Category Archives: Mistborn series

Twelve Authors to Binge on in Science Fiction and Fantasy

img_1018Santa will soon be sliding into town and my rushing around to get ready is taking time from writing and reading. But in attempt to get you ready for the holiday doldrums, I’ve come up with twelve binge reading ideas.

Because once the hooha dies down, there may come days in a row where you are tired of parties and company and would like to do a little binge reading.

I’ve picked out twelve authors randomly (for the twelve days of Christmas) who offer a good binge-reading experience.

1. Frank Herbert’s Dune Series. Dune is a classic with incredible world building and intriguing characters. After Frank Hebert’s death, his son, Brian Herbert and fellow writer, Kevin Anderson, added a number of readable prequels and additions to the storyline. Just out in September 2016 is Navigators of Dune that tells about the strange ship navigators that can fold space.

Fool's Quest2. Robin Hobbs and all her Realm of the Elderling books are good. Start with the Assassin’s Apprentice and read on up to her current Fool’s Assassin.

3. William Gibson’s Sprawl Series. William Gibson is the father of Cyberpunk. Neuromancer is his Hugo winning start, but the rest in the series : Mona Lisa Overdrive, Count Zero Interrupt, Zero History etc. are interesting, particularly if you look at the dates when they were written and current technology and events.

4. Lois Bujold’s Vorsigan Series. Read how the irrepressible Miles Vorsigan deals with life. I even enjoyed the more recent Captain Vortapil’s Alliance and Miles wasn’t the main character. Bujold has won numerous awards for this series and others in the fantasy realm.Barrayar

Visitor

5. C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner Series. Start at the beginning, but her latest, Visitor is seventh in the series and an amazing study on how to handle first contact with an alien race. Also, Cherryh has an Alliance-Union Series of merchant ships caught in the politics of war among planets. My all-time favorites of Heavy Time and Hellburner are in this series. Rimrunner, Merchants Luck, and the Hugo award winning Down Below Station are stand alone stories that also take place in the Alliance-Union Universe. I also want to mention a good fantasy series of hers called the Fortress Series

Expanse Collection6. James Corey’s The Expanse Series. Recently this exciting series hit television with some interesting visual effects. In January, the second season is due to fire up and continue the storyline. Start with Leviathan Wakes and read up to the new Babylon ‘s Ashes just published December 6. Space Opera at its best.

7. Joe Abercrombie ‘s First Law Trilogy. A fantasy trilogy that you won’t be able to put down. It starts with The Blade Itself, Before They were Hanged and ends with Last Argument of Kings. If you’re a delicate reader, this one gets gritty… Fair warning.First Law Trilogy

8. Brandon Sanderson has several series. His Mistborn Series breaks into two trilogies. The most recent just out is Bands of Mourning. (See my blog on it) Also his The Stormlight Archive with Way of Kings and Words of Radiance is quite good. Doorstoppers, both of them.

The Lies of Locke Lamora9. Scott Lynch and his Gentlemen Bastards series has also been a favorite of mine. The first is The Lies of Locke Lamora, then Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves. Soon to come out is The Thorn of Emberlaine. Great adventure in the life of Renaissance swindlers.

10.  L. E. Modesitte has written sixty books! His Saga of the Recluse Series is very popular and his Imager Series just had its seventh book released today called Treachery’s Tools. He has several other series that are more hard science and futuristic. One of my favorites is Gravity Dreams and the Octagonal Raven. Lots to binge on with this author.   Imager

Ender's Game

11. Orson Scott Card. Can’t forget his Ender’s Game, one of the most popular science fiction books of all time. (made into a movie) Spin offs from this series are still popping up, so start now and be on the look out.

12. And last but not Least…Sheron Mccartha’s The Alysian Universe series. Now you knew I would have to mention it. For all the books in this series look right and see my listing.

These are just a few series or large books to binge on over the holidays when you want to escape the madness of the holiday or the frenetic relatives. There are more equally as good I haven’t yet mentioned (and might). Do you have any favorites? Let us know.

Until then,

May the Christmas Spirit be with you.

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Science Fiction Series: Brandon Sanderson’s Bands of Mourning

photoI always do a happy dance at the start of spring. Warmer weather and longer days are near at hand, and summer lies not far away, full of promise.

