World Fantasy Weekend 2018

I spent last weekend at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore and had a great time even though I spent a large chunk of it behind my table in a very slow moving dealer’s room–no worries, I went in expecting it to be more marketing-oriented thing than sales. Staying in one place made it a lot easier for people to find me and I had a lot of enjoyable conversations with artists, authors, and readers.

Not all that long ago, the World Fantasy Awards changed the award from “the big ugly head” to a bronze award created by Vincent Villafranca. Vincent is an amazing artist and, in addition to the 2013 Hugo Award he made, I am proud to own a few of his smaller works. This year, the art show featured several of Vincent’s works, including various prototypes and molds used in the process of creating the award. It was fascinating to see and I’m so glad they did this. Far too often, what goes on behind-the-scenes in the creative process is ignored, so I applaud that they made this possible for all to enjoy. (There was a lot to enjoy in this year’s art show.)

Despite changing the award, the nominee pins remained the same–a smaller version of the head. This year’s convention team took it on themselves to work with Vincent and create a matching nominee pin that was the envy of many previous nominees, myself included. I have to praise their efforts to make this happen. I wish I had taken picture of one. Maybe a nominee (or winners, congratulations, by the way) will post a shot of theirs soon.

This year’s convention was also the first I’ve seen to feature a consignment table–likely influenced by SFWA’s efforts at Worldcon earlier this year. This allowed attending authors to bring some of their books and have them available for sale at the con. From what I could see, it appeared to be quite successful and helped out a lot of authors who wouldn’t have been well-represented by the regular book dealers. I know World Fantasy has some weird rules about the dealer’s room that might have prevented it, but this table should have been inside with the rest of us. If other’s follow Baltimore’s lead–and they should–that’s the one improvement they can make.

Conventions are volunteer-run events and as such, there will always be little glitches and mistakes. I know there were a few, but ultimately, I didn’t care. This convention was better than many “professionally-operated” events I’ve attended and people seemed to be having a genuinely good time. That’s the bar I set and adding the extras I’ve mentioned causes me to rate this year’s con quite highly.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone that worked on it!

2018 Chesley Award Winner

I would like to thank the members of ASFA for awarding me the 2018 Chesley Award for Best Art Director. The category was filled with people that I am in awe of and would have been content to lose to. I was so convinced one of the others would that I didn’t have a prepared speech and was caught completely off-guard when my name was called. Oh and did I mention that it was my birthday that day?

Oh and that little red thing sticking out from the award, that’s a Tesla in orbit.

2018 Worldcon Schedule

Worldcon is this week in San Jose. I’ll be arriving sometime late Wednesday evening and returning home on Tuesday.

I have the following panels:

  • Thursday, August 16 – 4:00pm – Chinese SF/F and its Fandom (212C)
  • Friday, August 17 – 11:00am – Translation & Communication of Chinese Science Fiction (210F)
  • Saturday, August 18 – 12:00pm – Kaffeeklatsch: Neil Clarke (211B1)
  • Saturday, August 18 – 4:00pm – Autographs

I’m not on any of the editing, anthologies, or short fiction panels, so if you want to hear (or talk to me) about that stuff, sign up for the Kaffeeklatsch or catch me between panels, meetings, and award ceremonies. (This is not a complaint. It’s just how things fell this year.)  I go to these things to meet people, so feel free to introduce yourself or just say hi. If it’s Friday, break the ice by saying “Happy Birthday!”

I will also be attending the following award ceremonies:

  • Friday, August 17 – 5:00pm – Chesley Awards (Callahan’s Place). I’m a nominee for Best Art Director
  • Sunday, August 19 – 8:00pm – Hugo Awards (Grand Ballroom). I’m a nominee for Best Editor (Short Form)

I do not have a table in the dealer’s room, but the SFWA table will have a few copies of both Clarkesworld Year Nine volumes and some of the other dealers will have my Night Shade  Books anthologies.

