New addition to the library: Number 230 of 1,250 signed copies of #nwc37 Special Guest of Honor Seanan McGuire’s collection Laughter at the Academy, from #nwc42 Spotlight Publisher Subterranean Press! Supporting Norwescon and our GoH’s one book at a time. :) 📚
Home from Norwescon!
This was my first year as a member of the Exec team, and I hope it won’t be my last. As I’m in a position whose duties are heavily weighted pre-convention, I was much more able to simply enjoy the con than I have been in the past few years, when I was coordinating the photo department, taking photos, and monitoring social media. This year, I got to spend much more time wandering around, finding friends and acquaintances old and new, and just enjoying the convention without being constantly on the run from one duty to another. It was nice!
Amusingly, this didn’t translate into much panel attending — one of the major aspects of the con that I’ve personally had little time to explore — though I did make sure to attend Saturday’s Star Trek: Discovery panel, which I very much enjoyed. Should I hold the Secretary position again next year, I’ll try to get a few more panels onto my schedule.
I got to sit at a dinner table with our Special Guest of Honor Nancy Pearl at the GOH Banquet, and she was an absolutely wonderful person. We and the rest of the table chatted favorite books old and new, and after hearing some about my interests, she recommended Peter Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star to me, so I’ll definitely have to pick that up. One doesn’t simply shrug off a personal recommendation from the model for the Librarian action figure, after all!
The P. K. Dick Awards were a highlight as always. Though I continue my streak of failing to predict the winner, the final choice was a worthwhile selection, and I was lucky enough to be seated next to the winner, so I got to hear her excited gasp of surprise as her name was called out.
I talked to many people, made and laughed at lots of jokes (bad and good), talked books, TV, and film, had a few drinks, danced to the wee hours on Saturday night, ran around dressed up as the Unstoppable T-Rex, handed out many “ALL THE RIBBONS!” ribbons, and once again, had a grand old time over the weekend.
Thanks to all of you who helped to make this a good weekend, whether through personally interacting with me or through being part of the con community (staff and members alike) who make this such a good experience every year. I’m glad I got to see those of you I did, and look forward to seeing you all again in the future.
On to Norwescon 43!
This year’s NWC Writer Guest of Honor, Mary Robinette Kowal, is nominated for Best Novel for The Calculating Stars.
This year’s Honored Professional, Neil Clarke, is nominated for Best Professional Editor, Short Form.
This year’s Spotlight Publisher, Subterranean Press, has published two of this year’s nominations: Aliette de Bodard for Best Novella for The Tea Master and the Detective, and Aliette de Bodard for Best Series for The Universe of Xuya.
NWC31 Special Guest of Honor Naomi Novik is nominated for Best Novel for Spinning Silver.
NWC37 Special Guest of Honor Seanan McGuire is nominated for Best Novella for Beneath the Sugar Sky, and for Best Series for the October Daye series.
NWC35 Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio is nominated for Best Related Work for The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76, and for Best Professional Artist.
NWC36 Special Guest of Honor Gardner Dozois is nominated for Best Professional Editor, Short Form.
NWC29, 35, and 39 Spotlight Publisher DAW Books Representative Shiela Gilbert is nominated for Best Professional Editor, Long Form.
NWC24 and 38 Spotlight Publisher Representative (for Bantam Dell and Random House, respectively) Anne Lesley Groell is nominated for Best Professional Editor, Long Form.
NWC41 Artist Guest of Honor Galen Dara is nominated for Best Professional Artist.
NWC38 Artist Guest of Honor Julie Dillon is nominated for Best Art Book for Daydreamer’s Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon.
NWC20 Guest of Honor A.E. van Vogt is nominated for 1944 Retro Hugo Best Novel for The Weapon Makers.
Some of our past pros and panelists are nominated as well:
Tina Connolly for Best Novelette for The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections.
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry for Best Semiprozine — twice! — for Fireside Magazine and Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, and for Best Fan Writer.
Tanya DePass for Best Semiprozine for Fireside Magazine.
And longtime dealer Spring Schoenhuth is nominated for Best Fan Artist.
I think that covers everyone NWC-related, but if I missed anyone, let me know! Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck!
Just one month to Norwescon 42!
(For me, at least, since I show up on Wednesday. Other staff members show up earlier, the con itself formally starts on Thursday. But for me, just four weeks to go!)
As I’ve done for the past few years, I’ve read all of the nominated works for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award. Following is my ranking, from least favorite to my favorite and pick for the award (which, if history is any guide, means that it won’t be the winner, so my apologies in advance…), along with my brief comments.
- THE BODY LIBRARY by Jeff Noon (Angry Robot)
Much like the first in this series, there are a lot of interesting ideas, in this case about stories, narratives, and our relationships with them…yet it simply didn’t resonate with me at all.
- ALIEN VIRUS LOVE DISASTER: STORIES by Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer Press)
Some of these are funny, many of them are disquieting and leave the reader a little uneasy. I didn’t dislike it, though I’m not sure I can really say that I liked it, either.
- 84K by Claire North (Orbit)
Set in a distressingly plausible near-future dystopic Britain, the unrelenting dreariness was difficult for me. As with post-apocalyptic fiction, I’m not a big fan; I prefer more hope in my futurism.
- THEORY OF BASTARDS by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions)
Neat near-future exploration of interpersonal connections and intimacy, through the lens of research into the sexual habits of bonobo apes.
- TIME WAS by Ian McDonald (Tor.com)
A short, sweet tale of soldiers in love, time travel, the unraveling of their story, and the love of books. I very much enjoyed this one.
- AMBIGUITY MACHINES AND OTHER STORIES by Vandana Singh (Small Beer Press)
One of the best collections I’ve read in a long time. Fascinating, sometimes haunting stories, not a dud in the bunch, and a definite pleasure throughout.
Good luck to all the authors! I look forward to seeing as many as can attend at the award ceremony at Norwescon 42 in just a couple months!
Getting set up for the first @norwescon #NWC42 meeting of the year!
Morning of the final day of the @norwescon #nwc42 exec retreat. Found a good mug left behind on a prior year.