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Mar. 6th, 2015

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The Schrödinger Sessions: A Launchpad Type Workshop for Quantum Physics

Strange, charming, beautiful, entangled particle seeks understanding and acceptance!</p>

Chad Orzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He blogs about physics, life in academia, ephemeral pop culture, and anything else that catches his fancy in his column Uncertain Principles at ScienceBlogs.

He has just announced a project of particular interest to SFWA members:

“So, we’re very pleased to announce that this summer we’ll be holding “The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction” a workshop at the Joint Quantum Institute (a combined initiative of the University of Maryland, College Park and NIST in Gaithersburg) to provide a three-day “crash course” in quantum physics for science fiction writers. The workshop will run from Thursday, July 30 through Saturday August 1, 2015, on the Maryland campus in College Park, with housing, breakfast, and lunch included. There’s a fake schedule up on that web page, that we’ll fill once we get JQI scientists signed up, but it gives the basic idea: three days of lectures and discussions with scientists, and visits to JQI’s labs.”

The workshop is free for qualified writers with lodging and some meals provided.

As president of SFWA I  was pleased to provide a statement testifying to the potential interest our members which, apparently, was helpful in securing funding for the event.

The website for 3 day workshop is here: http://jqi.umd.edu/node/2731

The application is here: https://docs.google….m?usp=send_form

And a much more informative blog post by Chad on the workshop is here:  http://scienceblogs….cience-fiction/

Steven Gould, president
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

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Mar. 5th, 2015

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Guest Post: Should you be a full-time writer?

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette KowalA lot of writers have a goal of being a full time writer. I think there’s this image of your life continuing exactly as it is, except that now your job is writing. Sure, you know you won’t go into an office, but it will be so nice to have no demands on your time, except writing.

Yeah… so, about that.

Writers are freelancers.

As someone who has spent most of her adult life as a freelancer, let me speak to those of you who have conventional day jobs. How comfortable are you with not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, or even how big it will be?

Being a freelancer means that you have to constantly be hustling to get work. You get big checks when you turn in projects and nothing in between. Royalties? Twice a year and unpredictable in size.

When you are not writing, you are unemployed.

If this idea makes you uncomfortable, think very carefully before quitting your day job.

Your quality of life will change

You no longer need to leave the house. You won’t see people unless you make the effort to do so. Ah…. solitude. At first, yes. It’s glorious. But if you are even a minimally social creature… it can get really isolating really fast.

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Mar. 2nd, 2015

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SFWA Names Recipients of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award and the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Se

Photo Courtesy of Marilyn Joyce Niven

Larry Niven Named SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

SFWA is pleased to award Larry Niven the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, one of SFWA’s highest honors, for his invaluable contributions to the field of science fiction and fantasy. In addition to his contributions to the genre, Niven has influenced the fields of space exploration and technology. His iconic Ringworld is a classic of the genre, and influences readers and writers alike.

“One of the great honors of being SFWA president is the announcing the latest Grandmaster recipient. One of the drawbacks is only getting to name one at a time when we have several worthy candidates. I take great pleasure in naming Larry Niven as this year’s Damon Knight Memorial Grandmaster.

“As Lev Grossman said in Time Magazine about Niven’s work, “It’s a bravura demonstration of technology and psychology both playing off and feeding back into each other. This feedback loop — so fundamental to great science fiction’s power — is at the heart of Niven’s work: we create tools, and our tools shape the world, but they also shape us, in unintended and unexpected ways.” ~SFWA President Steven Gould

Niven has written fiction at every length, speculative articles, speeches for high schools and colleges and conventions, television scripts, political action in support of the conquest of space, graphic novels, and a couple of comic book universes. He’s received multiple Hugo Awards, a Nebula Award, and many others.

“I’ve always wanted one of these. It does definitely mean I’ve gotten old.  I’ve been publishing fiction for more than fifty years now.  I’m convinced I picked the right career.” ~Larry Niven

Previous recipients of the award include Gene Wolfe, Connie Willis, Joe Haldeman, Andre Norton, Samuel R. Delany, and Ursula K. Le Guin. The award will be presented at the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, June 4 through 7, 2015.

