marthawells: (Default)
The Hugo Awards ballot announcement will be at 9:00 am est tomorrow (4/2) on the Dublin WorldCon YouTube channel:
marthawells: (Stargate)
Here's an article on WorldCon by Alexandra Erin:

This is only my second WorldCon. I missed last year’s in Helsinki because of money and other external factors, but the year before that I made a point to go because that was the year of Sad Puppies Review Books and other satirical or analytical works. I knew I’d received many people’s nods for a Hugo Award, even if I didn’t quite make the shortlist, and I woke up the morning of the award ceremony the year before last feeling an overwhelming (and entirely unaccustomed) sense of humility in the face of how the fandom community had rallied against these gatekeepers, this ballot-stuffing clique of bullies who wanted to tell them what to read and who to like and what to do and who were determined to burn the whole concept of awards to the ground if we did not wholly surrender and give them everything they wanted. I wrote a blog post describing my thoughts and feelings about the whole thing.
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.)


Aug. 13th, 2018 07:39 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
In a couple of days I'll be leaving for WorldCon. I am super-nervous. The Hugo Awards are Sunday night (North American Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)), and will be live-streamed:

The Chinese coverage will be in Weibo, by

It's an incredibly strong ballot:

Best Novel

The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (Tor)
New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
Provenance, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Best Novella

All Systems Red, by Martha Wells ( Publishing)
“And Then There Were (N-One),” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017)
Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor ( Publishing)
The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang ( Publishing)
Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.Com Publishing)
River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey ( Publishing)

Best Novelette

“Children of Thorns, Children of Water,” by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny, July-August 2017)
“Extracurricular Activities,” by Yoon Ha Lee (, February 15, 2017)
“The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)
“A Series of Steaks,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017)
“Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time,” by K.M. Szpara (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
“Wind Will Rove,” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, September/October 2017)

Best Short Story

“Carnival Nine,” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017)
“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017)
“Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)
“The Martian Obelisk,” by Linda Nagata (, July 19, 2017)
“Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon, (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
“Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)

Best Series

The Books of the Raksura, by Martha Wells (Night Shade)
The Divine Cities, by Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)
InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
The Memoirs of Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan (Tor US / Titan UK)
The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson (Tor US / Gollancz UK)
World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Harper Voyager / Spectrum Literary Agency)

Best Related Work

Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, by Zoë Quinn (PublicAffairs)
Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), by Paul Kincaid (University of Illinois Press)
A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, by Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press)
Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Alexandra Pierce, and Mimi Mondal (Twelfth Planet Press)
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Liz Bourke (Aqueduct Press)

Best Graphic Story

Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)
Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel)
Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics)
Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Blade Runner 2049, written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Alcon Entertainment / Bud Yorkin Productions / Torridon Films / Columbia Pictures)
Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions / QC Entertainment)
The Shape of Water, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro (TSG Entertainment / Double Dare You / Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Lucasfilm, Ltd.)
Thor: Ragnarok, written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi (Marvel Studios)
Wonder Woman, screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins (DC Films / Warner Brothers)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Black Mirror: “USS Callister,” written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes (House of Tomorrow)
“The Deep” [song], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)
Doctor Who: “Twice Upon a Time,” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Cymru Wales)
The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit,” written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television)
The Good Place: “The Trolley Problem,” written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television)
Star Trek: Discovery: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett (CBS Television Studios)

Best Editor, Short Form

John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Lee Harris
Jonathan Strahan
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

Sheila E. Gilbert
Joe Monti
Diana M. Pho
Devi Pillai
Miriam Weinberg
Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

Galen Dara
Kathleen Jennings
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
Victo Ngai
John Picacio
Sana Takeda

Best Semiprozine

Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
Escape Pod, edited by Mur Lafferty, S.B. Divya, and Norm Sherman, with assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney
Fireside Magazine, edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini
Strange Horizons, edited by Kate Dollarhyde, Gautam Bhatia, A.J. Odasso, Lila Garrott, Heather McDougal, Ciro Faienza, Tahlia Day, Vanessa Rose Phin, and the Strange Horizons staff
Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios; podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

Best Fanzine

File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
Galactic Journey, edited by Gideon Marcus
Journey Planet, edited by Team Journey Planet
nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney

Best Fancast

The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay William
Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts; produced by Andrew Finch
Sword and Laser, presented by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
Verity!, presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Fan Writer

