Nebula, Hugo, Locus (etc.) awards-eligible stories 2018

It’s that time of year, again, when Speculative fiction writers trot out our reminders of the stories that have been published during the year. Stories we’d like you to read, and if you have the ability to do so*, to consider nominating for any of the SF/F/H awards for 2018.

29345309_2061728263867601_1714965961_nAlthough my novel, Ink, was rereleased this year by Rosarium Publishing — with new content and a beautiful new cover — it’s ineligible for any award because it was originally issued in 2012. But I believe Vincent Sammy is eligible for Ink’s cover art, and I urge you to consider nominating him for a Best Professional Artist Hugo, because the artwork he created for my novel is gorgeous.

Check out his other covers here, and his interior illustrations here.

Okay, onto the stories of mine I’d love for you to read, and consider nominating.

The Life and Times of Johnny the Fox

(3,932 words – short story category)

 

I am here to tell you the truth about Johnny the Fox.

 

If you’ve heard the tale that he was born in Puerto Rico, to one human and one inhuman parent, that is true.

 

Johnny’s mother is from the western port city of Mayagüez, where she lives to this day. His father is the northeasterly trade wind that regularly sweeps in and plays along Puerto Rico’s northernmost shore and outlying islands.

 

Many years ago—but not so many that there aren’t some folks who still remember—the two met in Arecibo and fell grandly and recklessly in love. The product of their union loves this story, by the way. Johnny the Fox is fond of saying that if you dig under all the hard layers of his being, you’ll come to a core that is pure, molten romance. And, really, what could be more romantic than a wind that becomes human to woo its beloved?

 

But a cynical wink is never far from any of Johnny the Fox’s tales, so remember: love has never been enough to permanently tame, or even reroute, the wind.

 

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Published in Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology by Outland Publications, which will be available in eBook form in December, “The Life and Times of Johnny the Fox” is part trickster tale, part tall tale, and part rumination on the resilience of Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community after the devastation of Hurricane María.

The character of Johnny the Fox first made his appearance in my story Skin in the Game (Tor.com, 2014), and I knew, even back then, that I would someday have to give him a story of his own. Gratifyingly, when I read “The Life and Times of Johnny the Fox” at Readercon this year, the audience seemed to be glad I had done so sooner rather than later.

The Devil in the Details

(6,585 words – short story category)

 

1735

Deborah was a well-formed woman of twenty-six. Tall, long of leg, and wide of hip. Under the white muslin cap and black bonnet, her hair was arranged in thick, springy coils. Her dark eyes were kind but canny.

 

Like many of the women of the Pinelands, she had some wortcunning that she plied in an attempt to keep each of her twelve children alive through gripe and fever, abscessed tooth and bloody flux. That Deborah was more successful at this than most made her neighbors believe the family was especially blessed.

 

Her husband, some thirty years older than Deborah and bemused by the attention, was fairly certain they were cursed instead.

 

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Published in Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters by Outland Publications and available in print and eBook form also in December, “The Devil in the Details” starts in 1735 and ends in 2018, focusing on moments that (mostly) coincide with actual sightings of the Jersey Devil in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. But the Jersey Devil isn’t exactly what you’ve been led to believe…

I had a blast writing this. I hadn’t ever contemplated writing a kaiju story, and if editor Alana Joli Abbot hadn’t asked me to be part of this anthology, I probably never would have done so. But as with my stories The Ways of Walls and Words (Tor.com, 2015) and St. Simon of 9th and Oblivion (upcoming in The Latinx Archive anthology), the process of weaving speculative into historical ended up utterly engrossing me.

I’d also urge you to consider nominating Alana Joli Abbott (Kaiju II and Knaves) and Margrét Helgadóttir (see entry below) in the Best Editor categories. They richly deserve acknowledgement for their excellent work, their ultra-professional conduct, the care they take with the writer’s work, and their willingness to reach beyond “the usual suspects” when selecting authors for their anthologies.

Time’s Up, Cerotes

(7,741 words – novelette category)

 

When did I first notice she’d gone global?

 

I have to answer that question with a phrase I now understand is the lament of the middle-aged: I don’t remember.

 

After my first book was published, certainly.

 

Chapinlandia Meets Gringolandia in the Disneylandia of the 21st-century Newsroom never made me famous outside of certain journalism school circles, but it did get me on tour to different universities (and university bars). I thought I caught glimpses of her in Austin, Syracuse, L.A., Munich, Milan.

 

But I wasn’t certain until I saw her—this Guatemalan monster out of my past—in my hometown of Philadelphia.