2018 Chesley Award Nominees

Here are the nominees for the 2018 Chesley Awards! (The Chesley, named for the great astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell, started in 1985 as a means for the SF & Fantasy art community to recognize individual works and achievements in a given year. This year’s awards are for works and achievements in the period from January 1st to December 31st 2017.)

Best Cover Illustration – Hardback Book
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/dLNApxEe8czyUsoeA

  • Tommy Arnold Horizon by Fran Wilde, Tor, September 2017
  • Marcela Bolívar Julia by Peter Straub, Centipede Press, December 2017
  • Julie Dillon Final Girls by Mira Grant, Subterranean Press, April 2017
  • Donato Giancola Assassin’s Price by L.E. Modesitt Jr., Tor, July 2017
  • John Harris The Man in the Tree by Sage Walker, Tor, September 2017
  • Elizabeth Leggett Retrograde by Peter Cawdron, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2017
  • Marc Simonetti The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, Grim Oak Press, August 2017

Best Cover Illustration – Paperback Book or Ebook
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/MThpAouoVebnSZ3V2

  • Julie Dillon Beyond the Stars: New Worlds, New Suns – A Space Opera Anthology edited by Ellen Campbell, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, April 2017
  • Aly Fell Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire, DAW, March 2017
  • Jaime Jones The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, Tor, October 2017
  • Miranda Meeks The Fisher of Bones by Sarah Gailey, Fireside Fiction, October 2017
  • Gene Mollica Call of Fire by Beth Cato, Harper Voyager, August 2017
  • Dave Palumbo Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor, Tor, January 2017
  • Stephen Youll Acadie by Dave Hutchinson,Tor, September 2017

Best Magazine Illustration
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2jF2th7EMhaC2PGb9

  • Julie Dillon Clarkesworld #128 May 2017
  • Ingrid Kallick Cricket Magazine January 2017
  • Eddie Mendoza Clarkesworld #130 July 2017
  • Reiko Murakami Lightspeed #82 March 2017
  • Sergei Sarichev Clarkesworld #126 March 2017

Best Interior Illustration
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/JEWYafv1NidMuNcj9

  • Gregory Manchess Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess Saga Press, October 2017
  • John Picacio “When the Devil Drives” by Melinda Snodgrass Tor.com July 2017
  • Dan Dos Santos The Name of the Wind: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Patrick Rothfuss DAW, October 2017
  • Omar Rayyan Goblin Market by Christine Rosetti Donald M. Grant, Jan. 2017
  • Marc Simonetti The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks Grim Oak Press, August 2017
  • Sam Weber “These Deathless Bones” by Cassandra Khaw Tor.com, July 26, 2017

Best Gaming Related Illustration
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/o6sjoSdFjZFJjJSG8

  • Kari Christensen Chandra Gremlin Wrangler Heroes of the Realm WotC September 2017
  • Melissa Gay Offering Sagaborn RPG Core Rule Book Lone Wanderer Entertainment August 2017
  • Piotr Jabloński Moaning Wall Magic card for Hour of Devastation WotC July 2017
  • Jaime Jones The Ur- Dragon Magic card for Commander 2017 WotC, August 2017
  • Sara Winters Compulsive Research Magic card for Modern Masters 2017 WotC, March 2017

Best Product Illustration
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zif6qgngtQkyNjB02

  • Kari Christensen Call of Cthulhu, FilmQuest Festival, 2017
  • Julie Dillon American Gods Promo art for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab/Trading Post, 2017
  • Annie Stegg Gerard Stormy Serenade, DragonCon Tshirt art 2017
  • Adam Hughes In a Galaxy Far, Far Away LE Art Print by Acme Archives, July 2017
  • James Jean The Shape of Water teaser poster FOX Searchlight, December 2017
  • Rachel Quinlan Knight of Cups, 78 Tarot Astral 2017

Best Color Work – Unpublished
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/geXR3MLbGco6VQa89

