased I am about that. It was certainly a privilege to see my book in such a great list of finalists. Congratulations to all the finalists, and all the winners!

RFT

Yeah, so, the Riverfront Times did a profile on me. And in the way of such things, its kind of weird to see myself depicted by someone else, and lots of little details seem just…off, but most of them are, you know, little, and I’m basically just shrugging, no big deal. I’ve seen other people who I knew fairly well turn up in news stories or columns and seen the way the reporters’ depictions seem…more or less alien to me, not really like the person that I know. It’s one of those things that happens. (And something to keep in mind when one is tempted to make judgments–particularly moral ones–with nothing more than a news article to go by.)

There was one detail, however, that I do feel compelled to correct. I’ve already spoken to the reporter about it, and he said he’d fix it in the online version, but of course the print version is what it is. So I’m going to mention it here, too.

The article said that I had found solace in science fiction during a time when I’d been bullied and harassed in high school. (Rosati-Kain, for those of you with enough connection to St. Louis to be wondering, and/or don’t want to read the entire article for that detail.)

In fact, while I was indeed bullied and harassed in elementary school and had a horrible time and I suspect this drove me to spend even more time reading than I might have otherwise (which possibly isn’t saying much considering how much I loved to read), high school was an entirely different story.

In fact, it was obvious from the very first day of freshman year that high school was going to be different. Classes were classes, so far so good, but I dreaded lunch. At my K-8 elementary school we’d all had to sit each class at the same table, and of course I knew that no one wanted me there, or at least (in retrospect) it amused some of my classmates to be sure I never got the impression anyone wanted me there. I didn’t see any reason things should be different in high school, but being able to sit wherever I wanted might mean that at least I’d be left alone. When lunch time came around, I went through the line and got my tray and then started looking for an empty table. Spotted one and headed over–and didn’t get three steps before a table full of people I’d had a couple classes with waved me over. “Ann! Sit over here!”

My first thought was that they were having me on–playing (or attempting to play, perhaps I would decline to fall for it) a cruel joke, luring me in so they could mock me. But then I thought, you know, Ann, these people don’t know you. They don’t know that no one is supposed to like you. They most of them don’t know each other, either, do they? It’s the first day of high school and everyone here is from all over the city. Maybe…maybe they’re just being friendly.

And you know what? They were! I had a great time at lunch, and ultimately a great time in high school. Not counting the various normal emotional upheavals, right? But nobody ever treated me the way I’d been treated in elementary school. And I had friends. Some of whom loved to read science fiction and fantasy, and some of whom didn’t, but really it didn’t matter.

So I really feel strongly that I need to correct that. I was not, ever, at any time bullied or harassed in high school.

I do understand how the mistake happened–lots of people are bullied and harassed in high school, and the conflation of my experience in elementary school with my high school is understandable. But it’s inaccurate.

So–no. Actually, high school was great, for me. And I’d just like to thank the folks–most of whom I’ve lost contact with over the years but still–who called me over to their lunch table that day, and who were friends or friendly acquaintances at a time when I really, really needed it and didn’t in the least expect it. I have never forgotten it.

I swear

Some studies seem to suggest that swearing uses parts of the brain not generally involved in regular speech–parts of the brain that have a role in emotion and instinct. Some people have made the assertion that chimpanzees swear, though how you could know that, I’m not sure. But at any rate, it seems entirely possible that what we call “swearing” is a kind of speech distinct from other speech–not just in the way we categorize it, but in the way our brains process it.

So you’d think people would just, you know, swear. But it’s more complicated than that. In the US at least there are all kinds of rules about who swears and when.* So even if we accept that swearing is a speech with a distinct neurological difference from other speech, it’s also clear that it intersects very strongly with culture, sometimes in complicated ways.
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3…2…1…

This has been an incredibly exciting year. So much wonderful stuff happening! And now, another wonderful thing!

So, you may or may not have heard of Launchpad. Launchpad is…oh, here, have a blockquote:

Launch Pad is a workshop for established writers held in beautiful high-altitude Laramie, Wyoming. Launch Pad aims to provide a “crash course” for the attendees in modern astronomy science through guest lectures, and observation through the University of Wyoming’s professional telescopes.

I mean, completely awesome, right? I have, in fact, applied in the past and (unsurprisingly) not been accepted. I figured I’d try again this year. And…I get to go to Launchpad! You guys, I am so excited!

This is just the most amazing year.