Tag: nebula weekend

Nebula Weekend Day 4 (Sunday): Or, my most embarrassing moment

I didn’t sleep much on Saturday night. I wasn’t home from the Nebula Award banquet until about 10:30pm, and then I spent another hour or so writing up my Nebula Weekend Day 3 post before the cream of the memories had been skimmed away by sleep. That was followed up by another hour of finishing up research I was doing in preparation for an interview on Day 4. It was well after midnight when I got to sleep and it was 6am when the Little Man woke me up. For the first time in a very long time, I woke up feeling utterly exhausted.

I was supposed to have breakfast with Jack McDevitt at 9am. So I left for the hotel at 8am, and I was in the lobby 20 minutes later. I found Jack sitting there as well. “I was just about to call you,” Jack said. At first I thought it might have been to reschedule breakfast, but it turns out, though I wrote down 9am, we were supposed to meet at 8am. I was horrified and apologized to Jack, but he shrugged it off with a smile. And if you are thinking that is the embarrassing moment to which I referred in the title, it is not. Just wait.

Jack had wanted to go to a nearby deli, but it was closed on Sunday morning, so he, Mary Horton and I went to the hotel restaurant. We must have been seated right about 8:30 and I don’t think we finally emerged until after 10am. It was a wonderful breakfast. The three of us talked and talked and talked and I think I pretty much lost myself in it all. We talked about comic books and other books and what got us started in science fiction. The conversation roamed all over the place and it was just so much fun. And, of course, we ate. I was completely captivated and the time just flew by. We finally finished breakfast around 10am. Jack had to head off somewhere and so did I. I thanked Jack and we went our separate ways, he up the elevator and me, down the escalator.

I was halfway down the escalator when I realized I had forgotten to do the interview.

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Nebula Award Weekend Day 3: Or, where I gave a Nebula to Geoff Ryman, accepted one for Ken Liu, and got to meet Neil Gaiman

Yes, it says Day 3. I have temporarily skipped Day 2 in order to get today’s incredible events down on record before sleep wipes the cream away. Day 2 will come later. It is all very “Repent Harlequin!”-esque.

The day began with me heading off to the Hyatt in Crystal City at about 9am and, once there, attempting to find Alethea Kontis to get my badge back from her. She’d asked to borrow it for who knows what nameless purposes and I’d agreed. At any rate, I eventually found her and we then grabbed a quick breakfast in order to energize for the morning.

I ran into Bud Sparhawk while waiting for Alethea. I’d incautiously told him how terrific I think his blog is because the frustrations he expresses there (writerly frustration, mind you) are the very same kind of frustrations that go through my head an I was enormously relieved to know that I wasn’t the only one. I can’t do it justice. Just go over and read his blog yourself.

I know, I know, you want to here about the Nebula part and the Ken Liu part, and the Neil Gaiman part, but you’ll just have to be patient.

The first scheduled event of the morning for me was the SFWA Business Meeting, which, as an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American, I felt obliged to attend. I wanted to get there early to ensure a decent seat. But the room was occupied by another event. Standing outside the room, however, was John Scalzi, and for about 15 minutes, I got to chat with him, just the two of us, and it was very, very cool.

Then there was the SFWA meeting, in which I was made fun of for taking notes, but hey, at least I can now recall what went on in the meeting. That much is probably of little or no interest here. But…

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Metro D.C. folks: mass book signing in Crystal City today

Just a reminder to any science fiction and fantasy fans in the metro-DC area that there will be a mass booksigning at the Hyatt in Crystal City today at 5:30pm. Among those signing books:

  • Adam-Troy Castro
  • Myke Cole
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Scott Edelman
  • Nancy Fulda
  • Joe Haldeman
  • James Patrick Kelly
  • John Kessel
  • Alethea Kontis
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Jack McDevitt
  • James Morrow
  • Geoff Ryman
  • John Scalzi
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Lawrence Schoen
  • Bud Sparhawk
  • Rachel Swirsky
  • Connie Willis

and many, many others. The signing is free and open to the public, and books will be available for purchase during the signing. So if you are in the area and are a fan of SF/F, this is a great opportunity to meet up with some of your favorite writers.

