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: (Manly Hug)
Nominations for the Hugo Awards are open now. If you're a member of the 2019 WorldCon (in Dublin, Ireland) or were a member of the 2018 WorldCon (San Jose, California, USA) you can nominate. If you haven't gotten your nomination link from the convention yet, you have to contact the committee directly. Due to EU regulations, they aren't able to send you email without your permission first.

If you're eligible to nominate, please do. Having a wide range of nominations helps keep the awards reflective of the wide range of great work that was published last year.

The SF/F news site File770 collects links and recommendations for various categories here:

The only things I had out that were eligible were the three Murderbot Diaries novellas: Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy. They're eligible in the Best Novella category. (And If you decide you want to nominate one, Exit Strategy might be the best choice.)

The Murderbot Diaries are not eligible for the Best Series category. (It doesn't meet the word count requirement.)

More info:


We had a friend come visit this weekend and mostly ate and watched movies. We saw Crazy Rich Asians and Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse, and I'd seen both before but they really reward repeat viewing, especially Spiderverse, which I think is a perfect little jewel of a movie. When you already know what's going to happen, you have a lot more time to really absorb all the cool detail and foreshadowing.

Saturday night we went to the historic downtown area which the city has been working on for years. When I first moved here to go to college, it was basically a few streets worth of collapsing buildings. Now it's mostly restored, with a lot of businesses, shops, restaurants, offices. The big restored hotel has opened a room in the basement and runs it like an old Speakeasy. It's only open on certain times on the weekend and so Saturday night we went to see if we could get in.

There's no sign, you have to ask at the front desk how to get down to the basement. Then there's still no sign so you wander around trying to figure out where the music is coming from until you find the door with the big square old-fashioned peephole that slides open (protected by an iron grill). We knocked, but not loud enough. We're standing there trying to figure out what to do and then a door opens behind us and a guy comes down the hall and says, "You have to knock louder" and bangs on the door. My husband recognized him as the mayor. (The real mayor, not a pretend roleplay speakeasy mayor.) So the door opens and it's very dark and all the staff are in 30s costumes and there's a bunch of people drinking and talking on couches. (I suspect it was too clean and friendly and relaxed to be much like a real speakeasy, but it did look like one.) And some cops (real ones) showed up briefly and left. When I went to the bar to get drinks, the bartenders were complaining that it was hard to roleplay a speakeasy with the mayor and cops wandering in and out.

Anyway, that was our weekend.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
For people vicariously enjoying the con from afar, here's John Picacio's con report on the MexicanX Initiative, the con, and the Hugo Awards:
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
The Hugo arrived safely yesterday!

And this is me on The Van Show! I'm being interviewed by a puppet for the Austin Public Library.
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
I hope this is coherent!

Arrived Wednesday, super friend Lisa picked us up at the airport and we went to dinner at a Thai place and had delicious food, then went to the hotel, got checked in, and collapsed.

Thursday, got up and had breakfast at the hotel, walked through to the convention center at 9:00 and got registered, tried to find things that were not where they were supposed to be and remained elusive despite number of concomm who tried to help. Ended up sitting with Laura Domitz and Jonathan Miles and watching them hand out passes for the dealers room so the dealers could get to their badges.

Then began the great quest for the Hugo Packets, which lasted about forty-five minutes, and involved treking back and forth across the convention center a couple of times, and I distinguished myself by giving Sarah Pinsker and Neil Clarke completely wrong information which I believed at the time.

After that the rest of our base camp arrived, and we got our friend Beth into our room and Lisa and Felicia got into their room at the Westin (which was gorgeous, 1930s beautifully restored building, which was haunted but not cursed). Then we walked a few blocks over to an Irish pub which wasn't serving food, so we went around the corner to the British pub which was, and got to sit out on their back patio and get lunch and lots of hard cider.

We came back to find the registration line halfway across the convention center and left our friends to their fate, and we walked around dealers room a little. And tracked down my Hugo Finalist ribbon. (I didn't actually get mine, I got the one from the packet for Wonder Woman, which was up for best longform media presentation.)

Then around 6:30 we met up with Sharon Shinn for dinner at Original Joes and had a great time. Came back to the con to find the art show still open for the reception and so walked around it for a while.

Friday Lisa took us up to Saratoga Springs for breakfast and we drove through the most gorgeous little town ( "This is how people live on TV") then to Hakone Gardens ( then back to Japantown in San Jose (, where we had lunch. Back to the con for the Hugo finalists reading. There were four of us (Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire, and JY Yang) and the room only held about 40 chairs and 200 people wanted to sit in them, there was no mic and no chairs for the readers. (Audience members found us chairs and did crowd control for us.) But everyone seemed to enjoy it.

After that we went back to the British pub for dinner, and then came back and went to the Toast, which was in a private patio in the Hilton and got to hang out and talk to everyone for a bit.

Saturday, I had the Mental Health & Craft: Creating with Depression and Anxiety panel with Vanessa Rose Phin, Arlin Robins, Howard Tayler, and Kate Elliott. I don't know whose panel idea this was, but it was great. It could have gone about two hours easily and I got great comments on it all weekend. There was also a sweet, giant therapy dog under the table the whole time and most people didn't know until he stood up at the end like a gentle kraken rising from the sea.

Then I had an interview with Joel from Barnes and Noble, then met up with friends again and had lunch at the Marriott while watching the handful of idiot Nazis block off the con's traditional blood drive van while a swat team and a bunch of angry con people stared at them and took pictures.

Then the Best Series Finalists reading with Marie Brennan and Brandon Sanderson (which was in the same room and there was not much in the way of improvement, except there were chairs for us that were already up there.)

Then met up with muccamukk and Nenya and got to hang out and relax a bit with them. (The Marriott, which, between the con and the wedding receptions being held there was beginning to look like the aftermath of a rave, had sliding doors which closed on me.) Then the Fantasy Aliens panel (with Caroline M. Yoachim, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Martha Wells, Keffy Kehrli, Jeannette Ng), then dinner with my publisher Irene Gallo, her husband Greg Manchess who had won a Chesley Award (, and my editor Lee Harris (who was also a Hugo Finalist), and publicist Katharine Duckett, and Joel Cunningham from Barnes and Noble. Then came back to see last hour of masquerade, walked over to Fairmont and had drinks.

Sunday, the day. This was the day my husband and friends spent a lot of time trying to keep me calm.

No programming so got up and went to the haunted Westin for a really excellent breakfast, then over to Hugo rehearsal, where we got to see the Hugo base design for first time, met other finalists including Rivers Solomon and Vine Jie-Min Prasad. We practiced walking across the stage and not dying. (My whole group practiced the exit ramp since it was safer, but I should have done the stairs.)

We went to dealers room but I couldn't concentrate on anything, and was allowed to sit on the floor with a pomeranian mix therapy dog. Then at the Borderlands Books booth I got to meet N.K. Jemisin in person for the first time!

Then we had late lunch at hotel, went up to take a rest and watched some BritBox to calm down. went down at 5 to make up and hair event organized by Mary Robinette Kowal where Jayme Goh put awesome purple eyeshadow on me. Ran back up to the hotel room to change into the Dress, then down for the pre Hugo cocktail party.

There was food and cocktails and gift bags and everybody looked fabulous in everything from sparkly dresses to gorgeous funky handmade outfits, and Felicia Day was there to be one of the presenters. I met Ann Leckie in person for the first time! The party was awesome and crowded and bonkers, and we got our pictures taken by Olav Rokne: (Not everyone was there, so in some cases award acceptors are standing in for finalists)

Then we went into the auditorium. It had a big screen on either side of the stage, one with captions and two people sitting near it who were doing the sign language version.

And we got started.

The Hugo rocket is the same each time but the base is unique to the individual convention and made by different artists. This year it was Sara Felix and Vincent Villafranca from San Antonio who made it, and they showed a hilarious video about how the Hugos were made. It was especially funny because they made us think it was a video about bronze casting. Which it kind of is, if you did your bronze casting with punk rock aliens on the sun.

John Picacio, who was the MC and (and who also did the MexicanX Initiative to bring 50 Mexican and Mexican-American writers, artists, and creators to the con) kept things moving and it was fun getting to see who won. We got to Best Series category, the first one I was up for, and I wasn't really nervous because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to win and I didn't win. (From the nominating and voting numbers released afterward, Books of the Raksura came in fourth out of six positions.) But it was awesome to be in that category.

(Full nominating and voting numbers: )

Then we got to novella, and I was extremely nervous. I felt like I had a strong chance and was hopeful, but it was still awesome to win. I managed to get up the stairs to the stage, give my speech without crying (After the Nebula Awards I didn't want to be the author who cries all the time.) (I saved it all up for Monday, when every time anyone said anything nice to me, I would start crying.) Managed to get down the Stairs of Doom backstage with the help of about four people, got stopped to get a photo outside the auditorium in the reception area, went back in the wrong door and could not get it open and had to thump on it until the backstage people heard me, and then got back to my seat in time to see Nnedi Okorafor win for Best YA novel and N.K. Jemisin win for Best Novel!

N.K. Jemisin's speech

(Full ceremony: )


After that there were more photos and then we went back to the room so I could change out of my dress and leave the Hugo (it's extremely heavy) then head to the Hugo Losers' Party, which is the traditional big party after the awards. It used to be held in the con party area, but during the trouble years with the Nazi puppies, they had to move it offsite to a private venue and George R.R. Martin sponsors it. Each year it's different, and this time it was in a place called the Glass House which was decorated with light effects of planets and stars and there was all kinds of food and drinks and giant DANCING ROBOTS!!! I can't tell you how cool this party was, I'd never been to anything like it.


Monday I brought the Hugo to my signing at Borderlands Books, then we decided to ship it home since the awards people said that was probably safest. (It's hard to get a big metal rocket on a plane, oddly enough.) The room we were supposed to go to get it packed seemed not to exist at first, and a convention center employee who was trying to help people find it helped us search until we stumbled on it. (It had been the secret Hugo storage room where you had to have a password to get in.) My Hugo was pool-noodled and swaddled and packed and hopefully it should get here this afternoon.

Then I did a late signing at the con signing area, then slowly collapsed from exhaustion. We had to leave the hotel at 4:00 am to make our flight back, which was pretty uneventful, except the lost my bag for about ten minutes at our local airport because it accidentally got left on the plane. (It's a tiny airport.)


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