Camestros Felapton
Sarah Gailey
Mike Glyer
Foz Meadows
Charles Payseur
Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist

Geneva Benton
Grace P. Fong
Maya Hahto
Likhain (M. Sereno)
Spring Schoenhuth
Steve Stiles

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

Award for Best Young Adult Book

Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman (Knopf)
In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan (Big Mouth House)
A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK / Harry N. Abrams US)
Summer in Orcus, written by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon), illustrated by Lauren Henderson (Sofawolf Press)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Katherine Arden
Sarah Kuhn*
Jeannette Ng
Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Rebecca Roanhorse
Rivers Solomon
marthawells: (Teyla)
So the WorldCon in San Jose (Aug 16 - 20, 2018) has posted their awesome revamped program here:

Next year's WorldCon will be Dublin, Ireland, and the one after that will be in New Zealand.

My schedule is:


* Novella Hugo Finalists Group Reading:
04:00 PM to 05:00 PM (1 hour)
San Jose Convention Center - 211A
Listen to some of this year's Hugo Novella finalists as they share their work.
JY Yang, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Martha Wells


* Panel: Mental Health & Craft: Creating with Depression and Anxiety
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (1 hour)
San Jose Convention Center - 211C
Creating through depression and anxiety instead of taking a break and walking away from your work is sometimes the only option. At some point, nearly every creator will have to cope with these or similar issues as part of the ups and downs of life. Authors and artists talk about their techniques for working while living with a neuroatypical brain.
Vanessa Rose Phin, Arlin Robins, Martha Wells, Howard Tayler, Kate Elliott

* Series Hugo Finalists Group Reading
02:00 PM to 03:00 PM (1 hour)
San Jose Convention Center - 211A
Listen to some of this year's Hugo Best Series finalists as they share their work.
Brandon Sanderson, Martha Wells, Marie Brennan

* Panel: Fantasy Aliens
05:00 PM to 06:00 PM (1 hour)
San Jose Convention Center - 210A
We often think of aliens as science fictional beings--extraterrestrials--but there is also a rich tradition of crossover between fantasy and science fiction. Lovecraft gave us alien-like monsters in his fantasy stories, while Anne McCaffrey gave us fantastical dragons in her science fiction. As our stories and storytelling methods evolve, how is the crossover potential of science fiction and fantasy evolving with it? Our panelists will explore the many ways aliens can be fantastical and fantasy can feel alien in books, games, and beyond.
Caroline M. Yoachim, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Martha Wells, Keffy Kehrli, Jeannette Ng


8:00 Hugo Awards


* Signing
11:00 - noon
Borderlands Books Booth, Dealer's Room

* Signing
2:00 - 3:00
Convention Autograph Area
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
I'm still sad I couldn't go to WorldCon 75, which is in Finland this year, but it's been so popular that the fire marshals are being strict about too much crowding in program rooms and they've had to stop selling full con memberships. They're limiting day passes to 100 per day and selling out of those, too. And this started on Wednesday, when most of the attendees usually arrive on Thursday and Friday.

I'm still jealous of the people who are getting to see Daveed Diggs there.

Here's some links:

Opening Day:
Croatian Party:
marthawells: (SGA Team)
* Worldbuilding with Martha Wells:

* A read-along of The Cloud Roads on Over the Effing Rainbow:

* Roqoo Depot Interview with me at WorldCon:

* Panel recording from WorldCon: Changing the Medium: (featured authors Martha Wells and William C. Dietz as well as guests Gary Kloster, Christopher Kastensmidt and moderator Monica Valentinelli)

* Another panel recording from WorldCon: Queer Star Wars: (moderated by Matt Jacobson and features Martha Wells (the author of Star Wars: Razor’s Edge), Vivian Trask, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis and Dr. Mary A. Turzillo)

* Another interview at SciFiFantasyNetwork:


Aug. 23rd, 2016 08:18 am
marthawells: (SGA Team)
I got back from WorldCon yesterday, and I am dead tired. I don't know that I'll get much done today.

The convention was really big and I enjoyed a lot of it. Especially the writers workshop session I did, and the Queer Star Wars panel on Friday, and my reading. Also really enjoyed the Build a World game show on Friday night. The time and room got moved, so we lost some of our audience, but it was still a lot of fun, and I got to direct some audience members in an interpretive dance to explain the world we created. And the last panel I did, the Urban Fantasy in Transition panel was great.