Along the lines of marketing: Last week, I placed two ads. One was with Choosy Bookworm and the other with Free Kindle Ebooks. I selected the enhanced Choosy program for $70 and kicked in the $25 Free Kindle on the following day. Oddly enough, the Free Kindle program did better. Unfortunately, if you’re not marketing in some fashion, sales drop off. In this program I came out ahead, although downloads were less than before and I didn’t get as much follow-on buying of the rest of the series as in past campaigns.

Still, I’m happy with results but need to plan for next month.

A quick interesting science note from Kurtzweiler’s newsletter. The link is long, but it appears a new fabric has been developed that cleans itself through exposure to light. Wow! That could be revolutionary. As someone who does a lot of laundry, this was intriguing. Check out the details.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/nano-enhanced-textiles-clean-themselves-with-light?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=0eaf0340c9-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_147a5a48c1-0eaf0340c9-281983297

Bands of MourningThis week I was excited to review Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson is a science fiction writer at the forefront of the genre. (see past blogs) He completed Robert Jordan’s bestselling series The Wheel of Time, after Jordan’s death and has several other series in his own name. He is best known for his Mistborn trilogy, which if you haven’t read yet, you should read first. The Bands of Mourning is the third in a series that takes place in the same world, but jumps ahead to the nineteenth century. Hence, there’s a Steampunk flavor along with the Western theme. You also have a highly thought out system of magic that uses metallurgy. Waxillium Ladrian is a Twinborn. He has both Feruchemical and Allomantic abilities. Burn some metal, then fly through the air sounds like fun, but he fights against evil and constantly puts himself in harm’s way where he relies on burning certain metals that activate his “magic” in order to save himself.

But basically, the story is a quest…a quest for the Bands of Mourning, which is a metalmind and gives the finder immense power. It is said to be hidden by the supposedly dead Lord Ruler in a hidden mysterious castle-like structure off in the cold northern mountains. So, we get a bit of Indiana Jones in the storyline too. Of course, our companions find the place booby-trapped.

Nothing is ever easy or works out as expected.

A Dangerous Talent for Time HQ (1)I love a good quest and used that plot line in my second book, A Dangerous Talent for Time. In my story, the characters search for the answer to a riddle to save them from attacking northern barbarians intent on conquering their kingdom.

Also, Bands of Mourning, explains why Wax left Teris to become a lawman and develops his relationship further with new wife, Steris. I needed to understand why he might marry her and why the relationship worked…or didn’t. I also liked getting motivation for his choice of being a lawman in the Roughs.

Of course, I loved reading more about Wayne, Wax’s quirky sidekick. Sanderson does a great job with battering dialog and a buddy relationship.

Bands of Mourning has everything. It starts off a bit Steampunk, turns Western, goes into a quest and ends up magical.

Sanderson writes for action and adventure, yet develops interesting characters. I look forward to the next and last book in this part of the series.

Shadows of SelfMistbornOther books by Sanderson you might want to check out:ElantrisWords of Radiance

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Holiday Magic

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Christmas hornHappy Holidays

Holiday parties and holiday shopping are making it hard to wedge in any leisure reading.

In addition, checking over a final proof for Time’s Equation also kept me busy.
Beta readers got delayed by new jobs or new babies.
Meanwhile, there is a stampede to get a slot for holiday book advertising, but I decided to pass. I don’t think people have the time now to download ebooks. Maybe after Christmas when they are trying to fill up shiny new iPads or tablets.

What is your best month for sales? Tara Sparling, data hound extraordinaire, recently wrote a blog about this exact subject and highlighted May and December. Nick Rooney also added the following advice:

“Mood and market reception are really important. Certain books work better at various times of the year.

  • January – April: Romance, Self-help, Business books, Cookery
  • May – August: Adventure, Fantasy, Travel
  • Sept – Nov: Academic, Horror, Paranormal
  • Dec – Jan: Children, Cookery, Illustrated, Quiz, Dictionaries and quirky fun books.”

It’s a general guide. There are no hard and fast rules. Try and tie your book into an event or occasion when you want to promote it.