  • Serena Maylon Erebor Watercolor and Gouache
  • Alessandra Pisano Kindred Spirits Oils
  • Cynthia Sheppard Deconstructing Wonderland Digital
  • Charles Urbach Not All Treasure is Gold Colored Pencil
  • Eric Velhagen Respite Oils

Best Monochrome – Unpublished
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XEWnQPNhy3ivGe1e7

  • Ed Binkley “Thistledown” Digital
  • Bobby Chiu “Romeo and Juliet” Digital
  • Karla Ortiz “Ada” Oil
  • Christine Rhee “Gumiho” Graphite
  • Shawn E. Russell “Release” Graphite
  • Ruth Sanderson “Dragon Drum” Ink
  • Kaysha Siemens “Pensive” Oils

Best Three Dimensional Art
Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/BWFvrV6pBwPxvOuf1

  • Skink Chen “Resentful Beast” Painted cast resin
  • Ellen Jewett “The Burden of Motion and Ambition” Cold porcelain and polymer clay
  • Colin & Kristine Poole “Gift of the Faun” Bronze
  • Forest Rogers “Octopoid Descending” Kato polyclay
  • Lisa Sell “Manifesting Orb Dragon” Aves Apoxie Sculpt
  • Vincent Villafranca “Fever Dream #17” Bronze

Best Art Director

  • Neil Clarke Clarkesworld
  • Christine Foltzer Tor.com Publishing
  • Irene Gallo Tor Books/Tor.com
  • Lauren Panepinto Orbit Books and for Muddy Colors blog articles
  • Cynthia Sheppard Wizards of the Coast

Lifetime Achievement

  • Richard Hescox
  • Alan Lee
  • Gregory Manchess
  • William O’Connor
  • Allen Williams

2018 Sturgeon Finalists

Just received this press release. Congratulations to all the finalists! (And a special cheer to the three from Clarkesworld!)

LAWRENCE, KS – 16 April, 2018
for immediate release

This year’s finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been selected, announced Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The awards will be presented this year during the Campbell Conference Awards reception on Friday, June 22, 2018.

2018 Finalists for the Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award

  • “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue,” Charlie Jane Anders. Boston Review: Global Dystopias, Oct 2017.
  • “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance,” Tobias S. Buckell. Cosmic Powers, ed. John Joseph Adams. Saga Press.
  • “The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine,” Greg Egan. Asimov’s, Nov/Dec 2017.
  • “Sidewalks,” Maureen McHugh. Omni, Nov 2017.
  • “The Martian Obelisk,” Linda Nagata. Tor.com, July 2017.
  • “The Secret Life of Bots,” Suzanne Palmer. Clarkesworld, Sept 2017.
  • “And Then There Were (N-One),” Sarah Pinsker. Uncanny, March 2017.
  • “A Series of Steaks,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Clarkesworld, Jan 2017.
  • “Fandom for Robots,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Uncanny, Sept 2017.
  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience,” Rebecca Roanhorse. Apex, Aug 2017.
  • “We Who Live in the Heart,” Kelly Robson. Clarkesworld, May 2017.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978 at the University of Kansas. It includes a Friday-evening banquet where the annual Theodore A. Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are given; a Saturday round-table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.

Sincerely,
Jason Baltazar
Outreach Coordinator, Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction
http://sfcenter.ku.edu

2018 Hugo Award Finalists

The 2018 Hugo Award Finalists have been announced!

So very honored to be a finalist for Best Editor Short Form again this year. This is my sixth nomination in this category–no wins–and every time has been as much a thrill as the others. Always and amazing group of colleagues competing in this category.

Also very happy to see “The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017) and “A Series of Steaks,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017) competing for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette and  Vina among the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer finalists. I included both of these stories in my latest Best Science Fiction of the Year anthology–and Vina as best new writer–so it’s nice to see others agreeing with me.

A big thank you to all the people who nominated this year. I appreciate your support and hope to see some of you at Worldcon this summer!