 

It was at one of my usual joints—Cavanaugh’s in Center City—on the night Allison told me about her news director’s remote lockable door.

 

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Published in American Monsters, Part I, by Fox Spirit Books (U.K.), this is another one of my stories that won’t become available until December.

Editor Margrét Helgadóttir focuses on Central and South American monsters in this volume — part of a series that has focused attention on African, Asian and European monsters (and which will culminate with a volume on North American monsters next year) — and has gathered a really stellar roster of writers that includes Brazilian writer Fábio Fernandes, Uruguayan writer Ramiro Sanchiz, and Argentine writer Tere Mira de Echeverría, among others.

“Time’s Up, Cerotes” splits its time between Guatemala City and Philadelphia, past and present, as it follows a Guatemalan journalist’s interaction with the legendary monster —La Siguanaba — from the homeland she left, and then returns to in pursuit of a story.

But just as the reality of the country we leave behind changes and becomes more complicated than our memories, so do our monsters…

Toward a New Lexicon of Augury

(6,978 words – short story category)

 

Black stone lying on a white stone.

 

I waste a hard-earned chit for public access to chase a clue that turns out to be poetry.

 

I will die in Paris, on a rainy day … perhaps on a Thursday, as today is Thursday, in autumn.

 

César Vallejo, the author of the poem “Black stone lying on a white stone,” was a Peruvian writer living in Spain in the 1930s when he succumbed to an infection turned totalitarian. The little I am able to read about him before the buzzer sounds and the next person in line nudges me out of the public access booth, indicates that the poet’s wife consulted with astrologers and wizards in an effort to cure the ailment that felled him.

 

She should have asked the brujas instead. You want to turn counsel to cunning, or wreck the world with a wyrd, ask the wizards. A massive mal puesto, on the other hand, calls for a witch.

 

Or even better, more than one.

 

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“Toward a New Lexicon of Augury,” published at Apex Magazine in November, is about climate change, informal cities, poetry, resistance and love. Oh, and there be witches. 😉

Charles Payseur, at Quick Sips Review, said: “it’s a wonderful story with a great cast of characters, a gripping dilemma, and a clever and badass solution. Go read this one!”

You can read the full story by clicking here.

 

Nebula nominations are open to SFWA active and associate members, Hugo nominations are open to supporting and attending members of last year’s, this year’s and next year’s World Cons, Locus awards are chosen by a survey of readers in an open online poll.

 

 

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Women’s History Month: 30 fantastic Latina writers you need to read

Because we can, will, and do, write the most extraordinary stories.

Check out  on Twitter to get links to the websites of the Latina writers (many of them speculative fiction writers, of course 😉) who are quoted here. Some are big names, some just starting out — but they are all really quite remarkable.

Read their work, buy their books and stories (and essays and critical theory), and amplify their voices!

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Over at Skiffy and Fanty: The Smell of Masa in the Morning (plus a recipe)

There is a particular smell to corn that has been soaked in wood ash lye, then washed and hulled and ground into a fine meal.

It is the aroma of freshly made tortillas, of tamales as they steam, of my mother’s huipiles.

Really. No matter how freshly laundered, no matter how many cedar balls or lavender sachets have been thrown in the drawer to keep the moths away, the distinctive hand-woven Guatemalan blouses my mother wore retain the smell of a grain turned more aromatic, more flavorful, more nutritious by the nixtamalation process.

Smell nixtamalizes memory.

Or maybe it is the other way around.

Read the rest of this essay at Skiffy and Fanty.

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Upcoming: Philly’s Nerdtino Expo 17

Saturday, Nov. 18 at Taller Puertorriqueño:

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And, a thank you to the Law Department of the City of Philadelphia for inviting me to speak and read from my work at City Hall on Oct. 25:

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Caroline Cruz, one of the attorney’s at the Law Department of the City of Philadelphia, with Sabrina Vourvoulias at Conversation Hall of City Hall in Philadelphia, Oct. 25, 2017.

Latino Genre Writers: Diversity in Mystery, Science Fiction, and Horror

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On the morning commute to work, this SEPTA rider I sat across from on the 44 bus had his phone, his lunch and Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”  Latinx lit is lit!

Latino/a writers discuss issues in writing and publishing genre fiction (mystery, science fiction, and horror) and celebrate a new collection of science fiction and fantasy stories.

The New York Society Library
53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Sun, September 17, 2017
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT

Latino-Rising-Cover-webLatin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction and Fantasy is the first anthology of fantastic fiction written by Latino/as living in the United States. Fifty years ago the Latin American boom in literature popularized magical realism; Latin@ Rising is the literature that has risen from the explosion that gave us García Márquez, Jorge Amado, Carlos Fuentes, and others. The 23 authors and artists included in this anthology come from all over the U.S. and from eight different national traditions. They include well-known creators like Kathleen Alcalá, Ana Castillo, Junot Díaz, Giannina Braschi, and others; they also include new voices, well worth hearing.