The exhibit hall was really well done this year, and was full of displays and programming. There was even a big craft area with supplies and classes that were taught there. There was a fake river partitioning off the dealers room, with a twenty foot tall glittery volcano, and when the room closed, the volcano "erupted" and the river turned into lava. (Plastic lava) It was really cool. And we went to some of the bid parties Friday night and swore allegiance to China and San Juan. Also Ireland, I think, but I didn't get a ribbon there.

And the Hugo Award results, and the speeches, were fabulous.

The Verge:

And from the Guardian:

I'm so happy and so relieved the Hugo voters came together to drive off the rabid puppies again. By the organization's charter, it takes two years to change the award rules, and the new rules that were proposed at last year's WorldCon were voted in by the membership this year, so that should be the last time for slate voting by this gang of racist and misogynist assholes.

But it's still incredibly sad to look at the nomination stats, and see the novels and stories and best related work non-fiction that was driven off the list by this bunch of fuckwads. The list of nominees bumped by the puppies slate is at the end of the stats PDF: (Two of the short story nominees would have been "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong and "Wooden Feathers" by Ursula Vernon.)
marthawells: (Reading)
First, our historical fantasy storybundle ends in two days, so last call for a great collection of books.


WorldCon schedule


Workshop 1:00 to 3:00

Reading 6:30 pm 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)
(I'm going to read from The Harbors of the Sun)


Queer Star Wars 11:00 to 12:00 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
In a galaxy far, far away Juhani, a lesbian character, appeared in 2004 in Knights of the Old Republic. It wasn't until 2013 that we saw a same-sex kiss and numerous bisexual characters appear. Other than that however Star Wars has been decidedly backwards about coming forwards. With JJ Abrams saying there will be at least one gay character in the upcoming movies, and many fans hoping for that to be Poe, we take a look at why it has taken so long to happen and how we expect the public to react, not only in the US and Europe but also China and Russia.
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, Martha Wells, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo Ph.D., Vivian Trask, Matt Jacobson

Changing the Medium 2:00 to 3:00 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
A look at what is involved when adapting a property from its original medium to another. How does a movie become a game or a book turn into a television show? What artistic licenses must be taken and how do you remain true to the spirit of the original?
Monica Valentinelli, Gary Kloster, Christopher Kastensmidt, Martha Wells, William Dietz

Autographing 5:00 to 6:00 Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

The Build a World Game Show 9:00 to 10:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner!
Monica Valentinelli, Catherine Lundoff, David McDonald, Tex Thompson, Martha Wells


Kaffeeklatsch 10:00 am 2211 (KKs) (Kansas City Convention Center)

How Much Do You Worry About Your Own Cannon? 4:00 to 5:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
It seems sometimes that readers are more concerned about maintaining a series' internal consistency than the author is. Authors, you know why things have been changed. When writing a series, how important is it to you to maintain full consistency in what is canon for the story and how do you decide to throw something out for the importance of the narrative?
Mike Resnik, Don Sakers, Diana Rowland, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Martha Wells


Urban Fantasy in Transition 1:00 to 2:00 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Urban fantasy has a long history within fantasy literature, but it's certainly gained new prominence recently. The panels examines how this definition has changed over time, what influences have helped to shape urban fantasy, and it's origins and potential evolution as a literary genre.
Lee Harris, Arthur Chu, Katherine Wynter, Martha Wells
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
I don't think I emphasized enough how bad the smoke from the forest fires was on Friday. My friend and I went out to get sandwiches, then had to go to the RiteAid and the streets were almost empty and the sky was brown. Lisa said, "Where's the sun?" and I said, "The sun's gone, Lisa! Get used to it! This is the end!" Fortunately the masquerade was a great mood-lifter.

After the panel on Saturday, I did my Koffe Klatsh, then we did another turn around the dealer's room. We went out to eat and found a Japanese restaurant that turned out to be both cheap and really good. (They had tatami mat rooms and everything.) Then we went back to the room and watched the Hugos on livestream. The beginning where Tananarive Due cosplayed Uhura fighting Death (the giant one from the Terry Pratchett exhibit) for the Hugos was the absolute best. David Gerrold cosplayed three of the Doctors and the bit with the Dalek was also great. We basically cheered a lot throughout the night and probably scared the neighbors.

Sunday Lisa went to spend the day with family in town, and I went back to the con and wandered around a little and caught the end of Ann Leckie's reading. Then I did a panel on Young Adults in Adult Fiction with Steven Gould, Nichole Giles, Shannon Page, and Fran Wilde. Then I went out to a very late lunch with a group, then wandered back to the hotel. It was late in the afternoon by that point, and I was worn out, so I just hung around the room and watched Acorn TV on the iPad. (I know, the excitement, the glamour.)

I also started to see tweets from people who were leaving, and having plane delays due to the smoke. In the morning Lisa had a much earlier flight than me, but I got a ride with her and her brother to the airport. My plane took off on time and everything seemed fine, but apparently there were problems in Seattle. I got to Salt Lake City, changed planes, and then to Houston, losing hours along the way, then had to drive home about an hour and a half.

WorldCon Photos on tumblr: and

Question Time

I noticed I have some new people following me, so hello, new people! Information on my books is here: and I have written fantasy (both not very traditional and very untraditional), YA fantasy, media tie ins (Stargate: Atlantis and Star Wars) plus short stories and non-fiction articles.

If you're interested in my books and want to know where to start, you can ask me here, and it'll help if you tell me what kind of fantasy you like.

If you have a question about publishing in general, or the Raksura books, or the Ile-Rien books, or the media tie-ins, etc, etc, you can ask that here too.
marthawells: (Miko)
I got to the con on Wednesday (drove to Houston on Tuesday, stayed overnight with friends, got up at 5:00 am to get to the airport, flew to Salt Lake City, then on to Spokane) and then Cassandra Clarke and I got a ride with a guy who was a taxi driver but did not have a taxi, and I checked into the lavish but impractical Davenport Grand. Then I went over and got registered at the con, then met up with a group and had dinner at a sushi place. As we were going there, we got our first real look at the smoke from the terrible forest fires in the state. It just filled the air and turned the sky brown, and the sun was a little red dot. (Some people attending the con ended up in the hospital with respiratory problems.)

Main con area, opening to dealer's room, art show, and exhibits.

View with no smoke

View with smoke (this wasn't nearly as bad as it was later)

After dinner I just went back to the room and collapsed. I had two roommates, my friend Lisa who had flown in from CA to go to the con, and awesome writer Tex Thompson.

The con started officially on Wednesday, and just felt huge, with tons of people everywhere and lots of fun costumes. Thursday I had a Doctor Who panel with Jim Mann, Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, and Charlie Reeves, on overrated and underrated favorite episodes and it was a lot and a good way to start the con for me. (It had already started for a lot of other people.)

Then Lisa and I went to the DC in 2017 barbecue in the park, which had free grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, vegetable skewers, cole slaw and cold macaroni salad, and drinks. It inspired us to look for free food for the rest of the con. Japan in 2017 was also generous with the snacks and candy.

Then I had the writers workshop session for the rest of the afternoon, which went really well, and we had three great stories to critique, and I think we all had a good time. Then Lisa and I met up with Sharon Shinn and went to dinner and Lisa ordered a giant huckleberry daquiri.

Friday I did an autographing in the morning and signed way more books than I was expecting to, then we went to Sharon Shinn's reading, and then hung out and talked to friends in the main con area, and then I had a reading. It was a full room of about 23-25 people, and I read the first chapter of the second book in the new Raksura duology (the one after The Edge of Worlds). It seemed to go really well and I enjoyed it, so I hope everyone else did.

Then we went to Brad Foster's art presentation, and then did the art show. Lisa and I had an early dinner so we could get back in time for the masquerade, which was fabulous. I think the venue made them do assigned seating, so you had to pick up tickets for your party from the volunteers near the doors, but the upshot of that was Lisa and I got better seats than we ever had before. We were in the upper part of the auditorium, dead center, with a fabulous view of the stage. (Having it in a real theater rather than a ballroom with a precariously constructed stage setup made it better too.) There were so many great costumes, including a giant animated snowball person with giant arms, a full size Groot, and more others than I can remember. And the MC was dressed in a formal Centauri outfit, and he rocked it.

The Saturday morning Worldbuilding panel was From Middle Earth to Westeros: Fantasy Worldbuilding with me, Matthew Johnson, Mary Soon Lee, Michael Swanwick, and Pat Cadigan. It turned out to be in the large ballroom that was already set up to film the Hugo Pre-Show, so we were up on a huge stage, with cameras filming us to show on the big screen hanging to the left, and giant stage lights shining on us. (I was the moderator and had to ask them to turn the light down a bit so we could see the audience for questions.) There was a big audience and we got some good questions. I recommended Karen Lord, N.K. Jemisin, Judith Tarr, Kate Elliott, and Aliette de Bodard for various aspects of awesome worldbuilding. (I did more but I lost my notes.)