Christmas appears to be a great time for hardback books that make nice gifts. January and February appear great for ebooks when the weather invites an indoor snuggle with hot chocolate and a good read. Some of my best sales have been February and then May as people fill their Kindle libraries to prepare for summer vacation reading.

Shadows of SelfMy book for this blog is Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows of Self that continues years later in the Mistborn Series. I must admit I’m enjoying the action and the intriguing system of magic that uses metals. January 26 the next in the series, Bands of Mourning, will be coming out. Unfortunately, because it is a very popular series, TOR has decided to charge $14.99 for a Kindle edition. Why? Most likely because they can. Old line publishers are pushing up ebook prices, but as both an author and reader, I’m conflicted about the practice. As an author, I would like to make more money by charging more, but as a reader, I spend a lot already on books. Reminds me of the drug company pricing.

What the market can bear.Bands of Mourning

In Shadows of Self, Waxillium Ladrian is a Twinborn, able to use both Allomancy and Feruchemy, the dominant magical modes on Scradrial. He uses various metals as both weapons and protection. An example of this is the ability to fly through the air by shooting out steel to propel himself. His eccentric sidekick, Wayne, and a young constable, Marais, sister to his fiancee, help Wax untangle the conspiracy that threatens their city.

They chase a nonhuman kandran named Bleeder that can assume the shape of any animal or person it digests. Normally aides of the God Harmony, kandran act like angels, but this one has gone mad and is on a murder spree. High Lord and lawman combined, Wax pursues the paranormal enemy, uncovering corruption and rebellion within his city.

Because, Shadows of Self is set in a turn of the century time period, it has a steampunk flavor along with an intriguing magic system.

Brandon writes well. He has a worthwhile writing lecture series on uTube that is taped at Brigham Young University. 

http://brandonsanderson.com/writing-advice/

Exciting action, interesting characters, unique magic, and clear writing all add up to a book that I recommend. Good news is that it’s available at your local library if you’re willing to wait.

Image 4Happy Holidays to you and yours and may 2016 be the best ever year.Image

 

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Romance in Science Fiction for Valentine’s Day

photoLove is in the air. Valentine’s Day is here. Today is dedicated to recognizing the special people in our life and telling them that we love and appreciate them.

Too often we’re too busy to mention how important they are to us.

So take some time today and let them know.

You probably have it already on your agenda.

You know I’m working on marketing, so I want to make sure that you’re aware that my time travel romance, Caught in Time, will be offered free on Amazon today February 14th through the 18th.

Caught in Time Cover1.1 2Travel back in time to a medieval period…on an alien planet. Rowyna Grae is a regendered clone from the last dying time traveler and is sent into the past to kill a king who is considered the origin of those with special abilities called, Talents.

However, instead, she falls in love with him while dealing with no running water, lack of heat, a barbaric people, betrayal at the royal court, and a looming war.

Think Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court…only Rowyna Grae is no simple Connecticut Yankee and King Telluria’s court can get complicated to a young woman from the future.

Enjoy yourself. It’s FREE for a limited time only.

Currently, I am watching the Brigham Young University series by Brandon Sanderson and really am enjoying his lectures. I gave a link on a former blog. I am thinking of reading Words of Radiance since I have read and reviewed the first book of this epic fantasy, Way of Kings, already and liked it. Unfortunately, it’s over a thousand pages long. I can’t do that in a week. But I’ll probably try.Way of Kings

MistbornWord is that sequels to his Alloy of Law series will also be out later this year. So heads up there. The earlier Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson is a favorite of mine and many other fantasy readers. If you haven’t read it, you might give it a glance.

Since I’m constantly in edit mode nowadays, I bought Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown. I usually use an editor, but it helps to edit myself first before I hand it off. One of my favorite bloggers just came out with a long list of books to help the struggling writer of today and that is where I discovered this title. Check out http://www.veronicasicoe.com/blog/2015/02/writing-advice-books-list/ and her latest blog for ideas and comments.

Then, don’t forget to hug someone significant and tell them that you love them.

XXXXX

 

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Superstar science fiction/fantasy Author

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In spite of the tsunami of new books, certain authors are managing to make quite a splash in the current world of fantasy and science fiction.

When I tried to think of who was creating a lot of buzz, the name Brandon Sanderson came to mind. His works range from a large first novel in an epic series to a short story series based on a video game.

So width and depth.

And recognition is coming…Elantris

A 2013 Hugo for his 168 page novella The Emperor’s Soul.

But I expect he is only just starting to gather momentum and awards.

He debuted in 2005 with Elantris and followed up in 2006 with his first book in the Mistborn Series: Mistborn: The Final Empire. This is an interesting series that I recommend, not only for a good story, but also for its complex rules of magic.

The series is set in an ash covered, mist-shrouded world ruled for over 1,000 years by the Dark Lord who reigns terror and pain on his subjects.

Mistborn by Brandon SandersonKelsier suffers in the deepest most hellish prison where he discovers allomancy or the power that comes from burning certain metals. Each metal offers different super powers and Kelsier finds he is able to burn up to ten. He organizes a ragtag group of rebels and begins to set in motion a plan to take down the dark lord.

Vin is a street urchin who trusts no one, and for good reasons, but she has undiscovered abilities as great as Kelsier’s. He trains her and uses her to infiltrate the great houses where at a ball she meets prince Elend Venture and a shy romance develops.

What follows is a story of the usual rough rebels against the awful oppressor, but with an interesting metallurgical twist…and a sweet romance between a street urchin with super powers and a philosophical prince.Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

The series continues with The Well of Ascension, The Hero for Ages, and most recently, with new characters, and generations later, The Alloy of Law. (November 2011)

Memory of LightAt the death of Robert Jordan, and with the blessing of his estate, Brandon Sanderson  took over completing the wildly popular Wheel of Time fantasy series. Just as recently as April, 2013, Memory of Light:  book 14 was published by TOR.

In addition, he has several Young Adult books coming out. Steelheart in the newReckoners Series released September 2013. Also available is the short story series based on the video game Infinity Blade: Infinity Blade: Awakening (128 pages) September 2011 and Infinity Blade: Redemption just out September 2013. (147 pages).Steelheart

With the powerful publishing house TOR  behind him, Sanderson has recently brought out his own series, which he had been working on for many years called, The Stormlight Archives Series. The Way of Kings is book 1 and Words of Radiance is book 2  with a publication date of March 4, 2014.

Again Sanderson has created a unique complex world of hard rock, violent storms and intriguing magic. The thousand page novel…

Way of KingsYes, I said  a thousand pages…

…is told from several viewpoints. One is from the oppressed Kaladin who finds himself a branded slave, another is the struggling war hero, Brightlord Dalinar Kholin who has visions that many call madness. Also his sister Jasnah, a renown scholar takes on a troubled young student, Shallan who tells her story of sudden poverty and intrigue. The world is rich in characters, setting, magic and myth.

Remember The Lord of the Rings, The Name of the Wind, and other grand fantasy epics, and you’ll have a sense of this challenging and rich new series by an author that is hitting his stride and becoming a superstar in the world of fantasy and science fiction.

You’ll stay up way too late promising yourself, “Just one more chapter, and I’ll stop.”

…but you won’t.

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Complicated Magic

Hocus Pocus…Abracadabra…Open Sesame. It used to be easy. Discover a  word of power, hold a wand and be a wizard.

Shout the word and magic spews forth.

What happened to the good old days?

Not so easy in the now popular Urban Fantasy genre. Most modern day legerdemain requires a graduate degree in arcane arts.

Harry Potter, for example. A story where gifted students  study magic and learn all the rules, regulations, potions and spells in order to become proper wizards. And there are a multitude of rules, regulations and spells to learn at Hogwarts.

One of my favorite books is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (see earlier blog) The main character, Kvothe,  struggles with poverty and sacrifices everything he has, so he can attend a college of magic where different types of incantations and spells are taught. There, the strongest magic is naming magic, particularly calling up the name of the wind. At the University, various talented students pay to study in order to find the magic they are best suited for.

Another of my favorites is the Mistborn series  by Brandon Sanderson. It employs a highly complicated system of alloy conjuring. Silver, gold, lead, etc.,  each one is taken into the body in pellet form and “burned” to produce various supernatural abilities; such as flying through the air, stopping time, and becoming invisible. Different characters wield different metals and certain gifted people can combine more than one alloy to produce unique combinations of abilities.

You have to read the complicated chart at the back of the book to understand it properly.

Now, Devon Monk’s delightful book Magic to the Bone contains a highly developed conjuring system where the use of magic results in painful side effects. As she writes, “Every act has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user.” Her main character, Allie, also attended a  university of magic in her past with courses on Grounding, Siphoning, Dispersement and various other spells before she becomes a Hound, who scrounges a living, providing black market revenge spells and taking on various odd jobs of enchantment around town. Within the first few pages, she becomes desperately ill because she forgot to set a Disbursement spell when handling a young boy dying from an incantation’s Offload. You learn that she has gaps in her memory from previous magical dabblings. 

Instead of being painful, I wonder why doesn’t magic doesn’t make the user richer and happier? You would think having supernatural abilities would give the local sorceress or wizard an edge, especially in a big city. And that would have good results. Alas for poor Allie, it brings pain and problems and memory gaps. Now, I’m thinking that might not be too bad, depending on the memory that is gapping. I, myself,  have a few memories from my teenage years that…but I digress.

Along similar lines, Jim Butcher’s well known urban fantasy, the Dresden series, also portrays a down-on-his-luck mage who takes on odd jobs involving wizardry along with his detecting. He’s a wizard for hire in big city Chicago. In his case, the magic also manifests through a wide variety of exotic creatures that he confronts. Fighting vampires, werewolves, the Fey, wizards, trolls, and others, often entails vicious battle scars and Harry Dresden carries many. His magic also exhausts him, but as in many cases dealing with the occult, he grows stronger as he gathers more powerful magic to himself and learns how to use it better. It’s called learning on the job. Of course, he takes on more and more difficult assignments and attracts more and more powerful enemies, so that he gets into some serious situations and eventually gets killed. Still, that doesn’t stop Harry and the latest novel, Ghost Story, is about how he goes about solving his own murder while a ghost.

Intriguing.

In every story, however, if you are going to do magic, you have to be born with a specific set of genes. You have to be born with wizard or sorceress potential. The common man can go to Kvothe’s college, or Hogwarts all he wants and all he’ll get is understanding, not ability. But, in most cases, as the protagonist uses his magic, he gets stronger and more powerful. Many times this results in deadlier enemies on his doorstep. The deeper the main character wades into solving the mystery, the blacker the magic he must overcome.

And, in the case of Urban Fantasy, it offers the magic wielder the opportunity to stalk down dark, creepy, alleys and meet scary, handsome/beautiful, vampire type characters that want to drink his/her blood.

Makes me want to pawnshop my wand.

Whatever happened to Cinderella’s godmother who used point and click magic?  Bippity boppity boo. A pumpkin turns into a coach and you ride away.

We live in a “No pain, no gain” world nowadays. Give me the good old days…

Shazaam.

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And the Winners are…

It must be that time of year. The Oscars and now the the Tor Top Ten. Tor has come out with its top reader choices in the field of science fiction and fantasy and the Nebula nominations are now in. Here there are:

We’ve counted your votes — all 3000 of them and arrived at the winners of the 2011 Tor.com Readers’ Choice Awards!

But first, let’s look below for the top ten most voted on titles in the categories of Novel, Short Fiction, Covers, and Comics.

The top ten most voted on Novels are:

  1. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (140 votes)
  2. The All-Pro by Scott Sigler (105 votes)
  3. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (63 votes)
  4. The Seventh Throne by Stephen Zimmer (63 votes)
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (55 votes)
  6. The Final Arbiter by Mark Rivera (55 votes)
  7. A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (53 votes)
  8. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (52 votes)
  9. Dancing With Eternity by J.P. Lowrie (50 votes)
  10. Among Others by Jo Walton (49 votes)

Patrick Rothfuss took the top slot by a substantial margin, although Scott Sigler’s The All-Pro was neck and neck with The Wise Man’s Fear for nearly the entire length of the poll. Voting was consistent for The Wise Man’s Fear throughout the entire 10-day length of voting, whereas fans of The All-Pro came out in bursts throughout the 10 days. In this case, slow and steady ended up winning the race.