•••

Jeffry Dwight to Receive the 2015 Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award

SFWA’s transition to the new website, its presence on the web, and the long-term survival of its discussion forums would not have been possible without the support and oversight of Jeffry Dwight. He was crucial to SFWA’s modernization and the ease of that process. We are happy to thank him officially for his service and support through the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award.

“SFWA’s early days on the web started on GEnie but, when that service shutdown, Jeffry Dwight, more than any other person, was responsible for helping SFWA transition onto the modern internet. We are incredibly lucky to have had access to his help and resources over the years.” ~SFWA President Steven Gould

The award will be presented in Chicago at the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend.

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Feb. 20th, 2015

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2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced

NebulacolorThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2014 Nebula Awards (presented 2015), nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.


Novel

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)

Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu ( ), translated by Ken Liu (Tor)

Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)

Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)


Novella

We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)

Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)

“The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)

“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert (Tor.com 4/30/14)

Calendrical Regression, Lawrence M. Schoen (NobleFusion)

“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)


Novelette

“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes (Tor.com 7/9/14)

“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)

“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)

“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)

“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)

“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 4/2/14)


Short Story

“The Breath of War,” Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/6/14)

“When It Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster (Daily Science Fiction 9/26/14)

“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld 5/14)

“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)

“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide,” Sarah Pinsker (F&SF 3-4/14)

“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14)

“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (F&SF 5/14)


Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Edge of Tomorrow, Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Interstellar, Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures)

The Lego Movie, Screenplay by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller  (Warner Bros. Pictures)


Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (Random House)

Salvage, Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow)

Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King (Little, Brown)

Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Greenglass House, Kate Milford (Clarion)

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (Candlewick)


About the Nebula Awards

The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. Voting will open to SFWA Active members on March 1 and close on March 30.  More information is available from http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/how-to-vote/.


About the Nebula Awards Weekend

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, June 4 through 7, 2015. The weekend will include tours and workshops, including workshops on self-publishing and IP law and other legal issues of interest to writers.

The cost to attend is $70, and the Weekend is open to both SFWA members and non-members. For more information, please see http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-weekend/, or contact Steven H Silver at events@sfwa.org.

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Feb. 12th, 2015

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Call for Papers devoted to Names in SF, Fantasy, and Horror

ANSThe American Name Society, which promotes onomastics–the study of names and naming practices–will be devoting a special issue of its linguistics journal, NAMES, to the subject of Naming in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

From ANS:

“The American Name Society (ANS) is currently inviting abstracts for scientific papers providing an analysis of the names found in contemporary and classic literary works of science-fiction, fantasy, or horror. Any genre (e.g. poetry, short story, prose, novel etc.) or media (book, comic, television, film, etc.) may be the subject of analysis. Suggested topics include but are by no means limited to the following: the names of creatures, rituals, societies, planets, deities, technology, topography, weaponry, incantations, and alternative realities.”

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION PROCESS:

  1. Proposals should include a précis of no more than 500 words and a 50-word biographical sketch of the author including the author’s name, affiliation, onomastic interests, and email.
  2. All submissions must follow the Journal’s official stylistic and grammatical regulations, see: http://www.maneyonline.com/ifa/nam
  3. Proposals should be sent via email attachment in a .doc or .docx format to Dr. I. M. Nick at mavi.yaz@web.de, with “Names and Fantasy” in the subject line.
  4. Proposals must be received by 15 April 2015.
  5. All submissions will be subjected to a blind peer review process.
  6. Notification of acceptance will be announced on or about 15 May 2015
  7. Final submissions due for publication 15 November 2015.
  8. For questions, please contact Dr. I. M. Nick at mavi.yaz@web.de, with “Names and Fantasy” in the subject line.

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Feb. 6th, 2015

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The State of Short Fiction Roundtable Comes to Baltimore

From the Baltimore Science Fiction Society:

bsfslogoOn Saturday, February 21st at 8PM, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, located at 3310 East Baltimore Street, will host its annual “State of Short Fiction Roundtable.” Editors Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld), Scott Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), Sheila Williams (Asimov’s), Lesley Connor (Apex), and writer Sunny Moraine will participate in a discussion, lead by author Day Al-Mohammed, on the state of short science fiction and fantasy literature. The event is free and open to the public.

This spectacular cast of editors and writers will examine the field’s past, present, and future. What trends are happening in publication? What authors should people be reading? How do you fund a magazine or anthology? What makes a story work for podcast? This event is perfect for readers who want to know more about short fiction and writers who want to get published.

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Feb. 4th, 2015

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Contracts Committee Report

Logo SFWA-Web squareSince being reinstituted last fall, the Contracts Committee has been focused on two main projects: a review of existing model contracts with the intent of revising them as needed and a response to member concerns with the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Contract. The F&SF issue took up most of our time, but we are happy to report a resolution with publisher Gordon Van Gelder. That statement is below.

As directed by the SFWA Board, the purpose of the Contracts Committee is to 1) update and maintain the existing SFWA contract templates, 2) work to develop and maintain a repository of sample contracts and contract-related information, 3) work to educate members about contract language and recommendations, and 4) work to help SFWA and its members answer contract related questions and issues. It is our intent to focus on these tasks in the coming years. Our members are myself, Michael Armstrong, chairperson, Michael Capobianco, Victoria Strauss, Ken Liu, Jim Fiscus, and Michael Stackpole. Please direct any questions or issues to me at wordfolk@gmail.com.

-Michael Armstrong, Chairperson


SFWA Contracts Committee

Contracts Committee statement on The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Contract followed by the revised and current contract.

Gordon Van Gelder was offered an opportunity to make a statement, but declined. We would like to thank him for his professionalism and courtesy in working with the committee.

Several months ago, a number of members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) raised questions with the SFWA Contracts Committee about the contract then in use by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF.)   The SFWA Contracts Committee and Gordon Van Gelder, Publisher of F&SF, have worked together over the past several months to resolve problems with the contract.  As a result of the discussions, the contract has been revised to address issues involving the length of exclusivity requested and the registration of copyright.  The Committee will continue to follow implementation of the new contract.

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Feb. 3rd, 2015

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SFWA Welcomes Self-Published and Small Press Authors!

Logo SFWA-Web squareIn a referendum with a third of voting members participating and over 6 to 1 in favor, the membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has approved bylaw changes that enable SFWA to accept self-publication and small-press credits for Active and Associate memberships in the organization. We are using existing levels of income but are now allowing a combination of advances and income earned in a 12 month period to rise to the qualifying amounts.

SFWA President, Steven Gould, states, “Writers write. Professional writers get paid a decent amount for what they write. For the past five years it’s been apparent that there are ways to earn that decent amount that were not being covered by our previous qualification standards. Though these changes took a substantial amount of time, I’m grateful to everyone who worked toward this end.”

According to SFWA Vice President Cat Rambo, “I’m very excited to see SFWA moving forward and adapting itself to the changing face of modern publishing. SFWA will be much richer for the influx of knowledge and experience that the new members who have focused on independent and small-press publishing will bring with them.”

Specific details will be posted at sfwa.org by the first of March, but the basic standards are $3,000 for novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction paid at 6 cents a word for Active membership. A single story of at least 1,000 words paid at 6 cents a word will be required for Associate membership. Affiliate, Estate, and Institutional membership requirements remain unchanged.

Self-published and small-press works were already eligible for the Nebula and Norton Awards, SFWA’s member-voted genre award, and will remain so.

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Jan. 31st, 2015

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Winners in the 17th Annual Preditors & Editors / Critters Readers’ Poll

From Preditors and Editors:

Aaaaaaaand the winners are in — Preditors and Editors would like to congratulate all the winners in the 17th Annual P&E Readers’ Poll!

The full list of entrants and rankings for all 36 categories (as well as links to check out the entrants themselves) can be found at: www.critters.org/predpoll

Congratulations especially to the first place finishers in the SF/Fantasy genres:

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Jan. 14th, 2015

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Odyssey Writing Workshop Announces Its 20th Summer Session

Odyssey LogoFrom the Odyssey Writing Workshop:

Each summer, writers of the fantastic come from all over the world to attend the Odyssey Writing Workshop.  Odyssey is one of the most highly respected programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  Only fifteen are admitted.  Fifty-nine percent of graduates go on to professional publication.

Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.  The six-week program combines an advanced curriculum with extensive writing and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts.  Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Jeff VanderMeer, Holly Black, Catherynne M. Valente, and Dan Simmons.

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