We got a question that was basically how to avoid writing Tolkien-derivative work when there's so much if it out there, and the answer is to broaden your reading, in both fiction and non-fiction. There's a ton of non-derivative work (both classics and older SF/F and brand new SFF) and it's not hard to find. Mary Soon Lee recommended The Tale of the Genji as a good foundation classic to read. (I have a short presentation on "what is SF/F" I've done where I start with The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter because of the Moon People, just to show how far back SF elements appear in fiction, but I forgot to mention that because brain failure.)

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard got a shout-out in particular by everybody as well as her shorter fiction, and audience members came up afterward to check the spelling of her name so they could get the book.

I'm going to stop here and call this part I, since it's gotten pretty long.

ETA: WorldCon Photos on tumblr: and
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
WorldCon Schedule: WorldCon is in Spokane, WA this year. (It was in London last year.) The program is searchable online, and I think the sign-ups for the Kaffee Klatches are online this year too.

You Like That on Doctor Who? But How Could You Not Like This?
Thursday 13:00 - 13:45, 300C (CC)
Think "The Rings of Akhaten" is better than it gets credit for? Or that "The Caves of Androzoni" is overrated? What episodes of Doctor Who do you like that few others do and why? Which always rank near the top of fan polls but you just don't like? And which are nearly forgotten (and should be)?
Jim Mann (M), Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, Martha Wells, Charlie Reeves

Writers Workshop section
Thursday 16:00 - 19:00,
All workshop sections are closed to non-participants.

Autographing - Kendare Blake, Randy Henderson, Jason Hough, Lee Moyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Martha Wells
Friday 11:00 - 11:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

Reading - Martha Wells
Friday 14:00 - 14:30, 304 (CC)
Martha Wells

From Middle Earth to Westeros: Fantasy Worldbuilding
Saturday 10:00 - 10:45, Integra Telecom Ballroom 100B (CC)
Building a believable world, with believable geography, culture, and rules, is at least as important in fantasy as it is in SF. The panel looks at how to create fantasy worlds, citing examples of the good (and maybe the not so good).
Martha Wells (M), Matthew Johnson, Mary Soon Lee, Michael Swanwick, Pat Cadigan

Kaffee Klatche - Martha Wells
Saturday 13:00 - 13:45, 202B-KK4 (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.
 Requires advance sign-up.


ArmadilloCon in Austin was a lot of fun this year. It's a small con, with maybe 500-600 people, focused on books and art, but with a lot of authors. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly, and the all day writers workshop on Friday, run by Marshall Ryan Maresca, went really well. The first half of the day there are two writing-related panels for the workshop participants only, then we break into groups for the rest of the day and do the critiquing. It was neat to see people who had been students in the workshop several years ago now coming back to teach as pros.

Ken Liu was the guest of honor and did a presentation on translating Chinese SF, "Betrayal With Integrity: Conformance and Estrangement in Translating Chinese SF" and a panel on Silkpunk: Asian themes and influences in SF/F.

Most of my panels were on business aspects of writing, and we answered a lot of questions. I also did a reading from the new Raksura book, The Edge of Worlds, and had a pretty good-sized audience of about twelve people.

A lot of the non-panel, non-reading activity took place in the lobby bar area, and it was very noisy and happy down there on Friday and Saturday nights.

And a friend of mine got her nails done in a very cool Raksura pattern: photo on Tumblr
marthawells: (Default)
I'm also posting these on my tumblr where you can click and see bigger versions.




These are of the Menger hotel, built in 1859.




These are more of the Riverwalk. I wanted to get the Fig trees growing out of one of the buildings, but those didn't turn out.

This is the seating area for the theater, with the stage on the other side of the river.
marthawells: (Default)
Food: San Antonio is big on saving its old historic buildings and reusing them so the downtown and the Riverwalk area is this gorgeous mix of old and new architecture, and it flows together really well. A lot of the places occupying the Riverwalk level are now restaurants and we had some awesome food there.

