My previous post notwithstanding, 2022 has gotten off to a pretty rocky start in the Carver household, due to some family members going through tough times. I’ll not go into details, for reasons of privacy. But several pieces of (professional) good news have come along to brighten the days, and I want to share those.
The first, I believe, was a lovely review of The Reefs of Time from Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews. They liked the book a lot. On their list of Pros and Cons, they gave it 9 pros and 0 Cons.
The second was my first review on TikTok, by a young man named Anthony Avina, also of The Reefs of Time. He too liked it lot.
The third was a wonderful short review of the Sunborn audiobook, on an internet radio segment called Sci-Fi Bookbuzzes with Bria Burton (scroll down to the little audio player to hear the review). That led to a subsequent on-air interview with PatZi, the host of the parent radio show, Joy on Paper. You can listen to the interview here.
Happy New Year! I learned today I am a recipient of this year’s Helicon Award—specifically, the Frank Herbert Lifetime Achievement Award! I am excited!
The Helicon Awards are new to me, but I have learned that they are announced each year by the Helicon Society, “a collective of SF/F authors and other creators who subscribe to the Superversive approach to creating SF/F media and look to promote good quality sci-fi/fantasy…” It is something of an under-the-radar group, with no official public structure; the judges and membership are anonymous. Okay, I know one of them, Richard Paolinelli, a founding member. But the others are unknown to me. Whoever they are, I am immensely gratified that they have found my work worthy of a lifetime achievement award! Thank you.
Here are the past winners of Helicon’s Frank Herbert Lifetime Achievement Award:
2019 – Jack McDevitt
2020 – Anne McCaffrey
2021 – David Weber
2022 – moi
I am delighted to join their ranks.
See the recipients in other categories here. Congratulations to all of them!
“Our literary awards are given to books and authors that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas…
The Gold Award is bestowed on books that we found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written books.”
My bro has done it again. Charles S. Carver by name, and professor/research psychologist by trade, he’s earned another major award in his field—the American Psychological Association’s “Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.” This award honors psychologists who have made prominent theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. It’s regarded as one of the highest awards in the science of psychology.
That’s my brother Chuck they’re talking about. The guy who once ran around the Brown University football field in a mascot bear suit. (I subbed for him once, and got my head stolen for my troubles.) The guy who made it to the Ohio state finals in high school wrestling. The guy who’s been waging war against cancer for a year and a half, and holding his own.
The award also honors his colleague Michael Scheier at Carnegie Mellon University, who has worked with Chuck for over 45 years in the areas of personality, social, health, and motivational psychology. You can read more about it here.
They’ll be recognized at the APA convention this coming August.
Congratulations to all the winners of the Nebula, Bradbury, and Norton Awards this year! The Nebulas are the annual award of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and the award trophy is a gorgeous block of Lucite with embedded planets and things, each one unique. Consider that list, linked above, to be another recommended reading list.
The winning novel was All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders, and I loved it. A blend of fantasy and science fiction, it was engaging and compelling, and the characters were achingly real. Heartily recommended. I also loved one that didn’t win: The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin. (I “read” both of these via their wonderful audiobooks, really great narrations.)
Winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult SF/F was Arabella of Mars, a lively sort of steam-punk story by David D. Levine. David is one of my Book View Café colleagues, and I offer him a special, collegial fist-bump of congratulations!
Finally, and if you think I’m saving the best for last, you’re right: The recipient of SFWA’s Grand Master award, and about time, is my wonderful friend—everyone’s friend—fantasy and children’s book writer Jane Yolen! It’s a richly deserved award, and I especially liked her words of wisdom to writers: “Just write the damn book!”
Great news on the audiobook front! While many of my older books have been available in audiobook for some time, my most recent work has never been recorded in commercially available audio.
Well, we’re about to start changing that! Neptune Crossing is coming to audiobook, and with a vengeance. I’ve signed with Skyboat Media and Grammy Award-winner Stefan Rudnicki to both produce and narrate the book. In short, I’ve just signed with one of the premier audiobook producers in the business! I could not be happier.
I have long noted Stefan as one of the narrators I most enjoyed listening to as a consumer of audiobooks. (Audiobooks are how I get most of my reading done nowadays. Some people use them to while away long commutes. I use them to while away long dog walks. In fact, my most recent listen was to Zeroboxer, a wonderful young adult science fiction novel by Fonda Lee, narrated by Stefan.) I have long felt that if Audible or any other audiobook producer were to ask me who I would like to narrate any of my books—and no, they’ve never asked—Stefan’s name would have been right at the top.
My road to getting Neptune Crossing into audio has been a rocky one. Tor Books, the original print publisher, controlled the audio rights, but didn’t exercise them. A few years ago, I started trying to get just the audio rights back, but it was a slow slog; and when I finally got a complete rights reversion, it came just too late for a particular window of opportunity. That was pretty discouraging, and for a time, I didn’t do anything further. But when one door closes, another opens. When a colleague of mine at Book View Café mentioned that Stefan’s Skyboat Media was open to new material, I thought, “What have I got to lose?” I queried, and sent them an ebook to peruse. About a week later, Stefan made an offer for a production deal, with Blackstone Audio as partners—and because he liked the book so much, he wanted to narrate it himself!
I didn’t have to think long about that. I brought my agent in to handle the contracts, and a few weeks later, we were signed. Stefan tells me we’re aiming for a release date of September 6, in both CD and MP3 download from all the major audiobook vendors.
This will be an important trial. If sales go well, the hope is to continue with the other Chaos titles, and maybe Eternity’s End. So everybody, Please pull with me on this one! Spread the word! Neptune Crossing hits the airwaves on September 6! If you don’t listen to audiobooks yourself, you probably know someone who does. What a great gift! Or get your local library to order it! That’s the ticket!
“Truth is a matter of the imagination.” That’s a quote from the Left Hand of Darkness, a classic of science fiction, that I’ve had up on my website for years.
In receiving a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the recent National Book Awards ceremony (Neil Gaiman presented the award to her), science fiction and literary titan Ursula K. LeGuin gave a moving and heartfelt speech that began by celebrating SF and fantasy and all of its writers, and went on to criticize the trend among publishers and mega-sellers of treating books as commodity, instead of art with an intrinsic value to society that goes beyond dollars. She lit pretty well into Amazon for their recent battle with Hachette, with authors caught in the middle. (For the record, I don’t altogether agree with her assessment of that situation, in which I think the publisher was at least as much at fault. But then, who am I to argue with Ursula LeGuin?)
I certainly appreciated, and was touched by, her saying that she shares this award with all writers of speculative fiction. Ms. LeGuin, by the way, is a founding member of Book View Café.