I’m writing this as the sun’s coming up here in California, and that’s happening because I’m still profoundly jet-lagged after my return from Worldcon in Dublin. Here’s another thing that happened across the pond, which does not involve my circadian rhythms:
Wayfarers won the Hugo Award for Best Series.
To say that I was in good company in that category is an understatement. I shared the ballot with Yoon Ha Lee (Machineries of Empire), Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series), Charles Stross (The Laundry Files), Aliette de Bodard (The Universe of Xuya), and Malka Older (The Centenal Cycle). All of these folks are incredibly talented, hard-working writers. Some are my friends, a fact I am deeply privileged by. I would have been thrilled to hear any of their names called, because my god, do they deserve it. If you don’t know their work, do yourself a solid and head to the bookstore. Your world will be better for it.
Receiving the rocketship is an experience I’m going to be unpacking for a long time, but the thing I knew well before I got up on that stage was that I did none of this alone. These books never would have happened were it not for Kickstarter saving me from throwing in the towel, and friendly folks at a con party, and every reader who passed a book along to a friend. I’m copy-pasting the speech I gave on Sunday here. If you’re reading it, it’s for you.
This Worldcon is something of an anniversary for me. In 2014, I went to my first Worldcon in London. I was nobody. I was nervous. I'd come to the con with three copies of my self-published novel that I couldn't figure out how to talk about. I watched from the edges as old friends hugged and laughed and caught up.
But people saw me, somehow, and they made space. They bought drinks. They treated me like I belonged there. I left the con with a bunch of warm fuzzies, and those were still present five months later, when some random person I had a beer with at a party reached out, offered a book deal, and became my first editor.
If it had all stopped there, I would have been happy with that. But there were more stories I wanted to tell, and I told them (and the ones I'm still writing) because of you. Because of everyone who wrote me a kind email that happened to arrive on a day when I thought I sucked, everyone who came to subsequent cons and bookshops to share beautiful pieces of themselves, everyone who became a friend that I only see here, where we hug and laugh and catch up.
It may be my name on this thing, but I never forget for a second that this series exists because of the kindness of strangers and this weird, wonderful family that meets once a year. So this one's for you, Worldcon. Thank you for letting me pull up a chair.
It’s here! It will be fun!
Panel: So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish
11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
Point Square: Odeon 2
Like the dolphins of Hitchhiker’s Guide, nonhuman life can communicate with humans in numerous ways, including non-verbal interactions, signalling, and even parasitism. Panelists from diverse fields of research discuss the oddness of life and the strange ways the natural world talks to us.
1:00 PM - 1:50 PM
CCD: Liffey Room-2
3:00 PM - 3:50 PM
CCD: Level 4 Foyer
Panel: Artemis - Apollo’s Big Sister
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
CCD: Liffey-B (Second Stage)
Recently NASA selected three lunar landers for taking scientific instruments to the Moon. This is the start of many steps towards the goal of returning to the Moon in 2024. What needs to be done, what is planned, and how does this compare with initiatives from other countries?
Panel: What I read when I was young
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
CCD: Liffey-B (Second Stage)
The books we read in childhood often have a lasting influence. In this panel, finalists for the Hugo Award for Best Novel discuss the books that had a profound effect on the people they became. How did these works change them? Was this influence a good or a bad one? Is there a book they think everyone should read at least once in their life?
3:00 PM - 3:50 PM (group size limited, sign up in advance!)
CCD: Level 3 Foyer
It’s somehow the middle of summer already, and that means I’m coming up fast on the launch of my new standalone novella, To Be Taught, If Fortunate. It’s a love letter to science and space travel, told through a crew of astronauts conducting an ecological survey of a planetary system fourteen light years from Earth. It’s full of beautiful things and troubling things and big questions and little wonders. This pint-size book is the closest thing I’ve ever written to home, in terms of distance, time, and...well, me. I hope you’ll check it out. (And as for the biggest Big Question in there: yeah, I really do want to know your answer.)
If you like free stuff and are a UK resident over the age of 16, the team at Hodder & Stoughton has cooked up something pretty cool. Use this link right here to pre-order by August 7, and they’ll send you a travel journal to document your scientific travels through the Zhenyi system.
For everybody who is not a resident of the UK, pre-order links for the respective US and UK editions can be found right here.
My new novella will be out soon! Soon-ish, anyway! The launch dates differ depending on which side of the pond you’re on, so:
If you’d like to pre-order, click the links above! I’m very excited for this one to head out into the wild, and if it sounds like your jam, I hope you’ll check it out.
Oh, it has been so hard biting my tongue about this. I’m explodingly excited to announce that my work is up for two Hugo Awards: Record of a Spaceborn Few for Best Novel, and the extant Wayfarers books for Best Series.
The ballot this year is tremendous, and I’m deeply honored to be part of it. To all the voters, and to everybody who’s supported these books over the years, thank you. I wish I could tell you how much it means to me, but cliché of clichés: I don’t have the words.
Welcome to the new site! I can’t move the old news posts over, but since they’re things that have all already happened anyway, might as well start fresh for 2019. I’ve got a lot to announce in the next week, so stay tuned.