Tag Archives: Nisi Shawl

Nebula Reading Time!

What the Nebula Award looked like in 2015

It’s that time of year. The Oscars are over, and weren’t they interesting this year!?!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced the finalists for the 51st Annual Nebula, the Ray Bradbury Award for an Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

You can see the whole list here.

Possibly for the first time ever, I’m slightly ahead of the game, having acquired Borderline by Mishell Baker and Everfair by Nisi Shawl the minute(s) they were available. They were both incredible!

I’m now listening to the Audible release of All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, and enjoying the hell out of it.

That leaves only two novels still to read: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, and Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. I’m looking forward to them!

I’ve also seen all the Bradbury nominees except the Westworld episode. I don’t do HBO. I may have to see if Cookie will let me come over and watch.

I’ve probably read some of the shorter fiction, but  I usually have to refresh my memory before voting; l usually can’t match a title to a story until I’ve read a paragraph or so. And this year I haven’t read any of the nominated YA titles, so I’d better get on that.

SFWA members have from March 1 – March 30 to vote, so I’d better read (or listen) fast!

Which of the nominated works have you read? What would you vote for?


Readings for Black History Month…and after


I’ve read a few things that remind me that we Americans are not done, that there’s plenty of work needed to make our country live up to its stated ideals.

Internet articles:



I still want/need to read the following books:


Yes, I know there are more books I could (and should) read, and if you have something in particular to recommend, please share it in the comments.

I also know that reading alone won’t get me/us there. That requires action. But reading can enlighten us, inspire us, and set us on the path.


Tuesday with Nisi


Previously on the blog…

I said that Tuesday night of our Seattle/Anaheim trip needed a post all its own because it was so excellent. This is that post.

Here’s what happened: we got together with Nisi Shawl!  Nisi was one of the instructors for the Writing the Other Workshop and Retreat I took last June in Chattanooga. More than that, she (with Cynthia Ward) literally wrote the book—the one called Writing the Other, that is.

Nisi met BK, Lori and me in Seattle’s U District at Shalimar for dinner, which was delicious. After dinner, Nisi and I went to a reading at the UW bookstore.

I squeed when Nisi first suggested the reading for numerous reasons. First of all, it was sponsored by Clarion West. For those unfamiliar with Clarion West, it’s one of the premiere places for a serious science fiction and fantasy writer to move from “wannabe” to “is.” Instructors for the six-week intensive summer workshop have included Octavia Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, George R. R. Martin and many others, equally as luminous.

The reading/Q&A/signing featured Charlie Jane Anders,  who was one of this session’s Clarion West instructors. I first became aware of Charlie Jane’s writing around Worldcon (Chicon) 2012, when she won the Hugo for her novelette, “Six Months, Three Days.”

Anyway I just happened to have a copy of the July/August issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction, mostly because a fellow Writing the Other workshopper, Annalee Flower Horne, has a story in it called “Seven Things Cadet Blanchard Learned from the Trade Summit Incident.” This is Annalee’s first professional fiction sale, so—exciting, right? Later I discovered that one of the other stories in the issue, “End of the World Community College” by Sandra McDonald has a character named Professor Nisi Shawl. This was another unexpected bonus to the July/August issue, which I highly recommend checking out.


However, another story in the issue is “Palm Strike’s Last Case” by Charlie Jane Anders. I hoped I could get her to sign my issue. (Annalee, you’re next! I just need to figure out when and how we can meet up to make it happen.)

Charlie Jane’s Tuesday night reading (a cutting from a story about a genie after the apocalypse) was great fun. The entire story is set to appear on Tor.com this fall. The reading in itself would have been enough to cap off the evening, but I also got to gush at Charlie Jane and receive the longed-for autograph. Nisi introduced me to many Clarion West people, all of whom were gracious and welcoming. In all, it was a fabulous night.

I was momentarily sad when Nisi mentioned that she would be teaching a one-day workshop at Clarion West this October. Not sad that she’s teaching it—sad that I won’t be able to take it. My travel budget is seriously maxed out for the year, and I can’t plan another trip to Seattle so soon.

Do you write fiction? Can you get to Seattle October 5th? Then go and take the class! The topic—Voice and Voices—is something any fiction writer needs to work on, and Nisi is a great teacher. I asked her to let me know if she ever teaches it as an online class, and she promised me that she would. In turn, I promise to keep you all posted.



I’m leaving in 3 days. The image above is a visual clue to my destination. If you click on the picture, there’s an audio clue as well.

I’m very excited. And nervous. I call this state “happrehensive” because I like to shove words together to make new ones. Maybe it’s the German part of my heritage.

Anyway, here’s what’s happening: I’m going to a writing workshop/retreat with some wonderful writers-as-instructors: David Anthony Durham, K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nisi Shawl, and Cynthia Ward. There are also some pretty impressive writers-as-fellow-workshoppers, but the list is really long so I won’t subject you to it. However, many of my fellow attendees have some rather impressive credits, so I’m hoping not to embarrass myself.

Next week you’ll probably mostly see photos in this space—some from my garden and some from vacation. Sis, some cousins and I went to California for a long weekend. It’s a thing we do.

There will be a workshop-related post later. Maybe more than one.

Public domain photograph of the Appalachian mountains by Ken Thomas.