Award Categories

Seems I created a little confusion with my post about the Nebulas. Here are the formal definitions, quoted from the Nebula® Rules:

  • Short Story: less than 7,500 words.
  • Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words.
  • Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words.
  • Novel: 40,000 words or more. At the author’s request, a novella-length work published individually, rather than as part of a collection or an anthology, shall appear in the novel category.

I believe the Hugo Award uses the same (or very similar) definitions.

The Nebula, by the way, is awarded yearly by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and is a peer award voted on by the active membership of SFWA, or at least those who have time to read.

The Hugo is awarded yearly by the membership of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (worldcon), and is a fan award. (Some of those fans are also members of SFWA, but most are simply avid readers and, well, fans.)

If you’d like to know more about the Nebula Awards, browse the many entries on SFWA’s Nebula Awards page.

Nebula Awards ® 2005

The results are in from the Nebula Awards ceremony held last weekend in Chicago. Here are the winners:

  • Best Novel: Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos, Oct03)
  • Best Novella: “The Green Leopard Plague” by Walter Jon Williams (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov 2003)
  • Best Novelette: “Basement Magic” by Ellen Klages (F&SF, May03)
  • Best Short Story: “Coming to Terms” by Eileen Gunn (Stable Strategies and Others, Tachyon Publications, Sep 2004)
  • Best Script: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson (New Line Cinema)
  • Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement in the field: Anne McCaffrey

Congratulations to all the winners, and all the nominees!

More info at: http://www.sfwa.org/news/05nebwin.htm
Photos at the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive http://www.midamericon.org/photoarchive/05neb01.htm

Young Adult Award Coming
Next year, for the first time, the Science Fiction Writers of America will be presenting an award for outstanding young adult science fiction/fantasy, with the first annual Andre Norton Award—to be awarded concurrently with the Nebulas.

Acting and Theater

My younger daughter is passionate about acting in theater, and last summer played the part of Huck Finn in our local theater group’s production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We were all amazed by the way the kids (who came not just from our town but surrounding towns as well) gelled, after spending six weeks working together. The camaraderie was astounding. They cried by email for weeks afterward, when it was over. We just had a fun reunion: a bunch of the group got together to see another kids’ theater put on the same show. The spirit hasn’t diminished a bit since last August.

It was interesting to see how differently two theater groups can put on the same show. For me, it was the first chance I’d had to compare two productions like this, in a close time frame. The differences in the sets, in the selection and presentation of songs and live orchestra, the interpretations of characters by the actors (our group had 2 casts, and both Hucks were played by girls). And, since I ran the sound board in our theater, some of the technical tricks! (I’m definitely an amateur, but I’ve now done sound for several of our big shows, and I enjoy it.)

For a change, this weekend, I’m doing lights—both daughters are performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I can’t wait to see it.

Questions about Writing #5: Personal Perspective

posted in: writing | 0

I got an email the other day from a college student, who said he was doing a paper on my work, and would I answer a few questions? Now, if that isn’t flattering, I don’t know what is. I wrote the answers to his questions, then thought—wait, this is blogstuff. (Is that a word? It should be, if it’s not.)

He asked why I became a science fiction writer. My answer:

Because SF was what I always loved to read as a kid, in college, and after college. I got some early encouragement from my family and a couple of teachers, who thought I had some talent for writing. So when I set out to write some stories, it was just natural that I wrote SF. It’s still my favorite form of literature, though I don’t have as much time for reading now as I once did. I love SF because it challenges the mind, stretches the imagination, and takes us to fascinating times and places that we probably won’t get to visit in the flesh. It lets me think about science and art and the human spirit, and a lot of other things, all wrapped up in one. (I also love, as a writer, sticking my characters into strange realities and seeing how they react.)

What’s my favorite book?

Oddly, it’s not SF–it’s fantasy. The Lord of the Rings. I’ve read it at least 15 times. I love Tolkien’s visions, and I love Middle Earth for its magical likeness, and yet distinctiveness from, our own world. I love the mountains of Middle Earth, the forests, the Ents, the elves. And somehow this book hooked me as no other book has in its portrayal of the eternal struggle between good and evil, and the price paid for victory.

