Clarkesworld and 2016 Award Eligibility

It’s that time of year again. People are beginning to fill out the award ballots and if you are considering nominating us or any of our stories, here’s a quick list to help you figure out what goes in what category.

As has been the case for the last few years, Clarkesworld Magazine is not eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine. By Hugo rules, we are professional and therefore ineligible in this category.

I am still eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Editor (short form).

If you want to nominate one of our 2016 stories, the Hugo and Nebula Awards consider them eligible in the following categories (according to word count):

Short Stories

Novelettes

Novellas

Frankly, Mr. Shankly, or perhaps Dear Madam Barnum

This past Friday, I resigned from my day job and career of the last twenty-eight years. My last day will be January 31st, but I might be doing some part-time/consulting work for them until they fill the vacancy. I could probably write an entire blog post about why I’ve done this—and I still might, someday—but that’s the past and I’m more focused on the future at the moment.

I’m quite excited—and a little terrified—by the prospect of taking the leap. There are a bunch of uncertainties, like healthcare costs and filling the income gap between Lisa’s new job and my old one, but we’re close enough to give this career switch a try. As some of you know, this has been a major goal of mine since my heart attack four years ago. At age fifty, and after ten years working part-time, I’m finally going to be a full-time editor!

Naturally, my first priority has to be those uncertainties I mentioned: income gap and insurance. As I see it, I have a few things to target:

  1. I’ve altered the Clarkesworld Patreon goals to include direct salary and healthcare expenses. Would be nice if it was that simple, but I figure it’s worth putting out there.
  2. I’ll be pushing the digital subscriptions a lot more and investing a little in marketing in hopes of bumping those numbers up a bit.
  3. Now that I’ll have time, I can increase the number of anthology projects I do. I’m in the process of drafting pitches for my current publishers, but I should have extras if anyone else should be interested. I’d really like to do another original anthology sometime too.
  4. I also have the Year Nine and Year Ten Clarkesworld anthologies to wrap up. That should be a lot easier to accomplish now.
  5. I need to be more proactive in seeking advertisers for Clarkesworld. Even a small bump here could be significant.
  6. While there’s still a gap, I’ll also try to expand on the ebook design work I do on the side. It’s mindless, but I find it relaxing and it helps pay bills.

I’m getting this shot at chasing a dream thanks to Lisa, my amazing wife. I also have to thank Sean and Kate for having my back, my boys for keeping me on my toes, my parents for their support and inspiration, my publishers for their faith in me, and everyone that has ever subscribed, donated, or become a patron of Clarkesworld.

Let the adventure begin!

PS. If you don’t understand the title, you might want to do a little musical research.
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
Dear Madam Barnum

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2 Reveal

At long last, I am happy to reveal the cover and table of contents for volume two of The Best Science Fiction of the Year!
bsfoty2

The Best Science Fiction of the Year – Volume 2

Night Shade Books – April 4, 2017
ISBN-10: 1597808962
ISBN-13: 978-1597808965

The second volume in a new year’s best series. This book will feature science fiction short stories/novelettes/novellas originally published in 2016.

Available at:

Table of Contents

  • “The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s, September 2016)
  • “Extraction Request” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld, January 2016)
  • “A Good Home” by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed, June 2016)
  • “Prodigal” by Gord Sellar (Analog, December 2016)
  • “Ten Days” by Nina Allan (Now We Are Ten, edited by Ian Whates)
  • “Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar (Tor.com, April 2016)
  • “Panic City” by Madeline Ashby (CyberWorld, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola)
  • “Last Gods” by Sam J. Miller (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
  • “HigherWorks” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Asimov’s, December 2016)
  • “A Strange Loop” by T.R. Napper (Interzone, January/February 2016)
  • “Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse” by Xia Jia (Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu)
  • “Pearl” by Aliette de Bodard (The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)
  • “The Metal Demimonde” by Nick Wolven (Analog, June 2016)
  • “The Iron Tactician” by Alastair Reynolds (Newcon Press)
  • “The Mighty Slinger” by Tobias S. Buckell and Karen Lord (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
  • “They All Have One Breath” by Karl Bunker (Asimov’s, December 2016)
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, February 2016)
  • “And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices” by Margaret Ronald (Clarkesworld, June 2016)
  • “The Three Lives of Sonata James” by Lettie Prell (Tor.com, October 2016)
  • “The Charge and the Storm” by An Owomoyela (Asimov’s, February 2016)
  • “Parables of Infinity” by Robert Reed (Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
  • “Ten Poems for the Mossums, One for the Man” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s, July 2016)
  • “You Make Pattaya” by Rich Larson (Interzone, November/December 2016)
  • “Number Nine Moon” by Alex Irvine (F&SF, January/February 2016)
  • “Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld, June 2016)
  • “Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts” by Ken Liu (Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathana Strahan)
  • “Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld, April 2016)

Preliminary Reading for New Anthologies

I have two more reprint anthologies scheduled for 2017:

  1. More Human that Human (Night Shade Books, 250K words) – androids, synths, replicants, and other artificial humans.
  2. War Machines (Prime Books, ~200K words) – the machines of war, whether they be independent in thought or controlled by an operator

There will be an open call for submissions for both projects within the next month, but at this point I am in the preliminary reading phase, looking for stories that I can build around and use to set the overall tone/direction. (I already have some in mind, but that could change as this process unfolds.)

If you would like to recommend some stories from the last twenty years that you think I should be considering, please feel free to leave a comment on this post or email me at neil (at) clarkesworldmagazine.com.

 

Amazon Echo Dot

Lisa gave me an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas. If you don’t know what that is, just think of it as a little box (Alexa) that will try to do what I tell it to. Not a robot, but it’s as close as I’m getting for now.

We already had a WeMo Smart Plug connected to one of our lights, so fortunately, it has something to play with. On the down side, this means that all it’s really doing at the moment is turning the light on and off for me–something I am more than capable of doing myself. “Alexa, turn on the family room light.”

I had hoped this would also handle more of the entertainment side of the house, namely music and video. I figured I’d need something special for that, but it turns out that Amazon’s Fire Stick, the product that is supposed to compete with Google’s Chromecast, doesn’t talk to Dot. It has its own instance of Alexa. That seems like a fairly significant mistake on their part.

“Alexa. Can you do anything I want?”

“Hmm. I’m not sure what you meant by that question.”

It was suggested that I hardwire the Dot to the stereo via its external speaker jack, but unfortunately, that causes the on-board speaker to be disabled. If the stereo is off, which is typically is, I wouldn’t be able to hear the responses from Alexa. Fortunately, they weren’t as foolish with the design of Alexa’s bluetooth support. Unfortunately, my stereo doesn’t include a bluetooth receiver. I’ve had to buy one.

“Alexa. Order a bluetooth receiver.”

[Alexa rattles off some models from Amazon and I confirm an order for one of them.]

That solution will only take me part of the way there. I still can’t control the TV or Stereo. After doing some research, I’ve decided to go with a Logitech Harmony Smart Hub which Alexa can control through ifttt. That will allow me to tell the Alexa to change the source inputs for the different configurations we use that system for (TV, Roku, XBox One, Music).

We’ll see how all this works out. If it doesn’t, I’m still capable of getting out of the chair, finding all the remotes, and pressing the right buttons myself. At worst, I’ll be asking Alexa how she wants me to return all this stuff.

Welcome to the future.

All the Best

Wishing you all the best this holiday season. Our tree is up. Tacky Santa is in the window. Presents are (mostly) wrapped. My three-day Christmas marathon is about to begin.

Godzilla earned the top spot in the tree this year: