Friday, February 19, 2010

2010: A Space Oddity (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

Looks like I'll be at this, where I'll be wearing the Art Director Hat and giving a talk on book covers:

Press Release 

February 16, 2010 University of Alabama, Creative Campus


Creative Campus presents “2010: A Space Oddity”

boldly exploring relationship between the worlds of space science and science fiction 

(Tuscaloosa, AL) Creative Campus is pleased to announce “2010: A Space Oddity” as the intersection of space science and science fiction. ASO is a collaborative convention through Creative Campus to express and boldly explore relationships between the worlds of space science (astronomy, physics, engineering, and computer sciences) and science fiction (writing, film, music, and art) and how the two play off one another to create and inspire.

As Carl Sagan once said, "Imagination will take us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere," this statement rings truest in our desire to explore all of the outlets of these two in a creative, educational, and fun environment. “2010: A Space Oddity” will be at Shelby Hall on Saturday March 6, 2010 from 9:30am to 8:00pm.

ASO is free and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged, especially for parties interested in participating in the writing workshops.

Elements of ASO range from lectures and panel discussions to writing workshops and sci-fi inspired art galleries. The Saturday Space Oddity convention is the culminating event of a three day series of celebrating the intersection of science and creativity.

For more information, registration, and schedule please visit

Thursday, March 4

Come and join 2010: A Space Oddity on Thursday, March 4th at Lloyd Hall, Room 38, as we boldly explore the world of science fiction and gaming with a free panel hosted by ABXY beginning at 7:30 p.m. Following ABXY, sit back and enjoy a presentation hosted by UA Astronomy professor Dr. William Keel on galactic objects and the rise of the amateur astronomer.
Friday, March 5

We invite you to go star gazing with the Astronomy Department at Moundville Archeological Park on Friday, March 5th, 2010 beginning at 7:00 p.m. Come out and enjoy observing nebula and star clusters with Dr. Keel who will be hosting the evening's free viewing.

Below is the link again for the Astronomy Dept. public viewing website,

About the Science Fiction Writing Workshops: 

The Sci-Fi portion of ASO will function to help writers become better craftsmen of science fiction through workshop interactions. Participants will also have the opportunity to sit in on personal readings by other published writers, Q & A sessions, and lectures on story development.

There will be two options for Workshops. One workshop will be a group free writing exercise based off of a prompt. Another workshop will be devoted to reviewing your work. How can you get involved? When you register for ASO, there is an option to include a word doc.

To participate in this aspect of ASO, you must have registered and submitted your piece for workshop by March 1. This allows all participants adequate time to read and review the pieces prior to the workshop day. You will be contacted via email with your workshop time and provided with attachments of your group's workshop samples.

*Please keep all short story and excerpt pieces to a maximum of 4 pages (double spaced, 12 pt font).
*You may submit two poetry pieces.

For time constraints and group sizes, please chose to participate in only one genre (poetry or prose) for workshop purposes. Additionally, if you would like to participate in both the free writing and prepared piece workshop, please notate this in the "It would be cool if A Space Oddity had..." portion of the registration.

The writing component of ASO is not meant to act as a contest or competition of any kind. It is merely there to provide writers a common ground and meeting place to discuss their work, grow as artists, and to build camaraderie with other like-minded individuals.

Participating Authors

Jack McDevitt - Jack McDevitt started writing novels when Terry Carr invited him to participate in the celebrated Ace Specials series. His contribution was The Hercules Text, which won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. McDevitt has produced fifteen additional novels since then. Nine of them, including seven in a row through 2009, have qualified for the final Nebula ballot. Seeker won the award in 2007. In 2004, Omega received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel. Altogether McDevitt has been on the final Nebula ballot sixteen times.

Lou Anders - Lou Anders, three time Hugo nominated Editorial Director and Chesley Award Winning Art Director of Pyr Books. Lou has worked on several various anthologies such as With Great Power... (Gallery Books, July 2010), Swords & Dark Magic (Eos, June 2010, coedited with Jonathan Strahan), Fast Forward 2 (Pyr, October 2008), Sideways in Crime (Solaris, June 2008), Fast Forward 1(Pyr, February 2007), FutureShocks (Roc, January 2006), Projections: Science Fiction in Literature & Film (MonkeyBrain, December 2004), Live Without a Net (Roc, 2003), and Outside the Box (Wildside Press, 2001). In 2000, he served as the Executive Editor of, and before that he worked as the Los Angeles Liaison for Titan Publishing Group. He is the author of The Making of Star Trek: First Contact (Titan Books, 1996), and has published over 500 articles in such magazines as The Believer, Publishers Weekly, Dreamwatch, DeathRay, free inquiry, Star Trek Monthly, Star Wars Monthly, Babylon 5 Magazine, Sci Fi Universe, Doctor Who Magazine, and Manga Max.  

David C. Kopaska-Merkel - David C. Kopaska-Merkel is the editor and publisher of Dreams and Nightmares magazine, and was for six years the editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Fourteen previous chapbooks and hundreds of poems and short stories have been published in dozens of venues since the early 1980s.


Joanne Merriam - Joanne Merriam is a former Executive Assistant of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. After quitting to travel Canada by train, and then parts of the Northeastern and Southern United States with her husband Alan Slone she wrote her first book of poetry The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005), which was written, in part, about those travels. Joanne Merriam’s poetry and fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines and journals, including The Antigonish Review, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Astropoetica, Chiaroscuro, The Fiddlehead, Grain, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Riddle Fence, Room of One’s Own, Strange Horizons and Vallum Contemporary Poetry, as well as in the anthologies Ice: new writing on hockey, To Find Us: Words and Images of Halifax and The Allotment: New Lyric Poets.

Contact Information: 
Caleb Sexton, csexton205 at gmail dot com, (205) 348-7884, (205) 534 7748

Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler" Nominated for Nebula

Wonderful news this morning. Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler", which originally appeared in our anthology Fast Forward 2, has been nominated for a Nebula Award in the Novelette category. Congratulations to Paolo on this, and also on his nomination in the Novel category for The Wind-Up Girl (from Night Shade Books). 

"The Gambler" was previously a Hugo award and a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award nominee. So if you haven't read it already, you might want to read "The Gambler" in its entirety on the Pyr Sample Chapters blog here.

And here is the full SFWA press release:
SFWA is proud to announce the nominees for the 2009 Nebula Awards.

The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of  SFWA. The awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards Banquetthe evening of May 15 at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, just 20 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center in Fla. Other awards to be presented are the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Science Fiction or Fantasy for Young Adults, the Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting and the Solstice Award for outstanding contribution to the field.

 Short story
"Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela," Saladin Ahmed (Clockwork Phoenix 2, Norilana Press, Jul09)
"I Remember the Future," Michael A. Burstein (I Remember the Future, Apex Press, Nov08)
"Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin (Clarkesworld, Nov09)
"Spar," Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, Oct09)
"Going Deep," James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jun09)
"Bridesicle," Will McIntosh (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jan09)

"The Gambler," Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2, Pyr Books, Oct08)
"Vinegar Peace, or the Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage," Michael Bishop (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jul08)
"I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said," Richard Bowes (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec09)
"Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast," Eugie Foster (Apex Online, Nov09)
"Divining Light," Ted Kosmatka (Asimov's Science Fiction, Aug08)
"A Memory of Wind," Rachel Swirsky (, Nov09)

The Women of Nell Gwynne's, Kage Baker (Subterranean Press, Jun09)
"Arkfall," Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sep09)
"Act One," Nancy Kress (Asimov's Science Fiction, Mar09)
Shambling Towards Hiroshima, James Morrow (Tachyon, Feb09)
"Sublimation Angels," Jason Sanford (Jason Sanford, Nov09)
The God Engines, John Scalzi (Subterranean Press, Dec09)

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Nightshade, Sep09)
The Love We Share Without Knowing, Christopher Barzak (Bantam, Nov08)
Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman (Pocket, Oct09)
The City & The City, China MiƩville (Del Rey, May09)
Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor, Sep09)
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland Press, Oct09)

Bradbury Award
Star Trek, JJ Abrams (Paramount, May09)
District 9, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (Tri-Star, Aug09)
Avatar, James Cameron (Fox, Dec 09)
Moon, Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker (Sony, Jun09)
Up, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter (Disney/Pixar, May09)
Coraline, Henry Selick (Laika/Focus Feb09)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Hotel Under the Sand, Kage Baker (Tachyon, Jul09)
Ice, Sarah Beth Durst (Simon and Schuster, Oct09)
Ash, by Malinda Lo (Little, Brown & Company, Sep09)
Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev (Feiwel and Friends, Jul09)
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi (Tor Aug08)
When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, 2009)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente (Catherynne M. Valente, Jun09)
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon, Oct09)
For more information, visit or

About SFWA
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.
Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals.  Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mark Chadbourn's The Silver Skull

Working on catalog copy for Fall-Winter 2010-11 now, while the snow falls outside my window. This includes copy for the next Swords of Albion book, The Scar-Crow Men, so I'm rounding up reviews of the previous The Silver Skull.This is by no means all, just the one's I'm pulling for today. Really, skimming the below response, how can you not want to read this book?

“In a year of outstanding fantasies, The Silver Skull may just be one of the best so far.” Monsters and Critics

"Fantastic—keeper" 4 12/ stars RT Book Reviews

“…one of the funnest books we have read. Period. Imagine a James Bond story, but way more awesome, set in an alternate Elizabethan England. This is what you get in this book…. The Silver Skull reads at breakneck speed and never relents.” Elitist Book Reviews

“Smart, fun, at times surprisingly moving, and occasionally downright shocking, The Silver Skull is impossible to put down.” Realms of Fantasy

“There are times when you read a book that’s so amazing to you that you feel the author had you personally in mind when they wrote it, that’s exactly how I feel about Mark Chadbourn’s The Silver Skull. ….This is a must-read, and is my favorite book so far this year.” Fantasy Literature

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The People vs George Lucas

I've just been informed that "after 2 1/2 years of intense production, 63,686 frequent flier miles, 634 hours of footage, 14TB of drive space, 126 interviews, 719 fan submissions, and countless white nights," THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS is complete and will world premiere at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas (March 12th to March 21st 2010)!

I was one of the SF&F professionals interviewed at last year's World Science Fiction Convention last year and have been told that I made the final cut. Here is the (quite funny) trailer:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

ArtOrder's Latest "Ask the Art Director" series

Another great post by Jon Schindehette in his ArtOrder "Ask the Art Director" series. This one asks, "Can I Be a Cover Artist?" Great responses from artist Todd Lockwood, Tor Art Director Irene Gallo, Wizards of the Coast's Kate Irwin, illustrator Ralph Horsley, CthulhuTech Art Director Mike Vaillancourt, and Yours Truly. For anyone interested in illustration, not just those looking for a career in it, the post is well worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Impossible to Put Down

"The book was near impossible to put down," says Neth Space on Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Diving into the Wreck. "Diving into the Wreck was something of a departure from my usual fair and a departure that rewarded me well. The deep introspection combined with palpable tension created a near-perfect balance throughout. And Rusch does it all less than 300 pages. This one isn’t just for fans of traditional science fiction. 8/10"
Meanwhile, Elitist Book Reviews says of Mark Chadbourn's The Silver Skull that it is "one of the funnest books we have read. Period. Imagine a James Bond story, but way more awesome, set in an alternate Elizabethan England. This is what you get in this book." They go on, "The Silver Skull reads at breakneck speed and never relents. In one scene, there is a carriage being chased and careening all over the road, threatening, at any moment, to spill over. We felt the way the characters in the carriage felt while reading this, and oh was it fun. It takes only a chapter or two to get going and then doesn't stop."

Locus 2009 Recommended Reading List

Locus magazine have released their Recommended Reading List (also published in their February issue).

James Enge's Blood of Ambrose appears in the category of First Novels.

Ian McDonald is on for Cyberabad Days for Collections, and from that collection, "Vishnu at the Cat Circus" is on for Novellas.

The UK edition of Paul McAuley's Gardens of the Sun also made the list (ours comes out in March).

Congratulations to all three authors!