Why do I live in New England?

I came East as a college student, and never left. I love the land here, the ocean, the history, the intellectual ferment of all the universities and the culture. And the New England fall–you just can’t beat it.

Thanks, Jeff from Plymouth State University, for giving me a blog topic!

Wrestling Tournament in Maine

We spent the day at the Hyde Wrestling Tournament in Bath, Maine, another girls-only tourney, this one smaller, as it was a first-time event. All three girls from the Arlington team went, plus the one girl who wrestles for Lexington High school, plus (assisting with the coaching) one of the graduating captains of the Arlington High School team. Lexi placed second in her weight class, with two pins to her credit and one loss by decision. Her first-year teammate Anjali, wrestling in her first official competition, came back from losing two matches to pin her final opponent. (Pix to come, when I have a chance to look at the video.)

It was a great group of people, and I continue to be impressed at the way wrestling is developing as a sport for girls.

This tournament was directed, by the way, by one Lisa Nowak, a young woman who paved the way for girls’ wrestling in Maine by taking her case for her right to participate in the sport to the Maine Human Rights Commission. She now is a wrestling coach at the Hyde School, coaching both boys and girls—and was a delightful person to meet.

People of Faith—the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

posted in: religion | 0

In the last few days, Christianity has been in the news a lot, for a variety of reasons. First, there’s the new pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. I only know about him what I read in the papers, and what I read at first alarmed me—that he did not take very seriously the sexual abuse scandal that’s damaged the Church. (As I read on, it seemed that perhaps he had woken, after a while, to the reality of it.) I’m a Protestant, not a Catholic, but I recognize the great influence that the Catholic Church has on the world, for good or ill. The abuse scandal is an unfortunate defining moment in the Church’s history, and I can’t help but view this appointment through that lens. A church leader who fails to take action against the cancer that put protecting the organization above protecting children is no leader worthy of the title. So what will Pope Benedict XVI do? Will he shine a light into the dark corners of the Church, to bring healing? Or will he continue to deflect the matter as overblown and unimportant? At this point, we can only hope and pray.

The second thing that’s brought the church into the news is so appalling I hate to think about it. That’s the action that the radical right, here in the US, is planning to take in order to ram President Bush’s judicial nominees through the Senate ratification process. I was stunned to hear that Senator Frist, the Senate Majority Hatchet, is planning to appear at a rally before a Kentucky mega-church, calling on Christians (by which he means right-wing Christians) to lobby their senators to exercise the “nuclear option”—to throw out the Senate rules as they’ve been observed practically forever, change the rules to get Bush’s ill-qualified nominees into the courts, and advance the radical right-wing agenda. This action is so divisive, and I believe so unchristian, that it makes me ill. Here’s a good, very brief summary of it, from a faith perspective, at faithfulamerica.org.

So here’s my plug, as a Christian, to all of you to support organizations such as faithfulamerica.org or moveon.org or any of dozens more that are trying to bring a sane balance back to matters of faith and politics in the U.S.

Im Hyperraum

posted in: writing | 0

Today’s mail brought me a small packet of very fat books, forwarded to me by my U.S. publisher, Tor Books, from my German publisher, Heyne. It contained a new German translation of: Im Hyperraum. It took me a minute or two to figure out what it was, except that it was by me. Finally I looked at the copyright page, and discovered that it was an omnibus edition, containing Panglor and Dragons in the Stars in one volume. It’s a little odd; I’m not sure why they did that instead of putting Dragons in the Stars together with Dragon Rigger. But that’s what they did. The two stories are set in the same future history (the Star Rigger universe), but are otherwise unconnected.

Only one reader has commented on it at Amazon-Germany, and he/she seems not to have liked it much, so I hope someone who did like it comes along soon.

Anyway, I love seeing foreign editions of my books. I can’t understand a word of them (and I took German for two years), but it really just feels pretty cool.

Here’s what it looks like.

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