Nebula Weekend 2012, Day 1 (Thursday): Or, the guy who spilled the sugar

A short, but very fun evening tonight at the Nebula Weekend 2012. I took the afternoon off work, got myself cleaned up and then headed over to the Nebula Awards hotel, the Hyatt in Crystal City, a short walk from my office, which was particularly convenient. I found my way down to registration and immediately ran into Alethea Kontis and Nancy Fulda,  talking with Lawrence Schoen and Tom Doyle. We chatted for a few minutes and while we chatted, Joe and Gay Haldeman walked up to say hello to the group. I immediately stood and offered my seat to Gay but they were moving on and she insisted I sit backdown. Despite my best efforts, I am still a big fanboy at heart.

Registration opened and I got to chat with the volunteers at the registration desk, including Bill Lawhorn and Steven Silver. Steven kindly pointed out that I’d forgotten to order Kelly’s meal for the banquet, but equally kindly corrected my oversight.

I chatted for a while with Nancy Fulda, who had huffed her way over to the event from Germany. We then found a quiet spot in the bar so that I could interview her for SF Signal. I was a little nervous because I haven’t done too many interviews and because this was the first one I was recording (using the voice recorder on my iPhone), but it all worked out well. Nancy answered my halting questions like a pro and I’m not just saying that–you’ll get to see for yourself when the interview is posted.

Later, I found my way up to the hospitality suite on the 18th floor, and was amused to discover I could see my office building from there. “Which one is it?” someone asked.

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Nebula Weekend 2011, Day 3

Well, the Nebula Weekend is over for me now, but I still had a blast at the various events this morning.

I arrived at the hotel at about 9:30 and ran into Allen Steele and (the Nebula Award-winning) Eric James Stone and chatted with them for a little while. Then I grabbed a quick breakfast before heading down to the Jefferson room to see the panel on the Old and the New. I got a front-row-center seat for this one. The panelists consisted of Jack McDevitt, who moderated, Joe Haldeman, N. K. Jemisin, Christopher Kastensmidt, and Michael J. Sullivan.


It was a really interesting discussion of the old ways and news way of the business from both a writer’s perspective and a reader’s perspective and Jack did a great job of moderating. After the panel was over I chatted for a little while with Gay Haldeman and then headed off for lunch with Michael Sullivan, his wife Robin, and Andrew Fox.

I returned to the hotel to say goodbye to a few people and spend a little while chatting with Bill Lawhorn in the lobby. We talked cons, including Balticon and Capclave. I’ll be up at Balticon for a few days next weekend, so the good feelings will continue.

Nebula Weekend, Day 2, Part 2: The Awards

By now, the whole world knows who won the Nebula Awards. But just in case you’ve been under a rock somewhere, the winners were:

  • Short story: “Ponies” by Kij Johnson and “How Interesting, A Tiny Man” by Harlan Ellison (TIE)
  • Novelette: “That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone
  • Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky
  • Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
  • Bradbury Award went to Inception
  • Andre Norton Award went to I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
  • Service to SFWA Award went to John E. Johnston, III
  • Solstice Awards went to Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree, Jr. and Michael Whelan

Our table had an award winner. Michael Whelan and his wife sat with us and that was a little bit overwhelming. Kelly and Michael’s wife hit it off and talked about pregnancy and babies and kids the whole time. But I can remember spending my hard earned coin in college on The Art of Michael Whelan and it was disconcerting to think that now I was sitting a table having dinner with him. Also at our table was Mike Zipser and his wife, the latter being the one who put the whole banquet together. Ellen Asher was also at our table.

When we got to the hotel the cocktail hour had just started. We saw Steven Silver in his tuxedo, and I proceeded to introduce Kelly to various people. I introduced her first to Scott Edelman because I’m not sure Scott really believed she existed. Gordon van Gelder was with Scott when so both Kelly and I got to meet him as well. We saw Alethea Kontis, and Mary Robinette Kowal. I introduced her to Allen Steele and while we were chatting Geoffrey Landis joined us. I knew who he was but he didn’t know me. It was great to meet him and the four of us stood around talking until they opened the doors for dinner.

It was a surreal experience, truly, and I wasn’t even up for an award. I can only imagine what it was like for the nominees and winners. After we were seated (a great table, close to the action with a good view) Connie Willis and her husband came up to say hello. I spent several hours in the Capclave bar talking with Connie’s husband and it was nice of them to come by and say hello. I introduced them to Kelly and wished Connie good luck. (Clearly, she didn’t need it.) Just seeing all the people at the surrounding tables: Joe and Gay Haldeman, Jack McDevitt, Stan Schmidt, Gardner Dozois, so many luminaries, it was hard to believe that I was actually there, despite the fact that I was actually there.

Michael Swanwick did a great job as toastmaster. The speeches by the various honorees and winners were all great. And two of the pieces for which I voted, including Connie’s book, won Nebulas. I think Kelly thought it was “interesting”, but for me it was spectacular.

And it’s not quite over, either. I’ll be back tomorrow morning to attend the last of the programming and say goodbye to people. Fortunately, I’ll have Balticon to attend next weekend to help keep the motivational juices flowing.

Nebula Weekend 2011, Day 2, Part 1

Today started earlier than yesterday. I had the crazy notion to attend the 10am SFWA Business Meeting, simply because I’d never attended one before and I wanted to see what they are like. I’m glad I did. In addition to getting to hear all kinds of promising updates about the organization, I got to meet John Scalzi in person finally. John is recently a New York Times bestseller, and when I introduced myself to him, he said, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen your blog.” Well, that was pretty cool! I sat just in front of Joe and Gay Haldeman and chatted briefly with both of them.

After the SFWA meeting (for which there was some yummy food), I stuck around for the Reading Aloud 101 presentation by the talented writer, puppeteer, voice actor, and vice president of SFWA, Mary Robinette Kowal. This was a terrific presentation. I learned a lot, took a lot of notes, and the little “activities” she had us do were excellent illustrations of how you can change your voice. There was a lot of good information in this presentation and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Mary’s presentations on this subject, I highly recommend it.

I grabbed a quick lunch afterward and then headed to the workshop I’d signed up for, Improving Your Website. Others attending were folks like my friend, best-selling e-book author, and fellow Arlington Writer’s Group member, Michael J. Sullivan. Also, Lawrence Watt-Evans, John Kessel and Michael Whelan. It was scheduled for 3 hours, but to be honest, it wasn’t what I expected. I’d gotten the impression from the survey we had to fill out that they’d been looking at our sites and telling us how we could improve. But all of the advice they offered was stuff that I’ve already done. I ended up sneaking out early, right around 3pm. I decided to head back home and get some rest before the big reception, dinner, and award banquet this evening.

We have a babysitter and Kelly will be joining me for the dinner and award ceremony, so it’s also a kind of date-night. We should be back at the hotel around 6:30 or so, all dressed up and looking our best. I’m very excited about this evening. I’ll try to take lots of pictures and report later tonight on what went on. By then, of course, you’ll already know who the winners are.

More later. (ETA: And here’s more!)

Nebula Weekend 2011, Day 1, Part 1

I left the house at 10am and made my long trek to the Nebula Weekend hotel. Okay, it wasn’t such a long trek. I drove to my office in Pentagon City and caught the Metro the rest of the way. Made it to the hotel just before 11am. Right away, I saw Steven Silver at the registration desk. I checked in, got my badge and my bag of goodies. And what a bag it is! Filled with books and magazines. And heavy, too. I found out at which table Kelly and I will be sitting tomorrow night. (And I did not check in for Kelly because I didn’t want to lug around two large bags of books.)

