Apr. 16th, 2019 10:36 am
marthawells: (Default)
Yesterday was a particularly rough day, all around.

Three things:

* The rebuilding of Notre Dame will be funded, but here's a fundraiser for the three historical African-American churches in Lousiana that were burned in a racist arson attack:

* Sandstone has a free post on her Patreon about Tanith Lee:

I can't recommend Sandstone's Patreon enough. She says:

I am a queer science fiction and fantasy fan in St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up reading my mom's fantasy paperbacks and wandering through used bookstores and book sales in the late 90s and 00s, slowly expanding my little hoard of books from then or a little earlier with a special focus on space opera and secondary world fantasy by women and queer authors.

The period from 1980 through 2000 was one of increasing diversity in SFF, with an increasing number of women, queer authors, and authors of color in the genre, but it's one we don't talk about too much today and I've been curious why. Your support through Patreon will help me raise awareness of backlist titles from this era and explore the history of the genre as I read and share what I learn from nonfiction about the genre!

These are the books I grew up reading, the ones so many people nowadays want to say never existed.

* Author Gene Wolfe passed away on Sunday. I only met Gene Wolfe a few times, but he was always really nice to me. I was on a panel with him at the Texas Book Festival sometime around 98-2000. I told the story about the copyeditor who tried to rewrite The Death of the Necromancer and take out Reynard, and he and Neal Barrett Jr. became so angry on my behalf that they pounded on the table and yelled. Neither one of them had read the book, it was just the principle of it.
marthawells: (Reading)
This topic came up again lately, with regard to award nomination season, and I posted a link to this essay:

Sometimes People Just Want You to Stop

It's not so much about trying to make time for writing, but about the people in your life who try to stop you from writing, and why. Not that I have any real answers to those questions but I think it helps to know it's incredibly common. And of course it's much worse for writers who are people of color, or LGBTQIA, who have disabilities, etc.

(I should probably write a sequel about people who really don't want you to be nominated for awards.)


Apr. 5th, 2019 07:40 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
While I'm thinking of it, here's my appearance schedule for this year:

May 10-12, 2019.
Panelist at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas.

2:00 pm, June 15, 2019.
Speaking at the Clara B. Mounce Public Library, in Bryan, Texas.

June 20-25, 2019.
Appearing at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

August 2-4, 2019.
Panelist at the ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX.

August 15-19, 2019.
Panelist at WorldCon Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.

October 4-5, 2019.
Guest at the Brown County Library ComicCon at Central Library in Green Bay, WI.

October 18-20, 2019.
Guest of Honor at Capclave in Rockville, MD.
marthawells: (Stargate)
The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition is a Hugo finalist in the Best Novella category!!

This is pretty awesome news and I'm extremely happy to be nominated.

Thanks to my agent, Jennifer Jackson, Michael Curry, and my editor Lee Harris, publisher Irene Gallo and everyone else at, awesome audiobook narrator Kevin R. Free and everyone at Recorded Books, cover artist Jaime Jones and cover designer Christine Foltzer.

Best Novel

The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Novella

Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells ( publishing)
Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire ( publishing)
Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor ( publishing)
The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark ( publishing)
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson ( publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press / JABberwocky Literary Agency)

Best Novelette

“If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
“The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly (, 11 July 2018)
“Nine Last Days on Planet Earth,” by Daryl Gregory (, 19 September 2018)
The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander ( publishing)
“The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
“When We Were Starless,” by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 145, October 2018)

Best Short Story

“The Court Magician,” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
“The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
“STET,” by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018)
“The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat,” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23, July-August 2018)
“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)

rest of the ballot behind the cut )

There are two other Awards administered by Worldcon 76 that are not Hugo Awards:

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
The Invasion, by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic)
Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Katherine Arden*
S.A. Chakraborty*
R.F. Kuang
Jeannette Ng*
Vina Jie-Min Prasad*
Rivers Solomon*

*Finalist in their 2nd year of eligibility
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
Writer Vonda N. McIntyre has passed away. She was the third woman to win a Hugo Award (for the novel DreamsnakeThe Entropy Effect, the first original Star Trek novel in the Pocket Books line, where she created first names for Sulu and Uhura (Hikaru and Nyota) which became an official part of the canon.

Her whole bibliography is here:


The Spectrum 26 Art Awards have been chosen and you can see the list of winners here:

and images of all the nominated works here:
marthawells: (Default)
The Hugo Awards ballot announcement will be at 9:00 am est tomorrow (4/2) on the Dublin WorldCon YouTube channel:
marthawells: (Zoe)
Friday night I got to attend the opening of the exhibit The Stars Are Ours at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at TAMU.

The new exhibition “The Stars Are Ours”: Infinite Diversities in Science Fiction and Fantasy runs from March 29 through September 20, 2019, at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. Items from the Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection provide a window into the diversities of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture that have always been a part of science fiction and fantasy.

And I got to see Tananarive Due again, who was there to do the first lecture of the year in the Hal Hall Lecture Series, and she spoke on The Rise of Afrofuturism and Black Horror. It was an excellent lecture, with a book signing afterward.

The exhibit is awesome, combining the books on display with movie posters and photos on the walls, and a series of quotes from various authors displayed on a rotating screen. The catalog is gorgeous and lists all the books with descriptions, so it's a great to-read list.

Here's some photos from Twitter. I was overexcited so some are duplicates:

I think this is Cushing's fourth SF/F exhibit. The previous one was The Maps of Imaginary Places exhibit which you can see on YouTube here:
marthawells: (Reading)
I'm real short on time and mental resources for doing anything other than writing right now, but I wanted to do a quick rec for two books out today:

* Novella Miranda in Milan by Katherine Duckett
With Miranda in Milan, debut author Katharine Duckett reimagines the consequences of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, casting Miranda into a Milanese pit of vipers and building a queer love story that lifts off the page in whirlwinds of feeling.

* Novel A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
I got to read this one in ARC form last year and it blew me away. Reminded me a lot of both Yoon Ha Lee and Ann Leckie. And the description doesn't mention it, but it also features a queer relationship.

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.

If you're new here, my new book recs and lists are all on this tag:
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
This is a super cool award trophy, everybody:

It's the Stabby, the Reddit r/fantasy award for The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition for Best Short Fiction!
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Anybody can vote for the Locus Awards!

As in previous years, voting rules count subscriber votes double. (Subscribe!) All votes, from subscribers and non-subscribers alike, will be counted as long as you include your name, e-mail, and survey information (Locus does not sell e-mail lists), and do not violate voting rules.

In other news, I'm a little worried that I'm getting sick, but hopefully it's just a little cold.

That's about it.
marthawells: (Stargate)
* The True Queen by Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown) came out yesterday, and she has a great post here about her experience writing it: My Publishing Journey: How to Write Second Book. I think it will resonate with a lot of writers.

I had second book syndrome in spades. Two things contributed to this. The revision process for my first novel Sorcerer to the Crown had been extensive and emotionally challenging. Now, I have absolutely no doubt it improved the book, and it also developed writing muscles I hadn’t even known existed. But by the time I was done with the book — or by the time it was done with me, which is more how it felt — I had spent so long considering external feedback, working in a way that I found quite counter-intuitive, that it was very hard to find my way back to the inner voice that tells you what you want in your writing, what you are trying to achieve.

The second thing was the attention. Sorcerer wasn’t a huge bestseller or anything like that, but it did receive a measure of buzz and it led to far more people reading my work than ever before. This was great and what I’d been working towards, of course, but it was also stressful. Suddenly I had to contend with the pressure of reader expectations. I really, really wanted to get the second book right. I was terrified of putting a foot wrong, and that’s death to creativity.


I think it helps me to remember, when I'm buried neck-deep in the writing process, that everything about writing is stressful. Failure is stressful, success is stressful, even the fun parts are stressful. Writing is about making decisions, and pursuing a career in a creative field is about change, and decisions and changes are inherently stressful. As humans we can get decision fatigue just by going to the grocery store, and a novel is nothing but a series of hours, days, months, and sometimes years of nothing but decisions.

I'm working on the last third of Network Effect, the Murderbot novel, and the whole process has been very slow. Murderbot's ability to have multiple physical perspectives on a situation (its own eyes, security cameras, drones, other systems it has access to) all bring it information that has to be acted on and it makes the logistics and action scenes very complicated. I'm not a writer who outlines and I like to build my plots organically, so I'm used to a lot of revising as I go along. But with the Murderbot novellas and the book I've been writing 20,000 words, then cutting back to around 5,000 and starting over again, over and over.

I'm basically chasing that little feeling in the back of my head that says yes, this bit is right. (The little feeling only tells you when it's right, it doesn't tell you why things are wrong or how to fix them. It's like walking barefoot in the dark over a giant floor covered with legos, trying to feel for a lost marble.) Now that I'm on the last third of the book and the first two/thirds feels pretty solid, I'm hoping I'm on the right track. (knock on wood)

So this is a long way of saying that if I'm distracted or unable to make decisions about very simple things, that's why.
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
Here's the official announcement for the Murderbot Novel from the publisher.

It'll be out in May 2020 and the title is The Murderbot Diaries: Network Effect.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
The first three Books of the Raksura are being re-released in mass market paperback. The Cloud Roads should be out in November. (They're out now in ebook and audiobook, though they're getting hard to find in trade paper.)

The Books of the Raksura were nominated for a Best Series Hugo Award in 2018 and there's more info (descriptions, sample chapters) here:

The art on The Cloud Roads cover is by Matthew Stewart, who won a Chesley Award for it in 2012 in the best paperback category. The art on The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths is by Steve Argyle.

ETA: and the new cover designs are on Twitter:
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
Had one of those days where so much stupid stuff went wrong. Had a doctor's appointment which ended up having to be rescheduled because the scheduling person screwed up (and bonus, I thought it was wrong at the time but didn't say anything because I thought the scheduling person knew what they were doing, so it's partly my fault), forgot the errand I meant to do on that side of town, the crispy rolls I was making for lunch rolled off the baking tray and fell on the bottom of the oven, etc etc.

Also we've been re-doing our guest room (the room I painted dark blue) and in the course of replacing the double bed with a day bed with a trundle I lost a mattress pad. Like I have no idea where it went. It's not in the closet, it's not in the Good Will pile. One minute it was draped over a chair, the next it had apparated off to have its own adventures. Maybe it will come back some day, like a sock lost in the dryer. But the room is almost done, and means with the day bed and trundle, plus our two blow-up mattresses, the house can sleep 4-5 people comfortably. (It can sleep a lot more uncomfortably.) Since climate change is just going to get worse, and our town is a big evacuation center for hurricanes, it makes me feel a little better to be prepared when/if our friends need a place to stay.

Also, after a very mild winter, the temperature has dropped to the high 20s and my arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo) really does not like cold weather.
marthawells: (Default)
OMG, this is so cool!!! I just saw this on File770:

If you’re coming to Dublin to join in the fun and are interested in creating things with needle and thread, this is your chance to be an active part in a community art project.

Martha Wells’ “Books of the Raksura”-Series was nominated for a Best Series Hugo in 2018. One of the things that drew me into the series was the world-building – a colony living in a giant mountain tree that’s studded with platforms all around that are used by the inhabitants for all kinds of different things – hunting, gardening, fishing, outlooks for the guards … a whole ecosystem – so how might that actually look like?

I cannot wait to see this!
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
If you were a member of the San Jose WorldCon in 2018, or joined the Dublin WorldCon before December 31, you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards. If you haven't received any nomination info from the Dublin WorldCon, they are not allowed to email you without permission, so you'll need to contact them.

If you're eligible, please consider nominating. The more nominations, the better and more representative the ballot is. Nominations close on March 15.

If you need reminders of what came out in 2018, File770 has tons of recommendation pages:

And note, The Books of the Raksura is no longer eligible for the Best Series category, and won't be eligible again until another work in the series is published.

Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy are all eligible in the Best Novella category.


Feb. 25th, 2019 05:54 pm
marthawells: (Teyla)
This weekend for some stress relief we went to Hamilton Pool outside Austin, and did the walk from there to the Perdenales River. It's not a big distance, but you're walking down a path down into a canyon that's very steep at times, and the walk to the river includes some steep rocky bits and squeezing past big rocks.

And it was gorgeous. The pool basin is way larger than it looks in the pictures:


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