Panelists
Matthew David Goodwin (editor and moderator) is an assistant professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, focusing on the topic of migration in Latino/a literature, particularly science fiction, fantasy, and digital culture.

Carlos Hernandez is the author of The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria (Rosarium 2016) and over 30 works of science fiction and fantasy, including poetry and drama. By day, he is an CUNY associate professor of English and has worked in game writing and game design.

Richie Narvaez is the award-winning author of Roachkiller and Other Stories. His fiction has appeared in Grand Central Noir, Plots with Guns, Sunshine Noir, and Spinetingler.

Sabrina Vourvoulias is the author of Ink (Crossed Genres, 2012), a novel that draws on her memories of Guatemala’s armed internal conflict and of the Latinx experience in the United States. It was named one of Latinidad’s Best Books of 2012.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register by emailing events@nysoclib.org or calling 212.288.6900, ext. 230.

Author Event: Max Gladstone, Yoon Ha Lee and Sabrina Vourvoulias

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Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 1.55.51 AMWednesday, 12 July 2017 at 7 PM

Join us for a Pre-Readercon author event with Max Gladstone, Yoon Ha Lee, and Sabrina Vourvoulias.

Events at Readercon start on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating early.

Event is free and open to the public.

More info here.

 

Ink makes PM’s “The 11 Best Sci-Fi Novels From the 21st Century You Likely Missed” list

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Great doesn’t need to mean old, writes Tiffany Kelly at Popular Mechanics. And (😮 ) my 2012 novel “Ink” opens her list!

“This is an eerily relevant dystopian novel that is a must-read…”

Read the article here.

Hold the Door, Broken Earth & Latinx SFF at Arisia

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I will be on three panels at the upcoming Arisia convention (Jan. 13-16 at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel), all of them on Saturday, Jan. 14:

11:30 a.m.

Hold the Door: Game of Thrones Season 6 and More

Media, Panel – 1hr 15min – Douglas (3W)

Game of Thrones continues to move the plot well past the novels, and continues to introduce and kill characters in ways that are surprising and occasionally heartbreaking. We’ll discuss the ever-complicated handling of the show’s core female characters (and the pivot in handling most of them compared to Season 5), the rushed Dorn plotline, the deaths of characters we’ve loved and hated from day one, and more.

Santiago Rivas (m), Jeanne Cavelos, Genevieve Leonard, Mark W. Richards, Sabrina Vourvoulias

4 p.m.

Broken Earth: Writing SF from Societal Trauma 

Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Marina 1 (2E)

Authors create memorable works from personal trauma, but the political is also personal. N. K. Jemisin has been quoted as saying that her series The Broken Earth stems from her own processing of systematic racism in America through the lens of the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ll discuss The Broken Earth and other works that come forth when societal trauma enters the author’s sphere and how awful truth inspires fiction.

Andrea Hairston (m), Steve E Popkes, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Sabrina Vourvoulias

7 p.m.

Latinx SFF 

Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Marina 4 (2E)

The recently released Latin@ Rising anthology has raised the profile of stories from Latinx authors writing in English. We’ll talk about the anthology and other works, new and old, of SFF from Latinx authors. What perspectives and themes are important to these stories and their authors, and how do they explore the speculative world?

Julia Rios (m), Mark Oshiro, Dianna Sanchez, Sabrina Vourvoulias

Awards eligibility 2016

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So this is the time of year many SFF writers compose posts outlining what short stories (etc.) are eligible for nomination for awards. While more prolific writers than me usually have a long list for you to choose from, most years I only have two or three pieces you might consider. This year it is only one:

El Cantar of Rising Sun, which was published in Uncanny Magazine, issue 11, July/August 2016.

It is an unusual piece —a riff on epic narrative poems that follow the protagonist’s trajectory from birth to death with countless journeys and battles between … Only this epic takes place on Philly streets in 2014, and  at its heart is a very distinct set of journeys and battles.

A fast-moving, dizzying, tragic tale with magic tattoos, rhymes, love, friendship, and death. The language is powerfully alive, swaggering and moving to its own rhythm and its own beat. Original and skillfully crafted.

— from Maria Haskins’ monthly short fiction round-up.

If you believe it is worth nominating, El Cantar of Rising Sun is eligible in the short-story category for  Nebula, Hugo and Pushcart awards.