2019 Nebula Conference

Tomorrow morning I’m boarding a flight for LA and going to the SFWA Nebula Conference. I’ll be on the following panels on Friday:

  • 10:00-11:00 – Short Fiction Contract
  • 3:30-4:30 – Navigating as “Gatekeepers” of Publishing

and participating in the mass signing event from 1:30-3:30 on Saturday.

I’m also going to be receiving a Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award for “for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community” at the Nebula Awards ceremony on Saturday night. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. It’s quite an honor and a bit overwhelming. I’d also like to congratulate Nisi Shawl, who will also be receiving a Solstice Award this year. Sadly, she’ll be unable to attend.

Norwescon 42

I’m off to my first Norwescon (SeaTac, WA) next week! Very flattered to be one of the Guests of Honor (as Honored Professional) this year alongside Mary Robinette Kowal (Writer), Tran Nguyen (Artist), Dan Koboldt (Science), Nancy Pearl (Special), and Subterranean Press (Spotlight Publisher). I’m flying in on Wednesday and taking the red-eye home on Sunday night. At present, my schedule is as follows:

Thursday

  • Guest of Honor Banquet – 5:00PM – 6:30PM
  • Opening Ceremonies – 7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Grand 3
  • Norwescon Writers Workshop Meet & Greet – 8:00pm – 9:00pm
    Sienna Saint-Cyr, Barth Anderson, Carol Berg, Nisi Shawl, Neil Clarke, Craig Laurance Gidney

Friday

  • Norwescon Writers Workshop Critique Session – 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Welcome to Slush – 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Cascade 9
    Jaime O. Mayer, Coral Moore, Cory Skerry, Neil Clarke, Yilin Wang
  • Lifetime Members’ Dinner – 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Saturday

  • Autograph Session 1 – 10:00am – 11:00am @ Grand 2
  • Autograph Session 2 – 11:00am – 12:00pm @ Grand 2
  • Interview and Q&A with Neil Clarke – 12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Evergreen 3 & 4
    Neil Clarke, Sienna Saint-Cyr, Barth Anderson
  • The New Norwescon Writers Workshop Q&A – 2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Cascade 11
    Sienna Saint-Cyr, Barth Anderson, Carol Berg, Craig Laurance Gidney, Nisi Shawl, Neil Clarke
  • Start a Small Press, E-zine, or Web Comic – 3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 10
    Lee Douglass (M), Patrick Swenson, Neil Clarke, Yanni Kuznia
  • Norwescon Writers Workshop Reception – 5:00pm – 6:00pm
    Sienna Saint-Cyr, Carol Berg, Barth Anderson, Craig Laurance Gidney, Nisi Shawl, Neil Clarke

Sunday

  • Genres Without Borders – 10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 12
    Neil Clarke (M), Gordon Van Gelder, Yilin Wang
  • Writing for Anthologies – 12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Cascade 12
    K.G. Anderson (M), Marta Murvosh, Neil Clarke, Yanni Kuznia
  • Closing Ceremonies – 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Evergreen 3 & 4

Boskone 2018 Schedule

I’ll be attending Boskone this weekend. My schedule is as-follows:

The Perfect Short Story
15 Feb 2019, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 4
Neil Clarke, James Patrick Kelly, Elizabeth Hand, Suzanne Palmer, Ellen Datlow

On the page, short fiction is, well, finite. But don’t you remember as much from a great short story as a great novel? Can a short story be perfect in a way a longer fiction can’t? What can you do in a short story that you can’t at greater length? Are SF/F/H short stories different from mainstream shorts in any interesting ways? What are your candidates for perfect genre short stories? What makes them so great?

Kaffeeklatsch: Neil Clarke
15 Feb 2019, Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Galleria – Kaffeeklatsch 1

Got a Great Anthology Idea: Now What?
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Marina 2
Robert B. Finegold M.D., Ellen Datlow, Neil Clarke, Julia Rios, Melanie Meadors

From Year’s Best to themed stories, general topics, and shared worlds, any number of concepts would make fantastic anthologies. However, even a great concept can be a hard sell. If great ideas don’t guarantee a sale, what does it really take? What kinds of collections do people want to read, or more to the point, what are they willing to buy? Whether you are a genre luminary who is guest-editing an annual anthology, or a new editor — what are the critical steps to conceiving, planning, and implementing the pitch, sale, and production of an anthology? And what do you do when you just can’t sell the book, despite a list of fantastic contributors?

Gardner Dozois and the Influence of Editors on SF
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Harbor II
John R. Douglas, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Neil Clarke, Ellen Asher, Ellen Datlow

Do editors simply publish what readers want to read? Or do their tastes dictate the field’s character and direction? NESFA Press Memorial Guest Gardner Dozois edited Asimov’s magazine from 1984 to 2004, and the Year’s Best SF anthologies from 1984 until his death last year. Our panel of stellar SF/F/H editors will examine his work and their own for insights into editing, writing, reading, and the care and feeding of the fantastic.

Tough Love for New Writers
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 20:00 – 20:50, Burroughs
Brett James, E. C. Ambrose, Neil Clarke, Gillian Daniels, Joe Monti

The writing profession is tough, but not without opportunities. If you have a thin skin, need quick gratification, or aren’t in it for the long haul, give up now. Still interested? Where does a wordsmith go to hone his skill? Where can a writer find a critique group? From online to print, a plethora of publications are accepting submissions. Some of them reject with lightning speed; others take months to say no! But say an acceptance arrives. Some pay; some don’t. What does “success” really mean? And why should you plan on keeping your day job for a long, long time?

Autographing: Neil Clarke, Julie C. Day, S L Huang, Christine Taylor-Butler
17 Feb 2019, Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Galleria

Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award

SFWA announced this yesterday:

Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards To Be Presented to Nisi Shawl and Neil Clarke

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) is pleased to announce that the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards will be presented to Nisi Shawl and Neil Clarke at the 54th Annual Nebula Conference.

The Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award is given by SFWA for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community. Shawl and Clarke join the ranks of previous winners, including Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr., Tom Doherty, Carl Sagan, and Sheila Williams. The award ceremony will be a part of the SFWA Nebula Conference taking place at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA on May 16th-19th, 2019.

Full press release here: nebulas.sfwa.org/sfwa-announces-the-2019-kate-wilhelm-solstice-award-recipients

I’m simply overwhelmed and grateful to SFWA for this honor. Thanks to everyone that has been sending me congratulations. At one point Twitter stopped letting me reply thinking I was spamming. I’m still speechless. I mean, look at the previous winners. Nisi and I just joined a very elite club. (Congrats Nisi!)

Philcon 2018

I’ll be at Philcon this year and have the following items on my schedule:

Sat 11:00 AM in Autograph Table—Autographs: Saturday 11am (3346)
Neil Clarke, Joan Wendland

Sat 2:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—The Robot “Other” (3087)
Creating empathy for humanity’s not-quite-human creations was groundbreaking with Frankenstein, but now, stories told from the perspective of A.I. are common enough that they’ve become their own sub-genre. How do these stories affect how we perceive ourselves? Have we reached the point where we have more empathy for robots than we do for other humans?
Joan Wendland (mod), Anastasia Klimchynskaya, Barna William Donovan, Neil Clarke, David Walton

Sat 8:00 PM in Plaza II (Two)—Meet the Editors! (3040)
Magazine and small press editors discuss what goes into creating their publications, from the economics of staying viable in the electronic age to getting appropriate submissions.
Hildy Silverman (mod), Darrell Schweitzer, Joshua Palmatier, Alex Shvartsman, Neil Clarke, Ian Randal Strock

No dealer’s room for me, so I’ll just be wandering around enjoying the convention. If you are looking to get a copy of NOT ONE OF US signed, I’ve made arrangements for a dealer to stock them. I’ll also have a few with me at my signing.

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!