I was a little worried that I might not see anyone else that I knew or recognize (or had the guts to approach), but no sooner had I scoped out the lobby than did I see Eric James Stone and his recursive t-shirt. For my non-SF friends, Eric is a Hugo and Nebula nominated science fiction writer, an assistant editor of InterGalactic Medicine Show (where my first published story appeared), and helps to run the Codex Writer’s Group of which I am a member. We chatted for quite a while, and then I saw Allen Steele wander by and we pulled him into our little conversation. Shortly after that we ran into Alethea Kontis and Mary Rodgers, more fellow Codexians to say nothing of fine writers. And then we ran into Lawrence Schoen.

Rather than go to the hotel restaurant for lunch, I headed up to the con suite and had a sandwich there, and chatted with several people before heading back down to the hotel lobby.

I ended up checking my backpack and goodie bag with the bell captain because it was too much to lug around. I retrieved the former so that I could charge up my phone and do some writing while waiting for the next big event. Yes, writing. Between a conversation I had with Juliette Wade this morning, and being here among all of these fantastic writers, I am getting re-energized and am closer to really start writing again in earnest.

Later on this afternoon there’s the mass book signing, and some other fun events. Plus, its just fun getting to hand out with this cream of the crop here. I am so lucky!

And since I’ve been sitting here, I’ve seen folks like Gardner Dozois, John Kessel and Micahel Swanwick walk by. Whoa!

Continue onto Day 1, Part 2.

What I’ll be doing at the Nebula Weekend

Today is the first full day of the Nebula Weekend. For my non-science fiction friends, the Nebula Awards are science fiction & fantasy’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. They are the awards that are voted on by your peers, the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. This was the first year that I was a full active member and could vote for the works and so I’m particularly excited about attending.

The award weekend is being held in Washington, D. C. this year and as I live in Falls Church, VA, it’s just a short metro ride to all of the festivities. I’ve been watching on Twitter and Facebook as a ton of people arrive in town and I’m getting anxious to head downtown to see them. There are lots of tours of various DC attractions happening this weekend, but I won’t be doing those since I live here and have done them all a million and a half times. It is kind of strange to remember that most people attending don’t live here and many of them may never have been to Washington, D. C. before.

I am most looking forward just to getting to hang out with other writers, some of whom I have admired for a very long time. In addition, there will be many people in town who I know from online groups like the Codex Writers Group, but whom I have never met in person. It will be fun to get to meet them in the flesh.

Here’s some other things I’ll be doing at the Nebula Weekend:

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Some upcoming appearances

I can’t seem to find a good “Events” plug-in (at least one that I like) for WordPress, so in the meantime, here are some upcoming appearances I’ll be making over the next several months.

Nebula Award Weekend (May 19-22)

Even if I didn’t live just outside of D.C. I would go anyway. I’ve never been to a Nebula weekend and I’ve wanted to go. Good chance to meet a lot people I’ve never met before, to say nothing of those people who I have met but rarely get to see. Don’t know what I’ll be doing there yet (if anything) but I’ll be there everyday and I will be there for the banquet dinner (along with a 6-month pregnant Kelly).

Balticon (May 27-29)

I’m not on programming but I’ll be there, hanging out, sitting in on various discussions and chatting with folks. I’ll probably be there Friday and Saturday but not on Sunday.

Readercon 22 (July 14-17)

This is the first convention at which I am officially on programming. I don’t know my schedule yet but I’ve proposed at least one discussion panel to the programming committee that I hope gets selected. I’ll be there for the entire event as this is my favorite of all the conventions I’ve been to. When I have more details about my programming, I’ll post it.

I was hoping to get to World Con this year, but it takes place right around the Sibling-To-Be-Named-Later is due and that makes it a less than optimal time. And since I doubt they’d change the convention dates to suit my schedule, I’ll probably miss it this year, but I plan on attending the next WorldCon in Chicago.

Anyone else attending any of these three conventions?