I’ve read half of them and I agree that they are worth reading. In fact if you go back through my posts, you’ll see that I suggested several of the top ten books. Be aware that these are only books under Tor’s publication house and therefore limited to who can make the list. We need an Indie Science fiction top ten.

John Scalzi took unfair advantage by offering to save kittens if you voted for him. You can check out his comments on Twitter and his blog “Whatever.” Needless to say, he deserves top mention, kittens or no. But the scuttlebutt is that he came through with the promise and several kittens owe him their lives. I’ll have to admit it’s a new marketing technique and wicked smart.

Now the Nebula nominee awards are out also and often prove fertile ground for that great book you want to read. Here they are:

2011 Nebula Nominees

The Nebula Awards pay particular attention to short fiction, with categories for novella, novelette and short story. The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Screen Presentation mixes film and television, so Martin Scorcese’s 3-D “Hugo” (no relation to the Hugo science fiction awards) is going up against an episode of “Dr. Who” written by Neil Gaiman. In the running for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book is Franny Billingsley’s “Chime,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

The full list of nominees:

Novel
”Among Others,” Jo Walton (Tor) 
”Embassytown,” China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press) 
”Firebird,” Jack McDevitt (Ace Books)
”God’s War,” Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books) 
”Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti,” Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books) 
”The Kingdom of Gods,” N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Novella 
“Kiss Me Twice,” Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2011) 
“Silently and Very Fast,” Catherynne M. Valente (WFSA Press; Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2011) 
“The Ice Owl,” Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2011) 
“The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011) 
“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary,” Ken Liu (Panverse Three, Panverse Publishing) 
“With Unclean Hands,” Adam-Troy Castro (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2011)

Novelette 
“Fields of Gold,” Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse 4, Night Shade Books) 
“Ray of Light,” Brad R. Torgersen (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2011) 
“Sauerkraut Station,” Ferrett Steinmetz (Giganotosaurus, November 2011) 
“Six Months, Three Days,” Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com, June 2011) 
“The Migratory Pattern of Dancers,” Katherine Sparrow (Giganotosaurus, July 2011) 
“The Old Equations,” Jake Kerr (Lightspeed Magazine, July 2011) 
“What We Found,” Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October 2011)

Short story 
“Her Husband’s Hands,” Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine, October 2011) 
“Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son,” Tom Crosshill (Lightspeed Magazine, April 2011) 
“Movement,” Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s Science Fiction, March 2011) 
“Shipbirth,” Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2011) 
“The Axiom of Choice,” David W. Goldman (New Haven Review, Winter 2011) 
“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2011) 
“The Paper Menagerie,” Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation 
”Attack the Block,” Joe Cornish (writer/director) (Optimum Releasing; Screen Gems) 
”Captain America: The First Avenger,” Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (writers), Joe Johnston (director) (Paramount)
”Doctor Who: ‘The Doctor’s Wife,'” Neil Gaiman (writer), Richard Clark (director) (BBC Wales) 
”Hugo,” John Logan (writer), Martin Scorsese (director) (Paramount) 
”Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen (writer/director) (Sony) 
”Source Code,” Ben Ripley (writer), Duncan Jones (director) (Summit) 
”The Adjustment Bureau,” George Nolfi (writer/director) (Universal)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book
”Akata Witch,” Nnedi Okorafor (Viking Juvenile)
”Chime,” Franny Billingsley (Dial Books; Bloomsbury) 
”Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hodder & Stoughton) 
”Everybody Sees the Ants,” A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) 
”The Boy at the End of the World,” Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) 
”The Freedom Maze,” Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House) 
”The Girl of Fire and Thorns,” Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books) 
”Ultraviolet,” R.J. Anderson (Orchard Books; Carolrhoda Books)

Winners will be announced during the SFWA’s 47th annual Nebula Awards Weekend, May 17-20, in Arlington, Va., where Connie Willis will receive the 2011 Damon Knight Grand Master Award for her lifetime contributions and achievements.

Walter Jon Williams will preside as toastmaster; the keynote speaker will be astronaut Michael Fincke, who has served two tours aboard the International Space Station — something science fiction writers dream of.

I was surprised that this year I didn’t recognize a lot of the Nebula nominees. That must meant that we are getting some new names and fresh writing out there. Good to see. I’ll check up on several of these and let you know my reaction.

Stay tuned.

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