There were fish tacos at the Iron Cactus, a birthday dinner Sunday night at Zaca (which is an Italian restaurant that is both beautiful and delicious), a dinner with friends at Mortons, and Boudros which is tucked away (or wedged away) in a small space on the Riverwalk between two other places and does local and sustainable food. Everything we had there was wonderful but for desert there I had a tortilla fan, which was a tortilla fried and covered with cinnamon, and served with cream and fruit. It sounds like it would be too sweet, but it wasn't, it was perfect.

We also ate at Fogo de Chao, which is a Brazilian all-you-can-eat place that was very good (we missed the sign for it and found it by the smell -- it smells a little like someone is cooking beef on a teppanyaki) with a cold salad and vegetable bar, side dishes of potatoes, fried plantains, polenta, etc, and then when you signal you're ready they run at you with skewers of all kinds of meat. And we had caipirinhas which are a popular Brazilian drink because they are DELICIOUS.

The con: All my panels went really well, and were great to do. My reading went really well too. I had the most people I think I've ever had at a reading, at least 40 or 45 people, maybe more. I had an hour slot, so I read a long section from the Raksura novella, then took questions, then did a bit from Emilie and the Hollow World. There was a lot of programming I wanted to see but didn't get a chance. There was an astronaut and I missed her, and a NASA engineer and I missed her, and a Weta (Peter Jackson's special effects company from New Zealand) panel and I missed it, etc.

The only panel I was really worried about the topic was the "What Happened to Happy Endings?" panel, where as Jessica Reisman pointed out, there has never been a time when all the endings to stories were happy, and it's sure not like all the endings now are sad. But the moderator started the panel by saying that the title was clearly a nostalgic question that was invoking a past that had never actually occurred, so we basically just talked about what makes an ending happy or sad or triumphant or satisfying or tragic etc and it turned out really well.

The parties: The Booksworn eat-a-bug-for-a-book party went great as usual. The suite was a bit small so once the party started it was completely packed. I stayed by the book table and got people to eat bugs and gave away free books and only occasionally caught a glimpse of the other hosts. By about 10:30 I was getting dizzy and quite a few of the books were gone, so I left to go back to our hotel and collapse.

The Drinks with Authors party also went great, and it was in a much bigger room at Ernie's Pub at the Crockett Hotel up near the Alamo, and the noise level was extreme. People would come up and talk to us and we would be like, "We can't hear you, but you seem nice." After a while we were really tired and I thought if I took a nap on the floor people would freak out and think I was dead, so we staggered back to the hotel, had drinks at the bar, and then collapsed.

We also went to the Random House party which was up in the bar on top of the Tower of the Americas, which is very tall, and rotates. (It was built for the 1968 Hemisfair.) While we were waiting for the elevator, men and women in full firefighter gear kept coming out of a door to the stairwell, and the manager told us they train by running up and down the stairs. The party had free drinks and appetizers (satay, fried shrimp, ahi tuna nachos, and spinach feta pockets, which if that sounds like a good dinner, it was) and we stayed until it got very packed, then went back to the hotel, had drinks in the bar, and collapsed. (There was a lot of drinking followed by collapsing at this con.)

Stuff: I didn't buy much at all, just a con t-shirt and a sweatshirt. There was a lot of books, jewelry, and t-shirts in the dealer's room, and free books were being given away throughout the con in registration.

On Monday when the con was winding down, we went over to La Villita which is a historic restored Spanish-German village across from the Hemisfair Park, which now has shops for a lot of local artists.





Here's a few pictures of Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas.
marthawells: (Default)





These are some views of La Villita which is a historic restored Spanish-German village near the Riverwalk area.
marthawells: (Default)
I'm also posting these on my tumblr where you can click and see bigger versions.


This is from Farscape but it was running around over by the Doctor Who exhibit.


Some views of the dealer's room.

A science demonstration in the exhibit hall with a Tesla Coil.

This is a display of old fanzines from Texas fan groups, including two I co-edited when I was in college.


These are old program books from years of Texas SF cons, including the one I was chairman of, AggieCon 17 in 1986.
marthawells: (Default)
It's my birthday, and this is my birthday present. It's carved out of wood, handmade by a friend who is selling them in the dealer's room today. And this one was my special present!

This is the audience at the panel on Writing Combat with Elizabeth Moon, Elizabeth Bear, me, Jean Johnson, and Lois McMaster Bujold. (We told everyone who didn't want their picture took to duck.)

And this is more of the Riverwalk:






RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 19th, 2019 12:53 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios